Well for Madison, the answer was sleeping! This may have been the first year she didn't quite make it - but that was probably because she was up so early. It's also because she had a fun day. It started out with games in the morning, as been our routine of late: we'll have to start adjusting that when the new year starts. It's time to return to piano practice and homework!
It's also time to start getting up a little earlier too. We've been getting up around 8:00 or so, and frequently before Mommy. Daddy and Madison will sneak downstairs and play the X-box with the volume on mute - this time trying out "Epic Mickey 2."
It's okay so far - Daddy was looking forward to it quite a bit. Visually, it's a lot of fun, but technically, it's not quite a game for Madison yet. And in some ways, not a game for Daddy either - lots of figuring out to do.
It's okay, because soon Mommy was awake, and Daddy and Madison were on a mission to go out and get cheese. We were going somewhere tonight, and needed cheese. Yep, it's that kind of night. Also, it was getting close to lunch while we were out, so Daddy took Madison on a date - to McDonald's. Again, we've been sitting on gift cards over the years for McDonald's that we've never spent. SO, Daddy took his $25.00 in gift cards, and went to McDonald's with Madison, where she scarfed a kid's meal - and he got his precious McRib. Ah, such a sentimental guy I am, longing for the taste of the past. McRib's are similar to Booberry, in which they only visit with us once a year - and there seems to be a crazed cult following behind them. Count me in the group this year, but it may be the last time: these past two McRib visits have left my tummy feeling odd. Blame that on the pancreas or something - but the McRib and I may be splitting up.
We got home, and it was almost time to go. We got ready, and got in the car - and drove down a different way to our destination: that way, we could go over Buford Dam. This was the first time that Daddy has ever been over Buford Dam, but that may have been one of my resolutions for 2012. Well, I got to it just in time!
We arrived at the Hitchcock's house once more, just like last New Year's Eve, and Madison had a wonderful time. She was a ball of energy with her friends Abby and Rachel. They played dress-up all night long, constantly stampeding down the stairs to give us somewhat of a fashion show. As always, there was plenty to eat there for everyone!
Here the girls are, Abby, Madison and Rachel. All adopted from Asia - from countries that are closing up their opportunities to adopt. Just this week, the news again was about Russia's decision to stop allowing their children to be adopted to citizens from the United States. This, from what I read, is in retaliation for something unrelated to children's adoption. That makes the decision even more unfortunate than it already is. Abby and Rachel's mother was ready with all kinds of statistics about why this was a bonehead idea, but even before we knew the specific details, it was pretty obvious: the only ones suffering from this would be the children. Obviously, parents waiting are going to be hurting, especially those who are in Russia or are about to go over for adoption. Imagine the hopes that are crushed because of politics as usual. Unlike in China, the Russian adoption process involves lots of bribery and extra money coming in from the Americans visiting to pick up their children. Now, all that money will be gone, so there's someone else that will be hurting with this weakened world economy. Dumb move, Russia. But then again, Russia has been historically a place of dumb moves.
At least these precious children Abby and Rachel are here and safe - and as you can see above: happy. It was a very nice time we had - the grown-ups spent time talking and sharing, as the kids thundered about upstairs, playing in rooms, probably creating a huge mess.
We were tired early though - it's been a long month. Well, it's been a long year, actually. Anyway, we left around ten or so, and got home to Madison to bed. Before taking her upstairs, we all posed for the last family photo of the year, somewhat of a tradition now.
Daddy told Madison when we were going to bed - "See you next year!" She didn't quite get it yet, but she does understand the concept of the new year: today we looked through a big collection of photos from 2012, seeing all the things we've done in one single year. It was quite a big amount, and we've been blessed and highly favored. Even with the bout of pancreatitis in May, I'd still say this was a great year for us personally. Of course, as a nation, it was pretty much a downer, particularly later in the year. We somehow survived Mayan and other apocalypses: God has taken care of us, and for that we are grateful. We hear Madison's voice and are so thankful for what we have. Come what may, it's been a happy year, and despite the doom and gloom in economic forecasts, we'll remain optimistic about 2013. Happy New Year!