Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Out of Simple Stubborness...Here's the Stupid Shoe Post

   New Shoes         
Paul got me new Chucks for Christmas, and I finally exchanged them for the right size yesterday! Our feet are close to the same size, so he picked a pair that fit him, but my vanity decided that they needed to be a little smaller because my feet look like flippers.

I've been wearing my old Chucks since...let's say September of '07. Not an abnormally long time, but I wore the heck out of those things. The once-black canvas is now a dusty grey and the rubber toes are dingy with dirt and scuffs. There's a split through the rubber and canvas on the outside of each shoe where the ball of my foot bends. Those shoes have climbed the stairs to Japanese temples with me and trekked the streets of Kamakura. They've explored the history of my country in Washington DC and driven from Washington State to Colorado overnight. They've crossed the United States several times, and they've kept me stylin' at home. But their time has come. I'm starting out the new year in a pair of beautiful, bright, brand new Chuck Taylors.


Pan found a home! Paul's friend, Catt, is following me home today to take Pan to her family. I'm excited to meet her! Catt and I have been talking online since last April, Paul raves about her and we've been living in the same town for three months now, so it's about time we meet.

BUT. My house is trashed. We haven't quite recovered from Christmas yet, and I'm thoroughly humiliated to have her see the house in its current state. Catt, if you're reading, please don't judge me on this first impression. There's cat puke on the rug. I haven't swept in a week. The boxes and packing material for my new pots and pans, crock pots, rice cookers and mixers (yes, plural on ALL of them haha) are stacked in the kitchen. How embarrassing. At least the dishes are done.

Bleh. That's All.

Today, I am too cranky to write. Actually, I did write a bit this morning before I got cranky, but it was just boring stuff about shoes (again...weird) and then I got annoyed with being too boring a person to actually keep a blog. See? Cranky.

The point of this quick post is simply to say that I had a fantastic, personalized layout, but for some reason, it disabled comments. And we all know bloggers love comments, and readers love to throw in their two cents. Even when it's unwanted. So. I'm back to basic.

If you don't leave comments, I'm going to be really really annoyed.

P.S. It would behoove you to bring chocolate...(no, not chocolate. The house is full to the rafters with Christmas cookies and sweets. It'll be 4th of July before it's all gone) Maybe bring flowers. Or wine. Or a house cleaning service. Or uppers.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Stinky Linda Took A Shower

I took a good look at my youngest sister, Lindsey (also affectionately known as Stinky Linda, but only by me. She'll kick your butt if you call her that), last weekend when we went to Oak Harbor for a late Christmas celebration. I was shocked to find that she is no longer a little girl, nor is she the awkward young teenager I left behind.

I can still remember the morning she was born. I was almost 11, and still in shock that my parents had actually performed the act that would result in the birth of another sister. Sarah and I were hastily dropped off at Uncle Rick and Aunt Peggy's in the middle of the night, and it really wasn't very long before the phone rang and we were informed that it was a girl. Once we got to the hospital I refused to hold her for quite a while. I couldn't tell you why today; I guess I was overwhelmed and a little scared. But when I did finally take her fat little body in my arms, I was in love.

In May of 2001, Lindsey was 8 and I had just turned 19. It was one of those spring days that made you happy to be alive, and I was lying on a blanket in the back yard talking on the phone with my long distance boyfriend, Andy. Lindsey zoomed by on her pink bike, headed down the hill at a rate that I was not comfortable with. "Slow down!" I shouted at her.

She didn't. It was only seconds before I heard her scream. I flew off the blanket and ran down the hill as fast as I could, the cordless phone still clutched in my hand. A mini van had already stopped and the driver reached her at the same time as me. I scooped my sister up into my arms and the mini van driver loaded us up into her vehicle, taking off up the hill before I even had the door closed. To this day I feel terrible for holding Lindsey flat. Blood was running down her throat and she was coughing, but I didn't think to sit her up. Sorry, Lindz! Both her jaws were broken, and her front teeth found their way into her sinuses, but it was nothing that couldn't be put back together by a good surgeon. It wasn't until the next morning that my parents called to let us know what was going on, and I'm pretty sure that was the longest night of my life.

Today, without my even realizing it, Lindsey is a young woman--almost 17. Her braces are gone and her hair has settled into a manageable bob instead of the frousy mess I remember. She showers and sometimes she even wears makeup. Her skinny little swimmer's body has developed curves in a way that Sarah and I never experienced, and the legs that used to follow me around have now reached lengths that surpass even my mom's. Low rise jeans and fitted hoodies have replaced the too-short sweats and baggy t-shirts she used to sport continuously. She drives.

Maybe I'm shocked because I've been in and out of home as she grew. Maybe I was too busy to notice. But the quiet, reserved girl I remember has turned into a chatty, more confident woman. And I'm proud of her.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Stories

I did it. I survived my first Abundis/Thompson Christmas. And you know what? I loved it! It was impossible to not be swept up in the excitement and festivities, and I learned that the enjoyment felt by adults at Christmastime comes from the pleasure they see in the kids. Well, I knew this before, but I guess you can say I rediscovered the idea.

Thanks to President Obama, I only worked until about 1100 on Christmas Eve, leaving me plenty of time to get home and make sure everything was ready for the evening. I came home to a full house, as Paul had the day off and spent it collecting all four kids (and doing laundry, woohoo!). It's amazing how just one more kid throws everything into chaos again...just when I thought I was getting used to the routine.

Okay, I'm going to stop writing the play by play (I'm bored with it) and just get to the best part of the weekend--the part that made my heart melt into my shoes and put tears in my eyes. Don't make fun.

Thursday night, after the steak dinner extravaganza, after gifts and ice cream at Doug and Kathy's new house, after much overuse of the 'Santa won't visit if you don't knock it off' bit, after everyone was finally in their pajamas and each little tooth was brushed, we--Paul, Lilli, Lauren, Chloe, Nicholas and I, crammed ourselves onto the two couches to listen to Paul read "The Night Before Christmas."

The little kids snuggled in close, Chloe leaning against my side and Nicholas sitting in Paul's lap; the older girls put down their cell phones and mp3 players and for maybe the first time that day, each one was silent as Paul began the poem. As I listened to his voice recite the familiar words, I let my mind wander just a little bit.

I remembered the magic that I felt as a little girl on Christmas morning--the thrill that raced up my spine at the sight of bulging stockings hanging where flat, empty ones had dangled the night before, and my excitement to see our tree bursting with colorful packages for the whole family. I wanted the kids to feel that same excitement. But more than that, I wanted them to know that Christmas was about much more than what you get. It's about what you give, and what's been given to you. I know Lauren gets it, but maybe the little ones are too young yet.

I remembered listening to my dad's voice on Christmas morning as he read the Christmas Story. Sometimes he read from our illustrated kiddie Bible, and sometimes he would piece together the story from the Gospels out of the big black family Bible. But always the same story, always the familiar words. As I remembered these things I knew that I wanted to introduce this tradition to Paul's kids. Maybe it would help to impress the true meaning of Christmas on them. But I was shy. I didn't know how to ask Paul to read the Christmas Story. Was that weird? I didn't yet know how Christmas with his family worked.

Paul closed the poem with, "Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!" and began to ask the kids questions about Santa, the chimney and the reindeer, making sure they understood what the poem was about. We teased them about the size of our chimney and told them Santa kept his magic in his nose and used his finger to blow some out when he needed it. The kids giggled and asked questions and we made up silly answers.

As they talked, Paul continued to flip through the book of Christmas tales. Suddenly he stopped and said,"I'm going to read the Christmas Story. My kids have never heard it." And he began to read the adapted story of Jesus' birth, the angels, the shepards and the wise men. I watched each of the kids, hoping they were understanding the story, hoping they were absorbing the meaning. And I listened to Paul reading the words that I had heard from my dad so many times. And I couldn't keep my eyes from filling up.

Families come in so many different combinations, and this was mine, sitting together in our little home, celebrating our first Christmas. We were simply together, and somehow Paul knew, without knowing, exactly what was important to me, exactly what I needed to hear.

I don't know if the kids will remember that story of baby Jesus. I don't doubt that the importance of a baby is not nearly as big as the importance of Santa to a little mind. I can only hope that as they grow older, they'll understand that Christmas is not about getting, getting, getting. I can only hope the seed of a memory was planted.

That moment was my Christmas. Don't get me wrong--the whole weekend was wonderful and chaotic and full of family and food and giving. But it was that one quiet moment on Christmas Eve that I will always remember as our first Christmas together.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Stream of Thought

You can definitely tell it's Christmas week here at the PWD. Unproductivity is at an all time high for those that aren't on leave already. I've been a little productive, but let's face it, the work isn't exactly piling up down here.

This morning a man with messy white hair sat in our room for almost an hour talking about his brand new grandson and how the boy's maternal grandmother is insistant that the baby not be innoculated. I haven't formed my own opinion on the immunization matter, but the rest of the room pretty much decided that the new little boy (Blake) won't live to see his first birthday without his shots. They also went on some tangent  that ended up with the idea that every kid who doesn't take immunization will end up with autism, ADHD and cancer. Huh...I don't think that's how it works.

It's interesting to listen to these conversations without any preconceived notion of who the talking party is. Should I be doing a better job of figuring out which of my co-workers are which? After my last job, I've decided that being friends with your co-workers is a terrible idea (obvious relationships aside =D), so I'm not in a big hurry to delve into the personal lives of my fellow 9 to 5ers. (Ok, 0720-1602...ers) Does that make me cold? A bad person? I just prefer to leave work at work.

For the first time this year, I am responsible for Christmas. Well not solely responsible...Paul and I are doing it together (obviously). In years past I've always just bought my gifts and shown up. This year, I'm stuffing the stockings, hiding the gifts, making sure the house is ready, cooking something to bring to Christmas Eve dessert and something to bring for Christmas dinner. And holy crap it's overwhelming! This is Paul's and my first Christmas and my first Christmas with the kids, and I want it to be just right. At some point, I know I'm just going to have to relax and enjoy myself, but right now just the sight of my to do list can bring me to tears. I'm very much looking forward to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with all the different parts of the family, but I think deep down I just want it to be Saturday. I want to go to my mom's house. I want to kick back on her couch and eat the dinner she made and just be with the calm that is my family. Irresponsible, immature, irrational--I know. But you can't blame a girl for not wanting to be the grown up all the time. ('Hey, non-grown up girl-- You're still going to have three out-of-their-element kids to take care of. You can't shirk all the responsibility!')

 A man just walked in with his arms full of floor plans. He smells just like Chris, the boyfriend I had in Wisconsin. Curious how smell, more than anything, can take us right back to a hidden memory or conjure thoughts long buried.

I finally finished Nicholas' stocking (with much help from Paul's mom. I always feel domestically retarded around her). To finish it off, I'll pin one of Paul's name tapes to the top, and maybe borrow some rank to pin to the pocket. Just like daddy's--Nicholas will love it. I love it.

Finally (and thank you for your patience), do you know anyone who would appreciate a beautiful, lively, 3 year old motley corn snake for Christmas? Well, late Christmas. I have no place for his tank at my house, and my sister doesn't want to take care of him, so poor Pan needs a home. He's probably about 30 inches and eats one frozen fuzzy a week (I think). I really need to find him a home. Poor thing.

This isn't him, but looks a lot like him. Only Pan is a bit darker. He's lovely and curious and mischevious, so he'd do well with teenagers or adults. Let me know, yo.

Thank you for listening today. Sometimes a girl just needs someone to talk at for a while!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Smart Girl

This morning started out just how all of my favorite Saturdays begin--the pit pat of little feet in the dark that wakes us up just enough to be prepared for the sudden dogpile of two little half-asleep bodies.

Paul said, "So the other day I asked Chloe what she thought I should get you for Christmas. She said..."

Chloe: "A diamond ring!"

Paul: "Hmmm, I don't know. Any other ideas?"

Chloe: "A diamond necklace?"

Paul: "Try again."

Chloe: "Diamond earrings."

I like the way this girl thinks!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful for my job...I'm thankful for my job...I'm thankful for my job...I'm thankful for my job...I'm thankful for my job...I'm thankful for my job...I'm thankful for my job...I'm thankful for my job...I'm thankful for my job...I'm thankful for my job...I'm thankful for my job...I'm thankful for my job...I'm thankful for my job...I'm thankful for my job...I'm thankful for my job...I'm thankful for my job...I'm thankful for my job...I'm thankful for my job...I'm thankful for my job...I'm thankful for my job...I'm thankful for my job...I'm thankful for my job...I'm thankful for my job...I'm thankful for my job...I'm thankful for my job...I'm thankful for my job...I'm thankful for my job...I'm thankful for my job...I'm thankful for my job...I'm thankful for my job...I'm thankful for my job...I'm thankful for my job...


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I Wanted to Dye!!

Before I dug up my roots and drug my smitten heart to Port Orchard, I promised my mom often that I would be back in Oak Harbor every four to six weeks. After all, who was going to dye my hair? That was in early September. It's now mid-December and I've been back once. I guess I underestimated the ease of taking seven hours out of my day just for driving, not to mention, ya know, the time I'm supposed to spend there?

Sunday, as we were driving to Max's for Cookie Day, Chloe announced to the occupants of the Durango, "Heather, your hair is turning brown in spots!" Good thing she couldn't see the top! Yes, approximately four weeks ago, I attempted to dye my own hair.

At first the results were fine, but if you examine my locks today you'll discover a motley combination of shiny black strands, fading reddish-brown ends and huge glops of navy blue surrounding the 1/2 inch stripe that is my natural color. Disaster. Fortunately for me, I'm taller than pretty much everyone in my life who matters, and they are blissfully ignorant of the condition of my coiffe.

So tonight, I have a date with this little lovely:

If at first you do a crappy job, dye and dye until you get it right!

(Mom, what do you think of an impromptu road trip? HELP ME!!!)

Monday, December 14, 2009

O Tanenebaum, O...what the heck is a tanenbaum?

Christmas struck hard on Saturday, and I'm loving it! After Shop With A Cop Paul, the kids and I decorated!

First, we bundled up in our winter finery and trekked through the snowy woods to cut down our perfect tree.

I mean, we assembled and fluffed the tree we had purchased at Wal Mart a couple of weeks ago...

Next, we fastened glowing candles to the tree boughs.

Err...Paul performed man's annual struggle with tangled, half-lit multi-colored strands.

The fragrance of fresh pine filled the house.

Or was that a candle? Apparently faux trees shed as much as real ones.

An early gift or two couldn't wait to take their place under the tree!

Silliness ran rampant!

The Star Wars/nutcracker/silver and blue-themed tree turned out beautifully.

Paul and I are very excited for our first Christmas together (in the same country anyways =D)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Shop With A Cop 2009

Every day I find a reason to love Paul a little more. This weekend, he participated in Shop With A Cop in Poulsbo. Now I know, he's not a cop, but his mom is a Corrections Officer with the Kitsap County Sheriff's Department and an active participant in the program (keep reading to see just how active =D) and Shop With A Cop has become an annual Abundis holiday tradition.

Originally, the program was designed for children whose parents are incarcerated; its aim was to give the children a different, more favorable view of law enforcement. They were given a gift card and a cop buddy to shop with at the Poulsbo Wal-Mart. The program has expanded to include school-aged children whose families can't afford a good Christmas, and this year, homeless teenagers (who are in school) were the focus.

Now, in addition to law enforcement, volunteers include Kitsap County firefighters, C.O.Ps, Washington Army National Guard, US Army, US Navy, US Airforce and US Coastguard. When we walked into Wal Mart a half hour early, we were literally greeted by a wall of uniform. I'm pretty sure the store saw a huge drop in shop lifting that day.

Headed north to Poulsbo

Chloe and Hailey waiting in the cold

The line of volunteers stretched from one end of the
store to the other. There were more volunteers than kids.

I get disgustingly proud and emotional when I watch
him do things like this

Chubz, not paying attention (no surprises)

Paul's kid, a 17 year old girl with a 3 month old son
That kinda got to me, but at the same time...

Now on to Maxine, Paul's mom, and her integral part in the Mrs. Claus! She's perfect for the part, both in looks and in spirit. Her Christmases are legendary (so I hear). She's teaching me to not be a Scrooge!

Maxine with her boys, Paul, Chris and Chubz

While the boys did their thing, Tiffany, Rene, the kids and I did some serious shopping. Is it sad that we were excited to go to the big Wal-Mart? I dropped a few dollars, but had a lot of fun doing it.

Max and her hunny, Bill (or Santa? you never know...)

Maybe it's because I'm still new to being an Army S.O., but when I see Paul in his uniform, doing his thing, I feel like my heart will burst with love for him and pride for his service. Not just him, but his brothers, too.

Friday, December 11, 2009

In Which I Pretty Much Say Nothing

Today, I am frustrated. Wholly frustrated. And it's a nameless condition. I couldn't tell you what it's all about, but it has kept the words off my page today.

In the meantime, here's a photo of Chloe at her 1st grade winter concert last night. If you look closely you can see her head just to the right of the guy in the orange baseball cap.

When I say winter concert, I really mean winter concert. Christmas wasn't mentioned once. Holidays weren't even mentioned. We all have different religions, beliefs and traditions. Fine. But it seems like we've come to the point where we're told it's wrong to celebrate anything.

But the kids did an excellent job. Chloe was so animated--I think she takes after her daddy in that respect, as she definitely has a flair for theatrics. As she sang she wiggled her fingers in the air, sending an incessant hello.

Good job, Chloe-cakes. I'm proud of you.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Shuffle It--A Sampling

1. Dido-- White Flag

    I went on a huge Dido kick in 2000/2001 and I still love her. Beautiful voice, beautiful lyrics. Unpretentious. Sarah and I saw her at Key Arena in 2001. Sarah was bored out of her mind but I think that was my first true (ok, only) lesbian love. Amazing evening.
   This song reminds me to fight for what is important. If giving up is an option, it wasn't meant to be yours.

2. Jars of Clay-- Tea and Sympathy

   A remnant of my days as a good little LCA girl. This album, Much Afraid, was played in constant rotation in my tiny bedroom. I would light incense and all my candles, lie on my bed, compose bad poetry and give in to the angst. Church angst. Huh. I still listen to Jars of Clay often. Hippie music, as SOMEONE would call it. Jesus was a hippie.

3. Dishwalla-- Counting Blue Cars

   One of my favorites, especially its acoustic version. Once, while standing detention my junior year, I counted how many white cars drove by over the hour. The number was many.
   I'm listening to the lyrics again, rather than quoting them mindlessly. This song closely reflects how I've been feeling lately about the whole meaning of life. Deep.

4. O.C. Supertones-- Dedication

   Andy and Alan took me to see Supertones at the Moore Theatre in 2000 and Christian ska never sounded so good! Also, I learned that day that Andy could not drive a car and drink a Gatorade at the same time. It was even an automatic, but he had to pull over to quench his thirst. The Supertones make me happy.

5. Incubus-- Just a Phase

   Incubus makes me moody and angry and floaty and it's just delicious. Some might argue that they went downhill after their first album, but I love them nonetheless. Brilliant. A guitar-heavy study in dynamics.

6. Linkin Park-- Cure for the Itch

   Ahahahahaha!!! Yes, I fell victim to the rap/rock fusion of the late 90s and early millenium. This track is all DJ work, but I like it.

7. Pink Floyd-- Us and Them

   I bought this CD because I thought it would be the cool thing to do, and soon learned that yes, I do like Pink Floyd. Don't ask me to actually discuss it with you though. My knowledge of the music is mostly related to what I see and hear on The of my favorite movies. Maybe I'll dig a little deeper one of these days.

8. Five Iron Frenzy-- Four-Fifty-One

   Funny, funny, brass-heavy, white people Christian rock. Silly. I love it. I yoinked the last CD off the shelf at His Place and the two guys behind me (from First Reformed) groaned with disappointment. I felt kinda bad, but not that bad. I had a gift certificate that I purchased in the merit store at school.
   'We're going nowhere, and it's happening fast/A dim future and a darker past.' I feel convicted; how bout you?

9. Muppets' Treasure Island-- Shiver My Timbers

   Don't ask... In my dark days as a Wal-Mart employee, we did a pirate-themed fundraiser. I was in charge of making a mixed cd of pirate songs to play as we walked in the Holland Happening parade. 'Yo Ho Ee Oh.'

10. Ciara-- One Two Step

   Can you believe it? I used to LOVE to go dancing at 'the club.' Nikki, Jaymy and I would get pretty drunk and pretend that we weren't as white as we really are. I can still smell the sweat/beer/smoke/STD bouquet of what was then P-Dubs. Of course, we had to have a pre-funk soundtrack while we were getting ready and I, always helpful, made some lovely mixed CDs.

11. Train-- Drops of Jupiter

   I love how his voice cracks when he cries out, 'Aaay aaaiaay eh.' This reminds me of the early mornings and late evenings of folding sweaters at JC Penney in Eau Claire.

12. Guns n' Roses-- Since I Don't Have You
   Canadian Anna from Wal-Mart first got me really into GnR. I love this cover... it combines 60's rock n' roll with the edge of late 80's power ballads all wrapped up in a beautiful Axl package. 'Yep, we're f*cked.'

13. Gym Class Heroes-- 8th Period: It's Okay But Just This Once
Bleh. Two good songs on this CD. This is not one of them.

14. Nirvana-- Smells Like Teen Spirit

   I'll admit, I jumped on that Nirvana band wagon a little late, but it was still so worth it. This is the Gen X anthem...but I'm a Gen Y'er. Oh well. Talent is talent. And I grew up just as close to Seattle as Kurt did, so I can totally claim locality.

15. Natalie Merchant-- Life Is Sweet

      In my book, Natalie Merchant is lumped in with Dido, Sarah McLachlan and all those lovely Lillith Faire Ladies. Her voice is smoke and fog, lilting and soaring, caressing and warm. Mostly I remember Thank You and Ophelia...her radio hits. It was years after the fact that I actually purchased the CD. For $2 at a thrift store in Wisconsin.

Apparently my iPod thought I needed to revist my teens and early 20's today, as nearly all of these songs highlighted that point in my life. That was a fun little trip. I hope I didn't bore you too badly.

Paul, no snotty hippie comments, and no down talking about how my generation was robbed of good music. You're only calling yourself old. And I love you and your taste in music!

Thankful Thursday


Today, I will make a list. Lists seem to be my thing lately. Prepare yourself for more to come. But first, a list of thanksgiving.

  1. I'm thankful for the beautiful views I witness on the way to work each morning. From the lights of west Seattle, to sea smoke on the water, from lawns bedecked in Christmas lights to the silhouette of the Stennis against a lavender and orange sky, it's a lovely way to start each day. I would comment on the view of downtown Port Orchard in its holiday finery, but as we drive through it I usually have my face buried in the sun visor mirror, applying makeup mostly by memory.
  2. I'm thankful for the catch-22 that is cloud cover vs. temperature. It's freezing, but it's beautiful out.
  3. (I am NOT thankful for the way Blogger auto-saves every 7.2 seconds, jerking my text box out of view so that I have to scroll down again to find my cursor. It's driving me freaking ape-crap crazy!)
  4. I'm hugely thankful that I can wake up each morning and kiss Paul's sleeping face before I crawl out of bed. He may not be home as much as we like, but he's there when I fall asleep and he's there when I wake up. I feel endlessly lucky for this.
  5. I'm thankful that my mom misses me sometimes. It makes me feel appreciated.
  6.  I'm thankful that I don't fit in at Wal-Mart.
I know, it's an odd list. But these are the things that came to mind, and it's the little things that make life wonderful.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Flecks of Random in the Pudding That Is My Day

  1. I'm sitting at my desk in a parka and fingerless gloves (all the better for typing, my dear!) and still freezing cold. I might require a coffee encore.
  2. When I'm cold I get really sleepy. I think it's my body trying to shut down--ya know, to conserve heat.
  3. It's the kind of sleepy where my eyelids droop as if they were hung with fishing weights and my legs and head feel like lead.
  4. I probably wouldn't feel as sleepy if I didn't insist on staying up until 11:30, propping my eyelids open to watch a Jon Bon Jovi special on VH1 Classic. I don't even like Bon Jovi all that much.
  5. I don't hate him either. He's pretty hot. He has great hair.
  6. I was mostly avoiding the full garbage can and the sub-freezing weather I was required to walk through to empty it.
  7. Old Man Withers' house freaked me out again this morning.
  8. Tiffany didn't help...she voiced my newfound and witheld fears that itinerants might be using Old Man Withers' house as a refuge from the cold.
  9. But then, you can't see the cabin from the street. And we live in the middle of nowhere. So it's highly doubtful that homeless people are living there. Still.
  10. I have very little sympathy for homeless people, with exceptions of course. But mostly I'm annoyed that they've given up. Or won't try. Or would rather live on handouts then experience the pride one achieves in the knowledge that they have provided for themselves and their families through their own hard work and determination. Obviously these feelings are not limited to the homeless...but that's another blog for another day.
  11. I'm excited for pizza at Max's tonight. I wish Paul could come, too.
  12. But he doesn't like Papa Johns.
  13. I wonder how big of a hit Papa Johns' sales numbers are going to take tonight. They're pretty much giving away pizza-- for an excellent cause, but still.
  14. This world can be senseless, and this line of thought is way too emo.
  15. I love going to Maxine's. She gives good hugs. And good liqueur. I feel at home there.  
  16. I'm a student again, as of 4:36 last night.
  17. I don't really want to be.
  18. What can't be touched but can be felt, has never been given, and has a confirmation number, but was not purchased on line?
  19. I don't want to know.

Monday, December 7, 2009

All I Want for Christmas Is for Mariah Carey to Stop Singing

It finally happened, and now you all can ease up on calling me Scroogie McScroogestein. I got the first real twinge of Christmas spirit! I mean, I may be grumpy about it, and I may talk a big 'I Hate Christmas' talk, but I'm human and easily susceptable to yuletide magic, too!

In my family, stockings are a pretty big part of Christmas morning, and I know they are in Paul's family too. Maxine has stockings for everyone at her house, but it's important to me that we have our own stockings at our own house. We even have a mantle to hang them from! So on Saturday, Tiffany graciously helped me create Christmas stockings. I cut and pinned, and she sewed! (I'm quite afraid of sewing machines. They move too quickly!) Here's a preliminary photo of mine, Lilli's, Lauren's and Chloe's stockings. I'm still working on them, adding trim and embellishments, etc...

They're obviously homemade, and maybe a little crazier than most of you would consider for Christmas, but they reflect each of the girls' personalities, and I love them! (Paul and Nicholas' stockings will be made out of Paul's old ACUs. We're going to have to go to Max's for those.) I'm really excited to do this for the kids...hopefully it will make Christmas just a little more special for them.

On the way home, as I was driving along Yukon Harbor, I caught sight of something amazing through the trees. A lighted sailboat parade! I had totally forgotten that Port Orchard was having their parade that night, but I was still able to see some of the boats as they made their way to the marina. They were beautiful--outlined in colorful lights and sparkling against the pitch black water. I literally felt my heart lift and I'll admit, I had a very hard time keeping my eyes on the road as I craned my neck to keep the boats in sight through the twists and turns of the road.

Yesterday Paul and I ventured out to Silverdale to commence the Christmas Shopping Experience. I've been kind of nervous about this, only because of the sheer number of family members we have. After eight hours of trekking through not-horribly-crowded malls, toy stores, discount stores and craft stores, we succeeded in completely taking care of all the kids in the family, and several of the adults, too. (I may also have a couple of new shirts from Old Navy, and Paul might have a few new DVDs) By 10 pm our feet were screaming in agony and our backs were bent under our purchases, but we had a wonderful time just being together and planning ways to make Christmas particularly special for everyone. It was truly a great day.

Here's some of what we got for you all... =D

Ok, so maybe I'm a little excited now. Maybe I can't wait to get our tree decorated. Maybe I'm starting to think about baking Christmas goodies and finding an angel and skirt for our tree. Maybe I'm considering the perfect spot for the Nativity. Maybe this Christmas will be a great one for all of us...