The holidays are officially over.  Ted and I completed our 14 hour drive from Chicago in the driving rain and unpacked the evidence of our holiday richness into our dusty, New York home.  The Christmas tree in the corner still stood with its limbs dragging on the ground like a sad, scolded child, its brittle needles shivered to the ground with every passing footstep.  There was no food in the house, save for a few wrinkly apples, so we changed into our pjs, ordered take out and settled in to read all the holiday cards and letters we missed on our Midwest tour.  That’s one thing we always look forward to after the holidays.  It’s wonderful to hear the news and excitement from our family and friends. 


It did start me thinking, however, about the difference between going and returning.  When you are on your way, there’s the excited anticipation of what is to come.  I doubt anyone looks forward with great anticipation to the let down after the holiday…the taking down of Christmas decorations, settling up holiday bills, answering 85 emails, catching up at work or cleaning house.  I thought about writing this year’s holiday letter about all of the let downs or “returns” of 2003:  coming home after vacation at Danebod,  coming down after my 40th birthday weekend,  returning to work after a successful event, the day after finals.  But when I thought about it, I realized I had looked forward to our return this year.  And being in our home again was fun, despite the drooping tree and dust bunnies. It’s our home and while last year was monumental in many ways, we have a lot to look forward to this year.


2003 Recap

I started a job at Columbia University last April as Assistant Director of the Columbia College Fund.  It pretty much takes me out of the acting business, but as the time spent getting a job was drastically longer than the time spent working, I haven’t really missed it.  It is amazing how I have taken to my new position and how well it continues to progress.  I love it, I find I am good at it, and I feel like I am contributing.


Ted also switched jobs at Columbia, taking a less stressful position in order to concentrate on his schoolwork.  So far it has worked out famously.  He has more time to focus on architecture and the renovation of our apartment, both of which he loves.


In June the 1st Annual (hopefully) "Sibling Caucus" commenced.  The three Nussle siblings and their spouses gathered in New York City for a long weekend of fun and frivolity.  Exact details are of course top secret, however, rest assured there were many debates, profile raising dinners and news making events.  There is tell of a traveling akavit bottle with several incriminating inscriptions, the details of which, I am not at liberty to divulge.


We did go to Danebod Family Camp in August, now a tradition for both of us.  It is difficult to tell who enjoys it more at this point.  Ted and I taught an improv class ala “Who’s Line Is It Anyway” for the teenagers which was not only a lot of fun for us, but a big hit at camp. 


Ted continued school this summer and fall and is ever approaching the end of his first degree (next winter, we hope).  Highlights included classes in Islamic politics, New York City architecture (he’s available for tours), his second studio class and architectural theory.  Needless to say, he loves it!  I also took a class (a benefit of being an employee) called Managing Human Behavior in the Workplace.  My office is now well managed and we’re both straight A students.


As most of you know, I turned 40 in November in a weekend that can never possibly be equaled.  My whole family flew in (Mom, Dad, Ilene, Emily, Jim Q., Jim, Karen, Sarah & Mark).  We had 3-4 days of activities that included a party at our apartment with 50 people.  Friends and family from around the country sent video, audio and written tributes.  It was a complete surprise and overwhelming.  As if my family all traveling to New York wasn’t present enough, my parents gave me my Bedstemor’s piano as a birthday gift, which I have been playing ever since.  If you have to turn 40, call my husband, he sure knows how to plan a weekend!  I don’t think I’ll ever have to have another birthday again.


As wonderful as my 40th weekend was, my real birthday gift came about a month earlier, when Ted and I found out I was pregnant. We had hoped to be pregnant by my 40th, but never dreamed we would be that lucky.  As you might imagine, since mid October, we really haven’t been able to think about anything else.  The due date is in late June.


So, as we unloaded the car with the box of maternity clothes from my sister, baby swing from our friends in Kentucky, teddy bears from Santa and my Mom, and other early baby gifts, it was hard to feel let down.  Between my expanding waistline, upcoming sonograms, fears and anxieties, the sound of a little heartbeat, nursery décor, telling family and friends, we have something to look forward to every day.  We may not have the energy for it, but we’ll have something new to anticipate—kind of like parenthood!


Happy New Year!


Love,  the Bradys:  Ted, Karri, Nisse, Tucker and ?


for Information email  loripvp@gmail.com

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