Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Last Post of 2013

In a few more hours, another year will begin.
Have a safe and fun New Year, be sure to give a big smooch to someone you love at midnight, unless you are old like we are and will be asleep long before then.
If that's the case, just go kiss your sweetie now.

We have had a great day with our friends from church.
We went bowling and then to the Thomas home for Chinese. 
We filled up half the bowling alley and it was great to be with everyone amid the lights, laughter and those damn noisy New Year's horns. 
I mean they were festive....yeah, festive.

Even when things are hard and crappy, we're super blessed and  my life is filled with the love thanks to the amazing people I get to share it with. I'm so thankful for the family and friends I have. 

My resolution in 2014 is to be a better friend. 

It's not that I'm a bad friend, I am a very good friend.........when I am functioning and participating in life.
 I've kind of retreated  in recent months and haven't allowed my friends to really help me through a hard experience. Since I didn't let people in when I needed help, they didn't come to me when they needed help. I kind of created this whole dumb cycle of isolation, when I know that at my darkest hours, it has been my friendships that helped me find the light. I know that when a friend is down, I am able to help her get through things as well and it's a good thing for us both.
I just have shut myself off in recent months to a huge degree and I miss my friends.
My reasons for doing so were legitimate reasons for climbing into a pit- but nothing good came of it. 
I have some wonderful friends though, and I can get things back to where they were if I will make the choice to put myself out there. I need to open the doors again and be there for those I love, and let them be there for me as well.
It isn't good to be alone and I have such wonderful friends, it's downright silly to do so.

And I started making that change by getting out of my house and spending the afternoon celebrating with people that I love, admire and trust. 
This will be the first of many better days filled with laughter and the company of these wonderful people.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Meet The Met

Have you ever been to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC?
You MUST go.
I don't care where you live, what your life plan is.
You simply must go to the Met at least once in your life. 

 Emma had not been yet, and it was high time she checked this one off her bucket list.
Everything you see is incredible.
 Sometimes, you find things that speak to your soul, or at least, try to peer into it through crazy, beady eyes.

Join ussss.....It's blissssss......

 Apparently, the steps were super poopy today, so Emma stood up for any remaining pictures in order to escape the plastering of poop that the pigeons created.

It was a good day in NYC for all. 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas 2013

You're Welcome.

 When all of your kids are teenagers or older, Christmas morning changes.
They sleep in.

Well, all but one of them, who has been up since 2 am, obsessively checking the time and playing Minecraft.

At least one of them makes sure all of her poses are 'facebook worthy" and you have to say "don't make the peace sign!" before every single picture to that same kid.

Suddenly, the stuff your grandparents had that you wouldn't touch as a kid is cool again.

All of your toys support you "Geek Chic" lifestyle.

 There is always at least one thing that nobody has even heard of and no store carries. 
(One day I will tell you the story of Jane and the Great Barbie Lip Gloss Maker.....)

Amazon has everything now, though. they even carry obscure Japanese Anime winged blue cats. 
 I still don't know what it is, but it was her favorite gift.

Some of us are still teenagers at heart....

 (Blackhawks tickets)

When it was all done, they cleaned up their own wrapping paper, assembled their own stuff and helped on another get their electronics set up. 
No matter how old they get, they have a Mom and Dad who still love to see the smiling faces of these wild kids on Christmas Morning.

 Merry Christmas, everyone. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

This is Pure Snow! It's Everywhere!

Two points to the person who names the reference, and minus twelve to anyone who has no idea. 
So, that "post a day" thing didn't exactly happen, but it did get me blogging more consistently again, and that was the  real goal. 
We've been blessed with a ton of snow this December.

When I was younger, I lived in Idaho and some years Christmas was white, while other years, the snow teased here and there, but wouldn't really start sticking until January.
Snow that waits until January is just rude.
By January, you're looking forward to spring. 
There's nothing magical about January or February snow and March snow just gets on your nerves. 
Don't judge me, the voices in my head totally agree with my logic.

When I was in 9th grade, my family moved to Arizona and that was the end of any snowy Decembers.
It didn't bother me, it was nice to be able to still go out and do things in the evenings, to see the lights at the Mesa Temple with my friends and Arizona brought a whole new world of December that involved people and places and it was it's own kind of magical. 

I was in Arizona for a long time.
 I never once took my kids up North just to see the snow. I took them to the Zoo, to the park, to the Temple. Christmas was a time for outings because it wasn't 400 degrees outside. 
December was the reward for putting up with August.

When we packed up that U-haul and headed to Happy Valley, my body was not ready for this season called "Winter."  I bought the heaviest coat I could find and knew it was going to be a rough adjustment for me. I had no idea how to drive in the snow, and it seemed that my fingers would never warm up.

Until they did. I met this really tall guy who gave me a reason to drive in the snow, and who kept my hands and heart  warm with all of that mushy schmoopy stuff that Caleb would prefer I not mention.

Snow and winter have been a part of life, ever since. My joints ache and hurt and I'm still wearing that ginormous coat, but it's okay. I know that December snow is magical.

Last year, it snowed on Christmas Eve.
 It snowed as my seven children all went outside and danced in it, while they waited for Santa. 
December snow will do that.
December snow deserves to be danced in. 

I am thankful that I have kids who know that, and who remind me that even though there will be wet clothes and windshields to scrape- everywhere I look.....magic. 

Look out your window.
Do you see it, just glistening, as the sun shines on it?

Maybe the magic is in the branches of the trees, cold limbs reaching out, trying to grasp the sun so they can thaw.

Maybe the magic  is in the back yard where the kids have tromped and smashed and made chaos of the ground as they try to build forts and snowmen. 

Look outside, and find the evidence of magic that December has brought to you.

Then  make some hot cocoa and finish your holiday shopping online- it may be magic, but it's COLD, Yo.

Monday, December 9, 2013

December 9

Every year my kids each decorate a gingerbread house. 
It's something we did in our family when I was young, I think my sisters do it with their kids every year, too.
Some years I make the gingerbread, some years I just buy a kit.  
The shapes and sizes of the houses change, but the smile on my face is always the same as I watch them concentrate on building the perfect.

The finished works of art....

 On December 31st, they will break their houses to ring in the new year.
I am glad we kept this tradition going, I hope my kids do it with their children, too.