Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Recap

Merry Christmas to you! I hope you had a great holiday. We spent Christmas Eve at home playing Uno Attack and going to Jolly Holiday Lights. The Hoop-lahs were up at 6 a.m. on Christmas morning. We headed to my mom's house mid-morning for another round of gift giving and dinner promptly at noon - an old throwback to the days when my aunt and uncle milked cows. They no longer milk cows (or come for Christmas dinner for that matter), but we still eat at noon. Men first. Tradition at its finest.

Here are some pictures from Christmas Eve. I'm never organized enough to take any Christmas Day.

It's rare that everyone in the Hoop-lah house winds up in a picture, so enjoy. You might not see one again for a long time.

Here we are with Grandma. She comes over every year on Christmas Eve. It's the one day of the year we give her the day off from cooking. Begrudgingly, but we do it. This year the kids convinced her to get up and work her magic on the beef and noodles though. They were scared I would ruin them. Not that I've ever done that.

We left cookies, carrots and celery out for Santa and his reindeer. Carly bugged me for days to make sugar cut-out cookies. It took me a while, but it finally dawned on me that she was worried we wouldn't have any to leave out for Santa. So we spent Saturday baking. Look closely at the candy cane in the picture. Hand frosted in two colors by me. I impressed myself!

The Hoop-lahs always open a present on Christmas Eve. This year they opened the ones they gave each other and -- SURPRISE -- they gave each other stuffed animals. If I should ever mysteriously disappear, be sure to look under the pile of nine million plus stuff animals that reside here. And no, I'm not exaggerating.

Last night we returned some odds and ends and had Riley measured for a dress shirt at Von Maur. That store may be more expensive, but the service there is exceptional. They will always have my undying devotion. He needs an oddball size, of course, because he is so long and skinny. We bought the first one we found. He'll probably outgrow it in a week.

Today we started our Full House marathon. We're on Season 3. We all love that show! So nice to watch something where the content is rarely questionable.

It's 5 p.m. I'm still in pajamas. This may be the best Christmas Week ever.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Emphasizing the merry

This is what happens when you drink too much eggnog.

We hit Jordan Creek last night to see Santa. I am sure this guy is North Pole regulation, but I wish he'd put on his Santa suit. The whole casual shirt thing is wrong. He and Riley had quite the chat. I asked later why they talked so long. "He looked like he needed some intelligent conversation."

Friday, December 16, 2011

New sweater blues

I quickly figured out why my new sweater was so cheap.

Total dud. I wore it for an hour today and that was enough. The high collar drove me up the wall. I happened to be in Hy-Vee at the time. Let's just say the folks there were lucky I didn't whip that baby off. I sure thought about it.

Back to the store it goes. No more bargain shopping for me!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bargain shopping

What does it say about the economy when you can buy an $84 name-brand sweater for $15.26? I tried it on earlier this week, but passed because it was too expensive. Today it was 60 percent off and I had an additional $15 off coupon. Merry Christmas to me!

Monday, December 12, 2011

SIRI says get a life

I knew getting an I-Phone would be problematic. Despite my attempts to bond, it is resisting. Doing things like this. Now I know a little photo editing software would solve the problem. But it went bye-bye when my hard drive crashed. And my printer no longer works with my "new" operating system. But I haven't had a free second to take care of either thing.

I've been too busy asking SIRI if Riley is a dork. And pinpointing my living room via GPS. And watching You Tube videos. And looking up the capital of West Virginia. You know, important stuff that is way more fun on a phone. And a little more time consuming because I am, after all, over 40. It takes me a little longer to figure things out. The Hoop-lahs had it down in 30 seconds. Or less. Sigh . . .

So for now, turn your monitor sideways. These boys will look just great. They won their division in last weekend's Duel in December. The other 8th grade Kingdom Hoops team also won its division. How cool is that?

Next weekend they're off to Cedar Falls. Carly and I are staying here. "We" have a dog sitting gig - which means I'll watch the dog and she'll get paid. Be sure to check back for a sideways picture of a very cute Golden Doodle named Coco! 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Exciting things that happened while I was away

Did you miss me? Even notice I was gone?

I'd like to say that I was on a self-imposed hiatus. On a dream vacation somewhere tropical with a frothy drink in hand. But that would be a lie. I've been here the whole time. It was my laptop that decided to take a vacation. AGAIN. Three hard drives in two years. I'm sensing another trend!

The experience this time was a little weird. I really missed it - a little too much, actually. Maybe because it's cold and harder to distract myself. Maybe because I missed a week of online holiday shopping. Or maybe because I had no way to check the FB status of my friends, who I could have easily called. But who has the time? Oh. I guess I did.

My name is Jolene. I'm addicted to a small black box that is at best a fickle friend.

I'm going to work on that.

What did I do all week? You might be interested to know that I . . .
  • Saw the Muppet movie, which was awesome!
  • Saw Wicked for the second time at the Civic Center, which was really awesome from the fifth row!
  • Attended Carly's first band concert, which was really, really awesome!
  • Attended the season's first Christmas luncheon at Old Main Brewery!
  • Wrote out Christmas cards! I didn't do it last year because I didn't have time. Hmmm . . . there might be a connection here.
  • Dusted the living room! Cleaned the bathrooms! And made dinner! Really. Who knew I would remember how?
  • Attended six basketball games!
  • Bought this!
If you don't hear from me for a while, you'll know why.