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

Sunday, December 30, 2007

all I want for Christmas

And it was, a wonderful Christmas. Family gathered around. Although we missed my brother and his wife, it was great to spend the day with the rest.

Everyone did love their presents. And I loved mine. Particularly one.

Everyone in my family knows how much I love to take pictures. Some of you may have an idea as well. What you don't see is the hundreds of family pictures I take. Every year.

My mom wanted pictures this year. And she got them. From all of us. Mine were a little different. A book for her, and copies for the entire family. And it worked.

My brothers and one of my sister-in-laws used to get annoyed with me taking so many pictures. Now, although they will still tease the shutterbug, they understand, and dare I say appreciate it.

And even before they knew my present to them, my parents gave me help to continue my hobby.

I'm waiting for a price drop that usually comes at the end of January, but then I will get my new camera. A long wait. But I know it will be worth it. And it's not like I am without my little one.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

friends who are dear to us

Saturday, once I drove back home and after a bit of present finding, I went to dinner and a movie with friends. To celebrate one's birthday, and to give us all a little respite from the hectic holiday pace.

A little Nicholas Cage, a little salad and cheese fondue. A lot of laughter and great conversation. A perfect evening.

Sunday, after a wonderful brunch with a friend, I finished my gift gathering. Then began the wrapping extravaganza. I love wrapping. I have no idea why.

Midway through the extravaganza the boy picked me up for dinner. Over wine and tapas, I realized that despite the difficulties and idiosyncrasies, I really like this one.

Once we got back to my house, we turned on the Christmas music and opened our gifts to each other in front of the twinkling tree.

I watched as he opened his. Cute stocking stuffers. He agreed were cute. A fun travel game. And the main one. Which he loved. Despite my concern, I do know him well enough to pick out the perfect thing. I just had to think a little outside the box.

As I opened mine, I smiled. He really does listen. Sometimes. Along with a night out for the two of us later, he gave me a jersey for my favorite pro team. One of my favorite players, more so because of TheDog than the actual player.

After he went home, I continued my wrapping until I couldn't keep my eyes open. Then fell asleep with a smile on my face. With TheDog at my feet. This Christmas would be a very good one.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

maybe next year will be better than the last

This Christmas was sad and magical all at the same time. A long weekend away from real life. Filled with family and friends and wonderful stories. It's finally over and I just got everything out of my car and put in its place dropped on the floor of the entryway.

I'll start where I left off.

Friday night my family got together for early Christmas dinner. We got a little surprise, that really only surprised my parents. My sister, sister-in-law and I had suspected.

We were right, I'm going to be an auntie again. My mom and dad were so excited. As were we all with the confirmation of the good news.

Dinner was fantastic, and the low-key night with family was just what I needed after a long week at work and a snowy, white-knuckle drive down to my brother's.

The snow and wind continued as we kept warm inside. Playing with my nieces. Opening thoughtful gifts. Watching the puppies annoy the older dogs.

Everyone else bundled up, packed up, and drove over my brother's landscaping in their attempt to find the driveway in the snow drifts.

I made myself at home with TheDog in one of their spare bedrooms and slept like a log.

I awoke to a beautiful, crisp, sunny morning. TheDog anxious to go play in the snow.

The parents-to-be and I enjoyed our leisurely coffee and Cinnamon rolls. Talking about their upcoming trip to her parents' house. About the new little one. About how wonderful the low-key dinner was the night before.

Then, after my brother found the driveway for me with the snowblower, they opened one last gift from me. The one they couldn't open the night before, since everyone would be getting one. They were even more excited about it than I imagined they would be.

The giving is almost always better than the getting. A wonderful beginning to a wonderful Christmas weekend.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

the most wonderful time of the year

For our last girls' night of the year, we got together to eat, drink and be merry. And decorate Christmas cookies. I think more frosting and sprinkles ended up on the table and floor than actually on cookies, but that's half the fun.

I love low-key time with my friends before the holidays. Drinking wine. Eating great food. Covering ourselves in sprinkles and frosting.

I even usually love shopping. For others. Tonight I tried very hard to finish up my present gathering. I was foiled at nearly every turn.

And I definitely like holiday hanging out with a boyfriend. Last night, however, miscommunications and annoyances nearly kept the boy and I from getting together for a drink.

But instead of more message trading I insisted upon actually talking to him, and he picked me up. Mine was going to be a virgin screwdriver, to help beat the cold, but we decided the college mentality of alcohol-kills-germs was a better approach.

Hanging out with him always makes me happy, it's the trying to find time to, and trying to figure out what's going on with him, with us that drives me crazy. And the trying to figure out what to get him.

We talked about his job, and how he would like a change. How it doesn't make him truly happy. And I got to thinking that if I could only figure out what makes him truly happy, maybe I'd know what gift to give him.

I like the time we spend together. It's not great like it was. But it's still good. And I have a suspicion the holidays are not his favorite time of year. Could be the bah-humbug he muttered as he opened the door to the bar for me last night.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

please have snow and mistletoe and presents under the tree

Snow? I'm hopeful for. Mistletoe? Not necessary. Presents under the tree? That could be a problem.

I had four presents left to pick up, that I've figured out. What to get the boy is eluding me, but I'll get to that in a minute. (Any suggestions appreciated!)

First I had to deal with the presents I know I am getting. After I picked up my prints to put into frames all ready for them, I headed to one of my favorite stores and walked right up to my favorite salesman for advice.

My sister-in-law wanted a very specific something, but it's several years old, and as technology goes, no longer available. I knew favorite salesman would point me in the right direction.

He did, quickly, then informed me what I was getting brother-in-law was out of stock. I would have to go back in a couple of days. So much for being efficient.

I ran quickly to the grocery store to pick things up for girls' night tomorrow and the company potluck the next day, but walking the aisles I realized my concentration was gone. The cold was getting the best of me, so I headed home.

Many of the items I'd ordered were waiting for me at home. I opened them up and checked them over. They look amazing. I can't wait to see my family open their presents.

Now if only I could figure out what else to get the boy. Two stocking stuffers will not cut it. But I don't want to go too overboard and scare him, either. I need ideas. I need inspiration. I just need help. And some rest.

Monday, December 17, 2007

red-nosed reindeer

Finally. Time to relax on my couch under my down throw, lights twinkling and glinting off the ornaments, TheDog snoring beside me. Perfect. Well, it would be if I could breathe.

The cold that has been circling finally caught up to me today. At least I can be thankful it waited this long. Until after my crazy weekend of holiday parties.

Our office party was wonderful this year. The boy went with me, and not only seemed to have a good time, but said as much. And my friends at work said they liked him, too.

The annual holiday party of a friend's parents halfway across town was a little daunting this year. The boy had to work and could not join me, and most of the younger crowd all now have kids. Despite my discomfort at being the only single person there, it was great to see people I rarely get to see.

Then my own yearly bash. Friends and family gathered around, eating good food and having a glass of wine. Every year I question why I place the added stress upon myself. So much to do with the holidays in general, why add to it with party preparations.

But Sunday evening, after the tree had its lights and decorations, after the stockings were hung by the chimney with care, after the candles were lit, and the first guests began to arrive, I knew why. It's because this time of year is to gather together with those you love.

It would only have been better if the boy could have gotten off work a little earlier. And if those that had caught the nasty cold before the party had been able to make it. But I'm happy it held off for me until today. Even if I'm beginning to look a bit like Rudolph, myself.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

deck the halls

Snowflakes have been falling from the cold sky. Christmas music playing. Charlie Brown's adorable tree on the screen. Thoughts of the perfect gift for those I love swirling around in my head.

You'd think with all of this I'd be knee-deep in Christmas spirit. That's hard to do this year. I have a beautiful tree. But it still sits in a bucket on my front porch, where my sister and her husband left it a week and a half ago.

Christmas isn't Christmas without sitting in the dark watching the twinkling lights. Preferably with a steaming cup of hot cocoa, a touch of peppermint schnapps, and a cute boy.

This year there has been time for none of it. Not only that, but the outdoor lights I actually managed to get up before the snow started falling stopped working.

It's just not been my year.

Monday, December 10, 2007

you're a mean one...

You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch. Or, should I say Ms. Grinch. That's what I've become.

Work and the requirements for trying to recover some portion of medical bills I have paid from of the car accident have kept me crazy busy.

They have kept me from even dragging my tree in from the front porch. It was carefully selected by TheDog, delivered over a week ago by my sister and still it sits there. I need help to drag it. But that has been hard to come by when I'm home. Which has been all of about an hour each night.

They have kept me from seeing friends. Attending holiday parties. Decorating. And don't even get me started on shopping. Even writing here.

I'm trying to shed the grinchy-ness. Really, I am.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

if only in my dreams

It really may be for the best. I know it in my heart of hearts. But I need to think it through. Completely. Before I do something rash. Before I do something I will ultimately regret.

I want to be that bold, brave person I know I can be. Discuss my concerns like an adult. Ask friends (and you all) for advice. But I'm not that person right now. Right now work, the boy and life in general have beaten all the brave right out of me.

I have had a horrible headache since before Thanksgiving. I can't sleep.

The work to be done is daunting. Both real work and other work. I hope for things that have no chance of happening. I want all the problems to work themselves out.

The brave adult hiding somewhere within knows that won't happen. Knows I need to face things. Figure out what I want. What I'm willing to compromise on and what I'm not.

And to some degree I have. I just don't have time to really put it into words. And I'm not sure I'm ready to.

I just wish someone could tell me if I'm making the wrong decision.

Monday, December 03, 2007

a few of my favorite things

I've been tagged by Stacey, who is not only an incredibly nice person, but an amazingly talented artist. You simply must go check out her paintings. They're much better in real life, but they're even great on her blog.

So, I am tasked with posting five random facts about myself, and then I'm supposed to tag five other bloggers.

If you have been tagged, please follow these rules:

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 5 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Drum roll, please. Five random or weird things about me, the holiday version:

1. I absolutely love Christmas music. But only during the month of December. I hate that stores are starting to play it before Halloween. But now that the calendar has turned, I listen to it at home, in my car, and in my office. So, now I have plenty of ideas for post titles in December.

2. My family is nuts about live Christmas trees. Last year, my brother's fiance suggested they get a fake tree. In front of my entire family. We all just stared at her.

3. Every year since I moved back to Colorado, I've gotten the local radio station's cd. It's become an annual holiday tradition. And now that I have all of them, I can't imagine not standing in line each year for the next one. Despite the early hour. The cold. And the very slow moving line this year.

4. I always have a holiday party. Even last year's feet of snow didn't deter me. It's been a yearly tradition ever since I had a house to have it in. Even if it was a rental, and I had to coax roommates out of their grinchy-ness and convince them to join in the holiday spirit. Due to various reasons, my mom tried to talk me out of having one this year. As much as I appreciate my mom's input, that's never going to happen.

5. One of my favorite holiday activities, if you can call it that, is to sit on my couch. Only the white lights on my tree glowing. The Christmas station on digital cable coming through my speakers. Drinking a cup of steaming tea. TheDog napping beside me.

So, those are a few of my favorite things, along with door bells and sleigh bells, snowflakes that melt on my nose and eyelashes, brown paper packages tied up with string.

I'm not actually going to tag anyone. I don't mind being tagged, but I don't like to make people feel guilty about not posting something.

However, if you want to do this, consider yourself tagged. Let me know, and I'll link to you here.

My good friend Sam, has asked to be tagged. Something about the new pink.

Also, Glitter is going to try to get around to it.

Who else?

Sunday, December 02, 2007

beginning to look a lot like Christmas

This weekend was great. The holiday spirit is all around. The only problem is that work and other things are keeping me from enjoying it properly.

The girls came over for an ornament-decorating, wine-drinking good time. The next night was a farewell dinner with friends from school, as two are moving halfway around the world soon.

To me, the holidays always mean gatherings with friends. And my weekend was a great way to kick off the holiday season.

Saturday brought the annual standing in line for a cd. Crazy though I may be, it's a tradition. This year the boy went with me, and we met a couple of my friends. Luckily. Since the boy had to leave to go to work, and we were nowhere near the front of the line.

They were completely disorganized this year, and what usually takes a couple of hours took more than four. But I got to catch up with friends I rarely see. So despite the long wait in the freezing cold, it was not that bad.

My sister and her husband graciously offered to take TheDog to pick out my tree without me, as I had work to do. They delivered the beautiful tree and TheDog back to me today.

I also squeezed a fun afternoon with friends into the mix. A short evening with the boy. And dinner and White Christmas with my mom and sister.

If I can only find time in the craziness to bring the tree inside and decorate it. If only I didn't have three weeks of work to get done in one, the holiday spirit would have no chance of fading.