It's hard for me to remember, sometimes, that this isn't a holiday week for some readers.
Here's what we've been up to:
Wednesday was Donald's 36th birthday. It was a regular workday, but we still managed to find some time in the morning and evening for fun, and he got to talk to both his parents and his brother on the computer. (If you'd like to talk to people for free over the Internet, do check out Skype. The sound quality is impressive-- better than through a telephone, I think.)
Wednesday afternoon, my parents were out in the clearing burning a pile of brush while Grandpa L. continued discing (disking?) nearby. We went out and spoke with them for a while (and helped gather a few more things to throw on the fire). It looks like they're going to move forward with their house plans, so there should be some interesting changes in the local landscape, soon.
Thursday was (of course) Thanksgiving, which we spent with my father's side of the family. All the aunts, uncles and cousins were in attendance, including those who live in Georgia. They brought their bulldog ("Gertie", if I'm spelling it correctly) down with them, and she provided the entertainment once the kids (my two young cousins) had gone to visit their other grandmother.
Friday, we did our Day-After-Thanksgiving shopping from home, which in some ways has been nice, but in other ways, it's been less than ideal. Also, though it seems like it ought to be better, not having to get up early, stand in long lines, deal with traffic and possibly be jostled by complete strangers, that's all part of the experience, and without it things just don't feel as much like the kick-off of the holiday season.
The day after Thanksgiving is the traditional day for many (most?) people in the U.S. to put up/decorate the Christmas tree, but as I wrote in the previous entry, I'm thinking of putting that off for another day or two. No sense doing it when I'm not in the mood to enjoy it, right?
In Donald's family, as in most Swedish families, they don't decorate the tree until Christmas Eve morning, but they then leave it there until January 13th. (I think. . .) That's definitely a difference in our traditions! I think Mom was always eager to get the Christmas tree down soon after Christmas day. . .
This afternoon, we went to Aunt Debbie and Uncle Jim's Iron Bowl party. While most of the others watched the game, Carrie, Kimberly, Donald and I played card games. It was nice to see everyone, and fortunately, the "right" team won, so everyone who actually cared about it was happy and easier to live with than if they'd lost. ;o)
The downside: There was a group photo, and when I saw it later that night (at home), I was less than pleased with my part of it. Gross. I don't really look like that, do I? (Please lie to me, if necessary. Otherwise, I may well cry.) Seriously, I don't look that bad in the mirror. . . I know that if I lose some weight I'll be somewhat more photogenic, but in the meantime, I'd much rather be behind the camera than in front of it.
Okay. I know I'm not completely unattractive. There are probably even people who'd happily trade bodies/general physical condition with me. That said, I'm still feeling fairly depressed about this, and I'm not looking forward to being forced into family photos this Christmas. I certainly won't be printing them up for display in my own house.
Anyway. Putting vanity aside.
All in all, a nice holiday weekend, despite unflattering photos and rain. And I definitely have a lot to be thankful for, even if I do look chubby in photographs. I should be thankful to live in such a land of plenty that chubbiness is the problem instead of not having enough to eat-- and I am thankful for that, among so many, many other things. It's good to be reminded to take the time to remember all those blessings. . .