Are We There Yet?

Are We There Yet?

Family Picks: Calm before the storm

Yes, Family Picks are back! After all the hubub of the holidays it's a relatively quiet weekend in Champaign-Urbana, but that's a good thing in my opinion - one more chance for unscheduled time before the semester gears up!

Still, there's plenty to do, and you can some spend time outdoors while temps are still relatively warm. Here are a few suggestions:

We like to call them 'winter lights'

Our Christmas lights are still up. So is our tree. And I am not apologizing.

I have friends who are super-organized and take their trees down on New Year's Day. They're ready to move on, clean house, start fresh.

I usually reach that point, too - later.

They celebrate charity in lieu of more 'stuff'

Just before Christmas, the Daily Bread Soup Kitchen in Champaign handed out more than 750 backpacks full of cold-weather supplies and holiday treats to men, women and children in need - almost twice as many as the year before. Contributing to the effort was a group of friends who have made a holiday tradition out of giving to those in need, rather than each other.

Of holiday travels, eruptions and the gift that keeps on giving

We are back from our holiday sojourn visiting family around the Midwest, spreading lots of Christmas cheer - and germs - along the way.

Yes, it was one of those virus-filled vacations, everything from respiratory ailments to ... let's just say digestive issues.

I'll bet your Christmas letter doesn't mention Lady Gaga

I’ve never succumbed to the urge to write a Christmas letter.

Frankly, I’ve never had the urge to write a Christmas letter.

For one thing, it was a lot of work. And it seemed a bit impersonal.

Christmas letters: 'Thank you for saving our son's life'

In honor of today's column, I thought I'd share a few Christmas letters I've come across over the years.

This first installment is one I found online from a writer named Ted Pack, whose website shares his dos and don'ts for holiday letters.

The family that paints together...

My dithering nature manifests itself in a big way when I have to choose paint colors.

I once tested four different beiges for our old living room. BEIGE. Not exactly a risky color.

They were either too peachy or too taupy or didn't match my upholstery. Whatever. I still wasn't really happy with the result.

The holidays are in full swing in weekend Family Picks

Suffering from post-turkey lethargy or Black Friday exhaustion? We’ve got some events to perk you up this holiday weekend!

When news is bleak, be thankful for small things

I like to think of myself as a fairly positive person.

I have my share of anxiety, those glass-completely-empty moments when the kids are sick, projects are due, bills are overdue and — just to top it off — squirrels eat their way into our garage.

Life in our own 'Big Dig'

Since approximately, oh, mid-May, the main street through our neighborhood has been torn up by a massive storm sewer project.