Sing it, Judy Garland. Muddling through this crazy week of half-days, parent-teacher conferences, and PTA activities. It’s kind of nice having the kids home earlier. They have had some playdates that kept them entertained, and the rest of the time we continued decorating for Christmas and got homework done early. Last night, we went out to eat and got our tree. The dinner was my reward to them for doing so well in school. “Reward” isn’t the right word. More like a spontaneous celebration of hearing all good things about them at the conferences.
Today is the first completely open day, but I have so much to do here at home. And I took an accidental nap this morning after I dropped them off. Oops. The dishwasher broke on Sunday, and it’s all I can do to keep up with the dishes. I called Samsung once and got some advice that I’m pretty sure (from reading online) will be worthless. Need to call back and schedule a service call. I have to review our health care plan situation by the 15th. There’s a can drive at school and I told the kids we would go to the supermarket and get some stuff on sale for it. Then, you know, decorating the tree, gift shopping, etc. But I’m in a pretty good place. Not feeling overwhelmed. I’m in the Christmas spirit but not feeling obligated to do too much. I did, however, finally get our coin drop started.
I took a look at last year’s Christmas budget and tried to make one for this year but didn’t get too far. I did get all caught up on the regular budget and am pleased to report a small surplus for November. All those “no’s” added up.
I really liked this article that someone posted in the Nonconsumer Advocate Facebook group. I’d like to have a quiet holiday, not a frenetic one. Like 20% frenzy and 80% naps and cocoa. The funny thing is, I’m just realizing now that the article comes from my girl The Radical Homemaker, Shannon Hayes. I didn’t realize she had a website and that she has written more books. If I could figure out the new linking process in Word Press, I’d link you to my posts on her book BUT I CAN’T. Anyway, here is her website. And, she has a thing on the site about starting your own Radical Homemaker group locally. There are none in South Jersey so…. hmmm.
So grocery store, laundry, figure out dinner, make banana bread, decorate tree, figure out some more gifts, get myself a flu shot. There’s more, on the white board, but I think I’ll keep it right there for today.
Last weekend, my husband and I went away to the Poconos for the glorious celebration of our 10-year anniversary. (And that’s just of being married. It’s been a 15-year odyssey.) It was wonderful. I was very stressed ahead of time, with figuring out the babysitting, trying to have the house clean for the sitters, making sure there was food in the house, etc. My husband originally wanted to go away for 4 or 5 nights, somewhere, but I couldn’t bear the thought, so 2 nights was a compromise. My younger two are only 4 and 5. They still come in my bed every night. And my oldest actually was mopey about the whole thing when he got wind of it. So I’m glad it was not a long trip. One of the best parts about it was being able to exercise without feeling like I should be doing something else. I did my little calisthenics routine in the suite, then went over to the small gym and went on the treadmill, while my husband was still asleep. I’ve been trying to keep it up since I got back.
We also outlet-shopped, which was fun but definitely started to make me feel gross by the end. You just start thinking about what else you need or want, what you don’t have, and that loop of dissatisfaction starts running. I mostly got useful, needed things that I probably wouldn’t buy used anyway — a coat and boots. I still had some Children’s Place gift cards so I got them pajamas and slippers for free. My husband bought shirts and sweaters and boots. The deals aren’t really deals, it was very crowded… Meh.
The resort itself was interesting, a family-run place. The main inn, which had a restaurant and bar, had a very homey feel. There was a giant oil painting of the founders, I guess, over the fireplace. Wish I had gotten a picture. It looked to be from the 70’s and they looked like Mr. and Mrs. Telly Savalas. When we were sitting by the fire in the bar after dinner Friday night, surrounded by people there for a rehearsal dinner, I had the pleasant feeling of being at a relative’s house for the holidays but without any obligation to talk to anybody.
Now it’s later and I didn’t get a damn thing done besides getting lights on the tree, getting some stuff together for the food drive, and doing some laundry. I did some other random stuff, like more decorations for outside. Pictures of that later. It was nice to be outside. I don’t ever remember decorating a Christmas tree with the windows open. Crazy.