1)Being totally, utterly, 100% prepared for Christmas. We started shopping before Halloween and finished weeks before Christmas Day. This is the first year we haven't spent hours wrapping presents on Christmas Eve just for them to be eagerly torn into less than 24 hours later. I don't mean to toot our own horn, but.... HOOOOONNNNNNNK!! I am very proud of us!
2) Getting a much sought after Wii from my parents. My kids began jumping for joy in disbelief and screaming, "We got a Wii! We got a Wii!". This went on for several long minutes. Nonstop.
So my parents were the heroes of Christmas. My mom miraculously found it on Christmas Eve of all days!!! (We looked and looked for weeks prior with no luck.) Papa was the funder, Go-Ma was the finder. Good team work, guys! You pulled off the impossible. Wii love it!!!!
3) My mom LOVING the photobag we gave her. It was her "favorite" gift this year. (Or so she says. She probably told all of her kids that.) She is a hard person to shop for so I was very pleased that she liked it so much. My dad is quietly coveting it. This might be the one time in his life when he wished that men carried purses. Some men do. But most don't. (Thank goodness.) He's too much of a man's man to even carry a "man bag". (Again, thank goodness.) Now if I can just do this same thing to a tool belt I think he'd be stoked. Hmmmmmmm.........
This is the photo on the other side of the purse. This picture was taken on a warm November day. Gotta love California!
4) Being able to cook my family Christmas breakfast. This is the firt time I have done this in our 11 years of marriage. No. Not because I'm lazy. (I had way too much time to be lazy this year. HUH? Read on.) We usually tear through presents, rush to look presentable, rip our kids away from their new toys, bolt out the door and head to San Jose for Christmas brunch, tear through more presents, rush to load up our loot, rip kids away from cousins, bolt out the door and head to Oakley, tear through more presents, exhaust ourselves and stay the night at my family's house, then mosey on home to the beautiful disaster that is the day after Christmas. (The ribbons, the wrappings, the trimmings, the trappings.) This is the time when the laziness sets in. I don't unload the car for a good 2 or 3 days. And cleaning up the house? We won't even go there. I did miss the scrumptious Christmas Brunch and the beautiful spread that my classy mom-in-law works so hard over. But this was a fun first.
5) Stone Caleb Thompson. Need I say more? I seriously hunger after this baby boy. Is it the big brown eyes? The soft, smushy cheeks? Seriously... take one look at my adorable nephew and tell me that you don't fall madly in love with him. I dare you.
(And if you ask me, Disneyland Daddy looks pretty sexy with a baby in his arms. Look at those big guns tenderly surrounding that sweet, fragile, dependent creature. I love it. )
6) An unexpected visit from the Ericksons. Does it surprise you to know that Brandon used to be a "manny". (You know.... a male nanny.) Well these are the boys -all grown up- that primed my husband for the patience that my kids now take advantage of. Judging from Brandon's high patience threshold they must have been really, really naughty. Just kidding. They were driving through the neighborhood and saw our car parked out front and stopped by to say hello. We're glad they did. It was fun to catch up. (And just think.... if our Christmas was anything like the usual...see #4... we probably would not have had this visit.)
7) Cousins. We love cousins.
Especially "KISSIN' COUSINS"!!!
And it's a little sad for me to see that the former members of the "Little Kids Table" are not so little anymore. This is more like the "Tween-Table" now. Or something like that.
8) Chocolate. I love it. I gotta have it. Have you ever seen such a big box of chocolate? Why have I never known that such a beautiful thing exists?
9) My mom turning 50. Her birthday is on New Year's Eve. That day I drove out to Brentwood to take her to get her nails done and to lunch. It was just the two of us. Unfortunately I didn't think to bring my camera until I was pulling into her driveway. (Major blogging faux-paus, I know!!!) We had a lot of fun and a lot of laughs. Especially with the uncomfortably flirtatious Vietnamese guy who did my nails. I'm sure he thought his behavior would get him a bigger tip. (It didn't.) I had to stifle my giggles when he told us to "Go BBQ." Translation? "Stick your hands under the nail dryer." I'm LOL-ing right now as I type.
10) Going to the temple to see the lights & nativity.
.....even though my 6 year old hopped on one of the drained fountains with his friends and said, "Hey look, we're walking on water." Good thing we ran into our Bishop there and he busted 'em. Although I think he found it quite humorous. So did I. It ranks right up there with the kids playing "baptism" in the spa.
This is the ONLY time that all of these kids were in one spot at the same time. And we're even missing one..... where was Jacob?
11) New Year's Eve party.
Even Bodi joined in the fun.
Until the fireworks started, anyway. Then he tucked his tail between his legs and hid.
All in all this was the smoothest holiday season ever. We were blessed to be surrounded by loving family & close friends as we celebrated the birth of our Savior and rang in the new year.
And with this blog post, we kiss 2008 GOODBYE.