Wednesday, January 7, 2009

a dozen flowers

Spending Christmas back at home was amazing. It was a nice long break from work....and actually a break. Usually my trips back home are filled with driving and seeing everyone, that it becomes quite exhausting, and though a break from work, not really a break. This time however, there was lots of time just hanging out and doing "whatever" it was a refreshing break. As always, it is so good to be surrounded by loved ones.
Highlights from the trip:
Christmas Eve eve. I fly into California really freaking early in the morning. I stayed up all night the night before finishing up packing and present stuff. My flight left austin at 6am, which meant I had to leave for the airport at four. fitful flight...couldn't sleep. Dad picked me up at John Wayne and met with everyone for breakfast at Mimi's. The night, went out with the girls to dinner at the Yardhouse and went bowling. We teamed, ash and mem vs. Chanelle, Ingrid and Alyss. We got spanked. Ingrid and Alyssa alone beat us. Those girls are (no offense) beasts. They just had to hurl the ball down the alley and it would be a strike...they are so strong. I was also consistently robbed....too many times would I throw it straight down, and one pin would be left standing. Meryl, who granny rolls it down had more strikes and spares than me. Actually, I didn't have a single one!
Christmas Eve. My brother, Ben's, birthday. I made his birthday dinner: roasted veal chops with tarragon-wine sauce, garlic mashed potatoes, sauteed mushrooms, salad, shrimp scampi and sauteed sesame green beans with bacon (a true man's meal...look at all that meat!) This was followed by chocolate on chocolate birthday cake. YUMMY!!
Christmas day. We opened presents EARLY this year since my cousin Meryl could only spend Christmas morning until 10am with us, and Tante Bay, Alyssa and Brad had to leave for the Christmas morning service (in Cerritos) by 8:30. So, everyone was over at our house about 7am. Yowzers. We also had a girl my mom mentors, Joy, and an exchange student from Rwanda over (Alex). We usually do a secret santa for the group since we are too big to get presents for everyone. And this year we also did a group white elephant exchange. I'd say the best presents were a legit espresso (YES, espresso) machine, which was nicely stolen and kept by Alex and a calculator set in Jell-O a la Jim (by Ingrid). My dad got stuck with that one. Even funnier was that it was HIS calculator that Ingrid took from his office. NICE. I made all the girls a pair of earrings. Aunt Kristin and Whitney (from my dad's side) flew in from New Mexico that night, as did Meryl's brother, Willem from Oregon.

a dozen flowers

one pair

I made these by cutting out little discs of a satiny material, and then singed the edges with a match. Since it is a synthetic material (polyester), the edges melted and caused the discs to curl upwards and create that little ribbed effect at the edge. I did that for all three discs, then secured them together with thread while also adding the swarovski crystal to the center. The red pairs have a black crystal in the center, as do two of the pink pairs. The other two pink pairs have a dark purple crystal. Once the flower was finished, I also secured them to a little "bell" shaped metal backing which also helped give the flower more shape, and glued this to an earring backing with my hot glue gun. Ingrid has sensitive skin, so I was also able to find sterling silver posts to make hers with. All in all, I think they turned out pretty nice...especially since I was doing this up until it was about time for me to leave for the airport! It was a serious challenge though trying to get them all the same size... and sometimes I would get a disc too close to the match and it would turn black, or cut in way too much, or burn all together, and I would have to cut a new one out and start over. As you can see by that last picture, they are not perfectly the same, but its really hard to tell when they are on separate ears. Chanelle wore hers while I was there and they were so cute on her!
Day after Christmas. Dinner with Miq's (Ben's GF) family at Macaroni Grill. This is so far a family tradition, that we started last year. It is always good and fun to see them, and our parent's were quite involved in conversation and two bottles of wine. Us kids spent the whole time coloring and drawing on the tables. We closed the place down. We also took a family picture for our holiday cards. (we send them out late, so that everyone can be included in the family photo.)
New Year's Eve. Everyone came over to our house...I think we had thirty people over. The whole day was spent preparing for dinner and games all night. We had my mom's famous Sate (pork marinated in sweet soy sauce and garlic, "kabobed", and cooked over a habachi grill) with white rice, yummy spicy peanut sauce, and cucumber salad. It is definitely a favorite in our family. But like I said....THIRTY people. Cutting all that meat was no arm was sore. But once everyone was there (all the San Diego cousins and their spouses, Aunt Kristin and Whitney, Stevie and his brother, Alex, and some people from my parents' Bible study group I missing anyone?) we had a great time playing games and being together.
New Years Day. Ashley, Briana and I went snowboarding. I was really scared. It had been over six years since I last went, and I wasn't any good even then. But it wasn't such a disaster. I never fell while getting off the lift. Earlier in the day was definitely better than later. I was going faster and actually carving. But later in the day, I was quite tired and it got cooler and ICY, I fell more often and ended up with a bruised tailbone and being gun-shy about falling again. So I spent most of the time just slowing myself down, which if you have any experience snowboarding just makes you even MORE tired. nonetheless, it was fun and a great time with the two of them, and more personal.

Briana, me, Ashley
On the ski lift going up the mountain

It was a perfect break and I couldn't have asked for more!!


Bella said...

im glad you were able to relax but its sad cause i was getting used to you being home all the time and now you're gone.... :(
miss you already and cant wait for Feb! hopefully you can make it out

GAWms said...

awww ness, didn't know you had a sore arm or sucked so bad at bowling! LOL the wine was good!! what a great blogger you are. really.