The beginning of my Christmas holiday didn't start out as planned. Brandon's cousin, Shelly, passed away and we flew out to Houston for the funeral. It was nice to spend time with his family, we just wish it wasn't under this circumstance. Brandon's family reminds me a lot of my mom's family. The extended family is very close knit and love to include more than just family in any get together. Brandon and I are planning to make it down to Houston to see them more often this year.
On Sunday I flew from Houston straight to Oklahoma, where my mom was waiting for me. This was my first trip home since the 4th of July weekend, which was my longest stretch between visits yet. However, I have seen my mom and dad twice each since then. Though, I can't say the same for my animals :( My family did Christmas on the 23rd, since we were driving to Houston on the 24th to see my Grandma. This Christmas I only asked for things for my kitchen and got some wonderful things. I can't wait to try the recipes out of my new cookbook, Pie in the Sky. I also received my first Le Creuset pot in lime green (or Kiwi to be official). It has taken my 2 years to decide on which color I wanted to see in my kitchen for the rest of my life, so hopefully I don't change my mind :) My brother got me a NintendoDS with Brain Age 1 & 2. This is something I would have never bought myself but it was a perfect gift. I love having it on the bus and one game gets me from home to work and the second gets me home from work. During my visit we went to Houston and spent Christmas with some of my dad's family. It was a wonderful Christmas dinner organized and cooked by my dad's Cousin Sue at my Uncle Jim's new house. My Great-Aunt Willou and Grandma enjoyed the time together and we all enjoyed the time with them.
All the while, poor Brandon spent Christmas all by himself. He actually worked Christmas Day and made it back to Denver late that night. When he found out he was making it back to Denver, I received the following message: "I'll b home for Christmas but no one will be there with me." He knows how to make me feel bad for him. He left before I made it back to Denver, so our Christmas would have to wait. We started the new year off right by celebrating Christmas and 2009 on January 1. I couldn't ask for a better way to start off the new year. He was happy with all the presents and even liked my attempt to play Santa with filled Stockings: Candy, Library Card, Instant Green Tea (to add to bottle water), Starbucks gift card, travel toothpaste, and toothbrush. Though, he did ask if I was trying to tell him something with the toothbrush and toothpaste.
Plus, I was able to bake my Christmas cookies this weekend, so even though it is January, "It's starting to look a lot like Christmas" to me at least!!