Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

I love celebrating full of hope and anticipation as each new year approaches. I imagine the next year bringing lots of blessings and happiness. But 2009 was certainly, without a doubt, a tough year for me. We had some fun on our cruise and our trip to Arizona for Thanksgiving, and we had a wonderful Christmas (more on that later). However, the year was full of it's share of trials. I don't know whether or not I've grown as a result of the trials I've gone through (and am currently going through), but I sure hope I have. And, frankly, I hope 2010 is a lot nicer to me. I can't hardly wait for the year to begin.

Joe and I are planning on playing games and snacking all night. Last year, I don't think we even made it to 10 pm, so we're hoping we can make it to the big 00:00. I went to the grocery store to grab some snacks, and ended up with a VERY full cart and over $160 lighter wallet (with over $100 of savings). I got home and plugged in the freezer in our garage, throwing a lot of my spoils into the freezer for future use. Just a couple hours ago, I got a 10% off coupon in my email for purchases today through the second, so I'm hoping they'll let me apply it to my purchase today.

I have a long list of resolutions for 2010. I have written them in the journal I take with me to church each week, and I'm hoping that reviewing them more regularly keep them forefront in my mind. I may add more as the year progresses, and some will definitely have an ending date prior to January 1, 2011 or beyond. I'm contemplating starting a side-project blog as part of a resolution idea I'm still throwing around in my head. If I do, I'll be sure to link it here.

I know 2009 wasn't a bad year for everyone, but it does seem like a lot of people I know are glad to see it gone. Whether or not you feel it was good to you, I hope you have a fantastic 2010!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It's Beginning To Look a Lot Like Debra Needs Psychotherapy

While I was growing up, my family had several traditions that they followed throughout the year. One tradition I complained about all the time was going around the neighborhood and singing Christmas carols to people who know me. The horror! And when we were younger, our parents made us bring along the instruments we could barely play to torture us even further.

So I decided I wanted to start some new traditions with Joe that we can torture our kids with every year. Last year, we took a cheesy Christmas photo of us and our kittens, and we decided to make that a yearly tradition. We went out of state for Christmas last year, and I was able to spend some time with some of my bajillion siblings. One of my older sisters said to another sister, "Did you get Debra's Christmas card? I'm worried about her! She's turning into Mom!" My oldest sister laughed, pretty sure the picture was in jest, as she told my other sister her opinion. But although my siblings were hopeful, I think they were a little nervous that the picture might not be a joke.
We went even cheesier this year, thanks in part to some AWESOME finds at the after-Christmas sale at Target. And yet I have found myself checking in with people I have sent the photo to, just to make sure they know we weren't serious.

Merry Christmas!
From the Crazy Cat Lady

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Christmas Letter conundrum

After barely surviving yesterday mentally and emotionally, I am faced with the task of writing our Christmas letter. However, I'm finding this task to be especially hard this year. In fact, I think I may have to review my blog and journal entries looking for positive things to write, because other than the cruise in June and visiting my parents for Thanksgiving, there wasn't much I remember about 2009 that I liked. Man, I can't wait until I can say goodbye to this year!

Do you think it is okay if I mention some less-than-positive things that happened this year? I think I'm going to leave my miscarriage out of the letter, but I am leaning toward writing about losing my job and the cats getting fleas.

Monday, December 7, 2009

It's the most wonderful time of the year

Ever since I have been married, I have regained enthusiasm, and even love, for the end of the year holidays. I get excited about Thanksgiving and find myself reflecting on all the things I'm grateful for and all I've been blessed with in my life. Then I indulge in some of my favorite foods (and I haven't been stuffing myself the past few years, so that's good).

This year, we went to Arizona for Thanksgiving, spending it with most of my family. We arrived on Thanksgiving day, stayed in a hotel by my parents' house for 3 of the 4 nights of our trip, and flew home early Monday morning. Friday morning, Joe and I had a room service breakfast (we had $150 credit to spend at the hotel). Then Joe dropped me off at my parents and drove to Mesa where he Joe went out to lunch with his friend Jacob, Jacob's wife Becky, and their newborn baby. The adult girls and two oldest nieces went out to lunch at Carlos O'Brien's and then shopping at the mall. Later that night, Joe and I went with my sister Lisa and her husband Tom to Chili's for dinner and then saw The Invention of Lying at the cheaper theaters. Saturday, we had breakfast at Sonic and then drove around a while before meeting my friend Erin, Jacob, Becky, and their baby for lunch at Oregano's. Afterward, we took a nap at the hotel before heading to my parents' house to figure out what the plan was for that night. The adults went to dinner at PF Chang's and then Joe and I headed back to our hotel room (after trying unsuccessfully to reach my old friend Kelli to meet up).

On Sunday, we headed to church and then hung out at my parents' house before going back to the church building for the baby blessings of my two newest nieces, Sarah and Kate. There were sandwiches and plenty of goodies to eat while we chatted with some extended family before heading home. So, it felt like a lot of the trip was centered around family and food, and that was quite alright with me.

Right after Thanksgiving is over, I'm more comfortable with the Christmas music playing everywhere, and I find myself choosing to listen to it and enjoying it immensely. When we got home on Monday, I popped in some of my own Christmas CDs and we start decorating. Now that I've experienced having a real tree, I'm okay with going back to a fake tree. This year, I also had some unopened decorations that I purchased after Christmas last year to enjoy. We even had a brand new, pre-lit slim tree (but I must admit that I'm disappointed by it).

Joe put some hooks up around the house previously, so he put lights up with ease this year. He even put some hooks up on the second story this year to hang lights from. And we now have a large star on the side of our house and a wreath on our front door. I picked up a few additional decorations and extension cords at Target and have been slowly finishing up the decorating (figuring out where to put what). I'm definitely in the holiday mood!

I still have some Christmas goodies I'd like to bake. And I have been enjoying watching Christmas movies (many made for TV on the Hallmark channel) and shopping for Joe. I told Joe I wanted to have a couple gifts to unwrap this year, as last year we just opened boxes from Amazon as they arrived, and it wasn't the same. So he wrapped a few gifts for me and put them under the tree, where they sat for less than a week. On Friday night when he got home from work, he insisted I open one gift and then gave me the option of opening a second gift. The first gift I opened was a wii workout game, so I figured I might as well open the other gift (figuring it was the wii itself). Joe purchased it used from a friend for a good price and set it up.

We had a busy day Saturday, without any real opportunities to try the game out. So this morning, Joe turned it on and tried out the game. He seemed to be enjoying himself, and I was amused at his "explanation" that he was trying to get me motivated/interested in playing the game by demonstrating it for me. Ha ha ha