I wish I could tell her

I’ve been playing a game with myself for months.  My sister goes to school only 40 minutes away from my house, but yet, I’ve been pretending that she lives in another state.  I did this to give her space.  I thought it would help our relationship, or at least help my emotions.  As the holiday season comes to a close, I’m not sure this is how it is.

Stacy and I are six years apart.  This gap was huge growing up.  In fact, I’ve realized recently that she really doesn’t know much about my life or me for that matter.  My sister is a bit….um….unique.  She is scatterbrained a lot, but extremely smart and thoughtful, but she is a klutz.  I have always protected her, as I suppose most older sisters do.  I desperately wanted a brother or a sister when I was a kid….my parents weren’t suppose to have more children and Stacy was a complete accident.  Later, when Stacy was two, social services took her away from my family for no reason….well, they thought they had a reason, but I know there was no reason and in the end they were unable to prove their suspicions.  This situation, just caused me to shelter her more, protect her from anything that might hurt her or be hard.

Over the last few years, I’ve really worked on letting her make her own decisions, not offering my opinion when it’s not asked for, not critiquing everything and trying to help her improve.  I’m really trying to let her be her own person.  It’s painfully hard for me.  And it’s even harder when Stacy won’t forgive me for past mistakes and pushes herself away from me.

Stacy’s boyfriend and I got off on the wrong foot several years ago.  We’ve since worked on things and I think we – Joe and I – are okay.  Yes, it concerns me that Stacy is going to marry the first guy she’s ever had any interest in and him as well.  Yes, it concerns me that their entire relationship has always been long distance.  Yes, it concerns me that she wants to get married immediately after college, even though he will still be in the Navy and stationed somewhere else for several more years.  Yes, I have concerns, but it is her life.  He adores her and I know she love him.  They can make the decision and live with it….and it might be the best thing ever in their lives or not…..I don’t know.  I just feel like they are rushing it.  Seems to me that when you don’t see each other but maybe twice a year, it might take you a little longer to get to know each other…..I had a long distance relationship I was sure was going to last….yep, lasted two weeks once he moved down here.  I’m getting sidetracked now….as you can see, I have some concerns, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that they will get married and I really don’t have a say and shouldn’t.  It’s not my life.

Whenever Joe comes to town, we lose Stacy.  She lives at his parent’s house and does not talk to us hardly at all.  This is what my whole family has come to expect.  The day before he came out, I invited my sister over to make peanut brittle with Zach and I.  She decided to come over, but the night went downhill in less than two minutes.  Basic jist of the story….I was making cake.  I had the cake batter all mixed up and was putting it in a pan that had wax paper in it.  This was the first time I’ve used wax paper while cooking and I was being careful not to get the batter under the wax paper.  I was not struggling.  I did not ask for help.  Zach was upstairs doing laundry.  In the middle of her sentence, she stops and in a condsending tone asks why I’m not using a spatula.  I told her not to tell me what to do.  She told me not to yell at her, so I put down my batter and screamed, “I didn’t your help.  I do not need your help.”  She yelled back that is that was the way I was going to treat her then she was leaving.  I said, “Fine, leave, I don’t care.”

Next time I saw her was on Sunday, two days later, at dinner at my house with my mom’s side of the family.  Somehow presents on Christmas Day got mentioned and I reminded (or what I thought was a reminder) that we weren’t doing gifts on Christmas Day.  She got all upset and wanted to know why and it wasn’t fair and not all of us have a bunch of time to take care of Christmas and so on.  I finally explained to her that we were having Mom and Dad (who did not have money for any Christmas gifts this year), Zach’s Dad, and Zach’s Mom and Step-dad over.  Not everyone was going to have gifts from everyone and I didn’t want it to be awkward, plus, I HATE how Christmas becomes about the presents and not about Jesus or having family time.  IF we are to do gifts, it shouldn’t be “when do we get to do gifts?” “Is is time to do gifts?”  It should be the last thing on everyones mind, but if presents are in the house, that doesn’t seem to be the way it goes.  She argued with me some more and finally I told her it wasn’t something we should continue to discuss at this point (as my grandparents, aunt and uncle and cousins were all there).

Christmas Day – Mom and Dad arrive around 12:30.  They make mention that Stacy and Joe said they would probably be by around 2.  There was a horrible blizzard and my sister doesn’t have a great snow car, so around 3:15 or so, they still aren’t at the house (and we live 5 minutes from Joe in good weather) and we haven’t heard from them, so Dad calls.  Turns out they are a block away from the house.  When they get here, I mention that we were worried that’s why we called, because mom said they’d be there around 2.  She immediately yells at me and says, “Well, Mom wasn’t suppose to tell you when we were going to be here, so you wouldn’t get mad.”  Now, mind you, I wasn’t mad.  I was concerned and I was just stating such to Stacy.  I offered her Baked Ziti….my third round of the day and we moved on.  Or so I thought….but how could we move on when we have so many issues that never get talked about.  Next time I come down stairs, Stacy says, “I hear Jack and Sue (Zach’s Mom and Step-dad) aren’t coming, so we can do gifts, right?”  I was about to blow my cork!  I mean, that wasn’t THE reason, it was part of the reason, in fact the main reason was my parents, and the fact that I HATE having to give gifts.  I believe I said I was done with gifts, because I didn’t know what else to say or how else to explain it to her.  She stomps downstairs and complains to Dad, who goes out to the car and gets all her gifts and they all do Christmas downstairs, while my mom, Zach and I sit upstairs eating and talking.  I was in tears.  I just wanted her to understand where I was coming from, but she didn’t.  I just wanted to be respected, but I wasn’t.  The rest of the night passed relatively uneventful, but it left me thinking and hurting.

* I’m always the one to call or invite to do something.  Stacy never does.
* Stacy is rude, negative about anything I find interesting or do.
* I support Stacy and am excited for her in things that she wants.
* I’m careful to not say the wrong thing or be rude or give my advice or anything that might make her mad and yet I’m still yelled at for everything.

I don’t know what to do, but my best bet, is to remove myself from situations with her.  Not invite her out to do things, not talk to her about things that excite me, not talk to her about pretty much anything.  But this doesn’t seem to work either, because fact of the matter is, I love her, I want her in my life, and I care about her, I just don’t know how to make it work.  Even now, as I write this, I have tears streaming down my face, but will she ever know?  Does she know how much she hurts me and how much I love her?  I doubt that we will ever talk about it and I know she will never read this, its one of the things she disapproves of.  I just want to make things better.

Stacy called today.  She invited us to Joe’s house for New Years Eve.  I was hesitant to go because other people would be there and chances of Stacy and I getting in a fight are high, as that seems to be what happens lately, but I was going to go.  We have nothing to do on New Years and I thought, hey she’s inviting me, I should be so kinds as to accept.  Then we found out more details.  It wasn’t going to be just Stacy and Joe and their friends.  His parent’s are going to be there, his little 10 year old brother and my parents are even going to make an appearance.  All fine and dandy, but I really wanted to drink….I can’t drink around my parents….they still can’t believe I’ve had alcohol, that I gave into the world.  And I really don’t feel comfortable around Joe’s parents.  Last time we went to a BBQ over there it was very awkward and they know a different Stacy than I know.  She is pissed off at me for saying no, but I’m tired, too tired or pretending and not being able to be myself.  I can’t keep walking on eggshells.  And maybe Stacy is better off over there in Joe’s world, maybe she’s always wanted to be that other person that they know and not the one I know, or maybe, just maybe, I don’t know my sister, just like she doesn’t know me.  We lived in the same house for 17 years, but I guess that doesn’t mean you know some one,  does it?

Sorry to be negative again, but I’m pretty depressed about this tonight and had to get it out.  Zach listens and understand and talks to me, but he is about the only one and sometimes it’s just not enough.  If you’ve hung on this long, thanks…..have a great New Year Eve…..bring on 2008!

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2007 – Year in Review

I like this idea….a photo year in review. I did one last year and still find it fun to go back and look at. This year has been a bit of a challenge. We did so much this year and with my new camera, almost everything was documented to the extreme! I’ve narrowed my thousands and thousands of pictures down to just over 100! I know, still a ton. I’ve put them in a few separate slideshows below. 🙂 I guess you don’t have to watch them all…..maybe just one or two. 🙂

The first half of the year was pretty boring. I mean, from Jan to Jun I have around 15-20 photos. Most of that was because I was still teaching a full schedule, running the school newspaper and working my office job. I was a bit busy and worn out!

June began our busy summer….first to the Sand Dunes with Stacy and Joe and then at the end of June and into the beginning of July we went on a road trip to Oregon and Washington. It was a wonderful trip and I had trouble picking a few main highlights of the trip.

The middle to late July was filled with BIG birthdays. Zach turned 30 and Stacy turned 21 and we celebrated!

The fall brought us back to school and our lives slowed a bit. Zach is still working on his BA and I just started my master’s. It was an adjustment for both of us to be in school at the same time, but one that worked and seemed to help us both. We also kept working on the floor and finally got it finished. November and December were also filled with many trips to the symphony and theater. And in December, another big birthday – Cody turned 18! I’m beginning to feel left out….I’m the only “kid” who didn’t have a “big” birthday. I mean what’s there to celebrate about 27? Nada. Well, and then we’ve been busy with Christmas.

All and all a pretty good year! Can’t wait to see what 2008 brings! One thing is for sure….Susie should be coming home and there will be lots of babies! Sounds like a promising beginning to me. 🙂

Gone

For now, it is quiet and peaceful at my house.  It’s been a busy couple of days.

On Sunday we had our traditional Turkey dinner for Christmas with my mom’s side of the family.  It managed to go off without a hitch….well, except for my sister not understanding why I did not want gifts at my house on Christmas Day and that turned into an argument.  Hmm….what can you do.  The turkeys were great and I have to say, I’m a pretty darn good cook!  My dad made a ton of gravy, which we later found out was probably very nutritional as it was filled with carrot juice and celery juice and other weird things you wouldn’t expect to be in Turkey Gravy.  We played PIT later in the evening….it’s a very enjoyable, loud game that is simple for young and old.  And then it was photo time.

Below are all the girls; Grandma, Mom, Brittney, Paige, Cyndy, Stacy and Me:

And then we took a family photo, complete with Stacy’s boyfriend Joe.  The dogs were being a pain, so they got booted; Stacy, Dad, Mom, Joe, Zach, Muffin and Me:

And then just Me, Stacy and Mom:

On Monday, Christmas Eve, I worked from home for most of the day and then we went to Zach’s mom’s house and then over to eat dinner with his grandma at her nursing home.  She was having a good day.  She was alert and knew who we were, so that was good and she was very happy to have had us over.  Then we went back to Zach’s mom’s house and had dessert and opened presents and talked for a bit.  Then it was off to Zach’s dad’s apartment where we found out the Broncos were losing (sad for Zach) and opened presents with them (Ron and Cody).  Of interest is the present Cody and Zach and I got from Ron….but first a bit of background.

Back in the ’60s, Ron was part of a band called J. McRea.  They played in California and traveled up and down the coast together.  They were a good Rock and Roll band.  I’m still fuzzy a bit on the story, but for some reason they broke up.  For Christmas, one of Ron’s old band members digitalized their best recordings (both studio and live) and Ron then made us copies and put the artwork together.  He wants his kids to know about him….and be able to share it down the line eventually.  So now we have five albums on CD….very cool indeed.  🙂

We finally got home around 11PM, it wasn’t even cold and no mostiure in the air.  It had been a beautiful day.  In fact, when we were driving to Zach’s mom’s he commented on the fact that it didn’t feel like Christmas because it was too nice outside.  I was suppose to be making Ziti, but I was hungry and tired, so I reheated some leftovers and went to bed.  I slept in, and woke at 10, looked outside and we had a good 2-3 inches of snow at least, maybe more.  Now, not only did the Zit need to be made, but the sidewalks and driveway needed to be shoveled for all the people coming over.  Mom and Dad arrived first at about 12:30…they brought firewood and bread to go with the Ziti.  Several hours later Ron and Cody arrived, and still later Joe and Stacy arrived.  Sue and Jack had called and said the roads were too icy and they didn’t want to chance it.  We noticed our neighbors across the street were home, so Zach went over and asked them if they wanted to come over for Baked Ziti and some games.  It took them a while, but they too, eventually came over and we had an enjoyable evening playing Apples to Apples.  A great game for the 9 people we had playing — my dad never plays games.  We then watched the Simpsons Movie – or I should say the boys did, Stacy and I slept and everyone else, my parents and the neighbors had gone home.

Anyway, here are the cute photos of Christmas Dogs in Christmas Snow.  🙂

Lexi:

Guinness:

Oh and for those wanting to know….yes, it snowed all day….officially we had 6.5 inches of snow in our city….some surrounding us had 7 to 10, and we aren’t even in the mountains!

Busy Day

As you’ll remember from yesterday, I had a lot on my plate….one commenter was kind enough to call me “superwoman” for my efforts after being so sick recently. Well, I didn’t get quite everything done, but I did get a lot done.

* We went to mom and dad’s and got the china.
* We went Christmas shopping and got all gifts in just a few hours.
* We got the last few things we needed for turkey dinner cooking.
* We reorganized the house to fit two kitchen tables, on that my parents brought over later in the evening.
* I made soup – and it was AWESOME!
* I made Lamington’s.
* We cleaned the kitchen, like three times.
* Made brownies.

Today, the turkey’s are cooking and in a bit I get to start making everything that goes with it. I’m making everything….. 🙂 ….except the gravy, which my dad — THE BEST GRAVY MAKER EVER — is making and bringing over. Should be a great day…as long as Stacy and I can get along.

Happy Blog

I said I would post a normal happy blog after my last rant, so even though I’m not quite happy due to some unforeseen sisterly argument last night, I’m going to not focus on the unhappy and focus on the good stuff and maybe that will help me make the switch.

Yesterday we got a quick snowy storm.  It only dropped maybe a half an inch, but it was pretty and COLD.  The dogs love to play in the snow, so I let them out for a bit and took some photos.  They found some ice on the deck that cracked when they walked on it, so then they decided it was toy and had to pick it up (big chunks!) and throw it around.  It was quite cute.  So here are some photos.

Guinness looking very serious in the snow:

Lexi kept licking her nose….I don’t think she liked the snowflakes on it.

Today we have to start our Christmas shopping!  I know….as I’ve said in previous post, mandantory gift giving is not what I like.  We never buy anything for each other and this year my parent’s are out.  I thought this meant my sister too, but she got me something and now I’m a bit stuck.  If we get her something, do I have to get her boyfriend something too?  They’ve been together for about 2 years, this is their third Christmas together, but because he is in the navy, this is the first Christmas they’ve actually been TOGETHER.  In flies in late tonight…so I don’t know what to do about that.  Then we have Zach’s mom and step-dad, his Grandma,  his Dad and his brother.  I want to send our grandparents out of state some photos or something, but that isn’t going to happen by Christmas.  This whole being sick in December sucks!  The month goes by too fast and you don’t get anything done.

I also have to finish making Lamingtons, make some granola, reorganize the house for the 12 people we are having over tomorrow for a sit-down dinner, make some barley soup for lunch/dinner and supervise the making of peanut brittle.  I’m very excited about the food stuff.  I had Lamington’s for the first time at Thanksgiving and they are OMG good.  I hope they turn out just as good for me.  🙂  I can’t wait.

Then I’m making granola.  I found this recipe and we made it a few weeks ago, it was just basic granola with nothing in it, but it was good.  This time we are going to put some dried fruit and maybe some sunflower seeds.  See, I love granola, but most granola has some nuts in it.  My allergies seems to be fading in the nut realm, but I still have a reaction if I have too many, so….best to avoid.  I’m so glad peanuts are not on my list of allergies, because I don’t know what I’d do without peanut butter.  🙂

I’ve been wanting to make some barley soup for a while.  I really like barley, but have never cooked anything with it, so it’s experimental time.  Since it was so cold yesterday (and I’m guessing today, as the house is freezing, although we have beautiful, bright, blue skies), when we did the shopping for Christmas dinners we got stuff for barley soup as well.  🙂  I’m looking forward to it, I just hope it’s not a ton….I might have to scale the recipe down, because I don’t want to have leftovers right before we cook turkey.

My Grandfather makes the best peanut brittle ever!  Anytime someone tries it, they agree, it’s the best-ever.  He is now 91 and it’s harder and harder every year for him to make it, the stirring gets to him, but several years ago we visited for Thanksgiving and he taught us how to make it.  He wanted all his grandchildren and children to know how so we have something to remember him by.  I’m not a huge fan of peanut brittle, but Stacy and Zach are and so I’ve left it as the thing they’ve mastered, but they still need a bit of supervision.  🙂  Read the bottom half of this post to find out why.

Tomorrow I’m making a whole Turkey dinner on my own.  🙂  This makes me happy — not stressed — the stressful part is finding a place for everyone to sit!  I’m sure it’ll work out, but it’s been on my mind all week.

Angry Rant…read at your own risk.

1.  Are you going to have kids?
Nice Answer: Someday, we’ll see what God has planned.
Answers I want to say:

  • No, actually, we hate kids.
  • We have sex every day and still no kids, maybe your advice will help? (I’m being extreme and I don’t want help from you, I’m just don’t want to talk to you about it.)

2. Oh, your not feeling well….maybe you’re pregnant.
Nice Answer: No, I’m pretty sure I’m not. (And then I remember not to tell that person that I’m not feeling well from then on.)
What I want to say:

  • You don’t think I thought of that!
  • I’d love to be pregnant, thanks for reminding me I’m not.

I’m so tried of people asking us if we are having a baby, when we are going to have kids, why we don’t have kids yet.  I think they are questions that should remain unasked.  If I want you to know our plans and about our sex life, I’ll tell you, you don’t have to ask.  If I haven’t said anything to you, chances are you’ll find out we are pregnant when I’m showing and not a second sooner.  I’m a private person, for the most part and I don’t want the world to know I’m struggling, so I’m going to say this once and once only.

We want kids.  We waited a while to start trying.  We are trying, but please don’t remind us that we are trying because it stresses me out.  Ultimately you don’t know what is going on in our private lives.  Maybe we had a miscarriage the day before you asked and don’t want to talk about it and now you are bringing it up all over.  Please, for my sake, don’t ask.  And if I tell you I’m not feeling good, chances are I’m really sick….not pregnant!  I will not complain about being sick when I’m pregnant to people who don’t know.  So if I’m complaining….I’m really sick.  Like this last week…..guess what….really sick!  Doctor had to draw blood to see why….I have blood in my urine, my gallbladder and liver are sore and so is my appendix.  See!  Sick….not pregnant. 

When people ask these questions they put me in a bad position.  I do not like to lie….therefore I want to tell you the truth, but I also want to tell people in my own way.  So let’s play a game…..say I was pregnant and you, a friend, asked me if I was pregnant, I just found out a week before and have not told my family (who will be the first people we tell), what do I do….lie to you and feel horrible about it, or tell you the truth and feel just as horrible about it?  I think it’s easier on us all if the question is just left alone.

While we are on the subject….someday, when we do have kids, please do not ask if we know the sex of the baby or what we are going to name it.  We are not going to find out the sex and you may ask if we have names picked out, but we will not share. 

Okay. 

Good. 

I feel better now.

Tomorrow, I’ll resume my happier post that aren’t caked in anger.  I just had to get it off my chest.

Spike and geese

I was 22 and still living at home, but my parents and sister had gone on a roadtrip for a week or so. I remember I was at work when I got the call…

Mom: Hey, we are bringing home some pets. Just wanted you to know before we showed up.
Me: Really? What did you guys get?
Mom: Three ducks, two chickens and a goose. (she said matter-of-factly)
Me: WHAT? You’re joking, right?
Mom: Nope. They are so cute. We are a little concerned for one of the chics, it seems a little sick. They were so noisy in the hotel last night.
Me: I can’t believe it. Where are they going to live?
Mom: Oh, in the backyard.

This was a new chapter in lives with pets….we’d had dogs, snakes, guinea pigs, bunnies, birds, hedgehogs and fish. My parent’s had had chickens when they lived in California but that was when I was a baby. I couldn’t believe it. Turns out my dad felt sorry for my sister. She was going through a hard time, she’d just lost her life-long companion and dog, Rascal. She’d was in her early teens and couldn’t remember life before Rascal. She was heartbroken and swore she’d never get a dog again. She didn’t ever want to hurt like that, but he had been our last living pet. There was no one to help fill the void and distract her. She’d always wanted ducks and so….it seems the logical new pet, especially around Easter.

The “ducks” had a great life. My dad re-designed the backyard for them. They were fed daily and given fresh swimming water. The sick little chicken died the night my parents came home, but the other five grew up together. I call them all ducks, because three were ducks….and the goose and chicken, well, I think they thought they were ducks. The white duck was Gilligan, the dark brown was Seymore, the lighter brown was Blazer, the chicken turned rooster was Amber and the goose was Spike. Through natural selection, i.e. mean raccoons or other night varmint, we lost all the “ducks,” but Spike, the goose is the one we will remember most.

From my younger school-aged years of going to the zoo and being chased by angry geese, I’d always been scare of them and avoided them at all costs. I did not expect to fall in love with one of the silly creatures. Spike got her name because my dad was hoping she would protect the others and he thought it would be funny to tell people, “watch out for Spike in the backyard. He might bite.” and people to invision a big dog and then end up with a goose. Spike was a lover. She followed us around and would even give hugs.

The best way to tell you about her nature is when my bird, Quinbie, flew out of the house and got stuck in a tree. We searched the neighborhood and Spike went with us. No need for a leash, as she would not allow us to get very far from her. She would be looking around and get a little distracted, but when she realized she was slowing down (or we were speeding up) and she wasn’t right next to us, she’d honk and patter over. It was one of the cutest things ever. But the absolute cutest, was later that day, when we still hadn’t found Quinbie and I was very sad. I was sitting in the back yard and Spike came over to me and wrapped her neck around my arm. It was so sweet!

After Spike, the sight of a goose makes me (and all my family for that matter) smile. We get super excited and want to sit and watch them. The way the walk and interact with each other is familiar and brings back good memories. Even the honking and squawking makes us happy.

Our house seems to be on a mirgration trail, because I’ve never seen so many geese in my life. and they seem to fly straight down our street. The last two weeks, it seems like all I hear are geese. I tried to get some photos the other night, but it was dusk and they are fast, so they aren’t the best, but they are way down at the bottom here. First, are some photos of the “ducks.” Their baby-baby photos were taken with an old film camera, so I don’t have digital copies on my computer to share, but….oh well. I’ve also included a video my dad put together of Spike running around the kitchen, upset with us for cleaning up her poo.

Still young, the whole gang…..Spike, Gilligan, Seymore, Blazer and Amber:

First snow, Amber stayed inside:

One of my favorite shots of Gilligan and Spike:

Spike came to visit us in the house…climbed all the stairs herself:

And one of my favs, even if it is a bit blurry, of Spike trying to get the camera strap:

And now for the recent rush of geese. First, one stream of geese going through the neighborhood. This particular strand was probably a mile wide. It was pretty amazing. Second is a close up of some right above our house.

Breakdown

I’ve been sick since the 7th, I’ll spare you the nitty-gritty details, lets just say it’s the stomach flu over the course of a two weekends and a week (so far).  Today I decided that maybe I needed to go see the doctor.   It just doesn’t seem to be going away.

When I switched job, I had to switch insurance.  Before I had Kaiser, they select my doctor and make sure I get into see someone when I need to.  I LOVED them.  I only had them for a year, but I LOVED it.  As of August, I was back on my old plan, the basic plan I’ve always been on.  Where you go out into the world and choose your own doctor based a little to no data beyond their name and location.  I was hoping to get my old doctor back.  That would have been nice, but in the world of doctors and insurance’s, doctors drop insurance, insurance drop doctors and you never know what is really going on.  So I have no doctor.  I’ve had no PCP since August.  I hasn’t been a big deal, as I haven’t needed to go to the doctor.  Until now…

I figure out what random doctor I want.  I call CIGNA and get them to put that into place.  I know enough about insurance to know I’ll be screwed if I go to the doctor and I don’t have my PCP in place or I go to a doctor that isn’t my PCP.  Then I call the doctor to schedule an appointment.  Guess what???  As a new patient the earliest a doctor can see me is six weeks.  Earliest a nurse practitioner can see me is the 27th!  I burst into tears and hang up.

I bawl for quite a while.  I call Zach and he is mad, wants to call the doctor’s office himself.  I won’t let him.  I just wanted to vent.  I finally get myself somewhat settled down, call the lady back and explain that I didn’t realize it was going to take so long, that I just switched insurances and am really sick.  She can book me on the 27th if she can have someone call and talk to me and tell me what is wrong or how I can best cope.  I’m crying off and on, but she listens.  Suddenly they have an appointment for Wednesday morning and she transfers me to a nurse, whom I leave a message for.

I’m still emotional, but at least I don’t have to wait to see a doctor until after Christmas!

Holiday Traditions

With few exceptions, we all celebrate holidays of some sort.  A few religions don’t and I feel sorry for them.  I love to celebrate….I don’t really need a holiday, just a reason.  Life should be about celebrations, even the little things. 

I tend to tell people I don’t like holidays, but I’ll let you in on a little secret.  I love holidays!  I love celebrating!  Why then do I tell people I don’t like them at all.   First, it stems from expectations and if I have little expectation for a holiday, then not much can go wrong.  It seems as I was growing up, many fights surrounded holidays, whether they be birthday’s, Christmas, Easter, there seems to be a fight in my memory.  This is probably the strongest reason I “don’t like” holidays.  The minor thing, that especially surround Christmas  is the obligatory giving.  I like to give when I see something that is perfect for someone.  I do NOT like to try to find something that someone may or may not like.  It annoys me.

I’m excited this year.  I love being hostess and I’m hostess for several parties/dinners this year and it is making me super happy.  I want to break this “I don’t like holidays” cycle….so I need great, new, fun traditions.  What are traditions that you all have around the holidays?

Christmas Dogs

We decided the dogs needed to partake in Christmas and decided to get them bell collars and a hat.  The were not to thrilled, but put up with it.  The bells made them all excited.  Here are the shots from the afternoon.  They will get to wear the bells again on Christmas.

Lexi, Zach and Guinness:

Me and Guinness:

Zach’s work’s Christmas party is on Friday at OUR house.  I don’t know how we are going to fit everyone in our small house, but hopefully it’ll be more fun than Olive Garden (which is where we’ve gone for the last few years).  I’ve been cleaning and putting up random stuff….like the alcohol.  I decided with Mormons and teenagers coming over, we didn’t need to look like alcoholics.  We rarely drink the stuff, but have no place to store it, so it goes on top of the fridge.  🙂  I also put in all the “second” windows…they are hard plastic that goes in the window in the winter time to keep some of the cold out.  With the insulation we use in the summer and those, I’m hoping it works even better.  Now, if I can just get the mini-blinds up in the dining room so we don’t look so ghetto, that would be good.  🙂