Tag Archives: Family

November 2015 in the Books

Christmas season is in full swing and I want to review November before it gets away completely. I can’t believe December is a third of the way over and I’m just barely wrapping up November. I have so many ideas I want to write about, now if I could just get that whole time thing under control.

1.6 – Pounds gained, I guess my boost in exercise was not enough to offset the holiday goodies.

2 – Pies made, both of them were Chocolate Mousse Praline Pecan.November 2015 lights

2 – Books read, only one was an insurance book.

3 – Blog posts this month! It’s been way to long since this poor blog had that much attention.

5 – Social events; there was a Girls Night Out, a Blogger event that introduced my to barre (no Mom, there wasn’t any drinking involved), a studio tour that made yearn for more time to be creative, Zoolights, and of coarse Thanksgiving.

18 – Projects completed, some of them were fun and others I’m just glad to have out of the way.

November 2015 leaves23 – Photos added to Instagram.

41 – Leaves on my gratitude tree

48 – Rolls made for Thanksgiving, that and the pie is my favorite part of the dinner.

1458 – Just Wanna Be Me page views, it’s nice to see the extra attention to my blog paid off.

82,733 – Just Wanna Be Me Pinterest viewers.

With the holidays and National Write a Novel Month happening in November, everyone is busy. I’d love to hear about your successes, attempts and accomplishments in the comment section below!

Most Popular Pinterest Boards in November 2015

  1. Treats
  2. Dinners
  3. Writing
  4. Breakfast
  5. Home Decor

Top November 2015 Just Wanna Be Me Pages

  1. Thanksgiving Pack Meeting
  2. Pizza Nachos
  3. Gratitude Tree
  4. Prophets and Brownies FHE
  5. Book Theme Party

 

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Celebrating Thanksgiving Just for Me

Celebrating Thanksgiving with older kids splitting their time between me and their dad was tricky. Unlike Halloween, the focus of Thanksgiving is on family. It was more challenging to find substitutes for tradition.

My childhood Thanksgivings were spent with extended family or at a buffet in a casino in Lake Tahoe. The food at the buffet was amazing, but I preferred the family gatherings even when I was the only kid.

One of the benefits of marrying into a large family was the awesome Thanksgivings. Despite our large numbers, my in-laws were always welcoming those who weren’t able to share Thanksgiving with their own families. My own parents even joined their family several times, which was convenient for me to have everyone in the same place.

After moving to Arizona, I  hosted smaller Thanksgivings with local family and we adopted family members along the way. Wednesday was pie day, as in the day we prepared for Thanksgiving by baking the stuffing Thanksgiving pieingredients – and of coarse pie. Thursday morning we watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade while I started cooking, and the kids would complain about the boring parts (now they say the whole thing is the boring part). After eating too much with family and friends, we’d play street hockey or take a walk to make room for the pies we made the day before. Finally, we’d wind down by watching Elf. It was the official transition from Thanksgiving to Christmas. The remainder of the weekend Fall decorations would be replaced with Christmas, and the TV and radio played non-stop Christmas movies and music.

This year my goal was to have dinner when the teenagers will be home, invite the rest of my loved ones and be grateful for whoever could make it. I planned activities for my grandsons and the older folks too. But like I said before, Thanksgiving is about family. So I adjusted my plan to have a smaller dinner with my parents and boyfriend and join the rest of my family, and my ex-husband, for dessert at my daughter’s house.

I spent some time with my family, but I let my anxiety about the situation keep me from enjoying it and watched my hopes for the day slip away. After a few days I was able to look for ways I can improve future holidays, and I’m choosing to focus on the expressions of love from this Thanksgiving:Thanksgiving

  • A long phone call from my daughter in New York, I was even able to talk to her new boyfriend who appreciated the fun things I do with my family.
  • My mom put a leaf on our gratitude tree that said “spending the day with my daughter”.
  • Overhearing my boyfriend share with my step dad how proud he is of how well I’m doing with my education goals.

There’s plenty of room for improvement as I continue trying to learn to celebrate in a way that brings joy to my heart. Fortunately, the Christmas season is upon us and I’m already practicing what I learned!

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Celebrating Halloween Just for Me

Halloween MummyHow do you celebrate the holidays? For the last 25 years my answers focused on my attempts to make the holidays memorable for my children. Now that they are adults and teenagers, they aren’t interested in many of the traditions of their childhood. Without the kiddos to concentrate on, I’m left me pondering what makes the holidays important to me and how to celebrate in a way that brings me joy.

It’s back to my word of the year, happiness, and figuring out what makes me happy – just for me.

I keep calling it an adjustment, but it feels like opposite extremes of the spectrum! All those years, bringing my children joy truly made me happy. The flip-side of not having them to focus on sometimes leaves a painful void. It’s hard to not take their lack of interest as a personal rejection – that I’m not important to them, rather than the activity. Realizing what I was doing to myself has helped a little. But I’m still trying to fill the gap.

With Halloween is around the corner (yikes!) and once again I’m looking for how to celebrate that feels like me.

Halloween candyWhen I was a kid Halloween was cool because you dressed up and got candy. With my kids, I stuck to the cute side of Halloween. I loved walking around the neighborhood with my kiddos, visiting the neighbors. But my favorite part was talking and laughing with my kids. Last year, my trick or treating days came to an end when my teenagers chose to hang out with their friends or had to work. I’m so glad I was able to enjoy taking them out one last time the year before, even though my neighbors gave me grief for not sending my teenage kids trick or treating on their own.

My oldest daughter loves the scary side of Halloween, with her haunted houses and zombie walks. But I’ve never been into the spooky parts. Do you know how hard it is to find Halloween activities for adults that don’t revolve around getting scared or drinking?

I bought a costume to wear to work on Friday and we’re having a potluck. I’m thinking about making Monster Munch and Mini Mummy Bagel Pizzas. I also put together a “pumpkin” decorating contest. I gave everyone a print out of a blank pumpkin for them to decorate. We’ll invite the other teams to vote for their favorite.

If I have enough energy, I’ll spend Halloween night in the driveway with festive activities for my trick-or-treaters; paper pumpkins for them to decorate, pumpkin bowling, and a bean bag toss. Maybe a few quick games of Halloween bingo or I could share some Halloween trivia.

I’m not sure if any kids will be interested in taking a break from their candy quest, but it is fun thinking of the possibilities. I think I’ll be okay on my own this Halloween.

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Friday Favorites: March 29

Happy Good Friday! It’s a good Friday here for many reasons, including posting my Friday Favorites on Friday two weeks in a row.

  • A family dinner filled with yummy food, delicious chocolate cake and good company!Favorite kite
  • A fun coin toss fundraiser at our last Cub Scout Pack Meeting.
  • Yogurt with a friend.
  • After a detour with a short story, I started working on my book again. As i read over parts of previous chapters, looking for details to support what I was writing, I kept thinking how much I like the story. I’m totally excited to work on it again!
  • On that note, ANWA had a WOW (week of writing). I’ve added 323 words so far this week.
  • My Paper Bag Kite article over at Arizona Mama.
  • I ‘hard-boiled’ eggs in the oven. It simplified the process. The kiddos were commenting they like the other way better, but I’m not sure why. I’ll let you know next week if they taste just as good.
  • Dying Easter Eggs is always fun. I just wish I could start earlier in the evening, but I wish that every year.
  • Today I finished reading Airman by Eoin Colfer and we had our family book club for the book. I didn’t cut it close, I had hours to spare!

How has your week been? Are you as excited about Easter as we are? As excited as I am about Easter, I’m going to sneak in another hundred words or so on my book while everyone else is occupied!

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