So This is Christmas

I slept well enough last night, but it was also uncomfortable thanks to the multiple pillows necessary for maintaining a back happy sleeping posture. Unfortunately, the pillow positioning changes depending on which side I am sleeping on, and I’m not always awake enough to remember to change the pillows when I roll over. As such, I was awake around 6:00 this morning and coffee has since replaced the blood in my body.

Gifts have been given and opened. For those who know me, there is no surprise at the nature of the gifts that I received. Star Wars. Wonder Woman. Wine. Coffee. Journals. Fun socks. A puzzle. I am so easy to buy for, so easy to please and excite. And as difficult as my boys are to buy for, I think I can safely say that we managed to find gifts that they actually enjoy and will use!

Food is always part of Christmas. After we open our gifts, we have brunch. My husband makes most of it, while I contribute by making some mini frittatas. Normally I am adequately planned and prepared, but my life is not currently normal in many senses of the word. It wasn’t until we were ready to make breakfast that I realized I couldn’t find my old recipe, so I winged it. For the first time in all the years I’ve been making these, this was the first time that the frittatas didn’t stick horribly to the muffin pans! Go figure.

After brunch, the only other meal of the day will be a big dinner with turkey, ham, and all the fixings. The space between meals is left for grazing on nuts, chocolate, and whatever other goodies are laying around.

Games are always a big hit at Christmas, and we added several to our collection today. I think three new games have been cracked open and played already. Having young adult aged children means that time all together becomes increasingly more difficult to find, but it warms my heart to see our little family having fun together.

For the past several years, my husband has had the tradition of giving the kids new Nerf guns at Christmas, and there would always be a massive Nerf gun battle after dinner. This year my husband decided not to get any new guns. One child nearly freaked out upon learning that there wouldn’t be new Nerf guns under the tree. It might be safer for the bystanders tonight!

Christmas Day always means the Doctor Who Christmas special, and I’m looking forward to today’s episode as well.

On the subject of entertainment and Christmas, there is some disagreement in the family as to whether or not Die Hard is a Christmas movie. My husband and I say it is, while the kids disagree. What do they know anyway!

It’s cold and grey outside, but we’re warm and cozy inside. I wish we had a fireplace, but we don’t. That’s okay though. I have my heating pad that I can enjoy as I recline between periods of standing and activity. The legs are buzzing with electric currents…nothing new there!

So that’s a snapshot into our Christmas. It’s low-key compared to some people’s and likely extravagant compared to others. We are far from rich, but we are richly blessed. I am thankful for all of our blessings, and I am learning to be thankful for those things that are not easily seen as blessings. Whether or not you celebrate Christmas, I hope that this is a season of love and joy for you!

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A Good Story

goodstory

Isn’t that a great quote? I am a big Doctor Who fan, so I have heard this quote many times. (Yes, I am the sort of person who can and will re-watch favourite shows quite often!) This meme came across my Facebook feed this evening, and I fell in love with the quote all over again.

It’s true, you know. We are all stories. We are born. We are on this earth for an unknown number of days. In between the day of our birth and the day of our death, we live a life. This life is uniquely our own. There are high points, low points, good ones and bad. Some of us might have experiences that we would classify as nightmares, while others seem to sail smoothly through life with a permanent smile. Regardless of our experiences, our lives tell a story and someone needs to hear it.

We are all stories, so make yours a good one! But I don’t think it is enough to be content with merely making our stories good ones. We need to share our stories. Stories have power. Do you remember your favourite childhood stories? Why do you remember them? What about your favourite books as an adult? Your favourite television shows or movies? What is it about them that keeps you coming back? I think it is the story, the characters and the lives that they live.

One of my favourite books (and movie) of all time is To Kill a Mockingbird. As much as I am a major Star Wars fan, I also very much appreciate the movie Schindler’s List. Both tell incredible stories with characters that one is able to connect with on an intensely personal level. The fact that I am far removed from either time period has no bearing on the impact both of these stories has on me. One is a work of fiction, while the other has a foundation of reality. Stories…

I am a story. You are a story. Let’s make our stories good ones, shall we!

Forever in Blue Jeans

I realize that I am not always the typical female. I am a sci-fi and superhero geek. I love to lift heavy weights. My hands have calluses. I’ve had my hairdryer since I was 16 and I don’t own a curling iron or any other hairstyling gadget. I am out-of-touch with fashion. My clothes are for function and comfort more than style. I hate shopping.

While, in many ways, I’ve always been more comfortable as one of the guys, I am still a girl. I do love shoes, even if I am now more comfortable in squats shoes than 4-inch heels. I love nail polish and long fingernails, even if I cannot enjoy them due to work and practicality in the gym. And, I dread entering those little cubicles that stores use for the purpose of crushing the hopes and egos of women in search of new clothes.

My dislike of the change room has been years in the making. When I was overweight, the change room was a constant source of shame, self-loathing, and despair. Since I have lost the excess weight, I have found the change rooms to be less intimidating than they used to be. Suddenly I could pick out some clothing and be pleasantly surprised to discover that the items actually fit and in sizes that were previously beyond my reach. I often also found that I actually didn’t mind how I looked in the items as I tried them on but not always. Sometimes the image reflected back to me looked lumpy and misshapen, even if the clothing actually fit me. My self-confidence has been growing and changing, too, so I can at least recognize that such negative thoughts are not necessarily true. That’s progress.

Yesterday I went to the mall to begin my Christmas shopping. As I browsed one store, I thought that I might try to find myself a new pair of blue jeans. I hate shopping so much and I am so not a clothes-horse that I have only one pair of blue jeans, and that pair is at least a couple of years old. Buying clothes can be challenging enough, but buying denim is potentially a hundred times worse.

With a bit of frustration trying to find my size from the assorted styles available, I finally selected three pairs of jeans to try on. In the change room. I hate the change room. I hate the change rooms that don’t have mirrors on the inside of the cubicles. Like this one. But the experience was not painful this time. Not really.

Two of the pairs I tried on were a skinny fit. I could put them on. They fit, but I really wasn’t wanting a pair of skinny jeans. While I do have a pair of skinny non-denim jeans, the look isn’t the best for me. My quads really stand out in skinny jeans!

The third pair of jeans were a boot cut, and they also fit and were more flattering than the skinny ones. This pair was also on sale for half the price, which meant they cost me $20. That’s perfect! The quads still feel too big for the jeans, but the boot cut at least evens things out.

I am always happy when I survive a change room or a trip to the mall, and now I have two pairs of blue jeans!

There is one exemption to my dislike of shopping…okay, maybe two. First, I could easily spend money on my Soxbox socks and tank tops from BurpeesSuck, but those are things I wear at the gym which explains that exception. Secondly, when I see something that is Star Wars, Doctor Who, or Wonder Woman related, I could very easily open my wallet. On both of these points, however, I am more than capable of keeping my desires under control. Wanting isn’t always the same as getting!

Shopping Success

I’ve said it before and will say it over and over again…I hate shopping. I view shopping as a necessary evil, although there are rare occasions when the experience is pleasant enough because of varying circumstances, like being with friends or scoring an amazing deal or finding that absolutely perfect thing. Those almost lovely occasions are rare though, and so I undertake my shopping trips with heaping measures of dread and annoyance. I am also good at procrastinating when it comes to shopping, finding excuses to put it off, but usually I just want to get in and out before I go crazy.

It seems like the stores turn into a battle zone as soon as the calendar flips to December, and the insanity only intensifies as Christmas creeps closer. My husband seems to enjoy doing his Christmas shopping at the last-minute, but I certainly do not. Christmas is exactly 2 weeks away. That is almost too close to D-Day for me, yet I was determined to get as much of my shopping done today as I could. I think I was successful. I left the house at 9:40 this morning and returned around 12:30, and I hit Costco, Canadian Tire, and the mall. Almost all of my Christmas shopping is now finished, except for a couple minor additions and the one person for whom I am stumped.

I breezed through Costco and Canadian Tire, probably because I knew exactly what I was looking for and where to find it. The mall was an entirely different beast. I knew a few things that I was specifically looking for, but some things were merely non-specific themes or genres, which meant I had some searching to do. My boys are so difficult to buy for, not because they are overly fussy but because they really don’t need anything and they don’t really get too excited about anything in particular. On the other hand, I could have spent several hundred dollars on myself today…all Star Wars, Doctor Who or Wonder Woman related! I’m sure I left a fair bit of drool at HMV. Sorry about that!

The mall. There are many stores that I never enter in the mall. There are a couple of stores that I could go crazy in, like Chapters or HMV, but I really hate the mall. Even when I don’t know exactly what I am looking for, I am a girl on a mission. That mission is to get in, find what I need, and get out! I do not go to the mall for a social outing (unless I’m with my girlfriends). I do not go to the mall for a leisurely stroll. My annoyance grows as I get stuck behind slow-moving people, and I’m not talking about those with mobility issues! I’m talking about those people who have their eyes on their cell phones and those who have nothing better to do with their day than shuffle through the mall. Then there are the people who cannot walk in a straight line, so that they cut you off right when you are about to pass them. The people who block aisles as they chat with a friend or check their phones or are just clueless to how much space they are taking up. The people who stop without warning directly in front of you. The overly helpful salespeople, who I know are only doing their job, but I really just want to get in and out as quickly as possible and if I needed help I would ask for it. The crazies in the parking lot. And on it goes…

By the time I made my last purchase, my skin was crawling, my nerves were frayed, and I was in desperate need for fresh, cool air on my skin. Even though I think I made very good time this morning, I had reached my shopping limit. I am so glad that we are rather modest when it comes to gift-giving! I’d never survive shopping if my list was bigger or more costly, then again I cannot imagine ever being the sort of person who spends oodles on gifts or spoils everyone rotten. I must say though that it feels good to get that done! The little bit I have left to do will be so easy, except for the one that continues to stump me. It won’t be extravagant, but I want it to be perfect.

And Now a Few Words…

 

After blogging daily for an entire month, it felt a little odd not to blog yesterday, but yesterday was a very long, busy day, so I was really quite glad that I didn’t have to blog! Actually the past several days have been busy, crazy busy and long. Today is my Friday, and my mental faculties feel more than a little compromised, so this blog post might get a little weird. You’ve been warned!

Just some of the things bouncing around my head today, yesterday, lately:

  • whoever uses the coconut sugar every day should really seal the lid when he/she is finished
  • anyone who thinks that advertising doesn’t work should come work with me about a week into a new promotion. It really doesn’t matter if we’re only featuring an old product, there is always someone who never knew we had it until just now, and we inevitably sell lots of said product.
  • I think my shoulder has been playing a game of charades with me for the past couple of days. My guess is that it is a bowl of Rice Krispies. (snap, crackle & pop)
  • there are very few situations in my life where I don’t hear a song lyric playing in my head that appropriately fits the situation. Sometimes I let the lyrics slip out.
  • I discovered a new, big bruise on my leg tonight. I don’t know where it came from. Every time I say that I don’t know where I got a bruise from, I hear my chiropractor’s voice in my head. I never thought I bruised easily, but he assures me that I do. Maybe he’s right, but gosh darn it I hate being wrong!
  • it’s been 78 days since I last ran
  • I need a giant mug, because my mugs simply aren’t big enough when I want a lot of tea. Or, I suppose I could simply use the teapot and make a pot of tea…but that might be too easy.
  • you know you’re an adult when waking up at 6:00 in the morning is sleeping in
  • it’s almost that time of year when I spend copious amounts of time and energy to make my Earl Grey truffles…or I could not make them this year and tick off my co-workers who have come to expect some every Christmas season
  • I swung the kettle bell for the 5000th time today, which means that I am halfway there (and this is where the mental soundtrack slips out with…oh, livin’ on a prayer!)
  • Star Wars teaser trailer! OH MY GOODNESS! To say that I am excited is a huge understatement! Those 90 seconds make me all giddy with glee. Tie fighters, x-wings, the Falcon…sigh!
  • 23 days until Doctor Who

 

For Kane

My husband is amazing! I just have to put it out there, because I probably don’t say it enough. Sure, he can drive me crazy and push buttons he likely didn’t even realize I had, but he loves me and puts up with all my craziness and flaws.

My husband is one of my biggest cheerleaders…without the pom-poms and catchy cheers. Okay, so maybe he does have some cheesy slogans, but I usually ignore those. What matters is that he supports me in my endeavors, whatever they may be, and he believes in my ability to do them, even when I have my doubts. When I asked him last week if he would be okay with me competing in powerlifting again, he said that he is more supportive of me doing powerlifting than he is for me to run. Ouch! In fairness, he has always been supportive of my running. Where his support wavered was with my goal to run a marathon. More specifically, I think his support grew thin the more my body hurt after a long run. Had I been healthy enough to run the marathon, I know that he would have been behind me all the way, at least figuratively. When he mocks my dedication to eating healthy, I know that he is only teasing me and that he is seriously proud and a wee bit jealous!

My husband pushes me to step outside of my comfort zone. Sometimes I push back, because our personalities are complete opposites and there is a limit to just how much pushing I will take. While I may not always agree with his method, I do know that his motivation comes from a desire to see me grow, improve, or shine. Of course, when his pushing has positive results, I must listen to his gloating (and that’s okay, too.) If it wasn’t for his pushing, I would never have started out with a trainer, which means I would never have started powerlifting.

My husband puts up with my craziness. He’s a Trekkie married to a Star Wars fan girl. His eyes might roll when I purchase another piece of Star Wars/Doctor Who/Wonder Woman merchandise, but he allows me my indulgences. He was willing to spend at least 6 hours driving through unpredictable mountain weather, spend money on a hotel & restaurants, and pay an admission fee just so I could watch some powerlifting (and he even had a good time!)

I am truly blessed. Sometimes it is just a good idea to say it ‘out loud’.

Are You a Mom?

I had the privilege of spending a few hours with three adorable little girls yesterday afternoon. We had fun baking brownies and doing some crafts. At one point, the 4-year-old asked me if I was a mom. Having already introduced my 18-year-old son to the girls a short time earlier, I smiled and said that I was indeed a mom. Her eyes widened and she gasped, “You are?!” Excitedly she called out to her older sister to let her in on the news flash that I was a mom!

Yes, I am a mom! For those few hours yesterday, it was so much fun to be mom. It has been a long time since I’ve had three little people in my care. My baby is edging towards 17, so I am well past the stages of diapers, toilet-training, and child-proofing. My husband was worried that I wouldn’t be able to handle three girls on my own. How quickly he forgets that I had three children of my own within a 4.5 year span! We had fun yesterday, and my house is no worse for wear. I didn’t sprout any new grey hairs, and my sanity was safely intact.

Today is a different story altogether. The morning started out just fine, but my attitude shifted sometime between leaving church, running a few errands and finally getting back home. I am cranky! I can recognize that I am feeling this way and I am trying to avoid lingering here; however, my patience is thin and I am feeling rather taken for granted. Why? Because I am a mom.

The 18-year-old sends me a text asking me for food, because in his opinion there is nothing to eat in the house. This is far from the truth, but it is much easier to get mom to pick something up than it is to make something for himself…or expand his taste buds. The frequent text requests for food (and they do occur quite regularly) are often followed up by comments about the lack of food or the quality of food available at home. In other words, there are too many organic or healthy options or he is simply too lazy to fend for himself. Instead, there is the expectation that I must cater to his whims, because he is hungry, growing young man. That gets old mighty fast!

One of our errands this morning was to a thrift store in search of necessary items for my daughter’s Halloween costume. She wants to be Doctor Who (Matt Smith incarnation). While my favourite Doctor was David Tennant, I am rather pleased by her costume choice. What I am not pleased with is how fussy she is about how perfect the costume pieces must be. I get the desire to be accurate and recognizable, but I am also realistic, practical and not keen on spending a lot of time shopping. We found a tweed jacket, a shirt, and some trousers which mostly fit with the look. The jacket is naturally a little big, but it isn’t so big that Abby couldn’t live with it. After all, it is just a costume! But no, that’s not good enough for her. Can you take it in to make it smaller? No. Can we change the buttons so they match the ones on the Doctor’s jacket? No. Can you just sew along the inside to make it tighter? No! I just spent about $40 to make this costume happen. In my opinion, it is good enough! No one will know who she is unless they are a Doctor Who fan. After a few more pleadings to alter the jacket, I finally told my daughter to vacate the premises immediately. It was that or I would snap.

My house was clean yesterday. Even after having three little girls over, my house was still in rather good shape! Teenagers and my husband are so much worse. Abby had a juice box last night. I can still see it on the coffee table right now. The socks she wore yesterday are on the living room floor. Casey brought a sandwich home after work last night. The wrapper was left on the kitchen counter; I put it in the garbage not too long ago as I was loading everyone’s dirty dishes into the empty dishwasher. I go into the bathroom and need to flush the toilet because someone else hasn’t. Despite having his own pair of sunglasses, my husband wore mine while we were running errands and nearly left them behind at one stop. Instead of leaving them in the car, where I always leave them, he wore them into the house. Now I need to make sure to take them back out, so I have them in the car when I need them. I am doing laundry today, so I take the hampers downstairs and start the first load. My husband then asks if I took a pair of his pants that didn’t need to be washed. Well, yes I did, because they were inside the hamper…you know that receptacle that holds dirty laundry! The laundry hamper is not where one puts clothes that are clean or going to be worn shortly. The laundry hamper is where you put dirty clothes, so they can be washed. How many times have I had to make this distinction? Grrrr!

Some days being a mom just isn’t glamorous, fun or seemingly rewarding. Can I go back to yesterday, when being a mom was the most exciting news ever?