Thursday, December 30, 2010

1 House, 20 Years, 90 Days, How Many Boxes?

This is my math problem.  1 house x 20 years + 90 days = ????? boxes.  How many boxes will I need?  Will we need?  Because we're moving.  Thats right, folks!  Packing up and shipping out.  It's a by product of my parents divorce - although my mother (and assorted relatives) paid the mortgage for most of their marriage, my father's name is on the deed.  First, the courts said we had to sell - so the house and adjoining building have been on the market for a year.  Now that the divorce is final and the property is unsold, my father was granted the option of "buying out" my mother.  For 2k.

A house and fully functioning facility, on four acres of land.  For 2k.  He has eighteen months to come up with the next 38k.  I'm sincerely praying that he does in fact come up with that money. . . but for now thats all it is - a distant and bare hope.  He hasn't even come up with less than $70 a week in child support on a regular basis. . .

Anyway, we have 90 days to vacate the premise, and 2k to find someplace new with, which will be a challenge with our two large (and much beloved) doggies.  But we'll do it.  Faith, determination, this is how the world goes 'round.


Right now I'm sorting through 20 years of clothes, toys, nick knacks, craft supplies, memories, and some-day-i-swear-i'll-get-to-its.  In case you were wondering, this house is the house I've lived in my whole life - think anti-military brat.  I'm midway through my Sophomore year of college, though, so I do realize that most of my truly essential things are either with me at school or in the two suitcases I'm living out of this break.  And the very MOST important things I need will go with me without boxes.

Take my house.

Take the fridge, the freezer, the washer, the tv, the table and chairs.

Take the yard and the swing set.

Take the winding road I know as "home."

But you CANNOT take my Faith - that goes through the door with me.  

I can give away the nick knacks but I keep the memories - good and bad.

My things may be packed in boxes, but my friends still stand by my side.

This is life, and I'm not afraid.


Monday, December 27, 2010

Also, My Boyfriend Is an Awesome Gift-Giver.

I am not kidding.  Or exaggerating.  Or even being biased because he's, you know, my boyfriend.  Don't believe me?  Lemme tell you what he got me for Christmas.  I wish I could find a picture of my:

White gold necklace, with a key shaped pendant (I am not much of a trends person.  However, I love love love key shaped pendants.  I desperately wanted one before they stopped being chic and were impossible to find).  The key shaped pendant is also white gold, and the top of it is shaped like a delicate heart.  The sides have scroll work on them.  Oh, and the entire thing is encrusted with diamonds.  Even the teeth are diamond studded.  It's also small and fine - I am sort of a smallish person, and I think bigger pieces look kind of overwhelming on me.  I like delicate, small, light. . . I think it's more elegant and feminine.

Like my Christmas present.

Best Christmas Thus Far.

The title really does say it all this time.  My Christmas this year was amazing.  Why, you ask?  Why was this year so magnificent?  Well, for the most part it was stress-free (I wish I could say it was just stress free.  But come on now, let's be serious.  This is my life we're talking about, and I'm like a stress magnet!).  My family is awesome and eccentric.  Everything on my wish-list was taken care of, even things I didn't know I should wish for.  Boyfriend's family are wonderful, all of them.  The food was delicious.  I don't think I've ever done a better job selecting Christmas presents - which was an amazing feeling, to see people's faces truly light up as they unwrapped their packages.  Which I had color coordinated. . . another reason this Christmas was fantastic.  I did miss the Christmas Eve Mass at my Church, which hurt a bit. . . but I read through Scripture and listened to Christmas Hymns and it all truly spoke to me this year.  I've never fallen asleep so at peace. . .

We started Christmas Morning at Boyfriend's mom's house.  His baby brother (20 mos.) had been up all night throwing up - there was even a 2 am ER visit.  So the morning started a little sleepy, a little subdued, a little hesitant.  The baby cuddled up on the couch with me, seeking comfort in his favorite blanky and from his daddy's constant reassurances.  Things warmed up quickly though as he discovered the wooden toy cars in his stocking!  I was pleased with the gift cards in Boyfriends stocking (no, we're not too old for stockings!  We will forever be our mama's babies!  Now please don't judge.) because his mom explained Santa was thinking we could go on some dates with them over winter break (thanks Santa!).  I was excited to give everyone their presents - new earrings and a J shaped earring holder that matches her bedroom for the little sister, a xylophone for the baby, fudge for Nanny Sandy, and a firepit for Boyfriend's mom and stepdad.  The baby finally got the hang of opening presents, and it was adorable!  The little sister was so sweet, eagerly trying out each new item and handing out presents.  Boyfriend got several VERY exciting things, such as a new TV and a Blu-Ray player (did I spell that right?)!

And I got very spoiled.  My "big gift" was a Nook- the Barnes & Noble eReader.  I was SO excited - I know some people are very opposed to them and worry they will put printed books out to pasture, in another post I will explain why I don't think they will and why I am so excited.  I also got several "little gifts" like pajamas and giftcards.

The next stop was Boyfriend's dad's house.  As soon as we got to the door, Petey was jumping up and down and wiggling his little stub tail.  Then we were taking off coats and boots, balancing packages, hugging, kissing, calling out greetings, and tripping over Petey.  It was a perfect "Hello."  We handed out our packages - some handmade goodies I had been up for hours making the day before.  They'd been carefully wrapped in tissue paper and placed into boxes I spent forever selecting (sorry Mum!).  I was pleased to find out Boyfriend's dad's present was his very favorite!  Peanut Butter Fudge!  Little brother was also really happy with his cookies, stuffing as many into his mouth as he could before turning around to show his mother.  I was surprised when I was handed a bag with my name on it - I love this side of Boyfriend's family, and have spent time with them.  Just not as much as I have with the other half of his familia, and I was surprised (and touched) they had taken the time to include me so fully.  A beautiful new zip up sweater (warm and fluffy and rich blue) and a little bottle of fantastic perfume were all mine :)

After some yummy Brie and french bread, stuffed mushrooms, and Dasani rasberry water (purchased just for me, because I avoid drinks with carbonation and Boyfriend's father sweetly remembered). There was lots of good conversation and laughing. . . and I still can't believe how tall Boyfriend's little sister got!  She is the same age as my brother, and SO much taller than me!  She looks like she is seventeen, and she most certainly is not!  The boys are in big trouble . . .

From there we went to my Mom's house.  I was literally bouncing in my seat with anticipation, ready to hug my mother and kiss the birthday boy and give everyone their gifts!  Mom's house didn't disappoint.  No one was allowed to unwrap a thing until I arrived, and the whole house was a dreamy mixture of crackling-fire-smell, lasagna baking smell, and pine tree smell.  Mom, the Kid, Sister, A (my older brother) Boyfriend, and Sister's Boyfriend all arranged themselves around the room as we tore into presents.  I got a fantastic pair of gray ankle boots (I've been DYING for these for AGES.  Thanks so much mumma!) and the means to buy my bikini for Trinidad, cute clothes, a Sing-a-ma-jig, loads of wonderful gift cards, supplies for spring break like extra strength sunblock, chocolate, a hair straightener, and other assorted marvelous and thoughtful presents.

 Did I mention my family rocks?  After Christmas was officially over, we switched to birthday mode - thats right, someone in my family has a Christmas birthday.  It's one of the things that makes my family awesome - and why there was lasagna cooking on Christmas!  Lasagna, key-lime cheescake, aritchoke dip, egg nog, and singing accompanied the birthday meal.  I was so pleased with what Boyfriend and I had found for the Kid, both for Christmas and his birthday  - his favorite Wii game for the former, and for the latter a bunch of new baseballs and some good batting gloves (Obviously Boyfriend's selection).  

Can you imagine a more perfect day?  I can't. . . and I can't wait for dozens more Christmases like it in years to come.

Happy Holidays everyone.

Friday, December 24, 2010

O Holy Night. . .

"Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Saviour is born"

Merry Christmas to you and yours.  May you close this year in peace, love, and comfort, and ring in the next with joy and excitement!  Now get to bed so Santa can come!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Visions of Sugar Plums

This is a post of things that make me happy.  Tonight I found lots of things to be thankful for, and I wanted to share some of what has made me smile in the last 24 hours!

This song: play me!  Some people may be sick of the song because it's so over-used in advertising around the holidays.  I don't think it's possible to have seen a quality ballerina dance the Sugar Plum Fairy's solo, however, and not have a weakness for this piece.  Especially if you are, were, or have ever spent anytime with a little girl. . .

This picture:

That's right folks, she's all made of snow.

This quote, as I try to figure out my winding road ahead:
Thank you Tolkein!

Making and eating more of these:

Just about everything the Vitamin String Quartet does: be moved by me!

And of course things I don't quite have pictures for and of.  Watching Boyfriend go into Claire's and pick out a sparkly, pink and purple, sequined earring holder for his little sister.  The special sound laughter has when it's over Chinese with people you care about.  Realizing you talk to your mom more often than some people talk to their whole families combined.  Daydreaming of a time and place where you can provide everything your loved ones want, and put it under that tree with a big golden bow.  The supreme comfort that my Faith provides. . . even on a day when I've spent every last penny I've got, I'm reminded I haven't used up everything - you can't simply spend faith away.  It's one of the few things you can help give. . . and never have to let go of!

Is there anything that made you happy in the last day or so?  Would you mind sharing it with me?


This might be my favorite part of the holidays:
Christmas Presents!
I love everything about christmas presents.  I love taking the time to figure out what people really want or need, or something unique that might surprise them.  I spend all 12 months of the year on my Christmas List, trying to come up with ideas and wants that people don't expect.  And I'm not much of a shopper: a combination of having very little money for a very large part of my life, a natural thrifty streak, and a certain lack of patience with almost anything most girls adore (seriously, I'm awful.) combine to make me . . . an anti-shopaholic?  No, that sounds like I'm personally against shopaholics.  How about a non-shopaholic.  Well, it's closer at least.

But all of that changes around the holidays.  Suddenly, I can't WAIT to load into the car with lists and ideas and head to the mall, the bookstore, the toy store, Target and Best Buy and a hundred places more. 

And then what do you do with all that carefully selected loot?  You have to WRAP it of course, which I love to do!  Pick the prettiest paper and the biggest bows or the shiniest ribbon and go to town!  

I even love coming downstairs from my room, my arms loaded with gifts to nestle under the tree.

I would seriously be totally happy with a Christmas where I got not a thing, but could afford to buy or make EVERYONE I love beautiful gifts.

Thats the only part that is hard for me:  I can't always afford to do everything I'd like for all the people I love.  This year's list includes Mum, Sister, the Kid (my little brother), A (my older brother), Boyfriend, Auntie, Boyfriend's family, Nieces (nobody panic.  None of my siblings had babies, just two friends of me and Boyfriend!) and if I get my way, a few of my friends.  I wish I could include everyone, or at least get the people I do have on my list what I know they'd REALLY love. . .

Here's hoping!  I'll let you know what I come up with after prying eyes have opened their gifts!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

This Is My Winter Song. . .

Well, okay, it's actually Sara and Ingrid's winter song.  But I thought I'd borrow it and share, since it's so lovely and the music video is really very sweet.  Oh, right!

Here you go: click me 
Also, did you notice?  "Say What You Mean To Say," is currently under construction!  I really loved the colors from the previous layout, but it was a little. . . basic.  And simple.  And plain jane.  And also, it's the holidays.  Which means time to decorate!  Keep an eye on the page to see how it ends up!

Well, until the holidays are done.  Because then it will be time for a new theme. . . 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

So, In The Past Month. . .

As mentioned in last night's post, it has been a little more than a month since the last time I blogged.  So much for using this medium to document my life/keep folks updated.  So this post is going to try to fill everyone in one what happened in that month (more or less.)  Ready?  Set?  Go!

*Medea opened.  Medea is the name of a classic Greek tragedy by Euripides .  It's one of the oldest plays in the Western cannon, and an incredible artistic venture.  I had the privellage to be cast as a Wise Woman of the chorus in the show.  This was thrilling, because it was not only my first role in a play, it was a complex and exciting one.  The Greek chorus is the precursor to the Chorus Line, the Corps de Ballet, choirs, and extras in a film - we chant, create soundeffects, narrate the story, interact with the leads, interact with the audience, and have whole sections of dance, chanting, and lines to add depth to the story and clarify things to the audience.  Sometimes, we represent what a charcter is thinking or feeling or perceiving: other times, we play "ourselves" (each chorus member creates a name and complex backstory for themself, to make their reactions more realistic).  This show was an incredible experience for me to be a part of: and it was hugely successful!  We had several shows at capacity in the beautiful new Mainstage.  I was so grateful by the family and friends who came and were part of those audiences.  Almost every night for two weeks, when I came out from backstage there was someone there waiting with a smile, a hug, and a congratulations!  Friends, famlily, faculty, classmates, and Boyfriend (it was very exciting to have Boyfriend come, as he had never seen me perform before!).

*The Mainstage opened.  Ok, so this is really more like a sub-event within the umbrella of events that was Medea.  The Mainstage, as I mentioned above, is the brand new theater at my college.  It's BEAUTIFUL, large, state of the art, safe, and the crown jewel of my small college's facilities.  Opening night was such a HUGE deal, and it was thrilling to be part of.  Everyone from the Board of Trustees to the President of the College, the arcithects of the Mainstage to it's donors was present at that first sold-out show.  There were also agents and producers milling about, faculty (some of whom cried, score), Senators (yup) and lots of people in fancy clothes.  All of the cast members were encouraged to get dressed up and come out and smile at these important people who keep our Arts Department running.  I put  on my "big girl clothes" (aka a pretty black dress, some heels, my ONE necklace, a headband and a smile) and altered my stage make up . . . and stepped out into a whole different world.  Ok, so it was just my college with a few decorations and some fancy desserts.  But it might as well have been the post-Oscar reception!  Needless to say, I had a ball and was thrilled. . . it showed me that other people love this, too. Art and theater and performance, and they value those of us who pursue it.  What an awesome feeling.

*I was nominated as an alternate for a major acting award.  More on that later as I contiune to hyperventalate and rehearse.

*Thanksgiving.  Five days "off" from higher education, spent bouncing around from place to place, eating yummy food and watching movies.

*I had a bit of a setback with my arm.

* I discovered I'm violently, bizzarely allergic to ice.

*Finals "week" began.  Technically finals week begins tomorrow, but I'm a Dance Major, and we have TWO weeks of finals. . . the week before is finals for all dance technique classes, and many dance academic classes hold finals then too (Creative Movement, Dance History, Pedagogy, etc.)

Well, I guess thats more or less the gist of things!  I promise to not bombared you with such long-winded-catching-up-on-life-posts in the future, my dear readers.

Friday, December 10, 2010

I Am The Worst Blogger Ever.

I really am.  I admit it.  It has been more than THIRTY DAMN DAYS since I put up a blog post.  And thirty plus days ago?  Said post was whiny and self-indulgent.  I apologize for not being very good at this. . . especially in comparison to some of the super lovely, creative, daily blogs you can find.  *Sigh.*  But I promise to be better.  I really do (no wait, don't roll your eyes.  I mean it!  No, comeback!) and I'm going to start blogging super regularly again, and about all sorts of fascinating stuff.