Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Anticipating the Holidays

This scene is no longer. I took this photo at my school's autumn gathering...our Chili Off. It took place at our kindergarten teacher's place, which is a beautiful area. She has a wonderful old farm house surrounding by fields. While we were eating great chili and playing games of Corn Hole and Croquet, I snuck over to get this shot.

These fields are empty now. Only stubble remains, and I'm thinking holidays. How could I help it? I've already seen Christmas displays up in department stores when I was in Chicago over last weekend. I'll admit that I love the holidays...from Halloween on, but Thanksgiving and Christmas more so than Halloween. But that doesn't mean I'm game for such early decorating. I don't watch a lot of television but I'm sure the Christmas advertisements are there. I know some holiday movie trailers are out. The new release of A Christmas Carol with Jim Carey is soon to be out. Early November is just too early for a movie like that. I find that when all the hype starts so early, I get burned out around the time I should be in the throes of shopping and cooking and crafting.

I have to admit though, I'm looking forward to this holiday season more so than I have for years. Why? If you read (and I really don't have a lot of readers..I'm basically just talking to myself here), I'm pretty much an empty nester. While I do have one daughter still at home, it's different. I have no high school children. I am free from all of the commitment it takes to be an involved parent. I loved every minute of it, but....

I won't be planning a Madrigal dinner (although I plan on attending and enjoying it). So, I can cook, craft, shop and wrap to my heart's content. Another interesting change, my adult daughters are encouraging me not to do so much shopping, and I'm least if I can still do a little. We'll still have a family exchange on both mine and Ed's sides, but we will try to cut down on what we are doing for each other and instead adopt a family to assist.

We are having the big Thanksgiving meal (which I actually love because it is about food and not presents), but for Christmas we are planning on a more simple meal of soup/chowder, munchies, and desserts. We can have a lot less stress in the way of food preparation (Ed asked me..."When did this happen? Was I consulted?...he should know better), and more time for fun and games and holiday movies.

I am going to enjoy this...for years I've gotten caught up in making sure my girls were happy, that they had enough, that I was fair with what I did for each of them, etc....I'm a bit like my mother that way, although I'll never do what she still does...buys for each and every one of her children, their spouses, and her grandchildren. It's just too much and I wish I could get her to stop, but it makes her happy. I've finally gotten her to buy gift cards. I've finally convinced her that is what the girls prefer, but beyond that I doubt that her insistence on buying for everyone will ever end as long as her health allows her to do it.

I'm a Christmas fiend, so I'm sure I'll have a lot of posts about what I'm doing approaching the holidays. I've been away a lot due to a crazy schedule at home and school, so I hope to get back into the swing of things. And hopefully they won't be so all over the place as this one is (trying to catch up I guess).

DePaul Family Weekend

Ed and I visited Mary, our youngest, at DePaul University for family weekend last weekend. One of the events was a double decker bus tour from DePaul to center city and back northward again. Here is the back of Ed's head as we are trying to avoid decapitation when departing from the Lincoln Park area. It was a great weekend, except for one thing. I didn't get one single bite of Chicago Pizza. When your daughter lives there, pizza becomes commonplace and she didn't want it....guess I'm going to have to make a secret trip to Chicago to get my pizza fix!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Girl Power!

I'm going to have some fun. After all, it is October. After all, I said I'd share things about my grown children, since I don't have little ones any longer, nor am I yet a grandmother. So here is a good one. How cute is that.

Do you remember the Power Rangers? Have they come back around yet? This is Erin probably around 14 years ago (she is now 20 years old), in a costume I made....yes, I made it. I made almost all of their Halloween costumes. I remember the late nights sewing, determined to get them done. All for an hour or two of collecting candy. But boy did those costumes make fun dress up clothes long AFTER Halloween was over. Yes, I'd do it all again, and maybe I will one day for my grandchildren.