Friday, December 31, 2010

slumber parties

Brian and i had a nice two nights without the kids. i miss them more these days than i used to when they go away over night, but it really is a pleasant thing when Brian and i can have some grown up time. Aaron and Sarah Pluto dropped in for a visit in the afternoon and we got caught up on their life. it was a short visit, but so good to see them back together. i think the last time we saw them together was on their wedding day, and then he was deployed to Iraq for all that time. i met Sarah once last year to run together and we vowed to do it again, but our lives took us different places and it didn't happen.
Brian and i went down to El Arroyo for dinner that night. that is my favorite place when i just want to chill. it's so laid back, never overly crowded, and they have big tvs so Brian and i can watch football when the season is right. the food isn't so bad either. i had the Ditch Bowl, which would've been better had i remembered to ask for it without queso. not a fan of queso. we wandered into the downtown library after dinner and checked out a few movies, then went home and got cozy. it was just the perfect little date: a fire in the fireplace, a glass of Chocovine, which i recently discovered and fell in love with, and the best guy i could dream up. we decided to sleep in the living room since the fire was still roaring and we felt like two kids having a sleepover. we have such fun together! we checked out the old classic, Giant, which as a native Texas i'm ashamed to say i'd never seen before.
we got up Wednesday morning and went down to Lady Bird Lake to run. we planned to run the 10.2 mile loop twice. the first ten went by without a hitch, but halfway through the second loop my knee started really bothering me. it's the same old thing that bothered me those first two years of running. it's real painful. i tried to keep running, but i was tired, i think i was dehydrated, and i just didn't have it in me to run in pain that day. i ended up walking the last three miles of the twenty. i convinced Brian to run on ahead, and i just listened to my music and enjoyed my little walk. sorta. actually i was really down.
i did some shopping and cleaned house the rest of the day while Brian worked on some painting projects that we've been putting off for awhile. we ran over to Jason's Deli for dinner. so glad that the neighborhood one has reopened after being closed for remodelling all those months. we had another cozy evening of watching movies, drinking ChocoVine (don't laugh - it's better than Bailey's), and sleeping in the livingroom.
Brian went in to the office for a bit on Thursday morning, and i ran over to Target to be enticed to purchase way too many things marked 75% off. i had absolutely no self control. the best find? a pair of leather boots! yes, from Target! the picture doesn't do them justice. they are so cute! at 30% off, i paid $34.99 (reg. $50).

Product Image Women's Xhilaration® Karima Leather Boots - Black
my mom brought the kids back a little before lunch. the rest of the day they played outside or lounged in their beds reading books.
i ran over to Hobby Lobby and purchased something i've been wanting for ever so long, a staple gun. i also bought some fabric and came home and recovered the two side chairs that are in the living room.
i made brisket enchiladas last night which i think we're wonderful. the husband and some of the kids agreed, as well. John and Samuel wouldn't touch them. they are my picky ones.
after dinner we loaded up and went for a moonlit ride around Mueller. Margaret and William roller bladed, John rode his bike, Samuel rode his scooter, Brian walked, and i rode my new cruiser bike, a Christmas present from Brian.
we came home and played Clue, which took about three hours, which was two hours too long.
my mom is coming again today to take the kids back out there to Burnet. she is watching Leah's kids for her while Leah works, and asked if she could have the cousins together again for one last time before school starts. Brian and i don't have any plans for tonight. we aren't very good at staying up late (though we did sleep in this morning 'til about 6:15), so we'll probably just end up here after dinner out.
reading back over this i realize it's a rather boring post, rather like record keeping. oh well. maybe i'll resolve to be a better writing in the new year.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas doings

i'm trying out a new blog site. hopefully i'll maintain some readership. but you'll have to hunt me down to read me, because i don't want my blog posts announced to all my Facebook friends. here goes...

i think Christmas Eve this year was the best one we've had yet! it was so very special. we had hoped to go  serve at Salvation Army or something, but it seems that to do something like that, you have to have planned it out in advance. you can't just show up. so after much searching and coming up with no Christmas Eve volunteer opportunity for us to participate in, we decided to take things into our own hands. we decorated paper sacks and filled them with breakfast tacos, an orange, and a cookie, then loaded up the old car, cranked up the heater and the Christmas music, and went hunting for homeless. it was comical, because we could find none of them at their usual haunts, and drove and drove. we were thinking we were going to be eating on breakfast tacos for awhile, we we came across some close to downtown. John in his Santa hat handed out several bags to four very grateful people hanging out under the Interstate bridge near 7th street. after that we saw more folks around and all received the little gifts with much enthusiasm. it made me want to do that every day!
we came home and cleaned house, then walked over to Capital Plaza, the old shopping center that our neighborhood sits behind, and finished up a bit of Christmas shopping at Target and other places. it was so nice to be all together like that.
we attended Redeemer's Nine Lessons and Carols service, which was absolutely beautiful! it is patterned after the service by the same name that is done every year at Kings College, Cambridge.
i had chili in the crock pot when we got home and tons of other delights, and we feasted on goodies and watched It's A Wonderful Life.
that evening we had to make the decision to not drive to Kilgore to celebrate Christmas because the car is acting unreliable again. Brian's parents said they'd come down here on Sunday.
i got up at 4:30 on Christmas morning. that was a mistake, because by the end of the day I was a basket case.  but at the time, I was too wound up to sleep in, and got up and started working on cinnamon rolls for the neighbors and breakfast casserole for us. the kids got up at 6, but we sent them back to bed for awhile so that we could finish up some of our preparations. we let them get back up around 7, and we read our last Jesse Tree reading and placed the ornament on the tree, quoted the Christmas story for Luke 2 together, which we've worked on memorizing every year, and sang a couple of carols. then daddy prayed a very long prayer, at least it seemed so to the kids. finally it was time to pass out the gifts.
the kids were really grateful for all their various gifts, which included things like camo print rubber boots, GI Joe sets, a flat iron, a new backpack, an oil paint set, pj's for all, new knee high boots, books...
i had already given Brian his Christmas gifts - new clothes from the GAP a couple of weeks ago because he really needed them, so he only got a couple of small things. he and the kids gave me some very sweet gifts that each had a hand in picking out: a travel mug, note cards, some gourmet chocolate bars, and oddly enough, a bike lock. the kids got all excited and had me go out to the playroom where there was a new bike just for me! i've been wanting a cruiser for a long time so i can put a little basket on and use to run my errands around town. i'm so excited to try it out!
we cleaned up some of our mess, and Margaret and John accompanied me to deliver some batches of cinnamon rolls to our neighbors. first stop was Joyce, the elderly widow next door. next we went by Richard and Michael's, which is directly across the street and our big front windows face each other. Michael invited us in, and asked Margaret and John about how their Christmas had been.
next to Michael and Richard's, James and Susanna weren't home, and Clay wasn't home either. we walked down to our sweet friends, George and Minnie's house, and gave them an extra pile of rolls since they have two grown daughters and a grandchild that live with them. Margot wasn't home, so we passed her house up, and ran back up the street because it was so darn cold.
we went out to the family farm house in Manor to celebrate Christmas with my mom's side of the family about lunch time. Daddy came, too, which is odd, but convenient. he can't get along with his own family, so he joins his ex-wife's family. well, everyone on my mom's side still loves him, and he and my stepdad get along fine, so it's all good.
Leah wasn't there with her kids, but Thomas and Mer came late in the afternoon. they had just come from celebrating Christmas with Meredith's family, where they had been surprised with a brand-new suburban for Christmas from her parents. wow! they joked that they felt like they were on Oprah or something. the Henley's also had a Tahoe for Meredith's brother and his wife  - both with big bows on them.
i was running ragged by Christmas evening and ready to crawl in my bed about 8 pm., which i did.
i think all the going, going, going of the previous week caught up with me, because Sunday morning i was a wreck. i wanted to just stay in bed and sleep the day away. but we had church to attend, and, with the help of Brian, and William, who crawled in bed with me, i was able to shake off some of my self-centeredness (though not all, mind you) and get dressed. it was good to be in the Lord's house, exaclty what i needed. we came home and cleaned house again, getting ready for Brian's parents to come. after the tidying was done, we decided to walk to HEB together. i had a few items to grab, and we hadn't got out for exercise in a day or so. it was so good to get out for fresh air, but awfully cold. i just wasn't made for cold, that's for sure!
Ben and Linda (Brian's parents) got here just in time for dinner, and we had a big meal before opening gifts.
they are always awfully generous (though there was no new suburban with a bow on it), and there was much squealing over all the delightful things they brought. the biggest excitement was when the wii was opened! they bought Brian and i a new printer and a nice flat screen tv for the camper (or for our bedroom), as well as Starbucks gift cards, Cliff bars, trailmix, other things, and money.
(William is all into the militia look these days.)

we set up the wii, but there was a problem with the resolution and the picture was in black and white, so after much deliberation, and talking with the tech support at wii, it was decided that we'd need to return it. it was pretty sad for the kids, but they maintained a good attitude.
Ben and Linda left yesterday afternoon, and we set to putting the house back in order. i took down just a few ornaments. it's a wonder our tree or advent wreath haven't gone up in a blaze, they're so dry. i'll work on taking all that down over the next couple of days.
i wrote the above post first thing this morning. i paused for a bit so that Brian and i could go out and do our five and a quarter miler. we hadn't run since Christmas Eve, so i was SO ready to get out and move my legs!
the kids are going out to my mom's today and staying a night or two. that'll free Brian and i up to work on some painting projects around the house and also get in our 20 miler in the morning. i think we'll finally hit up El Arroyo and use that gift card they sent me so many months back.
well, i'm off to get this place back to normal.