Monday, November 26, 2012

Hey, Hey, it's a Givaway!

A friend of mine is doing an Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

Post Thanksgiving Post

Thanksgiving was great. Everything I expected and more. There wasn't as big of a crowd than in previous years, but sometimes that can be a good thing. I always think too much around the holidays. This can be both good and bad. I over analyze a lot. This year I have made some realizations. Probably realized some things I should just leave in the back of my mind, but I didn't.

In digging through past events and recent words, I am hurt. I've realized that my family and I are not as important to some people that I wish we were more important to. I always hoped for a stronger bond, but it's simply just not there and will probably never be. I can get over it, accept it and let it go, but others cannot.

The biggest thing I am thankful for this year is an understanding family. I mean that. Things have changed a lot in the past few years, and we had a major change earlier this year when my job cut me back to part time hours and I needed to pick up a 2nd job. I am working at a restaurant. Sure it's not the most glamorous job in the world, but it helps get my bills paid and you know what, I actually like it. I like making a good impression. I like being a part of a good meal with good service and I hope the patrons go home and remember me. I like the social interaction with customers and co-workers. The downfall (which I didn't realize until recently) is that I now have to work holidays. Of course we are closed for the major ones like Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, but this is a choice I made and I need to deal with the fact that I will now be working Christmas Eve.

When my parents stopped hosting Christmas things started to change. Paul and I were running mad on Christmas Day and never got to enjoy it. A few years ago we decided a change needed to be made, that Christmas needs to switch to the next generation, my generation. My parents are the Grandparents now and the holidays need to be about the children like it was for me as a child. We made a switch, my family started doing our festivities on Christmas Eve. Then I find out I will be working dinner service that night. I requested an early shift, but since I am the new guy, I can't be guaranteed to get it and be done by 6.

I spoke with my mother on the topic, she told me to work it out with my sister and that whatever she and I decide would be fine with her and Dad. A small part of me wanted her to just figure this all out for me, but she put it in the hands of my sister and I, where it probably should be anyway.
I was afraid to call my sister. I didn't want to upset her about making another change. But she was understanding. I offered suggestions for alternative plans. She suggested we play it by ear until I know exactly when I will be working. This isn't like us, we are planners (not me and Paul, my family). It's Paul's family that usually makes plans last minute. I guess these tables have turned this year.

Here are some pictures from the weekend.

my neice on Thanksgiving

pajama day

starting Christmas with my boy

the tree

a gift

Jesse made his own game

Paul's smoked turkey

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thankful & Emotional

I'm emotional today. Not sure if it's hormones or lack of sleep. Last night Jesse woke up several times. I know I should ignore him so he doesn't think that every time he makes a peep, I will come rushing in. I went into his room a few times last night. Honestly, I just wanted him to stop so I could sleep. I knew nothing was terribly wrong, because he was just whining and moaning, literally. I don't know what the cause is. Maybe overstimulation or overtired. If I go in to check on him, he's barely even awake. Sometimes his eyes aren't even open.

This time, I rough night turned into a rough morning. I got up, a few minutes later from my normal time. I got showered and dressed like always and went in to wake Jesse up. He was not having it. He said, "Still dark out," which is what I tell him when he wakes in the middle of the night and I want him to go back to sleep. Turning my tricks back around on me. He clearly wants to go back to sleep, so did I. Paul heard the commotion and came in. Paul doesn't mess around. He entered the fight knowing it would be a fight all the way to the car, which it was. A fight to put clothes on, to put shoes and socks on, to put a coat on and to get in the car. Once we were in the car and headed to daycare, I saw something.... me. I was staring back at my childhood self back there who couldn't catch his breath because he had gotten so worked up. I remember doing this to myself too. Maybe not at his young age, but I do in fact remember this. Is being strong-willed genetic? Or am I raising my son (who happens to be like me) in the same way my mother raised me, and in turn, getting the same results? Oh yes, I could be reading into this way too much. It happens, especially when I am emotional.

Money has been weighing heavily on my mind too. But I don't want to bore anyone with my money problems. Seems like everyone has money issues to some extent now days.

Paul and I got iPhones. It's totally changed how I utilize the internet. Plus I have a new found love for phone cameras. I can't afford the DSLR I want, so I might as well take advantage of the cool iPhone camera. You may say, "Wait a minute, if you are having money problems, why and how did you get an iPhone?" I have asked this in my head about others who have iPhones yet claim to be broke. Well, we were due for phone upgrades and much to my surprise, they were FREE! I didn't even think that was possible. Plus, with our carriers new Talk, Text and Data packages, we were able to get a data plan that fit in our budget. I think Instagram is my new favorite thing.

The only problem is that Jesse wants to play with my phone every time I have it out. That puts a slight damper on taking photos of him. I have to be sneaky.

Thanksgiving is this week. Short office week (with regular week pay, yay!)
People have been posting on facebook a daily thing they are thankful for. I am thankful for a lot, but I don't feel the need to make a daily post about it. I have a generic one, that covers a lot of bases. I am thankful for where we are due to the obstacles we've had to overcome. It's been a rough couple of years, this one being the hardest financially. But we are still here. Still have a roof over our heads, cars, electricity, heat and food.

We are going to my aunt's for dinner to spend the holiday with my Dad's family. Last year we did the holiday with Paul's family and we alternate. This one will be different. My parents are moving to Alabama in February. Sure they say they will be back for the holidays, but who knows if they will have the money to do that year after year. This one could possibly be the last one where we are all together. So that's another thing I am thankful for, my parents being here to spend this holiday with.

Happy Turkey Day!

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Halloween came and went. It was a fun one. Jesse "gets it" this year. Last year he was completely clueless. Heck, last year he didn't even know what candy was! We did our annual traditions, decorated the house, watched scary movies (without Jesse of course), carved pumpkins on Halloween Eve, roasted seeds, dressed up and passed out candy and stickers.

The Friday after Halloween was Tim & Jen's wedding, Paul's brother. It was a blast. Not until the next day when I was looking at pictures did I realize there were no pictures of me! I even liked the way I looked. I got a ton of fabulous pictures of the bride and groom and one strip of Paul and I from the photo booth.

Paul can't resist the boob grab.

It was a beautiful wedding and a fun reception, with good food too. Glad we could be a part of their day!

Now the holidays are coming. I am usually very excited, but this year is going to be different. My parents sold their condo and are moving to Alabama in February . They are currently living with my Aunt (Dad's sister) through the holidays. Things are changing again and I am sad, but accepting of the change. They told us this was their plan last year at Thanksgiving, so I have had time to prepare.

When we were kids Christmas was always at my house. Our house was decorated, we had a real tree, we baked cookies, and lots of them. Dinner was always a huge spread. Roasts, dumplings, veggies, gravy, potatoes.... protein and carbs a plenty. Christmas at our house was a huge ordeal. I don't even know how my Mother did it, but I respect her even more now because I wouldn't know how to pull of something she made look so simple. Everyone came. Aunts, uncles, cousins, Grandparents.... there were a lot of us, my Dad came from a family with 7 kids. My relatives would joke, be loud, be "merry". My uncle would read "T'was the Night Before Christmas" in his best story reading Irish accent and all of us kids would gather on the carpet in front of him. It was magical.

When my parents sold the house, our Christmas traditions were gone too. We started new traditions, our family was growing and things needed to change. My sister and I gained husbands, so therefor we needed to accomodate other families, so we switched our Christmas Day to Christmas Eve with just us, immediate family. It was held at my parents condo. It was quiet and quaint and kind of nice. Mom and Dad would make a fancy dinner and open gifts. Not much changed since we had kids. I liked this. It wasn't a big ordeal like it used to be, but that was ok.
Now Mom and Dad won't be hosting and the Christmas torch has been passed on to my sister and I. It's time to start our own traditions with our own families. I am a little sad, but a little excited too. I don't want to plan new traditions, I hope they just start developing out of what's already in our hearts.