Thursday, December 31, 2015

Just Joy | let my love open the door

Moments of Joy:
  • Driving in the dark toward home, pointing out all the Christmas lights to Mads and Ella (I point the same lights out to Mads every night, but neither he nor I are tired of it yet), I make some stupid joke, barely even recognizing I've made a joke, but both toddlers must understand the cadence of a joke now, and they burst into fits of giggles. Ella tells me, "That's funny! That's so funny, Mimi!" and I feel like a rock star.
  • Standing at the buying counter at work discussing the previous night's Christmas party and bout of Dirty Santa, Ali tells me that after Mads and I had left the gathering, her boyfriend traded Christina's husband his blanket for the ugly owl cross-stitch I'd contributed to the festivities, the ugly owl cross-stitch Christina's husband had glumly opened (announcing, "it's a hoot" with a certain, distinct, hilarious lack of enthusiasm). Meaning: I succeeded in my first game of Dirty Santa--I found a gift most might consider a gag but that at least one person in the group actually wanted. Huzzah!
  • We are at the little theatre in downtown Cary, Mads and me, and Grandma and Ella; this is the first movie Mads has ever seen in a theatre (Frozen). As the lights go down, he gets startled and leans close to me. I put my arm around him and kiss his temple--my little movie date, shoving popcorn in his mouth by the fistful like a pro.
  • When my husband gets up silently from the table at Waffle House, I assume it's just to use the men's room and so, for the briefest moment, I do not recognize him when I glance up toward the cash register and think, "Now, there's a handsome man." 
  • I walk with Mads and his cousin, Selby Kate, behind the fence of Theresa's house and into a thicket, a well worn path Selby knows by heart; she and her little sister Dani walk with Theresa along this path on Adventures, seeking out Tinkerbell. Selby leads the way to a rusty piece of lawn furniture shaded and trees and vines. She pushes fallen leaves off the seat and sits with her pink cowboy-booted feet propped up, wearing a shining red cape and mask, with a doll in her lap, and I think: what a cool girl. I only wish I'd had my camera.
  • I pull on my one and only pair of plain ol' jeans, not fresh from the dryer, but freshly discovered abandoned in the dryer, and find a tiny hole forming at the left knee. I've been wearing these jeans semi-regularly for at least two years, and to see that well-earned hole (after how many hands-and-knees chases with my baby boy) is so damn satisfying.
The Christmas fairies, at Theresa's house

Monday, December 28, 2015

Photo Journal | 365 | when you're skating in the park, if the snow clouds make it dark, then your rosy cheeks are gonna light my merry way

049/365 - Saturday 19 December 2015 | Every time I go to Grandma's house, I find some new little detail that just delights me.
050/365 - Sunday 20 December 2015, Grandpa's 76th Birthday | When I was a girl, Winter was my favorite season.
051/365 - Monday 21 December 2015 | I have a regular customer, Bonnie, who has me undress all the mannequins in her size and buys entire outfits I've put together. She's excited about me, about what she calls my talent, which is thrilling for me. But, there is still this small part of me that's uncomfortable with the attention, the compliments, the prospect of change and responsibility (because styling a person is a responsibility). I'd thought that small, timid part of myself was gone for the most part, but here she is, tossing doubt in my path. 
052/365 - Tuesday 22 December 2015 | We celebrated the solstice today, not exactly in the way I wanted. (Toddlers sure do muck things up with their insistence on routine.) We stayed home all day, and Wolfman cooked a big meal. I baked my holiday beer bread. Our newlywed friends Crist and Sheila joined us for dinner and the traditional after dinner hearth fire, sinking deeper and deeper into the couch. That's how we trap 'em!
053/365 - Wednesday 23 December 2015 | Grey and grey and grey and more grey. I don't wear it, but I love it as a shade of sky.
054/365 - Thursday 24 December 2015, Christmas Eve | Bacon maple cake donut and lots and lots of ideas. These days whenever I work with my boss April, I feel like I spend most of my time just spitting ideas out at her. 2016 is going to be a big year.
055/365 - Friday 25 December 2015, Christmas | Spent Christmas morning in Angier with Wolfman's mother's side of the family. I took a pretty immediate liking to Wolfman's Aunt Theresa because there's a gargoyle on her front step and fairies scattered throughout her house. Wolfman's absurd sense of humor comes from this side of his family. I thank them all for that.
056/365 - Saturday 26 December 2015 | Spent the latter half of my shift at work in the boutique, teaching myself how to process new Exchange clothes and, in general, trying to fill Christina's shoes while she's babymooning (her baby was born very late Christmas Eve night, unexpectedly). When I heard the wheezy printer shooting out tags in the exchange, I peeked my head around the corner at April and Serena and "What What!"ed with my hands in the air.
057/365 - Sunday 27 December 2015 | We celebrated Christmas at Grandma and Grandpa's house today. Mads has had days upon days of Yule. I'm always a little sad when it all ends. Grandma was upset about the little cousins not spending Christmas day together, but our celebration at her house is always a few days after the fact (in fact, one year I think we did Christmas on New Year's Day). Not being much of a New Year's reveler, I always think of Christmas at Grandma's house as the final chapter on the holiday season.

Photo Journal | Day Off | Loretta's singing on the radio, smell of coffee, eggs, and bacon, car wheels on a gravel road


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