Wednesday, December 31, 2008
I got to kiss my sweetheart as we rung in and toasted the new year. Even one of Ian's friends, Randie who is a girl, got a kiss from a boy at midnight. Unfortunately, that boy was Wilbur the Beagle. I don't think it was quite what she was anticipating. Happy 2009!
Monday, December 29, 2008
I, in turn, was able to get both boys' cars in to have their Christmas stereos installed today. I think they're pretty happy with the results!
The next day, we were heading back home for our reception. There was an ice storm and the driveway was a skating rink. Everything had been prepared beforehand by my sisters and mom. Months earlier I called in my measurements and some dress patterns that I liked, and they put together both my temple dress and reception dress. They decorated, baked, took care of all the arrangements, and all we had to do was show up and go where we were told. We never worried about anything. All I had to do was focus on the day.
We enjoyed amazing food (didn't get any of the chocolate raspberry wedding cake though until years later), lots of friends, and, one of my favorite parts, plenty of Christmas ornaments given as gifts that we still use to this day. I think about our reception every time we put up our Christmas tree. After a few days, we flew to Missouri for another reception, stayed for a couple of days, then drove straight to our apartment in Salt Lake so we could return for work the next day. (Not much of a honeymoon, although we did take our firstborn with us to Snowbird for our first anniversary [special thanks to Mom who watched him, though, so we could have dinner together at The Steak Pit]. That came four kids and ten years later when we went to Hong Kong.) To celebrate, we decided to recreate the first night we met. John was the new roommate of my friends from BYU. I came over to hang out with them and we were about to take off when John said, "I'll pay for the pizza if you guys stay here." So he ordered pizza from Domino's and we watched the original Parent Trap movie. One week later, we were engaged. Tonight we've ordered pizza from Papa John's (and a lot more of it!), will put in the DVD, and then watch that video from 19 years go (the kids made sure to mention, "Haven't we seen it before?"), making sure we transfer it to DVD so we can put a copy in our safe.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Check out John's dollar store "bling!"
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
We came home to make chili, finish cleaning, get Christmas pajamas, and for Santa to disappear into the living room to begin wrapping presents. I finished by 8 o'clock and am now waiting for everything to quiet down. (I know, silly me.)
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
My kids informed me that since Adam came before Eve, today is officially Christmas Adam. We celebrated with my friends and their families--the Elliotts and the Williams--as well as Nellie Myatt (Cherise Elliott's sister), and the Elliott family friend, Bob. It was to be a night of truths: a true pot luck and a true white elephant. So everyone brought what they wanted without telling anyone else or coordinating the meal, and you had to bring something from your house to swap (no going to the dollar store or anything).
It was a fun evening, just what I needed after spending the day out and about delivering gifts for work. Tomorrow I'm looking forward to a quiet evening at home, wrapping presents and preparing for another monster snowstorm that's scheduled to hit early Christmas morning.
We brought chocolate dipped oreos, Sarah's salad, Amish breakfast casserole, bruschetta and profiterole. Carma provided a turkey and ham, drinks, and assorted crackers and cheese. Cherise brought tempura vegetables and sushi. Nellie brought a gorgeous pie and some pinwheel wraps. I'm sure I've left some things out, but no one left hungry for sure!
The white elephant swap was truly entertaining. Carma read "The Night Before Christmas" with strategically added "rights" and "lefts" so we could switch our gifts accordingly. At the end, everyone opened up what they received. I got a box of used 3.5 floppy discs, Ian got 2 CDs (one of Gregorian chants--just the case--and one of Vladimir Horowitz), Maggie got a $100 bill in a small bottle, Ellie got an entire outfit from Hawaii (grass skirt, top, shell necklace, flower for her hair), and Griffin got a stuffed Hobbes doll which is absolutely perfect for him since he reads the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip all the time.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
That afternoon I helped with Griffin's class party where they made cards for a local care center and then played Christmas carols on the bells.
Now the kids are home until January 5. Yippee?
Thursday, December 18, 2008
I wanted so badly for this to put me in the Christmas spirit. I've not really felt it this year and kind of feel like I'm just holding on for dear life before my house and obligations swallow me up. On his daily radio show, so many people have called in to say how much this book has changed their lives, how phenomenal the stage show was. I was so looking for that to happen to me, too. I wanted to wait on hold for nearly two hours to say to him on the radio, "This was just what I needed." Instead, as the show ended and I watched on the screen as faux snow fell onto the audience, all I could think was, "You know, someone's going to have to clean that up." The point was obviously lost on me.
Every year I think, "This year will be different." I want that "Leave it to Beaver"-type episode where I spend the day in the kitchen cooking marvelous things to deliver to friends and family, where the ingredients are a prop and the cost didn't come out of my own pocket, and where the stage crew magically cleans up the mess that it leaves behind. Instead, my fingers are sore from tying over a hundred rubber bands around hot chocolate cones and I'm off to buy more mini marshmallows because they are Griffin's favorite treat and keep disappearing by the handfulls before I can get them into the cones. I'm rushed thinking I have to put tags on these and all the other gifts that need to be delivered by tomorrow because it's the last day of school before Christmas break. There is mutual tonight (an International Dinner for the elderly in our ward) where we have to prepare two desserts (one from Argentina and one from France) for we don't know how many and do a "heart attack" for one of our inactive girls. The snow is falling (pretty, but not fun to deliver Julie's presents to realtors in), my days are scheduled to the minute, and again, all I can think of is "Who's going to clean up the mess?"
Even my Beehive challenge of reading the Book of Mormon in 40 days has become a chore. Once you get 40 chapters behind, it's hard to find that much time to catch up. What had brought me peace just a month ago is now stressful.
And yet, just two days ago, someone arrived at my doorstep holding two dozen homemade rolls. You see, several years ago around Thanksgiving I purchased a whole bunch of fleece to make blankets to donate to whomever needed them. They have sat unfinished in my living room cabinet until last month when I thought it a perfect opportunity for the young women to finish so I could finally get rid of them. The cafeteria supervisor at Westmore let people know that she was part of a project that would be distributing blankets, coats, hats, etc. to people in need. I thought this a perfect place for the blankets to go and so I delivered them to her last Friday. She told me this about the family that received them. There was a young mother with a newborn there and she had mentioned that she had no way to keep this baby and her other children warm this year. They received all of our blankets and she broke down in tears knowing now that her baby would be warm. As a thank you, Linda made some of her fantastic rolls (that she bakes from scratch at least twice a week for the little elementary school kids' lunches!) for our family. I stood there dumbfounded thinking, "I don't need the rolls. You should take them to this family or other families who I'm sure need so much more than I do."
I know the true spirit of Christmas is in serving and giving to others. I knew at that moment that there could be no gift greater than knowing that we had helped not only her but other families in need through Sub for Santas. What a slug, I am. I have everything I need. My family has a roof over their heads, two working furnaces, HD on one of the TVs, two parents that love each other, and more food than we can store in our own house. What more could we want or need?
I think what's so hard is getting through the rest of it. I think the greatest gift of all would be everybody cancelling all the parties, concerts, sing-a-longs, and just freeing up time to be at home, with your family. Well, that and a maid to clean up afterwards.
PS: Don't be surprised if our Christmas cards show up around Valentine's Day!
Monday, December 15, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
After sitting for about a half hour, there were some performances from the Nutcracker ("the most boring thing EVER" as Griffin says) and then a few minutes before Ellie's group came on.
She did an excellent job. After trial and error in a ton of different activities, she finally found something she enjoys doing and, not surprisingly, is good at.
I got home around 5:45 even though they extended the party until 6 instead of 5:30 because I had left my coat at home and it was cold in there!
After a short rest, Maggie, Ellie and I took off for the Scera to see the musical "Plaid Tidings" with my friend and her family. (She volunteers there so she gets free tickets.) She had noticed that my life was crazily-hectic and that I just wasn't getting into the holiday spirit and was sure this was just what I needed. It was fantastic! In fact, we enjoyed it so much that she was able to get us more free tickets for the following Monday performance where we went as a family. This time, we were on the front row and were more interactive with the production. They asked Griffin what year it was (and he didn't freak out but answered, "Uh, 2008!" and then they grabbed Maggie to be part of the conga line and one of the characters kept hugging her. It certainly lifted our spirits.