Jan 7, 2014

Happy New Year!

I think December always turns into a hibernation for me when it comes to blogging. But its  a New Year, a time to look back, briefly and move forward, right? 

Things got particularly busy in our house once my parents arrived for the holiday. They arrived on Friday, December 20th. My parents had offered that night to Cameron and I for a date night. Being the Lord of the Rings nerds that we are, we headed to the movies to see the latest Hobbit installment. Great movie! Cameron and I both loved it and would love to see it again, though we suspect that won't be until it is on DVD. I actually managed to finish reading the book, The Hobbit, last year and to be honest, this is one of those few movies that turns out better than the book. Part of this is due to Peter Jackson not sticking to the book religiously and adding in some fun new characters and new story lines. And of course, the night before my parents arrived, we watched the 1st Hobbit as a refresher.

Saturday was set aside for a ride on the Polar Express - but you'll have to stay tuned for that update. 

Sunday was set aside for my mom. My gift to her this year was an afternoon of painting. Recently, a girlfriend turned me on to a place in Sacramento and Folsom, called The Painted Cork. Basically, you bring a bottle of wine and get step-by-step instructions on how to paint the painting of that session. By the time you leave, you have a finished piece of art. The session fee pays for your materials, so everything is supplied for you but the wine. 

My finished painting

Our painting of the day was an acrylic of the Golden Gate Bridge at sunset or night. My mom and I had a great time and the pace of the class was great. The one thing I wish I had known about was the ability to show up early and to bring appetizers as well. My mom and I finished our bottle of wine during the class and decided we better get some food before we drove home. Now I know, which is great, because my girlfriends and I are going back on the 12th of this month for Girls Night Out. 

My dad's turn came on Monday. For his gift, I treated him to a round of golf at a course nearby us, called Teal Bend. I started playing golf back in High School, but haven't kept up for many years. Until that Monday, I hadn't swung a club since London was probably 6 months old! But it came back, enough. We were there to have fun, so I didn't keep score and if I felt the need to take a break I would simply pick up my ball and break until the next hole. We got paired up with a Mother and Son playing, and with our varying skill levels, it worked out pretty well. I had a great time, and I think my dad did as well. It definitely makes me want to get back out there more. And my dad and I decided that the next time he and my mom visit, all of us, including Cameron, should go play a round. 

These were gifts to me as much as they were to my parents - the gift of time. With them living in Tucson, I don't get to see them very often and when we do get to see them it's usually for something like a birthday or wedding, which means time isn't always on our side. I really can't remember the last time I spent 1:1 time with either of them, without the girls right there as well. 

This brings us up to Christmas Eve. As usual, we spent it running around from one place to another to get all our visits in, before ending up at the Moffetts for Christmas dinner. Luckily, we made it to each place relatively on time, without feeling like we were cutting visits short. And we were having so much fun at the Moffetts that we didn't leave until 10 PM.We got home around 11:30 PM - to our house alarm going off. Luckily, no one had broken in, likely the door to our garage wasn't closed completely, which it as a tendency to do, and was either pried open slightly by the cats or a gust of wind caused it to open a little. Either way, the alarm was blaring when I burst though the door. We would learn a few days later that it had only been on for a few minutes and the security company was in the process of dialing us when I disarmed it. For a while we had worried it had been on all day and night. 

My sleeping Angels on Christmas Eve on our way home

The chaos didn't end there that night either. Just as we were headed to bed, we heard London coughing. Call it parental intuition, because her coughing shouldn't phase us, especially this time of year with allergies, but Cameron decided to check on her. London had thrown up. And she would continue to throw up a few more times, keeping the 3 of us up until 2 AM. We chalked it up to too many sweets - she'd discovered she could reach the cookies at the Moffetts and had helped herself to more than we will ever know. 

Turns out too many sweets was not the case. That's because on Christmas Day, I came down with the stomach bug. While I made it through presents and even some cleaning and cooking that morning, by 2 PM I was in bed and by dinner time I could be no where near the Prime Rib Cameron had prepared. What luck, the first year we finally get to host Christmas dinner and I am stuck in bed, sick to my stomach. It would take me days to recover! To be honest, the first day I felt my usual self was New Year's Day. And I wouldn't be the last to be hit. My poor mom came down with the bug the night after Christmas. Plus, I have heard many stories over the last week of other people coming down with it over Christmas - even from people in the grocery check-out line!

New Year's Eve we headed to our friends, the McGraths. And we almost missed midnight. The adults at the party became so engrossed in a game of "Battle of the Sexes" that when Pat mentioned a 2-minute warning, no one moved. When he said we had 15 seconds we all ran to the TV to find the countdown. We missed it thanks to parental controls being on for the kids. But only by seconds. It made for a pretty hilarious moment and before you could blink we were all back to the game. I'm happy to report that the women came from behind to win!

And so here we are in 2014. I'm not setting any major resolutions - mainly because I never keep them. Our life changes too often and priorities change throughout the year that it's not worth it to me, at least this year. I do plan to complete Sydney's Christmas stocking so that she has it for her 3rd Christmas, just like London. Other than that, I look forward to getting more and more settled into the new house, which includes more unpacking, and the beginnings of decorating. I currently have my eye on our entrance - something small and simple, easy to complete. We'll see how long that take me ; ). 

And now I will leave you with a selection of photos from our Christmas Eve & Christmas Morning: 

Sydney in her Christmas Dress - We couldn't get over how cute she was!

Sydney and Elijah playing together. These two are 9 months apart and got along fantastically!
My dad with one of his princesses
Santa even paid us a special visit that evening

London opening her gift from Santa
Minnie & Daisy Wooden Dress Up Dolls - like paper dolls but sturdier

Growing up, Santa always left an orange at the bottom of our Stockings - the tradition continues. London couldn't wait to eat hers either!
London helped Sydney with her gift from Santa since Sydney doesn't grasp the unwrapping concept yet.
At least she seemed please about the gift once it was unveiled.

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