Last night, DJ and I hosted our first Christmas party together. I decided everything had to be perfect for this crazy group of teenagers we were inviting over and put myself into a tailspin. I'm not sure why I felt this way - but I see now what a bad idea it was. I cleaned until I made myself mad. In a single day, the dishwasher broke, the dryer went out (again), and I sucked up some foreign object into the vacuum cleaner and it went kaput. Then I ruined a cake that I was making for my nephew. By 1, I was a large sobbing puddle on the floor. So I sat down with a fork and the ruined cake and ate like a mad woman. Strangely, I had a stomach ache and didn't feel a bit better. When I made my no bake cookies, I got the chocolate too hot on the stove and melted the wax paper to my kitchen table. It was a heck of a day! (The dryer is still on the fritz, the dishwasher fixed itself as far as we can tell, and my wonderful husband pulled the junk out of the vacuum cleaner and made it suck very well once again.) (Yes Megan, I know vacuum cleaners don't suck. I wrote that just for you!)
Despite my insanity, the party was wonderful! We had a great time! Here are the cute little gifts I made for the tennis team out of toilet paper rolls. Isn't my mom amazing for collecting and saving a thousand of them for me? :- )
There was a TON of food and the kids ate way more than I thought they would! They did not, however, eat as much as DJ thought they would. Teenagers are funny little critters, aren't they?
Last weekend was our nephew's birthday party. (His real birthday was on Thanksgiving and he was with his dad so we haven't gotten to celebrate until now!) He loved DJ's birthday cake so much that he begged me to do it again. After ruining the first cake I made him, I finally produced this:
I love how happy he looks! (He's not a big smiler. Just trust me - he was happy.) He actually clapped and hugged me and told me that he loved me. From what I know about teenagers, this is a huge deal for a 15 year old boy! I think Saturday I realized just how much I love those kids as my own niece and nephews, not as extensions of my husband's family. We had our other nephew over for a few hours a week or two ago and I must say that it was one of the highlights of my week! I'm hoping their sister can come over soon to hang out. She cleaned her room, and it seems that our house was her reward of choice! Woo hoo! (I tend to think that she likes Marley more than she likes coming to play, but that's okay. I like Marley too!)
So now for my favorite piece of news. The best part of our holiday season thus far. The piece de resistance. (Did I spell that right? It's French. I don't know how to spell in English, much less in French!) I have looked forward to this night for over two years. The Andrew Peterson Behold the Lamb of God concert! For those who know me well, you know that Andrew Peterson is, by far, my all time favorite artist. For those who don't know me, trust that I border on obsession when it comes to AP. Friday night, I got to see him perform. Live. And then I met him. (Again. But that's not the point. This time I have an actual picture to prove that I met him in person. Face to face.) Brandon Heath was on tour with him as well, but we weren't nearly as impressed with him once we met him. We chatted for a bit - but he seemed more wrapped up in how cool he was and less concerned about a lowly listener like me. But I digress - on to AP!!!!
There he is! DJ hopped out of line, ran about 5 or 6 people up, and snapped this photo to test the lighting. I don't care. I have pictures. :) AND, look at that! He's a leftie! (All the great people are!)
Here we are, waiting in line. I look tired you say? That's because at this point it was very close to the midnight hour and I had spent the better part of my day fighting the massive crowds to find DJ's Christmas present. What did I get him, you ask? I can't tell you. He reads this blog. I also can't tell you because it's still in the store. Somewhere. I'll find it though! I will!
And now for the picture we've all been waiting for!!
The Hammonds with ANDREW PETERSON!!!! You can't tell in this picture, but my feet aren't touching the ground. I'm floating. We got to chat with AP for a bit and told him that we used two of his songs in our wedding and that we listen to "Invisible God" constantly and that it's meant a lot to us as a couple and then we showed him some of our honeymoon pictures. (I love our iPhones! So handy!) He complimented DJ on his smooth introduction of his wife and said that we were "a very cute couple". My life is complete. (Just kidding!) I bet he'll never know how excited I was or how good his compliment made us feel. Oh AP, we love you!
I know this post is long - but let me leave you with two more "Family Pictures" before I go. I think they're frame worthy! (Now if I can just remember to print them off...)