Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Holidays

The kids are allegedly tucked in for the night--although as I type now Audrey E. just sang out, "I love you, Mama" which is very dear yet also a total stall tactic.

Liv meanwhile is feeling as if she's won the lottery since I allowed her to set up camp in the guest room two floors down from our bedroom since Gramma will not be joining us for Christmas afterall. After three days of trying to get out of upstate New York she was able to catch a short flight to Philadelphia only to be stranded overnight. She was then sent back to Syracuse yesterday since the earliest they could get her to Seattle would be Thursday night. Thankfully I was able to get our airline ticket money refunded and now feeling heartsick for the widow who will be separated from her only child at Christmas I feel like I should be sending her on a trip to Disneyland. Seriously. So I have spent no less than six hours the past two days researching ways to get my clan and her to Disney next month.

As we sit buried in ice and snow cabin fever is a true phenomenon here at Wilkinson Manor. I managed to get stuck five times the past couple of days which led to my blurting some major obscenities within the confines of my minivan and in close earshot of my girls.

In fact yesterday while stuck at the top of the street (thanks to the plow blocking the entrance with mounds of snow) I flagged down some dear man who spoke very little English but surely recognized the Starbucks logo when I took out a card and presented it to him as my thanks for his lending me his axe that was in the back of his truck so I could dig around my tires and get out.

After that fiasco I declared I was going NOWHERE until Eric was home to drive. The world of TV news has owned him during the storm (naturally) which has meant single parenting for me and a lot of envy on my part when I read Facebook posts and email messages of all the "fun" families are enjoying together in the snowy weather. While I may be a tad green with envy I really am glad you're blessed and able to celebrate the season together, my friends!

Anyway--I renegged on my "no driving" declaration today and braved the elements and hit the post office to send gramma her Christmas packages (oh my, the cost to overnight gifts!), went to the butcher shop for the prime rib, filled the car up with gas, ran to the grocery for some last minute needs, and took the girls to see the movie, "A Tale of Desperaux".

While all appears calm now there is still much to be done.

I have a closet overflowing with gifts that must be wrapped. And there's much more to come.
UPS has yet to deliver at least five parcels containing loads of Christmas goodies ordered from American Girl, Pottery Barn Kids, Barnes & Noble, and some eBay scores.

What I wouldn't give to relax with my new book, "The Middle Place" by Kelly Corrigan. I picked it up in the bookstore today after hearing her speak on a YouTube video and as the kids played and perused the books I read at least five chapters. I can not put it down. (Seattle friends--a few of us have agreed to start a book club this new year starting with this book so holler if you'd like to join and we can meet at either some of our homes or Third Place Books or a local coffee shop (or better yet- some fun pub)).

Well dear ones, I must run. Audrey is claiming she simply can not get to sleep and requires my help.

So while Eric grabbed a beer with a bud after work tonite I am left preparing for my one woman wrapping party.

Yahoo! Eric just called asking what time the wrapping party begins.

My prince is coming! Let the festivities begin (and may this little elf at the top of the stairs get to bed...!)

I'm off!

Merry Holidays to you & yours.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

'Tis the Season

The halls of Wilkinson Manor are decked and the tree is trimmedthe girls are sporting their holiday bestand yet this mama feels like she's been caught in an avalanche.

I've been buried---in the holiday season.

Cards for the media, gifts for the media, gifts for my clientsgifts for my children and family and friends, drafting and mailing the annual holiday letter, kids holiday activities, teacher gifts, baking for teacher appreciation day, school projects, new client needs, current client needs and far too many snow days which translates to school time off for my kids and my daytime spent juggling requests for cocoa, dressing them in snow gear, peering out the window to be sure they're safe while responding to client emails, pitching the press, answering phone calls, and eventually succumbing to the pressure and allowing the computer and TV to serve as the babysitter.

I assume many of you are finding yourself in the same snowbank.

Despite all the chaos there has been much that is merry and bright.

We've shopped for the "needies"

and delivered the goods.

Eric and I went to a fabulous NW winter brewfest (here I am pictured with the brewer of my favorite beer there~ Cherry Porter). He also makes a killer "Mistletoe Bliss" -for the name alone (Eric and Olivia's middle names are Bliss) I am hooked.

Liv and her school mates put on a lovely jazz performance
We boarded the Santa Train once again for our annual pilgrimage to see Santa!
Snow has been falling steadily outside Wilkinson Manor and we're all elated.

Here are my girls catching flakes with their tongues last weekend.

I finally freed myself from my laptop late this afternoon and enjoyed a wonderful tea party with Audrey.

As she dipped her animal crackers and almond cookies in her tea she declared, "This is perfectly perfect."

I could feel myself slowly thawing out.