So there's been a lot of celebrating over here with the biggest holiday season upon us. First, there was Bill's company Christmas Party. Unlike other people who may dread these parties, we absolutely love and look forward to the company party every year. Bill works with a great group of people and it makes the night even more fun. We've been to three Christmas parties for the company and every year it gets bigger and better. The food is delicious, the open bar is fantastic (and I would never want to see that bill!) and there are always tears of gratitude from many people during speeches and award ceremonies.
The boys were at home with a sitter and Bill's boss/co-worker's two kids. They had a pizza pajama party and enjoyed every minute. While we ate, drank and mingled, they jumped off couches and ran around the house screaming to their delight. We got a ride home from the limo/party bus service the Company provided so everyone could get home safely.
Then there was Logan's preschool Christmas program. As I mentioned, he was the kid in the class who didn't want to sing. Granted, he wasn't the biggest Grinch in the class, one of his other classmates had his arms crossed with a very angry scowl on his face. But, nevertheless, Logan looked like he was too cool for school. He must get it from his Father. During the "Jingle Bells" song, Logan's friend turns to him and tells him to sing. To which Logan Logan shakes his head and adamantly says "NO". It's hilarious.
After that, we had our Annual MOMS Club Holiday Potluck. It started out as a rough night. Bill had been out of town for the week on business and just as I was unloading the groceries from the car, the LDS missionaries came up the driveway and tried convincing me to come back to church for 15 minutes (again). Not wanting to be a jerk to them, I nicely told them why I wasn't only to get blank stares of disbelief and empty apologies. This whole event caused me to be late in getting dinner ready, which caused me to be late to the party. I was the only one who had the keys to get in. So getting there, by myself with the kids, was a complete nightmare. But, once we did, it was the best party our chapter has had yet. We had a White Elephant Exchange, a large potluck and lots of laughs and conversation. There were 25 families, about 100 people including kids and husbands and a lot of fun.
That night Bill came home from his business trip to New York. He came back with a ton of pictures to share (from the new camera we bought because I need one here at home for restaurant reviews while he's gone), presents for the boys and a Christmas present for me. A huge diamond necklace that made my jaw drop. I've wanted a necklace for a while and it just wasn't possible in the past. Bill has been doing very well at work this year so we've been by the jewelry store a few times to look. While in New York, he did some negotiating in the Diamond District and came home with a necklace that I never expected to have. I LOVE IT! And I'm thankful he couldn't wait to give it to me so I could start wearing it early.
Next, we took the kids to see Santa downtown (there are two in town - one in the mall and one downtown. The downtown Santa is more authentic and better). Logan was so excited, Carter, not so much. While we waited for our turn, Logan kept dancing around, poking his head through the curtain (it's in a cute wooden cabin) and asking when we would be able to sit on Santa's lap. Finally it was our turn, and this guy was a pro. He knew right away that Carter wasn't going for it, just by the look on his face. He had instructions for me - how to sit with Carter and where while Logan sat on the other side listing his Christmas wants - dinosaurs, race cars, flutes and guitars. It was a well organized process (almost too organized, but I guess you have to be when dealing with thousands of kids every day) and we got the excited squeals of an almost 4 year old in return.
A few days later I got an email from Bill saying that we should go look for a new car that night. We have been a one-car-family for years, even before kids. It's worked for us and our trusty Outback has been a great car with minimal problems. With Bill traveling and our family growing, it has been more of a necessity to have a second car. We had been discussing buying another in the spring. But, we only had a few payments left on our old car and were ready to get another now.
We went and test drove a Nissan that we didn't like and decided that we are a Subaru family through and through. We drove straight to another dealership, found a car that we love and bought it the next day. I LOVE IT! It snowed quite a bit the day after we got the new Subaru and it did great - smooth, easy to control, no sliding and very warm (seat warmers!). Bill is now driving the old Outback and the kids and I get to take the new one. So, I guess I got a new car for Christmas too!
Then - Christmas Eve. Wow. First we woke up and hung out for a while, drinking coffee and making Christmas Tree Cookies. After Carter woke up from his nap, we all went sledding. This was the first time Logan had ever been and he was thrilled - and fearless. Both he and Bill went down the hill many times with Logan having the biggest smile on his face. He would tuck himself into a little ball every time he would go down, increasing his speed and flying off the small ramp that someone had build on the hill. Carter was not a fan of being out in the cold, despite being bundled up in a snow suit. He was too small to go down the fast hill, so I would pull him around the flat parts of the park, with him crying most of the time. I eventually got him back in the car, warm and listening to Christmas music while Logan and Bill went dare devil sledding.
We came back to eat dinner - a beef tenderloin that was good (but a bit too rare for our liking). It was hard to get the kids to eat because they were so excited to open presents. After much prodding, we finally gave in and let them go at it. There was wrapping paper everywhere as Logan searched under the tree for presents with his name on them. Carter mostly wanted to play with bows and the presents that Logan opened. They had an absolute blast this year and we all made out like bandits.
Christmas morning has been spent lounging around in our pajamas, eating sausage-hash brown casserole, watching Christmas movies and playing with toys. It's been a great year and the best Christmas EVER!