We. Were. On. A. Break.

What?  You don’t remember me telling you very specifically that we were taking a break?  No?

Well…damn.

So you know when someone tells you something vague in an effort to get attention?  Or in hopes that you’ll ask more and more questions of them?  Well here’s the deal.  The past couple months have been full of things that I was dying to share but didn’t feel proper doing so.  I didn’t want to be so vague that you’d be irritated you’d wasted your time reading about nothing.  So I chose to take a break instead of being annoying.

But here’s the thing.  Really great things have been going on.  Seriously.  As someone who, in the past, has had a tendency to get really excited about anything new and sometimes go a little overboard before it’s an actual possibility…my restraint, patience, and ability to be simply quiet about all of it is completely mind-boggling.  Yay for me!

So I’m going to celebrate my return to The Year of What If by telling you what in the world I have been up to and why December is turning out to be the best month of 2012 yet!

Here we go…

I told you several months ago that we don’t have our little girls on Christmas this year.  It’s almost enough to put me under my covers for the next three weeks so I don’t have to face the fact that they won’t be with us.  I prepared myself, however, but packing in a lifetime of Christmas cheer into the time we have together leading up to it.  The day after Christmas we went to see Santa.  We didn’t have to stand in line because no idiot brings their children to a mall on Black Friday (except me).  My little girls had a very lovely conversation with Santa and I’m pretty sure he will be coming our way in a couple of weeks to leave them lots of treats.

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The Christmas Tree Farm

The Saturday after Thanksgiving we had our annual Christmas Tree Outing in which we join many of our friends and their kids and cut down trees.  The little girls and Sullivan, along with the children of our friends, had a fabulous time frolicking on the tree farm and stopping for pizza on the way home.  This is one of our traditions that I’m so glad has continued.

Our pick from the tree farm!
Our pick from the tree farm!

I even got our Christmas cards out the first week of December.  Last year I didn’t get to it despite my good intentions.  This year ours was the first card to arrive at many of our friends’ houses.

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Ring those Christmas bells!

This last weekend Aych and I, with our little girls, rang the bell for The Salvation Army.  I wasn’t sure the little girls would be game to stand outside for two hours.  I strategically requested a location at the mall near a Starbuck’s.  With hot chocolate in hand, and additional noisemakers that Aych brought along, our girls were troopers and we received many many donations.

Our Backyard
Our Backyard

We also finally got snow.  And by “got snow” I mean we were pounded with at least a foot of snow.  It was beautiful and I can’t tell you how happy I am that we’ll have a white Christmas.

These ginger bread houses lasted a mere 24 hours before big chunks of them were in our tummies!
These ginger bread houses lasted a mere 24 hours before big chunks of them were being tossed down our throats!

The little girls had their annual Christmas cookie extravaganza with their Grandma, Aunt, and cousin on Sunday and we finished the weekend by constructing gingerbread houses.

While I’m so sad that they won’t be with us, we really have packed in as many things as possible, and I feel good that we didn’t miss out on any of our holiday traditions.

Do you see what I see?  As in...linoleum that is incapable of being cleaned and hot pink walls?
Do you see what I see? As in…linoleum that is incapable of being cleaned and hot pink walls?

You’ll recall that we have been working on a bathroom remodel for awhile now.  My husband replaced our tub this past summer.  We stripped the wallpaper and found hot pink walls that were damaged.  It’s been ugly.  My husband, the lovely man that he is, decided that we should take the weekend before Christmas (and without the little girls) to replace our bathroom floor and walls.  Not until today did I realize what a lovely distraction this project will be from our missing little ones.  Above, my friends, is our embarrassing “before” picture.  Look forward to a much nicer “after” picture in a week or so.  I can’t wait to have a house project to work-on!  And to finish the next phase of the bathroom!  And to stop looking at pink walls!  And to stop scrubbing linoleum that will never get clean!

We have great plans for the weekend before New Year’s Eve.  Between celebrating Christmas with our families once we get our little girls back, volunteering, and seeing the best 80s rock cover band in town, it’s shaping up to be a hell of a weekend.

Not to mention…ahem…we will be celebrating my starting a new job (the BIG news and REAL reason I’ve been reluctant to write).  I’ve mentioned before that I work for an organization that deals in disasters.  Hurricane Sandy put my life on hold for several weeks as we worked long hours to provide assistance to those affected by the storm.  I was working fast and furious and as the dust started to settle a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity presented itself.  The opportunity to join my family’s business.

Now, before you think ‘holy hell, I would hate working with my family’ I should tell you that I like my family A LOT.  There has never really been a spot for me in the business until now.  And the timing is perfect.  You know when something big happens that’s rather unexpected and every single thing falls into place?  And the timing is uncanny?  And you think ‘I have never felt so secure and right with a decision?’  Well that’s how it this has shaken out.  The timing is too good.  And the opportunity is perfect.  And I’m in the exact head space I’d need to be in to really take this opportunity and sprint.  It’s so exciting I can barely contain myself.  I start after Christmas and until then am wrapping up my projects at work.  I haven’t felt this at peace, and confident in the future, and relaxed, and just…plain old happy and content…in a good long time.  Which is wicked f-cking awesome.

So while I feel horrible for being so absent I feel elated about the reasons.  That said…I’m baaaaack!  I have just a couple more weeks of The Year of What If and I feel like I should make them really worthwhile.

TODAY:  What if sometimes you need to take a bit of time  to LIVE life and set the commentary aside?  What if doing so makes the commentary even better when you return?


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