Friday, January 2, 2009

This year, Christmas was extra nice. It started with my entire family being in one place, and ended up that I got to see just about everyone in both families for at least a little while!

Wednesday: We flew out Christmas eve thoroughly prepared to spend it in an airport. Not only were our flights on time, they were even a little early! No luggage lost, nothing broken, and the crowds were not even that bad. The only issue was that, despite each carefully planning one checked bag, two different airlines both charged us $15 for the first checked bag. Seriously guys: build that into the ticket price. That being said, I can't complain. Then my whole family piled into two cars for Christmas eve service. There weren't a lot of people in attendance, but my family took up the entire pew.

Thursday: Yay, Christmas! We got up and opened gifts. I think I gave pretty good gifts this year, and everyone seemed happy. And new running clothes for me! Then we went over to my aunt and uncle's new home for Christmas dinner. We met my cousin's fiance, ate more than anyone really should, and played silly games.

Friday: The big surprise day. We started by running some errands and Christmas shopping (the advantage of multiple Christmases is a few extra sale days to shop). Then the family came over for my mom's lasagna. No one knew! Just as we were about to cut into the cake, I saw the limo lights pull up. All 10 of us piled in, and we drove through Tilles Park, downtown (why don't they light the arch??), and a stop to see the Macy's storefront windows. It was an oddly warm night around 60 degrees, but everyone seemed so happy.

Saturday: When it's 60 degrees in December, you should really suspect something is up. As my poor mom was running around getting everyone and everything ready, the skies opened up and it poured. Flash-flooding kind of pouring. Before the party I was working through the endless order questions for the wedding invitations when I thought Andy took a picture. Documenting the momentous occasion of ordering our invitations (which no one seemed interested in! Why do them at home)? It was lightning, and the thunder sounded right over the house. All a couple of hours before the engagement party! Despite the weather the party was amazing, the food was plentiful and tasty, and I got to meet a lot of my parents' friends and my mom's new coworkers. A lot of people didn't come, but as the roads were flooded I'd say they had a good excuse; the party was pretty large anyway. Rather than gifts, my mom organized a canned food drive, and so many people participated! People also brought us congratulatory cards, and hopefully I'll be able to scrapbook them somehow.

Sunday: Late-ish breakfast and on the plane to Omaha. By now everyone was pretty tired, but had been a great trip and I was ready to have Christmas all over again. We arrived without incident (empty airports again!), had dinner, and talked until late. I'm so lucky for such nice future in-laws.

Monday: I think we saw almost all of Omaha. The highlight of the day: finding a beautiful wedding cake topper. I was so tired of the scary-faced plastic variety, and in hindsight not even sure why I was so bent on a cheap plastic one in the first place.

Tuesday: Andy's brother was scheduled to fly in late that night. We spent almost all day at the Durham museum, which used to be the central train station. It is absolutely amazing inside, with art deco architecture and more history about Omaha than you could ever begin to imagine. Plus, an enormous 40' live Christmas tree! Next we crossed a new pedestrian bridge over the Missouri River. I saw more in the pictures than in real life because the gusty cold wind made me want to burrow in my ski jacket. We went out for La Casa pizza (or pizzaburger, as I think of it), and watched the flight status. I stayed home and read my book when everyone went to pick Andy's brother up. As excited as I was, I couldn't make him squeeze into a car with 5 people after being stuck in a plane all evening!

Wednesday: Happy new year's eve! We opened gifts while Andy's dad was home on lunch break. Hello magnetic spice rack!! Then we visited with some fellow LA residents before going to a nice dinner and out to a bar for the evening. I have to admit - I had so much fun last year that I was a little sad to be spending it in Omaha, especially as this particular bar was full of middle aged men that were quite interested (and I was not even dressed for the occasion ... jeans and a long sleeved t-shirt). I stuck with our group, we came back and watched Get Smart, and crashed around 4 in the morning!

Thursday: Time to go home. I was pretty bummed to be going home by myself after having such a good time with family. But on the way home I finished Angels & Demons, and had not a single flight delay or problems in the again practically empty airports.

Now, back to LA, not starting a new semester at school, and starting to enjoy planning a lovely wedding!

Happy new year!

Sorry to say it, but I'm glad 2008 is over. I'm glad school is over, and I'll be getting a new job soon (not that I don't like the one I have), the epic house shopping fail is over, the wedding is finally around the corner (91 days!), and after June I really have no big goals to shoot for.

The Christmas trip was wonderful, and I'd be sad it's over except for that there are so many exciting things coming up. This year:

  • Get married! Finally and for real!
  • Graduate. Technically, I graduated on the 17th. But I think graduation will be fun.
  • Cake decorating classes
  • Reading more books. Somewhere I need to start a list.
  • 2 week vacation
  • Building a livable, long-term home
No new year's resolutions here. I am officially ... on vacation.