Peace and quiet

Those who know me best (and now you, since I’m telling you) know that I am generally not an angry person. However, a fly on the wall will tell you that there is a dangerous temper hiding deep within. I am thankful for my cochlear implant, but some days it is not so helpful. Especially when I am so ‘hangry’, and the kids make so much noise. For the love of all that is peaceful and quiet, why do they insist on making so much noise? Can anyone make it stop? I can just lock them in the basement for awhile, can’t I? No? Well, sending them across the street to play with the neighbor’s kids works splendidly. Now I sit. And knit. Breathing in and out, over and over again. In peace.

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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.