Aaaaaaaaaaand BREATHE….

It’s no coincidence that I work in the delivery industry and disappeared from The Land of Blog three weeks before Christmas.  This was the wildest season I’ve been a part of during my decade-long career, and I’m SO. GLAD. IT’S. OVER!  For everyone else, Christmas ends after December 25, but that’s just when I’m starting to enjoy the season!  I didn’t get my tree up until the 19th, did the vast majority of my shopping the 20th, wrapped (okay, mostly I stuff shit in bags) the 21st, back to work for three more hellacrazy days the 22nd, 23rd, and 24th, and finally…. FINALLY… when I locked the door to my office at 4:00 pm on Christmas Eve, I was able to sit down, breathe, and allow myself to feel Christmas.  I needed to hurry home to get ready for a family thing that evening, but I literally did just sit in my office for a few minutes to relax and let it sink in.

It turned out to be a really great Christmas for us this year.  I was so worried about how it would be on Dewayne’s side of the family given the recent loss of his mom.  His sister tried so hard to keep things the same as they would have been had she been here, but when she met resistance from a couple of family members who said they just weren’t ready for that, she gave up and we decided that instead of the huge dinner with all of her extended family that this year we would do immediate family only with pizza, BBQ, and alcohol.  hahaha  Seriously, who else’s family celebrates Christmas Eve with shots of Fireball cinnamon whiskey and a rousing game of Bounce Off?  hahaha  (Side note: That stock photo cracks me up.  They make it look so sweet and innocent.  There was a lot more yelling and cussing when we played.  I should send them a photo of us playing to use instead.  It’s just too bad that photo doesn’t come with sound.)

2014-12-24 23.49.12

2014-12-24 23.48.38

I think we were better off doing something completely different.  We still felt Debbie’s absence, but not in the same sort of miserable way that I think we would have had we tried to pretend nothing had changed.  This was new, this was FUN, and I know she would have been laughing her ass off right there with us had she been there.  Her favorite thing in the world was always to have all her kids and grandkids there.  She loved a loud, boisterous, happy house, and we sure gave it to her!  It was nearly 1:00 am before we finished with the games and goofiness and presents and headed home.

The next day was spent with my side of the family.  It was quite fun too.  The little ones all kept us entertained that day.  And I don’t mean children.  Well, not of the human persuasion anyway.  haha  We brought our dogs with us, as did my uncle, plus my sister’s dog who lives there.  So we had four rescued doggies celebrating their Christmas Day with us.  That alone made my heart full.

2014-12-25 20.02.32
Pibble selfies
2014-12-25 20.43.52
My sister Kim and her not-officially-fiance-yet-but-we-all-know-it’s-gonna-happen Brandon and their dog Sangria. Sangria was appalled by all the dogs in her house and refused to cooperate and look at the camera. haha
My Uncle Mike's babygirl, Amy
My Uncle Mike’s babygirl, Amy.
2014-12-25 22.04.14
Bella was all Christmased out by the end of the night.

And with that, our Christmas was over.  The new year came very peacefully.  D asked a couple of weeks ahead of time what I wanted to do on New Year’s Eve, and I believe my exact words were, “I don’t wanna do SHIT!”  I was whooped from the last month of work and wanted more than anything to just enjoy a low-key night in, and that’s exactly what we did.  It was pure bliss.  I have a couple of goals floating around in my head for 2015, but that’ll be a different post for a different day.  (Spoiler: One is a pretty big one that I hope some of you will help me out with!)

And in other news…. IT’S MY BIRTHDAY WEEK!!!!  I’ll be turning 35 on Saturday, and I’ll be celebrating by running the Mississippi Blues half-marathon–the first of several that I have lined up for this year.

Maybe it’s just sheer hopefulness and optimism, but I’ve got a feeling 2015 is gonna be pretty great.

Open Mouth, Insert Shoe

Okay, I just saw a commercial for these and it reminded me again of just how severely I stuck my foot in my mouth at Christmas. You’ve seen these, right? They’re the Skechers Shape-Ups, designed to “tone your muscles, promote healthy weight loss, and make it easy to get in shape.” Wear these magic shoes and ABRA CADABRA your calves will be toned, your thighs will stop traffic, and you can bounce a quarter off your ass! Okay, so that last bit isn’t in the commercials. I tend to exaggerate sometimes.
Anyway, on Christmas Eve, my mother-in-law and sister-in-law were both talking about how they each wanted a pair. Of course I would be the one to open my big, fat mouth and make a huge deal out of how hideously ugly they are (Just look at ’em! They’re FUGLY!), and how ridiculous the advertising was. Did I stop there? No. I proceeded to climb on my soapbox and preach that if you want to lose weight or tone up that you actually have to *GASP* exercise and back yourself up away from the table! Fast forward two hours to when we’re opening presents. How AWESOME did I feel when these two fine ladies each opened a pair of Skechers Shape-Ups? Yes, that’s right. They had each gotten the other a pair for Christmas. Sometimes I love being me.