Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 In a Nutshell

This has been quite the year.  On February 14, I found out that I was pregnant.  I was 4 weeks pregnant, and I had suspected I was pregnant for about 2 weeks.  I was generally just not feeling good but no pregnancy test would come back positive that early.  I was very excited, because I knew that I was supposed to have one more baby.  I was blessed with my daughter's birth on Oct 5.

On Mar 17, my son turned 8.  He was baptized that day.  It was also our last complete day that we would spend in Olean.  We would leave the next day for parts unknown... it was supposed to be NV, but we ended up in UT.  I believe this is where we are supposed to be.  My husband loves his job here and my sister loves her job, and I loved my job.  I made some very good friends while I was working, people I hope to always have in my life.  I am currently self-employed, working from home doing orders for the company I used to work for.

When we arrived in Utah, my other brother-in-law and sister-in-law opened their house to us and let us stay until we found a place to live.  It took us a few days, but we did it.  It was very kind of them to do this for us.  When we were moving from NY, my sister asked me what I was looking most forward to, I said meeting my sister-in-law and my new nephew. 

We moved into our apartment on Mar 24.  We had many people help us, people that we didn't even know.  People from the Church ward we would be attending helped us out, even though we had never met.  It was wonderful the service that was given.  We have wonderful people in our ward.  We live in a 3rd floor apartment.  If I had been thinking, I would have insisted on a 1st floor, because I worry about the children falling over the balcony or something.  I know, I have anxiety issues.  The children aren't allowed on the balcony.

On Apr 30, my daughter turned 7.  We had my brother-in-law and sister-in-law as well as their children over to celebrate with us.  We had done a combined party for my 7 and 8 year-old before we moved, so they could enjoy their birthday with their friends back east.

I started feeling like I had bug bites in mid June.  I was wondering how the mosquitoes got in and why they were choosing me as their prey.  It was about the time that my Mom and my Aunt Georgia came to southern Utah to visit.  We met them down in St George.  We enjoyed a couple days together and then we had to return to where we lived.   It was wonderful to see them again.

I knew by the end of June that something was quite wrong.  I saw a doctor and explained that it was the same thing I had in my last pregnancy.  I had been diagnosed with severe eczema and folliculitis.  The doctor decided I had folliculitis.  He gave me antibiotics.  It continued to get worse.  I finally went to a dermatologist.  He did a biopsy, then another to confirm the first.  I was diagnosed with Pemphigoid Gestationis.   This is a pregnancy rash that occurs in 1 in 50,000 pregnancies.  It is very rare.  I was placed on Prednisone, and I continue to take it now.  When I get to 10 mg, it gets worse again.  I am at 10 mg again now, and am hoping to just continue to survive the itching and it will adjust.  We shall see.

My husband found his current job in mid May.  He interviewed while my sister, my children and I were in Washington state for my brother's 40th birthday.  My husband started work on May 31.  It was a wonderful thing.  I had initially planned to stop working when he started, but I loved my work and my co-workers so I continued to work until 9 days before my baby was born.

My sister, my children and I flew to NY on Aug 11.  They didn't know we were making the flight until the night before we left.  We were surprising everyone at home...except Mom knew.  It was wonderful to get home (to NY) again and see the family.  I will never forget the looks on their faces when they saw us.  Bob gave the children all a really big hug, he was the first one we saw.  Then Dad... then Roland and my nephew... then Jim and Colette.  Susan and Mom picked us up in Cleveland.  That night, the boys softball team had won their division championship.  We missed it by a few minutes.  The next morning Breann came over with my nieces.  We were home for City Cup weekend.  Colette's team won the Women's City Cup.  I was so proud to be there, and Colette did so well... I think she won it for the team.  It was a sad day, Aug 20, when we had to head home.  We drove the van back.  The kids did amazing on the long days in the van.

The children started 2nd and 3rd grade the day after we got home from NY.  They were supposed to start the week before, but we wanted to see the family.  My daughter has the teacher that my son had last year.  She is a wonderful teacher, and my daughter loves her.  She is a wonderful teacher.  I haven't had the opportunity to meet my son's teacher yet, as parent-teacher conference was the week that I had the baby, but she seems to be a caring teacher.

The best thing that happened this year was the birth of my daughter.  She is such a good baby.  All of my children have been.  She was born at 9:46 am, weighing 6 lbs 3 oz and 18.5 inches long.  She was such a tiny little thing.  She has grown so much.  She now smiles at us and is very interactive.  She is on the verge of laughing.  She discovered her feet the other day, which was cute.  She couldn't help but keep looking at them.  She had a zebra outfit on, and each foot had a little zebra on it.  She was really trying to figure it out.  She loves bath time.  She had a bit of the rash transferred at birth, but it cleared up quickly and didn't seem to bother her.

My mom came out to visit from Oct 9 to Nov 2.  It was wonderful to have her here for that long.  We stayed up together and found new shows that we enjoy watching.  "Chopped" and "Sweet Genius" on the Food Network.  "Psych" on USA or Ion.  We also watched a lot of sports, whether it was college basketball, football or the World Series.  Having Mom here made it possible for me to get some much needed sleep.  I think she left here sleep deprived.  She made the children chocolate chip pancakes frequently.  She cleaned my house.  She drove me and the children around.  She cooked for us.  It was so hard to say goodbye to her again.

For Halloween, my 8 year-old was Mario, my 7 year-old was an Indian Princess, my 3 year-old was a bumble bee, my newborn was an angel, and my husband was dressed in the outfit they gave him to come in the c-section room with me.  I was just me.  I don't get dressed up.  We went to a trunk-or-treat... I left the baby with my mom.  We gave out 3 Musketeers, Kit-Kats, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, and Tootsie Rolls.  When those were gone, we came home and the children went out and I stayed with Mom and the baby.

My 3 year-old started school on Nov. 2.  He has wanted to start school since he was 2.  It was a great day for him.  He loves school and always wants to go.  He isn't a huge fan of the Christmas break.  He got a Toy Story backpack.  He loves that he gets a snack at school.

We had our first snowfall of the fall on November 5.  It was quite substantial.  I had to clean off the car before I went to pick up my sister from the airport, as she had spent the week up in Washington watching my brother's children.  We haven't had much snow this fall/winter...knock on wood.  Hope it stays that way.  I am no fan of snow.  It was in the 40s for Christmas :) 

We spent Thanksgiving at home.  My husband had to work, so we ate when he got home.  He brought my kids to my in-laws for dessert and my sister and I had a piece of pie at home.  Somehow I managed to lose weight the week of Thanksgiving.  I am doing Weight Watchers currently.  We will see next week how Christmas and New Years fared on the waistline.

My youngest son turned 4 on Dec 20.  We got him a cake, hot dogs and chips the Saturday before.  He wanted his cake to have Gummy Bears and eyeballs.  We got a cake that had a poinsettia flower on it (the eyeball) and bought gummy bears and put them on the cake.  On the 20th, we brought them to an indoor playground and had pizza and pop.

For Christmas Eve, we did the traditional stuff.  My sister and husband brought the kids to see "The Adventures of Tin-Tin."  I stayed home with the baby.  She had been up til 4 am.  Then we went and ate pizza at NYPD pizza and went and looked at Christmas lights.  Santa came while we were gone.  The children opened all their gifts.  They appreciated everything they got. 

My brother-in-law brought my nieces over on Christmas.  It was wonderful to see them.  My 14 year-old niece loved to hold the baby.  She is very good with her.  I could not believe how much the girls have grown up.  They are wonderful young women.  The 9 year-old niece did very well playing (wrestling) with my 4 year-old.  I kept telling him to leave her alone, but she said she didn't mind.

On my birthday, we went out to a Mexican restaurant.  It was tasty.

Tonight we plan to celebrate New York New Years.  I don't want to keep the children up til midnight.  We will have shrimp, fudge, cheese, crackers, cheese ball, M&M's, and sparkling grape juice.

The worst thing in 2011 was needing to say goodbye to my family.  Many of them planned to move out here this year, but they are having a hard time selling their houses.  The economy is horrible.  I look forward to all of us being together again!

I hope that everyone had a great 2011... and that 2012 is even better!  Tomorrow I will be listing my New Year's Resolutions.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!  Today was a wonderful day.  The baby stayed up til 5 am this morning, she was up til 4 am yesterday.  My sister sat up with her this morning while I got a few winks of sleep.  I woke up at 10:35 am, church starts at 11.  It was quite interesting.  I managed to get my hair done, my daughter's hair done, get dressed, get the baby dressed, and only be a couple minutes late to church.  I was quite impressed with myself.

We did the family tradition yesterday.  Well, the baby and I missed the movie, but everyone else went.  Then we went out for pizza, came home and cleaned so Santa would not be disappointed, then went and looked at Christmas lights.  While we were looking at Christmas lights, Santa came.  We got home and the kids opened gifts.  They were so happy with everything they got.

It was wonderful to see the sparkle in the children's eyes as they opened the gifts.  They showed gratitude with every one they opened.  I am so thankful for my children.  I am so thankful for my family and for everyone that made this Christmas as nice as it was.  We had some people give us gifts anonymously.  I am not sure if they read this or not, but if so, thank you so much!

My brother-in-law and my nieces came over to visit this afternoon.  It was wonderful to see them again.  I haven't seen my nieces in several years.  They have grown up into wonderful girls and one is a great young woman.  She enjoyed getting to hold the baby.  It was nice to see them again, and I hope to be able to visit with them before they go back home.  The children enjoyed getting to play with their cousins.

We are blessed to have had our Savior, Jesus Christ, born to make our return to Heavenly Father possible.  He marked the way for us to return.  He showed by example those things that we are to do.  He is a perfect man.  He lived his life serving others, He did not care if people were rich or poor, short or tall, fat or thin.  He lived for all. He loved all.  He died for all.  He was resurrected for all.  He took all our sins and felt all our pain.  Today is a wonderful day to remember all He has done for us.  I am grateful for all He did. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Kissed My 3 Year-Old Goodnight for the Last Time Last Night...

This morning I kissed my 4 year-old for the first time.  He woke up and I told him Happy Birthday and gave him a big kiss.  I then asked him what he wanted for breakfast, he didn't want anything, he wanted the DS.  I located that and let him play.  A few minutes later, he decided he was hungry.  I asked what he wanted and wanted Rice Chex.  That is my favorite cereal of all time.  I practically live on it.  I went and got him a bowl of Rice Chex and he ate a lot of it.  Then he decided he wanted me to feed him.  I thought it was the least I could do for his birthday.  We sat on the couch as I fed him and his baby sister.

He played the DS a lot today.  He sat close to me and had me read the different things to him as they would pop up on the screen.  I don't really understand the games, but I guess it is good to know what the things say.  At about 2 pm, we decided to see if the van would start.  It has been having battery problems lately.  It started, so we headed off to the doctor's office so the baby could get her shots.  When we arrived back at the house, it was bathtime so they would be ready for pictures.  The baby and him had a bath. 

We always do birthday pictures.  I decided we would get one of the four kids together.  I made the appointment yesterday.  We arrived about 25 minutes early.  The appointment was at 5 at Wal-Mart.  We were done with pictures by 5:10.  This is the first time we ever finished so quickly.  I was happy! 

After the appointment, we headed to the indoor play center.  We got a pizza and pitcher of soda (root beer) for his birthday.  The kids played and I sat at the table with the baby.  It was nice to be there again with the children. 

We celebrated his birthday on Saturday, but it was nice to do something with him on his actual date of birth.  I think he had a good day!  My 7 year-old daughter got a balloon and then my 4 year-old announced that he gets everything on his birthday.  Didn't really seem to work out that way!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Birthday Celebration

My 3 year-old will turn 4 on Tuesday.  So hard to believe!  He is such an amazing little fella.  I have been blessed with 2 amazing little fellas and 2 amazing little girlies.  We celebrated his birthday today.  He wanted a cake with gummy bears and eyeballs.  My sister and I set out to fulfill this wish.  We went to Macey's (a grocery store in the area) and purchased a small cake.  When I say small, I think it was no more than 4 inches in diameter and 2 layers.  It was a white cake with butter cream frosting. The cake had a giant poinsettia flower on the top... thus the eyeball.  We bought some gummy bears and put them all over the cake.

My sister and husband brought the 3 older children to the indoor play area and I stayed home with the baby.  They were gone for about an hour and then returned home.  During that time, I did some work on my computer. When they returned home, we put the gummy bears on the cake and then sang Happy Birthday.  He opened his gifts.  He got a Webkinz Tree Frog, a race track with 2 cars (the big hit of the party), and a set of his own anti-plastic dishes, made from corn and dishwasher safe, by Zoe b Organic.

For supper, he wanted hot dogs, potato chips and strawberries.  That is what he got.  I also bought black olives because I know he loves them.  He ended up eating most of them, which is fine.  He had a horrible time trying to open his hot dog bun.  The top half ripped apart, which frustrated him. Luckily, bread can be squished back together.  So that is what I did.  I then put his hot dog in the bun for him.  He could eat hot dogs and strawberries all day if I let him.  Yesterday he ate 4 hot dogs right out of the package.  That is something I did as a child, but I couldn't imagine doing it now!

My sister and I went and picked up a few things at the mall this afternoon.  It was packed.  We got a good parking spot though.  It is crazy how busy it gets this close to Christmas.  We also wrapped gifts this morning.  This evening we went on a walk around a .47 mile track.  It was getting dark so we only did one lap.  We will have to go earlier next time.

I gained 1.4 pounds this week.  It doesn't make any sense to me because I am sticking with my points.  I just think I am fighting a losing battle with Prednisone.  I guess it is better that I lose it and then gain it, than just keep gaining.  I look so forward to when I can finally be done with the medication!  I think I need to discuss the weight gain with the doctor and see if there is any way to counteract it.  We shall see!

It was an overall good day!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cloth Diapering Mommy Bloggers Needed for a Review/Giveaway

I am currently a cloth diapering mommy.  It is going well and is saving us money.  I would recommend cloth diapering to any parent who have a child or children in diapers.  They have come a long way since the cloth diapers I remember when I was a child.

A fellow blogger "Midnight Mommy" is looking for mothers who use cloth diapers to give an honest review.  Please click here to read more about possibly reviewing cloth diaper products, if you are interested.  Thank you!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Concert

My daughter recently had her Christmas concert.  She had been practicing 3 mornings a week.  My 8 year-old son had also been going.  For whatever reason, he decided not to sing in the concert. 

I was able to go and watch the rehearsal during school hours, and then my husband went that evening and watched.  It was very impressive.  When I walked in to the room where they were rehearsing, it took me a couple of minutes to spot my daughter.  I looked up and down the risers until I found her.  She must have seen me right away, because once I found her, I smiled and waved.  She smiled and waved back. 

My 7 year-old daughter loves to sing.  She will sing in the bathtub, shower, in bed, wherever she is, she will sing.  She told my mom that she wants to sing a solo at school.  I have no doubt that will happen.  She sings well, and she has that outgoing personality that she could just get up there and belt out a song without thinking twice.  I am the opposite.  I would see all the people sitting out there and possibly start to cry.  I wouldn't really cry, but I don't think I would be able to move my mouth.  They would be thankful, since I am not a good singer anyway.

They sang several fun songs for the concert.  I think most of them were the usual... Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, Jingle Bell Rock, and a few others.  She stood up there with a big smile on her face and sang.  I would have enjoyed watching my son sing too, but I can't make him sing if he doesn't want to. 

She would like to be a professional singer someday.  I tell her she can do anything she wants.   I am proud of her for sticking with something she loves.

We went to a grocery store today and they had Santa Claus there.  My 7 year-old and 3 year-old were with me.  They both got a picture with him.  We have to go back to get the pictures.  It certainly is getting close to Christmas.  This is an exciting time of year. 

I lost 1 pound this week.  I was happy.  If I average a pound a week, I will be to my ideal weight according to Weight Watchers, in 51 weeks.  That will work for me.  I am still taking Prednisone, so every pound I lose is an effort. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Scary Stories

I think we all know some Ghost Stories.  I don't know of anyone that hasn't had a dear friend or sibling tell at least one. 

My kids have told each other some.  In thus doing, they scared themselves as well as each other.  There were many nights when both of my children would wake up and come wandering to where I was sleeping.  I knew quickly what was going on.  Someone else talked about ghosts.  The question was who.  This time it was my oldest son.  He not only managed to scare his sister, but he scared himself too.  Although he knew he was making it up, it still scared him.

We live in an apartment complex.  He had her (and himself convinced) that one of the empty apartments was haunted.  I offered to bring them to the apartment and let them see that it wasn't haunted.  They wouldn't even show me which one it was.  I guess they didn't want to go anywhere near it. 

When I was younger, there was the China Doll.  My mom had one.  It was in the attic.  So, upon hearing the story about the China Doll, I never wanted to see that thing again.  I would not go into the attic.  Not at any price.  I have no idea where that doll is now, neither does my mom.  There was also "Now I've Got Ya, Now I'm Gonna Eat Ya."  In the end, you realize that it wasn't as scary as they made it seem, but until the end, it was quite the scary story.

It has been a couple months since they scared each other.  I am hoping that it never happens again. 

I didn't run yesterday.  I did run today.  I ran a mile.  I walked .41 miles after that.  I was happy.  I have no idea how long it took.  I just wanted to complete a mile.  I didn't take Prednisone today.  I am hoping that I don't need to take it anymore.  We shall see!  I itch, but if it goes away, I will not take it again.

Monday, December 5, 2011

My Fitness Battles

I am going to start out by saying that I have been morbidly obese in my life and I have been my ideal weight in my life.  I am going to be honest and say that I have been obese more in my life than not.  Right now, I am categorically in the obese section.  I had a baby 2 months ago, today.  She is an amazing little one and I wouldn't change having her for the world, even if I never lose this weight, she is well worth it to me.

In 2009, I decided to take control of my weight.  My brother and I joined a competition at the YMCA as a team.  It was Jan. 2 and I weighed 233.4.  That isn't the most I ever weighed in my life, but it was a lot more than I wanted to weigh.  I am 5'6" tall.  At this time, I had 3 children, born in Mar 2003, Apr 2004, and Dec 2009.  I lost 40 lbs right before I found out I was pregnant with my 3rd child.  Then I never lost the weight after him.  I decided it was time.  With my brother as my partner, I didn't want to let him down.  In the next 10 weeks, I managed to lose about 38 lbs.  He lost closer to 50.  We came in second place.

During this time though, I went to the YMCA daily, if not twice a day.  I would get on the cardiovascular machines and go with all my heart.  I would see glances in my direction sometimes from people that were fit, that would make me feel uncomfortable.  All the people that worked at the YMCA were nothing but helpful.  They did what they could to help me succeed.  If I didn't know how to use a machine, they would take the time to show me.

I started running during this time.  I was so happy when I first ran a quarter-mile.  Since my brother was my partner, I called him first.  So excited!  He was excited for me.  That quarter-mile was the first of hundreds of miles I have logged on my feet.  He was so supportive of me, he would call and see what I did and ate daily.  I needed that accountability.  As I watched The Biggest Loser one night, they made these people run a half-marathon, unaware.  They found out that day that they would be running.  I figured that if they could run a half-marathon, I could run a 5 K. The furthest I had run before this was a mile.  It about killed me to run the 5 K without stopping, but I did it.  I set the treadmill to the 5 K program and started running.  That was my biggest running accomplishment in my life.

Our 10 week competition ended halfway through March.  On April 9, I had surgery to remove bone out of 3 toes, because I have hammertoes.  That kept me from running for 2 months exactly.  I decided during this time that I was going to do a half-marathon.  I went to Smart Trainer and put in my times.  It came up with a schedule where I would start by running a certain distance at 4.3 mph.  I remember this because of how low the speed was.  I probably wouldn't have remembered it, except I had an older gentleman on a machine next to me that would just keep looking at me in disgust.  It wasn't just one look, it was several.  At this time, on the first day, I was 201 lbs.  Yes, I gained a few when I couldn't do much on my feet.  I wanted to curl up into a little ball and cry, but I hate crying, especially in front of people.  I ran the distance at that speed, and yes, I was a sweaty mess by the end, but I did it with him glancing at me in disgust.

I continued my running schedule for the 16 weeks and then there were 2 more weeks before the half-marathon.  I continued to get glances from people off and on.  By the time my half-marathon occured, I was a rather permanent fixture at the YMCA.  I lost 20 pounds and people were noticing me.  I would get asked about my running and why I was doing it.  I had people rooting for me.  I was the "running girl."  It was mid-October when I did my half-marathon.  I ran it in 2:33:55.  Yes, I am not fast, but I didn't walk at all, and it was a hilly course in PA.  I was proud of myself.  Many of my siblings were there at the finish line, as well as my husband and 3 children.  I felt as if I conquered the world.

I have gone on to complete 2 marathons, several 5 Ks and a few 10 Ks as well as a 17.75K.  Now, after having my daughter, I weigh 206.2 lbs.  There, it is out there.  I am not ashamed of that weight, I have a beautiful daughter to show for it.  I have been taking Prednisone since mid-July, and it causes weight gain and difficulty in weight loss.  I am going to start running again, today.  I will be happy with whatever distance I get.  I ran .83 miles at her 6 week date, and about got sick.  I am going to take it easy and get back up to the half or full-marathon again.

I moved to a new city in March.  I am 1900 miles away from the YMCA that I talked about.  I think that it is important to try out different fitness centers.  I have been to centers that were made for women only.  The problem with that was that they didn't seem to have as much as other fitness centers.  I like to have a pool, free weights, a variety of cardiovascular machines.  I know that there are fitness trainers that seem to abhor overweight people.  I had one in my past.  He tried to kill me, I really think he would have liked to see me dead.  I chose him because I wanted someone that would push me to do my best.  I think he pushed me to see if I would die.  I couldn't walk for a week.  I didn't die, but I did switch trainers.

I would love to get back into shape and become a fitness trainer.  I think it helps if someone has been through the challenges that those of us who have been or are overweight.  I don't wish it on people, but I think it helps people to be empathetic.  I think that being overweight, we have to accept that there are people that are just going to be rude.  We have to know that we will get mean glances and hear rude comments, but we shouldn't let them ruin our desire to get fit.  It is sad to think that we should expect these things, but I have lived through them before, and I will live through them again.  At the end of the day, my family loves me regardless of everything, and that is what really matters.

It is like I tell my loved ones... when I first started running, people would make rude comments and yell out asking why I even bother.  Then they were probably the same ones yelling comments in approval after I had lost the weight.  There are just people like that.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Where, Oh Where, Has My Energy Gone?

I know that it is Saturday, and I know that I should already know what we will be eating tomorrow, but I have no clue.  I woke up and went to Weight Watchers this morning...gained .4 pound.  I then got in the car and drove back home.  My husband had to be somewhere at 9.  I normally go to the grocery store right after Weight Watchers.  Not this week, there was no time.

My problem is I feel so blah.  My throat hurts, chalking it up to post-nasal drip.  I am exhausted.  No reason in particular.  I wake up and take care of my little one when she starts to stir.  I don't want her to think that I don't hear her.  She sleeps quite well most of the time.

So, I sit here and write my blog instead of getting up, putting my jeans back on and heading to the store.  I took a shower about 2 hours ago.  Instead of getting re-dressed, I put my pajamas on.  That was probably a bad idea.  Once I get them on, I never want to take them off again the same day.  My daughter is sound asleep on my chest, which is another wonderful reason not to move.  My husband went to the gym with my 7 year-old daughter, another great reason to not leave.  As you can see, I have a lot of good reasons not to leave.

My most powerful reason to get up and go?  I need to get something to eat for tomorrow.  We have food in the fridge, but not really anything that would go nicely together.  The other problem, this is the weekend, and on the weekend, I allow myself to eat ice cream.  I prefer Great Value Rocky Road.  Why?  I love the chocolate covered almonds... they are like candy.  They are really tasty!  We don't have Rocky Road, we have mint chocolate chip.  It just isn't the same.  I had a little earlier.  I must get some Rocky Road ice cream.  My daughter hates it... she likes Dreyer's Rocky Road.  She can have the mint chocolate chip :)

I think we will have pizza tomorrow, I will go and buy it tonight and cook it tomorrow.  We will have the Wal-Mart pizza.  Not the frozen pizza, but the pizza they keep refrigerated near the Deli.  They also have cheesy breadsticks over there too.  I am going to get those.  I have never had them, but when I have seen them in the past, they have looked tasty.  I also plan to get some lunch meat, so we can have sandwiches.

Today my husband took my older two children to see "The Muppets."  They really enjoyed it.  My sister took my youngest son to see "Arthur Christmas."  That was also good.  Everyone seemed to like the movie they saw.  I stayed home and watched football.  I hung out with my baby girl.  Now I am watching BYU vs Hawaii.  BYU is losing.  I'd like to see them win.  I'd like to be there in person :)  I have never been to Hawaii, it is one of 5 states I haven't made it to.

Hope you all have had a good Saturday!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas Tradition

Can anyone believe that it is December?  It is actually December 2nd now!  I don't know where November went, but it went quickly!  I have 22 days to complete any Christmas shopping that I have to do.  Our family tradition is to open gifts on Christmas Eve and leave Christmas Day to remember the reason for the season.  Santa started coming to our house on Christmas Eve when I was around 7 years-old, it seems.  I think my parents had a long conversation with him explaining that they didn't appreciate getting up in middle of the night to open gifts. He listened and has followed through with making a stop at our house on Christmas Eve ever since.

Christmas Eve is a wonderful day in the house.  We go out for pizza, in NY it is always Pizza Hut.  Here in UT, it will be somewhere else.  The nearest dine-in Pizza Hut is over an hour away.  Yes, UT consists of lots of take-out Pizza Huts.  We are trying to decide what pizza place will be getting our business.  It also depends on the weather that day.  I am not going to travel too far in snow.  We do have a favorite pizza place in Ogden that I would like to go to.

Next, we see a movie.  I am not sure I will be participating in the movie viewing this year.  My baby will be a little under 3 months old and may not make movie viewing enjoyable to others.  I missed the movie 4 years ago when I had a baby that was 4 days old.  It is okay to miss the movie to make life better for other movie goers.  After the movie, we hangout at home for a little while until it gets dark.  We then go and look at Christmas lights.  In NY, we would go to a park that they put a lot of decorations in and walk around.  We would then drive up a hill and look down at the city.  The city always seems magical that night.  We then drive around town and look at lights that people have put up at their houses.  Santa comes during this time so excitement builds up with the children (and the adults) with every house we see.

We then return home and open gifts.  It is wonderful to see the happiness in the children's eyes with the gifts they open.  Santa is a good man and his wife must be wonderful too!  We then have doughnuts and orange juice.  By this time, we are usually so stuffed that we put the fudge and Hickory Farms Beef Stick on hold until Christmas.  I love Christmas time.  I am going to miss sharing it with my family back East.  The tradition will continue here though.  When I lived here several years ago, I made sure to keep it going, and that will not change.

Just a reminder, please vote for The Dilleys at  They are my in-laws and could really use the help.  You can read their story there as well.  You will have to scroll past the pictures to find the button to vote.  They are one out of nine families chosen for the Gift for Good for a $20K home makeover.  You can vote daily through Dec 9.  Thank you!