Monday, December 29, 2008

Odessa...How Do I Love Thee?

Let me count the ways:

1. Libby, Lacy, Lilly, Lucy...whatever
My PawPaw cracks me up! He lives with my mom, step dad and little sister in an apartment-like house attached to theirs. He is probably one of the wittiest people I know, and he always makes us laugh. Most the time we are laughing at the comments he makes under his breath, but over Christmas he couldn't seem to get our dog's name right, and it cracked me up! Poor Lexi was called every other name in the book, except Lexi. He is a huge animal-lover, but his dog + my mom's dog + Ella + Lexi = too many names to get straight. Hey, if it started with an "L" and ended in the "y" sound, whatever. It made no difference to Lexi who got a treat from him every couple of hours. Which brings me to another point...

2. Nutcracker Not Required
My mom has a couple of huge pecan trees in her backyard that have made holiday baking easy for our entire life. When my grandmother, Margaret, lived in that house, she would pick up the pecans and have them sent somewhere to be shelled and packaged. After that we had huge freezer bags full of pecans for the next two years, and Christmas gifts for all our teachers. Anyway, this year my mom didn't have a chance to pick them up so Ella and Lexi discovered their new favorite thing about Odessa...PECANS! They don't really know how it works, so they would just go outside, find the things and start chomping. Shell and all. I understand that it's hard to stop eating something when it's so good, but the little canine brain doesn't comprehend that you have to stop eventually. So, every night we were in Odessa (except for one) our dogs were hurling pecans in the middle of the night. Awesome.

3. The Matriarch of All
I think it's safe to say my Mimi is the matriarch of my dad's side of the family (and possibly the city of Odessa since she owns a bonding company). Things will be her way, for there is no other way. She loves all of us so much and wants the best for us. I don't know what my life would be like without my Mimi! Anyway, she did something really funny on Christmas day. We were all out at my aunt and uncle's and there were a lot of people...I think someone said there were about 40 of us including the kids. Anyway, my Aunt Kerri was told to make about three dozen deviled eggs. As most family meals go, we had some of the food sitting out while we made the final preparations. People would just walk in the kitchen and grab a deviled egg or a pickle from the relish tray. Well, Mimi did not like that. She got the other tray of deviled eggs and secretly hid them in the pantry so they wouldn't be gone by the time we ate lunch. Then, when we started getting our food, she got the tray out and she became the keeper of the eggs. If someone wanted an egg, they had to go through her. She kept track of who had an egg and who didn't. There would be no seconds on the deviled eggs and if your spouse didn't want his, that did not mean you could have it. One per person...period. Mimi said so and that's that. Oh, and if you went the wrong direction in the food line you had to forego your egg.

4. Taco Villa
Yummmyyyyy! Bean (B-E-A-N) burrito with red sauce. Need I say more?

5. Colors of the Wind
I tried to be disciplined over the holidays and stay on the training schedule I made for the half-marathon. I did okay except for Saturday when I was supposed to do a 6-miler. Jeremy ran with me for a mile or so and then he went home, so I have a witness to confirm that running that morning was HELL! I can handle cold weather (that's what the cute little headband is for), but cold + wind = some weird place in hell where the weather is like opposite day. I kept thinking when I turned the next corner it would stop and the houses would block the wind. Au contraire. It got worse and I felt like my legs would be swept out from under my body at any moment. (A totally different feeling from when Jeremy did it...ahhhh isn't that sweet?) Anyway, I made it three miles and went home slamming the door when I went in. I was in a bad mood for the next few hours, and my face hurt from the wind burn/dry air combination. The funny thing is that the next day the weather was sunny and mild...perfect running weather. Gotta love it.

I love being at home. I still call Odessa home and I probably always will. I love my family and I love being around the place I grew up. It has changed a lot and I am not sure I could ever live there again, but I love visiting. I was in a huge funk Sunday when we left because I didn't want to leave my family. I wish they would all just move to Austin, but I better be careful what I wish for! :) Jeremy and I like living here in our own city. We have family in West Texas and family in East Texas, so Austin is the perfect central location. Plus we have a group of friends here to whom we have grown very close, so we do have family here!

We are headed to Houston/Livingston/The Reservation tomorrow, so I am sure I will have more family stories to tell. Stay tuned and until then, Happy New Year!

A few other pics from our time in Odeezi...

Emily and I sang at the Christmas Eve service and my mom bawled her eyes out.

Mom w/ her Crate and Barrel dishes.

Our first married Christmas!

My Nana (great grandmother) with her five kids (Mimi is the one standing, in black and white).

My Nana was happy to be with all her kids, grandkids and great grandkids for Christmas.

Chillin w/ Dad and Tobi Nin.

This is the first time I have seen Jeremy hold a baby! Amanda and Cody Sam's new little girl, Rory, is the happiest cutest little button!