Saturday, January 3, 2009

50 Holiday Highlights

As they always do, the holidays sprinted by, leaving a blur of rushed yet wonderful memories. We headed home to Sacramento for nine days, spending time with two sets of parents and getting a chance to see quite a few friends. The highlights of the season included:
  1. Spending a whopping 10 minutes picking out our Christmas tree at Home Depot.
  2. Zach and Allie secretly dressing Zach up in Allie's Santa dress and furry white boots. Me doing a double-take when Zach came prancing into the kitchen in his sister's get-up.
  3. Getting an early start with Brett's mom visiting the first week of December.
  4. Taking Zach and Allie to see a really creepy Santa Claus whom I never heard speak. Trying to get an apprehensive Zach and Allie to smile for a picture with said Santa Claus.
  5. Brett and I getting a date night -- even if it was the office holiday party. But it was at Cardinals stadium with a private tour. Kinda cool.
  6. Driving up to a snowy Williams with cousins Cory, Amy, Hanna and Hailey for a ride on the Polar Express.
  7. Wondering if Brett really needed to pack a shovel.
  8. Watching Cory speed up on the highway so he could win the "when will we see snow first" contest.
  9. Me and Amy commiserating about that male Dawson competitiveness.
  10. Photographing snowball fights and hats and gloves and so many things we're not used to in Phoenix.
  11. Freezing, I mean really freezing, in the cold and wind waiting for the late train.
  12. Watching Allie and Hailey hand-in-hand everywhere they went.
  13. Waking up to a thick blanket of snow.
  14. Thinking Brett was smart for packing that shovel.
  15. Deciding I never want to live in a snowy climate.
  16. Shopping, wrapping, shipping, carding, baking at what felt like the last minute.
  17. Taking Allie to see her first Nutcracker performance after almost taking her last year but deciding she needed one more year of maturity.
  18. Actually having one of those Mom fantasies play out exactly as I had envisioned with Allie LOVING it -- sitting contently on my lap, watching the dancers, waving her arms in the air and then asking when she gets to learn to dance like a ballerina.
  19. Opening OUR gifts to one another three days before Christmas.
  20. Getting a new bike from Brett -- yay!
  21. Wondering if I really would prefer more of a street bike. Not being able to decide whether to keep the bike or exchange it for a different type.
  22. Blake grinning from ear to ear at the sight of his new Ipod.
  23. Nick gleeful about his electric scooter.
  24. Zach spending hours with his Crash 'em Up race track.
  25. Allie in heaven with her princess vanity.
  26. Brett excited about his Lakers vs. Suns tickets.
  27. Santa paying a surprise early evening visit while Brett took the kids to look at Christmas lights ;)
  28. Heading to the airport to fly to Sacramento on the morning of Dec. 24.
  29. Me forgetting to pack my hair dryer, jewelry and contact lens solution. Ugh!
  30. Getting to the airport and seeing that our plane is delayed by 3 hrs. Southwest Phoenix to Sacramento. Really?? Flying in from Cleveland in a snowstorm. Really.
  31. Keeping the kids occupied at the airport by taking walks, getting snacks, letting them play my Iphone, buying them stuffed animals, coloring, eating lunch. Now that I think about it, I think they did better than I did.
  32. Landing in Sacramento and waiting FOREVER for our baggage. I think it must have been about 45 minutes.
  33. Finally getting on the road and moving like snails in the evening traffic. Arriving, finally, to Brett's parent's house for Christmas Eve.
  34. Going out to my parent's house for Christmas Day.
  35. Driving by our old house and visiting our friends the Opfers in Elk Grove. Watching Brett score an amazing 247 on Wii bowling -- a score we're all dutifully trying to beat at every chance possible.
  36. Seeing a bunch of friends at a get-together generously hosted by my in-laws.
  37. Deciding not to argue with Allie about what she's to wear at said party. Tinkerbell costume it is. Choose your battles, I keep telling myself.
  38. Watching Tinkerbell and Ella, my friend Sandy's daughter, become fast friends.
  39. Staying up late, drinking wine and playing LOTS of cards throughout the week.
  40. Being reminded of how darn competitive my husband gets ... even at card games.
  41. Meeting our friends the Sotos for pizza. Learning from 15-year-old Celena that even if you get an awesome pair of Ugg boots for Christmas -- like she did -- you can't wear them the first day back to school. You have to wait until the second day. Not like the 80s when we all wore our new Jordache jeans the first day back.
  42. Seeing Juliet for lunch at a great place in Curtis Park called Crepeville. Juliet's always the go-to for great eateries.
  43. Going with Brett to see the movie Slumdog Millionaire at Tower Theater, a Sacramento relic. The theater opened in the 30s and still has its original charm.
  44. Going with the whole family to see Marley and Me. Trying to keep an antsy Zach satisfied with first popcorn, then candy, then a drink in the crowded theater where we sat in the 5th row back.
  45. Enjoying the movie much more than I thought I would and being reminded that writing about your everyday life is a great gift to your children.
  46. Watching The Dark Knight on New Year's Eve and letting Blake and Nick stay up until midnight.
  47. Wearing New Year's party hats -- the boys looked so cute -- and blowing noise makers at the stroke of midnight.
  48. Going to bed at 12:05.
  49. Waking up to kids blowing noisemakers. Hiding then destroying all noisemakers.
  50. Coming safely home and spending two days taking down Christmas, getting the house in order and savoring the last few hours of a lazy weekend.

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