The last month has been super eventful for the family... To write it all down would take all night ... so here's the abridged version:
* Steve (back) and Annde (croup) are both recovered. Annde managed to pass on her cold to just about everyone who was in the house over the Christmas vacation. Most of us have recovered... Mine is still lingering and I think my mom might still have a touch of it left...
* My birthday ended with a bang too. We ended up going north to Frankenmuth and the land of Chicken & Christmas ornaments. Instead of doing an all-day trip and having dinner up there, we watched the news about a sleet/snow blizzard-y storm coming and high-tailed it up for lunch instead. The food rocked at Zehnders! I absolutely love going there for the family style fried chicken. Yummy! Then, we went over to Bronners - the BIGGEST Christmas store in the World. I could get lost in there for hours. Unfortunately, with Steve's back and the coming storm, I got about 20 minutes. So, Mom, Annde and I power-shopped... I must say, I got some cute ones! Then I drove the 2 1/2 hours home in the storm while EVERYONE (yes, you too Mom!) slept. We stopped at the store to pick up some meds for Steve and I broke the car - yep! Rolled down the window and it wouldn't go back up... in a sleet storm... several miles from home... with a car that doesn't fit in the garage... Oops! Anywho - we kinda fixed it and got the window back up but in the process, broke this plastic piece, the mechanism inside that rolls it and down, and sheered off the bottom of the glass. A $636 oops! Sigh! So, we went home and played cards. Mom, Dad and I played my favorite card game, Phase 10. I narrowly (okay, 100 points...) beat Dad and we annihilated Mom (Don't be a sore loser, Mommeo - 500 points is a lot!)!
* Christmas eve was good... Annde spent all day trying to get to open gifts - Note to self: Don't put out gifts until AFTER dinner next year! - and Susan made it safely from Texas. We ate a TON of appetizers (family tradition) and opened gifts... Annde was excited about that part. In fact, when Susan got there - she was barely in the door when Annde tossed her gift at her and told her what it was! AHAHAHA Afterwards, we went to church and sang carols.
* Christmas Day was good too. Steve's parents joined up and I cooked up a turkey dinner with all the trimmings. I thought it was awesome, even if the stuffing wasn't in the bird! Annde got geeked about the whole Santa thing. Santa rocked - she got LOTS of Princess stuff, Animal Doctor kit, books, stickers, little pets... We listened to Christmas music, played with all kinds of toys and puzzles, and ate way too much. After the sickos (Annde and Steve) went to bed, Mom, Dad, Susan, and I played another card game called Swap. Only one injury and a lot of laughing! (How's the hand, Mom?)
* The next night was Wicked. We were 8 rows off the stage and it was FABULOUS! Much better than the book or the original - it all makes sense now! :) We did dinner at the Melting Pot and I just love their chocolate fondue! It was a wonderful evening, until we sat in the parking garage for 2 hours waiting to get out of our space because traffic was so bad... trust us to pick the show that lets out at the same time as the Motor City Bowl, just down the street... :)
* The rest of the vacation / lay off was uneventful. Annde got sick with the flu and we did some fun stuff as a family but mostly we just vegged. I needed to recharge my batteries after all that cooking.
It was truly a wonderful holiday season. I was so happy to share it with my family... it seems like forever between visits and I do miss seeing my parents and my sister! Love at you three! Yes, there has been some bad stuff lately with my job - I will be laid off again for 2 weeks in about 2 weeks and we all took pay cuts - as well as Steve's brakes died the day we got the car back from fixing the window (Murphy's law right?), but we are all still mostly healthy, happy, and employed! :) That's all that counts right? :)