Saturday, December 28, 2013

we girls

Back together in California.  The boys are all back too.  They just weren't on the sofa with us. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

christmas wrap up

Well, I got all of the things done.  Very happy with the card.  The presents were bought and wrapped and given and pretty much enjoyed (according to Audrey "Best Christmas Ever!").  Some of the usual cookies were baked, although no cutting out and baking and frosting this year.  I made a conscious decision to not make any candy and am putting out a big thank you to Jr's friend who brought over the toffee from Trader Joe's.  The cheeseballs were, as always, a big hit.  The meals together were worth the effort.  The tree was beautiful.  Jack gave me Italian--the Rosetta Stone package to teach me to speak Italian.  Cannot wait to get started on that.

And now, Jack and I are in California, parts of the day with the girls and Cory at their house and parts of the day with Jessie and Leo at the hospital.  Poor little guy, big sucky asthma has laid him low.  But he is improving (at least I'm told the rattling sound in his chest is improvement), and maybe tomorrow they'll be back home. 

After a day or two, we'll head home, unpack and tidy up, take the ornaments off the tree, and settle in to wait for the birth of the newest little grandson.  Soon.  He'll be here soon.

Monday, December 16, 2013

so on top of it

Back at zumba.  Moving my body, even, amazingly, my butt.  I figured out the figure eight move and last weekend figured out the side to side thing, and tonight, for the first time, shook it front to back.  Got an attagirl from the instructor. 

I'll keep practicing the butt stuff and start adding the arm waving.  Maybe somewhat out of control, but still totally satisfying. 

On the holiday front, the tree is up, lit, and decorated (thanks to Jr and the granddarlings), the cookies are baked, the cheeseballs are mixed and wrapped, and the cards are in the mail.  Many presents have been purchased, and only a not-too-overwhelming list remains.

It is all coming together nicely.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

definitely feeling it now

I've had this virus thing for the past week that may be at least partly to blame for my slow motion speed getting into the spirit of the season.

The tree really helped.  It smells so so so good in the house.

Tonight I was debating whether or not to go to the 6:00 zumba class.  I haven't been to a class since last Wednesday because I just didn't feel up to it.  I felt so much better today, but still wasn't sure I was ready for all of the movement and the breathing that zumba requires.  Mostly the extra breathing.  Because of the virus thing.

When we got home from work, the drummer was here, probably working on a secret project (shhh, don't tell) and he mentioned that his wife's 7th grade Christmas choir program was tonight.

I love me a Christmas concert.  So no zumba, but 7th grade choir and band and orchestra concert.

My oh my did that concert bring back memories.  It all started when the choir and band and orchestra performed a medley of familiar Christmas carols and invited the audience to sing along. 

Obviously I remember many Christmas concerts with our kids performing.  I remember looking forward to those concerts because I always felt the holidays in me after a concert with the kids.

I remember many years ago going to my elementary school early, probably one day each week in December, to sing Christmas carols.  There was a guy who went to the schools in my district during December to sing carols before school started.  I loved that. Such a great gift to kids.  I remember learning the words to The Little Drummer Boy and thinking it was the best Christmas song ever.  I thought it was a brand new song since I'd never heard it before.  Not so.  I'm not that old.

I remember gathering at my friend Lisa's house for yummy food with good friends and our families in my old neighborhood and then heading out into the neighborhood singing carols to our neighbors.  That felt so satisfying in so many ways.

I remember driving with the kids in the car, singing carols together, when they were younger, usually at night on the way home from Jack's parents' house after Sunday evening visits in December.  I love singing with my kids.

And I remember listening every year to my favorite Christmas cd, a University of Utah choir recording that included Lisa's oldest son.  It has become a sweet tradition, a familiar friend.

Every year I make a list of the things I want to do before Christmas.  It usually includes baking and candy making and cheeseballs, sending out cards, buying, wrapping, giving presents, setting up a tree--and I always forget, but am always reminded, that music stirs up my feelings about Christmas so quickly and so deeply.

Christmas music.  Such a simple thing, often costs nothing, but gives me so much every year.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

now it feels like christmas

and it smells like Christmas too

Sunday, December 1, 2013

to remember this holiday

A couple of days ago I was reading back through old blog posts and felt grateful I'd recorded those thoughts and memories and events.  I don't remember writing many of those words, but reading them reminded me of past times and that was good.

These are things I want to remember about this past holiday:

1.  All of our kids and grandkids around tables in the dining room, eating good food, laughing, talking together.
2.  Both of my parents with us for that wonderful meal.  It has been a long time since my dad joined us here, and I don't know if or when it will happen again, but that day, for that meal, was precious, seeing him enjoy the company and the food so very much.
3.  Trying very hard and succeeding at not eating pie for breakfast or before breakfast this year.
4.  A crisp sunny November morning with the kids and grandkids at the zoo where the animals are always much more active during cooler weather, so we saw bears, seals, a wolf, and more, all up and moving, and we even heard the tiger making tiger sounds.  And thank you Shi for that zoo pass.
5.  Hours and hours and hours of grandkids playing together joyously, with this visit featuring lots of note writing.  I will treasure reading through all of the notes I've found throughout the house.  Note to self--buy simple white little notepads and pens for each girl for Christmas.  It will be their favorite gift. 
6.  Skiing tales from Jessie and Cory about their first time skiing at Alta, and thanks to Jr, the drummer, and his wife for preparing them, encouraging them, and also filming them.
7.  Leo warming up to me after much cajoling, and also when he realized I was the closest thing to a mom because his mom was gone skiing.  That boy is such a boy--throwing everything he can get in his hands, but especially anything ball-shaped.  I think he was born with throwing in his hands.
8.  Pancakes, pancakes, and more pancakes.  For dinner and for breakfast.  Or those little boxes of sweetened cereal that the girls love as much as I did as a kid.
9.  Speed bowling, all of us together, adults, kids, everybody.  Bumpers and a ramp that enabled Ellie to have a higher score than many of us.  Everybody--five kids and nine adults--finishing a full game in just a little over one hour.
10.  A safe journey home today for the Californians, and a meal of leftovers and macaroni and cheese with the locals today.  Grateful for them all, everyone.