February 1st, 2010

A Christmas Post


My Mother Is an Excellent Gift Wrapper

Yes, I know. Christmas was five weeks ago. Today is February. It’s a little late to be posting about the holidays, but at least we’re not posting this in May. So, here’s a little summary of our holiday travels.

On Friday, December 18th, we got up bright and early and headed to my sister’s apartment in Denton, TX. We got in shortly after lunch and met Jude, the epileptic Schnoodle. Jude was a pillow of curly goodness, who happened to twitch occasionally. Israel and I have realized that we’re not really dog people. We don’t like the drooling and shedding and stinking and poop picking-up. But Jude doesn’t stink, doesn’t shed, and doesn’t officially drool (although he does have a beard). Unfortunately, as all living creatures do, he poops. Anyway, we liked him. If we ever get a dog, I think it might need to be a schnoodle.

So, after meeting Jude, we headed to the University of North Texas to watch my younger sister, Amy, become officially Smart. She’s always been smart, but now she can make sure everyone knows how smart she is by telling them that she has a Masters Degree in Library Science. This not only lets them know that she’s smart, but also incredibly nerdy. I’m quite sure that she and her husband Luke will have the smartest children in my family. Israel and I will have the best looking. Just kidding. Although I do think Israel was the cutest little boy I’ve ever seen. Don’t you agree? I mean really, what little boy stands with his hand in his pocket like that? He’s the older one in the second photo.

So anyway, after the graduation festivities, we hung out at Amy and Luke’s house for several days. We mostly tested out a few new board games: Munchkin Fu (okay), Munchkin Quest (the worst game ever, unless you ask a boy), and Dominion (from the title, you would think I’d hate this game, but no, it’s great).  After days of playing games and teaching Jude new tricks, we headed to Telephone to see my family.

My mom had the family over for the first Christmas in her own home in over 10 years. We had a lovely table setting and ate Mexican food, because Christmas food is boring. My mom is also a master present wrapper. Not only does she make presents beautiful, but she makes them fun. When we were little, she’d wrap small presents in HUGE boxes and put rocks, or cans of food, or beans (dried, of course) in with the gift. That way, we’d have no idea what was actually in the gift when we shook it around and felt the edges and tried to peek under the paper. This year, Mom wrapped 20 gifts. 20. For four people. Who don’t really expect presents anymore. So, we each got to open five gifts. They each had a $20 bill stashed somewhere inside. So, $100 each! Woo hoo! After this Christmas, Israel has a better understanding of why it’s vitally important to me that gifts be pretty.

An amazing thing happened while we were in Telephone—Jude got groomed. But he didn’t just get groomed, he got shaved. All the way down. Until he looked like a plush little lamb. And that same day, he got a shot at the vet. And he got nicked while being groomed, nicked in a very uncomfortable place. Let me tell you, a shot, plus a shaving, plus a seriously painful injury that prevents one from sitting down, equals one insane schnoodle. Jude ran around like a dog on speed for about two hours. He was flipping and running in tiny circles and jumping all over things. And then he crashed. And his little head drooped all the way to the floor because he was so exhausted. Please enjoy these lovely before and after photos of Jude.

So, after Christmas, we headed to the Jernigan home where we basically played games the whole time (our favorite thing). By the way, the Jernigans have graciously taken on The Best Cat Ever, Felin. And let me tell you, after one month there, she is a different cat. I blame it on Cricket, the rat-dog. Shortly after Felin arrived, Cricket did too. And they do not get along. Poor Felin.

Cricket – The Instigator

Felin – The Victim

Look at that poor cat. Alas.

Moving on, after Muskogee we drove 12 hours to Colorado through the wasteland that is Kansas. Kansas is normally not the most exciting place to drive through, but on both the way there and back, Kansas was shrouded in fog. Cold, freezing, fog. It was like we were in a bubble of grey. The land was gray, the sky was gray and the mist-walls were gray. Kansas in December, the perfect setting for horror films. Anyway, we arrived at my Dad’s house in Colorado, after I nearly slid our car backwards off the driveway, which happens to be a cliff. We spent four lovely days there. My Dad’s house is awesome. It’s in this lovely little canyon with red-rock formations and mountains. The whole back wall of their house is windows. It’s great. I highly recommend visiting. While we were there, we got MORE Christmas/my-26th-birthday money, and what do you think we did with all of that cash?


We bought Rosetta Stone. And it’s awesome. I recommend Rosetta Stone just as much as visiting my Dad’s house.

Then, after 17 days of being away, we returned to good ol’ Arkansas. Whew.

Oh yes, while we were gone, the couple we’re living with bought a house, packed up, moved all of their stuff and ours to the new house, and cleaned the old one. And we weren’t even there to help. We have good friends.

Now enjoy the myriad of photos that we felt needed to accompany this post.

5 Responses to “A Christmas Post”


  • Amy says:

    Yay! What a wonderful Christmas! I’m pleased to report that Jude’s hair is curling again.

  • Luke says:

    Not all living creatures poop!

    • Luke says:

      That is to say, thanks for posting this. It was nice to look at the pics, and I’m glad you like Jude.

    • Dani says:

      Perhaps poop was the wrong word. All living creatures do get rid of waste somehow. Right? Isn’t that one of the ways you determine whether something is alive?

      • Luke says:

        Well, all living creatures do produce waste, I guess, and they do need to get rid of it. It’s just not poop for all living things. That’s not really one of the ways you determine if something’s alive, though.

        If it was, it would have been easier to teach my students the defining characteristics of life. They always pay attention more when I say words like poop.