It's a new year and I have a whole host of things to be thankful for to get me caught up on my list!
The holidays have come and gone, along with their flurry of activity and controlled chaos. I was a scrooge this year and didn't want to do anything festive or fun. What I really wanted to do was crawl into bed, pull the covers over my head, and sleep through the holiday...and maybe even a good chunk of 2012.
But, as always, the world conspired against me. Somehow, I agreed to host the CMS ladies' ornament exchange--with prompting and support by my hubby, aka "Party Central." As I mentioned in a previous post, I am VERY thankful for Matt every single day. If I could box him and sell him, I'd be rich. Women would kill to have a husband like him. The main reason the party was such a success was because he decorated, organized, and served as our bartender/waiter/host/photographer and every other role one can imagine. I made the chili.
Despite my best efforts, I enjoyed it. I can definitely add the people I work with at the NOAA Coastal Services Center to my list of things to be thankful for. We have a great group of people, and that's especially true in my branch, Coastal Management Services (CMS).
We were invited to the Dubick's for Christmas dinner, and even at my scroogiest, I couldn't help but look forward to that. JD and Corey are two of my favorite people in the world. I admire everything about them. They're brilliant, funny, kind, and the best parents I know. After we met Marc and Kris way back when I first moved to Charleston, I knew why. The whole Dubick family is that way. Then we met the Hollenbeck's and guess what? They're all that way, too! So, I knew we'd enjoy Christmas dinner with them, and since we missed our Thanksgiving tradition of dinner at the Dubick house this year, Matt and I were both looking forward to it. We weren't disappointed (not that there was any chance of that happening). So, I'll add the Dubicks to my list of things to be thankful for - JD, Corey, Lena, Marc, Chris, Collin, Chelsea, and Ida and Halley (who sadly couldn't be there).
I was on the verge of surviving the holidays. Only one more festive event (or combination of events) to go...New Year's Eve with the Drobnik and Hoops families in Indiana. Matt's cousin Michael got married on New Year's Eve in Indianapolis. We'd foregone Christmas in Chicago knowing we'd see everyone in Indy at the wedding. I was dreading a) the drive up, b) leaving Muggle behind, c) cold weather, d) having to stay awake until midnight on New Year's Eve, and e) the drive back. Just call me Party Girl. Well, with the Virgin Mobile wireless thingy, the drive went by quickly. When I wasn't driving, I was able to do some editing on Chupacabra, complete some critiques I'd fallen behind on for IWW, check email, and play games and before we knew it, 11.5 hours and about 750 miles had flown by. I new Muggle and the cats were going to be just fine with the Jones's---probably even better than at home when the fireworks started since he'd have his Dagan to protect him! The cold did suck, there's no way around that. Especially when it was drizzly, wet cold. I made it all the way to midnight (12:30!!) at the wedding, but the time went by quickly and we had fun. And, even though we got slowed down by some snow and icy roads on the way home, even that drive wasn't bad.
In between all that, we got to spend time with my wonderful in-laws. Something else I am very, very thankful for. I have the most incredible mother-in-law. In her, I see where Matt got all his wonderful, amazing, incredible traits. My father-in-law is fun and funny, and Matt shares many traits with him, as well. Most of those are the ones we laugh about - like his control-freak nature about driving (I drove about 3-4 hours of the entire 11.5 hour trip. That's probably the most Matt's ever allowed me to drive in one day when we're together. He's either getting comfortable with me driving, or he was really tired.) I also have two fabulously funny, thoughtful, sweet, and brilliant brothers-in-law. I don't even have to remember which is who since they're identical twins (but I can usually tell them apart). They both have wives who I get along with--and from the horror stories I've heard, that's something else to be thankful for. And finally, the whole hoarde of nephews and niece. They're so much fun, and all good kids. Now that Ryan and Tyler are teenagers, they have their own lives, but are still always pleasant and polite, if a bit too connected to their phones (just like the nieces on my side - we should get them together!) Kyle is growing up and calming down. He's pretty funny. Jake and Dillon might be my favorites. They're both such little men, very mature and both sweet as can be. And I love, love, love Carrie and Justin. The "babies" are, I think, 7 and 8 now. Carrie is a hoot, on 110% all the time, and I just want to cuddle Justin 'cause he's such a cutie! I'm thankful for what a fabulous extended family I became part of when I married Matt.
So, once again, on New Year's Eve, I enjoyed the final fling of the holiday season in spite of myself. We did present exchanges with the Drobniks (gotta love our whole array of Star Trek kitchenware: an Enterprise pizza cutter, Spock cookie jar, and Enterprise/shuttle salt and pepper shakers). And Matt and I celebrated our 7th anniversary with the family at the post-wedding brunch.
And a good time was had by all.