Thanksgiving thoughts

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It’s a day shared with dear family, close friends and good company. There’s turkey with all the fixings, and pumpkin pie of course! More importantly, It’s a day to say grace and give thanks. To remember the little things, the big blessings, the important people, life lessons and memorable experiences.

To others, it’s just another dreaded holiday to survive!

  • First of all, it’s can be a huge production. From cleaning, cooking, decorating and pretending you’re Martha Stewart to make an impression on your guests. Half of which, you may not be thrilled to have in your home.

Even if you aren’t the honorary host this year, it can still be stressful. Let me illustrate…

  • You might be worried if your dish is up to par with your mother-in-law’s “never good enough” expectations.
  • Maybe you’re cringing about the annoying interrogation session with cousin Amy. You discovered her obsession with your personal life is so she something to gossip during her “slow days” at work.
  • Perhaps it’s the unsolicited parenting advice from your aunt Josephine who has no real relationship with her own children.
  • Maybe it’s the criticism from your old man about how your life philosophy as a grown adult contradicts his beliefs, and how you were raised.
  • Mother dear could be on a mission to play the comparison game with you and your siblings. After all she doesn’t have a favorite, remember?
  • Your grandparents…God bless them, are upset and confused as to why there’s tension during what’s traditionally supposed to be a happy occasion.
  • There’s your teen nephew who’s always finding a way to get back at you for “tattle tailing” in 2007. He loudly announces this is your fifth serving of sweet potato pie.
  • Of course your family’s friend, Maria chimes in and nonchalantly asks you if you’ve gained a couple pounds.
  • Then there’s all the little ones including yours, running around high on life and on tons of sugar. You can thank your great aunt Eva for feeding them all her baked goods, because she’s too proud to see left overs.
  • To top it all off, there’s the obligatory family photos that can feel so forced and awkward. There’s half of you that really wants it for your child’s digital scrapbook, and the other half that doesn’t want to remember the three and a half hours of torture.
  • Your head and heart are pounding at this point. You’re about to snap on your uncle-in-law for asking you a million times over, “What’s wrong?” followed by, “You should smile more often, it’s a better look for you”.
  • Then from a distance, you see your husband getting into a major political dispute with your brother-in-law.
  • Your sister takes a horrible, unflattering picture, instantly posts it and tags you on facebook. She swears she loves the unwashed-messy-bun-makeup-free-look-of death style you’re sporting. You get angry even after she deletes it, because you’ve just had enough.

Perhaps the above scenario sounds mild, in comparison to your get-togethers. If that’s the case, then I give you tons of credit. Or maybe you actually look forward to Thanksgiving. Everything is pretty pleasant, aside from aunt Sophia’s green bean casserole. Consider yourself very fortunate you don’t need to carry the entire medicine cabinet with you. If extra strength advil and bepto bismol are your favorite meds of choice, I recommend not waiting the day of. Those things go like hot cakes! I’m kidding. I actually just made that up. All joking aside, I wonder if our negative experiences are partially affected by a contrast of perspectives and expectations.

Like this iconic painting which depicts an idealized Thanksgiving holiday. Norman Rockwell is the artist and dreamer behind this scene of pure bliss. It looks so posed and unnatural. At the same time, I am tempted to jump into this painting because it intrigues me. Even if I could teleport myself somehow, It wouldn’t feel like Thanksgiving because they aren’t my family afterall.

Perfection shouldn’t be the goal of your holiday celebration. It’s about the consideration of the people in your celebration. After all, without people there would only be things. A feast but no one to enjoy it with. You’d be talking to yourself, rather than having a conversation. A beautiful table, but no one to sit next to. We can either pretend and expect everything to be perfect or we can acknowledge we aren’t perfect and make amends.

When we do that and take accountability for our actions, I bet everyone would be happier (and not because of the spiked apple cider, either). If only Amy saw the hurt she caused her cousin and apologized, there wouldn’t be any awkwardness. It’s sad when unfortunate circumstances and distance creates a reality that falls short to great potential.

However your Thanksgiving looks or feels like. Whether all warm and fuzzy or something straight out a soap opera, I urge you to find something to be grateful for. Imagine we woke up tomorrow without the things we weren’t thankful for? Then we would all realize that we should appreciate the little things, even if that’s all we have.

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Wishing a Happy Thanksgiving to my family and friends from near and far.

With Love from our home to yours,
R

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stained carpet, broken heart, zombies and fall boots. what a week!

This was meant for Sunday, and three days I’m finally able to post.

Needless to say, it was the mother of all jam-packed weeks.

So much has happened. As usual, these past seven days had it’s bitter moments. It also had some sweet ones too. Here is a (small) glimpse of what my week looked like.

Because looking at my little girl on a post about not-so-pleasant things, makes me smile.

Bitter

  • Maybe this should go under the category of funny/ borderline not-so-funny mommy stories. My fifteen month old is the epitome of blissfully happy when she’s in her birthday suit. So as usual, I allow her to run around sans-diaper a couple of minutes before bath time. She’s shrieking and singing, and then completely silent. Very curiously, my husband asks “What did you give Izzie to play with?”. I wasn’t too concerned because I assumed it was some kind of tupperware. Nope. I was so very wrong. Not even close. What could of been a dirty diaper, turned out to be a disaster. I don’t want the TMI reaction, so I’ll conclude as discreetly as possible. It’s safe to say, my carpet and daughter’s hands are (now) cleaner than ever.
  • The example above is so trivial and light hearted in comparison to a loved one in deep pain. It was the worst and most critical situation I had to confront this week. It broke me in a million pieces that I couldn’t do more. All the empathy, listening, comforting and supporting couldn’t change the damage. I’m no physic or modern day prophet, but I saw this coming. I anticipated it and shared the cry for help, Unfortunately, those tears went down the drain and one of my fears became reality. My dearest (you know who you are), your sorrow is also mine because you are a piece of my heart.

Sweet

  • I actually found the first pair of fall boots for Izabella. I was looking for a size 3 which is comparable to finding a needle in a haystack. She has the tiniest of feet (like her mama), and fashionable shoes usually run two sizes waaaayyy too big. So when I found these at The Children’s Place, I grabbed the last pair like a crazy, mad woman. Mind you, they’re a size 4 and a little too roomy. So we’ll have to use thick socks, but at least she won’t outgrow them anytime soon. I think they’re cute. By the way she proudly paraded around with them, I think she agrees.
  • The new season of The Walking Dead started last week. I’m very partial to zombie anything, but this thriller series is anything but typical. The concept is incredibly creative and the plot is meticulously written. It’s filled with action, drama, and edge-of-your-seat suspense. If you have little ones, I have one word for you: DVR. (It contains violence, some language and gore). Plus, the scary scenes are a perfect excuse to cuddle with your lover. Even if it is at home. And it’s only for an hour. Hey, I’ll take it :)

Tomorrow is a new day. A fresh start. A hope for one better than the last. However, Mondays get a bad reputation, and with good reason. So here’s a little mantra for the most dreaded day of the week.

Now repeat after me…

May my monday be peaceful, and not mayhem. Filled with a little less deadlines and a bit more grace.

That officially concludes my bittersweet Sunday post.

Until next time,

R

falling

It’s some how mid october! How on earth did that happen? Before you know it, the Christmas decorations will be up. Okay now I’m getting ahead of myself. I still haven’t even carved any pumpkins or baked an apple pie. Which by the way, is still on my to-do-list. I’m in awe of how quickly the season has changed. Both literally and figuratively. Yesterday, I pulled out Izabella’s hats only to realize she’d outgrown all of them. Talk about a reality check! So I’m on the mission to buy cute outer wear and boots for the little one. Yay for autumn shopping!

In true writer’s fashion, I will take a sip of coffee and roll up my sleeves. It’s Bittersweet Sunday, so it’s time to ponder on my past seven days.

Bitter

I experienced several anxiety attacks, followed by episodes of depression. I’m no stranger with these disorders, because I’ve struggled since my pre-teen years. Nonetheless, It still feels like the first time. every time. It’s debilitating and sucks the life out of me. Ever ran really fast? You know that out-of-breath feeling? Your heart going a million beats per second. Ever felt so nervous, you could puke? How about that weak, almost fainting symptom of a high fever? Now imagine a three hundred pound man sitting on your chest. That is (in a few short words), what anxiety feels like. This “flight versus fight” response is our primitive survival mechanism. Perfect when confronted by a grizzly bear or escaping a building on fire. Not when you’re safely at home feeding your young toddler. That adrenaline rush eventually results in a humongous crash landing (aka: depression). It’s a dark, lonely, hopeless place.

Two words: Anxiety and depression. Enough said.

Sweet

Sometimes when I’m in that valley, seeing my dear daughter’s milestones is a ray of light. For instance, this week she learned how to a blow a kiss. Oh my word! It was one of the sweetest things I’ve experienced as a mommy. Especially when it’s followed with even more affection from this child of mine. She rested her head ever so perfectly in that space between my chin and shoulder. Then my girl looks up at me with those beautiful hazel eyes and says “ma-ma” with a grin from ear to ear. I know parenthood can sometimes feel altered. Even though every other child in the universe learns and grows, we feel our baby’s first (fill in the blank) is unique and monumental. I acknowledge to being biased, but my Izzie is one receptive, emotionally intelligent baby. It’s almost like she was trying to cheer me up. Call me crazy, but she accomplished what she set out to do.

My darling blowing kisses all the time now. I could get used to this.

Tomorrow Today (it’s 1:18 am…yawn), is officially the dreaded day of the week. So I will conclude my bittersweet sunday post as usual. Here are my wishes for you. A little mantra written by yours truly.

May your monday be peaceful, and not mayhem. Filled with a little less deadlines and a bit more grace.

Cheers to a new week! Hopefully a sweet one.

R