Q: What are you hopeful for in 2011?
A: a baby.
That was intentionally quick! :)
No need to really elaborate on that right now - I've got Christmas to talk about!
Also, I've been uncharacteristically tired lately, and I'm not sure why.
There has been some sickness going around here lately,
but it also could be an elongated
need for recovery from driving 13 hours
in one weekend,
not including travel within one location.
Why did I inform you of my tiredness?
Because when I'm tired,
I tend to ramble if I'm talking.
When I ramble,
you get every detail.
So if you want to read about my Christmas, go ahead!
If you don't, I don't blame you
- this is long, but fun!
Some of you
(Katie E., Kate T., etc.)
know those kind of drives
I'm talking about.
It's those really long ones where a book on CD
(not as fun as saying "book on tape," which I still do)
is way better than the radio because you know you'll hear the same songs at least once and there's no certainty there will be any good music in that one spot on the road where your favorite stations fade out.
- that was a long sentence -
Anyways, these long drives brought us to my family as well as back to John's.
It all started with us waking up and packing up on Tuesday,
as well as waiting for our Christmas cards to arrive from a certain company who has a little too much of my money for expedited shipping. No hard feelings...
Tuesday night brought us home to PI, MN.
We had not at all enough time there,
in my opinion,
because we had only a little time with my sister (at home) and
didn't get to see any of my friends - next time, right?? I hope!
PI consisted of cookie-making (sugar cookies and peanut butter blossoms),
gift-opening (which was pretty fun!),
and fun times talking with
my parents and my sister when she arrived home on Wednesday.
Actually, shortly after my sister arrived on Wednesday evening,
- no, Wednesday night -
my mom put me, John, and my sister to work
decorating the sugar cookies.
It's been something my sister, mom, and I have done for years,
but no John got in on the act.
His cookies were intentionally interesting and fun, and my mom got a kick out of it!
Thursday and Friday were spent up North.
Well, Thursday morning was spent opening our gifts,
packing up our things,
turning on John's car,
realizing John's car had a gas leak,
taking the car to a shop at the end of town,
getting the fastest and least expensive service I've ever experienced,
and driving north with my sister in tow, which was a lot of fun.
She's going to Australia at the end of the month, and
I'm a little devastated/excited about it.
Thursday: we had an awesome time at a family-friends'* house Thursday evening.
A few drinks, lots of snack food, and funny, FUNNY story times!
We also got to have a great chat with my Grandpa Otto,
who is always up for talking about life big-and-small,
and enjoyed my Grandma Jean's cookies and treats.
*How do you describe people who aren't family but are closer than friends?
On Friday the rest of my mom's side came over to our Grandparents house,
which always makes for interesting sleeping arrangements.
We opened some gifts,
ate lots of food,
and had more chats and some naps.
That evening was spent with my dad's side.
It included a rousing sing-a-long in the car,
which has never,
happened with my family before.
Not at Christmastime,
not in the summertime,
not at anytime.
Especially when my sister was embarrassed about it, yet joined in.
We went to the Catholic church attached to my Grandpa's nursing home.
All I have to say about that is
"Thank you, God, for creating satellite rooms so we don't have to kneel,"
and canned-sermons need to be illegalized by the Vatican.
I was glad to see my cousins that night as well as my Grandpa Jerry and aunts/uncles.
We listened to some rousing Toby Keith carols
(some people shouldn't make Christmas music),
ate some shredded-beef sandwiches (easy to take to the nursing home),
and talked some more.
That night, back at my grandparents' house,
several of my family members and I played "The Game of Things."
You basically write down the answers to questions on the cards you flip over.
Example: Write down something that would spice up your love life.
The answers are often hilarious, as this question suggests,
and it was great fun!
That next morning, John and I woke up bright...
...no, not bright at all...DARK!
we woke up dark and very, very early to make the 6 hour drive back to IA (including gas and breaks).
It was really nice to talk to my mom, grandpa and grandma one more time,
and the drive back was so easy and open that I didn't recognize some stretches of land without the traffic.
We had a traditional lobster dinner that night with John's family.
It was delicious personified, and
John's mom made the best-ever twice-baked potato with bacon and cheese.
We later opened gifts and played a couple of games, then
slept like a rock that night.
So, that's about it for the holiday round-up.
Let me know if you made it to the end -
you'll get a shout-out in my next blog post! :)
I'm not kidding.
I'll say something nice! :)
I hope you all had a Merry Christmas
and have a great New Year!