Man, has it ever been a long time since I posted anything about "real life" on this here blog. Hope you all enjoyed the Christmas / New Years stuff I was dishing out, but now I have some stories I want to tell, but need to get some stuff handled first.
Birthday – Went out with some co-workers after work on the 22nd for a few drinks. It was a good time. Didn't get too drunk. Ate some mini burgers. Got home. Called Cora. Good times.
Christmas – This year, I did something a little crazy, and wrapped all of my Christmas presents BEFORE heading down stat to my parent's house. After the previous year's mess of people constantly entering the room I was wrapping in, it seemed like a wise move.
I actually headed out on the roughly 3 hour drive on the 23rd after work. I took the 24th off. (Had I known people were going to get out at 12:00…) Anyway, we are a "Christmas Eve" family for the whole present deal. So, Christmas Eve started with us visiting my niece's new house, which is my sister (her mother's) old house, to see what she'd done with it. After that, we went to my sister's new house to check it out and do this little family photo.
Back row: My SIL, Amy, my brother, Tim, me (looking grumpy, WTF?), TJ (Hayley's boyfriend and co-owner of the house but not fiancée), and my niece, Hayley.
Middle row: Jenny (Adam's girlfriend), my BIL Doug, Dad, Mom.
Front row: Nephew Adam, sister Karin, and Tim's son Max.
After snacks and checking out the new joint, we headed up the road 15 miles or so to Mom & Dad's to open presents and dinner.
Dinner was very good, with ham and Italian beef sandwiches, stuffing, and other stuff. Unless you are Max, then it was a peanut butter sandwich (Reese's peanut butter, brought specially by your parents, on Wonder Bread (brought specially by your parents), with the crusts trimmed off. <rant> Ok, he's 10.5! I know you lost the battle of wills with him a while ago, but he needs to eat real food every once-in-a-while! </rant>
After dinner, it was down to the basement to unwrap presents. Down there, I saw the gum drop snowman ornament. I lived much of my life in fear that I made this butt-ugly little creature, and that my mom kept putting it on the tree to make me feel "special." I asked her about it, and it turns out, she bought it at a craft fair when we were kids. (*whew*)
Christmas day is always a little low key. With the gift giving done, everyone enjoys a good sleep, and then off to my sister's house for lunch / dinner. Besides watching sports on TV, one of the big traditions is putting together a jigsaw puzzle. Karin had a nice one with hand drawn wine bottles and cork screws.
The day after Christmas, while his wife Amy and her mom went out shopping, Tim and Max came to Mom & Dad's for the day / night. Max played his new "Bop-It" game, and put together one of the Lego sets that I gave him.
But, the next day was Sunday, and time to trek home, and time to start getting ready for Cora's visit for New Year's!
Oh, and here's a real picture of the fam.