Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Oh, there's no place like home for the holidays...

Packing. Packing. More packing. Moving. Moving. Unpacking. Unpacking...and more unpacking. Vacation. Back home in the new house. More unpacking. Go, go, go. This has been my first chance to sit and really write out what has been going on. The last month has been a blur. Crazy, in fact. Remind me never to move during the holidays. Actually, I'm never going to move again. EVER. I will die in this house. That is a fact.

It all started after Thanksgiving. I had felt like I was doing really well on getting things packed. Really, the problem was all of the nick knack stuff (not that I didn't know this would be the problem)! So, the Monday after Thanksgiving we rented a truck and hired some movers to help us move to our new home in Queen Creek, Arizona. It took 2 trips in the biggest U-Haul they had to get all of our things moved, but that did the job. An hour into unpacking the truck, some ladies who live in our cul-de-sac came over and introduced themselves and where each of them lived, along with dropping off a spaghetti dinner. How did we ever luck out to move into such a fantastic neighborhood?? Honestly, this is where we were meant to be! Anyways, after moving everything into the new house we had to return the truck that afternoon and Blake and his entire family left that night to fly up to Idaho for his sweet Aunt Connie's funeral. I was so sad not to be able to support the family, but time just wasn't on our side. I stayed back here with Jovie and unpacked boxes and finally Blake was home 2 nights later! I was so relieved to be able to sleep in the (NEW) house with my husband. It felt so weird without him- and even a bit scary since these were all new noises in the house. On that Friday we left for California to do a little mini-reunion with all of my family. 

California was a blast. It was just what the doctor ordered. We rented a house in Anaheim and had the most fabulous time with my family. We made meals at the house, watched movies, played at the park, created gingerbread houses, laughed, cried, took pictures, went to Disneyland and California Adventure for 2 days, played Phase 10, and made a whole lot of memories! We were there for 5 days and time just flew by!

Carpenter Clan 2010

Kimball Family 2010

We are forever

Jovie and Uncle Eli playin at the park

Indi tried eating the whole pizza....haha. yeah right!

Yo Ho Yo Ho A pirate's life for me! Isaiah loved singing that!

Jovie LOVES Minnie!

Carpenter Clan at California Adventure

Blake & Jovie on Toy Story Mania ride

Kay & Rob Carpenter (Mandy's parents)

Indi & Snow White

Camille & Cinderella

Callia, Papa and Tutu

Nate & Camille, Blake & Jovie, and Papa & Callia

Jovie, Mama and Belle (the 1st princess Jovie actually LIKED!)

Cori & Indi bumping in the cars!

Katy & Camille on the bumper cars!

Mandy, Blake & Jovie on the ferris wheel. 

Papa, Tutu, Indi & Katy loving the ferris wheel

Nate ACTUALLY smiling!
California Screamin' roller coaster practically melted off their faces!!
 When we got home the night of the 8th from California (which was my mom's 60th Birthday-- Happy Birthday Mom!) we got to unpacking more and more. At this point it didn't feel much like December, let alone the Christmas season so I decided to get the Christmas tree put up. So, thinking that this would take me a day at most, I proceeded to remove the pre-lit white lights and replace them with LED colored lights that I had bought just after Thanksgiving- as we had had problems with the fuse blowing the last 3 years. Well, it didn't take me a day to do the tree...it actually took 5. FIVE DAYS!!!! Really. No joke. So, I'm kinda hardcore at stringing lights on the tree (I blame my father) and I actually ran out of lights after stringing up the bottom QUARTER of the tree. At this point there were already 1200 lights on the tree. Seriously. I told you I was hard core. (And I actually thought that many lights could cover an entire 9 foot tree.....sheesh). So since the LEDs were from Wal-Mart I had to buy more of the same kind. But no...there were NONE to be found in this Wal-Mart, nor 7 more Wal-Mart's that I traveled to that day. The last Wal-Mart of the night I went to had some mini colored lights but were teardrop shaped (that were kind of faceted on the outside)- so decided to buy 17 more boxes. That should do the trick. Well, I got home and tried them out...they looked weird next to the other lights. Crap. So, out of frustration decided to hatch out a plan in my dreams as I slept. The next morning Blake had a brilliant idea of taking off every other strand of the one type of lights, and then replacing them with the tear drop lights. After doing that I was very pleased at how it turned out. SO BEAUTIFUL, in fact.
But here is the kicker. What is funny is that the day after stringing up both types of lights and finishing the tree I was in a different part of town and needed something from Wal-Mart and decided to pop over to their Christmas isle to see if they happened to have had any of the original lights I needed. Lo and behold- an ENTIRE pallet of the mini colored lights sat in front of my face...almost taunting me in a way. It took all of my will power not to cry...or do something that would have resembled Clark Griswold from Christmas Vacation when his lights wouldn't turn on. Deep breaths...in...... pssssssshhhhhh....out. It was done. I was THIS close to buying them all, taking off all of the tear drop shaped lights from the tree, re-stringing up the new lights, and returning the other ones...but that would  have just been plain ridiculous! My hands and arms couldn't take one more second of getting scraped, cut, and gauged from the tree branches. I looked like a cutter, for heaven's sake! So, that was my 2010 Christmas Tree debacle. Just retelling that story was as exhausting as it felt.

So, here it is the....hmmmmm, what day is it? Either way, it is a few days shy of Christmas and I can actually say I've done a pretty good job decking my home in Christmas, as well as making my home really feel like home.
I've actually almost finished Christmas shopping and sending gifts! There is still SO much to do, but at least we have had time to test out the spa (yes it works!!), jump on the trampoline, watch Despicable Me in the theater room and get all of Jovie's toys unpacked and played with. We have already met lots of people in our neighborhood and gone to a church Christmas party and are very excited to be at this stage in our life! We feel so blessed to be here in our new home and hope our old friends still make the drive to hang out and our new friends stop over at their hearts content!


sarah said...

mandy. i love you. every bit of your 7 walmart goin self. we're so meant to be friends.

(14 days!!)

sarah said...

ps you look gorgeous in those pics. gorgeous.

The Wizzle said...

1. You do look gorgeous in the pictures! Whoooohoooo!

2. Damn, woman, that is one lit-up tree! We used 1200 lights for our 8 foot tree this year. You do it up right!

3. Your new house sounds awesome. Please do have a housewarming party, just not before I had mine because I moved like 9 months before you. Okay? Okay.

Cara said...

Love you Disney/fam reunion vacation. You're awesome, glad you have nice neighbors.:) Your old ones were awesome tho.