This is an amazingly decent photo of Hubs and I back in November before I became chronically tired from working over time. I'm amazed that I don't have dark circles under my eyes in this picture, but this was the calm before the mayhem. By the way, Hubs is no longer allowed to wear that hat because we discovered that it's actually signed by former Padres baseball player, Tony Gwynn.
Christmas Eve Hubs and I decided to hit the mall first thing, at 7 AM to finish up the Christmas shopping. We basically got out of bed, threw on some clothes and went to the mall before it became mayhem. By 10 AM we were done, but Hubs wandered off. While I was sitting in front of Macy's at Fashion Valley by the Santa visiting area, trying to call Hubs, I hear, "Hey, that's Irene." I look up and it's AKA Alice and family. AKA Alice looked fabulous, fresh, and coiffed. I looked like death warmed over. Thank goodness (for me) there were no cameras involved. It was fun catching up for a brief moment, and that gave Hubs time to wander back to where I was waiting. It suddenly felt very Christmas-y. Up until that very point of seeing AKA Alice and family, I had been stuck in a vortex of work and being on auto-pilot. Yes, we put up the tree and various Christmas decorations, but I hadn't been able to enjoy any of it. I'm not sure why this was a turning point for me, but the whirlwind that is my life right now sort of calmed down at that point, perhaps it was seeing someone else actually enjoying the holiday, and I was finally able to relax and enjoy my Christmas holiday. Christmas Eve night was pretty quiet, with dinner at Hub's sister's house and a few family members. All was calm. All was (relatively) bright.
Christmas morning I was up early making holiday sticky buns. No one else was up yet, and I was enjoying the silence of the morning. After I get the sticky buns in the oven and the aroma permeates the house, Evan wakes up, runs right past the Christmas tree -- ignoring the loot Santa put under the tree, and wants to see what I'm making, and asks for a cup of hot cocoa. It was priceless. He never once asked about opening gifts.
This was taken before the realization that Santa had visited our house, before the mayhem. FYI, that's his 1969 Chevy Chevelle SS, that his uncle Jim and aunt Katie had given him the night before. He asked me to put in the car's info. Some kids sleep with stuffed animals. Evan sleeps with his cars.
Just so you all know, my grandson was asking for the actual Polar Express train to stop by our house, and not a toy version. Santa hooked him up some great toys on his (ever expanding) list.
It's hard to see, but Santa brought a Razor Ground Force Drifter...
...and a lot of action figures, amongst other goodies.
It really isn't Christmas until the dog rolls in the gift wrap.
One of the best gifts of all is that we were able to spend Christmas with my sister and her husband, here, in San Diego, for the first time in YEARS.
Hubs, Me, my bro-in-law, my sister.
I worked half day on New Year's Eve, but I was able to participate in a rather off-beat office tradition that I forgot about. We each write a list of things or people we'd like to forget about from the year, fold it, place it in a large tin and burn our lists. I didn't have a list of people on my list, but a list of my injuries over the past year. I'm not sure if this was therapeutic or not, but it was kind of funny to see my boss burn her list of former psycho employees. I guess it's a release kind of thing, just to let go and start fresh in the new year. The ashes were flushed down the toilet. Yes, where I work is not typical and is (still) like being in a sit-com.
By the way, my boss hooked me up with a pair of Moeben sleeves in tye dye as one of my Christmas presents.
Hubs and I had no plans or parties to attend, watched SNL reruns, and I struggled to stay awake to ring in the new year. (When did I become an old fart, anyway?) With less than 5 minutes to the new year, Hubs scrambled to find THE bottle of champagne from the back of the fridge and opened it just in time. Evan was with us and stayed awake long enough to ring in the new year, go outside and beat a couple of old pie tins together and yell "Happy New Year!"
The good thing about having a low keyed New Year's Eve is that there was no hangover to deal with. It's not that I often find myself in a state of hangover-ness, it's just that it takes longer for me to bounce back than it did when I was in my 20s.
I still have not run since I ran the Las Vegas Rock 'n' Roll half marathon at the beginning of December. My shin splints aren't as bad any more, and I really need one more week off, but I have the Carlsbad Half Marathon at the end of January. I've run a half marathon with 3 weeks of training and lived to tell about it, and I'll do it again. My stats won't be great, but I'll get to run. Then again, it's not my first half marathon, either.
Happy New Year, and may all your hopes and dreams for 2011 come true.
Song from Saturday, December 24, 2010:
What Child Is This? - Josh Groban, Carrie Underwood, Vince Guaraldi Trio, Vanessa Williams, Andrea Bocelli, Burl Ives, etc...