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Snow Day Catch-Up: Our First Christmas – The Days Before

January 21, 2011

While Maine gets pounded with TONS of snow and I sit here on my butt, procrastinating on eating lunch, working out, and grading paper, I realized that I completely skipped over our whole holiday extravaganza!  How rude of me.  It certainly was an extravaganza, and it took the whole next week to finally catch up on some sleep (just in time to stay up for New Year’s Eve… Ha!).  We were running here, there, and everywhere for the couple of days before Christmas, and we certainly saw a lot of family.

School let out for me on the Wednesday before Christmas for me, so I spent the two days before then cooking and cleaning our apartment.  You see, when we came back from a weekend in South Carolina (there is a post coming about this trip, I swear!), we decided to run our dishwasher because we hadn’t had time before we left.  Most of the dishes had been rinsed, so it was no big deal.  Yeah, right.  It was a big deal, not because of stuck on food, but because of what our dishwasher decided to do.  The bottom panel malfunctioned and leaked through our kitchen floors and through our downstairs neighbor’s ceiling.  I received a phone call the next day from our landlord asking if we had spilled anything on the floor.  Um… maybe I dropped a tomato?  Why?  After his explanation, he asked that he be allowed to come into our apartment to check out the damage.  Oh, and the damage there was.  No only did it ruin part of the ceiling below, the entirety of our kitchen floor needed to be redone.  Apparently, this was not just a singular episode.  The baseboards were super dark because of repeated leaks.  It could have been leaking for years, and no one knew.

A day later, our lovely kitchen floor went from this…to this.See those nice dark spots towards the stove?  Yeah.  It spread that far underneath.  Awesome.  We spent a few days walking around with shoes constantly on our feet (something that was very hard to remember in the middle of the night), and we had to move EVERYTHING off from our counters and appliance tops.  I was amazing at just how much stuff we had there.  We also had to clean out our linen closet and our coat closet because we had no idea how far he was pulling up floor.  All of our belongings had to go somewhere, so we ended up with rooms like this:Cringe.  After what was supposed to be a one-day event turned into a three-day hoarders’ look-alike contest, we got to put our belongings away.  I took the opportunity to rearrange our closets for better access and ended up spending around half a day on just organization.

Christmas decorations were also contenders.  I wanted my home to look Christmas-y, STAT.  It couldn’t be undecorated for our first married Christmas.  Absolutely not!  So I made sure the tree was lovely (it was!) and put out a few more decorations in our dining room.

Once the apartment was clean and organized, I got going on cooking.  B and I switch which family we eat Christmas dinner with every year, and this year it was my family’s turn.  I had asked my mom what she wanted me to bring, so I ended up with a list:  green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, yogurt bread, and a dessert.  I also added shrimp scampi to the list because my mom traditionally has seafood on Christmas, but since my cousin had gone into labor a week or two before Christmas, our extended family wasn’t going to be getting together like we normally do.  The shrimp scampi was my way of keeping her Christmas tradition alive.  I tried to cook and clean as I went, washing dishes until my hands turned into prunes.  I had meant to work out a lot more, but by the time that B got home and we had to take off for our hometown, it was thrown out the window.

The last and (almost) most time consuming adventure in preparation was my trip to pick up our first Craigslist score.  I found a beautiful settee for sale in Bethel (the town over from where we got married) for $45, which was down from their original asking price of $145 and down even more from the actual retail, which is somewhere around $250.  I really wanted it for our bedroom (I have had a thing for the elegance of settees since my high school years), so I talked it over with B and went to pick it up on one of my days off.  

It now lives at the foot of our bed and acts as extra seating when guests come over.  I pretty much love it, and B has definitely come around on the idea of needing one (too bad, you can’t get rid of it now, buddy!).  

While on my trip to Bethel, I visited one of my all-time favorite spots:  our wedding bridge.  It was only a few miles from the seller’s house, so I grabbed my camera and took pictures of our bridge in the snow.  I even found our initials!  (That’s what B is doing in our header picture.)  I couldn’t stop smiling the whole time I was there and even felt the butterflies come back.  Sigh. I love that place.

Throw onto that two or three trips to the grocery store to get ready for B’s family birthday lunch the day after Christmas and because I forgot green beans for the green bean casserole, and you can pretty much tell why my first days of vacation were not actually vacation.  There were no bonbons, no soap operas (not that I have ever really followed them anyway), and no lounging.  One day, I think I had to remind myself to eat something.  Oops.  Ah, the holidays.

Once B was home from work on Christmas Eve afternoon, it was off to start the festivities!

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