Category Archives: Holiday hell

Unrepentant

I haven’t written an entry in over a week. I should feel bad, but I don’t. I’ve been busy working and getting ready for the holidays, and just living a good life. And I’ve been giving brief updates on facebook everyday.

So, whatever.

My life is good. The kids are healthy and mostly happy. Hubby and I are still grateful for each other. Work is great, and my work family is wonderful. The extended family is doing okay.

As is my usual mien, the Christmas shopping is left to the last minute. Poor Hubby will be wrapping like a madman on Christmas Eve, until late at night. Some gifts will arrive in the mail late. Most won’t. Some gifts will go over like gangbusters, and some will just earn a quick thank you and a quickly folded farewell.

I have ordered new glasses. For the first time, I need bifocals. I am slightly pissed off at this development, but I know it was inevitable. I just thought it was only for old people, and I’m certainly nowhere near old yet. Except on certain days lately.

I am continuing to lose weight. I have lost about twenty pounds and have about thirteen to go. It’s a pleasure to shop for clothes now, and that’s a joy I hadn’t felt for quite a while. I feel strong and healthy. Now that I’m older, the skin doesn’t spring back after the fat is lost. I am saggy and somewhat wrinkly. But I don’t mind. My years of abuse by the sun is catching up with me and that’s acceptable. Not desirable, but acceptable.

Lately I feel like I have entered middle age, or even late middle age. It seems that I have earned certain privileges, and am being held accountable for my past behaviors. I am at a good point in my life. I have everything I need, I don’t have to struggle for anything. The kind of peace I feel now is what I would wish for my children. But I know it only comes with time, and I realize it has to be earned.

Life has to be lived, mistakes have to be made, decisions have to be made without seeing into the future. I remember how hard it was to be young. There was so much to do and think about, so many choices that had to be weighed and thought out. I wouldn’t want to be young again for anything.

Just so you know, it does get better. In fact, life has its wonderful moments at any stage. Enjoy the ride. It does get easier.

It’s late, but I’m up

The last person left our party a little while ago. Hubby and Bubba and O’Baby are in bed. The Princess is out. I have finished cleaning up the kitchen for tonight.

What a wonderful time we had. We had about thirty people in the house at one point. Everybody brought something, and I made turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, asparagus, and two milky way cakes. Both of which were half-stuck in the pan, which everyone thought was great.

There were a bunch of kids, who Bubba graciously entertained. What a great kid! There was some football to watch. People kept coming, people kept eating. I drank wine, which I never do.

I admit to being slightly buzzed right now.

But we had such fun! The house was noisy. The dogs were good. There were many different conversations going on at once. At the end of the night, who was left? A couple of twenty-somethings, a couple in their thirties, Hubby and me, and a couple in their fifties. And we were having a blast! Of course we ended up in the kitchen – where else?

O’Baby fought sleep with all his might. He wanted to be with the crowd. Even Bubba stayed up until 10:06pm, which is a complete anomaly for him – he usually is in bed at the crack of nine-oh-oh or there is heck to pay.

I just can’t tell you how good it felt to have a house full of friends/family. How long it’s been since we’ve put ourselves out there far enough to let go and enjoy ourselves with our friends. How worried we were no one would show up, or we wouldn’t know what to do to make everyone have a good time.

There was no need to worry. Our friends needed this as much as we did. I hope this is the start of a new trend. I want to have people feel they can drop in when they want, and I want us to feel relaxed enough to invite our friends over frequently.

It feels so good. And I’m so happy.

Requisite general bitching post

Friday I have to work 12 hours, Saturday is my big Post-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving Party.

Right now I should be vacuuming and shampooing the carpets in the piano room, master bedroom and master bath. But I’m listening for O’Baby, who is taking a nap while The Princess takes a math placement test at the JuCo.

Problem: O’Baby has been known to wake up very, very quietly and sneak up the basement stairs before anyone knows he’s awake. So I’m too scared to vacuum or shampoo right now.

Instead I made spaghetti sauce, chatted with Hubby, and blogged. I have to get these carpets done before I go to bed tonight. And I will, but only with help. Luckily, that handsome husband of mine volunteered to assist me, so I’m not too worried about it.

What I am worried about, however, is how I will work the oven schedule for Saturday. I have to make stuffing and a 22-pound turkey, and I can’t get a hold of my friend who is supposed to bake the ham for me. So I’ll probably have to do that too. And I have to make gravy and a vegetable. And wash the floors and straighten up before the guests arrive.

I’m starting to stress. I know that a half-hour before everyone arrives, I will be running around like a nutjob. But then when the doorbell rings, I will be calm. I will tell myself that it is what it is, and I have done all I can. Let’s enjoy each other’s company and some good food and drink. And we’ll have a good time.

But right now. I am stressing.

Fortunate

You already know how lucky I consider myself to be. Over the Thanksgiving weekend that we spent in Chicago visiting our families, my feeling of good fortune was affirmed and reinforced.

I got to spend time with all the people I love. I held beautiful babies, hugged squirmy kids. I made cookies with my sister and hung out with my brother. I chitchatted with Dad and did dishes with Mom. I saw all my nieces and nephews on both sides of the family, and caught up with sisters- and brothers-in-law. I ate breakfast with my mother-in-law. I even saw my uncles and a couple of cousins and second cousins.

Each person in my family is so different. I love every one of them uniquely. How lucky am I to experience so many different and disparate kinds of love for so many people. Who could possibly have more blessings than I do?

Life is so good. And I am thankful every single day.

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The holiday visit was wonderful. We drove there and back, Hubby and Bubba in one car, The Princess, O’Baby and I in another. The ride there was smooth and quick – we didn’t even hit the dreaded night-before-Thanksgiving traffic.

At the end of our ride there, we met our old friend Annette and her partner Lisa for dinner at Gino’s East. It was like twenty-two years never passed. We were still the same goofy people having the same wonderful times together. And it felt like we had known Lisa for years. What a great time we had.

The ride home, however, was more challenging. We started a little bit later than I wanted to, and although we made good time, our lunch stop lasted a long time. Poor O’Baby needed to stretch his legs and run around, so we stopped at Wild Wings. Then we hit a bottleneck fifty miles into Missouri, right at the point when we were about to stop for our second break. Believe it or not, O’Baby became sightly less adorable than usual.

He screamed for the last two hours of the ride home.

How happy he was to run around the house when we got home! He was free! And he had his Daddy, and his dogs, and his toys, and his house!

He is once again his happy self, albeit much more clingy than usual. He got so used to being held and watched constantly that he doesn’t want to be left to play on his own. The boy needs to be surgically removed from his so-over-it mother.

So I got out the mixed nuts and some bowls and spoons and cups, and he spent some quiet time sorting and pouring. And now he’s napping.

Soon life will be back to normal again. I hope.

Preparation

It’s time to get ready for the holidays around here.

The Princess and I are hosting an At Home America party on Tuesday night, and we have the big Post-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving Party on December 5th, so it’s time to actually clean and decorate the house.

Today I shampooed the living and piano room carpets. I am aware that this chore will have to be repeated at least a few times in the next few weeks.

Tomorrow, since it will be 62, I plan to do outside chores. I will trim the hedges, cut down dead stuff, and clean up the yard. Maybe I’ll even get Hubby to climb a two-story ladder to change a few light bulbs.

Maybe not.

For Tuesday’s home demo, our theme is dips. We will have crudites and dip, fruit and dip, crackers and dip. You get the picture. It should be fun.

I feel fortunate that both events will take place in the evening, so I can dim the lights where the house is not-so-fresh-looking. But I regret that our guests will not be able to enjoy our view of the golf course in the dark.

That’s okay. I’d rather hide my messy house. I don’t often invite people to my home. I feel nervous, but I really miss the rambunctiousness of a large happy crowd of loved ones. Wish me luck.