every other year.
Even numbered years are always weird for us at Christmastime because we only get the older two girls on odd numbered years.
This year, being an even numbered year, we were supposed to only have Maya on Christmas day. Paige ended up staying with us Christmas eve and Christmas day because her dad was in eastern WA with his parents, and the pass was a mess. She didn't feel comfortable driving over the pass in such poor conditions, and I don't blame her. Normally we would get Brittani the day after Christmas, but we actually got to pick her up at like 11am on Christmas day.
We stayed Christmas eve at my mom and dad's, like we always do. It was, as always, wonderful. We had the usual: prime rib, twice baked potatoes, veggies, salad, rolls... it's so yummy. We rocked hard at Rockband 2. Can I tell you, I think my brother, my sister and I missed our Partridge Family calling. We so rock hard. We could easily add Wayne to the mix, but there's only one guitar. He fills in, as does my mom. I guess they can take up the slack when we have to take potty breaks.
Maya, Sofia and Ben (my niece and nephew) were so excited, of course. My sister said Sofia and Maya woke her up at 2am to see if it was time to open gifts yet. Ha! They never went back to sleep. We all woke up at 6am; I can only imagine how long those 4 hours were for the girls. Torture.
Wayne and I really tried to keep Christmas low-key this year. We had less money to spend, and we cut out a few people we would normally buy gifts for. It sucked to have to do that, but I think a lot of people were having to tighten the purse strings this year. When we were shopping this year, I overheard more than a few people say that they had little or no money for the holidays this year. I am grateful that we were still able to provide our kids with a memorable holiday, even if it wasn't a holiday with endless gift-giving.
Maya's big gift this year was a Nintendo DS. She got several games to go with it. She also got a Barbie, and I told Wayne that I guess that may be the last Barbie we buy for her. She'll be 9 in October, and I think by next birthday and Christmas, she may be done with her Barbie phase. It makes me kind of sad, but also, I am ready to be RID of Barbies.
Maya left, Sofia right.
Paige's big gift was a pair of black paisley Uggs. They are too small, though, so I have to exchange them. I got them through www.zappos.com, so I need to send them back. Sending back is so much more difficult than just running it back to a store.
Brittani was the fun one to shop for this year. She has a goal of opening her own cookie shop one day, so we bought her a bunch of tools and accessories for baking. My favorite was the apron I bought for her on Etsy. Etsy is my new favorite place to window shop online.
You can find really cute aprons at the Boojiboo shop at Etsy. We put all of Brittani's cookie stuff in the footlocker-looking thing, and Wayne decorated it himself. he's very crafty, my husband. In fact, his dream right now is to own a Cricut. With a Cricut, oh the ways he could have decorated the footlocker...
One of my favorite gifts was a new camera strap that my mom and dad gave me:
Isn't it so cool?
They got it from www.myfunkycamera.com, which is where I got my last camera strap. The woman who makes the straps has improved them so much since I last bought one; she has:
- lengthened the strap
- lined the piece that is in direct contact with the neck with a microfiber fleece or something like that. It is so soft. I can wear the camera for hours now without my neck getting irritated or my neck hairs getting all knotted. Very nice.
- She has included a quick release option for an additional $5. Nice. Now I can get several different camera straps and change them quickly and easily.
Oh, but the day was not without drama. Paige has been very difficult lately; she is really difficult to live with. But I think that may be another post for another day. When I'm less angry. Though I have to admit that right now I'm just worried. She is working at Snoqualmie Summit this year, and while she was working tonight, chains became required on the pass. She wanted me to come get her, but I don't have chains either (and even if I had, I wouldn't have gone to get her, honestly). Who knows if we can even find chains now after this run of snow. Anyway, she headed to her grandparents' house, which is in Mattawa (E. Wa). That was easily two hours ago, and I haven't heard from her. I did call her dad and let him know to have her call me because she was really angry with me, and I have a feeling she won't call just to spite me. That's the way shes been lately. Hostile would be a very accurate description.
It really sucks.