Wednesday, December 28, 2011

All is calm, all is bright

Well, I've had a bit of an unintentional hiatus here. The days leading up to the holiday are always frantic and busy, although this year was not as crazy in year's past. Anyway, blogging got swept to the side to deal with the immediate needs of everyone around here. Things were popping into my head that I'd include in blog entries, but I didn't get them down fast enough to remember what they were.

Add into the mix that my computer was barely functioning during that time and getting in articles that had approaching deadlines were forced to the forefront. Programs were freezing. Internet wasn't connecting. Just one thing after another. Then someone didn't show up for a photo shoot I had scheduled. Then I rescheduled. Got there and go to snap a picture. It doesn't go. In my head, I'm thinking "Oh, crap. My memory card is full." That's not it. I get a message that there's a shutter malfunction. On the camera I purchased about six months ago. Wonderful! The gentleman is patient and taking care of other things, so I run home for another camera. Get back. Snap a couple shots. They don't look right. Ah, hah! I fiddle with the settings and they're coming out better -- and the battery is dying. And the spare has completely given out and not yet been replaced. I get what I can and go. Just one of those "Murphy's Law" days.

The week of Christmas, a flu bug invaded, hitting one kid. Then a respite for a couple days. On Christmas Eve Eve, a few hours after the school holiday parties, my son throws up. At 3 a.m., I'm in the same boat. By morning, his energy is restored. I feel and look awful. My husband heads off to my family Christmas without me, but with all the boys. I'm so bummed that I am missing out, but happy all the boys can enjoy it. The day is spent nibbling on crackers and sipping ginger ale. And napping in a dark, quiet house. Any other day of the year, I'd be thrilled to be in a dark, quiet house. Any day except Christmas Eve, often one of only a handful of occasions during the year that my parents and siblings get together in one place. I'm still sad I missed out.

The next day, I felt better and we got an invite to my sister-in-law's. My husband was stuck working Christmas, which irritated me a little. How does his shift get stuck with all the major holidays? Fourth of July? He worked. Easter? He worked. Christmas. He worked. And guess where he'll be ringing in the new year? Yes, WORK. He always seems to even get the less celebrated holidays, like Valentine's Day and Memorial Day and Labor Day and Martin Luther King Day. And guess where he'll be on those days next year? Yep, at work. I think he gets a reprieve every fourth year -- when Leap Year occurs. Just seems a tad unfair, but I guess it's not unfair if you're the one who gets all the holidays off. Oh, well. At least he has a job. That's what you've got to tell yourself these days. Anyway, sorry for going off on a tangent, there. Where was I? Oh, yeah, Christmas Day. So, I spent some time there with the boys, still not feeling 100%, but good enough to head out and not feel like I was contagious. It was nice for the kids to see their cousins, especially my two nephews, who are now both in the military.

Next day, we were invited to my in-laws. This time we all made it. We ate, the kids opened some gift envelopes and we watched t.v. and watched the kids play. We don't make it over there often, so it was nice to all be together and just hang out there. My father-in-law has had a rough couple of years. Last year, an aneurysm was discovered, which then led to open heart surgery before it could be repaired and later a discovery of lung cancer and surgery. As the years go on and parents age, each holiday becomes more special because you come to realize more and more that one of these Christmases, they'll be gone. Grandpa is an important part of their lives, so I'm glad we spend Christmas together. By the end of the night, I wasn't feeling so good again and shortly after returning home, my youngest was throwing up. Merry Christmas!

Well, yesterday he was recovered while my general icky-feeling has lingered on. By afternoon I felt good enough to head in to work. The kids had lots of new stuff to play with at home. We had planned to start undecorating the tree last night, but it didn't happen. It didn't happen today either. I'm kind of in a hurry to get it down because our living room is under construction right now and not so festive looking. In the past month or so, my husband and the boys removed a fireplace, carpeting and wood panelling and then put up drywall and a new ceiling. So, my living room has a bare unfinished wood floor and drywall behind our decorated tree. I'm getting anxious to get it out of there so that we can progress farther in finishing the room.

So, the tree stays up one more night. Honestly, I love the lights. I love sitting on the sofa with no other light on, just the glow from the strand on the trees. And I love the calm in the house after the holiday when the novelty of the new toys hasn't worn off yet and there's lots for the kids to do and the bickering is at a minimum. All is calm. All is bright. At least for tonight.

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