Wednesday, November 28, 2012

It’s Still Christmas


Every Christmas when I was a kid my dad would take my sister and I to go pick out a Christmas tree together while my mom stayed home and dug out the holiday decorations. We weren’t cut-your-own-tree people but we always bought a real tree from one of a few small places in town. My sister and I would wander around looking at every tree they had while taking in that wonderful evergreen scent that just screams “Christmas is coming!” After browsing for way too long my dad would start to throw out suggestions until we all agreed on a nice tree. M dad would pay for the tree and then my sister and I would watch from the car while he painstakingly tied the tree to the roof with frozen fingers. We would bring it home, pop it in the stand and groan when we were told we had to give it a day to settle before we could decorate.

My husband’s family did things differently. When he was 4 or 5 his family’s house caught fire while they were away. They lost a lot of their possessions and had to move. They ended up building a new house and moved in near the end of the year. By the time they settled in to their new home, Christmas was coming soon. The artificial tree they used to put up was one of the things they lost in the fire so Joe’s mom went out to the store and bought the first fake tree she could find. It was a small, spindly tree but she figured they would just use it that year and then buy a bigger, nicer one the following year. But that never happened. Every year they would talk about getting a new tree, but in the end they always wanted to use that same scraggly tree.

When Joe and I spent our first Christmas together in our little apartment, we were both excited to get our first tree together. I had visions of wandering through stores smelling of pine and choosing a cute little tree with long dark needles. Joe, on the other hand, was dreaming of going to a big store, looking through the display of artificial trees, and choosing the one that we would put up year after year. When we realized how different our visions were, we were surprised. I couldn’t imagine Christmas without that real tree smell. Joe couldn’t picture getting a tree every year just to throw it out at the end of the season. We went back and forth for weeks but in the end my stubbornness wasn’t a match for Joe’s laid-back attitude and he gave in.

Joe still didn’t like the idea of throwing the tree out every year and he hated the way the needles fell off everywhere but he did come to like the tree. Every winter after that we continued the tradition and picked out a new real tree.

Until this year.

This year, something changed. This year I have an almost-toddler who is into absolutely everything. I knew that I would be spending my day trying to keep him out of the tree’s water and stop him from eating the needles he pulled out of the tree. I knew that the living room that he spends much of the day playing in would soon be full of pine needles that would jab him in the hands and feet (and if you’ve ever stepped on one, you know those suckers hurt!). I just couldn’t justify doing that this year.

When I told Joe I was leaning toward getting an artificial tree, he was thrilled. The next day the three of us headed to the store to pick out our tree. We browsed through the small selection, chose the perfect tree and loaded the box into the car. We came home, put it together and decorated it with lights and ornaments.

And you know what? It still felt like Christmas. In fact, there were some advantages to a fake tree. We didn’t have to stand outside trying to tie the tree to the roof or fit it in the back of the car. We didn’t have to wait for the tree to settle before decorating it. And best of all, after vacuuming up plastic needles once (right after decorating) there hasn’t been any upkeep. No more vacuuming and no watering! I do miss that pine smell, but there are always candles for that!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Finding my Community


Today I’m linking up with Becky at From Mrs to Mama. I just started following Becky’s blog a few weeks ago but when I saw this link up, I knew I had to join.

I started blogging back in 2009 a few months after getting married. I was the first of my friends to get married and I longed for a community of other young newlyweds who would understand what my life was like. It took a few months to get the hang of blogging regularly and soon after I found a bunch of great newlywed bloggers to follow. I loved having this new group of women to interact with and, let’s face it, the snoopy side of me loved getting these little glimpses into others’ lives.

I blogged there for over two years before I started having trouble keeping it up. I was busy working, going to grad school, moving into our new house, and planning for our coming baby. While a lot of other bloggers I followed seemed to make it work despite being even busier, I just didn’t make blogging enough of a priority and it started to feel like a chore. So last August it was with a sigh of relief that I closed up my blog.

My son Easton was born on January 16th, 2012 [edit:I just had to go back and change this date after I realized I listed my due date and not his actual birthday! Oops… that’s embarrassing!]  (I can’t believe he’s nearly one!) and soon after I found myself wishing I still had a blog. Not so much because I wanted to document his life (though that was also true), but because I longed to be a part of that community again. Just like I had been the first in my group of friends to get married, I ended up being the first to have a baby. I still loved my old friends but wanted to connect with a group of women like me again. After debating for awhile, I started blogging here. I’m still trying to find balance in my life so I have time to sit down and blog but after nearly a year of motherhood, I’m starting to make it work

So who am I?

I’m a 26 year old Minnesota girl. I love living in the Midwest but hate the snow and cold weather.

During my 10 years in the workforce I have been a lifeguard, office assistant, nanny, personal care assistant, substitute teacher, and summer school teacher. I am passionate about education. I finished a graduate degree in Special Education last December and was excited to use it this fall. I ended up falling head over heels in love with my new son and decided to stay home with him instead. I definitely made the right decision but I still look forward to being a Special Ed teacher one day.

I love love love to travel but I’m also a serious homebody.

I am a major type-A personality. I love organization, budgets, and schedules and I am easily stressed.

I have one sister who is my polar opposite in nearly every way. We were really close as kids though we’ve grown apart as adults. We live 5 hours apart and only see each other 4-5 times a year. Our lives are completely different which makes it tough for us to relate to each other. Still, I love her to death and I hope that one day we’ll be close again.

My parents separated two and a half years ago and eventually got divorced. I’ll be honest, that really sucked. I’m mostly over it now but it makes life really stressful around the holidays and my sister and I still get caught in the middle a lot.

My husband is my best friend. We met during our first week of college and he quickly became my first and only boyfriend. We were engaged at 21 and married at 23. People used to question how I knew he was “the one” when he was the only person I ever dated but I never had any doubts. We’ve been married 3.5 years now and we still do almost everything together.

I have ups and downs in my life just like everyone else, but overall I feel so blessed. Life with my two boys is (as my blog title says) imperfect and unpredictable but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Monday, November 26, 2012

3 Thanksgivings in 2 Days

Our Family had so much to be thankful this year that we needed THREE separate dinners to celebrate. We started out late Thursday afternoon at my sister-in-law’s home. There was a good sized group there including all of my in-laws and my husband’s grandparents who hadn’t met Easton yet. We had a good time stuffing ourselves, chatting, playing with Easton and his cousin and rifling through all the ads for Black Friday (though most of us had no intention of actually shopping that night).


Easton and his cousin posing in their Thanksgiving shirts.

But that was only the beginning. We headed out in a snowstorm (not so fun) and made the two hour drive to my hometown. We got to my mom’s house just after 10:00 but Mr. Easton had spent the entire drive sleeping so he was wide awake and ready to play when we arrived. Luckily he crashed after just over and hour so we all headed to bed.

The next day we had Thanksgiving #2 with my mom and sister. It was a smaller and more casual celebration but I still managed to eat way too much. Thanksgiving #3 came that evening at my dad’s house. He had cooked up quite a bit of food but I spent most of that meal feeding Easton (who apparently loves Thanksgiving dishes!).


It’s been so much fun seeing all of the holidays in a new light now that I have a kid to share them with. Our holiday wasn’t exactly relaxing but after three celebrations full of lots of family and lots of food, we can definitely say we did Easton’s first Thanksgiving justice.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

This and That

- I did a mini overhaul of my blog last night including changing its name! My old name was always intended to be a place holder until I came up with something I wanted to be more permanent. My little home on the web is now  called Imperfect and Unpredictable. I think that describes my life as a SAHM as well as anything could! I also added a new banner and pictures. It’s nothing too fancy but it’s a definite step up from what I had slopped together months ago.

- Thanksgiving is in 9 days and we are still working on solidifying our plans for the holiday. This is one of the times that having divorced parents really sucks. This year it’s my in-laws’ turn to have Thanksgiving on the actual day so we’ll be at my SIL’s house on Thursday. That means we have to find time to see both of my parents individually on Friday. I wanted to go to my extended family’s gathering too but that’s scheduled for Saturday and that’s just too much driving and socializing for Easton. I’m a little bummed that we’re going to have to skip it but 4 Thanksgivings is crazy anyway.

- Easton has been spending the majority of the night co-sleeping with us since he was born. I loved having him in bed with us but I realized last week that it was time to end that. Easton has never been a good sleeper but now he started waking half a dozen times a night and crawling  all over me. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve woken up to his butt in my face as he leans over me to slap Joe in the face (you can imagine how much Joe loves that wake up). So starting on Sunday we started working on keeping him in his room all night. The first night wasn’t too bad but last night was BRUTAL. He woke up at 9:30, 11:30, and 1:30 and it took me about 15-20 minutes each time to get him back down. Then he was up at 3:30 for 45 minutes! Every time I thought he was asleep I would get back in bed only to have him pop up again. Joe finally got him down for me at 4:15 but then he was up again at 5:30 and never went back to sleep. I know it’s one of those things that’s going to take time before it gets better but I do NOT want any more nights like that one!

- I’ve always been terrible about getting my Christmas shopping done early. I tend to be the one in the store on December 23rd rushing to get my last few gifts. This year we’ve already ordered a few gifts and have ideas for many more. I just need to come up with a good idea for my husband now… I can think of a million little things he would like but I always struggle to find something really special for him. I’m hoping something awesome will come to me soon!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Easton’s First Halloween

I realize I’m a tad behind on blogging but I’m getting my Halloween post up before Thanksgiving, so I’m counting this as a win. ;)

Halloween kind of snuck up on us this year and we didn’t really do too much for it. Our decorations never made it out of the garage and I ended up buying candy for the Trick-or-Treaters the night before Halloween. The only part of Halloween I was excited for was dressing Easton up!

When I was a kid my mom always made our Halloween costumes. I loved flipping through the pattern books at the fabric store and picking out something unique that nobody else would have. I wanted to do the same for Easton so I scouted out ideas early. I found a pattern online for a really cute dragon costume and was totally in love. The only problem was I had never sewn clothes before and never really even used a pattern. I’ve made quilts and cloth napkins and easy things like that but the dragon was definitely beyond those projects. I decided to give it a shot anyway and it ended up being much easier than I’d anticipated. Granted, I probably ended up using my seam ripper more than my sewing machine but oh well.


Our local library had a special Halloween story time where kids could come in costume. I took Easton in his costume (which I had to take along and put on him in the parking lot since the tail wouldn’t fit in his car seat, oops!) and we had a great time. We sat next to Easton’s buddy from play group who was dressed as a monkey and the two boys spent most of the time pulling on each other’s tails.

We dressed Easton up again in the evening for pictures but we didn’t actually take him Trick-or-Treating. He helped me hand out candy for awhile instead and then went to bed early.

Altogether he probably only wore his costume for about an hour so the amount of time and effort that went into it was probably not worth it but I couldn’t help myself, I just wanted to make Easton’s first Halloween special… even if he won’t remember it!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Fab Friday

I had every intention of finally recapping my baby’s first Halloween today but today has not been my day. The babe was up at 5:30 this morning after a very rough night (FIVE THIRTY! That’s so not acceptable in this house!), and only napped 30 minutes this morning. Yikes. Needless to say, he’s been a cranky pants today. But he’s napping again now and instead of feeling sorry for myself any longer I’m going to focus on the positives.

I’m linking up (my first link-up on the new blog!)  with Laura from Behind the Lines for Fab Friday.


- I got my very first iPhone on Wednesday and I’m totally in love. I had been using an android phone for 3+ years now and there is honestly NO comparison. There are so many apps that weren’t available for android phones. My old one didn’t even run instagram! I joined instantly on this one though and I love it already! (Follow me @ hmsass :) )

- Joe got his first full paycheck from his new job so I can finally update our budget accurately. We’re not exactly swimming in money but I think we’ll be fine on one income for the rest of the school year. I’m still praying that it will work out long term so I can stay home with Easton for the long haul.

- It’s been gorgeous fall weather these last few days. 50 degrees in November is almost unheard of here in MN so we’ve been taking advantage and going on long walks.


- We have big plans to get Chinese take-out tonight! I realize my excitement over that makes me sound totally lame but man, do we love Chinese take-out.

Have a great weekend!