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New Year anticipation
2002-12-30 - 12:17 p.m.

Ah, Christmas day has come and gone and New Years is quick on it's heels. Our Christmas actually came a bit early as my family all came to visit the weekend before. It was so good to see my parents, my sisters, my fabulous brothers in law and my cute darling nieces. I was most impressed that they didn't manage to harm themselves or our house and things during their visit. Nothing was yanked off the shelves or the tree. I believe the only harm is a bit of blue crayon on one of the couch throw pillows, and since the pillow came free from Clint, no harm done, especially since I like the other side best. :) We got to have our family Christmas on Saturday night with a nice dinner and opening presents.

For those of you who know that I don't cook will be astonished. First of all, I made dinner for Wendy, Rob, Mel, Alan and I on Thursday night. I made steaks, mashed potatos, and asparagus with hollindaise sauce. And dinner was ready spot on time, but of course Mel was stuck in evil traffic, so we had to wait a bit. Then after clean up I cut all the vegetables up for the stew I started at 7am on Friday morning. Then yummy beef stew was ready in the crockpot so that my little sister, who arrived early, and my parents, who's plane landed at 8pm, could all have a hot easy dinner. Then we did Christmas dinner on Sat. with a Honey Baked Ham, garlic and onion mashed potatos, Susan's lovely brocoli and cauliflower dish (that my mom wanted the recipe for) and Clint made delicious yams. Then, on Sunday night after my parents and little sister had gone, Clint and I made a split pea soup with the hambone that was delicious! Even Alan had some, declared not a fan of pea soup.

The last of my family got on the road by noon on Monday. I was so happy to see them all, have the crew back together, and even more pleased that the new place could sleep everyone comfortably. Every couple got a door that closed, which is always a plus.

Christmas eve we had our second annual Christmas Eve dinner out with Bob and Laura at Achbar's Indian restaurant in Columbia, and then drove around looking at some lights, but with the snow/sleet and Savage being dissappointingly not brightly lit, we headed back to their place to hang out and chat. Christmas day brought a completely white Christmas (which is still here in patches) and another gathering at Bob and Laura's. The turnout was a bit meager and late in arriving, but with the weather it was understandable. We managed to have a good time and got to meet Bob's granddaughters and daughters as well, who were all quite charming, if a bit sleepy.

Then I've just been bumming about the house for the rest of my break. I did tidy a bit, and gave blood on Friday, and we started on a refinance of the house at another percentage point lower, and Alan and I went shopping on Saturday for more Christmas presents to ourselves for the house. We got a new dining room table and two new chairs, the old dining table has been moved to the basement with the shelves we got at Home Depot to begin creating the home office. Then we toped it off with new lamps and curtain rods for the family room. I spent Saturday night finishing the curtains for the family room so we have gotten rid of the frilly grape vine lace valences and we can watch the TV on sunny mornings without having to use pieces of cardboard to block the glare. :)

So the house is shaping up, Christmas was loads of fun, filled with family and friends, the family we choose. And the new year looms full of possibilities and more obligations that we hope will be fun. Our winter/spring calendar is already full shockingly. And I've been offered a new job within the University working with Graduate School Faculty. I've accepted the job and look forward to something new and challenging.

Here's wishing that you all had a lovely Christmas and will have a great new year.

ta ta

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