Phew…is anybody else tired?

I’m exhausted. Like, seriously pooped. I’m pretty sure my feet are about ready to pop off my ankle bones. They’re propped up and pulsating Fred Flintstone-style from all the running around I’ve done over the past few days. It’s been a very busy weekend (for everyone, I know) but since it’s my blog I get to whine about how busy it’s been for me.We’ve had Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and we hosted a belated Thanksgiving on Sunday with the hubby’s side.

I previouslyposted about my Black Friday plans brought on by my obvious bout of temporary insanity. We were supposed to hit the local Toys ‘R Us at midnight on Friday. Initially I was a little apprehensive about waiting up until midnight to shop. Back in the day, in my younger and wilder days, we would wait until midnight to even go out to the bars. Nothing was happening before midnight. It was like the witching hour. The point in time where inhibitions were let go and fun was to be had.

God…what happened?

I practically had to stick toothpicks in my eyes to stay awake. I was checking email, polishing silver for Thanksgiving withthe hubby’s side that Sunday, mopping the floor, doing situps (I have no idea where this came from) and plucking my (sparse) eyebrows all the while trying to keep myself busy enough so that I wouldn’t fall asleep on the couch. It was like knowing I couldn’t go crawl into bed was making me sleepier! I would sashay past the bedroom door glancing at the bed, wishing I was in it. Jer was still awake working on his website and I would ask him, “Why aren’t you in bed?”

“Because I’m not tired.”

“What do you mean you’re not tired? It’s super late.”

“It’s 9:30 Mindy.”

Well, I’ll be danged. Father Time had slowed to a crawl just to tick me off. He knew that I wasn’t exactly comfortable with the idea of midnight shopping so he thought he would “stick it to me” bydragging the whole thing out. Just like a man.

So 11:45p.m. finally got here and I suddenly perked up. I actually got excited. It was like I was about to do something forbidden, something taboo, something wild and crazy. I pranced out to the Expedition, fired her up and headed out to pick up the girls. We chatted and giggled in a silly excitement all the way there reminding ourselves how crazy we were being.

And then it started raining.

Hard.

And I have curly, frizz-prone hair. And rain is not very kind.

Trepidation set in, once again, and was magnified ten-fold when I pulled up to Toys ‘R Us and saw probably 300 nutjobs standing in line. Did I mention it was raining? I pulled into the parking lot, thinking, hoping that maybe all of these people were lining up for something that had nothing to do with Toys ‘R Us. Maybe they were offering free helicoper rides up there. Oh, I know. Maybe it’s one of those VFW chicken booths. We pull up near the front of the store and quickly discover that a) there was no helicopter and b) there were no vets schlepping barbecued chicken. These people were here for Black Friday.

I’m pretty sure I squealed my tires pulling out of that parking lot. The only thing that would have me standing in that line would be a meet ‘n greet with the Thunder from Down Under and I saw NO speedos anywhere near that store.

So, we drove home. At midnight. Three wild and crazy gals with a dream for marked down Legos and Littlest Pet Shop. With nothing to show for our trip out in the inclement weather…but frizzy hair.

Oh, well. There’s always next year. I think I’ll write the company and suggest the meet ‘n greet idea.

Oh, and in just in case any of you are worried that my experience in the Toys ‘R Us parking lot may have jaded me from any further Black Friday retail therapy, we were out and about by 9:30 that same morning and did our share to boost the economy. You’re welcome, Mr. President.

Mindy

Black Friday

Well, did you survive the holiday? Are you still knee-deep in a tryptophan-induced coma? Are you leaking pumpkin from your pores? Oh…is that just me? How embarassing.

We had a wonderful Thanskgiving this year withturkey a’plenty and all the fixin’s. But even more important than that was the fellowship between family and friends. Oh, and the sweet potato bake. That was pretty important. Wait. I can’t forget my sister’s homemade rolls. Very important. Okay, so there were lots of important things now forcing me to spend some one-on-one time with Richard Simmons this next week.

So, now that all the hubub of Thanskgiving preparedness is over it is now time for Black Friday. It is now time to spend way more money than I was ever planning to because the crap’s on sale. “Oh, my God. They have 400-count packs of Pez dispensers on sale. It’s a value pack. We always need Pez dispensers.” Or, “Hold the phone, people! They have a special edition Jon Bon Jovi wall clock. And it’s on sale. Well, I’m picking that up.’

My sisters and I have alway shopped Black Friday but have never been those nutjobs lined up outside the Walmart at 2:00a.m.

Until now.

Okay, so it’s not Walmart and it’s not 2:00a.m. But it is Toys ‘r Us, and it is Midnight. That’s right. You heard me. MIDNIGHT. I’m that nutjob. And to be honest, I don’t even know why we’re heading out for that super-duper early bird sale.

People get crazy at these doorbuster moments. A few years back my sister-in-law and I joined a hoard of men standing outside ahome improvement store to pick up some super cheap items for the hubbies. As the doors rolledopen themass moved through the opening and with each inch we progressed the more hysterical people got.Icould hear some of these men audibly giggling at the sight of yellow signs withslashed-through prices and bins full of dollar tools.One man, andI usethe term loosely, apparently thought that Iwas taking a teensy bit too much time and rammed his cart into the back of my heels. Now, what the poor soul didn’t realize because he was standing behind me was that I was about 6 months pregnant atthe time, and if you had readyesterday’s post you will already know that I was notthe most emotionally stablepregnant chick. I gave the fool the benefit of the doubt by believing that he “accidentally” ran into me the first time. I was wrong. He pushed that cart into my ankles again and surrounded by agaggle of hyper men I turned around, faced the fool and proceeded to kick the front of his cart so hard thathis “weapon” backfired and knocked him in his own shins. I gave him a look that said, “Touch me with that damn cart again, moron, and your shins won’t be the only body partbruised.”Oddly,after turning a corner I never saw the man again.I thought I saw him standing with a security guard but I can’t be sure.

So, I am heading out to Toys ‘r Us, a veteran ofBlack Friday brutality, armed forlunacy. Wish me luck. Moreover, wish some luck on the poor fool who gets a little antsy with his shopping cart. I’m wearing my heavy-duty boots.

Mindy

Happy Thanksgiving

Wow, I can’t believe Thanksgiving day has arrived! Another year to celebrate and acornucopia of reasons to be thankful.

I previously posted that although there are certain aspects about growing older that I could do without (hello wrinkles, forgetfulness and sparse eyebrows) there is an over-abundance of advantages granted to me with each new year. I have so much to be thankful for and as I mature I gain the fortitude with which to appreciate it.

When the hubby and I first started out as a newly married couple (pre-smile lines and with brows a’plenty) we inhabited this cute little quaint house. Sidenote: Have you ever noticed that when people use the word “quaint” they really mean small? It’s like using a fancy word puts a different spin on the fact that one could actually use the toilet and cook scrambled eggs all at the same time.Now, isn’t that quaint. But, I digress. The thing is, we had this cute little house that we loved and that loved us back. We never imagined that we would need anything more tofulfill our needs. Okay, not true. I imagined all kinds of things that could fulfill many of my needs. The hubby was slightlybetter with “quaint” than I.

That is, until I got pregnant.

If you’ve ever been pregnant or known somebody who has than I’m sure it will come as no surprise to you when I say that I got a teensy bit b*tchy near the end of my pregnancywith Avery. I tended to suffer from’short fuse syndrome’ subject to teetering on thebrink of madnesswhile my hormonally-induced irrational emotionscaused all kinds offrequent crying spells and occasional intervals of anger and joy.I was all kinds of crazy.Little things amplified into giant vats of ‘hot mess’. But the real deal-breaker was that I became unable to deal with the reality that I could hear Jer breathing no matter which room I was in. It was like a curse. We couldn’t escape each other. I couldn’t escape his noisy inhale/exhale, he couldn’t escape my absurd annoyance by it all.

And then there was the whole growing belly problem which eventually became such an issue that we would have to call out our intention to use the hallway. “Hallway!” we would yell as we rounded the corner so as not to inadvertently run into each other. I feel I should add that this manic behavior was but a brief moment in what was otherwise a beautiful pregnancy. Well, except for the stretchmarks and vericose veins. Oh, and the occasional heartburn and burping(due in large part to my addiction to MexiMelts at TacoBell). And we can’t forget the whole mucous plug thing. Not so pretty.

Anyway. I digress. Again.

After deciding it was time to experience more square footage so as not to implode from a building,seething angerwe found our current home and movedon in. Our abode is nothing fancy and certainly falls in the “modest” range but it’s our “grownup” house and there is nothing like owning a”grownup” house to makeyou appreciate what life has granted you. Every day I look around this place and see the beauty for what it is: a safe and cozy home in which to raise my family and grow fond memories. I am so thankful that I am able to wake up every morning and know thatwe have a roof over our heads and food in our pantry. I am thankful thatmy childrenrecognize how lucky we are and, despite theoccasional juvenilecase of entitlement, show gratitude for what they’ve been given.

And,lastly, I am thankful for my family and all who that entails. I am thankful for knowing love and being loved. Iam thankful for experiencing that “rush” of parenthood,the chosen task of preparingtwo little souls totake their place out in this great big world. A worldthat I remember dreaming about as a little soul myself. And I am very thankful that I have a partner who not only loves andsupports me but can follow just as well as he can lead when necessary.

Take some time today to realize your own gratitude and enjoy whatever your day may bring. Now, enough with all the sappy talk. Go baste a turkey or mash some taters.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Mindy

I’m Thankful

It seems to be the growing trend this week to blog about your “Thankfulness.”Gee…I wonder why? Could it be that we are days away from that time-tested holiday gorge-fest better known as Thanksgiving? Yup. So I have purposed to pinpoint a couple of things I’m especially thankful for on these few days leading up to the big Turkey Day.

Thinking about gratitude led me to thinkingabout aging. You know, there’s not a whole lot I love about growing older. Certainly not the ever-growing lines spreading outhorizontally from the corners of my eyes. My friend toldme they’re called “wrinkles” but I prefer to think of them as semi-permanent indentationsof the skin caused byan optimistic attitude and zest for life.Whatever you call them you most certainly don’t see them gracing the faces of the young and innocent, the ones not exponentially aging.

I’m also not completely happy with the fact that with each passing year I forget words like “furniture polish” and “windchime.” Admittedly not essential to the vocabulary but frustrating nonetheless. And it usually happens at the most inopportune of times. I’ll say, “Jer, could you grab me the…um…”

He’ll answer, “What?”

I’ll say, “The…dammit…come on. You know the…thing…oh, you…dang….what is it called?”

He’ll say, “I have no idea.”

I’ll say, “Yes, you do. You just talked about it the other day. It’s…Gawd!”

He’ll say, “Let’s see, dishcloth, magazine, NASCAR, remote con-”

“Yes!!! Remote control! Thank you, Jesus. NASCAR?” It usually goes something like that.

And you know what else really bugs me about growing older? Where the heck are my eyebrows going? I swear that a good 5 hairs jump ship when I go to bed at night. It’s like they decided to gradually leave me so I don’t notice right away. They’re probably off to find a new home with some young college chick with absolutely no smile lines (not wrinkles) and who never forgets a friggin’ word.

So, I don’t absolutely love everything about growing older but one thing I most certainly value about it is the fact that with each year I gain new perspective and appreciation for what is truly important in life. I value friendships (except for the one friend who maintains that I amriddled with wrinkles) in a completely differentway than I ever have. I’ve always valued friends but the presence of friendship in my life used to fulfill a certain purpose:friends were fun. Pretty simple. Now?My friends keep me sane.They offer sympathy, empathy,congratulations, good-naturedhumor, emotional grounding, and positive influence at all the appropriate times.My friendsfill up a space in my heart that could only ever be reserved for them.

Growing older has allowed me the more mature perspective to reevaluate the purpose of friendship. And for this I am THANKFUL.

To ALL the friends who have enhanced my life…I say “Thank you.”

Phew…I’m exhausted. That was kind of deep. Or maybe it wasn’t, in which case I’m not quite as evolved as I thought I was. Crap.

Mindy

I love vacations, but…

First of all, let me say a big “Thank You” to all of you for allowing me to whine relentlessly on Friday about being all uninspired. I’m over it. You were there. Thanky. Moving on…

We just got back froma wonderful weekend in Washington State visiting family and celebrating a veryearly Christmas before parts ofthe family hightail it for warmer weather and drier climate.It was a very full, fun weekend but vacations, even mini ones, always end with the requisite clean-up.And here’s where the true purpose of my post comes into play. Allow me to explain…

Picture it -

We’re pulling into the driveway after a long drive home. The kids have gotten a couple of good naps and are already quivering in their seats in anticipation of bursting through the front door to see their dog, Lewis, andto make sure that all their cool stuff is still where they not-so-neatly keep it.

I say, “Now, remembersomething family.Everyone needs to help puteverything away. Okay?”

Family in unison: “Sure! We’ll help.” I’m so lucky to have such a lovely considerate family. Smiles all aroundlike a Norman Rockwell painting come alive in a 2000 Ford Expedition.

Oh, we all packed it inside, alright. But that’swhere it all ended. Exit Norman Rockwell, enter my worst frickin’nightmare. I kneeled down to tie my shoe, just for a nanosecond, and as I stand backup, this is what I see.

Vacation

It was just like an old Friday the 13th horror movie. You know, where the young, nubile co-ed innocently stops to tie her shoe while hiking withfriends and then stands back up only to become aware that everyone has gone missing? And she’s alone, left to contend with the sudden appearance of a stranger in a hockey mask. It was just like that. Except I’m not really a young coed. Or nubile. And, I don’t really hike.And instead of Jason Vorhees to contend with I had a gigantic mess of tangled shopping bags and luggage. (Personally, I think Jason Vorhees would have been easier.)

vacation3

My family was nowhere to be found. And they left all of their stuff. Right in the middle of the floor. For me.

vacation2

Oh, and that’s my stuff. You got it. Neatly set upon the couch.

After coping with the realization that my family is selfish and meanI got to thinking about all the stuff. Why in the heck is there so much to put away? We were gone for one night. We have luggage, cows, Care Bears, shopping bags, coats…

vacation5

…a Spongebob balloon. Hold the phone, people. Why in the heck did we even bring a Spongebob balloon with us?

vacation4

Well, it took awhile but I was able to get everything put away. Solo mia. All by myself. AndI still haven’t located my family. I have this vision of them in the garage hiding underneath the workbench stocked with pringles, mallomars, juice boxes and the portable DVD player.

I’ve learned some valuable lessons from this mini-vacay.

1) I should utilize alittle more scrutiny during thepacking process. I’m pretty sure the Spongebob balloon was an unnecessary addition to my stress level.

2) I should devise a plan which disables my familyfrom avoiding me like the plague when we are in the midst of unpacking. I’m thinking I should be the one hiding under the workbench with pringles, mallomars, a juice box and the DVD player. Nah. I’d wriggle out from underneath the bench 10 pounds heavier from salt and hydrogenated oils only to find all the crap still sitting there. New plan.

3) I should drink more wine. Lots more.

Mindy