Friday, December 31, 2010

The last 5QF of 2010!

It's Friday again, YIPEEE! I'm excited about this weekend (as usual). I got all my big work done yesterday, so today should be a walk in the park. Today's five questions focus mainly on the New Year, a holiday I don't really acknowledge, but I went with it. Hope you have a safe and happy New Year! If you haven't read my end-of-the-year blog yet, hop on over there and do so!

1. How long does your Christmas tree stay up?

Usually I take it down a day or two after Christmas. I can't stand to look at it anymore once the magic has dissipated. USUALLY I know I have to get it down before New Year's, because USUALLY I have to go back to work. This year, however, I want a new ornament box. Until I get said box, the tree remains up and lit. Call it my own little protest ;)

2. Do you have plans for New Year's Eve?
New Year's Eve comes in right around Valentine's Day for me. I don't care for either of them. Therefore, I do not have any New Year's Eve plans. I will be spending it with the Mister, and we will probably be watching movies. Maybe I can con him into going out to dinner....hmm.....we shall see :)

Oh but guess what? Tomorrow is ring shopping day :)

3. Do you have any New Year's resolutions?
I don't really make New Year's resolutions. I'd like to have another happy, healthy year, and I will try my best to be the very best mommy I can be. I will try to love more, worry less, and fold the laundry in a more timely manner :) But those are more goals than resolutions.

4. How did you spend New Year's Eve when you were younger?
Usually just hung out at home. Lindsey had a party one year, and that was fun, but otherwise I was usually just home, probably asleep by midnight.

5. What was the best way you've ever spent New Year's Eve?
I spent it with my love last year, and it was exciting ringing in a new year with the one I love, the one who makes me a better person, and who loves me even when I'm unlovable. We didn't do much, but it was nice to be together.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

I Just Don't Get It.

You know I watch Teen Mom, so let's not pretend you're shocked when I tell you I also watch Sixteen and Pregnant. The finale episode was about a girl named Ashley, who, after an emotional back-and-forth decision, gave her baby girl up for adoption.

On the show, Ashley made reference to her blog several times. I decided to search for her blog and see what it was like. I read through several of her posts from the past year and decided to leave a quick comment on one of them (we like when our readers leave us comments, yes we do...). After I submitted my comment, I read some of the other comments.

Most were positive, but sprinkled among those were hateful, horrible comments from strangers. Strangers who felt they had enough insight from a 90-minute t.v. episode to judge her decision and her life. It hit a nerve because I've experienced that to some degree as well.

I realize that when we use Facebook or blog we put ourselves out there. When we share our lives and our struggles with the world, we are "asking for it" to some degree. However, I have just NEVER felt the need to criticize anyone for their choices or decisions. I never "assume" things about people, and I don't give in to rumors. I certainly have NEVER read or heard about someone's most difficult decision in her entire life and felt that I had the knowledge or the arrogance to presume I knew what was best, or berate them for that decision.

I just. Don't. Get it.

The world needs peace and love. If you don't agree with someone's decision or lifestyle, don't read their blog! Don't be their friend! Don't acknowledge them at all. But for Heaven's sake, don't fuel negativity and judgment. Don't take it upon yourself to "put them in their place." Get a life of your own, and quit worrying about what other people say and do!

I hope this young girl will thrive on the positive feedback she receives and not be burdened with the ignorant people who have nothing better to do than cut down strangers for their life decisions. I know it's not always easy, but unfortunately it's necessary.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Critter Drama

Last night was a quiet night here at our house. The Mister was with a buddy testing out new outdoor Christmas gifts, and Chloe and I were watching Toy Story 2 (by watching I mean she was playing in her room, I was on Facebook, and Toy Story 2 was playing a little too loudly on the living room TV).

I finished reading my updates, talked to my mom for a bit, then took my bath. When I got out I peeked into Chloe's room. She was playing with her new "critter" house she got from Santa. Chloe and I do things together. We color, we play games, we watch movies, and we go places. However, she's never really been interested in me "playing" with her, as in making up stories and talking with dolls. She likes to do that alone with her door shut so no one can hear her.

So when she said, "Mama, will you play critters with me?" I was surprised. I told her I would. I had a Calico Critters house when I was little, and the little things intrigue me still. I sat on the floor and she instructed me, "You are over here. Mister and Misses Bunny are baby-sitting Judy, the mouse baby." I took my place and began playing.

We played for probably half an hour, and I noticed it was already after 8:30 (usually we do bath at eight). I said, "I hate to tell you this, sweetie, but it's time to pick up."  I was not prepared for the level of disappointment. Usually she says something like, "Oh man!" then picks up her toys and heads for the bathroom. Last night she looked up at me with her big brown eyes, tears brimming.

"No, Mommy! Please, no!" Tears began to fall.

"What's wrong baby girl?" I asked her, trying not to dismiss her feelings over clean-up time.

"Dat was so much fun playin' critters wif you! I never have dat much fun playin' my games! I don't want it to be over, Mommy please!" It broke my heart, yet made it swell all at once. I admit. I had played half-heartedly. I wasn't "into" the story, and even sometimes started fusses between the bunnies just to see what she'd say or do.

"Don't be sad, sweetie. I'll play with you again tomorrow if you want. We had a fun time playing together today (we also played Cootie and rode her new bike), you should be happy. I'm happy."

"Dat's because I was havin' more fun dan you were. You're happy because you don't mind pickin' up. But I do!"

I hugged her and started picking up with her, since I played, too ;)  I reminded her she had Puppy Swim School Barbie waiting for her in the tub, and she decided to take her bath after all. She made me promise to take her on a wagon ride today and play critters again, which I will definitely do. And I might not even make them fuss today.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Just One Question...

Do you figure out your Christmas presents?

I do. Even when I don't mean to. I'm really good at putting things together, and it doesn't take much of a hint to tip me off. All my close family and friends know about my "gift." Sometimes they go to great lengths to trick me. One year my mom and brother traded gifts because I knew what I was getting. When I was a kid my best friend, Lindsey, put a walnut in with my gift so she could stick to her story that it started with a 'w' and throw me off the trail of the troll doll ;)

The Mister learned this all too well last year, when on the way home from Christmas shopping I already figured out what my gift was. In his defense, I DID ask for a hint, and he didn't know about my 'gift' yet, so he was kind of set-up. So this year, he went to greater lengths to surprise me.

I was fooled for a long time. But one night a week or so ago it all clicked together in my head. I put all the clues together from the last month and I KNEW what I was getting. I'd been hinting since he and Chloe got them in November. New boots. Ok, not actual boots, but a PFI gift certificate, or a home-made coupon good for one new pair of boots. Something like that. I boasted about how he'd made a good try at keeping it a secret, but told my friend Jamie how "he just can't keep his mouth shut."

The Clues:
I knew there were three packages under the tree, but only two "gifts."
He made a big deal about looking for a boot box to wrap one of the gifts in.
When I changed the sheets one time, I was missing a pillow case. He said something like, "You'll find it soon and be like, 'so THAT'S where it was!'"
He told me to ask off my birthday weekend because we are going shopping for "something" that I'd understand when Christmas came. (BOOTS!)
He told me he didn't really have much for me under the tree.

See? He talks too much! And all of that was volunteered! Anyway, he also later told me that the shopping trip that had to do with Christmas would also be my birthday present. Boots AND jeans??!!??!!

Christmas Eve came and Chloe went to bed rather quickly. He asked me if I wanted my surprise that night. Of course I did :) He fished around under the tree and pulled out a long, skinny box. What? Not the boot box, no sir-ee. I pulled off the wrapping paper and it was the new silicone cooking utensils I'd asked for (that he told me Wal-Mart no longer carried!). That was a nice gift and all, but I didn't see how that was a big surprise.  I opened the lid to find the box...empty.

Then, way down in the bottom, I found a little love note. Front and back :) I read through the note, tears blurring my vision at the sweet things he expressed about me and about Chloe. Then it said "(now look at me.)" I did, and that's when he said, "Will you marry me?"

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT?!!!!!!!!?????


The utensils turned out to be in the boot box with the missing pillow case on Christmas morning. What a sneaky stinker! I was definitely humbled in my smug "I know what I got" attitude, and it turned out to be the best Christmas ever :)

So I guess ring shopping over my birthday will do...and maybe I'll get new boots with my Christmas money :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Traditions: Shopping

I don't consider myself a "one-time" shopper when it comes to Christmas. I usually shop different places and for different people at several different times. There is one trip, however, that is a family tradition, and it's always my very favorite.

Every year since I can remember my mom has taken me (or I her) to Springfield to go shopping. For years she, my brother and I would all go shopping together as soon as we were out of school for break. When little Chloe came along, she went too. She went in my belly one year, she went in her carrier the next year, in her stroller the following year, and since then has been afoot with us.

We always leave early and shop all morning. We have lunch together somewhere yummy, then shop until dark, finally surrendering and making the long drive home. We switch things up from year-to-year, but one thing always remains true: we spend too much money have a blast!

In the last few years I have created the tradition of letting Chloe go to Build-A-Bear on this shopping trip. It's the only time she ever gets to indulge in the ridiculously high priced and baited sweet process of making her own stuffed animal. She looks forward to it all year and treasures each one she has created.

So it might be safe to say it was my mistake when I threatened her at lunch today. Yes, I figured if I threatened to take away her most exciting thing, she would eat those bites of protein I insisted upon. She jewed me down to "just one big bite," and without giving the detailed story, we ended our feud in the mall parking lot as she spit the rest of the chicken (she'd had in her mouth since we left Cheddar's) on the ground. The rest, you ask? What happened to the 'non' rest? It was spewed in specks around the car in a sneeze. Yeah.

So we entered the mall, the chicken not having been consumed, mad yet heart-broken Mommy, and bawling Chloe (for having lost her build-a-bear privilege). Oh, and a clearly distraught and traumatized Nana (who would NEVER punish her lol). After letting her grieve for an appropriate amount of time, I had to propose a deal.  I just COULDN'T take this from her. I just couldn't!

In the end, Little Missy ended up with no mall pretzel and having to fold all her clean clothes at home. She is currently snuggled up with her little Rudolph (who says "I'm cute, I'm cute!" and whose nose lights up). She thanked me endlessly for letting her "change her punishment," and vowed not to ask for one single toy all day. She worked long and hard on folding all those clothes, and she did it all by herself with a cheerful heart. She is such a good little girl and always makes me so proud, even when she's not been on her best behavior.

Today 'tradition' got the best of a soft-hearted Mama...and it was worth it :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Traditions: Grandma

My granny, Mimi as we still call her, was a huge part of my life. She always lived right down the street from us, and all our holidays and summers were filled with days spent at her house. She is a marvelous cook, an excellent seamstress, and I'm pretty sure she was BORN to be a grandma. She's just everything in a granny you could possibly want. This made our holidays with her even more special. There are three things that stand out in my mind when I think of Christmas traditions with my granny, though there are many more I could write about. We won't even mention putting up her tree and nativity, the Christmas morning phone call to see what Santa got us, or going to her house as soon as we were dressed for presents and dinner, because those are a given ;)

Christmas Presents
Every year my granny would take me shopping a couple weeks before Christmas. Not so much when I was a little kid, but once I became interested in clothes (6th grade and on). We would go to Maurices, JCPenney, and Stage and I would shop all afternoon. I'd try on everything for her, and then show her the things I liked best. She'd send me to the car, and she would then purchase some (or all) of the items. She'd bring them to the car, we'd go get ice cream and head home. If there was time in the day she would box them up while I watched t.v. then I would help her wrap all the presents, including my own. I don't really remember many of the things she bought me, but I will always remember our shopping/wrapping extravaganzas!

I think this tradition started when my dad left, though I'm not for sure. Anyway, a few days before Christmas my Mimi would take my brother and me (objective form, folks, so it's not "I") to the grocery store. We would get a cart, and we would go up and down EVERY aisle. We were allowed to get ANYTHING we wanted. She made sure we had plenty of fruit, and she'd suggest lunch meats and practical things. What was the most fun for us, though, was that we were allowed to get things Mom just couldn't buy on a regular basis. We each got our own kind of soda, our own kind of chips, our own cereal, our own ice cream. We got crackers and cookies and Fruit Roll-Ups. Anything we wanted was ours. We never went crazy (like getting ten kinds of ice cream or anything), but we always ended up with several boxes of our favorite foods and treats. It was one of my favorite things about the holidays!

Monster Cookies
When I got older, my granny got the recipe for Monster Cookies. You know, the cookies that use something like a dozen eggs and eight cups of oatmeal? I would go down early one morning (early for me is nine, guys) and we would work our muscles mixing the enormous batch of dough. We would bake (and nibble) all day long, boxing up dozens as they cooled, then went around delivering cookies to our family and her friends. Monster cookie day was one of my favorite days. It was something different, not really "traditional" Christmas baking, that we made into our very own Christmas tradition.

Looking back on the things that became special traditions for me makes me excited to see what traditions will be created for Chloe over the next several years. Sometimes the best traditions aren't the ones you force, but the ones that just happen.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Santa Gets All the Glory...

Happy Friday!!!!!!  And what a happy Friday it is! I have so much to look forward to! Mister mister got Rams vs. Chiefs tickets for his birthday, so we are going on an excursion to St. Louis this weekend! We're also doing a little going out tonight, and I can't wait! Then next week is full of Christmas activity and preparations, including (but not limited to) Chloe's school party, girls shopping with Mom and Chlo, sugar cookie day, and gift wrapping!  WOOH!  Anyway, now that I shared all my excitement with you, let's get to the fun part, Five Question Friday :)

1. Do you regift...and if so, do you have a regifting horror story?

I don't typically re-gift, and the only horror story I have is from receiving a re-gift at a gift exchange, remember? If I get something I won't use or don't like I usually return it if at all possible. When I had my wedding, though, I was pretty guilty of regifting. I got a lot of stuff I would NEVER use (people love to get creative, don't they?). Pair that with being newly married and on our own for the first time (aka broke) and that holiday season and year of birthdays was pretty much funded by my wedding stash :)  I don't really see a problem with regifting, as long as it's done well. If you get something you don't want and you know someone else who would actually like or use it, go for it. If you're just too cheap to buy something and give it without thought, shame on you!

2. Do you know what you are getting for Christmas this year?
I don't, actually. I could probably guess a few things since I gave my mama a pretty concise list, but the Mister has me completely fooled. Usually I figure out exactly what I'm getting. I don't WANT to know, I'm just pretty clever, and usually the slightest hint or misplaced receipt tells on him. I know he is up to something this year, I'm just not sure what. And I'm sure as soon as Chloe has done her shopping with Nana, I will know what I'm getting from her. Bless her soul she can't keep a secret to save her life ;)  Well I take that back. She can keep a pretty good secret. She just can't keep her gifts a secret...

3. Who brings the most gifts in your family, you or Santa?
We probably bring the MOST gifts, but Santa definitely gets the glory for the good stuff (darn you, Santa! I work hard all year and buy gifts then you sweep in here in one night and steal my mother lickin' thunder!). Chloe is to the age where presents with clothes, socks, or shoes don't impress her, and those usually make up half of her loot. I've contemplated doing our family gifts on Christmas Eve so I can get a little appreciation before the big show on Christmas morning, but I just haven't ever done it.

4. What store do you love to by jeans from?
I love to buy jeans from Buckle. But that requires a skinny ass, which I no longer have =/ When I'm not skinny, I won't buy jeans there. When I'm my thicker, happier self, I wear Silvers, usually from Maurices.

5. Christmas meal: Big, All Out Meal or Snacks and Apps?
Mama usually has a big meal, and that's fine with me. However, I wouldn't be offended if she didn't. We do SO MUCH running at Christmas it's unthinkable to have a sit-down meal everywhere we go. If everyone had snacks and apps (and desserts, ok?) I'd be content. We could just snack our way through Christmas :) I do enjoy the ham and mashed taters at Mama's, though. And I bet I'll get another chance at a pumpkin pie!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Traditions: Siblings

I'm sitting here crunching Halloween M&Ms that I stealthily swiped from Chloe's hidden stash. The past twenty four hours have been awful. Nothing catastrophic or blogworthy. Just one of those days when anything that can go wrong does. Are you starting to believe in Andrea's Law yet?

I've been wanting to do some Christmas tradition blogs, so I thought I would start that mini series today and try to lift my (Christmas) spirits a little. If that doesn't work I may have to find some other 'spirits.' Ha ha I kid.

If you have a Christmas tradition with your sibling(s), I hope you'll blog about it and link up :) It will be fun to read the other traditions going on out there! If you don't blog, go ahead and leave a comment. I look forward to reading some more sibling traditions!

It's no secret that I LOVE my bubby. He's pretty much my favorite family member, and without him I couldn't have survived MANY family functions. Ok I could have survived, but it wouldn't have been nearly as bearable.

If you knew me in my younger days, however, you know that this has not always been my feeling toward my brother. I always loved him, yes. But I didn't always like him. Most of the time we were fighting. I was verbal, he was physical. I'd lash at him until I provoked him, then hide in my room while he tried to bust the door off the hinges...ahhh those were the days. :)

Anyway, despite our usual fighting, there were a few occasions on which we called an unspoken truce. Those included visits or family functions on my dad's side, adventures with baby-sitters, and holidays.

The proverbial white flag was waved as the sun set on Christmas Eve. We would exchange our gifts to each other, and realize that maybe we liked each other just a little. A LITTLE. We'd then go about the events of the evening. Usually church service, and sometimes we'd have Christmas with our dad before church started. When church was over we'd come home and get ready to go to bed.

Every year we took turns sleeping in each other's rooms. We'd drag out our sleeping bags and sleep in the same room. Usually one of us had twinkly lights up, and we'd stay up late talking about Santa, about what we wanted to get, and about what to do when we woke up ("if you wake up first, wake me up"). I don't even know how our tradition got started, but we kept it going until I hit my teen years.

I'd nap off and on, never really sleeping, always checking the clock (we weren't allowed up before six). I'd get up to go to the bathroom several times and check to see if Santa had come. Knowing I wasn't allowed in the living room until morning, I'd stand in the hallway and squint, trying to make out any new shapes in the dim tree lights. As soon as six rolled around I'd say, "Hey, are you awake?" He was a heavy sleeper, but in his younger years he always got up for Christmas. We'd get Mom and head to the living room for presents.

By the time we were in the car to go to my grandma's we were probably arguing again, but for a brief time it was fun to get along.

While we didn't always get along, I'm so glad we have great memories scattered throughout our childhood. It was one of my favorite Christmas traditions. Just don't tell him that ;) Do you and your sibling(s) have Christmas traditions, or did you when you were kids? Comment below, or blog about them and link up! Hurry, the Linky closes at midnight Wednesday night!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

I Want a Hippopotomus for Christmas...kinda

Cue music to "I Want a Hippopotomus for Christmas"

I want a Yorkshire Terrier for Christmas
Only a Yorkshire Terrier will dooooo
I don't want
A dog that is dorky
I just want
A fuzzy little Yorkie

I can see me now on Christmas morning
Creeping down the hall
Well imagine my suprise
When I open up my eyes
And see a Yorkie in my
Stocking on the wall
(with one paw out, cryin')

I wrote this little re-mix in 2003 when I wanted a Yorkie so bad. I got Penney the following fall, and I miss her so much! Maybe Santa will come through for me this year.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Christmas Solo (and 5QF)

Well, the Christmas season is in full swing now! Chloe's little pre-school class sang in the elementary program last night, and I think I was more excited than she was. She complained for two days about being "a bit nervous", but she was great. She was the only child waving at her mother as they lined up, and I even got a "Hi, MOM!"  They sang "Where is Santa" (like where is Thumbkin), and when they finished, Ms. Sue told them to sing louder on the next one.

I think Chloe thought she wanted them to re-do the song. As all the other children sang "S-A-N-T-A" (like Bingo), Chloe was singing "Where is Santa" at the top of her lungs, never noticing the other kids were on another song. As they sang, "...and Santa was his name-o!" finishing the song, Chloe picked up, thinking it was the start of the song. They all stopped singing, and she continued the entire song solo. When she finished the whole audience cheered for her. It was unforgettable. So for everyone who thinks she's my clone, there's proof she's her own person. I NEVER would have been so brave or such a ham!

Ok. Now for five questions. Are you ready? I love these holiday ones!

1. Do you open presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?
As long as my brother lived at home, he and I always opened our gifts to each other on Christmas Eve. When we were younger and my dad lived alone, we also always spent Christmas Eve with him. I really loved those Christmas Eves. It started the Christmas celebration for us, and passed the time a little better than sitting at home.

Now days you just never know. It depends how the twenty seven Christmases schedule out. We don't typically open our home presents on Christmas Eve, but I'm thinking about doing so from now on just so we aren't under the tree for four hours on Christmas morning. Plus with such a busy Christmas schedule, it would give little Missy more time to play with her new toys before we tote her off somewhere else.

2. What is your favorite Christmas cookie (or candy)?
I have to go with the traditional sugar cookie. One of my favorite things (still) is making that delicous sugar cookie dough from scratch, cutting out all the festive shapes, baking them (they smell sooooo good!), and decorating them. I also love eating them, but I'm sure you guessed that ;)

My mom used to make fudge and cherry-coconut chocolate candies that were really good. She also makes a red-hot (the candy) cranberry hot punch that is delish!

3. What's the worst Christmas gift you've ever received?
I usually got great gifts. My grandma wasn't one of those "ugly Christmas sweater" people. She always took me shopping a few weeks before (to Maurices, Stage, or Penney's in Sedalia..or all three). I would be allowed to try on everything I wanted, then she would send me out to the car and pick a "few" things (she usually got it all). She would box them up at her house, then I would wrap them (and all her other gifts).

There was one time I got an awful gift, but I attribute it to Andrea's law. We had a gift-exchange at my youth group one night. We all had to bring a gift, probably a fifteen dollar limit. I bought the new Jars of Clay cd, and that was a big deal, because I wanted that cd SO badly! We did one of those games where you open something and then people can steal it. By the end of the game someone had stolen my gift, so I had to open the last present. It was one of those country mix cds. Not a good one. One that had weird artists and old songs. Oh. And it was all scratched up. Yep. A re-gift. It came from a kid in our group who was "exceptional" (is that the PC term now?) so he obviously wasn't scolded, and I, with all the Christmas spirit I could muster, didn't say a word. That's why I don't participate in those type of things anymore, becaues it ALWAYS happens. Always.

4. Christmas song that you love?
SongG as in one? Sorry can't tell you just one! I will tell you my favorites from four distinct categories, though :) I love Christmas music. I just love it. But these here songs, (intentional hickism and stretch of a reference to Christmas Story.."now this here's a tree!") these are the ones I'm STILL not tired of after listening to KGBX for four weeks :)

I LOVE contemporary Baby Jesus/True Meaning songs. Examples?
New Again by Brad Paisley
Strange Way to Save the World by 4Him
While You Were Sleeping by Casting Crowns

In the traditional category?
O Holy Night
Silent Night

Country, you ask?
Let it Be Christmas (Alan Jackson)
Baby It's Cold Outside (Lady A)
The Angels Cried (Alan Jackson with Allison Krauss)----AMAZING.

And upbeat?All Alone on Christmas (Darlene Love)
Baby Please Come Home (Mariah Carey version) (Oddly mentioned in All Alone on Christmas)
All I Want for Christmas is You (Also Mariah Carey)
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (Barenaked Ladies)

Also Wintersong and River from Sarah McLachlan

5. How many trees do you put up?
Just one, unless you count the bitty baby one that may be located anywhere from Chloe's room to the bathroom at any given time ;)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

It's a Blah-g

Blah. That's how I feel about my blog lately. I'm clearly not alone, because hardly anyone on my list has been updating, either. It just seems I never have any good material or happenigns, or when I do, I'm not in a writing mood. Go figure.

I've been really submersed in my novel lately, which may be part of my problem. It's not a bad problem. I've got almost 30,000 words, which puts me possibly half-way, depending on how it all pans out. I've started several projects over the last year, but this is the first one I've felt excited about. It's the first one I can see from start to finish. It's the first one that literally writes itself. I often sit down to write, not sure where I'm even going, and yet the words just pour from my fingers. It's exciting.

However, I realize that putting all my creativity into my novel leaves me nothing on my blog but a bunch'a Five Question Fridays =/

I'll get my blog mojo back soon, I hope. Until then, consider this a boring old blah-g.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Is It Chrissy-Mus Yet???

My mom used to have a little Tigger in a box that would tap from inside and say, "HELLOOOO? Is it Chrissy-mus yet?"  He was so cute :)

Did you know it is Friday?? I didn't realize it until I looked at my blog and saw 5QF up and completed! What a wonderful surprise! I have some shopping plans this evening, to help ol' Santa out, and dinner with my love. :) Then it's back to work again. I sure enjoyed having my weekend free and spending it with my love. But for now Santa er uh, Mama needs the money!

1. What's on the top of your holiday wish list and why?!
I really don't have much I need or even want. I don't know if it's pathetic or honorable that I only want some new cooking utensils, new slippers, and a cd. I'd like to have a digital camcorder, but I'm fine without it, too. So, we shall see what Mr. Santa comes up with this year...

2. What is your favorite Christmas gift from the past?
Probably my most memorable gift was our Nintendo and our Super Nintendo. Those gifts were SO magical to me, because I just KNEW my mom couldn't afford them, so there HAD to be a Santa, there just had to! I also loved getting my new Cabbage Patch each year, and my new bike. Oh, and my dad shocked us with a trampoline one year, which was great, too.

3. If you had life to do over, what would you be when you grow up?
Hmmm. If I was forced to do it allllll over, I would either focus my English major more on writing and publishing, or I would have majored in psychology and sociology. Sociology was my favorite class in college, hands down. I loved it. BUT. What I wouldn't change is my opportunity to be a (mostly) stay-at-home mom. I wish I'd had that opportunity from the beginning, because it's what I really truly love the most. That's one of those things you can't really choose for yourself, though.

4. When do you put up your tree?
Usually Thanksgiving weekend. There has been a time or two I put it up late, but almost always right after Thanksgiving. Could be Thanksgiving night, the day after, or anytime that weekend. It's definitely a tradition.

5. What is your favorite Holiday?
Christmas, of course! It's the only holiday that's not just a holiday, it's an event! The season starts more than a month before this blessed holiday, and has so much to offer! There is shopping and wrapping, singing and baking. There is the Nativity, there's Santa Claus, and even a Grinch or Scrooge or two ;) There are Christmas movies, Christmas music, and Christmas goodies! There are wreaths, trees, twinkly lights, and tinkling bells. Family and friends, children, and love. If you can't find magic in Christmas then you probably can't find it anywhere! I love it!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

In a Year

A year ago today I was unpacking boxes and moving furniture. I was recovering from having pneumonia over Thanksgiving, and was about to leap into a life without looking at the water first. I've never EVER been someone to do something without thinking it through and having a good idea of the outcome before making a move. I'm not a risk-taker.

Yet here I was, moving my belongings into a house I'd never even visited, quitting my reliable job, and putting my life in the hands of someone I'd only been seeing for months. To look at it from the outside people thought I'd lost my mind, but I never had a shred of doubt.

The one thing in my whole life I've ever been sure of is him.

My post "The Plan" pretty much sums up our relationship. I traded in a lot of seemingly "important" things to change my lifestyle completely. People scolded me for "uprooting" my daughter and coming out here, but now I feel I can safely say, "See? I knew what I was doing." She is happy here. We are happy here. And I have the tight-knit family I've always needed. She has more stability and security than she ever has.

There have been days I was crammed in the feeding truck with the boys when it was twelve degrees, or running after a stubborn cow in rubber boots calling it everything in the book, and have laughed at how far I am from where I envisioned myself ten years ago, but I'd never trade it for the world.

Sometimes what "seems" right isn't the right path. I have learned to follow my heart and not worry about fitting into a neat little box. In a year I have learned what it means to be loved, really loved. I've found true happiness, and I'm so thankful for the trials that brought me here, because without the bad, I may have never found the good. If the years to come are even comparable to this past year, I've got a wonderful life ahead of me.