December 30, 2006

A Very Married Christmas

Okay, so I know, two months between posts isn't exactly keeping you in touch with our life. But, it's been a bit busy the last two months. No, the wedding pictures aren't up yet. Yes, they will be soon. It takes some time to go through six hundred photos and create some sense of order in them. And trust me, you do NOT want me just to dump them on to google and let you figure it out. In the meantime, we're going to jump ahead to Christmas and Christmas photos.

That's us, on our first Christmas morning as husband and wife. It was also our very first Christmas morning in our own home. And my first Christmas morning, ever, not with my parents and sister. I won't pretend I wasn't worried it would be lonely, but it wasn't. Alex was a great sport about doing all the Christmas traditions together. He even set up the tripod so we could take Christmas morning pictures of us together, and then made sure that we got pictures throughout the morning. (The dog still hasn't figured out how to operate the camera without thumbs, so she's no help there.) Instead of being lonely, it was mellow. And romantic. I liked opening our gifts just the two of us and really having the time to enjoy each bit of it.

Alex got me great gifts - a YMCA membership for both of us and a 'gift certificate' to have the sprinkler system in my garden repaired. Trust me, this was the most romantic thing he could have done. Neither of us wanted more "stuff" after finally putting all the wedding presents away and I really, really wanted both of the things he got me. The sprinkler system, pretty self-explanatory. I actually use it fairly rarely, since its better to use the drip hose and spot water, espectially in Florida. But when I do use it is when life is really, really busy and I don't have even ten minutes to water my garden or when we're out of town. Not having it for those times has been frustrating, and I've lost plants as a result. I'm pretty excited about getting it fixed. And the Y membership is for both of us, with a promise from him to work out, too. We both need to get back in to the habit of regular exercise, for our health and for our stress levels. We haven't been on our regular exercise routine for months, and it's been showing the last few weeks.

My favorite gift, though, was one I made for him. Look how cute. Its kind of hard to see at this size, but it says "Sleeps With Dogs" and then has a picture of Gwen lounging on it. And look at her there sleeping next to him while he "works" on the internet. I found the biggest, softest shirt I could find, and he's been actually using it as his lounging/sleeping shirt. That's no small accomplishment, trust me. I get such a kick out of seeing him wearing it with Gwen cuddled under his arm or against his 'kidneys' while they watch TV, play poker or go to sleep.

The animals had a pretty good Christmas, too. Nala got a catnip ball that she proceeded to play with all day. You can see her here saying "giving me that already." She's not so impressed with the picture taking.

Gwen had to wait until that evening, when Lily came and we exchanged gifts with my family. But, she was pretty happy to see Lily and her Aunt Megan gave her the best gifts ever. Things I have never even known to buy her - Yogurt vitamin drops (her new favorite treat), a plasticy dental bone that she loved much to my amazement, and a little tug toy since she's reverting back to her puppy playfulness much more often recently. Plus, nobody made her wear strange Christmas decorations around her neck.

Lily liked the gift she got from us just fine, though. You can see she doesn't mind that it's just a stuffed squeaky toy and the same old dingos they get all the time. It seems any day she gets a dingo is a good day. I started to unwrap it for her, but as you can see her she clearly told me that she could take care of that for herself. And much faster, thank you very much. Craig Ferguson recently joked about the amount of money Americans spend on their pets at Christmas, but how can you resist moments like this?

We didn't forget the people, though. Christmas Eve we went to my aunt's home and spent the evening with all the racuous family. It was fun, but as usual a bit overwhelming. However, after a relaxing Christmas morning, we had part of my immediate family over for Christmas dinner and gifts. That was the best. My family did a great job following the 'we really don't want more stuff' plea and gave us things we will actually use - and then donated money in our name to Hungersite charities addressing concerns we really care about. Mom did follow her tradition of everyone needs one toy at Christmas, but she did a great job of it. Alex received a remote control tarantula that was an absolute riot, and he'll enjoy pulling that out from time to time. For me she bought yarn made of banana fibers. What knitter doesn't need cool yarn to add to their stash?

I was looking at the Christmas gifts, still piled up under the tree, again today and thinking that everyone really did a good job keeping it reasonable, useful and fun. I don't think there's anything there we won't really use and delight in. However, I don't think anyone was more excited about her gift than my Mom. Alex bought her a long-coveted Ipod, and then spent part of the evening putting music on it for her. Her reaction was even better than Lily smelling that dingo. She spent large chunks of the night playing with it and asking questions about how to use it. Sort of like the little boy who gets his first Nintendo. (Geesh, I'm dating myself there. I'm sure there's a better game system that I should be using in that analogy. The Wii, I guess?) It was great.

And then we spent the rest of the night visiting, eating, listening to music.
What? You didn't end your Christmas day trying to figure out how to play the Bulgarian bagpipe?

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