Christmas Eve and Day

We had a wonderful Christmas this year. On Christmas Eve, Scott worked a half day, while I hung out at the house enjoying the quiet. We did make it over to the Birch house around 3 to exchange presents with the kids. Always a fun time to watch them open the gifts.

Scott and I walked up the alley, like I did many years growing up, to St. Gabriel’s for 4 o’clock mass on Christmas Eve. We arrived later than I wanted to, but we still managed to get seats. They weren’t decent, but they worked. While it wasn’t the kids mass there was a brief reading of the nativity where children came up on the altar dressed up. I was surprised that it went as quickly as it did. It was fun to see people who I grew up with at mass and still singing in the choir. I can’t wait for this tradition to continue.

After mass we headed home for some dinner and Christmas movies. We watch Miracle on 34th Street and A Christmas Carol. For some reason, growing up my brother and I would watch A Christmas Carol (George C. Scott version) all the time. It didn’t have to even be close to Christmas and we would watch it. Now that I’ve re-watched it as an adult, I don’t know why I really liked that movie. It’s really dark.

Christmas Day, Scott and I took our time opening presents. We had a lot of presents from the baby to us. It was nice to have a few more necessities bought in case the baby comes early (which I don’t think will happen).

We had our traditional eggs benedict for breakfast and it turned out rather good. Then we had a few hours to just relax and enjoy our last quiet Christmas morning for years to come.

Early afternoon we headed down to Scott’s parents house for late lunch, presents and a few round of Dirty Neighbor. We got even more gifts for the baby and even Reily got some goodies, a new bed and rope. The poor pup was so exhausted by mid afternoon she couldn’t even keep her head up. The new bed came in handy for her.

Overall, it was a great Christmas, although I’m even more excited for the Christmas’s to come.

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George Washington

During my Christmas vacation we headed over to the Missouri History Museum to check out the Discover the Real George Washington: New Views from Mount Vernon, exhibit that they currently have.  It was a great exhibit.  There a more information about his life prior to becoming President and during his youth.  There isn’t much information or pictures of him as a young man and we were able to see how they created likenesses of him.

There was information about his childhood and how Mount Vernon became his home and the pride he took in owning the land.  There was background information on how he made his way into the army and became a great leader.

We even got to see his fake teeth.  It was a little creepy to see dentures that were a couple hundred years old.

Photography

Scott and I got a camera as a wedding gift to ourselves. We use it every now and then, but it’s big and we don’t know all the bells and whistles that go with it. So about a month ago we found a Groupon for a photography class. We quickly jumped on that and then had to find a Saturday or Sunday morning to attend.

We finally found a date to go and we picked a great time. Even though it’s December and it’s usually cloudy and cold we picked a day where it was sunny and somewhat warm (50s). We met up with the class at the St. Louis Zoo. Why not use all the animals as our subjects in the pictures?

We had about an hour or so of explaining what each option on our camera is used for and why some modes are just ok to use and why you want to really experiment with the camera as much as possible. Afterwards we headed out to see what animals wanted to be our subjects for the day. We managed to get some great one on one time with the teacher as we walked around the zoo. Of course, what trip to the zoo wouldn’t be complete without a kangaroo fight?

Here are some our best shots:
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Christmas Vacation

I haven’t had a real Christmas vacation since high school.  The kind where you aren’t working, no school and just having fun or relaxing.  Thanks to my HR department and my timely start I have 60 hours that I have to burn by December 31st.  Of course our office is closed the week of Christmas so I have to use the time before December 21st.

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Oh what to do with myself for the 8 work days I have off?!  So far, I’ve managed to get some shopping in and cleaning.  I think these few days off are really going to kick start my nesting desires.  I believe a few batches of cookies will be made and most of all, I’ll be enjoying afternoon naps!

Merry Christmas to me!

Tree Time!

It was beautiful this weekend.  70s in December in St. Louis?  Who is going to complain when it’s this nice and you have to go cut your Christmas tree down?

We met Scott’s parents at Starbucks and then headed to Fetus to Meert’s Tree Farm to pick out our tree.  This is the third year we’ve gone to Meert’s.  They have a great selection and it’s easy to find a tree in our price range.

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Clearly, we were not the only ones with this great idea.  The parking lot was packed.  The good news is that we were able to get a tractor ride over to the trees pretty quick.  We took our time going up and down the aisles and finally found our tree.

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It’s a Canaan Fur and it’s a lot wider than the trees we are used to getting.

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Not to mention, a little more sappy and prickly.  I didn’t know it was as sticky as it was until we got home.  I’m impressed Scott didn’t say anything while he was cutting it down.

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Once our tree was cut down we had the tractor bring it back to be cleaned and wrapped and then it was time to do a little shopping.  They have a decent assortment of ornaments, decorations and wreaths to pick from. We did get a new ornament for the tree this time.  When the tree was ready Scott and his dad did a great job of securing it to the top of the car and off we went.

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And here is the tree once it’s pushed back in its place.  It’s much wider than we are used to, but the smell it gives off is well worth it.

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It’s beginning to look like Christmas

I finally started putting up our Christmas decorations.  I am a day behind on putting up decorations around the house, but better late than never.  I feel that December goes by so fast and there are so many Christmas decorations to put up, why not get them up as soon as possible.

I did miss the annual Francis Park Tree Lighting since I am fighting a cold, so it doesn’t quite feel like Christmas until we get our tree.   We are planning on getting it this weekend.  I do enjoy going up and down rows of trees and finding the perfect one for Scott to cut down.

But here are a few of the decorations we have up around the house.

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Omaha Thanksgiving

What a great Thanksgiving we had.  I was a little nervous about the 7.5 hour car ride and being 7 months pregnant and needing to stop all the time.  But we managed to stop on 5 times on the way up there and still arrived by 2.  We had horrible fog when we left our house, bright and early Wednesday morning.  We stopped in Wright City for a quick breakfast for me and then stopped in Columbia for a much-needed Starbucks trip.  The Starbucks we found was on Mizzou’s campus and across the street from Shakespeare’s Pizza, a place I’ve heard about from time to time.

Once we arrived in Omaha, my aunt and I went out to run a couple of errands and get some much-needed mani/pedis.  It was so nice outside that it did not feel like Omaha at Thanksgiving time.  Once returned we picked up Scott and headed to Sortino’s to meet up with the family and enjoy a Sheldon Family tradition of pizza and catching up.  It was the first time I was able to meet my new cousins, Lucy and Cassidy.  It’s amazing how fast they have grown in a year.  Jackson was just a newborn at our wedding and has turned into quite a cute kid.  The pizza was great and it was nice to finally see my parents.  Afterwards, all the guys went out with Kyle leading the group.  I went home and slept.  It must have been a great night out because Scott and Scott didn’t make it home till 2:30!

On Thanksgiving, we met up with my parents at Old Navy for a quick shopping trip and then some Starbucks to hang out.  Then we packed up the car and headed to my Aunt Pam’s house for dinner.  It was great to see my cousin Luke, who has been plagued by an illness that they finally think is Lyme disease, and Emily, with newborn Harrison.  There was plenty of football and food to go around.  It was nice to sit in somewhat quiet places and talk with all my cousins, aunts and uncles.  It’s amazing how much baby advice there is when there are 9 kids under 6.  I can’t wait for Thanksgiving in 2 years when we will have a little one to chase around.

Friday morning was much of the same family time.  My aunts and cousins had planned a baby shower for me at a local restaurant for brunch.  The food was great and talking more with the newer moms was always educational.  After the shower we decided to brave the shops and see what we could find.  Since the Huskers weren’t playing great it was advised that we stay out shopping.  We made it back just in time to see the Huskers pull out a win in the last game of the season.  Bring on the Big 10 Championship game!  While Scott did some work and my mom and aunt chatted, I took a wonderful nap.  That was missing from actual Thanksgiving day!  Then the 6 of us loaded up the cars and met Shelley & Mark for dinner and a Bond movie.  Dinner was great and Scott got to talk to my uncles a little more.  Always a good time with the Sheldon bunch.

Saturday morning we were told to be at Village Inn by 7:30, my parents showed up at 8.  We had a quick breakfast and we left for St. Louis as my parents headed back to Texas.  It wasn’t a long enough visit with everyone but it will do until the first bridal shower in the spring.