I’m the mother of a teenager now.
The Christmas decorations are down and put away. Chicago’s been in a deep freeze for days now. It’s a whopping 0F as I write this, which is somewhat of an improvement over the -14F we had on Tuesday. Although, when it’s this cold, it doesn’t even matter what the temperature is. It’s just effing cold, and I effing hate it. Truly, I have not been out of the house since December 30. I don’t get cabin fever like a lot of people I know, but even I’m ready for this to be over. Thankfully, temperatures are predicted to be normal by the weekend, so I can get start going to yoga again, and I can start acting classes. (I’m also out of some of my favorite foods, and I need parmesan cheese. We also need cat food.)
Freelance work is starting up again–I have a gig with VSA later this week. Aidan heads back to Columbus later this evening. (One good thing about this horrible weather? I got extra days with Aidan! Always a good thing. I will be sad when he’s gone.)
I realized that I didn’t really do any Christmas posts on my blog in 2013. Truthfully, I found it really hard to get into the Christmas spirit this year. I nearly didn’t decorate, but knowing that Aidan was going to be here motivated me. (He seemed to appreciate my efforts, but he had more fun twirling in the beads when I took the tree down.)
I had a nice Christmas, though. We rang in the holiday at Rich’s place (Rich is one of my favorite yoga teachers), where he and loads of other people were cooking all sorts of pancakes. There was also wine. Delicious wine. It was a really great way to bring in Christmas. Even Santa showed up. We sang Christmas carols and kirtan and talked and took pictures. It was a magical, beautiful time, and reminded me of how blessed I am to be a part of the Moksha community.
can you find me and aidan?
my friend jaylen took this photo.
After the party, we went to Hollywood Grill. That place is open 24/7, and we were still hungry. Good times.
Christmas Day was relaxing because we didn’t have to travel, nor were we hosting anyone. I liked all my gifts. I really enjoyed watching Aidan open his presents, and he was happy with everything (which was mostly LEGO and more LEGO).
My birthday was low key as well. I spent most of the day with Aidan, and I got some cool presents: a Tiffany necklace from Adam, a Mickey Mouse watch from Chris and Aidan, a Mickey Mouse ring from Ivy, and $25 to amazon.com from Grandma Bel. I also bought myself a Ralph Lauren sweater. And a TARDIS blanket.
For Aidan’s birthday, we took him to a LEGO store and spoiled him some more, then we let him pick where to eat for dinner. (He wanted Harold’s, but we were in the suburbs and knew it would be a while till we made it back to the city, so we had Red Lobster instead.)
happy birthday, aidan!
i can’t believe i have an 11 year old.
All the big time partying has ended, and it’s time to trudge through another Chicago winter. This one is extra hard because it started so early. I get the feeling the North Face coat and new shell I got a couple of months ago was an excellent investment.
But I do have things to look forward to. I’m excited to start going to yoga again. Betty’s Vinyasa 1 class is the perfect amount of challenge for someone whose practice is so sporadic (like mine). I’m also excited to take acting classes. Right now, Living Social has a voucher for a 10-week workshop at Chicago Actor’s Studio. I felt like it was the Universe nudging me, so I went for it. Now I just need to go register and actually start taking classes. It’s going to be interesting to see what comes out of this. I love that I can learn for the sake of learning, and it’s affordable and accessible. The Universe opens so many possibilities when I can take advantage of those opportunities.
That’s all for now. Computer’s battery is like “meh” and I’m like “I should go to bed” and my domain is like “I’m not previewing this anymore dang it” and plus, I’m cold and want to get under my electric blanket. So, till next time……
Happy Birthday, Aidan!
He’s 9 years old today!
And the BEST 9 year old in the world.
If I do say so myself.
We took him to Toys R Us
and where he picked out
loads of LEGOs.
He asked that we take him to
Burger King for lunch,
so we did that.
Now he’s happily playing
with his new toys, and eating his
birthday treats from
Birthdays are my favorite.
Buying presents for Aidan is my favorite.
Watching him get so much joy out of his gifts is my favorite.
Even listening to him sing “Happy Birthday” to himself over and over….
That’s my favorite, too.
The big THREE SEVEN.
How in the world did that happen?
When did I become a BONAFIED grown-up?
Because I sure as hell don’t feel like one, let me tell you. I mean, in practice, I *am* a grown-up. I have a husband. I have a kid who is nearly nine years old. I work for money and/or free unlimited yoga. I pay bills. I have my driver’s license and I even have my own car. (Never mind that I make Adam drive me all over Chicago because seriously? Chicago drivers scare me. And I used to be the aggressive one when I lived in Ohio.) I don’t have a curfew, and I can come and go as I please. I can buy whatever I want, provided I have the cash for it. I can eat candy for breakfast (and sometimes I do!). If I have a hankering for a glass of wine, it’s perfectly legal for me to have one.
But as I said, I don’t feel like a grown-up. Today, Adam and I were driving past Chico’s, and I said to him “I think those are the kinds of clothes I am supposed to be wearing now. But I can’t because I think they’re hideous.” He said, “You live in the city. You can dress however you want.” And I suppose he’s right, but if I’m going to be forty before long, I wonder if it’s just plain inappropriate for me to love Old Navy so much. Or to shop in the junior’s section at Kohl’s. Or the hippie dresses. Like the long flowy ones from Mod Cloth. And what about skinny jeans and long sweaters, combat boots, and pea coats?
One of my favorite things, though, is to see people’s reactions when I tell them my age. This almost always happens:
Then I hear “NO WAY!! I thought you were [insert awesomely young age here].” My favorite was a couple years ago when a teenager asked me which grade I was in, but most people put me around 23 or so. TWENTY THREE!
So, technically, I LOOK young enough to pull off the types of outfits I wear. But yo, I don’t want Stacy and Clinton knocking on my door and putting me in the 360 mirror is all I’m saying.
does this outfit look OK on me?
Then there is the whole “I don’t have a real job and am I really thinking of going into yoga teacher training and why can’t I settle down and be a normal, conventional adult who seems to be at least resigned to a 40-60 minute commute, 10-14 hours a day in the office then another 40-60 minute commute home, speaking of homes, I can’t believe I am still renting but that’s all my fault, no need to go into that right now I mean AT LEAST MY CAR IS PAID OFF and blah ditty blah blah blah.”
I still don’t even know what I want to be. Sometimes I want to work in an office so I can feel like I’m normal, I guess. But then I remember that I like and value my freedom and I especially value it when a client trusts me to get the job done without breathing down my neck or watching me every second to make sure I’m not “goofing off” or something. Sometimes I want that book contract, but as long as I’m not writing, how the hell is that going to happen? And then I get scared of what *could* happen. I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly in the publishing industry, and I wonder if I am ready to take that on. If I could handle it. And then yoga. I love yoga. But how committed am I, and am I committed enough to go through the training so I can be an awesome kick ass teacher? I know how yoga makes me feel and God knows I’m a yoga evangelist like whoa. But can I pull this off? And more importantly, will I ever be able to do this:
I have my ups and downs. On the one hand, I am very happy where I am in my life, something I never saw coming. I have an awesome husband, the best son in the world, I live in a neighborhood where I can walk to a yoga studio, an awesome pizza joint, a sushi bar, an Italian grocer, an Italian bakery, and a CVS. I have three cute kitty cats. I get to go to Disney World on a regular basis. I have a loving family. I’m making cool new friends all the time. I have a home, shelter, food, and money to buy fun things and treats. When I think of where I was four to five years ago, it’s amazing how things have turned around. And I am grateful every day. Even though I complain about traffic lights and taxes on groceries and slow people on Michigan Avenue and how hard it is to find a job and to have that job not want to suck your soul away as well as your life.
But on the other hand, I feel like I should be accomplishing more. I should be doing more. Or that I should have DONE more. I should have published a book by now. I should have a HUGE savings. I should have some retirement money saved. (I have none.) I should be a manager or a director or in charge of something major, wearing suits to work or whatever. Except, I know that’s not me. At least, not that last part. Can you imagine? HAHAHAHAHA. I mean, I’ve love a corner office or something, but for God’s sake, don’t make me wear a suit to work. And WHY in God’s name am I so drawn to pink things and Hello Kitty and Barbie and dolls, and why do I read YA instead of I dunno, classics or biographies or something?
Oh well. I like what I like, I guess.
Can you believe this little girl:
Has grown up to be this fabulous:
Yeah, me either. And here’s a secret. I don’t think I’m all that cool. I mean, I am who I am, but I know I’m a big geek, and I know that I’ll never be one of the “cool kids.” And most of the time, I’m OK with it.
As for celebrating? I plan to go to yoga, then I will be at the airport for many hours to meet my mom and Aidan. Afterward, who knows? Adam and I already had sushi Monday night, and he got cable again so I finished cleaning and wrapping gifts with a House Hunters marathon in the background. I’d missed House Hunters.
Anyway, Happy Birthday to me. And here’s to many more! *raises glass*
Adam and I exchanged gifts on Christmas Eve, because we knew we’d probably be rushing the next day. He got me lots of cool stuff; a bed desk (WOOHOO), THE PATRON SAINT OF BUTTERFLIES, candy just to name a few things. Santa and Hanukkah Harry brought us The Dark Knight and Mario Kart. It was a nice Christmas Eve.
On Christmas Day, Adam and I flew to Ohio to see Aidan and family. See, Aidan’s Christmas list consisted of only four things:
– a Spiderman puzzle
– a Wii
– a bike
– his Mommy
They pulled up at the airport and Aidan, who’d been excited at the prospect of seeing me (all he knew was that Santa was working very hard and picking us up and etc., and we tried to keep it a secret as best as we could), was fast asleep. He woke up while we were putting the luggage in the truck, and the smile that was on his little face was just… wow. Best gift EVER.
We spent Christmas evening with Chris, Aidan, and Matty. It was great! They loved their presents, especially the toffee we got them from Terry’s Toffee.
Aidan playing with stocking stuffers!
This picture cracks me up:
Adam looks like the innocent child and Aidan looks like a little gangsta.
The next day we headed to my mom’s where of course, I got a food picture:
YAY. I also took random shots of anything and everything:
My mommy got me lots of cute pajamas, a soft cuddly robe that I am wearing now, and she and Greg got me a $50 American Express gift card meant to spend on books! Woohoo. She got me a Mickey Mouse fleece hoodie for my birthday. Adam cleaned up on clothes and pajamas this year. My hubby is styling!
After Mommy’s, we spent some time at Andy’s, and thank goodness. It was dark and rainy and I HATE driving at night when it’s raining. I can’t see a thing on the roads. I can’t imagine trying to drive all the way back to Columbus when the weather is like that. So we stayed at Andy’s, and ended up staying another day because that’s when I started feeling icky. I got randomly sick and achy. Boo. A lot of rest and medicines helped me push through, though. And Aidan got to watch Wall-E twice. It was nice and relaxing. Andy has a nice house. He also got me cool gifts, including an adorable Domo tee-shirt.
We got back to Columbus on Sunday. A package from Ivy came Monday, full of Disney goodies and COOKIES!!!!!!
Here, Aidan is enjoying one of Ivy’s icicle cookies. Yum.
We had a nice little celebration for him, and he once again, cleaned up with the presents! He’s so excited to be 6. I just can’t believe he’s no longer 5! He got Mario Kart, too, so we’ll be able to play with him online once Chris or Matty gets it all set up over on their end. YAY! I got him Wall-E, which he watched right away.
In case you’re wondering, Aidan DID get everything on his list above, AND THEN SOME. And when I say “and then some…” well, basically, you have no idea how much stuff the kid got. It’s really, truly overwhelming. I doubt he even realizes the magnitude of love that was poured out to him in the form of gifts. But you know, you’re only five on Christmas once, and I’m pretty sure his was more than magical. I’m so grateful I was able to share it with him, and be part of what made it so good for him.
I didn’t get to see nearly as many people as I wanted when I was in town, but maybe next time. I got to see the most important person–Little Aidan, and that’s what matters most.