brief snapshots in time. memories and thoughts. disorganized and random.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

snowflakes and twinkling lights

Watching the snowflakes fall, watching the lights twinkle always helps to get me into the holiday spirit. Relaxes me.

On cold, snowy nights like tonight, I would prefer the twinkling lights were those on my own tree. But since the tree-cutting adventure hasn't happened yet this year, I'll have to be content with the lights twinkling outside the coffee shop window.

But the feeling of relaxation isn't coming. I'm already over-extended and stressed-out, yet, have barely finished up the leftover turkey.

The holiday season has only really been in full swing for less than a week. But since I'm one of those crazy people who thrives on stress, I'm trying to pack even more things into my too-busy schedule.

Around the craziness that will be my job until Spring, I'm fitting in various parties, shows, and friend time.

And of course there are the traditions. The tree-cutting and decorating. The line-waiting for the cd* in the frosty early morning air. The cookie decorating and exchange. The required shopping trip with my mom and sister.

And on, and on.

Yet this year, I should be less stressed. I'm nearly done with my gift gathering. I have all of my cards, I just need to start writing them. I even had the icicle lights hung before the snow fell.

But, I'm more stressed. Work is much crazier than most years. There are even more holiday parties, because of the boy. Plus my mom is insisting on "pre-Christmas" dinner, since my brother won't be home for Christmas.

I'm going to do my best not to let the stress ruin my holiday spirit this year. If I could only take the falling snow and twinkling lights everywhere I go for the next month, I should be fine.

* If you know me or live nearby, you probably understand. If you don't, well, it probably wouldn't make sense even if I did explain.

Monday, November 27, 2006


Of course it was chaotic. Family dinners always are, at least in my family. Besides a couple of cracks from my brothers, which were sufficiently inside-joke-ish that he didn't even notice, it went fairly smoothly.

The gathering of fathers and brothers in the driveway frying turkeys as his greeting didn't make him turn around. He didn't run for the door after an hour, not during the gravy tensions, not even when he had the perfect opening, when my dad left shortly after dinner to check on the dogs.

He stayed until the end. He even helped me pack up the roasting pan and what little leftovers my brother allowed us to take and carried them out to my car.

And much to my brothers' astonishment, he even called the next day. They hadn't scared him off. Neither had the loud conversations all occurring at once, the screaming kids, nor the crazed pack of wild dogs. I wondered if anything would.

Last night, I had dinner with him and some of his friends from out of state. As we were saying our goodbyes, his friends asked that I keep the date of their wedding free this summer.

Wait. This summer. Isn't that months away? As I walked to my car, I couldn't quite get enough air.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

too much turkey

I'm nervous. And actually, half of my family is nervous. I'm bringing the boy "home" with me for Thanksgiving. Well, "home" to my brother's new house.

I usually don't care what anyone thinks of those I choose to spend my time with. This time I do. That, in and of itself, makes me nervous. And a little scared.

Should I be worried what my parents will think? What my brothers will?

I'm not. I'm worried that he will think my family is nuts. I know, I know, everyone thinks their family is nuts. Mine is very nuts. But they're also a very big part of my life.

And to make matters more, well, interesting, my brother's fiance's parents are coming. The first meeting between the soon-to-be in-laws.

My brother and parents are most worried about the "first meeting" and I'm hoping the boy doesn't make a run for the door after witnessing one of my family's "discussions."

Could be entertaining.

Whatever the outcome, I'm happy to be spending Thanksgiving with those I'm thankful are in my life.

Hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

tears and smiles

I looked over at him as they finished singing the National Anthem, as the jets did their flyover. There was a tear in his eye. I gave him a hug. I was so happy to have this special time alone with him. Even if we had to share it with over 70,000 people.

Not many dad's would take only their daughter to a football game. But every game, he and my mom take my sister and I. My brothers rarely get to join them. That day, only he and I could go to the game. And it was nice to spend time with just him.

In some ways I'm way too much like my dad. In others, we're polar opposites. But whether we're agreeing or disagreeing, we always have interesting discussions. And we always laugh together.

When I left him at his car, so I could head over to the hockey game with the boy, he didn't make me feel bad for bailing on dinner with him after the game, as is our tradition. He just told me to have fun. I'm a very lucky daughter.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

planes, trains, and automobiles (Part 9)

East Coast Trip (Part 9) - Boston (tours)

We had a little of the red line left to follow. We had planned to do it after our Duck Tour, but they were sold out until later, so it became our morning filler.

Filler, until my birthday present. I was excited. J was a little apprehensive. (And you should probably be afraid, very afraid).

J and S gave me a photo walking tour for my birthday. We'd chosen to tour Beacon Hill. Our guide runs her own photo walking tour business, and our tour consisted of just the guide, J and I. And I took a few pictures. (A very few of those are below. Seriously, that's just a few.)

After our the walking tour we wandered back through the Public Garden, past the Mrs. Mallard and her little ducklings. Then hopped on our own Duck, the amphibious tour of Boston.

Our tour guide was awesome, we just wished we'd taken the tour when we first got to Boston instead of our last afternoon. There were so many things we would have liked to have seen, had we only known about them.

Our trip was great. We even got to see some changing leaves. And the sunset was satisfying that last evening. A painted sky for our farewell to Boston. Only eclipsed by our trip's finale. At Finale.


You can see larger versions of the images by clicking on them.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

planes, trains, and automobiles (Part 8)

East Coast Trip (Part 8) - Boston (Freedom Trail)

We found the red line easily enough. Just where she said we could find it.

I wanted to describe everything. I even bought the book to read about all of the historic stuff, so I could write about it. I just haven't had time. Perhaps I'll fill in the blanks after I do.

In the meantime, the only story you really need to know is we walked the Freedom Trail, then relaxed a bit over a cup of coffee.

Then we hopped a subway train so we could make it back in time for our tickets. To the Blue Man Group. It rocked. We finished the day with amazing Italian food in the North End and cannolis to go.

I'd keep being long winded but I'm as tired of writing about every detail as you are of reading. Besides, isn't a picture worth a thousand words?


You can see larger versions of the images by clicking on them.