Friday, November 4, 2011

Again, I start off the morning busy, especially b/c I'm leaving work at noon today to go to the ear doctor (my double ear infections are doing much better; but I still have a weird pressure bubble in my when you're flying at you feel like you need your ears to pop.  Since I already have the appointment set up, I figure I may as well go.)

We have no true plans for the weekend, which is nice! Well, I take that back.  My mom is in the suburb of Naperville this weekend for a workshop and she's hoping that we'll go out to meet her for dinner tonight.  I should note that Ben and I absolutely hate leaving the city (unless it's to go to our home or shopping in Glenview or Schaumberg).  However, since we had dinner with Ben's mom last Friday, it seems only fair that we have dinner with mine tonight.  See the kind of stuff you have to manage when you're married or in a serious relationship?

Holidays are even worse!  Sometimes I think it'd be easier if we weren't from the same hometown; then it could be clean-cut "okay, we're doing your parents for Thanksgiving and mine for Christmas this year" kinda thing.  Nope, everything from where we sleep to who we spend time with has to be distributed and well planned.  Trust me, it's really weird going back to the Quad Cities and not even sleeping in your own bed. Bizarre.  Prior to getting engaged, we typically did Thanksgiving and Christmas separate.  We each went to our own extended family Thanksgiving, although usually we each made an "appearance" for an hour or so at the others meal.  Last year was different.  Technically I don't get Black Friday off (ugh, and I'm not in retail); however, neither does last year we had both sets of parents come up to Chicago and SIL hosted the meal at her house with her husband.  It was definitely weird, but it was also a nice change of pace. 

However, one Thanksgiving tradition I refuse to let die, wherever we are on that day, is running a Turkey Trot race in the morning.  When I started getting into running in high-school, I started doing them and convinced my parents to join.  Both the race in the Quad Cities and here in Chicago are five's the perfect way to justify gorging on a huge meal.  We've run it every Thanksgiving since 2002; well I didn't run it in 2005 (due to another pesky ear infection and an allergic reaction to Vicadin I was prescribed for the pain).  So that's our Thanksgiving.

Christmas is even more intricate to plan out because in addition to our immediate family gift openings, there's also the extended family get-togethers also.  Both Ben and I grew up opening our gifts on Christmas morning with our family and then later in the afternoon going to extended family events.  Then Christmas night we'd usually get together to do a gift exchange between the two of us.

Last year we did: Christmas Eve at Ben's house with his extended family (this meant I missed the tradition of having my grandma and uncle on my dad's side over for Harris Pizza) and mass with Ben's family (my family doesn't do mass).  We slept at my ILs but then as soon as we woke up we headed to my parents in our PJs to open gifts there.  Once we were done there, we went back to ILs to open gifts.  The only snafu (and yes, I'm blaming Ben), is that although both of our family's makes a huge Christmas breakfast, we didn't get to eat either (Ben was supposed to text his mom about what time we were coming over and that we'd eat before gifts; well he claimed she already knew we were eating there and she definitely did not).  Then after immediate family gifts, we showered and headed back to my parent's house; who host the celebration for my extended family.  It's hectic, tiring and busy to say the least; but everyone's thought is that we may as well figure out something now because as time goes on and we have kids, it will only get more difficult.

Here's our little "family" pic from last Christmas:

And this is one of my favs of Osc:

And here are some sales:

·         Banana Republic: 30% off full-priced women’s items online today (11/4) and tomrw (11/5) w/code: BRNEW30
They have some new items; some of these outfits are adorable:

·         Bloomingdales: Locals- Bdales opened an outlet in Schaumberg (in the same complex as my fav. Nordstrom Rack); opening weekend deals:

·         Coach Factory: Appliqué bag is 50% and take 30% off everything with this:

·         J. Crew: 20% off women’s sweaters in stores, ends Monday; Fall Sale in stores and online
·         Limited: Take 40% off online purchase w/code: INVITED
·         Macys: extra 20% off online orders w/code: SAVEBIG; store shopping pass here
·         Mixbook: 30% of photobooks with code: MIXBOOK30
·         Pei Wei: Earn a free entrée (with purchase of entrée) by watching this video and providing your email
(If you don’t have Pei Wei in your town, you’re really missing out.  It’s a faster/less expensive branch of P.F. Changs.  They opened one in Chicago last year and it is fabulous.  Plus it’s conveniently located across the street from Target if I need to pick up some takeout)
·         Ulta: Bonus bag with 10 free samples for any $25+ online purchase; plus 20% off online or in store coupon

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