Category Archives: Holidays

Can we talk about my coffee maker?

Did I mention my husband bought me a Keurig for Christmas? He did. A red one! And it was such a surprise. He also bought me a new set of knives, but that wasn’t so much a secret because he bought it with our shared Amazon Prime account and I get all the notifications. But I digress. I have a Keurig, and I am loving it¬†just as much as I thought I would. It was one of those things you drool over at other people’s houses, but figure you probably wouldn’t love it as much as you think you would, and just chalk the drooling up to good old fashioned envy. Which is why I never went out and bought one for myself.

But don’t you know? I DO love it! Well, as much as you can “love” an inanimate object. When people say they love their Keurigs, you figure it’s just that shiny new car smell that will eventually wear off. And maybe it is, but I’m really enjoying this single cup brewer. And with the reusable K-cup my son bought for me (at the hubby’s suggestion of course), I’m not even spending more money on K-cups or worrying about polluting the planet with the one-time use, non-recyclable cups. Nope. I grind my coffee beans, and fill my own k-cups, and it makes one delicious cup of coffee at a time. So I’m finding that I’m actually drinking less coffee! Quality over quantity, folks. That, and I can switch it up. If it’s too late in the day for leaded, I can brew a cup of decaf. If I’m more in the mood for tea, I can make that. I can even make hot cocoa for the kids. It’s a win all around.

So, I realize it’s only been 3 weeks which is not nearly enough time for the new car smell to wear off, but I really don’t see it happening any time soon. It’s a really wonderful gift. I heart you, red Keurig. Now go make me a cup of coffee ūüôā

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Independence Day 2015

wpid-20150704_220508.jpgI had a weekend to remember. Yes, it was the Fourth of July, which has always been a favorite of mine, but this one was my best yet. The kids played, the husband caught up on yard work and relaxed, and I enjoyed being a part of it all.

Saturday we went up to “The Lake” with Grandpa, for dinner and fireworks. The Lake (which probably has a name, but I don’t know it) is actually man-made, with permanent campsites set up all around it. Grandpa’s friends have campers/cabins up there, so we go every year. It’s actually pretty cool.¬†The¬†people¬†travel within the park¬†by walking, biking, or driving golf carts. And you have to be 16 to drive a golf cart, but you are NOT required to have a driver’s license. I think. Anyway,¬†golf carts¬†don’t go very fast so they let me drive one! All the way around the lake! I was too nervous to do it alone so I had Mike riding shotgun, while the kids rode in the back. And it was wonderful. I haven’t driven in close to 2 years, and I really miss the independence of it, so this was a gift to me. To be in the driver’s seat, pushing the pedal, steering the wheel, with the wind in my hair and the sunshine on my face. In short, it made my day.

Actually, that’s not true. Although, if that’s all it was, it would have definitely made my day. But there’s more.

Natalie and I were at the camp playground, swinging on the swings, when Luke came running up to us and shouted, “They accepted it! They accepted our offer!” See, we had just put an offer on a new house and were still waiting to hear from the seller. Yup. We’re buying a new house, y’all. There are still some details to take care of, but my understanding is that it’s all normal stuff and shouldn’t cause any issues. We bought our current home from my mother-in-law, easy peasy,¬†so this home buying process is new to us. However, we¬†have been¬†praying A LOT through every step of the way, and that has really made all the difference.

I’m excited about this house. We all are. It has a beautiful yard, with a deck, gazebo (great for shade!), a shed, and a firepit. The house is two-story, but the bedrooms and laundry are all on the same floor. If I have an MS¬†relapse in the future and have trouble walking, there are bathrooms on every floor, so I’ll always be able to relieve myself. The stairs were definitely an issue we considered. We really thought hard and prayed about the stairs, because I do have MS, and there is always that possibility that one day my legs won’t work. But I really felt God telling me to trust Him, and not to make this decision out of fear. Mike agreed, so we went for it. The house is located in a fantastic school district, a great neighborhood, is still in the range of Spec-Tran (my ride service), and we discovered that some friends I used to volunteer with live just down the road! So I believe all of those¬†positive attributes¬†outweigh the “what-if” factor of my MS. This is going to be a good change for our family. A big change, but a good one.

Now we just¬†need to sell the house we’re in, which¬†will be¬†another new adventure for us!

I think that last stocking got hanged

So. I have three Christmas stockings. The one on the left with the Santa Claus¬†is my favorite, because my grandma knit it for me, and I used it every Christmas growing up. Only problem is that it stretches, but that’s not really much of a real problem.

The reindeer stocking in the middle was also knit by someone, though I can’t remember who. But, it has my name on it so I’m pretty sure it was by someone I should know.

The stocking on the rightwith the super-duper cute snowman¬†was made years ago by my mother, and she made one for my husband to match, as well as similar stockings for the kids. This is the one I hang near the tree, with the rest of the family’s stockings. Only we have a problem. The ‘I’ and the ‘N’ fell off at some point and I can’t find them anywhere. But Mom is coming to visit this weekend, perhaps we can take a trip to the craft store and make some replacement letters?

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And then… what to stuff in them? Candy, fruit, travel games? What do you put in your stockings at Christmas time?

Oh, the tree!

We put our Christmas tree up on Monday. It’s a real tree, in all its glory. We’ve had real trees in the past, but when we got a cat we stopped and bought a fake tree. Easier to retrieve from the floor and repair, only it has seen better days and doesn’t hold all our ornaments. That was well before we had kids, so the kids have never had a real tree before. This was their first year, and I really think they are enjoying it¬† They helped pick it out, trim it up, and put the ornaments on. Just this morning I caught Luke leaving the table during breakfast to go turn the lights back on.¬† We already have¬†a good stash of presents purchased, so I’m excited to wrap them up and put them under the tree. After I get a new tree skirt, of course. Can’t have a naked tree all December, now can we?

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Holidailies 2014

I’m a day late for this blog project (as I was with the thankfulness challenge, but I figure a day late is better than never, and who’s counting anyway?). I heard about Holidailies from a fellow WordPress blogger, Wendi over at Sudden Silence. I thought it sounded like a fun way to be “held accountable” to writing. Holidailies is basically a portal for blog entries written on mostly daily basis from December 1 to January 1. The posts don’t have to be about the holidays, though chances are most of them will be. Given the obsessiveness our society has evolved into having with these winter-time holidays.

That sounded like a segue into a rant about Christmas commercialism. I assure you, it was not. I’m not much of a ranter when it comes to blogging.

Oh! I almost forgot. I’m supposed to introduce myself for those who are new here. There is some info on my About page, but I’ll elaborate. I am 36, and I have multiple sclerosis. I was diagnosed in 2009 while I was pregnant with my daughter. It causes problems, which I talk about here some, but you’ll see that in no way does MS have me. II lost my hearing in the matter of one short week in August 2013 due to autoimmune inner ear disease, but I have since been implanted with a cochlear implant in my right ear. MS struck hard in September 2013 and took some of my vision. So being deaf, visually impaired, and easily fatigued from the MS all adds up to an¬†unemployable me. Which gives me plenty of time to write, something I have always loved to do.

I do welcome your comments here on my blog, whether it’s to ask me a question or just to say hi. Welcome, welcome, and I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season!!

~Mindy

Leftovers

The kids are at Grandma’s, and we have had a glorious time relaxing after the holiday. Yesterday after we dropped the kids off we stopped at the indoor shooting range. This is our idea of a date, because we both enjoy shooting. Mike is good at it, and has done well in competitions. In fact, I think he¬†won the last one he competed in. I, on the other hand, am not so great. I just don’t get enough practice, but also the impaired vision doesn’t help. Though I surprised us both yesterday. I did a lot better than we expected. My reward? An early Christmas present purchased from the gun store, registered in my name.

After our time at the range, we headed to the local Italian restaurant for a good, Chicago-style pizza. Mike had been craving it, and I am always up for pizza. Even the day after Thanksgiving. We always like to order the largest sized pie and bring the leftovers home. Mike and Luke both just love cold pizza for breakfast. Silly boys.

So, this morning I had pizza for breakfast, and now I am enjoying the turkey day leftovers for lunch: pumpkin pie and coffee. We haven’t even touched the leftover turkey yet.

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Thankfully the house wasn’t destroyed from the festivities, so it didn’t take much to clean up. Dishes are done, extra table and chairs packed away, floor mopped. Mike even got his voice back!

I have to say¬†I was quite amazed and pleased to see so many people giving thanks on Facebook this year. And not just any thanks, but thanks for the simple, genuine things like family and friends and God’s blessings. There was a bit of a trend of hard times for many of my friends and family this past year. Many of us were struck with extreme challenges¬†like major illness and even death,¬†some happening¬†on¬†this very week of Thanksgiving. I honestly believe the devil was trying extra¬†hard this year to bring people down, but if my personal Facebook feed is any indication, it didn’t work. People are still seeing the good in life, and thanking God for it. I pray that continues, and that we are all able to see God’s hand at work in our lives.

All in all, it was a pretty perfect holiday. I am still learning to cope with change and enjoy every moment of life I am given. I pray the same for whoever is reading these words. Now… on to Christmas!!

Thanksgiving 2014

What a success! I was so nervous about today, but all my fears were for naught. Of course, there were moments and situations that on normal days would have fried my nerves and sent me into a tailspin, but today was certainly not your normal day.

My son woke me up at 6:30 (he’s a morning person) so I could prepare the turkey. Only I had trouble from the start. The turkey still had some thawing to do, and I was unable to pry that stupid plastic thing off the legs. I really didn’t want to wake my husband, who had come¬†home from work early yesterday with a horrendous case of laryngitis. At least that’s my guess anyway, since he says he feels fine and his throat doesn’t hurt. So he didn’t mind, because he clearly understands the importance of The Turkey. All was well and it finished thawing, and I was able to successfully season and butter the bird before placing it in the oven.

When the kids and I settled down to eat breakfast, my son asked us each what we were thankful for. Such a charmer, that boy. I usually joke that he’s going to grow up to be an attorney, with all his negotiation tactics, but today I could see him growing up¬†to be¬†a pastor. We each agreed that we are most thankful for each other, but he added that he is thankful for his school. 1-because his aunt is the principal and 2-because he’s learning Chinese. It was great breakfast table conversation, to be sure.

I didn’t have a lot to do¬†after breakfast¬†as I had been making preparations¬†along the way, but there were a few tasks left to do and the kids both a tremendous help. Just as I had reached a stopping point and was ready to take a short nap, there was a knock at the door.Our first guest had arrived – mother-in-law! And thank goodness she was here because I could not have put the rest of the meal together without her help. Having hubby quarantined to the basement sort of left me in the lurch, but he didn’t want to risk infecting¬†the grandparents, who arrived shortly after.

We had wonderful conversation, ate delicious food, and just really enjoyed each other’s company. We did not try on hats, so that part of my dream did not come true, but it was memorable nonetheless. I even got a short nap before dessert, and both were heavenly. Oh, and the bonus was that mother-in-law asked me where my Dutch oven was, because we needed a giant pot for the potatoes. What Dutch oven? I asked. “Well, the one I gave you at Christmas last year, of course.” I had zero recollection of this gift, until she went downstairs to ask my husband about it, and he quickly retrieved it from storage. Brand new, still in the box, a beautiful bright red. Gorgeous. And almost instantly I remembered. How could I have forgotten? Well, we talked about me losing my mind last year, remember?

Oh boy, it’s just so good to be back, you know? I am learning to roll with changes and slowly adjust, but it is not lost on me how much I have been given. How much WE have been given. Hallelujah, praise the Lord.

**I have to make a correction here: My husband tells me we have had that¬†Dutch oven¬†for years, and that he even used it when he was staying home with our kids. He just keeps it downstairs because there is no room for it in the kitchen. This information is really just blowing my mind right now. I don’t even know what to say. Speechless, I am. Perhaps we can chalk it up to plain old aging? Egads.