December was busy. I suppose anyone who follows this blog (all nine of you...thanks by the way, I appreciate all 9 of you..really, not sarcastically!:)) is wondering where the one who claims to love Christmas so much went during my favorite time of year. Well, here it is--my 12, or rather 9 (because I couldn't think of 12) "ings" of Christmas.
1. Travel-ing: Dave and I packed our bags and headed out to
some sleep, which I think we got less), sleep walking, very mean security guards (one actually made me cry, she was the meanest lady on the planet... combine that with my 45 minutes of sleep, BOOM, tears). On the way back we had delays, a security breech, running through Chicago to catch our flight (yeah, like on Home Alone), and I hate to admit that I was cranky enough to tell the lady who tried to push everyone on the plane in Chicago claiming "I have a tight connection"--"We all do, sit down."...sigh...such is travelling I suppose. At the very least though, I'm thankful for a way to get us from here to there much quicker. :)
2.Rain-ing: We anticipated a lovely sunny trip full of outdoor activities and a maybe even a couple beach days, what we got was more rain than I've ever seen in Southern California. Even having lived there for several years, I've never. seen anything. like it.
It worked out though. It gave us a great excuse to just hang out with friends and family--which is what we were there for. All in all I think we had 6 days of rain and 5 of sun. So we did get some beach time in after all. :)
3.Go-ing...for it!: At my step family's Christmas, one of the cousins had the new Wii game "Just Dance 2"...
I won. :) (Not according to Lauren, but if she recalls the Avril song "Girlfriend", I was the victor.)
4.Laugh-ing: Mostly we laughed at the Californians. For my California readers, sorry, but read on, you have to admit it's true. :)
We laughed at how they drive in the rain. They either go 40 mph and hold up traffic for miles, or 80 mph and end up flipped over. I know its not really funny, but I forgot how big of a deal rain is, especially buckets and buckets of it, to Southern Californians.
We also laughed at the
individualistic (I'm being nice) SoCal attitude. It permeates the culture. :) Example (one of many): We were walking through a mall with my four year old niece, she dropped the gloves she was carrying so we all stopped while she picked them up. The lady behind us was so put out about it that she shoved her elbow between Dave and I and leveraged her way through saying "ExcUUUUse me!" (They never mean it when it goes up in the middle like that). Wow...but funny.
We laughed at the role of dogs in California. We saw dogs with sweaters, dogs in purses, dogs with purses. We saw organic pet food stores, restaurants with dog seating and dog menus. We saw a dog clothing store called "Preppy Pets".
Dog...the new human. :)
5.Cuddle-ing: With this cute face:
My sister's daughter and my very cute and sweet niece. She's 4 1/2 so Christmas with her was more fun than ever. It was all the heart-pumping, Santa-believing, Toy Story 3, present ripping open a kid (or adult) could ever want.
6.Receive-ing: This was one of my favorite gift years of Christmas ever. I got gifts that meant something to me (Mom, I know we haven't had Christmas yet, you'll be included because I may do an entire "gift post" because I loved this Christmas so much).
Here is one of my favorites:
My dad gave this to me. He used to read it to my sister and I over and over when we were kids. I love it. I've read it over and over since I've been home.
Other gifts worth mentioning that I just loved: a knit kit (lovely, soft, luscious alpaca yarn, scissors with a gold handle that I think elves used at some point, and a holder for small knitting necessities), lots of tea, a dough hook for my Kitchen Aid...so many things. I may do a separate gift post because I love gifts and what they mean, and the people that gave them.
7. Paint-ing: My sister was painting mini gourds as ornaments this year and I joined her in painting. Here is my favorite:
Yes, it's my cat. Yes, I know that's somehow sad and places me in the same category as Angela from The Office, but still, that's what I painted. :)
8. Hang-ing...with friends and family: I know this is a given at Christmas, but I just felt so blessed by it this year. We got to spend Christmas with family I don't see much but miss all the time. We got to see friends we hadn't seen in so long. We got to come home and spend time with family here. It's like Christmas is being stretched out into days and days of family and food and gifts and trees...it makes me think that Judaism is onto something having 8 days of Hanukkah. ;)
9. Refresh-ing: We got to hang out with some good friends who have recently moved out to California. It couldn't have been more refreshing for us. They are the type of people who remind you to keep being who you are and to walk with God and that together with God we can do anything. Everyone needs friends like that. Everyone. Thanks guys. We love you and your family.
I think being away, and coming home was refreshing to. We loved our trip but we were so happy when we got back to our own house, our own bed, our own traffic (or lack thereof), our own routine...being away always makes me thankful for home sweet home. :)
All in all everything about Christmas has been great and its not over for us. We have one more Christmas left this weekend and I'm glad to have one more week with my tree. :)