Merry Christmas!

Today is Christmas Day and I thought I’d dust the surfaces around here and chime in with an update.

The past couple of months have been busy. We took a family vacation to Disney World in Florida. We stayed at the Art of Animation resort and had a really fun week together. The kids (mostly) got a long and were thrilled to be tall enough to ride 99.9% of the rides. The last time we went (2008) they weren’t so lucky, so this trip was a huge improvement. The kids have already begun planning a return in the next few years, possibly staying at a different resort and going to Universal Studios rather than Animal Kingdom next time.

My family came to visit during Thanksgiving weekend, which was originally intended to be the weekend we celebrated my grandmother’s 100th birthday. With her passing, we decided to still get together for the holiday. Denis cooked up an amazing dinner and we managed to avoid getting the various illnesses my sister’s family brought with them (poor things).

Then it was time to begin prepping for the annual White Elephant party (the menu for which I’ve already posted). As always we devoted a lot of time and attention to decorating the house, planning the menu, and getting the house cleaned. In the end it was a really fun night. Denis ended up with a hideous clown statue and I let CootieBoy pick my present – a musical tie that he wore to church the following Sunday in order to show to his piano teacher.

Chilly the Dog

Chilly the Dog

And then Christmas arrived. And with it a new addition to the family. Denis and I briefly – just for a couple days – fostered a dog that one of my co-workers found on her porch one night. The dog was gorgeous – a husky – but very clearly a puppy. While we liked the dog, the puppy-ness of him was just too much, and we gave him back to my co-worker, who very happily added him to her own household and never looked back. After that experience, Denis said he was willing to have another dog, but not a puppy. He went online and did a search on dog breeds and decided he wanted an Australian Shepherd. A quick search at Petfinder online and we found an Australian Shepherd mix in the next town over. The picture was adorable and the description sounded perfect. Five years old, quiet, good with kids and cats, not high energy, and pretty affable. We went to visit the rescue group and liked the dog. We picked him up Christmas Eve and had him stay at a friend’s house until the kids went to bed. We then brought him home so that he could be “under the tree” come Christmas morning.

Chilly lounging on the sofa Christmas morning.

Chilly lounging on the sofa Christmas morning.

CootieGirl woke up first this morning, and came in to ask if she could go downstairs. I told her to let me brush my teeth and to go wake CootieBoy. Before I was even done brushing my teeth she was back, exclaiming, “Mama, there’s a DOG down there! We got a DOG!” *sigh* So much for getting down there first so we could videotape their reactions!

The dog’s name is Chilly, not only because of his very chilled out temperament, but because of the time of year we adopted him. We have had a good first day with him – we discovered that he already knows several commands including how to shake “hands!” CB was thrilled about that because he always wanted a dog that could do tricks.

And so that’s my update. I’ve not done much with the weight loss thing since we went to Disney in mid-October other than hitting the gym a few times and doing one 5K race with my sister on Thanksgiving Day, but I plan to start up again on January 1 along with everyone else making new year’s resolutions.

To that end, I hope your Christmas Day is a special one! Thanks for sticking with the blog in 2013 even though I didn’t write much. Hopefully I’ll be better about that in 2014! Cheers!

My Signature
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