Wednesday, November 27, 2019

A Thursday in the Life and the Beginnings of Holiday Happenings

Last Thursday was a day. They all are really, in this phase of life, but Thursday hit all aspects of my life and ran the full emotional gamut.

It started with a failed attempt to login early to work from my kitchen table because our whole network was down. Our office is being painted so we were encouraged to work from home, and apparently our network couldn't handle quite that much encouragement at once. The morning continued with a few scheduled calls I looked up from my work iPhone and then, once I could log in, moved on to document drafting and emailing.

At 10:00 I drove to the funeral of our dear former nanny's father. At 10:20 I was holding our sweet Tara tight as we both sobbed silently in the church lobby.

I've mentioned this before, but my aunt's funeral two years ago really drove home the importance in showing up for the funeral. I had never met Tara's dad, but she was our nanny for three years and an older sister/young aunt to the kids by the end. She spoke of her dad often- a former DEA agent, now member of the FW police department. He sounded like a wonderful man, dedicated to family and a life of service, and he certainly helped raise an incredible daughter. I hadn't seen Tara in over a year- turns out, she'd moved to Houston!, but I saw her tagged in a post on facebook about the funeral and I knew I needed to be there. And even though I couldn't stay for the service, the way her entire face lit up when she saw me across the lobby and exclaimed, "I can't believe you're here" and then broke down in tears when we hugged reinforced everything I know about why showing up matters. I'm so glad I was able to be there.

Even if I was taking slow breaths in my car and reapplying my eye makeup in the little visor mirror fifteen minutes later because at 11:00 I was scheduled to give a career day presentation to Claire’s 4th grade class. At 11:30 I was doing the same to a group in 5th grade. My job is a little hard to explain, but the kids were very attentive and asked great questions! I grabbed lunch in the library and headed home to work a few more hours. At 3 I used a couple vacation hours to log off early and head out to finish up my Christmas shopping (I hadn't wanted to cancel our after school nanny and my goal as always is to enter as few stores as possible for the entire month of December). Five stops later (mapped on a post-it for maximum efficiency and satisfying cross-off ability) and I was done! At 5:00 I was pulling into the TCU parking lot to teach a full high-energy barre class and at 6:35 I was picking up Claire at the friend's house where she'd been while other two were at swim practice because she (and the friend!) had a volleyball game at 7:00. James, Landon, and Cora met us there and at 7:50 we were congratulating the girls on winning the first game of their tournament and calling in a pizza pickup order- an extremely rare midweek restaurant meal, but it was a perfectly timed fundraiser for Landon's school. At 8:30 I walked in the door with the pizzas and the girls were stepping out of their shower. We all ate, Landon doing homework next to his plate, and everyone was in bed only a little late while I sat on the couch and realized with some shock that it was not Friday and I would need to work again tomorrow.

And though it was a long day full of all the things, as I sipped my glass of wine while wearing my very fuzziest pajamas, I was genuinely just overwhelmingly thankful for a life that is that big and a job (or jobs) and city and family that allow me to live it to the absolute fullest.

On Friday my work-from-home logging in went much smoother this time. Maggie was my coworker and unlike my children, she's totally silent on conference calls, making her the perfect work companion. She also appreciates a good fire and we indulge as much as possible.

Her favorite part of the week remains the Friday pickup from school where she is adored by all.

Cora marched out of Kindergarten wearing a turkey hat, which was delightful.

We should always have a Kindergartner in the house.

On Saturday I taught an early morning yoga class and it was peaceful and strong and wonderful.

After class was a family walk and Maggie was totally annoyed by the pause for a photo. She's quite fit these days and feels strongly about forward movement.

I ran errands after lunch and came across this delightful fellow at an intersection deep in the heart of Fort Worth. I honked and waved.

At 3:00 I had pasta sauce simmering on the stove for any human in the house to periodically stir and I headed over to my friend Sarah's house so she could help me create t-shirts for James's big swim meet coming up next week. (Remember when I posted here that he went 0.01 off his lifetime best to qualify for U.S. Nationals for the first time in 17 years? Well Nationals is finally here!!)

I am NOT crafty, so I'm very thankful for friends with fancy machines who are. Especially when they prepared for the project by sending their husband to the store for rosé.

It took about 4.5 hours (and the opening of a second bottle of wine) AND I had to finish out the ironing at home (an iron I had never before used on clothing, just those plastic perler bead creations of the kids) while watching a Christmas movie until late in the night, but they look AMAZING and I love them.

8 shirts! Sparkly vinyl for the ladies. His company logo on the front and TEAM JAMES on the back for the adults and TEAM DAD for the kids. The meet is in Atlanta and we leave a week from today! My aunt, uncle, and cousin also live in Atlanta and are coming too! He may be the oldest person entered in the meet, but he's also going to have the most stylish section!

On Sunday I was woken up at 7:45 a.m. by an alarmed Claire who told me there was poop and pee on the floor in Landon's room. Maggie was questioned, but could provide no useful information. Was kind of hurt to be asked, to be honest, but loved us anyway.

After that excitement, the kids did our Christmas cards while I decorated the house for the holidays. Maggie put her hurt feelings aside and helped.

Usually I wait until after Thanksgiving, but with Thanksgiving being so late and our trips to Atlanta and Denver in December, we have so few days at home to enjoy the decorations, so up they went! While Christmas carols sang merrily from the speakers and James wore noise canceling headphones.

At some point the kids raked a big pile of leaves. I dropped Maggie in the middle thinking I'd snap a quick classic fall photo.

But she settled in and became Queen of Autumn and it turns out I didn't need to be quick at all.

I think maybe she thought she was camouflaged?

After a while the girls waded in and walked her out so they could take over. I think she misses it.

(She was back hanging out in the pile today; Claire went in to join her. This is her throne now.)

Other happenings of the last few days: quizzing Landon on his spelling bee words (he's constantly asking and I feel like the world's worst parent when I inwardly groan and try to find excuses to get out of it), watching our favorite Christmas movies, teaching yoga and barre, cooking things, working, seeing Frozen 2 in the theater (loved it!), reading our Christmas books that only come out at Christmastime (which, as previously discussed, we've decided is now), feeling jealous of my former self as I look at six years of Thanksgiving trips in my facebook memories (this afternoon we cleaned out the art room, which is almost as cool as jumping into a waterfall and zip-lining through the rainforest this time last year?), and adoring my furriest child.

Oh and I chopped 4+ inches off my hair. Initial reactions ranged from "I don't like it" (Claire) to "Oh mom, is your hair still like that??" (Cora, the next morning), but I don't hate it and it dries a lot faster.

Last night James and I watched Brittany Runs a Marathon on Amazon and even though I despise running and I had hip surgery at 18 and am not really supposed to run and I'm not any good at it despite a body type that promises otherwise AND I inexplicably kicked and bruised the back of my own foot yesterday morning while getting out of my car at work and had to limp all day, I feel like running a marathon is something I must do. Or at least I did last night. In the morning light, I'm skeptical of the plans midnight-me was making.

Maggie was skeptical from the start

Tomorrow we head to San Antonio to eat Thanksgiving dinner with all four of my grandparents, which is something I am very thankful for. I hope you have wonderful Thanksgivings and if the holidays get to be too much,

just take a page from Maggie and step away for a little while. Tuck in and tune out.

And then maybe get a little caffeine. Possibly while wearing festive headgear.

Happiest of Thanksgivings to you all.


  1. I DO like the hair! And I really agree about showing up for people (at funerals and in general). Good for you for making it there!

  2. I love the photo of Claire and Maggie in the leaves. That's a really nice candid smile.

    Love the Trump sign too ��

  3. Happy Thanksgiving! Thank you for writing and sharing your life. The man with the sign is Gale. He has a FB page called Old Man with a Sign. I met up with him in one of the diva groups. I met him physically at one of the January marches. He gave me a pin with the saying from the sign. Also, he linked me to Susan, who had made me (and a ton of my friends) hats and painted a portrait of my cat. So, if there is one thing that has come out of the Trump horribleness--it has been making new friends and connections. Keep at all of it and thank you again. -Liz

  4. I loved your note about showing up to funerals. My father died unexpectedly when I was 27 and, although I was a total wreck, I will never forget the faces I saw in the lineup at the visitation and the feeling of comfort it brought me during such a terrible time. Happy thanksgiving from a Canadian reader!

  5. thank you for the reminder on the importance of showing up. And Maggie is THE BEST.