Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last day of the year

So here it is, the last day of the year.
The last day of the year kinda stresses me out- I know, a lot of things stress me out. But it's just such a glaring reminder of all the things I didn't get done. I always go back and look at the goals I made for the year (since I've got my notebook out getting ready to make new ones) and it's hard not to feel like a lame-o when over half of them never happened, but whatever, I love making New Year's Resolutions, so luckily the last day of the year is followed by the first day of the year, which I thoroughly enjoy. I love starting over. Granted, I get that I can do that anytime I want to, but it's just extra nice that day.
I've never put my resolutions in such a public place, for fear of mockery and failure, but I'm resolving to not fear mockery and failure :) so here we go:

1- learn to play the harmonica
2- garden in my backyard- grow at least 3 things I can eat
3- leave work by 7:00 every night and work from home one day a week
4- read more ("more" meaning at least 5 books, which, compared to the 2 I read this year, is indeed more. embarrassing.)
5- meditate

I was gonna write more about each of these, but now it's five days later (Happy New Year!) and I suppose I'll just get on with it. But first, some pictures, totally unrelated to New Year's Festivities and/or the name of this post.

So I know in my last post I made a big to-do about working like crazy and not getting to do anything fun for the holiday season. Well that was mostly true. I did get to do a few fun things, just not nearly enough.

Fun Thing #One- The 4th Annual Cookie Party
The cookie party is one of my favorite traditions. It's all about who can create the most fabulous pile of sugar, and there was some tough competition this year as you can see. Some went for quantity over quality:

Jeremy went with a beach theme- turned Santa's sleigh into a seal (I love the fin), the new star into a starfish, and a Christmas light bulb into Flounder.

Kash went for pure height

But as usual, the Bates sisters took the cake, or the cookie. . .

and Shawn cleaned up after everyone :)

(turns out I didn't take many pictures cause my hands are just sticky the whole night.

Fun Thing #Two- Caroling
On the eve of Christmas Eve, Abby got a whole bunch of people together, mainly the youth from church, and we went to the Institute on Aging, a day facility for seniors with Alzheimers. It was such a great time. We sang, played instruments, and brought treats.

Thomas's opera pieces were of course a big hit. There was one adorable man there that was especially impressed- gave him a standing ovation and told him he could get lots of ladies with a voice like that!

Fun Thing #Three- Christmas!

I love that picture! I just think Maddie looks so cute!! And while I do think to a stranger the image does in fact look like Pure Christmas Joy, this pose is actually just one in a series of expressions she goes through when you ask her to smile. It is seriously the funniest thing. Alicia and James have no idea why Maddie thinks this is what a smile looks like, but when you say the word, this is what she does: Goes from being her adorable self, to a scary and borderline-ugly rabbit child.

OMG- That was a good 15 minutes of entertainment- caused some laugh-induced teary-eyes.

My cute mom and Mira

Sydney only arrived from Vietnam 2 weeks before Christmas, but seems to be adjusting to life in CA as a big sister and cousin to many just fine.

Later in the afternoon, we did a little mini-photo shoot with Sydney so Brad and Candice could have a picture for their announcements.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas this year

Christmas this year was not what it was supposed to be.
Part of the problem is that I kinda have unrealistic expectations, like I want the season to be filled with snow in San Francisco, and for people to ride around in horse-drawn sleighs, to have my front yard look slightly like Vermont and sit by a roaring fire every night after having a snowball fight with the kids I don't have. . . But part of the problem is that I work too much. Or, most of the problem is that I work too much.
I made a post a few weeks ago about my busy December schedule and how I want to change that in the future, but it just got worse since then. I was working super long hours the entire month and then for the past 10 days or so it was like 14 hours a day and I was staying there until 1:00 and 2:00 in the morning. I worked all the way up until Christmas Eve night and then was so lacking in spirit, I could hardly even enjoy the holiday. I was so so tired on Christmas day, my eyes stung and I just felt a little zombie-ish. But here's the real problem- I don't even know how to change this. The first step is admitting it's a problem, right? So here I am, telling the entire internets :) But mainly, I guess this post is just for me, to remind myself next year how much I hated this, to remind myself that it's just not worth it. I don't have to take every single job that comes to me, and I have to get more organized so that I can have a more clear time-line in place.
Anyway, I love my family and my friends and my dogs, and I'm sorry I didn't spend more time with them this year. During the time of year when I believe I am most aware of how much I love them, I managed to ignore them the most. I also love my Savior and the way in which thinking of Him makes me want to be better person and I'm sorry I didn't spend more time pondering and doing those things, again, during the time of year that is specifically set aside for such.
What I did have time to do this year was listen to lots of Christmas music. Since I spent a lot of hours in front of my computer, I had a lot of time to at least listen to ideas of love and peace and goodness and eggnog. This year, this one was my favorite. So simple and so perfect. And next Christmas, I'm determined to make This Christmas the case.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Kim and Cathy

Back before a small majority of California sadly voted to not let them do so, Kim and Cathy were married in a fabulous celebration. They've been together for 19 years, are raising two freakin' cute kids, and were finally able to claim their marriage on paper. It was such a gift to be there and witness this, and photograph it!

This was so cute. They let every kid there be a flower kid!