I SO don't want to go to work tomorrow. To make it a little less painful, I'll be sleeping in until 7:40ish, not wearing a suit, and using one of my three new Starbuck gift cards to buy a venti upside down solo shot nonfat extra hot caramel macchiato. In case you're wondering, extra-hot is still not very hot, and they only actually make it upside down about half the time.
So my Christmas celebration and five day weekend were awesome. Predictably work was extra busy last week, which for me meant I worked one night at the office until 9 and another until after 7:30 with another hour at home. I know some jobs require a lot more, but to me, especially with the need to pack/shop/wrap gifts, that is a lot of working. And as a result I think, I had a headache for four days and looked exhausted. Oh well, it was definitely worth all the hard work to head out Friday morning. Friday night my sister and her family had a dinner, and Lauren elected to stay home with me. We had a blast. I've rarely had time alone with her since she's the youngest, and Alaina (her older sister) goes everywhere I do. Lauren accompanied me to get a pedicure, sitting in my lap and dipping her feet in too. The lady painted her toenails and even put Christmas stockings on her big toe. Very cute. I was a bit concerned that Lauren would get bored, but she completely sat there and entertained herself for the most part. She spontaneously said some prayer that included praying for our military, which she evidently learned in preschool. Random. Everyone seemed entertained by her until I was bragging to Lauren about what a good job the lady doing the pedicures was doing, and Lauren blurted out "I don't care about her." Children say the oddest (and sometimes meanest) things. The lady didn't speak good English and said "Aw no you make me cry. You no love me." I tried to smooth it over, but Lauren refused to apologize. I felt like going on about it with Lauren would only make it more awkward for the lady. At least Lauren thanked her when we left and agreed that she'd done a wonderful job painting our nails. We made cupcakes after that and did some shopping and reading.
I had some alone time on Sunday with Alaina when I took her to lunch, and she earnestly asked me (again) why I couldn't move to Calhoun. She explained that there were jobs there and that way we could do stuff together every day. I must admit that spending extended time with the girls makes me want to move; I'd love to be more involved with them and spending time with them is one of my favorite things to do. It makes my life feel fuller. But with that being said, there is nothing attractive to me about Calhoun outside of my family and best friend. Of course, that's impossible to explain to a six year old. And perhaps some kind of compromise is worth considering, even if it's more vacation time in exchange for less salary.
My sister and I got along pretty much the entire time, which is always a relief, and I spent time with my mom, dad, and great-aunt too. And of course, I ate way too much and made more Oreo bark, most of which I consumed before I could share it. A definite highlight was the candle light Christmas Eve service at my dad's church. I feel so overwhelmed by the gift of Jesus and that service is a really nice time to focus on that gift and what it means.
So is everyone else as glad as I am that another long weekend is on the horizon? I'll give you one guess as to who I'll be with on New Year's Eve, and yes Ella, just as friends:) We're going to Charleston, which will be my very first visit. I'm excited! And looking forward to checking out a new city helps take the bite out of returning to work too.
Oh, and Ella in response to your query about what I gifts I received: a carry-on suiter, DKNY Be Delicious, Itunes gift card, 3 Starbuck gift cards (this is something I actually asked for this since I feel dumb about spending over $4 on the aforementioned beverage of choice), books, a beautiful silver cross necklace, money, and some other random things. Do you guys have any favorite gifts or holiday highlights? I took all of the good photos on my mom's unbelievable camera, but I've posted a few I got with mine.