merry and bright

Dima & Lara ~ San Francisco, California

Time for me to express a little joy, the sort of elation parents often simply cannot contain when something wonderful is happening with one of their offspring.  In September we received the welcome news that Larisa & Dima got engaged, and in October we had the pleasure of meeting Dima’s parents, Svetlana & Vladimir, when the kids brought them here for lunch and a delightful afternoon of getting to know one another.

Dima’s family emigrated from Russia to settle in the United States when he was seven years old.  Turns out he was a towhead when he was small, same as I was.  It’s funny the things I make note of and file away in my memory.  Dima is short for Dimitri.  Larisa is a Slavic name, too, and when she was little we tried calling her Lara, and even Lara-Kate, using her middle name Katherine, but it never stuck.  It occurred to me how symmetrical the names Dima & Lara would be together.  Kind of like Tim’s brother and his wife, Dan & Fran.

Earlier, as we were preparing for the visit, I was standing on a stool to get some serving platters off the top shelf of the kitchen cabinet.  Apparently I was fumbling due to nervousness because next thing I knew the platters were out of my hands and had crashed onto all the wine glasses I had just washed. Broken glass was all over the countertop and the floor and in the kitchen sink, too.  Somehow we managed to clean up the disaster, run out to Home Goods, buy new wine glasses, and make it back home before our daughter’s future in-laws arrived.  Phew!

Dima & Larisa

Larisa loves the above picture – from one of her many escapades with Dima.  We often wonder from where the thrill-seeking genetic material originated.  (They’ve been skydiving, bungee jumping and scuba diving, too…)  But we’re happy that the kids have found such a good match with each other in their adventuresome spirits.  I’ve had some more mellow fun, co-creating a wedding web page with them – they’ve added all the content and provided me with pictures to play with.  (So of course I borrowed my favorites to share here!)

We did put those new wine glasses to good use.  Svetlana & Vladimir brought gifts of wine imported from Russia and Ukraine, as Larisa had told them beforehand about our Ukrainian ancestry.  Apparently there is a Russian saying that only problem drinkers don’t toast before drinking.  Well, offering toasts is a custom Tim & I were not acquainted with but soon we were learning a bit about the etiquette involved and were imbibing and well-wishing for the days forthcoming, right along with our new extended family.  🙂

Earworm:  “May your days be merry and bright…”  The line from that song has been stuck in my head for days now!  We picked out our tree and brought it home on Saturday and I’ve now finished decorating it.  Our cozy little nest is ready for the winter solstice.  So here’s to Merry & Bright in the days and years to come!  Cheers!

Dimitri & Larisa

26 thoughts on “merry and bright”

  1. What a lovely happy post Barbara.
    Poor you breaking all the wine glasses just before the in-laws arrived. Luckily there was a shop near by to get replacements!
    I really enjoyed the story about Larisa’s name. She knew…!

    1. Thanks for the sympathy, Rosie! With Tim to the rescue it wasn’t as disastrous as it could have been and it was actually fun picking out new wine glasses, even if we were in a huge rush. Larisa likes her name, although for a short while there she was a little embarrassed that I named her after a mistress (in Dr. Zhivago).

  2. Cheers, Barbara!! This is such a happy and bright (and yes, merry) post. Love the photos. Looks like the happy couple has a great deal of fun together. 🙂

    1. I’m glad you like the photos, Robin – Dima & Larisa certainly have an active, globetrotting lifestyle. I don’t know where they get the energy for all these thrilling adventures. Cheers!! 🙂

    1. “Effervescent bubbles of joy!” Now all I need is a new arrangement of musical notes to go with your delightful choice of words, Laurie!

    1. Thank you very much, Stephanie! It’s funny – now each time I see the new wine glasses I think of that wonderful day! 🙂

    1. Thank you very much, Charles! Dima says the names Svetlana & Vladimir are as common in Russia as John & Mary are here, but they sound wonderfully exotic to me. 🙂

  3. Oh I’m so happy to hear such a delightful news from your family! The two really look wonderful together, and both fond of adventures!! WoW!!! Congratulations to Larisa and Dima 😀 Indeed Merry & Joyful, Have a great December Barbara..

    1. Thank you for all your well-wishes, Sonali! I have a feeling that Dima & Larisa would feel right at home with you if they went with you on some of your wild adventures, too! 🙂 I’m looking forward to using our camera at their wedding, which will be in the woods. Wishing you a joyful holiday season, my friend!

  4. I am so happy for you and your family, Barbara, and of course, for your beautiful daughter and her finance! I ‘wandered’ over to their wedding site and I love the idea of their wedding! Blessings for happy and interesting times ahead.

    1. Thank you very much, Diane! I’m looking forward to the in-the-woods setting and how informal and unpretentious, but deeply meaningful, the whole affair will be. 🙂 Now what does the mother of the bride wear to a back-to-nature wedding?

  5. Thanks for the post Mom! And for all the support lately. It’s so nice to be able to share in the joy and I really am lucky to have you and Dad. Love you!

    1. ♥ You’re so welcome, my darling daughter! You have brought us so much joy over the years – we feel very fortunate to have you, and now Dima, too, in our lives. ♥

  6. Barbara, this is lovely! glad to hear about Larisa and Dima. Didn’t know about their thrill-seeking side. They look so happy. There is so much etiquette to learn when we have in-laws from other countries with other customs. But think how much it expands our world!

    1. Thank you, Kathy! Our horizons are expanded every time we make room in our family circle for new members. You made me remember when I was a teenager and I reluctantly moved to Greece with my family. We traveled there by ocean liner and I remember one night sitting on the deck with my father, under the stars in the middle of the huge Atlantic Ocean. He told me that I would meet other students from many other countries in my new school. And then he told me of his dream – that when people finally had made enough friends in other countries, then no one would be willing to take up arms against another country because they had friends there. We can add family to that vision, too.

        1. Memories – I wonder if Dad remembers this… Sometimes parents have no idea what reaches through to their sullen teenagers and sticks with them…

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