My Christmas Failure…

tree 2015I just really didn’t get it done this Christmas.

I should have known it was going in that direction when Darling Daughter and I were hanging out in the living room several weeks ago…

Me: I saw a watch I love; going to buy it next time I’m out.

Darling Daughter: Oh? What kind?

I tried to describe it, then fumbled with my iPad, as I tried to look it up.

Darling Daughter: Was it like this one?

Me: Yes! That’s it. Isn’t it pretty? Working in an office, I need a watch. Just isn’t acceptable to look at my phone to keep track of time.

Darling Daughter: It will be here in 2 days.

Me:  Huh?

Darling Daughter: Just ordered it.

I was a little stunned…

Darling Daughter: You can wear it when it gets here. We can just wrap it up on Christmas morning, and you can act surprised.

So really, Darling Daughter started things off with her gift to me…

The Christmas Tree

Lead off the season getting it up a little late. In the spirit of our tradition of cutting down ridiculous trees, this years was a long-legged beauty—like a gazelle. Or a “pencil necked” tree, depending on how you look at it. The tree has a very long trunk; branches start 2 1/2 feet from the ground.

The Christmas Cookies

I made homemade dough. My mom’s recipe needs to sit in the refrigerator overnight  before being rolled out into cut out sugar cookies. Except it sat overnight for many nights, and we (mostly I) slowly ate the dough. I did roll out and frost 11 cookies a couple of nights ago. A miserable failure, really.

The Christmas Gifts

We started off with gifts under the tree from Santa, but the kids slowly opened them before Christmas.

I had the best of intentions, but I’m working downtown now and who wants to shop after work? I’m not a fan of the mall, avoid it at all cost. I’ve always been the girl who wishes the right clothes would magically appear in the closet. Same with furniture and household goods. Shopping has never been my thing. I kept planning to get the Christmas shopping done, but things came up…

And the kids couldn’t come up with anything they wanted.

Darling Daughter: You know what I REALLY want for Christmas?

Me: Hmmmm…

Darling Daughter: Toilet paper, paper towels, Clorox wipes, cleaning supplies for my apartment, shampoo, razors…Would it be bad if I asked for Kroger gift cards?

Me: No.

Darling Daughter: Because I really have no problem buying clothes, shoes, the fun stuff. I really, really hate spending money on groceries, the things I need when I’m back at college in my apartment.

Then, three days before Christmas, she tells me about a college t-shirt that she’d always wanted, but never bought because it was pricey. FAR too late to order the damn thing!

My son was no better. Badly needed a couple of pairs of jeans, and a couple of pairs of sweatpants. We went shopping a few days before Christmas, so that he could try on jeans. We found ONE pair that worked. He wore them to school the next day. They never got wrapped. Same for the sweater that my daughter picked out. Ugh!

That is how we wound up with only a few gifts under the tree on Christmas morning. We were already wearing many of our gifts, using others. I guess I just kind of threw my hands up, figured why run out in the madness? Why stuff boxes with shit nobody wanted, or that wasn’t needed? Figured I might as well take the kids out shopping this week, get them what they need.

My Solution

I drew fun pictures of what I would have gotten them, if I was more perfect, if I had gotten it together–gotten the shopping done. Rolled them up, tied them with ribbons, and put them in their stockings. They (thankfully) were amused…


Really, I’m just giving them stories to tell. If I was a better mom, they’d have no stories.

I had Darling Daughter fetch my laptop so she could pick out the shirt she wanted—and we ordered it Christmas morning. It will be here soon. Almost the same as opening it Christmas morning, right?

Family Time

Though we pretty much ruined the normal traditions this year, we spent a wonderful Saturday before Christmas at my Dads house, spent time the family/cousins,  in Pennsylvania (a short road trip across the state line) on Christmas Eve, and the kids and I attended midnight mass. After breakfast on Christmas morning, we took a Christmas walk in the woods and we’ll see more family this afternoon.  We’ll have fun in the coming days, we’ll get that shopping done—and the whole family will be together for New Years Day, even the Pennsylvania and California crews.  We are getting the important things done.

Kids often grow up thinking they’ll do better than their parents…

I’m helping my kids out. Setting the bar low.

Barefoot, Barf and Candy Hearts

candy heartsMany would have considered this week a failure…

Early in the week, I spoke in front of a group of about 100 people with less than a days notice. And because Daughter took the shampoo to school, I was stuck washing my greasy hair with a homemade mixture of baking soda, warm water and vinegar .

(See last post for full story…)

Found the recipe on the internet.

At the dinner table that night:

Son: How’d you smell?

Daughter: Were you mad? I saw your text about the shampoo at the END of the day!!

Me:  Not at all.

Thankfully, that isn’t the type of thing to wind me up. I found another way to make it work. I’m really good at that, because I’ve had lots of practice in recent years.

Then came Valentine’s Day.

People get a little silly about the holiday. (In my opinion.) Though I’ll say, I can only remember a few times that I didn’t get something from parents, boyfriend or husband.

And yet, the retail stores can keep their candy, flowers and other fripperies. I’d far prefer a nice fella to curl up with at the end of the day. Somebody I can laugh with, who’ll share my sorrows and who I look forward to spending time with. The Dog and Pony show? I could skip that…

Could care less about the candy hearts, or the flowers…

Which is a good thing, as they were in short supply this year!!

This morning…

I was up early. At 6am, I stumbled out of bed and made my way to the sliding door to let the dogs out. I rubbed my half-closed, eyes as I moved toward my laptop in the dark.

But my foot landed in something cold. And wet. The consistency of pudding.

I hopped over to the light switch, then flipped it on. Barf! One of the dogs puked.


Not for the first time, I was grateful for my catlike reflexes and coordination. I quickly hopped through the kitchen, dining room, down the hallway to the bathroom and got into the shower.

Not exactly the way I was hoping to begin my day, but I didn’t miss a stride.

These things happen to me. Often!

I’m not sure why.

Probably, that’s why it doesn’t bother me to hit a roadblock, because life mostly doesn’t go smoothly for me.

The best part of this week?girl

My cousin and his wife are having a baby—and it’s a girl. Not since Thanksgiving has the family been this excited. (Thanksgiving was a free for all when they shared the ‘big news’)

It’s a Big Deal to all of us…from Cleveland, to Pennsylvania to California and other locations—we’re all filled with joy to welcome another member to our family.

Puke between my toes, baking soda and vinegar in my hair, zero Valentine’s Day candy.

None of that much matters.

The things that really matter are my children, family and good friends. If they are okay, I’m happy. This week, I’m a tiny bit happier than usual—because there will be a new baby girl joining the family soon. Such a gift.

What a spectacular end to an otherwise ordinary week!!


Make the Christmas Music Stop !!!


This gallery contains 2 photos.

I’m not a Scrooge. Really, I love the holiday season… But I do NOT want to hear Christmas music before we’ve carved the Thanksgiving turkey! And what’s with the pre Black Friday sales? I don’t mind Black Friday. I was one … Continue reading

Time Flies & 18th Birthdays …


This gallery contains 3 photos.

Time flies… …when we’re having fun!! Today is Daughter’s 18th birthday. And I wish I had something profound to say. Sage advice. Wisdom that she remembers until the day she dies. But really, I can’t come up with anything brilliant today… Though I … Continue reading

Happy (42nd) Birthday to me…


This gallery contains 2 photos.

Today is my birthday. I actually started getting gifts toward the end of last week. I’ve got some extra cash, cupcakes, a massage, a pedicure. And from daughter, my favorite perfume. And a man? Daughter went shopping over the weekend. … Continue reading