I am so excited about the holidays this year! Zach is at such a fun age, where everything is magical and fun to him. I want to start all sorts of family traditions, but I'm just not that motivated. We put our tree and lights up the weekend after Thanksgiving, and all of my cards have been addressed and mailed. I've done a lot of shopping, but no wrapping yet, and I am getting together with some friends tonight to do the baking. I still have grand plans of decorating a gingerbread house with Zach; we'll see if that happens!
School ends next Friday for the semester. I am hoping to get some teaching done this week, but between the kids' excitement and all of the holiday programs and concerts, there isn't much class time available. My plan is just to keep them busy and quiet. Let's see if I accomplish that...
Zach and I are flying to South Carolina next Friday, to attend my sister's graduation party next Saturday. I am so proud of her, and couldn't have done what she has. For the past two and a half years, she has worked a full day, then driven over an hour to class one or two nights per week. Granted, I don't want a master's in middle school math education, but that takes a whole lot of dedication. I have no motivation to get my master's; our district doesn't pay enough for me to have to worry about leaving Zach in the evenings, then finding time to do the homework.
We are heading to Louisiana for three and a half days to celebrate Christmas with my family. My sister and her husband are driving down from South Carolina, and this will be our first Christmas all together in Mom and Dad's new house. We'll have to leave Zach's big gift behind, and come up with a clever way to give it to him. I'm thinking of having Santa leave him a picture of his new art desk in his stocking, with a note. We've been watching the Polar Express over and over, so maybe it will work...We have an engagement party for Natalie's best friend the night we get to Lafayette, and besides church and Christmas lights on Christmas eve, we don't have any plans. I can't wait!
For the third year in a row, Darren and I are having a New Year's Eve party. Neither of us really wanted to have one, but we also didn't want to be stuck at home that night with nothing to do. We also wanted to be able to have Zach with us, and not worry about a sitter. I'm asking people to bring their own alcohol and an appetizer or dessert, and we'll play games and have a good time. It won't be all that exciting, but I go back to work on the 2nd, and a hangover wouldn't be fun. I still think of New Year's Eve 1999-2000, and shudder. Darren and I made plans with our friends Kenny and Lorraine and another couple to spend the evening in New Orleans at a Cowboy Mouth concert. The tickets were $100 apiece, but that included unlimited alcohol and dinner. We took a cab from Kenny and Lorraine's house to Tipitina's Ruins, which was near the Convention Center. We started drinking as soon as we got there; if you ordered a beer, the bartender would give you a six-pack. By midnight, none of us was standing very well, and the concert ended shortly after. We took a cab back to Kenny and Lorraine's and we all sat on the couch. Lorraine and I started eating crackers, and the next thing I know, it's 6am and I am still on the couch. Darren and I left their house around noon, but were feeling too bad to drive back to Baton Rouge. We drove around New Orleans for a few hours, went and had coffee, and finally drove home and went to bed. I had to work the next day, and it was absolutely miserable. I think I was hungover for three days afterward. So, I don't want to repeat that. We didn't have a kid then, so I can't imagine doing that with one!
Well, I'm off to clean the nasty house and get everyone ready for our day of fun!