Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces...

With the arrival of the solstice, its official...the sun is on its way!!! I'm so looking forward to watching the return of the light- minute by minute. That's really what this season is about for me- remembering that even in the deepest, darkest winter, there is still light and even though the world seems dead, its alive and already preparing for Spring.

Now we're tackling the last work day before the break and looking forward to a Griswaldian Old Fashioned Family Xmas with the husband's parents and then a visit with my side of the family in a cabin in the Rockies complete with snowshoeing, board games and awkward moments among some siblings who haven't spoken in months. Yay!

Peace to you and yours and have a joyful holiday- whichever you choose to celebrate!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

The thing that I most like to bring out this time of the year are my balls*

I'm sure I'm not alone when I exclaim "shit is keeeerazy!!!" Xmas stuff, work, social engagements, volunteering, and you know, that thing called Parenting. Phew.

After feeling completely out of control this week (Monday was bookclub, Tuesday was puppy kindergarten, Wednesday was a meetup with a friend who just got back into town...you get the idea), I took some time last night to get my ducks in a row: Got the xmas cards out finally and spent some time with Otto painting mats to go around picture gifts for his great grandmas. It was nice to have a night at home to spend listening to holiday music and doing something creative with my little kid. (If you can classify writing short notes and addressing cards as 'creative.' )

As merry as I'm trying to be though, I feel like I'm fighting off a certain melancholy. First, following the climate stuff in Copenhagen has me depressed. On NPR this morning someone compared it to going on a field trip with 193 children and needing everyone to agree on every little decision. Ugh. Am I extraordinarily naive when I say that I wish they could just come up with a direction and some goals?

Second, there's the whole Debtcember thing- its so hard to keep to a budget this time of year and we are really feeling the squeeze. Fortunately, all gifts are purchased or made at this point so barring any unforeseen expenses, we should squeak by. Barely. I know there are a lot of people WAY worse off and we've tried to do our part: both our offices adopted needy families and we had fun shopping for them- coats, hats, gloves, some toys and books. Donated food. Donated new hats and mittens to the local newspaper's hat and mitten tree. Feels good to give and reminds us how truly blessed we are: we both have jobs, a roof over our heads, food in our fridge and most importantly, each other.

So we're trying to keep everything grounded and enjoy the season. It will get easier next week- my job gives us from the 24th through Jan 3rd off. Paid. So really I can't complain. We'll get to see both sets of in-laws and spend some time recreating in the beautiful Rocky Mountains.

I'll leave you with this- is it really the holiday season until you've seen Schweddy Balls*? I didn't think so.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Its the Hap-happiest Time

Greetings from -20-degrees-with-the-wind-chill-land. Yeah. Its nipply out. (What am I saying? Nipple? Hahaha. Wouldn't be the Christmas shopping season if the stores were any less hooter...uh...hotter than they are!)

Some highlights from the last few days:

We went up to get our tree last weekend. It was fun except for when the whiny toddler got all "I don't wanna" on us but we forced a little 'old-fashioned family xmas' fun on him anyway. I carried him on my back in the Ergo and it only took about 20 min of hiking to locate the perfect fir. Ruby had a good time anyway.

Earlier that morning, (which might account for some of the whininess...he HAD already met Santa so really, what else is there?) we had breakfast with Santa and got a picture taken. To me, in this picture it looks like Otto just told Santa that he wants new parents that won't force him to go up to the snowy mountains to cut down xmas trees. Santa is wishing for whiskey as I'm sure he's realizing what a long morning he's in for.

And lastly, a parting shot of Otto rocking the husband's aviators. Don't mess with him.

Hope you're all hanging on to your sanity. My holiday shopping is done (we're going minimalist this year, so it wasn't really hard) and now I've just got to get through the rest of the month. I'm with Santa on the whiskey.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Friends can listen to 'Endless Love' in the dark

My favorite things today:

Handmade Holiday Gifts: OMG y'all. Took a little trip to the local holiday market today and TOTALLY SCORED. It was some ninja fuckin' shopping. Handmade wooden domino set for Grandpa, recycled angel pins for Grandmas (and Mom), earrings for sister-in-law, scarves for daycare teachers, handmade wooden puzzles for kids...All at great prices and its not the same old shit you see in every Target. So super stoked to give everyone their gifts!!

Date nights with the Husband: We have one scheduled for tomorrow night and I am SO EXCITED. Its been a while. The plan is going out for Indian food and then ice skating. How fun does that sound?!? Squee!

Speaking of ice-skating, I got new skates! They are used hockey skates, very nice and much better than my 20 year old figure skates. I'm pretty sure I'm on my way to becoming a total badass on the ice. But I have to confess that every time I'm on the ice I have to fight an uncontrollable urge to pretty much recite every ice skating scene from Happy Gilmore.

The Holiday Season: Yeah, its commercial. And yes a lot of it is super annoying for many many different reasons. And I hate that not everyone can enjoy it because of layoffs, illness, poverty, you name it. ...But I can't help it. I love this time of year. I love the snow. I love planning surprises for people I love. I LOVE cutting down our own holiday tree. And then comes the decorating with Christmas Vacation playing in the background. Plus. PLUS. Our jobs give us from the 24th through January 4th off. Paid. Its kind of totally awesome.

Things I'm not so fond of?

BELOW ZERO TEMPERATURES. Effing brrrr. It was -17 this morning. -8 when I drove to work. THAT IS TOO COLD, PEOPLE.