We had a great Christmas.
As usual we attended Christmas Eve church service and hosted a meal of appetizers at our house for my family.
There were the usual pictures in front of the tree.
I felt like Christmas was relaxed this year. That is a goal of mine - to not become that frantic, crazed person rushing around buying gifts and thinking that perfection is what makes Christmas special. Santa didn't spoil our kids.
Our families usually ask our opinion on presents to buy for the kids. Most of them know I hate the clutter of a thousand toys. Toys are important for kids, but we want stuff that makes them use their imaginations and be interactive. And they all did so great picking out stuff that they will use again and again, without driving Jared and me insane.
Princess dress-up stuff for the girls. Instant hit.
"The Little Blue Truck" board book. Graham is obsessed.
Little People. They've already been in the plane, bus, tractor, barn, you name it.
A unique, personalized board book made by my mom on Pint Size Productions. Graham loves this book. It is all about farm implements with pictures of his papa's tractors, combines, wagons, etc. And he can't get over that there is a picture of his grandparents in a book!
ThinkFun Roll & Play Game (G's present from Santa). All 3 kids love it. They learn and have fun at the same time. And it entertains for a long time. I highly recommend.
Tool set. Tractor repair was going down just yesterday morning.
This adorable Melissa & Doug doorbell house. Jared hid their snacks in it one day and Avery couldn't stop laughing at the fact that her fruit snack was hidden behind Door #2.
And of course they got clothes, and leggings for the obsessed Bailey, and other books. It was all stuff we can use and I appreciate all the thought that went into getting them meaningful gifts.
We went after-Christmas shopping on December 26th and scored some good deals on decorating stuff. Now that all my sisters have their own houses, we can all behave like old ladies excited over new decor items. :)
New Christmas tradition for next year!
My sister Beaner told me of an ingenious idea that a friend does for Christmas each year. Every year she individually wraps every Christmas book they own and places them under the tree. Each night in the days leading to Christmas, the kids get to pick a book, unwrap it, and read it together that night. They are all books they have already read, but it's like they are brand new. It's a unique tradition that is essentially free and fun for the kids. Another way to get in the Christmas spirit. I am so going to do this next year!
I don't know about you, but man we are getting lame on New Year's Eve. And when I say "getting" I really mean that we have been this way forever. We even had no kids for the evening (Thanks Mom!) and we were still lame. As my sister Justy expressed, it's all the pressure that comes with New Year's supposedly being this awesome, great time. I haven't ever had an amazing New Year's experience. Maybe one day?
This year Jared and I went out for dinner and drank too many margaritas. We came home and drank some wine and played some games, passing time until it would be suitable to go to the bar. And then around 9:30 our couch started looking pretty amazing. And we did have a long list of movies DVRed. And with that showers were taken and jammies put on and we snuggled up on the couch to watch "Dallas Buyers Club." Yep, that is how behind we are on new releases. We were in bed before midnight. And it was pretty great.
I reached my goal and lost 30 pounds a few weeks ago. Christmas happened and I took the liberty of still working out but eating whatever indulgent crap I wanted. I gained a pound. Oh well. I would have been in a pissy mood passing up delicious food at Christmas for the sake of a calorie count.
And despite the Christmas food free-for-all, I bought my first pair of jeans (not counting one pair of maternity jeans) in 8 years. 8 YEARS. That's pathetic. I have been getting by using some of Fe's jeans that she couldn't wear anymore (because sister lost like 60 pounds in the last 2 years!), but those are now too big. It was time.
I am pretty ecstatic to report that I now fit into a pair of 9/10 jeans. That's amazing for me. I haven't been that size in probably a decade.
On the exercise front, the week of Christmas I decided it was time to rededicate myself to actually getting more fit. For a while I had been coasting by, still losing weight, but not really challenging myself with workouts. So I started a new workout routine. It's called The 90 Day Warrior Workout by Hasfit.com, and it's a calendar with 3 months of workouts planned out for you. Some of the workouts are ones I have already done while doing the 30 Day Beginner calendar, but there are quite a few new routines that are kicking my butt at times. And that's a good thing. As always they are all exercises that are done at home with only handweights. I highly recommend if you are looking for something to challenge you without shelling out money for a gym membership you aren't sure you will use all that much.
I think that is about all for now. I put the kids in front of some Looney Tunes so I could have a minute (or 30. or 60.) to myself. Hey, at least it is the classics and not Caillou or some crap. Man, I hate that little, annoying brat... Him and his grating personality and that hat he always wears. One shouldn't have such aggression towards a PBS cartoon character, but it is what it is (to quote my mom).
Time to go make lunch!