Tag Archives: christmas

Ain’t That a Shame

 

at night I unhinge
my bones in moonlight.

maybe I dance
a little

maybe I remember him

I have ritualized dear grandfather
into my agnostic bedtime prayers.

Grandmother says she’ll
sleep through Christmas,
sleep right into next year
holed up above the awkward
holiday wishes

up where he slept, too.

and how

how has nearly a year
snuck up as quickly as

death did?

I can still smell the
cigar on his breath

the way his chest

rose
and
fell

with that rusted laugh
always the
ain’t that a shame

it is,
grandfather.

It is.

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merry, merry, merry.

Just stopping by to say Happy Holidays to you and yours.

Laugh, love, drink, be merry and be safe. Cant wait to read all the holiday posts!

xoxo,

Nicole Marie

P.S.

I hope Santa brings you a Jagwa for Christmas.

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Lessons in Hosting

christmas

 

Well, we officially survived the first Christmas in our new home!

I’ve never had to be a hostess before. I’ve only ever wandered from room to room, picking at the pepperoni and cheese and crackers (probably my favorite thing about Christmas – besides the family time and presents and blah blah blah) but this time was totally different! I had to clean and cook and slice the cheese myself and –

Alright, fine, I’ll admit it. Joe put the pork tenderloin in the oven. Joe’s sister brought a cheese and pepperoni platter so we didn’t have to cut any. When we wanted to add some muenster to the mix, my best friend cut some up and threw it on there. I put some crackers on a plate and set out the pre-made Cucumber Garlic dip and drank some wine and opened my presents and drank some more wine and ate some cookies and drank some more wine.

Worst. Hostess. Ever.

But for the record, I cleaned the entire house on Sunday, just in time for my future in-laws to fly in Monday morning to stay with us for a week! I also cleaned up something someone spilled on my kitchen counter.

Mr. Hotspur will appreciate the list of things received this Christmas!

– A beautiful vanity from Joe, so I’ll stop bitching that I have to sit on the floor like a commoner while putting on my makeup. I scurried downstairs Christmas morning to find it already put together, a big red bow and the Charlie Brown Christmas tree perched on top!!!

– A sweet Everlast punching bag (also from my Joe), so I can take out my work-related aggression at home, in our basement!

– Towels and kitchen things and domesticated adult things from the future in-laws (I feel all grows up!).

– Clothes and more clothes from my ‘rents – all of those things I’m not supposed to be buying myself much anymore!

– Nail polish and a vintage find and other awesomeness from the best friend!

– One twice-stained table runner,

– One wine-stained oven mitt,

– One clogged toilet,

– Ashes on my back porch,

– Crumbs on the counter,

– A cheese-induced post-Christmas tummy ache,

– And a partridge in a pear tree.

All in all, things went very well. Our home is beautiful, my wonderful family is completely nuts, and we all went to bed with full bellies and visions of sugar plums raving in our heads.

Enjoying the lights and sounds of the season until the New Year.

Isn't my handsome so festive? Best Christmas shirt ever.

Isn’t my handsome so festive? Best Christmas shirt ever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Friday!

 

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Tootin’ My Own Horn (that’s what she said…)

Just checking in to brag for a moment (and to see if everyone enjoyed their Christmas)!

Well I got the best present ever. A season ticket to Le Clown’s Blogroll!

Check it out here. 

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

oui, oui.

oui, oui.

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Merry Christmas, everyone!

I had something a bit more epic planned for today, but in the hustle and bustle of late Christmas morning, I only have time to extend blessings and giggles to my blogging family. I love you all! Eat, drink and be merry.

Now here’s your giggle!

Merry Christmas ❤

 

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So…do you wanna?

Joe and I did the usual running around in the few days before Christmas this year: liquor store for all the ingredients for Bloody Marys, martinis and spiked coffees; the grocery store for lunch meat and cheese; Sam’s Club for sticks of pepperoni, more cheese and some crackers.

I’ve eaten from so many cheese trays this season, I can feel my love handles growing.

Christmas Eve arrived and we picked Joe’s parents up from the airport for a slightly teary reunion. It was so good to see them, since it’s been a whole year.  Once we were settled into the car, it was off to the cemetery so Joe’s mother could visit her parents. Joe’s sister had recently put poinsettias by their headstones; it was very nice.

Back into the car and back to more driving around all of South Jersey before heading back over the bridge and dropping me off for work (yes, unfortunately I was among the thousands who were stuck working the eve before Christmas – which turned out to be a good thing in the end, if you know what I mean $$$). Back to Jersey for them, to work for me, then back to Philadelphia for Joe once again, to pick me up around 10:00.  All of this running around from state to state just so I didn’t have to be alone at any point before going to work. Nice, eh? 🙂

We arrived home that night, bringing in the cold air with us, and I immediately snuggled up in my comfy Grinch pajama pants with a glass of red wine. The four of us (Joe, myself, and his parents) talked for a while, ate some candy, cracked

One of Joe's favorite hobbies is taking pictures of me sleeping in awkward positions. He claims he was taking a picture of the tree. Pft.

open some nuts (one of Joe’s favorite things to have out on the table around Christmas time) and settled in to watch A Christmas Story – a tradition that I missed out on last year after passing out on the couch.

Well, it’s too bad I woke up a few hours later in a daze and a lying down position on that same couch, Joe passed out face down on the floor between the couch and the coffee table. Yep, I missed it, again. His parents were already in bed, it was already after 5 in the morning. Why was he on the floor when there’s two other couches in the living room? Who knows. He was like my watch dog at the foot of the bed. 🙂

We woke about 9:30, opened some presents (he loved the scrapbook I made him! and I looooved my Chi hair straightener, and all my other gifts, of course), then headed to my parents house with the plan to meet his parents at his sister’s house later that day.

We enjoyed a lovely breakfast with my parents, some Bloody Marys, and a glass of wine or two for me (in my opinion, Christmas is a free pass to drink while it’s still light out). My mother wrapped a can of Lysol wipes and handed that to Joe before handing him his actual present – a very nice tool set. Joe is a huge “germaphobe”, so this was pretty funny. I received a delicious Coach perfume, and a new digital camera. (Plenty of pictures to be posted from that, once I have the program set up.)

We left my parents just as it was getting dark, and headed back to our place to gather the rest of the presents we needed for his sister’s house. I ran upstairs to get changed (wearing tights was already getting uncomfortable), and as I barreled back down the stairs asking if I looked fat, I noticed mistletoe hanging in the doorway that hadn’t been there before. Leave it to me to notice it immediately!

I laughed and asked where it came from, and he tried to tell me it’s been there for days, which he then immediately admitted was a lie. “I forgot I had it, so I decided to hang it up,” he said. So of course, I dragged him into the doorway and made him kiss me. This is what followed:

Joe: “I have to put something else in the car. I think Santa may have left one more present for you on the tree.” ::runs away::

Me: ::intuition kicking in, along with confusion, since we have both made fun of cliche Christmas engagements for the majority of the season:: “There’s too many lights and ornaments on this tree, and I don’t know what I’m looking for. Give me a hint!”

Joe: ::pointing me in a general direction:: “It’s near the top there. A little to the left.”

Me: ::squinting, getting excited, getting nervous::

Me: ::gasp::

Me: ::finds shiny round thing hanging from ornament hook somewhere near the top of the tree. pulls it off. removes hook..::

Joe: ::shakes::

Me: “Is this a promise ring? ::laughs:: (We had been discussing promise rings earlier that day, and how – in my opinion – you should just get right to the damn point.)

Joe: ::takes ring from me:: “No, dear. That’s an engagement ring. It was Mom-Mom’s ring.”

Joe’s grandmother passed away a few years ago. His mother has been wearing this ring since her death. His grandfather passed away in 2000; they were married for 64 years.

Joe: ::puts ring on my finger:: “So…do you wanna?”

Me: ::laughs:: ::tries to breathe:: “Yes!”

We hugged, we exchanged the I-Love-Yous, and then my anxiety shouted into my eardrum, “Hey asshole, why aren’t you crying? Isn’t that required or something?”

Me: “I can’t believe tears aren’t pouring from my eyes yet!”

Cue the flood.

Joe: “Don’t cry!”

The flood immediately stops.

You never know how you are going to react I suppose, until your big day comes along! Every girl dreams of her man down on one knee, the tears flowing, a sappy speech. But you know what? How it happened is unique to us: casual, a little cutesy, but just right. Why do something that isn’t you, just for the sake of tradition? Let’s start our own traditions. 🙂

I am happy, I am overwhelmed with questions and decisions we are nowhere near making yet!! House first. Wedding second.

Oh, and his reasoning behind choosing Christmas?

“We always make fun of it, so I figured this would be the day you’d least expect it.”

Hahahaha.

It’s all still so surreal. When do these things really sink in? 🙂

Lots and lots of history on my finger.

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An Announcement…

Those aren’t silver bells I’m hearing this holiday season!!!!!!!! 🙂

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.

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A Personal Reminder

“Stop thinking about the past, and don’t worry too much about what’s going to happen in the future. Your presence is a present, so live for today, and appreciate everyone and everything you have. Stop thinking about what you don’t have, what you wish you had, who walked out of your life, and whatever else that falls in that category. Think about what you have, who you have in your life, and how fortunate you are.”

– Junethea Crystal Centeno

A Mrs. Colleen Brown over at The Chatter Blog recently blogged about what she is thankful for, in a post entitled Merry Christmas To Me. While I posted about a few things I am thankful for around Thanksgiving, I felt it was time to post about those kinds of things again, especially because those things are exactly what I am struggling to keep focus on at the moment.

I had a consultation with a therapist last night and it was better than I expected. Joe drove me there – he is so supportive and I am so thankful – and dropped me off in front of the building, in a tiny, rich, beautiful neighborhood about 40 minutes from our house. Christmas lights were strung from every quaint shop and the weather was abnormally warm.

She greeted me donning a sequined Christmas sweater and I immediately smiled as she lead me into a soothing room where a Yankee candle was lit (French Vanilla; I felt the need to look).

I felt comfortable enough to immediately spill my heart out and even shed a few tears. This is good. I told her I have been blogging about my issue, and she praised me for it. I received homework which included doing one thing each day that makes me happy. There was a list, with spaces to add my own ideas. I took an idea today that was already on it: Light a candle.

I unwrapped and lit a new candle Joe and I bought last week. It’s called something like “Log Cabin”, and really does remind me of the woods. I checked it off. Tomorrow I may check off “Take a bubble bath”. I haven’t taken one of those in quite a few years.

I already have plans to see her again. Even a consultation proved helpful.

I am feeling very, very calm – and happy – at the moment. 🙂

Anyway, to the true inspiration behind today’s blog: Why I will have a very merry Christmas this year:

1) I am loved by a wonderful man.

2) I am loved by my parents and a group of close friends.

3) I can pull  off a short haircut.

4) I am creative.

5) I have a pretty decent singing voice.

6) I am strange and Joe doesn’t mind.

7) I’m a little bit crazy and Joe doesn’t mind.

8) I am healthy.

9) I may not be rich, but I’m not poor.

10) I am sitting in front of the television, drinking red wine and watching HGTV.

11) I have lost a lot of weight, with the aid of nothing but exercise and my own will power.

12) I love to blog; I love reading the blogs of others.

13) B101 and 98.1 have provided me with unlimited Christmas music on all my lonely drives around town.

14) Singing at the top of my lungs while driving has really been making me feel better lately.

15) My income has raised significantly since switching jobs and that makes me very, very happy.

16) My Christmas shopping was done days ago.

17) Joe’s parents (who live in Florida) will be arriving this Saturday morning; we haven’t seen them since last Christmas.

18) There is a light at the end of every tunnel. I know this.

19) Christmas morning will consist of Bloody Marys.

20) Christmas morning is when I get to give Joe all of his presents.

I am fortunate.

For a moment, I’ve come unglued. But I’m slowly becoming reattached.

Happy, Happy Holidays.

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Let It Burn

A friend of mine suggested doing something she thought might aid in pulling me out of this frustrating funk.

“Write down every fear, every negative thought,” she said. She suggested I write down all of those things that have been plaguing me and running my mind ragged for the past few weeks, then take a lighter to them. She told me, “It’s a cleansing process. It may be your minds way of saying, ‘These thoughts do not exist anymore. They are nothing but ashes.'”

I loved the idea, and woke up yesterday morning, crawled out of bed and grabbed some paper and a pen. After writing out the list – with a bit of a shaking hand – I headed outside with the paper and a lighter. I gave myself a pep talk, some sort of speech with a witch-like ritual feel to it, and rolled my thumb downwards so the flame burst upwards from the top of the lighter. I took a deep breath and held it to the paper, and watched as the edges curled and blackened and the list I had written disappeared from the bottom up.

It felt good, I thought I could feel something changing.

Then the flame grew three times its size and I freaked and blew it out.

Sigh.

The majority of the list was gone, with the exception of the first negative thought on the list: “I am fat.” But I wasn’t too concerned. The list got more intense as it went on, hence the reason I was sure to start burning it from the bottom. I made sure nothing was left smoldering and proceeded to sweep up the ashes and dump them into the kitchen trashcan. The remnants of the list are still in the ashtray out back.

While I wasn’t able to completely trick my mind into getting rid of the negative nancy mood I’ve been in, it was a step in the right direction. I’ve been able to distract myself from my depression for longer periods of time. I just wish I could dedicate a blog entry to something other than this – but it’s still taking over when I put my fingers to the keyboard.

Joe’s Christmas shopping is finished, and I can’t wait for Christmas Day so he can open all of his gifts. He stares at the packages under the tree and tells me I spent too much. I told him he doesn’t even know what’s in them! He’ll get over it when he’s ripping them all open, hehehe.

“You don’t have to control your thoughts; you just have to stop letting them control you.”
— Dan Millman

Words to live by.

 

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All Cozied Up

Meow?

 “When we are present in each moment, the past gently rolls up behind us and the future slowly unravels before us.”

– Rev Richard Levy

 

 

 

I come to you from the safe haven of the living room couch, beneath two fuzzy blankets – one adorned in Christmas colors, the other wrapped carefully around my head – a candle scented as “Winter Wonderland” burning bright, stories of local shootings and more job cuts and a mall Santa who got robbed all booming from the television. Joe is sitting on the back porch in frigid weather, smoking cigarettes and chatting with his mother on the phone.

Joe’s parents – who live in sunny Florida – will be arriving this Christmas Eve, and I can hardly wait. Our parents will be meeting for the first time this year (Joe and I have been together for two years), and there is definitely a piece of me that is rather nervous about the four meeting. I mean, I’m sure they’ll get along. I’m sure they’ll adore each other! But put a bottle of booze in front of any member of my family (myself included), and things can get a bit out of hand.

We’ll make the baked macaroni and cheese and hope for the best.

(Love you, mom.)

A job transition is in the works, the Christmas shopping isn’t done, the anxiety and depression continue to undulate with the melodies of my favorite Christmas carols. All I can say is that the genuine laughter is coming back into my voice, the stomach aches are fewer, and normal meals have made their way back into my skimpy diet. Something to celebrate! I look forward to family coming together this holiday. I believe it may be the cure.

While I’ve avoided the subject up until now, I have come to terms with the fact that the sudden onset of this “funk” hindered my ability to completely finish NaNoWriMo. But – I’m trying not to get too worked up about it. For a first attempt, 72 pages added to my novel is still something to celebrate. Over 20,000 words in a matter of 2 1/2 weeks is something to celebrate. There’s always next year, right? Real life put my fiction on pause for a while, but I forgive it. Sometimes, these things can’t be helped.

There’s something about being wrapped up, warm, cozy, slippers on, the Christmas lights all ablaze. Maybe the warmth brings up a subconscious memory of being back in the womb, when the most important decision of our lives was to decide which side of the sack to curl up in. No? Maybe.

I made a yummy dinner of Chicken Parmesan with a tomato & basil topping, paired with a side of red potatoes mixed with onions and peppers. It was pretty delicious. Thank you, Rachael Ray. Simple, quick, inexpensive. Highly suggested.

I’ve been working on gettin’ domesticated.

Hope everyone is in the holiday spirit, and that the Christmas shopping is done (or close to it).

Happy. Holidays.

 

 

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