christmas....part one

i am home.
i grew up most of my childhood in leawood, but then my parents moved to nixa,mo when i graduated from college. now home is where the parents are.
most of my extended family lives in springfield and the towns that surround it, so it makes for a busy, busy holiday schedule. this year all of my parents siblings and all of their kids and all of their kids kids are home, so there is a ton of family in town.
i got here yesterday around 11:40. i got out of my car and directly into my sister's car with bella-my three year old niece, reed- my four month old nephew, my mother and my sister. after struggling to get bella strapped in for way too long we were off to meet my mom's best friend for lunch "in town" (springfield) and i was squished into the third seat of my sister's SUV. i learned quickly that baby boy will giggle at me if i make kissey faces at him and read bella a book.
i can't explain how amazing it is to see him. just being him. a normal little guy.
no tubes.
no machines.
no looming fear.

we ate at mexican villa.
we drove back to nixa.
at 4:45 heather and i decided it was time for wine.
i finished two paintings, one for a cousin and one for my granny.
then my cousins (torre and her daughter alex) came over to bake and love on the babies. so at this point there are nine of us in a fairly small space. we were all tripping over each other and cats and dogs and presents and god knows what else.
heather and torre made a peppermint cake, that when completed (which it still is not) will look like a 3D santa standing up.
when the cake was done baking torre called us over to "smell him".
mom decided that we needed to write a song entitled "come and smell him" to the tune of "come all ye faithful".
this is why i love my family.
i sprawled out on the living room floor and alex (15 y.o.) came and sat on me and then bella sat on my legs behind her.
and then bella told alex she had a big bottom.
amazing. i love three year olds.
after that bella wanted to ride me like a pony. i told her i was pooped.
she checked my pants and informed me that i had not pooped.
thank you bella.
after this torre and alex left and we had some time to kill.
my dad's best friend has grown out his long white beard this holiday season and has been playing santa at various events around town.
tonight he would be making a special stop at our house to see bella.
while waiting for him to come we put on some big band christmas tunes and bella insisted that we all get up and "shake our booties".
she also gave us all christmas names.
she picked snowflake for my dad.
i nearly pissed myself.
while snowflake was not his first choice, he danced anyway as he is putty in her teeny tiny little hands.
after i, red reindeer, had damn near broken a charleston-induced sweat the doorbell rang.
bella answered it with dad and there he was....santa.
she jumped into his arms and gave him a huge hug and kept patting his back.
as precious as it was, i couldn't help but think how easy it would be to kidnap children during the holidays.
all you need is a beard and a santa suit.
i am horrible. i know.
after santa left bella recounted the whole thing for us. and then informed us that "that santa was a different one".
smart little girl. but she didn't care.
i excused myself to the office/bedroom to inflate my bed before they put the kids down.
i returned to the living room in time to catch a conversation about your favorite product and mine, the shamwow.
dad wants one.
"i wish i had one. i don't know why i just don't dial the number one of these nights"
i wish i knew he wanted one, because i would have bought him one just so i could spill shit and clean it up and see if it really is as amazing as i hope it is.
i got my christmas pajamas for the year....snow globes from across the country.
pretty impressive.
the kids went to sleep and we talked about how lucky we all are to have everyone home this year and how it will probably never happen again.
how heather and tony will not always come home.
and how i may, at some point, have another family to keep in mind.
or as i put it "at some point some one may be crazy enough to marry my dumb ass"
i finally retired to my room around 11 and wrapped presents for today...christmas with dad's side at grandma's.

christmas: part one- act one
mom had to be at grandma's at nine to start breakfast. i wanted to go with her so i could see my cousin brooke that was in town from NYC with her husband and baby for as long as possible. we would be leaving at 8:30. i informed my sister and brother in law that i would need to shower in the morning. as in a i am going early and i need to shower first situation. mom said she would wake me up at 8:00.
i set my alarm for 7:45.
i woke up.
sister was in the shower.
i get in the shower, get dressed and come out and my dad is like are you ready?
obviously i am not.
my hair is soaking wet in a towel and i am sure my face was less than amused.
i ask what time it is.
i inform him that he is 10 minutes early and that i would be ready when i said i would at 8:30.
they still needed to run an errand that mom thought he ran yesterday.
i am annoyed.
i will ride with heather and tony.
we get there and it is a house full! grandma, uncle tom, brooke, bobby, elizabeth cate, aunt cathy, shelby, carlie, kayla, kelsy, uncle tracy, aunt verlene, hannah, caitlin, mom, dad, heather, tony, reed, bella and i.
the majority of the list above ranges in ages 16 years-4 months. there were bodies everywhere.
and then it happened...
for the first time in twenty six years...
my grandma turned to me and said "so, where is your boyfriend?"
i am the last of the granddaughters (over 16) that does not have a husband, or a kid, or both.
it kinda stung all though i know she never meant it to.
the little girls sat at the kids table.
the adults sat in the dining room and i sat at the kitchen table, where i usually sat with brooke and our other cousin sarah, who was not there yet.
my uncle tracy commented on me being at the in-between table.
LISTEN HERE ASSHOLES! i am a fucking adult.
i am a single, childless, twenty six year old adult.
i spent the rest of my morning wandering through grandma's house, latching onto a conversation here and there, picking up babies and handing them off and getting things for the little girls.
i felt kinda weird. like everyone else had a partner and i didn't.
it felt like a chapter out of one of our chick lit book club reads.
i still don't know if i am proud or upset.
once my last two cousins arrived from work we opened presents.
it is so odd how prepared for death my grandmothers seem.
(both my grandfathers have been gone for quite some time.)
always making comments about how it is better to give us this or that now, rather than when they are dead, so they can see us open it.
this year it was her quilts.
these are her most prized possessions.
she gave the littlest girls their sunbonnet sue quilts.
all of us older girls got them for our 13th christmases.
it is sad to think that she won't be here for theirs.
that they have to have them now because who knows about next year.
it is heart wrenching to think of the holidays without these amazing women.
reed got a different kind of quilt. one with little farmer men on it, as a sunbonnet sue is not fitting for our little man.
then grandma gave all of the rest of us a quilt from her collection.
i got a neck tie quilt.
i love it.
grandma also gave caitlin and hannah (who are 16 and 14) the book about her that she gave the rest of us a few years ago.
i sat down and read caitlins...i don't know if i ever read mine all the way through.

i didn't know my great grandpa used to play santa at church.
i always forget my grandma's first name is mary, not rosalee as i know her.
she is named after her grandmas, mary and rosa.
i asked where the lee came from.
she doesn't know.
but it was passed down to my father, michael lee and to me, terra lee.
as we passed the picture of she and her sister as children she began to talk about how much she misses barb, who passed away last year. that barb would call her everyday, usually in the morning because she knew that grandma would be out the door running around all day. i almost lost it.
i read about my grandpa dale. about their long distance courtship while he was in the navy. about how he proposed. about the first things he said to her when he saw her again. about the man he was while he was alive and how hard it was to lose him so young.
i can't help but cry as i write this now, tucked back in my little corner, with my headphones on scrambling to record these memories before they fade away.

this christmas feels different.
this christmas is different.
and it is different mainly for the reason that it feels like after this one it will never be the same.

it is bittersweet.
and a lot to take all on my own.
sometimes i really wish i had a partner in all of this...


sun and showers

it is sunday morning.
i fell asleep last night around 9:45. watching love actually.
i woke up on the couch about an hour ago in leggings, a sweater, my robe, slippers, stocking cap and my new favorite socks.
with three cats laying on me.
this night of rest and relaxation was must needed after friday night's itiscoldoutsidesogetyourassesinsideanddrinkboozewithyourfriends party.
i had a great time.
a lot of my favorite people were there.
we drank 3 liters of mulled wine, one jug of "holiday punch" (thanks nick and chris, whatever that was it was amazing), two bottles of vodka, one bottle of tequila, a half a bottle of southern comfort and a stupid amount of beer.
the holiday attire was as classy as it comes.
yesterday i woke up without a hangover, but feeling much less intelligent than the day before.
for example, when i was leaving to pick brian up to go christmas shopping i couldn't find my car keys. so i just grabbed the spare. i got to brian's and we went to get gas, as i had 12 miles to empty (at least the cougar does something to help me). so we go to QT which is a cluster fuck that i am not willing to deal with. then we go to the BP on broadway and as soon as i turn my car off i realize...fuck. i don't have the key to open my damnnearempty gas tank. so now we have to drive back to my house to find the keys.we get in and brian starts to look. he asks if i have any idea where they would be. and i looked under the table that i always put my keys on and there they were. why didn't i do this before leaving this house? i had the dumb.
brian and i went to target in mission and got most of it taken care of there. in order to avoid the plaza at all costs we drove to metcalf south mall to get the tin of topsy's i take home every year and to get brian one to devour at home. although i work across the street from this place i rarely step foot inside there. and if i do it is in a department store. brian and i walked through the ghost mall from one side to the other remembering what was there when we were growing up. there is literally nothing inside that mall. it is a mall walkers wet dream.
we finished shopping.
i came home.
posted pictures.
cleaned a little.
went to dinner with mo and to her place for a bit.
came home.
and you know the rest.

this morning i took a shower. i know, big deal right? i don't shower on sundays unless i have to...OR i have time to take a reallllllly long shower. which, lucky for me, today i did because i was so in the mood for it. the sun is shining. i am not tired. i am not hungover. i only have to work two days this week. i just had a great celebration with friends. and i can not wait to see my family.
i am in a good mood.
i put on the white stripe's "de stijl".
i used my new shampoo and conditioner.
i took my sweet ass time.
i remembered how much i love long hot showers in the winter. and then thought about how much i love cool showers in the summer. and then i wondered which i liked best. and then i remembered that i don't have to have a favorite. i get them both once a year. and now as i type this i do not think i have quite recovered from friday.
i am off into the sunshine and what i expect to be breath-taking-cold.
all the while listening to "Með Suð Í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust" (yup...i copied and pasted that one).
mmm. sigur ros and sunny winter days.

maybe i do love this season.


i am a non smoker and amanda is a watson!

hi lil buddies.
how are you all?
a little annoyed that i only blog once a month?
nah, i figured that you probably didn't give a shit, but also figured i would update you anyway...
so lets see what has been going on....

the day before the election i got hypnotized to quit smoking. i had this appointment set since the beginning of october.
why november third?
why not?
so the morning of the third i wake up. and about 10 minutes before i am going to leave for work gretchen calls to let me know that both of our cars have been broken into.
lucky for me they just decided to smash my drivers side window...(not sure if i all ready told you that i had to replace my battery, but i did) and go through allllll the shit in my car.
now for those of you that know me, you know that when i say "the shit in my car" you know that it is exactly that-shit.
i do not keep valuable things in my car, and now i try and keep NOTHING in there.
so the coat that i got for free from kelly was about to become a $200-something dollar coat since that is all the a-holes took.
you dumb fucks. you totally missed my checkbook.
HOWEVER....thanks to the wonderful and talented roommates boyfriend from heaven the window was fixed for $60...the day before it started raining like mad.

so anyway...i had a pretty shitty morning and thought wow...this is a bad day to quit smoking....and the election was the next day and then liz was coming in town and amanda's wedding....i really thought this was not the best time.
so i went in and i told my therapist that and as the words came out of my mouth i knew what he was going to say. so i finished my list of reasons of why today was not the day for me with the thought "it is never the right time to quit". i took a few drags off a few cigarettes monday and tuesday and then wednesday was it. done. no mas.
it wasn't that hard...so i am thinkging the hypnosis worked.
i still have the inspirational words taped under my monitor at work.
1) for my body smoking is poison
2) i need my body to live
3) i owe my body this respect and protection
sounds so lame. but it is true. and for me, it worked.
it has been a month now. and i am pretty damn proud of myself.

so i got a new battery. a new window. quit smoking....

and then on the way to work the next wednesday my car died. while i was driving it.
$456 later i am the proud owner of the FOURTH ALTERNATOR I HAVE PUT IN THIS BEAST OF A BITCH CAR
why do i still own it?
because i am lazy-duh!

i was supposed to pick up liz the next day from the airport. with high stress and no smoking i rounded up jill (who came and got me) and kelly and we were off to db coopers for drinking and culture.
jill and i drank a little too much and stayed out a little too late and may or may not have sang "summer nights" with two med students.
i woke up a little ashamed and more than a little hungover.
i had to get mcdonalds breakfast....that is where i was at.
i had planned to leave work early, pick up amanda and go get liz. thank god amanda was a calm bride. she came and got me from work. we got some shit together at her house, made a "welcome home beth" sign and headed to the airport to pick up our girl liz.
luckily my car was able to be picked up that evening...because wedding weekend without a car would have been a disater for sure.
that night the ladies all headed to lee's summit to hang out with amanda. we ate a stupid amount of food. murdered a box of franzia. laughed until we almost peed and liz puked.
it was awesome.
we were in bed by 10:30....this was a good thing. as the next day was WATSON WEDDING DAY!!!!
liz and i got up. showered and headed over to the salon so liana could give me the cutest curly 'do ever.
thanks liana...you rock.
loren met us at the apartment and mo picked us up.
from there it was off to the summit for sandwiches, shots, champgna, a serious laugh a thon and a few tears from amanda and her mama at her mom's house.
once the clock struck two we headed over to the mansion to get ready.
and take more shots.
and drink more champagna.
it was all a whirl...and we ran late...and amanda looked absolutly amazing.
the rest of us cleaned up all right too...
the ceremony was short and sweet.
jeremy kept making funny faces at amanda.
i got real nervous during my scripture reading....
no i didn't catch on fire assholes.
they high fived after the kiss.
it was pretty freakin sweet.
then onto the reception.
the cocktail hour was...well...full of cocktails.
the dinner was some of the best wedding food i have had.
and the dancing...well, lets let the picture do the talking
from there we loaded onto a party bus full of booze, friends and GIRLTALK!
needless to say i danced from lee's summit to westport...and the big bruise on my ass for the next week tells me i fell down.
about half of us got off the bus and drug our drunk asses....complete with wedding attire...to kelly's.
the bar. not the friend.
where we met up with this guy
blog readers....meet bryce.
we like this guy.
he is our friend.
i may or may not make a list later of all the reasons i like him.
but for now, we will just leave it as that.
kelly's consisted of more drinking. nipple tweaking. shot taking. bluegrass dancin. and glass breakin.
it all gets blurry after that.
liz and i were home, via cab, sometime between 4:30 and 5:00.

the next day she and i went to breakfast around 8:00...don't ask liz about it.
drove kel, brad and jill back to their cars in the summit.
picked up erin and went to the prop 8 protest on the plaza and then finally hit the couch around 2:00.
neither of us ever got a nap.
but what we lacked in sleep we made up for in laughter.

sisterfriend- that is one of the best couch laying sessions of my life. pound puppies and vacuum cleaners. i fucking love you. nuf said?

we finally took showers and went and met joel and liana for dinner at the vietnamese place in the river market.
for cheating death by drinking, we look pretty good!

from there we went to joels. then to grinders. then liana and joel pussed out.
liz and i went to crosstown.
i fell asleep sitting up at a table at least 3 times while she was outside smoking.
then we went to gilhoulies to see some more of liz's people.
bryce met us there.
then back to the apartment for mario party.
how did we stay up until 4 again? no clue

the next day i had to ship her back to nyc. but what a fabulous weekend.
it is the first time that it has really felt like she was just back to visit. and just back to visit us. and i loved it.

i can't wait to come see you!

amanda...you were a beauty and a joy! you looked like a 40s movie star. and you both glowed all night. i hope that was a sample of what is to come for all of us. i love you moo and i am so very honored to have been a part of your day.

here are a few more of the day...