Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Our First Christmas

Although this is our first Christmas as a married couple, it didn't feel much different than the 3 Christmases that preceded it. I wanted to recount the details of this Christmas, but I thought this post might be better spent looking back a little further. So let's see the highlights of Christmases 2007-2010!

Our first Christmas together - for real. Mike and I had been dating about 7 months. We drove to Wichita to meet my mom and dad. They were going to Colorado and then we'd go out the next day so I could be with my high school friends for our celebration. Well, record snowfall changed all that. The highway to CO was shut down the morning my parents were going to leave. When my parents came back to the house, I just remember everyone deciding we should go to Best Buy. When we opened the garage door it was snowing moderately and starting to accumulate. We all looked at each other, shrugged our shoulders and got in the car. This is America. If you can't go see your family, go shopping!! After Best Buy, we met my aunt, uncle, cousins and grandma for lunch.

On the way home from lunch, my aunt and uncle got stuck in the snow. And so it began. Mike and my dad pushed 20+ cars out of the snow (driving around in my dad's Prius, which had no trouble). Mom and I spent most of the day at my Grandma's.
We left for Colorado the next day and had a great time with family out there. When we got back to Wichita, I was able to see a few high school friends before heading back to Oklahoma.

Now, I'm trying really hard to remember anything particularly special about Christmas 2008. I know we traveled to Louisiana and Kansas. We saw a lot of family, for sure. But nothing really sticks out as different from other years. Oh, wait...WE GOT ENGAGED!!! That's right. It was Christmas.

Mike had taken me out for a gorgeous dinner at Melting Pot and proposed in the OKC Myriad Gardens with all the beautiful Christmas
lights. The next day, Mike wanted to take a picture of the ring in his 9 foot live tree (see below). He got the money shot and then went to move it and BAM! The ring disappeared into a maze of pine needles. 30 minutes later, Dave (Mike's roommate) returns to the apartment find ornaments strewn across the living room and Mike and I shoulder deep in the tree. Exactly 3 seconds after seeing us he says "You lost the ring in the tree." Mike and I replied "HELP US!" Dave got a flashlight and not 5 minutes after he started looking he pointed and said "I FOUND IT!" And that's how Dave became our Best Man. :)
Christmas 2009 found us in Kansas. We got a bit of snow (nothing compared to the OKC Christmas Eve blizzard which covered the metro with 14" of snow). Mike and I had narrowly escaped OKC the day before. Being from Louisiana, Mike always enjoys the novelty of snow (I do, too, of course!). The Wichita snow and Mike's artistic skills came together in this snowman he built. Notice the candy used for facial features...
We had a great Christmas this year. Mike was in Ohio for 3 weeks after Thanksgiving and flew straight to Arkansas to be with family and then drove to Louisiana where I met him on the 23rd. Mike's sister Courtney was back from a tour in Iraq and everyone was glad to have her home, especially her children, Landyn (7) and CJ (4). Mike and I got the kids presents we secretly wanted to play with ourselves - Legos and Play-Doh. This made it a whole lot easier to say "yes" when they asked us to play with them! I had some amazing Cajun food (I had gumbo TWICE and Mrs. Kathy sent some home with me!!). Courtney got us some awesome gifts - a US flag flown in Iraq, OU and LSU coins specially made in Iraq. Mike's mom and Mr. Bo gave us allllll kinds of Cajun spices and sauces. I'm so excited to put them to use! Mike's going to think he's back in Louisiana!!!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Happy Holtzgiving!!

Well we did it! We hosted our first Thanksgiving and made it out alive!
It all started with the arrival of my dad the Friday before Thanksgiving. That weekend he helped us put up Christmas lights. We had to get it done early since Mike would be leaving for a 3-week class in Ohio the next weekend.Mom got into town on Monday and Grandma and Grandpa showed up Wednesday evening. I baked some bread (THANKS, ELLIE!) and made a spaghetti dinner complete with fresh oregano and parsley from the garden!
The Thanksgiving feast itself was great. We had turkey (of course), spinach salad, mashed potatoes, roasted sweet potatoes, homemade stuffing (made with the homemade bread), cornbread, couscous and homemade pumpkin cheesecake!

Everyone was ready to get out of the house on Friday. Mike, Mom and I went to the Gap for 50% off before 10 am. (We showed up at 8, we're not hardcore...) Then we all had lunch at one of our favorites, Sugarbakers. We thought we'd take on the Black Friday shoppers once again so we went to DSW and Best Buy. Mike helped my grandparents get set up with DirectTV, a 46" flatscreen TV and a Bose home theater system.

On Friday evening we celebrated Christmas and exchanged gifts. Mom brought a fireplace DVD to set the mood and I had my 2 foot tree set up. We didn't get a live tree this year since I would be the only one around to enjoy it pretty much.So we survived hosting our first Thanksgiving! I had a blast and I'd do it again any time! I'm glad we started with a part of 6. More people would have been more work for sure. We probably won't host again any time soon. I missed seeing the rest of my family and my Kansas friends. Maybe we'll host each time we PCS so folks have an excuse to come see us! :)