Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Winner Winner...

...chicken dinner!

Somewhere down the road I owe this space three decent blog posts to make up for these last three sad ones for the end of NaBloPoMo. I have been really scrambling the last three days to make up for all the time I didn't spend writing while we were in Florida. I had to write about 10,000 words today to meet the 50,000 word goal by the time National Novel Writing Month ended and I did it! It was insane and I spent every free moment typing away.

The turn my story took at the end means that it isn't actually finished. The whole thing is incredibly flawed but it is there. Maybe I will pick it up again and finish the story or maybe not, but it always feels good to set a goal and reach it.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Home Stretch, Part II

I appear to have brought a cold home from vacation. This is not necessarily the type of souvenir I like to have to remember my travels by. I am feeling both cranky and whiny tonight, which is not a great combination for accomplishing anything.

The good news is, it is the time of year for listening to Christmas music - an effective mood-booster. The Piano Guys, A Family Christmas, is my album of choice at the moment, but there are so many good ones to choose from. What are your favorites?

Monday, November 28, 2016

Home Stretch

I'm a little under-motivated for blog posting today. I think nine days away is finally catching up with me and I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the Christmas prep that now needs to be done! Only two more days in National Blog Posting Month and in National Novel Writing Month - I could use a little boost to get both done, but what I really want is to curl up and go to sleep.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Draft Day #4 'Tis Better to Give Than Receive

Ah, the final draft day post. And this brings me to the end of the random drafts I had sitting in Blogger. I think I saved the best for last!

When Harper was in kindergarten we decided to throw a big birthday party for her and invite the whole kindergarten class. It just so happens that good family friends of ours have a son whose birthday is about two weeks before Harper's and they were in the same kindergarten class. We decided to combine forces and throw a big party at the local rec center. We spent about an hour with snacks and games in a large multi-purpose room and then went swimming.

The only hang-up I had about having such a large party was that Harper really did not need 30 birthday gifts. We talked with the kids and they agreed to forego gifts in order to have a big party with all their friends. Instead of gifts for the birthday boy and girl we collected items for Toys for Tots.

What I found in my drafts were pictures of the day the children dropped the toys off at the collection barrel in our library:

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Road Weary

Earlier today I read a friend's Facebook post - she was in the car with a crying baby on the way home from visiting out of town family. We drove many a mile with a screaming child in an infant seat, so I really empathized with her. A little later she posted a picture of the child, then fast asleep. So all's well that ends well. I had a fleeting moment of thankfulness that we were past that stage of life.

We should have moved beyond screaming tantrums in the car, but Michael, our child of routine, has spent the last two days behaving as if he fell right from the pages of The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Vacation. After horrendous traffic nearly the entire stretch between Orlando and Atlanta, we've finally stopped for the evening near Knoxville, Tennessee. Michael is already crashed in the hotel bed, but he spent the last hour of the drive maniacally tormenting everyone in the car. He was also up, laughing hysterically, in the middle of the night last night and refused to be still and try to fall back asleep. He's thrown a fit today about choosing a bed, car snacks, dinner, where his headphones were, and how Harper's looked at him. It's a wonder we didn't toss him out of the car on I-75.

It probably has to do with his being tired, having had more snacks and less nutritionally sound meals than his body is used to, and the disappointment of our vacation coming to an end. He gets into these moods and rants that are almost impossible to snap him out of. He becomes completely unreasonable and the rest of us just have to hang on and try to survive Hurricane Michael. I sincerely hope this is something he grows out of as he gets older, although at this point I'm just hoping tomorrow is a little easier than today. We've got a good four hours of road time left...

Friday, November 25, 2016

Flashback Friday #4

I thought it would be fun, for the last Flashback Friday of this blog posting month, to flashback to the last time we were at Disney with both kids. Harper was about to turn 7 and Michael was about 3-and-a-half. Michael was probably a little on the young side for what I would consider an ideal Disney experience, especially since we had a stroller with us. The upside of the stroller was that we had all that extra space for storing whatever stuff we were schlepping around the parks.

One of my favorite things about this particular trip was that Michael told every single character we met that we were staying in a condo. It was adorable. I looked back in the blog to see if I'd written much about our trip or posted pictures and I had hardly posted anything! Oops. I wish I'd kept better track of that trip in this space. Oh well.

Michael was still perfecting the art of the funny face.
Michael was a little uncertain about the characters. Also? He called them mascots. 

By the end of the trip he'd warmed up a bit, especially toward the princesses, no joke. 
Here's an odd side note... seeing these pictures really makes me miss dressing little kids. They looked so cute and put together all the time. I'd like a four year old again, just for the dressing!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thankful Thursday - The Fourth

At the risk of sounding incredibly cliche, what an abundance of blessings this last week has made clear! It's been a highlight of so many of the best parts of my life: the weekend with friends I've held dear for over twenty years, time with my family in the "Happiest Place on Earth," crossing paths with friends from different parts of our lives and sharing vacation moments in a way I wouldn't have imagined possible, and lots of loving texts from the pieces of family we aren't sharing this holiday with - I'm even grateful for the technology allowing me to see my adorable nephew in his Thanksgiving finest this morning.

I know, in a logical way, all of the things I have to be grateful for on a daily basis - food, education, electricity, love, all of it and so much more. But there is a difference between understanding what you should be grateful for and deeply feeling gratitude. I think it sometimes makes me seem silly, but there are moments when I pause and just think, "I am so happy right now." Occasionally I even say it out loud, which usually garners me odd glances from my companions. Seriously though, I have had many of those moments this week, this month, even, and I'm even grateful for the ability to stop in a beautiful moment and allow it to wash over me.

We ate some darn good carved turkey sandwiches in a castle for lunch today - I hope, wherever you are and whoever you're with, your meal and company are equally magnificent!