Ya never know what you're gonna get when 25 adults are instructed to buy $10 worth of stuff from a gas station to give in the gift exchange....
Al, our resident fitness expert, scored HUGE with some cigarettes, lighter, energy drink, and condoms. Jay got a Heggie's pizza that he later traded for a lighter, some energy drinks, and other random stuff. Randy and Teri randomly got a snake statue and stuffed bunny.
Lhea's first find was a hit - a bobble head Devil that Hwood picked up for the party. Sadly, it was stolen by Izzy later in the exchange. St. Coach surprised us all by giving a stolen window washing brush from the gas station and a $10.... later that night, though, the dark side faded and he asked to have the brush back to return to the store. :O)
Lottery tickets were a huge hit, along with a lot of 3.2 beer, energy drinks, snacks.... but surprisingly no nudie mags. WTF? ha! It was an awesome time! I can't wait til next year! Heck, even the dogs had fun... Smokey & Huma played and posed for a great set of pictures by Coach.
Huma & Smokey by the fire
Smokey smiling all pie-eyed
We kept the holiday season warm and fuzzy by spending time with our families, too. Battling a blizzard to see Jay's mom was hair-raising, but we had a great couple days of relaxing.
I made ornaments with pics of Bob for Dorothy & Jay
Jay got a kick out of his new insulated bib's accessibility features
Jay surprised me with a framed memorial to my Short Fat awesomeness in 2010
One of the best gifts we got this year, though, was Megan's all-clear PET scan! After 4 months of intensive chemo treatments, all of the preceding months' pressures and fears dissipated as we learned the tumors and cancer was 100% gone.
On the other end, it was a bitter sweet Christmas, celebrating some wonderful successes, and yet morning our losses. There was an empty seat at every table this year - Yang Yang wasn't at Dad's house..... Bob's presence was extremely missed in Dorothy's home...... and my lil brother, Zach, was super missed at dinner last night at Mom's house as he's off at Air Force Basic Training. Luckily, though, he was able to call us and wish us a Merry Christmas, and his graduation is right around the corner, so this little ache won't be there forever.
So, how to you send off a temperamental year like 2010? Head up to the Iron Range for some Surly Jones New Years fun! Hwood and I drove up early to beat yet ANOTHER friggin' winter storm (c'mon already Mother Nature!), and tried to get some skiing in before we rocked out all night. Skiing, though, was a no-go since every trail we could find was covered in an annoying layer of ice. Bah humbug!
Instead, we headed to the hotel early for some hot-tubbin' and a nap. We strolled into the bar at 10:00 and readied ourselves for fun. Teri, Al, Lhea, Barb, Kim, Dave & his girl, Izzy and Dan were all there, too, so we had a blast! 2010 wasn't done with me yet, though, and managed to kill off BOTH of Hwood and my cameras so we didn't get a single damn picture! Urgh.... yeah, they were each 4 years old and have taken 10's of thousands of pictures... but C'MON!
Surly Jones played til after 3:00am, but Jay and I planned ahead and started drinking water once 2011 began. The rest of the crue woke with killer hangovers, but we were checked-out of the hotel and checked-in to a diner before the got too far along. We headed south to my mom's place for a warm family dinner of homemade Hungarian goulash and laughs over wine and warm cookies. It was a blast - Mom, I love giggling with you over simple things like trip-planning... you're a hoot!
Today, we've decided to begin the year right with sleeping in and vegging out on the couch. Smokey's sleeping in my lap, Hwood is dozing as he waits for football to begin, and I'm catching up on some much-needed blogging, and designing my upcoming tattoo! Bitch, please! What a day.
Ready for the next chapter,