Wednesday, December 12, 2012


With the holiday season now in full swing, I have to say that I am feeling especially mushy this year.

Which is weird - me and mushiness don't exactly go together.

I have always loved the Christmas season, for as long as I can remember.  I've always seen it as a magical time of year, and even as I get older and have my own family now and it's significantly more stressful than it ever used to be, it is still, if you will, "the most wonderful time of the year".

The beginning of the holiday season, I will admit, was a little touch-and-go.  I was kind of stressed about the end of my semester at school, and the dreaded Psychology final was looming.  Then there was my work Christmas party, which was a super fun time, but let's just say that this momma walked (uh, stumbled) away with a horrible two-day-long martini flu that left me bedridden and wishing I could just take my bucket and crawl into a dark hole somewhere and stay there for a few days with a blanket over my head and an endless supply of McDonalds french fries with extra salt.  It was awful, but thankfully, the hangover from hell was not a prediction of things to come!

I'm just going to go ahead and say that I ROCKED my first semester.  3 A+'s, and 1 A- (OK, if I'm being totally honest I have to say that A- pissed me off a little, but it was for my health care/nursing class, and it was only a couple of years ago that I learned that pee and babies come out of different places, so really, I suppose I should be celebrating that A- with vigor.)  Anyway, it would be a huge understatement to say that I am proud of these results.  I pulled pretty incredible marks, at my rusty old age, with a family at home that I still needed to keep fed and clean, while shuttling them around town and volunteering time at the kids' school and working a few hours at the radio station and keeping this house in one piece...all on top of my studies.  My husband is amazing, he was incredibly understanding through all of it (we did have cereal for supper more times than I'd like to admit), and I couldn't have done it without the encouragement and endless support from him, my parents, and my friends.  Going in to my next semester with grades like this feels pretty bloody good.

Next - I've been lucky to be able to spend a lot of time lately with my cousin's baby, E.  She is the cutest damn thing in the whole entire world.  She's about 18 months now, and she is so much fun.  A couple of weeks ago, she and I were playing with my iPhone, and I headed over to Youtube to play her some videos.  For some crazy reason, and I have no idea why I even did this, I opened up Gangnam Style by Psy - which is, hands down, the weirdest music video I have ever seen.  Well, she LOVED it - and when I say love, I mean the kind of love that only an 18-month-old can show.  She will sit in my lap and watch it over and over and OVER again (she knows exactly when it's going to end, and how to re-start it), and when I try to play any other video, she kiboshes it by reaching out her tiny little finger and shutting the phone off.  When I shut the phone down after watching Gangnam Style 3 or more times in a row, she will kick and scream and cry and try to grab for the phone until I hide it somewhere so she can't see it.  All she wants to watch is that silly video.  Whenever she sees that I have my phone in my hand, she will drop what she's doing, run over and frantically say "STY! STY!  STY!  STY!" until I put it on for her.  It is CUTE.  That video has something like 950 million views on Youtube, and I'm pretty sure E and I are responsible for that last 50 mil.

Keeping in the theme of E, and kids, I love how much my kids and her love each other.  Watching them interact, especially AJ, makes me smile.  E adores him, she loves to copy him and chase him around, and he will do absolutely anything to make her laugh.  Mackenzie loves to play momma, and hold her hand, and teach and show her things.  I love that they have a little person like her in their lives!

On a sad note, a tragic story came early this week with the accidental death of two teachers from a community close to ours.  I do not know this couple, nor do I know anybody who knew them, but when I read the story I cried and cried.  She was 7 months pregnant.  They were killed in a car accident when their vehicle went off the road and ended up in the river.  It was absolutely heartbreaking.  Stories like this one can shake you to your core, and force you to remember the things - the PEOPLE - that are most important in your life; and to make sure you remember to tell them that, with words as well as actions, every chance you get.

With that, I wish you and yours the happiest of the holiday season.  Remember the important things.  Don't stress.  Remember how lucky you are in so many ways.  Give where you can - time, money, whatever you have to offer.  Pay it forward.  Hold your family close and tell them how much you love them.  Watch the holidays unfold through the eyes of your children, or any child, and try to remember the magic that you felt at that age at this time of year.  Pile your whole family into mom and dad's bed and read stories and sing Christmas songs as loud as you can.  Be calm.  Be grateful.  Eat, drink and be merry.

Just stay away from the martini bar.

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