Monday, December 31, 2007

"Been looking forward to the future ..."

Whoa. Sorry about that. I really didn't intend to take so much time away from here. But once again, the holidaze just about got the best of me. I'm beginning to think I need to REthink some "traditions" as I get older. But probably, I'll just forget the hard parts by next year, and repeat everything, as usual.

The highlight of this year's Christmas festivities was one Miss Squishy. If she was in the house, I was having a hard time doing anything besides staring at her squishyness. But of course, there were always a zillion other things I needed to be doing, so I ended up feeling grumpy because I couldn't sit with her constantly and soak up what is now past: her First Christmas. But isn't she lovely?

I got some incredibly nice gifts, some of which require brain power to use:

Sisters Laura and Melody gave me a Bluetooth thingy for my car ... brain power needed to "link" it with my phone.

Adam & Brandy gave me a lovely digital photo frame, complete with Squishy pictures ... brain power needed to add new pictures.

And Jimmy gave me a GPS system ... brain power needed to drive and watch the GPS map at the same time.

Em helped me get the hang of the GPS stuff on our drive to Greensboro NC on Saturday. (I went along to keep her company on the drive to the Greensboro airport ... she caught a Skybus flight there to whisk her off to Ohio, where she'll spend the first week of the New Year.) It may take me a few years to get the "newest" gadgets ... but I'm really loving that British woman in my GPS that tells me to "Exit left and take the motorway"! I've decided to call her Patsy. (Extra points if you know why.)


Happy 29th Anniversary to us. How HOW HOWWWW can we have been married for 29 years today ... if I am barely over 30 years old???

Time, she's a BITCH.


I'm looking forward to the coming year ... looking forward to time with my Granddaughter, watching her grow and become who she is ... looking forward to time with "my girls"-- I've spent so much of my life without close girlfriends, but I'm totally enjoying making up for lost time ... looking forward to becoming a healthier me, preparing to totally commit to an exercise/fitness program ... looking forward to a new kitchen?? (A girl can dream!) ... looking forward to a blessed and happy year for my family and friends.

I love you all!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

"She dreams in color ..."

So sleepy, and yet I'm here.

Just wanted to do a quick update to share Frances' official "I really AM a great-grandma" moment.

Squishy came to stay with us for a couple of hours while her Mama and Daddy attended a Christmas party. The best part of the night for me: Squishy Smiles! ("... the grinch's small heart grew three sizes that day.")

We weren't able to catch the incredible smiles on the camera, as we were far too involved in conversation with Miss Squishy at the time, but I'm sure it won't be long before we have it preserved on ... uh ... hard drive.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

"The weather outside is frightful ..."

Because, really, who wants to Christmas shop in SEVENTY-NINE DEGREE weather? Not me, thanks. As much as I can complain about "freezing" once the air is cool, I prefer it when I'm hearing Christmas music at the mall.

Let me apologize (or 'pologize, as the song that regularly gets stuck in my head goes ... oh yeah, it's too laaaate ... ) for the lack of updating. It's just that I've been so busy. Or boring. Or both.

It's not likely to get any better either.

I'm leaving today to drive south for about four hours, spend the night with my Mother, and then turn around to bring her back home with me for some Holiday Time. If you're a long-time reader, then you know that this year The Visit has been cut dramatically, compared to past years. It normally begins on Thanksgiving and by now, she is usually PAST ready to go home, but not about to admit it. And by now, I've usually developed several facial tics that even a bottle of Pinot Grigio can't make disappear.

This year, sanity will prevail. She'll be here about two weeks.

Last weekend, I made a big old check mark on my Life List. If you have never toured Biltmore House, and you're a history addict like me, may I suggest you plan on doing so? I was totally fascinated by the whole thing. (Not to mention open-mouthed and amazed at the garish display of Filthy Rich. And I couldn't fight the feeling that I was walking around in my REAL family home. Heh.)

They don't allow photo-taking inside the house, but here's us on the outside. I loved it.

We drove up in the late afternoon on Saturday, and decided to stop at a charming little place on the side of the road in Hendersonville, NC called Cedar Creek Lodge for the night. We were sitting outside our respective cottages, for a last little bit of conversation before we conked out for the night, when someone pointed out the "art" in the wooded area just next to where we were planning to sleep.

Uh, yikes?

It was then that I noticed the eerie resemblance between Cedar Creek Lodge and the Bates Motel.

Naaa ... we all woke up the next day, and headed out for Asheville, as planned.

Patti and Michael, I enjoyed it SO much ... let's plan Charleston or Savannah for next year!


One-Month-Old Squishy Update:

It's official. That baby girl owns me. The minute I see her, I forget to breathe for a few seconds. It's craziness, this whole grandparenting thing. How did I live without her?

She takes after me, too. The other day, while holding her after she ate, I heard a familiar gurgling noise. And I was unable to tell if it was her belly or mine making all the racket. Also like me, she can rage against the machine if her tummy is empty ... and then the minute the problem is corrected, she is totally relaxed, happy, and ready for a nap.

Here is a picture of One-Month-Old Squishy with her "After I've Eaten" face on, when she came over to visit us on Saturday:

If you need more All Things Squishy, head over here where my sleep-deprived kid has posted a short video of hiccups. Don't ask me how many times I've watched it, OK?
Melinda! Your comment made my whole WEEK brighter! I am so happy to hear from you! Pleeeeeease keep in touch! :-)
"I'm holdin' on your rope, got me ten feet off the ground ..."
What did I tell you? It's in my head for the day now.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

"Next thing you know ..."

The only reason I'm here typing is to let you know I'm breathing. Life is lots of routine, with the added craziness of holiday shopping and decorating.

The tree is up.

The Santa collection is unwrapped and in place on the mantle.
The rest of the house is in chaos, waiting patiently for my attention. I'm good at ignoring, obviously. I'm hoping my live wreath for the front door is delivered today, so I can finish the little bit I'm doing for the outside of the house.


Weekend fun ahead ... we'll be staying up late on Friday night, awaiting the arrival of Michael and Patti. Unsure of the itinerary, but I'm almost positive it involves lots of talking, laughter, and maybe we'll drink a beer or three. And I'm finally going to see the Biltmore House!

Just like that, I can check two items off my Life List. Last weekend, I went with Kathy and Melissa and their girls to see a production of The Nutcracker. (Mary tried her best to teach me to knit when she visited a few weeks ago, but it's apparent that I need more instruction. Come back, Mary!)


By now, everybody has probably seen the "Elf Yourself" toy on the Office Max website. I've seen at least a dozen ... mostly of folks I don't really know in "real life" ... computer friends, if you will. When Emilie sent the link to this one last week, I discovered that, if you actually KNOW the elves, it can be pretty damn funny. Click here to see what I mean. Jud did the work and sent it to Em to make her smile, and when she forwarded it to me, I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes. Love how the Allie Elf is slightly off the beat in most of her dance. I wish I could make it our Christmas card this year.