Christmas Day, 2013

My life isn’t perfect. In fact, I could list alphabetically, categorize, sub-categorize, and include an outline and works cited page for every single issue(most of which are my own fault, but I digress…), but every once in a while a day like Christmas comes along, and I’m with my family, my kid can’t stop smiling, and the love is palpable. How can I complain when I’ve got that kind of bliss just tossed into my lap? I’ve got a happiness hangover today, my kid is so overwhelmed with new toys that he’s developed a temporary case of attention deficit, and is unable to concentrate on one thing for more than a half hour. He’ll be happily amused with his Lego airport and plane, when SUDDENLY! Out of the corner of his eye he spots a gigantic remote control truck that’s calling his name! OH LOOK! A Playmobil bank! BUT WAIT! SKIS! (We don’t have any snow, but meh…) OHMYGOSH! OHMYGOSH! OHMYGOSH! NEW SOCKS! (Seriously, he played with socks for ten minutes this morning. He got a pack of brightly colored, striped, and playfully adorned socks for Christmas, and darn it if he didn’t try on every single pair.)

My son was spoiled rotten yesterday with many beautiful toys. The one he keeps returning to though is the MOST. OBNOXIOUS. TOY. EVER! Thanks so much to the guy who got my son the Despicable Me fart blaster. Great. Thanks so much. At least that same guy also got me a Wii U, so I can drown out the incessant farts ringing in my ear with familiar “boing” of Mario jumping up to collect a coin from a floating box. Also, what’s up with the millions of little stickers that come with Lego and Playmobil sets? I’m not trained well enough to get those suckers on straight. Without fail, my hand twitches right as I’m placing one. Every racing stripe, every flame decal, and every store sign are crooked, and bent over the corners of the piece. *sigh* Not that I’ve ever performed surgery, but I imagine(I know) it’s that kind of stress level. Not that getting sticky(insanely sticky! What are on those devilish tiny pieces of misery?!) little labels to line up perfectly on the first try is life threatening (it is), but come on, I’ve aged like five years since last night!

It’s 5:00, and we’re still in our pajamas, a mountain of new stuff is begging to be played with, and I’m faced with the herculean task of finding places for our new treasures. A measly 144 pictures were taken yesterday, but don’t worry, I won’t make you look at them all. You really don’t have to look at any, but I’m vain, and I think my kid is adorable, so I’ll put some up anyway. LOOK! Here they are now!











































Culture Corner plus BONUS STUFF!!

I thought that for sure that as soon as my semester ended, and I was able to let out the breath that I had been holding in since finals week started, that I’d be able to simply sit down and write. Foolish, I know. Plans usually have a way of staying just that-plans. Reality tends to sneak up on plans and knock them upside the head.

Intensity coupled with an overwhelming need to be perfect dominated my last two weeks of school. (I can hear all my psychologist friends, and my family therapist friends scrambling about for their notebooks, and a pen they can click incessantly as they ask things like, “Tell me about your childhood?” or “Why do you feel you have to be perfect?”) The truth is, I stress out really easily. The second I feel as if that rug is being pulled out from under my feet, I panic. I like knowing what to expect, so I can anticipate my next move. Things like not knowing what’s going to be on a test, or not understanding every aspect of a concept is enough to make me implode. I got through that difficult season, seven pounds lighter, with all A’s, and with a wee bit more confidence in myself.

Shortly after the chaos of a semester ending, we jumped right into the Christmas season.

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We did all the normal holiday stuff: We made cookies.


We did arts and crafts.

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We participated in a Christmas Cantata again, where I was dubbed the “audio engineer” for being the AV nerd. (My dad had to complete how many years at MIT to be an engineer again….?)

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We performed the cantata at the nursing home my grandmother passed away at too. I literally cried on one of the resident’s (the lady in the front middle wearing blue) shoulders as we talked about my grammy. She was just so…wonderful.


We chased cows out of the road.


Rowan cut his foot and had to be bandaged up for a while.

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We played games, we shoveled snow, we built with Legos, and we shaved.




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A couple of days ago I went and picked up my niece so she could spend Christmas with us, something I’ve been doing for years now. In an effort to save time, here’s a photo recap of our visit so far…my children are delightfully crazy!

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Also, there’s this guy ❤ <3:

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It’s the little things…

What little kid gets excited about clothes under the Christmas tree?  Like seriously, you don’t hear a whole lot of gleeful shouts over a new pair of socks, or a sweater.  There are no comments about it being what, “I always wanted!”  No immediately ripping the tags off, and trying them on right there.  Unless!  You’re my kid.

Rowan loves sweatpants.  No, seriously.  He LOVES sweatpants.  As long as we aren’t going somewhere that he needs to dress up for a little, I let Rowan choose his own clothes if he wants to.  100% of the time he laments over which pair of sweatpants to wear.  With so many options, you know, between the two pairs he had-blue and gray, it could take upwards of several minutes to choose.  SEVERAL!  MINUTES!

So when he pulled a package out from under the tree, tore the paper off, and discovered a red pair of sweatpants, he was done.  The day was a success.  He proclaimed them, “AWESOME!” and wanted to wear them today.  That second, right now, today.  I talked him out of it, stating there were other presents to open, but really I wanted to wash them first.  I did so while he napped, thinking for sure he’d forget about them, but I’d get it done anyway.  Nope, not so much.  He stumbled out of his room, drunk with sleep, threw himself on my lap and whined his need for red sweatpants.

Thank goodness Santa came through for him. 

So here we sit, on the playroom floor, that is so littered with toys, you can’t tell what color the rug is.  Rowan has been dressed in his red sweats since 6:15 am, happily playing with new trucks and trains, stopping every few minutes to acknowledge his most comfortable article of clothing. 

 A store’s worth of new toys at his disposal, and my son, he admires his pants the most.

Christmas Eve

Post-kiss 🙂


Rowan woke up convinced it was Christmas morning.  It was terribly hard to burst that bubble.  He was so excited, that for a second I thought about feeding the illusion, and allowing him to open his presents.  I didn’t though.  I gently explained that today was a day called Christmas Eve, and while we don’t get to open presents today, we can still do a lot of fun stuff.   I’m not sure he’s buying it.

Right now there are cranberry muffins in the oven, Rowan is watching a Christmas movie by tree-light, while playing with his wooden car carrier.  We are going to the Christmas Eve service at our church tonight, but otherwise have a relaxing day ahead of us.  Well, as relaxing as fishing little-boy underwear out of the toilet, and picking black play-doh out of blond hair can be.

Watching my two year old experience the holidays this year has been…..stunning.  He is the epitome of child-like wonder and excitement.  Between baking cookies, wrapping gifts, decorating the tree, and hanging stockings, it has been a month of so many joys and smiles.

Wherever you are, and whatever you are doing today, I hope you are filled with love.  Love that makes you forget about your worries and your troubles.  Love that brings tears to your eyes, and joy to others.  Love like I have for my little boy, who really has no idea what he’s in for tomorrow morning. 


Merry Christmas

Let me set the scene:

The sky is energetic with its intent to blackmail my plans of carrying in Christmas decorations from the garage.  I secure my over-sized sweater around my shoulders, and stubbornly press into the wind.

There is a pot of water on the stove gently simmering with cinnamon sticks immersed inside. The fragrance has consumed every room.

Christmas music plays from the stereo, Rowan is rhythmically turning circles in the center of the room, humming as he stares at the lit web of lights on his train table.

Decorations litter the floor, becoming impromptu toys for two larkish orange cats.  The larger of the two bats a plastic santa under the couch, meows, and lurks off, his play thwarted.

There is a lightness in the house.  A mirthful anticipation of what is to come.

Christmas has arrived at our house.