I haven’t been in this space much lately. Have you noticed? I have. Seriously. When I haven’t been here for a while, I feel it. Which tells me that I’ve been successful with one of my goals for 2013. I wanted to establish a habit for myself to write in this place fairly regularly. I wanted to explore what it could be to document our life for family history but also to connect and share our small slice of life in this world with others. Who are others? Well – you, of course. Our family and friends near and far (which, most are far when you have family that lives in Australia and scattered all over the mainland). And the random person who just wants to take a look at other peoples’ lives in other parts of this big, wide world.
Tangent. Sorry – that’s what happens sometimes when I’m purging my internal randomness.
Anywho. So, yes. I have been missing here. Like many of you, we’ve been celebrating the start of the holiday season. We welcomed Thanksgiving with open arms as all of us needed a 4-day break from daily working and school life. There were feast-preparations, but nowhere near the out-of-control, over-the-top preparations that past Thanksgivings have witnessed. Since we were celebrating at our cousins’ house as they had several cousins from New Zealand visiting, I had the luxury of prepping the turkey, stuffing and taters but that was all that was really necessary. We changed it up a bit: there was turkey brining (yes – I know! We’re a bit late to the brining party but we’re SO happy that we made it!), massive pans of stuffing prepped, mashed taters and … wait for it … TATER TOTS! No – seriously – you read that right. Shortstack requested only one thing for Thanksgiving. Tater tots. That was it. I was a bit disillusioned about that request. Of everything that this mama makes, tater tots isn’t high on my list. But let me tell you, those little buggers – those tiny, crispy morsels of tater tot deliciousness were the hit of the gathering. Not only with Shortstack and Panda (whom, I dare to say, is a tater tot aficionado) but the cousins and our New Zealand guests loved them! Looks like tater tots will become a new staple on the Thanksgiving menu.
The Thanksgiving holiday weekend tends to come at the perfect time for our family. By the time the end of November has rolled around, we are exhausted and in need of a much-desired break and mental reward for enduring through the insanity that is the fall semester; summer slowness is a distant memory and we are all quite worn down. In our home, we have a house mandate: the holiday weekend is meant to be quiet, lazy and pj-comfortable. And that is what it was. After a few last-minute errands with Shortstack – which happened to include a quick stop at the gelato place in Kahala mall that we, of course, had to share with Mama Panda via pictures (gotta love smart and sassy phones!) and a laid-back pre-T’s-giving dinner with friends (love you Mike and Blair!), we called it a week. Thursday cooking and prep was slow and stress-free (which seemed to amaze my wife). There were many mimosas and rum-doctored coffees to get us through the morning. There was football and movie-watching. All done while in pjs. When we did finally make it over to our cousins, we were still pj-clad (but bathed, I promise). There was a little nappage, some soccer watching, more food prep, some wine and beer consumption, meeting of new friends, catching up with family, and tons of feasting. Yes, this is when the tater tots consumption shocked me!
Needless to say, the tone for the weekend was set. Hairs were cut, visits with papa and grandma happened, a Wahine basketball game was attended. There were a lot of giggles, snuggles, cuddles, chilling, recuperating. Oh! And rain-watching! Mama’s plans for a morning of swap meet shopping was foiled when the weather conspired with my family to ensure that they did not have to spend an hour or two shopping with me.
I think it’s fair to say that our little family knows that we have so much to be thankful for in this crazy big world. 2013 has been a bit of a whirlwind that has been marked with major changes to our family life on the legal, “officially recognized” front. We’ll be spending the next few weeks wondering through the wilderness of civil union/marriage conversion and all the confused and unknown pathways that entails. Much to my wife’s dismay I am starting the luggage-packing-adventure as we prepare to head off to Australia for our holiday visit. The semester needs to wrap up for all three of us which usually means that there will be daily chaos and unexpected hurdles that we need to leap whenever possible – and sidestep or climb over when not. I have stacks and stacks of student files and research files sitting on my desk. I keep telling myself that I’ll wade through them, get it all organized and sorted and put away so that i can end this calendar year with a clutter-free desk. We’ll see about that. Christmas parades and programs, last-of-the-year visits with local family and friends. All of that amazingness of our daily life that we sometimes forget to count as blessings.
Here’s to hoping that 2013 will close out with love, beauty and blessings for you and yours. Enjoy it, my peeps, 2013 is leaving us soon.