Wednesday, December 31, 2014

So Long, 2014

It was a good year. Let's review ...

I traveled a lot. Most of the big trips were on a plane. I flew to Florida and to California and to Alaska and to Pennsylvania and to Puerto Rico. I still am not a fan of flying, but thankful to have had good flights.

I participated and completed a whole bunch of races. Most of them were Disney. There were a few others thrown in for good measure. Most of them I did with Molly, and a few others I did with KB and Lynnette and Steve. I got to see my Disney Volunteer Aisling a few times, and I met some new friends along the way. I never trained the way I should have (so much for that resolution), but I'm thankful for all the adventures and experiences these races provided.

I went on a few cruises. I cruised to the Southern Caribbean, to the Bahamas, to other parts of the Caribbean, up the California Coast, and to Alaska. I cruised with family and with friends. I left from the ports of Port Canaveral and San Juan and San Diego and Miami and Vancouver. I took excursions on trains and boats and segways and on foot. Although Alaska will always be my favorite, I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to experience so much of the world in this relaxing way.

I had a lot of fun with family and friends. We went places and ate at places and had fun at places. We stayed home and watch a lot of Disney Junior. We had sleepovers and birthday parties and family trips. We enjoyed each other, except for when we didn't, which didn't last long until we were enjoying each other again. I am most thankful for every family member and friend with whom I was blessed to have spent time with this year.

2014 has been a wonderful year. It's had its share of friends who had lost loved ones and who have welcomed new little ones. It's been a year of learning and experiencing and enjoying. I guess what I'm saying is, "Thank you 2014. I hope I did you as proud as you have blessed me."
Today was a gift because: pajama day; watching the Bulldogs not win the Orange Bowl; making plans for upcoming trips

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Once Upon A Time I Had A Baby

It was the first one I ever had, so I had a huge learning curve. It started out with all those books and classes I took. For instance ...

I took Lamaze classes. They said that if I breathed correctly, labor and delivery wouldn't hurt. They lied.

Lamaze also said if I breathed correctly, I wouldn't need drugs. By the time I birthed that 9 pound baby, I would have taken any drug they offered (which they didn't).

The pediatrician and the baby books said that the baby would nurse about 30 minutes and sleep a couple of hours. They lied. The baby nursed for two hours and then slept for 30 minutes.

The hospital sent me home with the baby, thinking I knew what I was doing. I lied. Obviously I had no idea of what I was doing. The baby got jaundice and we had to go back to the hospital for blood tests and I had to put him on formula until he turned pink again and I had no idea of what I was supposed to do. My sister came down to help and almost succeeded in burning down the house (she was boiling baby bottles and we all fell asleep).

The baby kept growing and I kept reading books and the baby didn't follow what the books said he should be doing (I guess because the baby couldn't read). The baby would only run a fever on the weekends when the doctor's office was closed and I had to decide whether to take him to the ER or not (this was before Minute Clinic). Of course, the one time I decided to wait until Monday was the time his eardrum burst and the pediatrician told me that the baby's ear felt like it was a hot poker poking in his ear. Because I didn't have enough guilt already.

Anyhow, somehow the baby managed to grow up, and acquire two sisters along the way (neither of which followed any rules from the experts/books or any of the same patterns that their brother had). Nevertheless, in spite of my (lack of) parenting skills, they managed to grow up to be quite brilliant adults. But it all had to start somewhere, and in this case, it started with Sam, 34 years ago today.

Lucky me!

Today is a gift because: Sam's birthday (but don't wish him a happy birthday); lazy day; getting new eyeglasses; watching a Redbox movie (The Equalizer) and an oldie dvd (My Fellow Americans)

Monday, December 29, 2014

Travel Day - Yippee!!

Today is a typical Davidson travel day. Steve and I are driving home from Columbus and then once we get home and he packs up, Steve will go to the airport for a flight to Ft. Lauderdale for the Orange Bowl (Mississippi State is playing). Meanwhile, Sam, Lynnette, and Lindley will be flying back from Ft. Worth after spending Christmas with the Ogles (Lynnette's family). Sam will hang around Nashville until Wednesday, when he will fly to join Steve (and other Davidsons and all the other MSU fans) at the Orange Bowl. The good news is that I. Am. Going. Nowhere.

I am happy to stay home and possibly in my pajamas for a few days. Sure, there's plenty of stuff to do around the house (isn't there always?). But I'm looking forward to just sitting around and watching some Redbox movies.

Of course, it helps that I have new couches to enjoy during these quiet days. Did I mention that they are power Lazyboy recliner sofas? I'm not sure which one of us enjoys them more - Minnie Cat or me!
Today is a gift because: safe travel home; brief breeze through Lazy-Boy store; lunch at McD's with Steve; boiled shrimp/guacamole/Rotel dip birthday dinner for Sam; Lindley and Everley time; Mathieu making an airport run for Steve; Steve's safe travel to Miami

Sunday, December 28, 2014


2015 is quickly approaching. Of course we all know what that means - the beginning of a new  year with new hopes and dreams. And resolutions. Yuck.

To be fair, I should say that I do believe resolutions are a good idea - if you're the type of person who sticks with a resolution. Unfortunately, I have resigned myself to the cold hard fact that I'm not that kind of person.

I've certainly made my share of resolutions. And pretty much all of them have been total failures in terms of keeping them. All except one - to quit smoking. Technically since I've never smoked a day (or a cigarette) in my life, this was pretty easy to keep. The rest of my resolutions? Pretty much down the drain within a few weeks.

So this year I've decided to bypass all resolutions except one. This year I am going to work on my mind-reading. To be more precise, I am going to quit trying to read minds, since it is very hard and I am not very good at it. How exactly will this work? Pretty much like this:

  • I will no longer try to read your mind to figure out what you want from me. If you want something, just ask. I can/will or can't/will not do it. But neither of us will ever know until you ask and I give you an answer.
  • I will no longer try to read your mind to ascertain what you think of me and anything/everything that has to do with me and my life. If you're mad at me, tell me. If you don't want to talk to me, just tell me why and I'll oblige you. If you think what I'm doing is not exactly what I should be doing, just share your thoughts because I apparently am no good at trying to pull them out of your brain.
  • I will no longer try to read your mind to figure out where you want to eat or what you want to do or where you want to go. Just tell me. We can either go together or make separate trips. This way we stand a chance of both being happy and satisfied.

Sure, I'm going to quit smoking again this year. I'm sort of hoping I develop some good habits all the way, but we'll just see how that progresses. Maybe if I don't have to practice my mind reading, I'll have some additional brain cells to work on that. 

Good luck on your resolutions, if you're making some. But you'll have to tell me about them. Because I don't read minds anymore!

Today is a gift because: safe road trips to Columbus; 5 Guys burger on the road; chatting with GDiz at his house
Today is a gift because: safe road trips to Columbus; 5 Guys burger on the road; chatting with GDiz at his house

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Thank You For Your Christmas Card

To all of you who sent us a Christmas card this year - thank you. Thank you for including us in your annual greetings. Thank you if you sent us a letter telling us how you are and what you did this year - we enjoyed catching up. Thank you if you sent us a photo card - we enjoyed seeing how some of you have aged, and how some of you haven't. Thank you all for thinking of us, especially those of you who are our friends. For those of you who only know of us because of the checks we have written you for whatever reason - thanks, but we really didn't linger over your card too long.

To all of you who may be wondering if we sent you a Christmas card this year - let me set your mind at ease so you will quit eagerly waiting for the postman to deliver it. In other words, we didn't send a card this year. I considered it - I even thought about getting a photo during Doikmas when we were all together. But since I got zero pictures that night, period, there would be no happy family photo, either. So no photo Christmas card.

But just in case you were still wondering why you have no Christmas card from me this year, here are my top ten excuses six reasons ...

1. I have yet to lose the 350 pounds needed for a decent photo. Because photos (or is it television) adds 10 pounds to a person. And I certainly do not have 10 pounds to play with. Ergo, no photo unless there are many people around me. Possibly blocking me out. And as I said above, on Doikmas, that opportunity was lost.

2. Although I'm sure that I, along with my various family members, have done many things this year, I probably don't remember most of them. And if you are my friends (and read this), you already know what these accomplishments are/were, so who wants to read old news? And if you are one who reads this, then you know how prompt I rarely am, so the chances of my getting out a Christmas newsletter anytime close to Christmas are slim.

3. Addresses. Yes, I have your address. That is, if you have written me in the last several years. And have not moved. If you have and not given me your forwarding address, then there's another big issue there. Clearly this whole address thing is just one big stressful soap opera that I just don't need right now. Besides, I'm not sure where that ding-dong address book is anyway ...

4. Choosing a Christmas card. So if the family photo Christmas card is out, then there's the whole dilemma of choosing a Christmas card. Yes, I really do like you, but I am not subsidizing Hallmark and purchasing an individual card for each of you. Therefore I have to decide among a cutesy theme, a religious theme, a cutesy/religious theme, a holiday theme - clearly too big of a decision for me to make.

5. Stamps. Well, actually I have these. Only because Steve apparently found a good deal on poinsettia stamps and bought about a million of them. So I guess the few bills that I pay via USPS will get a dose of Christmas all year ...

6. Time. So let's say I found some acceptable cards. And the missing address book. And got them and a working pen and the stamps all in the same place at the same time. Talk about your Christmas miracles! Let's even say that I managed to compose a Christmas newsletter. It's going to take a lot of time to assemble all that plus write a personal note in each card (like, I'm so glad you like the check I wrote for the car insurance). And even though sucking up all this time would give me an excellent reason for not blogging, it's just not going to happen. Because I need to train for a race (or maybe start training). And I need to cook so I can start eating sensibly (as soon as I figure out how to use the oven). So in other words, I am just slap out of time for this.

I would have come up with four more reasons, but if you've made it this far, I think you've got the message. I knew I should have gone to that after-Christmas sale last year!!
Today is a gift because: quiet day watching trash tv; Molly's chicken 'n dumplins for dinner; Everley time; 

Friday, December 26, 2014

And Then It Was The 26th ...

'Twas the day after Christmas ...

Once upon a time, I would get up early and rush to the stores for the after-Christmas sales. If my sister and I happened to be together, we would make a big shopping trip (including the time we were driving her borrowed mini-van and noticed that everyone on the road was passing us, and not understanding why everyone was going so fast since we were going over the speed limit, only to discover that the borrowed van was set on kilometers, which meant although we thought we were zooming along at 70 mph, we were actually plodding along at 70 kph - otherwise known as 43 mph).

Anyhow, at some point in the past several years, this particular pastime has lost its luster. Maybe it's because purchasing a gross of Christmas wrapping paper just doesn't give me the thrill that it once did. Maybe it's because I prefer to sleep a little later rather than get up at the crack of dawn to join all the other shoppers in their quest of all things Christmas. Maybe it's because I did a careful cost-benefit analysis and found that the savings were simply not worth it to this old lady.

So instead, today I set about taking down the Christmas tree (before you go all ballistic, GDiz is coming for the weekend and I needed to rearrange things. Also, I also try to have it down by Sam's birthday, which is next Tuesday. And at the rate I am currently getting things accomplished, I needed to start today!). I also started trying to sort out the various piles of stuff that have been sitting around since Doikmas.

Of course, next December I will wish I had purchased those gift tags that are probably on sale for a dime today. And I will probably have to pay full price for a roll of wrapping paper. Maybe next year Marilyn and I can meet up and stroll with our walkers to the mall ...
Today is a gift because: Steve and Gdiz's safe travel to Nashville; Everley time

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Today is a gift because: the Gift that makes life worth living and love that is everlasting

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

'Twas The Night Before Christmas ...

... and it's very quiet.

LaLa and PawPaw are watching television (and one of them may be watching in bed - not saying who!) The rest of the family are in other homes getting ready for the big day tomorrow.

All the presents that were under the tree have been opened and are in their new homes (perhaps in a Goodwill box somewhere).

We don't have to help Santa get out toys or fill stockings - and tomorrow morning we can sleep as late as we can since there will be no one rushing to see if Santa's been there.

Yes, this is what Christmas Eve is like when you're really a grown-up grownup. It's quiet and peaceful and free of stress and neat and clean.

Yet maybe you feel a twinge of what was, and maybe you miss those days of little feet and anticipation and wonder. Maybe you realize that perhaps the stress and mess wasn't all that bad as it seemed at the time. Maybe you remember those squeals and expressions of delight from those little faces. Maybe you miss all that excitement and chaos craziness.

But then you realize that you don't miss it at all. Not because you don't have it and wish you did, but you don't miss it because you'll always have it. You have it in every memory and every picture. Because these are the gifts that we cherish the most - those Christmases past and those we were blessed to share them with. We remember the fun and the love and the joy. Those are the true Christmas gifts that we will never be without.

So on this Christmas Eve, I hope you get everything you want. But most of all I hope you have everything you'll ever really need - the love of those around you, sent by the One who loves you most.

Merry Christmas Eve!
Today is a gift because: Heavenly Ham store and clerks; ham and turkey dinner with Maribeth, Everley, Mathieu, Molly, and Steve

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

And We're Back!!

Sometimes when my computer and/or my router internet thingy is acting up, I can't connect to my Gmail email. Over to the side it tells me that we're not connected and then proceeds to tell me how long it is until it's going to try to connect again (and gives me the option to try now, which is usually futile). Eventually, if all goes well, we get reconnected and Gmail tells me over to the side, "and we're back!" It makes me happy because (a) I'm connected again and (b) I can read my important emails like the ones from my Nigerian banker friends who need money or male enhancement. Anyhow, now that we're back on track (and you know what I'm talking about), I felt the need to say the same thing.

I don't know exactly why it has been so difficult to keep current on this site. Sure, I've been traveling a bit and been busy a bit. Sure, my brain has been occupied with other things. But once again I'm caught up, hoping to stay caught up (and while we're at it, hoping to exercise on a regular basis, eat sensibly, read more, blah, blah, blah).

I appreciate those of you who have kept the faith, believing that this day would come. I appreciate your patience viewing my family photos (although they are quite adorable). I appreciate the fact that for some reason (or compulsion or sickness) you have continued to click on this site to see if indeed I was actually posting on the day that was indeed the day you were clicking.

Anyhow, I just wanted to say thanks. Because at Christmas, one realizes the true meaning of friends and family and love. And if you're reading this, you certainly fit into one of those categories. Thank you for being one of my categories - I am truly blessed because of you!
Today is a gift because: catching up; new couch delivery and delivery dudes; getting old couch out of den and into carport; Maribeth's stop to see new couches (our couches become like family)

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Dinner - Then and Now

This was Christmas dinner back in 1977 at my parents' house. There are several things you should notice. First, the holiday tablecloth and napkins (arranged in alternating colors, of course). You might also notice that everyone is dressed nicely and in Christmas colors (if you count white as a Christmas color) - and with their hair brushed. Of course there are candles in candlesticks and the "nice" china and silverware. The food you see is probably just a smattering of what was prepared (not by me). There was probably turkey and ham and several veggies and several salads involving fruits and jello. Off to the side somewhere is a table full of sweets and desserts of every kind imaginable, including the Christmas dessert of 1977 (something my mother picked up from work and/or her friends). And of course, pitchers and pitchers of sweet tea (welcome to the South, y'all). In other words, this was a big fat deal.

Fast forward 37 years and you'll come to my Christmas dinner contribution ...

It's festive because Little Debbie thinks pretty will convince the weak to ignore the 1000+ calories in each bite. And that's about as far as my Christmas dinner contribution goes. As far as dress is concerned, I will probably still be in my red fleece pj pants, if all goes well. And as far as any other similarity between my Christmas dinner and my mother's, well let's just say there will be food and it will be eaten. Thank goodness for Honeybaked Ham!

Sure, I miss the days of going home to a big fancy meal that my mother would put on. But it's not the big fancy meal that mattered - what mattered was being with family at this time of year when love manifests itself in so many wonderful ways.

So this year, whether you are dressed to the nines and have your Christmas dinner table overflowing with food, or if you are on the couch in your jammies eating pizza and watching "It's A Wonderful Life," may your plate be filled with the love of family and friends.

And maybe a Christmas tree cake!
Today is a gift because: catching up on bills and clearing off my desk

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas Photos - Part 2 - Christmas Sweatshirts - Good Idea or Bad?

Good idea when they're little and adorable. Even if one refuses to wear pants, only leotards. 

Good idea if you spend most of your Christmas budget on really nice sweatshirts.
And go to a really nice photography studio.
Like KMart.

Bad idea if you're old. And wearing $2 festive earrings. And your hair is as fluffy and wide as is your Christmas tree.

Bad idea if you don't specify that the sweatshirts should be Christmas-related.
Unless the MSU Bulldogs are having a great year.
And you need to rub it in to some of your "other SEC school" friends.
Because you don't get this opportunity often ...

Bad idea if you let the minors come up with their own ideas.
Because you will no longer have a wreath on the door, or a runner on the table, or a decorative candle.
But at least it's Christmas related??
Today is a gift because: brunch with KB and Molly and great gifts; Lindley and Everley time

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Merry Doikmas!!

Tonight was our annual Doikmas celebration. For those of you not in the know, that's the Davidson family celebration of Christmas. We always have it early so that Lynnette, Sam, and Lindley can get to Ft. Worth in time to spend Christmas with the Ogles.

We always have a theme for the meal. This year our theme was "balls." And it was a pretty good one! As you can see in the photo, we had meatballs, sausage balls, couscous, potatoes, blueberries, melon balls (sort of), oranges, peas, rolls, tomatoes, and corn (sort of a stretch there). It was all pretty yummy and everyone found something good to eat! And for dessert? Dippin Dots, of course!

Once we were all through eating, it was time for a usual Davidson tradition - moving furniture around. In this case, I wanted the humongous television in the living room moved a bit. Because it weights 90 tons, it gets stuck and won't budge. But with Sam, Mathieu, and Adam all in the house at one time, they were able to move it. And then move it back when the new position was deemed unacceptable ...

With the preliminaries over, it was time to get down to business (which Everley and Lindley had been sort-of patiently waiting for) - it was time for present opening!!

Naturally we gave the girls one to open first, so they would be entertained. And they were, until the presents starting flying fast and furious. Just about the time one person would open one and say "thanks" to whomever gave it, somebody else was handed one and barely had time to rip it open before someone else was expected to comment on his/her present. It was a wild time with wrapping paper flying and gifts being acknowledged and missing gifts being searched for (two ended up staying at Molly's house but eventually finding their way to their new owners). As for my "make it" gifts this year - they were pretty much nonexistent. Sure, I sewed some t shirts together for a blanket for Molly and seamed up some skirts for Lindley and Everley - and that was it. There simply was no time and even less inspiration this year - for which most of the family was probably grateful!

Anyhow, pretty soon everything had been unwrapped and Lindley's and Everley's mothers were busy trying to assemble the Elsa Lego Castle they had been gifted (the girls, not the mothers). The rest of family was trying to figure out what they were given (and perhaps why). And even though we had our Gift Amnesty Bin (no questions asked), nobody deposited anything in it.

All in all, a pretty good Doikmas!!
Today is a gift because: great Doikmas celebration; Lindley, Everley, and family time; great gifts for me!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Photos - Part 1 - Santa

Tip #1. Some do not like their pictures made with Santa.
Perhaps it's best to wait a year ...

Tip #2. Perhaps waiting a year is still not a wise idea.
Perhaps it is wiser to skip the Santa picture altogether. Forever.
Because apparently even with a friend along side for the fun,
Santa is still one big scary dude ...

Tip #3. Eventually you are too old (and too big) for a Santa picture.
How would one know this?
Because if, after your photo session, Santa has to take a "break"
in order to rush to the nearest radiology lab to get his leg x-rayed
for possible fractures and/or breakages,
you have overshot your Santa picture privileges ...

Today is a gift because: Maribeth, Lynnette, and Molly going to the JT concert; Everley and Lindley time; almost finishing all my Christmas shopping

Thursday, December 18, 2014

How To React To Your Christmas Gift - Parent Style

There comes a point when your children stop bringing you home the adorable whatevers they made in preschool. No longer do you get the reindeer made out of their footprints or the family trees made out of their fingerprints or really anything made out of any prints. Your children may even go through a period where they are unaware that perhaps they should do a little Christmas shopping for you. And this is okay, because (a) if it is your first child, you are happy with seeing their joy at Christmas, and (b) if it's your second or 19th child, you have an idea of what's to come.

So in that spirit, I would like to offer some exhibits of how to react to your child's Christmas present to you and then offer some pointers.

Exhibit 1 - Because what mother doesn't want her own weed eater for Christmas?

Exhibit 2 - Because what dad doesn't want a big fish pillow for Christmas?
And with those, here are some pointers ...

1. Appear overjoyed at whatever it is and act like it's the best present ever. Because it sort of is. Because (a) you got a present, and (b) your child gave it to you, which means (c) your child is no longer the self-absorbed spoiled brat he/she was a few days ago when he/she pitched a double-doozy fit about what he/she had to have for Christmas or else his/her life would be ruined.

2. Admit that this was what you always wanted. Because you've never had your own weed eater or big fish pillow. And on the list of things you never had, these would definitely be on them. And you would never have enjoyed the pleasure of these gifts had you not been given them (by the way, the year of the big fish pillow, I got flame seat covers for my car - which I promptly put on and used). So instead of thinking of the gift as something you may not have necessarily put on your Christmas list, think of it as a new opportunity.

3. Use whatever the gift is. Sleep with the big fish pillow, and/or the weed eater. Make sure the gift giver sees you using the gift. Why? Because trust me, just when you think you've seen it all in terms of your Christmas gifts, you ain't seen nothing yet!!
Today is a gift because: several Amazon packages arrived in the mail; new sewing machine success; starting/finishing the only "make it" gifts

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas Past(s)

In order to have a timely Christmas Day blog post (in other words, it's catch up time again), you will be subjected to some photo journalism for the next several days. I know, you can hardly wait ...

Anyhow, today's retrospective is from the 1950s. The years of 1957 and 1958, to be exact (why does that seem so terribly long ago? Oh wait - BECAUSE IT IS SO TERRIBLY LONG AGO!). This first picture is of an adorable child on her first Christmas:

Of course this is apparently before we could afford color film. Or a camera that could focus. Back in the Dark Ages, the person with the camera would take a picture, hope for the best, send the film off to film-processing land in San Antonio, Texas, and wait a month for it to return in the mail. By that time, we were so excited to see the pictures, a little blurriness was no issue. And of course, the adorableness of the subject in the picture overcame any other issues. You can also see that the adorable baby is sporting the latest baby buggy model, complete with rubber baby bumpers (as if my mother would let me out of her sight long enough to bump in to anything).

Anyhow, let's just fast forward to the next Christmas (do you already feel like you're in a modern version of "A Christmas Carol" yet?). As you gaze upon the sweetness of these two little cherubs, you will notice that it would appear that we had the same tree. No Virginia, we did not. However, my father did always go to the same lot for our Christmas tree every year, that lot being somewhere out in a pasture on the farm. I think my brother-in-law called it the Lewis Christmas Tree Bush because that's pretty much what it looked like. The tree smelled great the first few days until somebody stopped watering it. When it came time to undecorate the tree, it was so brittle one needed to wear gloves to undecorate it. Anyhow, on to cuteness ...

We still had the same drapes and blank bookcases (this was before we got the World Book Encyclopedia). I wish I knew what was in those presents - because it would appear that it was the most thrilling moment in my life (up to that point). The next year, I would get a baby brother in November. Wonder if I was equally as thrilled about that ...
Today is a gift because: receiving Christmas cards; early morning shopping before things got busy; packages in the mail

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Today started with a little more Amazon shopping and then some email clearing up/out and then some bill catching up. In other words, it's been a busy day. I've made some progress on stuff - I'm not sure anyone could tell it, though, since the floor is littered and stuff is slung all over my desk.

Thanks to KB, we now have Mickey watching out for Santa from the living room. He's next to our tiny tree - decorated all in Disney. And the stockings are hung by the chimney. Now to get the presents under the tree ...
Today is a gift because: two miles with KB; getting stuff ordered and wrapped; picking up photos from Disney; picking up Lindley and Everley at school; beef tips dinner with the family; Lindley and Everley time; blow-up Mickey from KB

Monday, December 15, 2014


So let's just start with the facts - Doikmas is this Saturday. You can figure out how many days I have until then. Supposedly my gift category is "make it." Divide that by the number of people I need to make something for and the hours I have left and multiply it by anything you want to. In other words, CHRISTMAS IS COMING AND I HAVE NO GIFTS FOR ANYBODY!!!

This morning I decided to make a list of people I need to assemble gifts for, and to dig out my closet for the purchases I have shoved in there. After getting them out, wrapping them, and labeling them, I discovered pretty much all the gifts fit in to two categories: (1) for Everley and/or Lindley, and (2) stocking stuffers. So I have no real gifts for anybody. Nor do I have any ideas for make it gifts. As if I had time to make anything anyway.

Anyhow, after some head scratching and soul searching, I headed to Where I found out that I could get stuff and have it delivered in two days because of the membership that Maribeth/Molly signed me up for.

Now we'll see if anybody actually likes the stuff I purchased.  Oh well, there's always the amnesty bin ...
Today is a gift because: getting started on the Christmas list; catching up on the mail

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Best Laid Plans ...

So after last evening's activities, I decided that wogging 13.1 miles would not be in my best interest (every now and then I seem to come up with a grain of sense). I had spent most of the night sleeping/watching television, so I happened to be awake at 5am when I got a text from Molly which read, "I think I've slept maybe 2 hours total tonight."  So in other words, so far we were two for three in terms of skipping the race.

The race didn't start until 8am, so around 6:30 I texted Lynnette to check her status (yes, she and Molly were sharing a room, but in case she was sleeping in, I decided to go to the source). She affirmed that yes, she was headed out. By herself. Luckily she found some fellow runners in the elevator so she at least had some people to walk with. Molly and I amused ourselves in our separate rooms until we decided to attempt to find the finish line and wait for Lynnette. Of course, she made it to the finish before we did. But we did give her a ride back to the hotel so she could shower before we headed back to Nashville.

We got back to our homes in time for Lynnette to make it to the movies with Sam and Lindley (and Maribeth and Everley) to see "Big Hero Six." Molly made it home in time to take down her undecorated Christmas tree (seeing as how time was short, she decided to get rid of the tree and start again next year). I got back in time to do nothing much - my favorite thing.

Anyhow, tomorrow starts the countdown to Doikmas (Christmas time at the Davidsons) on Saturday. Since all I've done in preparation so far is to shove any purchases in my closet, this should be interesting ...
Today is a gift because: much better health; beautiful cold day; seeing all the runners in the race; Lynnette finishing and her medal; lunch at McDs on the road; safe road trip back home

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Road Trip!

So what does one do upon one's return from two weeks of vacation? Jump in the car and head somewhere else, that's what! One is not very smart. But let me explain ...

Some time ago, Molly, Lynnette, and I signed up for the Jeff Galloway 13.1 in Atlanta that is this Sunday. Sure, we figured out that it would be on the heels of this vacation, but did that stop us? Heck no - we be dumb! So, after washing all the clothes, I procrastinated about packing (what does one pack for 24 hours?) until finally I formulated a plan. I was going to shower, put on my basic race clothes, and head for Atlanta after picking up Molly and Lynnette.

Oh wait - I forgot one detail. Molly and I had also planned to do a 5K this morning - we be really dumb! But when I woke up and noted the 35 degree temperature, I decided that it would not be a wise idea and decided against it. Meanwhile, Molly was sleeping through the whole race.

Anyhow, eventually around 10am the three of us were on the road, stopping first at Starbucks for some drinks for the road (this plot point will become crucial in about 5-7 hours). We stopped in Chattanooga to change drivers and take a bathroom break. I was feeling something so I decided to take a nap until we stopped a little later for some lunch. I was not interested in eating, as whatever I was feeling was taking a turn for the worse.

We made it to Atlanta and to the race expo to pick up our stuff. I also headed to the bathroom, as the worse was getting a little worse. We then check into the hotel - well, I did while Lynnette and Molly went for some IKEA-ing and Target-ing. As I was checking in, I had a moment of clarity and asked the desk clerk if they were full. When she said they weren't, I quickly got a separate room for Molly and Lynnette - just in case the worse happened.

I went to my room and turned up the heat and got into bed. Molly and Lynnette returned from their trip with the Dr. Pepper I had requested and then went in search of their room. I decided to take a hot bath. The scalding water helped alleviate the strange rumblings in my GI system - at least until my stomach decided to perform a Mt. Vesuvius eruption. Once this episode was over (with the requisite shower and clean up), I felt better and climbed into bed.

I'm not sure how Molly and Lynnette fared in their room, nor am I sure of what tomorrow will bring in terms of the race. For now I am happy that whatever was in my stomach causing discomfort (and all that was in it was the Starbucks from this morning) is no longer there. And I'm also happy I did bring a change of clothes with an extra shirt!
Today is a gift because: road trip with Lynnette and Molly; skipping the 5K; Molly taking over the driving; availability of room at Marriott; finally feeling better after hot bath produced results

Friday, December 12, 2014

Heading Home

Hard to believe that it's time to head home. It's even harder to believe I've been gone since Thanksgiving. The hardest thing to believe is that Christmas is only two weeks away and I haven't the foggiest idea of what I'm giving people. Oh well, today's mission was to get two adults, four checked suitcases, two strollers, two preschoolers, one mommy, one LaLa, and various other bags and Ipads back to Nashville.

We had to start early because our Disney bus was picking us up at 6:40am to transport us to the airport. I loaded two bags down to guest services for airline checkin and then sat with the sleeping babies while Maribeth loaded the other two. Soon it was time to wake and load the children (in pjs of course) on to the bus, along with the strollers and various bags of preschool entertainment options.

We made it to the airport with several hours to spare. Neither Lindley nor Everley had any intention of changing out of their pjs, so it became an official pajama day. Soon we were in the air and on our way home. A young lady sat next to me who was even less thrilled about flying than I am, so we made perfect seatmates as we carefully monitored our flight on the internet.

Eventually we made it home. Everley and Lindley came home with me to spend the rest of the day rather than go to school. Eventually their parents retrieved them and everyone slept in their own beds. A perfect end to a perfect vacation (or two or three)!!

Airport iPad negotiations

Headed home!! In pajamas!!
Today is a gift because: safe, smooth flight home; listening to Mary Jane's car dilemmas; getting everybody and everything loaded and unloaded; washing all vacation clothes

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Last Disney Day!!

With our last day upon us, we started with breakfast with Lilo, Stitch, and the gang. Then we headed to Downtown Disney for some shopping ... and unplanned (but thoroughly enjoyed) water play in the sprinkers spouts (my favorite part? When a mom and her two kids quickly passed us and I heard the mom say in no uncertain terms, "NO YOU MAY NOT PLAY IN THE WATER!"). After a change of clothes (which necessitated another shopping trip) and lunch, we returned to the hotel, unfortunately finding that our room had not been cleaned (just as it hadn't the day before). A quick call to Mousekeeping resulted in a trash and towel stop (we didn't want more since it was naptime, and that is greatly valued). Everley quickly fell asleep, but since Lindley had taken a snooze on the bus ride to the hotel, she and I decided to make a round at Epcot. We finished the day with dinner and a final dip in the pool - tomorrow we return home!!

Should we, or shouldn't we ...

We should!  We did!!


Lindley. And Mickey. And Minnie. And Spaceship Earth.
Today is a gift because: breakfast with Stitch; shopping and water play at Downtown Disney; Epcot with Lindley; packing everything to head home

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Another Day at Disney!!

Aunt Judy and Lynnette left this morning (again, to return to work), so that left Maribeth, Everley, Lindley, and me to finish this vacation. On today's agenda? The Magic Kingdom, of course, and dinner with the princesses!!

While shopping, someone found a new hat ...

Perhaps it was a little too big ...

Obligatory Grand Floridian Christmas Tree picture.

Dinner with Cindy

And Lady Tremaine

What happens when you have two cups of milk and LaLa says to drink it up!

After dinner treat!!

Sister 1 was loud ...

Sister 2 was louder!!

Once we had finally purchased a swimsuit, there was time for a swim - until BoBo got cold!!

And then a picnic before bed!!
Today is a gift because: dinner with princesses; shopping; evening swim and picnics

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

More Characters! And A Christmas Parade! And Fireworks!

After saying goodbye to Molly and Steve (who both had to return to work), we began our next adventures. First to Hollywood Studios to have breakfast with the Disney Junior crew, then to Epcot to leave Aunt Judy to shop, then to the hotel for naps, and finally to the MK for the Christmas Party! Whew! What a day!!

Clearly some people have better "photo" expressions than others ...

Everley is grabbing Elsa for Doc McStuffins to check out - which she did!!

Aunt Judy meets another new friend ...

Some people stopped by the face painting station ...

Lindley and Minnie (Everley slept through dinner)

Lindley and The Big Cheese!

Aunt Judy protecting her dinner from someone ...

The start of the Christmas Parade!!

The end of the Christmas Parade!!


The Castle!!
Today is a gift because: breakfast with Disney Junior; Judy successfully returning from Epcot; Mickey's Christmas party at the MK