Things are going well - again, not perfectly, but pretty well. I'm trudging through life. Still no theatre prospects, but I'm working a lot right now, so at least I am somewhat busy. For a couple weeks now I have been working at or a little over 40hrs per week - so, that is great. I like my job a lot right now. Good people make it wonderful! They seem to like me as well, and the Front End Manager seems to really trust and enjoy me, so I feel pretty confident in my work. Even the Store Director knows my name. My co-workers are really the best. Lots of laughter with my Front End co-workers, and there is a guy in grocery that can pretty much make me smile and break out in laughter under any circumstances. He's a lot of fun and seems really interesting, so I kind of wish we had more than 5-10 minute intervals to talk.
Family - we'll keep it quick before digging into Christmas. Everyone is pretty good. Dakota is doing more than well - he's entertaining and such an adorable little guy. Stephanie and Chris are engaged - you should see the rock she got! Gorgeous! Chris, sadly, is back in Iraq, but he is doing okay.
Friends - yeah right. I don't even know them anymore! Between work and having no theatre things going on, I have lost touch with pretty much everyone. Before Christmas I was able to have lunch with Matt D. I almost forgot how nice it was just to sit and talk and catch up with people. We hadn't been able to really catch up except for the "5minute sum up of my life" kind of thing, so this was refreshing. I was able to call Barry tonight, and talking with him is always comforting to me, although afterwards I miss him more than ever. I'm trying to bury myself in work so I don't notice how lonely I get. Doesn't always work, but I don't think there is much alternative.
Christmas: the season really began for me a week or so before. Mom called and wanted to know if I could come up for a couple days to help her around the house. I had the time, so I got to come home for a weekend of hanging out with the folks, christmas shopping, wrapping, and baking. It was a WONDERFUL weekend. It did me a lot of good, and I got a lot of work done. It also finally got me into the spirit of the season. Normally, at the first signs of winter, I get in Christmas gear, but this year, there was a delay on that, I don't really know why. So, that weekend helped a lot.
Leading up to Christmas was a little hectic at work. Not bad, but busy, busy. I worked Christmas Eve at the Service Counter, which meant I had to miss Christmas Eve services. I was bummed, but at the same time, I didn't mind being there one bit. We had a great group of people there, and the customers were all cheery. So it wasn't bad. The roads were mostly clear heading home, so I was able to make it in record time. Soon Nick, Amy, and the kids arrived and everyone settled in for the night. Sleeping arrangements were tight, so I was out with the kids in the living room. Didn't mind it so much, except that every move they made woke me up. And then there was Dakota waking Steph up for feedings, which woke me up. And there was Santa, which scared the heck out of me - luckily the kids were able to sleep through all of that.
Morning came before the morning actually dawned, and coffee was the only perk to that. We had our annual breakfast pizza, and opened stockings and some of the gifts:
Dakota snuggling with Dad.
Dakota in his Christmas sleeper
Nick and Matthew opening gifts in the morning
Savanna's reaction to the fashion drawing set she got from Santa. I LOVE this picture! She hardly stopped drawing the rest of the day!Just about the time when we were wrapping up with opening the first round of gifts, Steph was able to get on a video chat with Chris. Pretty soon after they started that, all the women had to leave the room in search for a tissue, and in interest of giving them some private time, I took the kids and Allie outside to play. This lead to some interesting moments. Thank goodness Auntie J had her camera!
This is what Allie does as soon as she gets outside: shoves her face in the snow. Everytime! And then she looks at you like, "What?"
I somehow managed to get the kids to all sit down on the bench for a quick picture. Matthew was not thrilled, as he did not want to stray off the "trails" that Granpa made with his snowblower. Savanna and Daniel were thrilled enough until I told them to smile. It was then that Daniel mentioned that he couldn't smile because his mouth was covered. Like, Duh, Auntie. I then just told him to wave to the camera - which he did, and continued to do so with every picture we took outside.
See? There's the wave again!
Somehow, Matthew managed to get the idea to help Grandpa with the "trails" by kicking the snow on the edges of the "trails" I asked him what he was doing and he said "snowblowin'" I about died! And then he did this: He kicked the snow, some of it got on his boots and he just look at it like: "how did that happen?" I snapped the picture quickly. To me, he looks like a Peanuts character.Soon, Matthew got cold and tired and I took him inside. With the other two, I figured it was safe to head to the house, because I had a project for them. You see, Mom and Dad didn't remove the fall lawn decorations before the first snow, and then the first snow became covered by the second, and so on, and so on. At some point, the wind knocked over one of the little scarecrow people and they got buried under the snow. I thought it would be kind of fun to dig it out. So the kids helped me out. I told them that I would get pictures and that we needed to make up a story to tell the adults when we got inside about how the Scarecrow person got caught and their rescue. Daniel jumped in with his ideas and then Savanna threw in some finishing touches and something about the "Crutacious age" While we were in the process of saving the Scarecrow person, Allie came over and played rescue:
We came inside and the rest of the day was dedicated to getting the meal ready. Then the rest of the family showed up. It was about this time that my photography abilities failed and my natural tendency to feel like I am in the way took over. I didn't get many pictures of the rest of the time. Mostly because I spent a lot of time with mom in the kitchen, getting everything ready. Or at least trying to help. So yeah - sorry about that everyone.
Best part of the evening: after dinner we put in Mom's Christmas gift: which was a copy of the original UNCUT version of 'Muppet's Family Christmas' It's a family favorite of ours for YEARS, and this year Santa was about to find a dvd copy to get to Mom. So, at some point after dinner and before the kids started going crazy, we found everyone in the living room, watching this movie together. For a little while it was quiet except for a couple of us softly singing along with the carol medley. It was beautiful.
All in all, it was a good Christmas.
I was able to get the next day off, and it was a well needed rest. Hated to leave home and head back to Bemidji though. I think Mom hated it too.
So: back now to the present. A little more work news: I am now going to be trained in on Books. Isn't too much of a big deal, but I am more than a little nervous about it. Only bad part: work begins at 5:00am. I mean, I can do it, no problem, but that is still going to suck a little.
Personally: I'm going to talk around this more than about it, but it's a kinda major thing going on right now, so I'm mentioning it. There is a thing with a person, and I think there might be more to it. Only problem is: I have a history with not having the best of luck with this kind of thing, and I am scared. I don't want to make a fool of myself, or turn this person away. But I also don't want to miss a possible oppurtunity. The family is being very helpful and supportive - even people who don't know the situation are being supportive and encouraging. I compared my state of being to that of Charlie Brown's when he's talking about going over to talk to the Little Red Haired Girl: "I'm standing up, now I am going to walk over there. I'm standing up! I'm... I'm ... I'm sitting down." People got that and are kind of cheering me on, which is great. I almost did something about it. I mean, I started to, but I kinda bailed at the first sign of trouble. Now, I've just about convinced myself to trust my past experiences, and my instincts. There is no way something could come of this. Well something has come of it, but I don't want to ask anymore. I know better, or at least, I do in the back of my mind. Right now, I am thinking that is just going to have to be it. I'm not going to make any kind of move here. I just can't because I don't trust it.
New Years: no plans. no resolutions. no idea what I am going to do. I am kinda upset by this, but there is no alternative right now. I may just end up ignoring the whole celebration - but I have the next day off, so it seems kind of a shame to just waste the evening. Who knows? I may spontaneously come up with something spectacular.
In case nothing comes before then: Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and I hope you have a rockin', romantic, or just plain fun New Year's Eve. May you all find a sweetheart to kiss to ring in the new decade!