Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

We've had a wonderful Christmas in our new home. I was neglectful today and didn't take enough pictures as we opened gifts and visited with family - a sign that I was really enjoying myself. If I remember to get the camera out, it usually means I'm bored. But I did take a lot of pictures of our decorations a few days ago, aren't you excited? Here's our tree in the day...

....and at night.
and closer up.

And the tree in our front room. We bought this artificial tree a few years back, but every year I can't resist buying a real one, so we end up with two trees.

Stockings hung by the chimney, and a sleepy dog in the corner.

The entry.

Sawyer was so excited this morning to find a basketball hoop from Grandma and Grandpa Watts.
He shoots...
and he scores!

We opened gifts (Eric: Battlestar Gallactica Blu-ray box set, Wii console; Me: food processor, Wii Fit; Sawyer: board games, V-Tech laptop, fort building set from Grandma Toone, books from SueSue and Granddad) and around 11:30 Erin, Robbie, Megan, Ryan, Caroline and Mary Grace came over. We had brunch together (egg casserole, cheese grits and monkey muffins) and then exchanged MORE presents. We were sad my grandfather couldn't make it - he had planned on coming but wasn't feeling well. After all the gift giving and visiting we were all tired so we put on a movie for Sawyer and Caroline upstairs and the grownups watched Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince. I say "watched", but really everyone but Eric and me fell asleep within the first 20 minutes. I got a cute shot of Ryan and MG:
Even Penny joined in on the napping. Once I took off her Christmas pajamas, that is. She was too humiliated to sleep while she had them on.

Pretty soon it was time for dinner.

We had standing rib roast with port gravy, garlic mashed potatoes, haricots verts, homemade rolls with creamed honey, and cranberry apple Jello salad. Dessert was my dad's famous ice cream pie (Ben and Jerry's New York Super Fudge Chunk ice cream smooshed into premade Oreo cookie crusts.) I meant to get a picture of all of us eating, but of course I forgot. But I think everyone enjoyed it, and we had a great time chatting and being together. I'm so glad we had family members close this year and we could spend time with them, especially Robbie who came all the way from Miami. We missed my parents and Tori and Tanne a lot, and Eric's family too - it's always hard that we can't see everyone every year.

The past year has brought lots of changes for our little family, and many new opportunities. Tonight I'm feeling very grateful for all I have - especially the people I love the most. Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Snow! Snow! and even more snow!

Last Saturday we had kind of a big snow storm. Kind of big as in the biggest storm in decades. The report for our area said we got 19", but because it was so windy we had drifts much deeper than that. Church was canceled, and the last two days of school before Christmas break were called off. They even shut down the federal government on Monday, although to be fair they have shut down the government for much less. I sure hope terrorists never figure out how to control the weather, because all it takes is a few inches of snow to bring us to our knees.

Here's our front yard as the snow was still falling. That dark figure in the background is Eric, shoveling our driveway for the third time that day.

This is what I found when I opened the front door. Our hiding front stoop (around 2.5 feet high) had just about disappeared.

This is what our deck looked like the next morning.

And here's a little boy who was very happy to get out of the house by Monday morning.

And a dog who hates the snow so much that she refused to go outside even to relieve herself. That was not fun. Thankfully, once we dug a path for her onto the deck she relented.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Favorites and Not-So-Favorites

It's that time of the year again, when everywhere you go stores are playing Christmas music. Or holiday music, if you're more inclined to celebrate Hannukah or Kwanzaa or Festivus (anyone know any Festivus carols?) I love most Christmas music, but if I really want to get in the mood (the Christmas mood, get your mind out of the gutter!) I'll listen to traditional hymns and carols. This one might be my all-time favorite.

Or this:

Lest you think I am a fuddy-duddy (did I really just type "fuddy-duddy"?) I do like some of the more modern offerings, like this:

And this:

And even this:

Now for the question I was thinking of as I started this post: If you could eliminate any Christmas song, completely get rid of it and never hear it again, which one would you choose?

I don't need to think about this one for very long; it would definitely be "The Little Drummer Boy." It is ridiculously repetitive and contains far too much onomatopoeia (although if I'm being honest, the only good onomatopoeia is NO onomatopoeia.) The only rendition that does it justice is Dwight Schrute's.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Christmas Confession

I am almost 32 years old, and part of me still wants an American Girl doll for Christmas. When I was a kid they only had the historical dolls representing various periods of American history, and I wanted a Kirsten doll something crazy. My friend Ashley had the Samantha doll with all the accessories and I practically boiled with jealousy every time we played with it. My parents never had the budget to get me a Kirsten - actually, I suspect that they could afford one Kirsten doll, but not five, and since I had four sisters it wouldn't really be fair for only me to get one. American Girl retired the Kirsten doll this year, so it's officially too late for my wish to come true.

Don't cry, I'll be OK. I'm getting a Wii.

But if I had a daughter, I would TOTALLY get her an American Girl doll, probably this one, even if she didn't want one, just so I could play with it too.

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