Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Making sense

December has never been an easy month for me. Don't get me wrong, Christmas is and always has been my most favorite holiday. When the kids were little, it was a really stressful time because they all had school programs, class parties that required baked goods and parental guidance, scout stuff, gift exchanges, etc. Add OUR social obligations on top of all that, and I was barely hanging on by my fingernails most of the time. But it was all worth it, when on Christmas morning, all three of them were sitting at the top of the stairs waiting for 6 a.m., the time when they could run down and see what Santa brought.

Then sixteen years ago (I can't believe it's been that long), my mom, who was supposed to come to our house from Minneapolis for Christmas, suddenly fell ill on Christmas Eve, and died on New Year's Eve without ever waking up. You can see how the season that I loved took a turn. While I can't say it gets easier, there are some years that are better than others.

Fast forward to 2007, when on December 5th, a gunman walked into Von Maur, arguably our nicest department store, opened fire, and killed eight people before shooting himself. Everyone knew someone who was in the store or had a brush with closeness. A friend was hiding in the lingerie department when the shooting started, and returned later to buy the robe that saved her life. Aly and Alex were headed to the mall, and thank God Aly took a bit longer to get ready, because otherwise they would have been there. That month had me at the doctor's office for a prescription for Xanax.

And then this year, well, I'm still trying to wrap my head around what happened in Connecticut. One of my favorite bloggers, Jenny Lawson, the Bloggess (who is usually pee-your-pants-funny) had a Dr. Who quote that I think bears repeating: "The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things...The good things don't always soften the bad things, but vice versa, the bad things don't necessarily spoil the good things, and make them unimportant". One of the responses was from Sarah at callmequirky.com: "Life is awesome, excepting the shitty parts".

Sorry about the tone of today's post, but I know pretty much everyone in the country is feeling the same way. I'll leave you with a little bit of happy:



My friend (and boss) at the museum, Jane, brought me these today. It all stemmed from the first Easter I worked there, in 2006, and she brought Peeps for everyone who had to work that day. I told her how much I LOVED Peeps, and there hasn't been an Easter where she hasn't brought me some. Her husband, Michael saw these and said to get them, but when Jane told him I only ate the Easter-themed ones, he said to get them anyway because they're cute!

I'm sitting home, waiting for Dwight to get here. We're anticipating our first snowfall of the year, and they're forecasting nine inches of snow and blizzard conditions. The presents are wrapped, mailed if they needed to be, we have plenty of food, and I'm about to go put on my comfy sweatpants (the Walmart ones with the pockets. Pockets in sweatpants? Really?) I believe there will be an open bottle of wine awaiting Dwight.

I hope everyone is home and warm, safe, and dry. Happy blizzard!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Just a shopgirl at heart

A few weeks ago, when Jane asked me if I would work some extra days in December to cover for one of the staff who was having surgery, it seemed like a good idea. I guess I forgot how busy Decembers are - both mine and the museum shop. Although I have to say it has been fun; the shop has been particularly busy. We're very popular in December as we provide free wrapping. (Insert clip of Rowan Atkinson wrapping the package in Love Actually).  I would insert several photos of our beautiful shop, but apparently I have used all my free Picasa storage space and don't really want to pay a monthly fee.

After a fun-filled weekend with two other couples in Vegas (insert over-the-top photos while I make you guess where I was, ending with the Bellagio fountains), I finally was able to set up our Christmas trees. We have a pretty gold and silver big one, but my favorite is my Barbie tree. Dwight has been giving me two Barbie ornaments a year since 1994, so you can do the math. Add to that Erin's Barbies of the World, and Emily's Marilyn Monroe ornaments, and it is a pretty cool tree. One of Emily's Marilyn's is lonely this year, though; her boyfriend, Jerry Rice, went to Michigan when we gave Alex and Aly all of Alex's ornaments. (Poor Aly - they will have a boy tree). Marilyn became Jerry's girlfriend when the kids started putting them in compromising positions. But Captain James T. Kirk of the Starship Enterprise (insert photo of ornament) is lobbying pretty hard for Jerry's spot - he is such a womanizer. All of this would be hilarious if only I had the accompanying pictures.

So I guess this is how Google makes money off of Blogspot - give 1G free, which takes about 11.5 months, then charge. We'll see.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and joyous whatever else. I love this season!