Rush Shipping for the Christmas Save with Collage.com

Fine Print: You're about to read a sponsored post, which means I was compensated in exchange for sharing about my experience. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. But I figure you already knew that. 

Okay so if you're the devoutly religious type, maybe you'll think I'm off my rocker and Jesus trumps rush shipping at this time of year on the Level of Importance scale, but let's just pretend that I'm on to something for a minute here.

I used to be the chick who bragged about finishing my Christmas shopping by Halloween and having every gift wrapped and placed under the Christmas tree while the Turkey was roasting on thanksgiving day. I know...I know...I kind of hate Past Pauline right now, too. What a bitch, right? 

Don't worry, Karma evened things out in the end. I'm older now. I've got a kid and too many things to do on my to do list and I'm sitting here finishing my Christmas shopping on December 14 because Life. That's where rush shipping is my new favorite phrase and collage.com is my new Happy Place. 

Living so far from family means that they miss out on a lot when it comes to seeing Eliana grow up. Photo gifts are always a win in this case, and that's exactly what my mom, in-laws, and a few close aunts and uncles are getting: a beautiful 16x20 wrapped canvas print featuring one of my award-winning photographs of my favorite little muse.

It's easy enough to create the perfect gift on Collage.com, and your not limited to canvas wraps. You've got options like photo books and fleece blankets to choose from, too! And just so you know, you've even got plenty of flexibility with the canvas wraps themselves. I may have opted to go with a single image here, but you can upload more than one image for a wonderful collage someone on your gift list is sure to love. 

Just keep in mind that Rush Shipping isn't going to make Christmas happen if you wait too much longer. As of right now, this is what you're looking at if you get your order in tonight...

I know I am not the only one on the internet running around in circles screaming that the sky is falling because I am so unorganized when it comes to holiday gift-giving this year. There's no shame in scrambling at the last minute. I would even venture to say that the grandparents wouldn't mind if something special made just for them showed up a day or two late if you'd like to stick to the regular shipping rates. Whichever route you take, I'm pretty sure you're on the right one with collage.com. 

Happy Last Minute Christmas Shopping! 

I received free products in exchange for my post. All opinions are - and always will be - my own. Thank you to Collage.com for sponsoring this post. 

That Time I Compared Santa to Chocolate

  Photo by Pauline Campos

My sink is full of dirty dishes. The house is not Santa Spotless as is my usual. I have tons of gifts still to send out and even more missing from under my tree. I lost our magic Santa key so I told the child I texted Santa the code to the lockbox we save for dog sitter. I didn't bake one christmas cookie. I only sent out 15 christmas cards. My usual is 50. It's hard work dragging your ass out of bed when there's no other place you'd rather be, what with missing friends and autoimmune hell running the show.( I got an answer, by the way: psoriasis. The rest of that story will have to wait for another post another day.) But it's work that must be done when you're not the star of a one woman show. And my costars demand Christmas cheer and holiday magic. This is good, because I am doing Christmas even though I'd rather be binge watching bad movies and eating too much ice cream. Pretty sure that depressive, self-indulgent luxury is one every person who agrees to cohabitation loses as soon as Yours  becomes Ours. I'm even telling myself the cluttered mess of a house and the dirty dishes are progress because Instead of staying up until 4 am to scrub the house clean just so I could say I did,  I'm leaving them as they are.

Photo by Pauline Campos

My plans include wrapping a forgotten gift, writing a tiny goodbye note from her Christmas elf in sparkly gel pen in teeny tiny writing, and climbing into bed with The Husband and the child who was too excited to sleep, because Obviously Mom, Who Can Sleep On A Night Like This? She can, Obviously and Thankyouverymuch, tucked up between heartbeats that sandwich her own. Its the only sound loud enough, I think, to soothe her into an instant dream.

Photo by Pauline Campos

The dishes can wait. I've got sleepy hugs waiting. This is progress. Santa, like chocolate, understands.

From Nothing

 

I tried planning ahead this year. Working from home while homeschooling and trying to keep up with the laundry usually means everything is last minute and so many things get pushed off until tomorrow. Or the next day. And then the day after that. I had planned to met my deadlines a week early and enjoy this week with my little family and some close friends. The house was going to be clean and the Christmas menu set and the food prepared so all I had to worry about was what to do with the leftovers.

We never got to that part.

I got the flu. The kind that came out of nowhere and hit my like a frat party hangover. Suddenly the world was spinning and my head was too heavy for my neck to lift. I sat there breathing slow and shallow breaths like the kind usually reserved for labor pains. The column I had started working on was put on hold as The Husband silently took away the Macbook and I shuffled off to bed. Tomorrow, I told myself. One day wouldn't change anything.

Three days later I was still sleeping more than I was conscious, burning up even when the thermometer didn't register a temp. Every breath felt like fire in my lungs. My body ached. The Husband took to sleeping in Eliana's room on her tiny little twin bed, hoping ti avoid the plague, while my little shadow crawled into our big queen and snuggled up next to me every evening. "I'm taking care of you," she told me. "Don't worry. I'll hug you all night so you feel better."

By focusing on me, she was letting herself forget the suitcase she had packed in her room. The one full of randomly selected clothing and toys and even her toothbrush and toothpaste for her "trip" to see her Guela in Detroit. My mom had moved with us to Tucson when Eliana was 18 months old and lived with us for three years. When she moved out, Eliana was lost, but the presence of a very close-knit friendship circle did wonders for soothing her anxieties. Then we moved again and this time, Eliana was old enough to miss those we left behind and want so very badly to wave a magic wand and instantly recreate something out of nothing in our new home. Northern Maine is beautiful. We love it. But it can also be a little lonely when it's time to explain to a child that making friends takes time. Making friends that become family takes even longer.

So she packed her suitcase and pretended she was taking a magic airplane to see her grandma and would be back on Christmas morning in time to open gifts. I was the flight attendant. Her daddy was the cab driver. And then for the entire day before I got sick, I was my mother and our home became her home and I wished so very badly for Santa to fit a new friend-family under our tree. And then I couldn't move without the world spinning and her make-believe was forgotten because Mama had the flu and Daddy was either working or trying to help out when he got home and she dealt with it by comforting herself by comforting me and I love her for it.

Day four was better. I was able to get out of bed. The world was still again. My body ached and I moved slowly, but I was out of the woods and still planned to get those fucking deadlines met and out of the way. We were going to make cookies, dammit. And drive around to see Christmas lights. And play board games and listen to Christmas music and drink hot chocolate. And then on my birthday, we were going to drive the two hours to Bangor for the sales and a movie and a birthday dinner. That was the plan. Then the plan changed again.

Both Eliana and The Husband got knocked senseless by the same flu I had just weathered. My laptop sat open and waiting as the laundry piled up and the sink over-filled with mugs from tea with honey and hot toddies and broth. I didn't shower because I was too busy shoveling snow, carrying more logs inside to keep both woodstoves piping hot for heat, and making sure my husband and daughter stayed hydrated. I took their temperatures and grabbed my keys to drive to Walmart for Nyquil for The Husband and more albuterol for Eliana's nebulizer and learned I wasn't going anywhere until I shoveled away the snow the plow driver had piled four feet high against the garage door.

Christmas did happen, though. They opened their gifts from the sofa bed. Santa was nice this year, even if he didn't get a chance to tackle that last request from me. Eliana was well enough to get out of bed and play with her new toys but the suitcase stayed packed because she's not done imagining her grandmother closer.  And The Husband apologized for not being able to take me out for my birthday. I told him to shut up and just feel better.

Today was my birthday. I spent it taking care of my patients and picking up more prescriptions. We ate leftovers and the sink is still full and the laundry untouched. Then I made homemade pumpkin ice cream floats and they sang Happy Birthday to me before our ice-cream melted and we watched Mary Poppins and my laptop sat, waiting just a while longer, while plans were ditched in favor of The Moment that was right there for us to grab on to.

"I'm sorry about your birthday," The Husband told me before he dragged himself back to bed.

"Don't be," I told him. "We're together."

Waffles for Breakfast

It’s impossible to always put yourself first…

but poisonous to always put yourself last.

Those words are by my friend, Jenni Chiu. I found them tonight and I'm sharing them with you now, partly because they need to be shared.

Mostly because I needed the reminder myself.

I'm in a weird place right now. I'm not even sure of the words to use to describe it, which doesn't happen very often. All I know is I keep hoping that tomorrow the veil I can't shake will have lifted. I want to see the sun again and feel it on my face.

I want to stop being the reason The Husband worries.

I want to stop being tired all the time and remember what it feels like to revel in my once-regular workout routine because I know it makes me feel good.

What I don't want is for Christmas to be a giant farce wrapped in pretty paper, because right now, that's what it's turning out to be. The Christmas cards went out. The gifts are under the tree. Santa's ready. I know Christmas morning will be magical for her. Her magic is my own.  But I want my own groove back.

When I wake up to find my daughter quietly playing in her room, her breakfast dishes in the sink, and the opened cereal box on the kitchen counter because she knows Mama needed sleep, I vow to sleep like normal people do and wake (like normal people do) with (or even before) my child. I'll start tomorrow. Then I'll start the next day. And then it's 3:30 a.m. and I've accomplished nothing. I climb into bed, drawing myself close to the warmth of my husband's body, and fall asleep before I can worry about everything I still have left to do.

She asked for waffles the other day. I made them for lunch. But I know it's not the same.

I'm going to be 36 soon. The new year is almost upon us. There's a promise in every tomorrow. I know all of these things. I just don't feel them right now. Maybe it's something in the water. Or maybe I'm seeing so many friends writing about how they are pulling themselves through this holiday season just barely because so many of my friends are writers now and this is just how we process. I'm not sure. What I do know is I see myself in their words. Maybe you see yourself in mine.

We're mothers. We're women. We're tired but don't want to be.

We're doing what needs to be done for others. We're wishing we didn't feel guilty for even considering that we must also do what we want for ourselves.

We push ourselves relentlessly because we've learned to balance the weight of the world on our shoulders and don't know how to deal with the sense of lightness that comes when anyone else tries to lift it because that is what we would do for those that we love. The problem is that we don't know how to handle taking the time we need for ourselves to just breathe and do for ourselves before we find ourselves running on empty.

Awkward on Purpose

I was feeling pretty proud of the fact that The Husband and I managed to get a family photo shoot scheduled in time for Christmas cards (and even prouder that I made up for never getting a first grade pic of Eliana by throwing a few chalkboards with 2nd grade into a few random shots of our child). But then friends who are much cooler than we are posted theirs on Facebook. We can discuss the fact that I'm too technically stupid to figure out how to show our pictures to you yet, seeing as how the images are higher resolution than the typical iPhone instagram you see on here. For now, we are going to revel in the genius that is my favorite Family Christmas session in the history of awkward family memes. Ironically, the pictures you are about to see aren't mine, but my friend Brittani and her husband Scott obviously have no shame because they told me to have fun when I whimpered about how utterly bloggable their pictures are.

Probably because they haven't seen my blog before, but I'm running with it.

Note the goth child, the naked baby doll being held by the little cherub in the classy flip flops, and Mom's 80's cheese smile, the requisite ugly sweater, and side pony tail.

I know these people. And I can vouch for Dad. For the record, he does not own a white van with painted over windows.

Please note that the Goth Child stayed in character the entire photo shoot. Mostly because she was thrilled at having been allowed to wear lipstick. She didn't really give a damn (or notice) that it was black.

And my favorite. I can't look this vapid on purpose (although I seem to pull it off fabulously when I can't remember if I took my Adderall or not).

Merry Awkward Almost Christmas, y'all.

 

The Aspiring Mama Tech-Free Gift Guide

I'm a sucker for technology. Proof? Right now I'm reviewing a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy Gear Watch and that means I'm walking around with all that plus my iPh0ne. As a writer who lives and breathes social media, I'm knee-deep in tech stuff more often than is probably good for me. My kid has an iPad mini, The Husband is all about Android, and sometimes we consider the times we sit at the same table and never make eye-contact as family time. Sad, I know. But I know we aren't the only ones.

That's why I decided to put together a list of my favorite tech-free gift suggestions for my first attempt at a gift guide in an effort to drive some of the Cyber-Monday craziness to the little guys who are in it for the love and not the big bucks.

For the Wine Lover

We used to make our own wine from kits and only stopped when I was diagnosed with yeast as one of my many allergens. The In-laws, however, are still brewing their own at home because it does taste better than most wines. Trust me on that. When I saw this recycled wine bottle serving tray set from ConversationGlass on Etsy, I instantly thought it would be a perfect gift idea for the wine lover in your life. Priced at only $40 for the set (you can order a single tray for $20), it's also on what I like to call the Normal People Price list.

I know what I'm getting for my in-laws...and I'm glad they don't read my blog.

 

For the Fashionista

I have the patience of a two-year-old past her nap time and the crocheting ability of a woman who's been working on the same scarf for the last 6 months. I also live in northern Maine where 9 months out of the year, it's more important to stay warm than it is to look good. For $25, who says you can't do both?

I love these Laced to Please Fingerless Gloves from Superficial Hippie's etsy shop. My sister would love these. Cute and practical. As long as I remember to take them off when it's time to grab another log outside to throw in the wood burning stove.

For Your Inner Wonder Woman

Eliana declared Wonder Woman as the Ultimate Princess when she was only two years old. The Disney princesses may be pretty to look at, but pretty doesn't cut it when a super-hero is needed to save the world. Her last three birthday parties have been Wonder Woman-themed, and I'm hoping the next one is, too. That way we can both wear our headband and matching wristlets from iGlowRunning on Etsy. The set is priced at $14.

Also? Shout out to a fellow Latina!

 

For the Retro Girl

This summer I got in touch with my Inner Flapper Girl at the Gatsby-themed Latism awards gala. I poured hours of research into what real flappers wore and then plenty more searching for affordable options to piece together an authentic head-to-toe look. I think the steady stream of compliments served as validation.

My favorite part of my costume? My cloche from the Elsewhen Millinery Etsy shop. Trust me when I tell you that you'll be hard-pressed to find another shop that offers this much attention to detail at prices us normal folk can actually afford. Cloches range in price from $45-$85 and sewing patterns are $15.

 

For the Child

Before I say anything else, let me point out that Amazon has the Educational Insights Puppet on a Stick (set of three) for $16.99 (prime-- that means free shipping if you're a member) and Walmart is trying to hose you with a $79.99 sticker price.

I about cheered when I scored this set for a mere $8 at a local overstock store (Mardens is a beautiful thing here in Maine), and Eliana found these in place of the candy she left outside her bedroom door for the Halloween Fairy. She's played almost daily with her puppets and I love it. All imagination. No tech. That's the point, right?

If you don't believe me, read the Amazon reviews. Then order and wait for the magic on Christmas morning.

Whatever you do, for the love of God, don't give Walmart $80.

Also? You're Welcome.

 

For the Dr. Who Fan

The Husband introduced me to Dr. Who when we started dating (back in the day when admitting you met your man online was code for Please Write My Obituary.) I've been hooked ever since.

With Whovian-Pride running rampant due to the recent 50th anniversary specials, I'm thinking this officially licensed 4th Doctor replica scarf is going to be the only thing I get for The Husband to find in his stocking on Christmas morning (Amazon has it priced at $49.99 prime). His favorite Doctor has always been Tom Baker.

I'm more of a David Tennant fan, myself, but I've got to admit this scarf is pretty snazzy.

 

For the BookWorm

They might be delicate, but never underestimate a butterfly.

My anthology, born from an essay submitted to Girl Body Pride by H.C. Palmquist, is currently priced at 99 cents on Smashwords. Strong Like Butterfly brings the best of  Girl Body Pride to the pages of your e-reader in a collection of inspiring essays from women celebrating the You that You Are Right Now. Each writer in this anthology bares her soul and drops the judgement because they discovered the lightness of spirit that comes with sharing our truth.

One more time for emphasis: 99 cents. That is all.

 

For Your Best Friend

Because I can't mention the ebook without showing you the lovely bracelet created by Berkey Designs. The delicate design reminds us that we are just as strong as the butterfly who breaks free of its own cocoon with Strong Like Butterfly on the outer portion and Girl Body Pride against our skin.

The aluminum bracelet is priced at $26 (sterling silver available for $129.)

This one has Best Friend written all over it, don't you think?

And there you have it: My favorite tech-free picks for gift giving for the 2013 holiday season. I wasn't compensated for this list, which I think I legally have to mention, so I am. It's here because I wanted to write it, and that's pretty much it. Feel free to mention your tech-free gift ideas in the comments. And yes, you are allowed to plug your own stuff. If I like, I might even share with the internet.

;)

Happy Christmas shopping, y'all.

 

The Beginning of Another End (In List Form)

* We stayed up all night cooking for our tiny Thanksgiving with new friends.

* Eliana decided to help Mama with the split ends I've been meaning to cut but haven't had the time.

* Thankfully the child has so much hair that it was next to impossible to see where she actually snipped off a good three inches of her curls.

* She's still grounded until she's 40.

* Pumpkin pie is possible even if you are egg, gluten, grain, soy, corn, and dairy free. And it's fucking fabulous.

* The Christmas tree is up.

* The Elf on a Shelf Eliana has named Etsy (shut up, she's clueless) has arrived for a month's worth of Hide & Seek.

* Naughty elves and crafty elves and Smore-Making elves are not allowed in my house unless they come with a house-keeping elf to clean up after, a blogging elf (with it's own elf-sized smartphone and laptop) to document the shenanigans, and a creativity elf who'd sole responsibility is to think up and set up tomorrow's escapade.

*There are presents to buy and wrap and mail, Christmas cards to order and address and send off.

* Tomorrow we decorate the tree. In four weeks we wake up to Christmas morning and surprises from Santa. In five we welcome a new year.

* Sometimes I stay awake at night just to hold on to a few extra pieces of today before it fades into tomorrow. Right now, that's exactly what I'm doing.

Open for Business

 

I'm nothing if not chronically behind myself. But if I'm going with the Glass Half Full line of thinking, then I'm also fabulously consistent.

I started Girl Body Pride over a year ago with Big Dreams and Big Intentions. Slowly, things are falling into place. And I keep at it.

One of my goals has been to start an Etsy shop with quotable prints and canvases. Because I like the idea of Gifts that Keep On Giving, I decided to start out with digital files. I'm imagining homemade greeting cards, post cards, and framed prints for GBP readers to surprise their friends with under the Christmas tree.

Maybe I'm just being consistent again, but I can finally cross that To Do off of my incredibly convoluted list. I've got more to list and more dreams to turn into realities. For now, though, I'm going to take my own advice for once and just tell myself that right now, this is enough.

 

More or Less

I can't tell you what gifts I received from most of my family and friends during Christmases past, but I can tell you that the year we were served enchiladas and tamales at my aunt's house left us to lie and tell our friends we had turkey just like they did when we went back to school. And that I had never tasted bread stuffing or sweet potato souffle until after I got married.

I can tell you that my sister makes a mean Christmas ham. And that my tio is famous for his buttery mashed potatoes. And don't even get me started on The Husband's ability to work magic with a turkey fryer. Or the bread pudding I'm expected to prepare anytime family comes to stay for the holidays.

It's about the food, people. No matter what anyone says, it's about the food.

I'm not judging. I'm relating. Because every year I've partaken in the Fun and Food and Merriment which, really, don't seem as they would be as much fun if it was just Fun and Merriment. It's about the food, people.

Or at least, it was about the food.

This year it's going to be about what makes me feel good instead of just what tastes good  and the memories we will make instead of how many pies I'll be baking.

I've been dealing with an ever-growing list of health problems that I've come to think are mostly related to food sensitivities. I'm currently under the care of a new doctor who is running all kinds of fancy tests and sending me to all different kinds of specialists to figure me and my rash on my rib cage and my hair that's falling out and my inability to lose weight no matter how often I get on the elliptical. I'll probably know more on Wednesday when I see him next. What I already know is that, for some reason, eliminating grains from my diet have, in less than 36-hours, eliminated the rash I've had on my ribcage for over a year and my hair loss seems to have almost completely stopped.

I know the holiday itself and the week following will be a bit difficult with my in-laws visiting, but I'm feeling pretty good about my decision to put my health before my taste buds.

The thought of waiting until after the holiday did cross my mind. I won't lie. One last taste of pumpkin pie. And stuffing. And sweet potato souffle with marshmallow topping. And laughter with the in-laws over jokes and plenty of wine. But instead, I'll focus on the look on Buttercup's face when she realizes that Santa brought Nana and Papa to visit her for Christmas. And I'll smile while my mother-in-law spoils her granddaughter just as silly as she'll spoil our dogs and listen as Buttercup squeals with delight when her Papa lifts her high into the air like he used to when she was a baby.

And I'll remember that Christmas is about so much more than what's being served for dinner.

 

 

The Writer's Christmas Countdown

You call them "Blog Archives." I call them "Re-Runs."

Enjoy the song, y'all. I've got to go hide in a closet and wrap some more gifts for a certain child who shall hereby be referred to as Spoiled Sweet.

 

***

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me An idea for a brand new book.

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me Two new shiny chapters and an idea for a brand new book

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me three plot holes, two new shiny chapters, and an idea for a brand new book.

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me Four hours wasted tweeting, three plot holes, two new shiny chapters, and an idea for a brand new book.

On the fifth day of Christmas My true love gave to me Five thousand words, Four hours wasted tweeting, three plot holes, two new shiny chapters, and an idea for a brand new book.

On the sixth day of Christmas My true love gave to me six beta readers, five thousand words, Four hours wasted tweeting, three plot holes, two new shiny chapters, and an idea for a brand new book.

On the seventh day of Christmas My true love gave to me seven likes on Facebook, six beta readers, five thousand words, Four hours wasted tweeting, three plot holes, two new shiny chapters, and an idea for a brand new book.

On the eighth day of Christmas My true love gave to me eight new rejections, seven likes on Facebook, six beta readers, five thousand words, Four hours wasted tweeting, three plot holes, two new shiny chapters, and an idea for a brand new book.

On the ninth day of Christmas My true love gave to me nine query rewrites, eight new rejections, seven likes on Facebook, six beta readers, five thousand words, Four hours wasted tweeting, three plot holes, two new shiny chapters, and an idea for a brand new book.

On the tenth day of Christmas My true love gave to me ten tweets supporting, nine new rejections, eight query rewrites, seven likes on Facebook, six beta readers, five thousand words, Four hours wasted tweeting, three plot holes, two new shiny chapters, and an idea for a brand new book.

On the eleventh day of Christmas My true love gave to me eleven foursquare updates, ten tweets supporting, nine query rewrites, eight new rejections, seven likes on Facebook, six beta readers, five thousand words, Four hours wasted tweeting, three plot holes, two new shiny chapters, and an idea for a brand new book.

On the twelfth day of Christmas My true love gave to me twelve agent offers, eleven foursquare updates, ten tweets supporting, nine query rewrites, eight new rejections, seven likes on Facebook, six beta readers, five thousand words, Four hours wasted tweeting, three plot holes, two new shiny chapters, and an idea for a brand new book.

Merry Everything

No matter how thorough one thinks she may be, there's bound to be an "Oh Shit Which Christmas Card Did We Send Them?" moment when one decides to get all complicated with the This One's for the Family and This One's for People with a Sense of Humor categories.

Because when one means to send this photo with a sweet "Merry Everything" printed on it to her husband's sixty-year-old former co-worker...

...and sends this one instead?

Well...one needs to realize not everyone is going to see the humor in being inadvertently flipped off by a four-year-old in a cowboy hat.

*These photos were taken by my friend Melanie at Above All Fabric.

Operation Obvious Christmas Gift Recipient

 

See these? They are signed copies of a super fantastical middle grade book that I am proud to brag was written by my friend whose name you see in big print right on that snazzy cover.

I ordered one copy for myself and one to put away for Buttercup when she is old enough to appreciate the subtleties of something a little more advanced than The Backyardigans.

So... next week?

In any case, the other two copies have been personalized for People I Know. And one of them doesn't even know what a blog is because she's in elementary school.

If that turns out Not to be You, you'll have to take up the lump of coal in your stoking with the fat guy in the red suit.

He seems to be the one the reindeer consider their leader.

Memories. Captured.

"Think she's old enough?"

Doesn't matter.

"Think she'll like it?"

Of course.

"Think she'll..."

"DADDY!!! Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU!"

Yeah, she'll appreciate it.

"Where are we going, Mama?"

"It's a surprise."

"But I don't like surprises."

"So we stay home."

"That's now that I said."

"So it's a surprise."

"Where are we going, Mama?"

"I see snow!"

"Isn't it pretty?"

"Can I make a snow angel, Mama?"

"Maybe later."

"After we get to our surprise?"

"Yeah, baby. After we get to our surprise."

"Daddy, Mama said I can make a snow angel after we get to our surprise."

 

"We're here!"

"Where's here, Daddy?"

"Our surprise."

"So I can make a snow angel now?"

"Enjoy your stay and your train ride to the North Pole."

"The North Pole?"

"The North Pole."

"Will Santa be there?"

"Of course. You may even see him on the train."

"I GET TO SEE SANTA ON THE TRAIN?"

"Yes, you do."

"I GET TO SEE SANTA ON THE TRAIN!"

"Mrs. Clause can see you now."

"Are you a real elf?"

"Are you a real girl?"

"Your ears are pointy."

"That's because I'm a real elf. You're cute."

"That's because I'm a real girl."

"Would you like to be my honorary elf?"

"But I'm a girl."

"Girls can be honorary elves."

"What do I have to do?"

"Just hold my hand and wave the first train off. Think you can do that?"

"Smile and wave, sweetie."

"I am."

"Not at me, you silly goose. Smile at the passengers on the train!"

"I'll wave at them. But I'll smile at you."

"We're going to see Santa"

"Yes, baby. It's our turn now."

"Then I can make a snow angel?"

"You are adorable."

"Can I be an adorable snow angel?"

"Hot! Hot! Ooh, we got it! Hot! Hot! Hey, we got it! Hot! Hot! Say, we got it! Hot chocolate!

"What would you like for Christmas?"

"A special doll that's just for me!"

"Merry Christmas!"

"I love you, Santa!"

"Mama! It's SNOWING!"

"I see that."

"Now see me dancing in the snow!"

"I see that, too, baby."

"Can we take the snow with us, Mama?"

"No, but I can take a picture of y0u dancing in the snow with us."

"Take more, Mama. Take more!"

"Am I making  good snow angel, Daddy?"

"The best."

"I want to make it smile."

"I think it already is, baby."

"There's snow on my manos, Mama."

"Yes, I know."

"My butt is wet, Daddy."

"I figured it would be."

"My legs are cold, Mama."

"Makes sense to me."

"Can we stay here forever, Daddy?"

"Forever? No. For now? Yes."

"For now is so pretty. Thank you for for now."

 

This post was written in response to a sweet little linkup at These Little Waves for my friend Galit Breen.

 

 

The Exeption

When The Husband was still The Boyfriend and we got serious about birthdays and Valentine's and all other gift-giving related days, I made it perfectly clear that combining Christmas and birthday gifts into one Mappy Birthmas gift was an automatic Break Up Rule (later to be upgraded to an automatic Divorce Papers Filed rule). And we lived happily ever after.

Then he got sneaky.

He brought this little guy home.

IMG_0932.JPG

This is Fezzik. The little furball agreed to sit pretty in the very Christmas stocking I was brought home from the hospital in 33 years ago in exchange for a treat and a belly rub.

I got a blog post out of it and The Husband is currently celebrating his success at having found an exception to my rule.

A Very Query Christmas

I thought I just had to rewrite a song. Then I checked out TBFF Juliette's blog and find a full out blog post prefacing her little zombie-themed holiday ditty and find myself feeling all inadequate. Cuz I got nuthin'.

So instead of embarrassing myself while trying to be witty and typo-free at the same time (which is probably about as likely as real life BFF Mel successfully walking and chewing gum simultaneously) I'll just stick with the basics.

* TBFF Juliette was asked to host a 12 Days of Christmas blogathon.

* TBFF Juliette agreed.

* TBFF sent me an email indicating she now wouldn't be sleeping until next week and proceeded to tell me that because she was in, I was automatically required to participate.

* I considered telling her to bite me (which really? If you know me, you know this is only a phrase I save for my very best friends. Which actually makes it a compliment.)

* I then decided I want to stay on TBFF Juliette's good side seeing as she has The Walking Dead backing her up now. My posse consists of a 4 pound puppy, an 18 pound mutt, and a sarcastic 3 year old. Juliette wins.

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me An idea for a brand new book.

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me Two new shiny chapters and an idea for a brand new book

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me three plot holes, two new shiny chapters, and an idea for a brand new book.

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me Four hours wasted tweeting, three plot holes, two new shiny chapters, and an idea for a brand new book.

On the fifth day of Christmas My true love gave to me Five thousand words, Four hours wasted tweeting, three plot holes, two new shiny chapters, and an idea for a brand new book.

On the sixth day of Christmas My true love gave to me six beta readers, five thousand words, Four hours wasted tweeting, three plot holes, two new shiny chapters, and an idea for a brand new book.

On the seventh day of Christmas My true love gave to me seven likes on Facebook, six beta readers, five thousand words, Four hours wasted tweeting, three plot holes, two new shiny chapters, and an idea for a brand new book.

On the eighth day of Christmas My true love gave to me eight new rejections, seven likes on Facebook, six beta readers, five thousand words, Four hours wasted tweeting, three plot holes, two new shiny chapters, and an idea for a brand new book.

On the ninth day of Christmas My true love gave to me nine query rewrites, eight new rejections, seven likes on Facebook, six beta readers, five thousand words, Four hours wasted tweeting, three plot holes, two new shiny chapters, and an idea for a brand new book.

On the tenth day of Christmas My true love gave to me ten tweets supporting, nine new rejections, eight query rewrites, seven likes on Facebook, six beta readers, five thousand words, Four hours wasted tweeting, three plot holes, two new shiny chapters, and an idea for a brand new book.

On the eleventh day of Christmas My true love gave to me eleven foursquare updates, ten tweets supporting, nine query rewrites, eight new rejections, seven likes on Facebook, six beta readers, five thousand words, Four hours wasted tweeting, three plot holes, two new shiny chapters, and an idea for a brand new book.

On the twelfth day of Christmas My true love gave to me twelve agent offers, eleven foursquare updates, ten tweets supporting, nine query rewrites, eight new rejections, seven likes on Facebook, six beta readers, five thousand words, Four hours wasted tweeting, three plot holes, two new shiny chapters, and an idea for a brand new book.

Merry Christmas, ya'll. Now go make Holiday Merriment on Juliette's blog. If you want in on the zombie survival crew, it's a good way to make nice while there's still time.