Tag Archives: family

Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays?

It’s an ongoing debate – one that really hits a nerve with some people.

Merry Christmas OR Happy Holidays!? Which do you say? Is either really offensive?

In my opinion, yes.

I may be dumping out a whole can of worms here, but here’s my take on it:  If there’s Christ in your Christmas, my omission of the actual word sure as heck isn’t going to change that. And, if you automatically assume that since you celebrate Christ at Christmastime, I must too, well, that’s kind of a big assumption, now isn’t it?

I say “happy holidays” (or even just “Have a great day!”) and I can be found regularly asking people what they celebrate, if anything. I find it interesting, and I think it’s nice to acknowledge that people celebrate all different kinds of things. If I am not familiar with your holiday, that’s even better. Tell me about it, and why it means something to you. But you’re not going to hear a general Merry Christmas out of me, unless I know you well enough to know it’s appropriate. If there’s one thing I’m sure about this season, it’s that Christmas may be a holiday, but it’s not the holiday.

OK. #endrant.

Since I have friends that celebrate in lots of different ways, I prefer to send out very general greeting cards during the winter season. That’s why I always get my cards from Shutterfly. Sure, they offer holiday-specific cards, but they also offer a ton of cards that carry just the happy, heartwarming sentiment I want, without being so specific as to alienate anyone. With their selection of holiday cards and greeting cards, I can feature a beautiful photo and send the same card out to all of our family and friends, sending our love and wishing them the best the season has to offer.

The only problem is narrowing down my choices! I love so many of them!

This may be this year’s winner. What do you think?

Do you wish people a “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays”? Does either offend you?

Do you believe you should wish people a Merry Christmas even if they may not celebrate Christmas at all?

Are you a blogger? Want a chance at 25 free cards this holiday season? Register here:http://goo.gl/DDw7Q

 

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Happy Valentine’s Day

Ah, February 14th.

The me of years past would have looked forward to this post. I probably would have posted a favorite poem, maybe written a little about Valentine’s Day 1991, when my husband and I dated the first time. We were still kids then, and things were so easy.

I would have followed it up with photos of the carefully crafted dark & white chocolate tuxedo-clad strawberries I would have made, if I had the time. Then, I would have posted the photos of the raspberry cream chicken over puff pastry we had on Saturday at Emma’s Food for Life.

Except I spent too much time coaxing my son into eating his quinoa, apple and raspberry stuffed portabello to get a decent shot of any of the food.

Don’t get me wrong – I enjoyed our Valentine’s Day themed weekend this year. My husband and I unknowingly gifted each other with an hour-long therapeutic massage from the same therapist (can’t wait to cash that sucker in!)  It was fun to take our son out to dinner, and we had some wine and chocolate after his bedtime, which is always enough to soothe my weary soul, at least a little.

But this year was a little different for me.

I took a long weekend so I could get some things done around the house, and just enjoy some time with my baby. I had a To-Do list a mile long, and barely touched it. I spent some serious QT with my boy, and reconnected with him a little by slowing down and just enjoying the details of our days together. He cut 2 teeth and is working on 2 (or 4?) more, which I didn’t even know were coming. I taught him a new word – bubble – during Saturday’s bath, and somewhere over the weekend he picked up a funny new face I haven’t seen before. The best part? He just seemed more relaxed and didn’t cling to me at bedtime like he’s been doing for weeks.

While all those things made me happy, they made my heart heavy, too. If that much happens in a few short days, how much am I missing in the many long days that I’m at work? I never wanted to be a stay at home mom, but I never wanted to be a 50-hr a week career mom, either. I hate to complain, really I do, because I know so many people who don’t have a steady job to go to every day. I should feel grateful, right?

I’m beginning to understand the struggle so many women face every day. I thought I knew, but now I really know.

And, in the next few months, we plan to put our house on the market and look for a new one. I’m also enrolling in school. And we want another baby…now.

Couple all of these goals and commitments with the priorities I’ve set for our health and well-being (breastfeeding, cloth diapering, cooking from scratch, growing our food, etc.) and it all just doesn’t jive. Even if I could pull it all off, if I do a lousy job of it, what’s the point?

For the first time in my life, I am being forced to admit that I just can’t handle it all. The Type A, never-quite-good-enough-to-meet-my-own-expectations me is feeling really disappointed with myself – as a mom. It’s a feeling that would usually inspire me to just push through, but pushing myself beyond my limits has a different consequence now. It’s not just me who has to deal with the stress now. Now, my little boy suffers.

And my husband. Can’t forget about the hubs, either.

So, something has to give. I’m not sure what that is, but I’ve gotta figure it out. Soon.

If anyone out there has some sage advice on finding that elusive balance that I can’t seem to master, please share! I’d love to hear from some other moms (or dads) on the subject.

And, despite my big downer post, I really do wish you all a very happy Valentine’s Day, and I hope you get to spend some time with those you love.

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My First Mother’s Day: Part 2

I had an utterly lovely Mother’s Day weekend!

But then, who wouldn’t love a weekend full of rainbows and  miracles?

(Slight) Miracle #1: Imagine my surprise when, after my lasagna-induced bloatfest on Saturday night, I slipped right into my too-small jeans on Sunday morning! Those suckers were too small before I was pregnant! 

Yay for me for losing a pound and a half (I had to check), and yay for me for losing it without trying! I’ve been astutely focused on healthy eating for health’s sake, not limited eating for weight’s sake, and my body is starting to recognize. Nice.

Nutshell-recap of Mother’s Day:

I woke up early to head out and grab groceries and get a quick bit of work done at the WiFi Cafe.

Breakfast was too quick and too small. Bad Mommy.

Found this in my laptop. Love, love, love those boys.

Went to visit the g-mas and drop off these art projects gone awry…

In my mind, these were really cute and we had tons of fun making them. In reality, not so much.

We landed at my folks’ last, where a much-needed dinner was waiting for us. I had grabbed a Van’s waffle to eat in the car, but lunch didn’t happen. Again, Bad Mommy.

I ate and ate and ate. Lasagna, meatballs, strawberry shortcake. Have I mentioned that Moms is Italian? ’nuff said.

I’m kind of regretting not taking any pics, but sometimes trying to capture the moment makes you miss the moment, and this was a moment I wanted to be in.

It’s been a while since I had a meal this heavy. I felt a little weird after, like my blood sugar might be a little whacked out, but my body was screaming for it, so I ate it. Good Mommy.

I did skip the Cool Whip, though. Did you ever read the ingredients label on that stuff? Corn syrup, hydrogenated coconut and palm kernel oils, high fructose corn syrup, etc. Bleh. I just couldn’t do it.

As for the other Mother’s Day miracle…well, my boy, of course. I’ve only had him for a matter of months, but he’s the coolest, funniest, sweetest person I’ve ever met, and my heart is his forever. 

Little did I know the love I was about to fall into when I looked like this, just 6 short months ago..

Thanks for making mommyhood the best thing I’ve ever done, baby boy. I love you.

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