It seems like the best and worst of lists for the year's end are popping up all over the place,...so I have my own version here. Keep in mind, this is MY list, and my opinions so if you don't agree, for example, that Finding Nemo was one of the year's best movies then that's too bad! I, for one, was able to use it as an analogy on 3 separate occasions with some of those who are very near and dear to me.
At least I was able to see by this that there were more of the bests than the worsts for me.
The best of... Best new toy: my small 4 mega-pixel digital camera (what did I ever do without it?) Best vacation: Lake Tahoe -- skiing and casino! woohooo! Best piece of advice: "Why? You have to accept that you may never know why." Best new hobby: my blog of course! ;) Best decisions: letting my hair grow back out, finally seeing a doctor about all my ailments and getting rid of the hamsters Best new addition: Jasmine Rose aka Jazz, our persian kitten Best new fad: monograms, I have the purse, wallet, and the t-shirt! Yes, I am a girly-girl... Best must see TV: Survivor: Pearl Islands and both CSI's (all of which are tivoed religiously) Best night in: Homemade Valentine's dinner w/ Esteban and Cella Best bed and breakfast: Bill and Faye's bed and breakfast, The Trail's End, in Alabama of course! Best relaxing day thing: mani/pedi's at Sol Nails -- my eyes roll back into my head and it takes HOURS! Best Steak Dinner: III Forks Best house rule: No TV Tuesdays and Thursdays Best first time in history: Thanksgiving at my parents house for the first time EVER Best movies: Finding Nemo (see intro), Matchstick Men, and Legally Blonde 2 (never judge a blonde by her roots) Best concert: Elton John and Billy Joel together live...hands down (Thanks, Cella!) Best shopping discovery: brand new Super-Target nearby, complete with a Starbucks Best new experience: my first true camp out, tent and all with NO electricity Best bit of news: capture of Sadaam Best warm fuzzies: the 3rd grade Christmas party and my Dad's prayer at Christmas
Worst of... Worst day: leaving S in Alabama Worst sad moment: loss of Patches, our rag-doll cat Worst decision: cutting my own bangs Worst blonde moment: forgetting the boys luggage on our trip to New York, where I was alone with no car in the rain hailing taxi's all day in Manhattan trying to get them essentials with riots going on (was actually quite a memory) Worst bit of luck: losing luggage on flight to Lake Tahoe just long enough to purchase replacements to go skiing when it was returned to me at the hotel (maybe this should be worst timing also?) Worst pain: KIDNEY stones! Worst scare: J, my son, getting extremely sick and having to get a breathing machine for him for the first time ever Worst 'holiday': my first Mother's Day without both sons Worst piece of advice: "Maybe if you ignore it, it will go away."
So, there you have it. If I think of anything else, I will add it I'm sure.
Also, I hate to end on a sour note with the "worst" list. So, on a more positive note, on Wednesday my great-niece or nephew will be born and that will certainly add to my best of list.
Well, time for the post-holiday depression to kick in. Or, so I am assuming. Why is it that we always have such great big life-changing expectations of Christmas? (Or is that just me?) Christmas is wonderful...please don't get me wrong. I just want someone to tell me that it's ok not to have warm-fuzzies the whole holiday season. Will anyone dare?
I guess in my mind, Christmas is supposed to bring world peace and happiness for all who believe. Where do I come UP with this stuff?
A friend of mine said that things aren't always as they seem for the big Christmas holiday family scene. When we take our holiday pictures, do we actually remember to take the ones where we are crying in the shower or fretting over a misinterpretted comment? What about the ones where we have our feelings hurt or open up the present that has obviously been re-gifted a few times? Absolutely not. We take the happy, shiny people pictures. THAT way, next year when we look back maybe we won't remember all the bad things that happened and we'll think what a good Christmas it was. She also says if nobody threw anything and the police didn't come that we had a good Christmas. This is the same friend who says she decorated her house and the result is the Norman Rockwell house on prozac. Such wisdom she is able to bestow up upon me! I love this woman! Not sure what I would do without her perspective on life.
So another Christmas comes and goes. We are all still here and things are the same when we wake up the next morning. There is just alot more cleaning to do, I've noticed. I guess I thought that having my family with me would be the best gift of all. I see now that it only makes me sad that we can't be together all of the time for now. I know....I should be enjoying the time we have together. And for a good part of the time I did. I have so much to be thankful for, I know. I just want for the Cleaver family episodes. Can someone please teleport me and my family into the black and white television series of the 60's please???
I can honestly say I had a good Christmas for all that care to ask, but in my heart of hearts....I am still wanting for something I can't have right now. It's been 8 months but that doesn't make it any easier. Maybe I can take a picture of my mascara running so that next year I will really remember and not have all these false expectations.
Ok, so in the hustle and bustle of the days after Christmas we were in a rush to go to the theatre. Just the 4 of us to see a spectactular family film, Lord of the Rings: Return on the King (and no I really wasn't just born yesterday). I am so outnumbered by males in my household.
Get-away #1: We get the movie times and have just enough time to grab a meal somewhere near the theatre so we stop at an Italian restaurant. Because it is pretty early still, there are lots of parking places left and so we park right by the door and go on in for an early lunch. We think we are timing it just right with some time to kill as we finish our meal. We got to the car and it was nice and toasty for us even when there was a chilly wind out. Well, turns out that it's because the car was left running the whole time we were eating!
Get-away #2: It's a good thing we had plenty of gas! Also, probably a good thing we were parked so close to the door. Maybe it looked like we just ran in for take out? It was unbelievable. We then proceed to go to the theatre, this time remembering to turn the car off and take the keys out, just in time to see a car whack another parked car only 2 spaces away from where we had just parked. We turned and the car stopped and acted like it was all serious with getting out paper and pen, etc. So, we go on in for our 3 hour movie believing that the person was taking care of their business.
However when we get inside the theatre, probably slowed down by the whole wonder and amazement of having a car running during our meal and watching a collision in the parking lot, there are not 4 seats together. If I am going to sit through a 3 hour movie, I am at least going to sit by someone I know. So, we got our money back and decided to try again later. Only, when we went to the parking lot the car that had been struck had NO note on it and the car that did the damage was nowhere to be seen. Some people...
Hopeful get-away #3: We eventually did get to go see the movie, had our keys in our pocket, and saw no collisions. The movie was looooooong but I already knew that going into it. Only needed ONE potty-break! And, yes, somehow I found something in the movie to cry about. Go figure. I figured it was ok somehow in the darkness of the theatre. Maybe I can make a quick get-away too. ;)
Now, here it is just one more day until Christmas. Don't make me talk about the real meaning of Christmas because I will have to pull out some tissue and announce yet another mascara alert.
I just want to say to all my friends and family that I hope your Christmas is a merry one and I hope we will all be 'making memories' for many Christmases (not sure how to pluralize Christmas) to come.
Now, if you haven't seen my Christmas list it's a bit late now.... but you can still take a peek if you wanna! ;) HOWEVER, right now, I have the best Christmas present of all....I have 2 healthy children here at home with me and I have someone special to share my life with. Now what more can a girl ask for??? I already had everything on my list that really mattered even before I started. I must have been on the "nice", or maybe "not so naughty" list! Thanks, Santa!!!
Ok, so my 8 year old has already given me one of my big presents... a mood-ring he got from the Santa store at school. I am so proud and have worn it almost every day. Picture to follow. ;)
He also doesn't want to leave ANYONE out so he has taken to buying the pets presents also and has gone overboard with the dog -- buying him at least 3.
He has the SWEETEST heart! I just hope I haven't modeled this behavior of trying to get everyone something but in fact just make sure that everyone is taken care of. It's hard to know, huh?
Today was the 3rd Grade Christmas Party and I, being the room Mom, was in charge of doing the party. I started off by asking the class what the meaning of Christmas was. Keep in mind, most of these kids don't know me personally, know my background, or my religious beliefs. I was preparing myself for the possible worst case scenario, when every student that answered me said it was to celebrate the birth of Jesus in some form or the other. Not ONE 8 year old mentioned Santa, or gifts, or anything materialist. So, after I tried not to be too obviously glassy-eyed over the responses -- I explained that there was no right or wrong answer and that Christmas means something different to everyone, and it's what is in your heart that's important. (And here I was worried about having to be too PC.)
There were 18 children seated at 6 different tables and I went to each and every table and talked to the kids and I was amazed. I don't know what's going on at this school with these precious children, but I don't think that the Scrooges of this world are raising these kids. Kudos to Ms. Rosamond's 3rd Grade Class for adding to my long list of what Christmas means to me... Watching our children grow up and seeing that all our hard work and parenting, even when we think our kids aren't listening and paying attention, really does pay off to a strange lady in front of the class passing out Santa hats and wearing a mood-ring.
Tis the season to be jolly...
Tis the season to be GRUMPY, fa-la-la-la-la, LA-lalalaaaaaaaaaaaa
Well, I'm not sure if it was a full moon or what but every couple I know is bickering. This includes the one I am a part of. We never stay mad for long, but what's the deal? And, let me tell you -- it's REAL stupid stuff, too.
I called my Mom to tell her something real quick, even though they were about to leave, and she had to go because my Dad was out in the truck honking the horn. A little on the impatient side that day, huh Dad? :( Ok, THEN, same day -- I talk to a friend of mine who refers to her husband as, "you know (insert husband's name), 'the jerk'".
We also had plans to go look at Christmas lights with a couple friend of ours and they weren't speaking until we met up for the evening. She kept saying somebody better tell him what time we are meeting, because I'm certainly not going to... Well the evening was fun anyway, in spite of anybody being mad. What a coincidence that everyone is having issues with just getting along.
ANOTHER friend of mine says her husband went hunting last weekend and he left without even saying good-bye...now that's a good send-off. Don'tcha think?
I guess there is alot of pressure and tension in the air to get things done but I certainly wish we could all just lighten up, take a deep breath and count to 10. Ok, come on!!! Let's do it... Breathe in,... breathe out..., okay never mind! The last time I was told to do this, I was put to sleep for my operation. Okay, so next time my significant other is being sassy, I will tell him to breathe in and breathe out! Bahhh, HUMBUG! Oops!
I usually don't forward things like this on but this I thought this was pretty powerful. This was an email from my sister:
One day a father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose of showing his son how poor people live so the son would be thankful for all that he had. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family. On their return from their trip, the father asked his son," How did you like our trip?"
"It was great, Dad."
"Did you see how those people live?" the father asked.
"Oh yeah," said the son.
"So, tell me, what you learned from the trip?" asked the father.
The son answered: "I saw that we have one dog and they have four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end. We have fifteen electric lights above our garden and they have millions of stars above theirs. Our back lawn reaches to the fence and theirs reaches all the way to the horizon. We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We have Servants who serve us, but they serve one another. We have to buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us; they have friends to protect them."
The boy's father was speechless. Then his son added, "Thanks, Dad, for showing me how poor we are."
Isn't perspective a wonderful thing? Makes me wonder what would happen if I gave thanks for everything I have, instead of worrying about what I don't have.
This Holiday Season I am taking the opportunity to appreciate every single thing I have, especially my friends! "Life is too short and friends are too few." Thank you for being my friends! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Everyone thinks that the best Christmas time of your life is that magical time when you are very very young…..but get real! I had no clue what was going on when I was just a baby and took it all for granted I'm sure. I think that we, as adults, like to assume that the smallest of children really comprehend everything that is going on around them because it's more fun for us that way. It takes a while to get that whole Santa thing.
As the years went on, I caught onto the whole Santa conspiracy and figured out that ole Mom & Dad were behind the whole thing. My suspicions grew as I noticed that my Dad's and Santa's handwriting were identical. That ball-point pen sentence with neatly spaced capital letters. But before that, when I was fuzzy about the reality of it all, I was in awe...
In my family, I always left a plate of milk and cookies out EVERY Christmas Eve. Sometimes I even wrote a note to Santa telling him about my year, etc. Santa somehow always found time to write me back (in capital letters) with a smiley face. When I knew how to read, Santa actually wrote me notes back telling me to be good, have a great year, etc. There were even cookie crumbles left. When younger, I would touch them as if some sort of magic had made them disappear….they had ACTUALLY touched the lips of Santa Claus! Wow!
In my growing up years, my Dad worked 2 jobs. We were by no means “rich” but were always comfortable enough to have things we wanted and I was always proud of my Dad. He was a firefighter and had a business on the side. When I say growing up years, I am talking about that awkward age. I knew there was no Santa – but I pretended for YEARS for the fun of it. I was in that stage where you find yourself in between Barbie Dolls and Ball gowns or lipstick and jump-ropes. I was a very gawky one too… all gangly legs and arms! Just like a spider!
Well, I decided that I wanted a bike. I had an OLD bike that my legs had outgrown ages ago, and really wanted to go mudding around with the boys in my neighborhood. Dad was working LONG hours. We did the typical Christmas ready things and traditions, decorations, etc. My Dad had told me not long ago that Santa was very much real, but apparently a bike was out of the question that year. Fine, I thought, no biggie.
On Christmas Eve, Dad was working late.
Well, lo and behold when I woke up Christmas morning what do you think was there? A beautiful bike….and you want to know what was beside it? An empty paper plate that had written on it in the traditional ballpoint pen in caps, “WHERE'S MY COOKIES?” with a smiley face beside it. That was a defining moment for me and I will never forget the correspondence my Dad and I had for all those years as Santa and a 'very good girl'.
Seems like there are always a few items here and there that you think of after the fact that you need to pick up. In addition to that, I have taken on the added responsibility of helping my Mom get her shopping done. Keep in mind, my Mom is not one that has ever been known for her patience. So, after dropping son off at school I get the call that I am to directly meet her at the mall! Yes, I will say that again -- the MALL! :( Ackkkk....!!! Well, for starters I wasn't wearing any make-up but didn't really think much about it, especially knowing my Mom is not one you want to keep waiting.
So,.......Foley's is the first place on her list to go. First thing on the list is to pick up some perfume. We are looking for a gift set and are told that yes, indeed they have the fragrance, but no more sets available and maybe we should try Dillard's. How nice! I am thinking the Christmas Spirit is alive and well at the mall! Woohoo!!!
So, we jot on over to Dillard's. I search and search and can't find the fragrance. Finally I find it, about the same time a lady who is looking at me like I am the creature from the black lagoon asks me what it is I need. I tell her and ask if there are any gift sets. She says NO. UMM, ok, so I ask her if they are just out.....never had them...etc. Keep in mind, this is early in the morning and the mall is NOT crowded. She looks at me like I am some kind of low IQ individual and says "We don't have any gift sets, ok?" Okay..... So, I give up and decide to just purchase a bottle of the said perfume and be done with it. HOWEVER, before any of this can be done she rolls her eyes and walks off to continue her work on assembling a display. Umm, excuse ME? Isn't her job to be in sales and service the customers?
Ok, so is it because she was having a bad day? Or was it because I had no make-up on? Or was it because she is just an evil and mean person? I really don't know what it was...but I was flabergasted. Am I just the biggest Polly Anna that ever lived, or is there some REAL Scrooges out there?
Next time, I am taking the time to wear my make-up!