the REAL Christmas letter....

And the tradition continues.One year me and my friend were talking about annual “Christmas card letter”, which is a dying tradition I might add. I’ve only gotten a couple this year. And for the most part it is a tradition that I’m happy to see die. Although I still like getting real mail for a change, rather than just bills and junk mail.  (here is the first one).

I digress, well, my friend had been having a particularly rough year and we laughed about how people would react if we were to send out REAL letters. Not just the highlights but the lows too.
Today I finally mailed some of my Christmas cards. I say some, because I am positive that I forgot no less than 20 people. I don’t have an address book because I am pretty sure that is what google is for.
And I didn’t include a letter, because lets be honest, a girl who can’t get it together enough to mail her Christmas cards before Christmas certainly can’t be boethered by things like having having printer ink cartridges in her house.
It is hard to believe that another year has already passed. Because at this point they are all starting to blur together. I swear. We just took down the Christmas tree….and then we were putting it up again. (and now it is daunting me again to take it down. And maybe I will. Someday possibly even before Easter).

Last year about this time, I couldn’t quite finish my first 5K of the year without stopping for a walking break. That might have something to do with the fact that I talked way more than I ran, but still. Just last week I ran 13.1. no breaks. And I’m not new to running. But I’ve turned it up a notch. And everyday my legs feel a little bit stronger. And that maybe I can go just a little bit further. And I’m feeling stronger inside too.

This summer me and Shaun celebrated our ten year wedding anniversary. And went to Seattle which I loved. For lots of reasons. First, it was a million degrees here all summer and it was a good 30 degrees cooler there. Second, lots of coffee and seafood and street performers, Third, a spontaneous 8K followed closely by Pirates vs. Clowns parade led by Drew Carey and a husband who rolls with it. And last and most importantly, not a single kids meal or movie with a G rating. Ten years of marriage, 2 kids that look just him and I still can’t figure out where he hides my socks or why he can’t put the lid on the toothpaste and especially how he puts up with me. But I’m hoping for at least another 50 more.

Owen graduated kindergarten and got the same paper certificate that everyone in his grade did to prove it. I couldn’t have been prouder. Except maybe if he knew how to tie his shoes.  He also amped up his soccer game. Somewhere he got the idea that if he scored a goal he could go eat at red lobster. What 5 year old eats lobster. Mine. Although we have convinced him that Joe’s Crab Shack and Pappadeux are much better choices. And that shrimp are just really tiny little lobsters. And a whole heck of a lot cheaper.
Kindergarten was a bit of a struggle for Owen. He could never seem to stand still in line, not talk at lunch and was banned from dancing at show and tell. We made the decision to change schools. Partly because I was afraid they’d make me medicate him if I kept him there and partly because I never quite learned how to maneuver the pick up line. First grade has rocked. He is reading chapter books. Adding and subtracting like a TI-83 and winning citizenship awards. He has the hots for his teacher as well as a few other girls in his class. I’m just glad he is keeping his options open. And in addition to soccer, he has a new extra curricular activity that I initially signed him up for to piss off my husband and entertain myself. Hip Hop. And my boy has moves like Jagger.

Speaking of dancing. Tess has found her calling. Even though I had Owen signed up for little gym and swim lessons and hopped from one activity to another all before he was one, I decided to wait with Tess. Until strangers would stop me in resturaunts and grocery store  (maybe because she was dancing in the aisle) and tell me we HAD TO SIGN HER UP FOR DANCE. STAT. She has more tutus than I have pajama pants and is the most intense tiny dancer I know. Her first public performance turned out to be a surprise solo. I though surely she would chicken out and instead, nailed it. I wept like a baby and she soaked in every ounce of applause.  We wrapped up the terrible twos only to enter the even more terrible threes.  She is still feisty, introverted and butts heads with her daddy like she is already sixteen, ditching classes and stealing his beer. Instead, she is flashing the preacher at Christmas Eve service and covering every known surface in our house, car and her body with marker or pen. I’m sure this girl has a sharpie stash somewhere and maybe I should ditch the whole dancing thing and sign her up for art camp. or maybe let her join one of those gangs that goes around tagging public places.
Tess is still all girl. Loves dresses, shoes, Justin “beaver” and I think knows how to apply make up and paint her toes better than I do. She still however, barely has enough hair for a ponytail and wets the bed. Hopefully by this time next year she will have had her first haircut and be sleeping in big girl panties. Hopefully she will never correctly learn how to say blanket, because my heart melts a little everytime she asks me to get her “blanklet”.

My winter-spring was spent playing practical jokes, eating cupcakes, making new friends, visiting old ones, running really slowly, one more tattoo and drinking too much wine. My summer less jokes, more wine. I picked up the jogging pace a little. Beaches. Mountains and lots of swimming pools and driving kids around. Autumn I wish I could erase from my memory, but so far winter is looking up. I had a pretty crappy fall. And I don’t mean tumble, I mean the entire season. Nothing was especially bad going on, except for a 4 day stay in the relaxing local hospital for some minor organ failure (so long gall bladder and good riddance!). Shaun traveled a TON, marriage, friendships and work all just seemed hard and draining. And even though this is the REAL Christmas letter, I can’t let it end like that. It is barely winter again. The temperatures are dropping, but everything else seems to be looking up. Shaun got a raise and hasn’t traveled in months. And those other things are all getting easier. Plus, there isn’t so much I can’t run out. And if not, we just crank up the tunes in the living room and Owen and Tess show me their new moves. And Shaun laughs, or holds the camcorder or goes and watches Star Wars in the other room.
not enough reality for is last year's letter.


Susan said...

Love you, Michelle! :)

Bernadette Veenstra said...

I love your blog. So honest and funny. Thanks!

Kate said...

I love 'blanklet' too. We even call sheets that because, well, the mispronounciation of that was worse.

Hope the upswing continues, and Happy New Year!