Sunday, January 24, 2010

Like a Rolling Stone

Last night we went to a church activity for another ward with some friends of ours. Normally I am hesitant to crash other people's parties, but this was an exception. Who can pass up free roller skating? We went to Roller King in Roseville, a place that Jon used to skate at growing up, and which, he assures me, still smells exactly the same. Just walking in to a roller rink brought back waves of memories from my childhood.

I was excited for my kids to have the chance to go skating, since we have never taken them. We strapped on their skates and then I got mine on, (Jon was slow to get skated for himself, and then when he finally did, the guy had to get up to the top of the skate racks and all the way in the back to find his size.) At the point when I actually had my skates on, I got a little nervous, seeing as how I hadn't been on skates since approximately 1989 (when skating was still cool.) But after a couple of trips around the rink, I was feeling more confident, and I managed to not fall the whole time. I was never any good at stopping, and that hasn't changed, but I did alright.

Richard and Jon

Brandi and I on the floor

My children, on the other hand, had a really hard time getting their skate legs. The older ones have a pretty severe fear of injury, and couldn't get past the possibility that their faces, arms, or butts might meet with the floor in a painful way. Once or twice around the rink was enough for them. Which turned out to be good for Jon and I, because we were able to skate at our leisure while they played in the arcade. It was made even better by having our friends there to skate with. The Lammies are always lots of fun, and then to top it off, the Hunts drove in straight from unloading their moving van. It was good times.

I look like I am totally concentrating

Some of the pictures didn't turn out so well due to the motion and the lighting, but you get the idea.

You Gotta Have Friends

You may remember I was missing some pictures when I made my Christmas post. Well, they appear to be gone for good. I can't for the life of me figure out where they went to, or how they just disappeared, but there you have it. I even tried some photo recovery software, but to no avail. Since some of those pictures were ones that I really liked, including some pics of Jon and I on our anniversary (no, not those kind of pictures - geez) I have been in a funk as far as blogging goes. I have just felt irritated and sad anytime I have picked up my camera and remembered what was lost. But today I am going to try to push through and put up some pictures.

This is a little out of order, but one of my Christmas traditions has been to get together with a group of my girlfriends from high school who come into town to visit for the holidays. The last couple of years it has been on Christmas Eve, and we go out to lunch or to a coffee shop, or both, and just visit and catch up. We don't normally all make it - my friends are travelers and rarely is everyone home at the same time. But whoever is around does their best to make it. Somehow, over the years, I have become the one to organize this thing, which used to be our friend Lori's position. She was always good at making plans and getting everyone involved. I think that my taking over the job has something to do with me being the one who continually lives here and has four children who have to be organized and scheduled all the time. I am not nearly as good at it as Lori always was.




Genny, Lori, Lydia, me, and Patricia

These girls are some of my best friends in the world, in the sense that no matter how far apart we spread, at some point we will all come back together, and it is never awkward or boring. We may not share each others daily lives anymore, or have that much in common anymore, but we love each other and have a bond that is lasting. I feel very fortunate to have them. I have known Patricia since before kindergarten, Lori and Maia (who wasn't there this year) since elementary school, and Genny, Lydia, and Heather (also not there this year) since high school. I had some great times with them in high school - trips to Tahoe, San Francisco, sleeping in a cow pasture, dressing up and going to a Goth club, sneaking out in the middle of the many memories. At one point we adopted the group name the Femme Coalition, and other girls have come and gone, but we have managed to keep in touch, and I am so glad we have.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

It's the Holiday Season

Or it was about a month ago...

I meant to blog about all of this sooner, but I just didn't get around to it. Somehow the lure of reading was stronger than that of blogging. I have been watching my friend's blogs, and for the most part they have been slow on posting their Christmas pictures as well, so I figured I was ok. But one by one they are catching up, and so I suppose it is time for me to do the same. A rainy Sunday seemed to be a good time to do it. (*Note - I swear I had more pictures, but upon searching for them on my camera and the computer, I can't find a bunch of them. I know I had a recording of Jon doing the Hannukah Song, plus pictures from Christmas Day, and yet they are gone...I have tried to find tham but they seem to be gone for good...)

As in years past, we spent Christmas Eve with the Joyners and their long-time family friends the Alstons. This Christmas Eve tradition is centered around a Mexican-Italian feast, complete with tamales, beans, rice, ravioli, Caesar salad, and garlic bread, among other things. As per usual, the children dressed up as the people (and animals) from the nativity story, and there was a brief reading of scripture. (As the professional costumer of the nativity, I had my hands full!) Following the spiritual thoughts, the program progressed in the typical fashion - Jon playing his guitar and singing while some of us joined in. (Normally Jake plays too, but he wasn't here this year.) One thing that was not typical, however, was a special visit from Santa Clause. It turns out he knows the Alstons personally, and wanted to pay a visit to the children (although I suspect he was in it mostly for the tamales!)

After the party we came home and hustled the children to bed in order to precipitate the readying of the presents for Christmas morning and the arrival of a certain man in red. The kids all donned their traditional Christmas jammies - Jonathan, upon being handed his, took in a sharp breath and then said "Jammies - I don't believe it!" with his hand over his mouth like it was the biggest and best surprise ever - despite the fact that they weren't wrapped. While the children were nestled all snug in their beds, there were no visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads for quite a while. We had to bide our time while we waited for them to drop off to sleep just in case they came out while we were preparing things. While they slept, Santa decorated the living room with tinsel, white garland, and snowflakes. He also ate the tamales left for him (in the Joyner house we figure he must get tired of all those cookies and need something a little more filling.)

Christmas morning was spent in the hustle of unwrapping and went by in something of a blur. I had to keep asking the kids to wait to open their next present, both to stretch out the time (since there wasn't a ton to open) and also so that I could actually see them opening the things we bought them. It was a nice morning, though busy and quick.

After breakfast, we got ready and headed up to my dad's for Christmas Part 2. We have an early dinner there - prime rib that is absolutely WONDERFUL. It was a very nice afternoon, and bled into the evening with some visiting and playing of games. By the time we left for home, we were all sleepy and ready to find our beds. It was another nice Christmas, though it did seem rather like a hit and run. One of these years I swear that I am going to have everything ready and the way I would like it so that I can enjoy it throughout December...