(Incidentally, wassail is apparently a festive spiced cider, traditionally served around Christmas. According to Ian.)
So. Hi. I have received many an email, postcard, phone call, smoke signal, regarding my neglect of this here blog, and it has, to be fair, been a long while. Shortly after we last spoke, The Tillman 4 hightailed it to Ian's parents' new house for Thanksgiving. We took the train, which had it's good points (comfy seats, sense of adventure, etc.), and it's bad points (some of our luggage decided to travel to Los Angeles, which is not, by the way, where we were going, and also eight hours in an enclosed train car with two small children is OH MY GOD A REALLY LONG TIME). We had a lovely time and there are many lovely pictures of our lovely children cavorting with their lovely cousins, and all of that loveliness deserves its own blog post which will hopefully happen shortly. If we know you, like you, and know your address, you probably got a Christmas card from us featuring a picture of us with a beach behind us, and the beach was near Ian's parents' house. Further pictures will have to wait. Both kids are currently napping -- hey! Max takes naps again! Did I mention? -- but Maggie is an unreliable sleeper, so we could be interrupted any moment. Treasure this time, people.
When we got back from Thanksgivingfest '08, we went and got our Christmas tree. We cut down our own this year, which was exciting, and we are sort of inexperienced tree-cutters, so we had some good times wrestling the tree into the tree stand. ("Dada got a little mad at the tree. But now he likes it!" Max informed me the next day.) The jolliness of hunting and gathering our own fresh tree helped me to cope with the fact that, once again, we were forced to choose a miniature tree this year. Even I, who lobby for the biggest tree we can fit in our apartment every year, had to admit that our determined little mountain goat of a daughter could not be trusted not to climb to the highest bough and hang there like the world's cheekiest Christmas ornament. So the tree is out of her reach, but she walks up to one or the other of us every 30 seconds, clasps her hands and lifts her big, earnest eyes up to us, and says, "More treee? Please treee? Yeah, yeah Santa!" until we pick her up and admire the tree with her for fifteen minutes or until something in our back gives out, whichever comes first. And yes, Maggie absolutely speaks with the level of clarity dictated above. I am not exaggerating. The other day, I was negotiating with her while we were in line at the store, and some lady behind me laughed and said, "it's so funny, it sounds just like she's talking to you!" Um, yeah.
Max is super excited for Christmas. Relatively fresh from his birthday, he understands enough now to anticipate presents, and cookies, and he has holiday spirit to spare. We have talked about making cookies for Santa, and he is agreeable, as long as Santa doesn't get ALL the cookies. Ian told him that Santa comes down the chimney to bring toys, but that if you don't have a chimney, Santa comes through the Internet. Max was initially dubious ("but he will get squished!"), but now accepts this and all other Santa-related discrepancies because Santa is "very very magical".
So, I have now given you a blog post, with witty narrative, heart-warming Christmas cheer, and a festive color redesign for the holiday season.
And now that you no longer need to send me grouchy emails about falling off the face of the Internet, feel free to fill that hole in your busy schedule with bothering Ian by discussing how much he looks like the Grinch in this picture. Feliz Navidad.