Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Decembering

 
Ok, now I can finally write a post about Christmas decorations in our household.  It actually took 2 weeks to get everything up this year.  The first weekend, I put Guinevere in her Mamaroo, turned on John Denver and the Muppets and assembled the Christmas tree.  Yes, we have a fake tree.  I grew up with real trees, and still love the smell and freshness of real trees, but I will admit that I love the ease of a fake tree.  I can just pull it out of the garage whenever I’m ready to get my decoration on.  I don’t need a strong man to help me put a tree in a stand and move it wherever I want it.  Aaron and I bought this tree the first year we were married using Target gift cards that were given to us as wedding gifts.  I like to think that buying Christmas decorations we will use year after year is exactly what people intended when they gave us those gift cards. 

Anyway, Guinevere was done by the time I got the tree assembled and finally got the lights on.  I had to re-do the lights 3 times.  The first time I got done and then realized I had them backwards (with the plug on top of the tree).  The second time, I got the lights all up on the tree, plugged them in and then realized that half of that string of lights didn’t work.  Third time, I finally got them all up, in the right direction, and they all worked – they’re not as evenly spaced as I would prefer, but oh well.  By the time I finished all that, G was super fussy, so I had to wait until the next weekend to put the ornaments on the tree.

Our tree 2012

We have a bunch of fun ornaments:
Our first joint ornament.

We are nerds.
 Aaron’s favorite part is the Han Solo “topper” (really it’s just a figurine that we have straddle the top of the tree) (funny story: I was at lunch telling some co-workers about our Han Solo Christmas tree topper and then they told me to “go tell him.”  I turned around, and there was Harrison Ford, eating lunch at the same restaurant as us!)

Yes, that is a Han Solo Xmas tree topper.
 And here's our mantle:

Our mantle 2012
 Because we got married in December, I like to use our cake topper as a Christmas decoration.  Those purple cloth napkins are also from our wedding.

Cake topper/Xmas decoration

 And of course, our newest stocking holder:
Guinevere at 2 weeks in the stocking holder - I plan on updating the picture every year.

For the first time ever, I'm jumping into the world of social blogging and participating in a link party.  I found out about this one from my friend, Danielle, who has a blog called Silver Pennies (you really should check out her blog if you like crafty home decoration stuff). 



Sunday, December 9, 2012

December Sadness

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*** note: this post is pure stream of consciousness, with little to no editing***

Facebook is such an interesting beast – it can allow you to do something as inane as finding out what your friends are eating for lunch to something as deep as reconnecting with old friends (you know, the ones who you’ve thought “I wonder what ever happened to . . .”).  And then there is the downside to facebook – finding out information you would have rather not known.  This week I found out about two deaths via facebook in almost as many days, and I have to say, I might just be taking a little facebook break as a result.

Aaron is now in Chicago for one of his best friend’s mom’s funeral.  I didn’t know her that well, but we were facebook friends and she “liked” pictures of Guinevere and seemed like a very nice person.  I will never forget the kindness she and her husband showed to us when Aaron’s dad passed.  They made us dinner one night, and it felt like an extension of Aaron’s family.  When I learned of her passing, all the old memories of that horrible time when Aaron’s dad died came flooding back.  No one wants to lose their parents, and especially not suddenly.  Guinevere and I stayed home for several reasons: a) cost, b) baby + December in Chicago = no fun.  Fortunately, my mom was able to come up and help take care of Guinevere while Aaron is away.

Last night, I was scrolling through facebook and saw a post mentioning my childhood friend, Recenah.  I thought to myself, “Oh yay!  I haven’t heard anything from her in awhile, I wonder what she’s up to.”  Then I read the post.  It was an in memorium post.  She passed away on Saturday.  I just stared at my computer screen, jaw dropped, tears welling in my eyes.  I just kept thinking, “no no no, people my age aren’t supposed to die.”  I don’t know what happened.  I don’t know if she was sick or if it was sudden or anything like that.  Recenah was one of those friends who I had always wondered about throughout the years and was so glad to find her on facebook and reconnect.

Recenah and I had been best friends growing up.  We were inseparable.  Her family lived three doors down from mine.  We spent summers sleeping over at each other’s houses.  We would play Uno literally all night long – except, neither of us knew how to shuffle.  So we would ask my dad to shuffle for us, and then after he went to bed, our version of shuffling was to just spread the cards around all over the floor and swirl them together.  We swapped clothes and hair ideas.  One summer, my parents got a new refrigerator and we played in the boxes for about a month straight.  I’ll never forget watching Indiana Jones over and over while sitting in those boxes.  Recenah introduced me to my first video games.  She had Nintendo and we played the heck out of Super Mario Bros. and laughed at the dog from Duck Hunt. 

We went to Girl Scout camp together several summers in a row.  I was there to comfort Recenah when she was kicked in the shin by a horse, and when she got completely sunburnt in Catalina.  Her family took me camping with them in their RV, which I thought was cool because my family camped in tents.  It was fun to see how the “comfortable people” did it.  (for the record, I prefer tent camping now, I just liked the novelty of RV camping).  In addition to camping, my family took her skiing with us at Mammoth.  That was such a fun trip!  My parents rented a condo and there was a Jacuzzi outside in the snow!   Recenah and I also took several trips to Disneyland together – she loved Mr. Toad, I tolerated it, but we could both agree on Haunted Mansion and Pirates.

Her family moved out to Ramona (about 45 minutes to an hour away) when we were about 12, but she kept going to the local junior high with me.  Her mom would drop her off at my house in the morning and then we’d walk to school together.  Then we’d hang out after school until her mom came to get her.  We were both in drama together and loved being “theatrical.” (i.e. putting on shows for our families and recording made up “radio shows” on my tape recorder)

We went to separate high schools – mine in Mira Mesa, and hers in Ramona.  That’s when we started to drift apart.  It wasn’t as easy to stay in touch back then.  There was no email or texting or facebook.  You had to actually pick up a phone and call someone and have a real conversation, or write a letter, or visit.  We each got busy with our own lives and eventually lost touch.  I think the last time I saw her was at some point senior year in high school.  She came down to visit along with some of her Ramona friends.

I will forever be glad that we were able to reconnect before she passed.  I got to see pictures of her son and read posts about how excited she was to be going to school again.  We had exchanged a couple messages trying to get together at some point when I was in San Diego, but we never quite made it work.

I’ve had such a heavy heart this weekend.  So much of who I am today is because of our friendship so long ago.  I am sad that we weren’t in closer contact later in life, but I’m also glad that we were in at least some contact.  Her impact on my life will never be forgotten.

Recenah, me, and our friend Ava at my 16th birthday party.

And because I am such a musical theatre nerd, I'd like to leave you all with some of the lyrics of a song that has been running through my head. 

For Good (from Wicked):
(Glinda) I've heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well, I don't know if I believe that's true
But I know I'm who I am today
Because I knew you

Like a comet pulled from orbit
As it passes a sun
Like a stream that meets a boulder
Halfway through the wood
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you
I have been changed for good

(Elphaba) It well may be
That we will never meet again
In this lifetime
So let me say before we part
So much of me
Is made of what I learned from you
You'll be with me
Like a handprint on my heart
And now whatever way our stories end
I know you have re-written mine
By being my friend...

Like a ship blown from its mooring
By a wind off the sea
Like a seed dropped by a skybird
In a distant wood
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you

(Glinda) Because I knew you

(Both) I have been changed for good

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Happy (belated) Thanksgiving



Before I get started on all my December activities, I wanted to take a moment to give thanks for all my family and talk about our Thanksgiving this year.  Thanksgiving will forever have a special place in my heart because it was a year ago Thanksgiving that I found out I was pregnant. 

I spent the majority of our travels last weekend reminiscing about how I felt a year ago and staring in wonderment at my beautiful Guinevere, who at the time was little more than a little bean in my belly and now, here she is, in the flesh, a fully living, breathing, cooing (and sometimes crying) baby.  A year ago I was trying to hide the fact that I wasn’t drinking because we weren’t even close to being ready to tell our family.  This year, I was able to have some wine with my dinner (spaced appropriately due to breast feeding, of course) and eat whatever I wanted without fear of nausea or heartburn.

We followed pretty much the same routine this year as last year.  Aaron and I spent Thanksgiving Day with his mom and aunt near Temecula.  My parents drove up to join us as well.  It’s so fun having both sets of parents be driving distance now. It was surprisingly warm for late November!  All of us were wearing shorts because it was too hot for long pants!  I brought a cute little dress for Guinevere to wear, which I cleverly did not put on her until we arrived.  And of course, she had to wear a bib all day.  My little Mount Vesuvius cannot be trusted with cute clothes.  (She usually goes through about 3-4 outfits per day due to spit up).
Guinevere on Thanksgiving Day

The next day, Guinevere and I went for a walk at Miramar Lake with my good friend, Corey and her daughter.  That night, my parents volunteered to babysit for us and Aaron and I were able to actually have a date night!  We drove through fog as thick as pea soup to the movie theatre, where we saw “Argo.”  As we walked past the crazy long lines for the new Bond movie, we both commented on how we were glad we chose to see something that’s been out for a bit instead. I am so thankful to my parents for watching Guinevere – our date night was a breath of fresh air.
At Miramar Lake

Saturday after Thanksgiving has always been my family’s traditional get together dinner.  My cousins, aunt and uncle and grandparents all came down to my parents’ house in San Diego for more turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, etc.  Everyone loved seeing Guinevere so much that I didn’t really hold her very much at all!  At one point, I looked around the table and had to ask, “Who has my baby?”  Turns out my cousin had taken her into the other room to play.  By the end of the night, all of us were really exhausted, but happy.
Saturday after Thanksgiving - her tummy time skills have vastly improved!

We had a great weekend, but it was also really nice to come home to our own house and have Guinevere in her familiar surroundings.


Ok - now I'm off to go dig out our Christmas stuff from the garage and start decorating!