Friday, December 31, 2010

A Year of Magic

Bald Eagle

I took this photo on my walk this morning using a retro camera app for added effect. But it's not the retro camera app that is so cool about this picture. Look closer. See the little black blob at the top of the tree? It's a bald eagle. A real, live American Bald Eagle---white head, golden beak, majestic stance.

I have to admit, it was pretty magical to come upon it. We were awestruck. It sat perfectly still as we walked along below it. I'm going to take it as a good sign, today being New Year's Eve and all. In many ways 2010 was a nice year, but in so many others, it kicked my trash as well as the trash of so many of my loved ones. I'm ready for a new year. I have high hopes for 2011, for myself and for my loved ones. I'm ready for a little bit of magic, some delightful miracles, and some unexpected wonders.

Are you ready, too?

Monday, December 20, 2010

'Twas the Monday Before Christmas...

Photo 54

And all through the house,
There was crap that needed to be put away.
The kids were in bed
And there was a giant pile of laundry
To be folded.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
Mama (in her ratty sweats)
Tore open the window
And dumped all the laundry outside.
Problem solved.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Playing Mind Games With My Christmas Tree

2010 Christmas Tree

I'm stalking my Christmas tree. I can't leave it alone. I spend almost all my time right near it, inching my way on the couch to be within arm's/branch's reach. Sometimes I switch to the chair on the other side of it; the view is nice from there too. I wonder if the tree wants me to back off and find some other friends. I wonder if it thinks I should have spent more time fluffing its artificial branches when I set it up. I wonder if it feels naked in the back where there aren't any ornaments. I wonder if it wants to be friends on facebook. I wonder why it never writes clever messages to me on Twitter. I wonder if it knows that I'm considering a real tree next year. Heyyyyy. That would be a game changer, wouldn't it?

Wait, it would say, I don't understand. You can't leave me alone, for crying out loud! And now you're talking about replacing me?

I bet that would make my tree less critical of my overbearing codependence. Who's calling the shots now, tree, huh?

Friday, December 17, 2010

10 Things I've Never Told You Before

  1. I'm afraid of mountain men.
  2. I bite the insides of my cheeks.
  3. I sometimes sleep without a pillow.
  4. I am suspicious of Giada de Laurentiis, though I can't explain why.
  5. Every day, doing my hair feels like an enormous gamble.
  6. I love driving my car.
  7. I like wearing hats. (See number 5.)
  8. I used to have the book How the Grinch Stole Christmas memorized.
  9. I don't like sporting events because the end is not pre-determined, which I think is why most people like sporting events.
  10. When people talk baby talk without a baby (or dog) present, it makes me feel violent. I hate baby talk.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Came Early

Confession: I bought myself a Christmas gift.
(I almost got it for free, so that's okay, right?)
It is the Clapper.
Actually, it's the Clapper Plus (with a remote control!).
I couldn't wait for Christmas.
(Because I'm a parent now and nobody can tell me what to do.)
Tore it open, right there in the kitchen.
I am beyond excited about it.
Because now I don't have to climb over my living room couch to turn the lamps on.
Go ahead, make fun.
Someday you'll realize,
As I did,
That it's actually a marvelous invention.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Updates, updates, updates

Let's play catch-up, shall we? It's a really fun game in which I write down all the stuff I've been doing so that I remember it in ten years. You can read it if you want. Or, you can look at this random picture of my kids.

So much of our daily life is explained in this one simple picture. (Sigh.)

Now, for the updates:

We ate Thanksgiving dinner alone at a nice-ish buffet at Longwood Gardens. It was meh. A few days later, we had Thanksgiving Do Over that I cooked myself. It was much better. I highly recommend doing over holidays that aren't quite right.

A week after Thanksgiving, we flew out to Utah for a quick holiday visit and had a great, fun-filled, exhausting time. Here's a shot of my family party. Believe it or not, there are several family members not in the photo.



Then, that night, we had Ryan's family party. Jesse and his band, Herod the Fink, performed and rocked the house with their awesome Christmas tunes. (Have you bought the CD yet?)






We came home to Lucy, who yipped and pawed at my leg for 45 entire minutes and made me promise to never, ever leave her again.

Another update: I've been keeping (somewhat) busy with freelance work, thanks to a couple of great ad agencies in town who have been funneling work my way. My new motto is, "No project is too small!" However, I'm starting a big new project this week and, hopefully, an even bigger project in January. Thanks again for all the well-wishing and networking, my friends.

And yet another update: Last week, I pulled out my withering, neglected novel-in-progress. Even though it's a computer document, a giant puff of dust shot out of my computer screen when I opened it. I cringed, but I pushed up my sleeves and started writing again. It felt good.

Guess what? Another update: Ryan spent a few days last week in DC working on a very exciting project. I can't give you all the details, but he is now one degree of separation from President Obama, which means he is only TWO DEGREES OF SEPARATION FROM OPRAH! He doesn't like to admit it, but he's sort of a big deal.

Would you like one more update? Christian tried out and made his middle school basketball team last week. Yahoo! Later today I plan to purchase a season's worth of non-toxic, non-comedogenic paint (in school colors, of course) to paint my face and belly for all of the home games. You know, because I'm a cool mom.

We're all caught up now. Have a wonderful Monday.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Reading Time

Scene: In the kitchen, dutifully making dinner, I call to Max in the family room to get a book to read for homework. Several minutes later, he still hasn't appeared with the book.

Me: Max! For the tenth time, go get a book to read!

Max: I did!

Me: Which one did you choose?

Max: The Crap in the Bathtub!

Me: Which one?!

Max: The Crap in the Bathtub!

Me: Max, read the title again.

Max: What do you mean? It says, The Crap in the Bathtub!

Me: No it doesn't. Read it again. Carefully.

Max: Ohhhhhh. The Carp in the Bathtub.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Best Five Dollars You'll Spend This Season


Today is my brother Jesse's birthday. (Happy birthday, Jesse!) He's in a band called Herod the Fink. And his band is a Christmas band. (How cool is that?) It's all original music about Christmas and the ideas and feelings---silly and serious---that fill our hearts this time of year. The album is so good. It's my personal Christmas soundtrack this year. Here is my favorite song; it's called Back to 337, which is also the name of the album. (If you're reading on Google Reader, you'll have to come on over to my actual site to get the link.)

People, you can download the entire album for only five piddley dollars. You should skip that combo meal and buy this album instead. It will enrich your entire season, I promise.

And one more cool thing? Jesse and his band mate Jason are putting on free concerts this season. Their dates are filling up, but if you live in Utah, you should look into having them come and rock your Christmas party. We had them rock Ryan's family party on Saturday night and it was the highlight of my trip. Find out more information on their website.

Happy birthday, Jess, and Merry Christmas to everyone else!
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