Friday morning, we got the babies bundled up and headed back over to campus, to visit Illini Media Company. This is where Andy and I worked in Champaign; I worked at the Daily Illini and Andy ran WPGU. Andy and I met at work, so the company will always hold a special place in our hearts.
I was excited to see old friends and tour the new building that had been constructed in the heart of campus. We first got a tour of the radio station. Andy recognized all of the old equipment, and Henry stood at the big studio window and watched the cars zoom by. We then wandered upstairs to advertising and production, where we congregated and oohed and ahhed over kids and got caught up with one another. Several co-workers came in on their days off, so we had a nice crowd of friends to visit with. I know my career isn’t over yet, but I think Illini Media will be the best place where I ever worked.
Andy and I took the babies back to his parents’ house, then changed clothes and headed back out, this time for a sad occasion. The grandfather of Andy’s best friend passed away, and his visitation and funeral was on Friday afternoon. Andy’s friend Chris was raised by his grandparents, and Andy thought of Chris’ grandpa as his grandpa, too. We think the world of Chris and his family, so it was an extremely sad afternoon. Afterward, Chris mentioned that he found Sam and Emilie’s obituary in a file of clippings his grandfather had saved. Not that we needed proof of what a good man Chris’ grandfather was, but Andy and I were extremely touched that he had kept us in his thoughts.
After the funeral, Andy and I played with babies and hung out, still too sad to do much. Eleanor kept us entertained at supper. We ate some yummy spaghetti, which Eleanor didn’t eat much of until it was time for dessert. She had a chocolate pudding cup, which she would dip her spaghetti noodles into and then slurp it down. Sometimes she’d dip her spaghetti into some ranch dressing before adding the pudding. Quite the flavor combination!
Andy and I also had a hearty laugh at bathtime. After the babies were out of the bath and dried off, we let Henry and Eleanor run around the bathroom for a few minutes. There was a full-length mirror on the back of the door, and Henry would run up to it and make funny faces at himself. The babies were giggling and running together, when suddenly Henry stopped, bent his legs into a slight squat, let out a big fart, and exclaimed, “WHOA!” What a boy.
Shortly after bathtime Andy’s brother and family arrived from Michigan. They had a long drive through some nasty winter weather, so we were relieved when they arrived safe and sound. The rest of Friday night was spent hanging out with family. Henry and Eleanor enjoyed their first taste of buckles, a Christmas treat that Andy’s mom makes every year. At one point, Molly, Gerrit and I were all on laptops, posting messages and chatting on Facebook while all sitting together in the same room. Rich referred to signing up for a “Facebook place,” which of course led to a weekend of mocking. We all turned in for the night and looked forward to opening presents the next morning.