Twas the Eve before Christmas Eve

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, but it’s not because I haven’t had anything to blog about. In fact, I’ve had too much to talk about and I can’t organize my thoughts into one coherent post that doesn’t resemble a schizophrenic’s journal. I find it interesting though that I’m not the only one who’s having this problem! Several of the blogs that I read regularly had similar posts that exemplified how I’m feeling as well. It must be that time of year.

The last few days have been a whirlwind of working a lot, baking a lot (till 12:30 on Monday night, anyone?), not getting enough sleep or exercise, holiday gatherings, and wrestling between trying to be perfect at the whole Christmas thing and trying to remind myself of the real reason of Christmas. I know I would be feeling more de-stressed and at peace if I’d gotten up early and gone to yoga on Wednesday (see #4) but two nights in a row up past 12:30 would NOT work well with 2 mornings in a row up before 6…and so I slept in, so I didn’t look like this: ---Please check out this website...I promise you will laugh a lot.

This post is going to be slightly lacking in the picture department because my camera battery died and I haven’t had time have been too lazy to charge it. Maybe I’ll dress it up with some more good ol’ internet photos. It’s probably going to be slightly lacking in the “what will I gain from reading this” department as well, but the beauty of blogs is that no one is forcing you to read them, isn’t it? I think the best thing to do is to go with the all-powerful blog-list and just give you some of my most recent musings in no particular order, with no particular theme, to hopefully spark some thought or send you on with a smile.

1.So often I think I/we as a community lost sight of the true meaning of Christmas.I’m pretty proud to say that growing up my parents were very good at teaching and promoting about the whole “it’s better to give than to receive” thing. I have a memory of one Christmas when my parents gave a lot of money to some people in need that lived down the street from us. My memory is kind of spotty regarding parts of my childhood (thank you epilepsy) but if I remember correctly we gave them a couple hundred dollars, which was a lot of money to us back then. After my mom put it in their mailbox I asked something along the lines of “but how will they know it was us that gave it to them?” And she said something along the lines of “We don’t want them to know it was us. That’s what makes it so fun and wonderful, just giving.” or something awesome and wise and motherly like that.

That is how you truly celebrate Christmas. Like the layaway angels around the country who’ve been paying off people’s layaway items at K-Mart anonymously, leaving just a penny to keep it open. Stories like these, with the economy as bad as it is, make me so happy it warms my heart and brings tears to my eyes. Humanity is an awesome and wonderful thing. It can be so easy to get wrapped up in the “things” of Christmas – sending cards, buying the “perfect” present for someone, throwing a festive holiday party, eating good food – and completely forget the “ideas” of Christmas – selfless giving, helping others, enjoying family, peace, joy…these aren’t just words that Target thought looked pretty in wood with red paint and glitter on them.

I wish I could say that I’ve done something like pay off someone’s layaway this year, but I haven’t…yet. Maybe I will, maybe I wont. But I definitely won’t blog about it. That would ruin the spirit of giving.

I was going to put a very touching a meaningful picture to symbolize selfless giving here, but who can pass up a little girl and her puppy eating ice cream? Not me.

2. I’m sure you’ve been losing sleep over how my small business Christmas is going. It’s OK. I did succumb to buying a few things from a monster conglomerate named Target, but all in all I’ve bought the majority of my gifts from small businesses. Unfortunately most of them were online and are not local, but I did support a couple of my fave local businesses. I give myself a C on this venture, I definitely think I could have done better but that dastardly thing known as time crept up on me and I freaked out. It was a fun challenge though, and I even felt so guilty going into Marshall’s that I went with another gift that supported a small business. If that’s not success I don’t know what is!

3. I’ve learned how to run “easy”. The trick for me is running with people. Since I haven’t been able to run with my evening group due to working till 9 almost every night I took some ladies on my street up on an offer to run with them from 6-7 am on tuesdays and thursdays. It’s a lovely hour of chatting and trotting through the dark streets, usually given the fact that we live in Cleveland, it’s freezing raining but it’s been unseasonably warm up here this December so I’m not complaining. They make it easy to get up at 5:50 am, and make easy runs fun. Eureka!

4. I missed yoga this week due to a late late night on Tuesday and I really missed it! If I hadn’t been so busy the rest of this doggone week I would’ve gone yesterday or today but I’ve been nonstop, or nonmotivated. Ironically I think some of my non-motivation has been due to missing yoga. Is that possible? Lanie from Inner Bliss, you are the best, and apparently you make my week better. I’ll be back next week I promise.

5. I have fallen slightly off the cooking train. I blame my work schedule, the fact that I baked for 4 hours on Monday night, spent Sunday baking cookies with the neighbors (very VERY fun!), and still haven’t finished sending Christmas cards. (Sorry family and friends, they’re coming, I swear.) I did manage to throw together some sauteed scallops with roasted rosemary potatoes and sauteed spinach and mushrooms on Wednesday, thanks to a game being canceled. It was very very tasty. Next week I’m hopping back on though, I miss trying new recipes!

And now, a story to leave you with a smile.

Monday after work I headed to the grocery to pick up a “few things” for baking. I got a basket, but quickly realized that I should’ve gotten a cart. Yep, one of those trips. Canned pears + eggs + flour + couple packs of chicken + sugar + butter + 12 pack of TP = me struggling down the main isle of the store hoping my bicep didn’t rupture before I got to the checkout counter. Needless to say I didn’t bring everything into the house in one trip. Tuesday night was hubster’s work holiday party, held at Morton’s steakhouse. A fancy dancy affair. We were both going straight from work so I was driving separate. My yoga friend, who’s hubster works with my hubster, and I were riding together and I had offered to drive. We drive up to the restaurant in our nice dresses and stop to valet the car. As I get out of the car I realize that in the backseat is the 12-pack of TP that I’d bought and never quite made it back out to the car to take inside. Classy. And that’s how I roll. No pun intended. Ok maybe it was a little intended.  

Since I can’t very well end with a picture of toilet paper on Christmas Eve Eve here are some pictures of when Tessie visited Santa Claus.

And when things started to fall apart…

And some pictures taken by  my awesome neighbor photographer:

A family photo 🙂

Tastyyyyy Delicious cookies!!!

Who said this post wasn’t going to have pictures?

Hoping you all have a very merry family-filled Christmas with lots of laughter.

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