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Happy New Year and Holiday Memories

 
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forloveofthegame



Joined: 23 Oct 2009
Posts: 5214
Location: San Diego

PostPosted: Tue 1/1/13 7:21 pm    Post subject: Happy New Year and Holiday Memories Reply with quote

First I just want to say Happy New Year. I started a thread like this last year so thought I would do it again. I know it is kind of after the fact, but I thought I would do it again since I am still off work this week.

For the first time in I don't know how long I had 2 weeks off around the holidays which was kind of bittersweet for me. Triste since we had losses in the family that are still fresh after just a couple of months. Also, my husband took the same 2 weeks off which is not always possible so this worked out very well.

My thoughts were about how we all celebrate Christmas and the holiday season. I believe Jpochard was going out of town for awhile. Last year when I posted about holiday plans I wondered what kind of traditions are enjoyed or observed and whether there are any special events you look forward to. I guess since Jpochard is the only other one here who was not here a year ago, I would ask her.

We always go to church for Christmas Eve and enjoy a Sunday brunch in Old Town sometime around Christmas. This year (I mean, the year that just passed, Lol) it happened to be December 23 being the closest Sunday to the actual holiday. The year before Christmas was on a Sunday so that's what we did after opening gifts.

My weeks leading up to Christmas are busy preparing tamales, and we always enjoy them late in the day/early evening of Christmas, along with El Jimador. Since my sons have wives and girlfriends they do have to split time with other families too, but almost always everyone is here for Christmas night when we listen to Christmas CDs and enjoy the merry spirits and food. We have a tree, of course, most years we get one from a pick-and-cut farm east of the city, and we always have a succulent wreath and Christmas cactus, and of course with us living in the Poinsettia capital of the world, we have poinsettias too! One of my sons has a girlfriend who works with succulents and as you may remember me posting this year, we had xeriscape put in our yard. And of course we do place luminarias out all along our walkway around the middle of December.

Other things we enjoy doing around the holiday season are looking at the lights of the Navy ships on the harbor as well as the other smaller boats. Linda and I met a few days before Christmas to assemble fruit gift baskets of produce off her and my trees. It's something I used to do with my niece who just passed away and before that, with mi abuela. The Christmas before this one, all 3 of us (meaning Linda, Denise and me) had assembled baskets together and that was a fun memory for me. Thanks for joining me for that Linda, as I decided to keep her memory alive and I know how much she loved putting them together every year.

What else we have done over the last week: going to Disneyland - I always tell people they just must see it at Christmastime! - nothing like it anywhere. I already posted how we went to the baseball games at UYA a few days ago, and we also took advantage of Sea World's holidays celebration too. Last, we had a day ski trip to Snow Summit as it had just snowed and we wanted to take advantage of that while I was still off work.

Yesterday I enjoyed meeting you (Linda) for the New Year's Eve baseball game, and we spent New Year's Eve evening with some friends of ours in Mission Viejo. This morning we were up at 4 a.m. to drive to Pasadena for the Rose Parade. Beautiful day and what a nice time we had. My daughter in law is making pozole and bringing it over in a short while.

This coming weekend we will go to the Tres Reyes celebration at San Diego Mission. We'll make more tamales and then it will be taking our tree and decorations down next Sunday once Dia de Tres Reyes is over - and then back to work for me! My first trip of 2012 will be to Portland, Oregon.

Here are some pictures of my son's girlfriend's arrangements. They are just stock photos but at least you can see. Linda is also going to post a picture I have not yet linked of their house. It is interesting we have a photographer here on this board since I am so not a photographer. My husband usually takes pictures of most things involved with our family, but I often do not see them taken off the camera until weeks or months later. Lol I am completely clueless about the camera software. Anyway here they are.






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dodgerblue6



Joined: 10 Aug 2005
Posts: 16313
Location: San Diego CA - deep in the heart of SoCal

PostPosted: Thu 1/3/13 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry I didn't see this one until now! Thank you for sharing all that you did. Would love to hear what traditions Jpochard may have either at home or at her daughter's that she was visiting.

As you know, I didn't get to the Rose Parade this year. This was perhaps the most difficult Advent/month of December I have ever worked. There is usually so much more work than usual that I'm prepared, but a sudden death and memorial service which took place three days before Christmas, as well as the senior minister's retirement on December 30, required me to be in the office a lot more than most Christmas seasons. Also, I was cat-sitting for not one but two different households with families who left town. One friend went to visit family in her hometown near Chicago, and ended up staying longer than expected because they were snowed in and couldn't get a flight back right away. The other was just up the coast in Ventura, but they were gone nine days and came home on New Year's Day. So I did a lot of running around for breakfast and evening feeds. I could have stayed over at either house, but I had so much to do at my own home, as well as at the office, neither of which were near those homes! Anyway, I put a lot of mileage on my car over the last couple of weeks even though I was in town the whole time.

After the Christmas Eve service at church, we all gathered at my sister's in Mira Mesa for gift-giving, but I was too exhausted to stay very late. Christmas Day was actually very quiet for me! It gave me some time to reflect and just enjoy what the holiday really is.

Back to photos. By your request, here's the picture of the front entry, gracefully decorated for Christmas:




I haven't been to Disneyland around Christmas in a few years! I'd love to again. Maybe this year...

We have always loved the Parade of Lights on San Diego Harbor. Here's a link to the U-T of pics of the Navy vessels lit up.

Quote:
and we always have a succulent wreath and Christmas cactus, and of course with us living in the Poinsettia capital of the world, we have poinsettias too! One of my sons has a girlfriend who works with succulents and as you may remember me posting this year, we had xeriscape put in our yard. And of course we do place luminarias out all along our walkway around the middle of December.


Thanks for the pics although I did see the wreath when I was at your house. Loved the succulents! I did so enjoy getting away from work long enough to help you with the baskets project. I too placed las luminarias, and we also had them outside the perimeter of our church for Christmas Eve--they were beautiful!

Quote:
Last, we had a day ski trip to Snow Summit as it had just snowed and we wanted to take advantage of that while I was still off work.


I haven't seen snow yet this winter, except from a distance. Are you going to Tahoe or Mammoth at all this year?

Capping off the year 2012 with the annual New Year's Eve baseball game was just right, but following it up the next day with the New Year's Day baseball game to ring in 2013 was perfect! Off to a good start in the new year!

Quote:
This coming weekend we will go to the Tres Reyes celebration at San Diego Mission. We'll make more tamales and then it will be taking our tree and decorations down next Sunday once Dia de Tres Reyes is over...


I'll try to make it, too. Things have wound down a little bit at work but we are still going through transitions, as a new senior minister is still on board and is getting accustomed to our procedures, etc. So far, so good, but it's only been two days. Smile Anyway, I have a weekend with only one thing--an Epiphany party on Saturday night--planned. I'm looking forward to not having every minute of the day tied up with something.

Thinking about the Rose Parade reminded me about how five years ago on New Year's Day I was watching the Dodgers float--that I had worked on!--roll along the streets of Pasadena. One of the best experiences of my life!--and I also helped decorate the Beijing Olympics float that weekend, too. You were not on this board yet, but I remember that being one of the most fun experiences of my life. And unless you are involved, you have no idea how much detail is required or how time-consuming it is! Of course, many of the float entries in the parade employ professional float-building companies, but most of the civic-based floats are constructed purely on volunteer hours, and of course, all floats consist entirely of flowers on the exterior. Imagine the time and effort involved, from the growers to the decoraters. Very rewarding, and always a fun time! And especially fun for the kids who are involved in such a big project that will be seen by millions of viewers, either along the route, or worldwide, on TV.

Of course, I also enjoy that every year our local Scripps Miramar saddlebreds are in the parade, too. Smile
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forloveofthegame



Joined: 23 Oct 2009
Posts: 5214
Location: San Diego

PostPosted: Fri 1/4/13 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No mention of Las Posadas? - I know you love that! Wink

We are looking at a trip to Tahoe but it will probably be combined with work - I have to be in Reno later in January for a few days.

Thank you for linking and posting that picture.

It got me to wondering thinking back on our Holidays thread from last year but - have you heard anything from Gil Hodges Fan? She has never contacted me since saying she was taking a short break and explaining what was going on that was keeping her away.
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jpochard



Joined: 04 Jul 2012
Posts: 127
Location: Hamilton, Ohio

PostPosted: Sun 1/6/13 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love that wreath! So different (at least for around here!)

Christmas was WAY different for us this year - our first year as empty-nesters.

My youngest daughter Kimberly (a Freshman at Anderson University in Indiana) came home for Christmas break and then the three of us drove to New York to spend Christmas with Katrina, Billy and Matthew (daughter #1, her hubby and little boy.) Billy is pastor at a small Weslyan church there, so there is no way he will be getting away over Christmas or Easter holidays Smile Matthew just turned 1 in November, so it was a no-brainer to make the trip up there. It just would not have seemed like Christmas without them.

Our trip was extended by two days due to snow. Here's a link to a few photos to give you an idea of the scope of the snowfall we were dealing with:

http://www.pbase.com/jpochard/christmas_2012

Because our kitchen is being redone and is totally torn out, I also didn't put up many of my decorations because of construction dust. Our tree, which is usually in the family room, was in the front living room as were most of the other decorations. It was just quite different not baking, scaled down decor, and traveling over Christmas. We attended Christmas Eve service at Billy's church and I did miss going to my home church here.


Hubby and I celebrated our 32nd anniversary on Dec. 27...snowed in Smile

As much as I really love my family....I'm ready for some down time and for hubby to get back to work and daughter #2 to school. I like my alone time lol. I am preparing for a few art shows coming up and just trying to get things in order around here.

I don't do New Years resolutions, but I expect this year will bring some changes. I feel like I'm entering a new phase of things - and I'm not sure what direction things will go. Been praying a lot about opportunities, ministries, and personal improvements. Sort of feel like I've been treading water for several years doing all the things I had to do but now have some freedom to make active choices. We'll see where the good Lord takes me...

Hoping you all have a healthy, blessed, and wonderful 2013!!
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dodgerblue6



Joined: 10 Aug 2005
Posts: 16313
Location: San Diego CA - deep in the heart of SoCal

PostPosted: Tue 1/8/13 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the pics, Jpochard! Smile --and for explaining how your Christmas was a little different in many ways.

Quote:
No mention of Las Posadas? - I know you love that!


Oh yes--of course Las Posadas! One of the most holy and moving events of the season; I especially love the one in Old Town. Yes, I'm not sure how I didn't mention Las Posadas.

Quote:
have you heard anything from Gil Hodges Fan?


I have not...

And now, finally, the decorations have been taken down, after Dia de Reyes Magos. We had a lovely Epiphany service at church last Sunday, rosca de reyes afterward, and our office Epiphany party was delayed by one week due to some coordination issues, so we'll be celebrating this Saturday instead. I'm really looking forward to it. We are settling into a new, less stressful (in some ways) new year, but we still have our challenges ahead at church. At least we're moving in the right direction.

Last, I wanted to add that my mom and sisters and I did enjoy our quick trip to Palm Springs just before New Year's to celebrate with my uncle and his wife's family, who always visit from Kansas the week between Christmas and N.Y. We usually enjoy a backyard BBQ at their desert home, playing some games, swimming and opening a few small gifts. This year was no exception, and it's always a good time--very relaxing after the hectic schedule preceding it.

By the way, Cathy, snow is supposed to be down to the 2500-ft. level on Thursday/Friday if you're going to be around locally then.
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-Baseball Hall of Fame
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forloveofthegame



Joined: 23 Oct 2009
Posts: 5214
Location: San Diego

PostPosted: Tue 1/8/13 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Linda.

JPochard - happy belated anniversary! And thank you for the link, your grandson is a little doll. I rarely have ever traveled for Christmas so I do understand how different it is, since I did experience it a couple of times over the years. For me personally I would much rather stay home, but I understand why you went! Hope things will go well for us all in this year of 2013!
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