Monday, December 31, 2012

Auld Lang Syne

Today is December 31, 2012.  It's the last day for a leap year, an extraordinarily long year.  Tonight, we all will band together as each of our respective time zones celebrates a new beginning, a fresh start.  Some people will be like me, and will postpone their diet/fitness/healthy resolutions until the 2nd, because they know that hangovers and healthy eating don't work. 

However, there is another resolution that I am making this year.  Starting tomorrow, and going through the end of January, I am resolving to write myself a little note of encouragement on a post-it note, and then stick it somewhere I will see it.  I will take a picture and post it on Instagram for all to see.  You can follow my instagramming adventures at @RadiantKristen.  I hope you'll join me, and take this challenge for yourself as well, and tell me how it works out for you.

There have been times when this year has been a complete and utter mess.  However, it is the brilliant, beautiful, poignant mess known as life.  We can't always count on it to work out the way we want it, and for those times, there's wine.

But when you have family and friends nearby, life will always work out exactly as life is supposed to be.

I sincerely hope that this new year brings you more joy than sorrow, more laughter than tears, and more friends than enemies.  And always know that you've got a friend in me for life.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Confessions... 'cause it's Sunday

Happy Sunday, lovies!  I adore Sundays.  It's the one day each week that I know I don't have to go to the office.  The one day a week I can usually guilt Ammon into being irresponsible (okay, it really isn't a tough sell, but still), because I need to spend time with him.  I get to eat good breakfast, because we have time for that.  And I get to link up with Alyx for confessions.  What could be better than all of those things?

1)  We are already soda stream addicts.  I mentioned it in yesterday's post, but I'm telling you about it again, because it really is that good.  My parents got us 2 extra carbonator bottles with our soda stream, and we are so glad that we can have them all on constant rotation. 

2)  COOKIES.  I am like the cookie monster.  I made chocolate toffee cookies last week, and I can't leave them alone.  They are so good.  And since I'm going back on a low carb diet starting January 2 (because I'll probably need the carbs for the upset tummy I'll have on January 1... don't judge), I'm having a very hard time denying myself said cookies.  And pizza.  And all other carby goodness.

3)  I love low-carb diets.  I know that people talk about how "bad" they are for you, but these are the same people who turn around and pump themselves full of refined sugars, and call it "healthy".  Yes, I love sugar, but I know it's not doing me any favors right now, so away it will go!

4)  I am so behind on talking about our Christmas party, but that's because I'm having a hard time getting the pictures sent from my work email to my personal email.  As soon as I get that worked out, I promise lots of pictures and stories.

5)  I am so jealous of the recent influx in pregnant bloggers.  Y'all are seriously killing me.  I told Ammon on Friday night that we needed to get knocked up, so that our baby could have blogger friends her own age (we're of course having a girl first ;-)).  Then he reminded me that I am making a very cute wedding dress that I wouldn't be able to pull off if I was pregnant, and that put me in a rather sulky mood.  So all of you pregnant mommy-to-be bloggers just need to know that your babies are still obligated to be friends with my baby, even though it might be almost a year younger.  Consider yourselves warned.

6)  We went to Old Navy, and we bought 11 items for $80.  3 were for Ammon, and 8 were for me.  I'm a very happy girl right about now, decked out in cheap-sweater glory.

7)  I am seriously considering doing a "petty holiday regrets" post.  Because I have several, and this year made it really clear how petty they are.  Nevertheless, I have them.

8)  Now that NYE is the last holiday of the season, I can put some effort into wedding crap.  There's a lot of it.  We STILL don't have a photographer nailed down, and that admission alone is enough to drive me to madness.  However, I am trying to practice optimism and believe that this is all going to be sorted out in its due time.

I think we will just go ahead and say "eight is great!" and I'll end this here today.  It's pretty long and rambly, but yeah... I had a lot to get off my chest.  Do you have anything worth confessing today?

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Thanks for 12 days, wise men

I'm not quite ready to let go of Christmas yet, even though I am very ready to let go of December, and 2012 for that matter.  I was always taught that Christmas was 12 days long... starting with Jesus' birth, and ending with the arrival of the wise men to bestow great gifts upon a Messiah.  In that spirit, I'm going to keep celebrating, because if it was good enough for the early Christians, it's good enough for me =).

We made out like bandits at Christmas this year.  My parents were very generous, and I feel so lucky to have a family that cares enough about Ammon that they would get him something extra special this year.  You all got to see the snowboard, but that isn't all we got this year.

A belgian waffle maker, and a soda stream!  Also not pictured:  a shopvac for Ammon, 2 button down shirts for Ammon, 2 sweaters for me, a new pair of slippers for me, and my parents gave me a Nexus 7 tablet!

We are obsessed with the soda stream.  I had read a lot of great reviews of these a while back, and had been dying to get one of our own.  I am so glad my parents gifted us with this, it isn't something we would have bought for ourselves initially, but we see the cost savings in the future, and are glad to have it based on that alone.  Some other day, I'll do a full review and recap.

Also, Ammon has been dying for us to have a waffle iron for months now.  It seems like he has a constant craving for waffles.  Being so close to our wedding, I wasn't sure whether to ask for this for Christmas, or just wait until we get married.  I know I made the correct decision in asking it for Christmas, because Ammon told me he had a dream that I was making him waffles for breakfast.

In other, non-gift related news, my friend Emily told me yesterday that Old Navy is having a sale on Pea Coats, and that they are only $20 each right now.  Yes, $20.  I almost jumped up and down, I'm so excited.  I like to buy basics at Old Navy, because their stuff is usually pretty timeless, and comes in a zillion different colors.  Oh, and it's cheap.  And they make the best cheap flip-flops in the world.  The end.

When I said the end right there, I didn't mean the end of the blog post.  Just the end of my opinion of Old Navy flip flops.  I am going to have to take a picture of my flip flops for you all some day.  It isn't as impressive as it used to be, but I'm told it's excessive for a 27 year old to have as many as I do, given that I live in a land-locked state that regularly sees snow as late in the year as May.  The 16 year old lifeguard in me can not give them up.  They are a part of my soul.

Why am I still talking about flip flops???

Friday, December 28, 2012

One year

One year ago today, I started this blog.  It has been such a journey, these last 366 days.  I also think it is worth mentioning that this very post is the 300th post to go live on this blog.  Wowzers.  I can't believe  I have made so many new friends thanks to my 300 posts, and your countless posts.  We have experinced joy, sorrow, triumph, and loss.  And through it all, this space has been where I have chronicled my journey to my best self.  Had you told me a year ago what this blog would turn into, I never would have believed you.  I wanted this to be a place where I inspired others to be more healthy, and there are some incredible pieces of advice tucked into those first few posts.  But over time, it developed into something more, something complex.  It turned into a way for me to explore just what it is that is going to help me have the best, fullest, most radiant experience on this Earth that I can.

Thank you all for being a part of my life, a part of my journey.  I would not have lasted so long in blogging if it weren't for all of you, and the bond that we share.  You are, quite possibly, the nicest, most incredible group of women and men I have had the pleasure of walking through life with.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Our Christmas quirks

I promised you all that I would do a separate post outlining some of our traditions regarding the unwrapping of presents on Christmas.  It wasn't until that year that I realized how quirky my family is when it comes to the unwrapping of gifts.

1.  We always take turns, and we establish an order before we begin.  We usually go by age, but this year we went around the room in a clockwise fashion.  We chose this order because my brother gets too excited and anxious about opening presents, and he kind of just dug in this year.

2.  I am always the Christmas elf.  It is one of my favorite things, because I have the opportunity to speculate on every single gift that is being distributed.  I'm totally nosy that way.  Also, my mom likes to put presents all the way around the tree, and then they somehow get pushed under, and nobody but me has the flexibility/desire to army crawl to the back of the tree to retrieve said gifts.

3.  My mom will always start telling people the order in which they have to open certain clusters of gifts.  It's very important to her that the main gift is not ruined by the "accessory" gifts she has wrapped separately.  I've asked her before why she doesn't just number the tags, and she ignores me and continues commanding on Christmas day.  How she keeps all of them straight I will never know.

The official command post

4.  We re-use gift bags and boxes.  There are some bags and boxes that have been in use for 20+ years now.  It's always fun to see who gets which bag or box from year to year.  Our favorite, most legendary box is the County Seat Jeans box.  We first got it some time in the mid-90's, and it has attended nearly every Christmas celebration since that time.  We make a big deal of it whenever someone unwraps it each and every year.  This year, my brother was winner, winner, chicken dinner with the box.  It contained underwear.  Good job, mom.  Good job.

5.  The tissue paper in gift bags is a big thing for us.  You can not simply remove it.  It must be teased out of the bag, then flicked across the room with flair.  My dad is the master tissue paper remover.  His style is legendary.  I wish I could have gotten video, but I'm pretty sure he would not have let me leave the house with it.  Instead, you will have to make do with photos.

This year, Ammon and I upped the stakes by doing synchronized tissue paper flicking on a gift that was for both of us.  I wish I had a photo, it was truly impressive.

6.  If we have the opportunity to make the opening of gifts ridiculous, we will.  My parents got Ammon a very large, very epic gift this year that they didn't want to take the time to wrap.  So instead, we devised a process where he had to close his eyes and fondle it, in order to determine what it was.

7.  In a normal year, my mom goes bow-crazy.  When she does so, I also go bow-crazy, and I decorate myself from top to bottom in the bows from gifts.  One year I had 17 bows by the end!  This year though, mom had a hard time getting in the spirit, so there was just one bow.  Ammon rocked it in my stead.

I feel like a real life blogger, posting all of these pictures for you.  I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about why I'm so darn weird... it's clearly hereditary.  Does your family have any strange Christmas traditions?  I'd love to hear about them!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

To recap

Hey blog family!  Happy day after Christmas to you.

Today marks three years since my Grandmother passed on.  In the past, this was a very, very hard day for me.  It felt really unfair the way that she was taken.  I anticipated that this year would be simply impossible, given the last week and a half.  However, I find myself reflective today.  Remembering who she was, what she meant to me, what she meant to others.  I wrote about my Grandmother in this blog post, and while it's about her favorite holiday, Easter, I think it does a great job of summing up the woman she was, and how I feel about her.

Now I feel like I can move on to brighter subjects... what do you say?

Our Christmas was about as good as it could get.  On the wedding blog today, I talk about how I got to have best friend time on Christmas Eve with my maid of honor, V.  You can hear about the crap we bought over there, but I saved our favorite funny pictures for this spot right here.

We could not get enough of these color-your-own masks.  There were some very annoyed women who kept brushing by us, but we just didn't give a whoop.

On Christmas day, we went to my parents' house.  My parents always make the best food, so we got up EARLY and drove in the SNOW to their house for breakfast.  Here is a picture from their back deck

I know some of you are hating me right now.  But I hear that most of the country had a white Christmas, or has snow now, so I hope the snow-envy isn't too widespread.

After breakfast, we did stockings.  I had to cajole my parents into doing stockings this year by promising that Ammon and I would get them stockings in return.  Jackpot!  My mom needlepointed our stockings when we were little.  Each one took her almost 2 years to complete.  It's insane!  I have wanted to do the same, but that is a lot of work, people!

There is so much else to say about present time, but I feel like the unwrapping part deserves its own post.  So we'll just conveniently skip over that right now and say that my parents spoiled us kids rotten this year.  So rotten.

The good thing about Christmas is that we all hang out and don't argue that much for the whole day.  Ammon took advantage of having internet, and caught up on his web-surfing.  I knitted and counted cross-stitched (both craft hobbies I have very recently picked up), and in general we just milled around until dinner time.

Now, Christmas dinner is something special at their house, and I wish I'd gotten a picture, but I didn't.  My dad always does a black pepper crusted prime rib with sage jus, and my mom does yorkshire pudding and green beans with pearled onions.  We also have cheesecake.  Homemade cheesecake, to be exact.  And wine.  It would be wrong to not mention the wine, this year is was a 2007 Merlot from Three Palms.  I'm told it's an excellent wine, but as I mentioned to my parents, I can't appreciate the differences that create an "excellent" wine.  They frowned at me when I admitted this, but unlike them when they were my age, I don't live in wine country, CA with ready access to wineries for weekend tastings.

Did I ever mention that we used to go to wineries on the weekends when I was little?  We did.  It was a blast, there are so many cool things to play on/around at a winery.

We decided the night was pretty much done when Ammon passed out on the couch at 6:40pm.  It was just like the 7 year old kid who gets so excited for Santa that they don't get any sleep, and then they eat too much candy from their stocking during the day and pass out halfway through dinner.  Poor guy didn't even make it to the cheesecake.  So at 8:00, with the Subaru loaded down with our new gifts and some paper towels from Costco, we made our way home.  Our bellies were full, our hearts were full of love, and despite all of the sadness this season had brought, we could both agree that it had been a good day indeed.

Monday, December 24, 2012

When the interwebs crash...

I alluded to it last week, but our interwebs crashed last Monday, and haven't come online since.  Something with our Broadband modem???

So after a week of not having ready access to the internet, I downloaded all of my blog apps to my phone.  And realized that I SUCK at typing on my phone, and that would be a huge test in anger management.  Which left me only one option:  To suck it up and use my phone as a WIFI hotspot until we can figure out what in the world is going on.  Which means that I am going to get even more behind on emails.

I know.  I'm sorry.

In other, much better news, we are trying our best to display some Christmas cheer, dagnabit.  We finally acquired and decorated a tree!

Kim, can you spot your ornaments?  They're on there!

Also, Saturday I bought some sexy knee socks on sale at Target...
Don't you love them?  They would go great over leggings with an oversized holiday sweater.  It's a good thing my family doesn't read my blog, we wouldn't want to spoil any Christmas day surprises for them ;-)

Speaking of my shopping adventure at Target, Saturday was the day that I had to go to the UPS store to mail off Christmas packages (they're going to be soooooooo late this year, sorry!), AND finish up with Christmas shopping for everyone!  I even bought something that Ammon can give to me.

Come on, ladies.  You know that I just did the one thing we all long to do.  This way, we can all be assured that Ammon's taste is absolutely impeccable.

At the risk that my phone bill net month is going to be astronomical, I'm going to leave this one here.  Hopefully my internet privileges go back to normal ASAP, but in the meantime, have an outstanding Christmas Eve, and the best Christmas Day that this year will let you have.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Pretending normalcy

The last two days I have done my best to get back to business as usual.  I went back to work.  I'm trying to catch up in the blog world.  I cooked dinner for the first time in a week and a half.  It's part of the process I go through whenever I face loss.  For instance, I went to work the day after my Grandmother died.  Not because I expected to be of any use to my employer on December 27, 2009, but because I tend to wallow when I have nothing to do.  I hate wallowing.  There is no good reason for it in my world.

So it only makes sense that here in this space, I should try to write about things other than pain, and loss, and grief.  There are a million things that are on the roster to write about, and they deserve to be shared.

Today I'm catching up on the Blogger Book Club, my most favorite excuse to read in the whole entire interwebs.  This month's theme was "books made into movies", and allowed us all to pick our own books.  I decided to read The Silver Linings Playbook.

What it's about:  This book chronicles the story of Pat.  At the beginning of the story, we meet Pat while he is living in a mental institution, about to be released to his parents.  He is madly in love with his wife, who he has been separated from, and trying his hardest to be reunited with.  Throughout the book, we watch Pat learn to live life as a member of society while dealing with psychological illness.

My thoughts:  When I saw the trailers for the movie, I never guessed that the story line was what it is.  I honestly thought it was a cute story about friendship and love.  And it is, to a certain extent.  That really isn't what I took away from this book, however.  I found this story to be a lot about human struggle, and our constant desire to better ourselves.  I think that this need to become better is not only good, it is necessary.  And that is what this story reminded me.  Pat thinks that he is trying to get better so he can reunite with his wife, Nikki.  In reality, Pat's life goes down an entirely new path, and takes on new meaning.

I finished this book prior to what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary.  However, I can't help but see in this story the sad truth that we as a society just don't do enough for those suffering from mental illness.  The author paints a terrifying, stark picture of life for Pat inside of a mental hospital, where Doctors are cruel, and nurses are mean.  I've erased 4 different follow-up sentences to what I've just said, and erased them all.  I have a lot to say on this subject, but a book review is simply not the place.

In the end, we do find that Pat has found a new life.  An unexpected, but no less happy life.  And that is the big take-away of this book:  sometimes in the midst of turmoil, a better life comes along, and we don't even realize it's exactly what we need.

Buy, Borrow, or skip:  I strongly believe that in light of what is happening around us, this book should be a must-read for everyone.  Compassion is needed now more than ever.  So I am giving this book a buy.  I simply adored it.

Has anyone seen the movie yet?  I'm dying to see it, after hearing several people tell me how great it is.  Hopefully we'll get around to making that happen sooner rather than later.

That's about all I have for you today.  But don't fear, in the midst of everything, we did manage to attend the company Christmas party, and we will have pictures of that coming at you soon.  For now, have a good day, and go out and LIVE, wontcha?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

From the bottom of my heart

Thank you.  Your kind words, thoughts, prayers, and condolences have not gone unnoticed, despite my lack of email response to them.  Ammon and I have treasured every kind word, as each is a reminder that there are people there for us should we have the need.

The last 5 days have been some of the hardest of my life.  They have brought out both the best and the worst in me at the exact same time.  They have made me realize what inner strength really is, and how necessary it is.  They have given me an all new appreciation for the Doctors and nurses who work in the Intensive Care Units of hospitals.

These 5 days have reminded me that life is for living, even when that means that you make some questionable decisions in the process.

Going back to work today was a difficult decision.  However, I know that Ammon's brother was not one to dwell on the bad things in life, and he never wanted others to do the same.  He kept on trucking.  And so will we.  He will be sorely missed in the lives of many, but will forever live on in our hearts.  And he will reside right next to the space I have carved out for all of you.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012

Do not go gentle...

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight

Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. 

--Dylan Thomas

Erin, you meant so much to all of us.  You did not go gently into the night, and you taught me what it means to be brave.  We miss you already.  See you again someday.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A jumble

As I sit here writing this, I must say that I am at a loss.  My brother-in-law collapsed last night at home, and was taken to the ER, and later admitted to the ICU.  He has a long history of health issues, and so we are all understandably very worried.  your thoughts and prayers would be much appreciated during this time.

When yesterday started, it seemed to be such a normal, run of the mill day.  Then there was the devastation in CT, that has broken the hearts of our nation.  After that, our own personal family crisis.  I'm letting Ammon sleep in right now, even though today is an incredibly busy day for us, and we have so many different things we need to get done.  I'm putting off waking him up to tell him the latest news from the hospital.


We're supposed to be going to my company Christmas party in a few hours.  My mother in law is telling me we should go, and she'll keep us updated.  But it feels silly to go and have fun when someone in your family is in Intensive Care, and you don't now what's going on.  I understand that we would be just as powerless sitting in the waiting room as we are if we carry on, but it still seems so wrong. 

So I ask that you keep Ammon, his brother, and their whole family in your prayers.  It's so hard to be a family member to someone who is going through this, and we could really use the love and support right now.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Caboodle to you too

We're just going to see where this post goes.  I have thoughts, but they don't seem particularly easily expressible tonight.  Honestly, though, some of the posts you all comment on the most are the ones that come from this particular head space.

When I was on my way home tonight, I called Ammon to find let him know I was on my way.  In the middle of our conversation, a huge ruckus erupted in the background.  When I asked Ammon what was going on, all he knew was that people were fighting right outside of our apartment.  GREAT.  Just great.  When I got home, I found out that one of my residents decided to confront a neighbor who has been consistently loud and obnoxious for the entire 2 years I have lived here.  Well, one  thing led to another, and it turned into a big fight, and the cops being called.

 I got home in the middle of the police business.  Have you ever walked into one of those situations???  I tend to be involved in more of these than I want to be, simply because of the nature of my job.  Luckily, I was able to stay in my apartment and eavesdrop on what was said without being involved.  My resident did the right thing every step of the way, and I am so, so glad about that.  She's a darn good neighbor, and it would be a huge hassle to find anyone even half as great as she is.

For those of you who have never lived in an apartment/condo complex:  never underestimate the value of fantastic neighbors.

2 amazing things happened at work today.  First thing in the morning, my co-worker walked into the office with this gem in hand

Yes, a Caboodle.  I mean, I haven't seen one of these in years.  I shared with my co-workers that I had always wanted one of my own, but my mom never let me have one.  I have been lusting after 90's style caboodles ever since.  This one is just perfect, don't you think?

And the second... Emily walked in the door and immediately announced, "Did you know that Breanne started her own blog?!?!".  She was speaking truth.  I am no longer the only blogger at work anymore.  Every single day is now a blogger-date for me.  Go check out Breanne here and say "hey"!

The last thing I have for today is about school.  I don't have to tell anyone who's ever worked and gone to school how frustrating and difficult it is to balance everything, and to feel that you are doing a good job.  However, I got the ultimate validation today when my grades were released, and I had gotten A's in all three of my classes!  I took 10 credits this semester, which was the most that I had taken in the last 3 semesters.  It was really nice to see all of my hard work pay off =).

Have a great day off, lovies!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

I can predict the weather with my boobs!

I posted this image on Instagram yesterday, with the following caption:

"Lunchtime saving grace"

I instantly knew that more than one person would be able to relate to this particular post.  I am constantly amazed at the number of bloggers that I have connected with over our mutual love of Tar-jay (because we like to be exotic in my house).  The bulls-eye is the most addictive little store ever.  I worked there for a semester in college.  During that semester, Tar-jay introduced the dollar spot.  And this was back when everything in the dollar spot really was just a dollar.  Needless to say, that paycheck never went too far.  I did get really good at buying on clearance though, and that skill has carried me through life quite well.

Since that time though, Tar-jay has become a place full of pretty things for me.  I don't buy most things there, because that would be far too dangerous.  I go there when I need to find peace, and look at pretty things.  Let's face it; there is nothing more exciting than walking into target and seeing all of that cheerful red everywhere.

I totally went overboard yesterday.  I got Ammon and I pajama pants, envelope seals for our
Christmas cards, a red glittery snowflake tree topper, and a box of candy canes for work.

Yes, a box just for work.  Remember, candy canes are my favorite winter candy.  And so, when I arrived at work, I delivered this quote (while opening the box of candy canes):

And you know what?  It took me saying it more than once for them to get it!  If you don't know this one right off, I am sad for you.  Really, I am.  But because I'm really nice, I will educate you on everyone's favorite movie to quote.

This was absolutely one of my top 5 favorite movies in college.  Mostly because there were moments that look exactly like being in a sorority.  I'm not going to tell you which ones, though.  You have to guess.

What is your most recent Target story?  Is there one movie you find yourself quoting over and over?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Another letter

Dear Santa Claus,

Santa, it's been 19 years since I last wrote you a letter.  I hope you forgive me.  See, I have a hard enough time remembering to write and send letters to my penpal Mia, so sending letters to a fictional character is asking far too much.  However, since I am a disgruntled blogger who is trying to get into the holiday spirit, I feel like it's fair to I should write you a letter.

I have been a good girl this year.  I haven't tried to kill a single person, or even caused massive property destruction.  I feel like this deserves an award, seeing as how a lot of people have made it their mission to drive me insane these days.  Also, I have worked really, really hard to not turn into a bridezilla.  Some people would tell you that I am one.  They are wrong, Santa.  I'm just organized.

So since I've been a good girl, I would really like for you to bring me lots of goodies on your sleigh.  I already gave a list to my mom, and so I'm going to give you a completely different list.  We don't want for the two of you to get me the same things!!!

#1:  Patience.  Oh Santa.  I need lots of this.  Up until a year or so ago, I thought I had a tolerable amount of patience.  However, I feel like what I had has been used up, and I' a little Katy Perry "firework" anymore.  So if you could bring me heaps and heaps, that would be fantastic.

#2:  Calm.  I have not felt calm for a while, Santa.  I feel like there is a tornado that sweeps through my mind about once a day, and my own inner FEMA is only about as useful as the real one.  So please Santa, bring me some calm in any manner possible.  At this point, I would probably even take it in pill form.

#3: Clarity.  I know that the answers are right there, and I just can't see them.  Please send the fog elsewhere, and let me understand.

#4:  THAT Friend.  Yes, I have friends.  I have great friends.  But I don't have a Christina Yang to my Meredith Grey.  And I yearn for that friendship.  It's the Shay and Amy friendship... our own real life Shamy, blogland.  I have an Ammon, and for that I'm so grateful, but to have a girlfriend to be that person... I just need it.

#5:  Acceptance.  Some of the things that are on the horizon are not mutable.  I will have to weather them and deal.  And that's really hard, Santa.  I'm a type-A, crazy bia who wants to control the world.  Apparently, I am no more capable of taking over the world than Pinky and the Brain were all those years ago.  So please bring me the tools I need to help deal with this.

Source: via Darcy on Pinterest

Okay Santa, there's my list.  I expect it will be no trouble, since the elves don't even have to make a single thing.  You're the best.  Oh, and can you bring me some candy canes too?  You know I love those.  There is leftover halloween candy in our freezer, please help yourself on Christmas.  And remember, we'll be staying at my parents' house, so bring my gifts there.  Capiche?

Love always,

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

It's a good tree, Charlie Brown

I officially suck at Christmas.

No, really.  I do.

I started this season with so many aspirations of decorating, having Christmas cheer, wearing sweaters, baking cookies, et cetera.

 Well, I'm here today to admit that as of this time, we have no Christmas decorations up.  No tree, no Christmas village, no wreath on the door.

I have not baked a single cookie, my single most favorite of all things to do at Christmas.

I have tolerated Christmas music well this year.  I don't want to scratch my eyes out when I hear it, and that is a bigger accomplishment than you will ever know.

I have worn Holiday sweaters with pride, so I suppose that instead of decorating my apartment, I'm decorating myself.  Almost as good?  Perhaps.

But I ponder our tree from last year, our perfect little Charlie Brown tree, and I yearn to put out all of the effort.  My soul longs to have a perfectly decorated house, perfumed with the scents of Christmas tree and freshly baked cookies.

Yes... it was an ugly, scrawny tree.  But Ammon and I cut it down ourselves in the state forest last year as part of the forest fire prevention program.  That forest burned down completely over the summer in all of the fires.  This year, we'll have a too-perfect tree that we buy from a lot, and I feel very sad about that.  It was such an experience to tramp around in over a foot of snow, seeking out the ideal tree.

Perhaps on Thursday evening, after our carpets have been cleaned, and we are both done with finals, we will take a few hours to buy and decorate a tree.  Maybe I'll even muster the motivation to throw together a few cookies. 

Have you crossed off a lot of items on your "must do this Christmas" list?  Are you shaming me for not having put up a tree yet (I am, it's totally okay).

Monday, December 10, 2012

Things that are true right now

Do you ever realize that you wrote a whole bunch of blog posts at the same time, and simply didn't plan out the post you need to schedule for the next day?

That's how I feel on this gloriously QUIET Sunday night (compared to all day today) as I'm typing this little love note to all of you, my most favorite of readers.  I know you've just cleared out your blog feeds over the weekend if you're anything like me, and you might be reading this on Wednesday, Friday, or even next Sunday.  It feels cool to know that in writing this, I am writing to the you in the future.

Wow, that made very little sense.  Whatever.  My day off this week wasn't an actual day off, so I can not be held liable for what is said in this space this week.  I just can't.

Right now, I'm listening to the Comcast OnDemand Holiday channel, and one of their little trivia facts says that only female reindeer have antlers in the winter.  This challenges my entire notion of horned animals, because usually it's the males that keep their antlers so that they can fight for dominance.  I have a lot of snarky, inappropriate comments I could segue into here, but perhaps we should keep it classy.  It's still early in the week (or the weekly blog feed list.  I don't judge).

Source: via Carol on Pinterest

Oh old school Christmas movies... were you trying to give us some gender identity riddles with your depiction of Rudolph?  Because now I'm questioning everything I thought I knew about the Island of Misfit toys.

I feel like I might have just bent my rule about not making an inappropriate comment.  Oops.

Speaking of things that make you say oops...  Beans.  As I write this, I have officially told Ammon he can't be around me.  Earlier today I told him the same thing, but because I was frustrated, and we both really needed to be able to be productive.  Oh no.  This time, it's because I made the mistake of eating beans at two meals in a row.  If that isn't an oops moment, I don't know what is.

I seriously feel my train of thought going nowhere good.  I think we should probably wrap this up, this missive I am writing to future you.  I'm hoping it finds you well, no matter what day it is.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Today is not a nice day

Oh, people.  Today is making me so, so, so, so grumpy on many levels.  However, one of my favorite people, Alyx, does Sunday confessions, and I couldn't resist linking up.  I also did a wedding version over here, so check that out too!

1)  I hit 10,000 page views today, and while that shouldn't really matter, it totally, absolutely, 100% matters.  So thank you, from the bottom of my heart.  It never would have happened without all of you.

2)  The emergency pager for work has gone off 9 times today.  It usually goes off no more than 5 times a week.  So to have 9 pages in one day is just not fair.  I really want to destroy it.  Oh, and as I'm writing this, it just went off again.  Please, put me out of my misery.  Someone.

...Okay, I'm back.  Make that 10 pages.

3)  We went to Panera for lunch, and I was more annoyed with them than Ammon was when they burned his panini today.  I always feel guilty for eating while a person is waiting to get their food re-made, but you have to, because otherwise your food ends up cold and awful too.  It's a total catch-22.

4)  I officially have ads on 2 blogs that are substantially larger than my own now.  It feels strange, but I'm curious to see what happens as a result of these cute little buttons reppin' it up.

5)  I just noticed that Amy Farrah Fowler's apartment number is 314.  I love Amy Farrah Fowler.  I love little nerd references.  This one made Ammon dance he was so excited.  Yeah... we are total Big Bang Theory nerds, and I'm not afraid to admit it.

Source: via Michelle on Pinterest

Did you really think that I could avoid some fabulous Big Bang Theory montage after that???  PS-- you need to see the episode from last Thursday.  AMAZEBALLS.  I'm watching it right this second.

And now it's time to make enchiladas.  That should be a gas.  So go visit my wedding blog to check out the wedding confessions, and don't forget to link up with Alyx!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

What a blush

This is something that has been rolling around in my mind for a while now.  A way to tell you about all of my favorite people in an authentic, real way.  I don't ever want for people to pay me to support something or someone, because that is no longer real.  Instead, I want to tell you about the people who I truly love.  And from that, the "blush" was created.  What is a blush?

Blush:  noun.  def: a Blog crush.

Highly technical, I am aware.  Try to stick with me.  Today, on this lovely Saturday, when hardly any other bloggers are sitting down to write, I want to tell you about my 2 favorite blogs that you've probably never heard of.  These are the blogs I love that have just a few followers, and for the life of me, I can not understand why.  I'm really hoping that after today, you will love them as much as I do.

I totally stole this from her blog, it was too cute!
First up today is KB from Tragic and Lovely.  Guys.  This girl is the real deal.  She is a true writer, but she doesn't let her posts get so long and wordy that you give up halfway through.  She is a CO blogger.  She talks about what is real for her, and she makes no apologies.  Not only that, but she is also really sweet!  She sent me an email earlier this week asking if she could send me a Christmas card.  I loved her before that, I really did.  But now I love her more.  And for the life of me, I can't understand why her following is not at 500+.  I'm going to brag it up when in a year, she's a big-deal blogger, and I can say that I knew of her blog way back when.

Now, on to really, REALLY cool news... Miss KB is hosting her first ever giveaway on her blog, and she isn't even asking you to follow her.  She is simply asking that you leave a comment on her blog.  So click here to go check out her lovely blog, and the adorable package she is giving away!

Another photo stolen from a blog.  I wanted this post to be a secret!
And this is Kim from Typical Kim.  I mean, she and I met through the Christmas ornament swap when she was asked to send me an ornament.  Even though I wasn't shopping for her, I did want to find out what she was all about.  And I was so stoked to find someone who truly gets me.  She wants to sign up for a CSA farm share.  She has a lab-mix.  She loves wine.  I mean, there is nothing about this girl I dislike. And I didn't even mention that she has my favorite brand of mildly self-deprecating humor.   I have no doubts that if you go and visit her, you will want to stay a while.

Do you have some favorite bloggers that you don't think get enough credit for what they do?  I would love to meet them.  Please leave a comment below with their link so that I can visit them and find out just what it is about their blog that is so incredible!  I hope you are having a great weekend =)