Wednesday, December 31, 2008

One of Those Days

We both seem to need a little pick-me up.  How in the world am I going to stay up until midnight tonight?

Lucy got another booster shot yesterday.  She whined a tiny bit when she got her shot, but didn't even cry.  And didn't complain when I put her back in the car seat.  AWESOME.  
She's such a champ, and I don't know where she gets that from.  When I studied abroad in Senegal, I made my mom come with me to get all the immunizations I needed for the trip.  I was 19.

Tonight we're headed to a 50's theme party that I will surely elaborate on as soon as I recover from it.  But it's nap time and that means I need to start preparing the onion dip for the UTZ potato chips and poke the frilly toothpicks in the cocktail weiners.  Maybe do a jello mold.

And where did I put that girdle?

Monday, December 29, 2008

And Here I Thought That When the Snow Melted We'd Be Golden

All that's left of our snowman is a little handful of white on our green lawn.  The temperatures have been in the 40s and I can get the car out of our driveway. It may seem like not much, but to me? It's heaven.

I had big plans today.  I had big plans to get out and maybe go to the yarn store and touch all the yummy fibers.  I was going to go to the market and get some crackers so that I'd have some snacks to offer my aunt and uncle and cousin when they stop by after some post-Christmas shopping downtown Seattle.

During the morning nap, I exercised and showered.  I know.  That's already a full day.  But I'm telling you, I had big plans.  No time to waste!

And then on this Wicked Blustery Day, my plans came crashing down on my head.  Almost literally.  Except it wasn't my plans.  And not exactly on my head.  But close.

After I put Lucy down for her "afternoon" nap (if it can be called that at 11:15am) and was starting to straighten up the house (for guests, people.  I don't straighten.  You should know that by now.) I heard a sickening crack and WHUMP and BOOM AND CRASH.

A dead tree from outside of our fence blew over and broke in the big gusts of wind and blew right into our busy arterial and hit a van driving by and crashed it.

I called 911 not knowing if the person in the van was hurt or anything, and that was almost 2 hours ago.  I still haven't had a cop show up.  The Seattle PI was here, though, taking photos within minutes.

Some of the neighbors and some passing drivers and I pulled some of the bigger branches over to the side of the road so that one lane of the arterial was passable.  

Ok, now.  Imagine you are me.  Meek, mild mannered Lizzie worried to death that someone was hurt by a tree falling down basically in my yard and not knowing if we're responsible because that falls under basic upkeep principles by the city or if it's the city's business.  My first words were "Oh my goodness."  In a sad sort of voice.  

And then imagine the guy driving the van that got crashed being mad and worked up and full of adrenaline and not sure who's responsible and who's going to pay for his damage.  And his first words were "Do you live here?" In a very angry menacing sort of voice.  

My first reaction, I wanted to tell him that I didn't and that I was just walking by.  But instead, I asked him if he was alright and told him that I had called 911.  He felt he had to make it very clear in no uncertain terms that he was not happy with the situation.  So, my heart pounding, I went and hid inside and called my husband.  

I waited a while, and went back out when I thought the cops had come, but it was just parking police coming to direct traffic around the tree.  But the guy with the van was nicer, and I gave him my number in case he needed a witness for the insurance claim.

But I'm still waiting for the police to see if it's our (or our landord's) responsibility to get someone to remove the tree and whatnot.  I guess I'll just forget about it until someone tells me differently.

But OH!  the stress and anxiety of it all!  I'm exhausted.  

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

And Then KRAZY Moved In

I'm going nuts.  

I haven't really been out of the house since the snow started last Wednesday.  Well, except for a brief hiatus on Saturday between the first TWO snowfalls.  And even that wasn't a low stress spa day.  Oh no.  That was a very necessary treacherous trip to the grocery store because our cupboards were absolutely bare.  And then?  The line for the checkout went from the check stands all the way to the deli and around to the meat section.  You've been in a grocery store before.  You can imagine.  And I repeatedly whispered to myself "Jesus MEEK and HUMBLE of heart, make my heart like unto Thine."

Well, AND I went outside to marvel at the snow.  And take pretty pictures. 

Driving anywhere is out of the question for a ginormous Weather Wimp such as myself (I've heard Seattle will do that to you).  I mean, I'm not a snow neophyte.  I'm not from Sunny South Hotville where I never see the stuff.  For heaven's sake, Wisconsin has this kind of dump every couple of weeks in winter.  And I've never had a problem with it before!  But they have deicer and salt and plows!  (Oh my!)  And really, I've never had to go up or down an icy hill in Wisconsin.  Right now, I still can't get out of our driveway onto our unplowed, packed-snow, icy-underneath side street to get to the somewhat-plowed, sanded, icy-underneath arterial of sorts to get anywhere.  Not without chains.  

I've even been talking myself out of walking anywhere.  Well, by myself it would be fine.  And off I go!  Except I slipped and fell the other day, hit my head, and the Bubba also diagnosed an injured rotator cuff.  So walking with Lucy?  Is it responsible to take her out strapped to me on slippery sidewalks?  And if we fell?  I'd pull a muscle, and probably break something on her.  In the stroller?  Like pushing it through sand.  Can't. Make. Myself....

So we're stuck at home.  But not only stuck at home.  In our house there is one huge forced air vent for the entire house.  Now, it's not a big house - maybe 1100 square feet?  The bedrooms open onto the living room, and then the "office" leads from the living room to the kitchen (and bathroom).  The heating vent is in the living room.  There's an invisible force field from the living area to the office/kitchen/bathroom part of the house and the heat just doesn't get past it.  The kitchen and bathroom are above the garage.  It might as well be outside.  The bathroom is so cold that I have to work myself up to take my pants down in there.  

Our days are pretty much spent on staring contests in the living room.  With quick necessary trips to the kitchen or bathroom.  And this is when the Krazy came to live Chez Moi.  Lucy is either feeling it too, or else she's taking her cues from me, because she has become the Crabbiest Baby Of All Time.  Screaming when it's naptime (this girl is a good sleeper like her Mama most of the time).  Whining at all of her toys.  I have even tried the TV as a Distraction Tool to no avail.  Whining, whining, whining.  Boring into brain.

I only whine when I'm NOT outside!

I feel like I've been transported back in time and should be going out to hunt rabbit or learning how to prepare a meal of squirrel or something (good thing I went to the store when I did and we don't have to).

The straw that broke the Krazy shell (and when it rains, it pours, right)?  There are no presents under our tree.  We're not really "doing" Christmas this year.  That's a topic for another post, but regardless, we have no gifts.  I was counting on this past week to get our family exchange gifts and mail everything out.  Nice, Lizzie.  Now other people aren't going to have Christmas either.  In the Bubba's family we exchange names.  I know exactly what I want to do for the names we have, but I haven't been able to get to the shop!  And now they won't have an exchange gift to open on Christmas.  Not the worst thing that's ever happened to them, I'm sure, but I still feel bad.  We do have the gifts for the Bubba's goddaughter and Lucy's exchange name, and I would love nothing more than to have mailed them!  But the mailing store that is within walking distance has been closed as well.  

Thwarted at every turn.  

Good thing I made caramels yesterday.  And have heavy cream to put into my delicious coffee.

I do believe this will be the very first time since we've moved to Seattle that I'm praying for rain.

Ok, maybe I'll pray that the streets somehow miraculously clear instead.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


This snow is amazing.  We went on a quest on foot last night to mail some X-mas packages at the mailing store (closed) and then to find some hot chocolate (dairy-free for the Bubba.   Mmmmm delicious.).  

Here's some proof:

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Stupid Seattle and their lack of things like Salt Trucks and Snow Plows.

There is no traffic on our arterial street.  Seattle has been declared a ghost town for the day, school and work cancelled.  For everyone but the Bubba, that is.

I was going to walk around the shops in Ballard, but now, Lucy and I might not even get out of our pajamas today!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It's a Blurry Line to Everyone but ME

I'm always surprised about the comfort level of people around someone with a baby.  Before Lucy, I'd be lucky if a stranger would smile at me, much less say something out loud.  But now, I might as well be wearing a sign that says "It's okay!  We're practically family!" for all the people that want to talk to me and Lucy and coo at her and make her smile.

Which is all great with me!  I love people looking at my baby and telling me what cute little people I make.  I can definitely take that.  It's the other stuff I have a little more trouble dealing with.  The comfort that strangers have telling me what I seem to be doing right or wrong in the long-term relationship we've forged of the 10 seconds standing in a checkout line together.  I just don't really understand it at all.

As I was waiting a little longer than we had anticipated to sit for a portrait of Lucy, and finally feeding her the bottle I had on hand (because I'm just that forward thinking, thankyouverymuch!) a woman who had previously not said a word to me, barely even looked at me, said "She should be eating much more than that by now!" referring to Lucy's 4 oz bottles.  This particular person hadn't even asked me how old Lucy was, and I have no idea what sort of frame of reference this woman had.  That just blows my mind!  Wha?  How do you even respond to that?  I think I just said "Oh." 

Another instance, I was changing Lucy's diaper in a department store restroom when a young woman came up and said "Oooh!  How old is he?"  Which, whatever.  I'll forgive.  Even though she was in a pink striped shirt, she did have on navy blue overalls.  Anyway.  I told her 4 months, and she was talking a little bit to Lu.  And then it happened.  Lucy put her two fingers of her left hand into her mouth as she is wont to do.  The woman reached around me, tugged Lucy's fingers out of her mouth by her wrist and said "Don't do that!  That's bad!"  I couldn't do anything but stare at the woman with what I assume was a baffled look on my face.

Seriously.  Where is the line?  And how do more people not SEE it?  And how are you supposed to respond to that kind of thing?  I mean, whatever, people have opinions and they're certainly not afraid to share them, but touching/disciplining my kid when I'm right there taking care of her?

Back off, people.  I do believe you have convinced me to do the remainder of my Christmas shopping online.

Monday, December 15, 2008

I Must Taste You Before I Can Befriend You

We've all still been trying to recover from the Bubba's company party on Friday.  We had so much fun, and the band was awesome, and we danced all night only to come home to a wide-awake baby at midnight!  So, we've been dealing with a crabby over-tired little human for the last couple of days.

Yesterday friends of ours came over to visit.  Nathan and Alicia moved to California so Nathan could start a PhD program in engi-nerd-ing.  I'm still a little bitter about them moving because they're lovely and wonderful, and their daughter Mia is two days older than Lucy.  Yep.  So not only were we good friends before, but we went through our pregnancies together step-by-step.  We commiserated over swollen appendages and excited husbands.  If that doesn't make a good friend, I don't know what does.

Anyway, they're back in town for the weekend and making the rounds visiting all the friends they left here (unfortunately!  because I'd like nothing more than to have them all to myself!).  But Mia and Lucy had a chance to hang out and meet each other yesterday afternoon.

And it was amazing.  For me.

I still kind of see Lucy as an extension of myself.  I mean, heck, she came out of my own self, and then I spend all day every day with her, even producing food for her.  It's easy for me to forget what an individual she is.  With likes and dislikes and opinions and attitudes.

Seeing Lucy and Mia together jarred me back to the reality in which my daughter is a Person.  Different from other babies and other people.  The girls are very different physically.  Mia is a little peanut.  Teeny tiny, petite and slight with huge brown eyes and curly hair starting to grow in.  Lucy is a moose (I mean that in the best of ways, Darling Girl!) with her all-cheeks-face and blue eyes and stick-up hair.  Lucy has a good couple of inches and 5 whole pounds on Mia!  

Developmentally the girls were identical.  They were doing the same bounce-kicks and the same wild arm gestures and the same recognition and wonder of the people around them.  But their personalities were totally different.  Mia was emitting peals of adorable laughter and keeping a close eye on her Mama, and Lucy seemed to be intensely analyzing the situation and trying to eat Mia.  At one point, Mia did manage to get Lucy's face into her mouth for a taste.  

And they are now fast friends.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Speaking of done....

Since I published that list of things I wanted to tell you, I suppose I should follow through.  

On all but one.  I am not going to ask your advice about my Bubba's company party.  Because I decided not to worry so much about it.  It will, in fact, be the VERY FIRST time the Bubba and I go out alone for a date since Lucy was born.  I'm not sure whether I'm going to be ready to rush home to her half an hour into cocktails, or if I'm going to drink my share and shake my booty and come home with blisters asking the babysitter if she might be able to stay all night...  Either way, I'm ready for some adult time.  The last two weeks have been quite a challenge.  Both for the Bubba and for me.

As I was just typing that, I remembered a dream I had last night about going to a friend's baby shower where they served cupcakes flavored with Bertie Bots Every Flavor Beans.  They were chocolate-pepper cupcakes with booger icing.  Doesn't that turn your stomach?  The whole dream was me indignantly wondering who in their right mind would serve such disgusting things to a pregnant woman and being appalled that no one else noticed the thoughtless catering.

Huh.  Analyze that, suckers.  Actually, I apologize for that little glimpse into my subconscious.

ANYHOO!  On to fun knitting projects!  Now, keep in mind this is catch up.  I've acutally had some of these finished for a while - I don't just sit and knit all day.  Not that I'm rationalizing.  I wish I could sit and knit all day.  Maybe someday when I win the lottery and open my yarn store.  Or my pig farm, I really can't decide what I'd do with all that ka-ching.

Remember way back when I was trying to decide what would become of the scrumptious Italian yarn a friend sent me?  Well, TA DAAAA!  It became this magnificent little sorta-ribbed sorta-not sweater for the Boo.

I added the ruffled ribbon for a little pop and the buttons, if you can see them, are mother of pearl and each one is etched with a scrolling leaf pattern.  Too darn cute.

You can bet the Lu-berry Muffin will NOT be wearing this at mealtimes.

Next up, something for ME!

I never knit myself anything anymore, mostly because it's so much more satisfying to knit something for someone else and see their joy in it.  But I do have to say, that it's fun wearing something I made and get compliments on it.  Like this slouchy beret that I knit in a cashmere blend.  Tres yummy.

And next in my new line is outerwear for the fashionista bebe.  Lucy's little friend Sicily needed some mittens and a hat.  So cute I might have to make a matching set for Lu so she doesn't feel left out.

Little crocheted flowers make everything cuter, don't they?

And finally, for a little holiday spirit...

Tiny little tiny mini sweaters to dress the tree.  Seriously.  How cute are these ornaments?  You can't really tell from this photo, but they're hung by tiny hangers that I made out of bead wire.

Don't tell anyone (namely Maggie) but I'll probably be bringing these for the white elephant exchanges at a couple of parties this month.  They're more fun than a gift card to starbucks, right?  Right?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Done and Done

The last cookie has finally left the building and I can hopefully get back on the dieting track.

The year after the Bubba and I moved to Seattle, my aunt and uncle ended up moving to Snoqualmie (not too far, for those of you not familiar with the magnificent Great Northwest).  Now we get together in early December every year for Cookie Saturday.

This is when the women make cookie dough and get together to bake and decorate them all day. And the men sit and yell at football on the TV.  This year we made sugar cookies, walnut-honey shortbreads, snickerdoodles, dark chocolate hazelnut cookies, and the requisite Lepkuchen.  The last ones are my favorites - they're German molasses-whiskey cookies.  So dark and chewy and yummy with raisins and walnuts! Yum!

So anyway, the only ones that didn't make it out of here alive were the chocolate hazelnut ones.  But you guys, they were delicious BROKEN.  I can't give away broken cookies on a cookie plate!  I think you'll agree that I just took one for the team there.  

Mr. Scale told me to lay off, though, or he'd go on strike.

Last year at this time, I was making my way through 8 dozen cookies thinking, "I'm pregnant!  I'm supposed to gain weight!"  Hah!  If I could go back, I'd tell the pre-hugeness me to be careful.  Not don't eat the cookie.  Just don't eat eight of them.

Hm.  Maybe that's something the post-hugeness me can learn too... Staaaaartiiiing.....NOW!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

4 Month Stats

Because I know you're interested.  Well, the grandmas might be interested?  No?  Well, I'll be interested when I look back at this blog and think, "Gosh, was my baby ever that little?"  Ok?  So bear with me here.

Ok.  So the child's head is 41cm in circumference.  50th percentile - 2 cm bigger than 2 months ago.  Her brain is well housed, and her head looks cute in all her hats.  V. Important.

Next?  Wicked long baby.  26.5 inches long.  Off the charts still.  That's 2 inches she's grown since 10/7/08.  Respectable.

Already likes reading books.  Yesterday she sat through two entire "chapters" of Frog and Toad.

Weight is 15 lbs 15.5 oz.  This baby sure does like repetitive numbers.  That's almost 3 pounds up on last visit 2 months ago.  Roly and poly and perfect.

But I already knew that.

Monday, December 8, 2008

4 Whole Months

That's how long I've known my baby.  We have her 4 month check up and boosters tomorrow, so I will update you on all her oh-so-interesting specs when we get back from that.  But I thought you might like an unofficial update since I'm sitting here in my robe with my computer and the baby just went down, and I have a minute to spare.

I love this picture because she's grabbing her feet together with her toes.  And I love that she's picking at the bear's nose because it feels different.  And that she biting her tongue.  All right, I admit it, I think my baby's pretty darn awesome.

Lucy started rolling over on Thanksgiving - and then last Thursday she decided to entertain us with a quick barrel roll.  Back! Front! Back!  That was pretty exciting.  Her response is complete bewilderment.  She gets a look of consternation on her face like "what just happened?" for a moment, and then just continues on trying to get the toy or the pacifier or whatever we bait her with.

She started passing things from one hand to the other. That's pretty cool to see. And she's much better at finding her fingers to put in her mouth. That said, everything goes into her mouth for a thorough munching be it finger or toy or Mama's neck or sweater. And the drool. Oh, my! the drool.

Her new trick is to take her pacifier out of her mouth, play with it and then (try to) put it back in.  Mostly she puts it in her eye instead of her mouth, but she's working on it!  Almost.  there.

She's still vocalizing like she's actually telling us something.  The inflections she puts in her voice crack me up.  She's moved from d's and l's to m's and n's and b's to change it up a bit.  You know, keep it interesting.

I couldn't decide which 4 month bear picture I liked better, so I posted all of them.  I didn't think you'd mind (Grandmas?). 

PS - these are 12 month pj's and they're none too big.  I'm wicked curious to see how much Lu's grown in the past 4 weeks.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Advent Musings

So, I was sitting alone with Lucy at church today (the Bubba's working mad crazy hours for a deadline on Friday, sigh.) and thinking.  I was struck during our priest's homily today, as he talked about making a way for the Lord to enter our lives.  He said, almost in passing, "We don't do good things to get God to love us.  He already loves us.  We do good things BECAUSE God loves us."  And then I didn't even hear the rest of his homily because I was thinking about that.

I don't know about you, but that makes me so happy and excited, I just want to jump up and down.

 I've been thinking a lot this Advent about how Jesus was born a human. A helpless little baby.  And Mary and Joseph took care of him.  And probably munched on his cheeks like I do to Lucy. 

And it has struck me as completely AMAZING.  What a responsibility!  Was Mary just like, "Oh, ok, *shrug*" when Gabriel came around with the tidings of joy, or was she thinking "Wai,wai,wai,wait.  You want me to what, now?"

As a mother, I guess the most I can hope is that I can give Lucy a good grounding in the Catholic faith and the strength of character to be a good person and to make good decisions.  But for Mary and Joseph wasn't that already decided for them?  So did they have it easier than, say, us raising regular old non-deity-born-with-original-sin kids?  Or was Jesus a snot-faced kid who got in trouble for messing around with his dad's tools?  Did he get a sound spanking for not staying close after Mary and Joseph found him in the temple?  Is it blasphemy to even write that?


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Thanks to Give

The very first time I was not with family of some sort on Thanksgiving, was the year I spent teaching in France.  Friends of mine in the US had friends that live in Nantes, so that is the city and school district I chose for my assistantship - I figured if all else fails, at least I would have friends of friends to fall back on.

But these people became my family while I was in France.  Mijo and Pierre, Christian and Clara and I sort of adopted each other.  We would drink whiskey and talk politics, and share cooking techniques in the kitchen.  It was so amazing to have friends I felt comfortable with while my family was in the US and my fiance was in Sweden.

When November rolled around, I suggested that I make them a Thanksgiving feast.  They love food as much as I do, so of course they were interested.  We made a deal that they would buy the turkey and I would take care of everything else.

So the days leading up to Thanksgiving, I explored the grocery stores looking for all the ingredients for my mom and my grandma's recipes.  In our family, we make a cranberry salad with marshmallows and walnuts, a sausage stuffing, a wilted spinach salad, the traditional green bean casserole, potatoes, and gravy.  Those are the staples.  Other dishes have come and gone, but this is what tastes like Thanksgiving to me.

I also spent those days before the holiday putting together a presentation of sorts to explain what Thanksgiving is about, what it was in the past, and what it has come to be.  That little activity really made me pause and reflect on what it means for me and for my family, and what our traditions mean to us.

On Wednesday, the (gi-freaking-normous) turkey that Clara had ordered from the butcher arrived, and I enlisted her help at the grocery store with the items that I was having a hard time finding.  Fresh cranberries.  Check.  Marshmallows?  In the dessert aisle next to the Harribo gummy candies, of course.  Green beans and fried onions?  Um... let's scrap the casserole this year.  Ground sausage for stuffing?  I can still hear that painful conversation in my head.  "C'est du saucisse, mais sans.... euh ... prepare comme du beuf hache?"  "Ah!  Chair du porc?"  "Peut etre? Fait voir?"  Whipping cream.  Even celery was a chore to find.  And forget the pumpkin pie - we settled for apple.

I was cooking this meal for Mijo, Pierre, their son and my friend Eric, Clara, Christian, their daughter Cecile, her boyfriend Jean-Baptiste, my roomates Tracey (from Ireland) and Rachida (from Germany) and another American assistant (whose name I can't remember because after that day, I decided I really didn't like him at all.  Turns out he was pretty much a jerk.).  Did you count that? 11 people including me.  This was my first attempt at a Thanksgiving feast.  Oh the pressure!

Finally, on Thursday morning  November 19, 2004, with all of my groceries and free access to the sacrosanct chamber that is Clara Bellec's kitchen, I started mixing up my family's recipes.  First the stuffing to put in the bird.  La farce.  By the end of the day, I had everyone calling it "le steufe-ing."   This huge turkey to feed 11 people barely cleared Clara's stove on every side.  My little French friends were running around with their cameras taking photos of the enormous turkey and the steufe-ing in the tiny oven.  

And I was there, in the middle of the bustle, being head chef.  Clara and Mijo were waiting for me to delegate tasks to them, and all of a sudden I was very shy.  Um, could you slice apples?  Clara actually took out some paper to take notes on how I made my pie crust.  I was mortified that it wouldn't turn out.

The cranberry salad was done and in the fridge, the stuffing in the bird, the pies baked and cooling, the salad tossed and waiting on the warm dressing, the potatoes peeled and cut waiting to boil, and it was a few hours until dinner.  We set the table with white linens, and the dinnerware that Clara retrieved from the back of the china cabinet and carefully unwrapped from its felt nest.  The crystal glassware shone with the candles and the flatware gleamed at every place setting.   It was magical, really.  I was so nervous the dinner would be crap on this lovely table.

The guests started arriving, and brought apero with them.  It's customary to have a drink and little hors d'oeuvres before dinner - especially a dinner party.  We poured champagne cocktails and munched on stuffed figs and mini quiches and bacon wrapped scallops and talked about I don't know what, because I was well on my way to inebriation I was so nervous.  Mijo assured me that "Si c'est fait des bons choses, ca doit etre bon" - if it's made from all good things, chances are, it will be good.

Finally, at the table.  Everyone at their place.  At each place, I have set a small paper tent with a photoshop picture of a cornucopia on it that I made at my school.  Before I presented dinner, I had everyone read the interior - a brief history of Thanksgiving (with little tidbits the French would love, like that President Lincoln actually declared it a holiday), and an explanation that now it is a chance to take a day to reflect on and appreciate the blessings in our lives.  And then, an assignment (I am, after all, ever the teacher!).  Each person was to reflect during the meal, and at digestif, we would go around the table and each person would share something for which they wanted to give thanks.

And then!  The meal!  The turkey came out of the oven looking fabulous.  The gravy whipped up quickly, the potatoes mashed quickly with some beurre de sel and fresh pepper.  I got things out of the fridge and handed them to Mijo and Clara to take to the table.

I returned to the dining room and saw the turkey, Christian ready to carve it, the stuffing, the potatoes the cranberry salad, the spinach., I realized that everything was perfect.  I even took off my apron.  And then my sweet friends looked up at me and said "We eat everything together?!" with absolute bewilderment on their faces.  

Tout ensemble!  Load up your plate with a little bit of everything!  Le truc rose (the cranberry salad) was something they couldn't get over.  The kept insisting that it must be dessert since it had marshmallows in it.  But they dutifully ate it "A l'Americaine" like good little guests.

And then came my favorite part.  Granted, I was in a very comfortable booze and food coma by then.  As we sat finishing our espressos and sipping on Poire liqueur, the political discussion died down, and we stopped making fun of my German roomate.  I asked if everyone thought of something to be thankful for, and everyone took a turn making a mini-speech of their blessings.  Many of them brought a tear to the eye.  Eric said he was thankful for such a wonderful mother - Mijo (his mom) cried into her napkin while Pierre couldn't have looked prouder.  Tracey said she was thankful for the experience of Thanksgiving with such wonderful people.  We were all thankful for the happenstance of friendships that brought us together that day.

And then Pierre started singing.  God Bless America.  And everyone joined in.*  It was amazing and surreal.

And that is what I think about every time I make Thanksgiving.  And every year, we go around the table and mention something that we're thankful for.  And everyone gets to share in everyone else's blessings.

That in itself is a blessing to me.

*My French friends all know the words to the song God Bless America from the movie The Deer Hunter

Monday, December 1, 2008

An Author's Letter to Her Readers

Dear Internets,

I miss you!  It's been pretty busy around here.  And still is as it turns out.  Mostly because the weekend was so fun that now we don't have a bite of food in the house nor clean clothes.  And the baby's schedule is completely off.  And I'm running entirely on sugar and caffeine.

But I have so much to tell you!  So instead of actually posting spilling everything right now, which I don't have time for, I am going to have to make a list of things I want to talk to you about.  And then hopefully, eventually, I'll get there when my BUSYBUSYBUSY! subsides enough to sit and write.

So, first I want to tell you about Thanksgiving.  This one too, but mainly the one 4 years ago.  Probably the most memorable Thanksgiving ever.

Then I want to tell you about Christmas Cookie Saturday.

Then I need to show off some finished knitting projects so that you can tell me how wonderful and talented I am and stroke my ego so that maybe I'll make YOU something.  (Yes! You!)

Then I want to give you all the updates about Lucy.  It seems she just adds to her repertoire of tricks every day.

Then I need your advice about the Bubba's company's fast approaching holiday party.  Ugh.  I need advice about this every year.  Also?  We were discussing last year's party, and I was informed that one guy that I decided I didn't like at all because he was a stupid, shallow, rude, kiss-ass is currently the Bubba's project manager! heh heh...

Ummmmm, I think that about sums it up.  I'll get you back later, I promise.