Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in Review – don’t let the door hit you on the butt on the way out.

O my gosh, I am so DONE with you, 2012.

Here are some things that happened this year:

  • I started a blog, then I started another blog. One is about the daily and the ranting and raving and whining and moaning, and the other is about fashion and style and fancy things.
  • I reconciled with Snow. I used to vehemently despise snow, but in the last few years, we have come to an understanding and that’s a good thing.
  • I also reconciled with Summer. Where I never had a love for snow and recently gained an appreciation for it, I used to love Summer the most and since moving to Utah had a major falling out with it. I’m happy to report that we are back together.
  • I tried and failed to lose weight and get healthier. Nothing has changed, nothing at all. At least things haven’t become worse.
  • I took a grown man down with my awesome boots and broke his wrist. All by accident.
  • I cut all my hair off and have kept it off. Usually once I cut my hair off I instantly miss all my cute hair accessories and immediately start growing it back. Sometimes, I even cut it all off with the sole purpose of growing it back out. I’m a weirdo, I’m okay with this. This time, I’ve been able to keep it short for three whole haircuts!
  • Nail polish has become my best friend.
  • I lost the cord to my laptop and wasn’t able to use it for five months.
  • I tried to write a novel and a book. I’m still trying.
  • I got bit by ants and discovered that I am allergic to all bug bites, not just bees and spiders.
  • I read a ton of books, I loved all of them except for Interview with the Vampire.
  • I took an unexpected and unscheduled trip to Vancouver and LOVED it.
  • All my other vacations sucked.
  • It’s been five years since tragedy hit our family and we’re all still alive.
  • I went blonde.
  • Huey turned twelve and Dewey turned eight which are banner years for kids belonging to our church.

Looking over this list, it looks like things were pretty okay. For the most part, they were, but things also really really sucked. There was a lot more whining and moaning and fighting and crying than I would deem necessary. I’m done with this year and so looking forward to lucky 2013.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Check-In

Physically - Not sick, not that tired, my back hurts, my hips are stiff due to the weather. I went off the Dr. Pepper wagon for Christmas, but I'll be back on the wagon after the new year. It will be okay.

Emotionally - Happy. Had a good Christmas overall. My hair looks cool, my nails are pretty, and my skin feels great. Things with DH and are not the greatest right now, but it's because he's sick and grumpy and likes to pick fights with me to get attention.

Spiritually - Feeling the reason for the season. Sacrament meeting was a Christmas program by the choir and they did an amazing job.

Goal - Last week's goal was to enjoy Christmas. Since I only had to yell twice, and I didn't lose my mind, I'm considering this a goal accomplished.

This week's goal is to organize my craft room on New Year's day.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Plus and Minus.

I have discovered that the one and only thing that gets me in the Spirit of Christmas is having the presents bought and wrapped. Not ugly decorations. Not lame music. Next year (as with most years) I plan on having Christmas presents purchased early. I think by Halloween would be a good goal this year.

This is how my Christmas went:
Plus: I had ordered some shirts for Huey online and was worried that they may not arrive in time for Christmas. They were some good shirts (one Monty Python, the other Dr. Who) and I was really excited to give him the Monty Python shirt. I had checked my email Sunday morning to find that they were delivered on Saturday. We had not had a package come to our door, so Dewey and I got dressed in our coats and boots (over our jammies) and made the trek to the mailbox. Happily, the package was there and we skipped home to wrap presents. I have found that the boys get really excited with what they are getting for each other and their dad (and probably me). We had a blast wrapping presents together; even though I am extra-specially anal about how packages are wrapped. Dewey and I had a great time acting like little elves running down the block in our jammies and scampering home with our treasures and wrapping them up and putting them under the tree.

Minus: DH was bound and determined to have Christmas morning in the family room this year. It would be a first – we’ve only been in the house six years. I had put up the tree in the front room (lights, minimal decorations, only for Dewey’s sake), and had hoped that DH would take care of the family room while I was running around in Canada. Came home, nothing done. Weekend after week after weekend and nothing. I did what I could to contribute to the cleaning so that decorations could be brought out, but the majority of it was DH’s stuff-that-shall-not-be-touched and he was the one that was making a big deal about having this awesome cozy family room Christmas, so I left it up to him. Saturday night with Huey’s help he cleaned up enough of an area to put the tree up, but left it. He asked me to “fluff” the tree while he was at work on Sunday and when he came home from work for dinner he would put the lights on. I was really tired after taking care of sick Dewey and church and feeding everyone, that I just sat down to close my eyes for a minute. Huey got all kinds of mad at me for not helping things along and took it upon himself to finish the decorating. When DH got home he found Dewey watching TV while Huey was attempting to put the outdoor lights on the tree. DH took over and got the tree lit and the boys decorated the tree Sunday night. There was still the issue of clutter everywhere and no room to open presents. By the time Christmas Eve came around, I had given up and was planning on just having Christmas in the front room, but DH assured me that he would finish taking care of things. I had made the trek to Smith’s in the snow with the rest of Bountiful and back and DH was still lying around. I had a bit of a temper tantrum as I was fed up with his procrastinating and listening to the boys nag me about the lack of presents under the tree. After dinner, he meandered downstairs and got to work. I thought I was going to lose my mind. He was done by 2 am Christmas morning.

Plus: When I went to Smith’s at noon, there was major traffic. There was a huge line just to get into the driveway. Genius that I am, I forgot that they are doing construction on one of the driveways, so I had to turn left into the other driveway. I waited an eternity for my turn to have someone coming the opposite direction stop and block traffic so that I could turn in. That really put some spring in my step. I got everything that I needed for my Christmas dinner and Christmas baking with a smile on my face. I was in such a good mood that I almost did a victory dance in the middle of the canned vegetable aisle.

Minus: DH stores all the purchased gifts in two of the safes, so I was unable to get to them in order to have the boys wrap their presents to each other and to their dad. With our schedules being what they are, I never had a chance to have the safes opened early enough for there to be lots of presents under the tree and for my peace of mind. I don’t know the combinations, nor do I want to. I started on Friday asking him to open the safes for me so that I could pull out the presents the boys were going to give each other and some of the presents DH bought for himself that the boys were going to give to him. Huey and Dewey kept nagging me because they wanted to wrap presents, and I had to keep putting them off because DH kept putting me off. I had to have a tantrum to get DH to open up the bloody safes. I really did not want to do any yelling at Christmas, but I only lasted until Christmas Eve.

Plus: I have new hair and I really, REALLY, really love it.

Minus: The boys think I look like Draco Malfoy, and DH thinks it looks “not natural” so none of the boys like it.

Plus: The snow that started while I was at Smith’s on Christmas Eve continued to fall all day, so we had a White Christmas.

Minus: I told DH that I didn’t need any presents because I got to go to Vancouver. I had sent him a couple of wish lists in November; all he had to do was click on the thing and purchase it. He’s home during the day and would be there when the packages were delivered so I would be none the wiser. I’m not sure I could have made it any easier. A) I told him I didn’t need or want anything, but if he wanted to get me anything, he could get me something from here. B) I told him I didn’t need or want anything. C) I made it as easy as possible for him to get me something. D) I really hate shopping for myself, so it would have been really nice for him to just bloody well get me something from the lists. E) I’m really picky. He kept telling me on Christmas Eve that he felt bad that he didn’t have very many presents for me. I kept telling him that I didn’t want anything while reminding him that I had sent him lists with links over a month ago and he had no excuse for not having “much” for me and if he had really wanted to get me some nice presents then he had plenty of time and opportunity. We went through the same thing last year – I told him not to get me anything because we had spent so much money on our (my) trip to Kauai; to just focus on presents for the boys. He ended up feeling guilty because I didn’t have much to unwrap, so he bought me a $200.00 guitar. A guitar that I don’t know how to play, don’t have time to play let alone take lessons to learn how to play, and have only touched three times since I got it. It’s beautiful and I love it, but all it does is collect dust, torture me with the reminder that I don’t have the time to learn how to play it, and haunt me because it was such a waste of money. I was so worried that he was going to do that this year, so I kept reassuring him that I didn’t need any money spent on me. I ended up receiving an ugly pair of slippers and an even uglier candle warmer thing. I already have two candle warmer things that I rarely use that are NOT ugly. Not wanting to ruin Christmas or make a big deal out of it, I said nothing and kept it to myself. I was wishing that if he was going to get me ugly crap for Christmas that he would just not buy me anything at all. I was also musing about how we’ve been together for sixteen Christmases and we still can’t buy gifts for each other; me because he can’t be patient and buys things for himself whenever he wants them, and him because he’s stupid. Being that DH loves to poke bears with sticks, he confronted me about it after all the presents were opened and the boys were off building their Lego sets. I was still trying to get over myself and move on, but still pretty upset because he hadn’t taken anything that I had said to him to heart, and disappointed that we suck at buying presents for each other. (he got a shirt, cologne, Lawrence of Arabia box set on blu-ray, and a Blu-ray player – the Blu-ray player and Blu-ray box set he had bought for himself). He kept poking and prodding me and trying to get me to fight with him, and I kept trying to end the conversation so that I could move on and not be a sad cat, but he kept poking and poking until I said some not-nice things and told him I wanted him to return the gifts and to just drop it.

Plus: I ended up getting over myself rather quickly.

Plus: He told me to go buy some things for myself and I am SO going to take him up on that.

Plus: The boys loved all their presents and they made out like bandits.

Plus: I made a delicious Christmas dinner. So much so that the two hours I spent on my feet cooking was totally worth it.

Minus: The boys complained about dinner. I made ham and vegetables and didn’t even make them eat any of the weird vegetables (like Brussels sprouts, turnips, and sweet potatoes) that I made just for me.

Plus: When I told Dewey, who was the loudest complainer, how long I had been cooking and how hard I had worked on this dinner and how much it hurt my feelings that he was complaining about dinner, he apologized and stopped complaining which inspired Huey to stop complaining too. Later that night when we were finishing The Prisoner of Azkaban he gave me a big hug and told me again how sorry he was for complaining about dinner.

Plus: Other than the fight that DH picked with me, there was no fighting and peace for the whole day.

Plus: I was able to take the time for a full body facial/hair removal session/manicure and try out a bunch of products I had received from Sephora but hadn’t had the time to sample yet. This was very relaxing and made me super happy.

Minus: I wanted to spend some time writing, but I didn’t have time because I was cooking.

Plus: Nanaimo Bars

Overall, I am putting this Christmas in the Win column.

Monday, December 24, 2012

What Christmas is

We don’t live around any immediate family members, so our Christmas is all about us and the boys. Personally, I wouldn’t have it any other way. We are able to be just the four of us and there’s no drama or rushing around. Even though I get homesick this time of year and feel a need to be around extended family and would especially like for my boys to know their cousins better, I really do prefer how we have it. We have been able to set our own traditions and keep to ourselves, which is our favourite thing to do.

We have a few traditions:

Christmas eve we open a present. The present consists of a new ornament for the tree and new jammies. This is a tradition that DH and I always wanted to have but have just in the past few years been consistent enough to make it a real tradition. We’ve always been a little late to the party on these things.

The boys are allowed to get up before us and open their stocking and play with their gift from Santa. Santa doesn’t wrap gifts. This is a tradition that I had as a child that I am passing on because it’s awesome. It makes it so that the children do not wake up their parents at 4am in order to open presents. They get a mini box of cereal in their stocking so that they can have breakfast. We were never allowed to have “sugar” cereal growing up, but our stockings were an exception to this. This made it extra special. Each of us had our favourites; mine was Frosted Flakes, Mrs. Bowie’s was Corn Pops. I can’t remember what Brother’s or Baby Sister’s was. This way, our parents could sleep as long as they wanted to. The major rule was that there had to be a fire lit and we had to be ultra quiet. I always thought this was a brilliant tradition, especially now that I’m a parent that is up half the night filling stockings and putting together Santa gifts because the boys take for-freaking-ever to get to bed on Christmas Eve. Mama needs to sleep!

The funny thing about Christmas morning – I can’t sleep in. I have never been able to. Not as a kid, and not as an adult. There’s just something about the magic of Christmas morning. Everyone’s quiet but excited and happy. The boys want to show me what Santa brought. As a parent, Christmas has become more magical because I see the light in the boys’ eyes. I love seeing their reactions to their presents more than anything. I don’t even care about my own gifts. This year we’re supposed to have snow on Christmas Eve – I’m really excited about that.

None of my siblings can sleep in either. I wrote about our first Christmas as a married couple and how we drove up to Canada to surprise my family for Christmas. I still got up at the crack of dawn. I heard voices downstairs, so I knew that someone was up, so I tip-toed downstairs and Baby Sister and her boyfriend were already up. Soon after, Brother got up and Mrs. Bowie and her husband arrived. DH slept in through all of this. It was after ten and he still wasn’t up. My family made me go up and drag him out of bed. I could not believe how he could sleep in on Christmas morning! He’s still the last one up. I have to lure him out of bed with waffles.

That’s another tradition: I always make waffles for breakfast (after presents are unwrapped, of course). I make waffles on special occasions and sometimes for no reason at all, but on Christmas morning, I have special Christmas plates for the waffles.

Christmas Day is usually spent in our jammies. The boys always play with their new toys together, and there is rarely any fighting. We don’t have a turkey because DH’s cousins always have us over for Christmas dinner a few days before Christmas, but I usually make a roast “beast” (like in the Grinch) in the crock pot.

Depending on what day Christmas falls on, we will go and see a movie. Before we had kids, DH and I went to see a movie on Christmas Day a few times. I loved it and wanted to make it a tradition. We don’t always go on Christmas Day, but we normally go and see a movie some time during the holiday. Santa usually gives us a movie for Christmas, so we definitely watch that movie on Christmas Day. We also watch the Christmas Story marathon, and pull out the old classic Christmas specials that we have on DVD and watch those.

I always have time to read on Christmas. I don’t have anything that I’m craving to read right now, so I think I’m going to write this year.

DH always takes a big long nap.

I absolutely love our low-key, mellow, just-us Christmases.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The best Christmas music in the world.

Behold! The Christmas music playlist.

I was wallowing in Scroogeland for quite some time, and after my Bah Humbug post, I decided to put on my big girl Santa socks and suck it up and enjoy the holiday for once in my life. Plus, I got Huey this really great shirt that I think he will totally dig and I can’t wait to give it to him!

I’ve been hearing everyone blogging and posting about the worst Christmas songs in the world, but I have decided to focus on the positive and list my favourite Christmas songs. I had been meaning to put together a playlist for some time to help me get in the Spirit this year, but I had just never got around to it.

The Charlie Brown Christmas Soundtrack – Vince Guaraldi This is the penultimate collection of Christmas music and the only thing I will tolerate at this time of year.

There are, however, some honourable mentions:

Christmas Wrapping – The Waitresses

Little Drummer Boy – Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

Do They Know it’s Christmas? – Bandaid. And yes, I do own the recording on a 45” record as I purchased the single when it came out.

Winter Wonderland – Annie Lennox

Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana. Don’t ask me why, but every time I hear the Nevermind album, it reminds me of Christmas.

Dirty Boots – Sonic Youth. See explanation above.

We Three Kings – Sarah McLaughlin and the Barenaked Ladies

Silver Bells – Anne Murray. Don’t you judge me, I’m Canadian!

Oi to the World – No Doubt or the Vandals whichever, you choose.

The Little Drummer Boy – Bing Crosby and Davie Bowie.

Christmas Baby Please Come Home – Death Cab for Cutie

Mele Kalikimaka – Elvis Presley

Blue Christmas – Elvis Presley

Hazy Shade of Winter – The Mamas and the Papas

Fairytale of New York – The Pogues

Bullet with Butterfly Wings – The Smashing Pumpkins. See explanation for Nirvana above.

I also remembered that I bought red jeans! I put on those bad boys, cranked my special Christmas playlist, and got Christmas Spirited all up in here!

AND Christmas shopping? DONE!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Check-in

Holy crap! With all the bah humbugging I’ve been doing lately, I almost forgot to Check-in!

I really love the check-in.

Physically: Sick. I have a cold. My sinuses hurt so much and my nose won’t stop running and I can’t breathe. Other than that, though, I am okay. I’m not tired or dying, my face just hurts. A lot. DH just got a prescription for a sinus infection. I REALLY don’t want a sinus infection, so I’m drinking plenty of water and sucking on lozenges and getting enough rest. I’ve also continued to avoid caffeine although today was very tempting.

Emotionally: Happy enough. I’m grumpy about Christmas but not nearly as much as I could be. Things with DH continue to be good even though we’re both sick and avoiding each other because of germs. We’re both looking forward to his new schedule so that we will be able to sit beside each other on the couch and watch TV together. I’m also looking forward to Christmas and having time off and time to spend with my boys.

Spiritually: The same. I didn’t go to church last week because Saturday and Sunday were my worst days and all I did was sleep. I think that’s why I don’t feel as bad as I could this week.

Goal: My goal last week was to have Christmas wrapped up. With the cold knocking me on my bum the goal did not get accomplished. I still have to get a couple more things, but it can be accomplished in one trip. If only I could get out of my house!

My goal this week is to enjoy Christmas.

Happy Winter Solstice!

Okay, okay, enough already. It’s winter.

Time to pull out the hard core sweaters and boots, down coats and sleds.


Hot chocolate is one of the best things in the world. An added bonus; Huey has informed me that I make the world’s best hot chocolate. He rarely tells me that I do anything right, so this is a very very good thing.

I bought a pair of Sorrels a couple of years ago and a whole new world has opened up to me. I had no idea that you could be out in the snow and NOT have cold, wet feet! Those boots are the best. I can wear them with pantyhose when I’m shoveling the driveway and still stay toasty warm.

Winter is fireplaces and snuggling and staying in. Winter is evergreen trees weighed down with snow.

Winter is bundling up and layering even more. Winter is wool socks and sweaters that are so cozy and warm. Winter is reading and writing and hunkering down with movie marathons.

Winter is an excuse to bake so that you can warm the house up.

Winter is snowball fights and throwing snowballs for the dog to chase and search for. (Where did that white ball go?) Winter is getting an excellent cardio workout by shoveling the driveway. Winter is finding a good hill for sledding.

Winter is coming in from the cold.

Winter is “Mom! Can I go outside? Please please please?”

Winter is Christmas Holidays.

Winter is a new year and new opportunities and hope.

Winter is remembering getting married to the man of my life.

Winter is Valentines day.

Winter is remembering the holidays we have taken in order to escape winter.

Winter is more reasons to walk the dog because he’s been cooped up inside all day going crazy. It’s watching the joy and wonder and sneezing as Orso snuffles through the snow. It’s the joy of watching Orso act like this is the best thing ever!


Winter can be dull and boring and blugh and cold and there is much to whine about with winter, but there are many awesome and beautiful things about winter so let's just focus on that, shall we?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas – can’t get into it

Bah freakin’ humbug. I don’t know what my drama is this year, I’m just not down with Christmas.

I can’t get into it. The boys are all for it and I’ve really tried. We put up the tree and some lights, we baked cookies. The tree is only half decorated and that’s only because I let Dewey put the decorations on the tree. All the presents are bought, but nothing’s wrapped or under the tree. I haven’t even taken the tree skirt or the stockings out of storage.

I’ve been blue with homesickness, so that was preventing me, but I went home, so I’m not homesick any more. I have since come down with a cold that’s kept me in bed for a week. All these random things keep preventing me from getting in the holiday mood and I just realized that Monday is Christmas eve.

I hate Christmas music; this year more so than in years past.

All Christmas movies are crap.

I can’t get down with all the decorations that I’m just going to have to turn around and put away in a week or so.

The weather. Yuck.

My Grama is dying.

The fact that I'm listening to my Summer playlist is not helping much.

I need to just suck it up and dig out my Holiday Spirit. The boys are so into Christmas this year and I need to be more present for them. They deserve to have a happy holiday.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Hey did you know that it’s still Autumn?

Hey! You over there with the tinsel and the Christmas music that’s been playing since Halloween. You that are dreaming of snow and icicles and all that junk. You that are driving me nuts when it only rains instead of snows. You that rushed through Back to School and Halloween and Thanksgiving to get to the so-called most wonderful time of the year.

It’s. Still. Autumn.

I know that it’s a rule here in Utah that in-between seasons don’t count and we should only have two; Summer and Winter – but I am here to tell you that Autumn is STILL happening.

That’s right. September, October, November, AND December – all months of Autumn. I am not a Winter baby, I am an Autumn baby. (or Fall baby, which would explain all the clumsiness)

I’m so tired of people rushing through the seasons just to make Winter happen. I’m sick of not being able to relish in Autumn, it’s my favourite season and by golly I am going to enjoy it!!

So in honour of Autumn and in the spirit of my “What Summer Is” post, I am going to extol the virtues of Autumn.

Full Moon on Halloween night
Autumn starts with A, so that makes it Awesome.

Sorry – that was cheesy. I have a cold and my brain is not fully functioning.

Autumn starts out with mornings that are crisper than usual. The afternoons are still hot as heck, but the mornings and evenings are cool and lovely. Yardwork can be done because it’s finally not one thousand degrees and your face won’t melt off if you exert an iota of energy. You can start wearing socks on occasion and the feeling of the cotton stretching over your toes is welcome. It feels good to pull your jeans out of the back of the closet. You don’t have to shave your legs as often. There are back to school clothes and the excitement of a new year. You can open the windows. The house gets aired out.

As the days get progressively shorter and cooler, the layers come out. Long sleeved tshirts, cardigans, flannel button down shirts. It starts to rain and the leaves change colours. The fact that the mountains change colour into this cool rusty red make up for the lack of real rain. Sometimes there’s snow, but it doesn’t stick around and it’s still a form of precipitation, so I’ll take it.

There are apples and all the treats that come along with it; apple cider, apple pie, baked apples, caramel apples, apple Danish, etc. I love apples; their cheery red colour, their juciness, how they taste with peanut butter, how magic happens when they are combined with cinnamon and sugar.

Jack
There are pumpkins with their fun orange colour and weird shapes. There are pumpkin seeds, pumpkin and chocolate-chip cookies and bread, there is pumpkin pie and pumpkin spice. The smell of pumpkin spice is the best.

You can wear a tshirt and a turtleneck and a cardigan and a leather jacket and jeans and cords and tights and wool socks and boots. There are cute hats and gloves. You don’t have to wear a coat yet – just a jacket.

The colours are all gold and orange and red and brown and deep green. Autumn colours are my favourite.

There is the fun of Halloween and corn mazes and hay bales. There is Thanksgiving with all the food and remembering what you are thankful for. There are gourds and cornucopias. There is the beginning of the hockey season (usually).

There is the contrast of the orange leaves against the blue sky. The colour of the sky in Autumn is different. Bluer.

There is the smell of the heat coming on for the first time. There are open windows during the day and warm fuzzy blankets at night.

There is all kinds of change; from the weather to the trees to the types of clothes that you wear.

Muddied Timberlands from
walking the dog
Did I mention boots and hats and jackets? I know I did, but yeah.

There is snuggling up with a good book. There are good movies.

There is switching from cotton to flannel sheets. There is cashmere and there are slippers. There is so much coziness.

I know I mentioned boots, but they deserve many many mentions.

The air is better and the colours are better and even though everything is dying, everything feels like a new beginning because of all the change that is happening.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Vacation all I ever wanted

With the redwood stump at a rest stop in
Bellingham, WA
So this year has been kind of crappy in the vacation department.

I’m really disappointed because we built our house six years ago and I was so excited to be in charge of the pretty and I haven’t painted or decorated or even put up any curtains or anything. We were only in the house a year when Dewey got sick and that turned our lives up-side-down for a long time, so everything that didn’t involve surviving or breathing or anything got put on the back burner.

I have three weeks of vacation every year. I take a week for Spring Break because we usually go somewhere, a week in the summer so that I can visit Vancouver, and the week of my birthday so that I can get all the Christmas stuff wrapped up and complete.

This year DH had to work the entire week at his freelance job in addition to his regular job, so we had no plans to go anywhere this year. I decided this would be the year that I decorate the house and paint some walls or at least a bathroom and get curtains hung.

Well, with the boys off the same week and DH nowhere to be seen as he was working so much, nothing got done. Not a thing. I didn’t even get caught up with housework. Grr. Frustrating. Then to top it all off, I tripped DH and he broke his wrist. Awesome.

We had no plans in June for the week I scheduled off. There was a reunion for anyone who had ever attended my high school that week and I had planned to go in addition to taking my family to visit my family, but no firm plans were made. No condo reserved, no driving plans, DH hadn’t scheduled the time off. I thought that instead of taking off that I would make up for my April vacation and get things done around the house. I crapped out on my friends at the last minute after telling them all that I was going to be there and stayed home with delusions of grandeur that I was going to get so much done. I got nothing done. Nothing.  At least this time no bones were broken.

I had this last week scheduled off. I had written off getting anything done around the house as that was a major fail this year, but I was looking forward to getting the house ready for Christmas, getting all the shopping done, getting some rest, and resetting for next year.

I ended up in Canada for my vacation which was really good, but now I’m even further behind and more tired. I really needed some time off to do nothing and I did the opposite of nothing.

When I was debating with my mum whether I should go up there or stay home because I had so much to do and a lot to get done, she said, “Who are you fooling? You have said the same thing all year long and you haven’t gotten a thing done. Just come up here.” She was right, and it was good that I took the trip, but I regret it too.

I don’t know what my problem is. I get so excited to have a whole week off and make all these awesome to-do lists. I try to be realistic and schedule in relaxing time, but the relaxing time tends to take over until I have two days left and realize that nothing got done and all that gets done is the house gets cleaned and the laundry caught up.

I guess we really do need vacations to take time off, not to do more stuff. This is the first year in as long as I can remember that we didn’t go away while I was on vacation. When we travel, we go, go, go, and go some more. There is no relaxing time unless I stomp my feet and say we need to chill!

I had come to the point where I hated to go on vacation because nothing got done around the house and I would get so behind on things that it would take me weeks to get caught up. I thought that this year would be different because no plans were made. Guess not.

I guess I thought that since we weren’t travelling that I would be able to get the things done that never get done because I’m so tired from travelling.

We really create good memories when we travel though, and the boys just keep growing up.

With the boys home while I’m on vacation, it’s hard to get any projects done because I want to spend time with them and be like a mom, but I also just want to relax. I’m not a machine. The reverse is true where when I’m home the boys want my attention and I can’t get any projects done.

Also, my bed is really comfortable.

I don’t have any time to just randomly watch tv and it’s nice to be able to turn my brain off and watch mindless television or movies, so I always try to take advantage of that when I’m off.

The day to day things tend to take over and I’m never done with those things so I have no room in my life for additional projects.

Next year I already have plans to go to Hawaii with my brother and sister-in-law so that I can watch their kids while they attend a wedding. I’ve decided that vacations are not for honey-do projects, they’re for fun, so no more projects for next year!

Maybe this way I really will get something done.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Currently – December in review

Loving: That DH will be home in the evenings, my flannel sheets and my wool socks

Reading: Nothing. Haven’t been reading with Huey lately, due to crazy scheduling stuff, but still reading Harry Potter with Dewey. I have been too tired lately to do any recreational reading of my own.

Watching: New Girl, Good Wife and Parenthood. So glad Dancing with the Stars is done so that I can have my life back!

Anticipating: Having time off for Christmas and New Year’s. I need to catch up on some major veg time.

Listening: Ellie Goulding Lights. The whole album. Like a cross between Bjork and Kristy Thursk. LOVE it. Go listen. Now. I’ll wait.

Planning: The new year. With DH’s new schedule I will be able to take some evening classes or something. I am so excited to be able to work on some of my goals!

Working on: Getting the Christmas decorations up and done.

Wishing: That my health was more normal and predictable.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Check-in

I missed last week’s check-in because I was dancing around in Canada, so I will cover the last two weeks in this week’s check-in.

Physically: Tired. I think I’m coming down with something. Last week I had a headache every day for 4 days. I would wake up fine, but as the day progressed I would have a pounding headache. That was no fun. Now I have a sore throat and I’m so, so tired. I also have all over body aches due to the pending snow. I hurt my shoulder and now if I move a certain way I feel like I’m going to pass out from the pain. I had a horrible bought of vertigo this morning. I hate this time of year.

Emotionally: Happy. My trip was really good and satisfying and memorable. I got to see lots of family and friends that I haven’t seen in a long old time and they seemed to be happy to see me too. I’m not homesick any more. As much. Things are really awesome with DH and I. We missed each other sufficiently while I was gone and he supported me in leaving on my trip. He will be changing schedules starting after Christmas so he will be home in the evenings. We are feeling very celebratory about that. There has been a lot more hugging than usual and I am loving it.

Spiritually: Content. Due to travelling, I missed church on Sunday, but I was able to go to the Vancouver temple with my mum on Saturday. I have never been to a “Mini” Temple before. I loved that I got to do it in my home temple. The temple is built just up the hill from the ward that I grew up in, so it’s in my ‘hood. That makes me happy. I feel like I can look God in the eye.

Goal: My goal last week was no caffeine. Success! The headaches I was having were due to caffeine withdrawal – I’m pretty sure. Every time I have a craving, I try to remind myself of those headaches. They are so not worth it. I’ve been caffeine free for two weeks. It’s still hard, and I still have cravings, but I’m doing a little better.

My goal for this week is to have Christmas literally wrapped up. Decorations done. Gifts purchased and wrapped and under the tree.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

What really happened on my Birthday.

Me and Mum at the Vancouver Temple
Holy CRAP, you guys. A lot has changed since that last post. I wish I had been able to stay home and watch a movie and eat tacos and do a mani-pedi.

My mum had sent me a message on Facebook telling me that my grama had Melanoma and Lymphoma and they were waiting for test results. She called me on a Thursday to tell me that basically Grama was full of cancer and the doctors say that she most likely won’t live until Christmas. She went on to inform me that my uncles were going to all converge on my mum and they were going to make sure that all the arrangements were made and that all of Grama’s affairs were in order.

Remember what I told you about Nana? Yeah, there was that running in my head. So we had the following conversation:

Me: “All your brothers are going to be there next weekend? Like, the weekend of my birthday?”

Mum: “Yeah, John is flying in on Wednesday and David is driving down on Thursday so we are all going to get together on Thursday.”

Me: “Oh…”

Mum: (rambling) She’s not in any pain or anything and she keeps asking me when they’re going to take this thing out and I don’t know what to tell her and (bunch of random stuff about my grandmother…)

Me: (kind of interrupting) “So I just happen to be on vacation next week...”

Mum: “What? You ARE? Oh, you need to come. It’s a sign. You can see the ocean for your birthday!”

So I tried looking at flights and figuring out how to make it to Vancouver with less than a week’s notice and not blowing my entire bank account. I had basically given up and decided to drive. I walked in the door and DH was on the computer looking at flights and found me a ticket for $300.00. That was two hundred dollars cheaper than what I could find. He’s amazing. I had to fly from Salt Lake to Phoenix and then from Phoenix to Seattle and then drive for two hours, but the price was right.

So I flew/drove/travelled all day on Wednesday. It was fine, because I was actually able to have some down time and clear my brain out. I did some writing, it was good. I love long distance driving, and I’ve made the SeaTac to Canada drive so many times that it’s like visiting an old friend. There’s also the small thing of me not having been home for three years and that trip was just for twenty-four hours.

There was much knees bent running about. I was able to go have lunch with Grama at the home and she came out to dinner with us that night. (us = Grama, Mum, Mum’s husband, three uncles, my brother, me and TONS of laughing). I was able to meet my nephew for the first time and see my niece that the last time I saw her she was a newborn. I was able to pick up my other niece and nephew from school and be mistaken for my sister. I got my passport that has been expired for ten years renewed. I walked the pier with my mum, but didn’t see the ocean in the daylight until Sunday when I went home. I was able to sit around in a pub with my mum, uncles, brother, sister and a couple of cousins laughing and singing and toasting and hugging. I really love my family.

On my actual birthday, my mum and I got to go to the Vancouver temple together. As we were rushing around getting ready, she said, “Oh! I’m and idiot!! Happy Birthday!” I was in the bathroom putting my makeup on. I had forgotten it was my birthday too. We went to lunch at White Spot so that I could have a Legendary Burger, chocolate milkshake and apple pie. I had been craving triple O sauce since I booked my flight. It made me sick later, but it was so worth it. The running around that was done between the temple and lunch, which had nothing to do with me but with my sister which I will whine about later because it prevented me from going to the beach on my birthday, took so long that by the time I got back to my mum’s I had an hour to get ready for the final activity of the week.

I had been trying to get together with one of my dearest friends, Stef. I was supposed to go to an all-school reunion in June and hang out with her, but I sniveled out at the last minute and didn’t make it up there even though I had scheduled the time off and everything. When I called her to tell her that I was going to be in town, she wailed about work being so busy and blah blah… I asked her “what about Saturday?” Well, it just happened that all of my girlfriends from high school just happened to be having a party on Saturday and Stef was going to bring me and surprise everyone. It. Was. So. Great. We had so much fun talking and eating and catching up and randomly dancing in the kitchen. I haven’t seen some of those girls since before my mission. That’s been like 20 years. One of my friends kept grabbing my leg and saying “I can’t believe you’re here! It’s so good to see you!” It was so rad.

After the party, Stef and I ended up talking for hours. So long, in fact, that we had to make a run to Tim Horton’s for coffee mid-gab because she wasn’t going to make it. I ended up teaching her yoga poses as she was spazzing out because it was taking them so long to get to us. There was a line at 2am? What the heck? It was awesome.

The next day I made the long trek home driving and flying through Phoenix. All the flights were packed, but I was able to get some sleep on the flight from Seattle to Phoenix. I didn’t get home until 10:30 Sunday night, I’m still so tired, and I’ve been playing catch-up ever since, but it was so worth it.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Happy Freaking Birthday to me.

This time last year I was standing on a beach in Kauai surrounded by my most beloved boys.

Not so this year. As of this writing, I don’t even have plans – but I’m not complaining. Last year ROCKED, so it’s fine to have a couple of low key birthdays. I think I’ll just have a couple of tacos from CafĂ© Rio, watch Pride and Prejudice or Twilight and give myself a mani-pedi. Maybe I’ll hang out with the boys and play the Wii. Or watch Harry Potter. Whatever. It’s cool.

The thing about having a December birthday is that it seems like I wait all year for my birthday. This was particularly difficult for me when I was a child, but my traditions run deep in my psyche. I used to make my family wait to decorate for Christmas until after my birthday. My reasoning was that no one else had to have a holiday interfere with their birthdays, and I had to wait all year for my birthday, and it wasn’t fair to celebrate Christmas before my birthday. It’s not like my birthday is late in the month, it’s the eighth for crying out loud. We had plenty of time to decorate. Depending on the year, sometimes we decorated ON my birthday. I was fine with that as long as we did it after presents and cake. I was also okay with my stepfather putting the lights on the house before my birthday, as long as we didn’t turn them on until after my birthday.

The first year I was away from home and on my mission, my family was very proud to announce to me that they had the lights on December FIRST that year.

I carried this tradition on to my single life. I refused to decorate before my birthday. The only roommate I ever had was my best friend who had known me my whole life and thus understood the no-Christmas-until-after-my-birthday rule, so she played along. I found however, that with my talent for procrastinating and stressing out during the holidays, we wouldn’t get around to decorating until the week before Christmas.

This also carried into my married life - until one year.

It was before we had children – DH had to work, but I had three days off for Thanksgiving. I decided to follow the rest of America and decorated for Christmas during the Thanksgiving holiday. I was done on Thanksgiving. Wow. Done. It was amazing! We had such a great Christmas that year! I was so relaxed and my mind was free to enjoy the season. I think that this was the first year that I actually enjoyed the snow too. It was so great. That year when I talked to my family on my birthday and they told me that they already had the tree up I shocked them by announcing “Me Too!”

Since then I have tried to make it my goal to be ready for Christmas before Thanksgiving so that I can sit back and enjoy the holiday. I’ll admit - unless I get my tree up by the Sunday following Thanksgiving, it won’t be up until Christmas Eve. That has happened more than once since we moved into our house six years ago.

So I guess that makes me a grown-up. I’m not all demanding about the holiday decorations being not up until my birthday any more. I still enforce a no Christmas on my birthday rule. The decorations can be up, but we had better not be going to a holiday party or visiting Santa on my birthday. That is an absolute no-no.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Fat Pants

Anyone familiar with the concept of fat pants? They’re the pants you wear when you are not at your best weight.

I never had to do this. I never got bloated with my period. My weight never fluctuated. I was never overweight. I never struggled with my weight or had body issues or anything like that. I never had to diet. Ever. I was 5’ 8”, 125 lbs and a size 5 since grade 10.

Feel free to hate. Seriously. I hate me too. I was lucky to be born that way. To add insult to injury, I also had beautiful long, thick, naturally wavy hair.

I also had no boobs, hips or a waist. I was built like a boy.

Sorry, this post is going in a direction I was not intending.

What I was trying to say is I was always able to wear the same clothes all the time. I didn’t have a “fat” wardrobe, or a “bloated” wardrobe. I just had my clothes and they fit the same all the time. I’ve always been able to eat whatever I want whenever I want wherever and however much. I had a great metabolism.

The last five years have not been that way. Due to major stress and a massive hormone imbalance I have packed on the pounds. I am officially “overweight” on the charts, which is a first. I weigh more now than I did when I was pregnant.

After forty years of shoving whatever I felt like into my face I have to be conscious of what I put into my body. This is not easy. I have never had to have any kind of nutritional discipline and it’s hurting my head to try and learn how to eat properly. I’m trying to learn as much as I can so that I can teach my boys how to eat healthy and have healthy habits instead of the habits I let myself have.

I have always resisted having a “fat” wardrobe. You know, the clothes you buy to tide you over until you lose the weight? I always felt like that was giving in. I do not deserve new clothes until I can fit into the ones I already own. Wearing uncomfortable ill fitting clothes is punishment for being overweight.

Three years ago I was at my top weight of 175 and nothing fit. It physically hurt to wear my jeans. I gained all that weight drinking Dr. Pepper and eating Hagen Daas while Dewey was going through cancer treatment. I finally gave in and bought a couple pairs of size twelve jeans to tide me over until I could get the weight off. It took a year, but I did get rid of fifteen pounds. I folded up those jeans and put them in the back of the closet and went out and bought some skinny jeans to celebrate.

I only kept the weight off for six months. It's become so bad that I have had to pull those jeans out of the back of the closet. I am relieved to have something that fits, but I am very saddened to have failed at keeping the weight off.

Hopefully this is only temporary and I will be back in the skinny jeans soon.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Five Foot Ten Inch Wolverine with Frosted Tips and Piercing Blue Eyes.

I was raised to think that turning into your mother was the absolute worst thing that could ever happen to you. The most insulting thing you could say to my mother was that she was acting just like her mother. She raised us to be better than her, not to be like her.
 
This has caused a problem in that we all eventually turn into our mothers so when I find myself acting like my mother I want to kill myself because I’m a complete failure – I turned into my mother.
 
I have a friend who has a mother who is bi-polar and therefore has her own mother issues. I told her once that we get to a point where we have to stop blaming our mothers for how we are but forgive our mothers otherwise we will never be able to give ourselves a break for being human and falling into some of the patterns that our mothers set for us.
 
I posted this on Facebook the other day:
A tip: When using a safety pin in lieu of the button on your pants, don’t wait until the last minute to go to the washroom. Especially if you are wearing pantyhose.

This is what my sister commented on the above post: 
HAHAHAHAHA! YOU are wearing pants and nylons!! AND you called them pantyhose!! You turned into Mom!! 

Normally, that would have been the biggest insult, but I have been noticing more and more how much like my mother I am and I totally cringe and writhe about it. Especially now that I have a tween and I am witnessing very tween rantgirl like behaviour coming from him and directed at my dorky Mom self. You know, the eye rolling, the shaking of the head, the please-don’t-tell-other-people-that-you’re-my-mother attitude. The jumping in the car and telling me to “go, go, GO!” so that I don’t talk to anyone for fear I may embarrass him. Also, I’m looking more and more like my mother physically as I age.
 
Because of this, I have really been pondering the terror of turning into your mother and the whole forgiving her for being human thing.
 
I can think of worse things that could happen to me. I could turn into my sister!!
 
(That was mostly a joke – the turning into my sister thing)
 
So I decided to think about the things that are awesome about my mum that make me awesome and make it so that it’s not such a horrible thing that I’m turning into my mother.

We have the following in common:
  1. My mum is a ferocious defender of those she loves. She will defend them to the end of the earth and then some. You better watch out, she will fight you to the death and she will win if you try to mess up her kids. Right after I got home from my mission, my brother was in a bad situation and some dude came to our house to try and get to my brother and my mum almost literally flew off the porch into his face screaming at him to stay far far away from my brother. Ever seen a 5’ 10” wolverine with frosted tips and piercing blue eyes protecting her young? Same same. I never saw that dude again, and I think my brother straightened up his life out of gratitude to my mum for being so crazy in that guy’s face. It was pretty scary. And totally awesome.
  2. My mum knows how to enjoy the little things; like singing in the car at the top of your lungs when a good song comes on the radio. Car dancing? Yeah, my mum invented that.
  3. My mum totally loves to laugh. She can't help herself. Even when she doesn't want to laugh, she laughs. My siblings and I are all really funny. I think that stems from trying to get my mother to laugh. She has a really distinct laugh. And it's loud. And fabulous.
  4. My mum is a really good dancer. She used to win jive dancing contests with her brother when she was a teen in the sixties. How cool is that?
  5. My mum loves good music. She has instilled that in me and I am passing it on to my children. I have good taste in music because of her, and my children have even better taste in music because of me. We also have random kitchen dance parties. I always loved doing that when I was a kid, so I pass it on to my kids. My boys had better marry chicks who like to have random dance parties in the kitchen. It is also a rule that the dog participates.
  6. My mum has awesome perspective. I have always been able to just lay things out for her and she says like seven words and *boom* everything is set right. BOOM. I don’t know what I’m going to do when I can’t just call her and hash everything out. She’s always been there for me in that respect.
  7. My mum is a fighter. Sometimes I regret that I get this from her. Sometimes I wish there was less yelling and more talking and working things out and being rational, but if you need someone to fight for you – holy crap. My mum’s the best. Also, if you need someone to be irrational and rant and rave with indignation right beside you? She’s your girl.
  8. My mum is ALWAYS on my side. Even when I’m wrong, she backs me up and lets me figure out I was wrong and make the necessary amends and supports me in that too. Yeah, that woman will Back. You. UP.
  9. My mum is fierce. She has these piercing blue eyes – I call them blue lightning – that will stab your soul. She can see right through you. She was always able to see when people were up to no good with us. She can always see what’s up with you. She’s an excellent judge of character.  
  10. My mum gives great advice. See number 6.
  11. My mum is my friend. She is there for me, rooting for me, proud of me, and I know it – and that is the best thing.