Goodbye 2012!

As a sit here, half dressed in my fancy NYE attire, waiting for my shiny gold nail polish to dry, I can't help but feel nostalgic and reflective. In just 6 hours I'll be standing on a dance floor alongside all of my family and friends, buzzed and complaining my heels are freakin' killing me, wearing goofy 2013 glasses and waving goodbye to another fantastic year. To 2012 and all of it's overwhelming stress, eye popping happiness, bucket loads of bullshit, elegant Englishness, and big fat life changes. I remember last new years as if it were yesterday. Sitting stumbling around in Formby, England alongside Carl, my beautiful Mother-in-law and goofball Father-in-law, wishing so badly that I were home in Vermont and able to ring in a new year alongside my own family. It's so crazy to me that this time around it'll all be reversed and instead of longing for Vermont I'll be missing England and all of those loved ones we left behind. Perhaps one of this years resolutions will be to find happiness wherever I am and stop focusing so much on things I can't change - like the fact that the Atlantic Ocean is a ginormous pain in my ass.

But regardless of the distance, or the fact that I've never met many of you before in person, or perhaps just haven't seen in donkey's years, I'm sending you - all of you - my love, best wishes and oodles of overflowing optimism for 2013. Tomorrow many of us will sit down to create lists, ponder our newest resolution's and attempt to make sense of life's unpredictable journey. But tonight is different. Tonight is for laughing out loud, drinking too much, busting out the chicken-wing on the dance floor, singing - and singing badly, kissing at midnight and celebrating all of the wonderful surprises that 2012 had in store. Tonight, my friends, we'll say tootaloo to 2012 and say a big fat hopeful hello to 2013!

Happy New Year!


Christmas in Vermont

After a week of fantastic procrastination, here I am friends! Finally spilling my guts and sharing the fantabulousness that was mine and Carl's first Christmas together in Vermont. Buckle up and prepare yourselves for a mahoosive photo overload. 

Like everyone, our holiday weekend was jam packed with one thing after another. Between last minute shopping, baking, wrapping, cooking and partying we hardly had time to sleep let alone savor the festive fun that was engulfing us. But through the hectic chaos I tried my very best to take pictures, laugh a lot, sip rather than gulp wine, hug too tight and thank my lucky stars that I was home again.

On Sunday we attended my Mom's side of the family annual Christmas party. It was so lovely to catch up with cousins, aunts and uncles that I hadn't seen since before moving to England. In addition it was great to be able to introduce Carl to ALL of my family. I'm happy to report that he fit right in with ease and before I knew it he'd joined the boys downstairs at the pool table.
Within half an hour of our arrival, the hootin' and hollerin' began as my cousin Guy put together a family pool tournament (which Dad ended up winning!) It was great fun to watch (and most importantly, laugh at) and I think someone was pretty excited to show off his pool-skills! (Hubby ended up placing third!)
After the party, we returned home, de-beautified oursleves, took to jammies, and began baking delicious yum-yums for Dad's side of the family Christmas Eve Party. Sonya spent the evening covering Oreos in white chocolate and crushed candy cane, while I busted out this great recipe for White Chocolate Peppermint Puppy Chow.
After the baking was done and everything had cooled, we cranked the Christmas tunes and took to funneling our inner Martha Stewart skills. Within a half an hour we'd whipped up two boxes of these cute decorated mason jars for the fam. Go team!
Christmas Eve began with one of Dad's yummy breakfasts. We stuffed ourselves with bacon, sausage waffles and eggs before hopping in our cars and beginning the trek to Aunt Annette's house in New York.
Although there were less people at the party than usual, it was still wonderful to hug and kiss family members I've missed so much. Aunt Annette and Uncle Joe showed us around their beautiful house they'd built (filled with gorgeous bird houses Aunt Annette whips up - just like I remember Grandma Cousino used to do when I was little). We reminisced, drank Vermont wine, ate Alicia's famous Mac and Cheese, exchanged gifts, shot each other with dart guns and made memories.

 After driving home from NY we stopped at Grandma Bedard's in order to exchange gifts, laugh at baby Christopher's obsession with a Tupperware bucket (which he insists on wearing as a hat) and snap a few cute family pics.

I was the first to wake up on Christmas morning. 
Before 7am I sat alone with a piping hot cup of coffee in the house I grew up in. The house my father built. The house I've missed so so very much over the past 3 years. The same house that's filled with childhood memories of Christmases past. Like the year I got my Ariel Barbie doll, or the time I shuffled around the house in my first pair of glitter-gel high heels while Sonya followed me with a plastic shopping cart filled with plastic McDonald's meals. I savored the way the snow was falling outside, the way my Mother had snuck upstairs in the middle of the night to fill our stockings and neatly arrange them on the kitchen table, and the way my cat followed me around meowing and demanding cuddles. It was so special and there was a moment I had to remind myself how I'd be a huge dork if I were to cry like a baby. But I couldn't help it. I was happy, and thankful and appreciative. And what made it all so much better than ever before? Being able to experience the same excited tingle in my belly that I felt when I was five, to wake up in the same bedroom I grew up in, and for the first time in our relationship, share it all with my husband. Finally he knew what I'd been talking about all these years. Finally we had our very own Christmas in Vermont.


The Post-Holiday-Funk

This happens every single year. Christmas comes, and with it cheer, magic, joy, excitement, laughter, family, endless parties and get together's, food - lots of food - lights, glitter, the smell of cinnamon and balsam, gifts and song. But then, just as fast as it arrived, it goes. And I feel it. The post holiday funk. Like an empty numbing pit in my stomach it slowly scratches away, replacing my holiday cheer with boredom and pings of sadness. The streets transform from brightly colored gingerbread houses to dark holes in the night air. The fragrant, jeweled tree in the corner of the living room slowly sheds it's pine needles until it's hoisted out the front door and left to rot in the woods of our back yard graveyard of Christmases past. The stockings and garland are neatly folded and tucked away inside totes hidden in the basement until the following year; the wilting poinsettias doomed to the compost pile. And in the matter of a day the comforting cozy festiveness of Christmas fades into a naked, open, airy house.

Every year I desperately try to prepare myself and still I feel down in the dumps. Like a lost puppy I sit on the couch, gazing around the room reminiscing about the warm fuzzy feeling I savored just days ago. That same warm fuzzy feeling that faded the minute those rainbow bulbs dimmed and cooled.

And then the fatigue of the endless get together's makes my eyelids heavy, and my stomach hurts from too much chocolate and alcohol. I long for naps, and salads, and a normal routine again. My bank account needs TLC just as much as the house sets off my OCD, and I can't help but breathe a sigh of relief that for another year I was able to enjoy a wonderful holiday season. One filled with so much happiness and joy and love that it saddened me to say goodbye.

And so tomorrow I will grab my pen and paper, make a list of this years achievements and another of next years resolutions, and prepare to welcome all of the excitement that 2013 has in store. But today, right now, I'm going to do what feels right. I'm going to be miserable, sulk, complain and be sad that Christmas has come and gone. Because, my friends, this happens every single year. This stupid post holiday funk is here.

Now please, somebody give me a kick in the ass.


Snow Day!

As far as I'm concerned, when it comes to snow storms...

 the bigger, the better!

I love snow. (well, until the end of January anyway, and then I want summer. Ha!) So when I said last night that I planned to party today like its a snow day in 1999, I meant it. And I have. Today has been filled with hour after hour of continuous fluffy snowfall, a couple pathetic attempts at snow angels, an outing in the woods with Sonya, an overflowing mug of hot cocoa, too many snow pictures to count, and a lot of shoveling. It's now 3pm. My soggy socks are drying, my nose no longer resembles a magical reindeer, and the last measurement of snow outside our house was 14 inches (and counting). Today has been lazy, slow-paced, effortless, easy, enjoyable, cold, wet, fluffy and everything I had envisioned. 
Pure perfection.
Today was a full blown snow day, and it rocked just as much now as it did back in 1999. 


Playing Catch-Up

I had every intention of pumping out a totally awesome Christmas post today. In my head I envisioned my arrival home from work looking something along the lines of my ass wiggling into the nook of a comfy recliner - with a piping hot cup of tea in hand - as I smugly smiled to myself while fingers freely danced across the keyboard, effortlessly oozing poetic perfection. There would be the occasional smiley holiday photo sprinkled throughout my post, and just in time for the Ellen DeGeneres show at 4, I'd close my laptop with a sense of accomplishment and relaxation.

Baha! If only.

Instead, I arrived home and spent 5 minutes in the cold poking at my windshield wipers (which now need replacing after this mornings traumatic snow/ice/holy-shit-batman-it's-only-9 degrees-out-and-my-wipers-are-effin-ICED-to-the-windshield-and-now-have-flapping-pieces-of-rubber-at-the-end hoopla). In addition to that gloveless, holy crap I wonder if I have frost-bite fiasco, I walked in the front door and discovered our internet router pretty much crapped the bed, Mom needed help cooking an 80 course-clean-all-this-leftover-shit-out-of-our-refrigerator meal, and my all day long headache was throbbing as if the first course of supper had been announced by thumping me over the head with a colossal Chinese gong.

Aaaah. But thus is life.

And so, here I am, sitting on my bed at 10:45 at night (hubby has temporarily fixed the internet and Ibuprofen has temporarily tamed the throbbing) taking this "Christmas post" time to sporadically moan about today's mishaps and get excited brag about a ginormous snow-storm that is barreling towards Vermont and the entire North East. Work has already been cancelled for tomorrow (boom-chicka-wow-wow) and the snow-loving-butterflies in my stomach flutter as I prepare to take advantage of the 16 inches of snow we're supposed to get (yes, you read that correctly. Nearly a foot and a half of snow. I love). Tomorrow I plan to sleep in, build snowmen, go sledding, have snowball fights and sip mug after mug of piping hot chocolate. For now, I'm abandoning all of my adult-like duties. For now, I'm going to party like it's a snow-day in 1999.
Previously scheduled Christmas posts will resume after the snow has been cleared. 

Stay tuned, friends. Stay tuned.