December was quite the exciting and busy month for us. Not only were we busy with Christmas decorating, activities, movies, and baking, Jason gave me one of my Christmas presents early. That gift came as a total surprise! He gave me the game Age of Empires 2. As you know, Age of Empires is a traditional family game of the Arbons. But up to this point, I have been resistant to trying number two, since I barely have number one down. Tyson tried to encourage me to play number two, but I declined. But with this new gift, I had no choice but to dive right in. And boy I am glad I did. It is definitely way better than number one, in the sense that a lot of the tedious things are made easier and there are more fun options. So thanks to Jason, we became very busy at night alternating between playing the game and doing our other Christmas things (I definitely didn’t watch as many Christmas movies as I would have liked). We wanted to practice (hence giving it to me early) because we knew there would be a big Age of Empires game over Christmas break with my family and cousins. I knew that they would be thrilled that we transitioned to number two. We had a great time playing together and got a lot better than we were last time we played as a family.
Since I am now a working woman, I was thrilled to find out there was going to be a work Christmas Party. We could take our families, and it was a pizza dinner and a movie at Jordan Commons. Given the movie aspect, we decided to leave Charlie at home with the grandparents. The movie we saw was Frozen. Leading up to the party, I hadn’t seen a single preview for it, only little images of cheesy animated figures. So we assumed it was one of those typical, corny Christmas movies. Boy were we wrong! We were thrilled to find out it was another Disney classic! We loved it!! I’m sure it helped that we had zero expectations for it, but we were blown away! We loved the story and the music...and it was hilarious! They did an amazing job. Oh, and the icing on the party was that I won a company prize! I am usually very unlucky when it comes to drawings, so I was very excited!
Before seeing Frozen, it seemed like it had been forever since we had seen a movie! Having a kid really puts a damper on that activity. However, in December, we were basically seeing a movie each week! The next week, we got a surprise text from Jason’s friend, Nate. He is also our life insurance guy and the company he works for sometimes reserves out a movie theater for a big movie premiere. This time he invited us (as one of his clients) and the premiere was for the new Hobbit movie (number two). We are fans of LOTR, so we were really excited...not only just to see the movie generally, but to be able to see it the day before everyone else could. Stoked! It was another good movie of the season.
The next week, I got a surprise text from my friend Kaitlyn offering to watch Charlie so we could go see Catching Fire! What? Who does that? I was so impressed and so grateful! We had been hanging out with them a week or so before and mentioned how we hadn’t seen Catching Fire yet. We both love the Hunger Games series (having both read the books), and the movie had been out for awhile. Kaitlyn had said how much she loved it and how she had seen it a couple times in theater already. But that was the end of the conversation at the time. So anyways, I guess Michael was out of town and Kaitlyn wasn’t up to anything anyways, so she made the thoughtful offer to us. Of course we took it! The movie definitely did not disappoint! It was awesome! Even better than the first one! Thanks Kaitlyn for being such an amazing friend and thinking of us for one of your Christmas service opportunities!
So speaking of Christmas parties, we had a couple more. We had our Ward Christmas Party, which was great. We had Wallaby’s cater (tasty), and had a short program. It was all over in about an hour. The best part was we didn’t have to do anything for it! I think we brought a dessert, but that was it! The worst part was Charlie went out of our sight for one second and, we think, slammed his finger in the door. He was bawling when we found him and his little pinky finger was red and getting puffy. By the time we got home, it was purple, huge, and hard. We felt so bad for the little guy! But after the initial impact, it didn’t seem to bother him one bit. Babies are great that way! After the Ward Christmas Party, Mike and Kaitlyn came over and we made caramel apples. They turned out delicious! The white chocolate, cinnamon sugar ones were the big favorite! On a more personal note: Over the last couple of months it has been really nice to be able to hang out and talk with the Pacadas. We have really been able to come together and offer each other support in the hard time with Sean and Alli’s divorce. Kaitlyn is Sean’s sister, and Jason is Alli’s brother, so the divorce is very personal to all of us, but in different ways. It has been therapeutic to be able to talk it out with them, as it came as a complete shock to all of us!
Charlie's smashed finger
Our tasty caramel apples
And, of course, a yearly December celebration is Bryan’s birthday. He turned 15 this year! Happy Birthday, Bryan!