Our holidays come to an end today. M and C go back to class tomorrow, although CHS is once again having a two-week J term filled with electives, so they don’t have “real” school for awhile. L has another week off but I will still have to start setting an alarm to make sure her sisters are awake tomorrow.

A rundown of how we ended 2022 and began 2023.

New Year’s Eve/The New Year

Our postponed Christmas Eve family gathering was rescheduled for this night. It was big, loud, a little crazy, but fun. It helped that it was about 50 degrees warmer than it had been a week earlier.

We were back at our house around 9:00 – except for M and C who went to friends’ homes to celebrate – played a couple games before L and her cousin and S and her sister petered out around 10:30. I stayed up to watch football (more on that below).

New Year’s Day was uneventful. Monday morning we woke to heavy fog and five deer milling about in our back yard. One of those fuckers got a little too close to our pool. That’s all we needed to start the year: a deer falling through the cover, tearing up the pool liner, and probably having to call for assistance to get its dumb ass out.

Our youngest nephew turned three Monday, and his family stopped by for birthday cupcakes.

In the evening the seven of us did an escape room thing. It was my first time doing one. A little weird, especially since we had one kid (take a guess which) being a little bossy and uncooperative. But we made it out with 13 minutes to spare.

My sister-in-law and niece were supposed to fly back to Denver around 10. Their plane was also coming from Denver and kept getting delayed because of the weather out there. It finally took off two hours late. I dropped them at IND around 11:45. Looks like they made it home after 2:30 Denver time. I bet it was fun to clear the snow from their car at that hour.

Our drive to the airport was very weird. We were again under a thick layer of fog. Moments after dropping them off a big storm rolled in. I spent about the first 15 minutes of my drive home on the interstate going no faster than 40 mph with my wipers on high and hazards flashing. There was intense, bright, blinding lightning that was a lot of fun when I was already struggling to see the road. Fortunately there wasn’t a whole lot of traffic at midnight on a Tuesday morning, and I made it home safely.

With family visiting we didn’t get to taking down the Christmas decorations yet. I’ll pull the plug on the outdoor lights today and take them down if the rain clears out. But the inside tree will probably stay up until either Thursday, S’s home admin day, or next weekend. Don’t worry: the Christmas music was retired on Christmas Day!

KU Hoops

What a stupid, wonderful, infuriating, magnificent beginning to the Jayhawks’ Big 12 season. Playing like absolute dogs in the first half and letting a mediocre-shooting Oklahoma State squad light them up from outside to go down by 15 at the half. Followed by a brilliant eight minutes or so to eliminate that deficit and leave us with 12 minutes of knock-down, drag-out basketball that was probably a pretty good teaser for how this Big 12 season will be.

It was the third time in the 2022 calendar year that KU came back from 15 or more down at halftime. I guess they knew the football team came up just short Tuesday and needed to lock in one, last crazy comeback for the year.

Looking back, in 2022 KU hammered Villanova in the Final Four, beat North Carolina for the national championship, came back and beat Duke in the Champions Classic, destroyed what has turned out to be a pretty damn good Missouri team, hammered Indiana, and then had the two mega comebacks against Kansas State in November and Oklahoma State on Saturday. I saw a thing Monday that showed Quad 1 wins for the calendar year. KU had nine more than Baylor, which had the second-most in Division One.

Seems like a pretty good year. I have the shirts to prove it.


As soon as the KU game was over, I had to scramble to get ready for our New Year’s Eve gathering. Our hosts are not sports fans and do not have cable, which meant I was following the TCU-Michigan game on my phone. As was my sister-in-law whose husband is a Frog. Fortunately for him, he and their son were at the game. Looked like they had fun.

Really glad TCU is the school that got the Big 12’s first-ever CFP win. Not that I am a big Frog fan or anything, but it makes it better that it came after Oklahoma failing for years and Texas never getting there.

M was very astute and asked what I would do if it had been a KU Final Four game that was at the same time as a family gathering and I would not have access to a TV. I told her I would probably have skipped the event, which would have earned me a dirty look or two from S but really would have been better for everyone. No one in the family needs to be around me when I’m watching a stressful KU game. Hell, the girls were making fun of me for screaming during the OSU game Saturday. Can you imagine if it was a game in April?

I was able to watch most of Georgia-Ohio State, which was filled with wonderful momentum/mood swings. Ohio State’s potential game winning field goal sailed left just as the clock struck midnight here in the Eastern time zone. Our Christmas tree automatically turns off at 12:00 AM, so as the ball knuckled into the air, the lights clicked off behind me and the fireworks kicked in outside. It’s like it was all planned to happen that way.

Georgia-TCU should be an excellent game, and I’d be fine with either team winning. Just glad it won’t be Michigan or Ohio State, to be honest.


I was going to write something about how weird it still feels for there to be regular season games two weekends into January. But after what happened in Cincinnati last night, that feels wrong. I’m glad I wasn’t watching. I’m glad the teams seemed to show way more awareness and empathy than the NFL showed. And I’m really hoping that Damar Hamlin makes a recovery that allows him to live a meaningful life.