And That, Folks, Is a Holiday Wrap


What day is it?

Are the holidays over yet?

Is this real life? (That’s a “David After Dentist” reference, right thar).

I feel like I’ve just come down from a seven day high.

We’ve been busy. Probably not as busy as most of you all, but for us, we’ve been busy. (Which is not really saying a whole lot given the fact that we’re homebodies and rarely step out of our house so you know, even going to the mailbox is a BIG DEAL in my house).

The boys have either had cousins staying the night, or they’ve been over at their cousins’ houses, or we’ve been having belated holiday parties or playing games with sisters (in-law).

Where do I even begin.

Wednesday, I picked the boys up from their cousins’ house early so we could rush home and they could get cleaned up before we were due to arrive at my parent’s house at 1:00. Though technically, my (ex) brother-in-law could have brought them over, I just couldn’t accept that.

Unwashed teenage boys are gross. Let’s be honest.

So, we came home, they got cleaned up and we went over to my folks.

(Sorry for the blurriness – I didn’t realize I had the camera on the wrong F-stop – Grr. More on that in a minute).

We ate.

(That’s my dad – say “Hi” everyone.)

And caught up on news.

(That’s my mom – hi mom! She is showing us her “hurry up and take the picture so I can eat” smile).

The kids clowned around.

(See?! Wrong F-stop! GRR!)

I took pictures of food.

(*Homer Simpson voice* Mmmm, deviled eggs).

And we settled in to open grandparent gifts and gag gifts.

(It looks like mom is lecturing us here, but I what I think is really going on is she’s slipped into a sugar coma).

My boys got money because they dropped the ball and didn’t give grandma a wish list (oops!). But, in my mom’s usual awesome way, she didn’t JUST give them money, she gave them money in a puzzle box that they had to solve before they could get their money out.

(And you only THOUGHT my mom was cool! Humpf!)

The boys REALLY thought that was cool, especially Jazz, because he’s just like his dad when it comes to puzzles – he loves them.

But wait. Our gifts from my parents also came in puzzle boxes in the form of gift cards and I won’t mention any names, but someone had to ask Jazz to help him/her figure it out so he/she could get to her, ER, HIS/HER gift card.

Ahem (Why yes, I AM that stupid).

And let me just say? These puzzle boxes? Are totally going into the in-laws’ gag gift goody bag next year. Heh.

(Dad was the videographer).

I just sat there and looked fat. (It’s the sweater I’m wearing – I SWEAR!)


This photo doesn’t really go with the rest of my story, I just liked M’s constipation face. Or maybe he’s confused. Or maybe both?


The gag gifts were fun. But you know, gag gifts are always fun, so I’m stating the obvious here.


A. ended up with my gag gift – a travel Scrabble. I KNOW! How freaking cool, right? And Dude ended up with M’s gag gift – wait for it ……. NUN CHUCKS! In the actual shape of NUNS!! HAHAHAHAHA!

M is totally our go-to gag gift guy, I’m telling ya. Dude really got a kick out of those NUN CHUCKS and is totally going to hang them from his car’s rear view mirror.

A real chick magnet, I’m sure. 🙂

Jazz got a voice alternating device and M got a Donkey Kong and Mario video key chain.

(M wanted to wear them as earrings, but I said, “Dude. That’s so not manly” and he resisted the urge. You’re welcome).

Side note: There were three wise men hanging from the ceiling. I didn’t learn, until Wednesday and after seeing these wise men my entire freaking life, that my dad cut them out of the skirting from the first trailer they, and I, for the first seven years of my life, lived in. My mom painted them with airplane model paint. I don’t know, I thought that was an interesting piece of family history that I didn’t know.

Come to think of it, I don’t know a lot ABOUT my family history, so I guess my not knowing about the origins of the wise men is all that impressive.

Where was I?

Again, another photo that doesn’t really have to do with anything, I just wanted to point out my mom’s pretty gray hair. And what the heck is hanging from her ceiling fan?!


Our get together was rather quiet, we were missing several members of out-of-town guests due to the snow storm that blew through Missouri Christmas day, but still, we had fun.

Family really is everything.


I took several more pictures – you’ll likely see those on my photo blog. And speaking of which, one of the things that Kevin and I want to accomplish this year is to take a photography class together. We both love photography and it’s OBVIOUS I have no idea what I’m doing and I, for one, would like to learn how to take decent photos. So, I’m now on the hunt for an online photography class. It’ll probably be expensive, but we will likely only sign up one of us and then we can both work on the assignments and turn in our best effort for critique. It should be interesting – stick around. I’ll share my thoughts and tips from the class with you all so it’ll be like you’re ALL taking the class with us.

Mom loaded us up with goodies and I have only just eaten my way through the fudge. Good stuff but OY. I feel like a cow now. I will be getting back on the exercise wagon (or treadmill) very, very soon.


Wednesday night, we went over to my sister-in-law’s house to play “Settlers of Catan.”

Settlers of Catan

Oh. My. Gosh. We had fun. Each game took an hour and a half (we played two games) and Kevin won the first one and my brother-in-law won the second one. The second game was amazing – nearly the entire board was full and we were all neck-and-neck on points. It was really a lot of fun.

I had totally forgotten this, but we used to get together with them to play games waaaaaay back before we had children. Then the children came along and no one had the time, but now that the children are all grown, or nearly so, we have more time to do this sort of thing again. I’m really glad because I DIG board games, ya’ll.


We stuck around the house for New Year’s Eve. We used the gift card my parents gave Kevin for his birthday (thanks again, guys!) to take the family out to eat at Ryan’s Steakhouse, then we came home and watched Terminator Salvation and The Patriot. We DID pause The Patriot long enough to yell HAPPY NEW YEAR at the stroke of midnight, but then we resumed the film and that was the extent of our celebration.

We’re exciting like that.

And here we are. It’s New Year’s Day and I’m fighting to stay awake (I’m running on five hours of sleep). There’s a fire in the fireplace (which by the way, I singed the carpet – our BRAND NEW CARPET – AARGH!), Kevin just finished taking the lights down outside and the boys are entertaining my nephews, who are over for the last time before winter break is over.

It’s a beautiful, but cold, sunny day and I’m sitting here trying to accept the fact that another year is over.


It boggles the mind, doesn’t it.