Good-bye 2009, Welcome 2010!

And the gifts kept arriving! On Monday, the 28th, Julie’s boyfriend, Derek Johnson, arrived for a not-long-enough but much better than nothing visit with the fam. He hadn’t met Kari and Gabe yet, nor been with our family except in Uganda in May, so we welcomed him into the craziness and he adapted without missing a beat. We spent the 30th trudging through Boston in the frigid weather and introduced him to some of our favorite haunts. It really was lots of fun, even though it was very cold. We played lots of games, ate lots of good food, and enjoyed getting to know each other in ways that moments like these afford. We staged an Open House on New Year’s Eve so that many close friends could meet Gabe and Derek. When snow began falling around noon that day, we thought few would come--but we thoroughly underestimated the determination of New Englanders! Over 80 came and it was a raucous time, filled with lots of talking and laughter.

While touring downtown Boston, we warmed up with pizza at Ernestos, our fav pizza place in the North End on Salem Street.

Just before the Open House kicks off, we pose for a family plus Derek photo.

The four Friesen girls, Julie, Lisa, Kari, and Baker (now 15.5 years old!), pause for a hug before Baker leaves for her home-away-from-home with the Martis family.

The Open House ended just in time for us to get to Waltham to join Doug and Julie Macrae for a New Year’s Eve dinner at Il Cappricio Restaurant. The meal was fabulous, making it hard for anything to exceed it, but the fellowship we shared did just that. Great last meal of 2009.

Our last meal of 2009 couldn’t have been better. We joined Doug and Julie Macrae at Il Capriccio in Waltham. Fabulous!

We bring in the New Year with a toast!

Back home in time to watch the ball drop at Times Square on TV, and to toast sparkling cider at midnight. It was a perfect ending to 2009 and we acknowledged that we are all blessed beyond words. Good-bye 2009 -- Welcome 2010!