Friday, December 29, 2006

The End or a New Beginning?

It happened. It seems surreal. Are we safer now than we were yesterday or are we in for a new battle?

Saddam is finally gone.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Ho Ho Hosed

This Christmas season has been more hectic than normal. I think I feel that way every year but this one takes the cake, frosting and all. For one, I’m doing everything on my own. No one to hang the lights on the house (that decorating step was omitted this year), no one to drag the giant red and green boxes in or pull the tree boxes down from the rafters in the garage. It was a comical experience I tell ya. Imagine a tall skinny girl on top of a ladder trying to pull down trees without killing herself or her very curious children. “Keep your hands on the truck! Don’t move! Back awaaaaay from the ladder! NO climbing! Get back to the truck!” Fortunately, no one was smashed. The other boxes were neatly stacked between the wall of the garage and Bill’s truck…Bill’s dead truck. A truck that could not be moved because I let the battery die. So again, here I am dragging boxes over the truck while trying to not compromise the state of the paint on said truck. Are my children behaving by quietly watching an educational video while I try to make Christmas a magical and sparkly experience for them? No. They are in the garage, practically clinging to my legs.

“Mommy! Can I help? Mommy! What’s that? What are you doing? Mommy, watch this! Mommymommymommymommy.”



That was at the end of November. Not much has changed. It took weeks to get the house decorated. I’m still wrapping presents, a task I started over a week ago. We don’t have a plethora of presents. I just have to stop after about five to either deal with a child, or one comes downstairs, early from a nap when I’m wrapping his gift or my eyelids won’t cooperate and I just have to go to bed.

Then came the parties. You know, the obligatory-if-you-don’t-attend-you’re-not-a-team-player parties. The Women’s annual tea, which isn’t a tea at all, but more of a coffee, singing, listen to a speaker and ornament white elephant thing. The staff party: great because it was OUT. I went out to dinner on someone else’s dime. The youth staff party: the crazy one with the crazy white elephant gifts and five too many people for the size house provided. The school Christmas performance: “please feel free (ie you are required as an entrance fee) to bring a plate of cookies to share”. Yeah, well, I dipped some oreos in chocolate, sprinkled on some festive Mexican Christmas jimmies and voila! I didn’t have time to bake or run to the store. The staff appreciation breakfast which I didn’t get to appreciate even though I’m staff because the MOPS leadership team provided breakfast and, well, I’m required to be at the leadership meetings, not the staff meetings. So, I made breakfast for that. Then came the end of the season MOPS party, and it was my turn, once again to cook for my table. In addition to bringing breakfast, this was the longest laundry list: kids in red shirts, cards for kids’ teachers, three dozen cookies for cookie exchange and an ornament for the ornament exchange. I was really really bad and only fulfilled the red shirt quota. And then I hear the other moms complain about their situation until they look at me and two of the other moms and realize that none of us will have our husband’s home this Christmas and they quickly change the topic.

I think Bill is having a harder time not being home than we are. Of course, I want him here. He’s great at starting a rip roarin fire Christmas morning, making sure we both have coffee and doing the ‘dad’ thing with the video camera to capture the festivities. This year, he’ll be with all of his co-workers but we’ll still be with family. He got the raw deal.

Since Trey was a wee lad, we’ve done Christmas at home. That was strange getting used to since our tradition while growing up was to drive up to my grandparent’s house. Every year. This was the only time I’d see half of my cousins even though we were only a two hour drive away. Tradition. Turkey? Check. Ribbon candy? Check. Crazy uncles drinking beer and cracking jokes? Check. Someone crying? Check. It was fun. At least I remember it being fun. Now instead of ripping through gifts, putting on my fancy dress and shiny mary janes to see family, we savor every minute of the morning and calmly go through our day. Not this year. We’re going to see my grandpa…and his wife.

They’ve been asking us for years to come up. They’re not getting any younger.

She has bells. LOTS of bells. Really. Like over 3,000. Seriously.

I have a two year old. How am I going to keep my kids from killing her precious collection? What in the world is there going to be for them to do? None of their cousins will be there. I will need wine or champagne and lots of it. And DVD’s for the kids.

So let’s be positive. No cooking, no cleaning, a change of scenery for everyone, and I get to see my grandpa. Man, I really hope my aunt and uncle stop by.

I’ve never wished for Christmas to be over. My eye is twitching from stress. My family room looks like the paper factory exploded. Bill will be home in three weeks but we don’t have an exact date yet. That stresses me out. I need to PLAN. I have a week with both of my children, children who need to be entertained, and fed, and attended to.

I would love to just curl up in my bed with some good magazines and my remote.

I need to focus on the true meaning of the season. Thanks, God, for the greatest gift of all. I’m praying for a miracle that will keep my budget balanced.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Stuff Portrait Friday!

Being the perfectionist that I am means that I rarely get things done to my standards on time. The things that do get done on time have flaws, in my eyes, all over them. They may be perfectly fine, but I can see ways for the things to be improved. Now, I always have GREAT intnetions of participating in this cult-game. I've got the pictures in my head. Maybe they even make it on to the camera. But for one reason or another, they rarely are able to participate in SPF. Well, today they are team players, flaws and all!! If you have no idea what SPF is, go check it out and join the cult fun!

Ok so here we go. Today's three contestants are as follows:

1. My roof.

My car (soon to become my hubby's) may be old-lady-hair-blue but it has a sunroof and that, is the coolest roof to have. I considered taking a picture of the roof of my mouth, but this is more photogenic.

My 'hood:

Yeah, so this is the only one I have of my 'hood. At least it's all Christmas-y and stuff.

3. And lastly, something that I would not want to run into that is in my house:

This, is Buddy Lee. He's pretty old and somewhat frightening. I avoid him like the plague when the lights are out. I never know what he's going to do next.

Did you play?

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Top Ten Signs You Work for a Youth Pastor

10. When you gracefully point out a mistake he’s made, he doesn’t say, “You’re kidding!” or “Oh…really?” He says, “SHUT UP!” in disbelief.

9. He ‘dresses up’ by putting on a button down shirt, his jeans that don’t have holes and his black Converse shoes.

8. He makes fun of the fact that a certain someone, ahem(me), is out of her twenties even though he is only six months away himself.

7. There’s a picture hanging in the office of a kid pulling out a giant wedgie.

6. Your office is the only one in the entire building that looks and sometimes smells as though it had teenagers living in it.

5. He ‘does lunch’ with clients at Costco.

4. When told a white elephant gift should be brought to the annual Christmas party, it is not to be a nice knick knack or scented lotion that can be re-gifted. We are instructed to find the most heinous thing possible, wrap it up and try not to laugh when the unsuspecting victim chooses the box you brought.

3. You’re expected to help organize him, even though he’s beyond help.

2. You’re asked to paint a sign, call around for refrigerator boxes and decipher the strange substance in the Rubbermaid container hiding in the fridge all in the same week…and you’re technically supposed to be the one who just does the paperwork.

And the number one sign you work for a youth pastor:

1. He forgets to tell you that he will be on vacation this week until he’s actually on the road and calls from his cell phone…and oh yeah, if you want, you can take some time off too.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Don't move here for the weather

It's 32 degrees. Thirty Two Degrees!!! I can't remember the last time it was this cold. Now, if we could get a little bit of moisture in the air, we could have San Diego. Ok, so it does snow in San Diego (betcha didn't know that!) but not where I am.

Ironically it was 80 degrees this afternoon and the winds are-a-blowin, fires are-a-burnin and I don't know whether to break out the scarves or bust out my bikini.

I'm so confused.