Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Blessed Christmas

Is it really almost Christmas (as in five hours away?).

Merry Merry Christmas. Hope it's a love-filled day and a heart-filled year.

Fa la la la love, Maureen

Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's Happening

Slowly, I am breaking my own rules. Surprisingly, it doesn't hurt as much as I thought it would. See, I use the pregnancy excuse (it's really very handy).

I do realize the slippery slope I'm on. Break one rule, two are right behind. It's like eating cookie dough. If I can resist the tiniest temptation to put butter+sugar+flour+vanilla to tongue, I'm saved. If I give in, even just a little bit, I'm doomed. A taste turns into a spoonful turns into sick-on-the-couch-with-no-relief-in-sight.

I'm doomed.

Why, you ask? Because I actually went to the mall to shop in my sweatpants. Today. And I was neither a) coming from a workout; or b) out of my mind.

And they weren't even cute sweatpants. They were six year old navy drawstring sweatpants that I have worn every night from 7p-10p for the past seven hundred and fifty three days (or thereabouts). In fact (if I'm going to spill it I might as well spill it all) they even have a toothpaste stain on the hem of the bottom right leg. I am reminded of this stain every night when little one says, "Mommy, you forgot to wash your pants again."

Which leads me to another rule: I go long long periods of time between washing the sweatpants that I wear to read to my daughter and unwind in at nighttime. The reason is attributed to the fear that these sweatpants-of-all-sweatpants will not be the same if I wash them. I know you know what I mean. Maybe it's not sweats for you, but it's something. You have (or have had) the same fear, haven't you?

But wearing them out IN PUBLIC takes it to a new level (or is it a new low). Maybe it was the rain, maybe it was the "have I done enough for everyone for Christmas"anxiety, maybe it was the baby growing in my belly. Whatever the excuse, there really is no excuse.


Friday, December 5, 2008

Music to My Ears, and Some that Makes Tears

Two local radio stations have been playing Christmas music EXCLUSIVELY since about November 18th. If I do the math (which I don't do very well) that adds up to about eight (or is it nine) days before Thanksgiving.

But you know, I didn't even mind.

I like Christmas music and I'm NOT (I mean NOT) worried about gifts and buying this year, so it didn't feel like a ticking bomb to me. We're not spending as much money but we're spending A LOT of time...together. Doing things that Christ and Christmas music and Advent inspire us to do this time of year. Like lighting balsam and cedar scented candles, baking gingerbread boys and girls til they're a little too crisp around the edges, saying extra prayers and dropping in on lonely neighbors, playing in flour (which, apparently, is way more fun to play in than to bake with) and singing way off key.

The other day I switched things up a bit and turned off the radio. I couldn't listen to Elvis' "Blue Christmas" one more time (I think it was on a 22-song repeat) and worse, that song about the little boy (or is it a little girl) whose mom is dying and he wants to buy her a pair of shoes so she can look pretty if she "meets Jesus tonight..." You know the song, I know you do. My husband gags when it comes on and even though it is a bit hokey (alright, a lot hokey) I cannot help but cry EVERY. TIME. I. HEAR. IT. It's a train-wreck song. You know it's going to hurt to look but you just can't bring yourself to look away.

So anyway, I traded up the radio for Christmas CD's while I worked. This was around 1pm.

At about 3pm, I got out my little writing pad, which I use to write about Ava or what's on my mind. Here's the first line:

"I feel a little melancholy this afternoon; I can't pinpoint the source, but I just do."

As I inked the period on the page, it occurred to me.

"Maybe it has something to do with the fact that James Taylor's Christmas CD has been playing on repeat for the last two hours and I never even once realized it."

I immediately ejected James Taylor, inserted Burl Ives, and presto...JOY.


One more thing about the radio. I listen to it because it's convenient and I like the variety. I have always liked music but never loved it. Until I met my husband, that is. He loves music + I love him = I love music. He's always listening to it (never on the radio), singing it, or playing it and I just wanted to let him know (publicly) how much I admire that about him and how grateful I am that he's shared it with me and instilled it, naturally, in our daughter. I rely on him for a lot of things that he probably thinks I take for granted, but I do notice (and grin) on those dreadful treadmill runs when my iPOD has been updated with all kinds of music to my ears.