30 December 2009

well, hello there!

Earlier in the autumn of the year, Jerry and I decided to spend Christmas with my folks in Arkansas. So after his eldest daughter's cantata, we headed out. I'd had a slight dental mishap earlier in the evening, and shattered my partial. Ugh. So I felt a bit self~conscious as the missing tooth is an incisor, right in the front of my smile. But as Jerry's eldest daughter's mother~in~law pointed out, "your parents loved you the first time you were toothless" and ya just can't argue with logic like that!

This was my first Christmas as a married woman. wow. I had to sit and let that soak in for a minute. as a married woman. wow.

It was about this time last year that I met Jerry, his family, his friends, and his co~workers. And this year has been extremely eventful. I'm not gonna recap here, the entire year, just this past week or so, since the last time I blogged.

Since I've not seen my folks since the wedding, Jerry and I gave them their "thank~you" gifts upon our arrival. They were tokens of appreciation. Mom makes wine, so we had an assortment of bottle~stoppers and corks. Plus, I'd made a buncha wine~bottle bags. And we took some of the muscadine wine from Mississippi's only winery. And some drink~wear...coasters in the shape of flip~flops that attach to your wine~glass base.

The following day, Jerry, my mother, my brother, and I drove up to Fort Smith {an hour and a half away} to Snoopers, a used book~store that we'd heard about. We thought that instead of buying them lots of titles on our own and taking the chance that those weren't what they were wanting or that they'd already read/owned them; well, it just made more sense to let them choose what they wanted and then get them for them.

And we had lunch at a Chinese buffet while we were there. Then, the next day, Jerry went with Dad up to Fayetteville {about three hours} for my dad's eye~appt. They bought some seafood {lobster~tails, scallops, crab, shrimp, oysters} for Christmas eve and Christmas day dinner.

Plus, there were evenings of yahtzee, and days of audio~books, and meeting a few friends of my folks. And there was a light dusting of snow, phone calls to family and friends, and a few short jaunts to town with my mom. All in all, a wonderful visit.

My folks and I have some traditions and one of them is how we do Christmas morning. Most everyone that spends the morning with us once, then returns over the years to experience it again...it's more meaningful and more relaxing than most. We take our time. There is no rush and no frantic tearing into gifts and then it's all over in ten minutes. We enjoy the process.

This year, I played elf and distributed the gifts. This year, my mom did not get out all her decorations {I didn't either, but that's cuz I abhor coming home from away after Christmas and taking all the decorations down and packing them away}, just a simple few touches in the living room. She'd covered a small table with a red cloth and placed her picket~fence with a snowman atop it and then the gifts were all piled around the table on the floor and table~top.

In my family, gift~giving has always been about practical stuff you'd use. Yes, it's stuff that you'd like {that's the fun} but almost always stuff you'd need or use. Growing up, it was almost always the time I'd get my boots {if this was the year I'd get them}, a pair of jeans, some socks/underwear, perhaps a sweater, and always a few books.

My mom always Always ALWAYS gives me a small pocket calender. It's another tradition that we share. Right up there with cookie~baking.

So after a breakfast of french toast and eggs, I with my MSU stocking cap on handed first one gift then another around. Everyone had their coffee {tea for me} and we all watched while a person unwrapped a gift. They usually guessed what it might be beforehand and sometimes were dead~on and sometimes were dead~wrong. There were some gifts that caused surprise and some that were funny and almost always there is a duplicate or two {this year it was Jerry's christmas light sleep pants~~both mom and i got him a pair}. Some gifts get passed around, like Jerry's eldest son's gift to me {my mother insisted that she should keep the pottery piece out of harm's way, cuz I'm a klutz, and altho I thanked her for her thoughtfulness, I did bring it home with me, where it now sits on the dining room table. it was one of the two pieces that he had displayed and won the state's award for}.

After we were done with the gift exchange, Jerry told me that he liked doing things this way and that it makes it seem more appreciated. I agreed. But then this is the way I've done gift~giving since I was a child and cannot imagine not wanting to enjoy the other's excitement and enjoyment any other way moreso.

Altho we enjoyed our time there, it was time for us to come home. On the way, we stopped to eat a late lunch and saw a CNN clip focused on Starkville {there'd been a fire in an apartment and killed three young woman and six small children}. By the time we'd reached home, there had been a few folks calling from away about it {concerned about the location and the individuals involved}.

In other news, Jerry's sons and their wives are coming in tomorrow to ring in the new year with us. Jerry is roasting his turkey and making the traditional coleslaw, cornbread, and black~eyed peas. He enjoys my traditional pork and sauerkraut but I elected not to do that this time as it may be better to wait til it's just the two of us {I've no idea if anyone other than the two of us enjoy pork and sauerkraut}, and just do this area's traditional meal. Altho we decided to go with his turkey instead of the ham.

I baked cookies for Jerry. I had told him that the next time I baked cookies from scratch, I would bake him some sugar~free ones. No, he is not diabetic, but since he has had gastric bypass surgery, he processes heavily sugared foods and drinks {including alcohols} differently and the effect of sugar~bombs can make him faint &/or vomit...not pretty to witness and not pretty to experience.

So I baked a cream~cheese cookie for him that I adapted to sugar~free. The cookies are extremely light and tasty with pecans and walnuts. Very moist. I've a feeling they won't last for long!

And perhaps tomorrow, I'll bake some bread.

So all y'all have a happy new year! be safe and stay warm and dry...it's always better to start the new year healthy and happy!

1 comment:

  1. A very "special" (spastic hand clapping) Holiday in oh so many ways! I look forward to our coming year together!


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