Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Thief of Joy

An explosion happened at my house this morning.
If you live in my neighborhood you probably heard it. Sorry about that.
I've seen it brewing.
Like that zit on your face, the one that feels like Mt Everest, but doesn't have a head on it. I tried to pop this problem prematurely, with lots of loving words like, "comparison if the thief of joy" and "even mom and dad don't have everything". All to no avail. This morning. This morning the zit came to a huge ugly head, was popped, and left that giant open crater of hurt.
It went something like this.

Dade: Mom I REALLY need new shoes. These ones have a hole too.

Me: Yeah I noticed that. I'm sorry we've just been really busy. I promise we'll go to the store this week and get you new ones.

Dade: So, like what's my budget for new shoes? Like $100?

Me: Uh, no....

Dade: (huge huffy sigh) Yeah I figured. So like $50 then?

Me: Babe try $30.

(At this point the color is rising in his cheeks, his little hands are clenched, and I can see tears forming in his eye)

Me: Dade honey what kind of shoes were you wanting?


Me: Dade please don't shout at me we can talk about this. The shoes you have are Adidas, so I don't think it's fair to say I "never buy you cool shoes".

Dade: Mom no one wears Adidas anymore. Adidas is stupid. All the kids at school have Nike and you'll never buy me Nike shoes cause they are like $100! (spies his sister on the floor with her iPod) And Mom I just REALLY need an iPod for middle school.

Me: Dade you do not need an iPod for middle school.

Dade: Yes I do! YOu just don't understand! I can use it to check my grades..

Me: (I should add that now my sympathy for his plight is waning and I am becoming genuinely annoyed at his materialistic attitude. But because I am a "good" mom and the struggle is real, I am trying to stay calm) Daden if you need to check your grades you can do it when you get home. Or *gasp* you could actually talk to your teacher.

Dade: Mom that's just dumb.

Me: No Dade, wanting something because "everyone else has it" is dumb. If you spend all your time being jealous of what other people have you will never enjoy what you have. (Eye rolling from my prenager) It's true. Mom and dad can't have everything either and we're adults. For instance I drives an older car. It's dirty, and dinged up. My automatic doors don't work but it runs well and takes us where we need to go. Aunt Dani has a new car with automatic doors that work and a super cool GPS system. It's clean and shiny. Does that mean that I should be envious and go spend $50K  on a new van?

Dade: No.

Me: Well why not? Dani's car is nicer than mine! For that matter let's look at Gramma and Papa! They have a big beautiful house with a huge yard and a hot tub! We have a small house and a small yard. Should I be envious and go buy a new house?

Dade: No I like our house! (I find this shocking because not having his own room has been the subject of many spirited debates)

Me: Well there you have it. We choose to be thankful for what we have and can afford rather then being envious and always sad that we can't have what others have. If it's  something you just can't live without then you save your pennies until you can have it.

Dade: I knew talking to you wouldn't help. I knew you wouldn't get them for me. I just can't have anything.

Me: I'm really sorry that you feel that way, but I'm not sorry that I can't buy you everything thing you want. It breaks my heart to see you sad, but I know that having everything won't make you happy.

Dade: (stomp stomp stomp huff door slam)

You guys #thestruggleisreal trying to teach my kids that they don't have to have everything is one of the most exhausting parts of my day. Truthfully I feel bad that I can't give them everything they want. It hits a nerve, I was that kid that didn't have the cool clothes and the coolest toys. I remember. Don't get me wrong I had nice things and my parents worked damn hard to provide them for me. But it didn't feel that way in the moment.
I think today's children are different. Society is different. There are so many more THINGS we "need" to have. They live in an instant society and are constantly bombarded by a stream of new now and better. I'm sure it's as exhausting for them as constantly explaining why we can't have it all is for me.
I'm trying. I really trying my very best to walk the line of giving them what they need balanced by a little of what they want. It's so. damn. hard.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Why I cried in the shower

Serious shit from a serious place:

I'm typing this in my phone, from my baby's floor bed. Where I am laying next to my snotty, oozing, sleep fighting, bundle of love.
Last week Tuesday morning I sobbed on the floor of my shower. Sobbed people. I didn't cry, I didn't weep.  I sobbed huge loud sobs. The kind I sobbed when I found out my BFF had cancer, or when my great grandmother died. Those sobs.
So you see despite all my gentle reminders, options, and helping hands, Ryder put on the breaks and refused to get on the bus.
People I lost my shit. I yelled at him. I threatened to take away his birthday party. I begged him to tell me what I was doing wrong, why couldn't he just get ready for school and get on the bus. Of course none of it worked. He cried, I cried, he didn't get on the bus.
While I sat on the floor in the shower and sobbed my little man sat on the floor of his room and sobbed.
He didn't think I was doing anything wrong. He didn't know why he couldn't get ready on time. He just knows he likes his sandwich a certain way, and the blue coat not the black one. These things are important to him. Pillars of the earth important. You can't get on the bus if you have a jelly sandwich instead of peanut butter and honey.
Eric picked me up off the floor of the shower, wrapped me in a towel and dried my tears. He built me up with words. He told me that he loved me, that our kids loved me, that I was the best mom ever. He told me about how he loved how much I gave to our family and to our friends. I held him. I stopped crying.
But deep, deep down I didn't believe him.
Oh I believe that he loves me. If he didn't he would have run screaming from my special brand of crazy years ago. But deep deep down I don't feel worthy of his love. I don't feel worthy of my kids love. I fill my life with busy to distract myself from just how not good enough I feel. Not smart enough, strong enough, creative enough, talented enough, kind enough, giving enough, pretty enough.....

Tonight I heard a friend say that for Lent she was not giving up sugar, or alcohol. She was giving up the negative feelings she has about herself. I have never given up anything for Lent, but I'm starting now. I'm letting go of the negative. I'm taking these steps and I'm making these changes. I am going to feel as worthy as my husband thinks I am. I am going to really be the wife he deserves and the mother my kids need.
Not just pretend to be. Actually be.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Better late then never?

*Confession time; a little later on down this blog post, I will tell you about how one of my resolutions for 2015 is to blog once a week. Now is when I will tell you that I have that one photo of Ronan there, and the first paragraph written for like two weeks, sitting in an open tab on my browser. I'm busy, don't judge...*

This is is people. This is my Christmas card. Merry Christmas!

I may never send actual cards again, just saying. See it's really because I care deeply about our earth, and want to reduce my carbon footprint by not sending paper cards. See if I don't send them then I won't cause more greenhouse emissions asking the postman to deliver them. That's it. Really.
Not really.
Maybe next year.
But y'all don't mind right?

I suffer from a complete and total lack of time management skill. I am forever over filling my plate and I just keep right on filling. Some things that didn't get done this year; halloween pictures, Christmas cookie baking, neighbor gifts (Sorry amazing neighbors. You will just have to imagine how much I love and appreciate you), Christmas pillow covers, taking the lights off my artificial tree and replacing them with ones that work.

Despite my lengthy to do list, we did manage to survive the Christmas holidays, not just survived but dare I say we actually thrived. Dani and I took the kids to sort donations for Toys for Tots this year in an ongoing effort to help our kids see beyond themselves. I'm not sure how much progress we made toward that goal, but my heart was certainly warmed and we did do some good. Plus it was actually a ton of fun! Not surprisingly this was Ryders "best day ever!" If ever I could figure out how to live with this kids enthusiasm all my problems would be solved. Just his enthusiasm though, not the meltdowns.


One boy is a total ham, and the other one.. I can not get this kid to look at the camera for anything...anyone have any tips? Sheesh!

We had 16 for the Christmas sleepover this year. That's 16 stocking hanging up there, count em. It's truly amazing and also humbling, that we can gather together as a family, to be thankful for each other. To celebrate Jesus. And eat copious amounts of sugar. It's a glorious tradition...and a glorious sacrifice from my introverted husband, I don't think he had any idea what he was in for when he asked me to marry him....poor bastard. There he is right there in the corner of that photo snuggling our sweet sleeping baby. You guys how did I get so lucky?

So now here we are in the third freaking week of January 2015 already. Today is actually my beautiful baby niece Lydia's first birthday. Her first freaking birthday! Where the hell did the year go? While we're at it where did the first three weeks of 2015 go?! I swear it was just yesterday I made this list:

I am proud to report that I have actually crossed a few of those things off the list. I did streamline my craft supply, and I did clean out my master closet. Just doing those small (OK I lie those were BIG HUGE THING! HUGE THINGS.) made me feel SO much lighter.
I have not yet worked out at all, let alone for 30 min at least twice a week and lets not even get started on what my linen closet looks like. Baby steps people, baby steps.
I am however, quite serious about my goal to blog once a week. You see it's on my bucket list (I'm big on lists, and using parentheses in a sentence. Did you pick up on that?) to write the book that's been bouncing around in my head since I was 16. I'm too embarrassed to tell you about it so please don't ask. But I figure that if I can hone my writing skill by blogging once a week for a year, maybe grab a few more followers because lets be frank, eleven is pathetic. Even though I love all eleven of you, it would be huge for my self confidence to have more. A good bit of my self worth is tied to how many people like me. Childish I know but there you have it. That's a whole nother bog post altogether...
So there we are, my first post of 2015. I'm not proud of it, I'm rambling I know. But at some point I need to just post it or it will never be posted and 2015 is the year of getting shit done. So I will leave you with this. I found it while cleaning out my master closet. I told you I've been writing that book for a very long time. Ane yes, I at one point titled it "Window" terrible I know.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The last first time; Ronan the Barbarian

This post is bittersweet for me.
It is the first time I am writing about No Name (who would finally be named Ronan) and the last time I will write a birth story.
Sweet because our baby barbarian is so beautiful. Sweet because he completes our family in a way only God could design.
Bitter because he is my last baby. The season of my life for making babies has ended, and I find myself content with that. I think there will always be a longing to feel life inside you, but it has faded into a fond remembrance as I watch my little people grow and discover, I am contented.

This is the card that Tessa made for No Name the night I went into labor. I wasn't in labor when she made it, I was very much NOT in labor. But this happened much much later in the day.

Friday, June 13th I was 39 weeks pregnant. It was the last day of school for my big kids so I was up at six making pancakes, despite having been up almost all night with contractions.
Not the good you're in labor contractions, but the sucky do nothing but hurt kinda contractions as the picture to the right will demonstrate. I had a doctors appointment scheduled at 9AM so instead of slothing on the couch I showered and dressed while Eric shuffled the big kids out the door and onto the bus. I was exhausted. Not just tired, exhausted. The kind of bone crushing tired that only a 39+ week pregnant woman knows. So tired that when Eric went to hug me before walking out the door to work I dissolved into a sobbing mess.

Eric "What's wrong?!"
Me: "I'm tired and owie *sob*"

He called work to let them know he would be taking me to my doctors appointment. I tried to assure him that I was perfectly capable of taking myself, and that the appointment would be woefully uneventful, even though I was secretly SUPER glad he wanted to take me.

My appointment was pretty uneventful. I was still dilated to 2 and 80% effaced, as I had been for the last three weeks. The midwife was just certain labor was imminent given all the contractions I had been having and offered to strip my membranes to speed things along. To which I replied "YES PLEASE!" I returned home with a renewed sense of optimism (and a chocolate milkshake) and settled on the couch. I had intended to take a nice long walk.....I took a nap instead.

Fast forward to 7PM. I had ZERO contractions all day. Zero. I decided to sit in for raid that night but regretted the decision about ten minutes in. Even with exercise ball I was extra uncomfortable sitting at the computer, not to mention that we spent the entire three hour raid night wiping on heroic Malkorok. Not exactly a mood booster. It was after one particularly disastrous attempt that Tessa presented me with the card for No Name. It's amazing what a little art from ones daughter can do to improve ones mood.
When the raid folded at 10 I headed over to my couch nest to settle in for the night but found myself unable to get comfortable or relax. I felt wound up. Eric found me around 11 pacing a circle round our kitchen and living room and immediately ordered me to the couch. But I knew I wouldn't be able to settle in so I went upstairs to run a bath. IT wasn't the best bath I've ever had but it did the trick because I was finally able to sleep around midnight.

At 2:30AM the contractions started. I timed them for about an hour, they were between 40 seconds and 1 minute long, and about 3-5 min apart. These hurt more than the ones I had been having so I went to the garage to let Eric know that I thought it might be go time and he should probably try and get some sleep in before we had to head to the hospital. I couldn't sit down or lay down so very reasonably I decided I should clean the kitchen. Who wants to bring a new baby home to a dirty kitchen? But Eric yelled at me (not really, more like spoke sternly at me) to go lay down and try and get some rest myself. So I compromised by sitting on the exercise ball in front of Th Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring while Eric went upstairs to sleep.

I just contracted away. I kept waiting for other signs of labor. Bloody show, extra mucus, loosening of bowels, all that super lovely stuff, but nothing came. I thought it was labor. But I had been having so many contractions for weeks that the last thing I wanted to do was head to the hospital and still be dilated to 2. By 5AM I decided it was time to call the midwife to see if she thought it was time. She did think it was time, though I didn't get to tell her what was happening because I started sobbing the second she picked up the phone. She said these exact words to me "Honey if you're crying come in. We'll sort it out!" I was immediatly so relieved I cried more. I phoned mom to have her come and sit with the kids until we knew for sure it was baby day. No need to drag them all to the hospital for a false alarm. I woke Eric, changed clothes (cause having a baby is a fashion contest you know) and we headed in.

Turns out it was baby day!
Eric drove to the hospital at warp speed, with me telling him the whole time to slow down. We live 10 minutes from the hospital and I was pretty confident that the baby wasn't going to shoot out before we got there. Turns out I was right. Shocker I know. We checked in at 6:15. I was a little disappointed to only be dilated to 4 but hey at least it was time! They monitored baby and I for a bit then unhooked me so I could labor in peace.

At 7 AM I opted to try the tub which felt AMAZING. I was able to relax and drift. Eric hung out at the edge of the tub holding my hand. He leaned over and lovingly whispered "Honey, we need to name the baby." After a bit of back and forth I conceded that if I was not to be allowed Leo, Leon, or Fox, that Ronan was the only other name I liked. Hence No Name became Ronan Fox.

By 8 AM the contractions had really picked up and the tub didn't feel good anymore. At one point I forgot one of the three birth affirmations I had memorized to keep me focused and calm. Which had the effect of making me NOT calm while I panicked about having forgotten one of them, which made me forget the rest. At that point I knew I needed out of the tub. Something, anything to help me regain focus. My amazing labor nurse came and helped me dry off and settle into the bed so she could check on baby and see what progress I had made. People. I was dilated to 5. I wanted to punch a kitten. My head was spinning, the contractions hurt SO much more lying in bed. I wanted to get up but I was so tired. Thoughts of my previous peaceful relatively pain free medicated births swirled with doubt that I would be able to continue 5 more centimeters.

At 9 AM my entourage showed up and I got my epidural. They should rename that thing bliss. Seriously.

By 10 AM it was time to push. See how awesome pain meds are for me? I can labor like a beast with those bad boys.

Ronan Fox Johansen made his debut at 10:15 AM. He had the cord around his neck, but thankfully he made his way out so quickly it wasn't an issue. He was a perfect 6lbs 10oz and 19in long.

 Tessa and Ryder wanted to stay for the birth. Daden declined. Having witnessed Lydia's birth he deemed the birthing process "disturbing" and left with his DS for the waiting room.

All together I must say a very satisfying last birth. I don't have any regrets. I gave unmedicated birth my best shot, it didn't work for me and I'm OK with that. We stayed a little more than 24 hours then headed home.
Probably the only thing that wasn't awesome was the food. Seriously if you deliver at Legacy Mt Hood bring your own food. Blech.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The one, the only, Nightman!!

This IS Ryder's birth story. I promise. But to give you the whole picture we need to go back a bit further.

It was June of  2007.
I was just wrapping up my first term at the Art Institute of Portland where I was studying Fashion Design. I was working full time as a visual merchandiser for Nordstrom. Daden was 3, Tessa was 1. I loved my kids, I loved, my job, I loved my classes. Life was amazing, God had blessed me beyond belief.  See how awesome we were!

He was about to bless me a little more.....

People, I was NOT happy. I sat and let Eric hold me while I cried and cried and cried. Was this God's idea of a joke? Seriously? How was I supposed to finally finish school, work full time, and pay for three kids in day care?! We were going to need a bigger car! Eric, bless his heart, stroked my hair and assured me that everything would be fine. I was totally not convinced.
I didn't want to tell anyone. I waited weeks before telling my own parents. I grudgingly admitted it to my boss of all people, who was so excited for me she told everyone at the Clackamas Nordstrom. Which was a bad move because my sister worked there. It didn't take long for someone to spill the beans to her. I got a text message that went something like this:

Dani: Missy are you pregnant?!
Me: Uh.....
Dani: Joey from the ebar just congratulated me on being an aunt thrice! WTH?!
Me: Well, yeah I am.
Dani: ?!?!??!?!?!?!

It did get better though! God worked wonders in my heart and made room for this amazing little man he made. 

Fast forward to February 2008

I had been out of work for close on a month because of preterm labor ickyness. Two weeks before my due date both Daden and Tessa came down with strep throat. So much for bed rest! Oh and I can't forget to mention that Eric lost his job in January. Remember how I was worried about paying for daycare? Problem solved! 
But despite all that I was induced at 39 weeks anyway :P See here I am all hooked up enjoying ice chips. This was after the Evil Midwife left and the awesome, amazing wonderful gift from heaven, midwife showed up. 
Let me explain. He was born at Kaiser Sunnyside, you get who you get. My midwife, who I had been seeing throughout the pregnancy wasn't on on the day we were induced. So when we showed up at 6 AM bright eyed and excited to meet our baby this is what happened; 

Nurse checks us in and hooks up the IV, she leaves to get the midwife. Evil Midwife walks in, grabs my chart, turns around and leaves, not a word. Eric and I exchange nervous glances. Evil Midwife walks back in, sets down my chart and turns to address us. She says "So, we are here for a trail induction."
I look at Eric and back at her and say "Well, I don't know anything about a trial, I am here to have a baby!"
She says "You know that sometimes this doesn't work and if that happens we will be sending you home right?"
I am not totally shocked and intimidated, I don't even know what to say!! So I say, "Uh, OK."
Evil Midwife exit stage left.

We are totally floored. I start to cry and Eric does his best to calm me down when the nurse comes back in to hook up my pitocin. She takes one look at me and says "Sweetie don't worry, shift change is at 9, you'll be just fine!"

We never saw Evil Midwife again.

I labored away in the hospital bed, contractions strong and regular, I am feeling pretty good! Things must be moving right along! Awesome Midwife breezed in at around eleven, introduced herself, asked a few questions including if I wanted her to check my progress. I did. I had been dilated three cm at my appointment the day before and my contractions were starting to be quite strong, so I was sure I was at least 5 by now.
Imagine my dismay when she announced I was dilated to 2. TWO!!! Evil Midwife's warning came flooding back and I am crying again begging not to be sent home. How could I possibly be only twp? She must have checked wrong I was three yesterday and I had been having contractions for hours! Awesome Midwife calmed me down and explained to me that seeing as this was baby #3 my cervix was quite stretchy and that without babies head putting pressure on it it could kind of shrink back down. She promised not to send me home and recommended that I get up out of bed and sit on the birthing ball.

Holy birthing ball Batman. Let me just tell you that sitting on that stupid ball made all the difference in the world. In the span of one contraction I went from painful, to HOLY ($)*@!! I could actually feel Ryders head pressing down with each contraction. I made it about an hour hour and a half on the ball before I started to feel sick to my stomach and had to get up. Eric called the nurse and she came in to check me again. Now I was dilated to six!
Now a different kind of panic set in. Tess was born 30 min after I was dilated to 6. I didn't have an epidural yet! What if the Dr couldn't make it in time? What if I had to deliver without one?! Not to worry, the anesthesiologist was prompt and super efficient. My water broke while he was doing the epidural and in no time I was snug in a dry bed contracting away.

My mom, dad, and sisters all showed up around this time, and we joked and talked waiting for that magic #10!

You guys I kid you not. Ryder's delivery was amazing. I was actually laughing while trying to push. I yelled at my family to stop making me laugh so I could concentrate. Awesome midwife was there coaching me, while the nurse got Alexa all gloved up to help.

Three pushed later and he was here!

I know it's a little gross sorry :P Here's a cuter one!

One last photo, happy birthday Ryder aka Nightman! I could not imagine our family with out your smiling face. I am so thankful every day that God blessed us with you! 

Monday, January 20, 2014

New year, new house....wait what?

This is what I wanted my first blog post of 2014 to be about:

Organize My House

Believe me I had grand visions. I imagined my first blog post would be photos of the areas of my house that needed the most help. The ones I would focus on. Raw, unedited, untidied up for the camera, photos of the parts of my house that are the biggest clutter destinations. The following weeks would bring more photos of my progress and clever witticisms about the thoughtful, creative ways I would tame the clutter beast and get my house in shape. This people, is not that post.

I live a real life. With real children that make real mess. After walking my entry way and laundry area I was so overwhelmed at the scope of the project I seriously wanted to cry. So I tell you honestly I said f*(&k it. Yep. I actually said those words. In my head people I have small children. (No mom, no matter what Ryder says he really didn't hear that word from me. I swear)

A week (or three) went by and I found myself thinking more and more about the dysfunctional areas of my house. Not only where they aesthetically horrific, they were actually causing me a good deal of strife and irritation. I really thought about how much time I spent cleaning up those areas that I could have back if only they functioned better. I resolved to do something about it. OK so maybe this is that post, but I promise you it's no where near as magnificent as it was in my head.

Let's start here shall we? This is the first thing that people see when they come into my house. There is nothing under the baskets on the bottom, so the won't slide in and out. So basically they don't work and are just taking up space. The foil on top of the dresser, which looked SO cool when I first did it, has been picked at by tiny fingers and now looks a hot mess.

This is the "junk box" on top of the table. Eric and I are supposed to be able to through our keys and his wallet in there when we come home. But as you can see, everything else in the world ends up in it. A random light bulb, a nail file (which I don't even use so I have NO idea where it came from), a pencil, an old drawer pull.....you get the idea.
The top of the table also seems to be a clutter magnet. Instructions to the game the neighbor girl brought over three weeks ago, a random pack of batteries, those awesome throw up bags the labor and delivery nurse at Kaiser Sunnyside gave me. Those are supposed to go in my car. Yes, I know they were in my purse, which was in my car, and that I brought  them inside. Baby steps here.

Ugh. Here are the insides of the drawers. Hey at least my Scentsy stash is nice and organized. Don't worry it's not in alphabetical order or anything crazy. The drawer on the right is an absolute cluster. I am not even sure what all that crap is or where it came from. You also get a better picture of the clutter that gathers on top. Oh and the dog. Say hi Ein.

Remember those baskets we talked about earlier? Well see they are supposed to hold flip flops. My kids are flip flop fiends and rather than have them all over the house I designated the two baskets at the bottom of the table to hold them. Problem is the baskets are non functional, so we have this ugly flip flop basket.
Here is the other side of our entry way. See how I tried to make it all pretty with the cute hooks and the wreath. This actually isn't that bad. We have a one coat, one bag, one pair of shoes rule....that gets ignored every freaking day.
I had originally envisioned this having some sort of bench for the kids to sit and take off their shoes and put their shoes in, but that didn't work out space wise. Right now they literally walk in, sit down in the middle of the floor and take their shoes off. Let me tell you how awesome that is when I have an armload of stuff from the car. I'll need to fix that, I just have no idea how.
This area also gets insane when our five zillion neighbor kids come over. They also sit down in the middle of the floor and take their shoes off when they come to my house. Which is awesome, except that in a very short amount of time I have an enormous pile of kid shoes to be tripped over. I am not really sure how to solve this.....

This is my laundry nightmare. There is only one tiny, baby shelf and it's so tall I have to stand on my tip toes to put anything on it. The top of the dryer is constantly collecting stuff that really needs to go out to the garage but didn't quite make it. That box there? It's full of random electrical cords, chargers and I don't know what else that I just cleaned out of my desk. I don't know what most of them are, but God knows if I throw them out I will suddenly need one. So there they languish. In cord purgatory, cluttering my laundry room Ahem, laundry closet, actually. Because it's a closet next to the downstairs bath. There used to be accordian doors over the entrance, but within a month of moving in the boys ran into them and broke them. I had intended to hang some sort of curtain awesomeness, but never got around to it.

That's all I can handle sharing right now. I am going to be straight with you. Taking those photos, and making the list of things that need to be fixed/reorganized, and typing it all out here seriously stressed me out. There is more to share on the first floor. SO much more. But those two areas are all I can emotionally handle right now.
Don't worry, I'll share more later, but for now I am going to make a giant bowl of ice cream with chocolate syrup, curl up into a fetal position on the couch, and watch NCIS reruns.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

This is it people!

I have a confession to make. I fail at Christmas cards. 

I didn't used to suck!! I used to send them out every year with loving heartfelt messages and carefully selected photos. Over the last few years I kinda fell off the wagon. The evidence?

2011 - I run out of stamps halfway through mailing cards and ask my husband to mail the rest from work. I would write him a check for postage. I should mention I had double pneumonia and was incapable of taking myself to the store to get more stamps. Sometime in April I borrow his car and find the cards I gave him sitting in a pile in the back seat......

2012 - I order cards. They sit in the box they came in under my desk until I finally end up recycling them sometime in June. Shameful I know.

2013 - This year....well, this year I didn't even order them. 

I really do feel awful! I have received many many beautiful cards in the mail from friends and family and each one of them makes me feel super guilty. (Especially the ones from certain ridiculously talented invitation designer I know. Her cards are works of art from the envelope in, every year and I am insanely jealous.) One of my amazing neighbors came over with a plate of cookies she and her triplet girls baked and decorated together, and a beautiful card. As touched and as thankful as I am to receive each of these cards, I allow each one to twist the sharp dagger of guilt just a little more.

But then again......... This year I went to three Christmas parties at school. This year I baked three dozen sugar cookies complete with icing for a Girl Scout party. This year I put together 12 gingerbread houses. Not because we needed 12, but because I screwed up the first batch of royal icing so badly that it ruined the first 6 houses and mom and I had to make a 6 PM the night before the party run to Target to buy six more. And then assemble them. Good times people. This year I threw 3 birthday parties between November and December mostly stress free. I loved on my kids and  kept my house clean. I spent time with my husband. I laughed with my sisters over piles of wrapping paper and "a 40's Christmas" on XM radio.

I think I will cut myself some slack this year and send out this blog post instead. Maybe next year what I really need to do is hire that invitation designer .......

Merry Christmas!
From our family to yours, wishing you all the best for this holiday season and the new year to come.

Melissa, Eric, Daden, Tessa, Ryder, and good old No Name
Yep, baby wishes you a Merry Christmas too!