The 25th of December ...

I cannot believe I am doing this ... documenting a traditional family event ... on my blog. I don't think that has ever happened. I am not sure how I feel about it. But I am positive how you feel about it. You love it. And have been waiting for this moment all of your life.

Prepare yourselves for a Thornley Christmas. :)

Most of our festivities occur on Christmas Eve. We generally eat some grub ...

Here I am after dinner. You may wonder why I am pictured here with a knife. So, I will tell you. I made up a really awesome song about that knife. It went something along the lines of, "I'm a great big knife." My little sister particularly loved the song.

Between dinner and the next activities, I paid my nephews 10 bucks each if they would be willing to take any pictures I wanted {they normally give us such a hassle to take pictures ... They run away, hide their faces, pull faces, you name it ... they do it so cute pictures cannot be taken}. I was pretty happy with how the photos turned out.

P.S. Have I mentioned I love kissing his guts out of him??

I then went around pestering others too ...

Sisters. We matched. Cute.

We called each other up right before the party and asked, "What are you wearing?" so we could match. Okay, lie. We both showed up in a red sweater, white undershirt, and a red flower in the hair. It was kind of like showing up at prom wearing the same formal as another girl.

This is my brother and sister-in-law. My brother really cannot get sick {not as in it isn't possible for him to, rather: if he gets sick, it's super, super, super, super bad. Liiike, potentially deathly bad}. Sooo, they had to wear these face masks all night so they could be part of the family on Christmas Eve. Kinda comical. Kinda sad. Whatev. Such is the life in the Thornley family. :)

I did steal my brother away from the sickies for a minute so we could take a super cute photo without the face mask. I heart the way it turned out.

After I annoyed everyone with the camera {there are like four million more photos taken that I am not posting, feel free to thank me for sparing you}, we played some games. My little sister made up a Jeopardy game. I did this ...

{Ignore the fact that I look like I am with child ... I am not. Promise. Go look at the other pictures where my shirt is not billowing out.} Pictionary. I had awesome Christmas things that people had to draw like, Ralphie from A Christmas Story, Jubilee, and Mom didn't put up Christmas decorations this year {yes, someone actually drew that and another someone actually successfully guessed it}. Needlessly to say, no one was able to guess Jubilee.

My little nephew also came up with a game ... It was Charades where he acted out every action. He prepared a ton for it ... He had four pages of things he could act out. He was a little bummed when we only did like 15. :)

The night ended with a treat. I was super excited until I saw it.

Naturally, there was only one thing to do ... I had to throw it to the ground!

I wasn't going to be part of its system!

Merry Christmas to the ground!!! {100 gold stars if all this "throwing it to the ground" "won't be part of your system" and "Merry Christmas to the ground" talk makes sense to you ... Hint: SNL}.

So, Christmas Eve ended.

But no fear, we all returned for Christmas day. And don't worry, they were still lovin' their face masks ...

Below is possibly one of the best Christmas photos ever ..
This next photo is a present I got, wrapped by my big sister {the blonde gal you've been seeing photos of}. The wrapping was so stinkin' adorable I almost didn't want to open it. Seriously. How adorable is it!

Then, because I am the best aunt ever I got this dude the best Christmas present ever ... He is obsessed with the Diary of Wimpy Kid books {ever read them? If not, you simply must}. He has all the books so I found the only paraphernalia that exists. P.S. Look at those dimples!!

Then, to ruin my life once again ... I realized my sister was wearing a pajama top that has a ...

deer on it. Seriously. Deer are everywhere I go!! The only thing this deer had going for it that most do not is that it had sparklies on it. I really do like sparklies, quite a lot.

After presents we ate more grub {funny how we always do that}. It was then nap time ... And later on in the evening it was time for one of my favorite family traditions ... We go out and find an open restaurant to eat at! Usually it is a Chinese restaurant {since they are generally the only ones open. It is an experience very much like unto the one Ralphie and his family experiences in A Christmas Story}, and here we are ...

And while speaking of A Christmas Story ... On our way home from the Chinese restaurant we stumbled across this:

Can you say fra-gi-le? P.S. This was one of two sexy-leg lamps in this house. The had one displayed in the side window, and another displayed in the front window. Classy.

Anyway, that was my Christmas. It was fabulous. I hope yours was too. :) Oh, and give yourself 100 gold stars if you read this entire post.


17 ...

That is the number of scars I have ... at least the number I can think of off the top of my head. There is my appendix scar. My I-was-being-pumped-on-a-bike-and-got-my-heel-cut-open-by-the-spokes scar. The multiple scars from clients that were being aggressive ... Just to name a few.

I like all of my scars.

All of them.

But one.

I refer to it affectionately as the Thriller scar. For, it is the scar I obtained while learning that horrible, awful, intense dance.

Lesson to be learned: when your wound can talk like this ...

you probably need stitches to close that baby back up [don't mind my roommate's commentary]. This is another look at the nasty little bugger the day it happened:

And now, almost two months later ... It's the ugliest, most horrific scar. Ever. I hate the shape of it. I hate the color of it. I hate how dark it is. And most of all, I hate the location of it.

Now, I realize that many of you think I am being overly dramatic. You all lose 100 gold stars. Photos just don't do this beast justice. I dare you to ask me to see this baby in person and see if you don't agree. It's over an inch long and flaming purple. Ugh!

Wow. Let's calm down.

But just because this post is showing you the complexities of my life, I shall now show you another complexity ... This is called, Mindy is Allergic to her Laundry Detergent:

Welcome.to.my.life. But I think I am getting a new pair of Nike running shoes for Christmas, so ... I'll survive. And, I am somewhat ashamed to admit that not only am I listening to Beyonce's "If I were a Boy" ... I am kinda enjoying it.

I am still trying to sell my contract. For details please look in the right hand column. :)


So, I was thinking ...

I want to change my phone number to something like 333-3333. People will ask, "Mindy, how do I get a hold of you?"

I'll say, "Just press three for awhile. And when I answer, you'll know you pressed three enough."

Other pressing news in my life: I started my Christmas shopping. Today. I officially have purchased one gift. I already know what my second gift purchase will be. Ambitious, I know.

Help me make my Christmas merry ... I am still trying to sell my apartment contract. Details on the right under the creative heading, "Hey, look here!" :)

And, oh ... I updated the gold stars.


Milwaukee and Mindy ...

So ... I went to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This blog post is going to be about the time I went to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 100 gold stars to anyone who reads the entire thing. Yes, I bribe my readers. What's it to ya?

I have been asked a lot, "Why Wisconsin?" Clearly, the people who have asked this don't know that one of the most amazing people on the entire face of the earth lives there ... Her name may or may not be Amber. And clearly, those said people don't know that one of the other most amazingly people on the entire face of the earth was going to be visiting there too, Em.

But before we get into that, we need to talk about airplanes.

1. I cannot help but wonder why the stewardesses bother to make a fuss about making my seat into a flotation device when at no point in my flight will I be flying over water. But, just in case you were wondering, your seat cushion may be used as a flotation device. Put your arms through the straps on the bottom and hold on tightly to your wrists.

2. I had an epiphany while on my flight to Denver {P.S. there is no direct flight to Milwaukee from SLC. Boo-hiss-arg!}. From now on, my carry on is going to be a parachute. I think the reason behind this is self-explanatory, no?

3. I think I am the most impatient person on the planet. The second I step foot onto the plane I want to step off ... and already be in my desired location. I cannot bare to sit on that plane. The worst part is waiting from sit-down time to actual flight time. I think to avoid spontaneously combusting, my body immediately becomes narcoleptic. Seriously, I cannot remember the last time I was actually awake during take off {and this is coming from insomnia girl}.

4. Due to item three, I think my favorite noise in the entire world is the sound of the landing equipment deploying. Seriously.

Now that we have those thoughts out of the way, on to Milwaukee {P.S. this is going to be the most non-fluid vacay post I have ever posted. It will move from one thought to another without a moment's hesitation. Live with it. Mm-k?}.

The first night Amber introduced me to one of their family traditions. Dennis would have been bummed out that we went without him because he loves it so much {he was in the Dominican Republic pulling out peoples' teeth. Yes, Dennis the dentist}.

Anywhoot: this tradition is called the Jingle Bus - it cost a dollar. Best dollar spent of my life. Actually, that is a lie. Amber spent her dollar for me. But that is beside the point, let's talk what you get for that mere dollah: a cookie, coloring book, a cup of hot chocolate, annnnnd: a ride around downtown Milwaukee that shows you some super cool buildings, gives the city history, annnnnnnnnnnd people decorate it all for the Christmas season.

Here I am with Emma. Her biggest concern of the night was wondering why the bus had no seat belts. She asked me this about 10 times. I was lame. And I had no satisfying answer for her inquisitive three-year-old mind. And below is Amber with Will.

At this point I would love nothing more than to show pictures I was able to take of everything we saw on the bus ... but you are going to have to settle for this:

I was on a bus. At night. Plus, no one else was taking photos. Annnnd, so ... I didn't. Sigh.

On a perkier note, he finally warmed up to me! :)

Amber left to pick up Em at the airport and I was left with the youngins ... He came up to me, snuggled in my lap and fell asleep. Hopefully he will remember this moment the next time I see him. :)

So, as I mentioned, we picked up her:

P.S. Have any of you ever tried to fit in the back of a car, squished between two car seats? Quite the achievement, if you must be told. {10 gold stars if you covet her hair like I do.}

While in Milwaukee we decided to visit the Domes.

It's basically a conservatory show casing three different climates in the separate domes. The first one was a jungle one ... Oooh.

You cannot see it, but there is a water fall behind us. I would show you more of the jungle climate, but I'll be honest: I just cannot be bothered with it right now.

Next up, the desert climate.

You cannot see it, but there are a plethora of cacti behind us ... Oh, wait. You can see it. :) I would show you more of the desert climate, but I'll be honest: I cannot be bothered with it right now.

Next up: WINTER CLIMATE ... ish.

Does that tree look lop-sided to you? It should. Things were kinda just thrown on there. And not just small things ... No, no. Things liiiike, full-sized Mr. Potato Heads.

I am not sure when he became Christmas decor. But whatev.

In the bigger picture you might be able to see a over-sized toy block or two. Or three. The moment I saw these I got sooo excited, hoping they had a "M" block that I could sit on and take a photo with. My dream came true.

As I sat on that blessed block I began to contemplate. The "C" block had a silhouette of a cat on the side. The "D" block had a dog. The "E" had an elephant and so on. I couldn't help but wonder what the "M" block had ...

REALLY!? REALLY!? "M" doesn't stand for deer! How ironic. How simply ironic that the joy of me finding a "M" block was shattered by this filthy beast on the side of said block. Seriously, though. I just laugh at the irony in my life.

Because I was a little bummed, Amber took me an indoor playground to cheer up my spirits {exaggeration, we didn't go there for me}.

It was hard to fit through that ... I had to army crawl out. But I managed.

I really wanted to go down the slide ... Unfortunately, my feet got stuck on the edge about three inches from where they are in this photo and my slide ride was immediately over ... I thought it might work better going stomach first ...

Another failed attempt. Ugh.

This next photo exists simply to show that in Wisconsin, they turn roadkill into fur vests:

What other explanation would you have for that article of clothing?

Throughout the trip Em and I got a small taste of what it's like to be a mama ...

This tub was given without any assistance from Amber {as she was at the grocery store replenishing the milk I consumed}.

10 gold stars to anyone who can tell me what is wrong with this picture. :).

And, of course, what would a Mindy-Amber-Em reunion be without a little bit of this:

Running in a snow storm during a Wisconsin winter with a double-wide stroller. Loved every second of it!

The trip was a short one {only two full days and two half days} and it ended too soon. I had a marvelous time with these girls! Amber was so amazing to not only let us stay at her place and eat her food but she made us every meal {breakfasts, lunches, dinners!}. She is one of the best mamas I have ever seen! She also let us mooch with things like shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, blow dryer, everything.

And here I am with Em at the airport as we are waiting to fly out {the chairs were demented ... they leaned all the way back each time you sat in them, but that is beside the point} I have so much fun with this woman! 

I have never had more fun in an airport than I did with her. We were so lucky too, without planning we ended up on the same flight back to Denver! Plus, with her assistance, I was able to accomplish one of my life-long goals: to take a carry-on and only a carry-on while on a vacay. Normally I panic about not checking in my luggage {and panic might be a slight understatement}. But with her by my side, I carried that baby right through security and onto the plane and did not have to check-in a darn thing! Thank you, Em!!!


P.S. In each city I was was in or was supposed to be in to make it back home, major snow storms were predicted all day {so much so that our flight out of Denver was supposed to be delayed for two hours}. But the Snow gods decided to love Em and I and we made it out of Milwaukee before the snow really hit there, Denver froze over instead {Hello, -10* F} ... And Salt Lake did the freezing thing too. We thought we might be spending the night on the Denver Airport floor, but luck struck and we both made it to our respective homes pretty much snowless.

Also, please play the game in the post below. :)

Best. Game. Ever.

I am teaching a class tomorrow at work to our clients on anger management. While looking online for some ideas on how to present this to people with disabilities, I found the best game in the world universe!

Click on the photo above to play.

If you play the game: 20 gold stars to you.

If you post your score in the comments section and end up having the highest score: 100 more gold stars.

I most likely will be posting about my trip to Wisconsin tonight. Please, contain your excitement.


Oh, hey ...

Regardless of what your name happens to be, this will make you appreciate it. I promise.
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