How has the start of your holiday season been? Mine has been pretty nice, a bit chaotic, and has involved lots of sleepless nights, the eternal optimism in me thinks it has been mostly nice because it has involved lots of cookies, online shopping and listening to Christmas music.
As for Thanksgiving, our little household hosted the big feast for all eleven our immediate family members. Both sets of grandparents, brothers and a girlfriend were all in attendance. On Wednesday night, right after I burned a boiling pot of peeled potatoes, the thought I kept having was this: you know that crack I was apparently smoking when I decided I could handle hosting Thanksgiving dinner? Get me some more of that. I’m going to need it.
But the day turned out fine, of course; better than fine, perhaps. We moved the table from the nook to take over the family area and gathered every chair I could find, and used a few of Daisy’s art projects and collected a couple pinecones as my tablescapes (and for the record, I had no idea what a tablescape was before the invention of Pinterest), and turned the lights down low so no-one could see the dog hair on the futon and the crumbs on the floor. I brought out my wedding china and mismatched some other sets of plates – and got everyone nice and liquored up before I told J it was time to carve the turkey. We feasted and laughed, told embarrassing stories, and drank plenty of wine.
Friday of Thanksgiving weekend consisted of family pictures, a delicious sushi lunch, furniture rearranging and a double date. Family eventually left leaving behind multiple dozens of cookies and several pies. We muddled through another week of sleepless nights, due to the unending energy of a teething 10 month old, all the while distributing leftover cookies and pies to neighbors and friends (of course, this is after I spent an entire two hour naptime dunking cookies into my never-ending cup of coffee). On Friday night J and I had a Parks & Recreation marathon after the girls’ bath and bedtime, and on Saturday we drove out to Sacramento right in front of a massive thunderstorm which local news and the Doppler had been threatening all week. And on Sunday, in the pouring rain J ran his second marathon, and he officially became “a runner.” Complete with war wounds and all.
He did a fabulous job, running all 26.2 miles in the rain and the wind and chilly weather on little sleep (did I mention the teething baby?), although I was never happier to go home and take a hot shower. Cheering on a loved one in a marathon is tough work.
Of course, the next week had J walking around like he was in his mid-seventies. On Thursday night, I forced a mini-celebration at Chez Stars of sorts, to celebrate the end of J’s long training and his completion of a 2012 goal and Lily’s new tooth. We toasted and drank and then realized that this was just the first of 20 teeth to make an appearance over the next year. On Friday, I promptly went out and bought another bottle of Advil, a huge container of teething tablets, and scotch.
Of course, then I had grand plans for this past weekend: sleeping in, writing a final exam, Christmas shopping, editing essays and homemade cioppino. However, sadly the stomach flu found our household, the 24 hour bug that took me down hard on Saturday, and left me ravenous on Sunday evening with a house that looked like a hurricane had hit, leading to yesterday’s long-overdue cleaning and purging rampage – tiresome but ultimately satisfying – which means I’m now typing this from a house with bare toy baskets, squeaky clean toilets and shiny floorboards that smell pleasingly of almonds.