Thanks so much for reading my blog this year, dear readers!
Since we are finishing up a decade, I thought I'd post about my goings-on this past decade. I got this idea from Sunshine and Unicorns.
2000: Freshman in high school
2001: Sophomore in high school
2002: Junior in high school
2003: graduated from high school and began college! I went into college as an undecided major, then changed it to English and added Classics. I met some of my best friends.
2004: met David and a bunch of my other really great friends in January, stayed the summer at school and worked a law job
2005: began dating David, went to Texas and Mexico with friends, stayed a second summer at school, finalized study abroad plans
2006: studied abroad, went to Washington, D.C. for the summer, got engaged
2007: Graduated from college, worked a different law job, married David, bought a house, got a cat and a dog, and began law school
2008: worked another law job, finished my first year of law school, traveled to Dublin and Budapest, got another kitty
2009: traveled to Paris, finished my second year of law school, moved for half the summer, began my final year of law school, and traveled to Mexico!
Wow! It has been a very busy 10 years. I hope that the next ten years are equally as blessed and wonderful.
We had a wonderful Christmas this year and I'm so sad it is over. I always get a little depressed after Christmas is over because I have so much fun every year! The fact that I start school again NEXT WEEK does not help either. Nothing says bah humbug like having to get back to the books, huh?
Enough complaining from Ms. Sourpuss. Our first real Christmas was with my mom's sister's family, seen below. We went to a delicious Italian restaurant where I ate waayyyy too much food. It was really fun to see everybody though!
Next we went to David's mom's house where we enjoyed more food (David's mom made chili, which is one of my favorite foods on regular winter days, so I ate too much of that!) and got ready for company. His sister and grandmas came later, and we enjoyed Christmas festivities. I don't have many pictures of adults because when you have a five-year-old, a two-year-old, and a one-year-old, attention centers around them. Bring on the kid pictures! Here they are dressed up in front of the tree:
Every year David and Peter's mother asks them to play Christmas Carols on the trombone. Since they both love their mother they gladly find their trombones and play for her. This year someone else seemed to be interested in trombone-playing:We give the kids savings bonds every year, but I try to think of something else small to stick in the package so they aren't opening up a piece of paper every year. This year I framed a picture of me and all three of them. Even though the picture is not the best one, it was funny when Noah opened his because he said, "It's us!!!"
After that was over, we drove to my parents' house, where we slept and then had Christmas the next morning. After that was over we went to mass where I played the piano and David sang (he is such a nice husband...I'm not sure he really enjoys it but he does it so I don't have to be up there alone). After that we went to my dad's parents' house for our final family holiday:Like every other year, we had a lot of fun and stuffed ourselves silly. We always laugh a lot! This year we had big news: my uncle is now engaged! We are all excited to hear the news.
I am sad our Christmases are over. :( But now we can look forward to the New Year!
I just finished steam cleaning the carpets. It is not an easy job but when it is finished I always feel like my house is 95% cleaner than when I began. What is something you clean that gives you a lot of satisfaction?
My brother and I baby-sat for my sister-in-law's kids last Tuesday. It was a lot of fun and I think their mother enjoyed the free time alone. Ryan and I both baby-sat a lot in high school for local kids so we have pretty much experience. Some keys to baby-sitting:
1. Learn how to get kids asleep when it is their nap time or time to go to sleep in the evenings = you get free time and non-cranky kids
2. It is better to let kids just have what they want because in two or three hours you get to leave and the parents come home and can deal with the chaos
3. Snack time is not only a time when kids get treats (because they find the hidden candy in the house and say, "my mom was saving this for when you came!") but also a time when you get to enjoy things like candy or fruit gushers that your own mother won't allow you to have.
Five minutes after her mother pulled out of the driveway, Emma asked us to get "that thing next to the blue stool at the very top of my closet down," which ended up being a stage set. How did she know it was up there? There is no way her five-year-old self could see it because it had obviously been stuffed out of sight. So Ryan came out of her room with a huge load of plastic posts and we set it right up.
Then she asked for a piece of candy (she said her mom lets her have one "after lunch"). I'm pretty sure she snuck more pieces of candy throughout the afternoon because her mouth went from blue to green to red. We also sampled some candy goodness, of course.
Finally, I got Noah and Allie asleep because their mom said that they had not yet taken a nap that day. The key to this is to have a very calm and soothing environment, meaning that I laid in bed with Noah telling him a story about a forest and then rocked and bounced Allie in my arms while saying, "Allie, Allie, Allie," over and over. It worked and they both enjoyed quiet slumber while Ryan and I played with Emma in the living room for the rest of the time until Sarah came home to two babies sleeping, a five-year-old with a sugar high, and a stage taking up 3/4 of her living room. We really enjoyed baby-sitting and I think it was a win-win for both Sarah and her baby-sitters!
We had a wonderful, wonderful Christmas holiday. It was full of fun and family and eating. From David's grandma's delicious pizzas to chili to bourbon weenies to delicious potato casserole, we stuffed ourselves silly.
Today we are relaxing and recovering from all the festivities at home. We are wrapped under a blanket of snow here, and it is snowing even more as I speak. Cinnamon rolls are rising on the stove, we made chicken and rice soup for lunch, and we will be laying low for the rest of the day.
4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Thorina has taken to sitting on my laptop while it is open. The other day she sat on my computer and opened up the Firefox preferences. Apparently she also changed the homepage to this useful address:
I'm not sure what Thorina is trying to find there.
I suspect that it may be revenge for making her wear this adorable Christmas bow:
Today I wanted to post about my favorite Christmas songs. Here they are!
Otis Redding, "White Christmas"
"The Coventry Carol"
"Silver Bells" by Vonda Shepard
Handel's "And the Glory of the Lord"
Tchaikovsky's "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy"
"Oh Holy Night":
We had Christmas at our house last night. We go to family Christmases over the actual holiday so we always open gifts a little early. David and I already bought each other new cell phones for Christmas, so we did not have any gifts to open. Therefore, our Christmas was a little more low-key than normal.
This year we only had one gift to open: a mysterious gift that David put under the tree about three weeks ago. It said, "To Arwen and Thorina", and of course I went crazy trying to figure out what it was. My friends were convinced that it was a piece of jewelry for me and David had disguised it as a gift to the cats to be funny. I knew my husband too well for this plan, though. David is a great husband but is not good at jewelry surprises because he HATES spending money on unnecessary items like that (which is why I just have to buy that kind of thing on my own). Anyway, I was pretty convinced that it was indeed a present for the cats.
It turns out that the present was kitty treats that David bought from a little girl selling 4-H treats at his work. The cats and Paco were very delighted with the new grub. They each got two treats last night.
Today I am off to make peppermint bark and sugar cookies to bring to our Christmas celebrations! Decorating sugar cookies is one of my favorite Christmas traditions.
I thought I'd share a few of our favorite Christmas ornaments. I took these pictures two years ago thinking that I'd post them, but I never did, so here we are! The ornament above is mine from CCD from 1990 or so. I don't put it on my tree anymore because the crazies kitties keep shaking the tree (and I'm not talking about the Peter Gabriel song) and I'm afraid that they will knock it off.
Next up is a homemade ornament by David's niece when she was about 2 (right), and a homemade ornament of mine from when I was probably in kindergarten or first grade.
The little mouse in a violin is my favorite ornament. I used to play the violin, so my mom got it for me one year and I think it is really cute. Another fun ornament is the gingerbread lady, which says 1988 on it. Both my mom and my grandma bought me Daughter and Granddaughter Hallmark ornaments every year, so I have a nice collection by now. On the far right of this picture you can see a Granddaughter ornament.
This little guy is David's from his childhood. It is also a favorite of our cats: we constantly find him on our floor.
Here is a picture of the main ornament destroying culprit:
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