We left Kansas City after work on Tuesday of last week. We took our time getting home and spent a lot of the drive talking. I almost always enjoy car trips with Robin because he has finally gotten the hint that now and then he needs to be awake and interactive rather than fall victim to what we kindly refer to as "carcolepsy." It's a nasty case of "I can't stay awake in the car" syndrome and Robin's got it bad. But this trip was an exception and we had some good conversation on the 3.5 hour drive home.
We had plans to see a movie on Wednesday but my parents live in a small town that is about 20 minutes from the nearest theatre. That theatre wasn't showing the movie we wanted to see and another wasn't showing it until 3:00 p.m. Unfortunately we had dinner plans that night so we chose to stay home. Robin worked a half day from his computer and phone while I did a whole lot of nothing except watch tv, read magazines, etc. We ate lunch at the local cafe, Goldies, which used to be an ice cream joint only but now serves pretty darned good food. We were even served by Goldie who had to give Robin a hard time about being such a picky eater. I'm glad we went! That night the four of us (Mom, Dad, Robin and I) went to Altoona (local city) to have dinner. It was an interesting time. Robin was of course absorbed in football. Dad was his usual clumsy self and spilled an entire beer, barely missing Mom's lap. Mom and I attempted conversation...until the food came! What can I say? My family knows how to eat!
Thursday Mom, Robin, and I went to Pella to meet my Grandma Mac and Uncle Rod for lunch. First, Pella is this completely Dutch city about 20-30 minutes from our house. It's really unique...and we love to make fun of it! It's so weird! It has some amazing attractions though...okay, make that a bakery and a restaurant but I do like the little town. Anywho, we couldn't go to my Grandma's for Christmas so we chose to do lunch. We had Chinese which was wonderful and exchanged gifts there. My Uncle brought us a dish set for the baby. We're pretty excited to have thsoe for her! After lunch, we walked the streets and visited many of the local shops. Our first stop was Smokey Row, my favorite coffee shop of all time. While standing in line, my Grandma slipped me a folded up Kleenex and said to "unwrap it carefully." As I unwrapped it, I found a ring but not just any ring. It was my Great Grandma's ruby ring. I think I was in shock! I still can't believe it! I'm going to get it sized for my fingers so that I can wear it but I'm so happy to have it. Shopping was a lot of fun as Grandma said she hadn't gotten to do that for a long time and we found some unique items you can't get just anywhere. I have to admit I love little towns like this that have shops that aren't chains. If you're ever in the area, check this little town out or make a special trip to Tulip Time. It's a good one for locals and for one timers. http://www.pella.org/. My favorite places to stop are Jaarsma Bakery (better than the one just a few doors down, if you ask me), Smokey Row, and a fantastic little kitchen store that I can't quite recall but it's right on the main square.
We woke up on Friday morning to snow and lots of it! Dad was already outside with the snow blower then graduated to a bigger piece of machinery to help the neighbors. One thing you can never say about my Dad is that he's not willing to help his friends. He spent the first half of the day on snow duty, even catching my Grandpa out attempting to scoop snow. Remember, my Grandpa just had both knees replaced a few months back. Naughty, naughty! Meanwhile, Mom, Robin, and I stayed cozy inside and watched some movies from home rather than our traditional trek to the theatre. We were a little worried about the weather and none of us felt that adventurous! I made some hot cocoa and we snacked on Mom's goodies most of the day. That evening we had Christmas at my Grandma and Grandpa's house which was a lot of fun too. Grandma made quite a spread of food this year and we took some leftovers home. Grandma gave me a really beautiful blue scarf and a robe that'll fit my ever growing belly, plus can stick around after the baby is born. The dogs even got toys which they had to fight over, of course!
|I hate snow but it's hard when it's this pretty!|
|Christmas at Grandma and Grandpa Wicker's house, 12/24/10.|
Finally, Christmas morning arrived and I awoke to Robin and my Mom singing a few lines of Christmas carols in the kitchen. They are two peas in a pod! We ate a great breakfast of our traditional pepperoni bread and eggs, mimosas for the non-preggers, OJ for me. Then it was time for presents. Everyone received amazing gifts this year and there were even tears, as we knew there might be. My Dad was the big winner in the giving department. He and my sister worked together to get Mom airfare from Des Moines to Taos, NM in February. That's where Sarah and Ben, her fiancee, live now so we don't see them as often as we'd like. Mom cried and hugged Dad and I'm pretty sure there was a smooch in there too. I cried because she was crying...and Robin lied and said there was something in his eyes. LOL! I gave Robin the router he wanted and Mom and I both gave him tool bags, a commical mistake on our parts. Robin hit it out of the ballpark by giving me several bags of loose leaf teas (mostly decaf, of course), a travel tea cup that can even go in the microwave when I'm at work, chocolate, and a book. Mom and Dad gave me a couple really great gifts too like a tea pot to heat water up at home, maternity pajamas which I sorely needed,
It's slipping my mind what my Dad received though I know we got Mom and Dad a Shark Steam mop and Cranium so they can play with friends. I would say we had a very successful giving and receiving year!
|Mom was SO excited to get airfare to see Sarah in New Mexico!|
|I got a super cool cup that has a built in tea diffuser. Hubby done good!|
|The Simms-Sol Christmas. It would not be complete without feeling cross eyed (LOL)!|
|Week 26, after the Simms-Sol Christmas, 12/26/2010|
3) Receiving my Great Grandma's ring. I am a traditional kind of girl and I love having heirlooms that my little girl will receive someday.
4) Christmas Eve with Grandma and Grandpa!
5) Christmas morning with Mom and Dad. Specifically, Mom's excitement at getting the airfare to go see Sarah!
6) Sarah's texts to say she loved the watch I got her. I was so worried she'd hate it!
7) Christmas with Robin's family at our home. It's work but well worth it!
Next update...New Year's!!