Christmas Eve

On the 26th of December I took off my pajamas and climbed into the shower, noticing as I did a large, festively-colored bruise spreading across my left hip just above the knee. Tender as all hell, too. I couldn’t help but smile as I stood there, hot water running down my body, remembering what had taken place thirty-odd hours before.

It had been Christmas Eve night, and Ryan and I were making ourselves comfortable on an air mattress in the spare bedroom at my parents’ house after a long day of visiting, eating, and church-going. We both knew that the following day would start early – not early like it once had, when there were under-twelves in the house, but still earlier than good sense warranted – and would go long, and we were both pretty worn out. Not so our six-month-old puppy, Paisley, who had discovered her calling as a home security alarm. Every time anyone in the house moved, she’d take off in a flying leap across the mattress and stand sentinel at the end of the hallway, barking into the darkness in the general direction of stocking assembly.

We finally got our dog in a headlock, stopped laughing, and, eventually, fell asleep.

I’m not sure what it was that woke me up some hours later, nor am I sure exactly what time it was. It was dark, and the house was utterly quiet – even Paisley was softly snoring next to Ryan. But something was off – something was wrong. I crawled off of the air mattress as gracefully as I could, put on my glasses, and walked quietly across the hall into a room whose windows overlooked the front yard. The windows were foggy, so I wiped away a porthole and peeked out onto the lawn.

There was something out there. Something… familiar. Something that made me wonder if I’d really gotten out of bed at all or if I was in the middle of a particularly vivid dream.

A deer.

Now, I’ve had deer outside my window before. We lived for five or so years in a Colorado forest, and we’ve been camping in enough wild places that I’m fairly unalarmed by random encounters with wildlife. There are, from time to time, deer out in southwest Boise. That being said, this was just weird. And so I did what any redblooded American would do under these circumstances: put on my houseshoes and went outside.

It probably wouldn’t be much of a story if all I encountered out there in the cold night was a deer, and I wouldn’t be going to the trouble to write a non-story, so you can pretty much connect the dots and come up with the fact that my deer was hardly alone. There was an entire smallish herd of the little guys – and they were little – all standing around, nuzzling yellowed grass through the old crispy snow, casting occasional expectant glances at an old man in one of those Land’s End squall parkas (red). Definitely grandfather-aged, with a bit of white scruff around his chin, and a nice knit cap like you’d wear if you were going skiing, also red.

“Wondered if you’d come out,” he said, and took a pull on a pipe that I hadn’t seen or smelled until that moment. I smelled it then, that unmistakeable, exotic tang of pipe smoke.

It was pretty clear to me at that point – and maybe it’s clear to you, too, by now – who, exactly, was standing in my parents’ front lawn. Now, I’m an adult. An eccentric adult, to put it mildly, but in all fairness I have a pretty good head on my shoulders. And even though I’ve maintained my faith in the inexplicable and fantastical as best as any adult can be expected to do, even I couldn’t really deny that a red-suited stranger did not slip down my chimney on Christmas Eve. And yet here I was, in my pajamas and slippers on my parents’ front lawn, talking to a man who simply could be no other than Santa Claus.

There were many things I could have said at that moment. “What are you doing here?” was what came out of my mouth.

He laughed, and it was such a nice laugh, not at all like some of those scary shopping mall Santas you run into these days. “I was in the neighborhood. Thought I’d stop by and say hello.”

“Hello,” I replied in what can only be described as a flash of pure wit.

He took another draw on his pipe and exhaled a smoke ring. The deer – there might have been a dozen of them – shifted positions. “I wanted to thank you, as a matter of fact, Katherine Elizabeth.”

“Thank me?”

“Thank you. Do you know how many people around here still believe in me, Katydid? How many people worldwide? Why, the first graders are making fun of the kindergartners if they mention my name. They don’t even try on the television anymore. People right there on the TV – newscasters, actors, you name it – they’ll just go out there on prime time and talk about how Mama and Daddy are staying up late to play Santa, talk about how old they were when they found out I was a fraud. And the children are watching this, you know. They all watch television anymore, and they’re hearing these adults say I don’t exist, and they believe it. They believe it.”

“It’s kind of awful,” I agreed.

“And yet you’ve never stopped believing, have you, Katydid.”

“N-no,” I said, wincing just a little bit because I was sure he knew that I’d been wrestling with it, wrestling with the sure onset of adulthood against my desperate hold on childlike wonder.

“It’s okay, you know,” he said. “It has to be hard, to be a grown-up who still believes.”

“Well,” I said, because he seemed such a reasonable guy, “can you tell me – the reason why I have trouble, sometimes, in believing, is because I don’t see you in action. You know? I mean, I know that moms and dads are staying up late to put out the Santa gifts. I know that poor children don’t always get visited from Santa. If you exist – which it’s clear you do, given present circumstances – then why aren’t you doing, you know, what you do?”

He laughed again, but this time it was kind of a sad laugh, I think, or maybe just thoughtful. “You know, Kate, that’s an excellent question, and just a wonderful example of how people have the wrong idea sometimes. Not you – not just you. Everyone. Look at my sleigh.” He gestured behind me and to my left, and I turned, smacking my leg pretty hard into a curled wooden runner. I don’t know how I’d missed it before, but there it was – a beautiful sleigh, big enough for a man and a passenger, plus maybe a small pickup’s load of cargo. “Does that look large enough to fill with toys for every Christmas-honoring child on the planet? Of course not, and there’s not that much magic in the world, I don’t think. Not enough magic to fill that sleigh that full. How fast do you think these little deer can pull that sleigh, anyway? Not faster than the speed of sound, Katydid. They’re mighty fast, but they’re not that fast.”

“No, Kate, that’s not ‘what I do.’ I don’t deliver all of those gifts.”

“What do you do, then?”

“Santa Claus is a symbol,” he said, lying a gloved hand on a deer’s back. “I’m a symbol of giving, a symbol of hope. All of those parents out there buying gifts for their children ‘from Santa’ – they’re doing it in the name of giving, of love. What they can give, they give. People across this country put out barrels and collect toys and dolls and coats and blankets for children whose parents have nothing more to give, or don’t want to give, and why do they do it? They’re inspired by the idea of giving hope. They’re inspired by me, by this symbol. I remind people to give – to give material objects, if they wish, or to give joy whenever and wherever they can. To give love.”

I started to say something (I forget, now, what exactly) but Santa Claus kept talking.

“And just as importantly, Kate, Santa Claus is a symbol of faith, of believing in magic. There are so many things out there that we can’t see, that we can’t understand, Katydid. We believe in God even though sometimes it makes no sense, even though other people who believe clearly don’t believe the same as we do. We believe in other people, in their inh
erent goodness, even though the contrary is proven to us constantly. We believe in love even after our hearts are broken. We believe that there may be other life out beyond the stars, that there may be cures to diseases, that there were once dinosaurs on the earth, that there are more capabilities in the human mind than we can currently guess. And as children we believe in even more. We believe in the fairies that add mystery and glimmer to our world. We believe that our teeth are spirited away in exchange for coins – dollars, anymore, I guess – and that rabbits hide gifts around the house and yard at Eastertime. We believe in unicorns, dragons. And we believe that, if we are good and kind and give joy, that Santa Claus will come in the wintertime and give back to us what we have given to others.”

“Until someone tells us it isn’t the case,” I said, quietly.

“That’s right. Until we stop believing. And once you stop believing in one thing… how can you believe in anything else? Everything else becomes shaky, everything else falls.”

“It’s like Jenga.”

“It is.” He patted the deer on the rump and dumped something – ash, I guess – out of his pipe. “So thank you.”

“You’re… you’re welcome.”

“Thank you for refusing to stop believing, even when it is ridiculous. Because what you’re believing in isn’t really me. It’s the idea that things will be okay, that people can make a difference. It’s faith in the more. You’re believing in that, Katydid, and you know what else?”

“What?” I asked, realizing that it was starting to rain.

“You’re not alone.”

And frankly, I couldn’t exactly tell you what happened next, except that the deer moved and the man in red moved and then they were all gone, leaving a scattering of hoofprints and runnermarks on the snow, and I was standing there in the cold drizzle looking up into the sky realizing that I really wasn’t sure at all that they’d gone skyward. And then I got cold, so I went inside and sat next to the tree until my mind stopped racing, and then I went to bed.

The next morning, Paisley woke me up with a big puppy kiss at 8:10, and I went immediately to that front window and looked outside. The rain had melted away the last of the snow, and there wasn’t a trace of any interference the night before.

“What a weird dream,” I said to myself, and went into the living room where Christmas morning was getting underway.

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A Christmas Story

On the 26th of December I took off my pajamas and climbed into the shower, noticing as I did a large, festively-colored bruise spreading across my left hip just above the knee. Tender as all hell, too. I couldn’t help but smile as I stood there, hot water running down my body, remembering what had taken place thirty-odd hours before.

It had been Christmas Eve night, and Ryan and I were making ourselves comfortable on an air mattress in the spare bedroom at my parents’ house after a long day of visiting, eating, and church-going. We both knew that the following day would start early – not early like it once had, when there were under-twelves in the house, but still earlier than good sense warranted – and would go long, and we were both pretty worn out. Not so our six-month-old puppy, Paisley, who had discovered her calling as a home security alarm. Every time anyone in the house moved, she’d take off in a flying leap across the mattress and stand sentinel at the end of the hallway, barking into the darkness in the general direction of stocking assembly.

We finally got our dog in a headlock, stopped laughing, and, eventually, fell asleep.

I’m not sure what it was that woke me up some hours later, nor am I sure exactly what time it was. It was dark, and the house was utterly quiet – even Paisley was softly snoring next to Ryan. But something was off – something was wrong. I crawled off of the air mattress as gracefully as I could, put on my glasses, and walked quietly across the hall into a room whose windows overlooked the front yard. The windows were foggy, so I wiped away a porthole and peeked out onto the lawn.

There was something out there. Something… familiar. Something that made me wonder if I’d really gotten out of bed at all or if I was in the middle of a particularly vivid dream.

A deer.

Now, I’ve had deer outside my window before. We lived for five or so years in a Colorado forest, and we’ve been camping in enough wild places that I’m fairly unalarmed by random encounters with wildlife. There are, from time to time, deer out in southwest Boise. That being said, this was just weird. And so I did what any redblooded American would do under these circumstances: put on my houseshoes and went outside.

It probably wouldn’t be much of a story if all I encountered out there in the cold night was a deer, and I wouldn’t be going to the trouble to write a non-story, so you can pretty much connect the dots and come up with the fact that my deer was hardly alone. There was an entire smallish herd of the little guys – and they were little – all standing around, nuzzling yellowed grass through the old crispy snow, casting occasional expectant glances at an old man in one of those Land’s End squall parkas (red). Definitely grandfather-aged, with a bit of white scruff around his chin, and a nice knit cap like you’d wear if you were going skiing, also red.

“Wondered if you’d come out,” he said, and took a pull on a pipe that I hadn’t seen or smelled until that moment. I smelled it then, that unmistakeable, exotic tang of pipe smoke.

It was pretty clear to me at that point – and maybe it’s clear to you, too, by now – who, exactly, was standing in my parents’ front lawn. Now, I’m an adult. An eccentric adult, to put it mildly, but in all fairness I have a pretty good head on my shoulders. And even though I’ve maintained my faith in the inexplicable and fantastical as best as any adult can be expected to do, even I couldn’t really deny that a red-suited stranger did not slip down my chimney on Christmas Eve. And yet here I was, in my pajamas and slippers on my parents’ front lawn, talking to a man who simply could be no other than Santa Claus.

There were many things I could have said at that moment. “What are you doing here?” was what came out of my mouth.

He laughed, and it was such a nice laugh, not at all like some of those scary shopping mall Santas you run into these days. “I was in the neighborhood. Thought I’d stop by and say hello.”

“Hello,” I replied in what can only be described as a flash of pure wit.

He took another draw on his pipe and exhaled a smoke ring. The deer – there might have been a dozen of them – shifted positions. “I wanted to thank you, as a matter of fact, Katherine Elizabeth.”

“Thank me?”

“Thank you. Do you know how many people around here still believe in me, Katydid? How many people worldwide? Why, the first graders are making fun of the kindergartners if they mention my name. They don’t even try on the television anymore. People right there on the TV – newscasters, actors, you name it – they’ll just go out there on prime time and talk about how Mama and Daddy are staying up late to play Santa, talk about how old they were when they found out I was a fraud. And the children are watching this, you know. They all watch television anymore, and they’re hearing these adults say I don’t exist, and they believe it. They believe it.”

“It’s kind of awful,” I agreed.

“And yet you’ve never stopped believing, have you, Katydid.”

“N-no,” I said, wincing just a little bit because I was sure he knew that I’d been wrestling with it, wrestling with the sure onset of adulthood against my desperate hold on childlike wonder.

“It’s okay, you know,” he said. “It has to be hard, to be a grown-up who still believes.”

“Well,” I said, because he seemed such a reasonable guy, “can you tell me – the reason why I have trouble, sometimes, in believing, is because I don’t see you in action. You know? I mean, I know that moms and dads are staying up late to put out the Santa gifts. I know that poor children don’t always get visited from Santa. If you exist – which it’s clear you do, given present circumstances – then why aren’t you doing, you know, what you do?”

He laughed again, but this time it was kind of a sad laugh, I think, or maybe just thoughtful. “You know, Kate, that’s an excellent question, and just a wonderful example of how people have the wrong idea sometimes. Not you – not just you. Everyone. Look at my sleigh.” He gestured behind me and to my left, and I turned, smacking my leg pretty hard into a curled wooden runner. I don’t know how I’d missed it before, but there it was – a beautiful sleigh, big enough for a man and a passenger, plus maybe a small pickup’s load of cargo. “Does that look large enough to fill with toys for every Christmas-honoring child on the planet? Of course not, and there’s not that much magic in the world, I don’t think. Not enough magic to fill that sleigh that full. How fast do you think these little deer can pull that sleigh, anyway? Not faster than the speed of sound, Katydid. They’re mighty fast, but they’re not that fast.”

“No, Kate, that’s not ‘what I do.’ I don’t deliver all of those gifts.”

“What do you do, then?”

“Santa Claus is a symbol,” he said, lying a gloved hand on a deer’s back. “I’m a symbol of giving, a symbol of hope. All of those parents out there buying gifts for their children ‘from Santa’ – they’re doing it in the name of giving, of love. What they can give, they give. People across this country put out barrels and collect toys and dolls and coats and blankets for children whose parents have nothing more to give, or don’t want to give, and why do they do it? They’re inspired by the idea of giving hope. They’re inspired by me, by this symbol. I remind people to give – to give material objects, if they wish, or to give joy whenever and wherever they can. To give love.”

I started to say something (I forget, now, what exactly) but Santa Claus kept talking.

“And just as importantly, Kate, Santa Claus is a symbol of faith, of believing in magic. There are so many things out there that we can’t see, that we can’t understand, Katydid. We believe in God even though sometimes it makes no sense, even though other people who believe clearly don’t believe the same as we do. We believe in other people, in their inh
erent goodness, even though the contrary is proven to us constantly. We believe in love even after our hearts are broken. We believe that there may be other life out beyond the stars, that there may be cures to diseases, that there were once dinosaurs on the earth, that there are more capabilities in the human mind than we can currently guess. And as children we believe in even more. We believe in the fairies that add mystery and glimmer to our world. We believe that our teeth are spirited away in exchange for coins – dollars, anymore, I guess – and that rabbits hide gifts around the house and yard at Eastertime. We believe in unicorns, dragons. And we believe that, if we are good and kind and give joy, that Santa Claus will come in the wintertime and give back to us what we have given to others.”

“Until someone tells us it isn’t the case,” I said, quietly.

“That’s right. Until we stop believing. And once you stop believing in one thing… how can you believe in anything else? Everything else becomes shaky, everything else falls.”

“It’s like Jenga.”

“It is.” He patted the deer on the rump and dumped something – ash, I guess – out of his pipe. “So thank you.”

“You’re… you’re welcome.”

“Thank you for refusing to stop believing, even when it is ridiculous. Because what you’re believing in isn’t really me. It’s the idea that things will be okay, that people can make a difference. It’s faith in the more. You’re believing in that, Katydid, and you know what else?”

“What?” I asked, realizing that it was starting to rain.

“You’re not alone.”

And frankly, I couldn’t exactly tell you what happened next, except that the deer moved and the man in red moved and then they were all gone, leaving a scattering of hoofprints and runnermarks on the snow, and I was standing there in the cold drizzle looking up into the sky realizing that I really wasn’t sure at all that they’d gone skyward. And then I got cold, so I went inside and sat next to the tree until my mind stopped racing, and then I went to bed.

The next morning, Paisley woke me up with a big puppy kiss at 8:10, and I went immediately to that front window and looked outside. The rain had melted away the last of the snow, and there wasn’t a trace of any interference the night before.

“What a weird dream,” I said to myself, and went into the living room where Christmas morning was getting underway.

Good Night

This is going to be one of these really literary, earth-shattering sort of blog entries.

Had a good evening yesterday. Ryan was done with his finals for the semester, and I’d had a pretty good day at work, so we decided to go out to celebrate. We tossed the decision-making process back and forth until we finally decided to go eat at the Japanese steak house near the house. Ryan had been wanting to go for a while – he’d never been, and I’ve only been once – and so we went. It was a ton of fun – not quite as much of a show as I’d had my first time, but still awesome. The food was fantastic, too. We had an entire table to ourselves, which may very well be why we didn’t get quite as much of a show. I almost, but not quite, caught a shrimp in my mouth.

While eating, Ryan and I talked about some of our big ideas. He has a great idea for a research project that I’d absolutely love to collaborate on with him, and I have a potentially terrible idea for a website. πŸ™‚ It was really nice.

Then we went home and, at long last, decorated our Christmas tree. This has been a rough year for me and Christmas trees. First there was the Festival tree, which was a lot of stress and work. Then, you’ll recall, I nearly died a gruesome death cutting down our own tree. While putting up the office tree, I somehow got roped into setting up lunch room trees in the paint shop, warehouse, fab shop, finish shop, annex, SW&B shop, and the smoking and non-smoking lunch rooms in the loco shop. That’s, count them, ten Christmas trees decorated before I even got lights on my own tree. (I can’t complain. It was a great way to earn my paycheck – got to see a lot of people.)

Anyway, I wanted my tree at home to be the total antithesis of all of these other “decorative objects.” I wanted ours to be a Real Tree. We turned on Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Rockapella Christmas CDs, and decked the tree out with red and green Christmas lights (the decorators in the corner gasp in horror) with white pearl lights strung throughout, and then we filled every conceivable branch, twig, and dangling string of lights with the ornaments we’ve collected from a million different places. Souvenirs from trips… gifts from friends… inheritances from grandparents… leftovers from early childhood… great finds from after-Christmas sales… nothing matching, nothing themed, nothing planned, nothing without a story.

Pictures:

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The real bird nest we found while cutting our tree, with a little blue-and-orange bird for good luck.

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Some of Ryan’s ornaments from when he was little – the entire crew is there in the tree.

DSC00593  DSC00594
Beautiful angel ornaments from Stixen – and Big Bird, of course. See, Jessica, I told you she didn’t get broken!

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One of the best kinds of ornaments to have. πŸ™‚

DSC00614
Paisley’s wondering if she’s supposed to sit under it, or s_it under it. So far she’s mostly enjoyed the latter, which has been less than totally pleasant.

DSC00606
We don’t have curtains or blinds in that window right now, and the people across the street were moving in, so between the tree and me in a flesh-colored camisole we were probably giving them a good show.

DSC00620
She was being very uncooperative with the camera last night – never did get a good picture of her with the tree.

DSC00626
Here’s a bad family picture with the tree. d’Artagnan is hiding behind a branch, and Paisley is squirming in an attempt to slurp d’Art. Oh well. πŸ™‚

DSC00621
There’s a big white star on the top, too, but we hadn’t hung it yet when we took this picture.

Forgot to add the rest of the evening. After we finished the tree, we went and watched The Office. Then, this morning, I set up a new email address (from.the.cia@gmail.com) and sent Ryan the following email:

YOU HAVE BEEN COMPROMISED. ABORT MISSION. DESTROY EMAIL ACCOUNT.
 

This is on the heels of an email a few weeks ago, sent from Ryan’s own email address to himself, reading as follows:
 

Ryan,

At 10:00 this morning, someone will poison the Coke. Do not drink any. More details will follow.

Sincerely,
Future Ryan

Just one more reason why you should never give your spouse your email password. πŸ™‚

Things I Do When I Travel

Pack too much carry-on luggage. When I fly, I generally occupy my time with three different activities:

  • Listen to music
  • Read airline magazines/catalogs or a book until I
  • Fall asleep

Sometimes I throw “wonder how on earth to go to the bathroom without disturbing two sleeping people next to me” into the mix.

Regardless, I always seem to end up on the plane with a laptop that never gets used (and all of its related paraphenalia), multiple books, notepads, an entire office worth of writing utensils (because you never know when inspiration will strike but will demand a certain caliber of pen and color of ink), blankets, travel buddies, sunglasses, bags of toiletries, homework/business that I won’t touch for the entire trip, and anything else that I can cram into a minimum of two painfully heavy bags.

Buy touristy junk. I like to have a souvenir of every place I visit. My main collection is Christmas tree ornaments. I try to get a shot glass and/or keychain for Mom, too, and maybe something for Meredith if it catches my eye.

Get quiet. Traveling, especially traveling alone, seems to bring out the introvert in me. I blame it on the airports – all those people tax my psychological strength. This is irritating, because I usually travel for situations in which I need to be extroverted and strong. I’m working on conquering this one. It’s complicated by the fact that I also tend to

Get sick. Travel to low altitudes or humid locations does a real number on my stomach, and I tend to lose my appetite at the very least. I sometimes get very tired, too. Both times I’ve traveled recently I’ve had a stuffy nose.

Pray. “Hold us safe and bring us home,” to be specific. While the plane is taking off, usually. Sometimes repeated many times, depending on exactly how “fun” the takeoff is. I like flying quite a lot, except for the parts where you take off and land. Those kind of freak me out.

Get big ideas. Something about traveling opens up a portal in my brain, and all kinds of exciting and huge ideas come pouring out. These have led to some awesome developments post-trip, as well as some incredible diversions of the less successful variety. It’s all good, though.

I’m sure there are more things that I do when I travel, but I’m having a hard time thinking about them right now because I just got back from a trip and am consequently slightly ill and full of terrific ideas that want to be addressed. What about you? What are some of the silly/weird/superstitious/habitual things you do when you’re on the road?

Not a Recap

Well, the weekend is more or less over, at least business-wise. I’m waiting for my shuttle trip to the airport, and then I’ll be off on a grand adventure of connecting flights and hour-long layovers that will, hopefully, be just a tad longer so that I have time to use the restroom and stretch my legs and find my gate. I hope that they will be longer in the sense that the flights are short and we arrive early, and that “tad” refers to fifteen minutes or so. This may not be the case – my layovers are in Chicago and Denver. As of right now, Weather.com says it’s clear and cold in both places, so I shouldn’t get snowed in, right? πŸ™‚

Things went well, I think. I have a headache, but that probably has more to do with the fact that I woke up every hour on the hour all night and that I got up, dressed, and breakfasted by 6 AM my time. Whee team fun! Looking forward to sleeping on the plane, lemme tell ya. I’m optimistic about what we’ve accomplished.

I’ll probably check back in later, maybe tonight… wish me safe travel… πŸ™‚

Meredith

From what I hear, my sister (and Brother) is the new Vice President of the Blue Thunder Marching Band, and her horn section (of which she is co-section leader) won Best Section – a feat my saxophones never accomplished. Also, her boyfriend Aaron doesn’t know what instrument he plays. πŸ™‚

Hooray!

There’s Nothing Wrong With Ohio

Except, of course, for the fact that it is actually Kentucky.

Nearly an hour ago, I landed at the Cincinnati International Airport, which is actually in Kentucky, and am now in my room at the Hilton Cincinnati Airport, also in Kentucky. Next they are going to tell me that Chicago, where I had a layover, is actually in Canada. I’d believe it, too. That was my first look at a Great Lake, and it totally blew my mind. In my subconscious, I’m totally prepared for the vastness of an ocean… but I’m not prepared for that in the middle of Illinois. There was a brachiosaur in the O’Hare Airport, and I seemed to be the only yokel who was at all impressed by this fact. What can I say? I’ve always been a nut for a dinosaur.

I’m really tired. Probably getting tired of reading that, huh? But it’s true. I need a vacation. Hopefully this weekend will be something of a break and not totally stressful. I’m actually totally excited. πŸ™‚

Anyway, I’ve got some work to do before things get started, so I’m going to get to it. I’ll check back in when I can, and then head back home to Idaho – which, I’ve recently learned, is actually in New Jersey.

sillymap

Happy Birthday, Bubbles!

Yessiree, it’s my birthday. An hour and a half ago, at 12:34, I turned 26. So far it’s really been a very good day, for a birthday spent at work. That is, up until 1:25, when I learned that one of our employees had killed himself earlier in the day. That was not a good moment.

But never mind that for now – this is a happy blog, and we’ll deal with sad things later.

This morning, Paisley gave me (and herself – she’s six months old today) a present by sitting down without being pushed when I told her to. This is after only one day of being told “sit” while pushing her rump down – she’s a smart girl. Now that she’s mastering “sit” I just need to teach her “don’t poo under the Christmas tree.”

Ryan gave me a terrific new toy for my birthday – my brand new lime green Boise State iPod!! I have named it Bubbles. I’m so excited. It fits in my billfold, and will be a good friend to take with me to Cincinnati. I’ve been listening to it off and on, at appropriate moments, all day. My own little walking soundtrack…

Then, when I got to work, R from the warehouse personally delivered a box from FTD to my desk. Ryan had sent me a bouquet of roses with a box of truffles inside! I haven’t ever been FTD’d before. πŸ™‚ Everyone was jealous (started texting their boys wondering where their flowers were) and of course, at that point the cat was out of the bag re: my birthday. Not that I was trying to keep it a secret; it was written on my calendar and everything.

Ooo! And I got an email from my dad, who is in Germany!

I met Mom for lunch, and I got an awesome scarf, a cute little orange birthday Beanie Baby bear, some cuddly socks, and the orange moccasins I’d been coveting for over a year. It was awesome. Dad called while we were at lunch – it was 8 PM there and he was still at the factory – and that was awesome, too.

Then, of course, I got to work to some bad news. Sigh.

Anyway, that’s my day so far! Hello to everyone!

(Ten points to anyone who knows what my title refers to.)

Happy Birthday, Bubbles!

Yessiree, it’s my birthday. An hour and a half ago, at 12:34, I turned 26. So far it’s really been a very good day, for a birthday spent at work. That is, up until 1:25, when I learned that one of our employees had killed himself earlier in the day. That was not a good moment.

But never mind that for now – this is a happy blog, and we’ll deal with sad things later.

This morning, Paisley gave me (and herself – she’s six months old today) a present by sitting down without being pushed when I told her to. This is after only one day of being told “sit” while pushing her rump down – she’s a smart girl. Now that she’s mastering “sit” I just need to teach her “don’t poo under the Christmas tree.”

Ryan gave me a terrific new toy for my birthday – my brand new lime green Boise State iPod!! I have named it Bubbles. I’m so excited. It fits in my billfold, and will be a good friend to take with me to Cincinnati. I’ve been listening to it off and on, at appropriate moments, all day. My own little walking soundtrack…

Then, when I got to work, R from the warehouse personally delivered a box from FTD to my desk. Ryan had sent me a bouquet of roses with a box of truffles inside! I haven’t ever been FTD’d before. πŸ™‚ Everyone was jealous (started texting their boys wondering where their flowers were) and of course, at that point the cat was out of the bag re: my birthday. Not that I was trying to keep it a secret; it was written on my calendar and everything.

Ooo! And I got an email from my dad, who is in Germany!

I met Mom for lunch, and I got an awesome scarf, a cute little orange birthday Beanie Baby bear, some cuddly socks, and the orange moccasins I’d been coveting for over a year. It was awesome. Dad called while we were at lunch – it was 8 PM there and he was still at the factory – and that was awesome, too.

Then, of course, I got to work to some bad news. Sigh.

Anyway, that’s my day so far! Hello to everyone!

(Ten points to anyone who knows what my title refers to.)