Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Madness, Part I

Placing the star

The first of the holiday hurdles have passed, and we seem to have come out of them mostly unscathed.  I ordered our holiday photo cards after receiving a deal too good to pass up, my company's holiday party took place at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum Udvar Hazy Center with great success last week after a year of meticulous planning, we hosted Thanksgiving dinner at our house (trust me when I say we never entertain, although we are perfectly well kitted out for it), and the halls have now been decked. 

Heading to dinner behind the Space Shuttle Discovery

Cocktails beside the SR71 Blackbird

For the first time ever, I took Sammi, along with one of her friends from school ("first time ever," meaning first time with one parent, two children - an exciting venture for me!), to a local parade on Black Friday, one we had attended last year and which passes directly below my office windows.  Sammi's friend had never been to a parade before, so a nice, cold, squished-in crouch on a sidewalk curb was the best way I knew how to give her the full-on parade experience, rather than hiding out in my company's 4th floor offices to view the festivities in warmth from above.  However, as is customary, Samantha was miserable in the cold and discomfort, and mean mommy felt like she was torturing her child.  Actually, I think she just whined when she was bored, meaning during the parts where there were no band/dance/song performances, because she clapped and smiled during all of those.  Juggling my camera (and my huge new lens!) and trying not to knock over the children sandwiched in beside me, I would periodically kneel into the street, mindful of not getting run over by an errant Jaguar or Mustang from the local Jaguar and Mustang fancier clubs (although I must say, that might be the way to go!), to see when the next entertaining segment might be likely to get to us and my daughter's tears to stop freezing onto her already wind-chapped cheeks.  For an hour and a half of the two-hour program, I promised her that Santa, signaling the grand finale, would be along any minute.  The second the parade ended, we made a beeline for my office to use the bathroom and to try to regain some feeling in our fingers and toes, and then headed out for pizza to soothe Sammi's sweet soul.

Mentioning to my husband that I had all-but-abandoned my blog, he gasped, and stated that no matter how hectic the holiday season, that's one thing that I really shouldn't abandon, one thing that I should find a way to maintain in some way.  I know what he means, but I also am thinking ahead to the second set of holiday hurdles that face me. 

We'll be traveling soon and need to bring gifts that are easy to pack.  Each Christmas I create a photo book of Sammi's year.  It makes an excellent gift, especially for our family far away, but the days are passing with a speed I'm not too comfortable with, and I am worried that my half-finished efforts will not be complete in enough time to get them ordered and in my hands before my deadline.  Oh, damn you, Shutterfly, for making such a beautifully creative interface for photo book design!  Custom Path, while extraordinarily lovely, is not exactly easy.  I'm one who overthinks each detail, and, if given the luxury of time, would take a whole year just to make the blasted thing.  But, in reality, about 3 or 4 days is all I have left.

Adding to the mix, Samantha seems to have been invited to enough birthday parties already this year to make up for last year's dearth.  It's crazy.  And, thankfully, these parties, for the most part, are being held in facilities that I know Samantha will enjoy.  They're not without their bumps along the path, but we're getting through them.  Amazingly, we've had to bow out of the party of one of her friends, a little girl we really like, because it overlaps with another event.  Feast or famine, baby!

Too much!  Too much! I say, grinning all the way.  This is what parenting is all about.  This is what life is all about. 

This is Christmas.

Calgon, take me away! 


Stephanie said...

I love the photos from the parade....Sammi and her friend are adorable. The Santa one could be on a card or calendar! You are great with camera, lady.

Please don't stop blogging......I love yours, it's one of my favorites!

TUC said...

Sounds like you have been having wonderful fun! And you are already thinking about your Shutterfly book which means you probably already know what pics you are going to use and where they are. That makes you hours ahead of me :-)

Loved your pics. They made me feel cheerful just looking at them.

wendy said...

Although I don't comment often, I love your blog!!

Jenny said...

What an awesome place for a company party!! And great pictures of the parade! December, it's such a busy month...Hope you can swing a few blog posts now and then, I miss your blog when you don't have time to update often!