Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Christmas Post

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas weekend!

Christmas Eve we went to Cam's family for the traditional Belgium waffles evening. Before dinner Cam, his dad, and both brothers brought a playset that Bryon and Mary had bought for the girls over to Duncan's house to set it up. The only casualty? - Cam's jeans ended up with a huge tear in them. He assured me he was not doing anything unnecessary or showing off to cause this (I still have my doubts as to how necessary it was to jump over a wire fence, but that's just me). I seem to recall the last time Cam tore a pair of shorts it was climbing over the wire puppy pen, hmmm. But waffles were delicious as always. Present opening was crazy with 3 little girls - who found it hilarious to chase Cam around to steal and hide his socks (why anyone would want his socks is beyond me, but then again I have a sock aversion).

Later that evening Cam and I opened our presents to each other over a bottle of hard cider that was amazing (from an cider mill and winery in Spring Lake). Cam's new jeans came just in time. And he was completely surprised and impressed by the external hard drive with 1Terbite of storage. Cam got me the new John Mayer cd, some jewelry, and tickets to Broadway GR Cirque Dreams show. Cool seats too in these little side boxes. That's January 30, super excited.

Christmas morning we made it to my parents' house by about 10. The boys were eagerly awaiting our arrival so we could open presents; much longer they said and they would have started without us. We got Wii Fit and Guitar Hero, The Curragh Irish Pub gift card, movie gift card, cool picture frame, and Firehouse Guitar gift card. Caleb and Josh both got cell phones so they were super pleased. And then we ate; boy did we eat - all day in fact! Ham, meatballs, garlic mashed potatoes, and tons of desserts! Played pictionary, apples to apples, and Uno. It was a very fun and satisfying day.

The next morning we slept off all that food. Then we went into Grand Rapids for a late brunch at Wolfgang's in Eastown. Cam had this amazing skillet and I had pancakes with cream cheese and fruit topping. We stopped at the art museum downtown - I had some passes left from Amway that were expiring. We attempted a Best Buy exchange, but that proved fruitless, and then relaxed the rest of the evening and weekend.

Looking forward to New Year's Eve tonight with Duncan and Kristina. Hope you all have a fun and safe night!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Holiday Activities

Friday night my mom sang in a big production at Central Wesleyan Church in Holland called "Noel". Whintly Phipps, a very famous singer, was the featured performer for the event and my mom sang in a quartet of women with him on several songs. Look up his performance of Amazing Grace performed for the Obamas on YouTube.

Afterward the whole family went to Fricano's for some delicious pizza. Everyone must have been at Christmas parties, because the place was nearly empty. I have never gone there without having to wait a good half hour or more for a table, and then nearly an hour for the pizza. Always worth it, but it was so nice to get right in, because it was 8:30 and we were hungry.

Saturday I got my nails done in the morning. I've never had acrylics before, so this post is taking longer to type than normal as I'm still getting used to them. But I love how they look. I've wanted to for a while, and now that I have a job that actually pays decently more than minimum wage I figure why not? I have them painted a deep sparkly red for Christmas.

Saturday night Cam and I went out with our good friends Anna and Mike. We met up at JD Reardons for a delicious dinner despite the fact that they forgot to put chicken in Anna's Asian dish and put mushrooms in my pasta even though I asked them not to. Oh well. After that we went downtown to the civic theatre for a performance of Cinderella. It was a very good performance. It was extremely reminicent of the 1965 version of Cinderella that my my parents had on VHS which I watched countless times. Even her dress that she wore to the ball was a near replica of the one in this version of Cinderella. I found myself wanting to sing along to all the songs I used to know by heart. Cam did catch me humming the song "Impossible" in the car on the way home. I want to buy the movie on Amazon now, but apparently it's a collectible item and really expensive.

Oh dear, Cam just called me from at a bachelor party at Firekeeper's Casino in Battle Creek. He wanted to know if he should keep going in blackjack. He had started with $20 and is currently at $60. I told him I wasn't making that decision for him. (I think he was a little buzzed, apparently he "shotgunned" a beer). Whatever that means, something about cutting a hole or something in the bottom and drinking the whole thing in like 10 seconds; I didn't really get it. Cameron buzzed=even more silly than normal. He'll be back around 1; I'll be sleeping.

Looking forward to Christmas. I only work until 2 on Christmas Eve and we'll be going to the Hurds that night. Christmas will be with my family. I haven't finalized when Cam and I will open our presents to each other. I'm leaning toward Christmas Eve after Cam's family so we can relax and make it a romantic evening over a bottle of hard cider we've been saving.

Hope everyone has a wonderful, family-filled, busy, crazy Christmas while somehow finding time for the quiet, peaceful moments!

Friday, December 18, 2009

For Christmas I Want Shiny New Things

1. A new car.
My car has been doing this thing for a few weeks, maybe once a day or so. Out of no where it will sound like the speakers will pop and then all the dashboard lights and the radio turn off for a few seconds and then slowly fade back in. Not a big deal, just a little annoying. But then earlier this week I was almost to work when my power steering goes out on me during a turn. When I drove home and since then it's been fine though. Duncan, my brother-in-law came over Wednesday night and threw a new battery in and some more power steering fluid. It's been fine since then, but we shall see.

2. A new cell phone and upgraded wireless plan.
I've hated my phone the day I got it. The phone I had for 2 years before had a longer battery life than this one started with. We have the most basic phone and wireless plan you can buy. But I want texting! People send me texts sometimes, and it's not a big deal if it's once in a while, but I would like to be able to respond back in a text.

3. My pretty red hairdryer has been making a racket lately and that will likely have to be replaced.

4. Canon Rebel Xti - mmmmmm, enough said.

So yes, I have expensive tastes, and I don't think I'm getting any of the above :(
But I'm flexible. It doesn't have to be shiny electronics. Sparkly jewelry will do just fine too.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

This Time of Year Makes Me Happy and Sad

I love the holidays. I love Christmas shopping and decorating and good food. I love parties and celebrations. This weekend Cam and I were driving along Chicago Drive going from his parents house in Hudsonville to mine in Zeeland. There's this tree farm along the road. Every year for Christmas they decorate just one tree with white lights. But when you think of decorating a tree, this takes that up by about 10 levels. It literally looks like every single branch and twig has been outlined in lights. In contrast with the bare fields around it, it just looks heavenly.

Seeing this tree always reminds me of the winter we were engaged. Cam had bought and was already living by himself in our condo in Hudsonville. I was living by myself in my grandma's house in Zeeland. But school was 10 minutes in one direction from the condo, and work was 10 minutes in the other. So no matter which day it was, a school day or a work day, it made it very easy to go to the condo afterwards. Needless to say, there were many, many evenings driving home along Chicago Drive, and seeing that one tree lit up all by itself against the black night always made my drive a little more pleasant (even when it was blizzardy and I was afraid my poor little car with bad tires and weighted down with cement blocks just wasn't going to make it through).

But the holidays always makes me miss people who aren't here. My friend Emili who just had her second little boy in WI. My friend Ali in Chicago. And my friend Lisa in Philadelphia (and pregnant with her first). And my grandparents in Florida among others. I miss the days of getting together with all the extended family and having a blast with all the cousins. I miss college and seeing my friends all the time and all our crazy adventures. This time of year makes me more aware of all that.

Which is part of the reason why I'm starting this blog. A couple of my friends have a blog, and having my own will make me more diligent about checking theirs and keeping in touch. At least until a trip in person can be made!

Until then, I love and miss you all!