Thursday, December 18, 2014

what are you doing in 2015?

I recently had lunch with some friends. Friends made through blogging, but who are more than blog friends and aren't in the same "blog group" as me. They blog for different audiences and reasons. So we were chatting about what was new and I told them I had been largely offline lately and felt okay about that. One friend emphatically told me that I burned myself out, and the other echoed her claim.

And they weren't wrong.

I'm not sure when 4-5 posts per week, responding to every comment, and commenting everywhere became the norm, but somewhere it did. I tried my best to keep up with bloggers who made that look easy. Quantity was king and I wanted a piece of that too. "Only" getting x number of comments was seen as an opinion about my abilities as a writer and stagnant numbers of followers plagued me. I mean, that's dramatic, but it kind of did!

So, as you know, if you know me from other bloggers you read, I kind of... stopped. Or tapered off. Yes, we moved, and things have changed, but I didn't want to come here anymore. I liked not having a pile of comments to respond to or posts I felt guilty for skipping. And others are in the same boat, it seems. Many bloggers I considered to be in my group have scaled back, or quit all together. And I can't blame them. I think we did this to ourselves!

For me, the battle between wanting to write versus not wasting anyone's time with what I shared was huge. Do you, living in a different time zone, care what I ate for dinner on Saturday? Let's be honest and say you probably don't. So I started getting into the "why bother?" of it all and didn't want to write at all.

But I missed it. I miss sharing and interacting. I don't make the time to write, read, and respond like I used to. Maybe one day I will again. But that isn't me right now. I want to focus in 2015 on life and documenting the things worth remembering, whether it gets posted to the internet or not. I want to write for me, whether I think you'll like it. I want to read blogs that I love and not follow anyone because I have to! I want to mostly forget picmonkey exists and just have my crappy phone pics be enough (because seriously? Editing photos takes for-ev-er). I truly want this to be where I document my life and what's in my head, and for that to be enough. So that's my goal in 2015. What are you working on?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

my favorite christmas entertainment, non-movie edition.

We all have our favorite Christmas movies. I'm convinced that if you grew up watching A Christmas Story (like me), then you're convinced it's the best holiday movie, but if you're wrong like my  husband and you grew up watching Christmas Vacation (still good), then nothing will sway you to think otherwise. What can I say? We're a house divided.

(For the record, I also love Elf and Love, Actually).

Anyway, the other day I wanted to watch something Christmas-y but not a movie. So, thanks to Netflix, I watched every Christmas episode of The Office with Michael Scott (I may get to the ones without him,  but let's face it, those were the worst years of the show). And I ranked them for you because it's the giving season and you may not have as much time on your hands as me.

5) Classy Christmas (Season 7) - Eh, this was the beginning of the end. There were some funny Holly/Michael scenes at the beginning, and Michael being Sexy Santa was kind of cute, but this episode didn't pack as much greatness as earlier seasons for me.

No idea why this is black and white but the epic snowball fight was pretty funny.

4) Moroccan Christmas (Season 5) - Meredith went to rehab and Toby got the last Princess Unicorn doll that Dwight bought out of stores. The intervention was awkward, but this episode did give us the innovative drink known as an "orange vod-juice-ka."

3) A Benihana Christmas (Season 3) - Karen and Pam create their own Christmas party, Michael drowns his sorrows at "Asian Hooters" (love when he had to draw on "his" waitress' hand) and we get Angela singing The Little Drummer Boy.

 Oh, Nard Dog...

2) Secret Santa (Season 6) - Michael dresses as Jesus since Phyllis is already dressed as Santa. So un-PC, but still so hilarious. This is one I totally forgot about, watched again, and died laughing.

Couldn't find a gif of this but Michael, dressed as Jesus. You know, the guy who can heal leopards.

1) Christmas Party (Season 2) - My dad told me the entire plot of this episode and that's what got me to eventually give the series a shot. Anytime I hear about a yankee swap, I have to repeat it back like Michael.

 Also, Andrew and I quote this all the time.

I would also highly recommend any snow-y episode of Gilmore Girls and of course, last year's Mindy Project Christmas episode because this.

Because let's be real, being able to use this gif largely motivated this post.

 Any non-movie Christmas stuff to add to the list?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

favorite christmastime details

These are things I love about Christmas that other people may not notice but I just completely love.

- When Bruce Springsteen asks Clarence (RIP) if Santa is going to bring him a new saxophone at the beginning of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town."

- Hot cocoa in a snowman mug with homemade marshmallows (if only Texas would get below 70 this season).

- The twinkling snowflake lights we just hung above our front porch that make me SO HAPPY. No idea why - our Christmas decor isn't going to win any awards but those damn lights just get me.

- The hideous gingerbread snowman Christmas ornament I made in second grade that still has to go on the tree, even if he's in the back.

-In Love, Actually, when the little girl is singing on the stage and for a brief second, the little boy thinks the "And you" is just for him.

- Mrs. Claus telling Santa to "Eat, eatttt" in Rudolph.

- Cadbury Christmas.... round balls that taste just like Cadbury Easter Eggs.

- George Michael whispering "Merry Christmas" in the second verse of "Last Christmas."

- The Barenaked Ladies version of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen." I can't pick a piece of it. I listened to it twice today and tried, but it just didn't work.

There are probably more, but those are the ones I was thinking of and it was too long to tweet. Any personal favorite details to share?

Sorry if you hate Christmas, but there are possibly two more coming this week. At least I warned you!

Friday, December 12, 2014

for memory's sake

I forget everything, and I'm sure a year from now I'm going to wonder how I spent this Thanksgiving and the time leading up to Christmas. So this post is more for me than you. But it's also to say hi.

We spent Thanksgiving in Delaware with Andrew's dad and sister. It was much colder there than it was in Houston but no snow, so I was bummed. We flew into Philadelphia and ate lunch at High Street. It was on Bon Appetit's list of Best New Restaurants for the year and I got what was supposed to be the best grilled cheese sandwich ever (seriously, that was the name on the menu) but it was just... eh. I mean it was good but like every other grilled cheese I've ever had, I was kind of over it halfway through. We also went to the Liberty Bell which was underwhelming since the school I work for has an exact replica that I see every day. And there were TONS of kids. Wow.

My grilled cheese | The Bell | My FIL and SIL's dogs at the beach | The only thing Andrew had to do in the kitchen for Thanksgiving, ha.

I finally read the book Defending Jacob and I pretty much hated it (I found it predictable and I hated both the narrator and his son). The restaurants we had been to before in my father-in-law's town weren't as good as they used to be, but he did take us to a Mexican place that was really good. And I took lots of naps. It was nice. When we went back to Philadelphia for our flight home, I really wanted a cheesesteak. Google took us to a pork place that was supposed to have great cheesesteaks. We split a pork sandwich and a cheesesteak and both were just okay. Philly, you let me down. I need to go back just to eat again! But I did get my beloved Thrasher's and tons of Entenmann's donuts as well as a donut from the Fractured Prune, so don't go thinking I starved or anything.

Since getting back to town, things have been crazy. My job goes a little crazier in December since there are so many parties to coordinate PLUS Andrew and I decided to host a housewarming party this past weekend. I really like hosting in theory but always forget how much work it's going to be. But, it was fun to have a lot of my family (including all four of my parents) and several of my friends come over and check out the new place. I was just tired when it was all over. Oh, and worlds collided when an old friend who knows nothing of my blog life grilled a blog friend about how we met. She played dumb like a champ and I'm so grateful because how do you explain blogs to non-bloggers? She even made a comment about mommy bloggers at one point. I had to bite my lip since said blog friend writes for a mom's blog group.

With Heidi, Miranda, and Bre. Of course I had to take pics with blog friends because I knew they would understand.

This past week I worked on events, first at the gorgeous and restored 1910 Courthouse and then at a fancy country club (George Bush 41 is a member, y'all) and they went mostly well and I'm glad they're over. Just one more week and then I get to be off for two!

I've gone a little nuts with Christmas decorating in the new house. We still have Bullwinkle, of course, and I semi-homemade some lit garland: bought pre-lit garland at Michael's, wrapped wired ribbon around it (sheer gold so you can still see the lights) and then used floral wire to attach Christmas balls to it. I'm always so proud of myself for finishing even the simplest DIY. We had to have new stockings and a new tree skirt, of course, and we started collecting a Christmas village. Our village currently contains a cookie factory, a pancake house, and a Christmas store... clearly it covers your basic needs.

That's the Cliff's Notes version. I love the days when I can come home and actually sit on my couch and watch TV without passing out. I miss my pets and since we returned from Delaware, Bauer rarely lets us out of his sight. Things are busy but good. I hope your things are, too.