Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Sabrina, who is home sick with the flu (editor's note: despite the flu shot, grr): "I wish I could go to school."

Me: "Oh, Sweetie, this makes me happy and sad for you.  Sad because I know you want to be somewhere you can't, but happy that you like school so much."

Sabrina: "So you're sappy?"

Monday, December 8, 2014

SAy Cheese

Ah, 'tis the time of year for Santa photos.  We've been here before, with varying results.  Let's see how this year turned out.

My typical MO is to take the kids to the mall early during Thanksgiving week, since the lucky little suckers have the whole thing off.  We haven't encountered a line that way, which give me plenty of time to commandeer the photo booth and make them take dozens of shots until I give up from sheer fatigue am happy.  But this year, my brother and his family decided to visit for Thanksgiving, and our time together would be limited, so I wanted to keep as much of that time available so the kids could hang with their cousins.  It occurred to me that since Chris had the Friday before Thanksgiving week off, we could grab the kids and head out after school.  I was betting there wouldn't be much of a wait because of the early timing.

I was right.  The end.

No, that couldn't be the end of the story, could it?  Of course, it couldn't.

(Don't get too excited.  This isn't the making of a Hallmark holiday movie or anything.)

We made it to the mall, marched right up to the photo kiosk and found... nobody.  No Santa, not even a photo elf.  I checked the sign 3 times to make sure I was reading correctly that Santa was slated to appear at that very minute.  We hung out, getting increasingly anxious (me) and fidgety (them), until finally Santa came back from his milk and cookie break (I'm making an educated guess here).  I ushered the kids over to Santa and put the photographer to work while I got out my own camera for backup. 

I forgot my husband was with us this time. 

My husband, who has never seen of picture of himself he could call decent, much less liked, was fine with every single shot and said so.  I, however, was not.  At first, every shot was 9 million miles away, and I really don't need my son's grimy shoes in the picture when I can't even see his face.  So I made the elf zoom in.  Then began the coaching, because my children, while adorable, are terrible photo subjects.  Look here.  No, HERE.  No side eye, Sabrina.  Sammy, that's not a smile; you look like you're in the beginning stage of rigamortis.  Relax.  Sit up straight.  Fix your dress.  Ugh.

All the while with Chris standing behind me, probably exchanging "Isn't my wife insane?" looks with the elves.  Oh well.  I'm paying for this moment of delight.  I want it right.

After several rounds, I reached the end of my rope, I settled.  It's not the best pic of the kids, but they're both smiling and looking relatively near the lens.  But then, Santa:

Y'all, he's the grumpy cat version of Santa.  Grumpy Ol' Saint Nick. 


Note to Surly Santa: this was November 21.  You have a long way to go.  Better find the jolly, Man.

Then there was yesterday.  Our church had a pancake breakfast with Santa as honored guest.  And we commemorated this moment as well.

Not bad.  Sabrina might be checking out stage left, but at least nobody looks constipated.

I haven't downloaded my snapshots yet, so there's still hope that I managed to capture something the professionals missed.  Eh, who am I kidding?  But still, memories made. 

And we get to do it all over again next year.

Sunday, November 30, 2014


And with that, I am done.

30 posts, 3 Thanksgivings, 4 daisy scout meetings, 2 cub scout meetings, 13 karate classes, 1 week of husband on vacation, 1 week of kids on vacation, and not nearly enough caffeine. 

Thank you, November.  Until we meet again.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thankmas 2014

Oh my, what a day.  I think this is the first time I've stopped.  It's been nonstop 3rd Thanksgiving prep and Christmas decorating.  But it's done.  Mostly.  I think.  (I hope.)

Chris (predictably) spent most of the day outside, getting the lights just right and hooking up his new toy, the synchronization system.  Now, we're not complete fuddy duddies, but perhaps we are not up to the cutting edge of technology (do not tell me what I'm about to describe is old hat and by the way get off my lawn).  We had to figure out what device to use for the music and make it talk to the speakers and make the whole system talk to the lights Chris had just rearranged for the 17th time, and well, we are now strobing out to holiday tunes and probably giving our neighbors aneurysms.

Trees and ornaments and garlands and tchotchkes of all kinds have been deployed, and I love it all.  All the same, I'm a little overwhelmed by everything, but that will fade to the point that when it's time to put it all away, I will be sad to see it go.  We're not magazine worthy, but we're homey and happy and it's us.  Every item has a story and it's wonderful to remember each and every one.

I may even forget the trauma of putting 1,200 lights on the tree.  In a few years.

So tomorrow, we shall wrap up Thanksgiving with one final blowout bash with Chris's side of the family, hosting a good 25ish people for food and togetherness.  I'm going to throw out a warning to my sister in law to forget about the marshmallow guns because that business is not getting tracked onto my clean carpets.  But beyond that, let the frivolity flow.  I love being able to stretch out Thanksgiving and segue into the Christmas season.  It's just delightful.

If you wouldn't mind, a kind thought for a tasty turkey and no one accidentally melting plastic wrap in my oven would be greatly appreciated.

Friday, November 28, 2014

It's Time to Light the Lights

Once upon a time when I was a kid, the neighborhood I now live in had a Christmas light contest.  Each street devised a theme and competed against one another.  Consequently, this was a place where people came to see lights, crawling slowly past each house, ooing and awing.

When we moved in, we asked around and found out our street still had something of a theme - candy canes lining the edged of each yard, connected by loops of white lights - even if the contest didn't happen anymore.  So we candy caned up.  As the years have passed, the number of candy cane houses have slowly dwindled, to the point that I suspect we may be the only one left (sad).  I told Chris he could skip that part this year, but he gave me a firm no on that. At least we could carry the holiday torch for out block.  My holiday fervor must be rubbing off on him.

Tonight, we came home and Chris told me to check out some neighbors across the street.  Holy coy, they are decked out.  I think they are the same people who have lived there for years, never turning on their porch light, much less stringing Christmas lights, but now they are ablaze.

Chris walked up behind me and uttered two words: "It's ON."

Oh dear, I have created a Clark Griswold style monster.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Ode to Thankfulness and Good Eating

Twas the night of Thanksgiving
And all through the town,
Not a person was moving,
They were all taken down

By the rolls, the stuffing,
And of course, the turkey,
Cranberries and casseroles,
All smothered in gravy.

And who can forget pie?
Pumpkin or pecan,
Or maybe chocolate, or key lime,
I can go on and on.

So pop an antacid
And unbuckle your belt.
Next year you won't remember
How bloated you felt.

Seriously though, I am thankful for many things, and you are certainly part of that.  Thank you for your friendship, kindness, and indulgence.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Well here we are, Thanksgiving Eve.  I wrapped up the house cleaning yesterday, so today I got to hang out and watch my kids play with their cousins, and if there's a greater treat than that, I don't know what it is.  My dishes are prepped and I am ready to see the big balloons fly down the streets of Manhattan.  I have no idea if anybody will watch with me, but I'll never stop trying.

I hope your turkey day is filled with joy, peace, and happiness.  May your heart and your belly be full.