Ho-ly cow! When it rains it pours! And I am basically being swept away!
But for seriously, I’m writing a big old grant right now and by the time I get home (late! woe is me!), I’ve basically used up all of my writing juices and I’ve been unable to get anything bloggy out the door (although stuff’s cooking, I swear it).
All day today, though, I’ve been itching, itching, itching to write for fun! Weird because I was also on a crazy roll all day with less fun writing– if my fingers weren’t moving a mile a minute, my mouth was! Talking and writing and thinking and writing some more. Super productive!
So quickly, while the juices are flowing, a short and quick list of things I super love! Ready? Go!
1. My sister’s use of emoji. She’s a genius at it… she turns it into an art.
Those emojis though, right?! It’s awesome, awesome, funny, ha ha… then bam, martini glass and I die! I love my sister girl so so so much, you guys!
2. Making humble people accidentally compliment themselves. It’s the best! I think I like it so much because it satisfies my evil tendency to trick people into doing things while still being nice. Genius! (Evil genius– wringing hands, narrowing eyes…) I kind of got my friend Marie to acknowledge being fascinating and thoughtful today. It was thrilling! (She’s both, by the way, for seriously. And way too humble about it.)
3. Watching people open the perfect Christmas gift. And this is really my favorite favorite. The thing I love more than anything else throughout the whole year.
I don’t want to toot my own horn too loudly here or anything, but I am a good gift giver. (And I’ve got almost all of my gifts for this year already! Burning a hole in my metaphorical pocket because I just want to give them all right NOW!) Because I love it. I love thinking of something and then watching someone else open it and finding the just right thing inside– so satisfying! It makes me crazy happy.
And this grant right now. It’s like that. As I’m finishing it up, I feel like it’s Christmas… which is what prompted this post.
It’s insane, really, this grant. I’ve been working my tail of and I’m completely beat, but you guys, it’s GOOD. Like real good. I’m more proud of this than I’ve ever been of anything else I’ve ever written. Even my dissertation.
Let me say that again real quick:
EVEN MY DISSERTATION.
That’s big! But this is big, and I’m so excited! It’s like I’m putting on the finishing touches, wrapping it up just so and affixing a perfectly coordinated label and bow before slipping it under the tree and I’m getting so crazy excited to see it opened up!
Where in this case the grant is the gift, and the tree is PCORI, and the recipients are the physicians I’m writing for, and you know, metaphors.
Just trust me, it’s good. And worth the time it’s taking. Worth every single second, because it could really help some people and the people I’m writing for are 100% inspiring.
So… as a wise man once sang to us all while changing his shoes:
I’ll be back, when the grant (poetic license) is through
And I’ll have more ideas for you
You’ll have things you want to talk about
I will too.
See you on the flipside!!! (of the grant.. because I’ve been busy writing it… I made that clear already, right?)
Oh. And #4. I also love Anchorman. Hence the lamp thing in the title.
In the year 2001, the great and handsome prophet Derek Zoolander asked a profound question… one with the power to affect us all:
“Did you ever think that maybe there’s more to life than being really, really… really ridiculously good looking?!”
And many hearts were glad.
Especially the heart of this girl:
And this girl:
And especiallythis girl:
Because it was quite clear that she was not destined for a life of being even really (just one really) ridiculously good looking.
Thanks be to Derek Zoolander, this girl finally heard it:
Well, not that girl exactly… but that girl a few months later (the photo above was taken in the fall of 2000)… and many years more for internalization.
(Side note: yes, I do have an entire file folder dedicated to ugly pictures of myself. Is that weird?)
Zoolander, like Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999), Love Actually (2003), and Amelie (2001), came out at a very impressionable time in my life. And no matter how funny/unrealistic/weird those movies were/are– they made a big impact on me. BIG. Zoolander is no exception.
I guess I have a lot to ponder. (Zoolander quote.)
In addition to the quotable quotes and the most important lesson of all (more to life than being really, really good looking) there are a bunch of actual for realsies lessons to be learned, if you’ve watched the movie enough times…
1. Assuming that everyone is just waiting to tell you what a bad eu-google-izer you are is no way to live.
People aren’t always out to hurt you! I swear it! Some, yeah, but that’s their problem (or their editor’s), not yours. So give a person the benefit of the doubt. It could work out in your favor. Zoolander and Matilda were totally MFEO (made for each other– Sleepless in Seattle, another favorite) and it was a good thing he gave her a chance even after she hurt his feelings!
2. Have a go to for happy– like an orange mocha frappaccino!!
Derek is so super down after not winning male model of the year for the fourth year in a row, but his roomies know just the thing to cheer him up! (Maybe they could have done without the gas fight.) And in my life, I’ve had lots of roomies like that– Abby (my Fisky Sister) who told me stories from the top bunk to help me fall asleep; Erin, Adriane, and Aimee who put on a little bit of Abba Dancing Queen or Outkast Hey Ya for an impromptu dance party; Stephanie who popped Zoolander or Napoleon Dynamite into our $5 Korean Bazaar VCR; Seth who makes a great Harry Potter reference. (No joke, he told me last Friday that his patronus was me… cooking. Naturally, I swooned.)
3. Own what you are, even it’s a merman. MERMAN.
There’s not shame in being who you are! So own it! … see the photo gallery above. That was me, y’all. No point in pretending anything different. Might as well laugh about it together. After all, plenty of those images are in people’s brains, and there’s not a darn thing I can do about that.
4. Technology changes fast. REAL fast.
So… a huge punch line in the 2001 movie Zoolander is Derek’s itty bitty, teeny tiny phone. Do you remember that? When itty bitty phones were the shiz? And now we’ve got the the iPhone 6 and 6+… insanity. It wasn’t that long ago, really. Was it?
5. It’s good to know, and respect, what makes you farty and bloated.
For Jacobim Mugato, anything foamy will do it. For me? Anything with even a bit of lactose! Maybe I wouldn’t scald someone’s face if they tried to serve it to me. But I will take pains to avoid it so as to avoid the pains later. Just not worth the deliciousness.
6. If someone has to miraculously pull their underwear out of their butt to beat you– you’re kind of awesome.
For most of us, there’s always going to be someone better. Someone out there is faster, funnier, prettier, gentler, kinder, better at cooking, got a cleaner house, etc… but that doesn’t mean you’re not any of those things. Quit comparing and you’ll be happier. Guaranteed. You’ll at least have far fewer wedgies. (Side note: one time in middle school when I wore what I thought was the cutest outfit ever to school– train engineer overalls with a pretty white shirt with lace trimmed sleeves underneath– I got wedgied in the hallway. It was the wooooorst. No one likes a wedgie. And an elephant never forgets.)
7. Remember that most people are not professional film and television actors.
Except if Mindy Kaling actually became my friend, in which case, I would have a professional television actor for a friend. But alas, that day has not yet come. In the meantime, we don’t get to script the reactions of others. And even if we try, people are generally very prone to improv. Jerk people…
8. Age before beauty, goat cheese!
Honestly, I will happily take the wisdom of age over the beauty of youth. Granted, for me, youth wasn’t particularly beautiful (again, I reference you to the photos above)… so… maybe this one is more specific for me. But some of you can dig it, yes?
9. Talk it out! It’s usually pretty simple.
Derek and Hansel had quite the beef going on. Things were tense and everything kind of came to a head during the walk-off. (The walk-off judged by the David Bowie. So awesome.) Afterward, though, it only took one simple phrase and a brief discussion before things were all sorted out– “why you been acting so messed up toward me?” Both Derek and Hansel apologize for being whack. And that’s that. Just talk it out, yo. So simple. I even tried it once. (It’s so scary though!)
10. You can’t help who you love.
At the end of the movie, Maury says of Zoolander, “I love that kid. Dumb as a stump, but I love him.” And it’s true. When you love someone, you just do. There’s not always rhyme or reason to it. Dumb as a box of rocks, a la Derek Zoolander, or too intelligent for their own good, a la Sheldon Cooper and Amy Farrah Fowler. Love just happens anyway.
And finally, bonus #11. There’s always room for a David Duchovny cameo.
Why don’t you love me?!?!?!?!
In conclusion, Hi. I’m former graduate super student Rachel Stankowski and it’s my pleasure to welcome you to the Rachel Stankowski Center for Physicians Who Can’t Write Well… and Want to Learn to Do Other Stuff Well Too.
That’s what I’m talking about!!!!
And that, ladies and gentlemen, concludes our A to Z (plus an interlude for an XX) blog tour. Things were super tough when I started. Things are still kind of rough, but it always (always!) feels good to write… and all this letter by letter mumbo jumbo has allowed me to fill up my little notebook of thoughts. Get ready, cuz here I co-ome!
(I just heard that song on my Pandora, we played it in pep band in high school… recipe for being completely stuck in my head.)
PS: I totally watched Zoolander again, just one more time, to make sure I really got everything I could out of it. When I went to play it from Amazon Prime (I’m obsessed!) my options were to “resume” or “play from the beginning” because I watch it a lot… I am not ashamed!!!!
Hi friends! Happy Valentine’s Day! I LOVE YOU! (Really! I do! I love you all!)
I used to be something of a gloomy gus every Valentine’s day as I lamented my single-dom and whatnot (the drama, I was like 16)… but then I met Seth, fell in love, and every February the 14th is now roses and kisses and rainbows and…
I kid… if you’ve met Seth before, you knew that long ago. And if you know me, and most of you do pretty well by now, I’m not actually a super touchy feely kind of person. (My singular contribution to my fourth grade class suggestion box was a note asking the teacher not to call me “honey”… because I hated that.)
So what was it then that reversed my Valentine’s Day attitude, you may wonder…
It was my Grandma! What else???
I’m not sure when exactly she started doing it, but it’s been many years now. Every year, a couple weeks before Valentine’s Day, my Grandma sends me several homemade baggies with ribbon ties– hand sewn in a different Valentine-themed pattern every year. She sends the bags to me empty, she and I both fill our sets with candy, and then we hand them out to our friends. It’s so fun!
My husband and I love each other every single day– it’s a given. It’s an expectation. Sometimes it goes unsaid; most of the time it’s said. We’re a family, every single day, flowers or no, chocolate or… well, we like chocolate… Our pupster (who is not having surgery today, fyi… sigh) is our biggest Valentine this year and we’re headed out to dinner at the Belvedere (our favorite!) to celebrate the evening with Seth’s mom and dad. It’ll be lovely and perfect for us– love all around; love that’s a given.
So for me, Valentine’s Day isn’t really about me and Seth. Rather, it’s about telling the people that may not just know it that I love them, too! I do that with a handmade Valentine bag filled with chocolates and tied with a ribbon. And as an added bonus this year, I also made some Harry Potter-themed, totally nerdtastic Valentines to hand out to a couple people… nothing says I love you quite like a heart with wings and the phrase “wingardium leviosa” on the front. Nothing!
Except maybe a heart with a key hole and the phrase “alohomora”, a flame and “incendio”, or a light and “lumos”…
(Am I unreasonably thrilled with my cleverness right now? Yes. Yes I am.)
I hope you enjoy your Valentine’s Day and that you know that somebody, somewhere loves you– because I do! And even just me must be better than nobody, right?
In other news: no surgery for my Curls today. We went down to Madison yesterday for an ultrasound of the patellar tendon (and there was some promising tissue on imaging that looked like tendon material that even if not usable, may provide some scaffolding for repair) and a joint tap to make sure there was no infection in the fluid pocket in her knee (the doctor really didn’t think there would be). But there was infection in that fluid pocket and we went back to Madison to pick our girl up and bring her home with antibiotics. In two weeks, we’ll try again. At least our sweet girl is home with us this weekend– everyone in our house is happy about that 🙂
On February 12, 1809, two women became mothers to two of the most interesting men who have ever lived. At least in my opinion. Because on February 12, 1809, Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln were born.
Is it common knowledge that Darwin and Lincoln share a birthday??? I’m kind of floored that I didn’t realize this until today! (Thank you IFLS on Facebook and the note about “Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday” on my Packers-themed office calendar.)
I’ve been kind of into Lincoln lately… or more than lately, really. I was a Lincoln Railsplitter from the day I started kindergarten to the day I graduated high school, after all. And not a whole lot of schools have a giant president’s head as their mascot. (Go Splitters!!)
Then I got really into Civil War history (have you read the Jeff and Michael Shaara books?!) and was moved nearly to tears the first time I visited the Lincoln Memorial after visiting Gettysburg itself. I loved the movie Lincoln and really liked reading Mary: Mrs. A Lincoln as our recent book club book. He’s just such an interesting man! I’m sure many elements of his life are romanticized, but there’s no denying that he was a spectacular orator and a forward thinking, justice seeking man. I kind of dig all those things about him.
Charles Darwin was also an exceptionally forward thinking man. His Origin of Species is the foundation of evolutionary biology as we know it today and examples of his and other naturalists’ work truly inspired me as a little kid. I was always picking up specimens from nature and experimenting, observing, and tasting (yes, tasting… add enough sugar, and even acorns become pretty delicious– my parents are kind of cool).
It’s probably not the case at all (and I think Sheldon of TBBT would be a little bit annoyed with me right now for saying so), but for some reason, shared birthdays seem highly significant to me. The fact that my favorite cousin Spruce and my husband share the same birthday?! That’s got to mean something, right?! And while I was having my first awful ultrasound related to infertility stuffs, the ultrasound tech shared my exact same birthday and had just gone through something remarkably similar. Those things… they’re somethings, right?!
Regardless, Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin were men who dealt with significant adversity in their lives. Yet, they were both incredibly open minded and willing to explore new and radical ideas. They were also determined to do what was right, regardless of what it meant for their popularity, and that’s a rare and beautiful quality in a person, don’t you think?
So, happy 205th birthday to you, Abe and Chuck!!
(Pretty sure we’re on a nickname basis, I really dig these two!)
Update on my Curly girl: We got a call back from the surgeon in Madison this afternoon. He and his team have come up with a plan for surgical repair and we’re bringing her back to the vet school tomorrow afternoon. After a quick ultrasound and test for infection tomorrow, she’ll be set for surgery on Friday. Two faculty surgeons will perform the surgery, which will involve release of the quadriceps to lengthen the muscle, movement of the patella back into correct position, and repair and reattachment of the patellar tendon either with her own tissue or with a synthetic replacement, depending on the condition. While that’s complicate enough, the surgeon doesn’t seem to think that’s going to be the problem– the problem is going to be keeping the patella in place once it’s back. And to do that: external fixators for at least 2 months to immobilize the entire leg followed by either a custom orthotic or splint from toe to hip until no longer needed (more months). Whew! It’s a plan, anyway! Curls will stay in the hospital until Monday and then we’ll pick her up and bring her home to us!
(Dang! That’s what the back of my Lymphomaniacs softball jersey said… I suppose there’s a reason for that.)
Nothing quite like a birthday to make you feel L-O-V-E-D loved! And that is how I felt every second of the entire day yesterday!
There were cards, balloons, flowers, texts, emails, Facebook messages, phone calls, chocolates, a stuffed purple monkey (!), cookies, Tweets, songs, and more!!
And it just keeps coming! I got a message from my brother, who is the worstbest this afternoon…
My niece sang to me in her absolutely, ridiculously, so-cute-I-can-barely-stand-it words…
And on Saturday, my mother- and father-in-law are coming over for dinner and CAKE! (cake! cake! cake!)
Thirty?! Kind of awesome!
But the really cool thing about yesterday (and today and the rest of this week not to mention probably the rest of my life) is that I truly have AWESOME (awesome, awesome, awesome!) people in my life! And that makes me want to ask some serious, reporter-style questions!
The who, what, where, and when– that’s not quite so tough.
WHO You guys! My family, my friends, my family’s friends, my co-workers, my husband’s coworkers and their families, my friends’ friends and their families, internet-only (so far!) friends, and everyone in between!
WHAT A crazy amount of love and support! Well wishes, happy memories, good times… LOVE!
WHERE EVERYWHERE! Literally, everywhere I have ever been… from infancy to now, and even people I only really “know” in the virtual world. Truly, ev-er-y-where!
WHEN Obviously on my birthday, but also every other day. I had a happy thought about every single person that wished me a happy day yesterday– a specific moment in time, imprinted in a neuron (have you read about what scientists at MIT found about how memories are stored? so fascinating!) and recalled upon contact to bring a smile to my face and to make 30 that much better!
But then the tougher ones…
WHY Seriously, you guys, why?! I mean, I’m a nerd. I’ve always been a nerd. And there are so many things about myself that I’ve always disliked and struggled with. I’ve been made fun of, teased, picked on, dumped, and basically broken in so many ways… and I carry all of those things around with me, in a metaphorical hump on my back that some days makes me feel completely, 100%, Quasimodo-style unlovable. But then again, even the Q-man had himself an Esmeralda. And like Esmeralda, there you are! Loving me anyway. Why indeed? Emily had heard my tantrums from down the street since I was 2 and she was 3… but she texted me yesterday, 28 years later. Kelly watched me eat myself sick every day after school from like sixth through eighth grade… but she remembered an inside joke from high school and used it to wish me a happy “brithday” on FB yesterday, nearly 20 years after all of that. Aimee got escorted out of the Ojibwa Casino in Baraga on my 18th birthday… but she sent me an awesome email yesterday, 12 birthdays later. Jess had front row seats to six years worth of spectacular grad school meltdowns… but she sent me a message first thing yesterday morning. And my co-workers survived a complete disaster that I managed to bring down on all of their heads… and they still decorated my office and brought me balloons. Dang. Truly, why?
HOW So, yeah… how did I do it? How did I get Emily to look past the tantrums, Kelly the food, Aimee the security guards, Jess the tears (and mouse poop), my co-workers the drama? I have a feeling it has a lot more to do with all of themand their amazing, incredible, hearts of pure gold (or fat hearts, maybe???) than it does with any spectacularly redeeming quality I possess. (This isn’t about my square jaw, is it???) So how do you guys even? I don’t know… but I certainly hope that I have the “how” part down of being a good friend like you do!
So anyway, thanks a ton for all of the happy birthday wishes! It was a good one! (And you’re welcome for the hard hitting investigative journalism.) Now that I have prepared for 30, turned 30, and thanked people for the well wishes, we can certainly talk about something else for a while. No sense beating a 30-year-old horse, you know?
PS: Do you remember reading A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle? Tell me you read it, pretty please! It’s just so good! But so are all of Madeleine L’Engle’s books. I recently re-read many of them as an adult… still so good!! Anyway, in A Wrinkle in Time there are three women– Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which, and Mrs. Whatsit. This post reminded me of them. And reminded me of sweet Charles Wallace and his sister Meg, who always hit so close to home. And of the twins, Sandy and Dennys, who got themselves into such biblical-style trouble in another of the books. Seems like it may be time for another L’Engle binge!
It’s December 31st, 2013. I just got home from Appleton. We picked up my pup from her third surgery on the same knee. Here’s hoping that this won’t be the third failed surgery.
And that’s pretty much how 2013 has been. Except… EXCEPT! I started Under the Tapestry. And that has made all the difference! Because each time we chat, I’m reminded that for every dark cloud, there is a silver lining, and that each and every tangled thread I see is part of a much bigger and more lovely picture.
In 2013, I crapped my pants. Twice. We’ve been over this. My stomach was a MESS. A terrible, horrible mess. And I went through a lot of scoping and the like to be diagnosed as cra-a-a-a-zy lactose intolerant. But in the process, I was saved from a pretty much certain fate of colon cancer. So boom– turns out that was pretty awesome!
If that’s not enough to make me believe in silver linings and blessings in disguise, what could?!
For that reason, and many others, I am truly grateful for all the good, and especially the bad, that has happened in 2013. Of course, I wouldn’t mind a lesson or two less in 2014, but I’ll take it as it comes. After all, the bad often comes with a funny story to share and knowing it’s good blog material makes it much more bearable!
Best wishes to you and yours in the coming year, friends!
PS: Tonight, Seth and I are wearing comfies, snuggling our pup, watching tv, eating chips, and struggling to stay up until midnight. Perfection.
You know how in cartoons, a good smell will come wafting by and the character floats along on the stream of good smells until they find what it is that smells so dang good? Like this:
(Note: if you click on the link to the picture source, you’ll find a recipe from May the Fork Be with You for homemade pierogies with kielbasa that looks to… die… for… Definitely going to have to try that.)
Anyway, I was sitting in my office this morning when that exact thing happened to me.
A delicious smell touched my nose and I floated up, up, up out of my chair and down the hall toward what was truly a sight to behold!
I’ve mentioned before that I have some pretty stellar coworkers. And by stellar I mean, of course, out-of-this-flipping-world. But it’s not just my coworkers that are completely awesome.com. The people who work near us are awesome as well. And my friend Debbie Crocker is no exception.
Although, she is exceptional. And she was responsible for that heavenly smell.
Debbie Crocker went ALL OUT to celebrate Christmas with us today! She brought homemade chicken fettuccine alfredo with garlic and parmesan to top it! She brought big puffy rolls and butter to spread on them– with a Christmas tree-topped spreader! And the cookies, my goodness! Debbie Crocker is famous for her annual cookie day and she brought us the spoils! And in case all that weren’t enough, she even brought a deliciously cheesy chip dip as an appetizer! Un-be-lieve-a-ble!
I know it looks like your typical office potluck. But it’s not– Debbie Crocker brought in and made everything herself. And this is what it actually looked like in person (i.e. through my eyes) because the photo above just does’t do it justice:
(I really identify with Miss Piggy, FYI.)
This woman’s heart… it’s just so big, so beautiful, so good… so overflowing with kindness and positivity and joy. My heart swells just looking at her! And I can tell you without a doubt, that today, I am feeling very loved (and very, very full) and I’m sure all of my coworkers (and even Sister Doctor who was invited for lunch!) do too. Because this is a very, very special woman.
You know the end of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens– Scrooge becomes a changed man and says, “I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” My dear friend Debbie Crocker is that person, the person who has Christmas in her heart, and happiness and goodness besides, the whole year round.
Today, she was absolutely the Ghost of Christmas Present. Scrooge after his revelation. The Grinch after his heart burst the little measuring doo-hicky. But most importantly, Deb is like that every day– every. single. day. She is just awesome. And while I know I can never be just like Deb, because she’s truly one-of-a-kind, she does inspire me to do everything I can to make others feel as good as she makes me feel through kindness and love.
Kindness and love and cookies. Christmas cookies.
PS: Did you notice the falling snow on the blog?! Isn’t that awesome! I’m in love with it!
I like Thanksgiving– the food is great, seeing family is fun, and there’s always much to be thankful for. But I’m one of those people who really loves Thanksgiving only because of what it means for the future. To me, Thanksgiving simply means:
***********************CHRISTMAS IS COMING***********************
And Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year– FAVORITE!
The jingling! The jangling! The sparkling! The magic!!
A lot of people argue about the meaning of Christmas, whether it’s been overly commercialized, and how we spend too much time celebrating it. I am not one of those people. I don’t really care about any of that.
Because for me, during the Christmas season, my heart just SWELLS (end-of-the-movie-Grinch-style) and fills to the max, beating extra hard with joy as I see the beauty, the cheer, the peace, the comfort, the charity and generosity*, the grace, the family, the LOVE, and all the other beautiful and good things that the holidays bring. That they epitomize, really. And while I can’t comment as an expert on the holidays of the other major religions, I strongly suspect this to be the case surrounding Hanukkah and Kwanzaa as well. (Am I right? Anyone?)
I absolutely adore putting up the tree, the scent of fresh pine filling my house as I hang up our ornaments, each one representing a beautiful memory. I love that we get to go to Seth’s uncle’s tree farm to pick the tree out– grown and cared for by family for years. I love the advent season, the spirit of expectation and of hope, peace, joy, and love as we light another candle each week. (And I super love that my mother- and father-in-law just gave me a beautiful advent wreath as an early Christmas gift!! It’s gorgeous!!) I love stringing the Christmas lights up on the house and remembering how year after year my dad and I struggled with new and more creative(ly dangerous) ways to get the lights all the way to the tippy top of our once-upon-a-time-Charlie-Brown-Christmas-tree that traveled with us all the way from Skandia to be planted in front of our house. And I even love remembering the sound of the vacuum bulbs exploding when they hit the concrete because our latest and greatest plan didn’t quite pan out as expected. POP!
I love the scents (the cinnamon, the vanilla, the pine, the fresh cold snow), I love the sounds (the happy music and tinkling bells), I love the chill in the air (or the frigid snap of snot-freezing cold, as the case may be), and I love the giving and the receiving, the sharing of so much– gifts, food, love, time, whatever it is that we get to share this time of year.
Sometimes the hustle and bustle of reality threatens to overtake all the other good feelings I love to cultivate this time of year, but it’s completely in my power to prevent that and this year has felt nothing but good, despite the hardship.
My sweet puppy had to have a repeat knee surgery and she’s laid up for four full weeks, through Christmas. Nothing but kennel or potty with a leash and a sling. Seth and I are limited in how much we can be away from the house. But my sister-in-law agreed to pick me out a tree, and when I’m in the kitchen baking I know my husband is snuggling my pup and when I’m done it will be my turn. She is loved and she knows it and we’re making it work. Our house may be a bit messier, but it still smells like Christmas… and a little bit of poop. Did you know anesthesia can cause some severe diarrhea in dogs? Because it can. And it did. But don’t worry, mostly it just smells like Christmas now. (Thank goodness for the good people at Lysol, Clorox, and LG!!)
Our travel plans had to change on account of the surgery, but my sister and mom assured me that all that matters is getting to spend time together, not the day, and encouraged me and Seth to save vacation for a longer trip next year. So instead of a week long trip with our pup in tow, I’ll be making a quick jaunt over to celebrate Christmas the weekend before at my Grandma and Grandpa’s house. And even if I couldn’t, I guarantee you that every one of them would understand why. (But good news– I totally can!)
No matter the circumstances, the sights, sounds, smells, and most importantly, feelings of Christmas are everywhere this time of year– and, as I learned from The Muppet Christmas Carol, I should both honor Christmas and try to keep it all the year!
(Watching The Muppet Christmas Carol is my family’s Christmas Eve tradition. We all packed together on the couch year after year, packing in another significant other or two as time went on, and watched that amazing movie– singing along with Kermit as Bob Cratchit and Miss Piggy as his wife, of course. My in-laws totally humor me by watching it now– that’s love! And that’s Christmas!!)
*Interested in learning more about generosity this holiday season? Check out my friend Chris Lema’s brilliant 30-day series on the subject. (Yes, I’m name dropping by qualifying that last sentence with “my friend,” but it’s true and I’m proud to get to say it. I know him in real life, y’all!) It’s a thing of beauty from the true master of generosity himself (trust me on this one, I have been the recipient of his generosity in so many ways it’s unbelievable).