bipolar mom shares her insights on everyday life

Archive for December, 2008

A Blessed Christmas

I am so lucky.  So very very lucky. 

I had such a wonderful Christmas.  Spent Christmas Eve day with my parents, then went to church.  Came home and opened presents with the kids.  Went to bed at a decent hour for the first time in years.  I’m usually doing “one more thing” in preparation for our trip the next morning.

On Christmas Day, we headed out for Marshfield, MO (just before Springfield on I-44) to be with my extended family on my mom’s side.  This is just about the highlight of my year.  I love being with my family.  I love that we all get along and there is no tension.  And, most of all, I love that my family loves to go as much as I do. 

It’s a unique situation, in my opinion.  I only have two cousins, and they are about 10 years older than I am.  So, I always looked up to them, but didn’t consider them “my age.”  Now that I’m older, we all get along so well, as if we were the same age.  But, what is even more unique is that I get along just as well with their kids now that they are older.  They are roughly 20 years younger than I am, but let’s be honest, I act a lot younger than I really am.  Plus, I’m just into a lot of the stuff that they are.  We are all four on Facebook, so that made this trip even more awesome.  I told them that even though I hadn’t seen them in a year, I felt like I had seen them often, because I would keep up with them on Facebook.

Another really cool thing about my family is that my aunts and uncles also act younger than their ages.  And, my kids actually enjoy spending time with them.  I can remember my mom and dad making me go visit their aunts and uncles, and I could not have been more bored.  Sure, they’d usually have cookies, but I would be limited to one or two, and then what was I supposed to do for the next hour?  Man, that time would go sooo  sllooowwwlllyyy.  But, my kids just love visiting with my aunts and uncles.  They have great stories to tell them, and often have something to keep them occupied.  Plus, they have satellite, so our kids see shows that we don’t get at home.  (We don’t have cable.  I know.  A moment of silence, please.) 

So, the time with my side of the family was filled with food and fun.  Fabulous! 

The next day we headed to Joplin for time with Tom’s mom and brothers.  Now, most people don’t enjoy time with their in-laws, and a few years ago, I would have been one of them.  While, as I mentioned earlier, I act younger than I am, I have also matured enough to be able to enjoy my relationship with my mother-in-law.  When my kids were little, a woman from church pointed out to me that my M-I-L was also my children’s grandmother.  And, it was then that I realized how awful it would have been if my parents had acted disappointed about my grandparents’ visits or our visits to them. 

Ever since then, I have come to enjoy my visits with my in-laws.  My M-I-L and I have some great discussions.  She used to be a librarian in two elementary schools, and I was an elementary teacher, so we share that commonality.  Tom’s two youngest brothers also live in Joplin, so we were able to spend time with them as well.  My M-I-L cooked a fantastic dinner of pork loin, corn, mashed potatoes, spinach salad, carrots, and homemade bread.  Yum!  Tom’s youngest brother has a daughter who is four.  We played a Dr. Seuss game, that was a lot of fun for all of us, which is hard to find these days.  We also met his girlfriend for the first time, and she gets four thumbs up from this family!

And, then, yesterday we headed back home.  Whew.  So glad to be back in our own beds and able to look forward to a week of relaxation.

But, as I look back on the holiday, it could not have gone any better.  Notice I didn’t mention any gifts I received.  Those took a backseat to all the time spent with families.  As each year goes by, and we are all able to get together, I thank God for letting us all live one more year so that we can enjoy the gift of our families.  One day, there will be people missing, and of course, then it won’t be the same.  But for now, I have been blessed with one of the greatest Christmases ever.

Good for a Laugh

Usually, I don’t want to hear another Christmas song after Christmas is over.  But, I can never get enough of some of the parodies.  This one is just about my favorite.

The Twelve Pains of Christmas 


Tree is up with green lights.  These are the lights we usually put outside, but they didn’t make it up this year, so now we have some lights on the tree.  I thought about just putting the ornaments on and not having lights, but I knew the kids wouldn’t really go for that.  Plus, my mom reminded me that when I was little, my aunt decorated her tree without lights and I asked my mom if my aunt was Jewish.  The kids had a half day, so when they got home, we put the ornaments on, and WE…ARE…DONE!  Finally.  I can check that off my list.   

I called my doctor and he sent out some Rx to help with a problem that I don’t want to discuss on here as a courtesy to the men who read this blog.  Made a HUGE difference in less that 24 hours.  Gotta love that guy.

Now, I just hardly have a voice, and am still wiped out.  But, hey, this is truly an improvement over yesterday and the day before that, and the day before that, etc.

So, things are much better here.  Just watched “When Harry Met Sally” and that always gives me a warm, mushy feeling.  And, it has a holiday-ish theme to it, so maybe I’m ready to take on this holiday! 

Too bad my voice is more gravely than just going away.  I could make a lot of money making calls and saying, “What are you wearing?”  Maybe I’ll do that anyway, and just freak people out.

Down in December

Yes, my blog site has a new look.  I liked the way it showed the snow that WordPress offers.

All right.  It’s December.  Time to prepare for Christmas.  Most of the time this is a time I look forward to, even though it can be a bit hectic.  Why don’t I feel that way now?  I figure I should check my triggers before I freak out too much.

  • sleep – decent, now that my CPAP has been adjusted.  At least 8 hours a night.
  • eating – pretty normal.  Sometimes I have to make myself eat, since I’ve been told not to skip any meals.
  • stress – (You probably wondered when I’d get to this. ) 
    • My plate is practically empty.  I haven’t committed to hardly anything.  I am acting in the church’s Christmas cantata.  It’s a role I’ve played before, and I have very few lines.  No stress there.  I’m helping out with the Sunday School Christmas program.  I’m not in charge this year, so that is a huge weight off my shoulders.  Until the stage gets set up later this week, I really don’t have anything to do, other than help Karen learn her lines.
    • Christmas shopping is completely done.   Well, except for the fact that my dad and uncle usually give me a list, and they haven’t yet, but that will be a quick run to Best Buy or Kohl’s.  I did order Karen an outfit from Aeropostale and didn’t realize it was a Ladies’ Medium, and not a Girls’.  (You know, a store should specify that when they say Girls/Guys that they don’t really mean Girls.)  Oh, well, I went back online and ordered an XXS and can return the ones I got at the store at the mall. 
    • No one is coming over for a party, get-together, cookie exchange…nothing.

So, why do I feel all Bah Humbug? 

The kids want to put up the tree (understandably), but finding a time when they would both be here wasn’t easy.  So, we set aside this afternoon to do that.  I even asked Tom to help, so it would be over quickly.  I had no interest in doing it whatsoever.  The time came to put it up.  (It’s a three-sectioned artificial one.  Pre-lit.  Could not be easier.)  Plugged it in and…yep.  You guessed it.  No lights.  Well, that’s not exactly true.  The top third was lit, but those lights were just regular strands that had been added last year when the top section wouldn’t light.  (You should know that this tree is about 10 years old, so I’m not surprised it no longer lights up all the way.)  Oh, and one small section on the bottom tier lit up.  Tom and Mark checked all the fuses.  Nope.  After a small discussion, we got in the car and went to Home Depot to buy some lights.  Sold out.  Seriously?  Seriously.  Down the road to K-Mart.  (A store that I would just about rather have someone put bamboo under my fingernails than visit.  Just don’t like it.  They never have what I am looking for.)  They had exactly 4 boxes of 100 white lights.  Yeah!  Brought them home, and Mark says, “Yeah, but they have white wires.”  Crud.  Tom asked if I wanted to put them up anyway, and I said no.  Then he asked if I wanted to go to Walgreen’s, and I said that there just wasn’t time.  So we gave up on the tree for today.

Now you might be saying to yourself, “Well, of course she feels like crud.  Putting up a tree is often a source of aggravation for people.  Strings of lights are products of the devil’s workshop.”  But, the thing is, I felt like crud before the tree incident.  That was just the straw that broke the camel’s back and left me in tears.  Not tears of disappointment.  Just tears of frustration of not being able to come out of this “funk.” 

What is wrong with me?

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