Monday, December 9, 2013

Haul out the Holly… (December Daily Day 1)

I swear, every year I get more and more disgusted when I see Christmas decorations filling the aisles of my local stores before Halloween, and hear Christmas music booming from their speakers weeks before Thanksgiving. Seriously?! I'm sorry, but I cannot even think about Christmas, much less get into the mood of the holiday, until after I've had my big family dinner giving my thanks for the year.  And don't get me started on the pre Black Friday deals. Christmas has become so commercialized these days that it is now taking over our other holidays just so we can be the first to get the latest and greatest gizmo, toy, blah blah blah for the so called "greatest deal of the century!" Ugh. I can't stand it. But enough about how much I hate the commercialization of my favorite holiday.

Every year I strive to have the decorations at least drug out of storage, if not all put up, by the first week of December. This is probably the first year we have ever had the tree up, ornaments on, and the majority of the inside of our house decorated for the holidays on the very first day of December. I really can't take credit for being totally on the ball though. Let's just say I had some motivation. In the days after Thanksgiving, and leading up to December, this was the conversation.

Mason: "Mom can we put the tree on Sunday."
Me: "Sure Mason."
Mason: "Yes! I can't wait."

Come Sunday morning the conversation went a bit more like this:

6am, Mason: "Can we put up the tree yet?"
Me (grumpy and sleepy, mumbling into my pillow): "Not yet mason, it's still early."
7am, Mason: "Can we put up the tree now?"
7:30am, Mason: "Get out of the bed! I want to put up the tree!"
Me: "Mason, go downstairs. I will get up when I get up! We can put up the tree after I've had my coffee and breakfast."
7:45am, Mason (in his best whining tone): "Mom, you promised we could put up the tree today."
7:50am, Mason: "MOM! Come on, GET OUT OF BED! Please! Seriously, can we put up the tree now? MOM!"
8:00am, Mason: "Mom…"
Me and Fred: "MASON!" 

Actually, this is how a typical weekend morning sounds. The kids getting up way too early and then bugging us every 10 seconds to get out of bed and get them breakfast, or play with them, or whatever nonsense they start begging for starting at the but crack of dawn. I don't know about you, but this Mama is so not a morning person. Not a good combination, young kids and an anti-morning persona. Especially with Mason, who needs constant stimulation as he tends to have the attention span of a gnat. It's exhausting. Probably another reason I need to have my cup of coffee in the morning before I can function. Trust me, you do not want to encounter me on a day I have not had my morning cup o' joe. It's like that Tempur-Pedic commercial, which is all too funny (mostly because it's true).

Seriously though, we got the tree up and all it's ornaments on in record time. Usually I am still decorating while dinner is cooking in the background. This year we were all done by the afternoon. It is unfortunate that our tree is having a bit of a short out with a strand or too, so we have some dark patches on our tree when it's lit. I suppose it is the perfectionist in me that is having the most problem with that. I swear I start to twitch each time I look at these pictures and walk by the tree at night. But I am learning to let it go. This is the new me, fresh off my breakdown, and being easy breezy. (Hahahaha. I'm sure Fred is reading this right now and screaming, "liar!) OK, so I might not be all easy breezy but I'm getting better at it. Take for example the ornaments. Usually I am very particular about spreading them out and making sure it all looks even. This I just let the kids go for it. I handed them ornaments (the non-breakable ones) and they put them on the tree. It was a big cluster of beauty from about the middle of the tree down. The top, totally empty. I had to stifle a giggle when I turned around. Lucky I had all those breakable ones to fill in the top and even it all out. They did a great job though.
That evening I found them sitting in the front of the tree looking at all the ornaments, admiring what a great job they had done and pointing out which ones they had made. It was too cute of a moment to pass up. I'm always on the lookout for a good photo op. Once they caught me taking pictures though, they had to pose in from of the tree and even at one point shouted, "did you get that shot of us with our arms around each other?" Such posers these too. But I suppose that just comes with the territory when your Mom is a photographer.
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Monday, December 2, 2013

I'm still here, I swear

So I trust that all of you out there in the blogosphere had a happy Thanksgiving. Ours was spent with my immediate family enjoying a short, but intimate dinner. We managed to get ourselves well enough to break some bread between episodes of the Modern Family marathon and whatever football game was being played. Fred made some deliciously good chili, and fruit salad. I tried to make some homemade rolls, but we had issues with our yeast and I ended up buying them last minute at the store. Mason and Sophie got a peak of how I spent a lot of my childhood by playing some really old board games like; Fun City, Clue, and Rack-O with Grandma and Aunt Jenni. My dad and I talked (I love just talking with my dad) about t.v. shows, health, and what we've been up to lately. It was all very last minute and though it wasn't the big family dinner of turkey, stuffing, ham, etc. that we have become accustom to, thanks to Grandma Veda, I am thankful we got to see family at all.

Ok, so you are probably sitting there all, "Woah Rachel! You've been silent for the last eight months and just suddenly pop up with, this is how our Thanksgiving was, and that's it?" LOL. Well, no. I do owe an explanation as to my absence since much has happened since April and here it is.

I have spent the last few, ok has it really been eight months, noting stories and events from our lives in my many notebooks strewn throughout the house and I have about 7-8 drafts in my post section that I just never got around to finishing. I have the best intentions, but lack the followthrough. I always figured once the kids got older I would have more time to do the things I want, despite the warnings this was most likely not to be the case. Still, all summer, I anxiously awaited the beginning of the school year. Why? you ask. Well, 2013 marked the beginning of ALL DAY SCHOOL, for at least one child.

Yes, Mason is now in first grade. FIRST GRADE! Gulp. Sophie is in her last year of preschool, sniff sniff, and I have 5 mornings a week with no kids. NO KIDS! (Insert happy dance, fists pumping in the air.) I will have three whole hours to myself to get some scrapbooking done and to actually sit down and write a blog post, I told myself. In my ideal world, I would spend those three hours being able to read, check email, write on my blog, make some cards, finish a few scrapbooks, and still have time to clean the house, do a load of laundry, run errands, get groceries, and take a shower. How productive I would be with my newly established kid free time. Snap back to reality, and three hours is really not as long as you would expect. I maybe have enough time to get a few things done before that alarm on my phone goes off, indicating it's time to leave and pick up Sophie. Most days this means I only get the grocery shopping done, and maybe a few minutes to send out an email or two; or I have just enough time to get in a run and take a shower; and on Wednesdays its spent volunteering in the classroom or shelving books in the school library. All that free time I had open for endless possibilities, I managed to fill with new opportunities and obligations. Leaving my clearly over-achievable goals of productivity to plummet, along with my hopes of finishing all the things I've been putting off creatively.

In essence, this was a very lingual way of saying, I've been busy and my blog failed to earn a space on the top of my priority list. I really have no excuses. I should make the time to write down the stories of our lives, especially for those family and friends who actually read this blog and live so far away. I know I've said it before, but I am really going to make a conscious effort to re-prioritize my time and make sure that telling our life stories is, once again, high on that list.

Not sure how well this will go, I do tend to have a little bit of an attention deficit problem when it comes to being on my computer. I mean all those alluring craft projects, recipes, and home decor ideas waiting to be "liked," or "repined" over on Pinterest; not to mention the status updates of my friends, (oh they are so distracting), because honestly who doesn't want to be all up in everyone else's lives. Seriously, it's only because our own is so overly mundane.  Or maybe that's just me. Either way, if you are still reading, or if you are new (Yay! and Welcome.) stay tuned for some catch up posts on what we have been up to lately. Also, it's December already. Aye! IT'S DECEMBER ALREADY!!!! So that means the return of December Daily, a sneak into our lives during the holiday season. I just love this project. You know why? Because as I was decorating yesterday, I pulled out my album from 2009 and started to look through it and really loved seeing how we spent the holiday, how the house was decorated, how young the kids were, and what we did on a daily basis. So much fun.
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