Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Home Alone...The empty nesters!!!

We are officially empty nesters. Well, temporarily, at least. Our younger daughter is away at college and now our oldest moved away for an internship leaving my husband and I……ALONE!!! Yes….alone for two whole months and possibly longer. Not sure if this is a good thing or not. Visions of Macaulay Culkins in Home Alone keep floating into my head. The shock in his face when he realizes that he just may have gotten what he wished for!!! 

So for the next few months….. I’m sure you’ll be hearing what it is like living with my husband with no children to buffer for us.
So Jessica went to Connecticut to stay with my sister and her family while she works in an outpatient physical therapy center. Jess is a home body by nature. She likes her space. She likes her California weather. This could be fun to watch unfold.

Packing was especially fun to watch. Prior to making the move, she did not own much in the way of warm clothes. We tried shopping for them. She wanted cute and fashionable which in California stores does not mean warm. I tried to explain that the boots she wanted would leak and that she needed warm sensible boots. She wasn’t liking what I picked out. Go figure!!

I tried to tell her that my sister had a washer and dryer but I think she packed enough clothes to not have to do any laundry for the entire two months. I tried to offer suggestions but all she could say was…. “Don’t judge me” with a grin on her face.

See what I mean….and those suitcases didn’t even have any shoes in them yet!!! My husband had to go in her closet last night to put something away. He came out and proclaimed “We’ve been robbed! There’s nothing left in Jessica’s closet.”

So Christmas night, we took them (Blaine, her boyfriend went along for the first week). We have a tradition of taking “first” pictures….day of school, car, job, etc. This is her “first” moving out picture. I couldn’t be in the picture because….well….being the mom… eyes may have been a little teary… I shoved dad in there.

Notice she has her scarf on and she hasn’t even left San Diego and its about 60 degrees out. Not a good sign if she’s cold already.
                    Happy Holidays sign from TSA..... see they really do like us!

So they arrived fine and had Christmas a day late with my brother, sister and families. I got a text that they were doing well but that “Blaine was eating Bambi.” Apparently, my brother was doing his best to break in this California boy with some home cooked venison. They opened gifts and Jess was surprised to find a little something under the tree from her dad. Jess and her dad have a little game going. It started one night after dinner with a crumpled up ball of foil that kept making its way into her work lunch or his work lunch which progressed to hiding it in closets or shoes which progressed to us having someone deliver it to her at the restaurant where she worked. By now, the foil ball had become a foil cross….none of us can explain why that happened. So the foil cross made its way to Connecticut and was wrapped and under the Christmas tree. Looks like she was surprised!!!

Yesterday they went shopping or maybe they were just in my brother’s closet finding her some warm clothes to wear.

Today was ice skating and looks like a trip down memory lane to see where she was born, the first house she lived in…and my old stomping grounds.

I hope they didn’t go in and use our family name… they may not get the warm reception they were hoping for. I was the 4th of 5 children to go there and by the time I attended….our last name was already getting some interesting looks and raised eyebrows. Ahhh…..but then that story is for another blog.

So….. my little birds have flown away….for the winter at least. What shall I do first??????? Not sure what to do with myself!!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Preparations my way......

So on my last blog I told you about how my husband is so full of Christmas cheer. I didn’t want to sound like I’m an un-Christmas-Scrooge type person so I thought I’d share a little of the memories that I’ve given my girls.

I also like Christmas music..IF they are sung with the correct lyrics. One year, Fernando and my girls gave me a Reba McEntire Christmas cassette (this was before cars had cd was a while ago). I used to play that cassette every time the girls and I got in the car and back in those days…..we did a lot of driving.  Now Reba has some stuff that’s not too bad but some of it is pretty "twang-y" country stuff. The girls hated that cassette after the first season or so. But being a woman that loves traditions (insert evil laugh here)….. I insisted we play it for years!!! Even in their teen years….I made them listen to it. Hey….they gave it to me….deal with it!!! Here’s a sample of it for your pleasure…..(go on the link) 

If you happen to be talking with my girls..... ask them to tell you the story..... they have it memorized by now!! 
Last year Melissa was studying in Spain for a semester and was away for all the Christmas preparations. It did my heart good to get the following email from her:

"just thought you should know i just spent about 30 minutes telling my friend about reba's christmas music you used to torture us with every year. and then of course we went on youtube and looked them up and died laughing. thanks for this lovely childhood memory! love you"

You see I've learned that not every memory has to be Hallmark perfect.

Another year….. they gave me a Christmas sweater. Oh this sweater should get an award or two as Christmas sweaters go. Now when they were little and Christmas sweaters were bold and bright and every one wore them (not just to Ugly sweater parties) I would wear it and they were proud that they had bought that for momma. But as the years went on….their pride.... well it became more of a pleading to not wear it. I was especially fond of wearing it whenever they needed a ride home from a friend’s house.

See what you think….
You can't see it but there are teddy bears baking cookies on the back of that sweater. 
Can I get an OH Yeah!!!

So….it’s only fitting that my family does not do the typical family Christmas photo since most likely you are thinking we are not that typical. You would be correct. We tried that same year....this is what it looked like.....

 So this is this year's version of......ahem…..our family Christmas card. Be sure to click on the blue highlighted area. 

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!!! Have fun, make memories and remember what it's all about!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Preparations at my home

As we are all in the midst of Christmas preparations, I thought you’d like to hear what that means in my house. As you’ve gathered by now….we’re not your ordinary  Hallmark-card  type of family. We probably lean closer to the Farsides type.

We start with my husband announcing in about February that Christmas will be here before you know it.  Then each month he announces it. Now don’t take that to mean that he’s an ugly Christmas sweater wearing guy that can’t wait until Christmas comes.

He definitely is not! It’s just his way of getting a groan out of me.

My husband was born good-natured. He whistles while he works. 

He sets his alarm at 5am EVERYDAY just so he won’t “waste the day”. I was NOT born that way. I prefer to not “waste the night”.  I think alarm clocks should only be used for emergencies….like when you need to get up early to leave on a trip. I certainly don’t get up whistling.

I’ve told you before my husband loves to sing…..his own way….his own lyrics. 

He’s been listening to Christmas music every day in his shop. The problem is….what he hears and what he sings are not the same. Here....see what I mean.....

“Winter Wonderland” has a line that says:
 “In the meadow we can build a snowman,
Then pretend that he is Parson Brown”

Fernando:  “In the meadow we can build a snowman,
Then pretend that he is partly brown”
Me: No, it says Parson Brown.
Him: Really? Who is that?
Me: A parson is like a minister.
Him: Oh, I thought they were just being politically correct in the carols. I thought they were finally including my people in it.
Me: Nope….pretty sure they were not talking about Ecuadoreans in that Christmas carol.

Or how about  “Silver Bells”:
“Silver Bells, Silver Bells, It’s Christmas time in the city.”

Fernando-lyrics say:“Silver Bells, Silver Bells, It’s crime time in the city.”
Me: No…not crime time but Christmas time…..remember Christmas carols are happy and about nice things.
Him: Are you sure? It’s a city…there’s always crime.
Me: Can you just stick to “Feliz Navidad”?

Then he puts lights on the house. They look amazing. In fact, the first year we moved into our present neighborhood, no one had lights up except our house….and we hadn’t even moved in yet! We bought it in December and the first thing he did was put up Christmas lights.
                           Not our house....but I thought it was worth sharing.

There was one year when he was in a hurry and tried to cut corners so he could come in to watch the Chargers game on television. I was on a long distance call with my sister when he asked me to come out and take a look. To my surprise…. He had made a Star of David out of lights on the front of our house.

                                My sister sent us a Hanukkah card that year!

Let me know if you need help with your preparations.....I would be happy to send my husband to help you.