The Oscars Are Getting With The Program!

Everyone who knows me knows that I love movies and look forward to the Oscars for months before they arrive.

This year, it was SO worth the anticipation!

Ellen DeGeneres was a superb host.  Funny, without being mean, lively, but annoyingly so, and the best part?  SO interactive with the celebrity audience.

Smart woman – she knows we don’t tune in just to watch her for 3.5 hours, as amazing as she is.

Here are my Top Ten things that I LOVED about yesterday’s Oscars:

1.  The dresses – well, DUH!  Isn’t that a huge reason why many tune in? When I see gorgeous celebrities wearing long sleeves and demure necklines, just for a few moments, I can actually pretend that I too could rock a gown like that. Last night the gowns were conservative and downright plentiful in fabric, for the most part, which gives my wobbly bits such hope for when I walk the red carpet.

2.  Anne Hathaway wearing a metallic-breastplated dress to avoid Nipplegate, Part 2.  Not sure if it was intentional, but I’m going to assume it was her classy raised middle finger to last year’s media frenzy erected by her dress and what it didn’t hide.

3.  Pharrell performing “Happy”.  Children dancing on the stage.  Pharrell gettin’ funky with Lupita, Meryl and Amy.  Pharrell getting everyone up on their feet shakin’ it.  Loved it – best performance of the night.

4.  The number of speeches that thanked MOMS.  Jared Leto AND Matthew McConaughey both did – so nice to see grown men pay such tribute to their mothers.  Also loved the tears that appeared when Matthew spoke of his wife and children - take notes, gentlemen in training!

5.  Bette Midler singing.  Love her or hate her – that woman can sing.  And that she did, superbly well.  I loved that she sang the song I danced to with my dad at BOTH of my weddings!

6.  The speeches were not long, boring, drawn-out, or containing political diatribes.  Yes, a few held political or social commentary, but it was like everyone understood that it wasn’t the time or the place for the soap box, and sometimes, just a mention is all you really need to make people think.

7.  Ellen ordered pizza, had it delivered and passed it out to the celebrity audience.  With celebrities helping serve it up!  Have you ever seen anything that cool, fun or original in recent Oscar shows?  Also, who was the last host to break Twitter by posting a selfie with her and 10 celeb peeps?  Need I say more?

8.  Joseph Gordon Levitt, whom I could love on a standalone basis, but he also reminded me of my boyfriend from senior year in high school – their resemblance is uncanny, to be honest, although I have no idea what the former flame looks like now, so I’ll stick with my memory.  Or JGL.  Refer also to Jonah Hill – that cutie-pie just makes me smile, even when he doesn’t say a word.

9.  I agreed with almost all of the award choices – I might have chosen a different Best Director and different Animated Feature, but everything else I completely agreed with – that NEVER happens!

10.  DIVERSITY.  Black nominees, in more than one category.  Black attendees – more than just a couple token uber-famous black celebrities in the crowd.  A movie about slavery won Best Picture and Best Screenplay.  An intelligent, talented black woman won Best Supporting Actress.  A black man gave the best performance of the show.  Sidney Poitier on stage to remind us all who got the ball rolling for black people in Hollywood.  The Academy is starting to realize that perhaps diversity has been lacking in their club, and it’s nice to see some signs of this changing.  Would I have liked to see more diversity? Of course, but starting somewhere is better than stagnancy.

Keep it up, Hollywood, you did it all right last night.

My creative stepson made this!

My creative stepson made this!

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Existential HUH?

ImageA few months ago, I had coffee for the first time with a woman I had recently met.  We got personal pretty quickly, which is fine by me – I’m a bit of an open book on most subjects.  I shared some intimate details of my life story and also the details that I’ve shared publicly.  When I was done peeling back my onion for her, she asked me if I ever felt like I was put on this earth and kept around (so far) to accomplish something amazing.

All. The. Freakin’. Time.

In a nutshell, there have been numerous occurrences in my life – some medical, some notsomuch – that could have easily snuffed out my existence.  Yet, that didn’t happen.  Each time, I somehow made it through, and some of those triumphs were tippy-toeing near the “miraculous” zone.

Now, some of you are probably dying to hear all the gory details of these experiences, some of you may not give a shit, but either way – that’s ok.  This post isn’t about that, mostly because all of those stories would fill a book…hmmm…

The point of this post is to talk about the never-ending feeling I’ve had since I was very young, that I’ve been spared or given back my life numerous times because I have some great calling to fulfill.

So great, in fact, that I haven’t even figured it out yet.

Which IS the point of this post.

What if what I AM doing is the wrong “something amazing”?

What if I find out too late that what I’m already accomplishing and will accomplish were NOT the reasons why I’m here?

I know – this existentialist shit makes my head spin most of the time as well, but when somebody else hits your innermost thoughts and fears all in the same sentence for all the same reasons you have those thoughts and fears – it gets pretty deep.

This is not about ego – I don’t think that I’m here to change the world or any other grandiose ideas like that (with all due respect to those who ARE here to change it).  But what if changing the world was my “destiny” and I’m sitting here telling you that I’m not buying into my own destiny?

I’m sure you can see how this could, at times, be a little crippling.

Scrubbing toilets, typing out the words in my head and posting them online because there is nobody in front of me to speak them to, making grilled cheeses because I don’t feel like going to the grocery store for real dinner food – I’m not convinced these are signs of a higher calling, but who am I to judge myself?

Yes, it’s hard sometimes to avoid saying “I was saved for THIS?” when my child comes home from school with sopping leggings, because she didn’t pull them down far enough when she sat on the potty (yes, sat – like I don’t worry enough about her at school?).  Or when she comes home from school wearing only transparent tights as pants, because she didn’t feel like wearing the skirt she chose to wear that morning, and explained to me her belief that tights and leggings are the same thing.

I have to remind myself that no doubt Mother Theresa’s mom or Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s mother had stories like these to tell – mommy tales.  Yet, look at the destiny they fulfilled.

Now, Baby Girl may not turn out to be the next Oprah Winfrey or Nelson Mandela, or she may – that’s not really the point either.

The point is this – I have to find my OWN value in what I do.

I don’t have to be an iconic world hero, nor do my children.  I don’t have to measure my worth by other people’s standards – how much money I earn, how many people follow me, how many hits my posts get, how much charity work I do, how often I’m on the news.

I simply have to look upon my life as one that matters – no matter what I do.

What more amazing accomplishment can there be?

 

 

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25 Reasons Why I’m Not Hip, and Probably Never Will Be

Baby Girl came home from school last week singing “It’s hip to be a square”, which on one hand, made me laugh because it’s a terrible old song that somebody was witty enough to turn into a shape-teaching tool, yet on the other hand, made me think about how un-hip I am. In so many ways.

Let me run down a few of them for you:
1. I don’t eat quinoa. I may try it one day, but probably long after it’s not hip anymore.

2. I use the “kids in a sandbox” approach to making adult friends – I actually invite people to have coffee if I think they’re cool, or I may even invite them to my house or out for lunch. Sometimes I even do this after only meeting someone once, briefly. Aloof is not my area of expertise.

3. I worry that people are mad at me or don’t like me for some reason (yes, even people I’ve never met) if they don’t reply to my tweets. I want people to like me and feel bothered if they don’t. But only if I like them, of course.

4. I don’t watch SOA, Downton Abbey, Mad Men, Orange is the New Black, or any other TV (with the exception of the quality programming found on ABC’s Revenge, The Weather Network, CBC news or CP24). In related news – we don’t even have Netflix.

5. I’m not on Pinterest, Instagram, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, Vine, LinkedIn or any other social media than Facebook and Twitter.

6. I wear Crocs in my house. All the time, as slippers. Sometimes even when people come over.

7. I like typing on a laptop more than a tablet or smart phone. I like buttons more than a flat screen image of a keyboard. I actually miss my old Blackberry.

8. I like ending conversations of any sort (yes, even on social media) with some traditional form of pleasantry like “Bye!” or “Talk to you later!” or “Have a great day!” instead of just leaving a discussion dangling in the wind with no closure.

9. I double space after periods. That’s how I was taught to type back in 1984, so I will not apologize for learning it well.

10. I don’t find humour in people getting the shit scared out of them, or people getting the beats (not the Dr Dre kind) or imitations of people with physical or mental challenges.

11. I don’t do any sports that I can talk about on social media. I don’t do any sports that I can talk about anywhere. Ok, I don’t do any sports.

12. I wear my pyjamas under my yoga pants to drive Baby Girl to school. And pick her up.  I remove the yoga pants for the hours in-between.

13. Kale revolts me. And yes, I’ve tried kale chips.

14. I have 3 cats. I adore them and I’m not ashamed to admit that. I post pictures of them online, and convince myself that I am not a crazy cat lady because I draw the line at owning clothes with animal pics on them, or having little animal chachkies around my home.

15. I am verbose. Why say it in one sentence, when you can use five or six? I joined Twitter to practise limiting my words to 140 characters. #EpicFail.

16. I follow people back on Twitter if they follow me and they’re not trying to sell me more followers, don’t have a profile that’s in a language I don’t read or speak, don’t have an egghead profile picture with 1 tweet and 254,592 followers or don’t give me the heebeegeebees for some reason.

17. I respond to almost all of the comments on my blogs – good or bad, almost all tweets to me that aren’t weird or rude or trying to sell me stuff, and all emails that aren’t from spambots or marketing firms trying to buy ad space on my blog.

18. I feel awkward talking about my experiences with depression, so I don’t. I don’t judge those that do – in fact I may have a bit of envy that they are comfortable sharing, but I’m not. I’m not ashamed, I just can’t do it. Yet, at least.

19. I put myself “out” there. I comment on blogs of people I don’t know, I tweet to strangers.

20. I still get zits.  I still refer to them as zits.

21. I didn’t dig the Kendrick Lamar/Imagine Dragons mash-up at the Grammys. I’d never heard of half of the nominees at the Grammys.

22. I constantly worry about my phone battery dying because I don’t own one of those little portable battery charger packs.

23. I get manicures biweekly, but my eyebrows resemble Frida Kahlo’s. I cut and colour my hair 3 times per year, and I’m fastidious about my pits, but I declare a moratorium on leg-shaving between November and April to avoid wearing long-johns. Don’t even ask about the equator zone, unless I will be sporting a swimsuit the next day. Basically, I’m a confused sasquatch.

24. I don’t dig zombies.

25. I’m not fake. I’m a sincere, loyal and sometimes overly-friendly person. Most of the time I’m pretty content being just who I am – hip, or not.

Bonus Addendum: I can’t believe I forgot about this in the original post, but that’s just another testament to how unhip I really am: I don’t play Candy Crush.

Thanks for reading my blog! Did you like this post? Feel free to share it, if you did. Also, if you’d like to hear more from me, slide over to the right side of your screen and “Like” my Facebook page and follow me on Twitter – yes, that’s right – stalk me!

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Snow Shoot

I am not a winter person.  I’m not much of a summer person either.  I prefer the temperate weather of spring – yes, even with the rain – and fall (my favorite, but don’t tell the others).

Who would like a season that can do THIS?

Who would like a season that can do THIS?


I’m actually feeling a little uncomfortable even typing those words because I have always made it a bit of a personal rule to not discuss The Weather, in verbal discussions or on social media.  Oh sure – I’ve made comments here and there, when necessary, or as it pertains to a weather-related subject, but I have always felt that there is no point in discussing the weather. It is not going to change. I was born in Canada and have lived here all of my life, and not once in those 43 years has it not snowed or not been cold in the winter.  Not once has it not rained in the spring.  Not once have we had a humidity-free summer.  Never have I witnessed the leaves on the trees remaining green as fall slides into winter.  So, I’ve just never seen the point in conversing about something that I nor anyone else cannot change. Weather is what it is and nothing will stop it, so I prefer to simply put my head down and deal with it accordingly, similar to life’s other little irritations that I can’t control – needing gas in my car when I’ve used up what’s in the tank, having to wash my hair because I just don’t have the face for a Sinead-do, having to buy groceries via the brutal process of in the cart, out of the cart, in the bags, back in the cart, in the car, out of the car, in the house, out of the bags, and finally into their storage destinations.  Life is full of mundane tasks and circumstances and whining about them discussing them does not make them go away or improve in any way.

Yet, here I am, on the cusp of breaking my own rule.

I am hating this winter.

There – I’ve said it.  Trite, cliché, predictable, boring – I agree.

Yet I must speak on it, not because I have some uncontrollable urge to discuss the weather itself. In fact, I really don’t have much to comment on aside from my astonishment over how little I care about my appearance as the temperatures drop and my age climbs.  I have not a thing to say about current weather conditions.

Except that it’s creating a situation that is making me crazy: the daily laundering of the snow suit.

I am the one who generally hushes Huzbo when he gets wound up about dirt or food on the clothes.  I don’t enjoy hand-made messes, but I don’t want my anal-retentiveness to ever impede my kids’  fun or their necessary sensory development.

Yet, I still can’t seem to come to grips with why my child feels it necessary to slide around daily on the salt-covered ground on her belly.

Why?

I see the other kids coming out of the school each afternoon.  Their snow suits are not resemblant of a glazed donut!  I’ve driven by her school at lunch time and most of the other kids manage to stay standing while they partake in their fun and games.  Mine?  She arrives home daily with a lovely grit of dried dirt and salt covering her entire snow suit, front and back, with a side of sopping wet mittens that dry already starched if left on the vent.  So filthy is her outerwear that I’ve had to put it in the washer every day, leaving me to wonder if the garments will actually make it through the winter.

Why won't she just sit there and eat the snow like she used to?

Why won’t she just sit there and eat the snow like she used to?

It’s gotten to the point where I’m actually GLAD when we have Deep Freeze Days.  Minus twenty wind chill means indoor play only at our school, which in turn equates to an afternoon free of snow suit laundry for me.

So Mother Nature, if you don’t mind, I’d prefer you simply take your leave, but if you’re going to be here – make it cold and make it count.

I’ve had enough.
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A Different Breed of Good

“I’m a bad mom.” 

“Wearing my “Mom-of-the-Year” sash and tiara.” 

“Rotten Mom Club President.”

Just a few of the sarcastic-but-not-really comments I’ve seen recently on social media and blog posts.

Every time I read these comments, my inner voice screams inside my head:

MOMS!  STOP THAT RIGHT NOW!
(If you’ve written any of these or something similar recently – don’t worry – this post isn’t about YOU specifically.)

I know the feelings behind those words, trust me, I really do.  The guilt about some parenting mistake that you’ve made.  I’ve been there.  Repeatedly.  I’m no mothering expert or pro.

But in addition to the numerous resolutions I quasi-made for 2014, I am really trying to give up on mom-guilt.

Do you know why?

It accomplishes nothing except making us feel like shit about ourselves.  How does that do anyone any good?

So what, if you don’t make all those stupid designer lunches for your kids – most kids just throw out their food half-eaten or bring it home uneaten anyway.

So what, if you did the happy-skippy dance when your kids walked out the door on the first day back to school after the holidays – you and I and about a million other moms did too.

There seems to be a growing trend of mothers expressing their mistakes publicly - which is awesome.  Let’s be honest with one another – we all screw up.  Every single one of us.  Hearing about other moms’ mistakes makes us feel normal and supported – we are a mom-munity.

But how does it help other moms to feel like part of the community if we talk about our screw-ups in such a negative way?

I’m not suggesting we brag about what we’ve done or pat ourselves on the back. “Woo-hoo!  I lost my shit on little Johnny last night because I have PMS, so I sent him to his room with no dinner – isn’t that cool?” isn’t going to make other moms feel that sympathetic or connected to you.  But sending out the subtle message that you are a bad mom if you make a mistake or if you enjoy time without your kids or if you get mad at your kids sometimes (a lot) for annoying the bejeezus out of you or any of the million other things that moms feel guilty about – that’s not cool either. Just tell it like it is – you made a mistake, you maybe feel guilty about it (or you feel guilty because you don’t feel guilty), but in the grand scheme of things, you’re still a great mom and this isn’t going to turn your kid into a disaster in the humanity department.

All of your guilt and shame and screw ups and oopsies – they are NORMAL.  Do you really want your kid having documented evidence of reasons to hate you or rebel against you or blame you for needing therapy when they get older?  Nuh uh.  Documenting your very normal HUMAN behavior under the label of “wrong” or “bad” is simply putting the idea into their heads, other mom’s heads and even YOUR head that you’re not good at what you’re doing.

And that’s bullshit.

Unless you are abusive or neglectful or doing other stuff that might require help or improvement – you are all good moms.

We are a different breed of good.  And that’s ok.  We don’t need to be perfect, or even perfect-in-training.

Personally?  I’d rather be the mom I am and demonstrate to my kids that I’m imperfect, flawed and I make mistakes, but I keep getting up every morning and trying again the next day.  I keep trying to learn from my mistakes and trying desperately not to repeat them.  I apologize to them when I think I should.  I’m human.

I don’t want my kids to grow up thinking they need to be perfect.  I’m not perfect.  Nobody is.  They don’t need to be, either.  And they definitely don’t need a perfect mom.

Imperfection is the new black, so stop beating yourselves up, moms.  Be kinder, gentler, easier on yourselves.

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating:

Good enough is still good.

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Happy Anniversary to my Huzbo

Today is the 7th anniversary of me marrying Huzbo.
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Pretty momentous, considering when my first marriage died at 5 years, I swore I’d never get married again.

For those of you that know me, or those that read this blog regularly, you know I don’t often talk sweet about poor ole Huzbo.

So today, I’m going to talk about the GOOD STUFF for a change.

1.  He is the hardest working man I’ve ever met.  He is the major breadwinner (where on EARTH did that stupid term come from? He doesn’t win bread, for crying out loud!) and he doesn’t quit when he gets home.  He does every kind of housework that I do and he also does ALL of the outside yard work, shovels, takes out the trash, does any house repairs required.  He is my Superman in the work department and even my closest girlfriends will attest to the fact that when we sometimes gather for our ladies’ bitch-about-our-husbands sessions, I certainly join in, but never when we get around to bitching about how husbands don’t help around the house.  He does.  Lots.  More than any man I know.  And I am very grateful for that.

2.  He scoops cat shit every day.  In addition to the household contributions described above, I have to point out separately that when I met Huzbo, I had 2 cats, and upon marrying him, he blindly agreed with me that a 3rd cat was just what our household needed.  From the time we began living together and trying to procreate, he has scooped the cat doo-doo.  In the past 7 years, the only times I have ever scooped are when he had his gallbladder removed and couldn’t bend over for a week, when he broke his ankle and couldn’t walk down the stairs to the basement, and when he went to Florida to help his mother there for 2 weeks.  That’s a LOT of cat crap that I’ve avoided, especially considering two thirds of those cats were mine to begin with.  Even now that one of those cats is a very senior citizen and has some senility with respect to where he should be doing his bio functions, Huzbo understands how much my cats mean to me and has never suggested they be removed from our family.  He has also committed to me that no matter what, when it is a cat’s time to leave this earth, Huzbo will be the one who goes with them and stays with them through it all, because I know I just could not.  He loves our cats too and I know it won’t be easy for him either, but he’s willing to do that so I don’t have to.
bed cats
3.  He does amazing things with his hands.  Oh jeez – c’mon now!  Minds out of the gutter! (Although if you really want to know about that business, I’d have to say he does more magic with his mouth than his hands…)  He is a carpenter and a cabinet-maker and he listened to my desire to have real hardwood floors, laid on a diagonal with a dark strip border around every room in our 1st floor.  He told me I was crazy and it would be too hard and virtually impossible.  Then he did it.  He also did the same thing with the wall-to-wall built-in wall unit I asked him to build.  Then he did it a 3rd time when I told him the fancy plans I had for landscaping the front of our house, which he had never even done before.  He’s a talented man and not afraid to take on my challenging projects.
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4.  He is not shy or quiet and loves to have fun.  I am not shy or quiet and sometimes need someone to pull the stick out of my ass to have fun.  I love going to parties with him, because I do not have to babysit him, ever.  He can work a room better than any politician.  He is the fun parent and our kids love a rumpus with daddy, because he puts everything into it.  He’s a big kid at heart, and sometimes it’s cute and endearing – like on Christmas eve just past, I arrived home with Baby Girl and he had a bowl of sugar waiting for her, with a bowl of multi-coloured TicTacs.  He told her to plant the magic seeds in the magic sugar, and she would get a big surprise in the morning after Santa worked his magic fertilizer on the seeds.  After she went to bed, he pulled out all of those TicTacs and instead stood up large candy canes of matching pink and green colours.  I’m pretty sure you can imagine Baby Girl’s eyes when she saw those magic candy canes that had “grown” from the seeds.

5.  He has a cute ass and beautiful hazel-green eyes.  ‘Nuff said.

6.  He will go to the store or fast-food restaurant at almost any time of day for ANY kind of products.  I’m not sure I want to get into too may details here, but we all have embarrassing items we sometimes urgently (or not-so-urgently) need at the pharmacy and Huzbo has never once said “No way am I going to march up to the counter and buy THAT business for you!”  And trust me when I say that sometimes I would have been embarrassed to have to buy some of those things.  He also is usually just as willing to run out at 9pm for a craved bag of chips, should my craving arise.

7.  He has seen me in some pretty awful states, some medically-induced and some self-induced, and he has held my hand (and sometimes the barf bag) and cleaned me up and he still wants to kiss me when it’s all said and done. After I’ve brushed my teeth, of course.

8.  He is the reason I am a mother.  When I met him, he already had a son.  Yes, he wanted more children, but considering the lengths we had to go to trying create a baby and then trying to adopt, I think he probably would have called it a day and accepted the fact that his one child was enough for him.  But he didn’t, because he knew I wanted, needed, one child for me also.  He wanted Baby Girl and he loves her to the moon and back, but when all is said and done, I think if I hadn’t wanted to be a mother so badly, he might not have pursued it to the extent that he did.

9.  Every once in a very long while, he completely shocks the shit out of me in the most touching of ways.  My parents mean the world to me, and Huzbo loves the bones of them also.  My dad has had a few health issues in the past few years, and recently has had some pain from one of them.  When the snow began to fall in December, my mother mentioned a few times how she worries about him shovelling their big driveway, and how he now needed to rest in shifts of shovelling.  They live close enough for us to see regularly, but not so close that we can pop over there every time it snows and do their driveway for them.  Two weeks before Christmas, Huzbo says to me “I think we should get your parents a snow blower for Christmas so your dad doesn’t have to hurt himself and strain his health every time it snows.  I’m worried about him.”   This, my friends, is when I fell in love all over again.   Not only was he willing to help pay for the snow blower with my brother and I, but he actually thought of the idea.  Forget flowers  – romance gets redefined when your husband does something so touching for parents that you love dearly.

10.  He loves chocolate.  I didn’t always think this was a great thing, to be honest.  Before I met him, I liked chocolate, but I didn’t LOVE chocolate.  I generally only indulged about every 3.5 weeks or so, if you catch my drift.  But living with a chocolate addict has its advantages.  Like, whenever those cravings hit – I know we have a cupboard FULL of choices that I can choose from to satisfy myself.  What’s not to like about that?

I could add a bunch more here – how he doesn’t mind eating at restaurants regularly, how he allows me extensive input into his wardrobe choices, how he will watch and actually enjoy chick-flicks with me, how he will sit on the couch and let Baby Girl play hair salon with his head for hours – but I think you get the picture.

Don’t get me wrong – he’s not perfect and he’s no angel, at times.  But neither am I.  Which leads me to another thing about him that I love:  he puts up with me, most of the time.

Happy Anniversary, Sweetheart.  It’s been a bumpy 7 year ride, but I’m still glad it’s you.   xoxo

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The Spirit of Christmas Past

Christmas is over.

I can’t say I’m sad about it, either.

For a number of reasons, I really didn’t have much self-created Christmas spirit this year.

It’s been bugging me since early December, but I’m trying to let it go.

As part of that, I’m sharing the most touching, good moments so far over the Christmas break:

1.  I totally scored with every single gift I bought my stepson.  This is a record.  He is not picky, but he has everything, and each year becomes harder and harder to buy for him.  This year I really had to rack my poor, tired brain to think of creative, fun, useful, educational gift ideas, but he LOVED every single one of them, and I was one happy mama, especially when he showed genuine appreciation for my efforts.

2.  Baby Girl opened a present from my parents that turned out to be a doll that she already has at home.  My mom began to pack it up for return to the store and told Baby Girl she could come along and pick something else she liked in place of the doll, but my sweet Sassypants had other ideas.

“I already have lots of dollies. Why don’t we give it to a boy or girl who doesn’t have any money and doesn’t get nice presents for Christmas instead, Nanny?” she suggested.

BUSTING.  WITH.  PRIDE.

3.  I’ve spent some really good times with my kids.  Not just sitting in the same room as them, using my iPhone or laptop.  I actually got down and dirty and made gingerbread with them, and ate a bunch for them as they were decorated.  I played old board games (You’ve got Trouble? Wait don’t run! THIS kind of Trouble is LOTS of fun!) and new games that Santa brought and genuinely talked with and listened to my kids.  I took Baby Girl to Disney on Ice with good friends and really chatted with her on the train ride there.  I held her hand in the scary parts of Walking with Dinosaurs.  I laughed with them.  I feel closer to them.  Nothing beats that.

4.  I watched my daughter - who prior to Christmas Day couldn’t stop talking about all the THINGS she wanted to get from Santa – get out of bed and show far more excitement about handing Huzbo and I the handmade pinecone glittered-to-the-max tree ornament she made at school and boxed in a self-decorated box, than she showed over almost all of the gifts Santa gave her.

5.  On Christmas morning, I finally woke up Baby Girl at 7:30am because I couldn’t wait any longer.  I crawled into her bed and wrapped my body around her sweet little warm curl.  As she slowly wakened, she asked if it was Christmas yet.  I told her it was and asked if she wanted to go see if Santa had brought her any gifts.  Her reply?

“In a minute, mommy.  The only present I want right now is for you to huggle me.”

MELT.

Turns out my Christmas spirit wasn’t something I had to find to create excitement and enthusiasm for myself and my family.

Christmas spirit was there all along – waiting to wrap its loving arms around my heart at the most unexpected moments.