Tag Archives: family

No More Christmas

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So for those of you who have had the pleasure of meeting me, I’m what some might call eccentric.  I’m the kind of person who thinks crazy things, believes the unbelievable, and says whatever’s on my mind.  I have an off-the-beaten-path sense of humor, am wildly sarcastic and cynical, and like to climb on my soapbox every so often (don’t even ask me about the Amish and income taxes…don’t…).  I am my own breed, and while some people often think I’m crass, unforgiving, and too honest, I wouldn’t change who I am for all the marbles in China. (although, let’s be honest, there’s very little I’d do for all the marbles in China.  What would I do with billions of marbles??)

That being said, a lot of people sometimes wonder where I get my spunky personality from.  It’s hard to blend all these varieties of crazy together into one living breathing human, but the impossible has been done.  It wasn’t that hard, though, when my personality comes honestly from my mother.

I love my mom.  She’s one of my favorite people to talk to.  She listens when I need to vent, gives advice when I’m looking for it, cares too much about animals, likes to bake, has a funny sense of humor, and is slightly crazy.  She’s me in 26 years.  When people meet me, and then they meet my mom, they see where I get my personality from.  I’m a little more sarcastic than she is, and a little more pessimistic, but often times how we think and act are one in the same.

One thing I love about my mom is sometimes she tends to get on these “Soapbox Rants” where she goes to war against muti-billion dollar companies, or politicians, or chemicals she doesn’t like.  Growing up it seemed like there was always someone or something new she was against.  Wal-Mart.  Applebees.  Disneyland Resort.  Bob Casey.  The Philadelphia Eagles.  Our neighbor John.  My 8th grade English teacher.  Lowes.  The local mall.  She had stories to support her boycotts, annoyances and yelling, and as children we just thought everyone’s moms went on soapbox rants from time to time about corporate America, evil politicians, and egotistical sports teams.  I’ve learned since then this isn’t the norm.

Over the past few years one of my mom’s favorite rants was about Christmas.  How consumer-based it had become, how annoying other customers in stores were at this time of year, how retail stores try to convince you to buy more than you need so they can improve their fourth quarter earnings.  She always was threatening to cancel Christmas, but I always assumed to was more venting than anything else.  And for years every Christmas she’d buy me some gifts, even as I’ve grown up and moved out.

Last Christmas I remember her saying, “That’s it, I’m done with Christmas, no more gifts, no more shopping.  Christmas time is about family time, not about all the things we can stuff under the tree!”  And I remember thinking, There she goes again, her yearly empty threat to cancel Christmas.  I wonder how long she’ll continue this stance this year.”

And continue the rant she did.  January into February, February into March, March into April.  Around springtime I thought, Maybe this year she’s serious about this.  Maybe this is the year we finally cancel Christmas.

familyxmasWell, I was right.  December 25, 2012, the Days officially cancelled Christmas.  Well, we didn’t cancel Christmas, per se, just the materialistic part of Christmas that we Americans have latched onto.  We didn’t go crazy with the gift shopping.  We didn’t spend hours in line looking for that “perfect gift”.  Instead we bought a few small gifts for each other, stuffed our stockings, and opened them together on Christmas Eve.  The holiday season was more about hanging out and spending time together, and less about swapping gifts, cluttering the living room with paper, and returning things we already have.  We watched movies, baked, laughed, and set up a photo booth with my sister’s supplies.  We guarded our home from the roaming meth heads (that’s another story for another day).  We watched Michael Buble croon out Christmas tunes.  We watched New Girl.  We ate a TON of Christmas popcorn.

At the end of the day, it was the perfect Christmas.  Absolutely wonderful.  The focus of our day was back on what’s important, family, love, and blessings.  God has blessed our family with so much this year, and it was a wonderful way to appreciate that together.

So for those of you who think, “Lis is crazy, I don’t know where she gets it from,” know I get most of it honestly from my family, especially my mom.  And today of all days, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  My mom cancelling Christmas in our family was the best thing we’ve ever done as a family.  The day was about remembering what is important in life, and not about who has the best presents.

Merry Christmas everyone!  I hope your day was wonderful and bright!

Lis

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Next Week: C is for Christmas?

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Yikes, I forgot to post this past weekend!  Dear readers, what did you do without a blog post 😉  I hope you made it!

It’s been a busy few weeks for me.  I have been baking, and traveling, and working at Initech.  Christmas is just around the corner!  Presents are everywhere waiting to be wrapped.  My brother is moving in with me for a week starting tomorrow.  And I’m flat broke.  Holy crap, isn’t it just the most wonderful time of year?

So next weekend is Christmas, which means I’m going to be braving the middle of the state to return home for a few days.  What moron decided to make both southern corners of Pennsylvania interesting, and leave the rest to the redneck and Amish is beyond me, but let me tell you, driving home is one of the most boring drives I have ever experienced in my 26 years of life.  Tree…tree…tree…cow….tree…tree…barn…tree…tree…tree…tree…tractor.  For four hours.  It’s enough for me to want to fly home.

Since it’s Christmas weekend, though, I’m going to be taking a break from my.alphabet.year to enjoy the yuletide festivities my family always participates in.  It’s funny, when I talk to most people about holiday traditions in their family they usually say something like, “Oh, it’s so much fun, every Christmas Eve we head down to the live nativity scene at my grandma’s church, followed by midnight mass and then a big breakfast in the morning.”  So cute.  Sheetz_Altoona_PAMy family traditions?  Last year we went to see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo on Christmas Eve.  Talk about a movie even Jesus would love!  And on Christmas, we have our yearly Sheetz run.  That’s right, after all the presents are opened, meals are eaten, games are played, movies are watched, arguments are won or lost, and laughter is complete, we pile (illegally I might add) 5 people into a 4 seatbelt car, and trek on down to Sheetz.  If you’re asking yourself “What is a Sheetz?” you are not from Pennsylvania.  You don’t understand.  Once there we order a buffet of food, soda, chips, and milkshakes, only to cart it all back home and eat all of it.  Laugh all you want, but it is the one tradition my family has every year.  Who needs a living nativity scene when you have $5 steak burritos and $2 mozzarella sticks?

So I’ll be on break next weekend, celebrating the holidays with my family.  I suggest you do the same.  If you don’t have a family, come be part of mine.  If you do have a family, give them a hug from me.  For real.

I’ll be back the following week with a new adventure, don’t you worry.  We’re about half way done here with this year, how crazy is that?!  As always, thanks for joining me on this crazy ride.

Have a blessed and safe holiday season!  You are the best, my readers.

Lis

Thankful

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It’s been a roller coaster of a few months for me.  Let’s be honest, these past few months my life has take a turn on its head.  I started and successfully ran/run a Quidditch League.  I decided to open a bakery.  I’ve sat for state health exams, decorating classes, and business law courses.  I’ve gain new friends, and lost old ones.  I’ve started not one, but two blogs, and have sold several hundreds of dollars of baked goods.  I’m evolving.

Through these ups and downs of the past few months, though, it’s easy for me to lose sight of all that I do have.  Sometimes it’s easier to sit and sulk about what I don’t have, starting with a million dollars and ending with a better nail file (seriously, am I destined to always purchase crappy nail files??)  I think that’s the whole “American Dream” curse, where I look at all the things others around me have, and forget to be thankful what I do have.  Am I rich, and debt free, and working my dream job, and married to Kris Letang, and the mother of 12 Asian babies?  No, I’m not.  And sometimes it’s easy to look at that and say, enough, my life sucks, and give up. But that’s not fair.  It’s not right.  And today, of all days, it’s not something I want to do.

Instead, I sit here tonight thankful for all I do have.  I could make a list, but I’m sure you’ve heard most of it, friends, family, health, etc.  I’m thankful I have the chance to voice my thankfulness in a blog that so many of you, for reasons unknown to me, still want to read.  I’m thankful that tomorrow I will spend Thanksgiving Day with some of my family and friends who are as near and dear to me as family.  I’m thankful that I have the opportunity to give thanks.

This blog has been about me growing, about me learning more about myself.  Over these past 5 months, I have learned a lot about myself.  I’ve learned I like to be crazy, and sometimes I blurt out the first thing that comes to my mind.  I’ve learned I’m stronger than I give myself credit for, and am bound and determined to meet goals that I set for myself.  I’ve learned to let my hair down, kick off my shoes, relax, and simply be me.

One of my favorite Bible verses that I had to memorize when I was young is Psalm 107:1 — Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, His love endures forever. (How many of you are signing that song right now?  Giiiiiiive thaaaaaaaaaaaaanks, give thaaaaaaaaaaanks)  Today I give thanks not only to Him, but to the blessings He has bestowed upon me, the big ones I think about every day, down to the littlest of blessing I probably don’t even notice.  Maybe that nail file is simply a blessing in disguise.  Positive spin!!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Blessings and safe travels for you and your families.  Take a minute this weekend, during the holiday madness, and think about the smallest blessing you have in your life.  Be thankful even for that!

Lis

Next Week: H is for Hiking Adventures

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Ugh….fooooooood baby.

My family just left from a weekend in Pittsburgh.  I love my family, but whenever they come out I always eat WAY too much.  Oh boy, do I need to go walk this off.  Ever wish you could just unzip your skin, remove all the food in your stomach, and zip it back up?  Maybe that’s just my weird dream.  Haha.

Anyway, on to next week, and a brand new adventure to encounter.  I’ve decided next week, H is for Hiking Adventures, is the perfect opportunity for me to go out, and see the fall foliage before the dreaded snow sets in and ruins everything (in case you can’t tell, I’m not a winter person).  So I’m going to hop in my car, roll down the windows, blast some “Autumn-themed music” (does such a thing exist?  If so, what would you recommend I add to my Autumn-themed music playlist??), and head up the PA Turnpike to Buttermilk Falls.

I discovered Buttermilk Falls in college, because it’s right down the highway from my school.  It’s kind of a diamond-in-the-ruff place, tucked away in a less-than-savory area of Beaver County, right off the highway behind the Adult Mart.  No, I’m not making this up.  You could pass it a thousand times without realizing what’s behind that wooden fence and small gravel lot, but the beauty that you see there is absolutely breath-taking.

So next week is all about me, my camera, a good paid of sneakers, and a hike up to the falls.  Maybe I’ll play the role of “Hipster Young Adult” and find some Tom shoes, a North Face jacket, and some Obama swag.  I’ll blast Mumford and Sons, chew on some organic vegan granola, and bring my used guitar just in case the creative juices start flowing.  Ahhhh, Young Adult Hipster may be my Halloween costume this year!!  Yes!

Ok, I’m out to walk off this food baby.  I’ll be back sometime this week with some more updates!

Have a wonderful week,

Lis