Tuesday, December 30, 2008

And another Christmas has come and gone…

So it’s hard to believe it’s all over, isn’t it? How is it that we take months (or weeks… OK, days in my case) to prepare for Christmas every year, and then in the blink of an eye, it’s all over? HOURS spent wrapping presents, only to be torn open within seconds. I often wonder why we all put ourselves through it. LOL!

But the bottom line is that this was possibly my favorite Christmas so far. At least since meeting Steve and having kids anyway. The girls were on their best behavior on both Christmas Eve at my FIL’s house and on Christmas Day here and then at my MIL’s house. After the “Great Thanksgiving Incident”, I think they were afraid for their lives (thanks to Daddy) if they misbehaved, so for once, even though our one nephew ran around like a little tornado and acted like the biggest ungrateful brat in the world, OUR kids remained calm and thankful for all they were given. Ahhh….

Everyone seemed to be in a good mood this year, which as we all know, when lots of family members are all getting together, is no small feat. I got such nice stuff. Steve bought me some really nice clothing, cool gloves (both “regular” gloves and snow gloves… because apparently, my excuse of not being able to come out with them sledding because I didn’t have snow gloves was getting old), and a cool stovetop popcorn maker for the family (since we don’t use a microwave).

My mom had already paid for my new photo printer, but also gave me lots of nice little stuff like candles, body sprays, lotions, soaps, (apparently my house and my body need help in terms of scent? LOL!), and THREE magazine subscriptions. WOOHOO!

My brother and SIL also gave us really nice stuff, like winter & Christmas shaped pasta, Bath & Body Works hand soap, and a gift card for each of us (I got Barnes and Noble and Steve got Cabela’s).

My FIL came through again and gave us all a nice present or two along with $100 in cold, hard cash. God, I love that guy. LOL!

Steve’s brother and my evil SIL also did pretty well by giving us each a gift card – mine being for my hairdresser. I’m thrilled since I’m in desperate need of a haircut, but given my past with my SIL, there’s that little part of me that wonders if she was trying to tell me my hair looks like shit. LOL! And I’m still a little confused as to why Steve’s gift card was for Eddie Bauer. A store he’s never shopped at in his life, and the place we often make fun of them for shopping at (0ut loud) since good old Eddie’s pretty plain, average clothing can be bought for half the cost at almost any other store in the world. Perhaps they’re tired of Steve and I dressing like teenagers who live at Aeropostale? LOL! It’s anybody’s guess, but it’s all good. I’m sure he’ll find something there he likes. :)

My MIL actually did REALLY well choosing gifts this year for us, and Steve and I both got really nice clothing, some other stuff, and the softest blanket I’ve ever felt in my life.

The kids, as usual, made out like bandits. They got everything from a Wii (from us), a guitar (from my brother), Wii games (from my sister), new American Girl dolls with accessories (from my parents), and lots of cool craft stuff (from my MIL). Now keep in mind that those were all of the “big” gifts from all of us. That’s not including the other bazillion gifts everyone felt the need to buy them. Sigh.

I still have no CLUE where I’m going to put all of this new stuff. And I’m dreading the after Christmas chores of undecorating the tree and house, taking all of the lights down, etc. But I can’t even complain, because it was such a wonderful holiday this year, that I suppose it’s all worth it.

The Wii is AWESOME! My arm is sore from bowling and playing tennis, and I don’t even complain when Grace asks me to play some games with her. SOOOO much fun and probably one of the best gifts we could have bought them. I see years of use in our future (which is totally unlike most of the gifts they get). Good stuff.

My favorite part of the holidays is always the visitors though. I love that we seem to have totally random people floating into our house in the evenings just to drink a bit and hang out. Steve’s mom and her husband and his aunt and uncle stopped by the other night… we’ve had a few friends drift in… and tomorrow, Steve’s friends since childhood are coming to visit with their two boys. They moved to Texas a few years ago, haven’t been home in years, and we’ve never seen each other’s kids. I talked to the wife tonight and we’re all really excited to get together! :)

Anyway, I hope ALL of you had a wonderful holiday! I’ve barely had time to look at my photos I’ve taken, let alone fix ‘em up to post here. But I’ll try to do that in the next day or two. I do have one or two I can post, but they’re aren’t even remotely exciting. LOL! And, as usual, I’m not in a single photo taken. But I suppose that’s the price you pay when you’re the only one who knows how to work the camera. LOL!

Steve on Christmas Eve at his Dad’s House


Grace on Christmas Eve at my FIL’s House


The Girls Playing the Wii Before My Family Arrived on Christmas Morning

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Grace Watching My Brother Playing the Guitar He Gave Her for Christmas


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Hey gang! I’m pretty sure I won’t have a chance to pop in here tomorrow or Thursday, so I wanted to make sure to wish all of you a Happy Holidays! It’s been crazy around here with last minute things. SOOOO much to do and so little time to do it. We host Christmas for my family (around 15 people) here at the house, so on top of the usual Christmas stress of buying and wrapping gifts, I’ve also had to try to fit in cleaning, grocery shopping, and cooking. Not going so well, my friends. LOL!

But we’ll manage. Tomorrow night, we’ll head to Steve’s dad’s house for food, presents, and total chaos with the “spirited” nephews. Then Christmas morning, within 2 or 3 hours of waking up, my family will start to pile into the house with WAY more presents than any child needs. Then it will be a day of eating, drinking, and playing the new Wii that the girls will find under the tree.

Around 3:30 or 4:00, we’ll head to Steve’s mom’s house for more food, gifts, and total chaos with the damn nephews. But we’ll get through it. LOL!

Today was the girls’ last day of school for 15 days (god help me… LOL!), so the teachers’ gifts went with them to school today. I made them each handmade, blank, all occasion cards with envelopes, CD calendars, a Dates to Remember notebook type thing, and a custom box to store everything in. I hope they liked it! The girls said they did, so that’s all I can ask, I suppose. LOL! Here’s what they looked like….

The “Dates to Remember” books:

Teacher Gifts 2008

Teacher Gifts 2008

The CD calendars:

Teacher Gifts 2008

The handmade cards:

Teacher Gifts 2008

Teacher Gifts 2008

Everything tied together to put in the boxes:

Teacher Gifts 2008

And the boxes themselves. The “C” and “K” are their first initials. :)

Teacher Gifts 2008

And with that, I’m outta here. I’ll be back after the holidays with lots of photos, I’m sure, and hopefully, a more “normal” schedule that actually allows me time to post here. Have a great Christmas everyone! :)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Total Drive-By (Again)

Because it’s 2 AM, and although I’m not even remotely tired, I know I need to go to bed if I have any hope of waking up before 9 AM tomorrow (which is way too late). But this is a good thing. Because it means bullets and we ALL love bullets, right? :)

And we’re off…

* I’ve been so busy, my head is spinning. Work, Christmas stuff, the girls’ extracurricular stuff, school stuff, making gifts, etc. Can someone stop the world please? Because I’d like to get off, if even for just a day.

* My printer took a shit on me 3 weeks ago. It suddenly wouldn’t feed any paper other than normal copy paper. This probably wouldn’t be a problem for most people. But because I print out a lot of photos, scrapbook pages, special papers for hybrid projects, etc., it basically meant my printer was useless to me. So in swoops my mom and buys me the Epson Artisan 700 photo printer as my Christmas gift. Happy, happy sigh. Mom rules!

* However, after printing a bit tonight, using the same double-sided, PrintWorks matte photo paper as a few weeks ago, the new one wouldn’t feed it through anymore either. Uh, I’m thinking it’s the paper, not the printers. So that old printer currently sitting on my living room floor isn’t broken after all? Um. Oops.

* I’m currently a little obsessed with David Cook. Don’t worry. I’m sure it will pass. But for now, I’m a self-proclaimed dork. It’s all good.

* Grace is now officially a Brownie Girl Scout after her investiture ceremony last week. She’s so proud! :)

* Grace is getting a guitar for Christmas from my brother. I think that’s fucking awesome.

* I currently have a total of 3 gifts bought for my children for Christmas, and one of those is a joint gift. (Joint as in for both of them. Not a big bong.) Now granted, the big gift is a Wii. But still. Do you think I could possibly get off my ass and BUY them something? Sigh. My problem is that every other damn family member has already bought them everything they could possibly want or need, so there’s nothing left for me. Dammit. This happens EVERY year.

* I also haven’t bought anything for about 80 other people I need to buy for. I guarantee you I’ll be out shopping on Christmas Eve. I really should have a penis.

* Today ended the 2008 buck hunting season in PA, and I’m sorry to report that my dear husband didn’t shoot one. This is devastating on many levels, and I’m SURE I’ll hear about it for the next year. So if you keep me in your thoughts and prayers, it would be greatly appreciated.

* I’m lip-synching like a rock star right now, thinking I’m all sorts of cool and shit. Yeah Allison… drink another one. [rolls eyes]

* I made some big decisions the past few weeks and I think I finally decided it’s time to move on and forge ahead.

* Hannah continues to crack me up daily. The wit and sarcasm and attitude that comes spewing from that 5-year-old’s lips makes my head spin around (while secretly beaming with pride). She really IS a mini-me, isn’t she? ;)

* Both girls are kicking some serious kung-fu ass in both behavior and grades in school. That’s my girls!

* Grace is student of the month for her class for December. :)

* This Friday, I’m helping out at the school for half the day for some sort of celebration or something (the details are sketchy). The woman who called said it’s “Pajama Day” for the kids and that I, too, am more than welcome to wear my PJs to the school. I have to admit, there’s a very large tiny part of me that wants to walk in wearing something from Frederick’s of Hollywood, like a thong with garters and a bustier. But I suppose that wouldn’t be appropriate, would it? (I’d also have to go BUY garters and bustier, and since I can’t even seem to buy my own damn kids a few Christmas gifts, I’m thinking the chances of me going out and purchasing these items are pretty much slim to none.)

* I know there are about 8 billion other things I wanted to update y’all about, but I’m totally blanking right now. Why is this not surprising?

* Steve’s 34th birthday is on Wednesday and I bought him a kick ass salad shooter. Sounds stupid, I know. But I can assure you he will LOVE it. I don’t think he even knows that such a tool exists. But I will no longer have to listen to his incessant bitching every night when it takes him 45 minutes to make a salad due to the slicing of a billion vegetables (because I’m all about giving people gifts that also benefit me somehow.)

* For Christmas, I got him the mother of all topographical GPS’s. He’s wanted one for quite awhile now for when he goes wandering around the woods. I’m not sure why he thinks he needs one since he knows those woods and mountains better than he knows the home we’ve lived in for almost 10 years, but whatever.

* I never told you guys about “The Great Thanksgiving Incident” involving my kids and our spawn of the devil dear, sweet nephews. I’m not getting into it right now either, because it’s almost 3 AM, but let’s just say that I’m seriously dreading Christmas. I’m thinking of just fleeing the state that week and going down to visit Tink and Hoop. Hell, it’s not like my kids are getting any gifts anyway since I’m suck a slacker. So what’s the difference, right?

And with that, I really need to go to bed now. I need to be up in 4 or 5 hours to shower and pick the girls up at my parents’ house to take them to Sunday School. Later gang. :)

I’ll leave you with a lovely photo of the family when we went to cut down our Christmas tree. :)

(Oh, and while we’re here… isn’t that coat thing Steve is wearing the UGLIEST damn thing you’ve ever seen? I hate it. I tell him it looks like a Bill Cosby sweater. No one else seems to agree with me when asked, but I’m holding my ground on this one. His dickhead friend Grace’s godfather gave it to him because he didn’t want it anymore, so I’m not sure if I hate it because it really is ugly or because it came from Joey, who I have some serious issues with. But either way, I’d like it burned. In fact, I think that’s my New Year’s resolution this year. Burn Steve’s fugly coat thingy. It may be the first resolution I actually keep…)

IMG_2807 CC1

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Tink’s Christmas Meme

Hey gang! I’m alive! Just extremely busy! Christmas things for the kids for their school and various extra-curricular activities, decorating the homestead, and making lots of Christmas gifts for people. I’ll stop back later with a post of pictures and updates. But Tink made up a Christmas Meme, so I thought I’d at least post that for now.

1. What was the best present you've ever received? *** Probably my engagement ring from Steve. He gave it to me a week early on his birthday (the 17th), but I count it as a Christmas gift. It was awesome.

2. What was the worst? *** Probably the plastic microwave egg cooker from my FIL. You know… as seen on TV. We never even took it out of the box.

3. What is something you really want this year for yourself? ***I got it already, courtesy of my mom. She bought me the Epson Artisan 700 photo printer. Happy sigh.

4. What is something you really want this year for someone else? ***Just for the kids to have a great Christmas. They always do, but I always officially hope for it anyway. :)

5. What's your favorite Christmas memory? ***The candlelight singing of Silent Night every Christmas Eve in church. I have a lot of funny memories of Christmas growing up. But the Silent Night one was one that I knew would happen every year, and it always REALLY put me in the Christmas spirit.