Sunday, December 30, 2012

Not a surprise Christmas presence

Last year was covert operation Teh-Megan-will-be-with-Teh-Bear-on-his-birthday-and-the-going-home-for-Christmas-but-no-one-must-know.  This year.. there was no big secret.  There was actually a big NO on me going to NC for Christmas this year, but when Teh Stepsister bought her ticket from Oklahoma to escape from Army bootcamp for 2 weeks, I also made the decision to suck it up and go home as well.  Mostly because, who knows when we'll all be able to be at home at the same time again.

The best part about a planned visit is that 1- I drove home (which really has more to do with me not making a Florida pit-stop).  2- People know you're coming so they can properly plan giftage.

The first day I was at home, home, there were snow flurries  And then it didn't snow for the rest of my time in NC.... and it still hasn't snowed where I've been.  Not all.ever...... ....  I love the chilly weather, so I wasn't complaining.  It also made workouts with Teh Stepsister more bearable.  I absolutely loath working out when it's hot.

Most of my time spent in NC was me being lazy-ish.  I still got up at a reasonable hour but I didn't really have to do anything, which is just a relaxed feeling for sure.  Other than Phil refusing to go business #2 for me every morning (because he's a jerk and prefers Teh Dad to me), it was a good visit.

Teh Mom, Teh Sister, and I opened presents at Teh Mom's on Christmas Eve since everyone knew I was planning to be on the road by 3pm on Christmas Day to get back to MD at a semi-reasonable hour.  That same night I went to Teh BFF's family dinner (holy mother of awkward interesting social situations), we had opened gifts the night before.  She got me my favorite candle (Autumn Wreath, just in case you needed to know) from Yankee Candle and I got her a new point and shoot camera.  Teh BFF's new step-siblings and their children proved to be a real treat.

Christmas Day came with dread and excitement.  Something about knowing that you're packing up and relocating in a few short hours kinda makes you just want to get on with it asap, but you know that you'd miss the fun parts of the day, so you stay and dread the drive...

There wasn't really a rush to get up, Phil woke me up because he heard other people moving around in the house, which was Teh Dad and Teh Stepmom in the kitchen starting Thanksgiving Christmas dinner.  While waiting on everyone to gather, I guilted Teh Stepsister into passing out the gifts "since we aren't sure if you're going to able to be home next year for Christmas."  Really, I'm lazy.

The little tree.  Teh Stepsister had said that everyone should wait till she got home to decorate the tree, then she never set it up so Teh Dad pulled this tree out of hiding a box.  No one even fixed the branches.

Right before everyone sat down to open presents, Teh Bear came online and we took turns opening our Cmas presents to each other.  Some miracle happened where we both had the same number of packages to open this year, which was surprising because we didn't know anything about our gifts.

My family had finally gathered by the time it was present time.  They got to watch me open the present Teh Bear had gotten for me, which he had warned me about by saying, "You're either going to be like 'YAY!!!!' or be like, 'yay.'"  I had no idea what I was going to open, seriously, no clue.

Teh Bear knows he has a long way to go in the wrapping department.
He always pre-warns me that I'm not allowed to judge his wrapping.

He was super serious about the presents not being damaged.  This was the 2nd set of air pockets that I'd run into since opening the box the package was mailed in.

Warning: Contains best Cmas present EVAR!!!!
Warning:  There will be none of the following while in possession of this gift
No crying
No sneezing
No barfing
No farting
Be sure to open this one first.
Stand Back 500ft
Awesomeness May Cause Permanent Blindess!!
(the little drawing is of 2 awesome stick people.
One says: I'm blind cause I peeked!  
The other says: why?!?
Then there's another warning that says: Don't let this happen.)

Open 2nd
No cheating
Didn't cheat?
Good.  You may continue.

No one ever said Teh Bear was bad at directions, that's for sure.

So what was the big surprise????

My own Nook!!!  With a Little Mermaid book cover, a protection plan (that's how I know The Bear knows me), and a USB drive with my first nook book on it (Mitch Albom's The Time Keeper).

The nook case has a tye-dye inside.

There was a bit of a snaggle this year because I allowed Teh Bear to buy his own Nook which I had been considering getting him for Christmas (see post here).  This gift was truly a surprise to me, which was awesome.  Teh Bear recalled back to when we were in GTMO and I had talked about purchasing a Kindle. Teh Ginger actually did get one, but I held out.  For me, a Nook was something that was practical, but not really something I'd ever put on a wishlist or ask for, but if I received one, I'd love it and give it a name and warmly welcome it into Teh Megan's Technological Family (which includes Suzy (phone), Yurtle (car), the laptop (nameless), the tv (also nameless), and whatever other gadgets there are)..

Teh Bear also opened his presents which were mostly Domo-themed (because I found so much Domo stuff by accident and he was just an unfortunate recipient . and lets be honest, Domo boxer briefs are pretty awesome, don't care.) and a new Boston Red Sox hat with the socks instead of the "B".

After Teh Bear and I were finished opening presents, he had to get ready for work and we signed off Skype so Teh Family could open up presents.  All the gifts I gave this year were awesome (like always), but Teh Sister and I really went all out for Teh Stepsister this year.  We put our art skillz to the test.

Before she even came home, I had decided (and informed Teh Sister) that we should split the cost of a massage for her.  She agreed.  Then Teh Stepsister came home and asked for a massage from her dad for Christmas.  As to not double up on massage gifts (since her time at home was limited) and because the massage place ran out of gift certificates (what?  how?), we just decided to give her cash... and make her the best handmade card EVARRRR.

Teh Stepsister joined the Army, and her drill instructors like to make "sexy private" jokes because in bootcamp, everyone's rank is "private"...  So when they are working out the DI's will say, "THIS WILL MAKE YOU SEXY, PRIVATE!"  Also, drawing an M-16 was a little too intimidating, so we just went with "gun".  Finally, Teh Stepsister claimed the Army beret was "badass" so we had to include it.

Teh Sister and I had to do flag research to make sure we were getting all the stars and stripes right.  We researched which color stripe came first and how the stars were aligned in the blue box.

Finally, we pulled out our inner-Printshop-10 (a program that I had gotten for a birthday when I was in middle school to create banners and cards and fun media items).  When you used to make cards in the program on the back of each quad-folded card it would say: Made with love by _____.  Teh Sister and I made sure to include that.  I threw in a Hooah for good measure and obviously I haven't worn my dog tags in a hot minute because those are so poorly shaped it hurt my soul a little.

Concerning the signatures of the card:
the little blue dot before my name came into question after I had signed.

Teh Sister:  You didn't have to test the marker on the card before you signed your name.  You could have used one of the extra pieces of paper we have.
Teh Megan:  What are you talking about?
tS pointed at the blue mark before my signature.
tM:  That's not where I tested the marker!  That's an AND SIGN!
tS:  Oh.
There was much chuckles over this.

After presents were finished, it was back to the kitchen for Teh Dad and Teh Stepmom.  I could feel myself getting hangry because I had been told we'd be eating at noon and at 1130, I was informed that food was 1.5 hours from completion.  We may have had a food issue last year as well... This time, there were no tears.

In the 20 minutes before food was done, the desire of Teh Stepsister to get "family photos" was finally fulfilled as Teh Sister and I had set up her camera and my tripod (yay for using it) on the dining room table so no one could eat before photos were taken.  Despite being hangry, we had fun taking photos.  Teh Sister put the camera on a delayed shutter to do sets of 5 photos, so she would click the shutter and run over and we had about 3 seconds between each shot for directions.  It was like we were all annoyed with each other moments before standing in front of the camera and as we started taking pictures and being silly together, the irritations just melted away and it was really Christmas.  We might not all match perfectly, but these are definitely true Teh Family photos.

Teh Sister, Teh Megan, Teh Stepsister, Teh Stepmom, Teh Dad
I may or may not have grabbed Teh Stepsister's butt to make her laugh.

Everyone posed and smiling.

Time of your life!!!

I'm an animal, I can't help it.

Teh Sister and I are in true form and Teh Dad is just like, wtf is going on?

Noodles (the weenie dog) kept jumping up on my leg so Teh Sister grabbed him up and I was pretending to be a mean drill instructor while Teh Stepsister was being a Sexy Private and Teh Stepmom was catching up to the thumbs up leg lift and Teh Dad was totally ready.

After photos, we were ready to eat.  Everything was delicious.  Then it was time to get on the road.  Pretty much that quick.  I didn't take long to load up Yurtle and after a quick stop at Teh Mom's (which would have been longer had lunch been ready at lunch and we didn't hear the weather warning on the radio) I seriously got on the road to head back to MD.

The drive back was fairly uneventful, but I really wish I had some way to record my thoughts while driving, because I really can be funny sometimes...  Ok maybe I'm the only one who thinks so, but that's all that matters when it comes to 8 hour drive entertainment.

Thoughts from an 8 hour drive:
-I wonder if Phil thinks I'm as good at karaoke as I do..
-Why didn't fast food places post their Holiday hours on billboards instead of just snowflakes with coffee?  Stupid!
-Phil really has it made.  We make special stops just for him.  Ok, and for gas, but mostly for him.  (He got to go business AND he got a curbside dinner).
-I should stop for food in Durham/Raleigh before I get to BFE where nothing will be open.
-Oooo there was a sign that said Wendy's, I'll go there.
-(Get off the exit) Where did the Wendy's sign go?  Crap, I guess I'll have to go to McDonald's.
-YAYYYY Wendy's!  (was right beside the McDonald's AND all the lights were on!)
-WHY IS NO ONE ANSWERING ME!!! (as I sat in the drive through talking to an unresponsive menu.  Drive around to see that NO ONE is INSIDE.. the lights are just on.  Jerks.)
-Ugh McDonald's.  YAY sweet tea!
-Awwww Yurtle!!! 20000 miles!  You're so big!
How awesome is it that Yurtle tells me how many more miles I can go till I run out of gas?
It's a very sadistic game I play with myself now....  I just know I'm going to get burned one day.

-Green F350, you're my hero for going so fast, but please choose a consistent speed.  I feel like a real jerk passing you then you passing me then me passing you then you passing me.  I'm using cruise control, it's kinda cool, yo.
-Awww Richmond, you have Cmas lights on your buildings!  How awesome!!!  I wish my point and shoot wasn't dead, I'd take a picture!
-Black Venza, I approve of your speeding.  I'm sad I have to get off at exit 104 and we only have 50 miles of this fun time, but I'll write about how awesome you were in my blog.
-Dear 70mph zones in VA.  No, I love you.  Seriously.  I do.  Forever, you+me.  You're the best part of this relationship.

I thought that I'd be smart and use my google speech input for a text message to make "notes" of my drive... except that as I started to do it, the voice input stopped working for some reason and wasn't recognizing my words.  /weep.

And now I've recapped my Christmas!!! Woooo!
I came back to MD to work for 2 days and then we got another 5 days off work.  Who's complaining?
Nope, not even me.

Phil will have his own Christmas post on his blog.. because (of course) Phil got presents.
Look for the Relish 2012 posts to wrap up within the next day or two (depending on how busy I get in the next day)

You have till January 2nd to tell me why you keeping coming back to Teh Blog.  Tell me in a comment or on Teh FB page.


  1. The only way this "Teh BFF's new step-siblings and their children proved to be a real treat. " could seem more sarcastic is if you had followed it with a bless their little hearts. This makes me concerned that I have just become an overly sarcastic interpretuer of the typed word.

    1. Or you just KNOW me way too well.
      Because it was totally in sarcastic font.
      And we all know I don't go full Southern and say "Bless their little hearts" unless they are something deserving of being blessed...


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