Sunday, January 3, 2010

Our Christmas Vacation

For those who know me, you may know that 2009 has been a trying year for my husband and I. It has also been a very good year for us. How can it be both you ask? Well for starters, I am the eternal optimist that sees the good in everything.

Due to my husbands abrupt departure from his last employer who shall remain nameless, it taught him that he really wouldn't have enjoyed nameless career very much. Dear nameless employer who changed our world, "Thank you." Truly. This was the good. The bad was that 7 months later and the "job market" was still closed. There has been NO market. Nothing. But... this is OK. Alot can be said about 2009, mainly that our sanity has stayed in-tact and we've realized so many things that we may not have before. For example, my husband is about to embark on a new career as an EMT in January. Well, he starts classes anyway. I am VERY exciting for him. And us. He's also VERY excited.

In late September I planned for my "Christmas Vacation." My company gives employees 5 days off in a row for Christmas (Christmas Eve through the following Monday) and the following Friday for New Years Day. So, if you take off the Tues-Thurs in-between you have.... 11 WHOLE DAYS OFF! So this is what I planned. Figured I needed it. Figured my hubs needed me. Figured I just needed a break.

I hadn't planned on what came Friday, December 11th. My employer asked me to put together a last-minute lunch meeting/get together. (I'm the event planner) I had no idea what was on the agenda. Boy was everyone surprised. THIS was huge. To me anyway. My employer had surprised us all with pretty sizable bonuses. Sizable indeed. I started immediately thinking of how Chevy Chase's character must have felt in 'Christmas Vacation'!

As I said before, 2009 had been a trying year. Trying mainly meaning the frustrating levels of uncertainty, but also that hubs and I weren't able to do some of the things we wanted to do, buy the items we wanted, go where we wanted to go, etc. Now trust me, I know these are minor things in the grand scheme of life. We managed to stay afloat and pay our bills. We managed to keep our home and cars. We managed to stay fed and clothed. So many people couldn't and didn't. I won't say that we were lucky, more so simply fortunate. We did and tried our best during the rough and tough times. When this surprise bonus came my way all I could think about was having a little fun with it. Can you blame me? I thought at first about taking a vacation, but that would be a quick fix with no lasting effects. I wanted to be able to say "Sure, honey let's buy that" or "What the hell" and when the cashier asked "Cash, check, or charge?" I really wanted to be able to say, "Cash, please." This is how we spent our Christmas Vacation...



Hubs and I saw Avatar in IMAX 3D - TWICE (First time in Raleigh, the second time in Augusta, GA)  Stunning, brilliant, and ingenious. Over $80 worth of awesomeness!

We traveled to Augusta, GA to visit my husbands' family. His mother is Korean and made us a traditional Korean dinner for Christmas evening. It was absolutely awesome, and hubs couldn't have been happier. (see separate post here) Hubs was also able to spend some quality time with his brother, who happened to bring his attention to a game that has given him more progressive and extensive ADD. Not even kidding.

Became addicted to photo editing!
More photo editing!
Hubs bonding w/Harley

So much fun!
Hubs & his brother
Christmas Dinner - Korean Style!

After coming home from Georgia, we discovered we had NO heat. Crap. Not what we wanted to come home to. The temperature outside was in the low thirties. It was 64 inside, and dropping fast. After a panicked phone call someone came out that night (Monday). Joy! Not so fast... It ended up being something that couldn't be fixed until the next day, at the absolute earliest. Shit. I got a call on Tuesday saying that the part necessary had to be overnighted and wouldn't be able to be installed until Wednesday. Shit again. I had bought space heaters on Monday night and boy am I glad I did. They were a godsend. Those 3 days and 2 nights were not very fun. At all. Well, the cuddling was fun. ♥ Thank goodness for the fireplace!




You know how it's been said, "You never buy a woman an appliance for Christmas." Well, I bought one for myself dammit and I love it! I've been wanting a Oreck for a LONG time now mainly due to how lightweight they are given their power. (I had reconstructive wrist surgery a few years back and heavy vacuums are a bitch to handle) Wouldn't you know that the local Oreck store was running a holiday special?! Yay! My cleaning life had instantaneously become simpler. Thank you Mr. Oreck! I carried the 8 pounder proudly to the car with a HUGE smile on my face.


And what does hubs do on the 1st night we have the new Oreck?! He decides to make a mess. A HUGE mess. Being playful, he picks up a bag of shredded documents waiting to the thrown out UP the stairway causing a massive explosion of itsy bitsy pieces of paper EVERYWHERE! This is only a teeny smidgen of what it looked like. I was laughing so damn hard I didn't think of taking a picture. What does hubs say after we almost died from laughter? "Now you REALLY get to see how good that thing works!" HA! For the record, YES. The Oreck kicks ass.

Had to test it sometime, right?!

I decided after 3 years of not having any window treatments on our rear french door and kitchen window that it was time.  So, I made asked hubby do it.



The finished product on the french doors - Nice!

We somehow managed in our moments of "US, US, US" to still send out Christmas cards. Of us.  People do this, right?



I "de-Christmastized" the house post-Christmas. Being that this was ALL I had inside, it didn't take long. :)



I completely reorganized our closet. From top to bottom. The 2nd bar on the bottom is new, and man was it needed! I added a "shoe tree" that actually looks and works pretty darn awesome. (from Wal-Mart! $20) I added a couple of organizer bars for belts, sashes, etc. Exactly my idea of a good time. I'm not kidding. (this is what I live for) Yes, I'm O.C.D.

It better STAY this way!

I took the bras off the rack for tactful purposes, of course ;)


Right before Christmas we bought a new computer. Oh my, how we needed it. Hubs, while I love him immensely, he was ALWAYS on the computer, never allowing me to have any time for blogging, twittering, paying bills, etc. (notice the order?) So... I figured we needed to finish off the desk with its matching hutch (fortunately it was still available after 3 years). Our world is now balanced.



Hubs and I LOVE movies. Alot. We thought (OK, me) it was an ideal time to upgrade our movie watching experience to Blu-ray. Oh. My. My. All I have to say is, you know what I'm talking about if you have one! We were really missing out. I have amassed a little collection so far thanks to the AMAZING prices on Amazon.com! This is also where we bought the player itself; $45 cheaper than Wal-Mart believe it or not! Dear Blu Ray: I LOVE you.



I said "Yes, dear" when hubs wanted a new toy. It was great to be able to do that.


I managed to keep my ONE plant alive. A feat I find amazing, as I am NO green thumb. This plant was supposed to die in the Fall!


I also managed to stay updated on current pop culture. An area I find SO amusing. (barf)



Even after seeing another movie TWICE, and watching our new blu ray movies, we still yearned for MORE movies.



I used a drill. Yes, me. And I didn't even hurt myself. Not an east thing to do! (I'm a clutz) Finally, we have light in our pantry! (thanks to little 'ole me!)



We invested in our future by taking the prerequisite to the EMT class. An AED/CPR course through the American Red Cross. Now hubs can pound on me should I manage to choke on something! One of my worst fears. (the choking, not hubs pounding) EMT Hubs, here we come! Men in uniform. Need I say more?



We went to an awesome New Years Party, that so conveniently was just across the street! Drinking and driving is BAD you guys! VERY, VERY bad!





Not too sure what hubs is doing. But, I obviously find it funny.

Just being us. Silly!

Party drinks turn me into sweaty "Dancing Queen!"

Now it's time for all good things to come to an end. The vacation that is. The good things in life will NEVER end. Not as long as you are happy and have a little spirit in you. I have been very fortunate to have such an AMAZING husband in my life this past year and the past 15 for that matter!! (Yes, that's how long we've been together!) I love our life together wholeheartedly. I could live in a tepee and be happy, as long as I had him. Yes, "toys" are fun. But, they don't make you, as we were able to show all year-long. We have lived pretty humble lives this past year. These last two weeks have been freedom for us. Freedom to have fun. Freedom to be a little loose. Freedom to express some "zest" as I call it. I have had a great Christmas vacation with my husband. One that I will never soon forget. It was fun to relive it with all of you and I hope you enjoyed going through my vacation with me as much as I enjoyed telling it!

Best wishes in 2010! May the bad NEVER outweigh the GOOD!

~ April

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