Monday, December 29, 2008

Happiness at year end

I see it has been two months since my last post. I guess I have been very busy since then and haven't taken the time to post. Since October 22, I've experienced:

1) The Best Day of My Life: aka New Kids on the Block concert in Charlotte, NC

2) A week in Hilton Head, SC courtesy of work, with additional day trip to Savannah, GA

3) Thanksgiving

4) Jolie's baby shower: sex of baby TBA at birth. It's killing me.

5) Christmas Party Season

6) The actual Christmas holiday

So, yeah, I've been busy. We'll start with what made me post today and work backwards.

Today's post was inspired by several things, namely: wireless internet, my new TV, my dad, pretzels dipped in ranch, pub mix, my favorite CBS Monday night shows, South Park and as always, wine. You may ask, what about this particular mix of items draws Emily out of blogging retirement? We'll start with my dad. I think he rocks. He always knows how to do EVERYTHING. Seriously, I've never met a challenge that my dad could not meet. He has thankfully given me his ability to do things myself. However, when he wants to do them for me, I am not going to argue. TonightI was treated to the set up of my new wireless router, which allows me to post from the comfort of my favorite family room chair in front of my new TV. Yeah for being able to watch all channels - not just the ones in English and with sound, like on my previous $20 TV that I purchased at Goodwill. This brings to me to my show watching snack, pretzels with ranch dressing, and pub mix, sometimes dipped in ranch dressing. I never buy pub mix because I will eat it all in one sitting, but someone sent me a giant package at work. I can't refuse such a wonderful gift! I'm sure my breath is lovely. While posting, watching my shows and eating my snacks, I had a lovely glass or two of Gallo Cafe Chardonnay, which is surprisingly tasty for only $3.99 at Kroger. After my shows were over, I realized I'd seen all the Jon and Kates on during the marathon, so I switched to South Park. It makes me laugh and remember my old friend Christi and high school boyfriend, Russ. So those, my friends, are the series of events that drew me out of blogging retirement. Coupled with my productive day of working and cleaning up the post-Christmas mess in my house, I am in a fantastic mood and thought I'd share it with you all.

I will work backwards and start with the actual Christmas celebrations in my family. I visited Crystal, Rob and Layla yesterday for Layla's 2nd birthday party/Christmas. I never thought I'd be excited about a Dora birthday party, but I am always excited for things with Layla. She is so smart and funny. She doesn't mean to be funny, but she is. Yesterday, I taught her how to take a picture. She was pointing it toward her and taking pictures of her belly. I made a comment about taking pictures of her belly, so she walked over, pulled my shirt out at the neck, pointed the camera down my shirt and took a picture of MY belly. Then she said, "I got YOUR belly, Mimmy." Crystal andI couldn't stop laughing. Rob missed all of this, even though he was sitting right beside me, because he was watching football. His child is taking pictures of people's boobs, thereby resolving any doubt that this is his child. :)

I spent half of Friday and Saturday driving to/fro Louisville, KY with my 71 year old cousin Carol. We were going to see her brother, his wife, kids and grandkids. Our normal 3.5 hour drive was lengthened due to freezing rain Friday morning, extending our drive to 6 hours. We did finally make it there safely and enjoyed our time with family. Normally, my parents go on this trip as well, but my dad got the flu on Christmas day. I felt bad for my mom because she enjoys spending time with the kids, but she was unwilling to leave my dad in his state of illness. I brought home my most sentimental gifts from this trip: my 5 year old cousin Jackson made me a snowman bracelet, and his 7 year old sister wrote out the attached card. I will always love those items. I am worried about my 13 old cousin Caroline. 13 is such a crappy age, and she is right in the middle of the crappiness. Should I send her a letter saying, "Hey, everything is going to be ok. I love you," or just let it go? I'm taking suggestions.

I spent Christmas day with my parents, grandparents and cousin Carol as usual. It was a good day, except that my dad's flu hit shortly after opening presents at my grandparents' house. He spent the rest of the day in his recliner. I'm having a hard time believing that the hype is over, most of my gifts are put away and/or in use. As far as gifts go, I got most everything on my list with one big surprise: a houndstooth wool coat from my grandparents. It's so cute and I will get a lot of wear out of it. I spent much of my life complaining about being an only child, but am reminded at Christmas about one of the perks. I don't have to share with anyone, so I receive all the benefits of my parents' and grandparents' gift giving generosity. Generous they are, as are all my family members. We have been very blessed, and not a day goes by that I am ungrateful .

Going backwards to Christmas Eve, let's stop at my Grandma's house. Aw, my Grandma. She is wonderful but weird. We had an all meat Christmas dinner. Ham, sausage balls, pork tenderloin and meatballs, with chopped ham cheeseball thrown in for good measure. No veggies or starches with this meal. It was quite odd, but at least I know Grandma is officially a meatasaurus. She's a big fan of QVC and taught me all the virtues of Diamonique at an early age. You'll see me sporting an awesome new ring courtesy of her shopping prowess and surprising ability to judge my taste. Go Grandma!

The day before Christmas Eve was pretty shitty. I ran into Annie, one of Pat's neighbors, and she gave me some news about Pat that is still bothering me. As if he wasn't a big enough mess already, he has created even more problems for himself and is apparently going around blaming me b/c I wouldn't take him back. While I am perfectly aware that I did not create his problems nor can I fix them, I'm still sad. Not so much for him, b/c he's an adult that is responsible for his actions, but for his son. He should be thinking about how his actions are affecting him. Regardless, I am better off for being out of that relationship. While my brain is perfectly aware of this, sometimes my heart forgets and I get sad. You should've seen me when I found Pat and his son's stockings while putting up Christmas decorations. I was useless for the rest of the day. I know everthing will be ok eventually, and the majority of days are good. I think I'm doing pretty well for four months out of the relationship.

So, if you're my mom or any other member of my family, you'll be asking if I have a date for New Year's Eve. I do not. As a matter of fact, I effing hate NYE. My mother has spent my whole life telling me that I should always have something fun and cool to do that night and the next day. When I was a kid, I always had a NYE sleepover with Courtney and we would play Barbies, do hair and makeup, play Ouija, listen to NKOTB and all that stuff. No NYE has ever lived up to expectations after that. When 2007 rolled into '08, I was crying on the couch over Dick Clark's failing health while Pat snored into his Bud Light and his son slept soundly on my flowery chair. It's a painful memory. So, for this year's big plans, I'm going to a gathering at Laura and Jay's apartment and hoping for better than last year. I'm setting the bar REALLY low so that my bubble will not be burst. However, Laura and Jay are new friends that I made this year and really enjoy hanging out with, so I'm sure I'll have a good time.

I have spent the majority of the Christmas season just having a good time. I went to several Christmas parties/events with old and new friends and met a lot of new people. I kept hoping to meet a cute guy during the party circuit, but no luck. It's possible I'm too picky, but considering my most recent breakup, I think that's normal. I do feel sorry for whomever has to date me next. He has no idea that he'll be going through a group interview with Jada, Justin and Crystal, and Rob will undoubtedly find a way to do a background check, even from Iraq. I will need Jennanne to do the credit check and Susan to psychoanalyze his behavior/personality. This will all happen before my parents even know he exists. He must be a keeper by the time he is forced into meeting LaMarr and Larry. I am hopeful that the new year will bring me a new sweetheart!

I am too sleepy to keep going, but I have a lot more of the remainder of 2008 to cover. The Best Day of My Life is a big post in itself. Until then, I will say as always: thanks for being there for me! I am blessed to have the best friends in the world!