January 7, 2015

2014: Reflections and Photos

For the first time in five years, I took a two-week holiday from my blog. Spending so much time and energy at the computer, I found my life had gotten out of whack. I also was dealing with some health issues that needed my attention. So, the holiday brought a welcome break... and I'll take more of them.

During the Christmas-New Year's holiday, we focus on family and friends. One thing I want -- as I think about living this year as if it were my last -- is more time with my nearest and dearest.

So, as 2015 begins, let's have a look at what happened last year.

The Schappi Family Continues to Grow
Last March, granddaughter Emily married Jerrod Fuller, a most welcome addition to the family.

For a photo-journal post, click here, Just a few shots:

On Christmas Eve, the clan gathered at my son's house. Jarrod is holding Emarie, born November 10:

A year earlier -- Christmas Eve, 2013 -- we again had celebrated the holiday at son Todd's house. It was an especially memorable event, since my first great-grandson was born that day. He is Camden Dreisonstok, son of my granddaughter Jessie and her husband Daniel.

Here's Camden a year later:

Here's his big sister, eight-year-old Kaylee, making use of a costume box on Christmas Eve:

Here's Camden's other sister, three-year-old Kenzie. In the background are my grandson Colin and my daughter Ann:

Here are the two mothers (and sisters) Jessie and Emily, with the newest addition, Emarie (whose middle name is Jessie): 

Finally, here's the family patriarch, son Todd. I was never cut out for that role. Todd is a natural.

Here's Todd on Christmas Eve, 2013. He hadn't slept for over 24 hours. His job as a building maintenance engineer had him working from 11pm to 7am. He also was hosting the Christmas Eve family gathering. When daughter Jessie went to the hospital for the birth of Camden on Christmas Eve, Todd took over -- taking care of Kaylee and Kenzie.

Here he is, trying to stay awake at the end of the day.

Missing from the Christmas 2014 account is Todd's partner Jill. With her two sons, she was in Delaware spending the holiday with her mother. There are more than 15 Schappi family members now. Miraculously, everybody lives in the Washington-Baltimore area.

I'm truly blessed, so I shouldn't ask for more. Still, it would be nice to see the Schappi name continue on this branch of the family tree. So, Colin....

A Much More Exotic End of 2014 for My Home Family
During this holiday season, the farthest I traveled was to Baltimore for a Schappi family brunch celebrating Emarie's arrival. Then... there's the way Nimesh and Bhawana -- my treasured housemates -- spent the year's end.

On Thanksgiving Day, they left for the wedding of Nimesh's sister Sona in Punjab.

Sona has been living in Australia for several years, pursuing a master's degree in nursing and working in a hospital. She met and fell in love with Sandeep, a Sikh from Punjab who was also in Australia for school and work.

Aren't they a great-looking couple?

The wedding ceremony was held in Punjab, but a wedding there is not a one-day celebration. It continues for a week. That's also the case in Nepal -- as I found out when I attended Nimesh and Bhawana's wedding in Kathmandu three years ago.

So a Punjab-Nepal match required a week of celebrating in Punjab, followed by another festive week in Kathmandu... with a few stops along the way.

Here are several Facebook photos:

Nimesh, Sandeep, Sona, and Bhawana (seated), with Nimesh and Sona's  brother Ritesh (standing).
Sona and her brothers Nimesh and Ritesh.

Sandeep and Sona with their parents (Sona's seated, Sanjeep's standing).
Bhawana and Nimesh at an odd-looking edifice in India.
Sona and Sandeep at the Buddhist stupa in KTM.

A Happy Couple

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