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A winter storm walloped the St. Louis area. Lots of sleet Thursday followed by some snow and ice Friday made roads treacherous for a bit, but worse than that, it caused nearly half a million people to lose power. Our family is among them. The friends and relatives I talked with by phone on Friday were also all without power, as were many of my coworkers at the Post-Dispatch.

So far it hasn’t been too awful bad (says the guy who has been working in a warm building all evening), but overnight it’ll be very cold and in the days ahead it won’t be anywhere near as warm inside the house as it was Friday during the day.

We just moved into this house in August, and we haven’t yet had our chimney cleaned and the flue opened, so we can’t light any fires yet to keep warm.

Today we spent most of the day outside the house, eating out, and going to Target to buy a few Christmas gifts. And I hurt my lower back trying to break through the ice on the driveway so I could back the car out.

Hopefully power will be restored soon, but realistically I know it could be as much as a week before it’s fixed. That’s how long it took for many when back-to-back storms this summer knocked out power across the region. (yeah, it’s been one of those years for St. Louisans)

On a positive note, everything is covered by ice and the tree branches look like they are encased in crystal when the sun illuminates them. With luck we might try and take some photos tomorrow.

International Josh Day

Today, Oct. 29, is a holiday across the globe. Yes, it is International Josh Day.

So, remember to hug a Josh today and celebrate this special occasion with friends and family. After all, it only comes once a year.

The readingest girl ever

Jadzia really likes books. She’ll sit through a session of reading 6 books and start crying when we finish because she wants to hear more.

Since Yoli is a librarian, she enrolled Jadzia in a summer reading program where she wins a prize after listening to a certain number of books. It didn’t take but a week or so for her to win her first prize. 🙂

Christmastime in review

As I mentioned in my previous post, this was an interesting Christmas season. It was nice to have Justin and Becca in town for several days before the actual holiday so we could spend some time together.

Among the activities was a game of disc golf at muddy White Birch in Hazelwood. It was quite fun, even though I didn’t fare too well. The highlight for me was making a birdie on hole 17, which is not easy, and making par on 18.

On my side of the family, we often make Christmas lists to give relatives an idea of what kinds of things we need or would be a blessing to us. This can be a good thing. This year, Yoli and I kept our lists very simple. I wanted donations toward an iPod and she wanted donations toward a video camera.

This can be tacky, and I hope I don’t do it again for a good while. But I had been patiently waiting to get an iPod for several years now, and it was so good to finally get it. After Christmas I found a nice used one here in town (similar to one my brother Jon has already) with some accessories at a great price. Yoli did her research on digital video cameras and we are buying a refurbished Consumer Reports best-buy which we’ll take to Bolivia in January. It will be good to tape Jadzia with her Bolivian family so she can see them again and again when we are in the U.S. Likewise, we can make tapes of her and send them to Bolivia.

I am enjoying my iPod, but as is usually the case, the most memorable gift is the unexpected one. My mom got me a nice pair of gloves to replace the ancient tattered ski gloves I’ve been wearing since junior high or high school (I forget). Later in the morning she pulled out a fancy dress coat they had been saving for years for one of my brothers. Turns out it was too small for them, so she asked me to try it on. And it fit me fine. So now I have new gloves, a new dress coat, and my old English caps. When I go to work now, I look like a new man.

This past Wednesday we had our annual movie night with some friends from Hazelwood West, McCluer North, and UMSL. We watched “Million-Dollar Baby” which I had not seen before. The story takes a somewhat-surprising twist in the last portion, which made for lots of interesting discussion afterwards. Lots of thanks to Matt for hosting the night and for the great chili! Unfortunately, Jadzia was a “Million Cries Baby” through about the last 1/3 of the movie and the discussion.

That’s the challenge of the baby… Finding ways to adapt our lives to accomodate her. With movie night it wasn’t so successful, but we’ll get more creative next year.

Our beautiful Bolivianita

Yoli and I gave birth to a beautiful daughter, Jadzia Marie Renaud earlier today at DePaul Hospital in St. Louis. Jadzia weighed 6 pounds 1 ounce, and she is very hairy with nice black hair. This is exactly what Yoli was hoping for.

The labor went well overall, it was fairly quick, and we are glad it didn’t last into the night. The baby arrived at 6:30 p.m.

We are very excited! I don’t have photos yet, but I hope to post some in a day or two.