Annual Christmas reunion

Whenever I get to go to Kilgore for Christmas I join in on the annual Christmas evening gathering of the people I went to high school with. Millie and I send out an evite and some people show up, one person never does. Whataburger the only place in Kilgore that’s open Christmas Day. It was always the only place open past 10 PM in Kilgore when we were growing up so its sentimental, you might say. For the last several years we tried sit-down restaurants in the metropolis of Longview but that is hard for people to come and go. So, back to Whataburger. Good times.

What’s New?

  • We have all but 2 of our Christmas gifts purchased. In the process, we have concluded that next year we will be moving to the system of “Jenny buys all the gifts”. Mutual approval/collaboration on every single gift is impractical.
  • I have put up some small Christmas decorations. No tree, just some garland and lights.
  • Working on addressing all the Christmas cards.
  • Have not figured out how to get cooking and grocery shopping in on top of all this yet.
  • At least the laundry is relatively caught up.
  • Kind of sad that I can’t use Rhapsody at work. Wondering if we can afford for me to actually purchase all the music I used to be able to stream for the low monthly fee. Definitely not.
  • It is something like 60 degrees in my office. There is never any heat in this office.
  • It has been 60 degrees outside here while the surrounding states are having ice storms.
  • We know a lot of hurting people right now. I hope that I can be in constant prayer for them.

To decorate or not?

I can’t decide if it is worth it to decorate our house for Christmas this year or not. Last weekend we were just so busy that we did not get a chance to get a tree. This weekend we have a window of 2-3 hours on Saturday that we are not committed to doing anything else, so we could try to get the tree then. Even assuming we are able to find time to procure the tree, and even more miraculously, to decorate it, I don’t know if there is a point. I mean, we will be out of town every weekend until after Christmas is over. We won’t be around to enjoy the decorations, really. So is it even worth it to put them up and take them down? I am not sure that it is. We haven’t bought Christmas presents yet. I am taking control of this Christmas present thing next year, because I am tired of having to wait until the week before and then spending all my lunch hours trying to get to the mall and back, or to specialty shops, or paying extra for superfast shipping. But we also have not created or ordered our Christmas cards and that is a problem too. Good times.

Ready for the iPhone!

After talking about it for some time, and many trips to the Apple store to play with it, we are going to move forward with getting me an iPhone for my Christmas present. And boy, am I ready!

For quite some time now, I’ve been relying on iGoogle’s sticky note and To Do list widgets to keep track of things I need to do, but these are only accessible when I am online. Granted, I am online around 11 hours a day, but when I have my errands listed on iGoogle, I have to copy it down onto a slip of paper to carry in my purse when I run errands at lunch or after work (offline).

Same thing for directions. Dallas is huge, and I often have to Google Map things, but I can only do that from a computer. Since we don’t have a printer hooked up at home, I end up writing down the directions on a slip of paper and bringing it with me in the car. Hoping I wrote it down correctly. And that I don’t lose that slip of paper.

With address/phone/email info, it’s the same way. I keep all those things on the Mac at home. If I need someone’s mailing address I have to boot up the machine if I am at home or wait until I do get home. And if someone gives me new contact info, I have to write it on…guess what… a slip of paper! Which I carry in my purse until I remember to take it out and update the Mac Address Book.

You can imagine the number of slips of paper I have in my life right now. Too many! So I am excited about giving up the paper slips and having everything consolidated using the iPhone’s always-online functionality, built-in Google Maps, and the way it syncs with Mac Address Book.

Christian and I also currently use Google Calendar to coordinate our activities, so that when someone asks “can you do something on X date?”, we can check our Google Calendar and see if we are free, or which one of us is free. Lately, this has been difficult when people ask us about our plans and we are not near a computer. We can’t access Google calendar unless we are online. A few times we have said we could do something and later found out we had something else scheduled.

So, very excited! Don’t know when the purchase will happen, but maybe not until Christmas, since it is a Christmas present. Even better, I should be able to do blog posting and even send photos to this blog from the iPhone!! Good times!

We’re back…well, I am

We had a good time in San Antonio, very much enjoyed Meredith and Kelly’s beautiful home and found an affordable hotel with suite-style rooms that we can use for future visits with my stepdaughter! We all played Wii and visited Max Lucado’s church yesterday. It was good to see everyone.

Even though we left before 1:00 PM yesterday, we didn’t get home until around 6:30 PM and we had to leave to take Christian to the airport for his flight to PA by 7:00 PM. So he did a great job of unpacking and repacking in around 30 minutes. I can’t help but think that a girl could never do that! At least, not this girl!

I think this week without him will be much longer, since it will be a complete week. I hope it is the last week of his travel. We’ll be traveling again in 2 weeks, back to San Antonio, and then to Kilgore the weekend after that. Somewhere in there we have to find at least one night we can spend celebrating our 2 year anniversary somewhere. But, that can be hard to do when we’re traveling between places that are 10 hours apart plus working regular work weeks.

Today during lunch I heard the song “Home for the Holidays” on the radio and couldn’t help but thinking that, as a married couple without children and parents, grandparents, and siblings living 2, 5, and 8 hours away… we are never home for the holidays. We are always traveling, always packing and re-packing and driving some more. That’s why I don’t decorate our house much, because we won’t be there. We’ll be living out of suitcases using those tiny sample sized bath products from around November through January.