Yes, I was out with the crazies on Black Friday (though, we’ve already established that I found them to be quite pleasant and not really that crazy – except for the people trying to wheel strollers through jam packed aisles in crowded stores: THAT is indeed crazy). Then I went out again yesterday. Then I went out again today.
I would say at this point I am at least 90% done with my Christmas shopping. And now it’s like this itch I have to just finish it all. Now. Rightthisminute. Can’t wait any longer.
Last year, I imposed a December 15 deadline to finish my shopping. You think Black Friday shoppers are nuts? No way – not in comparison to those rabid, last-minute shoppers. THEY are nuts. And, being in Michigan, the further we get into December… well, the weather doesn’t exactly get any better. I’d just as soon be home kicking my feet up versus in my car with a white-knuckle grip on the steering wheel trying not to put the car in a ditch during a trip to the mall to get a last minute gift for so-and-so.
I just scooped up a few things via Amazon.com ten minutes ago after spending the morning with Pumpkin buying stocking stuffers for my mom. I think it’s also worth noting that I have yet to buy anything for myself, though I usually give into temptation once or twice during my shopping excursions. I need to pick up a few small little gifts for my mom’s stocking and that’s done.
I’m done shopping for my daughters (though “Santa” has one more gift to pick up for The Princess). I’m done shopping for my husband. Stepson is darn near done (and if Hubby wants to get him anything else, he’s welcome to – but I’m done). I just need to pick up something small for my brother, my sister and her boyfriend (likely a “couples” gift because I still don’t know the guy really well) and stuff for my mom’s husband (who asked that we not buy him gifts at all – but too bad, I don’t roll that way. I like to give Christmas gifts – so, deal with it).
And that minor shopping could easily be accomplished in a two hour span at the mall with no kids. And that’s a very loose estimate. I’m guessing if I was feeling antsy, I could get it done in one.
That’s the way I like it. I like not feeling pressure and I like the satisfaction of being the one everyone grumbles at who is happily exclaiming, “I’m done shopping!” Yes, you can hate me if you want – but deep down, you wish you were as dedicated as I am, don’t you?
Have you all started your shopping yet? How’s it going?
*Real posts to occupy this space at some point in the near future. Maybe later today. Maybe not*
1. What was the last pill you took?
Does my Vitamin C count?
2. What time of day do you usually feel most energized?
Shortly after tucking the kids in for naps or bedtime. Sad, but true.
3. Who was the last person you hugged?
Pumpkin, shortly after she had a hissy fit about me moving the Kleenex box to a higher shelf.
4. If you had a restaurant serve you the perfect breakfast, what would it be?
Honestly, if I’m not cooking it myself, it could just be toast and I’m good. But I love waffles. So waffles, some fruit maybe, and a cappuccino.
5. What did you do on Thursday?
I did the family thing. ALL DAY. And I survived, so… yay me!
6. If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?
Oh man. Just one thing. There’s several – but the blog-safe answer for this is my location. I would love to NOT be in Michigan anymore.
7. What is your favorite TV Commercial at the moment?
I have no idea – I don’t pay attention to them. I’m loving the new Pepsi commercials they are showing before movies now, where everyone is falling asleep and then end up all peppy doing that weird SNL/Night at the Roxbury head thing. But I’m a dork, so…
8. Who would you be surprised to wake up and find in your bed?
Damn near anyone other than the people who live in my house.
9. Who is your favorite 80s band?
Oh, I can’t pick just one. There was a lot of good stuff happening in the 80s. A lot that wasn’t so good. But when I think of what I loved most, I think of a lot of one – hit wonder type groups.
So, I wasn’t busting any doors at 5 a.m. today but my mom and I ventured out at 6:30 to the mall and to see what there was to see. There was nothing I needed, but for some sick reason, I like Black Friday. I like to go out and see people all crazed and excited over the holidays and I like an excuse to get a huge chunk of my Christmas shopping done.
My mom started in a department store and I quickly ventured out so that I could hit Starbucks for a (full of sugar) gingerbread latte. That line was INSANE. Then I ventured into Children’s Place to pick up some clothes for the girls – because on top of crazy good sales, there was 20% off everything in the store until 11 a.m. Awesome. But that line? That was one horrendous line. It snaked all through the store and was about forty minutes long. The fun part though was that the people around me in line were AWESOME. In front of me were two women who shopped as they waited – and we ended up talking and shopping and I would give my opinion (I can’t believe there are people who ask random strangers what they think about clothes, but not only did they ask, they listened to me. Shows how crazy nuts they are). The older man behind me (holding his wife’s spot while she shopped – so sweet, right?) offered to hold my coffee when my cell phone rang, and later, his wife helped me grab a shirt off the shelf when my hands were full. Though there were people squashed in everywhere, I didn’t stumble into any cranky ones. A huge plus.
In the midst of my waiting, my mom dropped off a heavy bag that had a gift she had purchased for my stepson. A heavy, cumbersome bag. I dragged it through Children’s Place, and by the time I was done and had carried that freakin’ bag to Kohl’s (her next stop), I thought my shoulder might fall off.
Kohl’s was pure insanity so I ditched mom (unfortunately, I was still stuck with her stupid bag) and went to Old Navy to pick up some clothes for Stepson. And yeah, if you saw a woman in the boy’s section of Old Navy this morning trying on boy’s clothes – that was probably me. Unsure of his size, I ended up trying on a vest to see if it would fit him. I ended up buying him a boat load of clothes – a necessity since he had a major growth spurt and his mom never lets him bring clothes with him to our house. In the check out at Old Navy, I was standing behind a girl I went to high school with. A girl I didn’t like then, a girl I have nothing to say to now (especially after she went on to become a high school math teacher, gave my sister a crappy grade all the while asking what I was up to as if we’d ever been friends). I managed to avoid her though – whew. Crisis averted (YES – I should move).
From there, I met back up with my mom and we ventured to Best Buy where basically everything purchased was for me for Christmas (Oh yeah, there will apparently be no surprises), then on to Target where mom went crazy and bought far too much stuff for my kids.
Pure insanity, but not in a bad way.
1. My stomach is not accustomed to Thanksgiving amounts of food.
2. Mashed potatoes is what I ate the most of on Thursday.
3. The yard is barely green anymore.
4. Away is where I’d rather be at any given time.
5. The smell of gingerbread reminds me of the holidays.
6. Sleep is what I need right now.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to curling up with a book, tomorrow my plans include not eating like a pig, and Sunday I want to get the Christmas tree up (Did I say that?).
1. I am, today and always, thankful for my daughters. At the moment, Pumpkin has an insane cold (so, expect to see that hit me in about a week and a half) and was up numerous times last night. Her nose is running like a faucet and she likes to wipe it on her arm (I’m trying to break her of this habit, but really, Rome was NOT built in a day). The Princess spent most of the day at my mother’s house muttering, “I’m booooooooooooooored.” (I hate “I’m bored”. I don’t entertain “I’m bored”. The answer to “I’m bored” is “Go find something to do”). But, still, they make me crazy nutty happy. They are good kids. Even if they don’t sleep as much as I think they should.
2. I still have a job. Despite numerous layoffs at my company, I still have a job. (Knock wood)
3. My grandpa is doing so well! It was fantastic to see him today – in great health and great spirits. I find myself taking more pictures of my grandpa lately – alone, with my daughters, whatever. I’m scared now, and want to be sure I capture as many memories as I can. As we were getting ready to leave, he looked at my girls like he always does and said to me, “Sarah, you have a beautiful family.” Makes me smile that he adores my children so much.
4. My sister is READING. My sister never reads. She hates it. Buuuut, after seeing “Twilight” last week, she decided she wanted to read the books. She’s now mid-way through book 3. My husband, also not a reader, said to me the other day, “Why do you say it like that: ‘She’s not a reader’? You say that like it’s a bad thing. Ewwww, she doesn’t read. Just like, Ewwwww she has open sores.” Not to criticize non-readers (too much), but honestly, it’s just so foreign to me. I have always been one to get sucked into a book. Always.
5. Speaking of books – I’m grateful for books and magazines to occupy my brain. Currently, I’m reading “The American Wife” which is a novel somehow loosely based on Laura Bush. I try not to think too hard about the inspiration, as there’s quite a bit of smut, and I don’t need to think of GW that way. Ewww, indeed.
6. I’m also thankful for Sudoku. I am horrible at math, but love Sudoku even though I consistently spell it wrong and probably mispronounce it.
7. I’m thankful for Apple and the invention of the iPod, iPhone and my beloved iTunes. Without it, well… I’d be perfectly fine. But I like it anyway.
8. Starbucks, thank you for making overpriced coffee for me to buy and enabling me so that I never actually have to learn to make my own. It tastes better when someone else does it anyway.
9. My friends – you are not at number 9 because you’re that far on my list. I am so lucky to have you. And my blogger-friends, I’m glad to have you here when I write and to catch glimpses into your worlds, via your blogs, Twitter, or other social media timesucks. Y’all are awesome.
10. And everything I forgot or didn’t have room for. I’m thankful for all that too.
I hope you all had a great day, great food and great fun. What are you most Thankful for?
I totally stole this from Jenn and I sure do love a good me me when I don’t have much to say! I’m not tagging anyone (because THE PRESSURE, OH! THE PRESSURE!), but if you do it too, leave me a comment.
5 Things I Was Doing 10 Years Ago:
Marketing trailer hitches
Travelling for work to exciting places like… Little Rock, Arkansas!
Living in an itty bitty apartment
Commuting about 70 miles round trip daily for work
Getting lots more sleep
5 Things on My To-Do List Today:
Bake a cake for my mom’s hubby’s birthday tomorrow
Buy Kleenex – Pumpkin has a runny nose and we’re going thru tissue like CRAZY
Get some work done
Figure out something to make for dinner that isn’t difficult. I am NOT feeling it today.
5 Snacks I Like:
Traditional Chex Mix
Oatmeal Squares Cereal
Cappuccino. Yes. It’s a snack.
Homemade bread, still warm from baking
5 Things I Would Do if I Was a Millionaire:
Move somewhere warm
Travel more (er, or… Travel, Period. I don’t go ANYWHERE these days)
Set aside enough to pay for my kids to go to college
Buy more books (instead of going to the library so much – I just checked out a book and it smells like stale perfume – naaaaaaaaaaaasty)
Be smart with my money so it lasts more than five minutes
5 Places I Have Lived:
Ann Arbor, MI
Grand Rapids, MI
5 Jobs I Have Had:
Waitress in a bowling alley
Patient Registration Clerk
Gingerbread is one of those flavors that I associate with the holidays. I rarely have anything gingerbread-ish any other time of the year, so by the time November rolls around and the Gingerbread lattes come out, well, I am ALL ABOUT THE GINGERBREAD.
Of course, I love cheesecake too.
The past few days I have been brainstorming how I could mix the two and today – I did it.
The recipe is posted on Wha’Cha Got Cooking (because I suck! I suck! I suck! And I haven’t posted a recipe there in a VERY LONG TIME – though, to be fair – really, you all should feel grateful because I’m not that great of a cook. So it’s really only dessert recipes you want from me anyway).
I had a yummy piece of it and then promptly packed the rest of it up for my husband to take to work tomorrow so I won’t eat any more of it!
…that I take too many pictures?
I am almost never without my camera these days, lately so sometimes when I try to capture my kids on camera, I get the “don’t take my picture” gestures, like this one from Pumpkin who collapsed on the kitchen floor to hide from my lens.
So, you probably noticed I changed from one generic template to another today and all of the sudden this place doesn’t look quite how it used to. I got bored. And the thing is, I’m not wild and whacky enough to have created something unique and special and creative on my own – so I’m living large with this lovely Blogger-created generic template.
Oh, you love me anyway.
At just past 11 on a Saturday evening I am still awake and I am still blogging, though thinking of curling up in bed with a book and just vegging. Sleep, while that would be really nice, seems like somewhat of a long shot as I hear the guys in my dining room bursting into random fits of laughter. At some point after dinner tonight, phone calls were made and it was determined that tonight would be poker night. And that poker night would be in my dining room. Lovely.
Guess it’s hard for me to complain (too much) because I have had a lovely day. My best friend (or as she so sweetly called me on her blog, “sister of heart” – which I tell you what, I’m such a sucker, that was the sweetest thing EVER!) and her sister-in-law came over to take over my kitchen and include me in their holiday baking extravaganza. Minor note: Nothing went into the oven. No baking took place. A whole lot of melting of stuff in makeshift double boilers but the oven stayed off. Apparently they do this every year – making a whole freakin’ ton of good things and kind of using them throughout the holiday season when special occcasions/events come up. Smart, right? I think so. Now, I have to make sure I have enough special occasions to use all this stuff otherwise I’ll just eat it (I’ll totally mail someone stuff if they ask nicely. Because I’m nice.)
Today, I got to be a part of it. We made Nanaimo bars (which I had never heard of, to be honest – but the crust is chocolate, butter, powdered sugar, coconut and walnuts. YUM), chocolate peanut butter balls (sometimes called “buckeyes” but NOT on the day that Michigan loses to OSU, thankyouverymuch) and chocolate covered pretzels.
We tripled and in some cases quadrupled the original recipes. In case of peanut butter balls, that required fifteen cups of powdered sugar and six cups of peanut butter and a god awful amount of butter. In case you wondered what that looked like, see below:
After several hours of making yummy things, we all packed up our stuff, dishes were washed, and the other ladies went home. I finished cleaning my kitchen (including scrubbing my floor which somehow managed to see a lot of melted chocolate – what a mess!). It was such a fun time, and I am really resisting the urge to eat all the chocolate pretzels now. Especially the ones with white chocolate because those are really yummy.
So, it’s probably not just the loud goofy guys in the dining room keeping me awake, but kinda sorta the fact that I maybe had a teensy tiny bit of a lot of sugar today. Whoops.