Do you know what happens when you don't post for almost two weeks? I do. Your next post is a novel. Sorry. You can skim if you want, but if you've got time, I'd love for you to read all about what's been going on with us recently.
[Pictures to be posted later, but you can look at Emily's pictures she posted on her blog]
This year (Jed's and my first year together) was a Busath Christmas. We spent it in Dallas, at my sister (Emily)'s house. It was supposed to be a surprise, but I found out that my parents and two of my younger siblings, Jeff and Angela, were going to drive down and meet us there. We were only missing Tom (who's on an LDS mission in Idaho) and Laurel (who's 8 months preggo and couldn't fly) and her family.
We spent the night of the 23rd at my grandparents' house in SLC and then my Grams on the other side of the family took us to the airport the next morning (at 7am...yuck!). The travel time didn't seem that long, thank goodness. We got in to Dallas in the evening of Christmas Eve and since my parents were already there, we all went out to dinner at El Fenix (Mexican, of course).
We have a tradition in my family that we get to open one present on Christmas Eve (it's from Santa's Elves, who come a day early). It's almost always PJs, all across the board. All the girls got matching pink penguin PJ sets. Emily conveniently "lost" hers after the rest of us had already put ours on... Dad read the Christmas story from Luke, and it was a lot shorter this year than I had remembered it being when I was a kid. We put the kiddos to bed and watched Princess Bride while we finished wrapping the last of the presents.
Christmas morning was surprisingly late. Nate and Aidan slept in until around 9:00, which was awesome! I got some great presents - Jed made/sewed me a stocking and filled it with my favorite candies, I got jewelry (including 2 James Avery charms that I LOVE), personalized stationary, Candyland (I bought this for myself - it was $4!), a fan that plugs in to my USB port for work, Rummikub, Bath & Body Works stuff, and a season of Family Guy on DVD. Jed and I got a fire/water safe for all of our important documents, The Other Side of Heaven, a gift card to Deseret Book, and a bunch of food storage from the grandparents. :) Jed got Cranium (his favorite game) from me and another one from his mom, The Office Trivia Game, a remote-controlled helicopter (the lady at the store thought I was buying it for my son...), 2 sweaters, a pair of white and red Etnies (I'm pretty sure it's this pair), a polo, GAP cologne, a tool set, an NYC hat, and The Joseph Smith Papers. But one of the best Christmas presents we got was being able to talk to my brother Tom on the phone for an hour. He's doing really well and loves what he's doing. (Oh and one of the other amazing gifts was a $300 disbursement from my 401K I opened when I started working at Lowe's. Had no idea it was coming, but that was a great present.)
After everything was unwrapped, we made the traditional Busath Christmas breakfast: bacon, eggs, blueberry muffins, hot chocolate, and orange juice. Yum. That night we watched Wall-E (I still love that movie) after Emily and Mom's amazing ham dinner. And then after the kids were asleep, we watched Jeff's new Dark Knight DVD. It was like the fourth time Jed and I had watched it in two weeks and I was exhausted, so I fell sleep in the middle of it. "Why so serious?"
The next morning (Friday), we packed a weekend bag and we all hopped in the car to go to San Antonio for a few days. We stopped at Rudy's BBQ for lunch and Jed and I bought a new bottle of their sauce because we were running low at home. Yum. After we dropped Angela off with her friends and checked in to our hotel, we went Emily's favorite San Antonio restaurant, Zio's. Yum.
The next morning (Saturday), after Breakfast at Taco Cabana (Yum!), Jed and I picked up our rental car (a two-door white Pontiac G5 with a rear spoiler). It was so saucy on the outside, but there was nothing under the hood. I'm assuming all Pontiacs are like that: nice-looking, but no performance. It was either that or a Ford. Great choices...not. Anyways, we spent the day downtown. Riverwalk, Alamo, El Mercado, trolley ride, Rivercenter Mall. Done, done, done, done, and done. For dinner, we went to Rita's on the River. Yum. The only bad thing about going there was that the table next to us had the mariachi band come over and perform for, no joke, 45 minutes. They knew every song and were screaming along with the band. It was awful. But after dinner, we walked along the river, admired the pretty Christmas lights, and went to Mr. Ice Cream to numb our headaches. Yum. We went over to the home of some family friends (the Condies) and hung out for a bit and then Jed and I ditched out to go watch the airplanes come in at the airport. There weren't a ton because we went kind of late, but it was still romantic. ;)
We went to church at my old ward and saw a bunch of familiar faces, and a bunch of new faces too. The ward has changed a lot. It was so good to see those people I knew and catch up with them. It had been over a year since I had been to that ward. After church, Jed and I went out to lunch at one of my *favorite* Mexican restaurants in San Antonio, Mamacitas (Yum), with one of my oldest friends, Micheyl, and her fiance, Ricky. I love coming in to town and catching up with Micheyl. She's still the same happy, funny, sweet girl I met years ago. She's pregnant with their first and due in August. I'm so excited for her! After a much-needed nap, Mom, Jed, and I went over to dinner at the Earls' house. While we were all talking and having a good time, my mom got a phone call from my dad. I'll tell you more about that at the end of the post. That night, I drove Jed around to some of the places I think of when I think of home, like Fiesta Texas.
The next morning (Monday), after we checked out of the hotel, we returned our rental car, and then went to Magnolia Pancake Haus for breakfast. Yum. After some shopping, we drove by my old stake center and the San Antonio Temple. It was just as beautiful as I remembered it. Then we picked Angela and Jeff up from their friends' house and met up with my mom's cousin, Marsha, for lunch at this hole-in-the-wall pizza place (Yum). I love Marsha; she is so fun and easy to talk to. We got back to Emily's house in Dallas that night and we played Jed's new Office Trivia Game. It was so much fun! Jed is incredible at answering the trivia questions, but in the end, I won the game!! :D
Mom, Angela, and Jeff left the next morning to drive back to Cleveland. It was sad to see them go. It's always harder when I have to say goodbye to the home-based Busaths. I don't know why. But I didn't cry this time. Just teared up a little. I think it's gotten easier because I have Jed and I will (hopefully) never not have some else with me. I don't even know if that makes sense. It makes sense in my brain... Anyways, Emily, Nate, Jed, and I went out to lunch at this really good place called Firehouse Subs for lunch (Yum) before heading to the mall. We went to this really ritzy mall where Jed and I laughed at the people because we knew they were spending hundreds of dollars on like a scarf. I mean they had stores like Armani, Coach, Nordstrom, Neimans, Burberry, Gucci, Prada, etc. The reason us humble poorfolk went to this particular mall was to see the trains. Yes, the model trains. I'm not a model train freak; in fact I've never been to a model train anything before. But they have this elaborate train exhibit during Christmastime in this mall every year and we thought it might be cool. It was so neat! We even got train conductor hats! Nate ditched his halfway through the exhibit, but Jed and I wore ours the whole time. Jed even forgot that he was wearing his and walked throughout the whole posh mall with it on his head. :) That night, after dinner, Jed, Emily, Nate, Aidan, and I went to Chuck E Cheese! It was so much fun! Once we had had our fill of excitement, we went to get in the car and realized that we didn't have the keys (and they hadn't been turned in to lost & found). Adam came to rescue us...and Emily found the keys in a hidden part of her purse. ;)
The next morning we were up at the buttcrack of dawn to go to the airport. Luckily we left the house in enough time to get some TCs (Yum) for breakfast. :) We got to the airport and Jed realized that he had left his wallet in Emily's car, so she had to drive back to the terminal and give it to us. Thank goodness for cell phones!
When we got home, we had a second Christmas because we got to open the presents we got in the mail from Jed's family! Jed got another version of Cranium and a video game called Skate, I got the Magic Bullet and a season of Ace of Cakes on DVD.
Back to that phone call I mentioned earlier:
I hear "Oh no" and "You're kidding" and "There's no way" from my end, but I had no idea what my dad told her until she hung up. My dad had flown home that morning because he had to work the next day. He said that he pulled in to the garage and it looked like someone had toilet-papered our garage floor. Then he looked up. The ceiling was bulging. When he opened the door to the house, water ran down the stairs into the garage. Their house was flooded. Every room in the house was damaged in some way, except mine and Angela's. Luckily almost all of our pictures/documents were in plastic tubs that were sealed, but all of the furniture, carpets, wood floors, walls, etc are ruined. Both of my parents were in shock and I still don't think it's sunk in to me yet. For four days my dad had to deal with this tragedy by himself until my mom finally got home, after driving for two days to get there. A licensed contractor that my parents know from church came by to inspect the house and he said that he thinks it will have to be ripped down to the studs and rebuilt. Not fun.
On a random note, did you notice how many times the word Yum appeared in this post? That's the minimun amount of times I ate out over the holiday. No wonder I gained back all the weight I had lost... Back to square one. I'll be weighing in this Wednesday; wish me luck.