Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas 2009

This Christmas was a little sad. We were missing Paul, who we lost in September this year. We had a special candle lighting and reading for him Christmas Eve at Rick's folks house. We watched a video Todd had put together, cried and talked about Paul. There is a hole in our family that only Paul could fill. We miss him but are grateful for our knowledge of the Gospel, and that we can be together again.

After we left Rick's parents, we went to Randy and Collette's house. We had great food, I ate too many of Randy's candied nuts (way good), and enjoyed watching Lindsay's and Nate's cute kids, as they negotiated with their parents about what time they could get up Christmas morning. The story Randy read this year was The Last Straw and we got a cute bag of straw for our tree. I love going to their home on Christmas Eve, spending time with their family and mom.

Our Christmas this year was amazing. We started off the day at home, the 3 of us, 4 counting Baxter. I let Baxie out to use the bathroom about 6 a.m. When he came back in, he went right over to the couch and picked up one of the toys Santa left him, then went directly into Justin's bedroom and got up on the bed with him. It was like he knew exactly which was his Santa stuff, cute dog!

Anyway, Justin came upstairs about 7 and yelled "get up" to his dad, to no avail. I guess it's still tradition for Rick to refuse to get out of bed until he's good and ready. After he finally got up we got to see what Santa had brought, too much as usual, and then left for mom's.

Danny and Barb, Randy and Collette and Rick and I all buy gifts for mom's Christmas stockings. It's the highlight of the morning to watch her go through the stockings and "Ooooo and Ahhhh" over each little item. This year was no exception, we thoroughly enjoyed being with her and together Christmas morning. We ate delicious breakfast casseroles and ham and stuffed ourselves to the point we needed naps, which none of us got.

We then went to Rick's mom and dad's and enjoyed watching them go through their stockings. We gave Rick's dad a rubber chicken that appears to lay an egg, but it's still in the sack, pretty gross, but he laughed a lot at it. Eric and Lisa and their family and Scott and Lori were there and it was so fun to be together. It's been a while since Scott has been to family functions, it was great to have him there again. Justin's room mate, Chris, had arrived from Vancouver, BC while we were at Rick's parents. It was great to have him with us too.

Traditionally Rick's family and some of mine come out on Christmas afternoon. This year his parents, Eric and Lisa and their family, Scott and Lori, mom, Danny and Barbara came out, and we had invited a very good friend, Kristin McClellan, to come out too. We just hung out, ate, laughed and tried out my new weighted hoola hoop. It was pretty fun and funny at times. Now we'll see if I use it like I'm planning to do.

This Christmas I enjoyed our families more than ever, maybe I'm growing up after all. Remember I said "growning up" not getting old. Love this time of year and the feelings of a new beginning, lots of excited thoughts going through my head. I don't like New Year's resolutions, but I have plans for some good changes in my life. I'll keep you posted as my list developes.

Friday, December 18, 2009

December 18, 2009

I'm sitting in my room at Planet Hollywood, waiting for 1:42 a.m. when Justin will arrive for Christmas - YAY!!!!! He'll be here for 12 days, well technically 11.5 days, does the 18th count since he's traveling? Who knows. I just know we'll have a great time. I only have to work on the 28th and 29th while he's home. Happy, happy, happy.

When my brothers and I were young, on Christmas morning we had to wait until the three of us, along with mom and dad, were up before anyone could go see what Santa had left. Randy and Danny slept downstairs so mom or dad would lead them through the kitchen, through the front room (with their eyes closed so they couldn't see the presents), and into the hallway. I would be anxiously waiting in the hallway with mom or dad (they didn't trust me not to peak at the gifts) for the boys to get there. We would then all go into the front room together and be amazed we had been that good during the year to receive the gifts we each desired.

Rick, Justin and I have continued this tradition in our little family. When Justin was young, there were some Christmas mornings that he and I were ready to string Rick up for being such a tease and whining about getting up so early. We would then (after the lazy butt got up) go into the front room where we were surprised by our gifts.

Now we go downstairs into the family room, all together, and take turns going through our Santa gifts. We are a small little family, but are not lacking in love and enjoyment on Christmas, as well as any time we are together.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Today is my last day of work until the 28th. I don't think I've ever had that much time off and just stayed around here. I'm going on to Vegas on Friday to pick Justin up for Christmas, and I can hardly contain myself. We are staying at Planet Hollywood, and you know there are major good stores right there, won't have to leave the hotel after I check in. It will be a fun day and topped off with the best present ever, Justin coming home for Christmas. We have such fun together and Saturday coming home will be awesome. Of course we'll have to do a "little" shopping in Vegas before heading home. Rick's probably glad he'll be home with Baxter and not shopping with us.

A Christmas tradition that I love is Rick's family coming to our house the afternoon of Christmas. We have done this for a long time, even before we really had room, but it was just as fun then as it is now. We usually miss Todd, Lorie and the kids, they spend their Christmas day in St. George with friends. As the kids get older, it's hard for them to travel on Christmas.

Anyway, Eric, Lisa and their kids come up in the late afternoon, as do Rick's mom and dad, all other family that happen to be around are also included. We just hang out and visit, eat cold ham left over from breakfast at moms (post later about that), chips, and whatever else happens to be on the bar. I love spending time with them, and I love my nieces and nephews and now some of them are having children of their own, which just makes it more fun.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

10 days of traditions

I was thinking this morning that I should write about our Christmas traditions. I checked out what Collette has been writing on Facebook and her posts brought such good memories and feelings. Some of my favorite traditions are hers also, rightfully so, we are together for many of the special times.

First off, let me say how grateful I am for my sisters-in-law. I have the best sisters-in-law ever, both the Cowan's and the Bonzo's, they're great! My Christmas memories and traditions center around family and the good times we've had over the years.

One of my favorite traditions is Christmas Eve at Randy and Collette's. We go down and hang out and eat yummy food that Collette prepares. We love spending time with their family and feel so blessed to be able to share in their Christmas Eve. Depending on what kids of theirs are home for Christmas, they come down and the kids get to open one present, PJ's, and they immediately put them on.

Each year Randy and Collette find a fun new Christmas book, we all gather round Randy as he reads the Christmas book, my favorite thing. Then Collette gives us each a little gift that goes along with the story. I have no idea where they find these gifts, I'm pretty sure Santa has something to do with it. Last year we got a tiny pair of wooden shoes, one year we got a peace dove. Anyway, we look forward to this tradition each year.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Happy Birthday to me

Today is my 56th birthday. Sounds ancient to those I know who are younger than 40, but it's all a matter of perspective. When I was in my 20's and 30's, people who were 65 had one foot in the grave. Now, here I am just 9 years away from that ripe old age, and guess what? I may be getting older, but I'm also getting better. Just ask Rick. Lol!

I am enjoying being more relaxed about things that really used to bug me. Things like needing people to like me, having people like the way I dressed, having the best and latest of things, (at all costs). Now it's pretty important that I like how I dress, and jeans aren't the most comfortable pants I own, so I only wear them when I'm feeling thinner. I used to try to get my mom to wear Levi's when I was young, you know, I wanted her to be more amazing than she already was to my friends. She refused, now I know why, it takes a while to get smarter about that stuff, and moms are always right. I still want people to like me, but it doesn't make or break my day if they aren't that happy with me.

I am able to admit my mistakes (who me?) easier than I used to. I must have more self confidence than I used to, but I now realize that we are all human, including me, therefore we all make mistakes.

I still love my house to be clean, but I no longer think people judge me by how many of Baxter's paw prints they can see on the floor.

Not quite the actual size of Baxter's paw, but darn close. Actually, Baxter's is probably a little larger, he weighs about 120 pounds. Love that boy!

I guess as I've "matured", I find that I'm less judgmental of others, so I cut myself some slack too.

With Christmas coming I'm reminded that I now include Christ more in our celebrations than I used to. Presents aren't necessary anymore for me to have a good time, just my family around me makes me very happy and content.

And I'm about 10 pounds heavier than I want to be, but that too doesn't matter like it used to. I think it's not only the growing up process, but also Rick's service in Iraq, that put things in a better perspective for me. Some "stuff" just doesn't matter as much any more.

Then there are those things that matter more. My family has always been a huge part of my life, but I now look at them through different eyes and honestly realize that without them life wouldn't be worth living. They make me happy, they are the reason that I do what I do.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ now plays a bigger part in my life than ever before, I only wish I would have felt this many years earlier. I missed a lot of time not being totally committed.

I love my job and my friends that I work with. I've had many "happy birthday's" today from friends and family alike. I am so blessed and I'll try harder in the year ahead to show my gratitude.

The best birthday wish I received today came from my little mom. She called me before I came to work to wish me happy birthday and said "You were my Christmas present". Made me cry. But,I thought about what she said and I guess I probably was her Christmas present that year. With 2 older brothers (who I love very much, they taught me way cool stuff growing up, like how to count to 10 burping) and since her and dad didn't know if I was a boy or a girl, being born just before Christmas, I guess I was a Christmas present that year. My mom is such a sweetheart, the most Christlike person I know, what a blessing it is for me to be her "Christmas present".