Catching up – Part 2: 19 Dec-today

I was going to do my catching up in 3 parts, but decided to just do 2. 19 Dec. began the band's block leave period, but I didn't sign out on leave until Wednesday. Monday was a comp day for everyone and Tuesday I took Thomas to formation and the little bit of supply work I needed to do before Christmas. Monday and Tuesday were spent doing laundry and packing. Wednesday was a busy day – Robert had his school Christmas program in the morning and then final packing for our trip to Michigan. Robert had a half day of school and was out at 1145. We picked him up and were on the road about 1230 or so, headed to the Phoenix Airport. Traffic wasn't too bad, but there were some spots of stupid/slow drivers. We were able to find a parking spot right near the shuttle stop, but after we got our 4 suitcases, carseat bag, and 4 carryons to the shuttle stop, we had to wait 10-15 minutes or so for a shuttle. We finally get to the airport and wait forever to check in – finally got checked in at the time our flight was starting boarding. Then we had to go through security – and they only had 2 lanes open. TWO. During the holiday travel season. So we pretty much ran to our gate and were almost the last ones on the plane. Robert and I sat together, but Ryan was elsewhere (we fly Southwest and they have open seating). Thomas did the best he could through all this, but was stressed and fussy until I finally got him settled enough to nurse him on the plane.

We flew from Phoenix to Las Vegas to Milwaukee, and after getting to Milwaukee at 1 Thursday morning, we got the hotel shuttle and went to the hotel for a few hours of sleep. In the morning, I took the hotel shuttle back to the airport to get the rental car, then back to the hotel to get everything loaded up and we headed north to Mom & Dad's. We got home in time for dinner – mom had a big pot of chili ready! Yum!

On Friday, Mom and I (and Thomas, of course) went to Marquette to finish up our Christmas shopping and do grocery shopping. Saturday was spent wrapping presents and relaxing before pizza for dinner and then Christmas Eve service at church. Christmas morning was donut puffs for breakfast (our tradition of MANY years) and then off to church for Sunday/Christmas Day service. After church, we came home and opened our stockings. Santa sure was good to all of us! Then we headed to my Aunt & Uncle's house for my mom's side of the family get-together. There were 22 of us this year, including 5 ages 7 and younger. It was a lot of fun with lots of gifts for the kids and adults. The adults do a drawing so we each only have one name to buy for, and then each family gets something for each of the kids. There was lots of yummy food and it was a great time having the whole family together again.  In the evening, we opened our huge pile of presents to/from our family (me and Ryan and our boys, my mom and dad and brother). There were a lot of great gifts! I think my favorite one was a necklace from my boys – it says MOM on the outside of the heart locket and then opens up and has their pictures inside it! They also got me a pair of earrings. Very pretty! Some of the other stuff I got was a new long sleeved (purple) running shirt, more Gu gel, some books (on running, NASCAR stuff, and a crockpot cookbook), piano and trombone books (Mario songbook for piano!!), CDs and DVDs of the Canadian Brass, a Mom & Me Day (mom and I went and got our nails done – fingers for her and toes for me), a new toaster, and a new electric griddle! It was a great Christmas.

The week after Christmas was spent relaxing quite a bit. My guys and I went to Marquette on Tuesday to do a little bit of shopping and then Mom and I went on Thursday (actually she and my brother went early so he could look at new appliances and then Thomas and I met her at the nail place) and got our nails done and then went to her knitting guild's Christmas party. I had planned on crocheting some, but Thomas was pretty fussy so I walked laps in the yarn store with him in the snugli. He did fall asleep long enough so I could eat, though. It was a potluck, and there was lots of yummy food.

On New Years Eve, we just hung out at home and played Scattergories, watched the ball drop on TV, and toasted in the New Year with some icky champagne. And then I headed out in the dark and cold and snow for a 1.2 mile run to start off 2012!! It was awesome!

New Year's Day was Sunday, so we went to church. But it was a special service as Thomas was Baptized!! His Godparents are my brother Richard and cousin Renee. It was a nice service and he didn't cry at all when Pastor sprinkled him with the water! Mom and I had made a cake and cookies for the fellowship time after the service. Sunday afternoon was spent packing and then on Monday morning about 10 we said our goodbyes and headed back to Milwaukee. Once we got south a little bit, the roads were clear and we had nice blue sky for traveling. We stayed in a hotel Monday night and then flew back to Arizona on Tuesday. Once we got back to Phoenix a little after 9, we got our luggage. Or most of it. One suitcase wasn't there, so we filled out the paperwork and all that fun stuff. Then we had the 3 hour drive home. It was about 2 Wednesday morning when we got home and Robert fell right to sleep and Ryan and Thomas and I were all asleep not long after that.

Wednesday Robert was back to school. He was a little hard to wake up in the morning, but he made it through the day ok. Ryan and I both had chiropractor appointments and did some grocery shopping while Robert was at school and Child Time. I also got a 30 minute run in. Today was school for Robert and just relaxing for me and Thomas. Ryan had Physical Therapy at the local VA and ran a few other errands.

Go to to help move my dollar sign down the road!!

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