Monday, December 31, 2018

O Christmas Blog

Christmas has come and gone and I've managed to talk myself out of the depths of post Christmas depression in order eek out a meager blog post before throwing myself back in bed to wallow in my anguish that I have to wait another year for the holiday. No, I'm not dramatic. If you want drama, immerse yourself in Facebook for 5 minutes.
We did a few fun holiday events this year. Of course, the first was the Santa Express. We went to go watch the Christmas light presentation set to music on a street not too far from our house. 
 Dawson had his school Christmas concert. He's the one wearing black.
And we finished off our little event outings with the Electric Safari. The Cheyenne Mountain zoo is decorated and you can pay an exorbitant fee to go see a few animals. But it was still fun and somewhat terrifying.
I don't think it would be a huge undertaking to adopt a giraffe if we were to cut a hole in our ceiling for it's head.
 Evan loves birds and continually asks to get one for a pet. This made the trip to the bird exhibit worth the trip for him.
 I would support the pet bird idea if they could go running with me on the santa fe trail.
 We paid to ride the ski lift that takes you to the top of the mountain at the zoo where there are more exhibits but no animals to see because it's too cold. They had it all decorated though and had I been able to calm down for one second in order to believe I would live to make it to the exhibit, I might have been able to enjoy it. The ski lift at the zoo is an open air gondola with a lap bar that you pull down over your head that doesn't lock, while you are suspended by a single cable. It also goes so slow that you have a much longer time to fall to your death. Basically, just imagine yourself zip lining from the ground to the top of the earth in extremely slow motion while hanging from a fishing wire. But not to worry, you have a seat belt on that doesn't lock.
A few days later was Christmas Eve. The boys both get to open pajamas and a Christmas movie every Christmas eve. It's a tradition until the world has run out of decent Christmas movies. Then I guess we'll have to switch to pajamas with other people's Christmas home movies.
I'm kicking myself for not finding these pajamas in my size on the day we bought them. I'd totally wear these. Surely I'm a boy's size husky.
After what seemed like 100 years, Christmas Day finally came. I woke up at 4:30 a.m. and crept down to the crawl space to get the presents under the tree before the boys woke up. There's something about the magic on a child's face when they wake up on Christmas morning and see a lit Christmas tree with presents under it. I wouldn't know this for myself since we weren't allowed to have a Christmas tree or presents growing up. We only got to have log that stood up on end surrounded by socks. AHAHAHA! just kidding. I've shared a few old Christmas pictures on this blog.
The tree before chaos.
The tortured "wait on the stairs while I get your picture" picture.
We decided to have biscuits and gravy for breakfast before opening presents so while that was going, they boys had a look under the tree.
They quickly grew impatient so we let them open their stockings. See how empty mine is? Don't you feel bad? Don't you want to send me something to make up for my empty stocking? You should.
 Finally it was time to open presents. I'm nearly 97.7% confident that I am actually more excited to open Christmas presents than any child. I would agree to undergo strenuous testing to confirm this if any lab is open to the suggestion.
Evan and Dawson, this picture is deceitful. If you are adults reading this blog post, I spend exactly the same amount on your Christmas presents. For heaven's sake.
Jason says this repeatedly in our house on a daily basis so I had a t-shirt made for him to commemorate his favorite phrase. 
 He got me the rose gold Beats headphones I strategically mentioned daily beginning November 1st. It also helped that I talked about them to Dawson so that Dawson could talk him into getting them for me. Rose Gold really accentuates my freckles.
This was after all the wrapping paper was trashed and before the boys opened all their boxes.
 Once that was finished, I had to tell the boys we would NOT go to grandma and grandpas for more gifts if they wouldn't smile for our annual pictures in front of the tree. This year's edition wasn't my favorite. At least of the one's I'm in.
 Jason got me a sign for the kitchen that comes with letters and lights up so that I can create new messages on it as I see fit. Like "you boys behave or no food today!" The day after Christmas I set out to create my first message and found that Dawson had already beaten me to it.
And that concludes Christmas 2018.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Turkey In A Restaurant

For the first time in 42 years, I spent Thanksgiving without family. By family I mean other than my small family of 4.
Jason's parents traveled to spend the holiday with his sister and we couldn't make the trip so that left us with an opening. We could either spend the day in bed sulking or find something to do. Because we all know I'm too lazy to make a Thanksgiving meal for my family of 4 unless it entails toast. I'm good at toast.
We booked a few nights stay at a Hilton Hotel in Denver. We wouldn't have had to do that if our basement had a pool. Just sayin. 
We left on Wednesday.
Here I am, waiting for Jason to check us in. I bring my own pillows to hotels now because I can't handle the squishniness of theirs. I'm basically a diva.
Jason is a Hilton Honors member and he got his name on the scroll at the hotel. Very similar to Santa's Naughty/Nice list only there's a Coca-Cola emblem at the top. Everyone knows Santa drinks Pepsi.
The hotel manager came to greet us. I imagine it was because we were the only one's there and he was lonely. He offered Dawson and Evan a candy bar from the "you have to pay for these" jar -and neither of them took one! I should have denied them both food on Thanksgiving because I wanted a Snickers. 
Our room was a comfortable little thing with a kitchen to store our pepsi and snacks which we planned to keep us full until our feast.
 I forgot to mention that the boys turned down the candy bar for an ice cream sandwich. Whose children are they?!
Our first day was spent letting the boys swim and then spending hours searching the guide on the tv trying to decide what to watch. It's usually American Pickers unless Expedition Unknown is on. Then Jason and I fight over Expedition Unknown because he says the expedition is always a fail since he never ever ever finds anything. I feel that's harsh. On the episode I watched, he found an old glass of champagne at the bottom of a lake in Austria. Now that's something!
On Thanksgiving Day, our first order of business was to visit the Krispy Kreme located just a few miles from our hotel which was strategically placed. Doughnuts are an integral part of all holiday festivities. Just ask a pilgrim.
Where did Dawson put his glasses? Where did my lips put their color?
Then we went back to the hotel to decide where to go next. I watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, because I'm an American Citizen and that's what we do. This reminded me that I could possibly be mistaken about the whole "first time in 42 years" bit I said earlier because my junior year of college I went with my best friend to New York and I remember seeing part of the parade.
Doesn't everyone keep their swimming goggles on the stand with the tv?
Then we decided to take the boys to the Denver museum. By we I mean Jason. I thought going to the museum wasn't a great idea because who wants to pay to look at stuffed birds that we've already paid to see? But he saw that they had an exhibit that he thought the kids might like so we went anyway.
This exhibit had stations set up all over with hard to solve puzzles. This puzzle had the boys put cuffs that were attached to strings on both wrists and then get themselves untangled. I'm like why the heck did we pay for that? They get themselves into worse situations at home. 
The bright side of this exhibit was a conveyor belt that required you to fit puzzle pieces (that were pictures of food) into their slot at a rapid pace. They boys did this for about 15 minutes while I sat and stared. It was nice. A friendly mom even helped them out.
We made our way to the Cuba Exhibition. There wasn't much to do there and I felt they should have at least offered us free samples of a sandwich like they do in Costco.
 On our way out we visited the Dinosaur exhibition. Evan cheered up a bit by this, on account of how he wants to spawn and raise his own Velociraptor and name it Blue just like Jurassic World (one of his favorite movies). 
You walk a lot in a museum. They had a bench sitting near the entrance to the restroom, which made the term all the more meaningful. See?
By the time we finished at the museum we were starving but unwilling to eat lunch because we wanted to be ravenous in time for our Thanksgiving meal. We went to Starbucks and got coffee and hot chocolate. While I waited for our drinks, Jason walked to McDonald's next door and got him and the boys a snack so that way I wouldn't turn into a velociraptor at their whining and complaining.
 It was now mid afternoon. We needed at least one more thing to do to occupy our time before our dinner reservation. So we went to see Wreck it Ralph (Ralph breaks the internet).
Spoiler alert: Ralph doesn't break the real-life internet. Just the movie internet.
On our way out I was mesmerized by the sky that looked like a face with a gaping mouth ready to eat me straight out of horror film. Perhaps even God's creation gets hungry for Thanksgiving.
 Finally, our reservation for dinner at Maggiano's had come.
Of course I didn't take any food pictures. You all know my aversion to food pictures. But here's the menu from the website:
Compliments of the Chef
Classic Tomato Bruschetta
First Course
Maggiano’s and Caesar Salads
Second Course
Served with cranberry relish

Please choose two:
  • Traditional Roast Turkey Breast with Giblet Gravy & Focaccia Sausage Stuffing
  • Country-Style Baked Smoked Ham with Mashed Sweet Potatoes
  • Parmesan-Crusted Tilapia with Sage, Lemon & Tomatoes
Please choose two

Tuscan Creamed Corn, Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Creamed Spinach, Focaccia Sausage Stuffing

Please choose two

Taylor Street Baked Ziti, Our Famous Rigatoni “D”®, Spaghetti & Meatball, Four-Cheese Ravioli, Gnocchi & Italian Sausage, Roasted Butternut Squash Ravioli
Third Course
Please choose two:
Pumpkin Praline Cheesecake, Tiramisu, Chocolate Zuccotto Cake, Warm Apple Crostada
 The first thing that should have entered your mind was: "what did Evan eat?" Which may be the title to the book I write someday, on the memoirs of my life with a picky eater. The answer to that question is (drum roll) bread. That's it. Bread. He also did attempt to eat a pat of butter but spit it out promptly when he determined it didn't taste as glamorous as it looked.
We didn't eat dessert while we were there and I'm still in shock that I didn't go puke in order to make room for it. They boxed it up for us and we ate it 2 days later and it was still good. 

I was concerned that we wouldn't feel festive enough to decorate for Christmas on Friday when we got home. It's a tradition. The decorating commenced much later in the evening than I can remember us doing so, but it still happened so... Christmas is saved everybody.
I think I should mention that our tree has been overtaken by Star Wars. If they should come alive at night and terrorize my house, I know the force. So. I'm good.
The End