Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas and other assorted updates

I feel a bit like I am coming out of hibernation or something. Even though we've been seeing lots of my family, I've pretty much neglected the rest of the world for a few weeks now. The blogging world especially has been completely ignored, both posting and reading. Sorry dears, I'll repent now. :-)

Last week was a rather nice one for us. Steve got the entire week off from work for his vacation. This makes the 4th year in a row (every year we've been married) that he's gotten that week off. We love it. Our house is so much cleaner with Daddy around full time, not to mention yummy breakfasts and dinners that he cooks. Jilly has been LOVING all the attention she gets from him too. And it's been nice for me to get to veg out and not worry about what I should be doing so much. Monday through Wednesday evenings I had to work, which was a bit of a bummer, but worked out fine. We were lucky Steve had that time off work, because it took me a lot longer to get to work this week, I had to leave the house early. If he'd been working, he also would have been a bit delayed getting home which means I couldn't have left early. So yay for that.

One of the reasons transportation is taking longer these days is because of all the SNOW we've had!!! It's insane. Over two weeks we've had snow on the ground, and we are sick of it!! I think total, we've gotten 12"-15". Ridiculous. Perhaps I would have enjoyed it more if 1) I had an SUV/truck/ or some All-Wheel Drive vehicle; 2) we had a yard to play in the snow in; and/or 3) it just disappeared, rather than turning to slush with 15" potholes. Our poor little Elantra has been beaten up as we treat it like an SUV and go bouncing through the slush, snow and ice. So far the worst has been in our apartment complex itself. We did find out that Reverse is our "power gear". The couple times I've almost gotten stuck, I've been able to back up and get out of it. Anyway, we did take Jilly out in the snow at my mom's for a little and she had fun. Since she doesn't have great snow gear (i.e. any snow gear) we put her in her Halloween costume and she was a Snow Bat! It's a great outfit for that because it's all fleece and thick and has straps at the bottom to hold the pants down over the shoes. Anyway, she's definitely learned the word "Snow" and loves to exclaim it. "Snow! Snow! Snow!" ;-) Now everything is melting and we're happy to see it go. We want our parking lot back! :-)

Christmas Eve was a BUSY day for our family. We got up and got rolling and headed out to do some last minute shopping. We hit Alderwood Mall, Best Buy, Target and Safeway, all within about 4 hours. It wasn't actually totally insane either. Well, parking and getting from the car to the store was a little tricky, especially having to carry a 2 year old because I knew she couldn't walk in the slush. But other than that, it was good. We got everything we needed and then some. We got home, put Jilly down for a nap and Steve got busy putting away food and such while I wrapped some presents. Then it was off to work for me and he made a bunch of food. That night we had my family over for our Christmas Eve tradition. We make Mexican food and get lots of soda and just hang out, eating and relaxing. Andy and Steve will play Madden on the Xbox and Jilly will flit from person to person begging food and attention. We had chicken and cheese enchiladas and tortilla soup and it was SO good!!! Steve is an excellent cook. The evening was relaxing and calm and super enjoyable. After everyone left, we read the story of Christ's birth from the Bible and sang Christmas carols, then it was off to bed.

The next morning, we were all lazy. Jilly and I didn't get up until around 9:30am. We opened our stockings, which were pretty much just full of candy. We also opened our presents from the Aunt Becky & Uncle Kevin and their kiddos. Jilly got a PINK SAN ANTONIO SPURS tracksuit! It's pretty much THE MOST ADORABLE outfit we've ever seen. I put it on her right away and she wore it the whole day. She also got a super fun Melissa & Doug toy called Cutting Food. There's a bunch of food cut up into pieces that velcro together, as well as a cutting board and a wooden knife. Jilly can cut them apart and put them back to her heart's content. It's fabulous and she LOVES it! Steve got a subscription to National Geographic and I got a clothing gift card. We were all super stoked. THANKS ZIEGS!!

We eventually headed out to my family's house, in the SNOW! Yep, not only was the ground all white for Christmas, but it was snowing all morning to boot. So we did have a White Christmas after all. After arriving at the house, we talked to Auntie Karen and the boys in Canada, Steve talked to Becky and we finally settled down to open presents. We had a nice little crowd gathered: Mom, Paul, Katie, Andy, Juliet, Steve, Jilly and me. Jilly and I played "Santa" and distributed presents to everyone. It was a lot of fun. We all got stuff that we love. The highlight was probably Jilly opening her present from Auntie Katie. It was an MP3 player. Not like an iPod or anything with headphones, but rather the updated version of those Fisher Price cassette players we had as kids. You know, the ones with the microphones that you could carry around with you? Anyway, it's awesome! It doesn't have a microphone, but you can download your own music files as well as the music already on it. There is also a Teddy-Bear looking cover that attaches to a crib, so you can use it for little newborn babies too. (Not that we'll be doing that! Jilly doesn't need another thing to play with in bed!) :-) Jilly hands down LOVES and ADORES the thing. Granny sent Uncle Andy off to download some Raffi on to it and Jilly just loves making it sing and light up. I admit, some of the songs get on Mama & Daddy's nerves, but luckily we can put it away and distract her with something else when we need a break.

By the time we finished opening gifts and clearing up the paper, it was like 1pm! We finally got started on breakfast and sat down to eat our Waffle, Eggs and Bacon feast about 2pm. ;-) After that, it was time for Miss Jillypants to take a nap and the rest of us settled in to watch a movie. Well, Jilly decided a nap was not high on her list of priorities but was fairly content to babble, talk and sing to herself in her playpen for 2 hours. We watched Baby Mama, which Katie gave us, and found it quite funny. We let Jilly get up after a couple hours and then we watched Disney's Robin Hood (which Jilly got from Auntie Karen and the boys). I fell asleep and got a little nap while everyone either watched the movie or got dinner going. Dinner was fabulous with Prime Rib, mashed potatoes, asparagus, Caesar salad, and sparkling juices. YUMMY!!! While the dishes were being finished, Juliet, Katie and I played a game of Scrabble. On the initial draw, I got stuck with the Q, X, and Z!! The only vowel I got was a Y. Seriously crummy. But as the game went on, things got better and I was able to make some big plays, which resulted in me winning the game. Sweet. By that time, it was definitely past due for us to head home. Jilly, having had no nap, was tired and ready for bed. Granny had gotten her into her new jammies already, which was a good thing, because she fell asleep on the way home! She managed to stay asleep while I got her out of the car, up the stairs, and into the apartment. As I laid her in her crib (with coat still on), she opened her eyes, I handed her Bunny, and she flopped right over to sleep. She stayed in there without a peep until 6 am, when I took off her coat and settled her back down. It was surprising because normally she wakes up when we get her out of the car seat.

So that was our Christmas! I will be posting pictures later, but I need to get some from my mom as well as download from our camera. It was a very nice and relaxing day. We are ending this year with hearts full of gratitude for our many, many blessings (too numerous to name) and look forward with hope and determination for the year to come! :-)