I will admit to being a horrible blogger and having neglected you poor reader(s?) in the past month or so. It really has been a huge case of the holidaze… where time goes by much too quickly and your brain is scrambling to keep up with everything going on. I did manage to get through it all, and can start to focus on relating some of it to you who actually care to know how this somewhat crazy 22 year old celebrated this winter.
I believe in my last post I put a teeny blurb about my Christmas tree and how I represented loved ones and was really excited it was a real, living tree that could grow with my family. You know, the kind of mushy stuff that makes people wanna hurl (unless they are hopeless romantics like me and find it freaking adorable). Said tree was knocked down shortly before New Years, which resulted in us taking down our Christmas stuff so kitties do not destroy things anymore.
On my final day of work I was taken to breakfast by my now ex-boss. I was really sad to leave that job but my internship was over and they couldn’t keep me. My coworkers seemed to find it unfortunate that I left, but we enjoyed our breakfast and last day. We did some gift exchanging and my boss surprised me with a $25 iTunes gift card! He was always a very generous and kind man. During work I had a meeting with him to discuss my future recommendations from him and despite some of it being hard to hear (unfortunately I have been sick a lot lately due to mold in my house I cannot get rid of in places I am not technically responsible for. example: my ceiling!), he was generally very kind and gentle and gives a good recommendation. I also received a book called “What Color is Your Parachute?,” which is a guide for job-hunting, job-getting and realizing life-goals and is updated annually. I will definitely miss him.
So. On Christmas Eve eve (yes, I meant to say “eve” twice) my husband and I packed our stuff for the looong weekend, set up our cats and cat-sitter for said weekend, and went up to start the festivities. We started by meeting up with his parents, who were nice and took us not only to dinner but to the local Zoo Lights. It was cold and icy (oddly less so at the zoo, which is on top of a hill) but the lights were pretty. There were all sorts of animals, real and imagined, extinct and extant, represented in the show. All of the real animals had gone beddy-bye and we weren’t really allowed to see them. I am thinking it is because the high-traffic of such an event might disturb them.
We got to ride the train, which was fun, and see the other lights. I think some of my favourites were on the train ride. Like this adorable penguin. And despite the initial cold of sitting on the metal seats of the train, it was a fairly comfortable ride. I would say worth it for the pretty lights and fun. We went after the huge crowd, though, and the line was still really long. We were the second to the last train run, then we decided to take a peek at the lights we missed when walking around before zoo lights closed and we had to leave. The goats (or were they sheep?) stared at us while we were nearby, kind of a “What the heck are you doing here at this mad hour?” look on their faces. Then we were followed along the fence. I think the poor creature wanted a handout and some attention, but the attraction was technically closed, they were just not kicking us out immediately since there was another train ride full of people going through that the staff was waiting for anyway.
I did see a lighted elephant, but that was not a real elephant. I did speculate whether or not they lighted the real animals at the zoo for the fun of it, and thought the elephants a great candidate for that, but alas. That was not done. Maybe I can suggest it for another year, despite how it will likely not be done.
After zoo lights we did a gift exchange with his family. We were given many useful and wonderful presents, and were pleased that our gifts were well liked. I personally preferred the giving to the receiving, but that is my personality flaw.
After that we raced up to my parent’s house to do a gift exchange THERE before falling asleep and getting up at o’dark-thirty to pack the stuff into cars and leave. Okay, I shouldn’t complain since instead of getting up at 5:30 we got up at 6:30… but it was still very dark. And cold and windy and icy where my parents and family happen to live. We enjoyed giving and getting presents there, too. Again my fun was more in the giving. After that we chittered for a little while then went to bed. Up and early we packed the car and drove for over five hours to get to this place:
So we arrived here at 2:30pm, after leaving at 8am. Yes, a 6.5 hour drive with all the fun that accompanies a long car ride. My sister and her beau rode in my car and slept most of the time. The drive was relatively not eventful, excepting a few short-stops and sudden moves and thinking we were lost at one point. I love my mother, but caravaning with her is slightly terrifying. I almost hit her once and was almost hit about five other times… but that isn’t necessarily her fault. Traffic and dumb drivers contributed. Like the big, heavy truck that decided to edge past us on a small mountain highway while we were stuck in the middle trying to turn. GEH!
Anywho, we made it in one piece. My car had snow tires and had little trouble with the snow. My sister Ellay’s beau’s car got stuck a few times trying to get in and out. Poor car! So there was all the snow above pictured when we arrived and we poked about. (For floorplans and other info, click here. We had the room “King with sink”… why was there a sink? Really? And we were right next to the bathroom?) There was the main lodge, a guest house attached by a covered walkway, a large yard, and a hot tub. The hot tub seemed really out of place with all the snow, which this place has about 1/2 the year, but there are times without snow and it actually was a lot of fun to sit in it in the evening, which I did two separate nights: one night with my parents and the other “adults” in our branch of the family, and the other with my sisters and their beaus (minus one couple watching movies with my uncle). Both were lots of fun.
Might I state right now that four days in the snow in a small lodge after not seeing them for the past three years is a tad much? I love my family, don’t get me wrong, but values change as people grow and change. Especially since last time I saw them I was considered a “tweeny” and now I am considered an “adult” in this group. The humour is different than I was used to, and a few guests rubbed each other the wrong way. When irritated there were two of us that kept cleaning to get un-irritated. It happens, especially if you don’t know each other too well. Even if you do! I know I got irritated by my own husband at one point for a standard reason of safety he hadn’t thought of when creating a sledding ramp, and we spend all the time together!
Anywho, day one was mostly people either acquainting or re-acquainting with others and getting settled in. It was a lot of fun to see the newest family members and how other family members had been doing. And being “Santa’s helper”… that was a lot of fun.I didn’t get to take the quiet time I wanted to that night to commemorate my grandmother, who passed Christmas Eve at 6pm two years ago… but that comes with so much going on.
Day two was Christmas Day (yes, we drove all that way Christmas Eve). We had a great breakfast and dinner (there was a small lunch, I think). Kids enjoyed “waking” my husband and I up that morning. My brother and cousin did it by jumping on the king bed my husband and I shared, and then my sister came up and opened the door about ten minutes later and poked her head in to tell us it was time to come downstairs and people were waiting on us. (For the record, my hubby and I were far from the last ones to join the group.) My aunt was kind enough to give my hubby and myself a matching pair of Christmas mugs and a lot of candy (we didn’t need, but that is Christmas for you). The kids were excited to get presents and see that Santa had been there. We played an assortment of games including Scribblish, Zombie Dice, and Loaded Questions. There were other games, but I don’t remember them all. I remember being with my mom and aunt helping with the cooking and enjoying the warm circle these patient, wonderful, saintly women. They put up with a lot.
The next two days were packed with spending time with family, seeing the town of Leavenworth nearby, and doing all sorts of familial things. Like opening an 11-year old time capsule. We were all laughing by what our 11-year-younger selves had written and decided to do another ten years. Most of the significant others did, too, excepting one. He was concerned because life has its twists and turns and he didn’t know if he would BE there ten years down the road and didn’t want to cause undue sadness or stress later just in case he wasn’t there. Kind of cute, but kind of pessimistic.
We went the seven hours back, driving through mostly good conditions till that last pass through the mountains, in which people started spinning out and we had to put on chains for four minutes and then just take them back off again. A relatively short snow storm, but they decided to be safe rather than sorry, which I applaud. I had freaking studded snow tires on my car.
After that we made the 45 minute trip to my husband’s family’s house, and then we spent some time there and subsequently drove the additional 1.5 hours home. We were TIRED after all that.
New Years Eve day I worked setting up a wedding. It is an on-call type of job and doesn’t really get much business for me, but hey, it is money. (Especially important now that I am unemployed.) That evening we had a fun at a friend and neighbor’s 80s themed party. We dressed up and spent time enjoying beverages, food, and dancing to a silly-fun Wii game called “Just Dance 2.” I had to wear five different shades of lip gloss to get my lips in the color of the image below.
Yup. Heavy bright blush, dark-bright eyeshadow, and bright lips. It reminds me of a child getting into mommy’s makeup box and painting her face. At least that is what most of the well-known 80s makeup made me think of. I had that feeling again of doing that as a child… then I remembered that my mother never wore or owned such garish makeup. And in the 80s I am sure the crowd she ran with was a bit more earthy and didn’t wear the “high fashion” of the day. But then you get into the debate of what the 80s fashion really consisted of, different styles, and when those started or ended and why we call them the 80s. A conversation I am not really going into.
Since then I have been working on cleaning my house and rearranging. This past half-year or so has been chock-full of changes. I have graduated College, planned my own wedding, gotten married, gotten really sick (as in because of how sick I had been boss almost fired me! Meep!!), had attended the birth of my nephew, enjoyed the company of my family, gained other family members, lost a few people I had known, had a whirlwind holidaze…. and now start a new year unemployed and trying to deal with many many issues.
Hopefully this year will bring me more answers than questions, and will turn out right, as it is apt to do with optimism. And despite some lapses, optimism I do have! Fate willing things will turn out amazingly and there will be fewer hardships this year.
I hope you, dear reader, have enjoyed your holidays, and that they were not as much of a “holidaze” as “holidays.” I pray you enjoyed yourself, no matter what holidays you celebrate, if at all. And I wish you many blessings for the coming year and promise to update a little more often.
Happy New Year! (Belated…)