7th Annual U of M Holiday Dinner and Gift Exchange

Although we’ve been gathering for years (odd, no football this year), by my count, we’ve been celebrating the holidays together for 7 straight years. This year, the Idemas graciously hosted at their beautiful home. I caught a glimpse of the shimmering new pool, but we won’t be wreaking havoc out there until next year.

Although Krista might be writing a letter to management about the seating arrangement, we ended up in two distinct dining areas. Dinner and desert were amazing, but the true main course is our gift exchange. You would think that with wisdom and experience, our gifts would become more age-appropriate. However, they’re only becoming more outlandish and yet strangely useful (my “Pocket Kim Wisdom” book excepted).

The photos are otherwise presented without commentary as they speak for themselves. A warning to all, if you pose for the photo, it’s definitely going to end up on the internet. I think you all look amazing.

Thank you, Idemas, for hosting another memorable event! Happy Holidays and GO BLUE!

Annual U of M Holiday Dinner in SF

Posse got the ball rolling on our annual holiday party with the Michigan crew. Morgan and Greg graciously invited everyone over to their house in the city. Posse, being the planner, arranged high-class transportation for all the Peninsula couples.

We met at Tam and Ben’s for a little pre-party while the Menlo Park crew we’re on their way north. Our little party bus was beyond expectations, replete with diamond-quilted seating, which is a far-off dream of mine. Now I want one.

We arrived at Morgan and Greg gorgeous home in San Francisco and rolled right into cocktail hour(s). Our holiday parties have alternated between homes and restaurants over the years. One really nice thing about this year was the chance to meaningfully connect with old friends. All of dinner was delicious, but the standout effort was Morgan having the caterer recreate their take on the Pizza House Chipati. It was a stroke of genius.

The highlight of every party is our gift exchange. This year was a little less contentious only because the early pickers had some unfortunate choices that did not warrant a steal. As always, hilarity ensued. Unexpectedly, the gift exchange paused when Guns ‘n Roses came on. Grace and I always get shit for going home with our own presents, but when you buy awesome presents, that’s what happens. Our hostess was only getting started just as the Ubers were summoned to take us back to the suburbs.

Thanks, Posse, for making all the arrangements. Thanks, Thornes, for hosting us all. Thanks, crew, for decades of friendships and laughter. Happy Holidays to all!

BBB with the Michigan Crew

It’s been a while since we’ve had the whole Michigan crew together so we invited everyone over for a potluck turned Bi-Bim-Bop fest. By everyone, I mean honorary Wolverines, Emily (proud Buckeye) and O’Brien, too. Due to weekend sports, May snow on I-80, etc., we were missing some folks. However, Jin-Hong happened to be in town and joined us as our surprise guest. Charles also texted out-of-the-blue and he joined us as well.

The kids made full use of the house, yard and now sidewalk. A few of the younger ones posed flight risks, which kept some parents busy until we smartened up and closed the gate to the zoo.

It’s only a few weeks until everyone launches into Summer, so I’m glad we could see everyone before they scatter to Switzerland, Tahoe, Aspen and other amazing places I heard on the agendas. We’ll be in CA holding down the fort.

Staycation and Superbowl with Michigan Dads

The Michigan dads decided to have a staycation with the kids last weekend. The moms went to Napa to do who knows what. We met at Delfina on Friday for dinner. On Saturday, Posse invited us over for some steaks and hot dogs.

On Superbowl Sunday, everyone came over to our place for pizza night. The ladies arrived home in the late afternoon to join the festivities already in progress. I was more vigilant with the fire in the BGE this time and pulled off 5 of 5 pizzas.

Great game with great friends. I’m pretty sure the moms had a good one, too.

Dinner with Michigan Gang

Beth, Ryan and Alex were visiting from the OC, so all the neighborhood kids and the Thornes from SF came over. The Menlo Park crew were busy teeing it up at Pebble Beach, which is as good an excuse as I can think of. We subconsciously planned this for a Sunday during a bye week for Michigan Football. Why mix business with pleasure?

It was so nice to see the T’kindts, whom we miss very much. It was also great to have the Thornes come down for the first time since moving back. We’re slowly building the crew back up. It was fun to see all the kids together.

Thanks to Jen who took our group photo. Everyone was looking at the camera, except for our little rascals!

Aw, what the heck, GO BLUE!

Holiday Dinner with Michigan Friends

On Friday, December 6th, the Michigan gang (seven couples in all) gathered for a hopefully annual holiday dinner. We had a private room at Ozumo in San Francisco, which was perfect for our group. Thanks to Jud for organizing the date and the venue.

We also kept up with our white elephant gift exchange. There was a little confusion about the rules. Like last year, the ladies were to exchange with the ladies and the guys were to exchange with the guys. The ladies were to buy “nice” gifts and the guys were to buy “not nice” gifts. Some ladies bought not nice gifts and some guys brought nice gifts, like the prenatal pilates DVD I included. In any case, it made the game itself a little more challenging because the gifts were not equally good nor bad. There were definitely some keepers, but because many were not chosen until the end, there were few steals. I’m still amazed. no one tried to steal Grace’s zebra themed gift (shower cap, mask and slippers).

It’s nice to have so many college friends around. It’s also nice that we can talk about something other than football. We’ll have to rally for some hoops this winter! GO BLUE and Happy Holidays!