Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Aloha 2016, and a prayer for 2017

Wishing you all a happy new year.  Please let 2017 be filled with peace, love, and blessings for all. Pretty please. 

I'd like to say a prayer that's been helping me get through my anxiety of late:

Dear God, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.

Dear God, please grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.

--St. Francis of Assisi.

p.s. our cookies for santa were a hit!  it was sprinkle-mania.  So much sprinkles that when i was cleaning up, it was like i was building sand castles, lol! 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Cookie time!!

Image credit here 

So after the Much Ado About Winter Break Time-Sharing, we’re back on track. 

Quick note:  I did get a lovely email from Exie a week after the debacle I summarized in my last post, where he said he’d be sure to “remember this for next time” because apparently I was so unable to compromise dates with him.  Wait, I’m confused, who gave up Christmas Eve because he had a hissy fit?  Hashtag: headbutting the wall.  Hashtag:  le sigh.  Hashtag:  oh well why bother responding, doesn’t matter what I say.

At any rate!  Both girls had their school Christmas programs to date, where they sang their little hearts out.  We even fit in a visit to Santa (DD2 asked for: a Moana doll!  And DD1 asked to “see him in the act” LOL, nothing gets past DD1!) before they went to their dads for the first part of DD2’s break, and now they come home for a couple of days, primarily so we could get our annual cookie-baking for Santa in.

Every year, we make sugar cookies and oatmeal/nutty margarites (they’re like mini cupcake cookies, but chewier than cupcakes), with home-made frosting, courtesy of my grandmother’s recipes—it makes me so happy to do this, because then I feel like she and my mom are close to us (grandma is in heaven, and my mom lives 5,000 miles away).  Over the years, DD1 has invited her besties to come over and help—and over the years they do more and more—last year there was some friendly arguing over who was going to roll the dough, lol!  It’s gotten to the point where this year, the besties kept coming up to check in with me--at tennis practice or girl scout meetings, etc, and asking, “aunty, when are we doing cookies?”  (and because of the winter time-sharing debacle, I kept having to say, “it’s happening!  I promise!  Just working on exactly when, and I’ll let your moms know ASAP”!)  LOL

DD2 has patiently followed DD1 all these years, but this is the FIRST year where she gets to have HER bestie come over too.  Just sitting here typing this out is making my heart swell five sizes too big like when the Grinch suddenly learned the magic of Christmas.

It really is about love and kindness and laughter and believing in something bigger than ourselves.  That’s what I like to think when I see them rolling out the dough, cutting out the cookies, icing and sprinkling to make cookies for santa and the reindeer.

It really is about doing something special together, something simple, sharing time with friends, being at ease with ourselves and having fun.

It really is about knowing our hearts are big enough for all the love we are lucky to have—with our friends, with our family, no matter what.

Merry, merry Christmas, everyone!

p.s. disclaimer, our cookies do NOT come out looking all professional like the pic above, lol.  They are much more home-style and organically frosted, ha ha ha! :D

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Rather Anticlimactic Solution to Winter

Image credit here

Quick re-cap:  The girls winter break schedules are slightly different this year, complicating the interpretation of the decree of sharing the time by halves.  Further complicating matters is that Christmas falls on a mom week end, which the Ex vehemently objected to. 

Summary of compromise:  With the help of our coparenting counselor (and not my first wish) I offered to switch the week end so he could have Christmas Eve day and Christmas day (each parent has time on Christmas day) and girls would be with me for New Year’s week end.  I did ask for a couple days before Christmas, because the week end preceding Christmas is a dad week end, DD2’s break starts that Monday, and I knew the girls wanted to get some Santa cookie-baking with their BFFs plus holiday sleepover in.  I offered this at the end of October, and the Ex managed to drag it out through last week.  (Original conversation of winter break started end of September/beginning of October).

The Process:  The Tuesday before Thanksgiving, he sent one last email—that while he had “a problem” the dates because it “gives” me “days leading up to Christmas,” he “didn’t want to drag it out,” but also “wanted to confirm the dates before agreeing.”  I sent a positive, thanks for considering this response, yes these are the dates, I understand the difficulty as this wasn’t my first choice either.  And then I never heard from him—actually, technically still haven’t heard from him.

Le sigh.

I called the coparenting counselor, but couldn’t get a hold of her, because as it turns out she was traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday.  So, I sent one more check-in email over the Thanksgiving week end.  Tuesday after Thanksgiving, I still haven’t heard, so I do the, “if you have no further objections, I’ll proceed with the plan as guided by coparenting counselor” email.  I hear nothing back, no objection mentioned.

So…then, I’m stuck, do I go ahead and schedule work vacation/staff vacations?  Do I invite the girls’ BFFs over, do I really have the days?  Or is he planning something (which isn’t far from reality considering our lives past.)

(This is where I’d really like some antiEXiety medication. !!!)

I put in another call to the coparenting counselor and finally forward the email conversation/compromise to my attorney.  The next morning (this is now last Thursday), I finally hear back from the coparenting counselor, who tells me to send one more email, ie If I don’t hear back from you by 5pm, I’ll understand you’re okay with it.  So I do that.  Then, I hear back from the attorney who says, go ahead and plan, you gave him ample notice, it’s fine, it’s done, just confirm with him later.  (and I think, poop! I already sent the 5pm email and didn’t have to!).  However, I still don’t hear back from him by 5pm, so I figure now that I’ve got confirmation from the attorney and went with the coparenting counselor’s guidance, I’m good to go.  So at 6pm on Thursday, a good three months since we first started talking about Winter timesharing, it was finally done.

Good grief!  I’m semi-laughing at the absurdity of this!  Mostly just tired.  And in the words of my friend who has an ex with challenges similar to this—he’s just being a big ole obstructive poophead jerk.

However on the brighter side of life—I really am grateful that our house is decorated with Christmas –the girls helped me decorate the tree, the lights are up in the carport.  And bonus, DD1’s girl scout troop submitted their holiday wreath to the County Christmas contest, and they won the Judge’s Award, yippee!!  We’re taking the girls down to see it on Saturday.  Both girls marched in our little town’s Christmas parade, and they already wrote their letters to santa, swoon.  I’m hoping to squeeze in a Santa visit at some point, lol. 

I absolutely do love this time of year!  And while I’m sad the girls won’t be waking up in our house on Christmas morning to check their stockings, they will be spending time with us, and now that we have extended time over New Year’s, their step-grandma is coming to visit and stay with us.  So fun times!!

So there’s love and goodness in the world that I can be thankful for.