Monday, January 31, 2011

Life lessons from unlikely places

candles


Some people find comfort in church or enlightenment from a weekend retreat. I found both on the toilet. Well, not to be crass or anything, but I was peeing after a prenatal yoga class (as most pregnant women tend to do every hour on the hour or so it would seem), and as I sat down to get on with my business, posted right at eye level in front of me was this paper that read: Regina Brett's 45 life lessons and 5 to grow on. With nothing else better to do I started reading (because I’m a multi-tasker extraordinaire like that), and I was hooked.

It’s been around for awhile apparently but since it was my first encounter with it, I devoured every word. With my surging pregnancy hormones and the big life changes looming on the horizon, this list was a panacea to my soul. And it’s now up on a wall somewhere in my house. Not so much a mantra but more like a reminder, if you will, for those days that I feel lost. And I’ve had many of those lately. So thank you Regina Brett, for sharing this with us, and thank you universe, for making my bladder full that day so I that this list appeared to me when I needed it the most.

 

Regina Brett's 45 life lessons and 5 to grow on.

To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me.

It is the most-requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolls over to 50 this week, so here's an update:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.

16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.

17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.

18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.

19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Overprepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this matter?"

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

36. Growing old beats the alternative - dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.

38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

41. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

42. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

45. The best is yet to come.

46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

48. If you don't ask, you don't get.

49. Yield.

50. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.


Some time last year, I’d recounted the lessons I’ve amassed along the way, but after reading Regina’s, I know now that I have so much more to learn. While it’s going to take time for some of them to truly sink in, for now, I know this with absolute certainty: For all that the universe has thrown my way, I think that’s its way of being cruel to be kind me. I am still grateful for this life. This gift. And all the miracles that contain within it – especially my family.

 

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Where do you go for your life lessons? Any unlikely places? Were there anything on the list that spoke most to you? Care to add to the list above from your own life’s lessons?

Source: http://blog.cleveland.com/pdextra/2007/09/regina_bretts_45_life_lessons.html

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My mid-pregnancy crisis (a.k.a. The Butt Post)

3485128248_393a46f702

I am just past the midpoint of my pregnancy, and while the second trimester is my favorite, I am also at the juncture where my boobs and belly protrude at about the same distance from my body, which makes me look like I have a mass of blob hanging in front of me. I have to say, the boobs to belly ratio of 1:1 is rather unattractive on me so no matter how I dress, I feel frumpy.

Enter mid-pregnancy crisis. Some people buy a Porsche (or if it were me, an Audi R8); some people buy a speedboat to lift their spirits during a midlife crisis. What do I do at the midpoint of my pregnancy? I buy jeggings. To lift my butt. Yes, jeggings. For the uninitiated, it’s basically jeans + leggings, and thus a ridiculously awful sounding term is born. I didn’t mean to purchase it - I was in search for maternity skinny jeans to replace my pre-pregnancy one that I’ve come to depend on during winter months to fit effortlessly and snugly into my boots as I navigate the snow and salt ubiquitous in these parts. When I happily went home with one that I liked, I finally saw the words “jeggings” printed on the receipt. Oh no, I didn’t! That word makes my face twitch. But that doesn’t mean I won’t wear it.

You see, as many of you may know, maternity gear is not always (ever?) flattering. When you depend on spandex to keep your pants up, chances are they won’t stay put as obediently as you’d like. The stretch factor, while nice to accommodate a growing belly, also means it loses its elasticity at the wrong moments and suddenly you find your pants sagging, and along with it, your butt. OK fine, my butt.

Now, I don’t exactly have the bodacious bod of one blessed with an hour-glass figure. No little waist and bootylicious hips for me to keep figure-hugging garments nicely in their place, but at least before this, my jeans fit well enough to show a little curvature around my butt. And that appeased my vanity - it’s better than nothing - and since My Guy’s a butt guy, I’d like to think that there’s something in it for him too. (Although, sometimes I wish he was a boob guy – I’m a little luckier in that department.)

So now, back to these jeggings. They fit me so well that they look painted on, and I’m afraid I might never be able to get them off me again. Ever. But at least my butt’s perky, which I hope will distract people from that mass in front. That is, until the belly expands and I look properly pregnant. I know I’m supposed to feel proud of this body that’s growing a baby, and yada yada yada, but come on, doesn’t everyone go through an awkward teen phase where body parts were unwieldy and out of place? Well, it wasn’t pretty then and it sure isn’t pretty now either.

Yes, I realize this post is dedicated to my butt, and I’ve unabashedly shown you my very vain, rather shallow side. What can I say? I’m multi-faceted (and shameless) that way. And imperfect. And human. The same person who worries about her family’s health and her kid’s future does sometimes obsess over something as superficial as the way she looks. But I’d like to think that these quirks don’t define me; they’re just a part of me.

Just be glad I didn’t include a Before and After picture of my behind pre and post jeggings - something I was contemplating but decided against at the last minute.

You’re welcome.

 

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Do you worry about your appearance? Or do you have any other obsession that you’re brave enough to own up to here?  Do you own a pair of jeggings? If so, how do you get them off you?!

 

Image Source: Smoking_Butts by Pro-Zak

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Dodo in my life

Little Miss and I enjoyed a mother-daughter weekend together; My Guy was with his friends shooting and killing people and blowing things up - on the computer that is. He left on Friday for the burbs, where a dozen guys gather in a house with their computers to flex their cyber muscles - ones most of them don’t have in real life because they spend most of their time “working out” at the computer. I’m not complaining;  I’m usually drawn to the geek physique so it’s all good.

Exploritorium

I spent Saturday at the Exploritorium with Little Miss and we stopped by at one of my favorite Indian restaurants for some dosai on our way home. I’d like to call it a ladies’ luncheon, especially since she (amazingly) behaved just like one. Unlike most days, she was possessed by the spirit of the Terrific Two, with Terrible Two only checking in for a couple of minutes on very few occasions. I definitely lucked out. Come to think of it, I should’ve played the lottery.


DosaiLunchCollage

 

On Sunday, we spent the morning at a playdate with two of her other friends and their parents. While the kids took turns to exercise their divine right to demand attention, toys, food and every need possible, the adults managed conversations and a lovely potluck brunch among ourselves. Then it was time for nap at our house before venturing to the burbs to get My Guy. While the reunion with daddy was a joyous one, I was a little disappointed that this weekend was already over.

As much as I adored the special time with my daughter, I couldn’t help but reflect on the time I had to myself after Little Miss went to bed the last two evenings. Apart from the freedom to leave the house, the choice was completely mine to do as I pleased, and so I indulged in extremes.

I sat through a marathon of the TV series, Californication, for some mindless entertainment, a show that’s been eluding me before this due to time constraints. Then there was the marathon writing and the marathon cooking. And, possibly my favorite part, marathon reading. All of which I did without any preset limitations (a.k.a. ignoring laundry). I wrote as much as my carpal tunnel would allow, I read until my eyelids could no longer function, and I cooked blissfully uninterrupted in the kitchen. As long as Little Miss was asleep, the house was quiet, and the peace it afforded me rejuvenated my soul.

When I look at my now protruding baby belly and think ahead to when Thumper gets here, I know this me time will be scarce. My mom will be arriving at the end of March to live with us so we’ll very soon explode from a family of three to a family of five. That also means there will always be something to do, someone to talk to (whether I want to or not), some place to be, some need to meet. Since there won’t be a mansion in our future, trying to find a quiet refuge and serenity in my own home may just go the way of the Dodo. And that’s just one of the many changes we will face as we morph into this new family.

As I write this, my daughter and the pets are in deep slumber while My Guy tries to catch up on the sleep he missed over the weekend himself. The only sounds I hear are the steady hum of the heat blowing through the vents and the uncertain tapping on the keyboard of someone equally uncertain of her future.

 

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What are some of your favorite me-time indulgences? Is there a part of your house that you can escape to for some time to yourself? How do you deal with major changes in your life? Do you need quiet time to process or do you meet the challenges in full speed and head on?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mars and Venus in the house

In case you’re wondering (and even if you’re not) this is the scene in our house on weekdays in the time between picking Little Miss up from preschool and her bedtime two hours later:

I cook and feed Little Miss while she catches up on that day’s Sesame Street, and then I try to engage her in educational toys like puzzles and games that teach her ABCs, numbers, shapes or colors, sing songs or pretend to eat the eggs and ketchup that she likes to cook for me in her play kitchen. There are smiles, hugs and the occasional giggle interrupted by the all-too-familiar toddler outbursts when I use a green bowl instead of pink for her blueberries, or if a puzzle piece doesn’t immediately fall into place. You know, the usual two-year-old theatrics.

When her dad gets home in the half hour or so before her bedtime, she goes into a frenzy. She throws her head back and laughs uncontrollably as he tosses her around like pizza dough. They spin, she somersaults, he twists and bounces her, and her limbs are contorted a myriad ways. While I enjoy a house filled with her laughter, I cringe each time I see an arm bend in Cirque du Soleil proportions. I throw in the occasional caution but I bite my tongue for the most part because she really is having a wonderful time as she calls out to me proudly, “Look mommy, I’m upside down! Look mommy I’m doing a somersault!”  I feign my enthusiasm as the cautious mommy in me balks at her balancing precariously on her head.

Tossed


Most of the time, because of their sheer delight in each other’s company, I just look away and hope for the best. I know he’s not rough with her, but it’s extremely physical play nonetheless. Naturally, the bumps and bruises find their way to her and the screaming toddler runs to me for comfort. Once she’s smiling again, she gleefully runs back to him for round two (or three) as if nothing ever happened. Toddler amnesia is funny and convenient that way.  

Little Miss does occasionally detect my reservations, so when she’s in the midst of her acrobatics, she sweetly assures me, “Mommy, I becarefully,”  combining the words she probably most often hears from me in the form of “be careful!” and  “please do it carefully!” Man, when did I become such a mom?!

I read that mothers are nurturers while fathers are more like playmates (on top of being providers), and it’s clearly evident in our house even though we hadn’t planned it that way. I never thought myself as a girlie girl or a mom’s mom but somehow our daughter has shaped our respective roles with her, and inadvertently, our gender. We became the typical mommy cautious and daddy fun family. Bummer. And here I thought I would be the cool parent...

Still, it’s a comforting fact that kids actually do benefit greatly from different parenting styles. As long as the parents share the same philosophy, apparently how we exert our influence is less of a consequence. (Don’t you love it when research and experts validate your life?)

Sometimes I do wish I have it more in me to just let loose and let be, not having to worry about the checklists as much: Balanced diet on her dinner plate? Personal interaction? Educational fun? Songs? Clean diaper? Check check check check and check. It would be nice if she’d laugh with abandon when I’m around too, not just when daddy’s here.

But then again, in our two hours together, I’m already trying to jam-pack all that I’ve missed as a parent when I’m away from her, perhaps it’s OK that My Guy, the other half of our parenting equation, takes on the roles and responsibilities I find difficult to fit in. We’re a team after all - he does the bath and bed routines - and I can’t be everything to her, nor should I hope to be.

Just wish I was the one with the cool gig…


Caught

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Do you find that you and your spouse/partner play definitive roles with the kids too? If so, who’s the fun one?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Thumbs up to the writer of "Why Chinese Mothers are Superior"

512px-Thumbs_up_by_Wakalani I read the article, Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior,  and thought to myself, wow, I’m half Chinese and even I don’t aspire to become half the mother the author, Amy Chua, describes herself to be. The article hit many, many nerves and the next thing you know, there are almost  7,000 comments and probably just as many rebuttals out there via blog posts and articles.

The people were in an uproar about the regimented life of Chua’s daughter’s and Chua’s assertions that kids with strict Chinese mothers (or anyone who subscribes to a similar philosophy) are far more successful when compared to that of the more permissive Western parents, where kids’ happiness are valued above success (naturally, her view of “success” and that of the Western parents are also separated by a chasm). She doesn’t just claim her methods superior, she unabashedly points out the inferiority of parenting models upheld in the West.

I raised my eyebrows quite a few times as I was reading what she put her girls through (no playdates, sleepovers, TV, computers, grades less than A, etc.), and while I was appalled for the most part, after reading the byline of the article, it made sense to me. No, not her methods, but why this article was on the Wall Street Journal in the first place. It says, “... This essay is excerpted from "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" by Amy Chua, to be published Tuesday...”

Later, I heard an interview with her on NPR and the interviewer explained that even though the book begins with her life with the girls as depicted in the excerpt, it does take on a different turn when she comes to a realization in the end. Now, of course they didn’t divulge completely what it was that she realized (after all, they’re hoping we’ll find out by reading the book) but we can assume that the excerpt was picked because it was the most controversial part of the memoir. It’s the kind of prose that gets under people’s skin, so naturally it began to spread like wildfire – blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc. - and along with it, the general “can you believe this woman?” opinion.

At first I thought, man, thank goodness my mother’s Indian. Plus, even though my dad’s Chinese, I’m just not Chinese enough to do this to my own kids, but I also reserved judgment on this woman because I know what being the product of a culture does. Sometimes you tend to perpetuate beliefs and philosophies that you yourself have witnessed or experienced. It’s the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mindset. I do feel bad for her daughters, but parenting styles are like the snowflake - no one is exactly alike so I really don’t know if what I plan to do with my own children someday will be better or worse for them compared to the choices she made as a parent herself.

However, even though I can’t get behind her methods, I had to give it to her (or her PR manager) that this was a brilliant move. Bad publicity is still publicity. She may be vilified by fellow parents, academicians (she herself is a Yale professor), experts and the media, but as the NPR interviewer said, people are reading and talking about this book in every corner of the country. Sounds like a damn good PR plan to me.

Amy Chua’s on NPR, for crying out loud! And this was all because she chose the part of her memoir that she knew would piss the biggest part of the population - both the Western parents and Chinese mothers who do not share her perspective and who are upset that she has upheld the stereotype that they have worked hard to overcome themselves. As a result, people buy her memoir perhaps in search of her redeeming qualities, a happy ending or just to find further evidence to demonize her. And guess who wins in the end? 

She may have to deal with the vitriol that the excerpt left in its wake but she still had her five minutes of fame. The backlash is just a small price to pay, and she can afford it, with all the money in her pocket from the sale of her book. Her parenting skills may leave much to be desired, but her shrewd business mind? Now that I can get behind.

 

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What did you think about the article when you read it? Are you a Western parent? Do you think her memoir will take a drastic turn at the end that would help her realize her “errors”? Are you planning on reading it? If so, will you tell me how it ends?

 

Image Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Thumbs_up_by_Wakalani.jpg

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Is it a girl? Is it a boy?

When the moment of truth arrived, I have to say, I wasn’t prepared for it. I was nervous all day, thinking about the ultrasound. Is it a girl? Is it a boy? Do I want a girl? Do I want a boy? I committed to neither because I knew both would be great in their own way. However, when the technician finally pointed out the missing “boy parts” between the legs, I admit that my heart did sink a little. Huh. Another girl.

Although I was disappointed in my own reaction, I immediately processed and understood my reservations. It would’ve been nice to have “the complete set” – one girl, one boy. And because we aren’t planning on having another, I realized then that I would never know what it’s like to be a mother to a son. The Asian in me (and not always the most rational part of me) also felt bad for not being able “to give My Guy a son” since it’s such a big part of my culture to not just bear children but to bear sons. Thankfully, he didn’t feel the same.

He was the first to happily post a picture of the ultrasound on Facebook to announce that it was in fact a she. I was relieved that My Guy was happy with the news. Somehow I thought he would’ve been happier with a boy, and it took some convincing for me to believe otherwise. He also reminded me of what that meant for our daughter, who really wanted a baby sister. She got her wish!

When I posted my own announcement on Facebook, there were many happy cheers, but what moved me was when a couple of people reached out to me specifically to let me know how great they thought it was for Little Miss to have a sister because of their own wonderful relationships with theirs. It also made me think of my mom’s tight-knit bond with her sister. That was when I remembered why I wanted to have another baby in the first place. It was never for me. It was for Little Miss.

As an only child myself, even though I enjoyed being the center of attention growing up, I also know what it’s like to have to solely shoulder the expectations, hopes and responsibilities of my family. Sometimes, it can be burdensome for one person, and I didn’t want that for my daughter. Not only does she deserve a sibling who could help her bear the weight, but having a sister could quite possibly mean a lifetime of best friendship. Of course, I’m not so naive as to think that all sisters become buddies as there are horror stories out there. But there are always horror stories, whether it’s with one child, two or ten, girl or boy so I’m going to go with the positive. It’s the best route with which to begin don’t you think?

I could see Little Miss and Thumper (that’s what we call her from all the restless kicking in the womb) exchanging knowing glances and furtive smiles with one another across the dining table. I could see them confiding in each other. I could see them sharing boy secrets during their girl talks. I could see them fighting and making up and fighting and making up but they would still always be there for one another. All of these I desperately wanted for myself when I was growing up but didn’t have. And now Little Miss just might, which warms my heart. When I chose to see all of that, my initial feelings of apprehension vanished.

Instead, I became excited for them and for us as parents. We’re going to have two girls! Our girls. I like the sound of that. They will be the Little Misses of my stories. More importantly, together, they will weave stories of their own sisterhood. And I choose to believe that it’ll be wonderful.

So, yes, I’m having another girl, and I can honestly say that I am happy. Really happy.

 

SmileyAnother one like this? Why, yes, please!

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Do you have a close relationship with a sibling? What is it like? If you’re a parent, what’s your experience with your kids? What were your initial feelings and hopes versus your now reality?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Holiday Highlights

2011. Can’t believe we’re finally here. It always seems like the year traipses along normally until around the time of Halloween/Thanksgiving and everything just goes into warp speed after that. You’re left with little room to breathe or think, trying to catch up with friends, family, cooking, baking, shopping, etc. etc. etc. Sure, there are people who can breeze through the holidays effortlessly with pearls on their neck and perfectly coiffed hair the entire time. The fact that I’ve been MIA on my own blog this past couple of weeks is proof that I’m not one of them – I’m lucky I have any hair left at the end!

Yet here I am. Breathing normally again. At last. Instead of a play-by-play (you’re welcome) I’m going to cheat and just dive into the highlights. After all, this blog is for Little Miss (and the future Little Someone); she probably wants to know what her two-year-old self did for the holidays (apart from her usual toddler tantrums that is).

P.S. Please forgive the mostly impromptu camera phone pics.

Highlight 1: Holiday haircut
My Guy started it. Then it was my turn. When Little Miss saw that we both went to auntie Liz (our family stylist and friend), she demanded, “I need a haircut too! I want to go to Auntie Liz.” And that’s what she got. She sat by herself and looked up, down, left and right as requested.. Wish she could be this obedient with me on normal days. Even the hairdryer, which usually elicited a complaint - “it’s too loud mommy” - whenever I used it at home, didn’t faze her this time. I have to say, she quite enjoyed it. And so did we.


BlowDry

hair-stylin’

Pho

post haircut dinner – Vietnamese pho (also Little Miss’ favorite noodles!)


Highlight 2: Playing dress up

We don’t always get the chance to get gussied up for a night at the museum (no, not like the dizzying Ben Stiller movie. Ours was a little more subdued - more cocktails (for him since I’m pregnant) and lobster (for me); less animated figures running amok, messing with our hair. OK, my hair) so it was a nice to step into the night in our better-than-Sunday best for a company holiday party at the Modern Wing of the Art Institute.

holidayparty

Highlight 3: Christmas magic

This is Little Miss’ third Christmas but the first that truly meant anything to her. She was involved in the buying and trimming of our tree, which made a long process even more arduous as we wrestled ornaments and lights out of her hands. But once the tree was up and lit, so were her eyes, and the spirit of the season became palpable on her impish (angelic would be a stretch) face.


TreeTrimming

She was enthralled every time we drove past homes adorned in twinkling lights, resulting in too-frequent requests of “Mommy more Kissmas lights?” which meant taking the long way home or driving around our neighborhood for five additional minutes in search of lights and magic. If there was a rise in global warming in December, I’m sorry. Blame my daughter’s zeal.

Naturally, the season wouldn’t be complete without Christmas music. Thank you 93.9 FM for playing Christmas music all day and night because that’s all Little Miss would ever request (apart from Black Keys, Hot Chip and White Stripes). The jingling bells and cheerful chorus are a quick cure to irritable toddler syndrome (ITS). It’s quite uncanny.

All of the excitement of course culminated on Christmas day, spent with close friends who live 2.5 hours away in Small Town, USA. It was also the whitest Christmas I’ve ever seen!

winterwonderland

With a ten-year-old, eight-year-old and two two-year olds who believe in Santa, Christmas took on a completely new dimension for me. It struck me that, together with my friends, we were the only adults there who were responsible for creating the joy and illusion for these kids who really, really wanted to believe in the magic of the season. And for once, this holiday was no longer about me. It was ALL about them. And I have to say, I prefer it that way.

My favorite part of Christmas morning was watching my daughter beam at the sight of presents and exclaiming with each and every gift that she gingerly opened, “Look mommy! Look!” although her “look” sounded more like Darth Vader’s “Luke” (as in “I am your father”), only far less creepy and exponentially more adorable.

Presents

Highlight 4: Musselmania
I guess it wasn’t a fluke - our girl really does love mussels. In fact, we ordered it as an appetizer for us to share but she cleaned the plate mostly by herself. I would complain but I suppose there are worse things than a greedy two-year-old devouring mussels.

musselmaniayum yum chomp chomp 

Highlight 5: New Year’s eve
Our New Year’s eve by most adults’ standards was pretty pathetic. My Guy was out babysitting for a family in our babysitting co-op (we figured just because we don’t have exciting plans doesn’t mean some other parents with a life should have to stay home too) so when the clock struck midnight, I was actually too busy brushing my teeth while my daughter slumbered in our oh-so-quiet house to notice.

However, it didn’t bother me because we technically rang in the New Year earlier that evening, when we went to Navy Pier (a big tourist attraction on the lake, meaning large crowds – we’re crazy, I know) for dinner and a visit to the Winter Wonderfest where my daughter threw foam “snowballs” at other kids, jumped precariously in a bouncy house, rode around on a train and a carousel, and indulged in gelato and funnel cake. Sugar is the quintessential ingredient to any celebration after all.

wonderfest

The rides and sugar were followed by fireworks at 8:15 (for families like us with kids who can’t stay up till midnight), which was the main reason we dragged ourselves there. Bundled in her fall jacket (thanks to a rare and balmy 50-degree weather) our daughter whispered “fireworks go boom” in our ear and occasionally pointed out the colors that erupted in the sky. We hugged and kissed our new year greetings after the finale and that, ladies and gentleman, was how we heralded the arrival of 2011. Only a few hours early. I’m sure it was midnight somewhere in this world at that time, like some marine life in the Atlantic, so I don’t think we were that far off. Just celebrating (and secretly pledging solidarity) with a different species is all…

carousel 

Highlight 6: Birthday surprise!
It took a month to plan but I did it – he was surprised!

Surprise what’s all this?

I booked one of my favorite concert venues in the city, hired a live band and invited My Guy’s friends/coworkers on the sly, hoping that my own big mouth wouldn’t give it a way the entire time the planning took place. I have to admit, putting the details together was easier than trying to keep it from him, since I seem to always want to tell him everything. I’m surprised (and so was he) that it didn’t slip and that the plan worked without a hitch.

My Guy got to sing on stage (who wouldn’t want to be rockstar for a day/five minutes?) and I got to dance my heart out – something I love but haven’t been doing in awhile.

rockstar rockstar dreams do come true…even if it’s only for a night

We may have stayed home on New Year’s eve, but that night, we partied long and hard enough to make up for it. And it showed the next day, when we both thought, “we’re too old for this” as we lethargically left for work that dreaded Monday morning - one with a massive hangover, the other with aches in long forgotten muscles. But if you ask me, I’d do it all again. It was totally worth it. And I don’t mean the party, although that was certainly awesome (if I do say so myself – ahem). I mean the birthday boy, sorry, birthday man. Old habits, ya know?


Honestly, the holidays weren’t all peaches and roses, but since this post is titled highlights and not lowlights, I think it’s OK to leave the “other stuff” out. Besides, they hit you no matter what, so who wants to dwell on the negative anyway? I say let the new year begin with roses, peaches, sunshine and lollipops.

And lots and lots of love. Some money would be nice too. Just sayin’.

Happy 2011 my friends!

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How was your holiday season? What were your highlights?

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