Friday, January 2, 2009

Santa Claus Came to Town

Heavens! After all the agonies of travel this year, it seems that my holiday season is over for another year. This year was most definitely a success, though, aside from the horrifying hours/days spent at the airport.

"Dude, Mr. Turtle was my father . . ."

On Thursday the 18th, before all the attempts at travel had begun, our little home had what we affectionately called a "Roommate Christmas Celebration!" The three of us went out in our backyard and had a good time playing around in the snow that was still no good for trying to build a snowman. We ended up building a sea turtle, basically because only a minor hump in the snow was the best we could do. We then ate some goodies (a meal of appetizers, really) and exchanged presents. Esther got double because Becky and I gave her birthday presents, as well, and if Esther wasn't into baking before her birthday and Christmas, she better be one now, with all the kitchen-related items she got. My literary tastes reigned supreme that evening in terms of presents, for I received a gift card to Barnes and Noble (so that i will "stop reading the same book over and over again") and a German triple combo. Hooray for books!

Our little stockings

The next evening, we braved the snowy conditions and headed up to Salt Lake for Esther's official birthday celebration, where we went out to dinner with her sister and and bro-in-law, walked around Trolley Square a bit, then headed to an improv comedy show that was side splitting! Good times to be had all around, especially when Annie rejoiced over seeing "A PLOW!" going down the street outside of Chili's.

Outside of Trolley Square

The next few days, I have already made you read about, so I'll skip ahead to finally making it to Oregon. Hooray! About an hour after I arrived at the old homestead, Tom and Lisa and family showed up, basically with their entire house because there was no leaving the house once we were all finally together. Jack still loves to run around like a maniac, and he gabbers on almost-endlessly, and hopefully we'll understand what language he's speaking eventually. He does say quite a few words that we understand, but it was entertaining watching everyone listen to him and reply "Oh, yeah?" and "Okay", etc., as if they knew what he was saying. And Lucy's just a tank! And I thought Jack was a fat baby. Well, okay, he still was, but I was absolutely amazed at how big Lucy is, at four months. What a whopper!

Ah, home!

We had a very nice Christmas Eve dinner all together and did our normal Luke 2 reading before we all went to sleep that evening. Honestly, it was a miracle that I lasted that long. At about 4 or 5 that afternoon, my body just decided to stop functioning normally. I was on auto-pilot the rest of the night, and by about 9:30, I could no longer force my eyes to stay open! I think it's the first time in my life that I have had no trouble getting to sleep on Christmas Eve! Mom and Dad, er. . . . I mean, Santa had no worries at all about me getting up in the middle of the night and catching him filling up my stocking. (Although, i think he took it personally that we forgot to leave him cookies and milk, because i'm not sure what it says about me that he left a stick of deodorant in my stocking.)

Christmas morning at the Jensen's

Christmas morning was fun, simply to watch Jack decide he was done opening presents after his first gift was unwrapped and he started playing with it. Tom and Lisa had to give him a little help in opening the rest. I'm not sure Christmas is ever the same from year to year, what with families coming and going (and growing!), but it is nice that some things never change, like Tom's face when someone tries to take a picture of him (although you might say his expression changes all the time . . . at least he's consistent in his refusal to take a normal picture). The Tom Kelly family came up from Salem and spent the afternoon/early evening with us, so I was glad to see them. We ate and talked and played "Generations" (again . . . we jensens played it the day before), so it was a really nice family day.

Doing what we do best: TV and music.

The snow/icy conditions in Oregon finally gave way to some warmer temperatures, and by Saturday, all the roads, even the neighborhood streets, were passable. Thank heaven! Because I was so delayed in getting home, I prayed for some extra holiday cheer from my boss to let me skip out on work the following week. And luckily for me, he was generous! Woohoo! So I got to extend my time at home, which was really nice. It was mainly a lot of relaxing (and then getting sick and getting healthy again . . . thank you, my body), but I had a good time. I got to see Tom and Lisa's new house and spend some more time holding Lucy and watching Jack race himself. Got to spend some time with the folks, and they're just awesome.

Jack "talks" to Craig: "It's a bee-bee!"

I also got to see Melissa and Kate while I was home, which made me happy! Melissa and I went shopping together on Saturday (when i realized that my staying longer meant i needed to get some clothes that were sunday-appropriate . . . oops!), and Melissa is one of the few people who can appreciate the change I have gone through in regards to my attitudes on shopping. I don't think I make people miserable anymore! Hooray! We also ate dinner and watched a movie (and chatted a lot in the middle of all this). I saw Kate on Wednesday, also at a mall (i didn't buy anything that time, though), and we walked around and caught up on our lives, which was fun. Out of all the friends I had in high school, I'm glad I've kept in touch with those two. Not excessively well at times, but I love seeing them.

Hooray for friends!

I flew back to Salt Lake yesterday and had dinner with Floyd and Tammy, who are just incredibly awesome, I have decided. Then back down to Provo once more. It was a relief to get out of the car and be done with the traveling bit. I was glad to see everyone, but it was nice to know I was done for a little while. And Esther was home when I arrived, so we caught up on our respective holidays and families while cleaning up after ourselves (i had left quite a mess behind me after all my whirlwind comings-and-goings before i finally made it up north) so that we could, in fact, make it to our beds.


"I once wanted to become an atheist, but I gave up; they have no holidays." -Henny Youngman

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