Category Archives: Holidays/Seasons

The Making of a Blanket. Or How Knit To.

When I was a young girl, my mother taught me how to knit. Or she tried to. There’s only so much you can do when your daughter is a lefty and can’t do so much as wipe her own face with her right hand.

We got as far as the knit stitch. My mom had to cast on and off for every project I did. That is, if you want to call my fifteen 7″ x 1″ Barbie scarves a “project.”

I will say this though: My Barbies had the warmest necks this side of the Hudson.

But as quickly as my new hobby started, it stopped. That was it. Done by the tender age of ten.

Until I saw something on the inter-webs last October and decided it was time to revisit that old forty-year dead hobby of mine. Except I didn’t remember how. And even if I did, I would only be able to do the knit stitch.

I had a friend who I knew would be able to get me started. Also, I know you can learn how to do anything from building a car engine to how to clean your toilet with Coca-Cola on YouTube.

Long Live YouTube.

I called my mom who immediately packed up all her knitting accoutrements, from needles to patterns, and put them in the mail to me. I could almost hear her say, “Sucker!” Because what I was really doing was helping her clean out her junk room.

I’m on to you, mom.

Anyway, I was going to be THE knitting phenom. I was going to have this untapped talent. I would be able to make everything from blankets to sweaters with those little sheep patterns on them.

I’m not quite sure what gave me this impression. Maybe because I’m really good at coloring inside the lines. Or it could be because art class was one of the classes I didn’t cut in high school.

Who knows? But I was pretty sure I was going to be good. Even though I hadn’t held a pair of knitting needles in my hands since 1977.

It turns out I wasn’t a knitting phenom. It wasn’t a God-given talent. If that’s even a thing. But more on that in a minute.

So, what exactly gave me the inspiration, after nearly forty years, to pick up my (mom’s) knitting needles again?

It would be this:

My Inspiration

Evil, horrible liar.

It all started with an accidental peek at a chunky blanket I spied on Pinterest. Or Etsy. Okay, I’m not sure where I saw it. It just saw it. Somewhere. And “they” said it would only take 4-5 hours to make.

A piece of cake.

Like I said, I had an epiphany and was 110% sure I could do this and do this well.

Me. The girl who uses the side view mirror of her car to pick off random mailboxes. The girl who has more squirrels running around in her brain than all of the Connecticut backwoods combined.

Anyway, I just HAD to knit one for my daughter for Christmas, who happens to be away at college.

I thought she could snuggle and think of her dear mommy every time she used it.

Because that is precisely what eighteen year olds do. Right? Right?

That friend of mine cast on for me and taught me how to do the purl stitch. We started with thirty-two stitches. After three days, I managed to increase it to forty-one.

I don’t know so don’t ask.

After approximately seven rows in, I decided to rip it all out. Because chances are I would have increased in stitches even more and my blanket would resemble a trapezoid something or other (thank you, Google) then, well, a blanket.

Holier than thou

Hole-ier than thou

Also, I kept forgetting if I was supposed to be purling or knitting. So in addition to it being asymmetrical, it would be bumpy too. You know, kind of like my middle aged body.

Two words: not pretty.

Now of course I could only rip it out to the cast-on row, that first row, because I didn’t know how to cast on (yeah, I know..YouTube. Well, I forgot to look. Squirrel).

Then I decided to completely change the pattern. By accident, of course. The actual only decision-making was the act of choosing to take this project on. The rest just had a mind of its own.

My attempt to be organized. Those red splotches is spilled wine. Wine and knitting. Maybe that's where I went wrong.

My attempt to be organized. Those red splotches is spilled wine. Wine and knitting. Maybe that’s where I went wrong.

Somewhere in there, I realized I didn’t like the knitting needles I was using so I hit Amazon and got myself new ones. And then didn’t like them, so I went back to the originals.

So far I have increased stitches, ripped, changed the pattern by accident, and switched needles. Twice.

A blanket pattern that claimed it would only take a half day of daylight hours to knit was now my life’s job. And it took almost my whole life to make the thing. Okay, so two months.

Christmas was fast approaching and my anxiety level was increasing. Not to mention the tension in my shoulders and back. Where is it said knitting is therapeutic? Sure. If you like to be tortured. I know a bed made of nails that is more relaxing.

Anyway,  after hours and many weeks, this is the finished product. I, at least owe you a good laugh:

finished blanket

Not really sure what that line is, but this blanket is one of a kind. I like to call it Couture.

So, have I hung up my knitting needles? No. Because practice makes perfect, right?

We’ll see because I’m making all my nieces and nephews who are having babies, a baby blanket. Whether they like it or not. I apologize in advance, but you know, I’m an expert.

Our Family Christmas Letter – Volume 4

“Bah humbug!”

This is the reply you would get from my dad whenever anyone said, “Merry Christmas” to him. I used to get so mad at him. But now? I get it. Oh.my.god. I totally get it.

What the heck is so “Merry” about Christmas? Besides the fact that it’s Jesus’ birthday?

Well, really Jesus was probably born sometime in the summer because according to the Pastor at our church, it most likely took the three Wiseman approximately five to six months to get to Him. It gives a whole new meaning to “Christmas in July,” don’t you think?

Feeling duped? So did The Kid. That probably ranks up there with when our children found out we’ve been lying to them about Santa all these years (and the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy). I should feel bad about that, but I don’t.

Let me rephrase — I do not hate the actual day of Christmas. I love Christmas (although I like Thanksgiving better because…food all day. Need I say more?).

I just hate the month leading up to it.

It starts with standing in the living room trying to figure out which dang light on the three strings of lights is causing all of them to go out and then after two hours of trying just throwing in the towel and running to Rite Aid to buy all new lights and fighting the crowds to get them (and that’s before you get out of the car), it’s just really not merry.

Or the lines that start in the parking lot of Costco. The lists on top of lists of things to do. The cookies to bake. The 105 nieces and nephews to buy for. The Wrapping. The Christmas cards. The pushing, shoving, and absolute madness of the entire season.

Oh my gosh, how did I get so off topic?

Where was I? Oh yes. My Family Christmas Letter.

2016 was a fine year. And I don’t mean “fine” as in “ooh, yeah Brad Pitt is fine.” What I mean is that 2016 was “eh.”

It was the year where I proclaimed I was going to lose my double chin, when I actually gained a third one.

Also, my face decided 2016 was the year to start growing hair. That’s really fun. My tweezers are happy to have a daily chore though.

It was the year of me being a working mom for the second year. It went well. I mean, except for the fact that I had to shower every day, get dressed in something other than sweatpants, use my brain, and actually talk to people.

I suppose all those things right there are positive but I really do miss my PJ bottoms. And I get the feeling my brain may still be in sleep mode. But you’d have to confirm that with my co-workers.

DH started a new job that was nice enough to let him work 14 hour days and weekends. He also almost lost an eye, but he didn’t so I suppose that’s a positive.

The Kid finished high school and left me to go to college. Oh, I mean, she spread her wings and flew to where she will learn to be even greater than she is. So she can have a meaningful career and support herself.

The bad thing about that is our vacation money is being spent on an education. My body hasn’t seen the sun in ages. Seriously. My doctor says I’m severely depleted of Vitamin D.

Staying in a hotel two miles from campus for Parent’s Weekend does not count as vacation. Neither does it help with my Vitamin D levels because she is not going to the U of Hawaii or Stanford.

I suppose I could always OD on milk. But that’s a problem when your favorite drink is red wine. But hey. According to the American Heart Association, a glass a day has heart-healthy benefits.

Oh. A glass a day. So, math isn’t my strong suit.

Well, that’s about it. We are happy and healthy. We have jobs, a roof over our heads, food in our bellies, and intact body parts. Overall, 2016 was decent, but looking forward to 2017. Here’s to hoping I don’t gain another chin.

Be well, my friends. Happy holidays and have a wonderful New year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another Cliche Filled Blog Post About New Beginnings

don't be afraid to live
I write this as I lie here nursing a hangover. Too many white chocolate martinis will do that to a person. I guess New Year’s Eve of 2009 taught me nothing.

It is now 2016. More than half the decade is behind us. This year I turn 49, have my 30th high school reunion and will be the mother of a college student.

Can you believe three gray hairs sprouted out of my head during the making of that last paragraph? It’s true.

It is also the year when if you write 2015 on your check you can easily change the 5 to a 6 (creds go to my 17 year old for pointing that out), but that’s just an extra perk.

Anyway, a few months ago I had one of those episodes where the breath gets sucked right out of your lungs, you start to sweat ice and your heart races at 783 beats per minute.

No, I didn’t get hit in the gut with a baseball. Or remembered that I forgot to DVR last night’s Grey’s Anatomy (yes, I am that obsessed). It was much worse than that.

I suddenly came to the realization that my life is half over (actually if I’m going to be accurate, midway probably came about five years ago but let’s not say that out loud).

I wasn’t freaked out that my life is more than half over. I was more terrified of the fact that there is so much I still need and want to do in my life. Somehow those first 48 years blew by with ne’er a stiff breeze.

bucket listI have experienced some wonderful things. I fell in love, became a mother and went to Ireland. I have a good life. I am generally happy. But is that enough? I realized my bucket is still pretty full. And having a full bucket is not the same as having a full glass or full belly. It isn’t satisfying.

What is in my bucket? Besides Clorox and hot water on cleaning day? I want to go to Italy, make love under the stars (ok so I did that once but I was 20 and drunk so it doesn’t count), and write a novel. Just to name a few.

I also want to be healthier (I understand that should be on the resolutions list but I’m lazy), volunteer more of my time to my community and fill my weekends with more than television and Candy Crush.

So, I have proclaimed 2016 to be my year (right along with about 10 million of you). What makes 2106 any different and special from the other years? I mean, I have been making myself Queen since 1995 and have done nothing but fallen off the throne halfway through January time and time again.

Because I realized my life is half over and there is literally no more time to f*ck around.

Life is fleeting and can change in an instant. I don’t want to be on my deathbed with regrets that I didn’t live my life to the best of my ability. That I didn’t accomplish the things that are important to me, or at least gave them a good fight.

So, welcome 2016. You are my year. I can’t wait to get started. Right after I take a shower.

 

Our Family Christmas Letter – Volume 3

Merry Christmas Eve! Yes, I realize it’s Christmas eve and just getting my letter out. Procrastination is #12 on my list of New Year’s resolutions. Don’t worry, it will be broken by January 2nd, along with giving up wine and eating more greens.

Can you believe it’s December Christmas Eve already? I swear I feel like I just put away that pain in my ass village yesterday and here I am again. Hauling shit out of the basement like I’m some kind of Martha Stewart or something. Except I’m clearly not Martha Stewart by my decorating skills. I’ve been using the same crap decorations I’ve had for the last 23 years. Recycling at it’s finest, people.

Do you find that as you get older, it’s just the same year after year? The same routine, the same lights, the same fake cranberry wreath hanging from your foyer mirror. It gets so monotonous and exhausting. I truly see why the elderly just throw one of those pre-lit ceramic trees in the window, plug it in, and call it a day.

Now that that’s out of the way, I was reflecting on the past year. So much has happened. Okay, that’s a lie. Not a lot has happened. Well, maybe a little. Enough to make a killer interesting, sit on the edge of your seat letter? Well, no. But here is it anyway. You’re welcome.

I suppose the biggest news coming from our household is this whole process of college shopping and applying. Look, I didn’t go to college. But I have friends who did and I do not recall any of the crap fun stuff that goes on today.

I swear, if your kid isn’t class president, maintain a 4.99 grade point average, is the leader of every single club in school plus not only participate in 12 different sports but excel to the point where some professional league is knocking on your door, then you can forget about getting a juicy scholarship. Or even getting in. The College Application. The place where dreams go to die.

Although we only have one kid and this should be a walk in the park, I have to tell you I really want our money to be our money again. I don’t mean to complain, but it started with diapers on Day One and the monetary bleeding just keeps on coming. It’s a wound that doesn’t heal. So, although becoming Empty Nesters sounds really great in concept, we still will be broke because four years of college in the 21st century equals one large house, two vacations a year and a boat.

All joking aside, we are proud of our little crotch apple. Wherever she goes will be wonderful. I’m looking forward to taking over her walk-in closet. What shall I turn it into? I mean, since I won’t have the money to buy any clothes.

Let’s see, what else is new? Oh how could I forget? We got a dog! A big, sloppy, hairy german shepherd. And when I say “hairy” I mean hair everywhere, in every crevice, on every surface. Just think Christmas tree needles on Crack. Except Christmas tree needles smell nice. It’s really DH’s dog but that’s okay. The hair is for everyone and we love him nonetheless.

There was a little trip to Ireland! No, really. This time I mean it. Well, it was just me and a friend.  The Kid was supposed to go because it was for a dance competition but she wound up getting another concussion (kids should not be allowed to play sports without bubble wrap taped to their head) and didn’t want to miss any more school (yes, she came out of my hoo-haa because I was there and saw it — go figure).

Anyway, that place is beautiful and green. Luckily, green is my favorite color so it worked out. The people are amazing and patient. I think everyone should go to Ireland to learn a thing or two. Although I went and learned and came home and my good patience lasted approximately 4 days (okay, that’s an exaggeration — it ended as soon as the guy in the seat next to me kept taking over my arm rest).

I started working a real live job this year. Which means I don’t have time for cleaning or shopping or making dinner or any of those things I didn’t do anyway. Except now I just have an excuse.

It’s fun being out in the world with people and talking and using my brain that I thought was past the point of no return and having to get showered and dressed before 5p.m. It took me about 3-months to learn how to walk in heels again without teetering over, and another 3 months for the bruises to disappear from my toenail beds but all is well. I can walk in heels like a pro now. As long as there is a wall nearby.

That pretty much sums it up. We are all happy and healthy to which I am eternally grateful. Cheers to a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. See you next year.

10 Reasons Why I have a Love/Hate Relationship with Christmas

I have the best memories of Christmas growing up in my house. My parents didn’t have a lot of money but they were sure to make every holiday special.

They made decorating a family affair, with the Jackson 5 Christmas album at full blast on the hi-fi (no, younger generation, I did not mean wifi) and showering us with second hand Salvation Army toys washed in bleach. As we got older and the financial situation got better, bleached toys turned into Atari and Jordache jeans.

Then I got married and became a mother myself. I continued the tradition (minus the Salvation Army and bleach) with my child.

Then suddenly, it wasn’t as fun anymore. Fisher Price turned into Abercrombie which turned into Lilly Pulitzer. The cost per item substantially went up.

But that’s not why I’m stressed. I’m just saying having a teenage girl is costly. Don’t know where she gets that from. I grew up in Cal-pros and homemade polyester bell bottoms. But I digress.

I find as I get older, I lose the energy for it. I love Christmas. Don’t get me wrong. I love the carols, the lights on the houses, the festivities, the cheer, the eggnog. I love it all.

I love it all except what I don’t love. So I am here to tell you these are a few of my least favorite things:

  1. Sending Christmas cards – Choosing a perfect good enough picture, sending it to Costco via the inter webs, putting them in envelopes, licking them closed, printing the labels and stamping them is too daunting a task. And if you don’t have someone’s address? It sits on the corner in the “to-do” pile until next year because you are too lazy to go look it up.
  2. Decorating and Un-decorating – I love to go Christmas tree shopping. I love putting on the ornaments. But that’s where it stops. Because inevitably there are some lights that won’t work, I will break a favorite ornament and run out of extension cords. I find if I don’t have a nice stiff glass of spiked eggnog within arm’s reach, I just can’t get through it. And then putting it away is an entire weekend and makes me wonder what the point was. That requires much more eggnog but can be dangerous with the fifty trips down into the basement. I could fall and die. Which wouldn’t be the worst thing because then I wouldn’t have to do this again.
  3. Gift Buying – I love the gift giving part of it. Just can’t someone else do the work? With half a million nieces and nephews and cousins and now another generation in the world, my brain is overloaded with who I have to buy what for. There will never be an end. Well, until I die. If I drink too much eggnog during my un-decorating weekend, that could happen.
  4. Teachers, troop leaders, dance teachers, pastors, co-workers, neighbors, friends, bus drivers, UPS person, mailman, garbage man – Oh, did I already cover the gift part? Well, let me revisit. There are only so many $5 gift cards we can give from Dunkin’ Donuts.
  5. Parties – No, I like parties. How’d that get on my list?
  6. Elf on a Shelf – I remember when this guy was a thing before it was a thing. I acquired him years ago and he lasted precisely one-half a season. Now I just get tortured by seeing pictures of His Creepiness posted on Facebook. Well, unless you do something completely inappropriate with him like posing him with Barbie in a compromising position or have him hanging out of a wine bottle looking completely schnokered. Also, I feel like he follows me with his eyes.
  7. Crowds Every-freaking-Where – You cannot go to the mall without spending half a day looking for a parking spot. Then when you finally find one in the next town over and walk two miles to get inside, you are pushed and shoved until are bruised and feel like you’ve fought in a battle. The body heat alone is enough to send a peri-menopausal woman into orbit. You wait in line for whatever it was you settled for because they ran out of what you really wanted three weeks ago and will not be reordering. Even the internet is crowded.
  8. Wrapping – We spend hours, and I mean HOURS wrapping that crap up. We make it as pretty as possible with tissue paper, wrapping, bows and tags. Our backs hurt from leaning over for hours. And then we run out of tape. Where was that eggnog?
  9. It’s over in 3.6 seconds – After a month of decorating, cooking, baking, shopping, wrapping, bruising and sweating, it’s over in a nanosecond. Those pretty, perfect packages ripped to shreds by greedy, anxious children (and some adults I know).
  10. The gift that keeps on giving – That credit card bill that comes in the mail a month later after all the festivities have died and the decorations have been boxed up and put away with the moth balls. You sit there with your mouth hanging to the floor and swear next year will be different but you just kid yourself…you know it won’t be because let’s face it, we love Christmas.

So, Merry Christmas everyone. Here’s to working lights and extension cords galore. Go pour yourself some eggnog and take a deep breath. It will all be over soon.

Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day. It means different things for different people. For some, it means four generations of mothers/daughters dressing up in the same outfit and flaunting their threads at the local Chinese buffet.

For others, it means hosting a party and inviting every mother within a ten mile radius.

And others still, a nice quiet day with the family or breakfast with mom is all they wish for.

I have done all of the above at least once in my nearly seventeen years of being a mother (except the twinsie thing; as cute as that may be, it’s just not for me).

Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate and appreciate your mother. Or if you are a mother, for your children — those little creatures you’ve helped bring into the world and raise — to appreciate you. Or both, of course.

Since I am lucky enough to still have my mother, I will stop and show my appreciation with a phone call, an e-card and a gift she practically ordered herself. She knows I appreciate her. But it’s my day too. Call me selfish, but I’m still raising my kid and that shit is hard work. I need a f*cking break.

Every year there is really only one thing I want to do. Be alone. I know, I know. I should want to spend the day with my kid. I’m being completely selfish (again). What kind of mother am I? But can I ask one question? If I do decide to spend Mother’s Day with my child, what makes this day any different from the rest?

I have a friend who used to get completely incensed at me for wanting to just be left alone on Mother’s Day. “Mother’s Day is so you can spend the day with your children.” No. Not for me, it isn’t. Oh and hey. Do me a solid. Don’t judge my decision and I won’t judge yours.

I love my crotch fruit more than I do myself or any other being, dead or alive. I will lay myself down in front of a speeding freight train and move mountain and earth for this kid. I will drop what I’m doing at any given moment if she needs me to. I am there for her through thick and thin. I don’t need to spend my Mother’s Day with her to prove that.

Quite honestly, I would like to let my family off the hook. Go. Go do something else. Go to the mall. Go to a museum or for a walk. Go read a book. Go pick your nose if you want to. Just don’t do it within ear or eye shot of me.

HAPPY MOTHERS DAYAnd when The Kid is a grown up with children of her own? A phone call or card will be fine with me. I know we are always mothers until the day we depart this fine world, but my job will be done. It will be time to pass the torch.

So, what am I doing today? What I always would prefer to do, whether I get there or not…sit on the back deck with a good book and a pitcher of margaritas. Alone.

I think I make it pretty easy. So, happy Mother’s Day to all mothers near and far. I hope you get what you want. Now, I’m going back to my margarita so leave me alone.

 

Why Winter Sucks More Than a Hoover

NOTE: As I am writing this, I get an email from our local Patch with this headline: “A Little More Snow, Dangerous Winds, 25 Below Zero Wind Chills.” It’s time to move.

I realize not everyone has the distinct pleasure of living in a place where you get projectile vomited on with the white stuff before winter has barely started. But I do. Which gives me the qualifications to get my bitch on.

IMG_4160

Don’t be fooled by it’s beauty. It’s really just a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

I have lived in the Northeast for about 40 of my nearly 48 years of life. Which is a strange choice seeing that I have no outdoor winter skills to speak of whatsoever. I don’t ski, I can’t stand up on a pair of ice skates, and snowboarding? The thought makes me hyperventilate and I’m not even claustrophobic. I used to be able to build a mean snowman, but I lost that skill somewhere around 1982.

With that being said, I usually don’t mind a good snowstorm. As long as I have a bottle of my favorite wine, some french fries and working WiFi. Which, by the way, can be touch and go if the storm is bad enough.

But something happened to me this year. I snapped. And I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m just about ready to join the Snowbirds in Florida. Hell, they have it right with their afternoon cocktails, early bird specials and bed by 8.

Also, I realized the other day that I was in dire need of some sunshine when, while watching television, I paused the TV on a commercial advertising an island vacation and I put my face up to the screen to get a dose of some Vitamin D. Just so you know, it didn’t work so don’t bother.

Anyway, I’ve devised a list of why I just can’t take it anymore. It wasn’t hard to come up with.
  1. Static. If I get shocked one more f***ing time when I touch anything, I will kill something. Same thing goes for my flying hair, sticking clothes and the blankets on my bed. Every time I move, I fear going up in flames. It’s a good thing I’ve got 911 on speed dial.
  2. Slipping. I wonder how many people wind up in the emergency room this time of year? I swear Mother Nature and the medical industry are in cahoots. It doesn’t matter how careful I am, it’s a constant struggle to keep myself in the upright position when I venture out-of-doors. It may look funny but it doesn’t feel funny because I’m not laughing.
  3. Mud and slush. It’s on my car. My coat. My shoes. The back of my pants, my butt (okay, so that’s when I do #3). There are footprints all over my house, and that’s after everyone has taken off their shoes at the door.
  4. IMG_0229Piles of snow. Every-freaking-where. The piles are so big, I can’t see around or over them. I run the risk of getting slammed by a car because I can’t see it coming. And space is running low. What I like the best is when you ricochet off of one of these guys. Last time I checked, I wasn’t living in a county fair on a bumper car ride. If I was, it’d be warm out. And I’d be happy.
  5. Cold. The cold is permeating through the windows and doors as if there are no windows and doors. Making my oil bill go through the roof. My house isn’t built like Alcatraz. Even if it was, I don’t think it would help.
  6. No school. Please. Just go to school. Enough said.
  7. Dry everything. The mucus in my nose has hardened up so bad from the dry air that I need a chisel to remove it. The skin on my heels so sharp, I’m afraid I’ll stab my husband to death in our sleep. The skin on my legs flaking so much that I can feed the entire population of bed bugs. Yeah, that was gross. The truth is ugly.
  8. The prep. It takes a half hour to get ready to go outside. And although you are wearing a t-shirt, a long sleeved shirt, a sweater, leggings, jeans, your parka, a hat, scarf, gloves, two pairs of socks and boots so big and heavy it’s almost impossible to walk, you still run the risk of hypothermia.
  9. Shoveling. Although shoveling does burn a lot of calories, the process is a major pain in the ass. After you get dressed (see #8) you have to fight to stay upright (see #3) and then have nowhere to put it (see #4).
  10. Not enough sun. Wait. What? What is the sun again and where does it come from?

So there you have it. I’m sure there is more but I’m too depressed to think any more. I’m going to go sit under my desk lamp and pretend I’m in Cancun. Or hibernate like a bear.

PS – After the writing of this post, our furnace died. I believe it tried to hibernate as well. What sucks worse than winter? Having no heat when it’s 7 degrees outside.

PPS – You know what also sucks? Ice DamminIMG_4225g.

 

My New Year’s Resolutions That Are Meant To Be Accomplished, Maybe.

images

Happy 2015! Is it going to be happy? I sure hope so. I do hate when a new year starts though, really if only for the fact that it takes me 5 weeks to remember to write the new year on my checks.

If I’m being honest here, there is something else I hate about a new year: the dreaded Resolutions. They are tweeted and Facebook’ed about on the daily, declaring life changes for “real this time.”

You see the “I’m gonna lose 50 pounds this year” one day and 2 weeks later, that same person posts a selfie of them scarfing down a plate of fries at Red Robin (guilty as charged – uhh, bottomless fries — hello?).

With that being said, I am here to declare my New Year’s Resolutions to you. I have all good intentions. I really do. (“Good Intentions.” That counts for something, doesn’t it?)

  1. I will try something new. That something new is Hot Yoga. I came, I conquered (sort of), I paid $20 for 2 weeks of unlimited classes. Prediction: after the 2 weeks is up, I will most likely not set one more painted toenail in a yoga studio – look for a post on that coming soon to a timeline near you.
  2. I will come out of my comfort zone more than once this year. See #1. Also, by “comfort zone” do they mean to choose the salad bar over the raw bar at the local chinese buffet? Prediction: my natural ability to be lazy may take over my unnatural ability to leave the comfort of my cozy couch. I mean, come on man, it’s cold. And when it’s warm? I will be on the beach. Maybe I’ll set up my chair in a different spot.
  3. I will lose 10 pounds. Repeat after me: I will lose 10 pounds. I will lose 10 pounds. Yes, I will lose 10 pounds. I will exercise 5-6 days a week and write down everysinglething I put in my mouth on the LoseIt! app on my iPhone. And I WILL lose 10 pounds. Prediction: I will revel in my svelte new figure that will be able to house the size 4 jeans without too much of a muffin top that fit the last time I lost 10 pounds. I will repeatedly swear I will never, ever gain weight again. This will last precisely 8 weeks or until the next family party (if you have met my family, then you understand what I mean). How do I know? It’s called deja vu.
  4. I will spend time trying to gain new fans on my Facebook page. I will spend hours befriending other bloggers, swapping out “likes,” selling my first born so that I can reach into the double digits. Prediction: After about 2 weeks, I will realize that it’s just bullshit. Besides, it’s so much more fun to stalk people from high school instead. (Note: I really do love my blogger friends, but I love them for them, not to do favors for each other, well, unless we want to)
  5. Think before I speak. Before I open my mouth, I will think about what I allow to come out of it. Prediction: I will forget to think.
  6. I will take a writing course and develop my skills. Actually, here is one resolution that I hope to accomplish. I have signed up for a writing course which starts this Tuesday and lasts 6 weeks. Prediction: I will pass with flying colors and be the star of my class. Okay, maybe not the “star” but I will pass. I swear. Because I have $400 on the line and if I don’t, I would have wasted a good Christmas present. And you all know how I hate wasting.

So, there you have it. The Resolutions of 2014 2015 according to Mo. Good luck to you all. I hope this year brings health, happiness and at least one accomplishment that you resolved to do. If you don’t? Eh. There’s always next year.

The Day She Stopped Believing In Santa Claus

images

This time of year inevitably brings about the curiosity from children on the cusp of what to think of Santa. You can see it in their eyes. They aren’t quite sure what to do. Their brains start to wonder how it’s possible but yet they are afraid of the answer.

This is how it went down in my house when The Kid was on that very cusp about 7 years ago:

Her: Mom, is there a Santa Claus?

Me: Yes honey, of course there is.

Her: Mom, please. I’m asking you to tell me the truth.

Me: Well, what do YOU think?

Her: Mom, just tell me. Please…or I’m screwed.

Did our 9 year old just say “screwed?” Yes, yes she did.

After DH reprimanded her for using bad language and after I stopped laughing because come on, that was funny, I needed to know what she meant. There are a few different meanings to “screwed” and although I knew she wasn’t referring to the one “screwed” that I automatically think of because I have a dirty mind, I needed clarification.

Me: What do you mean by “screwed” exactly?

Her: Well, what am I going to tell my children? How will I know if there is a Santa or not if you don’t tell me the truth?

And that’s how it happened. It is known as “the night The Kid stopped believing in Santa” around here and it saddened me. A little.

There was a part of me that was happy the facade was over. No more lying to my kid’s face. No more having this big, fat lie of a man taking credit for all of my hard work. No more trying desperately not to slip up, hoping some loud-mouthed brat on the school bus wouldn’t break her heart.

But it was sad because it was the end of her innocence. She had stopped believing in the Tooth Fairy the year before and I’m not even sure she really ever understood the whole Easter Bunny thing. I’m not even sure I understood the whole Easter Bunny thing. That right there is just plain creepy. If I saw a large, life-sized rabbit hiding eggs in my house, I’d probably stab him with a kitchen knife.

Because a fat man in a red suit coming out of my flue like a raccoon who went into the wrong hole is any less creepy. The only reason I wouldn’t stab him with a kitchen knife is because he is bearing gifts. Eggs? I don’t need to elaborate.

But I digress.

I knew it was coming. I’m pretty sure she was a little apprehensive the prior year. I could sense it. I’m guessing she was afraid to say she didn’t believe anymore for fear of receiving fewer presents. Little did she know it really wouldn’t have made a difference. One of the perks of being an only child? Maybe.

Even though she doesn’t believe in Santa anymore, she believes. She believes in the magic. The love and the generosity. The giving and of course, the receiving. And now that she’s driving? The crowds and the traffic.

Santa may be a lie, but only in that there is no fat man in a red suit flying all over the world delivering toys (damn, kids are gullible). But the spirit of Santa, what he stands for, is alive and kicking.

Merry Christmas my friends. Let the spirit of Santa be within you. And if your kids hate you for lying to them for the past 9 years? Eh. They are going to probably hate you in about 4 years anyway, so get used to it.

 

Really Stupid Post About Why Today Kinda Sucked For Me

IMG_3868

What’s left of my next best thing to a “Cronut”

I had a really off day today. Actually, it was more than just “off.” It was downright B.A.D. I don’t know if it’s the weather, the fact that Christmas is 2 weeks away and I’m not ready for it or if my PMS is working double-time.

Every-freaking-thing is annoying me. Ev-er-y-thing. From the sound of human voices to the oil man in my driveway giving us $23,000-an-ounce liquid so we don’t freeze our asses off during this ridiculous winter that technically hasn’t even started yet.

What else is pissing me off, you ask? Let me tell you…

  • The fact that I have 100 Christmas cards sitting in Costco waiting to be picked up so I can spend an entire day (note the exaggeration there?) addressing and licking envelopes to send out to people. Some people who we haven’t seen or heard from in 22 years. People who will most likely take the card I spent 2 hours making sure was perfect and just throw it in the trash on January 1st (guilty).
  • The fact that I signed up for a cookie exchange and I committed to making 8 dozen cookies. Do you know what that involves? Shopping for ingredients like almond extract that I will use an 8th of a teaspoon for and then never use again. Not to mention a full day standing on my feet baking. Can’t I just go and drink wine and eat? I’m really good at drinking wine and eating. I am. You can ask anyone.
  • The fact that I have to get down on my ever-loving hands and knees to water a Christmas tree that, no matter how much aspirin or TLC we put into it, seems to die 2 days after putting it up. Have you seen a 47 year old woman with bad knees try to extricate herself from under a pine tree that is in a house and then proceed to try to get up from a half lying position on the floor? It ain’t graceful, I can promise you that.
  • The fact that I had 2 thousand phone calls to make today. I don’t want to make phone calls. I hate making phone calls. Why in the hell are there always phone calls to make? Does someone have an answer to that one? Because I’d like to know.
  • The fact that I have three loads of folded laundry waiting to be put away and just as many loads waiting to be washed.
  • The fact that 2 of the 3 toilets in my house need a scrubbing. Rugs that need to be vacuumed. A coffee table that needs dusting.
  • The fact that I sat in my PJ’s all day long, didn’t pick up my 100 Christmas cards at Costco, didn’t make but 1/2 a phone call. Or did the laundry. Or any of the above.

Do you know what I did do today?

When The Kid got home from school, it looked like she was having a bad day too. So, instead of saying, “it’s okay, shake it off, have an apple.” I say, “freak this, let’s go get french fries. And when we’re done with that, let’s get some of those new croissant donut things at Dunkin’ Donuts.” So we did.

Except DD didn’t have any croissant donut things left so I freaked and almost died right there in the drive-up lane. All I can say is that it’s a darn good thing they sell other flavors.

Now I’m pissed that I didn’t have the willpower to say, “let’s have an apple.” You know, as I watch my muffin top grow larger with every bite.

Oh freak that, no I’m not. I’m not pissed. Not at all. I enjoyed every minute. And The Kid and I laughed so hard during our little jaunt. We both needed it. Even if at the cost of a pound or two. Eh, maybe three (for me, not her).

(Yes, that’s me eating a donut in slo-mo, because why not?)

Yes, I appreciate my life. Yes, I’m grateful for our health and safety. Yes, I love Christmas. Still, I’m allowed to have a bad day.

So, I’m going back to bed. And starting over. Tomorrow. I hope.

If I’m lucky Dunkin’ Donuts will burn to the ground while I sleep. But then I will never get my Cronut. Looks like I may have a problem, Houston.