Friday, January 2, 2015

The Firm Christmas Party

Jared's firm had their Christmas party at a fancy place.  Now I can't remember the name, and I couldn't really figure out what it was.  It wasn't set up like a restaurant or a hotel.  So maybe it was just a fancy reception center.  But there was valet parking and when we entered someone took our coat.  Fancy waiters walked around with trays of wine and appetizers that I didn't know how to eat.  We got our goblet of fizzy water (which I don't like, by the way) and mingled.  

I always stress out about these events because I'm uncomfortable with fancy.  I don't know what to wear, so I stress about my outfit.  I'm nervous I won't be able to join in the conversation because I don't know what's going on in the legal world and I'm not up to date on current events.  But I always have more fun than I think I will.  No one has ever been weird about my not being part of the corporate world.  Lots of the people have kids, so people asked about Christmas preparations, our kids, etc.  But people are always surprised by how far away we live from downtown.  When people ask why we live so far out I say that it's because Jared loves me.  I tell them that I have family there.

Anyway, we talked to lots of people and made our rounds.  We were both tired though.  So once people started getting food and sitting down to eat, we skipped out early.

This photograph was taken at the party.  I like the way it turned out.


The day before Amber left, Luke got pink at school.  Pink means "outstanding behavior," and he gets to pick a reward when he earns it at school.  His teacher has given pink more than I expected, so most often now he gets to go to Bass Pro shop or take a trip to a special playground, but since this was Amber's last night, we went to Rainforest Cafe which is one of the boys' favorite places.

Dean wasn't really in the mood:

Micah loves the fountain there

Everyone likes the fish

Libby, Sadie, and Cara joined us.

We also made a stop into the Sketcher's outlet.  I've become a *little* bit addicted to Sketchers since discovering their Memory Foam shoes.  I am in love!  Amber said she'd like a pair, and since the outlet is always buy one/ get one 50% off I "had" to get one too.  And, of course, Cara and Libby couldn't be left out :)

And then a final stop at Bass Pro shop.

I like pink days.  Such a great excuse to slough off homework and play.

Thanksgiving Break and Luke's Birthday

We had a fantastic Thanksgiving break.  My sister Amber and her son Dean flew into town early, and she got to stay with us at our home for a few days.  I, of course, didn't take as many pictures as I should have.  But I at least got this one to prove that they came:

Since starting my job, I'm always a little bit behind on things in the house.  We run out of our food staples sometimes before I can make it to the store-- things like that.  So the first couple of days she was here she mostly accompanied me shopping.  I had to do some birthday shopping also because Luke's birthday was on Thanksgiving day.

The ONLY thing he asked for was a Power Wheels.  I guess we're suckers, but it's pretty hard not to get him the ONLY thing he asked for.  So we debated it out and decided that if Christmas was very simple we could spring for the Power Wheels for his birthday.

My brother Michael met me at the store and loaded it into his truck, so we were ready for the big day.  The day before Thanksgiving Amber moved her stuff over to Michael's, her husband Trevor flew into Houston, and our good friends, the Sorrells, came to visit for Thanksgiving.  We were very good friends with them during law school.  It was like old times when Justin and Jared would put together Luke's toys on Christmas Eve while Nancy and I talked, made hot chocolate, and added the sticker appliques to whatever toys he was getting.  This time, Justin and Jared put together the Power Wheels.

Luke was SOOOO excited when he saw his Power Wheels on his birthday morning.  Unfortunately he couldn't drive it for about 6 hours because the battery had to charge for 18 hours before the first use!  But he was happy just to sit in it and pretend to drive.

He was veery good about sharing.  He let James (the Sorrells' little boy) have a turn.

And Hazel had a turn.

Jared and Justin went on a bike ride in the morning.  The kids mostly pretended to drive the truck, and Nancy I did some cooking and talked.  It was very relaxing.  Late afternoon, we all went over to Michael's for Thanksgiving dinner.  It was a full house with our family, Michael's family, Amber's family, the Sorrells, and a couple of Michael's co-workers.   This is from the feast:

After dinner, Jared read the proposal of George Washington for a national Thanksgiving holiday.  The idea behind the holiday has nothing to do with the "first thanksgiving" which probably didn't happen AT ALL the way we are taught.  But whatever.  His proposal was all focused on thanking God for preserving us as a nation.

And then some relax and game time.  So sweet!

The day after Thanksgiving we went to the Houston zoo with all our families (minus the co-workers.)  That was very fun, but the zoo was a zoo, and parking was a nightmare.  The Sorrells and us had to park pretty far away, so we had a long walk to the zoo.  At the end Nancy and I waited with the kids while Justin and Jared ran to get the cars.  Then we stopped at Ikea on the way back.  I think Ikea might be Luke's new favorite store.  He was very impressed by how big it was.  And I was impressed with the cinnamon rolls.

Justin, Nancy, and family had to leave on Saturday morning.  It was such a nice visit!  I wish we lived closer, but we did some planning, and I think next summer the Wilkersons and Sorrells will meet up again in Orlando for a Disney trip.

A very last minute "Wait!  We have to get a picture together before you leave!" picture.

Saturday afternoon was Luke's birthday party at the roller rink.  I was a little bit nervous because Micah's friends didn't like skating at all, but Luke's friends had lots of fun.  It was pretty simple.  He invited 3 friends from school.  They are the friends he has from riding the bus.  I am SO, SO GLAD that he switched to the regular bus instead of the special needs bus this year.  He has learned quite a few bad words since riding the regular bus, but he has real friends!  That's worth a couple of bad words, right?  Anyway, his party was lots of fun.

Birthday kids get to go into the money machine.  Luke stood in one place looking a little bit confused as the dollar bills swirled around him.  2 dollars landed right on him and he at least grabbed those ones. So he came out $2 richer.

Pizza and cake

On Sunday was our family dinner.  Luke was excited to see Jennifer and Grandma Debbi!  He was very excited about his bow and arrow!  (And Jared was maybe just a little bit more excited than Luke.)

So it was a great break and a great birthday!