Stream of Consciousness Sunday: Favorite Traditions

Hey y’all! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday, whatever you celebrate, and are looking forward to 2013 and all the opportunity that lies in flipping over a new calendar year!

I’m reminded, normally after the holidays, of the traditions that are my favorite. I can never think of all the wonderful things until they actually happen, though.

Today’s (totally optional) prompt: Favorite Traditions

stream of consciousness sunday

Decorating for Christmas is one of our most fun evenings of the year. After hitting up Big John’s to get our tree, we make a grocery store stop for our dinner of hors d’oeuvres and junk.

Movies are queued up, shrimp is defrosted and chilled, other snacks are prepared. Once the tree is in the stand and the boxes of ornaments and lights are pulled out, the movie is put on (A Christmas Story) and food is served.

There’s eating, placing of ornaments, watching movies, and snuggling on the couch.

It’s a magical way to start the holiday season and a tradition I hope never changes!

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This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a
brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…

  • Set a timer and write for 5 minutes.
  • Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking.
    This is writing in the raw.
  • Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it
    accessible.
  • Add the Stream of Consciousness Sunday badge to your post (in the sidebar). .
  • Link up your post below.
  • Visit your fellow bloggers and show some love.

Green Stuff, Pickles, and Whale Music: Things Not Found at The Four Seasons Spa

Green Stuff, Pickles, and Whale Music: Things Not Found at The Four Seasons Spa

Jason told me last week that he had a “surprise” for me. If you know me at all, you know I HATE surprises. Hate. LOATHE. I do not like to be surprised at all.

So yeah. This drove me crazy for a week. I wouldn’t even get to find out until the day AFTER Christmas. ::sigh::

I had so many questions. What will I wear? Do I need a special outfit? Should I shave my legs? Will my hair need to be fixed up? Will it be hot or cold or inside or outside? Paper or plastic? GAH!

Christmas was wonderful. But there was a wonderfully twitchy anxiety underneath it. WHAT WAS THE SURPRISE?

Wednesday morning, Jason leaned close in to my face and asked if I wanted to know… uh, of course I did!

I was going to the Four Seasons Spa for a 2 hour Calm treatment. It would include a 50 minute massage and a 50 minute facial. This was going to be amazing.

And it was.

As Jason drove me down to Midtown, Henry had questions. Of course! Once he realized what a spa was, he put it all together… “Mom, they’re going to give you a massage, put green stuff on your face and put pickles on your eyes.”

Uh, I hope not, kid!

I ventured into the spa, anxious and ready to relax.

After sitting with a warm neck wrap for about 15 minutes, I was called back for my first treatment.

My first treatment was a 50 minute aromatherapy massage. I’m not sure if the highlight of the massage was that she never said “OHMYGAWD you need to relax” or that the music was hymns being played on a piano. I don’t normally like massages, but this one? This one really was amazing.

Between the massage and facial, I had some time to sit in the relaxation lounge. I made a cup of mandarin spice tea, enjoyed a little tray of mixed nuts, and just sat. I just “was.” And it was just lovely.

My facial was such a treat. Especially since there were no pickles on my eyes. That really would hurt, y’all. There was green stuff (that was actually clear) and scrubbing and citrus oils and really just 50 minutes of fabulousness.

I can honestly say that at the end of the facial, I felt calmer. The whole afternoon, from Jason planning it out to the decadent services to the lovely setting, was perfect.

Jason picked me up and of course, Henry wanted to know ALL THE DETAILS! I told Jason about the piano hymns because I was totally taken by that little detail and Henry was flabbergasted that they didn’t play “whale music.”

It took me a few minutes, but then once he performed (god-awful) whale music, I realized he was speaking of New Age music (and it totally does sound like whale music!).

The day was perfect. It was topped off with a traditional post-Christmas dinner at Dante’s. I’m not sure I could ask for much more.

I do know this… For somebody who doesn’t like surprises, I’m secretly hoping for a little one again soon!

 

 

Stream of Consciousness Sunday: Shopping

Aah… it’s Christmas Eve Eve! One of my favorite days of the year.

Today, since shopping is probably on our minds, I want to know how you shop.

Today’s (totally and completely optional) prompt: How do you Christmas shop?

stream of consciousness sunday

It’s not a big secret that I hate to shop. I hate to shop for anything except groceries, really. But I love to think about shopping.

When it’s time to think about Christmas shopping, I like to be prepared. And keep it short and simple.

Henry’s allowed to ask for 5 gifts, which Santa brings, and then Jason and I each get him something. That makes it pretty easy. We don’t really swap gifts with anybody else except my parents, Jason’s mom and my sister’s family. My list is short.

Therefore, it’s easy enough to go one night, a week or so before Christmas, and shop. In one hour. In one (maybe two) stores. And be done.

I know I’m not alone, but I know some of you will think that’s insane. But it sure cuts down on lots of “stuff” that nobody needs or wants and it cuts down on how much money is spent.

Really, though, it helps me remember that the season’s not about the “stuff” as it is about the memories and remembering why we celebrate Christmas.

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This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…

  • Set a timer and write for 5 minutes.
  • Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw.
  • Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
  • Add the Stream of Consciousness Sunday badge to your post (in the sidebar). .
  • Link up your post below.
  • Visit your fellow bloggers and show some love.

Stream of Consciousness Sunday: Flu edition

Oh y’all. I’m so sick. So sick I can’t even come up with a good prompt…

As I lay here wide awake at 5am, wondering when an acceptable time is to get up and go to urgent care is, I have to wonder though… When you’re sick, even as an adult, do you still long for your mama?

Memories…

Memories…

Memories.

They flood back in droves. Sounds, smells, conversations. My heart flutters, bordering on panic. I feel the buzzing in my head get louder.

The memories have been suppressed for months now.

Until yesterday.

Until someone walked into a school in Connecticut and crushed the hopes and dreams of a couple dozen families. Hundreds of lives — CHANGED. Never to be the same.

I have cried for them. I have cried for the parents who have gifts wrapped under trees and who now have to choose caskets instead of Wiis and Barbie dolls.

I have cried for me and my husband and my son and for the anger that fills my heart when I think about all the babies and children I know who won’t fulfill their potential.

I’m at a loss for words, really.

I’ve written many times about finding your Roses in December, most recently at Still Standing Magazine. Imagine my surprise when I realized that our climbing rose, that hasn’t bloomed in weeks, has bloomed during a week where we have had freezing temperatures.

It’s a reminder to me that life, like nature, is precious. We can survive the worst, just as the rose can survive the cold. But just when we think we can’t go on and that life will never look the same, we’re reminded that there is hope. It may feel far away, but there is hope.

To the parents and families who have lost so much… I pray that you have Roses in the weeks and years to come. I pray that you find some peace over time. I pray that you feel the love from people around the world who are wrapping you in their arms. I pray for your community, that it may heal and learn to trust again in time. I pray for your other children and the other children of the community, that they may grow up without feeling guilty about it not being them instead. For you I pray, as a mother who has had to choose a tiny casket and a mother who will never feel her child in her arms again. For you I pray for Roses. Amen.

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