Happy Advent to all! Father Dick would totally hate me.... we put up our Christmas decorations on Saturday. I couldn't help it. I am SO excited for the holidays this year... I was super excited for Thanksgiving, and now I am so glad that Advent has begun and then the real Christmas season just beyond that. This holiday season is going to be SO much better than last year.
Our extended weekend has been delightful! Thanksgiving this year was with my side of the family, at my mom's house, with all of us and my brother-in-law's parents. I made the cranberries, a green bean casserole, and a peach pie with frozen peaches I had from this summer's Farmers Markets. The pie turned out pretty cute--I used some mini cookie cutters that I got from Anne for our wedding to make the top crust, and even though when Martin and I laid it on we got it a little off-center, it still looked pretty cute! The day was very fun and included a few rousing rounds of BOGGLE, my new favorite game. It's sooooo much fun. I'm really bad at it (I think I've every time come in second-to-last place... with the last place going to my six year old nephew, Christopher) but it's so addicting and fun! The day after Thanksgiving we went back up to my parents for a leftovers dinner, which was maybe even more fun because we just kind of all hung around.... and played more Boggle. The only downside of the weekend is that it's gotten Anja totally freaked out and not wanting to sleep--EVER. If we thought we had a rotten sleeper before, HA! If we'd only known it could get worse! Hopefully this next week she'll get back on track. Until then, we're just trying to roll with it.
On Saturday we got an early start on our day, which included getting our plethora of Christmas decorations out of the closet. Luckily I was somewhat organized in putting them away last year--one box of stuff we didn't use, one box of stuff we did use. We invited TusaRebecca over for some hot chocolate and decorating fun, and our house now looks SO COZY. Another little detail that is already WAY better than last year. Last year I threw up the Christmas decorations in a hurry and we didn't even get a tree. We didn't even bother decorating one of our fifteen hundred fake trees. This year we drove out past Linden to that tree farm and got a tree from them! It wasn't a cut-it-yourself place like we thought it was--you went out into the tree fields and picked out your tree, then the boys came with their chain saw and cut it down for you--but we did get to pick our own tree, watch it be cut, and then ride back with them on their big tractor wagon! Our tree is four feet tall and it sits on our table right at our window. We had our friend Joel come over and we made more hot chocolate and sat around in our glowing living room drinking hot chocolate and chatting. It was a nice time.
And then what better way to bring in Advent but with the year's first snowfall??? And it was the perfect morning too--not too cold, and windless. We walked to 9:30 mass and it was just perfect. On the way we gave Anja a taste of snow from some bushes. We didn't get a lot of snow, only maybe an inch or so, but it was enough to coat the branches and all of Main Street, and Main Street looks so wonderful in a fresh snow, on the first Sunday of Advent!!
Unfortunately, it now looks like on top of the craziness of the holiday weekend throwing her off, Anja is getting a cold. What a bummer. Luckily she hardly ever gets colds, and when she does they are pretty nothing. She's only had one reeaaalllyyy bad cold, and that was when she was tiny and we were freaked out by her anyway, so it seemed extra bad.
And a quick shout-out to our friend Father Alex who married us, baptized Anja and evidently now reads my blog! Hello!!
That's it. Tomorrow starts a new week and Martin's new job. I am hoping for a calm, quiet week in the house for us. It would be welcomed after all this holiday fun. It's kind of sad though--up until just recently all our friends still came back to Lafayette for Thanksgiving. Now they just will come back for Christmas because hardly anyone is in school anymore--we're all living real lives with real jobs and real families of our own and it's harder to justify getting away for a four-day weekend. Not like in college when they hand you a few free days and tell you to go home. *sigh* I'm finding it hard to grasp the reality that Perkins is a citizen of New Jersey and that Joannie is a citizen of Tennessee. That's where they vote now. That's where all their mail goes. That's the address on their drivers license. So weird!!!
Alright, I'd better go do a little bit of quick tidying up before bed so I can start the week off with a clean house. That always seems to make Mondays easier!