Thursday, December 1, 2016

Everything since Nov. 8th

I have a lot of pictures - most from a few specific days - from the past month. These are some (lots) of my favorites: Pictures on Google Albums

So it's been a long time. Just over three weeks. I've meant to blog. I've thought about blogging. But honestly, i just didn't have the heart to do it after the election. But life goes on, and things keep happening, and now it's December and Christmas is coming, and so.

(A quick aside. I am really quite heartbroken about the election. Not because i loved Hillary so much, but because i'm just so incredibly disappointed in people. I realize that people don't like Hillary, and that's fine. And in any other election in my lifetime, i'd say, "I'm bummed that my guy didn't win, but i'm sure the other guy will be able to do the job too." But Trump? He's just so offensive and unqualified. And so many of his followers are far too happy about being given leave to be openly racist and offensive now. And so far, since the election, nothing has lessened my fears. So. There. There's that for posterity.)

Anyhow. Things that we've been doing in November:

  • Family Drawing night. It's always a favorite activity and really something we don't do often enough. Everyone has a special sketch book used specifically for family drawing night - the kids are all nearly finished with their second books (theirs are quite thin books...) - so there are drawings going back several years at the beginning of their books. They all started looking at what they'd drawn 4-5 years ago, and it really is fun to see how much better they are at drawing!
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The movie came out on the 18th, and so we got a big group together and had everyone over for a pre-movie party and then all went to see the movie together. Beth and Juanito and Keren and i made party favors - bookmarks and cookies and origami rats and suitcases (for where the beasts lived) and passports and little tiny beasts. Everyone brought food, and we had cupcakes to sort people into their American Magic school houses. Brooke even got to come, having just returned from New Zealand. Yay!
  • We went to Meijer Gardens for the Tree Lighting. It was a members only event (fun!), and it was quite packed. The tree lighting itself was quite lame, but we got to see all of the trees and decorations at night, which was really pretty and totally worth it. My mom came with us, which was extra fun. It's been several years since we've gotten to all go, and i'm happy we got to see it again! Plus there were carolers and cookies, so it was extra awesome.
  • Thanksgiving! We went to my parents' house for Thanksgiving this year, and we had lots and lots of people to celebrate with us. My aunt and uncle and cousins who we always do Thanksgiving with were there, along with my cousin Cindy and her family and my mom's cousin and her husband. We ended up with two long tables full of people. And i remembered again that i really like my whole extended family.
  • The kids and i decorated the house for Christmas while Juanito was sleeping. He's not actually a fan of the decorating, and we all are, so we figured that there was no reason to wait for Juanito for us to get started. Katrina and Zane woke up early and brought up all of the decorations from the basement. (If i'd known this ahead of time, i'd have been extremely worried about all of the very fragile things they were maybe going to drop and break, but they didn't break anything at all! Woohoo!) We set up the fake tree (but didn't decorate it). We hung up the stockings and the advent calendars and the mistletoe and all of the other decorations that we put on walls. We found places for the snow globes and snowmen and nativity scenes and all of the other stuff that goes on random shelves. And the kids were actually helpful! Like...actually helpful! This is a wonderful new phase!
  • We went to get a real Christmas tree. We met my parents at the same tree farm we've been going to for years. We fully planned to get a "pretty tree," but then we just happened along a really cute wonky-ish tree. The past several years we've looked for wonky trees and haven't found any that were remotely cute, so when we saw this one, we were like, "Huh. We kind of can't pass this up, can we?" Katrina was a little bit devastated - we'd just been looking at pictures that very morning of the year that she thought we were joking about getting a silly tree and then was completely crushed when she realized that we actually were getting a silly tree instead of a pretty one - but she was placated by my mom's kind offer to let her borrow a little fake tree for her own bedroom. Juanito got the tree all set up and the kids put their ornaments in the most ridiculously random pattern ever, and once it was decorated it's really quite adorable.
  • We went to Meijer Gardens again. This time we went with my sister Chellie and her kids. Going with different people always makes it a whole different experience. It was fun to see the trees when it wasn't so completely mobbed. Katrina and Zane had fun getting to show their cousins around. Juanito and Houston came later to meet us so Chellie could take family pictures for our Christmas cards. Yay!
  • Advent started, so we got to light our first candle on Sunday. My goal this year is to actually get all the way to the last candle. Every year we do the first 2-3, and then by the end we're all busy and we just forget. 
  • I got to babysit my friends' kids today. They're between 4-8, and they're all adorable, and i was reminded of just how short kids' attention spans are at this age. And also how much little kids like to touch All! The! Things! They were all very disappointed in me for not having more toys around for them to play with, but my kids weren't home, and i didn't want to offer their toys without their permission. I did teach them "Guess Who," and that continues to be a game that every single kid ever loves to play. We played lots of other games too, but Guess Who was the hands-down favorite. And they spent half of their time here holding the guinea pig and only stopped when i insisted that the poor little thing needed some quiet alone time. (Me: "Y'know how, when you're really tired and you just want to be quiet and alone for a little while?" All of them: "I never want to be quiet! Or alone!")

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