Christmas 2010

Though the house is still decorated and there are still empty packages strewn about the living room, Christmas is moving on. With my family in Nashville this year, things were a bit different than they’ve always been, but we held tight to some traditions. We all had a total blast, as far as I could tell. Don’t tell me if you didn’t have fun, family; I don’t want to know.

First on the traditions list was Chuck E. Cheese. Growing up, we used to spend a day playing arcade games and eating pizza right around Christmas. This is one tradition Dave is more than happy to have married in to. I hope it’s not creepy for seven adults to go to Chuck E. Cheese for the day, because if skee-ball is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

Another tradition we hold tight to is Christmas Eve gifts. The siblings open the gifts from each other, and our parents open our gifts to them. Dave’s family was in Texas this year, celebrating with his sister and her family, but we opened our gifts from them on Christmas Eve also – it’s the Hagen tradition. We did NOT make oyster stew on Christmas Eve, which is another Hagen tradition. I just couldn’t do it. (Special appearance by the giant bean bag I’m always talking about! See how spread out my parents are? They’re both sitting on it. It’s that awesome.)
IF you have not seen “Marcel the Shell” PLEASE do yourself a favor and watch it here. It’s a strange and quirky little video of a talking shell. Watch it twice in a row; you’ll like it more the second time. This picture is me introducing the video to my sisters. They’re fans. You’re welcome.
The Nashville buzz all around Christmas was the fact that we were supposed to have snow. There hasn’t been a white Christmas in Nashville in almost 20 years. Herzogs must be good luck. Because we woke up to this.
And do you know what else we woke up to? Serious loot. I know Christmas isn’t about the gifts, but holy smokes, I hit the jackpot this year! Some of my favorites were a nut grinder, a burlap and braided leather bag from my mama, and this KitchenAid mixer from Dave. Of course we had to put the nut grinder and mixer to use right away and make a fresh batch of homemade cookies.

I’m already looking forward to Christmas next year.

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BooHiss

I finally called my doctor’s office to get the results from the insulin test I had a couple weeks ago, and I was not pleased with the results. More specifically, I was frustrated, disappointed, and shocked. And then I cried kind of a lot, and then I was angry.

Despite my current diet and the fact that I’ve been taking medicine every day for three months, my insulin levels actually went up. Not cool, body. Not cool. I felt like I had been doing a great job; I was proud of the work I had accomplished. I know all that hard work wasn’t useless, but for a few hours yesterday, that’s what it felt like. Like I had wasted the past few months of eating well and being more active… because if my insulin was going to go up anyway, why couldn’t I have eaten more Doritos?

So, I’m upping my healthy eating to an 11 and promoting Dave to my exercise enforcer. I should call him The Exercist, not to be confused with the Exorcist, of course. I should paint that on a t-shirt for him! The Exercist is a rough job because I will probably pout and throw things at him and require him to exercise with me each day. But hey, for better or for worse, right?

And if Dave’s going to be called The Exercist, I suppose 2011 should be called The Year of I’d-Like-To-Keep-All-My-Limbs-And-Not-Get-Anything-Amputated-Because-I-Got-Diabetes.

Details are Scary

A couple months ago I had a teeny little idea for a non-profit organization. The idea snowballed very quickly and became my newest obsession. I’m still very much interested in this idea of mine. I’ve had a few people help me out, one or two specifically who have helped me immensely, and I’ve given out a few little details here and there. I haven’t discussed it much because… well… I’m nervous!

I’ve got the general overview of the organization planned out in my head. I know how it will work, what it’s named, what our logo will look like, things we can accomplish, ways we can help the world be a better place. You know, all the really important things. But do you know what doesn’t make sense? When I’ll have time to accomplish these goals, how many people will be willing to work with me (the organization uses a lot of people working together), how much money it will take to get the first little ball rolling, when to talk about my idea, how to promote it, etcetera infinity.

I know nothing about starting or running a business, for starters. I have little money to invest in the front end, only a handful of people who are working with me (as of now), and ideas galore. How does one make sense of these things? Where does it go from here? Any tips for a lady who’s equally passionate and clueless?

The Bean

Today is my sister’s birthday! Christina, or bean (as we call her), is 20. TWENTY, you guys!

She’s a really cool person.
I’ve talked a lot about my sisters here, because they’re a big part of my world. If you can love someone too much, that is true of the way I feel about this lady.

They’re Almost Here!

Things are a little batty around here lately because I’m all kinds of excited. This afternoon my family (minus my brother and new sister-in-law) is supposed to be pulling into town around the time I get off work. HIP HIP HOORAY! The 8-9 hours of work that I have to put in today will be a blur of anticipation and jitters and checking my text messages obsessively until I see the one that says, “WE’RE HERE!” And then I will completely flip out and run around in circles for ten minutes.

Not that I’m looking forward to it or anything.

Most of the gifts are bought and wrapped, cookies and other goodies have been made, the house is clean (thanks to a sweet friend), the stockings are hung by the chimney with care, etc. I think we’re about ready to get things under way.

If you don’t see much of me in the next week, you know why.

Christmas Music: The Flip Side

Yesterday I posted about wonderful Christmas music. Nostalgic and lovely and all the other good stuff that gets put into Christmas music. Today I’d like to address the dark side of Christmas music. Did you know that such a thing existed? Well, it sure does and it warrants some attention.
One I noticed for the first time this year to ease you into things are the lyrics to “You’re a Mean One” from The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. These lyrics are all kinds of crazy, but that’s on purpose, so I’d never really thought about it. But let’s DO think about it. The song is full of lyrical gems such as, “You nauseate me, Mr. Grinch. With a nauseous super naus,” which I just love. Super naus should be my new thing. Like, “whoa. This ham sandwich is super naus territory” or, “holy smokes, Dave. That terrible driving just made me super naus.” And even better than super naus, in my opinion, is this line: “You’re a crooked jerky jockey, and you drive a crooked hoss.” I said something on twitter yesterday with that line like… I don’t even know what that means. And my big brother replied with, “My guess: You’re a mean little guy, and your horse is mean, too. That’s a mean thing to say about someone’s horse.” That cracked me right up. Big brother = hilarious.

Secondly, and a little more serious, is the song “Christmas Shoes.” This is quite the controversy. Some people love this song. Me? I’m not so into singing about the saddest possible Christmas ever. If you’ve not heard the song, I will save you the trouble. The lyrics to the chorus are, “Sir, I want to buy these shoes for my Mama, please. It’s Christmas Eve and these shoes are just her size. Could you hurry, sir, Daddy says there’s not much time. You see she’s been sick for quite a while, and I know these shoes would make her smile, and I want her to look beautiful if Mama meets Jesus tonight.”

What in the world?! Doesn’t that just punch your Christmas spirit right in the face? Sheesh. I would for sure rather sing about super naus than about a dying mother and her poor pathetic son, who the song describes as “dirty from head to toe.” No thanks.

And another song that’s bad on purpose (I hope) is “Santa Baby.” This song is the materialistic generation’s theme song. It’s probably parody, but still I don’t think we need to be singing about all the ridiculous things we’d like for Christmas since, you know, that’s what we’re all thinking anyway. Those are the kind of thoughts we leave inside our head and don’t put to music. And this isn’t necessarily something I want the kids these days to get from a Christmas song: “Think of all the fun I’ve missed. Think of all the fellas that I haven’t kissed.” Really? Is that how it works?

Lastly, some of you know my feelings toward the song “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” I think it’s a fun song. It’s catchy and quirky and it’s a male/female duet which is a definite plus in my book. But shall we take a closer look at the lyrics?

First, we’ve got a protest (in the female’s part) where she says she’d like to leave and the male vocalist is trying to make her stay at his house. She says, “Say, what’s in this drink?” Friends, I’m not sure if roofies were invented before 1944 when this song was written, but heaven’s sake that sounds like date rape drugs to me.

And later in the song the female sings, “I simply must go. The answer is no.” Have we not all heard the phrase, “no means no” yet? As far as I can tell, that stands up in a court, and I think Mr. Male Vocal Lead is about to spend some time in jail when the snow clears and they can leave the house again.