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Thursday, December 27, 2001

Mmmmmm... I found a new store to love.I got Mason this in green for his birthday. They have so many fun toys!

Oooooh, Blogger is back, thank God! Talk about withdrawal pains!

I trust your holidays were (are? Kwanzaa, anyone?) peaceful and full of the love you feel surrounded by family and friends. Ours certainly were. Friday night I went to yet another work Christmas party, this one for Michelle's work. Saturday we all trucked 2.5 hours down to Tucson to visit my grandmother. It was actually a wonderful time. Visiting her used to be a field day when I was a kid (and her stairs seemed 80 stories long, the house enormous), a painful trial as a teen and young adult (as I was lectured for everything under the sun), and now finally pleasant again. My grandmother has had a very difficult year health-wise, and it has left her almost 80-year-old self with an interesting combination of wisdom, appreciation, optimism, and mortal fear. The optimism part is particularly new for her. She believes the medical changes in the last few months will really make a difference in her life, and she's anxious to start "living" again - mostly traveling, which she has always loved. It was a nice visit.

Sunday I cleaned and had dinner at my sister's house, Christmas Eve morning I shopped and cleaned some more. We had a lovely dinner, just Joe, my mom, and I - our traditional Christmas Eve German dinner with weisswurst, hot spiced apples, bread and Martinelli's apple cider. :-) We watched the original Grinch while we ate. Man, I love that movie. Christmas Eve evening was church, of course, and then beddy-bye for me. Joe played Santa, much to my surprise, while I was sleeping, and I awakened to lots of shiny new presents under the tree. Very surprising! My mother joined us for Christmas morning present-opening, and we all got tons of cool stuff. Joe and Chris loved their Simpsons Monopoly and Clue games, respectively. We played Clue before everyone came over, and Monopoly when the party had wound down. I got lots of stuff too, including an electronic dartboard with cutthroat cricket (my favorite!) on it from Joe (kinda like this one). Yippee!

Christmas evening was an experience like none other. I never stopped. I have never hosted a party like that one. Don't get me wrong, I've thrown drunken bashes with psycho-hosebeast-fatass-ex-roommate but I've never had a holiday shindig for family and very close friends with food and gifts and wine and... Interestingly, with the exception of our wedding (there were strangely many parallels to our wedding, in fact), I have not had my family together for an event since I was 13. Add to that Joe's entire family (including the parents who are separated and filing for divorce, and the siblings who have taken opposing sides), and some good friends, and we had a full house. My house is only 1400 square feet, and when you shut the doors and take away the 3 bedrooms and 2 baths, that doesn't leave much room. But everyone was cozy and festive, and the variety of international dishes was breathtaking!!! My mother did dishes allllllll night long, and I never sat down. It was awesome! I don't have pictures yet, as I forgot to get film, but my dad took a bunch, and so did Joe's dad, so I'll get copies as soon as I can.

Anyway, we didn't get to bed until very late, and I was exhausted yesterday morning. I hurt the disc in my neck again, and now I'm on heavy muscle relaxers and pain killers. Yay. I have to go to the doctor tomorrow and figure out what we can do about this. My brother is working this week and next as a temp (finally!), and had an interview for a good permanent job, so keep your fingers crossed. Joe's leaving today to go snowboarding for the weekend, and this year is finally drawing to a close. It's been an eventful one, but I'm ready to relax a little. Hope your holidays were just as fun!