While Eli would have probably titled this post "Self-Inflicted Torture", the title I chose is the subtitle of The Hobbit, a book that is painful to read because Bilbo Baggins makes this treacherous journey, and then when he accomplishes his goal goes home, but instead of Tolkein magically transporting this poor hobbit back home and ending the story, the readers have to trudge all the way back the way he came, following his travels. It's painful.
As the author of this blog (which may also be a prelude, in its own right, to some epic tale), I will not do that to you. So, here's the really big nutshell, summing up our Christmas adventures:
We spent a quiet Christmas day at home, and even spent a little time next door with the neighbors and their extended family. Elsie got her Police Car, and Oscar got something fun to chew on. On Boxing Day, we drove down to Mobile and celebrated Christmas with the Beaver clan.
Then, the next morning, we got in the car and started the long drive to Texas. We didn't know if we would make it in one day, so planned to possibly take two days to drive, but we made it. We did take one long stop in Bossier City, LA, to take advantage of a $15 jeans sale at Old Navy. Elsie got a bouncy ball from the giant Beaver brand gumball machine and chased the ball around the store while Eli tried on jeans.
It was nice to spend some time with my family. I appreciated the extra day there to keep from feeling like it was a whirlwind visit.
On Wednesday of that week, Eli, O & I made the long drive to Houston for the Texas Bowl (Baylor vs. Illinois). On the way we stopped at Buc-ee's and got some Beaver Nuggets and Buc-ee t-shirts (Power to the Beaver!).
Baylor bit it. BUT, on the bright side, I did get to see some of my college friends that I haven't seen in six or seven years. I thoroughly enjoyed sitting with M & E and talking the whole game (I don't actually go to football games for football--heaven forbid--and never have!). It was great to see CM and DJ and R&P and SE and KE and well, even PC, really. Then, as a final surprise, TGJ had my cell phone number and she came over to see me. Like I said, I had a fabulous time. And Oscar was a doll for the whole game, and pretty much for the ride to and from Houston, because yes, we turned around and drove right back to Crowley. (Yes, we're crazy, and it suits us just fine.)
Thursday, Eli, my dad and Nephew went to the Armed Forces Bowl in Dallas. I spent the morning with my friend E and her daughter. And in the afternoon I spent the afternoon with Stacey and Niece at the studio. We tried a painting craft with Elsie, but, well, toddlers and paint are not really compatible, so we did the best we could. Mom and Dad took everyone out for fajitas, and when we got back the cockatiel laid an egg. Weird.
So, we got in the car the next morning to drive back before the new year, but got caught up in bad weather and ended up getting a hotel room in Tuscaloosa (so close, yet so far!) before driving home on New Year's Day. I was the only one to greet the New Year, because Eli and Elsie were asleep. I was about to close my eyes when Oscar woke up to eat. After he went back to sleep, I was still awake for a little while. Happy 2011 to me!
Really, the kids were actually pretty good in the car for the whole journey to and from TX. It could have been much, much worse, so I count my blessings where I can get them. It was great to get off of the road, finally, and be in my own home in my own bed, which is where I'm going now.