I hope everybody had a safe and happy New Year.

Ours was low-key, but it was great family time. Monday afternoon, I got to head out to Quincy Place Mall to cover the NYE Family Fun Day hosted by several of the businesses located in the mall. It was good to see something of that scale in Ottumwa for families to do. Bounce houses, arcade games, laser tag, movies and more awaited those wanting to celebrate in a safe, family-friendly way.

My evening was even more low-key. Upon returning home from work, I got in a quick workout and made some dinner. As I handed Colin his plate, I told him it was a “big-boy plate” loaded with lots of food.

That got me a look. “I’m not 8 yet, Mom,” Colin quipped. After dinner we enjoyed some birthday cake — we had Colin’s birthday celebration over the weekend — watched some college football and relaxed for a bit.

Then we played a family game of Mario Kart Monopoly. Although intended — I think — for kids, it seems more complicated than regular Monopoly, if you can believe that. Each of the characters has special abilities, there’ are races involved and a few other moving parts to the game in addition to property trading. The races helped me out. While I only managed to pick up two properties, I managed to win enough races to earn enough points for second place. (Side note: Luigi has won every game we’ve played so far, no matter whose token he is.)

The nice thing about the game? Unlike regular Monopoly, there is a stated end to the game in the rulebook. There are eight races, which take place whenever somebody passes “Go.” When the final race is run, the game is over. Also, unlike regular Monopoly, it’s based off points rather than money. That was fortunate for me as well, as I was out of money by the end of the game.

That took us to about 10:30 p.m. Jason was ready for bed, and it was 30 minutes past Colin’s weekend bed time. He brought his pillow and blankets into our room to sleep on the floor, and Jason found a marathon of the 1960s Adam West Batman episodes.

I loved that show when I was a kid, so it was a nice trip down memory lane to watch several and introduce Colin to a simpler, more corny version of Batman than exists in today’s movies. I think he enjoyed it; he giggled at several parts.

However, I could not get him to go to sleep. “I’m going to stay up until it’s my birthday,” he said several times. To my amazement, he made it. A couple minutes to midnight, I flipped the channel to the countdown in New Orleans and we rang in the new year — and Colin’s official birthday.

It was a low-key way to enter 2019, but that’s the way I prefer it. If you give me a choice between a party and quality family time, I’ll choose family every time.

And to all our readers, I hope you have a great 2019!

Tracy Goldizen is the Courier's features and magazine editor, leading production of the award-winning "Ottumwa Life" and the Courier's other magazine offerings. She began work with the Courier on the copy desk.

Recommended for you