What a whiz bang zoom day was my yesterday! (Friday) I was up early today to drop notes to respond to e-mails and do things that must be done to meet postal deadlines for receipt before Christmas.
I got the cards for nephews and niece written out and stuffed crisp 10 bills in the envelopes. to get them ready to mail,
I enjoyed packing and taping/addressing the packages for my mom and sister before rushing off to Roseau
I enjoyed lunch consult with Dr. D. and Kendra. Anna, Kendra and I typically meet for an hour before the consult to staff some cases and reconnect as we are spread all over 3 counties in a 100 mile radius. Anna is on maternity leave since the week of Thanksgiving. Kendra will be going on leave the middle of next month as her baby is due the end of January. How beautiful she is, this tiny little fireball with that precious new life extending her belly. To think that I had difficulty liking her when she began working with us 2 years ago, now I find her so dear and sweet! But then she was brand new right out of college and graduate school at 24 with all of the book smart ideas about what life in the family counseling trenches should be like. As do all of us she needed to learn for herself how to reconcile the artificial setting of classroom with real life clients. She is very good at what she does and works harder than anyone I know.
Kendra and I exchanged gifts, I gave her a cute glass Santa candle holder, she gave me a candle and a pair of "SmartWool" socks, my favorite socks Autumn to Spring, warm yet not ughly like the kind Granny used to knit (although my own grandma did NOT, to my knowledge/recollection, knit LOL) We enjoyed our meeting with Dr. D. I am so fortunate to have colleagues I enjoy so!
On the way home from Roseau I stopped at The Northwoods Fudge Shoppe to pick up various types of fudge for Oberg Christmas, Julie is partial to their maple nut fudge so of course that was purchased for the bag of extra gifties for the kids' three households.
I got home in time to have a couple of cups of coffee and check in with Tom for a bit before rushing to the Post Office to mail packages to my sisters and mother.
Tom delivered to Social Services, the gifts the church members purchased for the Santa Anonymous program. They filled the entire back of his HHR with the seats laid flat and bags on the front seat as well. How lovely a thing to see! Many in the congregation are not well off themselves, to see them give is a wonderous thing!
I left a bit early for my 4:00 appointment so that I could drop by the pharmacy to pick up some prescriptions and a "My 3rd Christmas" ornament for Ashlyn and John's giftie bag.
Then on to see a family. During the session the family gave me a thoughtful gift, a small Mary Englebreit calendar. I love Mary Englebreit's art, and the client remembered that I do. She has given me various small Mary Englebreit gifts over the years remembering how much I love them! I have worked with the family off and on over the past 10 years.
After that appointment I stopped at Holiday Gas to fill the car and purchase large bags of pistachios and (almonds for Matt), to put in the kids' giftie bags before heading home.
put on PJs the minute I walked through the door. And of course I enjoyed the Christmas lights on the way home.
I was up too late Friday night getting last things wrapped for the kids, the bags of "stocking stuffers" for each of the 3 households in gift bags, and so like a small girl who is anxious to see if Santa has left anything in her stocking was up way too early. LOL I am so excited about seeing my children today!
Shortly before I got to bed a little after midnight Friday night, I cooked the Swedish Potato Sausage that is traditional for Tom and his family, and for which the kids have a fondness and look forward to every year. I put it on the front porch to cool and keep for the night as it was too hot to put in the fridge. (It was in the single digits here last night)
Before going to bed, Tom and I recorded the 3 recordable story books we'd bought for Ashlyn, one of them did not work, the batteries had corroded but I researched on Google how to remedy the situation by cleaning the terminals and new battery heads with vinegar on a cotton swab and fixed it myself. (I was feeling quite satisfied with myself about that LOL)and then we got the last things wrapped for the kids, put all the stuffers" for each of the 3 households in gift bags, and so yesterday, like a small girl who is anxious to see if Santa has left anything in her stocking, I am up way too early. LOL I was so excited about seeing my children today!
We were up and out the door by 8:30 this morning. I slept off and on during the drive down. It was a lovely morning to drive.
We got to Fargo a little bit before 1PM and stopped by Lowe’s Building Center to pick up a gift card for John, kind of an early birthday present, for him to use toward drywall to finish his garage after he gets the rest of the insulation up. I had qualms about going to Lowes given their ethnocentric and bigotry, but time was short and ethics gave way to convenience.
Noah got Tom’s name and gave him really nice and fun gifts, a collection of his favorite treats, dress shirt, flannel shirt (Tom’s fave item of clothing that he wears every day he can!).
Matt had my name, he gave me a really neet fleece top with a feuax fur collar and snaps, THE HELP DVD, a pair of SoulMate socks (have always loved them but never owned a pair!) small packages of specialty coffees, a package of Reese’s Peanut Butter Christmas Trees, and a cute jar of hot chocolate mix in a milk bottle.
John and his friends are rabid NDSU Bison fans. He insisted we take a family photo dressed in Bison jerseys/tees/hoodies that he passed out. The Bison are arch rivals of my alma Mater UND (in Grand Forks ND) so only for love of my son would I wear that Bison apparel! LOL
It was fun watching the Bison dominate the Georgia Southern Eagles and win a trip to the NCAA Division I Championship in Frisco Texas next month! What was more fun was watching our impassioned #1 son’s reaction to the game. As Ashlyn said numerous times, “Daddy you’re too loud!”
Ashlyn was napping when we arrived, I can’t believe that little girl can sleep through all the noise that was being made during the Bison game! She woke up toward the end of the game and came out laughing and happy.
While the game was winding down, I cuddled with Ashlyn on the sofa reading her numerous books!
After the game was over, before we opened gifts or ate dinner, John and her beloved Uncle Jay dressed Ashlyn in her Christmas dress. There is nothing more adorable than two big jock men dressing a little girl in her dress, tights and black patent leather shoes, combing her hair and putting in barrettes!
For dinner we ordered Pizza and Cheese filled breadsticks from Pizza Patrol . The kids ate all the Swedish Potato Sausage I’d taken; expressing numerous Mmmm’s and “So glad you brought this Mom”
It was next to impossible to capture a good photo of Ashlyn after she was dressed! That little girl never stops moving!
I am so impressed with the way this little girl can self-soothe and times herself out in her room when she needs to regroup. There was just too much stimulation with all the gift opening and the tons of presents she got.
Of all the presents she got, her favorite was probably the crayons and coloring book that she got from Aunt Julie and Uncle Matt. So sweet!!
Ashlyn spent most of the evening running around the house and “tap dancing” in the kitchen, she loved the sound her new shoes made on the kitchen floor and wood floor in the dining room.
There were moments reminiscent of “Dorothy” when Ashlyn would stop to click her heels together 3 times. LOL
Julie had John's name and among the gifts she gave him was a really classy gift, a self-inflating whoopee cushion that Ashlyn pretty much claimed as her own. She provided many minutes of hilarity when she was scooting around on the floor trying to make it toot, dressed in her Christmas finery. Just too funny! We all roared in laughter. Yes, it was shameful and vulgar exploitation of a child, but she was enjoying it too. She kept saying "I'm going to make Grammy laugh!" LOL
I slept most of the way home! We got home from Fargo with a short time awake when we stopped in Grand Forks ND for gas and snacks. Slept like a rock the rest of the way home.