Thursday, February 23, 2012

Happy Presidents Day?? - Oh, wait, I am late for that too!

Visit with Santa at Mall of America
I used to be really good about making a blog post almost everyday.  Now, I guess you can say I am a huge slacker.  I love so much about  my blog - the ability to share pictures, stories of my day, etc, with friends and family living near and far.  I guess I will blame Facebook (Uncle Charles and Merl - you *must* get a Facebook account!) for my lack of blogging.  Why??  In the matter of seconds I can share what is on my mind (and I do, at times, to excess).  Videos and photos can be uploaded instantly while in the midst of the chaos of my day.  If you every have any question what Mama-Dirtyfoot is up to at any given second, just log into Facebook and there you will see.  The convenience of communication with friends and family is amazing!!  So why then am I continuing my blog??  Well, although Facebook now has a "Timeline" feature, I prefer the format of this diary of our lives.  Often times I'll click onto my blog to just browse pictures of our life, in a chronologial order.  Or I may take a peek to reference a particular event or timeframe in our family history.  And so, despite  being a bit slower these days with my posts (an additional child in the mix also makes posting time more limited), my desire is to continue to update.

Bloody Mary lunches during sisters' shopping weekend
In the past, this blog's title may have read "Christmas Recap" and it would've been dated December 26th.  Christmas came and went, as did New Year's.  My "grand" idea was to then title my post "Happy Year of the Dragon", however the Chinese New Year came and went too.  Ahhhh...President Day!!! Wait, that was 3 days ago!!  Heck, you get the picture.

Sisters, matching PJs and egg nog.  What more could we ask for???  Oh, yeah, Anthony Bourdain!
Real tree! Christmas in the house rental.
This was a strange Christmas.  Our first in Minnesota.  Our normal traditions were in play, although in December we had only been in Minnesota for a couple of months.  We were (and continue) trying to get in our own groove here.  I was thrilled that my annual sisters Christmas shopping weekend was in Minnesota this year (also, well documented on Facebook....but, damn!! I never blogged about it).  Having family visit helped build memories here....and Christmas shopping with my sisters at the Mall of America didn't hurt either!  Yet, all the "comforts of home" were not as comfortable.  I am still trying to get accustomed to grocery shopping here, and so, shopping for holiday meals made me feel like a fish out of water.  We are still in temporary housing, and so the comfort level of our residence is not where it has been in the past.  Also, knowing that we will be moving again in the near future, half of our things are still in boxes.  China, fancy serving dishes, and the like remain unpacked.  This Christmas was a year of transition, however, for the kids, we did the best we could.  Although Jonathan didn't really know any different, it WAS his first Christmas, while Madeline is in the height of her Santa years.

Table set
Our old house in North Tonawanda, NY had a family room with a cathedral ceiling.  We have a 9 foot artificial tree that worked perfectly in that room.  There was no way that tree would work in our house rental.  Good news - this was the first time since shortly after David and I got married that we had a real tree.  THAT was a definite bonus to this year.

Our china was in boxes this year and so, things were a bit more casual for our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners.  I really missed some of our non-china sentimental pieces that normally share our company at the Christmas dinner table, however, the BONUS to no China is that all our everyday plates that we used are dishwasher safe!

Christmas dinner - 2011
I did miss the familiarity of our old parish church in NY.  We have not found a church that we like here yet.  My thoughts on worship: Matthew 6:6.  And so, I am not feeling the whole mega-church "let's make a name tag for you"  atmosphere of the parishes here.  THIS aspect of our lives David and I miss very much and, therefore, Christmas Mass was not quite as fulfilling for us as in years past.  This, however, is an "issue" for us for 2012.

The day after Christmas was no different than
 many years past.  We got in the car and traveled to Indiana.  The only difference was this year we had to travel east instead of west.  Unfortunately, I do have the bad habit of not taking enough pictures while in Indiana.  It was, however, great to have Grandma and Grandpa see the kids.

Cookies for Santa
2011 was a year filled with amazing amounts of transition for the entire family.  We are still trying to catch our breath from everything.  Pregnancy & the birth of Jonathan, crazy amounts of business travel for David, David switching jobs....out of state, Madeline becoming a sister, Madeline starting kindergarten, selling our home, moving over 900 away from friends, Madeline starting a *new* kindergarten, house hunting....Yep, we were busy!  Luckily, all of our transitions in 2011 were a result of good fortune, regardless we had mixed emotions about seeing the end of the year marked on New Years.  We were, however, ready for the kids to go to bed that night! Luckily they are still young enough to fake out and so we set the clocks ahead, celebrated our fake New Year, put the kids to bed and David and I shared a quiet evening together.  But the kids and the season exhausted us.  We were not able to stay awake until midnight.....can we get partial credit for staying up until midnight in Eastern Standard Time??

Treats for reindeer
Santa came
All in all we had a great Christmas and New Years.  I am, however, looking forward to moving into our new house and making it a home.

Jonathan enjoying his first Christmas!

Theme for the year - "Stay Warm In Minnesota" gifts. This hat is from my brother Chris.  David said, "laugh all you want but it is the warmest hat ever"!

Jonathan slept most of the way to/from Indiana and Madeline was mesmerized by movies...yeah!

"Look, Mama! I am making Jonathan look grumpy!"

A Vikings jersey and a Bumpo seat - Jonathan is ready to watch some football!

While at Grandpa's, Madeline felt the need to create and add lips to her "Doctor Drill and Fill" Play Doh set from Uncle Ed

Jonathan slept well at Grandpa's

You can tell Madeline goes to a Catholic School.  Madeline created this Mary costume when she was playing.

I was well stocked with Buffalo goodies from my friends.  Thanks!!

Madeline was so excited to give me the "Mother"/"Daughter" heart necklaces that she picked out for me.

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