Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Home for the Holidays

They say there's no place like home for the holidays.  Well, I could probably think of a few places that would have made pretty fine holidays (warm, sunny places), but a promise is a promise, and let me tell you, people, family is far less likely to freak out on you for skipping off on a Himalayan adventure (as I would like to, this summer) if you've paid your dues at Christmas.  And I love my family, so, you know, no big.
Like I mentioned on Saturday, I thought about doing a series of blogs about Omaha, but it didn't happen.  So here's a whirlwind blog of Christmas in Munchkinland.  For starters, you've got my mom and her "peeps."  Every week or so these "ladies who lunch" do lunch - in Glenwood, or elsewhere, and sometimes see a movie.  They're kind of like the G-wood chapter of the Grub Club.  Of course, there are a few less choices in a small Midwestern town of 5,000 than there are in bustling UB, but they have a good time and are always happy to see me, in spite of the fact that I'm a total brat.
Then there's the Winter Quarters temple (oh yeah, and my new haircut.  I was starting to get snarls the likes of which I have not seen since I was ten years old, so I chopped it off and sent it to Locks of Love).  Here in UB, Mormons in good standing are supposed to go to Hong Kong for the temple.  Me, I'm more of a Seoul girl (much cheaper, and oh, the memories), but the Winter Quarters temple is sort of my temple, so of course I had to visit.  And while I was there...
...I had to check out the gingerbread display at the Visitor's Center.  Mormons are sort of into crafty stuff - heck, we were scrapbooking before it was popular (I need a pair of hipster glasses for that statement).  This makes sense - if you're not going to spend your free time boozing and picking up men, you gotta do something (the men of the church play sports - Mormon basketball is one of the world's most dangerous sports, especially if you've got a lot of Tongans and Samoans in your stake).  Anyways, as I was saying, we do crafty stuff, including gingerbread.  Now, when I was a young, innocent single Mormon girl, my singles branch, the good ol' Independence 5th, had a Family Home Evening once a year dedicated to making gingerbread houses for the visitor's center.  They were monstrosities, often made of graham crackers, unless Sister D and Sister P were feeling ambitious and did a whole lot of baking for us (and they often did).  But they were made from scratch, one way or the other.  None of this prefab, cookie cutter gingerbread house business.  As you can see, there were plenty of AWESOME original designs, but also far too many that came out of a box.
But then, I couldn't help myself from picking up a prefab gingerbread house to decorate with the Princess.  I mean, she's just so damn adorable.  And just try to stop her from eating that candy.  You know she's thinking about it.  The Princess lives in Utah with my brother Shaggy and his wife, which I find hilariously ironic since I'm the Mormon.  And until I sat down to write this blog I hadn't even considered that it might seem I was trying to indoctrinate my adorable niece into the crafty Mormon lifestyle.  I'm not, Abby, I swear!
I also got the chance to catch up with my high school AP English teacher, Drim.  She's retired now, or else she would have brought me into school to tell her World Lit classes all about my adventures (I know, she's done it to me before).  As it was, she threatened to call the town paper and tell them to do an interview with me, which seems bizarre to me, because even if I AM a little Iowa girl living in Mongolia, to me, that's just what I do.  No big.  After lunch at the Spaghetti Works I took a stroll around the Old Market, and wandered into my favorite part (not least because it is inside), the Passageway.  It sort of reminds me of the galleries of Paris, now that I've been there.
I have had felting on the brain, and decided some felting needles and wool roving would go a ways toward alleviating my night time boredom, so I finally tried needle felting.  Ariel there was my second attempt - I made a dragon for my first, but it didn't turn out as well.  Practice makes perfect, they say.
But the best thing of all about being home is, of course, the kids.  Bunny here was born the Friday before I came home and she is just about as sweet as can be.  I still had my UB cough for a week or so after I got home, so it took me that long to see her.  And it's still a little strange to think that my Babysis had her own baby.
The Dirt Devil is Shaggy's own personal mini-me, in my humble opinion.  Shaggy's hair was never that red, but he DEFINITELY had that mischievous gleam in his eye.  Dirt Devil doesn't talk much yet, but he's got the most infectious giggle.  I'd have packed him up in my suitcase and taken him back, but he's his momma's boy and it would have broken his heart <3 br="br">
And finally, our Princess.  Words can't do her justice, just take a look at my sibling's faces.  She just LOVED her princess dresses from her grandma - she danced around in front of the mirror on her tiptoes while the rest of us laughed so hard we cried.  Like I said.  Too.  Damn.  Cute.  I miss those kids already!

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