Monday, December 20, 2010


When you become a military family, you get used to the fact that your service member likely will not be home for the holidays. Well, I guess you are SUPPOSED to get used to it, anyway.

And so it was for me this Christmas. I had resigned myself a long time ago to the fact that LAST Christmas was the last with both of my chicks in the nest for a while.

But on Saturday December 9th, we received word that Blake would indeed be coming home for 3 weeks. He arrived 36 hours later.

That's another thing you get used to with this military stuff - things happen quickly. Or slowly. Or not at all. You just learn to "hurry up and wait." I learned that with my Army sergeant brother a long time ago.

We are fortunate that Blake was assigned to work in the recruiting office here in town, meaning his time at home does not count against his leave time. We are also fortunate that he is great friends with his recruiter and we would hardly call what they are conditions. I daresay they are having a little bit of fun.

But if you ask me, they deserve it. Fresh out of boot camp and combat training, Blake deserves to kick back a little. A two time Iraq combat veteran who fought in Fallujah, his recruiter deserves an easy day here and there too. Anybody disagree?


And Me? Well, I don't know what I've done to deserve having both of my children home this Christmas. But I'm not going to question it.

My girl. My boy. Home this year. I don't know what next year will bring but for now our family of four is together for the holidays.

And as the sleet hits our windows right now, our house feels amazingly warm.

*Blake and his recruiter in their dress blues - heading out to work
the Toys for Tots campaign. Gotta love a man in uniform.*

Thursday, December 16, 2010



I am really tired of parents giving up responsibility for their own children.

That is why we have lots (and I mean LOTS) of young adults running around refusing to take responsibility for their own bad behavior.

If you go to this website, it will lead you to an article about a mother who is suing McDonald's for including toys in their Happy Meals. She claims you can only tell a child NO so many times before you have to give in and with McDonald's getting into her kids' heads, it's just too hard.

I don't....
It's just that.....


Here's what I'm sick of. I am sick of people who are afraid of their children. I am sick o f people who will not tell their children NO because they don't want to make them mad.

Here's what I know. It's real easy to tell your kids NO and the more you do it, the easier it becomes. Here's what else I know. It make s kids mad when you tell them NO.

But they get over it. Really. They do. They have to get over it at least long enough to ask you for the next Happy Meal toy.

child: Can we go to McDonald's and get a Happy Meal? I want that new Shrek Toy.
parent: No. Now eat your carrots.
child: UH...why?
parent: I don't have to tell you why.
child: THAT'S NOT FAIR!!!
parent: go to your room. Now daddy gets your dessert.

Period. Done. That's all she wrote. Repeat scene the next day. And the next and the next.

The only way I hope this lawsuit sees the inside of a court room is if it's in front of Judge Judy.

Do you think I'm Stupid? Because I'm not. You, Madam, are STOOO-PID. Now learn to tell your children NO. Ruling for the Golden Arches....

But since frivolous lawsuits tend to be the fad in our country I thought I might cash in on said fad:

1. I intend to sue Duncan Hines AND Betty Crocker because there is no warning on their brownie mixes telling me that eating a whole pan of said baked good will indeed make one fat.

2. I intend to sue all blue jean manufacturers because the new popular SKINNY jeans do not live up to their name. They do not make me skinny.

3. I intend to sue Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Atkins, Nutrisystem and grapefruits. None of their diets work for me.

4. I intend to sue Coach brand purses and leather goods. My daughter wants a Coach purse and, although she doesn't whine and nag me about getting one, I shouldn't have to tell her NO. They should stop making purses.

5. Ditto with the iphone.

6. I intend to sue UGG boots. I went years without buying myself a pair because, frankly, they are not real cute. This year I bought some and they are the warmest, coziest thing to happen to my feet since the womb. UGG should somehow have let me know what I was missing. Three years of my life I will never get back. Three years of cold feet. They should pay.

7. And finally I think I'll sue daylight savings time. That whole "move the clock up and back" thing just bugs me.

Since it is evidently okay to give up self control, accountability and responsibility; who would you sue?

Thursday, December 09, 2010



-make extensive shopping list for gifts: your parents, his parents, teachers, Sunday school teachers, coaches, neighbors, his secretaries, classmates...oh and your own kids

-shop for said gifts, wrap gifts, hide gifts....forget where you hid gifts. Buy more. Find first gifts in back of closet in March

- make extensive shopping list for food/parties/meals - family party #1, family party #2, Christmas dinner, classroom treats, office treats.....

-shop for perfect family photo clothing

-insist on final approval for husband's photo outfit...

-schedule family Christmas photo - plead, plead, plead with children to smile or at the very least IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS GOOD AND HOLY - STOP CRYING!!!

-mail Christmas cards and family photos

-decorate tree, set out all the little doo-dahs that make your children smile. Hang stockings.

- wrap presents

-send correct presents with appropriate family member to school, office, church....

-help with class parties.

-Take Tylenol (lots)

-make sure children see Santa Claus

-put 257 miles on car looking for whatever toy your child (and every other child) can't live without this year

- spend all evening before each party cooking, baking, preparing food that you won't get to eat

-bake cookies

-bake more cookies

-gain 7 pounds in 1 month

-lie awake at night wondering what gift you forgot to buy

-try, try, try to hang on to the Christmas spirit despite that fact that you are nearly in a coma

-promise yourself that next year you will make things easier on yourself.


-get approval from wife on photo outfit. Never argue.

-smile for photo

-enter mall at 4:00 pm on December 24th. Forget wife's size and favorite color. Buy gifts anyway.

-assemble toys until 2:00 am

-wake up on Christmas and play with children while telling wife how good all that cooking smells


-turn on football games

-unsnap pants and fall asleep on couch.

-tell yourself how relaxing the holidays are