So, the holidays happened.
I mean, I'm pretty sure they did. There was mid-November, and now it's January 1st, and I'm 99% convinced that in the six weeks between those two points I logged a couple thousand miles on my car, went to Detroit, went to Chicago, went to Detroit again, went to Toronto, wrapped a bunch of gifts, sent a bunch of cards, cooked a bunch of food, ate a bunch of food, and generally was merry.
The week of Thanksgiving I drove around solo a lot, and I spent a lot of that driving time listening to NPR, except for the one time I crossed a state line and the channel change and I totally thought I was still listening to NPR but in fact I'd tuned into the Christian Family Values network, and let me tell you, NOT the same.
We spent Thanksgiving at my parents house in Chicago with Cute Boy and his family, which was good for a lot of laughs and some very yummy food. It was Princess's first Thanksgiving with us, since we got her just after it last year, and she was amazed by the idea that the whole day was dictated by the process of MAKING, BAKING, and EATING FOOD.
We actually had to lock her out of the basement, where the turkey roaster was, for fear she'd pull a sneaky move a la the dogs in "Christmas Story" and we'd wind up with Chinese for dinner.
This, of course, from our dog with the, shall we say, discriminating palate, whose antics lead me to have to send texts like this:
Me -> Cute Boy: Princess just ate one of your socks and then barfed it back up. It's in one piece but it's really gross so I'm just going to throw it out.
After I thankfully was able to visit her just before Thanksgiving, my grandma passed away the week after the holiday and my family went to Detroit in early December. While I'm sad that she's gone, I am grateful that she was spared long-term suffering, and it was really nice to see some of my dad's immediate and extended family. I can't honestly remember the last time we all got together, even with just his brother and sister, and I was especially glad to get to spend some time with my only cousin on his side and am really looking forward to that relationship developing.
I hosted an end-of-year party for the amazing girls who help me out at lilly lane, for whom I have to thank for an incredible year with a record-setting number of weddings! The party was also a surprise baby shower for one of our gals, who is expecting the first lilly lane baby in January. We decked out the kitchen and living room in pink and Cute Boy demonstrated extreme tolerance for having a whole lot of estrogen in the house.
I watched Christmas Vacation and am completely, entirely convinced that Chevy Chase's character in the scene where he goes off on his boss for enrolling him in the jelly club is based off of one of my Uncle Bob's rants.
I got jelly for Christmas from Uncle Bob's daughter. Even though it was totally not a reference to that movie at all (she just knows how much I freakin' love Traverse City Cherry Jam) it was funny, because, um, see above if you don't know why that was funny.
We went to a holiday concert at Butler, my alma mater. It was on the same night that IU, Cute Boy's alma mater, beat Kentucky. Pretty much every single IU alum was glued to the TV.
He watched the score auto-update on his phone while chatting with other alums during the pre-concert reception.
That's love, folks. I'ma marry that boy.
I surfed the Interwebs and Etsy and found approximately eight million adorable, easy holiday crafts that I wanted to make and I bookmarked them all and then I made exactly ZERO of them, which is fine. And then my aunt, who is awesomely crafty when it comes to knitting, actually made me one of the crafts that I had had the idea for last year except that it never left the idea stage for me whereas she actually DID IT, and I LOVE IT, IT'S SO AWESOME, and I am totally going to try to do more of my ideas this year, and by more I mean AT LEAST ONE.
I earned major awesome-future-wife points by buying Cute Boy skis for Christmas, and let me tell you, I am going to remember this for the future, because this is how THIS went down:
1) I told Cute Boy I would buy him skis and gave him a budget
2) He went out and did all the research
3) He went out and bought the skis
4) I paid for them
5) He put them out on display in his "man-room" and told everyone how awesome I was
6) He wore them around the house and told everyone how awesome I was
7) He booked a ski trip with a pal (code for: girls weekend for me at home!)
8) He put them by the tree and I stuck a bow on them.
Guaranteed love of the gift + no wrapping + no shopping +points for me = CHRISTMAS AMAZINGNESS.
I also got him a calendar. It's a tradition.
We spent Christmas in Indy with my parents (visiting from Chicago) and brother, Cute Boy's folks and sister, my aunt, uncle and cousin, and "Grandpa Ed," the neighbor we got Princess from when he went into a nursing home last year. Which, if you're keeping tally, means that yes, I hosted Christmas Day Dinner for 12 people in our house.
Unfortunately, I was apparently convinced that we had, in fact, already recieved the kitchen and cooking things we registered for recently, like, say pots and pans and baking pans? Which led me to do a whole lot of dishes and scrape together a whole lot of interesting cookware solutions and have to send a couple texts to my future sister in law that looked like this:
Me -> Sister: Can you bring some water glasses? Ours all say Coors Lite.
Me ->Sister: Also, can you bring some spoons?
Sister -> Me: Like, regular spoons? Or serving spoons?
Me -> Sister: Yeah.....both please.
I talked to my Grandpa on Christmas Day, which was sad because he was missing Grandma, but then just sort of odd because I'm pretty sure he thought I was actually my dad the whole time I was talking to him, so either he wasn't listening to me or my voice has hit a new low, no pun intended, in sexy huskiness. Either way, meh, it's cool.
My brother learned to cook and made an amazing roast and a couple side dishes, and my mom brought a ham, and I made the rest of the meal and breakfast and snacks and they actually all turned out OK and it miraculously ALL CAME TOGETHER at the right time and then at the end of the night after everyone left or was outside or was passed out I poured my mom and I shots of rum and made her drink one with me because I never realized how freaking hard it is to host a huge holiday party.
We went to Toronto for New Year's to visit Cute Boy's pals and family who live there (Cute Boy is Canadian, eh? Have I told you that yet?) and, as always, I discovered something new about the city, namely:
While out to dinner at Pangea, an amazing, amazing, amazing restaurant that Cute Boy's best friend (and best man) is chef at:
*rumble rumble rumble rumble rumble*
Me: What the eff is that? Is there some sort of freaking underground train here that I don't know about?
Cute Boy: Ummmm........you mean the subway?
Me: Get out, Toronto has a subway?
Cute Boy: *hysterical laughter*
Whatever dude, I didn't grow up here, the subway is effing UNDER THE GROUND and I just totally hadn't noticed it yet.
And then it was midnight on December 31st and 2011 came to a close and I got to kiss this really adorable blonde dude and I realized that HOLY HELL, we are getting married in less than four months, and if you think the HOLIDAYS went by fast- well, hang on, sister.
Happy New Year to you all!