Goodness, I can't believe they've already come and gone. Truly, this year, Christmas and New Year's were both just lovely. Quiet, fun, caloric...
Eric and I finally got to take more than a couple days to head to Michigan for Christmas. It was great. My parents were thrilled to see us, and us them--and of course, we did have to go through an ordeal to get home. I am making a promise to myself and to Eric that we will never ever again fly into Detroit and then drive up north. It's just too far. Traverse City, here we come!
We left for home on Sunday, December 23 after celebrating Christmas with Eric's entire family on the 22rd. We had a great time over at his Aunt Linda's house down in Duxbury, ate some great food, drank some wine, and I participated for the first time in the Matson family Yankee Swap. I informed these people that, indeed, I am not a Yankee, so they didn't expect much. Eric told me earlier that a Yankee Swap is no time to try and make friends, and that I was to be as ruthless as possible in obtaining the best gift. I took home a gift card for Bed, Bath and Beyond. Eric, I believe, came home with an oven mitt. Who's the Yankee now?
Anyway, we ended up getting home to Boston at about 1:00 in the morning, after a white-knuckle drive home with our brother-in-law Jason, who was kind enough to drive us all the way back into town (avoiding a ride on the T at midnight... always nice), but who is kind of a crazy driver. I sat in the back seat, gripping my pocketbook, hoping we wouldn't die.
We got home, went to sleep by about 1:45, and woke up at... 3:15. We made it to the airport on time, caught our flight and all was well. Because there was supposed to be weather on Sunday afternoon, we rented a car in Detroit and drove up rather than waiting 3 hours for our layover to catch a shuttle to Flint.
Mistake #1: Didn't inform NWA that we would not be taking our connection.
Penalty: Flights returning to Boston were canceled.
Result: Reinstated flights after 30 minute pleading-contest with NWA agent and paying flight-cost-differential and "change fee."
Arrived home safe and sound to happy and healthy parents who were very excited to see us. We went over to Zeneberg's house, where my good friend Ann was home--she is pregnant with her first child--and her sister Megan, who is also a good friend, had her 3-month old baby. Now, I'm not a baby-lover. I'm more of a baby-tolerater, until they start to cry, at which point I prefer to hand them back to their mothers and move on. But I tell you, Kirra Ann Freudigmann is THE CUTEST BABY in the whole world. And since then, I have had babies on the brain. And not just in a "maybe in 5 years" type way, either. It's freaking me out.
We saw Megs, Alan and Kirra again on Thursday night, when this picture was taken. Look at that little bald sweetie... Eh, I feel like snuggling with something.
Bookended by our visits with the Z-bergs, our trip was glorious. We ate copious amounts of food, played some Trivial Pursuit (mom and dad vs me and Eric--each of us completely trounced the other in one game), read LOTS. Generally, I'm a pretty snobby reader. But I sure wasn't this week. I read like 4 mystery novels (dad is a conspiracy theorist), and Eric received not one but TWO copies of World Without End by Ken Follett, the sequel to Pillars of the Earth (this is completely my fault, as I told both mom and dad and Abby and John that Eric would like the book, but neglected to tell either party that the other had gotten it for him...). So I just finished that last night. It's pretty much exactly like Pillars, just 200 years later, the bad guy is named Ralph instead of William, and there's the plague.
I also had the chance to meet up with my old high school friends (picture at the right, clockwise: Shana, Becky, Ann, Ben, Julie, and me), which we do every year with a Christmas Eve brunch. Much fun. We've definitely grown as a group--from 6 of us to 10 adults, two kids, and two more on the way. We had a very nice visit. It's pretty cool doing a now and then. Our group has gone on to do some pretty awesome things. We were lucky once again to have Ben Scott home with us. He's missed some Christmases lately because he's in the Air Force and gets deployed overseas. An election year plea--please vote for someone who will not send Ben Scott to war!!!!!
Christmas presents were good this year, with one exception that I feel terrible about. We got my dad an iPod for Christmas, while Abby got him some iPod speakers, so he can listen to music without messing with CDs and all that. My parents are currently using my old computer, an eMac that I bought in 2004 or so, before I moved to Syracuse. It's a good computer for what they use it for, but has dial up internet and limited RAM. Well, dad open his Pod and we attempted to load some music onto it. A pop-up came up and said that we didn't have the right version of iTunes to support the new Pod. Okay, so I spent the next FOUR HOURS downloading the latest version of iTunes (dial up kills me). When that's finished, we try again. And a pop-up tells me that our whole operating system doesn't support this iPod, that we need at least Mac OS 10.4.9. So we go online to see what damage this would be. $120. No big deal. Then we look at the RAM requirements. Would require at least two memory upgrades at $100 a pop. So, here's an iPod turning into a crazy $350 investment in an old computer. So, and here's what I feel bad about, I gave my dad my old iPod, which works on this computer, and I kept the new one. Sigh--Christmas spirit, indeed. But get this! When I get home, I tried to load my music onto this iPod, and it's not supported by my laptop either--not enough RAM and the wrong OS!!! Again, thought about upgrading, but when it came down to it, I didn't feel like it, so I just bought a new computer. Sensible, huh?
Sadly, all good things come to an end, and our trip to Rosco ended with a gigantic snowstorm that stuck with us past Flint, where it turned into rain and ice. We made it back safely, but Eric was totally fried and grumpy until I got him some chicken fingers at the airport.
New Years Eve was quite tame--we celebrated over at Joey and Jayson's house with our friends Laura and Brian. Drank lots of beer (I had Arctic Chill Smirnoff Ices... Try them sometime--they're delicious) and we played Scattergories. I learned something new about my husband, too. He is AWESOME at Scattergories. Now, I don't doubt that I have an inflated sense of my own intelligence, but I'm a reader and a writer and I'm halfway decent with words. I'm pretty good at Scattergories. Eric's a clever guy--I anticipated good things, as he'd never played before--but he blew us all away. I, on the other hand, wrote down the word "merkin" as a word for a weapon that begins with the letter M. I'm not going to tell you what a merkin is if you don't know, but it is decidedly NOT a weapon. I have no idea where that came from, other than World Without End. I've been living in the Dark Ages for days. Anyway, I felt pretty stupid about that, but happy to discover that in addition to being an awesome architect and all around good guy, Eric is also the king of Scattergories. While I am the Court Jester.
Actually, strike that. Jayson is the Court Jester.
We spent the vast majority of New Years Day watching episodes of Lost, my favorite non-comedy tv show. It was a good day. EXCEPT!!!!!! About 2:30 in the morning of January 2, an alarm started going off in the sub-basement room behind our apartment where all the electrical crap is stored for the building. Not loud, but loud enough so that I could hear it. I think I'm pretty much the lightest sleeper in the whole world. EVERYTHING wakes me up. But this... I had trouble turning off that night anyway, so I was just falling asleep when it started beeping. And beeping. And beeping some more. And it hasn't stopped. I'm on no sleep. NO sleep. Wore earplugs and slept on the couch last night, and still woke up. The electrician was supposed to come today to fix it, and I swear, if that damn alarm is still beeping when I get home, I'm going to do something drastic. I don't know what, but I'm thinking about it...
New Year's Resolutions. Same old, same old. Lose a little weight, get into better shape. BUT! I do have one goal that I'm pretty excited about. I'm going to run a half marathon. In May. That will give me plenty of time to whip myself back into shape. I really have no desire to run a whole marathon--26 miles just seems excessive--but a nice half marathon will be a good distance so I know when I finish that I've done something not everyone can do, and I won't kill myself (hopefully... The Jolly Jaunt still haunts my memories...) in the process. Eric may or may not run it with me. He says he will, but running in his head and running in reality are two very different things for my sweetie.
With that, I will sign off. I hope all of you are doing well and had super-happy holidays.