Up until a few weeks ago, there was radio silence on our annual U of M holiday dinner. Thankfully, we were able to lock in a date and the Hoffmans graciously offered to host at their beautiful house. One thing that makes it hard to find a time are those pesky kids and their schedules. We lost the Thornes at the last minute due to an out-of-town soccer tournament. We also lost our lone Aussie, Michael, due to work.
The rest of us had to press on with delightful food and company. Look at all of these beautiful smiles and festive people! Jenn preparing her salad in the laundry room / sous-chef area is something out of an InStyle spread. The white elephant gift exchange was rather tame, with only a few real stinkers, which Jenn had a knack for selecting. The squatty potty was a nice touch and thanks to Matt for demonstrating. Cutest couple goes to Jason and Ben.
The older we get, the earlier this party breaks up. That said, I’ll never tire of this group of amazing friends. Happy Holidays and GO BLUE!
One of our favorite traditions with our U of M friends continues. Grace and I hosted our annual holiday dinner and gift exchange. Even though I volunteered to cook the main dish, Grace had to hedge with her own. We ended up preparing dueling beef: prime rib vs. beef tenderloin. There were some issues with the timing and a large flare-up made things exciting. Eyebrows are intact and dinner was served.
Everyone came through on the potluck and delicious appetizers and desserts were enjoyed by all. Despite Krista’s strong objection (two years in a row), the women and men dined separately. It’s unclear what was going on with the ladies, but they were much more boisterous than the civilized conversation we were having about everything that never happened in Las Vegas or New Orleans over the years.
Somehow I got talked into Burt Reynoldsesque pose on the island. I was not the creative director of that shot. No one is going to see it anyway.
Our gift exchange is becoming less savage over the years. Ever since we mixed the nice ladies gifts with the more festive mens gifts, there’s less stealing because everything is either really good or really bad (in an awesome, Nicholas Cage kind of way).
Happy Holidays and GO BLUE!
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!
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!
Tam organized a surprise dinner for Ben’s 40th birthday party at Limon in San Francisco. I think Ben knew something was up when the limo service arrived, but we were all happy to greet him when he arrived. Dinner was a four course extravaganza. We had to out-do the 20-somethings having another birthday party at the table next to us. I think we succeeded.
Happy Birthday, Big Posse!
Amy and Grady invited everyone over for a BBQ on Sunday, May 15th. It was our first time meeting baby Miles. He is a cutie. It was also our first time to their new home (just down the street from their old one). There are no words… So beautiful. Awesome to hang out with the gang again. Hoping we do it often throughout the summer!
Tam and Ben invited the gang over to watch football and baseball. It was a bad sports day, but the grilled cheese and chili were fantastic.
Jen and Matt hosted the group at their house for a Labor Day BBQ. Pork and Pork were served. Matt cooked ribs in a smoker, which were amazing. We were happy to welcome Theresa and Matt back to the Bay Area. More importantly, we all got to meet Bear, their new puppy. Lucas was obviously his biggest fan. Equally exciting was the arrival of our old friend, Krista, and her husband, Jud, who moved out from Ann Arbor.
Graduation day at Gazelle was on Wednesday, June 9th. Olivia didn’t have school that day and didn’t attend the ceremony, but everyone was invited to a picnic in Pershing park afterwards. Teacher Katie was there. It was also nice to see the Idemas (Kate was a graduate!). Olivia still has a couple years to go.
Ben invited us over to catch the game at his house. Olivia and I went over to catch the second half. Blaine was already there while Tam and Morgan were out the door to her soccer game. Mason was very nice in sharing his toys with Olivia. Olivia has some work to do.
The game? It was almost awesome.