It has been quite an eventful week! Matt and I had a good chunk of time off this past weekend (I had a four-day, he had a three-’n'-half-day), which was spent frolicking around Maryland and generally having a great time.
I got to meet another internet friend this past Thursday! Bethany (Beatnik Betty) and I have been LiveJournal friends for ages. Seriously, I don’t even remember when we became friends — it had to have been at least four years ago. She lived in DC before Matt and I moved up, but she ended up moving to Portland a few months before we got up here, so we never had the chance to meet! Recently, she came back to DC to pursue a new job opportunity in Baltimore (which she greatly deserves and where she is thoroughly kicking ass), and we finally met one another!
It was a really fun night, and I’m looking forward to hanging with her again.
(Ilya is from the internet, too! Looks like I’ll have to count up just how many people I’ve met and see if I managed to nix off #23!)
It’s such a bizarre feeling, knowing so much about someone strictly because of the internet and finally getting to greet that person face to face. If you’ve never done that before, it’s akin to having a best (albeit imaginary) friend that you’ve never hugged before, only to finally get to and know that this person is real. Such a cool experience, especially when that friend is as cool as Bethany.
Friday was spent cleaning the house in preparation for our realtor’s wife (who is a mortgage loan officer — meant to be, am I right?), who came over to get our signatures for a refinance on our home. We only bought the house in February, but with the refi, we managed to cut our interest rate by 0.65%, which was fantastic! While things are financially tight around here for a little bit as a result, it’s going to help us out so much in the long run. And we love working with Mike DeHaut and his wife, so that was an added bonus.
Saturday, Christmas Eve, was pretty quiet. We had been lighting the candles all through Chanukah, and after doing so that night, we settled in for a tradition that started with my family and that I
force Matt to continue at home: Watching Christmas Vacation by the light of our Yule tree and laughing maniacally to the whole Jelly Club rant! I swear, that movie never gets old. Matt immediately followed it up with The Hebrew Hammer, which I predict is going to be a new tradition in our house, haha.
When, you know, the future kiddies go to bed.
I’m pretty sure we’re not gonna let them watch that movie until they’re at least sixteen.
And finally, Christmas Day! We planned on having a pretty relaxing day, but it seriously kicked off running, starting with a get-together at a Chinese restaurant in Rockville with a friend of Matt’s and his wife. Oh, yes. We got your Jewish Christmas right here! We filled up on more MSG than we probably should have stomached and chatted a bit about their baby boy, who is due anytime next month!
We started feeling exhausted on our drive home, but somehow managed to get the energy to drop off gingerbread cookies to the neighbors we’ve met since we lived here. We were able to personally wish a happy holiday to three of the four homes we visited, and they all invited us in, even for a short time, to chat a bit and, in the case of two families, meet their relatives.
The last house we visited was a family who I admit is my favorite on the block. They have two adorable little girls, aged six and almost three, and their parents, John and Megan, are just all-around kickass. When we dropped off their cookies, Megan asked us what we were doing for the holidays, and we said something about probably just going back home and having a quiet evening. There was NO HAVING THAT, of course, so she invited us in for drinks and to meet their crazy relatives! As they gave us full glasses of red wine, Megan announced to everyone, “These are our neighbors, Matt and Steph. They’re all alone for Christmas!”
And it just kind of went from there, lol.
It was a wonderful time! Sure, there was the fact that John, and pretty much everyone else, was three sheets to the wind, but after meeting his father-in-law (who referred to Barack Obama’s daughters as “the little bitches” and complained about wasting government funds even after learning that my husband works for the most poorly-funded faction of the federal government…), I totally understood why. We were poured a second glass of wine by John as his father-in-law told us WWI stories and used at least one racial slur or wisecrack about government money every other line.
I was pretty impressed that he didn’t say anything about Matt being Jewish (and I quietly kept my Paganism under wraps), but we learned that he had a Jewish friend who passed away earlier this year, so I guess he didn’t have anything to say about Jews then and there.
Oh! Speaking of religion, John asked me at some point (away from his father-in-law, ha) if I was Pagan! I was like, uh…? A few weeks ago, I was wearing a shirt I had bought in Salem with the wheel of the year on it, and he recognized it! Apparently, he was a Pagan while growing up, and though he doesn’t celebrate the Sabbats too much anymore, he still regards himself a Pagan, and we had a good ol’ time talking about converting as teenagers and the ridiculous things we did back then.
“Ha! Did you cast a circle and everything?”
“TOTALLY. And I did spells pretty regularly until I was about 18!”
“Dude, we were so young and ridiculous back then…!”
All in all, it was a great weekend! We have some plans coming up for the new year — spending some time with my cousin and his family in Bethesda — and we’re looking forward to 2012 and the many plans we have ahead of us.
Hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and have a very happy New Year coming up!
ETA before this post posts automatically: Oh my god, and today! TODAY! Awesome attorney-boss and I often talk about random stuff, one of which is scuba diving. I don’t remember if this came up before or after showing him my 30 Before 30 list, but we had long talks about his scuba diving escapades and his love of sharks. Seriously, sharks! The kind of stuff that would make Matt’s skin crawl, lol.
Anyway, for the holidays, awesome attorney-boss kept talking about an inspirational gift. I was thoroughly confused until, after being told where it was, I received this:
Seriously, cue the spazz-attack I had! Under wraps, of course, because I’m at work and all, but still! Scuba diving is on my List, and to have this kind of, well… inspiration is just…! Just!! I’m still kind of coming down from the high of checking out these pictures and these beautiful places to someday hopefully visit!
(I don’t think there was a single non-exclamation-pointed sentence just then. If that gives you ANY INDICATION of my excitement. )
After thanking him for the book, he said, “Now go get certified.” You don’t have to tell me twice! I’ve been researching some local dive instruction places ever since. (Though I honestly may wait until a trip to visit family in Florida to do this. Maybe even in the Keys? Yes, please, as I’ve never been!)
Matt’s reaction, by the way, when I told him about the book and my subsequent spazzing? “Hah, cool! Now if only I wasn’t scared shitless of a) sharks, and b) deep water.” Well… at least I can still dive, right?