Monday, December 31, 2012

Birthdays and Christmas almost forgotten!

Hello World!

It's been a great few weeks with  many new adventures. (Get ready for a long post with many pictures) The first thing that happened since I last wrote was my BIRTHDAY! Yes. I am now 26. I am closer to 30 than I am to twenty. Somehow I thought if I had a few life goals checked off of my list (graduate college, get married, etc) I would feel better about getting older. But I don't. Its actually weird to think that I am 26. But I have my health and much happiness. I can only imagine it will get better.

My birthday started out with me leaving for work at 6:30 AM ( like every  morning) I gave ulises a kiss and he said goodbye. Work went as normal. Ulises sent me a text message and email about random things. Pretty  normal day, right? So when I got home for lunch and wanted a kiss he was a little surprised that I was upset. I then said " You haven't said 'Happy Birthday!'" And then he gasped! Yes-- the husband forgot my birthday. He said Happy Birthday and Sorry a million times but it didn't make up for it. I have to be kind though, his brain was fried. He was studying for his final exams and was runnin on 3 hours of sleep. But it was rather dissapointing.

Luckily a few of my students remembered my birthday! Look at the cute cake they made me. And they got me a present too!

 And then a few members of our church were thoughtful enough to make a huge cake and gather together at the church to celebrate my birthday! They went out of their way to make the new (foreign) girl feel loved and welcome!

My in-laws even came over. My parents-in-law, Abuela, and my sisters in law. They gave me a hand mixer! and a sweater!

My sister Rachel sent me a package full of home- spa treatments. She is amazing at gift giving. She knows what people love and appreciate most and always comes through! She got me nail polishes and facial creams and makeup and it was lovely.
My mom sent me some cash and some sentimental items from home ( spoons hehe).

SO  aside from Ulises forgetting my birthday, everyone else came through big time! I felt loved and remembered and appreciated. I missed my family a lot and it was difficult for them to call me, but they connected with me and it as great.

And Ulises? Well he gave me a present ( A curling iron) and then took me out for dinner the following weekend. He took me to a Mexican restaurant. mmmmm. That's true love!

Then Christmas came!

In Ulises family (remember they are Uruguayan, not Catalan  so the previous post doesn't apply to their family and their traditions  they eat a chilled pork dinner and lots of tapas. Then Santa comes at midnight and presents are opened that night. It was a big party and Santa visited everyone! There is only one little girl in the family so everyone played it up for her benefit. But it was cute to see how excited she got. I can't wait to have kids and see their excitement over Christmas.

Santa brought me and Ulises some wonderful things-- decorations, kitchen items, and my favorite-- a rice bag to heat in the microwave.

And my favorite picture of the night?

This one of my mother in law
After a long night of partying Ulises and I went back home to sleep. We had to sleep cause we were going to a church service the next morning.

So When Christmas morning came I made sure Santa visited our home in the way he did when I was a child--opening Christmas presents in the morning!

This is Ulises opening his Christmas present from Santa and one from me. ( I can see the benefit of opening Christmas presents the night before-- no bed head!)

It was a cake from his childhood. Delicious little thing called Panet tone

And this is what my parents got us! T-shirts with our family name! Ulises LOVED them!!!

Then........ Ulises took this picture of me..........
.... But in this picture I am actually holding his present. He didn't get me anything! Neither did "Santa." How disappointing!  I asked if I was a bad girl this year. Ulises said  no and that Santa must have forgotten I moved to Spain. I accepted that answer but asked what HIS excuse was!

..My husband forgot to get me a Christmas present....................

I must not have been clear enough when he forgot my Birthday.....

Birthday forgotten- strike one
Christmas forgotten- Strike two

Kings day......... He has until January 6th to get it right!

But lest you think my husband is a horrible man, I must let you know much I love and admire him for working so hard to finish his masters degree. Right now life is tough. I work a lot and odd hours. We go without many things. But our future is bright because my husband is an honest, hard working man and the sacrifices we go through now to get him through school will bless our family in the future. So if he forgets ( or more accurately, is too sleep deprived and doesn't have time) to plan for birthdays and Christmas, I can forgive him ( well, as long as it doesn't become a habit). And anyway, he does all those cute unexpected little things for me all the time. He made me heart shaped eggs for breakfast yesterday!

So--What else have we done this Christmas season?
We have watched A Muppet Christmas Carol, It's a Wonderful Life, and A Christmas Story, ( And Ulises loved them all!)
We attended an Anglican Christmas service in English and got to sing Carols in English! The service was sweet but the singing-- the reason we went-- was better!
I sang a solo in our church-- in Spanish. And I was so nervous. I did quite horribly because of my nerves. Oh well. I checked it off my bucket list. Maybe with time I will get more courage to actually be able to sign without trembling. I didn't think it would be that scary.. hmp. Oh well!
We also went with the youth to deliver meals and blankets to the poor.
We made dozens of gingerbread men!!! I did them with most of my students and also gave some away. It has been so much fun decorating! And all my students and family loved it! Its a very different and American thing.

Aunt Raquel and Abuela

This is Penelope (Ulises cousin) , Jose Luis and their little girl-- Sabrina
We also read the Christmas story from a wonderful decorative book my sister Rachel made for me last year ( see, I told you she always gives the best gifts) It's easily one of my most prized possessions. It has Luke 2 and also various Christmas songs in both English and Spanish. So we read that and sing the songs every Christmas. It really brings the spirit and helps me remember Jesus Christ. It had been difficult this year to really FEEL Christmas. But through MUSIC I have been able to feel closer to Christ. Just the other day on the bus I was singing ( in my head, hehe) "Once in Royal Davids City" and began to cry when I thought about the great gift of Jesus Christ to the world. I want to share that joy with everyone!

This is another song that touched me this season.

Ulises and I also made a Nativity!! Here in spain its a huge deal to create BETHLEHEM CITY out of cardboard and craft supplies. Each year you can buy a new item to add to the city. This is Ulises and my first year so ours is small, but we went to a market to look at the items and were amazed!! 

Take a look at ours and what we saw at the market

this is ours. Notice "Muppet Christmas Carol" in the background

the stuff you can buy for the nativity is crazy! 

Beautiful Figurines

I wanted to buy everything here!

Its like a big doll house market!

In the vineyard

I hope you had a very Merry Christmas full of the love of God. I know that because Jesus Christ came to earth that we really can rejoice! Jesus Christ has bought mankind. And he has prepared a way for us to return to him. I Love mys savior Jesus Christ and am so grateful for the beautiful plan of God that brought him to the earth as a babe in a manger.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

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