Thursday, November 27, 2014

It Started With The Cranberry Relish

My mother-in-law makes a really fabulous cranberry relish every Thanksgiving.  It has blueberries and oranges and nuts in it and I could eat the whole bowl with a spoon all by itself, never mind putting it on the turkey.  She knows that I love it.  This year, while we were cleaning up the kitchen after dinner, she told me that she made double the usual amount so that I could take the second batch home with me.

I've been thinking about what to write today for a few days now: there are so many things I'm thankful for, and I really didn't want to just post a laundry list.  This many not be something you see often in general, but I've decided that the blessing I'm going to focus on this year is my mother-in-law.  I couldn't ask for a better one, and after almost thirteen years of marriage and three kids, that's really saying something. 

She's been nothing but kind and thoughtful since the first time I met her, which was before her son and I actually started dating (I think...the chronology there is a little shaky.  Certainly before it was public and official.)  She voluntarily hosted a bridal shower and a baby shower for me at her home.  She doesn't interfere between me and her son or get involved in our parenting decisions at all...the biggest problem I have with her is getting her opinion on something when I actually WANT it, since she tries so hard not to step on my toes!  When we need help with the kids, she's there.  She has a daughter as well, and she is every bit as loving to me as she is to my sister-in-law...for all that I am married to her only son (the setup for many a horror story) I have been welcomed into the family with open arms.  

Marriage takes work, no doubt.  Certainly good marriages do.  But how many women can truthfully say that their mothers-in-law make their marriages easier instead of harder?  Not sure how I got this lucky, but thank God for it.  I hope I manage to be half as good to my sons' wives as she is to me!

ETA: For anyone who may be wondering, she has no idea that this blog exists.  

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Snow Day

Winter's here. Bloody hell.

Husband worked from home because the commute would have been a mess and a half. Kids' school was cancelled today.  I was stuck in the house all day and I HATE being stuck in the house all day.

On the bright side, the house is now decorated for Christmas except for the tree, which we haven't picked out from the tree farm yet.  I baked a batch of gingerbread cookies, a batch of pumpkin bars, and a loaf of cinnamon raisin bread and made the kids waffles for breakfast from scratch.  And I managed to get the address labels printed for the Christmas cards and a lot of the envelopes labeled and stuffed.

Still on track with the plan to get stuff done early this year. The goal is to *not* be a raging bitch for the entire month of December because I'm a stressed-out lunatic!  So far, so good.

Monday, November 24, 2014


Petunia has a longtime admirer.  He's a determined little guy and will be quite a catch in eight or ten years: he's handsome, bright, athletic and from a nice family.  Unfortunately for him, he keeps announcing that he has a crush on her, and she has absolutely no idea how to handle this!  He did it again at school today.  She likes him well enough, but has no romantic interest...that appears to be reserved for a friend and classmate of Thing Two's (an older man!!), based on her frequent unprovoked comments about how much she doesn't like him.  Ah, the drama of elementary school romance.

At least unrequited love is a little easier to deal with...her father was unamused two years ago when she came home from school one day and announced that she was engaged to a boy in her kindergarten class!  This one's going to run us a merry dance.


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Oh Well

I wasn't supremely vested in the whole NaBloPoMo thing, but I had managed a post a day until yesterday.  Just didn't happen and that's ok.  Great day otherwise, though...finally made my expedition to the swamp with the other crazy cachers and it was a BLAST!  30 degrees, wind, ice, mud and brambles everywhere...believe it or not, eight of us willingly chose to do this together on a freezing day and every one was highly educated, over the age of 40 and (apparently) certifiably nuts.  :)  We found everything we looked for, laughed a lot, fell down a few times, and walked about three miles total through the swamp while bundled up in hip or chest experience for the books overall, for sure.  Kind of like climbing Mt. Everest because it's there.  The most amazing thing was that one woman in the group is 74 and another guy is rapidly approaching 70, and they kept up with the rest of us in a minefield of ice, fallen branches, and knee-deep muck.  I want to be like them when I grow up, no joke!

Friday, November 21, 2014

High Praise

Longer-term readers may recall that I've been coaching some of my kids' basketball teams for three or four years now, and that last year I was a head coach for the first time. The only female coach, too, head or otherwise.  I had the occasional run-in with male egos, but not many, and the two guys who helped out as assistants with my team were both great.  

Fast-forward to today.  This year's season is gearing up, and some planning-type messages have recently gone out.  Got an email from one of last year's assistants this morning: "Are you taking a team this year?  My son wants you to be his coach again and I'll be happy to come back as the assistant."

From a guy??  About as good as it gets. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Introvert In Sheep's Clothing

Read something interesting today.  Don't remember the exact words, but the gist was that you can't necessarily tell an introvert from an extrovert by how they behave around people: an introvert can be plenty talkative when need be.  What makes the difference is where they recharge their 'batteries'...for the extrovert, being around people does the trick, while the true introvert needs time alone.

By this definition, I'm an introvert, always have been.  I remember being a little kid and going voluntarily to my room to read quietly for a while every day after school.  Even now, as outgoing as I generally am, I hit a threshold of contact with people after which I need to go be by myself for a while...there's only so much I can take even of people I genuinely love before I need a few minutes of quiet to regroup.  The really funny thing is that I decided to marry Himself in part because he's one of the few people I've ever known that I don't need to 'escape' from...maybe because he's an introvert too and can just sit quietly with me!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Three Days

Three whole days: that's how long we had between the end of the fall soccer season and the beginning of winter basketball season.  We had the final three soccer games on Sunday (blowout wins for Thing Two and Petunia, a tie for Thing One) and an evening of blessed peace on Tuesday, which would normally be a soccer practice night, but basketball starts tomorrow.

At least it's indoors...I think the high here *might* have reached freezing today.  Ugh.  I'm SO grateful that I don't live in Buffalo or wherever the hell just got six feet of snow in one dump.  Ye gods.  I'm not ready for either winter or winter sports yet.  How about some fall without fall sports in it??