We went down to Suzanne's house, mom and Dad in the front
of the van and the rest of us stuffed in the back with a Burl Ives
Christmas CD playing.
I was really looking forward to going considering the year before I
was stuck at the movie theater much longer than I had been scheduled
because of the other lead. By the time I got to Suzanne's house, most
of the food was gone and they were starting on presents.
I was determined to enjoy the evening this time.
Suzanne's house was totally decked out. After spending most of the
day there yesterday I was very aware of the changes that had been
made. Their little 1930's house looked like some Rockwellian
painting and S and O were like crazed monkeys, O
especially when we arrived and she only got more excited throughout the evening.
H was still napping and when he woke up it took him a while to pull it together. He is a boy
that doesn't quickly wake up plus suddenly having his house full of people was probably a bit of a shock. He got it together though and quickly became Grandpa's boy.
The food was great, the conversation was good but the chill I had was getting worse and
worse. Suzanne said it was because I was acclimated to
mom's house, (ummm, no, I spent all day yesterday at your house and
was fine, remember?) and it got so bad during the course of the
evening, by the time it was over I was frozen to the couch with my
teeth chattering under a quilt.
I think It's that I have been pushing rather hard lately to the point
one little hiccup in my routine is going to throw me out of whack. I
haven't been able to make it to the gym since Wednesday, I didn't get
my kickboxing rush on Thursday since I was picking up my roommate at
the airport, I've eaten holiday garbage food (and I haven't
really had sugar for at least 2 months,) and 3 or 4 nights in a row of
sleeping on other people's couches. Sounds like a recipe for a crash
My present to Bill was a hit...I got him the two books Sarah Vowell
has written. she is an essayist on NPR and also did the voice of
Violet Parr in the Incredibles.
Bill got me the BFL cookbook which made me happy. It's so rare one
actually gets stuff on one's wishlist, y'know? Bill was funny as I
"Um, it's not a big hint or something..." he was so afraid I was
going to be offended by a "diet cookbook." If I hadn't actually asked
for it, I may have teased him and given him a hard time but I am
excited about it.
My present to Los Dunford's was also a hit. phoenix_jade got them a
rotating carousel of 100 colored gel pens. I got them a rotating
carousel of scissors, all with different edges. I think it will make
for some big fun craft time. I think Suzanne was more excited than
For me, the jaw dropping present to la familia Dunford came from my
dad. As "Santa's helper," he is remodeling their downstairs bathroom
which in it's current state is totally unusable. He is going to
install a new shower, insulate the walls, prep it for painting (one of
the caveats was that he did not have to paint,) and see what can be
done about the urinal. (I know. How weird is that...that a urinal is
installed instead of a toilet.) I think he said that the urinal might
be staying...but again with 3 boys in the house, it might just be
their bathroom. Another shower though will be huge for them,
especially since there are going to be 6 people in their little house.
As Bill was reading the letter from my dad presenting his gift I
thought of how incredibly generous Atwood men are. My dad will go to
the ends of the earth to help someone out. Mark is exceedingly
generous and compassionate as is Lawrence and though he won't admit
it, so is Brent. He had so many gifts for the Dunford family it made
me wonder if I had done enough with the scissors.
Of course, I see them more than once a year and they know me, love me and climb all over me.
So it was a lot of fun even though the epilogue has me sick on the couch.