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I'm going to hit the highlights because I don't think I have the energey to recap the whole thing.

First - the burglary...I mentioned in my last post that we got the stuff back. According to the neighbors, who are very upset about the whole thing, we assumed it was a friend of the (early 20s) kids who had the party. However, the neighbors say that there is a son in the family who is a drug addict and has stolen/broken into homes in the past. So, perhaps getting our stuff back wasn't really the impressive act we thought and was more just the dad asking his son for the stuff back. Either way, we have it back and will be more careful in the future. However, to add insult to injury, the same family (immediately next door to us) had *another* party on Christmas Eve, only this time with a live band. I was so not in the mood. The music was actually so loud that in *our bedroom* Joe and I had to talk loudly to be able to hear each other. Try putting a two-year-old to sleep with her saying "Listen, mommy, music!" at midnight. I finally fell asleep around 1am when the band quit playing and they started in on karaoke. Sort of hard to have the quiet family-focussed time we were hoping for, you know? The only good part was that the music was pretty decent (PR Christmas music, which is way more festive than the American version).

Second - Christmas Eve was tons of fun. We went to the beach with everyone. Ellie is at an age now where she loves the sand and the waves. She also loves my brother who is great at playing with her and teasing her and so on. All he has to do is look at her and she squeals in laughter and terror. After spending several hours at the beach, we went home, rested, and then went to church. The service was very nice with great music. I really enjoyed it - both getting to sing all my favorite Christmas songs and listening to the choir. Ellie spent most of the time in the nursery with Evelyn (we sort of wanted her with us but was dying to see Evelyn) and I went to get her just before the end of the ceremony. She held my candle (with my hand on top of hers) and thankfully didn't try to touch it. She got to blow out mine, Joe's, and my mom's which made her night. There was a moment near the end where I was singing O Holy Night, holding Ellie and the candle, standing next to Joe and my mom with my dad, brother and SIL in the pew, where I just felt to blessed to be there with my entire family - happy and together.

Third - Christmas itself was also a nice, very relaxing day for most of us. Joe was sick for the vast majority of the day (some kind of stomach flu/food poisoning) and the rest of us sat around and opened sticking presents and then regular presents. Not surprisingly, Ellie was the star of the day. She is at the perfect age for opening presents. She doesn't have any greed in her yet so she was completely content to open a present and then play with it until someone asked her to open another present. There was no crying or begging to open more, which was nice. She crashed hard and took a nap (falling asleep in about 3 seconds) around 11:30 (instead of her usualy 10 hours, she had only gotten about 7 due to the party next door). When she woke up we...opened more presents. I had asked everyone to sort of try to reduce the number of presents she got this year, but she still ended up with a ton of stuff - books, toys, and a pair of fleece pajamas for when we go to New Mexico. She insisted on wearing those until she was a little ball of sweat. The best presents, from my perspective, were the baby stroller, crib, and high chair. She seems to really like all three and spent much of the day putting her baby in all three. I knew she would like those presents, but I had an ulterior motive in that I'm hoping that having her own "baby" will make the arrival of her little brother a slightly smoother transition.

I'm stuck at work today but the rest of the family is at home hanging out together. Hopefully, the day will pass quickly.

My Weekend

Dec. 10th, 2007 09:22 am
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Saturday started out great - we were all, including the dogs, headed to the beach to play with Ellie's new surfboard. Then, one of the dogs stepped in some dog shit, jumped in the back of the car, back out and into the front of the car. Joe was mad because he didn't want to bring the dogs to begin with because they make such a mess and he generally cleans the cars. I was mad because the dogs don't get walked as much as they should and taking them to the beach sort of makes up for that in my mind, plus the stepping in shit was a total accident on their part. We got to the beach and it was way too windy to be any fun.

Once we got back home, we all seemed to be in a better mood. We got dressed and headed over to get our tree. The trees were 50% off so we got ours for $22.50! When we got it home and unwrapped it (they ship them wrapped up to preserve them so you have to pick them without really looking at them) it was huge! I was so happy with it. We had to move some more furniture a bit but we managed to make it fit. It makes the house smell so good and is beautiful.

Joe and I then went to a movie while Ellie stayed with the babysitter. She seemed to have fun and we enjoyed the break. When we got home, we headed off to a barbeque on Ft. Buchanan. I'm actually really glad we don't live there (houses are very small and old with not high speed internet)but I was a bit envious because all the neighbors are people like us and they are all so close. So, the barbeque was nice and I got to talk to some people I hadn't seen in a long time and maybe make some new friends. Also, I found out that the bank robber was already off post when they closed the gates (missed him by 1 minute and 37 seconds) and that they caught him at home later that night. He signed in at the main gate before robbing the bank. (real genius material there)

Sunday, I got up early and put some lights on the tree. Joe had to work so he didn't go to church with us, but Ellie and I made a point of being there right at the beginning (we usually go 15-20 mintues late because the service is rather long and they sing a long time) because they sing all the Christmas songs at the beginning. I was really enjoying the singing and actually cried a bit because I'm happy this pregnancy has turned into a baby and I was thinking about the two other times I was pregnant at Christmas. Then, the associate pastor gets up to preach. Now, generally I like her, but this was the worst sermon I've ever heard. It started out funny but just got depressing. Apparently, she doesn't like the holidays very much. I can respect that and I can see why Christmas might be really hard for some people for many reasons. It has, at times, been hard for me. But I was in such a happy mood and really enjoying Christmas/Advent and then she starts in on how we all give gifts out of obligation and it's all fake joy and so on. After 20 minutes, I just left. I was so irritated - I don't require that all sermons be upbeat but it would be nice if they mention the Bible occasionally and aren't just a tirade about how much the holidays suck. Maybe she had a point but I tuned out before she ever got there. Ellie and I went to Dunkin Donuts instead and that was fun.

After donuts, we went grocery shopping and when we went home, I decorated the tree finally. I love putting the ornaments on and I was very sore and tired by the time I was done. (Too much bending and reaching for this pregnant body.) I took a nap with Ellie and then proceeded to sweep the floor and put stuff away while she slept. Then Joe and I cleaned the backyard area because we are having a party Thursday night and it was pretty dirty back there.

After dinner, I did laundry. I got most of it done, but there are still probably 3-4 loads of towels and sheets to do and a few leftover clothes. When I finally went to bed, my feet, legs, and back hurt so much. IN fact, my back still hurts this morning. We are just trying very hard to get the house clean and nice looking for the party on Thursday and then my family is coming. We are so close to being done - and we only have one weekend left so I guess that's when it will happen.

Besides the guests and family, I know that once the baby comes, it will be months before anything major happens in the house. So, I feel like we have this window to get everything done and lots of motivation to do it. The guest bedrooms are now totally ready except that one is filled with Christmas presents that need to be wrapped. THe downstairs needs to be cleaned but that's only a basic dusting/sweeping/mopping and it will be ready. Joe will finish the backyard area today (it's all tile so it has to be swept and mopped). The garage is overflowing but that's not a major concern.

Before next Monday, Ellie and I need to make Christmas sugar cookies for her teachers and decide exactly which ones we are getting gift cards for. (Probably just the three she has now.) I think the cookies will go to her current teachers, last year's teachers, and then a tin for the staff. Other than that, I just need to order something for Joe's dad and brother and I'll be done with Christmas shopping. And I need to finish our Christmas letter. I have all the other peices but the letter has yet to be finalized.


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June 2012

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