Friday, December 22: Mom drove in early in the afternoon. I drove around Austin amongst holiday traffic and last-minute shoppers to find Maly the perfect gift for her first Christmas. We showed Mom where I work and then went out for barbecue at Green Mesquite on Barton Springs Rd. and then walked the Trail of Lights and to the Christmas Tree at Zilker Park.
Saturday, December 23: We left around 12:30 p.m. and headed to the airport in San Antonio to start our trip to Des Moines. Mom, Elise, Maly and I had a combined nine bags we were carrying with us. Our flight left at 3:15. We arrived at DFW where our connecting flights was four hours delayed. We ate Sbarro pizza on the floor and watched people as we waited on our flight. We arrived in Des Moines at 10:30 p.m.; Steve and Joanne picked us up at the airport and we all piled into the minivan and headed to the house.
Sunday, December 24: Grandma came over with cinnamon rolls. Steve and I went to HyVee for groceries. Later that afternoon we went to church where Steve and Joanne sang in the choir during mass. After church we went to friends of the Boeckmans townhome for a Christmas party. We all went back to the house and Steve and I drove to pick up Elise’s brother, Eric.
Monday, December 25: Maly’s first Christmas! We woke up early and took Maly downstairs and let her play with some of the toys that Santa had brought her. Eric and Grandma came over to the house around 10:30 and then we all opened our presents. Everyone pitched in early in the afternoon for a great prime rib dinner.
Tuesday, December 26: Elise went to brunch at Heather’s house with Lindsey, Traci and Kari. Steve and Joanne’s friends, Chuck and Sharyl came over for dinner. Yours truly smoked southwest rubbed salmon filets over pecan shells and mesquite finished with dijon, clarified butter, smoked Penzey’s green peppercorns and brown mustard seeds.Â Mom made a spinach souffle and Joanne made a salad. After dinner that evening Elise and I went over to Eric’s house to hang out.
Wednesday, December 27: Elise’s friend, Ingrid and her mom, Susan stopped by to visit in the morning.Â Steve and I went to the ol’ HoPot to get base shoes for the kitchen, front hallway and downstairs bathroom. That afternoon we cut and installed most of the base shoes. That night, Steve stayed home with Maly while Mom, Joanne, Elise and I saw Triple Espresso at The Temple for Performing Arts in downtown Des Moines. Excellent show to say the least. All four of us laughed the whole time. After the show, Joanne drove us around greater Des Moines to see all of the new developments around the city.
Thursday, December 28: We woke up, had breakfast and played with Maly. After Maly’s nap the three of us drove out to Ankeny to spend the afternoon with Elise’s long-time friends, James and Louise and their kids, Alexis and Avin. We had a blast at James and Louise’s house. Before we left, James introduced me to the sport of paintball. We went out on the back patio and took turns laying waste to random inanimate objects. I’m soooo getting a paintball gun for my birthday this month! While Elise, Maly and I were out, Steve, Joanne, Grandma and Mom went to the botanical garden. After we all made it back home, all 7 of us piled into the van to check out the Christmas lights at Waterworks Park. After the tour of lights, Elise and I drove over to Eric’s for a nice, home cooked meal of grilled asparagus and red peppers and filet mignon with a very rich creole sauce. With full bellies Elise and I drove back home to conk out for the evening.
Friday, December 29: We all hung around the house until early afternoon when the girls went to the Salisbury House for a grand tour. While the girls were away, Steve and I played with Maly, put her down for a nap and once she woke up, we all three went to CompUSA. Friday night was a shuffle as Steve and I tried to configure two webcams to work among his 700 MHz Windows PC and my iBook, all the while trying to download photos taken throughout the week to each others’ computers. I finally determined that their computer couldn’t cut the mustard and decided to sell them my iBook so they would be able to see their granddaughter live via video conference from 1000+ miles away.
Steve left to pick up Eric that evening. Grandma came over as well and we all ate pizza that Joanne made. Heather and her boyfriend, TJ stopped by with Heather’s daughter, Juliet.Â They left the same time Grandma left and the rest of us played Scene It before taking Eric home for the night.
Saturday, December 30: The morning came early and it was time for Mom, Elise, Maly and me to head back home. Steve and Joanne took us to the airport and we all had to say our goodbyes.
We made it to DFW on time but had to wait at the gate for our connecting flight because of a delay in the flight out before us that was heading to Guadalajara. We landed in San Antonio around 3 p.m. and Elise and I had a helluva time (along with all of the other passengers who’d flown in from other delayed flights out of DFW ) finding our 5 checked bags. We finally got home in time for Burger Tex burgers and to watch Texas beat Iowa in the Alamo Bowl.