Oh. Hi! Are you still here? Dang, guys, it's been
AGES. What loyal friends you are!
First, let me just say that getting a new job at a bakery right before the holidays is a BAD PLAN if you actually want to participate in said holidays. So, I didn't get out any cards and I didn't really bake and cookies of my own and the lights never were what they should have been and all in all the whole holiday season felt like it passed both Matt and I by. But we had a wonderful Christmas none the less, and we recognize that this year's celebration was, well, it's own kind of thing, and there will be many more holidays to come for us to celebrate in all the ways we wished we had time for this year.
Those last few days at the bakery before Christmas were best described as controlled chaos, and I wound up getting in many more hours than I expected, and even charmed my way into decorating a few cakes, just to help out. WHICH WAS AWESOME. Even our very stoic boss had some nice things to say. Everyone at the bakery is enjoying a well deserved week off, we won't be back until January 6th, and I think that when we all DO go back, I'll have earned myself some time apprenticing with our decorator, Dorothy. All good things, gang, all good things...
Christmas itself was just as chaotic, we traveled to Weaverville on Christmas Eve to be with my family and then immediately back to K-town on Christmas Day to spend the evening with Matt's parents, and didn't even get to open our presents from each other until late Christmas Night. It was a very toned down Christmas, highly uncharacteristic in my family, but the reserved nature of it all was pretty refreshing. It felt right to celebrate that way, considering the kind of year 2008 has been for all of us. I hadn't realized how much I missed Christmas in Weaverville last year, so it was nice to do that again. And after hosting Thanksgiving, it was nice not to cook either big meal ;). Christmas Eve dinner was Beef Rouladen, a Hammontree family classic, with rosemary polenta. For dessert we had my mom's pound cake with mine and my brother's favorite holiday contribution, peppermint ice cream with Magic Shell. My dad rocked his usual Christmas morning breakfast--my dad OWNS breakfast--and Matt and I swore we'd never eat again. Back in Knoxville Matt's mom stuffed us full of ham and sweet potatoes and Matt's favorite broccoli rice and cornbread dressing, and we swore to never eat again AGAIN--that is, until the rum cake and egg nog. Oh, holiday indulgences.
Friday we claimed just for ourselves. We hit our traditional holiday decoration sales, had some snacks, visited friends, and in general reveled in the idea that for one sweet day we had nowhere to be at any given moment. We'd almost forgotten what that is like. Take my word for it, if you haven't done it in awhile--it's glorious. As is so often true of pure joy like that, it was short lived.
On Saturday, it was back to our adult responsibilities--on Saturday, we moved my mother's mother, Vi (known to all us grandkids as GoGo) into an assisted living facility. Matt and Mike and I met up with my parents, my aunt Martha, and my uncle Tom's family in Nashville to help move the few things GoGo's taking with her, and to sort through all the rest. It wasn't that there was anything of monetary value for us all to divy up, but there were tons of little things with tremendous sentimental value, and we all just wanted to make sure we all got to hold on to things that were important to us. Silver serving pieces. Copper cannisters from the kitchen. The little crystals. The Owl Cookie Jar. The printer's box full of tiny ceramic animals. They all got packed into the car with me, and unpacked here, in my home. It was all a little strange, and even unsettling at times, but it wound up being sort of a cleansing feeling, and good for everyone. Cathartic, even. Lots of sighing.
So, now I'm back and I have some days to relax and reboot. Much needed days. The dogs and I have been for walks again, and I finally got to take them to an overdue vet appointment. I rescheduled some doctor appointments. I'm hoping to get in for a haircut this week. My house will be clean soon. Maybe I'll even get the bulbs planted in the garden *before* they're supposed to bloom. Working to get back to that happy place of routine, where I feel as though my life ticks along like clockwork, rather than coming at me in bursts. Here's hoping.
There's a New Year/Old Year reflection post in the works for Thursday, which will include the few resolutions I have for 2009. One of those is to post on a regular schedule ;) Man, I've missed you guys. I'll see you all then...