Tuesday, December 26, 2006


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.


Aaron said...

Oh, stop complaining. You do need a new job. ;)

I think it's great that you can spend time with the girls individually. That way you can spoil them each equally. heh

Oddly enough, I didn't receive any of the simple (cheap) gifts I requested -- but I did come out like a bandit at Home Depot. That money will be put to good use but won't last long. Maybe I'll completely demolish the master bathroom and replace the drywall with it? hrm..

My highlight of the weekend was watching Whitneys dad ALMOST drop a tree on my truck. He hit his truck instead. So I spent the next two hours with the boys cutting up the tree and stacking firewood. Not exactly how I expected to spend the evening with her family, but thats what friends are for.

Mom sent me home with ALL KINDS of sugary snacks. I'll be pawning those off on the boys at work.

brookem said...

Hey there:) Are Lauren and Alaina your sisters? Or friends of the family? They sound adorable.

I'm SO excited about the long weekend. I took yesterday off so this past one was extra long, and all that's getting me through today is knowing that I only have two more days after this and then Monday off again- gotta love this time of year.

:) PS- I love your pictures!

e.b. said...

Adorable family time pictures, shows like a great weekend. Here are to short weeks, Starbucks and bearable hours.

Ally said...

e.b.: It was a great weekend! And yes, Starbucks is definitely making this morning more bearable.

Brookem: Lauren and Alaina are my sister's daughter (my nieces). And yes, I do love this time of the year.

Aaron: I'm glad your truck survived unscathed. Did it mess up Whitney's dad's truck? We had a limb fall in my sister's driveway, but fortunately no one was standing there and no vehicle was there at the time. And my vote is for replacing the drywall...it sounds easier, and I'm all about easy when it comes to home repair (which is probably why I still live in an apartment).

Jordan said...

I'm glad you had a nice Christmas. I worked 12 hours on Christmas days (can you really call spending 12 hours in a nursery with newborns, work?) So we celebrated on the 24th.
I got a coach purse.. Tiffany's ring.. lots of lotions from BB&BW .. some ZAINO for the car finally... lots of chocolates .. cash... a new watch... and some other odds and ends.

Great pics :)

Aaron said...

Lets see..

It took out about 6' of cast-iron fence.
Ripped the gutter off their 3-car carport.
Smashed the hell out of the windshield of his truck, dented the hood pretty badly, which probably included both quarter-panels. Most likely, there is some engine damage along with that.
The rest of the top of the tree left a few dents on top of her mom's Yukon. She was thrilled about that, lemme tell you.
And Whitney's Envoy was parked under the carport, so a branch ripped off the rear wiper and added a few scratches.

Had I been in the driveway 30sec sooner, it would have completely cut my 4R in half since it crashed through the fence RIGHT where I would have parked.

Not dad's fault, though. As the tree was falling, it splintered on the opposite side and was determined to do a complete 180 and fall in the wrong direction. I've cut down enough trees that I wouldn't have even saw that coming...

ella w. said...

Love the photos! Your nieces are so adorable.

Sounds like you made off good with Xmas present! I love Starbucks cards - though I do notice as some places (e.g. airports) they drinks are more expensive. Hmpf.

I got a bunch of gift cards - I need to make a spreadsheet just to keep track which ones I have an how much I have on each card. Oh and some lovely shoes. haha.

ps: Notice I did not say anything about a certain friend.

Ally said...

Ella: A spreadsheet? You're hardcore:) And yes, I noticed!

Aaron: Yuck! I'm glad no one was hurt, but I'm sure that wasn't fun to deal with especially during the already hectic holidays.

Jordan: I'm still sorry you had to "work" on Christmas day but spending it with newborns is the next best thing to not having to work:) So who gave you the Tiffany ring? ZAINO? Am I behind on some sort of technological advance?

cdp said...

Yay! I'm so glad you're going to Charleston. You MUST have breakfast at Baker's. It's on King Street. They have the most delicious eggs (and rhubarb jam) on the planet. Please go there so I can eat vicariously through you!

Sounds like a great Christmas. PS, I love that DKNY perfume. Smells soooo good.

Flat Coke and Flies said...

Sounds like a lovely time with the family. Spending time with my niece gives me some fuzzy feelings too.

Starbucks giftcard--the best!! I got one from a dr. I work with. Can't wait to get my marble mocha macchiato!!

Accidentally Me said...

I echo what Ella meant to say but didn't about The Big O...

I love the upside-down picture;-) Aunt Ally is hot!

Jordan said...

I learned about ZAINO from my Los Angeles friend, Cindy. It's car wax, but in several different steps. Supposed to shine the car up like ... ice! It's a little costly, so friend heard me talking about it months ago, knows that I never bought it, and decided to buy it for me. Also the ring came from friend too.... I think more out of guilt than anything else because of something HORRIBLE he recently did.

Jordan said...

oh. so you're not confused.. "friend" lives here in FL..

I realized after I wrote that I typed two different "friends" in one comment...

Ally said...

Jordan: ZAINO sounds like something my brother-in-law would like. I'll have to remember that. As for your friend, I hope he didn't hurt you HORRIBLY. That would make the ring a little less fun, but I still hope you enjoy it.

AM: Thanks. And do you think that since it'll be NYE, Oz and I should kiss? :)

FC&F: I still haven't tried a marble mocha, but it sounds yummy.

Cindy: I've been told that we'll be doing a lot of eating, but all of the planning/reservations appear to have already been taken care of. Hopefully Baker's is on the agenda.

Croaker said...

Yeah those Starbucks guys are supposed to be specially trained why don't they listen when you tell them your order!

Ally said...

Croaker: Seriously! I think b/c I don't live in real city that we just barely have "real" Starbuck workers. I try to boycott drive-throughs anyway, but I also like to go in to SB b/c I've caught them giving me whole milk several times. Oh well, I have no idea how they remember/get all of those orders anywhere close to right.

Accidentally Me said...

Should you kiss? Duh!!! Or course!!! I think it is bad luck not to...

Anonymous said...

Dr. Ridge here. not sure why so many responses to this blog except readers have had more time and also notice the more pictures of your NIECES the more comments. Very understandble as they are little darlings. Must get their looks from Your side of family. Re: trip to Charleston with Wizard of O I don't think you should encourage the wizard too much (unless that is objective) as he could end of like the guy at the soup kitchen . Regardless enjoy the trip. And be careful. Dr. RJJ

Ally said...

AM: Well I'll let you know!

Dr. Ridge: My nieces definitely are adorable. And I have no fear of Oz becoming a soup kitchen stalker:) I hope you have a good New Years!