This post just consists of sporadic events and thoughts which aren’t necessarily in order…the pictures follow along to a degree.
Well, I took basically a three week break from blogging. While it’s hard for me to write, I enjoy seeing people’s comments so it is worth the challenge. I’ve spent my days here in Dallas catching up on paperwork…healthcare, bank, taxes, etc…so not much exciting to write about on that front.
My nights have been mostly spent catching up with friends and family. I’ve seen almost all my old soccer friends (at least on the girls side), a few old co-workers, and handful of folks I have met in my travels over the last three years. In fact, after a week of non-stop work, I have finally completed my photo album of my safari in Africa…a trip I took with five of my travel friends just before I took my tour across America. I must say, Africa may rank as my most fascinating trip yet! See my two photo books at links below.
I spent a lovely Christmas Eve with two sets of my family. First I had dinner with my dad, stepmom, brother D’Arcy, sister-in-law Marti, my neices (twins: Molly and Elizabeth) and nephew Jack. Santa visits my dad’s on Christmas Eve and the kids were charged up! It was fun to watch the excitement. After a little while at my dad’s, I visited my Aunt and Uncle’s, Jennifer and John. The kids are a bit younger and are just beginning to understand Santa and Christmas. All the adults grazed over finger foods while enjoying good cheer. We tried some Maker’s Mark chocolates I brought home from my trip. I don’t remember them being quite so strong! Regardless, they were good. We have a family tradition to play bean bag. My cousin Chad usually instigates the game, but he was home with a sick baby, so we didn’t end up playing. It may have been the first time we haven’t played! The game was out, but in a different location…perhaps that tricked us. Except for my flat tire and the pouring rain, it was an enjoyable evening.
I spent Christmas morning with my mom, stepdad, brother Ed, sister-in-law Cindy, and my two nephews. George was born in October, so my first time to him was Christmas Eve! Frank, my other nephew who is two, didn’t quite get into Christmas. He was more interested in my mom’s ipad. Next year will be the year for him!
As always, my mom’s tree looked magnificent. It was decorated with over 1,000 ornaments. We enjoyed a wonderful Christmas breakfast: eggs, bacon, toast, and sticky bun before we opened gifts. She also had a great taco party a few days before Christmas as my brother Bart, sister-in-law Katie and my neice in nephew, Mollie and Sam, respectively were in town for nearly an overnight visit!
I spent Christmas afternoon at my brother D’Arcy’s house. I had hoped to catch my dad there, but just missed them. They were headed to the farm. I may need to visit the farm before I leave Dallas. It’s about an hour southeast of the city. Christmas night my mom, Bart, and I continued the tradition of a turkey sandwich at Dottie and Rees’s house (for those of you that have been following my blog, they lent me their condo for a few days in Destin). We watched the Cowboys stink up another game, but I think they have a better chance of winning now that Jason Garrett is the coach!
I spent New Year’s Eve at Carol’s and Liz’s with another friend Suellen. It was a low key night. We had a few martinis, played a few games, watched a little TV, and I crashed in VANilla. It was my first time to sleep in the van since I’ve been home.
The first week of January was a mix of emotion. On the 6th we celebrated my mom’s birthday and on the 7th I had to send Scout to doggie heaven. My mom’s birthday dinner was lovely. We dined at a French restaurant known for its filet douse in pepper sauce. As for Scout, I already made a post for her. She was an awesome companion, enjoyed an amazing three months of hiking in every state east of Texas, and looked very peaceful when she left this world for a better place. Now I’m just focusing my affection on crazy Petey.
In the weeks to come, I plan to make a few more volunteer visits to the Parkland ER, meet up with some more friends, and soak in the last of football season! In addition, I’ll probably add to my cache list…I think I’ve found six around Dallas, and may even snap a photo or two soon. Believe it or not, outside of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I haven’t taken a photograph…they are borrowed! Best wishes in 2011. ETB