I haven’t liked the holidays since I was a kid!

Holiday season is upon us. Gerrrr…

Call me Scrooge all you want, but I haven’t been in the holiday spirit since I was a kid and on the receiving end of everyone’s holiday gifts. I know, it is sad. But once I was old enough to live on my own and had to purchase gifts for everyone on my list and visit with everyone so no one would have their feelings hurt, I realized it was all a load of crap. Just the amount of time and money spent to make the majority of your family feel loved is nuts. I mean seriously? If I spent that time/money on you through out the year, wouldn’t that have more meaning? I am not so superficial that I think one must spend money on you to show how much they care, but we are talking about the holidays – you know the 3 months at the end of the year when most Americans spend the most money. FYI – Americans spend $42.3 Billion dollars from Nov.1 – Dec. 31st of 2012 per comscore.com.

So my distaste for the holiday season started about 10 years ago. I was living on my own making $10 an hour and I had about $200 to spend for Christmas. Being the frugal person I am, I knew I had about this much to spend heading into October. When the Halloween decorations came out right after back to school stuff was taken down, I knew to start planing then.  But, by mid-November I knew I wasn’t going to be able to purchase gifts, instead I had to make them. And so that year everyone got a fleece blanket from yours truly. I felt so ashamed because they weren’t that well made and I wasn’t able to buy my family members nice things. I vowed to do better next year. But as the years have gone on I have become disillusioned with the whole idea of Hallmark Holidays, as some people call them. Each year it gets worse. I cringe when I see Halloween stuff of display as early as August because I know I am about to be inundated with Thanksgiving and Christmas crap.

At my house the holidays pass with out much fan-fare. We do have a tree that we put up, but that is only because I think it looks pretty in hour living room. My boys and Husband do get gifts, and I do purchase myself something for them to give me (oh the joys of being a mother in a house full of boys). However, our gifts aren’t extravagant. Mostly needed items with one or two “wishes”.  I am sure my kids think they are getting the bad end of the deal, but I don’t see it that way. We enjoy our time with family and all the food. We have such a blended household that it seems like Thanksgiving takes 2 or 3 days, and Christmas can take almost two full weeks!

I would really like to get back to the basics when it comes to Holidays. Gather around for Thanksgiving and eat until you can not move. Spend time with family and watch some football, if that is what you want to do. Pick a house to visit, do the deed and then head home with way too many left overs. As for Christmas, if you are religious then go all out and do your thing. If you aren’t religious, like my house is, skip the whole darn thing. Christmas is for Christ, not greedy hands. Enjoy the day or two off from work, visit with family if you can, or just relax. Stop making it about how much you spend.

No wonder the youth are they way they are. No one loves them unless the buy them something.

Bah humbug!

 

Exit soap box – left

Life after the big 3-0!

Ok, I’ve been 30 for two months and some days and so much has changed. Not so much because I have crossed over to the other side. More because life happens fast, and I am rarely ever ready. For example, I only work two days a week now. My husband and I made the decision to reduce my hours for several reasons, but mainly to help the cash flow at work. Also, my kids haven’t been around since school let out the first week of June. Neither of these happened because I turned thirty, but because I am thirty I like these new changes!!! Ok, so I didn’t have to live another year longer to enjoy my abundance of free time. But my mental state has helped me to revel in it.

That brings up the things that have changed since that dreaded day back in May. I do feel older thus I am trying to work out more constantly. I was doing good for a while, but some friends from out of state came to visit and I am just now starting to get back into the swing of my new routine. Now that I am thirty I am also more aware of my actions and how they relate to my future and other people’s feelings. I want the next 30 years to be one of joyous memories not only for me but for those around me. I really am trying to change my bitchy attitude, one aggravating moment at a time. Goosefraba, damn it!

All in all, turning 30 has been a pleasant experience. With my new found free time I am keeping the house cleaner, working out and dieting, staying on top of our finances better, and finally learning how to use my camera and Photoshop Elements. Here are a few photos I have been jacking with recently:

ImageImageImage

 

I know, I have a long way to go. But one day at a time is all anyone can ever manage.

I’ve also continued my reflection on my life so far and what I want from it going forward. I realized, just the other day, that I still feel like I am searching for something. I have no idea what it is or why I would still be looking for something. I mean I have all that I have ever wanted (minus a bazillion dollars in the bank), yet I do not fill fulfilled. I am living the American dream  so what gives? Am I destined to search forever? Is that just how life is? Are we all going through life like this? Surely not. I mean I see people all the time who seem satisfied and content. Perhaps this feeling of longing is a private issue so no one shares that info with others, thus me missing the fact that they are like me? So many questions, so few answers. Maybe I should have been a philosopher. They ask questions like this all the time and have very few answers themselves. 😉

THERE IS LIFE AFTER 30, THANK GOODNESS!

I’m a parent for real!

Soooo, this past weekend was an eye opener of sorts or me. I had a couple “oh-my-gosh-I’m-a-mom” moments. First, on Friday my youngest son had an art show to attend. It was really neat, actually. The teacher had it set up like a real art gallery showing with art work displayed, music from the school jazz band, and even snacks! I was very proud standing next to my baby. His Dad and I talked about how weird it was to have teenage children when we are just barely 30 (I’m still 29 for a few more weeks). As his father and I visit my eldest son comes and taps me on my shoulder. I turn around and there he is with this beautiful young lady by his side. He introduces me to her and I am sure the look on my face was priceless. It went from who is this chick? To oh, her! I finally get to meet her. This girl has been a good friend of his for a few years now, but he wants to date her. He is stuck in the friend zone, poor guy. So I start asking her general questions like if she had art work in the show and she was so polite and kept calling me ma’am. My youngest son’s father started to crack a smile and pointed out the ma’am reference. I told her she really didn’t need to call me ma’am. So she replied, “ok, ma’am.” Really?!?! So there I was in the middle of an 8th grade art show having my “oh-my-gosh-I’m-a-mom” moment, ex laughing at me, oldest son wanting to run from me, and (thankfully) the youngest son talking to folks about his art work. I am pretty sure the room started to spin but I am not sure I remember the rest of the evening.

Then came Sunday……

Sundays will never be the same for me……. EVER!

On Sunday my youngest son calls to start coordinating his returning home from his Dad’s. He isn’t good at being the middle man on phone conversations so he hands the phone to his Dad. We iron the details and I am about to hang up when he tells me he has something else he wanted to “just let me know.” My ex and I get along fine so I was sure it wasn’t anything we would argue about so I tell him to go ahead. He informs me that he had busted my baby with porn. SAY WHAT? He explains the whole story to me and I don’t say anything. He repeats it again, two more times, and all I can say is, “ok, got it.” I hang up the phone and look at my husband and oldest son for a second and then return to trying to teach myself to knit. They both ask what is up and I just tell them I’ll tell ya later. When I get to the meeting point to switch off my son, his father apologized profusely for just rambling on. I tell him no need, I was just in shock and couldn’t form a sentence. I am sure I didn’t do a good job of explaining myself, nor am I doing the story justice on here, but I am still in shock. I mean I knew it was coming, but a parent is never really ready. On the way home my son and I talked about it. He says it is easier to talk to me about this stuff, which made me feel good. He says I have a way of making an embarrassing situation laughable. Score one for Mom! I tried to give him some advice on the situation, as best I could. We will see how it goes.

On a side note, I seemed to have picked up knitting at the right time. I associate knitting with older folks and originally thought I would look ridiculous knitting. I don’t think that anymore, or maybe I have come to terms with getting older? Heck I don’t know. All I do know is that my kids are growing up and I should start acting like an old lady with grown up kids.

 

Augh! Never did I think I would have things like this happen to me when I am only 29!!!! Can I go back to my 21st birthday and just hit the repeat button? Please, I promise I’ll be a good girl.

My next 30 years…

So my Dirty-30 birthday is fast approaching. Yeah, I am totally thrilled…. let me just tell you.

After spending a fantastic week on the beach for my bestie’s 30th I started to do a little life-reflecting. I started asking myself questions like, am I where I wanted to be at this point in life? As always the answer is, I dunno. I have asked myself where am I headed, and I dunno that either! Of course the usual stuff comes to mind, like I want my kids to grow up and be functional adults. I want my husband’s business to succeed. I am sure I will be dedicated to those two tasks for the next several years. However, I have no direction outside of that. You see, these I dunno answers aren’t new to me. That is because I really had no plans past getting to the age of 21. And even though I ask myself every year if I am where I wanted to be, I still give no thought as to what the future has in store for me. In fact I try not to make any plans past the coming weekend. I sound like I really have it together, don’t I?

I want to change this little fact about myself, starting now! In order to do this I feel that I should first make sure I have come to terms with my past and have a clear vision of where I have been.

So, to make sure I have a good grasp on my past I list what I see as milestones in my frist 29 years. I will start at the age of 18 since that is when life really starts to come at you fast. Plus learning to walk, talk and all that jazz is pretty standard.

  • Graduated High School – wasn’t sure that would actually happen at one point.
  • Graduated College – the first in my family to do so.
  • Moved out on my own – at the age of 20 and I haven’t had to move back in so far!!!
  • Turned 21 – I really didn’t drink but a handful of times before I become of age. Promise.
  • Purchased first motorcycle at age 24.
  • 7/7/08 – Tyler Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.
  • Married at age 25
  • Purchased first house at age 26.
  • Helped Husband start his first business at age 27.
  • Promoted to Manager at my day job at age 27.
  • Quit day job to work with Huband less-than-full time at age 29.
  • Took my first international trip at age 29.

Not too shabby, considering! Ok, so now I know that I have been sucesful this past decade by accomplishing goals I set as a child. Being the first in my family to graduate college was a goal of mine since middle school. Obviously in my formative years I was capable of making decision for my future. Why can’t I do that now? Why were buying a house and starting a business not part of a plan? Well, now that I think about it, those might have been “on a whim” ideas but they did require plotting and planning. We saved for about six months to buy our house. Starting a business never happens over night. My husband did act on his idea almost immediately, we did have to plan certain things out. We had to rearrange quite a bit to make that happen and are still doing so two years later.

See I knew this list idea would help me! I know now that I do actually plan things out. So maybe my problem is that I just don’t have a life plan. But since I am in the listing mood, how about I still start my “Next 30 Years” list. I don’t want to call it a bucket list because that makes me feel like I am giving in to the fact that we all die at some point. I am still too young to worry about death, even though I know it is inevitable. Next 30 Years sound less grim. So here goes nothing.

My Next 30 Years – TO DO

  • Visit all note-worthy dance halls and honkey tonks in Texas. Maybe even a few less note-worthy joints too.
  • Go to see at least one concert on the last leg of George Strait’s final tour.
  • Visit Australia
  • Take my boys to see:
    • The Grand Canyon
    • Snow in Montana
    • The Ocean
  • Watch my boys grown into men – and hopefully graduate high school and maybe college (and Mom always has hope)
  • Go parasailing
  • Watch the sun set and see the green flash at sunset
  • Visit something related to Pricness Diana
  • MEET GEORGE STRAIT – there goes that hope again 😉
  • Have my youngest son give me away at my wedding
  • See a real cure for Diabetes

I think this is a good start! How about you, do you have a “bucket list”?