Alll right….I just finished paying bills. I think … what, it’s this month? Or next month that is everyone’s most depressing bill paying time? (although I am sure, for many, that depressing time is EVERY month). I was a little worried…but I had sacrified a lot of things for this month

-paying min on student loan
-working extra to make up days
-not doing tkd or fitness clubs
-sticking to the christmas list and not feeling pressured to buy gifts for the wrong side of the family (though they like to get us stuff even though they have an off year, for example, Tim’s parents are coming over tomorrow…and I have a feeling they are packing gifts…we don’t have anything for them and I am not going to feel guilty that is the case. They know the rules…every other year – so it’s fair to both our sides of the family).

In fact, considering we had to travel to and back from Milwaukee twice, up north, stay in a hotel and visits lots of people, in addition to having a big Christmas party — we did really well. I had to only take $374 from savings and add it to checking…(well, plus an extra 200 for the end of this month + new year’s cushion). That is AWESOME! All of our hard work paid off, and we finished paying for the most expensive month. :) Now come Jan to June — which historically are frugal months.

Niow that I have done my big duty of the day, I need to next take a shower — clean up a bit in anticipation for the parental visit, shred some potatos for dinner (potato deluxe…a recipe curtesy of my coworker) and play some Kingdom Hearts II. OH, I also have to pack up the two forgotten gifts for my brothers to send out tonight.

Last night Tim played open faced cribbage with me! It’s a game we learned from Kelly and Ben last Friday in Milwaukee. IT’s fun. I want to play it with everyone. I just want to play games with people. Sit around and play cribbage, scrabble, abalone….you know. That is a cozified winter activity.

I also want my dog to knock it off. As I said to Tim in my morning email to him:

Pluto isn’t back to his normal schedule. A whole weekend with the dog sitters has left him utterly spoiled. Now our couch isn’t comfortable enough — he sits down and then gets up suddenly to walk down the hall, come back and consider the couch again. Pacing back and forth. He’s not getting enough attention – constantly following any of us around and expecting more than his usual amount of attention, which is about…what? A couple minutes? He wants a couple of hours. AND where the fuck are all his bisquits? (speaking for pluto)….I don’t know if you noticed, but all but one of his bisquits that I packed for the weekend (a little more than twice the amount of normal) were all gone. He must have averaged at least three treats and a greenie or rawhide a day.

He’s kind of a pain right now.

walking around morosely, giving me those eyes…pacing….standing in odd spots and whining….staring at me. …whining….not laying the hell down….

For real, it’s a HUGE pain. He’s not back to his normal schedule. I know people think you can’t give a dog enough attention, but I beg to differ. You don’t have to live with that dog after the attention surplus has stopped. I do. It sucks.

I’ve been trying to think of some highlights that maybe I didn’t mention before, regarding this past weekend.

–Christmas Eve was awesome. Tim and I spent the ..oh wait I wrote about that.
–Christmas Morning we went over to Mom’s after eating a belguim waffle, orange and pastry for breakfast. Ditto and his fiance (Did I mention that story about how I noticed the ring on her …no? I didn’t? Here it is.

Ditto (aka James) called earlier in the morning to see if we were there. He said he would be over in an hour. An hour later he showed up with his girlfriend. I didn’t think it was any big deal, but Mom and Shane later said that was the first time the girl has ever come into the house. Ever. Usually she sits in the car waiting. It’s debatable whether or not she does this because Ditto asked her too, or she did it on her own accord. The reason (because I know you are asking this in your head) is because Ditto was ashamed of his upbringing/current status of the house and didn’t want anyone to see it. Either because if they did they would associate the state of the house with Ditto, or because he didn’t want them to feel pity for his family or both..anyway, we are all victims of this in one way or another).

She brought goodies with her and stood most of the time. At one point, I was trying to think of small talk to say and looked at her hand. There, on her left hand was a ring the size of texas.

“Are you engaged?” I asked her.
“Yep,” she replied and looked at her hand.
“When?” I managed through my shock.
“August,” she answered and looked to Ditto for confirmation.

“Yeah,” Ditto said. “I told Mom about it then.”

“Mom!” I exclaimed. “Why did you tell me that Ditto got engaged!”

“Well, I didn’t know,” she explained. “He said he wasn’t going to get married until next year.”

“Mom! What do you think “Engaged” means?” I said, quite exasperated.

So…my little brother Ditto is engaged. The wedding is set for sometime next September. I have to figure out what weekend Mark is getting married, and tell Ditto so they don’t get married on the same weekend. That would seriously suck, especially since we already made a committment to go to Mark’s (and Tim is a groomsmen).

After Christmas there, we headed over to Jessie’s place. It was such a good time. They had saved their presents for the kids to open that night, so we got to take part in watching kids open presents! It’s so much fun. Becca, Lucas and Dean are SUCH good kids. I told Tim that I wanted to adopt Becca as a “special adult” in her life that would always remember her birthday and send letters to over the years.

The last thing on our docket, was to head back to Menomonie and visit Ditto’s place for our customary Christmas drinks. We played ping pong with her kids, pool with Shane and had some wonderful conversations before wobbling back to the hotel to crash.

What else? (I’m losing steam right now) — oh we were quite happy to get ack to home and realize our cats are the best cats in the world. I will never again say how fat they are after seeing so many obese cats up north. Geez, ours looked like midget Olympians.

Okay…shower time.

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