Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry and Bright

So...tired...too much...Christmas. :)

I don't know why I torture myself by staying up so late writing these things. Maybe it's because I'd rather do it while my kids are asleep then while they're bouncing all around in the morning. I just finished wrapping a few gifts...slow and steady wins the race...and I'm pooped. But not from the gift wrapping, per say. It's from the rest of what we did this evening....

Six years ago Eric proposed to me on a cold December night beneath the twinkling glow of the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows "Way of Lights." I'll never forget it. We were driving all along, looking at the massive light display as happy as can be, when all of the sudden Eric starts to pull off onto the side of the road mumbling something about car trouble. I was confused, because just seconds before there was no trouble at all. Eric is kind of a bad liar, so I knew something was up. :) He got out of the car and disappeared for a few seconds. All the while I'm thinking what in the world is going on? The next thing I know, my passenger door is opening and there's Eric with a big cheesy grin getting down on one knee. He didn't ask me to get out of the car or anything. Hehe. It was so wonderfully awkward, and so wonderfully Eric.

Obviously the Shrine has a little more sentimental value to us then just the beautiful story it portrays of Jesus' birth through the use of over one million Christmas lights and displays (holy million!). So we simply must take the short trek each year to drive through the Shrine and giggle about the past...which really wasn't all that long ago - but a marriage, several moves, career changes, and two kids later it feels like eons!

We usually take this trip alone or sometimes with friends, but this year we decided we had at least one child who was old enough to be interested, too. So we ate a big spaghetti dinner, dressed the girls in their jammies, and loaded up for a foggy night of driving and light gazing.

We stopped to get some drinks before heading out of town, and I snapped a picture of the girls to document the start of our journey. Oh, Gracie....

Those drinks would prove to be a pain in the rear about halfway to our destination. Eric had gotten fountain sodas in lovely styrofoam gas station cups, and at some point en route we had to put on the brakes fast for the ridiculous car in front of us which sent my drink flying through the air. It crashed onto the floorboard, and as I picked it up I thought I had it upside down, because soda was leaking e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e.... I flipped it over, and it leaked even worse! What the what? I'm yelling something incoherent about crazy soda, a river of Dr. Pepper is flowing in the car and onto our CAMERA, and Eric is shouting "Throw it out the window!" Baha. You would've thought this dang beverage was a ticking time bomb for all of the drama that it caused.

Turns out that the straw in the cup pierced a hole through the bottom of the styrofoam, and while I do NOT recommend doing this, I absolutely did chuck that thing right out of the window. It's instances like these that I am beyond glad that we drive cars until they die, because if we were making payments on the carpet that we soaked I think it might have ruined our evening. :) Instead we laughed, and we journeyed on.

As one might assume, darkness and the warmth from a blowing heater zonked the girls right out on the way to the Shrine, and we were shaking Evelyn to wake up once we pulled in. I'm pretty sure she spent the first five minutes in a daze, but soon she was pointing out all of the lighted animals and having a good 'ole time.

We didn't get out to peruse the gift shop or do camel rides, though it would have been very fun to do so. Evelyn is still not 100% better, so I wanted to keep my baby and her germs away from other people. (What a great way to get out of the house and do something without ever leaving your car!)

It was a really great family evening, and I always forget that if you make a $10 or more donation at the end of the display that you get a free plush animal to take home. Evelyn is attached to her cute little stuffed goat already. :) Poor Gracie slept through the entire thing, and we didn't bother waking her, because well...refer to that picture of her screaming, up above.

Now it's nearly two in the morning and I have a whole living room of paper scraps and bows to pick up. Sometimes I think I'm part vampire the way I work in the night. But hopefully I'll be getting some free time soon for another tradition of mine, where I won't need to stay up until the a.m. to get my stuff done. Eee...kind of excited! I'll let you know tomorrow if that night is tonight. :) Oh, and I don't think I really need to tell any of you this, but in case you were wondering how the whole proposal thing went...I said "Okay!" ;)


Ashley Mitchell said...

I love to hear proposal stories. :) Thanks for sharing.

Cassie said...

awwww i love the proposal story!

and you cracked me up this whole post. too funny!!

i like we didn't even bother to wake grace up, why, well refer to the top picture.



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