Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas 2011

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!  So...I had good intentions?  Ha ha...To my credit it was the end of the semester and I have been busy with finals and all of that.  But now...Im on an almost 3 week break from school. Then it's off to my FINAL semester of happy :)

Christmas always seems to come and go so quickly each year.  All the preparations, the madness, the shopping, the mailing and then in 3.5's over.  This year was a tiny bit anticlimactic for me.  First of all, the tree was a disaster.  Not only did it physically die the 2nd week it was up...and I am talking touch it and it crumbles dead, but half the lights stopped working AFTER I was finished decorating.  To top it off, every store I went to was sold out of clear tree lights! So, we spent most of December with a dead, half lit tree.  Its so droopy that ornaments are falling off the poor thing!  I just finally threw my hands up in the air and said "OH WELL".   Here is a picture with the lovely dark spot. Haha!  Oh boy.

Second of all we scaled back a bit on gifts.  Just seemed like the right thing to do in this economy but it made the big reveal fall a little flat.  Last year we heard "Look at all the presents!!!" and this year it was..."Hey you guys, Santa left some presents under the tree..." in a less than super excited voice... BUT, the worst part about it is that I live in this little apartment with nowhere to hide the gifts and I am almost 100% sure that my middle child saw everything that he was getting this year.  The little snoop.  I never did anything like that when I was a kid (LOL!!!  Yeah...right)  Unfortunately for him, he is a horrible liar and a horrible actor.  The fake surprise he tried to pull was almost kind of funny... and then it was irritating.  So, as far as all that went....I have had better years playing Santa.

Addison was a joy though because at 5 she has really grabbed onto the fun of Christmas!  She lit up at all of her gifts and was just so excited.  She was even the first person up this morning!  Gotta love her.

She is growing up and has lost her first couple of teeth this past over Thanksgiving weekend and another this weekend.  I am sad that she is my last one to really enjoy the magic of Christmas so I will try and savor it every year.

The kids were pretty excited about their Dad being in town though.  Denver flew in on Christmas Eve day and you can see from the picture just how happy they were.

The day before Christmas Eve we went over to Nathan's house for our little Ries get together.  Unlike a lot of people, we really have zero familial obligations during the holidays...not that it would be a bad thing but other than my brothers, we enjoy a fairly intimate Christmas holiday and that makes going to Nate's house all the more special.  Here is Addison with her cousin Jude....he has been so sick and had just gotten up toward the end of our visit.  He is so sweet...Addie just loves him :)

This Christmas was also bittersweet for tragic reasons.  Denver's cousin was in a horrific car accident in Indiana the week before Christmas.  He, his wife, his 15 year old daughter and their 8 year old nephew were hit head on by a 17 year old girl.  Everyone died but Kristena, the 15 year old.  It has just had me heartbroken and sick that she has to go through this at such a special time of year.  Literally orphaned with no siblings even to lean on.  I cried for 3 days over it and I just cannot imagine how she will get through it.  She broke her back and as soon as she is healed from that she will have to go live with relatives...probably in Michigan with one of Denver's other cousins.  It seems so unfair sometimes the way life plays out for some people and I count my blessings that I have been spared from such tragedy.  It has definitely made me pause and reflect on those blessings a little extra this year!

I hope that everyone enjoyed their Christmas and wish you all the best for the coming year!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011...

Look how horrible I have become at posting!  I look forward to the day when I am finished with school and can turn more attention to projects that I enjoy, such as this.  In the meantime...I'll try to be better about posting.

November came and went with the wind!! I can't believe it is already December and Christmas is staring at me in the face!  We went to Reno for Thanksgiving this year to spend it with my parents and took my youngest brother Jeff with us.  It was wonderfully relaxing.  I think we watched 10 movies over the 4 days we were there.  There is something to be said about waking up with zero plans and zero obligations. I could have used another weeks worth of it!

Dinner was yummy as usual...although we almost didn't get turkey since the oven got turned off midway through the baking time!  Never fear...we managed to get it cooked and eaten at a reasonable hour.

The kids enjoyed themselves thoroughly...especially with the dogs.  I don't think my parents dogs have ever been played with so much.  Another plus was that my boys forgot to bring their chargers for their Nintendo gaming systems so after the battery ran down on the way to Reno, they were stuck the rest of the trip without games to play.  It forced them to be more creative about how to spend their time.  Nothing wrong with a dose of that once in a while!

We are back to reality now...and gearing up for Christmas.  We just put the Christmas tree up last night.

Makes the house feel so cozy.  And now it is snowing outside.  I think December is the only month where I actually enjoy seeing it snow.  Too bad it has to last longer than a month!

Hope you are all enjoying the holiday season.