Thursday, December 20, 2007

Two Weeks of Everything

*Warning* This post is ridiculously long. It started out as just an anniversary post, but grew to cover all the major events in my household over the past two weeks. Really, it's like six different posts. Read it all at once or just one mini-post at a time. I suspect only the most devoted readers will make it to the end.

December 20, 2007
A Blissful Decade

Today is the tenth anniversary of my wedding to my Michael. Wow! Have I really been a married woman for an entire decade? How did this happen to someone as young and spry as myself?

I have never felt more beautiful than I did on my wedding day. My mom did my hair in like 15 minutes and I slapped on my 45 seconds worth of make-up but I felt like a princess. Even if my thigh cannot fit into the waist of my wedding dress anymore, I am so glad for the past ten years and the life I've shared with my Michael. He and I are so different but I think we compliment each other very well. I mean, thank goodness not everyone is as high-strung as I, you know? My Michael is a great example of desiring to do good, being honest, and serving the Lord. Plus, he adores me. And he's funny. I love him.

To celebrate, we went to The Melting Pot. The way I figure it, if you can't go out to a ridiculously expensive meal for your tenth anniversary, when can you? And so we did. Our favorite couple "to date," Tracy and Chris, had their fifteenth anniversary just last week, so we doubled. It was a great night after Chris received CPR for his reaction to the menu prices. My thoughtful mother-in-law and her husband even came to town for a quick visit to babysit for us!

Happy Anniversary, my Michael! Here's to many more decades together...


Christmas 2007

For Christmas this year we went to Uncle Josiah's house. Boy, did we have fun! We arrived on the afternoon of Christmas Eve in time to enjoy some heavy hors d'oeuvre and Christmas cookie consumption. After the binging, we bundled up in coats for a hay ride! Josiah hitched a big hay-filled wagon to the back of his pick-up and drove us (at a frightening speed) down the street and into a nearby neighborhood to admire the Christmas lights. It was a chilly night and the scent of the exhaust of the truck was more than a little stifling, but it was still a grand time. Oh, how we laughed to keep from freezing!
Once we got back to the house, it was gingerbread house time. There were little graham cracker houses for everyone to decorate. Uncle Chris and Aunt Meredith contributed all the candy, which was in no short supply.

Next, it was time for the Nativity. We used the standard towel costumes and all willing children participated. It's always nice to stop everything else for a quick activity sponsored by the True Meaning of Christmas, you know?

After wrestling kids into pajamas and issuing the standard Christmas Eve Santa-can't-come-until-all-kids-are-asleep threat, we got all 11 cousins to sleep.

Christmas morning was as magical as ever. My kids were thrilled by their 3 gifts from Santa each (Maia: guitar, MP3 player, walkie/talkie thingies; Mason: pogo stick, frog terrarium, walkie/talkie thingies; Marlee: princess bath robe, Hannah Montana Barbie, bike; Mackenna: Aquadoodle mat, Dora bubble machine, FurReal pig). The big surprise was the combined gift for the whole family: a Wii. It's been quite a multi-generational hit, let me tell you!

Allow me a moment to brag about what a thoughtful and wonderful gift I got from my husband. Basically, he made me a little membership into "The Date of the Month" club, if there were such a thing. He went all over buying gift cards to my favorite restaurants and got gift cards to the movie theater, mini golf, batting cages, etc. Then he bought me a little planner and also wrote out the plan for a date a month for the whole year. Some months I have a choice, like go-karting or movie, but other times it is set, like on Valentine's Day he has tickets for us to go to a dinner theater. I am so excited about it! He even said that he is going to arrange all the babysitting for all the dates he pre-bought! Yeah! I can't wait! There is such a variety of activities--from museums in D.C. to horseback riding. It's going to be quite a fun year of dating for us! Isn't that just the cutest gift? I'm rather thrilled, in case you couldn't tell.

Anyway, back to Christmas. The rest of the morning passed in a frenzy of clean-up, new toys, Wii competitions and a trip to the barn to visit the animals. Teensy was chomping at the bit to go feed a bottle to one of the baby goats. Even Maia was up for the excursion...or so she thought. When we got near the orchard and the donkey's pasture Maia made a U-turn and headed back to the house. Teensy and Kenna loved petting the donkey before hitting the barn to see the baby goats. Kenna got knocked around a bit by some goats but still had a grand time. Teensy was a little afraid at first but then braved up and fulfilled her dream of bottle-feeding the goats.
FInally, after a delicious roast beast worthy of any Who down in Who-ville, we all loaded up our goods and our cars and went home. It was lovely.

December 29, 2008

Today is my Michael's birthday (in case you didn't get that from my little subtitle above). Usually, Michael likes his birthday to be all about him but this year that just didn't happen and he was a great sport. I think it helps that he got a good gift: an iPod. He is very excited to have that new little toy, let me tell you. He spent all morning on the computer with me walking past intermittently asking, "Have you spent all your gift card yet?"

In honor of his big day, I thought I'd list 37 things I love about my Michael:
1. He will always weigh more than I do (let's just start with what's most important, shall we?)
2. He has a great sense of humor
3. He can laugh at himself
4. He does a mean impersonation of a Monchichhi--seriously, you gotta see it
5. He's tall, dark, and handsome--how dreamy!
6. He loves to read
7. He works hard at his job
8. He takes Judo with Mason
9. He plays a funny "wild monkey" game with Mason
10. He wears whatever Halloween costume the kids and I come up with for him
11. He has perfect teeth and eyesight (I mean, his genes are important to my progeny, right?)
12. He takes the day off work and takes the kids sledding whenever it snows
13. He calls my chocolate chip cookies "crackies" because they're addictive
14. He doesn't think I'm chubby, even though I am (that BMI chart doesn't lie, my friends)
15. He tries really hard to get me good presents
16. He reads his scriptures daily
17. He lets me pluck and trim his eyebrows when the fancy strikes me
18. He has worked hard to overcome his tendency to have road rage
19. He prays daily
20. He takes the garbage to the curb
21. He mows the lawn
22. He likes to hear me sing
23. He has committed to take a dance class with me
24. He has slumber parties with our children without me
25. He camps with our children without me
26. He only grumbles about me leaving to go somewhere if he feels like he hasn't seen me lately
27. He really tries to magnify his church calling
28. He can build a fire out of nothing
29. He brings me flowers for no good reason
30. He brings me Snickers for no good reason
31. He eats anything
32. He thinks going out to dinner means getting a drink other than water, an appetizer and an entree.
33. He likes to splurge on movie popcorn for the kids when we take them to the theater (I'd rather smuggle in some fruit snacks in my purse and call it good)
34. He is devoted to exercise
35. He is a hypochondriac--but it's part of his charm
36. He is ridiculously honest
He loves me

So, there you have 37 reasons to celebrate my Michael on his big day!


It's a Pennsylvania Dutch tradition to eat pork and sauerkraut on New Year's Day. It's supposed to bring good luck in the new year. Of course, my family does this each year. But we have another little tradition for New Year's Eve. It's not German, but Japanese and we call it Karaoke!!!!

Ultra corny, I know, but we do have a grand time. The girls all do each other's make-up and hair (I'm usually the hair gal, but this year we didn't do hair so much). We even put a nice mole somewhere on each girl's face. Not only do my sisters, sisters-in-law and mother get involved, but my grandmother and her friends do it right along with us as well. Yes, my grandmother and her ninety year-old friends let me curl their hair with curling irons and let my sister do their make-up like...ladies of the night. There are lots of laughs, let me tell you! Sadly, Grandma couldn't come this year, but her friend Grace still joined us. How cute is that?

Anyway, we sing for hours. My sister, Amber, is quite a master at the art of karaoke and choreographs each number she performs. This year she added a sequined dress as her costume; I'm sure it's not the last we've seen of that little clearance rack number. We had another new addition this year--my soon-to-be brother-in-law, Shawn, made his karaoke debut. When he took his first turn with the microphone, my previous thoughts were confirmed: he fits right in!

Just before midnight, we turn on the T.V. to watch various things drop simultaneously--the ball in Times Square, the white rose in York, the strawberry in Harrisburg, and my Michael's favorite, the 150 pound bologna in Lebanon. At the stroke of midnight, we clink glasses and drink countless bottles of sparkling cider. I think my favorite flavor this year was the Apple-Pomegranate. Quite yummy!

So, those are our New Year's celebrations! I just know that we'll have a wonderful 2008!

January 3, 2008
Happy Birthday to me!

It's my birthday and the end of everything. Okay, it's not the end of everything, but it is the end of the two weeks in which we, in our family, celebrate our anniversary, Christmas, my Michael's birthday, New Year's, and my birthday. It's also the end of this ridiculously long post. At this point, I have to assume I have lost all my dear readers and this is now strictly for journaling purposes. I'm okay with that.

So, it's my birthday. Michael and the kids gave me a gift certificate for an hour-long massage (yipee!), a magazine and socks. I taught Teensy's preschool and then Tracy brought me a great lunch and a cute new shirt. I did not feel guilty for not cleaning the kitchen or doing the laundry during nap time. I read a little and then fell asleep. Tonight we went out to dinner at Red, Hot & Blue (or "The Rock-n-Roll Pigs," as my kids call it). After coming home from that, my cute friend Cynthia brought me yummy birthday treats. It's been a nice day. And it's only going to get nicer when my Michael and I snuggle on the couch watching DVD's of The Office.


Kel said...

Sounds like a busy, and yet wonderful couple of weeks. I always like reading your lists - there is a lot that our darling husbands have in common. Thanks for reminding me of how great he is.

Meg said...

hey I read your whole post (though we are trying to go tv free this month...) I'm going to have to have my husband read about what you got for Christmas. That is the most awesome present ever! And happy birthday! (see, I did read to the end :)

Deb said...

i made it! whoo hoo! :)

happy birthday. and thanks for posting about michael's christmas present. i'll be sure and show that to gregory as inspiration. he has raised the bar on gifts. :)

Sally said...

Wow wow wow Monsieur Michael. You have impressed the pants off of me. Holy cow! I would die a thousand happy deaths if my Troy gave me that. What a thoughtful gift! I was just thinking that a nice New YEar's resolution would be regular dates this year, since 2007's were sporadic due to having a newborn.
And let's see, what else...I loved the list of 37 things about him. What a fun challenge that would be to undertake for Troy. Maybe this year...
We got a wii too! Mendy, did you make yourself a darling little mii that looks nothing like your real self? I did! She's so pretty! I don't think they're supposed to be realistic. I hope they're not supposed to be realistic. Because mine's not.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I can't wait to meet you! :)

Sally said...

So sorry. How insensitive of me to overlook your birthday. Happy Happy Birthday Mendy dear, happy days will come to yooouuu all year! If I had one wish then it would beee, a happy happy birthday to you from me! Due to the nature of my current calling, I can't sing any other birthday song right now.

Christie said...

I read the whole post!!! Sounds like a great time. I loved to hear all the wonderful things about your sweet heart. I LOL at the comment about Chris and the prices at Melting pot, and your Christmas and New year sounded very interesting. How in the world did you sneak a bike past your kids?

Mendy said...


I have no idea what you are talking about as the bike was from Santa. I did absolutely no sneaking.

That said, my mother-in-law provided an "elf service" when she left my house after babysitting for our anniversary and went to my brother-in-law's house.

Tracy said...

It's about time you posted! You just have to make time to keep up, for instance, what are you doing at 1:00 in the morning? I can't believe how great Michael's Christmas gift was. I didn't know you got a massage certificate! I want one! Yes, I'm envious. Chris says I have to wait 15 more years before I can go to the Melting Pot again. :(

laura said...

Happy Birthday, Sister!
I love the post...the WHOLE thing. I want all your pictures from Rockin' Karaoke Eve, so I can document it for my friends and family. It's something you really have to see to believe. :)

Jenni said...

Holy moly, what a wonderful Christmas present from Michael!! I was very impressed and of course told Adrian all about it in order to inspire some guilt driven date planning on his part!:) This was a very fun post and happy happy anniversary, Christmas, birthday to Michael, new years, and birthday to you!!:)

Kellie said...

I made it all the way through! I'm glad all your celebrations were joyous, friend!

Cami said...

That is a full fun long post! Great times. We should Wii together sometime!

Jared & Christina said...

Happy birthday, Mendy! Sounds like you have had a wonderful two weeks with LOTS to celebrate! I read word-for-word about Michael's gift to you to Jared. He thought it was a pretty good idea so maybe I'll get a copy cat gift! I'd LOVE that! :)

amberacottrell said...

Wow what a busy couple of weeks for you guys. Sounds like everything was wonderful. Happy Birthdays, Anniversary etc. I think Michaels gift for Christmas was amazing I am showing Spencer right now!

Wendy said...

You've been married ten years? You and Michael still look like Newlyweds (unless you're looking at the whole family, in which case newlyweds is an assumption that quickly gets thrown out of the window). I remember when you were smuggling bridal magazines into your apartment and telling me to claim them as my own if Michael walked in on us looking at them. Good times, Mend. Just thinking about it now makes we wish that I could just come over ad visit you now. I'm envious of all your Maryland friends who can!

Cynthia said...

I want more! I love your posts! I think we'll just double with you on ALL of your dates since that is the only time we actually have them. What? Not part of Michael's plan? Okay. Okay. Happy Birthday, my sweet friend. I admire you more than you know.

Rebecca said...

Congrates on the Anniversary! Happy Happy Birthday! What a fun Christmas! What a busy time!

Rebecca said...

I'm such a dork...did I say Christmas, I ment New Years!

nicole said...

woo hoo for the lebanon bologna. If you guys ever wanna see the real thing you know who to call.
And um I will never again think I have been slighted by having my birthday and anniversary a week apart. You guys sho do like to party. Happy Merry Everything to you.

Brenda said...

Hey Happy Birthday and happy anniversary! I too am jealous of your Christmas gift!! That is amazing that he did that!
I love the list of 37 things about Michael. It made me laugh that he lets you cut and trim his eyebrows. I do the same thing to Brian! I get also get the unibrow and the ear hairs... (: how funny!
By the way, I can't wait to hear about your lazik!!!!

Meredith said...

Mendy, I'm reading this late, but Happy 10th Anniversary! I remember the day you and Mike married was also the first day I met you. Chris and I weren't yet married, which could have led to tricky questions of whether to be included in family photos (if we broke up then I'd forever be in your family photo!). Anyway, we hadn't really even exchanged "nice to meet you's" when you yelled for me to get over there and get in your family wedding photo. Needless to say, I was touched and impressed.

So, happy anniversary! and I'm thankful to have you as a sister-in-law!

Quotation of the Month

There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one.

-Jill Churchill