Sunday, December 12, 2010

It's The Most Wonderful Time of The Year

Wow, what a week it's been, full of highs and lows.

Let's see.

Monday: I left work and headed straight for Safeway. You see I needed a rotisserie chicken for Tuesday night. After a little bit more shopping, I went home and finished my homemade gift for the white elephant gift exchange, also to be on Tuesday.

Tuesday: I had a party to go to! It was the first of what was supposed to be four parties, but you'll find out what was next as you read along. The party was a graduation/Christmas party for the writing class I take on Tuesday nights. I love this group of ladies I'm with, and I feel comfortable sharing my work with them.

The evening was festive and wonderful. We had foods that had something to do with our writings, hence the rotisserie chicken. My story is a takeoff of Pride and Prejudice. Since I had been asked to bring a main dish, this was how meats were prepared in Jane Austen's day. We exchanged gifts and talked about our family traditions at Christmas.

Wednesday: I had a crazy day at work, so no time to make the present for the gift exchange for party #2 that evening. This party is for a group I am involved in called ANWA. It stands for American Night Writers Association, and is for LDS ladies who like to write, whether it be music, poetry or actual stories. Wednesday evening was wonderful as well, with everyone talking about all kinds of different things, including some fantastic news of one of the ladies' manuscripts was accepted by a small publisher!

The menu that evening called for snacks, so I went to Costco and found large, round pumpkin pies there, and a 3 pack of heavy whipped cream. Yum. The food was delicious, some of us read something from our writings, and while my white elephant gift was lacking somewhat, everyone seemed to enjoy the evening.

Thursday: Thursday was a "night off" of sorts, meaning I didn't have any parties to attend, however the nurse at my school and I had already signed up for the Friday treats at work the next morning, so I was back at Costco, picking up more food. Pumpkin pie #2 was picked up, among other things, as I still had two unused cans of the whipped cream left. I also picked up some really yummy looking cinnamon rolls from their bakery.

Leftovers from Tuesday night's dinner were used that night. :-) I received a phone call from a member of my Ward (Church) asking me to come to an impromptu dinner hosted by the Primary (children) from my Ward. I said I would try to make it, it sounded fun!

Friday: I got things inside the school from my car (most of the food and bottled water was left out in the car overnight) and set up in the staff lounge before I had to take care of business in the computer lab and then go outside for my hour of crossing guard work. The weather this week had been really mild in the mornings, kind of strange in December.

I came back in afterwards to grab some of the delicious egg and hash brown stuff that the nurse had made in a crock pot and brought in after I had already gotten to work. I heard there were some arguments over the cinnamon rolls and pumpkin pie. Oh dear.

I left work a little early (I actually had accrued more hours because of computer issues after school) and was able to go out to my Insurance Agent's office to bring over the signed paperwork for my new insurance policies. I changed companies when I bought a new car over Veteran's Day weekend (I'll post that some other time). I didn't realize they were a 30 minute drive, but that was okay.

I made it back to my neighborhood just in time to go to the impromptu party (three out of the now five parties I would be going to in a week) I got the call for Thursday. It was soooo darling! There were readings and piano solos before the children combined to make a nativity scene, complete with a young lamb.

After eating a delicious meal of chicken noodle soup and strawberry shortcake, I went home, unloaded the car, and crashed for the rest of the evening.

Saturday: I tried to sleep in, honest, but I was awake by 7:00. My Father's passing had been on my mind since Wednesday night's party, and it started to hit on Saturday. It was roughly the four year anniversary since we took my Father off of life support. This coming Monday will make four years since his passing. I was tired and depressed.

I managed to make it to my hair appointment to style my hair for the two parties I had that evening to attend. Yes, I said two. Both my work party and Ward Christmas party ended up on the same evening. I had already signed up to bring food for the Ward Christmas party, and I needed a white elephant gift for the work Christmas party. I told my stylist about the week I was having, and she could see I was already exhausted. She recommended that I purchase some professional product (shampoo and conditioner) that was on sale, so I went for it. I didn't have time nor energy to make the gift I had planned on.

After the hair appointment, I picked up some food for Rachel, before making yet another trek to Costco to get (yes) another pumpkin pie. I still had one more unused can of whipped cream left. Besides, from all accounts, the pies were a hit with everyone. I took a breather before putting on a nice blouse (silvery grey) and black skirt and black dress jacket. I used the Manilow purfume I had purchased last year in Las Vegas (at the HIlton) and put on some makeup.

I made it a little late to the Ward Christmas party (it started at 6:00) and the line for the food was wrapping around the cultural hall in the church building. There was no way I was going to get any food, but I did bring in the pumpkin pie and whipped cream to the table for people to get a slice. It looked like they were already running low on desserts, and I'm sure only one large pie didn't cover everyone, but at least it made a dent. I met and visited with friends (who liked my looks for the evening) before leaving for the work Christmas party (it started at 6:30, but I had already told them I would be late).

I went to the work Christmas party, which was held at Rosita's on Guadalupe and Dobson Roads. If you live in the Phoenix area, this is a GREAT restaurant. Yumm. We had the white elephant gift exchange while waiting for the food to be served. It turned out the product I bought and wrapped up was quite a hit with the other ladies (it was, after all, Biolage). It was one of the items stolen the maximum number of times. I was really glad I didn't wrap a puzzle and call it good.

A chicken chimichanga later and I was headed home (with leftovers) for a good night's sleep.

Today, I was in basket case mode, which had a few people worried, until I explained the upcoming anniversary of my Father's death. After the block I excused myself and left and went home.

One thing I will say. I do have some new found respect for the celebrities who go out all the time. I'm not much of a party person (I am a Virgo after all), so the energy it takes to prepare and attend a party generally wipes me out. Five parties in five days almost did me in. Almost. With a little planning and a lot of help from my friends, however, it turned out really well.

Happy holidays, and a Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

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