Friday, January 04, 2008

Christmas (for real this time)

Alright, I really do owe y'all a real piece about Christmas, not just that half a sentence I wrote yesterday. It was great! Gosh, now I have to think back... the Friday before Christmas was my coworker Cindy's birthday, so we went to Old Spaghetti Factory for a little birthday get together. Actually that day was pretty funny too - I had decided I wanted Honeybaked Ham for Christmas dinner the night before, so we called the Honeybaked Ham store in the morning and they had some hams available. So I told Cindy I was going to go get one, and she wanted one too so she came. Our other coworker Paul needed something from the music store in that area, so he came too, and then we went to the music store. After that we had lunch with another friend at Sweet Tomatoes. It was a lengthy "lunch hour". ;-) But it was the day before "winter break!" Geoff had to work his LAST SATURDAY on the 22nd, so I did a lot around the house in terms of getting ready for Christmas and my parent's to arrive. The 23rd was his grandmother's birthday, so we went to brunch with his family at a very nice brunch establishment (The Red Lion Inn in Vancouver). Then Geoff and I went to a "camping timeshare" presentation which was such a hoot. Without going into all of the specifics on what this program offered, the guy calculated that we spend $800 a year on camping fees (based on average rate and number of nights stayed). Fair enough. Then based on his $4500 program, he decided we'd make that back in 5 years. Ummm.... yeah, except the $4500 is like the "buy in" fee and doesn't include yearly dues of $300 (which adds up to $1500 over the course of those 5 years, thereby adding another 2 years onto that time), plus the fact that there are still nightly fees (of roughly $10) at some of the campgrounds in his program and the fact that there are no campgrounds as close as the one we typically go to, so gas prices are more expensive. I pointed these three facts out to him and all he could say was "oh... I guess your math is better than mine". HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. What an entertaining way to spend an hour. I so enjoyed myself. As a reward, we got $50 worth of gift cards to Camping World and $25 worth of Shell gift cards. Excellent. At Camping World (we went right away since it's sorta far away and this place was right next door to it) we bought Cast Iron Cookware, Domino Holders, and a Mexican Train Domino piece (same center piece and trains, we just didn't buy that whole set). We're domino people. ;-) Then we got home and Geoff's grandmother gave us a Christmas present - the same exact set of Domino Holders! I felt so bad... but it was great because it was obviously a present we really wanted, and Geoff realized it was actually perfect because this way we had 8 instead of just 4 so we could play bigger games! Then that night I played Risk for the 2nd time ever - we played two games with Geoff, Geoff's brother Trevor, his girlfriend Kristy, another friend Andrew, and stepdad Gary. Trevor easily won the first game and Trevor and I made it down to a few little men in Madagascar on the second game. It was SO close... but Trevor came out ahead. I'm now Risk-obsessed. We then went grocery shopping at about midnight (yay for 24 Hour Winco!) and then finished up the house. We slept in on Christmas Eve morning, finished up the very final last touches for the house, and then went to Geoff's parent's so he could salt-pack the prime rib. Yuuuum. I ran an errand with Gary, and by the time I got back it was time to go get my parents! We got them from the airport, and went straight to Geoff's parents. We had a DELICIOUS dinner (complete with homemade dinner rolls prepared by Geoff's mom) and Geoff's Oma and Opa (his grandparents on his dad's side) were there. Oma presented Geoff and his brother with a very special Christmas presents - quilts she had made for each one of them using their dad's clothing. They are SO cool - they are giant, made with king size sheets. The guys were so excited... they had been a part of picking out the clothing and arranging the layout of the quilts, but they didn't know they were ready and it was so cool to be there for their reaction. In fact, I am cuddled up in Geoff's right now. Definitely one of the best gifts ever (and I didn't even get it). But I DID get Lock-N-Lock (the best storage containers ever, and we know how I love to organize) from Oma. TONS of it. Yay, I love Lock-N-Lock. Oma and I are like twins... only not. Then Geoff and I made the announcement that we'd received WEDDING PICTURES and everyone gathered around with dessert and coffee to watch them on the big screen. Obviously watching them on a giant TV is not the most quality way to see your fabulous wedding pictures, but it was great to be able to watch them with both sets of parents, two sets of grandparents, and Geoff's brother. Definitely worth it to see everyone's reactions all together. It was awesome. Then Geoff, Mom, Dad, and I went to church, then home so my dad could go to bed. My mom, Geoff, and I stayed up cooking a breakfast casserole for Christmas morning (a very long-standing tradition in my house).

I need a new paragraph.

Christmas morning we slept a little late, then enjoyed our breakfast casserole. We were waiting for my sister, who was in route from her boyfriend's parent's house in Alicante, Spain, to Motril, Spain, where she lives. Once she got there, we set up a webcam and videoconferenced while opening all of our presents and stockings. It was a long process, but fun! My parents and my sister got me and Geoff all of our bedding that we'd registered for on our wedding registry - it is sooooo nice. I feel guilty sleeping on it... I'm so paranoid, like "what if I drool?!?!?!" It really is very nice. We received several "first Christmas" ornaments and lots of fun stocking stuffers, including wooden spoons for Geoff, the man who LOVES wooden spoons. And I got Paula Deen's Christmas cookbook and Geoff got a BBQ thermometer probe thing! After that we had to cook! Okay, I didn't cook, just bossed people around - sounds like me, right? We washed all of the china and crystal in our hutch - some had been used, and some hadn't, so we just got it done. Plus it looks all sparkly now anyway! We bought beautiful Christmas placemats and napkins for Crate & Barrel (wedding giftcards, yay!) that made our table look so elegant and formal and beautiful! I cannot find a link to them right now which makes me sad because I want you to see their beautiousness, but at the same time happy that they're not like 75% off. Anyway, Geoff's family came over around 5ish... we all visited for a while, and Geoff and my mom cooked (really, I did nothing. Oh, I warmed up the rolls and tossed salad. Difficult.) OH!!! I almost forgot - my mom bought these little sparkly alien ear things for us... they were so fun. She gave them to us Christmas morning, and we wore them all day, even during the video conference. And they didn't even hurt my big head. EVERYONE wore them for a while that night too, there is a picture somewhere with them... I'll have to get one of those pics from someone and post that. Too funny. Anyway, that was awesome. But we had a great dinner... Geoff prayed... and the ham was DELICIOUS. Honeybaked Ham is so great. Yum. After that we opened presents... Geoff's brother Trevor got us the deep fryer from our registry... SCARY. It is awesome, and Geoff can't wait to make buffalo wings. But I can just feel fat jumping onto me just looking at that thing in its box. Yikes. Geoff's parents got us the Coleman Road Trip grill for our camper, which I have been talking about forever. It's super cool. They also got me party lights with little trailers attached to them (seriously, the lights are trailers!) and Geoff some steak thermometers. Oh and a deep fry thermometer. Lots of thermometers for Christmas. ;-) We had picked out most excellent presents for our parents this year (at least I think so) - a Coach purse for Julie, a grill thermometer with wireless responder thing for Gary, slippers and an electric screwdriver for my dad, and an ipod shuffle for my mom. They all seemed to enjoy them, which was really cool! It was a most excellent Christmas.

The next day my dad got sick! Boo to him... he and Geoff both worked the next few days, so my mom and I went to Costco, watched Food Network, etc. Friday we went camping in Cannon Beach at the Cannon Beach RV Resort. I love that place, and I love the coast! It was windy and misty of course, but my poor parents ("the Texans") were especially frio. But we had a good time walking around the coast and looking in the little shops and relaxing and playing dominoes (of course). We had steak and roasted potatoes for dinner the first night, "camping breakfast" (which was invented by my mom, but she said my version was as good, which was really cool), and then went out to dinner one night). Sunday we got back, and dropped the camper off at Geoff's parents (they needed extra bedrooms!) and then went home to rest and shower. Sunday night we went to happy hour at Oba for a drink (YUM, marionberry margaritas) and then Russell Street BBQ for some tasty food. Monday was New Year's Eve... my mom and I went to Costco and the grocery store for black eyed peas. She makes fantastic black eyed pea soup. We hung out for a while, Geoff got home from work pretty early, and we went to Geoff's parent's for a New Years Eve party around 7ish. It was a blast! Tons of people there - Geoff's parents, brother Trevor, girlfriend Kristy (with her family - 2 parents and 4 other kids), sister Rebecca, uncle Mike, cousin Taylor, aunt Julie, uncle Brian, new baby cousin Nora, grandma Katie, aunt Gayle, uncle Rick, cousin Meghan, cousin Brendan, aunt Judy, uncle Jeff, cousin Hannah and her boyfriend Andrew, cousin Miriam, aunt Sarah, uncle Peter, cousin Odette, my parents, Bestema (like a grandmother... confusing family relation really)... and I'm sure I'm forgetting some! We had a great time giving trailer tours... it seemed to be a hit. Then we busted out the dominoes... the first few rounds saw several people rotating in and out (I was glad we had all 8 trays!). Several people asked us where we got the game... but really it's kind of pieced together. The dominoes themselves (really all you need, you can play with pennys as markers instead of "trains") are from Target (we have two sets, double 9's and double 15's), and everything else is from Camping World. By the time we really got going though, we played with me, my Mom, aunt Gayle, Gary, uncle Brian, uncle Rick, Geoff, and aunt Julie. It did rotate a little but that was the main crowd. My mom won like every game - with the exception of 3... I won one, Gary won one, and Geoff won one. It was so fun!! Everyone was just being hilarious... that table had so many inside jokes and it was just a great time. One of the best times I have had in a long time. I laughed so hard... I love being around sarcastic people. Since my mom was winning so much, she was getting a lot of trash talking aimed in her direction but she dished it right back, it was excellent!

The next morning we had to take my parent's back to the airport... that was sad, but we had a great visit. Then we went home and cleaned up the house and then just relaxed the rest of the day! Wednesday we just relaxed, last night we took down all of the Christmas decorations and the tree, and tonight I went to Chevy's with Addy. Geoff made himself enchaladas and watched the Legend of Zorro. I am now writing the LONGEST BLOG EVER while he plays X Box... which I don't think he's played in the past month. I apologize for the lengthyness of this blog, but I had to catch up! Geoff's last day of work at Schuck's was today! On to bigger and better things starting Monday - my company is all ready for him, he's set with his laptop, phone, headset, nameplate on his office, etc. So exciting! :)

I use too many capitals and made-up words and off-kilter grammar when I blog. I guess that's writer's prerogative though, huh? Is that the right phrase? I thought there was some phrase like writer's right or something. I can't remember. I learned it in like 5th grade.

Tomorrow I have am conducting an interview for a high school senior who is applying to Northwestern. I LOVE these interviews, I always enjoy them so much. She wants to be a biology major. I'm looking forward to meeting her! Then tomorrow night we're going to Chili's for birthday cocktails with a friend. Excellent. Oh and we are using our waffle maker for the first time tomorrow morning in celebration of Geoff's first weekend off. So excited for this weekend! Have a great one.


themotherinlaw said...

Thank you for the entry! It really was a fun Christmas.

marisa said...

oops, the last comment was supposed to go on this entry, not the vending room one. anyway, love the new picture! and, i found the costco wedding food blog, but you didn't say what you got. let me know if you have any recommendations - i've never been to costco!