Monday, December 31, 2007

to a new year

First off, an update on Tanya: she is back home from surgery & all appears to have gone well. Phew.

I wish I could say all has been merry & bright these past couple of months in terms of my pregnancy, but alas, I cannot. And since a while back I wrote about being honest, I feel compelled to be honest again now. I have felt myself drifting away again, but since I tend to get somewhat melancholy around the holidays, and because I am often affected by seasonal affective disorder (and because this winter has been particularly gross without much snow), I ignored it. I ignored my frequent feelings of just wanting to be alone (offset by my neediness & feeling completely lonely when Honey falls asleep before I do) and my feelings of slipping back into depression. I think I just always hope ~ tomorrow I will feel better. And sometimes I do. And then sometimes I wake up angry at the world, pissed because Honey’s snoring has woken me up countless times during the night, or because Riley-cat has decided he needs to get into the bathroom cupboard. (And let me clarify that I’m not pissed directly at Honey because I know he can’t help that he snores when he sleeps on his back). This is all exasperated by little things like my curling iron cord getting stuck on the bathroom cupboard knob, or not being able to find the sweater I wanted to wear; the one non-wrinkly item of clothing I had because I don’t have the energy to iron. I often dread going to work, not because work is bad, but simply because I have to leave the house. It sucks to leave the house even more when you’ve started your day out crying & you now look as crappy as you feel.

This weekend, I fell back into a very dark place. A place where after a few very minor setbacks which were anything but minor at the time, I spent nearly the entire day Sunday in bed. I did get up, for a very a short time in the morning, and after throwing a container of Pledge dusting wipes at the front door and then seeing the look on Porter’s face, which can only be described as concern & confusion, I calmed down a bit. I took down the Christmas tree, and as that had wiped any energy I had right out of me, I laid back down on the couch. Honey woke up and told me he didn’t appreciate being told he was going to be left out at the end of the road with the rest of the animals (yes, boys & girls, this was the first thing I said to my husband, before even setting my feet on the floor), so I decided I wasn’t fit to be around anyone & crawled back into bed.

I cried for a long while, slept for a short while, and mostly just laid there thinking. It’s almost too painful to even write the things I was thinking, but if I do write them, maybe it will help me to realize that I didn’t really mean them, because I didn’t. While in the midst of despair, it’s impossible to see that, but I can see it now. At the time, I wished I could un-do everything: I didn’t want my house, my husband, or my baby. It was all too much to deal with, and I felt I was not, nor would I ever be, able to handle it all. If I can’t handle the cats waking me up, how would I ever be able to handle a crying baby? What if I didn’t get back on meds soon enough after the baby’s born? Would I want to drop it off out at the end of the road, too? Would I be one of those mothers you see on TV who went completely berserk?

More things got thrown (2 remotes, a bottle of water, and my alarm clock; nothing broke), and every time Honey came in to see what was wrong, I just screamed at him to leave me alone. He has had to deal with many, many things in his life, but as far as I know, depression is not one of them. And for that reason, he can’t, and may not ever be able to understand how I can feel this way when, in his mind, nothing is really that bad. And he’s right. The things that set me off are not really that bad, but I guess that’s what sets a person who is hormonal apart from someone who is not. I don’t fault Honey for not understanding; I couldn’t possibly when I hardly understand why I am the way I am.

I finally got back out of bed around 4:00 pm, and fell asleep around 9:00 in my comfy chair. Since I was sleeping pretty well, and because Honey wasn’t snoring (he had fallen asleep on the couch), I stayed put. Around 4:00 am, when I was too uncomfortable to fall back asleep, I crawled into bed where I laid wide awake for about an hour. I realized that I hadn’t felt the baby move all day, and that both worried me and made me realize that I didn’t want it un-done. I laid my hands across my belly & rubbed it until I could feel the baby squirming around.

When I heard Honey’s footsteps coming down the hallway, I was so relieved, and it felt so good to have him in bed next to me. I don’t think I’ve ever felt safer than in those moments with his arm wrapped around my belly. He said he hadn’t felt the baby move yet; that he keeps waiting for it. I told him that while the baby does move quite a bit (mostly at night when I’m laying in bed), I’ve yet to feel it from the outside either. And then I was finally able to fall asleep, a really good sleep.

I wasn’t sure if I would be up for dinner at my mom & step-dad’s tonight as planned, or up for game-night with my brother & Michelle ~ even though a big dose of Hunter-snuggling is probably just what I needed ~ but I’m feeling much better now. I don’t understand how I can feel like my life can be falling apart in one moment, and feel good a few short hours later. I know some therapy would likely do me some good, if for no other reason than to have someone to talk to (someone who won’t feel frustrated because they don’t understand why the hell I’m so weepy), but my insurance policy isn’t very kind to those with mental health issues & taking on another expense at this point would just cause more anxiety. I do know something has to give, I just don’t know what.

I just wanted to say a big thank you for listening & for being in my life this past year. Although many of you are strangers in the sense that we will never meet face to face, I consider you all my friends & it is so very comforting to know you are out there & that you care. I hope you all enjoy your New Year’s holiday with your friends & family. I know I will.

And purely by chance, this is my 100th post. To celebrate, I will draw a name at random from those who leave a comment to receive a special hand-made gift.

Edited: I realize that this is a very depressing post to leave a comment on, and perhaps one that some people wouldn't want to comment on or wouldn't know what to say. Thank you to Jeru & Jeanetta who have already left me sweet messages that I'm taking to heart. To anyone who wishes to comment for the giveaway, feel free to just say hello, or to comment on any other post I write this week. I promise they will be more lighthearted, and tomorrow I will hopefully have some very good news to share. Thank you again to everyone for your support. I will draw a name on Sunday! TG

say a prayer

Today my dear friend Tanya is having surgery, which makes too many to count for someone of her age & in such a short amount of time. I am hopeful that this will finally make her pain-free, healthy, and that she will have NO MORE SURGERIES in 2008.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

the day after

Does anyone else feel sad & lonely today? I spend all day Christmas with my husband & my family, and then I’m suddenly thrust back into work & I just feel lonely. Even my radio isn’t coming in very clear, which seems oddly fitting with the way I feel today. Just a bit off.

I want to be at home cuddling with Honey & Porter, who last night must have felt lonely too, because he decided he needed to lay on me, not just next to me. Honey had already fallen asleep on the couch, my lonliness had set in, and so I let him stay there even though a 55 pound dog lying across my belly wasn’t entirely comfortable. If Honey had witnessed that scene, he would have been miffed, because I often tell him his arm is too heavy when he drapes it across my belly when we’re asleep. Except, once he told me that when he put his arm across my waist & his hand rested on my belly, he was imagining what it would be like if there was a baby in there. I told myself that when I became pregnant, I would always let him put his hand on my belly.

I want to be at home, putting away my new goodies, putting away Christmas, and basically restoring order to my home. As much as I love Christmas and the entire month of planning, decorating, and celebrating, it will be a welcome relief to have life back to normal; to not have anything Christmas-related on my to-do list. I want to be tying up my loose ends & closing my loops so as to reduce my anxiety & free up space in my mind. Space that I will fill up with baby-planning, and reading my pregnancy books that I’ve not had time to read this past month.

I want to be at home watching our new DVD’s, of which we received many. Chic-flicks for me, and for Honey, I bought Ratatoullie and the Planet Earth series, He loves to watch anything on the Discovery or National Geographic channel. The other night, we both fell asleep in the living room, and I woke up to a show on giant turtles. The turtle had ensnared himself in a trap or something else he was otherwise unable to escape from, and wound up cooking himself from the heat ~ just moments before the tide had come up & freed him. It killed me to know that this poor turtle had baked to death, when there was a cameraman there who could have saved him. It was more than this pregnant gal (with “extra” feelings normally) could handle. When I told Adam about how much it bothered me, he said they’re not allowed to interfere, but it still seemed cruel to me. Even knowing the turtle’s death was part of the cycle of things in the animal world by becoming shark food didn’t make me feel any better. If I were at home today, I would not be watching a show about dying turtles.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

I have officially wrapped my last gift. (Doodles was exhausted just watching it all). Honey & I are having roasted chicken & stuffing for dinner tonight, will likely turn on a 24 hours of A Christmas Story, and at some point, take Doodles out for a walk.

We had not-quite-Christmas Eve dinner last night with Bucky, Michelle & baby Hunter, and tomorrow after having a big breakfast at home, we'll spend the day between my mom & step-dad's house, and my dad & step-mom's house. While it may sound crazy-hectic, it's really all very relaxed.

However you are spending your day tomorrow, I hope you are surrounded by your families, too.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

P.S. I loved this movie

Last night I dragged Honey to see P.S. I Love You, and I absolutely loved it. Honey, of course, thought it sucked. He's not one for chic flicks, although he did say that once we own it and he's seen it 4 times, maybe he'll grow to like it. At least that's something!

I must have cried about 8 different times during this movie, and I know I wasn't alone because I could hear sniffling coming from all sides. I'm sorry, but if you are in a relationship, or more specifically, are married to the love of your life, and you don't cry during this movie, you're just dead inside.

This movie made me really think about my marriage, and how it doesn't occur to me that it could be cut short. I married Honey with the belief that we will grow old together, and I never once considered the possibility that he could die young. If I allowed myself to think about such things, I probably never would have married him because the thought of losing him would hurt way too much.

P.S. brought up a whole mess of emotions that I never even knew existed. I could empathize with Hilary Swank's character more than any other character I've watched in years. I could feel in my heart what it would feel like to be a widow at age 30, and it sucked. When you marry the man you love, that's not supposed to happen, you know? How do you ever get over that? How do you get out of bed in the morning? Go to work? Move on? Smile? Allow yourself to fall in love again? I just can't imagine how I'd ever get over losing Honey.

So, go watch this movie. Cry, laugh, give your husband a big hug, and treat your marriage as if every day could be its last.

not a post about holiday cheer

This morning I was about to nudge/poke/kick Honey to roll over so he'd quit snoring until I realized it was not Honey snoring, but rather a dog barking outside for no apparent reason. And I have very little tolerance for dogs who bark for no apparent reason, nor for dog owners who let their dogs stay outside barking instead of bringing them inside. My exreme lack of tolerance is probably Porter is not a barker, and has yet to pick up the Husky trait of howling. He is extremely verbal, however, and has no problem letting us know that he is pissed and/or frustrated by plopping himself down in the middle of the living room floor with a big sigh & a harumph!

Anyway, Porter came into our bedroom to let us know he wanted to be let out; I believe not because he had to go potty but because he wanted to give the barker a healthy dose of shut the hell up.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

holiday bits

Yesterday I was quite convinced I was coming down with a cold. My sinuses were bothering me more than usual, I felt like my throat was closing up, and I felt light-headed. This morning, thankfully, I am feeling better. Still having sinus troubles, but no more so than every day the past 2 months. I refuse to be sick for Christmas!

I have been hearing commercials on the radio that on Friday, Santa will be making the rounds through the main streets of downtown, and up into the residential neighborhoods ~ on a fire engine! It reminded me of when Adam & I lived downtown and we witnessed this for ourselves. We stood outside on the sidewalk, and couldn’t help but smile at the sounds of all the children screaming SANTA! SANTA! SANTA! SANTA’S COMING! IT’S SANTAAAAA!! A total explosion of enthusiasm. Truly priceless, and I’d forgotten all about it until yesterday.

I’m nearly done with my holiday shopping, but still have a few things to purchase, and a few things that should be arriving this week via Mr. UPS. I was so far ahead of the game the last week of November/first week of December, and then I don’t know what happened. I am waiting to wrap presents until Monday, which I just found out I have off. Yippee! I plan on watching all the Christmas movies I have yet to watch, and have myself a little wrapping party.

I recently bought a tag-maker kit (made by Making Memories) for about $17, normally priced at $46. I couldn’t exactly pass that up, now could I? No, I didn’t think so. I made all the tags for the gifts mailed to my in-laws, and while it takes a bit more time than using the pre-made gift tags one can buy in pack that will last about 7 years, it definitely personalized our gifts. I like to be known for my handmade things, even if the recipient didn’t know they were handmade.

Besides holiday gifts, I’m finding all sorts of uses for my tag-maker, and plan on tagging the hell out of all my baskets that hold my crafting supplies.

Speaking of handmade things, here is the holiday card that I sent out this year. Between my family, Adam’s family, and the handful of friends that I send cards to, I send out about 60 each year. This particular card was a multi-step process that took several evenings to finish. But, it’s probably my favorite Christmas card I’ve made yet, so it was worth it. You probably can’t see it, but the red & white paper have little gold flecks in them, which I just love.

I had fully intended on making loads of extra cards so I could list them on my shoppe, but I drastically underestimated the time it would take to make them. I did take 3 sets of 5 cards to The Creating Place to consign, and as of last week, one pack had sold. Maybe the last-minute-shoppers will snatch up the other 2 packs...and maybe next year I’ll start making them in June so I actually have some to list. Oh, wait, I’ll have a newborn then ~ who am I kidding?!

This week I received a very special package from the very special Manda. It was my first overseas package, and I probably stared at the envelope & its par avion royal mail stamps for a good five minutes before actually opening it. Honey even commented that I was just as intrigued by the packaging than its contents. He really does know me so well.

I wish I could show you what was inside the package, but I can’t. I received two items; one for myself and one for my mom, so if I show & tell, it will spoil the surprise. Upon receipt of my _________, I instantly felt as if I were now a part of a very special club: those who know & appreciate Manda McGrory and the wonderful things she creates. Really, I can’t say enough about her & how much I love her designs. She says she never uses a pattern, which is further proof of her creativity. Her color combinations are too pretty for words ~ oh, to have access to her fabric collection!

Okay, so don't judge me or think I'm totally weird, but I will forever associate the holidays with soap operas. That right, I said, soap operas. I think the reason being is because when I was on Christmas break in high school, I often spent my afternoons watching All my Children, One Life to Live, and General Hospital. For many many years, we didn't have cable, and when you don't have cable, you get one fuzzy channel that is a combination of ABC and NBC. This meant that the only shows available to me were the soaps. The soaps were filled with pretty people, with perfect hair and perfect makeup, and they were always going to a holiday ball. And I (foolishly) wished I could be like them, with a perfectly scripted life. Now I know better, although I do sometimes wish I came with a script.

Throughout this post, I have included photos of some of my favorite Christmas ornaments. (I could do a separate post on just my ornaments, but I really don’t see that happening between now & Tuesday). My mom has purchased my brother & I an ornament every year since birth, although she says we’re too old now & has cut us off. I will speak on behalf of Bucky & I and say that while we may understand her sentiment, we most certainly do not think we are too old to receive our annual ornament from mom. Just throwing that out there, mom….:)

I usually purchase an ornament each year for Adam & I; something to symbolize our past year together. Last year was this house ornament because we bought our first house (insert “duh” here). And that reminds me, I haven’t bought our ornament for this year. Nothing terribly eventful has happened except for that I left my hellish, stress & anxiety inducing job for a one where I’m not treated like crap on a daily basis, and that I got knocked up. But since the baby won’t be born until next year, it doesn’t seem right to mark that event in this year. Do they make ornaments in the shape of a tiny little pregnancy test??

Happy Holidays, everyone! May all of your holiday wishes come true.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

festive doodles

Here is my darling Doodles, modeling a holiday apron made by the fabulous Jeanetta. It even has extra-long straps to accomodate my ever-growing waistline. I'm sure I enjoy wearing it more than he does. I believe he is saying ~ woman, what are you doing to me?!

And here he is with his Christmas blankie, a gift specially for Doodles from my in-laws. Adam says he looks "defeated" in this photo. Just look at those sad eyes! I don't know how you can be sad with a soft, red blankie, though!

As I'm sitting here giggling over these photos, Honey looked over my shoulder & said it's degrading to post a photo of Porter in an apron and asked if I could also post a photo with a toolbelt and a drill. Hmmmm.....

Monday, December 17, 2007

come on in!

I love the holidays. Am fanatical about them. I love that the lamp posts downtown are wrapped in lights and that my favorite shops put up Christmas trees. I even love the Christmas commercials on TV. I love satsuma oranges, and have eaten so many that underneath my thumbnail has turned orange. FYI, Porter also loves satsumas. The first time I gave him a piece of orange, and after he had pierced through the skin, he rubbed his head in it. Strangest thing I've ever seen that dog do. Even stranger than the time we took him to the beach & he tried to hunt & catch the fish rather than roll in the dead ones.

In our house, Christmas decorations go up Thanksgiving weekend because the way I look at it, if I'm going to put in that much effort to decorate my house, I want it up long enough to make it worthwhile. Not to mention the fact that it's all so pretty to look at. When I'm decorating or crafting, Adam asks me if I'm "doing Christmas". See, Honey knows it's a month-long event!

Adam was a trooper, and put up the outside lights ~ without my having to ask, even! We hang clear icicle lights, but I think I will have to be a copy-cat of our neighbors Nathan & Michelle and get the twinkling icicle lights from Home Depot for next year. Every fifth light twinkles, but it has a random twinkling afffect & looks so, so pretty.

Not like our next door neighbors, Crazy-Jane & Phil, who clearly need some lessons on how to hang lights. 1. Do not hang a strand of icicle lights, and then a string of regular lights. 2. The end connector piece ~ you know, the gap where there aren't any lights? ~ take the time to bundle them up & don't leave them stretched out so there's a gap between your icicle lights and the plain string of lights. Adam said Crazy-Jane must have been drinking again (or that her meds have kicked in) because when she came out to admire Phil's handywork, she exclaimed ~ Oh, Honey, those lights look beautiful! Now, ladies, you know we appreciate it when our husbands try to do something sweet for us, but wouldn't you pipe up if the lights looked awful, and trust me when I say Phil's looked awful?

Anyway, in year's past, I've been known to go a little nuts buying holiday decorations, but that was also when I was still establishing my collection. Now I've learned that there really is such a thing as TOO MUCH STUFF, and try to only buy one or two things at most. I'm trying to focus more on creating my holiday decorations rather than buying them, although this year I haven't done a lick of crafting aside from my Christmas cards. I also have to hold myself back from purchasing loads of holiday dishes. If I hosted an annual open house (we had a holiday party one year, and I'd love to make it annual thing), maybe I could rationalize multiple sets of dishes, but until that day I try to refrain.

Last year, I got this Charlie Brown tree from Urban Outfitters, which I absolutely love, and I found a use for all the tiny little gift boxes I'll never re-use, and the last scrap of gorgeous Christmas-toile wrapping paper. I also purchased this handpainted Noel sign. This year, I couldn't resist the adorable mittens hanging below. They almost look handcrafted, don't they?

My tastes have also changed somewhat over the years. As my mom mentioned, we usually receive a giant box of greenery from family in Oregon. I would use the leftover cedar & boxwood to lay over table tops, shelves, ledges; basically anything that would sit still got greenery. The look I was going for was organic, woodsy: picture a b & b in Vermont. While I've always loved antiques, I didn't necessarily go for vintagey decorations, and aside from my ornament collection from my mom, I would rather have had new than old decorations. Silly, I know. While I still love the woodsy look, I'm trying to incorporate more handmade & vintage items into my decorating.

Unfortunately, what this means is that I don't really have a set theme that is carried from room to room, and sometimes I wish I did. I have my Santa collection, my snowman collection, my Snow Baby snow globes the Nativity set my mom put out when I was growing up, Adam's nativity set, a garland I made of wooden ornaments from Adam's grandma, a couple of holiday-greetings banners inspired by the fabulously talented Jerusalem; all random things, but all things I love.

I love decorating the tree. We usually buy one, but will probably opt for the great, tree hunt once the baby gets older. After my brother & Michelle had got their tree, he asked me what kind we had got. I replied ~ a Grand Fir. He said they had gotten a Noble Fir, the "Cadilac of Christmas trees". I think I may have mentioned before that we're slightly competetive with one another.....

So, while my house may never grace the pages of a magazine, it says "home" to me, and in the end, that's all that matters. I like to think I have created a lovely & relaxing home for Adam & I, and for the May-Baby. Rily-cat likes it, anway.

Friday, December 7, 2007

meet Hunter James

welcome to the world, little nephew.

I'm an aunt!

And there's not much more to say than that :) Wendy, Michelle's mom was at the hospital visiting when they had brought in the doctor, and she just called my mom to let her know that baby was born & that he had all his fingers & toes. They hadn't even weighed him yet. Now I have to wait the excruciating hour & a half until I get off work until I can see the baby and give my brother a big hug. I don't think I can stand it.

going out of my mind

Michelle checked into the hospital last night in order to be induced into labor. Yesterday afternoon, after performing some tests & determining there was still plenty of amniotic fluid, the doctor wanted to induce anyway since she was nearing 2 weeks past her due date. They didn't administer the pitocin until this morning, and I've been so anxious all day. Everytime I think about what a huge thing this is ~ my little brother becoming father, I start tearing up. Who am I kidding? "Tearing up" is an understatement; I've been crying off & on all damn day! Plus, I feel so badly for Michelle & the pain she must be in. From what I understand, being induced is much more painful than regular labor, and with no breaks in between contractions. Again, just the thought of her being in that much pain makes me cry. I've known this day was coming for several months now, so I didn't expect all these emotions to sneak up on me and in such a overwhelming way. It's all just so much to comprehend. Oh, man, I'm going to be an absolute wreck when it's my turn!!

At any rate, I just heard from my mom, who said my brother had just called her to say that they were "calling in the doctor". I presume that means it's time to push, and I know even at this point, it can sometimes still take hours, but it's getting so close! The thought that any minute they could be holding their baby is just too incredible. And on that note, I'm going to click "publish" before I start to cry again.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

another poll!

This is my living room. I've been desperate for a new coffee table for over a year now and even though I haven't been able to commit to one, I know it will be round. It used to be for purely asthetic reasons, but now it's also for safety! I can't be having all those sharp edges with a kid in the house, now can I?!

I had envisioned something like this little beauty, but after much thought, I'm just not sure it will go with my existing furniture. My couch & chair are in the beige/camel family, and my entertainment center is a cream/sagey green treatment. I love cottage style decorating & have been slowly moving towards that direction, but I also love a warm look, and I think it's tricky to achieve both.

My other dilemma with a pedestal table is that I'm used to having the underneath part of my coffee table. And where else would I put my many, many magazines? And when the baby comes, where will I put the basket of toys? On the flipside, maybe the pedestal without the underneath part might make my teeny tiny living room less crowded?

My other option is something like this. A nice wood table with an underneath part to collect all my crap. It's a little rustic, which is also appealing to my I-want-to-live-in-a-farmhouse-in-Vermont side.
So these are my two options, and I need you lovely ladies to help me decide! One, two, three, go!

weekend getaway

Adam & I spent last weekend in Anchorage, which is north of Juneau, but I believe it is considered “south central” Alaska. At a population of approximately 279,000, it is by far the most populated city in the state. (Compare to Juneau with a population of about 35,000).

Friday night we had an early dinner at a restaurant near our hotel called the Glacier Brewhouse. They had several IPAs on tap, (Adam’s favorite beer) so he was thrilled. For a moment, I thought maybe I ought to leave he & the waiter alone to discuss the virtures of the perfect IPA. The meal itself was so not worth the $75 tab, but I figured ~ what the hell, we're on vacation. I even commented to Adam that baby-brain hadn't totally kicked in, as I was still able to calculate the tip. Leaving the correct amount of money, however, was another matter. Instead of pulling out 4 twenties and a ten, I only left 3 twenties and a ten, causing the waiter to chase us down the street to collect the rest of his money. Whoops. We stayed in the rest of the night & watched Oceans 13 on pay-per-view, which was a good movie, but we did have a hard time following it. FYI, if you ever watch Oceans 13, pay very close attention in the beginning or you’ll be lost for the rest of the movie.

We stayed in bed pretty much all day Saturday, which was really, really nice. The anxiety of everything I should be doing while I was lounging in bed would prevent me from ever doing that at home. Whatever happened to the good ‘ol days with nothing but pure relaxation & lounging about watching sappy movies on the Lifetime Network? Responsibility, that’s what. And sometimes it really stinks.

We did eventually leave our hotel room to walk down to the 5th Avenue Mall, which normally would have been heaven. You ladies in the lower 48 probably don’t understand what a thrill it can be to be in a MALL. Where they have clothes. That you can TRY ON before buying them. In Juneau, we rely heavily on internet shopping & then have to deal with the hassle of returns when things don’t fit.

Sadly, that particular Gap didn't carry maternity clothes, so my only option was the Motherhood Maternity store. It was strategically placed next to the kid's clothing stores, like they purposefully put us as far away as possible from all the "hip" shops. Hmmph is what I have to say to that! The only thing I bought was a pair of jeans and some new “maternity” bikini underwear, as mine are getting awfully tight in the hips. (By the way, when I got my new underwear home & opened up the package & saw how big they were, I thought there was no possible way those were going to fit me. Imagine my horror when they did! Yet another shocking pregnancy moment) Anyway, after being thwarted & obviously not cool enough to shop in this mall, I wasn't really in the mood for shopping. Not even the sight of the Coach store could cheer me up. Honey was a trooper, though, and didn’t complain once about being dragged around from shop to shop. So, it was back to the hotel for another nap before my holiday party.

The holiday party? Not so much fun when you only know 5 out of 67 people, and you can't even have a glass of wine. All the ladies were in gorgeous party dresses. In nice pants & a top, I just felt like I looked fat & not pregnant. Even Honey in his suit was dressier than me! Don’t we look cute in this photo, though? (taken in our hotel room after the party, using the camera’s timer) Oh, and the gift I won at the exchange? A gift set of Crown Royal, complete with tacky etched glasses. I would have traded for something else, but I figured if I kept the Crown, at least that would save us some cash at our next trip to Costco. We left pretty much right after the gift exchange, and I think we were asleep by 10:00 or 10:30 at the very latest, once again proving how very uncool I am.

Sunday we rented a car & drove south to Girdwood and the Alyeska resort, and a bit further south to Portage Glacier. You can't actually drive to the glacier like you can at the Mendenhall here in Juneau, but it was gorgeous scenery just the same. The mountains dwarf ours; it would be like having the Chilkats in our backyard. I realize this doesn’t mean much to anyone who hasn’t been to Juneau or seen the Chilkats, but they are a large mountain range waaaaay off in the distance.

We had dinner with our friends Sherrie & Ryan; glacier guides that used to come down for the summers & work at Temsco with Adam. They took us to one of their favorite spots, the Moose’s Tooth, which was on Carrie’s restaurant recommendations in the comments a couple posts back. The pizza was de-lish, as were our side salads. And at $49 for dinner for 4, it was much better priced than the Glacier Brewhouse!

We arrived back at Thrify Car Rental just as the girl was closing up shop. Adam & I both swear that the sign on the door said they closed at 8:00, not 6:00, but whatever. About one second before I was about to totally lose it, she said we could just return the car at the airport, and luckily the airport was easy to get to from where we were. I was worried we were cutting our time short, but by the time we checked in, we had nearly 45 minutes before boarding. I've gotten very anxious about flying & having enough time at the airport in my old age. I used to be the queen of getting there “just in time” & was perfectly okay with it, but now I need to be there in plenty of time “just in case”.

My friend & former co-worker Mikaela was on our flight, with her one-year old Elijah. While we were chatting on the plane as people were boarding, Elijah reached out for me to hold him, and then proceeded to snuggle into my chest. Talk about cute! Mikaela used to bring him into work, but I haven’t seen him for a couple of months so I was surprised that I was still familiar to him. Or maybe he’d also reach out to a total stranger.

We arrived back in Juneau to the bitter cold, and trust me, it’s no easier for us to handle than it would be for you Southerners! It's always good to come home, but even nicer when your mom brings you over leftovers & fruit because she knew you wouldn't have any food in the house!

After spending the weekend at my mom & Mike’s house, Porter seemed very relieved to be back home, and equally relieved that Adam & I hadn't abandoned him. He smothered us with kisses in the car ride home, but once home, he crashed out like he hadn't had a good night's sleep in days. It was as though he could finally relax ~ his people were home, he had his chair to curl up in, and life was good. Don’t get me wrong, he adores going to my mom & Mike’s and loves to play with their dog Sadie, but there always comes that time in the day where he's ready to be home. Just like his mama.

Monday, December 3, 2007

why Doodles doesn't get a walk tonight

I know, I know, I live in Alaska, right? But this sort of crazy-low temperature is not normal for Juneau. Add to that 60 mph winds, and Doodles can just forget about getting a walk tonight.

holiday poll

I've started writing a post all about the wonder that is the Christmas season, but for now, I'm just going to post this little poll: I'm curious what are your favorite holiday movies & albums. Every year, I try to purchase a new movie or two, and perhaps a new cd, but I'm running out of options! I've got all the old standbys, & am starting to branch out into some random titles.

Some of my favorite holiday movies aren't necessarily "Christmas" movies, but may just be set around the holiday, like The Family Stone. Now, if you have not see this movie, I insist that you do. I love it more & more each time I watch it. I don't think I own another movie that evokes so many emotions. I started out hating Diane Keaton (like it's even possible to hate Diane Keaton!), to realizing she just loves her kids with all her heart, and that sometimes parents really do know best. Okay, I'm not going to say anymore; you just have to see it for yourself.

Also in my collection is A Christmas Story, National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, which I usually watch at least one other time throughout the year, It's a Wonderful Life, The Holiday and a couple other random movies that I've bought from Amazon but can't remember their titles. I also love Home Alone, which I don't own, and I'm sure I have others but am drawing a complete blank.

What are your favorite movies? Maybe they're just movies you associate with the holiday season, like Sleepless in Seattle or You've Got Mail?

And the holiday music ~ the stuff that makes me happy just thinking about it! At the top of my list are Harry Connick's two albums, but my favorite is When my Heart Finds Christmas. Putting aside that it's Harry Connick & he's just plain dreamy, that album has both an orchestral & a jazzy quality that I love. The best song is I Pray on Christmas, which to listen to properly, must be turned up very loud. There are certain songs that move me to tears or produce goosebumps, and this is one of those songs. It makes me rethink my attitude about Christmas & life in general whenever I hear it. When Adam reads this, he's going to think I'm nuts, but I don't care.

I also love Christmas with the Rat Pack, the Time Life Treasury Collection, Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Trans Siberian Orchestra, Manheim Steamroller, and one of my new favorites is Ray Charles' Christmas album. (most of these have been purchased on Amazon) The Ray Charles album has the song that plays in the part in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation when Clark gets stuck in the attic & is watching old family movies ~ you know that part? And it also has the version of (I think it was) Jingle Bells from When Harry Met Sally, where Sally is trying to pick out a Christmas tree and Harry watches on in frustration. (PS, that would be the equivalent of me trying to pick out just the right tree while Adam is hoping that this one is the right one, and we won't have to make another trek up & down the isles of trees) Anyway, I know I have other Christmas albums but since I don't have them in front of me, I can't list them all.

I'd love to hear what your favorites; the things that you can't go without watching every year, or the album you look forward to listening to first. And by the way, am I the only one who loves the "24 hours of a Christmas Story" that they play on TV every year?