#makeChristmasgreatagain

Dear Frank,

We need to have a conversation and I feel like any normal married couple these days the best way to do this is over the internet for everyone we know to read.  Also, this is really not a conversation but more like a declaration.  I’m not sending out Christmas cards this year.  To support my argument I would like to enter the following into evidence:

Exhibit A:  Thanksgiving is Thursday and this is generally the day/weekend when in the past I have worked tirelessly (30 minutes before taking picture) to pick the outfits that fit(unlikely), don’t have stains (crusty dried gravy from lunch is ok) and somewhat match (plaid and polka dots welcome) for our lovely little darlings to wear so I can capture that perfect most angelic moment where they are all smiling and looking at each other with those Brady Bunch eyes.  I’m done.  They hate, I hate it, we all hate it.  It’s affected my tryptophan hangover and no one wants to hear me screaming at the children.

Exhibit B:  I think the money and time spent on worrying over Christmas cards could be better spent elsewhere- like a week at the beach.   Which card to pick (is my neighbor or sister sending the same one? Minted? Hallmark? Tinyprints?)addressing Christmas cards (do we send one to the now ex- relative? what about the person who didn’t speak to me in line at Kroger last week that I’ve sent one to for 4 years?)  It’s all too much and we need to stop the insanity.

Exhibit C:  Haven’t we already posted the most wonderful and endearing pictures of our family all over Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc…  EVERYDAY is a virtual Christmas card for many people I know on various social media.  You and I both know that I am guilty of this from time to time (often daily)- I promise you here and now to limit these “my family is perfect” photos to a minimum of 1 x week and stick strictly to humorous and possibly inappropriate posts that will likely offend 50% of our friends/family.

Exhibit D:  Addresses-people are too damn transient these days…or they are dead.  I have a very old (10 years old atleast) address book.  (A what?!!? – AN. ADDRESS. BOOK.  It’s an often small bound book with alphabatized tabs where you WRITE with a writing utensil of your choice the home addresses of those you may want to one day send a LETTER, NOTE, INVITATION or CHRISTMAS CARD)  Every year I sit down with my book and start addressing invitations (except for the last time I threatened not to do Christmas cards and you did them).  It’s marked up by folks who have moved, divorced and died.  It’s like a journal of our relationships with other people .  Some of these people I am not even friends with on Facebook, so are we really even friends??  These are the things I question which is disturbing on many levels and as my husband you should be worried.  If we are true friends (not social media friends)and you are reading this it is really your obligation as my friend to sit down and have a conversation with me about this and declare our true, undying, sans social media friendship.  If you don’t I am cutting you out of my life forever!  (Just kidding:)- I LOVE MY SOCIAL MEDIA FRIENDS!!!  Exhibit D1: I just found a stack of 25 (stamped) cards from last year that had incomplete addresses (because the book wasn’t updated for reasons above) that NEVER GOT MAILED.  They’ve now gone to the Christmas card heaven in the sky (local landfill).  I’m not going to do the math, but I’m pretty sure those forgotten, incompletely addressed cards equal to a few glasses of my favorite pinot noir.

Exhibit E:  What do most folks do with the Christmas cards they have received on Dec. 31st?  Think very long and hard before you answer this question…

Frank, I hope you will understand and accept my argument and rule in my favor.  If not, my address book is on my desk in the living room.

Your loving wife,

Loy

PS- (to those three people actually reading this)  Look, I love- no, I ADORE getting Christmas cards so please don’t let this tiny Christmas revolution in my heart stop you (or others reading this) from sending.  (Message me for my address.)  They are truly one of the things I count on to make my Christmas merry and bright.  I love seeing how little Johnny has grown and what your husband killed on his last hunting trip in Alabama, but I can’t reciprocate this year.   Maybe it’s a phase I am in that will pass and I’ll be back on the CC band wagon again this time next year.  Maybe I will send this and Hallmark will sue me for taking down the entire Christmas card industry and they’ll make a move about me starring Tina Fey.   The possibilities are endless!

Because I am one to carry a little guilt around I am sharing a few of my favorite places to get Christmas cards (when I was into that kinda thing) and there are a few coupons- but act fast!

http://photo.walgreens.com/walgreens/welcome?ext=gooPhoto_Brand_General_Exact_Brand_Photo_General_Coupon_Exact_walgreens_photo_coupon&sst=4c24e403-13ed-3ac9-ca86-000046325eee&gclid=Cj0KEQiA08rBBRDUn4qproqwzYMBEiQAqpzns6j75qCFpkj03b3YfjzkhZVyZ2-TNjwT8_O5ifMz2D8aAnWc8P8HAQ

http://www.minted.com

www.tinyprints.com

PSS – Last minute evidence was just brought forth!  Frank pointed out the Easter decorations that were left out in the living room and the pilgrims that didn’t make it out of the cabinet this year.   Just keeping it real.

New Driver

If you have been within a 10 mile radius of me over the past three months you will know the anxiety, stress, excitement, etc. I have had about the day our first-born daughter turns sixteen.    To say the least it has been quite the emotional roller coaster in the Turner house and God bless my sweet husband for attempting to keep me sane and constantly reminding me that it is all going to be OK.  I’m just not ready for this.  It’s all happening way to fast and I only see things accelerating.    In 2.5 years she’ll be in college.  I was just in college wasn’t I?

So, with all of this stress and anxiety of the babies growing up I’ve turned to God…a lot.  The down on my knees begging for help turning to God.  I have always felt pretty comfortable in my faith, however I still struggle with trying to handle everything myself as opposed to turning to God.  The whole “Jesus Take the Wheel” concept and I don’t always see eye to eye unfortunately.  I have definitely found myself on somewhat of a different path lately, clinging to a variety of daily devotional books, my Bible, and Book of Common Prayer (BCP for you fellow Episcopalians) like they are security blankets.  Each day hoping the devotional/prayer will bring me some golden nugget of how to survive this ride.  There have been days where I even bring my “security blankets” to work just to sit in a chair in my office.  Spiritual osmosis you might say.

The day after our little girl passed her driving test she was to take her and her sister to school 20+ miles away from home.  You see, the driving has been the worst.  I can handle dating, eye rolling, and even the talk of what colleges she wants to look at… but the driving-no, I was not going to go willingly into this one.  But here I was looking at it head on without even my first cup of coffee and there was nothing I could do about it.  Except the following…

There I was in my flannel Santa lounge pants (in October because they are just that well-worn), my faded “living on island time” t-shirt (which is ironic in itself because to know me, you know that I’m never laid back enough to be on “island time”), and my big fluffy “mom robe” in the driveway.  I circled the car and then I went and laid hands on it as if I was an ordained priest.   I prayed to God to keep my oldest baby and my second oldest baby safe and to please just carry that car in His hands all the way to school.  Then I asked Lula (the car) to please take care of my babies.  I know He heard me and I hope she did.   I went back in, it was almost time for them to go.

“Go get your dad up and tell him you are leaving,” I said.

I think at this point I may go throw up but I keep it together.  She is so excited and so happy.  She has reached a new milestone and as much as I want her to  turn and beg me to just keep being her chauffeur I know that this will not happened.  It is the first of many moments as a mom where I will have to stand still, keep my mouth shut and watch her move a little further away from needing me.  If you haven’t had one of these moments yet I’m not going to lie, it really bites and yet it’s amazing all at the same time.  It’s all very confusing.  A friend reminded me the other day that we are raising them to leave us.  (Like a knife to the heart-ugh.)  As much as this mom doesn’t want to believe that at this particular moment on the “mom journey”-my friend is right.  Driving is one of the many steps in this direction.

She grabs her keys with her black fuzz ball key chain and they head out the door.  We both hugged them longer than usual before they get in the car, the driver and her co-pilot.  “Put your seat belts on, do not even think about touching your phone, please watch out for other the other cars on the road, and please pray before you leave, ” I plead and they comply.    They pull out of the driveway and it’s still a little dark outside.  We watched the headlights fade into the trees and I am crying- the not able to catch your breath crying.  How will I do this every morning?

It’s been over a week now and each day is a little easier.  We are all easing into this new phase in life.  In general, with raising kids, every day brings new big ideas and new questions needing answers (some easier to answer than others).  I’m learning that having control over every aspect of my life and theirs is clearly impossible.  This is the hardest lesson of all, but I get it God.  I understand now what You have been trying to tell me all along.  Maybe my friend was more right than I thought.  I’ve been given these three gifts and it’s my job to love them, care for them, and eventually send them out into the world to do good things.  We are raising them to leave us.   When you are in the throes of raising kids whether they are babies up with night feedings, hauling toddlers to play groups,  or  running them to and from various activities – time seems to move so slow it’s almost going backwards.  You get tired, you might start complaining, and you think this phase will never end.  Then one day it does end and you are on to the next phase.  It happens so fast at first you may not have even noticed.  So now as part of the daily devotional/search for golden nugget I am asking God not only to keep my daughter safe in this new phase of taking on the roads, but to help me appreciate every day-even the hard ones when I’m crying in the driveway.