This year was officially the strangest Christmas Break that I have ever had, mostly because I was the only kid around my house for most of the time. I was an only child for most of break because my sister and her husband didn’t get to our house until the 27th…so we postponed all of our Christmas traditions…like I mentioned in a previous blog. Not going to lie…I threw myself a pretty big pity party for a few days. Eventually…my sister and brother-in-law got here…and everything was just as it should be. We opened gifts, made our usual Christmas dinner, had my Mom’s family over, and just had an all around great time.
Since this year was already turning out to be completely different than other years…I wondered how many things would change. Don’t worry though… my family pulled through and we had a traditional family Christmas. There are several things that go into our traditional family Christmas…
- Watching Christmas Vacation
- Renting tons of other movies
- Sleeping…a lot
- Laying on the couch
- Eating awesome food (mostly meat)
Don’t worry…there wasn’t too much fighting…my sister and I just like to show our love in very different ways….
Also…one of the biggest successes over Christmas Break was that I officially got my little cousins hooked on Vera Bradley. Sorry family…you’ll really hate me in about 5-10 years…but aren’t they just precious??!!
Growing up, every Christmas my sister and I would get a part of a toy farm. We live on a farm, so it was kind of our way to channel our inner farm girl in the middle of the winter. Once we had Christmas lunch, our parents would usually fall asleep and we would build our farm. We were kind of good at setting up the farm…but we really weren’t that creative…since we were small children. A few years ago we brought back the farm set tradition…and it’s gotten better and better ever since.
This year, our additions were a large pasture for horses and cattle, “grass”, and Christmas decorations. Don’t be alarmed that there is green grass at Christmas, because it was a warm day this year anyway, so it was just being true to life.
For the Christmas decorations, we hot glued some of our Mom’s Christmas beads (thanks Mom!) to the farm house…
…and used a Christmas Peep as the blow up Christmas lawn decoration.
We also made a few changes to how we set up the farm. When we were growing up, my sister and I begged our Dad for a horse, but his response was always that horses didn’t get along with cows, so we wouldn’t have anywhere to put them. So, this year, we wanted to prove that cows and horses could get along together….and we put a cow with the horses.
Being a kid at Christmas (or just acting like one) is so much more fun than being a grown-up…and I think our parents appreciated that acted our age and cleaned it up all by ourselves too.
The last two weeks of my life have been fabulous. I slept till at least 9 almost every day (usually until 10 or 11…sometimes 12), watched TV for the majority of the day, napped during the day, and feasted on Christmas candy for hours upon hours. But now, I am preparing to go back to Butler for Greek Recruitment…so my life is slightly different. Before I go back I have a rather long list of things I wanted to do that looks a bit like this:
- Craft Christmas gifts for my friends
- Bake things that I never got around to before Christmas
- Fix a few of my favorite clothing items
- Run errands
- Visit with friends at home
- Wash clothes
- Clean my car
I officially have only a day and a half left until I will leave to go back to school, so it looks like in order for me to get all of this done, my calm, relaxing break is over. Even though it does feel great to be productive again, I already miss being lazy. Through being lazy over break, I have discovered new TV shows to watch (Private Chefs of Beverly Hills), and rediscovered some of my old favorites that I’ve been neglecting (The Late Show with David Letterman).
My Mom and I before we went to a showing of the Late Show...
Falling back in love with watching TV is something that I always do over break, but I think that it will be harder than usual to go back to my TV-less life at Butler. I can watch TV at school, but we don’t have a TV with cable in our room, so it is not nearly as convenient, and I just don’t have time at school. At least I’ve had at least 2 weeks of pure laziness…and I’m as rested as possible for my return to the But.
One of the biggest events to happen in 2011 for my family happened back in July, when my older sister, Natalie, got married. (You can read the blogs about the wedding here and here.) It’s been awhile since the wedding, but since Natalie and John (her husband) are in town visiting for Christmas, we are ordering photos and going through them all together for the first time. Our cousins Adrienne and Dan were the photographers, and they did such a great job that I thought I would share some of my favorites with all of you. Here we go…
The wedding party during the ceremony… (notice the aisle runner – my sister and I crafted that the week before the wedding, and you can read all about that… here)
Natalie and John, walking back down the aisle after they got hitched….
The wedding party…
The cake and the reception venue… (they had a morning wedding and a brunch reception, so the skylight was a beautiful touch)
My sister, brother-in-law, and I…
The beautiful bride and all of the bridesmaids…
The wedding party…
At the time…planking was HUGE. So…we planked.
Thanks for doing such a great job on the photos, Adrienne and Dan! If you like what you see…check out the Rowe Portrait Studios website!
Merry Christmas everyone! Even though it really is Christmas…it just doesn’t feel like it to me right now. This is mostly because we’re not quite following our Christmas traditions in any way this year….for several reasons:
- Christmas is on a Sunday
- My sister and brother-in-law (who live in Albuquerque) are back home to visit, but they won’t be coming to our house until the 27th (Tuesday).
The biggest game-changer is the second one…because we don’t want to do any of our Christmas-y things until they get here. And since they are bringing most of my parents Christmas gifts, I don’t want to just open gifts by myself, so we’re waiting until they get here to do the whole present thing. There are a few other things that we are waiting to do until they get here…like…
Putting up our farm set…
This is a Flint Christmas tradition, because when we were little, we would get a new piece for the farm set each year. So, once our parents would start their Christmas afternoon naps, we would put on the Disney movie we got for Christmas, and pull out the farm set. Now we still do it when our parents start their Christmas afternoon naps, but without the Disney movie.
Putting out our farm set last Christmas...
Watching Christmas Vacation entirely too many times…
This is our favorite Christmas movie by far, so we watch it a lot. Back before my sister and I got entirely too busy for our own good, we would watch it every day….or at least once a week between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I even thought that we might have to stop this tradition…because I couldn’t find my copy of Christmas Vacation when I was still at school. Don’t worry though, I found it when I got home…so I’ll still be able to watch Clark Griswold more than any normal person should.
The one positive of my sister and brother-in-law’s arrival postponing Christmas for our family is that this way, we still get plenty of delicious meals. We aren’t just going to eat normal food on Christmas Day, so we’ll probably have my personal favorite…steak…for our Christmas dinner. Well I’m off to go enjoy Part 1 of my Christmas…. Have a wonderful holiday everyone!
I have been home and on break now for 5 days, and during those 5 days I have legitimately done nothing. Well, I take that back. I went Christmas shopping with my Mom one day, and I went to Indy for a day to help one of my best friends, Liz, with some of her wedding planning. Other than that, I have visited friends and family, and I have sat on my couch. Every night I have slept for at least 8 hours (some nights…I slept for 12 hours), and as soon as I woke up, I would move right to my couch where I spent each day vegging out.
I’m serious about this doing nothing thing…except when it comes to watching as many movies and TV shows as possible. Today alone, I watched 4 movies and caught up on 2 TV shows. I have also been doing my part as a member of my family to put a serious dent in our stash of Christmas candy from my Mom’s students at school. You know, I have to help out as much as I can….since I can’t expect my parents to eat all of it by themselves of course.
Because of all of this chilling out and relaxing that I have been doing…I have somewhat lost track of time. So now, I only have 2 days to do everything before Christmas. Make gifts, make Christmas cookies, wrap gifts, and wash clothes…so that I have clean things to wear again of course. Since I’m not very good at this entire being motivated enough to leave the couch thing…I’m just hoping that the fact that Christmas is coming sooner than I expected and I have a ton left to do will make me get up and move.
- Our tree…looking pretty bare and presentless.
During Homecoming week each year, everything we do leads up to the actual day of Homecoming. We have Yell Like Hell; we decorate the lawns of the fraternities, sororites, and residence halls (think Christmas decorations on steroids, college style); and we have tons of other events. But on the actual day of Homecoming, it basically feels like Christmas. We all get up early so we can see everyone and do everything, so it basically feels like Christmas morning…minus the presents. From Chariot Races to the Parade to Alumni Brunches, we were busy from the moment we woke up until the game started at 1 p.m.
I can't believe we're all seniors!!!
Probably the best part of Homecoming for me was getting to see everyone that I haven’t seen in awhile. A ton of our alumni came back, so it was great to see some of my favorite people from my first few years as an Alpha Phi. I also got to see one of my favorite non-Butler students, my roommate Lauren’s boyfriend, Michael. He goes to DePauw, but he just likes Butler (and us) so much that he even came to hang out at Homecoming.
Two of my favorite Alpha Phi alumni, Anna & Ann
Now that Homecoming is over, I’m starting to get depressed. We’re over halfway done with first semester, and some of my favorite parts of the year are already over. I am officially ready to go back and have another Welcome Week, Bounce for Beats, and Homecoming all over again….maybe I will just have to come back as a Super Senior next year….
Last week, I talked about my family’s Christmas traditions. Now one of my least favorite things about the holidays is that sometimes everyone doesn’t follow traditions. Like two years ago…it was my first Christmas after going to college…and my parents decided that it was time to stop getting real trees…and to switch to a fake tree. Naturally, I freaked out. Now I am fine with it….but at the time it was like all of my Christmas hopes and dreams were crashing in around me.
So this year, there were two things I wanted to do on Christmas Day, or the day after. I wanted to set up our Ertl Farm Set, and I wanted to bake. We didn’t get to either of them on Christmas…because we were being entirely too lazy. So I knew that if we didn’t get around to them on Christmas, we would have to be seriously proactive to do it before my sister and her boyfriend left on Monday. Luckily….my sister and I baked right after church…and after our second family gathering of the day we set up our farm set. As always, it was uber legit….and so much fun. Here is a glimpse of our escape back to our childhood……
Natalie, John, and I with our masterpiece
AHH!! The cows are getting out!
Out baling hay.....
The farmer's daughter's sports car.....a necessity on every farm.
So we ended up having a great time setting up our farm….just like we used to when we were 5. Now I’m off to go find more equipment and buildings for our farm on eBay and Amazon…to start the prep for next Christmas!
Tagged: barn, Christmas, Christmas tree, cows, Ertl, ertl farm set, family, farm set, farming, shopping, traditions
I have never been one of those people with cool gadgets or anything that could be mistaken for one. And when I finally get something cool….it is usually after the rest of the general population. In fact, this semester I learned that my family and I are what my Marketing textbook would consider “laggards“. So when I found out that I could get a phone upgrade, I decided to be somewhat proactive, and join the rest of civilization with smartphones.
I put off getting a new phone for a few months…and last week I finally stopped in at my Verizon store, and I got a Droid Pro….
I was really nervous, because even though I catch onto things relatively quickly…I didn’t want to get this awesome phone with every feature I could ever want, need, or imagine, and then get home and not know how to check my text messages. So I stayed at the store for awhile and had them help me set up some things, and then I ventured out on my own with my new best friend. I was doing great with it, until I went Christmas shopping, and I realized that I did not know how to send photos. Later that night I did figure it out….with the help of my friend Alison…and I have done the same thing over the past few days with everything that confused me.
I have officially had my phone for 6 days now, and I am completely in love. The battery dies pretty quickly…but that is mostly because I am playing with it all day long….just discovering new things to play with. So far, my favorite thing is how easy it is to be outrageously connected to everyone that I know and the outside world. Yesterday, I sent messages to my sister via text, I commented on her Facebook, I called her, and then at the end of the night she started to chat with me, and I didn’t have a clue how exactly she was chatting with me. (Apparently since I use my Gmail account with my phone, it shows me as available all the time on Gmail chat.) So I appreciate the outrageous amount of communication that is possible….but it is kind of overwhelming at the same time. And unfortunately now I don’t have the excuse of saying that I feel disconnected with the world, because my phone obviously doesn’t allow it.