12 days of Christmas + a few bonus days

Happy New Year!

It’s been a bit since I have written a blog post. There has been a lot going on!

The family that I work for went away for the holidays, so I got some much needed time off. It has been a rough few weeks financially since the Christmas gig fell though but the mínimums on my bills are paid and I am not starving, so that’s a plus.

My time off from my FT job started on 12/21 and 1/7 was my first day back.

On my first day of break I got the opportunity to babysit a kiddo that I hadn’t seen in awhile. I started babysitting him when he was 10 months old and he is now 4! It’s been so much fun watching him grow up, and seeing what a fine young man he is becoming. We made an amazing train track, and watched a lot of Paw Patrol 🐾.

The next day I had a meeting with our amazing pastor to discuss my upcoming trip to hang out with my boyfriends parents. We have different world views and I just needed a bit of support in navigating conversation topics tactfully. I’m happy to report that her advice worked and I survived the trip. More on that later.

After that meeting I got to be a paid elf for a family that I am very close with. I used to be their nanny and now they are chosen family. I helped the girls wrap gifts, moved things to the attic and stuffed cookies into baggies. I basically got paid to hang out, and that little bit of cash was more appreciated than anyone could ever understand. It put food on my table that week.

We hit up the 8am church service on the 23rd as Steve had to work that afternoon. It was a nice change of pace from the 10am. We were late (Steve is notorious for not being ready on time) and the sermon was already happening when we arrived at 8:10! Talk about quick moving service. The communion part of this service was super special. With a congregation of only 20, we all fit around the altar during the whole process. It was intimate and made it very powerful. We really felt like a church family.

On Christmas Eve I sang with the kids at the 4pm service.

I felt pretty old in this crew, but it was SO MUCH fun. There was a bird trapped in the sanctuary and watching the kids try to hold it together was highly entertaining. The bird made it out safely after the service ended. The Bishop was also at this service and it was great to see the church filled to the gills.

Steve got home from work at 7 and his sister brought over some Indian food and we all got to have dinner together.

After dinner we went to the candle light service, which ended at almost midnight bringing us to Christmas Day 1.

I love Christmas, and the promise that it brings. I try to celebrate all 12 days. This Christmas was pretty easy, as we visited Steve’s parents for days 3-9 so filling time wasn’t an issue.

Day 1: we spend time with the Johnson family in CT. The girls played their instruments for us and we had a great late lunch. Steve received a “puppy” from my parents. He named the puppy Chester A Barkster.

Day 2: I went to a Bar Method class and made sure that we were packed for our trip.

Day 3: I had a kidney follow up appointment. Turns out things are not back to normal yet. I have been put on some medication, and more tests have been run. I go back on Feb 1 for another follow up.

Steve managed to cut himself while I was at the doctors office, it probably could have used a stitch or 2, but I was able to patch him back together with some butterfly bandages, liquid bandage and tegaderm…this set us back a bit in our timing to get to Queens for our flight, but we made it!

We parked at a hotel in Flushing, and took a shuttle to LGA from there. Our trip through security was super easy. Maybe because the TSA wasn’t being paid…government shutdown…but we didn’t mind being able to leave our shoes on!

Our flight was on time and we made it to Norfolk, VA around 7:30pm.

Day 4: It was raining a bit, so Steve’s parents took us to the Aquarium. It was a lot of fun!

We also visited the Water Fowl museum

And that night we drove along the boardwalk for the Christmas light show!

It was a really busy day, and I slept VERY well that night.

Day 5: on this day Steve’s Mom took us to the Chrysler Museum. It’s an amazing place!

The highlight of the visit was playing the piano that was built in 1880. I played a Mozart classic called “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” because that’s all I can play well…hahahaha

Day 6: I woke up before the sun to head to the beach at low tide. I was hoping to collect some sea shells…I found 1. I did get to see a beautiful sun rise and walk a few miles while talking to Mom Bosies one on one.

We see the world in different ways, but I think that we can both grow from this.

We were supposed to go to church, but Steve was talking to his brother (who’s deployed) and we were late for service at his parents church, I found a different service to attend, but when we got there it was over as they only had one service that day, the website hadn’t been updated. Oops. We went shopping instead.

After our shopping adventure Steve and I borrowed a car and drive to NC to visit my friend Rachel. Her and I go way back to the year 2000 aka the start of 8th grade. It was so nice to catch up and to hang out with her kiddos.

Day 7 aka New Years Eve:

We had a great NYE with Steve’s parents. We had a fairly low key daytime to save our energy for the night. We went to the Norfolk Botanical Gardens to see their light display and then to a restaurant for dinner. There was karaoke involved, so I was very happy. At midnight we had a champagne toast in front of the fireplace while we watched the party in Times Square on the TV. It was lovely.

Day 8: On New Year’s Day Bill (Steve’s Dad) got us guest passes to the rec center, so we were able to get our workouts in.

It was 72 degrees outside by the time we got home. Steve and I took advantage of the lively day and sat out on the porch and talked about life for a few hours.

That evening we shared a Cuban cigar and scotch and did more of the same…discussing our future and how our families fit into that picture.

Day 9: On the 9th day of Christmas it was time to head back to CT. We were both ready for our own bed at this point. Our flight went well and when we got back to Queens we were able to visit Nellie. Nellie is 97 years young and is one spunky lady. She is related to Steve. It’s always nice to catch up with her.

Day 10: I celebrated this day by sleeping in, and then unpacking our suitcases. I also spent a lot of extra time snuggling the cats, as they were not to thrilled about being left with a sitter for a week.

Day 11: This was one of my favorite days of Christmas as I got to pick up Steve’s nephew from school and hang out with him. Nicolas is 15 and a fellow musician. We ran some errands and then cooked dinner together. Steve came home in time to eat with us. Nicolas and I practiced some of the music he is working on for auditions and we all played a board game together. We were having such a good time that we forgot to take pictures of our musical adventures. Dory likes my trombone case though.

Day 12: On the last day of Christmas I drove to Monroe to get our new watches adjusted, but when I got there the place was closed for inventory. The website didn’t tell me this in advance, so I made the best of it and went to the mall. I stopped in Sephora to get my birthday gift and to redeem some rewards points. It was nice to come out with product and not spend any money 😊

That night we had a low key evening at home and watched a few episodes of Friends.

Epiphany: Christmas ended, but we got to celebrate Epiphany at our church. Rev. Marissa gave a great sermon on the kings following the star and listening to God. We all received glow in the dark stars and crowns to remind us to follow the star! It was cool to look around and see everyone wearing the paper crowns.

Well, there you have it. A very long post about how I spent my break from my full-time job. Weather you wanted all that information or not … I hope that you enjoyed the photos along the way. Happy 2019!


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