December 28, 2006

Christmas Wrap Up

Well, Christmas is over, and it's back to work. It's really weird being at work right now, because next to noone is actually working. Most people have vacation time to use, and the week after Christmas is apparently when everyone uses it. Me, I'm still on probation (stupid new-hire rules) and therefore cannot use vacation. I've graciously been allowed unpaid leave, which is the last thing a person needs after Christmas...

It's okay though, because DS and I did manage a whirlwind tour of the southeast. In 5 days, we traveled over 2000 miles, which allowed us exactly one day each with our families. Going down wasn't so bad, since we went about halfway the first day, spent a day with my mom, and then the other half to SC to see his mom. However, the day after Christmas we got to spend an exciting 17 hours in the car, only to go to work the next morning. Woot!

Despite the less than ideal traveling conditions, there were some great things that happened on this trip. First, my parents bought me a hammered dulcimer for Christmas, which I'm madly in love with. My grandmother played both kinds of dulcimer in a bluegrass band, so we've always had them around the house. Unfortunately, the hammered dulcimer was broken by someone a long time ago, so I've never been able to play it. Now, I have my own!

I of course got to curl up with Abby.

I also got to spend time with my new niece and nephew. Miles is 2, and is turning out to be really fun now that he can do more than cry.

I've been searching for a picture of Abby I thought was on here, and have lost my train of thought without even a picture to show for it. Oh well.

I still have a few ornaments left if anyone wants them. More better updates will resume when I've regained my sanity. (You like my excellent use of grammar don't you?)

December 22, 2006

3 Days until Christmas

Well, here goes. That fun time of year that DS and I get to travel cross country to visit family, effectively spending more time in the car than actual visiting. But it's okay, because I am surprisingly happy this year. Life is falling into place in a way I never imagined it could a few years ago. Plus, I have a new friend at work (who I'm currently obsessed with) who was kind enough to make me over 20 cd's recently. So, bring it on car! I have more music than you have hours! Woot!

Merry Christmas to everyone!

December 19, 2006

7 Days until Christmas

How the heck did that happen??? At any rate, 24 of the ornaments are done. Drum roll!!

You can get them plain for $6, as shown below.
For an extra dollar, you can send me a picture of your pet, and I'll do my best to put them curled up in front of the fire.

I can send out the plain ones as early as Wednesday, but the custom ones will take a little longer. The good news is that unlike last year, I have all 60 (yes, 60!) very nearly done (meaning they all have the quilled fire already, and are halfway painted) and 24 that are completely done. So even if you get it after Christmas, it won't take as long as last year.

As usual, if you want one, send me an e-mail. Most of you should know it by now!

December 13, 2006

12 Days until Christmas

It's Wednesday, and you know what that means! Wait, you don't? Geez!

It's Battlestar Galactica night at Anne's!! We're all fairly new to the show, so we're watching the old ones together to get caught up to TV. Hooray for robots!

If you're cool, you'll join me. Yeah that's right. I just set the standard for cool. No laughing.

December 11, 2006

15 Days until Christmas

Well, the presents are wrapped. The house is at least superficially clean. I spent the evening painting ornaments. I feel a little better, but I'm still worried about these ornaments. After consulting with MT, I've decided to at least finish a small batch. So, hopefully by the end of the week, they'll be unveiled!

I'm actually looking forward to work tomorrow. It seems relaxed compared to the last week...

December 10, 2006

16 Days until Christmas

DS and I went Christmas shopping today. Normally, I get excited about that. I'm not sure why I didn't, especially since we could afford to do it without the help of our credit cards for the first time ever. I'm in a bit of a funk. The house is a mess, but I can't seem to get it clean, even when I try. The new ornaments aren't done, and I'm running out of time to mail them, much less sale them. Christmas decorations are only half done. I'm still not recovered from my work trip.

While the trip itself was exhausting, it was a good experience. I was stationed in the PACU the whole week, which is basically where patients recover after surgery. There were no walls, so it took me a little while to get used to being so close to half naked people who are full of morphine. Switching to an EMR (electronic medical record) can be very stressful for the people who work in the hospital, but I was pleasantly surprised to see how wonderful the nurses in my unit adapted. Even the first day, when things are the hardest, they were cheerful and easy-going. I couldn't have asked for a better experience for my first work trip. By the end of the week they were asking for my address to send me a Christmas card, which really touched me. Then again, I did spend 12 hours a day with them :)

Tomorrow I'm hopefully going to craft at my friend Anne's house, which probably means I'm going to be making ornaments. I don't want to impose this depression on anyone else though, so here's hoping I wake up just a little bit perkier.

December 03, 2006

22 Days until Christmas

Christmas came early this year!! DS and I both wanted the new Wii, so we decided that would be our Christmas present to each other. Unfortunately, despite going to the stores everyday since the launch, we had been unsuccessful in getting one.

That is, until today!! Those forums DS spends so much time on finally paid off, as were clued in to a second "launch" happening at most stores this morning. So, DS braved 7 degree weather to stand in line for an hour before Target opened this morning to get his "Wii Ticket". For once, I didn't mind getting up early.

We played bowling first. Notice the tongue, a mark of my concentration. Also notice the random ornament mess.

And here's DS. He beat me, surprise surprise.

We also have Zelda, which I'm super excited about, and Madden football. Apparently, there's a surgery game, were you perform surgeries on patients using the two controllers as your scalpel and whatnot. DS believes I will love it, so I guess we're going to have that too. Anyone want to come over and play???

December 02, 2006

23 Days until Christmas

Winston and Felix think our tree is their own personal jungle gym. They've broken several ornaments, chew on the branches as if they were real, and tree skirt is always wadded up to the side. I straightened it just for this picture, though Felix quickly messed it up again.

24 Days until Christmas

Let's start this year's Christmas countdown with one of my favorite high horses:

The Proper Hanging of Christmas Lights.

Yes, it's true, I'm a Christmas light snob. Maybe it's the Virgo in me, or maybe it was the years spent helping my step-father hang our lights, where he made sure each bulb was arranged to lay exactly right against the windows. Whatever the reason, I believe Christmas lights should be thought out. None of this sloppy throwing up of something just so you can say you've decorated. Do it right! And for crying out loud, pick a theme. Just because Target sells 15 different varieties doesn't mean you have to put each one up on your house. Light hanging is an art form, and when done well, is one of the most beautiful and enchanting things about the holidays.

I give you, Exhibit A.

From a distance, this balcony doesn't look too bad. The lights are nicely placed around the tob and bottom rungs of the railing, and are accented nicely by a lit wreath. However, upon closer inspection, we see that no less than 5 different color strands are used. I'm not talking about 5 colors on each strand, but rather 5 separate strands, each one color, randomly placed on the balcony. Orange, Pink, Blue, Clear and Red. What happened? Each child wanted a different color? This was all you had and decided you'd just put them all up? Maybe no one would notice?

This is a minor offense. As I gather more pictures, I'll share them, trying to stick with the really bad and the really awesome.

Note: For those of you who don't know, I work at a software company that makes products exclusively for the healthcare community. One of the side notes of my job is helping hospitals go-live with new products. Next week is my first trip. I leave Sunday, and will be in Champaign through Friday, working 5am-5pm shifts in the hospital. I'm supposed to be excited about it, but all I can think of is how I'll miss my home (and all the things that come with it) and how impossible it will be for me to actually be somewhere at 5am. We have customers in Hawaii, but even that isn't worth getting up at 3am... At any rate, I may be scarce for the next week as I try to avoid passing out from exhaustion (though at least it would be in a hospital), and try to fit in some ornament making time. So don't worry!