We flew in last Wednesday night and have been going non-stop ever since. We spent Thursday wrapping presents, then took my dad out to eat at Rosa’s to get our queso on for his birthday. I think my insides are tortillas now. Sari and I drove to Austin on Friday to hang out with our friend Chelsy and her little munchkins. I hate missing so much of their little lives, but thank goodness we have so many ways to share pictures and stay in contact.
That evening we went up to the Christmas celebration at my grandma’s assisted living community. It was really sweet and there were a lot of families there. They even did a gift exchange even though no one could get up to steal a present (everyone was in good humor about this). My grandma’s dementia has progressed to the point that she doesn’t recognize us anymore which is heartbreaking, but I am thankful that she is still here for us to love on her. I am grateful for the 33 years we got to have with her and that she is now living somewhere safe where she is wonderfully taken care of. Here she is last year smiling and covered in presents which gives my heart joy.
Several of my friends lost grandparents this week (we are headed to a funeral today), so I feel extra thankful to still have her hand to hold. Any of us who get to have a loving grandparent in our lives are truly the luckiest.
On Saturday, I drove back to Austin to have brunch with my friend Maria. She’s expecting her first little one, so it was very exciting to talk to her during this new phase of her life. She’s going to be the best mom, and I am so happy for her and her husband. After lunch, I met up with my friend Jillian to hang out for a few hours at our favorite spot, Austin Beer Garden and Brewery. For dinner, I drove up to Temple to see one of my childhood besties, Stevi. We went to a swanky dinner at Cheeves Bros. Steakhouse and has a couple of bloody steaks. Man, I miss a good steak. Darn California people and their lean cuts and chicken.
On Sunday, we had miscellaneous Christmas lunch with friends and family who were in town. We enjoyed quite a feast, then watched football for 500 hours (I focused on a nap). My other grandma, Mamaw, graced us with her patriotic presence and her infamous backseat passenger. She was quite perturbed because she could not find the Santa mask and he was out of season. TRAGIC.
On Monday, we met my cousin up at my grandma’s to start cleaning out her house which was a deeply strange feeling. I felt like we were looting, but my grandmother cannot come back home, and it has to happen at some point. I felt like we were betraying her, but my dad reminded us that she would want her granddaughters to enjoy her things. Now I have a lot of beautiful things that I can always cherish and wear in her memory – like this amazing velvet robe with lace trim! My dad almost rolled his eyes so hard they fell out. You can see where I get my champagne Victorian tastes from! She could rival QEII in the brooch department.
That evening we had Christmas at our cousin’s house in Austin, so it was nice to be surrounded by family after a hard day. I love visiting them because I love them, but they also have the BEST dogs. They have a new boxer named Hank and he was a TRIP. Poor old Sophie was OVER his puppy shenanigans.
On Tuesday, I celebrated Christmas at our house with my parents and sister. My mom gave our cousin Hannah some Harry Potter dishes on Sunday, and Sari and I were mega jealous. We were THRILLED when we both unwrapped a set. I would have hated to have had to rob Hannah.
We have been reusing the same gift bags for about 15 years, but we tried to use less wrapping paper this year. Sari used bandanas and reused packing materials, and we also tried to use newspaper. It was a success!
We got my mom some giant Texas flag planters and wrapped them in sheets. Not the prettiest, but whatever. We are not getting photographed for a magazine over here.
I also FINALLY got my hands on one of the HEB Selena bags. Thanks, Santa!
I also got an amazing cat calendar:
I hope Alan doesn’t get jealous. We spent the day hanging out and watching Christmas movies in our pajamas. So, it was basically a perfect day. Yesterday, we met up with our friend Carly for lunch in town. We got to see her this summer since she works at Glacier National Park as a store manager between semesters, but it was great to see her twice in one year. We bond over life in our 30s without husbands or children, a true rarity in a small town (not a criticism, just a fact).
After lunch, we took our mom to see Mary Poppins Returns. We never really liked the original Mary Poppins growing up, and we just now figured out that it’s because my mom was annoyed by Dick Van Dyke which cracks me up. She was very delighted by Lin-Manuel Miranda (who isn’t?), and we greatly enjoyed the movie. He and Emily Blunt were fabulous.
I hope you have a safe and happy weekend, and I will see you in 2019!
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