Sunday, January 3, 2010

Holidays 2009

I realize that I am already on day three of 2010, but I finally have some time to post about the holiday season. I figure it's not REALLY the new year til Monday morning... so this counts. I can still talk about the holidays. First things first. I am SO blessed.

I mean, really, it's ridiculous.

This year has been so wonderful. 2009 was a huge year for me! Getting married was... interesting. I mean, a LOT goes in to planning a wedding. We had some bumps along the way because of some mother in law issues, and of course, everything is so expensive, but when it was all said and done, I had far, far, FAR more good experiences than bad when it came to the whole wedding ordeal. I have the most amazing family and friends and having so many of them be involved in the wedding was just tremendously special, and it is still, 9 months later, difficult for me to think about the whole thing and not cry because I'm THAT happy!

This is not a wedding post, but I feel like I had to mention that so you can realize, as I have, that I am just spoiled. I mean it. Tremendously blessed. I know that I've used that word twice now, but it's the only word big enough for my blessings today.

The holidays were wonderful. Being a Holland (because I always will be) AND a Bacon, was delightful. I don't want to leave anything out so I'll start at the beginning. I apologize now for the length of this post. I'll try not to ramble... too much.

As a Holland, our holidays really began on Christmas Eve because that is when we have our big family get together. But as a Bacon, our holidays begin a day early because Brett's birthday is December 23. I LOVE Brett's birthday! Mostly because Brett enjoys his birthday. Some people are so glum when it comes to birthdays, but Brett gets excited and looks forward to it and it makes it SO much fun to celebrate!

This year I had a great gift in mind. I decided months ago that I was going to get him the George Harrison guitar that was released with Beatles Rockband. We needed a new guitar and he had mentioned wanting this one many times. The only reason that we didn't buy it to begin with was it's price. At the time, the guitars that we already had were still working just fine, so to pay $100 for something that we didn't need, not to mention didn't really have a place for, was just not an option. But now that our guitars were worn out and not always functioning well, it made sense to buy a new one, and if it were a birthday present, it would be okay if it were expensive.

Okay, well for the sake of keeping the story as brief as possible, I will just say that gift didn't work out. His mom ended up buying him the guitar before I could. Not really a problem... I always have a running list of things that I want to buy Brett. But after having had the guitar in mind for so long, the gifts on my list just didn't seem very impressive. They were all things that he wanted, but nothing that would seem special. So I decided to make the giving special. I was sitting at work on a Friday and had the idea to do "12 Days of Birthday", like 12 Days of Christmas. I checked the calendar, and it was 13 days until his birthday. Perfect! So that day, I wrote a little poem, made a card at work, grabbed a few presents on my lunch break, and Saturday morning, gave him the card with the poem in it and his first gift. He LOVED it. The gifts were never dazzling, but several of them were quite fun! And celebrating for 12 days was perfect. When it was all said and done, between his mother and me, he ended up with a pretty good stack of gifts! And then on his birthday, I managed to leave work at 12:30 and spend the rest of the day with him. (He had the day off.) We went to Maggiano's for lunch, and after a couple of hours of shopping (he had birthday money from his mom to spend) we had dessert at The Cheesecake Factory. It was a truly wonderful day. We both had a blast!

The next day, Christmas Eve, was perfect! I was off of work and, because we didn't get paid until that day, I had some Christmas shopping to finish up. I think that I went to 5 stores in all but I was home by 12:30 or so. It rained most of the morning, but by the time I came home there was a good amount of snow mixed in to the rain. By the time we left for our Christmas Eve celebration though, it was ALL snow and the roads were icy. It was fairly scary. I'm so thankful that it wasn't bad enough to keep everyone trapped at home because we had a wonderful time at my Uncle's. The adults (my parents, aunts and uncles and grandmother) draw names and each buy gifts for one person. The kids (my siblings and cousins and I) bring a $40 gift card along with a board game, and we do a White Elephant style gift exchange. And then everyone buys gifts for the grandkids. There were 6 grandchildren present this year, and it was really fun to watch them all open gifts. Our meal was Tex-Mex this year and everything was delicious!

We made it home around 9:30 I think and fell asleep with snow still falling outside. It was so nice to wake up to a white Christmas. But WAY nicer was, for the first time, waking up to my husband. =-) He is the greatest gift I have ever been given and it was so special to be able to celebrate with him first! We slept til 9 or so and took our time getting ready. I think that it was 10:30, maybe a little later, when we got to my parent's house. People showed up one at a time and then we opened presents like we always do. So much fun. Madi was in a really fun mood! So excited to see everyone and to open gifts! And my gifts were so wonderful this year! I mean, they are every year, but this year I found myself actually needing a few things. Well, clothes, in general. But I mean, I needed it all. I haven't bought clothes for myself in a while because, well, we're newlyweds... there's just not a ton of extra money available. And before this year, well, I was saving for the wedding. There was no such thing as "extra money". It all had a purpose. So there had been no new clothes in ages, and the old clothes. They were OLD! I got rid of a TON of clothes when I moved here after the wedding because they just needed replacing. And unfortunately, a lot of the clothes that I kept don't fit right now. Apparently I was a size smaller last year. So I needed new everything. Shoes, socks, a jacket, jeans, pants, shirts, sweaters... you name it, chances are, I needed it! So Christmas morning, I was so excited to get three new pairs of shoes! All cute and all totally needed! I also got two movies, Up and Julie & Julia, that I really wanted!

After presents we had a delicious lunch! And then all just hung out for a while watching Christmas movies and eating dessert. Brett and I left around 3:00 I think. It was a very Merry Christmas =-)

But here's the funnest part. I mean, serious spoiling went on. When Brett asked me a month ago what I wanted for Christmas, I told him that I really just needed clothes. We decided to shop for everyone else first and then see what money we had left and buy presents for each other the day after Christmas. Well here's the thing. Brett ended up with so many birthday presents, and along with the Christmas presents that he got from his mom and my family, he didn't really have any immediate needs. There are no games out that he wants and doesn't have, he got 7 new graphic novels in all over his birthday, he got the movies that he wanted from his mom and gift cards, and he had a Best Buy gift card to spend. So instead of shopping for US the day after Christmas, my wonderful husband decided that we should use the money that we had left to buy me clothes, and if he thought of something that he still wanted for Christmas, he would wait until we got paid again in January.

Oh. My. Goodness.

Um, best day ever? Probably not, but it HAD to be in the top 5!!!

I shopped. And shopped. And shopped. And it was everything that I hoped it would be! We started the day at Target because I had a $40 gift card there. Okay, so with my $40 gift card and $75 cash, that was all Christmas money, not even our money, I bought:
- A pair of jeans that I was in DESPERATE need of
- A cute purple and black shirt that I can wear to church
- A purple sweater that came with an adorable scarf
- Two shirts that I would call "fashion shirts" that are the same cut but totally different colors and INSANELY cute!
- A white button down shirt
- A turquoise knit jacket
- Two pairs of socks.

Do not adjust your screen. You're seeing that right. I bought a pair of jeans, 5 shirts, a jacket and socks for $115. Target had a HUGE clearance section! It was WONDERFUL!

After that we met Jeff for lunch at Chipotle which was totally the icing on my Christmas cake. We haven't spent any real time with Jeff in a LONG time. Like maybe August? The reunion didn't count because we barely got to speak, and that is the last time we saw him. We were able to have a nice long visit at lunch and it was everything I was hoping it would be.

Then it was back to more shopping!

We went to Payless next so that I could exchange two of the pairs of shoes that I was given the day before. They were adorable! But a size two big. I was able to find the right size at the store and I bought a bracelet and ring that are SO cute! So I spent $15 or so there.

Then we went to Ross where I found a black sweater/jacket that is going to be a SERIOUSLY useful addition to my wardrobe! I spent $17 and some change there. Then we went to Walmart where I didn't really find anything, but I bought a shirt that I already have in a color that I don't have because it's a good fit and it was on clearance for $7. Ha!

We checked Kohl's next and though I didn't find any clothes, I found a KILLER pair of brown boots that were half off!!! I spent $35 there.

Then we headed to the other side of town so Brett could check a different Best Buy for his gift card spending. While he was in Best Buy, I went to the other Ross, and though it was a slightly frightening experience, I found what I had been looking for! New black pants! AND a dress that I am going to wear as a shirt over my jeans, that is seriously sexy! I spent about $30 there.

We were both exhausted after all of the shopping, but I was thrilled!!! We had a gift card to use so we went to Pappaduex for dinner and had a WONDERFUL experience there! When we got home, I performed a fashion show for Brett who was with me all day, but not really with me. We were in different stores most of the time. He's generous, but come on! Boys just can't be expected to shop with me! I'm a machine!

The next day I ended up taking back the white button down and Turquoise jacket to Target because I ended up finding so many other things on our shopping trip. I loved everything that I bought except for the white button down shirt, and even though the jacket probably would have come in handy, and was a great price on clearance, I felt like I could maybe find something more useful. I ended up getting a $12 necklace that I LOVE, an $8 that is super cute and three pairs of earrings for $8 that I am going to get a ton of use out of.

It was the funnest gift I have ever had. I'm pretty sure.

The holidays weren't quite over for us because this weekend we drove to The Woodlands to attend a New Year's Eve party thrown by our favorite Houstonites. Houstonians? Not sure. But it was a blast! Our hotel was kind of blah, but it was SO good to see everyone! And the trip was relaxing and not overly tiring like I was worried it might be. I mean, we didn't hit the road until 6:00 on New Year's Eve so it was 10:00 or a little after before we got to the party. But it was a blast! We didn't go to bed until 3:30 so everyone slept in! We went to lunch around 2 on New Year's Day and totally relaxed all afternoon watching the boys play with their new Christmas presents. After a late dinner, we did a little more hanging out and then went back to the hotel room for some well earned rest. We checked out of the hotel around 11 and went to IHOP for a delicious brunch before heading to say goodbye to our friends. It was tough for us to leave when we had so much daylight left, but I new that I would need some time to recover and Sundays, though always nice, are not always restful.

So that was it. Our 2009 holiday season. For me, it was the best ever. I love being married and I love my family and I love our friends. God is good all the time. Even when days are rough, and trust me, we have plenty of rough days, I go to sleep everyday thankful for all that God has blessed us with.

I am looking forward to 2010. More on that later!

A few pics:

Our Charlie Brown
Christmas Tree.

Our annual
Hoops & Yoyo

Tara & Marie
on New Year's Eve.

Scott & Brett
on New Year's Eve.

Brett with
Ryan & Josh
on New Year's Day.

1 comment:

Tricia said...

I loved the recap, thanks for sharing!

And Target is the BEST place to get deals.