it was the best of times….

oh, 2007, let me count the ways.

in which you didn’t suck.

in fact, the suckitude compared to 2006 was immensely lower. IMMENSELY.

the first month was rather, …. eh…., but what do you expect working overnights at target for $8.00/hr.

but after that, things just kept looking up.

there was my job i got, which was a much better one than target, actually utilizing some of the skills i have. glorious job!

i got my awesome camera with tax returns, a decision i definitely do not regret.

then there was nate’s job he got, which not only got him out of retail, but boasted a much-needed pay raise and 40-hour weeks, as well as a better sex life. woohoo!

and then…there was moving out of my hellhole. let me tell you, that was probably the highlight of my year. thus far, anyway. i cannot begin to convey how wonderful it is to go to sleep at night and not have to turn on three fans in the bedroom so i can ow, that doesn’t seem too difficult, does it?

1. check, at least for now
2. check! except the lease is for a year
3. not check yet, but we did attend the homebuyer’s course, and after our lease is up in 2008, we’re looking.
4. not check πŸ™ maybe this year
5. BIG CHECK (yay!!!!)

3.5 out of five ain’t bad.

all in all, 2007 wasn’t too shabby. probably the best year overall i’ve had in four years.

KUDOS 2007!!!

Contentment defined

I drive home every night from work after 8 p.m. through residential areas, and many houses are lit up with lights – blinking, white, colored, shaped into deer – you name it, it’s out there. And every night as I drive home, I wish I could just force myself out of the house after dark and drive around to look at the lights.

When we lived in Austin, often during the month of December, my dad would take me or me and one, two, or all of my siblings on a drive through town to look at the lights that people had put up. My mom wouldn’t necessarily come with; sometimes she would be there, other times it would be just my dad and a couple of his kids.

One particular time I remember going to Rochester to look at lights. For some reason, Rochester seemed a lot farther away than it actually was – it was only 30 miles from Austin, on a freeway no less, but it always seemed like two hours to get there.

My aunts Colettie and Kathleen were with, and Liz might have been with also. We first drove downtown, where all the deciduous trees had white twinkle lights strewn through their branches, something I had never seen before. Lights were made for pines, right? Apparently someone was thinking outside the box…or triangular branches, as it were. Even today when I see lights on smallish maples and other leafy trees, I think of that first time I saw them downtown in Rochester.

Then we drove through the “rich” neighborhoods, pausing at each house as the lights reflected in our eyes. Cul-de-sac after cul-de-sac, we drove in circles looking at all the lights the owners had put out for others’ enjoyment. 20-foot pines with colored lights up to the top, each window and eve lined in small lights, green and red lights winding up pillars that held up porch roofs. I couldn’t get enough.

But the best was yet to come. After we had exhausted ourselves looking at lights, and Lizzie was snoozing in the back seat, my dad pulled over in one of Rochester’s parks and pulled out a thermos filled with hot cocoa. I held my styrofoam cup in my hands and watched the Christmas lights in the distance across the lake, distorted by the steam from my cocoa. It really was the perfect evening trip. Contentment defined.

antsy

nate has hidden my present! i don’ t know where it is!! this makes me antsy. i want to shake it, even though it’s something i picked out.

three more days of work then a long weekend!! woohoo!

my xmas tree

today i dragged nate out to a tree farm where we got an awesome blue spruce, got it shaken and baled, and it cost $40. then we went to menard’s and bought a tree stand and a tree skirt as well as ornament hooks, and they were all on sale because apparently it’s late in the season.

then we came home and he cursed and got mad while i stood there and rolled my eyes as we got the tree to stand up straight in the tree stand, which, i might add, is a pretty cool tree stand. you stick this separate part onto the tree first, then slide it into the base, and it rotates so you get it in the right spot, then lock it in.

after supper we put on the lights and garland, which nate didn’t like because the tree poked him all the time, and i pointed out that it was poking me too, but do i make a big deal out of it? nooooo.

so then  i got out all the ornaments and put hooks on them, and nate put up like, two, then left me to do the rest. toward the end, he sat on the couch and watched me.

putting up christmas trees brings out the best in everyone, eh?

well, here’s the tree.

and here’s the star i made for the top since i forgot to buy an angel.

after the tree was up, i realized something was missing, and it turns out it’s the color red and some big lights. so, i went to walmart and bought red ball ornaments and red beads, which will go up tomorrow, and the day after christmas i will buy some big lights for the tree. and more garland.

all-knowing

When I was four years old, my family moved to Houston for the winter months because it would be a shorter commute for my mom to her work (which was two hours from our house). From what I remember, the apartment we rented was an upper level, two-bedroom place. The kitchen was small with an adjacent dining area that looked out over the street. The living room was also small and I think we just had our couch and TV brought over from Austin.

There are things I specifically remember about living in Houston. I watched The Wizard of Oz for the first time in that apartment. I tried to slide down a wooden pole at the park and got a huge sliver that ran diagonally across my hand. I made a snowman and called him Frosty (sans hat, but oh well). I cut the electrical cord to a lamp that sat next to my bed and nearly shorted out the house, then blamed it on the invisible man (my real imaginary friend, China, had long since been dead, gone in a tragic car accident).

And I remember being particularly concerned about whether or not Santa would find me that Christmas. For the holidays we were going to be staying at the finished apartment that resided in half of my aunt Kathleen and uncle George’s garage.

How would Santa find me? We weren’t in our regular house, and we weren’t at our temporary home. We were in some apartment in the middle of nowhere. How on earth would Santa know where I was? I was stymied.

Well, mom, being the wise woman she is, told me that Santa would surely find the way to where I was. I’m sure I asked a million times if she was sure, and how could she be sure, and was she sure?

Needless to say, Santa found his way to where I was. I remember falling asleep that night after leaving out milk and cookies, and still wondering if Rudolph might get lost on his way here, and then waking up late night/early morning and seeing a dollhouse sitting on the floor with a light shining through it, making it luminously pink. He had come! He found me! I was happy, and I went back to sleep and pretended I hadn’t seen it when morning came.

(On another note, it also snowed a bucketload Christmas eve, and the bed my parents slept in was right next to a sliding glass patio door, which for some reason didn’t shut flush with the wall, so when my mom woke up, there was a foot of snow next to her side of the bed. Fun stuff indeed.)

tree issues

Yesterday I helped mom put up her tree with Jane and dad was there too. We went to Stacy’s and tromped around in the snow and cold, and mom was weenie and after like, 5 mins of tromping, told us she liked β€œthat tree right there” and sat in the truck. Much to my chagrin, Jane agreed, and I gave up, and the tree came down.

Needless to say, mom has now agreed that my judgment in choosing xmas trees is far superior to hers.

That tree is TINY. It’s tall, but skinny as all get out. Back in the day (meaning, like, 6 years ago), we had a tree that completely filled up the space between the desk and the tv stand in the parents’ living room and came out to like, the middle of the room (in footage, that’s like an eight foot diameter on the tree). This year’s tree’s diameter is like, four feet.

NOT my choice in a tree. (pictorial evidence to come.)

But it’s decorated and pretty, and I am uber excited to get my tree this weekend. Woohoo!

quickly

i’m really tired and on my way to bed, but i thought i’d post something quick before i head to never never land.

as the sky dumped another four inches on top of the 6 inches we got saturday, i got in a really christmas-y spirit today. it was a nice change from last year when i was anticipating my grad graduation (was that a year ago already?), chewing my fingernails with worry about finding a job, and wallowing in rejection after rejection from companies who just didn’t seem to want to hire me. not to mention cursing the neighbors upstairs every night and wondering when i was going to get out of the hell-hole i lived in.

i am relaxed this year, finally, and i am ready for christmas.