Thursday, December 31, 2009

Holiday Hangover

Is anyone else confused as to what exactly happened over the past 31 days? I know that for me, more than any other year, the holidays were a blur. And, more than any other year, I am welcoming with open arms the end of the holiday season with the hope of more quiet, peaceful, stress-free days. Part of the reason, no wait, the majority of the reason for my confusion is the fact that I didn't begin any holiday preparations until the 16th, after I had taken the last of my finals.

I tried to squeeze in as much holiday cheer for my kids as I possibly could, but I know I fell short compared to years past. Here is a list of our December doings:

  • Had a pizza/movie night at home - Curious George "A Very Monkey Christmas". We hope to continue this tradition, and as the kids get older maybe we can enjoy some of the Christmas classics.
  • Went to a live Nativity. Very spiritual and uplifting, even with whining children because it was so, so very cold.
  • Made a Christmas countdown chain.
  • Brian and I went to La Caille for Brian's work party. Neither of us had ever been there and I think we both agreed that while the food was good, we would never go there on our own and pay out of our own pockets. Word was that the cost per couple was $280.00 - no thank you!
  • Took the kids to Thanksgiving Point for the fourth year in a row. We met up with some friends (Heather & Julie and families) at Heather's home beforehand for a delicious clam chowder dinner. Then we bundled up all the kids and took the horse-drawn wagon through the lights display. Afterward, we went to see the live reindeer and had some very, very chocolaty hot cocoa.
  • Went to see the new animated version of "The Christmas Carol" for my dad's company party. I think this was the third year his company rented a theater for their annual party and we love it! All the adults in the family get to go, and drinks, popcorn, and candy are provided. My dad was honored this year with travel voucher for having worked with the company for 15 years. I loved the movie, except all the moving/flying motions made me a bit queasy.
  • Had our annual grandkid party, complete (as always) with new matching pjs for all the kids courtesy of grandmom and grandpa. Grandma decided to forgo the traditional gingerbread house decorating, which was replaced with candy-making. The kids had a lot of fun and each walked away with a plate full of goodies that included: chow mein drops, chocolate covered peanut clusters, fudge, sugar cookies decorated as santa, and chocolate covered rice-krispie lollipops.
  • Enjoyed a kid-free night at our annual adults-only game night. Mom and Dad had dinner catered by Cafe Rio (YUM!) and then we all laughed until our sides hurt playing the Name Game, Scattegories, and Catch Phrase.
  • Studied my brains out and took my finals. My motivation and typical dedication was squashed this semester because of my pregnancy. Up to this point I have been a straight "A" student, but I knew I wasn't going to keep that record. By the end of the semester I just hoped I would get the required C+ for acceptance into the nursing program. I surprised myself when I ended up with a B+ in Physiology and an A- in Chemistry - not too shabby.
  • Went to our ward Christmas party - Ashlyn finally got to show Santa the horse picture she had been saving and carrying around for a month.
  • Made a shload of gifts and surprisingly got them all finished on time. Like every year I didn't take any pics of my hand-made gifts, which I regret. But here is what I made: 6 seek & find games, 12 quote blocks, 9 soap bottles, 2 hooded towels, 1 ABC book, 4 calendars, and Valentines Day decor.
  • Sang Jingle Bells over, and over, and over again.
  • Took Ashlyn and Trent to see "The Princess and The Frog" - cute, CuTe, CUTE! Taking the kids to a movie is a tradition we started last year and hopefully will continue in years to come.
  • Read Christmas stories by the lights of the Christmas tree.
  • Made cookies for Santa - Ashlyn's favorite, molasses. She seriously can not get enough of them. She calls them "brown sugar cookies" and would eat a dozen a day if I let her.
  • Had our annual Christmas Eve fondue dinner which was delicious as always - my personal favorite meal of the entire year.
  • Left cookies and milk out for Mr. C, and sprinkled reindeer food on the snow for dasher, dancer and friends - it worked! Santa paid us a visit and we all got spoiled. My favorite gift this year was a book given to me and all my siblings entitled "Henry" written by my dad. It is a 500+ page book about the life of my grandpa and it is amazing! I am half-way through and am loving every bit of it. I would probably be done by now if I didn't have to still be a mom ;o) I can't wait for the rest of the family to read it.
  • Spent Christmas day with family and wore ourselves out opening present, after present, after present.
  • Spent several post-Christmas days doing nothing at all!
I realized when doing this post that my picture-taking in December was rather lopsided. I actually didn't take many pictures in December, but of the ones I took 90% of them involved Ashlyn because she was just more into all the hub-bub of the holidays. Sorry Trent!


rsheedy said...

Your blog header is sooo cute! I don't know how you survived the holidays; I struggled and I don't have kids or school to deal with. And I didn't make half the gifts you did! Holy cow, you are one amazing woman!

The Simmons Family said...

Christmas flew by!! I don't know where December went, or 2009 for that matter. I'm glad you have a little break from school. Here's to a wonderful 2010!!!

Princess said...

Do you ever stop???? Seriously sit back and kick your feet up for 10 minutes! Christmas was wonderful! Oh and just so you know, your molasses cookies are my favorite too and I would eat them all as well! That book sounds really interesting! Go Bob!

Ashley Rae said...

Finally an update! Hehe. You are so dang busy, honestly. But it sounds like it's been a blast, so that's good. Ashlyn is SO adorable... how do you stand it?

And happy late birthday to Trent, who is also adorable :)

Zachary said...

Congratulations on the grades! That is awesome!

I am also very jealous that you have "Henry" already :) I can't wait to read it!

Esther said...

you did so much! i didn't do half of that and I have way less on my plate! you are amazing! I'm sure your kids had so much fun!!

Lindsay said...

Looks like you guys had a great Christmas! And Happy Birthday to Trent! What a fun party!

Erica said...

Now that's a "SHLOAD" of stuff you guys did! I love that word, by the way!!! Looks like you've been super busy. Hope things slow down for you now. And a B+ is awesome in my book!!!

Sandy said...

WOWZA! I'm still amazed at how many activities you can pack in. not to mention doing it while you're prego. seriously. love you.

The Wright's said...

I have to laugh - you got queezy at the movie?! You are so funny. Good luck with the flight to Mx! ;)

Yeah! Ashlyn got what she wanted. How could she not? She showed that worn-out photo to every Santa she saw! Cute, cute girl.