Monday, December 06, 2010

Photos & Journaling for Day 7-10

Day 7:
Today is my mother’s birthday. I’ve had her birth date memorized since I was a kid, and I’m not sure the exact length of time but I have always purchased a poinsettia plant for her birthday. One year I even went into Costco a couple of days ahead and saw the gigantic poinsettia plant (like 3 feet tall) and decided it was the best thing ever. Of course my mom has almost never been able to keep the darn things alive past Valentine’s Day, except one year I remember recently her keep one alive until summer. I am not sure what prompted the first poinsettia, except for always having a strong need to buy my mom a birthday gift. Although my mom and I have been through tough times and rough patches in our relationship I always make the time to tell her how much I love her and appreciate all that she has done for me in my life and all that she will continue to do for me as her daughter.

The poinsettia’s association with Christmas began in 16th century Mexico, where legend tells of a young girl who was too poor to provide a gift for the celebration of Jesus' birthday. The tale goes that the child was inspired by an angel to gather weeds from the roadside and place them in front of the church altar. Crimson "blossoms" sprouted from the weeds and became beautiful poinsettias. What a beautiful story about the love of Jesus Christ.
Day 8:

Pancake Friday has become such a tradition for us! Jon has Friday’s off from work and it’s always so much fun to make breakfast for the whole family once a week. Sometimes it’s French toast, but if there’s Bisquick in the house then it’s all about the pancakes. Julia loves to get up to the table and help Daddy make them too, and today was even more special because she got to help stir the mix! She had flour on her chin from peering in to see her mixing skills, and then bounced with joy as Daddy poured mini pancakes onto the griddle for her to eat. It’s always such a joy to watch her experience everyday tastes and see them as special moments.

Day 9:

Tonight we (Jon, me, Julia, and my mom) walked over to the Main street plaza for the tree lighting for the city of Sandy. This is the first ever such event, and we missed it unfortunately (due to our favorite friend Devin stopping by for a quick hello as he was going through town). We made it up to the tree and into the tent where cookies and caroling was going on. Santa made an appearance as well, and boy was Julia delighted to see him! She jumped right out of her stroller and walked right up to him, pointed to him and smiled. I asked her if she wanted to shake his hand, and she ran over to me for a hug. I told her to stand by him so she could have her picture taken, and she was so excited she could barely stand still. We walked over to the group singing songs and she danced her little jig as we sang Christmas songs and stood together enjoying the moment. It was wonderful to have my mom there and for Julia to have one of her Grandma’s there to share in such a wonderful moment. I hope our city will continue to have this event each year from now on, so we can make it our family tradition. Though the tree could have used a much better decorator, it was festive and it’s exactly what our town needs.

Day 10:

The yearly Christmas party given by Steve, the owner of Woodcrafter’s where Jon has worked for 17 years now is always my favorite event of the year. It is the one of the few times of the year I really take the time to dress stylishly and can go out to a nice (expensive) restaurant without worrying about the bill or what I’m eating. The past few years the party has been at Benihana’s and this year was no different. I really enjoy going to this place because I love, love, love their food! Jon and I always make it a point to order their sushi and honestly I could eat just a ton of that for my meal and be satisfied, but there’s just no way I’m passing on steak and shrimp with fried rice! This year was Julia’s first party and I was anxious that she would be a scream’n meany, but she was pleasantly good and excited about the whole event. Of course there were the moments of wanting out of her chair and getting bored, hungry, or tired, but overall she was fabulous. One thing that surprised me as well was how much everyone adored Julia’s beauty. I know how beautiful she is, and long and flowing her hair, and overall how cute as a button she really is, but it’s always so wonderful to hear other people complement her in this way too.

Dinner was fabulous as always, and Julia got to eat some of her favorite foods – sticky rice & steak! She also used chop sticks to eat most of her food with too – once she saw us using them she was motivated to use them herself. We watched the chef cook the foods on the hibachi style grill; performing the silly stunts of throwing the spices around his back, the onion volcano, and the fast chopping of the shrimp and vegys. By the end of the night Steve had handed out the employee’s Christmas gifts (some for the spouses too) and the employees gave Steve his gift from them. Most years Steve gives out gift cards and is always so generous with them. This year’s gift was a Target gift card and 2 Starbucks cards, which I always take full advantage of! Such an amazing event every year, filled with holiday cheer. I really appreciate all the blessings we are given by Jon having such a stable job from Woodcrafter’s and every year feel so many emotions during this event. We are truly blessed.

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