Maude and Daddy. Daddy and Maude.

Have we talked about these people?

They do retirement like CHAMPS too!

I know we have…  but I kind of can’t do it enough.

I am lucky enough to call them Mom and Dad… (or actually “Maude” and “Daddy,” because they are so awesome that you have to extend the names to fit in more awesomeness.)

Today they are celebrating 49 years of wedded bliss.  And by “bliss” I mean 49 years of better, worse, sickness, health, joy, pain, windfalls, disappointments, pride, shame, mountains (literal and metaphorical,) valleys (ditto,) growth, death, laughter, tears, and all of the other messy, amazing, awful, wonderful stuff that makes up  a life together.

(That isn’t even counting the things that these two stunningly attractive and brilliant people have managed to throw their way since they stumbled into the two-for-one special  by checking “multiples OK” on the adoption application.)

Bouncing baby girls… such lucky parents.

It doesn’t matter what else I accomplish in this beyond-blessed life of mine – getting to be their daughter, and strive to put the level of work and love and commitment into my marriage and family that they have always shown for each other and for my sister and me will always be a source of pride and of inspiration for me.

Writing about them fills my heart as quickly as it fills a page:

I love to talk about how strong my mom is, and how fiercely loves.

Or how grateful I am that my dad’s heart got a little upgrade so he could use it to love his grandkids as much as he has always loved us.

Bragging about how proud I am of both of them is as easy as opening my eyes each morning.

The truth is – I could write about them every day and never scratch the surface of their story.

It’s all the little details that make it  mean so much… that make up a life.

I am so happy and proud to wish them Happy Anniversary.

Every day I think I couldn’t love them more.  Every day I find a way to.

Happy Anniversary, Maude and Daddy, all my best stories are about you.

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I have an English Degree. Just Sayin’…

Brunch.

There is no more revered and regarded event within our family’s weekly calendar than the meal which is so spectacular that it straddles the social norms for both timing and menu of TWO meals.

It is serious and significant family bonding time for us.

Yesterday morning at The Post, that family bonding hit a snag, people.

The entire damn family got stumped over the kids menu word scramble. We brought it home, but even minus the glorious glow of my Sunday mimosa, I am still at a loss.
Don’t judge me, HELP ME! WTF is that word:

Btw, if you follow me on Snapchat, you get these gems delivered right to your phone. @reluctntnburbs

I have an English degree, damnit- IT’S A DEGREE IN WORDS, FFS!!

Beat by the brunchy kids’ menu….

That’s a low even an extra mimosa  (almost) can’t repair.

Just sayin’.

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DON’T GO!!!!

Oh look…  it’s January, 2017… As in, AFTER the holiday season.

No more singing along with Bing Crosby (or tap-dancing with Danny effing Kay,) or indulging in my mom’s fudge or cookies both or Christmas songs on the radio, or Elf-on-the-shelf escapades, or get-togethers with friends and family or staying in jammies all day long just because you can…

I feel as though I have barely blinked, and now it is time to take down all of the holiday cards I looked so forward to finding in my mailbox each day.

Oh the glorious mess.. I even put them on The New fridge!

This year, more than other years even, I seem to have a significant case of the post-holiday blues.

I can’t let it go.

Tonight, after everyone is in bed, I am 100% sure I will sneak over and turn on the Christmas tree lights.  I will sit in my cozy Vicki’s Secret reindeer jammies with my hot toddy (hello, first cold of 2017,) in the glow, wondering where the season went.

Oh yeah… soooo twinklehhhh.

I can’t watch TV- flipping to the Hallmark channel to find Blanche, Rose, Dorothy and Sophia having reclaimed their nighttime reign from the grips of the 24/7 holiday romance offerings made me shoot the candy cane in my mouth clear across the family room.

They traveled down the road, and back (to Hallmark) again.

In the coming days I will watch the lights being taken down around the town,  (granted it happens slower along the Colorado front range where us natives like to leave up outdoor lights until after the National Western Stock Show is over, toward the end of January,) and I will stifle my urge to scream “DON’T GO, HOLIDAYS!”

I can’t hide it, I am having a tough time closing the door on it all this year.

For goodness sakes – it’s becoming a THEME on Instagram for me:

Santa charm still firmly affixed to mimosa, as seen Jan 2nd.

Yep

Even Jr is over me it at this point.  Yesterday, on his last day of holiday vacation from school, I took a break from reports on my laptop for some coloring time (we lovey the coloring… I will color with that kid until College if he lets me,) and I busted out the pile of holiday coloring books when he said I could pick the picture.

“MOMMMMM!!!  Not those! Put those AWAY! It’s OVER!!”

Poop.

Are you sure?

(He is still letting me watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and my two new favorites from this year:  Nina’s Hanukkah Adventure from SproutTV and The Snowy Day from Amazon.  For now.)

Maybe it is him getting older, or my parents getting older, or ME getting older (yes, we all do that, Keri;) or Jr being on break for so long and us getting into a new routine, or the sense of uncertainty 2017 is bringing, or  missing the family in Texas we didn’t go see this year… or it is just subconscious laziness about putting away the holiday décor.

Maybe, as I used to dread and now pray, I truly am turning into my mom.

The snow falling outside would have seemed festive just days ago….  Now it is just going to make getting Jr to school tomorrow a PITA.

The Christmas sock collection is getting put away, the wreath is down off the door, and laying out a spread of appetizers can no longer pass for dinner (OK lets not get crazy, Keri – that will ALWAYS be dinner at your house.)

Sigh.

Can I just cling?   Just through one more weekend… Just until this latest cold/snow snap moves out of the Colorado front range?

Then I promise to bring up the boxes and un-deck the halls.

(But I am keeping the damn coloring books out.)

The stash.

Shhh…  they are hidden behind the table by the couch, we have a brand new box of super sharp crayons from Santa if you need to jingle some bells or something to get you through.

No judgment from the girl clinging to her pikes peak blend with 3 pumps of SF peppermint, yo.

None. At. All.

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The most wonderful time of the year.

Family 2016 a.jpg

This year we were all about traditional… except a little askew – because us.

Have I mentioned I’m a holiday  card junkie?

Not only do I consider it my personal duty to pepper the globe with Season’s Greetings from our little family, but every December I practically skip to the freaking mailbox every day to see what treasures are buried in between grocery circulars and gift catalogs.

I can’t get enough warm winter wishes – I am always jonesing for the next jingle-gram to come fa-la-la-ing down the lane in the postal carrier’s bin.

I don’t care what variety it is – I love them all.  Any incarnation of the family photo card is always a favorite of Keri’s – the punny theme pic (we did the “have your selfie a Merry Little Christmas” version last year when I just couldn’t even with the professional photo shoot for the season,) the collage of kiddos in various adorable hi-jinx surrounding a sweet shot of mom and dad smooching,  the traditional single full card family pic with one simple greeting scripted along the bottom….    I am a total sucker for seeing your sweet family’s faces and I “ooo” and “ahh” over them all season long.   BUT WAIT – there is also the stunning traditional folded card, complete with beautiful imagery and heartwarming holiday sentiments nestled in a foil-lined envelope.    Ooooo – or the family news letter!!   A winter window you can peer though into the year’s ups and downs for those you love. (I know some loathe these, but I ADORE them!!  It’s like a coffee date catch up stuffed in an envelope and shared right to your door. )   If it includes a crayoned in drawing of a holiday scene from your offspring – that shit is going to be on my office builtin board until it disintegrates. (Seriously – the cutest menorah  a 7 year old ever drew has a spot of honor on my wall right next to a Christmas tree my nephew crafted when he was 4 that will never be usurped.  Kid art gets you instantly into the Keri hall of holiday fame.)

This year I am rigging up a ribbon/clothespin display situation on the coat closet door since our new and shiny fridge is an off-limits zone for magnetized decorating.  It is going to be EPIC –twice the space to fill.  No card crowded behind another.

YAAASSSS  Holiday Card Kween.

If you are thinking of shrinking folks off of your card list this year I say NAY NAY – this season send more love than ever – don’t subtract, ADD.

And if you find yourself with an extra, there is always a girl in Colorado looking for her next fix.

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Halloween Hangover

Jr BEGGED The Mr to blow up the Minion “just one more time” after Halloween. This happened. Look dude, when vampire Minion passes out off his pumpkin on the front lawn, Halloween is over, m’kay?

It’s snowing.  Along the Colorado front range tonight, it is FINALLY snowing.

Thank goodness – maybe it will serve to usher out what I have started referring to as our “Halloween Hangover.”

This year, in this house, Halloween just won’t freaking die.

Jr has been busting out costumes (or random parts of costumes) from the stash in his dress-up corner, and emerging from the basement play area to “trick or treat” though out the house.  He sets up stuffed friends with craft pom-poms at various locations and proceeds through the house collecting the pom-poms in his PB Kids personalized jack-o-lantern bag, and then comes back to the TV room for “the Halloween party.”

This party involves playing the Peanuts theme song and dancing. Over and over.

And over.

Don’t get me wrong – I totally believe in the Great Pumpkin, and I am strangely proud of how long a 5 year old can ration a candy supply (1 piece in his lunch, 2 pieces after school,) but let’s move Spookley off the top of the toy bin and start shining the play stove to cook up some Turkey, eh?

OR – if we MUST – then at least relent to letting mom pack up the colorful leaves and decorative gourds in favor of mistletoe and tinsel and stockings hung by the chimney with care, shall we?

We have had years of being fairly frightened of Halloween. Last year I had to carry him out of the garage kicking and screaming to get the trick-or-treat train movin’ around our ‘hood.  This year suddenly he is determined to see it last for.ev.errrrrrrrr.

The ridiculously warm weather has been no small contributing factor, I think.  I mean, it still LOOKS like Halloween outside – all leaves crunching under his little feet and clear blue sky against not-quite-yet-bare trees.  I get it, I really do.

But I am not here for it anymore, people.

The minute we got him home from school, I dressed him up like Ralph’s little brother in A Christmas Story and shot him out the back door to frolic in the 1/2 inch or so that had accumulated thus far.  Because we are moving on, yo.

MOVING. ON.

So snow on, snow storm…. blow the Halloween Hangover from these halls, pronto.

 

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