I’m sorry it’s been so long since you’ve heard from me, dear reader. My goal for the new year is to try to blog more regularly. In the event that I am successful with this goal, you’ll likely start seeing the blog deviate from being only about school to being a little bit more about my personal life, which I think will be nice for both of us. For now, I have some catching up to do!
I’ll start with that overwhelming weekend I mentioned in my last blog. I ended up skipping out on Christmas with my dad’s family; I decided I’d much rather get caught up on baking and Christmas shopping. Normally I would feel bad about missing out, but I didn’t this time; I knew my decision would greatly benefit me, and sometimes, you just need to think of yourself first. I figured the extended family would understand, and that if they didn’t, that was their problem. My dad is truly the only one we’d miss, and Music Man and I can get together with him and his wife for dinner sometime after the holiday craziness dies down. I’m really glad we ended up not going, because we got a ton done; almost all of our Christmas shopping was completed, and I got a good jump on my Christmas baking. Since I am not your “typical” woman in that I loathe (not love) shopping, Saturday afternoon was exhausting.
As the evening approached, I started to feel more and more tired. I did not want to go to the bonfire. I wanted to cry myself to sleep and then sleep through the whole evening instead. Because the day had been so busy, I’d managed to keep my thoughts and emotions on the anniversary of my sister’s death at bay. I hadn’t thought too much about how very long the past two years seem to have been, and how each anniversary puts me further and further away from the last time I heard her laugh, saw her smile, or felt her wonderful hug.
As I said in my last blog, there was no way I was going to miss the bonfire, so I bucked up and got myself ready to go. As we drove, I started to get excited about the people we would see; I was especially looking forward to seeing my nephews and niece, and it had been awhile since I’d seen my twin brother. When we got there, we headed inside the house to drop off the cups and utensils we’d brought. My deceased sister’s son (also my youngest nephew) saw me and literally flew into my arms. (Well, it was really more like a running leap, but it seemed like he flew.) He was so excited to see me, and he gave me the most wonderful hug. In that moment, he reminded me so much of his mother—the excitement on his face, the hug that conveyed so much love—that I felt as though they both were hugging me. It was truly incredible. He didn’t want to let me go, so I held him for a while and talked to him about his new puppy; feeling as though I was exactly where I needed to be right at that moment.
The bonfire was fantastic. As usual, so many of my sister’s friends, various family friends, and family members showed up that it was overwhelming. There was also one very special guest; one of the jurors from the criminal trial showed up. My mom’s husband and I have communicated back and forth with this young woman via Facebook since right after the trial. It was so incredible to finally meet her in person!!! She was overwhelmed at the hero’s welcome she received, and she told me later that she just about lost it when she saw my nephew. He made it all very real for her, and seeing him made her realize just how important the decision she and her fellow jurors made really truly was. It was an incredible experience to meet and talk to her, and she was eager to hear the stories we had to tell about my sister. It’s incredible how this horrific experience has brought strangers together and made us friends.
Energy renewed after hours of celebration of my sister’s life and memory, we headed home where I proceeded to finish up a little baking. By the end of the weekend, I had completed the following: 5 dozen flourless peanut butter cookies, 9 dozen oatmeal butterscotch cookies, 7 dozen snicker doodles, 5 dozen Oreo truffles, 5 dozen mint Oreo truffles, and 5 dozen cherry cake balls. I still had to do the candy coating on the mint truffles and the cake balls, but holiday baking was nearly complete!
The Christmas celebration with my husband’s grandmother on Sunday went well, and afterwards we finished up the rest of our Christmas shopping. The Christmas holiday as a whole was great. We spent Christmas Eve with my in-laws where we had beef and shrimp fondue for dinner and had cookies, which I’d brought, for dessert. They gifted us a nice check that we’re hoping to use on a steam cleaner; with two dogs and white carpet, it would be a very useful thing to have. (Mark my words: when we buy a house, it will not have white—or even light—carpet.) Christmas day was spent at my mother’s house where we ate lots of good food, lots of good cookies (my mom always makes tons), and enjoyed watching the nephews and niece open the gifts we’d gotten them. Overall, it was a wonderful holiday. The one exception being the Christmas gift my husband and I received from my family: one heck of a nasty cold. We both feel just lousy and are hoping the cold passes quickly.
Music Man and I had decided not to exchange gifts, because the Pug we recently rescued was our gift to each other; however, he decided to play Santa on Christmas Eve. Christmas morning I woke up to a stocking filled with some nice things: an iTunes gift card, gum, candy, gloves, disinfectant hand wipes to carry in my purse (he knows me so well), and a laptop sleeve (which was actually propped up against the stocking, not inside of it). I felt horrible that he’d thought to do such a nice thing for me and that I had done nothing for him. Then I realized that he’d filled his own stocking with a few things he’d wanted/needed like a new CD, and I didn’t feel as bad, because he’d at least gotten himself some things too. Next year I will remember to pick up some things to fill his stocking with. He is always the more thoughtful one when it comes to gift giving where I usually struggle with what to get him; clearly he really pays attention when I say I need/want something, and I need to get better about doing that.
In school news, final grades are in. I am proud to say I continue to hang on to my 4.0 GPA!! My final grade in English was an A, and I got some very nice comments from my instructor. She told me that I am a very talented writer, that she knows I’m going to go far in my career, and that she hopes I continue to write. That’s a great compliment coming from a woman with a PhD in English! My argument paper was on domestic violence, and she told me I’d managed to strike a good balance between factual information and my own personal/emotional story (my sister’s death). She wrote a comment that she hoped I’d keep writing about my sister, because her story should be told and I have the skills and insight to tell it. I was touched. I also passed the Interpersonal Communications Competency!!! I still eagerly await the evaluation form, stalking the mailbox every day in the hopes that the letter grade equivalent will soon be revealed to me.
With that, we’re all caught up! I hope you had a fantastic holiday, dear reader, and with New Years approaching, I wish you a happy and safe New Year!!
What’s up, weekend 4/28
13 hours ago