Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanks and Giving

Okay, first: Yes I am 100% aware that I am blogging out of nowhere, that I’ve not kept this updated and thus really have no room to complain about my lack of readers or the fact that I wax wishful that I will someday be a writer, erstwhile not actually writing anything…(save for my 2, soon-to-be-3, articles for Giggle magazine… but I digress.) I’ve pictures to post, tales to recount, memories to relive, all in the name of narcissism, which I am now packaging as posterity….. for Millie’s sake, of course.

In the coming days and weeks, I plan on posting a 3-part series that will hopefully catch my blog up to my precious, darlin’ girl’s current age, which will be 3 months this Thursday. In the meantime, please enjoy my thoughts and observations on our first Thanksgiving as a family.

I must start by saying that I’ve never truly understood Thanksgiving. It’s not a holiday my family celebrated much growing up- my traditions amounted to eating stuffing (still my fave Thanksgiving food) and watching the Macy’s parade; occasionally I’d participate in some sort of age-appropriate school craft, like a turkey made of handprints or a construction-paper Indian headdress. My dad doesn’t eat poultry, so turkey of any kind was foreign to me, and we rarely, if ever, used the occasion to voice words of thanks. As I got older, I viewed Thanksgiving as a gluttonous holiday, existing only to obstruct any progress on whatever diet or exercise program I was currently involved in…. and I’ve spent every Thanksgiving since I’ve been with Mike complaining- about the quality of the food we were eating (easy to do, seeing as I’m one of the best cooks I know) about my Black Friday spending limit (any and all shopping limits are a touchy subject in the Herchel House, so I’ve begun a new tradition of lunch, wine, and pedicures with Natalia to stave off further disagreements there) and our football plans for the FSU game (by then I’m SO over tailgating.)

This year, though, I felt like I had things I should be thankful for. I say should, because as poor an understanding as I have of Thanksgiving itself, I am even more unfamiliar with the act of giving thanks. I feel appreciation quite a bit- but rarely do I stop and acknowledge all the outside contributors that make up the blessings in my life, and truly feel thankful toward those who have given of themselves in some way for my benefit- and tell them so.

Well, this Thanksgiving weekend started off at 3pm on Wednesday afternoon as an absolute mess. I go to pick Millie up from daycare- she’s just waking from a nap and terribly hungry. I don’t have my nursing cover with me; I’ve only put a nickel in the parking meter. I’m scurrying around to gather her things, trying, and failing, to soothe her. I eventually find myself sitting on the ground in the church’s courtyard nursing the baby, one eye on the car in case a Parking Nazi came by. My things are scattered around me and I hear my phone ringing, but can barely reach… I know it’s Mike Baby wondering where we are. When I finally maneuver myself to the phone, I give him a frantic account of what I’m doing and he replied calmly, matter-of-factly, that he was on his way downtown to join me and Milliebug and we’d have a nice evening.

And we certainly did! A stroll around the farmers’ market led to a peek inside Simply Gorgeous, where I found the Vera Bradley message board that I wanted for the nursery on sale. From there we enjoyed cocktails and appetizers at Emilianos, and rounded out the evening with gelato on the plaza.

Thursday we spent the morning watching the parade before heading up to dinner with my mama at the Great Outdoors (where, incidentally, the stuffing was delish.) We returned to my parents’ apartment to find my dad missing, having been taking to the hospital for a heart attack. Given the stress that his recent medical challenges has caused me, Mike suggested that we go home, relax, and wait to hear whether my dad could have visitors instead of spending time worrying in a cold waiting room… and luckily my dad was okay, and Mike and I were able to enjoy the comforts of home and some fresh air on the deck while we waited it out.

Friday we woke to a fussy baby, but I was encouraged all the same to partake in my Black Friday custom- lunch, wine, and pedi’s with Natalia (and, incidentally my bright red Meet and Jingle toes are lovely.) On our way out that evening to the Hippodrome, the Hyundai broke down. Mike was calm, albeit annoyed, about the whole ordeal, deciding to leave the vehicle locked and secured on the side of 6th Street so we wouldn’t miss out on the friends who were waiting for to enjoy a night out together.

Saturday began in a frenzy of errands to take care of the car, drop the motorcycle off for maintenance, and get Mike Baby back in time to head out for an FSU party. My mama, having picked up my dad and settling him in at home, joined me at our house to pitch in with laundry, etc…. We even went to Michael’s to take advantage of their framing sale to order custom framing for our maternity and newborn pics of Millie. But then- disaster struck! Back home, as I dusted the bookshelf above the changing table, it came tumbling down on the baby! She burst into tears… I burst into tears. It was traumatic to say the least. The next thing I know, I’m nursing her and Stella Puddin’ trots into the living room and yacks up 2 days’ worth of dog food, leaves, and pine needles- remnants of her enthusiastic squirrel chases. Crying baby. Crying mama. Sick puppy. And lucky for me one compassionate, level-headed hubby who, despite the fact that we were both due to babysit our niece and nephew, suggested that I take a minute to finish nursing the baby and relax after all of my scrambling around before heading over.

….And then on to Sunday. We wake early, start our myriad of Christmas-related errands in preparation of our upcoming holiday family photo shoot. It comes out through our discussion that there’s been a big misunderstanding regarding our finances, and now I’m worried about whether we’ll end up having a Christmas tree at all! But after some rearranging and compromise, we managed to get everything we wanted/needed, and I am thrilled to say we trimmed my very first real live Christmas tree yesterday! The whole house is decorated for the holidays, and it looks beautiful. After all that work, an exhausted Mama and Millie crawled into bed, and Mike Baby came to tuck us both in. He peeked into the bassinet where our perfect, exquisite baby girl had just drifted off to sleep and with a smile, he whispered, “it’s amazing!” And he’s so right. It’s amazing how so many crappy little things happened this weekend- something every day, in fact- but we still managed to persevere and focus on the good stuff like tasty food, good times with friends, decorating for the holidays. It’s amazing how we’ve got this gorgeous little girl to call our very own and she’s the cutest, sweetest, silliest, most kissable lil thing in all the world. It’s amazing how much our life has changed in the 3 months she’s been with us- I can still remember the car ride to the hospital and how Mike Baby and I commented, it’s our last red light without a baby. But mostly, MIKE is amazing. He’s the most amazing hubby and papa in the world, and for every terrible, horrible, no-good, very-bad thing that happened, he managed to make something wonderful and fun happen. He's amazing every other day too, bringing me coffee in the mornings, helping to pack up daycare and baby bag items, fetching the gallons of water I drink now I'm nursing.  And for that, I am so so thankful for him. And I thought maybe I should write all about and tell him so. :)
*I’m still working on the giving part, but for now I finally have the thanks part figured out!!

Happy Holidays! More blogging to come- it's my early New Years' Resolution!!

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