We had a great Christmas! Nathan actually flew to CA in early December for a "little sister's" wedding. Since he's still unemployed, we decided he would just stay there until Christmas and enjoy some time with friends and family. It didn't cost much for a one-way ticket since his schedule was flexible, so it worked out great.
I rented a car and drove down on Saturday the 19th. We immediately did Christmas with Janice and Jaime (my sisters). As part of our budget cutbacks, we decided to draw family names and do a game exchange. We got Pit and Phase 10 Masters edition. We love games! Janice also chose to do sisters' gifts this year. We never seem to do these at the same time, but it just means one of us buys 3 similar gifts and we all pick the favorite color/scent/whatever. Janice filled stockings with lots of Avon goodies, jewelry, and socks. So cute! She also made decorative stuffed Christmas tree sets for each of us. We had so much fun and lots of tasty food. Nathan shared with Kelsey.
We didn't get to do Christmas with Nathan's cousins this year, so on Sunday we were able to visit friends from church and relax with Nathan's family. Oh, and decorate!
When she wasn't busy texting...the twins are both addicted to texting.Rebekah took a break from decorating but I hunted her down!
On Monday I helped clean their house in preparation for the annual Weinstock caroling party, then ran away to Jaime's so we could hang out and dye our hair! None of the pictures really captured the color...cinnaberry....my favorite dye color.
Jeremy and I had a blast acting out stories. Below you see me as the gingerbread man being thrown off Jeremy the fox's nose.
On Tuesday, we went to see my parents. They made us waffles (YUM!) and I made them multiple pans of lasagna to freeze. I enjoyed wandering around in their garden eating mint and other herbs I couldn't really identify. Nathan and I performed two Christmas songs we'd been practicing as a piano-trumpet duet.
Then we went to see my Grandma Parker. My Aunt Virginia was there for a few minutes too. I love seeing family!
We played Scrabble and Nathan WON! You have to understand, he's not so hot at word games and my family is, plus Grandma is an expert at finding the right spots to accumulate maximum points. He was very proud of himself.
We spent the night and left after breakfast. Then we had Christmas with our friends. Shaylene decided I needed to wear her grandma's accessories.
On Thursday I went to brunch with Jaime at the Harbor House Cafe. The portions were HUGE and we decided to make Christmas Eve brunch an annual tradition. Afterward, we hung out at her house for a little bit and sang in the toy microphone together.
While my mother-in-law shopped, I supervised contests. First push-ups, then lunges, then sit-ups. I love my family but the room smelled so nasty by the time they were done sweating.
I made crockpot breakfast casserole on Christmas Eve, and we all collapsed on the living room floor in extreme fatigue after wrapping gifts until late. Oh! Funny stocking story. Nathan and I went together to the 99 cent store to buy stocking stuffers for each other, and hid our respective bags in the trunk. Unfortunately over the next few days, everything rolled around in the trunk. When I filled his stocking, I realized I was missing the three cans of Kern's nectar. I searched and searched through the car and finally came to the conclusion that either the car had eaten them or Nathan had bought me the same thing and figured they were the ones he bought. I didn't want to admit what I'd bought him but after a brief conversation we figured out that yes, he just thought he bought more nectars than he remembered.
On Christmas morning we enjoyed having something other than stocking candy and nuts to eat. I plan to keep making Christmas morning breakfast, just not necessarily the same thing.
We got wonderful gifts this year (not just from the Weinstock family) that included such things as a painting of the Savior with a personal inscription on the back, real maple syrup, clothes, Christmas decorations, Shaklee products that I'd been wanting, and luscious food. I'm a slacker and haven't written thank-you notes yet, but I promise those are coming soon.
We all got marshmallow guns and had an absolute blast shooting each other. At one point a random neighbor kid joined in the fight. I got so sick of retrieving marshmallows from the pile of blankets and gifts.
We took family photos on the beach later that afternoon. We got there later than planned, and the battery was almost dead after finding the lost camera, so we didn't get many good pictures. Here are a couple random ones.
We left relatively early the next morning, but sometime on Christmas Day, a little imp got into my purse and had fun with the camera. When I uploaded the pictures, I found these (and more)...The next day, we wrapped up our whirlwind week of Christmas celebrations with some Lakey siblings (on my biological father's side). I even got to meet one sibling for the first time.
I came back to an extremely busy week at work, filled with overtime, and somehow managed to unpack a little at a time. Even more impressive, I didn't get sick right after Christmas! I hope to make that a tradition!