Xmas festivities came early for me this year. Wednesday and Thursday nights were spent dining and drinking with a number of different friends. Matt & Kelly came back to Iowa last Thursday and stayed until yesterday. Kerri and her family were in town from Friday night through Sunday dinner. I had lunch with Matt & Kelly on Friday and then drove them up to Denver to spend the rest of the day with friends. I had dinner that night with some co-workers at the Waterloo Carlos O’Kellys, which was celebrating its 30th anniversary with a variety of discounted menu items and margaritas. After dinner I hit up the small high school reunion at the Pruisner house, which moved downtown and continued at the Stuffed Olive over the midnight hour.
I spent pretty much all Saturday and Sunday with Matt & Kelly, Kerri & George and their kids, Mom & Denny, Dad & Gale, Grandpa and Heather, Grandma and Uncle Mike, Tim & Mindy, Scott & Heather, and Liz & James and their kids – the largest family gathering in years. My nieces schooled me in Mario Kart DS (my first time playing) as well as in Mario Kart for the Wii (also my first time). I helped Dayna and Alexis set up their new iPod shuffles on my MacBook and guided Collin around the basement with a flashlight during the requisite game of hide & seek on Saturday evening. After the kids went to bed on Saturday night the adult congregated in the dining room and played a few rounds of Sequence. Sunday was partially spent taking in the unusually warm and sunny weather out at the firing range at Black Hawk Park with Dad’s array of firearms, followed by dinner at the Olive Gardens. I’ve consumed more mouth-watering calories between Wednesday and Sunday than I normally would over an entire month.
Life has now calmed down and I’m trying my best to coast through this final workweek of 2011. Beginning Friday afternoon I’m off from work until the third of January. Ten straight days of sleeping in, watching movies, lot of quality reading time, tackling a few longstanding decluttering projects and hopefully visiting with other family and friends who weren’t back this past weekend.