I am thankful for the opportunity to join my sweet boy, Eli in his classroom for a Thanksgiving program followed by a delicious feast.
I can't describe the wonder I felt at seeing the fragility of my (usually) fearless boy as he and his classmates prepared to wow us with their singing prowess. He had his hands stuffed in his pockets, his cheeks were flushed and he had a nervous smile plastered to his face.
I think that I know Eli better than any of my other kids...and today I saw a side of him I didn't know existed. It was soft and it was humble; and it made me smile.
OK...my friend, Loralei has been bugging me for weeks to join her in her quest for Domestic Domination. Although I am not quite as Martha Stewart-y as she is, I enjoy having a nice place to call home.
I suppose this would be a good time of year to jump in on this thing. I am pretty OCD about how I keep my house, year 'round...but the holidays do tend to bring out my own Inner Martha.
I suppose a good place to start would be Thanksgiving. I started preparing a couple of weeks ago by cleaning out my overflowing spice cabinet and replacing it with a hanging spice rack. (Cabinet space in most German kitchens is at a serious premium...and besides, I have been eyeballing this spice rack for YEARS;)
So...with that task out of the way, I was able to fully concentrate on my guest list (it is currently at 30 and counting), making my grocery list and delegating authority to my good friends, who are helping me pull this Herculean Feast off!
I bought a 20+ pound turkey last week and it is currently thawing in my fridge. We will also have another smaller turkey and a spiral baked ham. Seriously...I love my friends.
I picked up the rest of my groceries today, including paper plates and plastic-ware. There is NO FREAKING WAY I am serving that many people on real plates. Lazy? Maybe so...but I fully intend to enjoy myself on the Big Day:)
I will have to do some last-minute tidying up on Wednesday and then That Guy I Married will help me move all of the furniture to the perimeter of the living room and roll up the rug. We will have 2 or 3 fest tables set up and will still probably have to eat in shifts.
We seem to bite off more than we think we can chew every Thanksgiving, but I have to admit...not much makes me feel better than having people tell me that spending Thanksgiving here is like being "home".
I'll post the after pictures...well...after the event:)
Usually, being tagged for a meme makes my eye twitch. I am pretty sure that all both of my Faithful Readers who have stuck with me through my blogging years already know what makes me tick and nobody else really seems to care:)
But (and I totally know one should not begin a sentence with the word BUT!) my affection for Helen over at Everyday Stranger and my love of photography made this most recent meme intriguing!
The rules are as follows:
Go into your pictures. Open the 6th file and then the 6th photo and post it on your blog.
EASY PEASY, right???
OH...and because I covet your approval and affection, please leave me a comment letting me know if you do this:)
And without further ado; my submission:
We just got a new PC in February, so all of the photos on this hard drive are relatively recent. I took this photo back in March, during the height of my Water Droplet Period. This was one of my many out-takes, but I still kinda like it:)
I am not going to specifically tag anyone...but I know that all two of my Faithful Readers are shutterbugs...so let's see whatcha got!
This has been the most exhausting week of single parenting I have had in a LONG, LONG time. I can hardly WAIT until tomorrow morning to see That Guy I Married walk through the front door...
As a (FORMER!) military family, separations are nothing new to us and I can generally take them in stride...but this past week has bordered on pretty freaking horrid.
The kids were off school three days this week (Tuesday for Veteran's Day and Thursday and Friday for parent/teacher conferences) so we have had a LOT more togetherness than most of us can handle.
Don't get me wong...the week wasn't ALL bad. I usually relish the opportunity to put on my Super Mom Cape every now and again. During the first few days we read tons of books, baked yummy treats, played games and did art projects. By today, however, I was ready to lock them all in a closet and help myself to an entire bottle of wine (or three).
We have swimming lessons every Saturday morning and so I took my shower and got the kids dressed for the pool. Abby did great (their swimming instructor is a Hot Guy and she aims to please; more on that another day). Ethan has sensory issues and having water anywhere near his eyes or ears really freaks him out. Some days h tolerates it better than others but this was NOT one of those days. Eli has a truly irrational fear of drowning and has been known to scream like a girl whilst wrapping his arms and/or legs around the swimming instructor's arms when he is trying to help him swim. I waver between maniacal laughter and bitter sobbing. Why can't my kids just behave like normal little kids???
Anyway...after swimming lessons, we had just enough time to come home and eat a quick lunch before heading to the BX to sell obscenely over priced microwave popcorn with the Cub Scouts. Ethan wanted no part of it and while the other kids were screaming, "POPCORN! GET YOUR POPCORN, HERE!" at the top of their teeny-tiny lungs, he cried.
The day kind of just went down hill from there.
I know that this might make me seem like a bad person, but I am going to HAVE to leave my jet lagged husband at home with the kids tomorrow so I can have a little quiet-time-by-myself. I am seriously at the end of my rope, here.
Before I commence my regularly scheduled pissing and moaning...there are a couple of things I want to tell you about.
First order of business is that my (notsosecret) blog crush, Helen over at Everyday Stranger is trying to raise funds for a worthy cause. She and her gorgeous babies are helping to raise money for BBC's Children In Need. They are a charity who gives 100% of the money donated to them towards making disadvantaged children (in the UK's) lives better. If you would like to donate, just go to her fundraising page and do it! The minimum donation is just £2 and as I mentioned before...EVER PENNY COUNTS!!!
Next order of business; you might have noticed that I have a shiny, new badge over in yonder sidebar. Another blogger that totally has my heart is doing his part to help needy children and honoring his wife's memory in the process. If you feel so inclined (and seriously...you SHOULD! 'Tis the season and the simple fact that you are sitting in front of a computer that is connected to the interweb makes you more fortunate than many!) then please click on his badge and consider helping out those who are less fortunate than yourself. He is supporting a really cool charity which provides clothing, toys and necessary items for abused, neglected and abandoned children throughout the United States. You don't even have to dig deep...just dig;)
This is the thing; That Guy I Married and I met while following the Grateful Dead. We started ourlife together with a backpack on each of our backs and nothing more. While we have become consumed with having a nice house and a decent vehicle and clothes and food to eat and electronics and knick-knacks...we know what it is like to have nothing. When we found out that we were expecting our first child, he envisioned us raising her in a VW Microbus. I was busy making other plans;)
Our first several years as a bona-fide family unit were hard! TGIM worked a minimum wage job with no benefits. We lived in places that should have been condemned. We raided our daughter's piggy bank to do our laundry. We were on Medicaid and Food Stamps. There is NO WAY we would have come through our sketchy beginnings without the helping hands of our families, our friends and through the kindness of strangers.
Things gradually got better and better for us and while we are by no means rich (we are in fact likely in the lower/middle class) we are comfortable. I can go to the grocery store and not hold my breath as I am waiting for my debit card purchase to be approved. I fill my gas tank every two weeks without much of a thought. I buy my kids everything they need and much of what they want. We are blessed beyond measure and I feel it is my duty as a human being to lend a hand to others in need every chance I get...and I hope that as you read this you able to truly appreciate the life that you have and do what you can to help someone else have the lfie they deserve...
...but I can be a real asshole.
The issues in the aforementioned post are mine and mine, alone and after I spewed my keyboard vomit and clicked "publish" I had the fleeting thought that maybe I should have just kept my big, fat trap shut. Or sat on my hands. Or whatever.
What happened before is history and TGIM has given me no real reason to believe that he could be up to No Good. I just allow my overly active mind get the better of me and my molehill rapidly morphs into Mount Everest.
I did get an e-mail from him this morning and my suspicion that I am completely and utterly batshit crazy was confirmed.
Anyway...I owe the collective internets an apology. And TGIM, too. There are a few areas of my life in which I am pretty insecure and even the tiniest pebble will create a wide, wide ripple.
This is going to be a really hard week.
That Guy I Married is in the USofA on business this week but it is not loneliness or single parenting that will make this week difficult for me.
For those of you who remember what happened the last time TGIM was supposed to go to the States on business, you will know exactly what I am talking about...and for those who don't, just trust me when I say it was bad...and keep me in your thoughts, mmmmkay???
It doesn't help that he isn't returning my e-mails and when I tried to call him at his hotel it went straight to voice mail.
This will be brief. Trying to stay up to see election results when you live on another continent is kind of crazy and I am tired, today.
I know that it goes without saying; I am freaking elated that Obama will be our next president!
Also; I am shocked and disappointed that the Stars and Stripes (our military newspaper) dedicated the front page of today's paper to all of Bush's accomplishments. I think that the current election was mentioned on page 5.
And in other (unrelated) news...would you like to know what my 7 year old does locally to help the environment???
He kicks the garbage out of our neighbourhood; into another one.
Yeah. That's my kid! heh