Christmas in Song

“Grown a little sadder/Grown a little older/And I need a little angel/Sitting on my shoulder/Need a little Christmas now” – We Need a Little Christmas

I love Christmas, but this year it was hard to get into. Granted, we were abnormally busy this year – on December 19, DJ successfully defended his PhD. He’s officially* a doctor! But removed from that, we both just felt like something was missing. I mentioned this in my previous post, so I’m not going to dwell on it, but we thought we would celebrating this Christmas as a family of three, instead of a family of two. So preparing for Christmas was a little sadder than normal this year.

 

“And everyone is singing/I hear those sleigh bells ringing/Santa, won’t you bring me the one I really need?/Won’t you please bring my baby to me?”All I Want for Christmas is You

This is my favorite Christmas song (and I can sing this song almost as well as Mariah Carey herself, although DJ and the dogs tend to disagree). Again, we thought we’d be a family of three this year, so it was hard to hear this song and not think of the baby we were hoping Santa would bring us.

 

“Have yourself a merry little Christmas/may your heart be light/In a year our troubles will be out of sight.” – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aASCHienefI

This is a close second as my favorite Christmas song. It really resonated with me this year, thinking back over the last year and especially where we were this time last year. I had just been laid off, so DJ and I were both applying and interviewing for jobs. We didn’t know where we were going to be living come summer, if we were going to be living in the same city or different cities, or even if we would find jobs. Our troubles of last are truly out of sight this year. We both have good jobs, we are still living in our home (which I love so much more at Christmas), and, most important, we are together. Everything may not be the way we would like, but that’s okay. We both believe that “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”

 

We had a wonderful Christmas. We both had to work Christmas eve, but we had a great day home together yesterday. We spent the evening with friends, sharing a meal and each other’s company. So Christmas was good, we are good, and we’re ever hopeful for a family of three for Christmas 2015. We hope that you are well and that you had a good Christmas. We hope for good things for everyone in 2015.

 

*It won’t be “official” until graduation in May, but he’s done all the work. All that’s left is to walk across the stage on May 9!

Wedding Weekend in North Carolina

On Friday, DJ and I drove to North Carolina for my cousin’s wedding. Steven is my mom’s sister’s son. A quick-run down of my family on my mom’s side: My grandparents live in Ohio, in the same town my mom grew up in. My mom’s sister, Jackie, and her husband, Art, live in the same town. Jackie and Art’s daughter, Anissa, is my only girl cousin on that side. My mom’s other sister, Mary, and her husband, Mike, live outside of Charlotte, North Carolina. Their sons, Steven and Austin, also live in the Charlotte area. I’m the second oldest of the bunch. (It goes Steven, me, Austin, Anissa). We were ALL together this weekend for festivities and we had such a great time.

You should know these people by now. We clean up pretty well.

You should know these people by now. We clean up pretty well.

My beautiful cousin, Anissa, and her awesome boyfriend, Tim.

My beautiful cousin, Anissa, and her awesome boyfriend, Tim.

My aunt, Jackie, and uncle, Art.

My aunt, Jackie, and uncle, Art.

My mom and her sisters.

My mom and her sisters.

My parents

My parents

All of the cousins. Austin, Steve, Me, and Anissa.

All of the cousins. Austin, Steve, Me, and Anissa.

The wedding was on Friday, so on Saturday we got to hang out as a family while the bride and groom left for their honeymoon. We went to my aunt and uncle’s house for the day. They live on a lake and we took their boat out and went tubing.

He was the only one not to flip the tube.

DJ was the only one not to flip the tube.

It's a lot harder than it looks.

It’s a lot harder than it looks.

DJ Julie Boat

We both made it alive.

 

My dad got in on the tubing action

My dad got in on the tubing action

And my grandfather certainly wasn't going to be left out

And my grandfather certainly wasn’t going to be left out

Hanging out in the water after tubing

Hanging out in the water after tubing

Since we live across four states, we don’t see each other as often as we’d like, but when we do, it’s like we’ve never been apart. I love my family and on top of that, they’re pretty awesome people.

Why this blog

It took us a while to decide to start this blog. When we started, and still now, we struggle with what to write, what to include. We’ve been feeling our way through it and it’s helped us as an outlet as much as we’re hoping it helps you to get to know us better.

One thing that I hope you will understand from our blog is that we are present. We are there. Our posts might not be as often as we like and we might have an occasional dry spell without posts. But we always write and we always catch up. We’re not perfect, but we’re here. And that’s what we want you to know about us. We’re not perfect. We make mistakes. But when it comes to our family, we are there and are going to continue to be there. No matter how open you want our relationship to be, or if that relationship changes over the years, you are  a part of our family.

This blog has been a letter to you, a letter ten months in the making. We feel like we’ve been able to give you a better idea of who we are than just with our profile with CHS. It was hard to describe ourselves in a single letter for our profile, so we started writing the blog.

I hope that you’re reading this. I hope that you’ve gotten to know us better and that you know that we’re more than what can fit in a single letter.

Baseball and Anniversary

Hello.  It’s DJ here.  It has been a while since we posted anything, but we’ve been pretty busy.  A week and half ago, the Phillies were in DC to play the Nationals.  We always try to get up when the Phillies are in town, even when they’re one of the worst teams in baseball like this year.  The good news is that with them so bad and the general disinterest in the Nationals, we got some killer seats right down the third baseline.  The Phillies were shutout, but even that couldn’t ruin some of the best seats I’ve ever had at a baseball game. 20140614-163506-59706422.jpg Then, the following weekend was Julie and I’s 6th wedding anniversary.  We took the opportunity to make a beach weekend in the Outer Banks. Nags Head 06-2014-1000100

Nags Head 06-2014-1000111

Nags Head 06-2014-1000120

Nags Head 06-2014-1000142-2

Nags Head 06-2014-9054

The Meteor Shower That Wasn’t

Julie and I are both pretty exhausted today.  Yesterday, we were both caught up in the hype that was supposed to be a great meteor shower.  We were told that it was to peak from 2-4am and that it had the potential to have hundreds of shooting stars per hour.  Julie was excited about shooting them with her camera and I was excited to geek out about space.  I have never grown out of the childish wonder that is outer space.  It was a tough week for us and we were both looking forward to ending it with something special and fun.

We drove out of town to get away from any light pollution.  We navigated pitch black dirt roads but finally ended up at a clearing and meeting up with Julie’s photography group at around 11:30.  The sky was perfectly clear and we could not have asked for a better night.  We stayed out for over an hour and saw a couple meteors.  We wanted to stay up for the peak of the shower, which was supposed to be between 2 and 4 am, WAAAYYY past our bedtime. We soon realized that, even with our after work naps, we were way too tired.  Our solution was a one two hour nap in the car.  We awoke ready to be awed.  Instead, we saw nothing.  Zilch.  Nada.  There were no meteors; it was a bust.  We were a little disappointed, but had no regrets.  The sky was still beautiful, and we had a great view of the Milky Way.  Julie even got some shots.

Julie's shot of the Milky Way

Julie’s shot of the Milky Way

We stayed about another hour and then headed home.  We got in after 4am, completely exhausted, but still happy we went.

 

Filthy 5k

Tonight was night one of Riverrock – two inches of rain in the past 24 hours really made it a mud run. My knee was really hurting during this race, so I didn’t push it too hard, but when I got passed by a chihuahua (honestly), I picked up the pace a little. DJ’s parents are here visiting and it was great having them at the race as well. Tomorrow is DJ’s 10K!

DJ and his parents

DJ and his parents

Pre-race selfie

Pre-race selfie

This photo courtesy of my super-talented friend, Dave Parrish.

Down and dirty

Down and dirty

The damage after the mud pit.

The damage after the mud pit.