Thursday, February 1, 2018

Bye-Bye Holiday Break, Hello Birthdays, Braces, and Busyness

The holidays have come and gone and New Year’s Celebrations have shifted into Weather Forecasting Groundhogs.  My last post was about the busy run up to the holidays.  Today’s post is the same busy message, just another time of year.

Here is a quick recap of the happenings in the Harrell house and a view of what’s on the horizon.

Christmas was fabulous.  We all took a much-deserved two weeks vacation.  We started the holiday with a visit from Nana.  She cooked up a storm and spoiled the kids.  We even embraced our local team spirit cheering on the Warriors from the nosebleed seats.  The kids must have been on the nice list because when the big day arrived Santa didn’t disappoint.  There were gifts galore for kids and adults alike.

Just as soon as the wrapping paper stopped falling, we packed up and headed on our first big trip out of the country with the kids. We had a blast in the tropical paradise of Costa Rica.  There were thrilling 600’ high zip lines, a snake-filled hike in the rainforest, hanging with the Ticos on New Year’s Day at the beach, reeling in an impressive 35 lb. Roosterfish, learning local cuisine at cooking class, frolicking with monkeys on our balcony, relaxing in natural hot springs, spying sloths in the trees, and getting close enough to touch amazing waterfalls.  We came home tired but with our memory bags full.

With the holidays complete, the real world rushed in to make sure we knew vacation was over.  We returned to no hot water in our shower and a broken dishwasher.  Then, there were unexpected repairs on both cars and a fun-filled ride in a tow truck.  Of course, there was also the usual array of work, school, and kids’ activities.  Basketball started for Mick and field hockey started for the girls.  The school play is in full swing for Jaley and Sarah will start helping out backstage with the crew next week. 

Yesterday, Mick joined the ranks of millions before him.  He entered the world of braces.  He been seeing the orthodontist for the past 8 months and already has a mouth full of metal.  We have cranked his top and bottom expanders until they wouldn’t crank any more.  As of yesterday, he completed the ensemble and is sporting the full metal smile, top and bottom braces.  He mouth was sore this morning but should be good to go by tomorrow.

It wasn’t just the stuff of everyday life keeping us busy, because the beginning of the year brings birthday season at our house.  Sarah turned 14.  How can my baby be so grown up?  She celebrated with laser tag, awesome ice cream, and hanging out with friends.  As if turning 14 weren’t sign enough of her growing up, the high school just hosted a welcome week for incoming freshman.  The packet of information said welcome, but it might as well have said, “This gets real.”   High school is the big time, the stuff of movies, the stuff of glory days, the stuff of becoming an adult.  I can’t believe Sarah will be headed to high school next year, but she is and she is ready for the challenge.




Sarah’s wasn’t the only birthday in the house.  Today, Scott finished another trip around the sun.  On the half-empty, Scott spent 22 hours of this year's birthday in airports or on planes.  On the half-full, Scott’s birthday lasted 33 hours.  He started in Spain and finished at home on the tail end of a two-week business trip.  While it was far from a relaxing birthday, we did surprise him with decorations at the door and dinner on the table.   It was a combined happy birthday, welcome home celebration.  Next week, looks like a less hectic one, let's hope that holds true. 

That is life in MomZania. 


Monday, December 18, 2017

The Twelve Days of Christmas from My To-Do List

On the first day of Christmas, my to-do list gave to me, a Christmas that's too busy.

On the second day of Christmas, my to-do list gave to me: 2 family visits and a Christmas that's too busy.

On the third day of Christmas, my to-do list gave to me, 3 Santa lists, 2 family visits, and a Christmas that's too busy.

On the fourth day of Christmas, my to-do list gave to me,
4 calling friends, 3 Santa lists, 2 family visits, and a Christmas that's too busy.

On the fifth day of Christmas, my to-do list gave to me, 5 extra things, 4 calling friends, 3 Santa lists, 2 family visits, and a Christmas that's too busy.

On the sixth day of Christmas, my to-do list gave to me, 6 gifts delaying, 5 extra things, 4 calling friends, 3 Santa lists, 2 family visits, and a Christmas that's too busy.

On the seventh day of Christmas, my to-do list gave to me, 7 stores a-shopping, 6 gifts delaying, 5 extra things, 4 calling friends, 3 Santa lists, 2 family visits, and a Christmas that's too busy.

On the eighth day of Christmas, my to-do list gave to me, 8 presents shipping, 7 stores a-shopping, 6 gifts delaying, 5 extra things, 4 calling friends, 3 Santa lists, 2 family visits, and a Christmas that's too busy.

On the ninth day of Christmas, my to-do list gave to me, 9 cookies burning, 8 presents shipping, 7 stores a-shopping, 6 gifts delaying, 5 extra things, 4 calling friends, 3 Santa lists, 2 family visits, and a Christmas that's too busy.

On the tenth day of Christmas, my to-do list gave to me, 10 meals a-planning, 9 cookies burning, 8 presents shipping, 7 stores a-shopping, 6 gifts delaying, 5 extra things, 4 calling friends, 3 Santa lists, 2 family visits, and a Christmas that's too busy.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my to-do list gave to me, 11 cards addressing, 10 meals a-planning, 9 cookies burning, 8 presents shipping, 7 stores a-shopping, 6 gifts delaying, 5 extra things, 4 calling friends, 3 Santa lists, 2 family visits, and a Christmas that's too busy.

On the twelveth day of Christmas, my to-do list gave to me, 12 drop-offs driving, 11 cards addressing, 10 meals a-planning, 9 cookies burning, 8 presents shipping, 7 stores a-shopping, 6 gifts delaying, 5 extra things, 4 calling friends, 3 Santa lists, 2 family visits, and a Christmas that's too busy.

That is life in MomZania

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Thanksgiving, ThanksMas, & So Much More

Whoever said, "life's a party," must have been following us around recently.  It is two weeks until Christmas, but we have been celebrating for a month already.  Mimi, Poppa, & Auntie Em arrived for a Thanksgiving visit that we fully expanded into a Christmas celebration.  We frolicked in the winter air of Yosemite (though with record high temperatures it felt more like a summer sojourn).  Then, we rolled from turkey and stuffing right into trimming the tree and exchanging gifts.  It was a full-on Harrell ThanksMas and we have the shirts to prove it.

With the arrival of December, the holiday festivities were full-steam ahead.  From ice skating to cookie baking to The Nutcracker, we are speeding our way down the Christmas Party Highway.  There are even more events to come, but I may need to take a power nap to keep up.

Never fear, our festivities have been kept (somewhat) in check by regular life.  There is work and school and homework and sports.  It will all slow down at the end of the month, but right now they are full steam ahead.  Sarah just finished her final season of middle school basketball.  It was great to watch these young ladies improve so much in three short years.  By clinching a spot in the playoffs, they cemented a three-year streak of post-season play.  Jaley signed up for the fun and very hard work of the school play.  Auditions are over and rehearsals have begun.  The kids and parents (due to lots of required volunteer hours) work their backsides off, but the end result is truly impressive.  Mick is getting ready for a hip-hop dance holiday performance.  Scott and I are busy, but with things much less exciting. 

That is life in MomZania.  Happy Holidays!