A very merry Christmas to all of my bloggy peeps out there! We've had a busy week at the Chuck-n-Andi household. Early in the week we spent time making goodies for the holidays, packing up gift bags for friends, and last night we hosted a Christmas Eve meal at our house. We had pulled Cuban pork, mashed potatoes, glazed carrots, rolls, salad, and a huuuuge Italian creme cake (not to mention all the chocolate we made). We had a chance to reconnect with some dear friends we haven't seen in a while, and everyone had a great time.
We stayed up until almost 4am getting everything situated for the kids' Christmas morning extravaganza. We wrapped, we tied, we tagged. Everyone had a wonderful time opening gifts, and my mom came out this afternoon for more gift giving. She's hosting a late-afternoon snack/dinner tomorrow for my side of the family that includes lots of munchies, appetizers, finger foods, and other yummies. I'm always excited about that.
The kids had a great time hanging out with us and my mom, and they adored their gifts. The stars of Rocketgirl's Christmas are a new digital camera and a BOAT LOAD of scrapbooking stuff to get her started, a sterling silver James Avery necklace, and a boom box to play her iPod through. Rocketboy is enjoying a new skateboard, a cool remote-control race car, and his first iPod. They had lots of other cool gifts: books, bookmarks, art supplies, and some gift cards thrown into the mix. Chuck is also anticipating some gift card shopping, playing with his new olive oil sprayer, and he has some new clothes to wear. He and I will be exchanging most of our gifts for New Years since we blew most of our respective wad on the kiddos for Christmas.
In a suprising turn of events, I somehow ended up with a beautiful (bountiful) pile of gifts: two gorgeous sweaters, some silk jammies, some body moisturizing products to curb the pregnancy itches, and the most surprising of surprises:
A Barnes & Noble Nook eReader!!! I've been lusting after the Kindle for years, and when I got wind of the Nook I started investigating. It seems like a really cool product, measures up to the Kindle nicely (better in some areas), and when I laid my paws on it at my local B&N I really decided I liked it. It's backordered, so mine won't be shipped until January 4th, but I cannot WAIT to start my Nook reading. I suspect the first book I'll download (the first one on my wishlist) is The Help, by Kathryn Stockett. I've heard nothing but good things about it, but the library is all backed up and it's affordable in e-book format, so what better way to go right??
I'm so excited I can hardly wait. I screeched when I read the card where Chuck broke the news of my gift. He, my mom, and his mom all chipped in to buy it for me.
Perhaps the best Christmas blessing of them all is the one we received earlier in the week, and it's nothing I can lay my hands on. Chuck has been out of work for almost a year (10 months) after being laid off in February. The market for graphic designers has been horrible in our area thanks to the lagging economy, so we've been getting by on my salary and the work he can bring in through our home-based printing business. Luckily, he interviewed for a job recently and we found out Wednesday that he's hired!!!! He'll be doing production design which may be a little boring for him right now, but the pay is good, he'll have full benefits, he'll work 2 blocks from our house, and the atmosphere is relaxed and welcoming. Even better, it's a great job for him while he's working through his Bachelor's in graphic design, which should open more challenging and exciting doors for him down the road. He starts January 18th, so he's got some time to enjoy his freedom a bit longer.
We could not be happier. It's been a WONDERFUL first Christmas together for our growing family, and I hope you all have had as delightful a week, and a holiday, as we have.