So I had these big plans to write a bunch of posts over the holidays, since I was taking a vacation and would have time.
But then I decided to take a vacation and not do anything. At all. No writing, no pictures, no checking work e-mail, no nothing.
And it was great! I actually got yelled at a little bit by The Human Male and Mamala for not writing-- something about not knowing what I was doing since I didn't write about it, even though I was with them the whole time. Eh, I can take it.
We had a WONDERFUL time in the Motherland-- I can't believe how quickly eleven days can go! We got back late last night. Now it's time to unpack, recap, and enjoy the close-out of 2009.
Here's the brief rundown of some of the highlights:
1. The Alice and Izzy Love Connection. Alice and Izzy had a ton of fun together. I think my dad summed it up nicely when he said they're exactly alike, but Alice is smarter. Alice did spend some time trying to dominate all of the dogs (we think, much to our chagrin, that while she tolerates/plays with others, she should probably be an only-dog), but she and Izzy were like a semi-dysfunctional peas and carrots. They have a common bond: love of toys. Izzy walks around all the time with a toy in her mouth, so Alice would grab another one, run up the stairs (sometimes to the middle step, sometimes to the second floor), drop her toy, and walk back down past Izzy. Izzy MUST have everyone else's toys, so she'd drop hers and go after the one that Alice left. Alice would then pick up the one Izzy left while her back was turned and repeated the pattern. It was very funny to watch.
2. Pedro got Moneypants. My brother Pedro only wanted money for Christmas. So my mom made it interesting. She took a couple of layers of Press'n Seal paper, put the money inside of the layers, and then stitched the paper into TV pants. It was hilarious.
3. Hidden presents are really fun. All of the presents came hidden in other objects this year. My present was placed in a book with cut-out pages, and The Human Male got his buried in a canister of popcorn. Not realizing the popcorn wasn't his gift, the rest of the family had to eat popcorn until the present surfaced so he could find it. It was so precious-- The Human Male was so excited just about the popcorn, it made me cry.
4. Yaktrax attack! I've heard from multiple sources that Yaktrax are the only way to go outside during the winter and not fall over. So we went on a hunt for them and got pairs for practically the whole family. The Human Male and I took them for a run on Christmas along an icy/snowy/hilly path and they rocked-- not even a little slip. If they can handle Midwestern ice and snow, they can handle anything. I definitely recommend getting a pair!
5. We had satellite radio. The car The Human Male and I rented (a Kia Sportage, which rivaled the awesomeness of the beloved Subaru Forester we rented last year) came with satellite radio. It was great. We really only listened to about six stations the whole time we had it, but it was so cool. I heard some good new music and a ton of great old music. We brought the car back this morning and I already miss it. I think satellite radio might be a necessity for when I get a new car...
6. And the big'un... My sister C-Bond got engaged! The short version is that they've been together for three years, decided that they wouldn't get married until the youngest of their kids graduated high school (about seven years from now), and then decided to go for it. Jay-V is the nicest guy, a wonderful father, and has incredible taste in jewelry. C-Bond has a new career blinding people with her humongous diamond. My parents are so happy to have an awesome future son-in-law and more grandkids, my niece Mini-C is over the moon (the two of us decided to plan a Vegas wedding for them and she got so into it-- it was so cute), and I'm very excited to quadruple my number of nieces and nephews. Jay-V and his posse are a great additions to our family.
7. Too "you can't make this stuff up" not to laugh. Yes, The Human Male did drive for two days through a blizzard to spend 10 days with his very anxious-to-get-on-with-it girlfriend and her family in darkest Michigan, far away from anyone and anything he knows, only to find out 30 seconds after he got there that his girlfriend's sister and boyfriend who'd decided to wait to get married (and have been together for slightly less time) were getting engaged with a blowout ring. I can't believe he survived the whole trip.
I'm pretty sure good holiday Karma followed us back: our car rental ended up being $110 less than they originally told us, and I just checked my work e-mail and it's completely manageable and disaster-free. Alice is happily snuggled in the green blanket next to The Human Male, and we have a bottle of champagne chilling in the fridge. I'm beginning to think that 2010's going to be a great year...
Best wishes for a happy New Year to you all!