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