Countless Visits to Different Humane Societies/Shelters in the Area
This is one of my all-time favorite things to do! There is no other feeling out there like the feeling of making a difference, and even if you're just taking one dog out on a walk or brushing one cat's fur, you've likely made that animal EXTREMELY happy. I remember one day last month, Jared and I spent over two hours at the Humane Society just taking out dog after dog on a walk. We like to take the ones that aren't as popular with most volunteers (a stubborn golden retriever or an energetic pit, for example) because it's those animals that need the most lovin'. The gorgeous girl above is named Roxie, available at the PAWS Humane Society, and we absolutely fell in love with her. More interested in giving cuddles and kisses than chasing a ball, this one. I would go alone to the shelters to volunteer, for sure, but it's always nice to have someone there with you to share the joy in spending time with animals...and to pick up the poop.
One night, after going out to eat, Jared and I decided to visit Gamers (because we're the biggest geeks that ever existed.) I decided to pick one game, and he picked another, and then we took 'em both home and played for hours. My choice was Adventure Island II for NES, which was clearly superior to Jared's choice of MarioKart for N64. (Though most people would argue the opposite...I am complete garbage at racing games.) Following that, we played a round or two of Just Dance and Glee Karaoke, and then we followed that up with Uno and Scattergories. It was a relaxed, fun night, even though it did get a little heated at times because my husband is a sore loser.
The empty plastic ornaments were three dollars, and the paint pens were six, both at Michael's. Mustache made by Jared, Riley + paw print made by Jared, printed lyrics to "I Believe in Santa Claus" by Kenny and Dolly by both of us, snowman and jelly beans by yours truly. This was a super easy, cheap, and fun way to spend an evening. I also kept spelling it "Clause" instead of "Claus"...I was all confused by that damn Tim Allen movie...and so we tried to turn the "e's" into poorly-drawn snowflakes.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra: The Lost Christmas Eve Tour
Following a slumber party at his parent's house with two shih-tzus, Jared and I went to a Trans-Siberian Orchestra Christmas concert, which I had been wanting to attend for YEARS. (The tickets were Jared's 1st anniversary gift to me, while I got him tickets to Valley Scare - first year is paper, y'know...) It was pretty amazing. A little more singing and hair-flinging than I had anticipated...but still amazing. Any concert that can make me want to play air-guitar to "Carol of the Bells" is pretty damn cool.
Vintage Christmas Shopping
I have a strong love for vintage Christmas ornaments, and that was the only thing our house was sorely lacking this years in terms of decoration. This ornament I found at an amazing little vintage shop in downtown Cedar Falls is a near replica of an ornament my mom has, and I loovvvve it. The starburst glasses were an impulse buy, but they look awesome in my glass case for dishes too pretty to use. Jared doesn't enjoy shopping unless it's at Scheel's, so this was definitely more of a date for me...but he was a trooper, nodding politely at houndstooth-print wrapping paper and paint-by-numbers prints of kittens.
Jammies for Riley!
Because there is not a whole lot cuter than a dog wearing onesie pajamas. Please don't judge us because we are the type of people who purchase clothing for their dog.
Still to do: hot chocolate drinking, Christmas-light-looking, and Christmas-Vacation-watching!