The Days After……

Hello Luvs,
Well, another Christmas eve and day went by without a hitch…isnt’ that what they say?? I guess that means without something awful happening, huh? It is very different around our house now, since the kids are all gone on their own. Part of me really likes it because I never really got to be “alone” on my own before. I left my parents home to marry and then when I divorced, I moved out with my 2 kids to an apartment . It was closer to my parents, my family…but I’m not sure why I moved in that direction. I really should have run the opposite direction and kept on running! But if you’ve been reading my blog along from the beginning, you will know why I just made that last statement. If not, then you might want to read some of the earlier pages, that spoke of the abuse and such. I guess I never really had “alone” time very often until now. I do enjoy it and its very soothing to have that little bit of time to reflect and to keep yourself more calm.
One thing for sure, is that Christmas will not ever be the same for me again, after this year. I know my girls were getting older and older and older. I knew one day they’d be gone and have a home of their own. Just know that this Christmas, I “ate up” every single second of the time we had together! Amy and Grant (my youngest 25 yrs and her fiance’, 27 yrs) both have their own apartments and they came for the entire Christmas eve day and they stayed for the whole evening. Grant went to sleep over for the last time at his parents house, with his younger sister, Sarah, who’s 20. Amy stayed over night at our house and in her old bedroom, now called the “guestroom”. I had made up the bed for her and set up everything very nice for her. For one more time…… in my entire lifetime, I got to feel that peace, the peace that only a parent knows and feels, when everyone is tucked in their beds at night and all feels right in the world again. But to go back a few hours….I’ll explain our day and night. I thought I could share some of our traditions with you and then maybe learn some new ones from a reader?

Amy and Grant arrived about 11:15 am on Christmas eve morning. We met them at the mall because one of our Christmas eve traditions that we have done as far back as when my girls were born, is to have lunch at one of our favorite restaurants called, “Olga’s Kitchen”. We met them there and had a nice lunch and none of us had any shopping to do, luckily. But we got a Starbuck’s coffee, only to watch all of the “Hustlers and bustlers”, with their last minute shopping. We walked around the mall for about an hour after our yummy lunch and with our “salted hot carmel Mocha” from Starbucks. Amy and I talked and Craig and Grant talked and we all had a nice Christmas eve afternoon. We left the mall to go back to our house together. Amy and Grant were so cute, they were still wide eyed and excited about Christmas so that made it fun for me as well. We decided to let Grant open his stocking stuffers from us and have Amy open her Xmas eve gifts from Craig and me. We had loads of food and “goodies” out, along with hot cider, soda, coffee and tea’s. After opening his stocking voraciously with all of the fun sound effects,jokes and amusing stories that we’ve come to expect from Grant, then Amy opened up her Christmas eve gifts from us, “Mom & Dad”. It’s really fun, by the way that since the wedding is only 3 weeks away, Grant started calling us “Mom and Dad” now…I LOVE IT!! I love kids, all ages of kids,….grown up kids, little kids, baby kids….I love them all. I wish I’d have had 10 more kids than what I had!!.
Did I mention that the fireplace was on and the stockings were hung with care? Did I mention that my little story “dad” bear was in his rocker waiting to read “twas the Night Before Christmas”? Also, the cat knew something was happening…something was very different…it was louder and more busy than what she’s used to ….she decided to hide out under the couch for most of the festivities!!. We had gone to lunch and they opened a couple of gifts, but we had planned on eating my homemade Lasagna, which has become a new tradition just recently. I’m a very good cook , but never really gave myself the chance to believe in my own cooking because I was always too afraid I’d get put down and told that “i couldn’t do it right”….so I never tried until now. I made the best Lasagna ever! Well, I’ll just tell you a little of how I made it in case you want to try…it was excellent! I put some ground sausage and ground sirloin together and sautéed it with some onions. I added some Pasta sauce called “Prego -Tomatio, Basil & Garlic”, 2 bottles of that went into the meat mixture after browning and draining it. I added a touch of seasonings to my liking and put it aside. I took the Ricotta cheese and mixed an egg into that , making it more easily “dolloped” into the dish and spread over the Lasagna noodles which was cooking in boiling water in the stove during all of this. I put a little plain sauce in bottom of the pan. Then I put the Lasagna noodles by 3’s across, one at a time into the pan. after the noodles were covering bottom of pan, I put the meat/sauce mixture into the dish on top of the noodle layer that I had there. I put a few dollops of the Ricotta cheese /egg mixture on top of the noodles, then sauce . I spread it into a nice layer but not too thin and not too thick. *(By the way, the oven should be pre heating during all of this at about 350 degrees)…I put the : Mozzarella (grated), the 5 Italian cheeses (grated) and the Parmesean(grated) on top of that layer and then another layer of noodles. You do that in layers just like I said, until everything is gone. You save the last meat/sauce mixture for the top and then some added cheese as well. You cover it lightly so the cheese does not touch the Foil and you put it in the 350 oven for about 35 minutes. Then you take the top off, the foil and throw that out, while leaving the Lasagna in the oven for 15 more minutes. It is the most excellent Lasagna ever! I actually got the recipe from my bff, Marge! Thanks Marge!!
We ate the Lasagna after going to church service at 4:30. I had forgotten that part. We were planning on going to the candle light service at 6:00 pm at the church near our house. But we would’ve had to have eaten the Lasagna early at about 4:30 and left in only 45 minutes for the 6pm service, in order to get a seat. Nobody was hungry yet, because our lunch at Olga’s was so great and filling!! So we decided to switch it up and go to the children’s service at 4:30 and then eat the Lasagna when we got home after that. So that is what we did. We were nice and hungry when we got home. But we felt a little bit less than fulfilled with that church service. Now , we knew it was geared for children and we don’t mind “funny” , “fun” and/or “dumb”, but it was just very boring, only 20 minutes long and the minister was not talking at all to the adults. It was definitely a children’s service but I’m thinking the adults were not supposed to get anything out of it. Somehow that doesn’t seem right? Everyone should feel something about Christmas services? The Mary was an older girl and they made her pregnant and the boy was very young and didnt know his lines well and then “mary” kept on calling him “Joe”…it was not very thought provoking or “Feeling”…It was more like comedy and I dont prefer that especially on Christmas. There were no songs or bells or anything that made it feel like Christmas around there. My daughter had a great idea….when we got home and we were eating our traditional “S’mores”, she decided that we should try to go to church again that night. I mean, it it Jesus’ birthday after all?? We didn’t feel like we’d even gone to church….so we would watch most of the movie “The Holiday” and drink cocoa or hot coffee/flavored, and eat some of the goodies that I’d made with Craig. Then we went to the 9pm church service near our home and it was Awesome!! It was beautiful and there was the gorgeously decorated church and the lights and the choir and the bell choir!!! It was great and we enjoyed the service and the Homily and the people …just everything made us all feel more like the way going to church is supposed to make you feel.
After church, Grant came back to our home again and we gave him all of his presents and we gave Sutton’s presents to Amy to open and they gave us their presents to us!!! It was awesome and fun and a wonderful memorable Christmas eve. But it was about 11:30 and the kids had a long day the next day, with Grant’s family. So Grant went back to his parents house to sleep over for the last time and wake up with his sister and parents for Christmas morning! Craig and I woke up with Amy and Luna was there of course. We turned on the Christmas music, I wore my Santa hat and I started the hot tea. Amy went straight to her stocking and then we all had our tea and opened the gifts from Santa. We had a great breakfast of pancakes, bacon and juice, with hot tea. Then after dishes were cleaned up, Amy had to go and get ready to spend the day at Grant’s Uncle and Aunts house with Grant’s sister and Parents as well. Craig, Luna and I had a quiet and nice Christmas day, but I never got out of my Christmas nightie! It has reindeer on front and its from “Eddie Bauer”…it’s so cute. I wore the Santa hat, made coffee in my Keurig with my new special hot mug! I played with Luna, got some love from her and then Craig and I watched some Christmas movies and I got my loving from him too! It was quiet, but it can be whatever you make it. I could have chosen to be sad, depressed and to have felt bored and /or lonely that day. Some people may have felt that way, if they’d had my Christmas day. I CHOSE to relax, enjoy the Christmas music int he background, read a bit, play on my iPad awhile and hang out with my favorite kitty, Luna and my favorite Hubby, Craig! All in all we had a good Christmas. I feel like next year may be a little bit harder because it may be the first time since 1986, that I won’t be waking up in the morning with children in the house…big or little “children”…they’re still my children to me.
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Most of life is like like that you know. Bad things can happen to us and they do, all the time. But how you deal with those bad things, that is the key in this life. If you choose to be sad then you’ll be depressed and you won’t be able to ever enjoy anything. If all you do is complain about it all, then you will alienate the people who may want to spend time with you, but not when you are like that. If you choose to just be “down in the dumps” then you will not have any fun. You have to make your own fun! You can play game, watch a movie, listen to music. I found that throughout these holidays, I would play my IPOD on the Ihome speakers. I loved listening to the Christmas music this past month. I enjoyed it immensely and we put it on each morning. Sometimes we even dance slowly together in our living room. I married my best friend. I”m so lucky……who knows what next year will bring??? Maybe my now 10 year Christmas “miracle wish” will come true next year?? I had so hoped it would this Christmas, but no such luck….We still had an excellent Christmas time…and now…I have New Year’s Eve to look forward to! We are meeting 2 other couples for Dinner and then they are all coming back to our house for games, food/dessert, and to watch “the ball drop” on “New Year’s Rockin Eve…..its not the same without Dick Clark, but they still do a good job!!
This holiday is such a whirlwind; because after the New year’s festivities are finished, we then have only a few days until my Sleep study, which is on Friday night at 9pm and I have to stay until Saturday morning at 6:00 am. I guess I dont breath when I sleep and you can die or it can really hurt your heart worse or since I’ve already suffered a CVA (stroke), I could have another one because of course, it’s never good to stop breathing when you sleep! After this study is done, I will go home and set up for my daughter’s Wedding shower that I am giving her at my house! All of the women from the wedding are coming over at 2pm and we are having a beautiful shower for her!!! She’ll have a pretty corsage and a pretty dress! She will be treated like the Princess she is for the day!! She will be a most beautiful bride on January 11th 2014! I cannot wait to have a son who loves me and who treats me really great!! That goes really well with the daughter who loves me and treats me great…Thank you for reading and I hope you’ve enjoyed me sharing my holiday with you today….br />20131230-173422.jpg<

Oh….and one last thing that I must mention is that as you know, I am a chronic pain paitient. I have full body CRPS and I have CKDII and Dysautonomia/POTS/NCS, along with Rheumatoid Arthritis, Degenerative Disc Disease, Immune disease deficiency, a pacemaker, Osteoarthritis and much more. But I didn’t let all of that pain stop me from having as much fun as my “Pained” body would allow me to have. I guess you could say that I took my emergency medications for just these kinds of special ocasions. I planned and napped and just put it into my head that I was going to have a nice time. No doom and gloom, just smiles and fun…but no fakeness..thats’ not what I mean either…I just had to really put myself into another state of mind, even if I’ve had to “pay” for it the few days and still today since Christmas, it was and is still worth it….thanks so much and please come back again…Suzanne<