Thursday, December 25, 2014

Pausing and Remembering

We are on the cusp of changes next year. Michael will be going to the new school and Chewy will be getting into the thick of things at his new job. But, as usual, this time of year and specifically this week are times of reflection and memory.

I find it weird and oh so human that we seem to have these specific times in the year that we permit ourselves to go so deeply into memories and melancholy. Why do I spend so much of my Christmas time going through various memories—not just of Christmases past but of other moments? Why not other times of the year?  (This could be because I also have the combination with my birthday, too.)

I slightly newer tradition with us (in the past 8 years or so) has been to light a remembrance candle for people we are missing during this time of year. Why does candle light comfort me? It is the same feeling I get from watching a river or the ocean, a calming reverence.

For Paul, Grandpa Michael, Grammie.  We miss you.

Getting older and watching my children grow up, some of those remembrances are of them as children versus my childhood.

I remember Michael at age 7, so excited for Santa Claus that he hopped into bed with us and was literally shaking with excitement. I stayed up with him until 3 a.m., trying to keep him from going downstairs to see what Santa had already left him.

This year, he was up late again, mostly from excitement again...partially being older and not wanting it to begin/end.  The same but different.

Willow is still at the age where there is wonder and song, excitement and imagination.  She drew a wonderful picture for Santa and left it with the eggnog, cookies and carrots (for the deer).

I started this post yesterday, Christmas Eve.  It is now Christmas Morning and I am officially a year older.  Pies are cooling, hot cocoa has been served, electronic devices all around...and finally put down for a bit.  

Still a bit reflective and missing the people who are not here in my life right now.  Missing extended family far and near...but also I feel warm and thankful.  

Being the main Santa here, my stocking was especially bare this year.  I am the gift giver...not especially the gift receiver.  But I am happy that we are all happy and healthy.  That this year of challenges have been brought to very happy conclusions.  I am thankful.


Friday, December 12, 2014


"As a young boy, I dreamed of being a baseball. But tonight I say, we must move forward, not backward; upward, not forward; and always twirlingtwirlingtwirling  ..." - The Simpsons

We are slowly moving away from the weird limbo that our lives have been in for the past few months....but we are not quite there yet to the other side...and there are still obstacles in our way...

We toured a couple out-placement schools for Michael.  We liked both, but found one that seems to be a fit for him.  I am being overly cautious on would be a very good fit, and I do not want to even mention how warm our reception was, how much they "got" our son.  Because I do not want to be heartbroken if, for whatever reasons, he doesn't not end up going there.  All I can say is that they took him into a couple class rooms and he was talking with other children and seemed welcome and was so happy.  Luckily, everyone agreed that he would fit there...enough so that he will spend two trial days there next week to see how it works out.  I cautiously hope that this leads to a transfer to this school.

Chewy starts his new adventure with a bang on Monday, by going to NYC for a few days for orientation.  He is excited and anxious, as one is with any new venture.  Gonna miss him, but glad it is the start of his job.

Willow lost another tooth AND has a cavity in a tooth in the back.  We will have to get that dealt with in the new year.  Also, apparently Michael had his vision tested at school...and, surprise, he is nearsighted like his parents! So glasses are probably in his future also.

The holidays.are here in full force too...we have Hanukkah starting this week (when Chewy is gone), so we are letting the kids open their first night of Hanukkah presents this weekend.  And tomorrow we are going to a breakfast with Santa.

My birthday is coming...feeling older and tired...a little wiser...unlike last year, I really want this year to be over already.

Santa wrote back!  

Olaf from Nonnie.  


Sunday, December 07, 2014

Friends and Grammie's Fudge

Yesterday I bought the fixings to make Grammie's chocolate and peanut butter fudge.  My intention was to do our traditional baking before we had company over that evening.  But, time got away from me.  No problem, figured we would do it today instead (and when I am done with this post, Willow and I are going to make the peanut butter fudge).

Thing about traditions...something that I have learned the hard that they sometimes need to be flexible.  Sometimes you cannot have it the same way you had the the year before and the year before that.  Sometimes, you find that if you are flexible...the tradition takes on more meaning.

So I found myself last night making Grammie's fudge with someone else's child.  The other kids were playing a video game or otherwise engaged, and she asked if I had any crafts to do.  (I just recently did a purge of that, no...)  She also likes cooking and in fact, her mom had brought brownies to make...but she said she really wanted to learn how to make fudge!  She was so enthusiastic...I couldn't say no!  

Was it how I usually do it with my kids, Christmas music playing and all?  No.  But it was special and fun and I got to share my Grandmother with another...and I could not but think that my Grammie would have loved that I shared this with this little girl.

Besides, my daughter came in at the end...and they licked the pan.

All the kids loved the fudge...there is very little left.  (And the girl was not done there--she and her mom made the gluten free brownies too...oh yeah, we sugared up kids from 15 - 5 at 8 p.m.!!)

Which means...another batch will be made (with nuts this time!)

Yea for traditions and family and friends and fun!

Thank you, Grammie for the memories that keep on coming!

Roll Out

Well, after over nine months of unemployment, I have accepted an offer for a position at a mid-sized law firm.  So, the "strange normal...