Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas is all about family

I've been remiss in not posting about Christmas at our house.  It was so much fun.  We loved having all of our children home and enjoying talking to them and watching them talk to and play with each other.  That is a mother's joy, to see her children loving each other.  I also got to have a long conversation with my mother and my only living sibling, my brother Larry.  That was deeply satisfying, to connect with my family of origin (sounds so cold, but how do you say it?), too.  I wish we all lived closer.  I promised my mother that the next day I would post pictures and I'm sorry I didn't, Mom. I couldn't choose just a few and wanted to put up a slideshow, but I never figured out how to do that.  So, I'll just put up as many as I can so you can see the fun we had.  I took a lot of pictures and if I ever figure it out I'll send a slideshow, too.

Christmas Eve Josh grilled steaks for us-to order- and they were delicious.  Unfortunately, some of us including me had been sick all day.  I only ate a few bites of steak and of some lovely garlic mashed potatoes that Jen made.  But, don't worry, we saved the left-over steaks in labeled zip lock bags and I had mine two days later.  It was still delicious! Everyone was able to be at the Christmas Eve dinner, except Courtney, who was with her parents and family.  She joined us later and we had the sibling present exchange.  That was a lot of fun, as the kids saw what their siblings chose for them.  
Chelsea, finding out what her brother and sister in law thought she deserved!
Ooh, they like! Oh, and Chelsea is a ham.
Emma was feeling terrible at this point.

I also gave Bill something I typed up and printed on nice paper and framed with a frame that was already hanging in our house. Talk about recycling! Well, I just didn't feel well enough to go to the store.
He'd done something similar for me a few years back and I finally got around to sitting down to do it for him.  It's a lovely idea and I really loved the one Bill did for me.  Bill was getting sick that evening so I don't know that he appreciated it all that much then, but he did later.
The next morning I woke up feeling perfectly well, so I quickly finished wrapping presents and stuffing stockings (yes, I still do that for the girls) and we started unwrapping presents.  We had the kids go up the back stairs from youngest to oldest and come down the front stairs where we took our traditional Christmas morning on the stairs picture. Sadly Matt and Mir had not arrived yet so they weren't in the picture.  One year we'll get everyone in there! By then, Josh was feeling sick but he was heroic and came over Christmas morning anyway, although he ended up falling asleep on a couch before it was over.

Christmas Morning 2010

Matt's family, although Isaac is a little confused about which holiday we're celebrating.

I have a lot more pictures that I want to post from Christmas day, but I'll have to do that later. I hope all of you had wonderful Christmases, too.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

OOh, pretty lights!

Emma's fort with lights.  Hers were the only ones up for weeks.

I think I'm finally in the "Christmas mood". 

1. All my little chicks have come home to roost for the holidays.  Hayley came in Wednesday night and Drew and Courtney came in Sunday night.  Has anyone else noticed that flights are ALWAYS late nowadays?

Courtney and Drew and Emma at the Greenery

2. Last Monday (a week ago) we finally got our tree up with the help of all of our kids and kids-in-laws.
2. I think I'm actually done with all the shopping, not the food part, but I'm close on that, too.
3. Most of the gifts are wrapped and all the girls have been a great help with that.
4. Bill, with Emma's help, put Christmas lights up on our house!

Our house with lights

5. And yesterday for FHE we all went caroling to our neighbors taking them homemade fudge, divinity and pecan pralines, which I made yesterday afternoon. We also gave everyone a copy of Drew's new CD, "What a Wonderful World".

It's officially Christmas! Now, I can't wait for everyone to open their presents!

Oh, PS: I didn't have to have the epidural after all. My back is much, much better. Thanks everyone for your concern.

Friday, December 17, 2010

It's a pain in the ...back

Thursday, a week ago, I went to my cardio/core/sculpting class at EP Fitness.  I'd worked with this teacher once before and I really liked her energy and her ab exercizes.  She's twentyish, hispanic (what are the odds:), and dresses like..hip hop? I don't really know.  This picture is something like, only she wears a cap instead of a scarf and her pants have all these black strings hanging off them and there are metal studs around the waistband. Anyway, she obviously doesn't have back problems and that's where my back pain comes in.

It wasn't exactly like this...
We were in the cardio/core portion and using a ball to make figure eights in front of us as we twisted and turned our waist. I twisted right and bent slightly over as I did so.  I felt something in my back give immediately and stopped.  I tried my usual back exercizes and kept going as best I could for the rest of the session and then went to a yoga class thinking that might help stretch it out. All that day I kept doing my McKenzie back exercizes and my back felt better the next morning.

Unfortunately I had to referee at a two day swim meet 45 minutes away.  The swim meet wouldn't have helped but the hour and a half drive each day was the worst part.
Michelle did well and I got to see her on the winner's blocks each time she swam.

I've been in pain for all of this week.  Monday I am scheduled for an epidural steroid injection.  Hopefully that will take care of it.  Meanwhile, I'm a pain in the back, officially.