Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Merry Christmas (really late!)

Well, I hope everyone had a great Christmas. I went home for Christmas and was without Internet for the majority of the time. I definitely felt withdrawals (mostly whenever I thought of searching for information online or checking email. How can people live without the Internet!).

So anyway, here are the highlights of my trip.

For fun my mother-in-law invited me and my mom to make our own jewelry. She had gotten into it recently and had all the supplies: beads, fishing line (to make the jewelry on), a beading board (this is a must-have. It allows you to lay out how you want the beads so you know you like it before you put it on the wire), bead glue, and crimping pliers. We had a lot of fun making necklaces and bracelets. I think by the end of the trip I’d made around 10 necklaces. Some for me and some for others (Susan wanted to make some for co-workers and friends. I was having fun, so I made some for her. I also made a necklace for my mom). We decided to have it be a tradition when I come to visit.

On the 22nd we had a family gathering at my Mom’s house. My step-siblings were there (except for one). We each had one other person/couple to buy for. Aaron and I had Amanda and her husband, Bryant (who was a no-show for unknown reasons). We got them a nice microfiber blanket and two nice pillows. In turn, Jennis and her husband, Justin, got a basket with goodies including a Phase 10 game, deck of cards, electronic 20 questions, soda, popcorn, and more. Justin was not there; he was out fixing electrical poles that had gone down in a recent wind storm, which was very similar to a hurricane and had caused over a million people to lose power. I felt sorry for him; I guess he’d been working pretty much 18 hours a day, and sometimes more. I got my mom some slippers and lotion from Bath and Body Works and some chocolates for Roy (Mom doesn’t eat chocolate, so he doesn’t get it much).

All in all, it was a good evening. Mom prepared a nice dinner and I got to meet two nieces and a nephew that I’d never met. (Pictures soon, hopefully.)

My nieces Kayla and Natalie came with their dad to visit while we were home. They spent a lot of their time away with other relatives. On Christmas Eve, we opened presents while they were away. They wouldn’t get to open their presents till they got home a week later and although they would other presents from relatives, Susan didn’t want them to feel real left out.

Susan gave me a photo box, keepsake box, wallet, a necklace (made with the beads), and a butterfly pin. Aunt Tammy gave me a bead bracelet that she’d made (which was very cute). And Aaron got me a heart pendant with diamonds (picture to come). It was quite a nice Christmas and I was proud of Aaron for getting me something without prompting (even if I did give him a list of possible gift ideas). I was even more proud when he thought of a creative way to give it to me. He wrapped (rather badly, but cutely) a box and inside put a card saying the gift wasn’t there, but to look in the desk of our bedroom. Then there was another card leading me to under the dining table, which led me to the couch and then to the master bedroom where my gift was sitting on the bed. Plus on each card he had written a compliment (like about how smart or pretty I was). It was creative, very cute, and very sweet.

The day after Christmas I made a killing at the After Christmas sales. I got these tall black boots at JC Penney that were regularly $130 for $30. They’re really gorgeous! Also some sweaters at Old Navy for $15 each (as well as some knee-length shorts for $12). I also got a pair of Tink pajamas at the Disney Store for only $15, which I love! So I had a good day.

On the Thursday after Christmas, Aaron and I went down to Vancouver to attend the wedding of his cousin Jason, which was on Friday. When we got there we realized we had a flat tire (my first one).

On Friday, my brother-in-law came and changed the tire to the spare (which is a full-sized tire). This enabled us to be able to drive down to the ceremony in Portland. We decided to go to the sealing only and then head down to my grandmother’s in Salem rather than go back to Vancouver for the reception and then down to Salem. Before heading to Salem, though, we went to Les Schwab, where the tire was purchased, and got a replacement tire. Lucky for us, the tire had a road hazard warranty on it, so it was replaced for free! Yay! We got some Subway for dinner and then headed to Salem.

The visit with my grandmother was very nice!! I think she’s the best grandma, and I have fun seeing her. She was so accommodating while we were there, and she has a very nice house with a great guest room. So we visited with her on Friday night and then on Saturday morning we went out for breakfast, which was fun. We left soon after we got home since we had a 3-hour drive to my mom’s.

On Sunday we packed up, went to church, and then went straight from there to the airport. Boy were we happy to get home! It was a great trip, but I am always ready to once again be in my own bed.

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