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From the Holiday Weekend

November 28, 2011

“Sometimes I think of the huge pile of photos that I have and that I’d like to share and tell their stories, and I feel “in debt,” with my blog, with you, with me.
But life is too full and intense to be accumulating unnecessary debts. With people, and with this kind of things.
So I will come to terms with my own times and the fact that I will post the pictures I can, every now and then, the way I always did.” – El mundo de Julie en el mundo

I read that quote this morning and smiled – it struck such personal chord with me because it is my constant.  I want to take photographs and I want to share them and blog, but it’s always the first thing that gets put on the back burner amongst the normal life needs. Sometimes I manage to just dump a bunch of photos, but I don’t think  you guys come here for just that, do you? I don’t even know. (If you want to see just pics, they’re here.)While we’re chatting, what content excites you around here? What do you wish I would post more?

I’m sitting in a coffee shop with a whole day ahead of me. Writing and catching up on blog stuff and picture shuffling this morning, dropping off packages to send to my sister halfway across the world in Kyrgyzstan, maybe gathering a few last supplies for some more Merry Making and some lunch by myself if I have time. The kids are with my In-Laws to make cookies all morning and I took a deep breath and asked for what I wanted{needed}, hoping not to offend. We were supposed to all make them together, but I needed a break. I worked all weekend and I work in retail and it was Black Friday weekend. So I called and asked if they minded if I just dropped the kids off and spent a few hours alone this morning and they were more than happy to oblige.  It’s amazing how easy it is to just ask for what we need, isn’t it? I just forget to do it so often.

I’m beat. And I don’t even work full-time! I shake my head often – I don’t know how people do it. Do people just have gallons more energy than me? Better skills? Better circus juggling abilities? I don’t know, but weekends of working so much have a bittersweet way of making me so much more present in the time we all do have together.

Speaking of Black Friday. I don’t need to say much that wasn’t said all over the place over the past week. But from the perspective of working in the stores, the thing that I just can’t wrap my head around is how people completely and utterly lose.their.minds.  Not everyone.  My favorite people are the happy groups of women(sometimes with men, too) of a range of ages all out shopping after Thanksgiving together. So excited to be together and to show each other the things that make them delighted. So excited to get a deal and to give the gift.  There’s that – and it makes all of the other stuff worth dealing with.  But the frenzy? The panic? The need-to-buy-something-anything-right-now-just-for-the-sake-of-buying? I just don’t get it.  I watch it regularly, because it’s not just Black Friday and holiday shopping when it happens.  I see people all of the time shopping and just wanting to pick something/anything to have the obligatory gift and I can’t stand it. Why on earth even bother to give a gift like that? Isn’t the best part of giving a gift feeling good in your heart? I know it’s not so simple, so black and white. I do.  But watching people get mad in parking lots over parking spaces and grumble about not getting an addition $2 off that they mis-calculated in their head and watching them get mad at our employees who are literally 17 years old and made a mistake that I can quickly fix in the register? All for what? It’s just a bunch of stuff! Chill out people!

I pulled up to the house after work last night and the kids were playing outside doing who-knows-what running around with umbrellas – hiding, pretending they were toadstools, taking showers. John was putting up the lights.  I wanted to cry.  This is the stuff I hate missing.  Putting up lights and taking them trick-or-treating and family dinners and putting them to bed so many nights a week.  we trade that for me being home during the day and the kids just spending a few hours a week with grandmas in the hours where our work schedules overlap. I’m thankful beyond thankful for that and I know that we choose this and it’s how things need to be for just a while longer. It isn’t forever and my kids are absolutely, positively fine and happy. But my heart just pulls a little when our exchange and choice is to miss out most on the time we have with all four of us together.
So Thanksgiving was nice.  It was a day of together and kids happy with grandparents and Aunt and Uncle.  Thinking about the traditions we have and how they shape the traditions I want for my children.  Appreciation for the ability to spend time at the holidays with family and only have to drive for 10 minutes rather than having to fly across the country. Realizing that we’ve been living back here for longer now than the time we were in Denver – how is that possible??

One last bit – I have a whole lot of links I’ve been saving. Time to share since it’s been a while:

Hope you are all starting your weeks off with a bit of quiet, too! Or at least fitting in some time for solitude after the bustle. A cup of tea or coffee and a good book are on my agenda big time in the next few weeks.  I’m planning to exchange most of my evening computer time for reading in hopes of getting to bed earlier. Especially after next weekend when we put up the tree…

9 Comments leave one →
  1. November 28, 2011 11:55 am

    Beautiful post. Love the photos, but particularly love your insights. Ok, scratch “particularly” as I am always fascinated by the photos first. However, your insights are honest and clear. I love that.

    Word of advice from a mom of 21, 19 and 15 yr olds (and who still remembers them when they were little), ask, ask, ask the grandparents to help! In most cases, they LOVE to help, want to help, even hold back on offering to help so that they don’t offend. Let it go when they do things that you just don’t like (short of cutting your kids’ hair- the ultimate sin, ear piercing or tattoos)… it took me a while to get that one, but when I did, we were all happier. My kids ate healthy, nutritious food with me and dad; grandma and papa could give them fatty, sugary, crap and it was fine. I tried to remember all the things that made my grandparents special to me (what did I remember most?) and then I let go… it was such a relief in our relationship.

    YOU need that time to just sit in a cafe, or shop alone, or do laundry without little ones… or whatever floats your spirit. Hell yes you work full time, and I know that whole stay at home vs working thing is an ancient debate, but it never gets old. Being home with kids, let alone adding even a part time job on to that is tough! Seriously. As if I have to say it? Anyway, love your blog; read it every time (that is why I nominated you for Liebster by the way) and glad to hear you’re taking a break.

    A fellow blogger, who appreciates your “work” and gets it. 🙂

  2. November 28, 2011 1:47 pm

    What excites me about your blog? Lots. First, your photographs. They are great snapshots of what you value and are infused with your good sense of style. I always look forward to what you are photgraphing next. I also ‘second’ the above comment about your honest and clear insights. Your words are relatable and candid. As a mom, I appreciate that. Lastly, I am always excited when you share other great things you have found on-line. You do all the work for me; thank you. 🙂

  3. November 28, 2011 3:24 pm

    I love this post. So honest and great photos. (Love that goblet!)

    You know I have been a full-time working mom, a part-time working mom and a stay-at-home mom. Working full time was hardest on my family, but working part-time has been harder on me. I think the biggest reason is that I expect myself to be able to do it all, all the things at home and all the things at work. Giving yourself a break is hard. Letting things go and sit on the back burner is even harder for me. We shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves.

  4. November 28, 2011 9:40 pm

    kudos for taking black friday with stride especially with how crazy it can get. i’m glad you took a break to collect yourself. it’s so important. i started teaching at an amazing school that i absolutely love love love so freakin amazing but i leave there at 5 or 6 in the evening. not sure how that will fare with a baby. it’s such a demanding place but rightfully so because the children get such a good education but it makes me worry about how i’ll juggle motherhood and this dream job of mine.

  5. November 28, 2011 11:42 pm

    my favorite picture was the one where you are reading together. such a precious moment to capture. Good for you for taking the break you need.

  6. November 29, 2011 3:19 pm

    Hey thanks for the link! Appreciated!

  7. December 4, 2011 10:20 am

    Great list of links…here is a blog I enjoy, thought you might too. She does a lot of great renovation projects, always leaves me saying, “Why can’t I ever find great stuff like that!”

  8. Christina permalink
    December 5, 2011 3:06 pm

    Just taking a little me time to catch up on blogs and I’m glad you had a nice holiday and took a break for yourself! I think you work 24/7 as a stay at home mom, part time worker out of the home, blogger, photographer, and creative being! I love your photos, insights on this stage in life, and the links you share.


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