This past decade has been defined by me and DH's relationship. We both graduated from college in 2000 and met as 2000 drew to a close. We became a couple on New Year's Eve 2001. A long-distance relationship ensued, until finally we decided that it was time to move on to our next step. The middle of the decade (2005) was when we got married and started our lives together. After a few years focusing on us, we started trying to move to our next stage again. Here's hoping the next decade brings something new for us.
I thought I was logging off for Christmas, but Mrs Gamgee posted this and I had to do it. Merry Christmas!
Welcome to the Christmas edition of getting to know your friends. Okay, here's what you're supposed to do, and try not to be a SCROOGE!!! Just copy this entire post. Change all the answers so that they apply to you. Then post this on your blog.
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? I prefer wrapping paper. Last year I tried to use catalogs as a way to reuse the paper, but this year I have mostly big gifts. I thought about using newspaper and nice ribbon, but didn't do that.
2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial. We keep it up a long time.
3. When do you put up the tree? As soon as possible after Thanksgiving (but never before)
4. When do you take the tree down? It stays up until January 6 (the Epiphany)
5. Do you like eggnog? No
6. Favorite gift received as a child? A cabbage patch kid doll
7. Hardest person to buy for? My ILs. They buy everything they want and don't like junk.
8. Easiest person to buy for? My hubby. We exchange lists of what we want.
9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes, I try to have reminders of the real reason for Christmas. We also have an advent wreath
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail
11. Worst Christmas ever? My younger sister was born on Christmas day. Although she is great and I love her, when you are 6 and don't get to open presents on Christmas morning because your dad is at the hospital with your stepmom and you have to spend the day with your stepmom's dad who you don't know all that well, it does not make for happy memories from that day.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie(s)? I'm easy to please here. I'll enjoy almost everything. DH loves Rudolph and movies with that similar feel.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Sometime in the fall I'll start seeing things I think people will like and buy it then.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? No
15 .Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? cookies!
16. Lights on the tree? Oh yes. DH is very particular about his lights. We traveled through 3 states to find the perfect lights for him the first year we were married. Two years later they had them in every Target.
17. Favorite Christmas song? Winter Wonderland and Little Drummer Boy
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? This is our first Christmas staying at home since we both moved out for college. Usually we travel either to his parents or my mom's. This year is our year to spend with his parents and they just moved close to us.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? No
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Both. It's nonstop presents in our family. Presents with his parents Christmas Eve. With each other Christmas morning. With my sister and her family later Christmas day.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? So much to do and so little time
23. Favorite ornament theme or color? Most of my ornaments have special meaning. So hard to choose.
24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Crab.
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? a new camera
Now it's your turn. If you play, please leave me the link so I can read your answers.
This is my first job where I have to supervise other people. Can I just say that is a hard thing to do? I don't like confrontation but need to be explicit about some things. And why does this all need to come to a head right before Christmas?! Argh!
I have much to do to get ready for the holiday, plus I want to spend all this time with my family when we can all be together. So I'll be offline for most of the next few days. Merry Christmas to everyone!
I don't want a lot for Christmas There's just one thing I need I don't care about the presents Underneath the Christmas tree I just want you for my own More than you could ever know Make my wish come true All I want for Christmas is...
I am finally done with our holiday baking. At least the baking we do for presents. There will be more baking for stuff to eat on Christmas day.
I think we made over 300 cookies/treats. I made about 3 dozen ginger-toffee cookies (one of our faves), 2 dozen chocolate-espresso snowcaps, 6 dozen chocolate biscotti, 2 dozen coconut cookies, 36 chocolate peanut butter squares, 4 dozen cane cane cookies (with peppermint extract), and around 3 dozen shortbread cookies. We gives these out to our neighbors, coworkers, friends, etc.
I used to make these all in one day, but this year tried something new. I made a different type of dough each weeknight and then froze it. Saturday I did all the actual baking. I was still tired on Saturday, but also did finish up my shopping a few other things, so I think this plan worked out well.
Now onto to Christmas cards. My mom arrives on Thursday, so we are trying to get everything done by then so we can enjoy her visit.
In the world of dilemmas, I feel mighty blessed that this problem is the biggest one I'm trying to solve right now. But still it is on my mind and I thought I might get some feedback.
It's about Christmas presents for my nieces and nephews and making sure we treat everyone equal (or at least that they feel they are treated equal). My youngest niece doesn't live in the area and is only 9 months, so I'm not really worried about her (but her present is going to be fantastic anyway). For my other 4, I'm worried that one niece will feel left out. She is getting a Hi.gh Sch.ool Musi.cal Wi.i game. She loves HSM and I'm sure will love this game. But her siblings are all getting physically very large items and so I'm worried that she will look at this puny little package and wonder what is up.
My oldest niece is getting one of those chairs you plug an ip.od into and listen to music and play video games. Normally this is relatively expensive, but we got a fantastic Bl,ack Fr.iday deal and so it cost what we planned to spend on each niece/nephew. The 2 and a 1/2 yo nephew is getting this thing he can ride on. My older nephew wants a ping pong table. I'm cutting a piece of wood to fit over their air hockey table and then giving him some paddles and a net to get a homemade ping pong table and still allow them to play air hockey. Again, not super expensive, but very large and will involve 3 packages to open.
To make it more complicated, we were offered 4 tickets to a professional football for our area team playing Christmas evening. The people who would most enjoy this are my BIL and older nephew, so we are going to take them. So my nephew is going to feel like he is making out like a bandit on Christmas.
One solution is to give some of the packages/tickets for my nephew as an early birthday present (his birthday is February). Another solution is to give my niece my old digital camera. She asked for one, although is a little too young for a digital camera, but since I'm getting a new one it wouldn't be a big deal to give her mine. But this would also just be an escalation of the present-giving and so is maybe not the best lesson to be teaching. A third solution is to give the ping pong paddles to my niece as a present. This would reinforce the message that they have to share and play together (although my sister and BIL are good at this already). A final solution is just to put everyone's name on everything, except for the tickets which only one of them can go to. Or maybe some combination of the above.
What do you think? Or am I over-thinking things?
On a more serious note, what my niece wants most for Christmas she is not going to get. She wants an American Girl doll that is made to look just like her. But apparently if you have black curly hair you are not really American and there is no option to get a doll that has hair like hers. There is actually only one option for any doll with black hair (which is basically their slave doll from the historical collection that is dressed in modern clothes). I find this horribly furthering the stereotype that all black people look the same.
I was thinking more about my blessing yesterday and the comments we had afterwards. While in some ways I didn't like them just because I don't like talking about this with people in person, thinking about it, I take it as a very good sign and indication of our community in church. Catholic churches are not exactly known for their community; people there don't rush up to newcomers like they do in other churches I've visited. But in the past year or so we made a real effort to get more involved and be real members of the community. So the fact that we did have so many comments is an indication of our success in that area. I would probably feel worse about it if I remained anonymous and no one said anything.
Other news this weekend is that we decorated our house for Christmas. The picture of the front of the house doesn't look as nice on camera as in real life. But we think we are definitely the best on the block (which is not saying much on our block). One neighbor did kick it up a notch this year, though.
Here is a close-up of part of our front porch with our Rudolph cut-out. The funny part is that Rudolph is held in place by a wrench set b/c he tends to fall over in heavy wind and it was the heaviest, yet shortest thing we could put out there.
Yesterday I was thinking of what to post, thinking it had better be a good one since this is my 100th post. I feel like this accomplishment should not pass with just some random daily thoughts. But nothing was coming to me and I was just amusing myself with thoughts from my big present shopping trip yesterday and planning on posting about that.
Then I went to church today. This is the season of Advent, a time of preparation and anticipation. Often people will compare Advent to expecting a child, which makes sense since it is about preparing for the birth of Christ. So there I am sitting in church, when our priest makes this connection. And then he called up all couples who are expecting a child for a special blessing. I'm sure you can all imagine my reaction to that. A million things went through my mind at once. I was upset that I had yet another reminder of this struggle. Angry with yet another extra attention paid to pregnant women. Wishing I could just disappear.
But as my mind (and stomach) started churning, he did something else. He invited any couple who wish they were expecting a child up for a blessing as well. If my thoughts were swirling before, now they were in overdrive. Was this meant for me? Is this some type of sign? Should I go up? Finally, some recognition of others in this expecting journey. Validation. Confusion. We are not "out" in our church. Would everyone expect some announcement after mass? What does DH want me to do? Would it be weird if I went up by myself? Do I look like an unwed mother?*
See, DH is not Catholic. He's currently going through RCIA, which is education for adults to join the church. The people going through this actually leave mass halfway through to talk more about the readings and learn about how the church interprets them. It's great that he is doing this, but since he left mass before this blessing, he was not with me at this moment. I had no way to know how he would feel if I went up there when I knew it would solicit comments afterwards. And he wasn't there for support. Three other couples went up and there I was by myself getting a blessing for expectant mothers.
And the comments definitely came. We have coffee and donuts in our church hall and I tried to find DH quickly to explain what happened. But he was late getting out of his group and ended up seeing some people in our small group first, who of course mentioned it right away. Even a couple we don't know, but recognized each other from church as we both ate brunch at the same place after mass today took that opportunity to introduce themselves to us. It was kinda "hey, I remember you as the single woman going up for a expectant mother blessing, we'll keep you in our prayers." It was nice of them, and they meant well, but still I felt like I had a big scarlet letter on. At least DH was with me this time, so they could see there is a man in my life.
So now we are out. I hope they don't continue to mention it and don't keep asking if we have an announcement.
The blessing was nice. Although I initially felt a jumble of emotions because of the unexpectedness of it, after I had a chance to talk about it with DH, I feel some peace now.
* I don't mean to criticize single mothers (my own raised me and my sister by herself) but obviously the Catholic Church has particular feelings about premarital sex.
2008 - ditched BC 2009 - Started treatments and testsand got a whole bunch of BFNs 2010 - The year of treatments January 2011 - Starting to look into adoption June 2011 - Homestudy approved! July-August 2011 - First match, and then it fell through January 2012 - Matched again! March 2012 - We finally bring home our baby boy!