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To Make Up for my Long, Unexpected Absence

I know, I know…I've been a terrible blogger. It's been nearly two months since my last post and you probably assumed I had either dropped off the face of the earth or (more likely) allowed the holidays to consume me like a bad fruit cake from your Aunt Maude that you really don't want to eat but, hey, it's there and you don't really feel like cooking anyway. The latter is more accurate, though at times during the season I felt like the former was more appealing. What's odd is that I typically love Christmas, but something was amiss this year and I honestly couldn’t wait for it to end. And here's why:

1. It was the first time I wasn't someone's granddaughter at Christmas.
For three consecutive years, I've lost a grandparent, starting with my Grandpa Bob in 2009. Then, last December I said goodbye to my Nonnie. And this year my Gummy passed on Thanksgiving, though I am thankful I was with my father and sister when it happened and we could seek one another's comfort. Christmas is a time for grandparents and, even though I lived away from them for most of my life, they often came to visit us or vice versa. Even when they couldn't, I could always count on a card, cookies, and even a hand-knitted ornament from them to help ring in the season. This year was oddly empty without any of them around.


2. From a parent's perspective, second Christmases are lame.
The first one is a milestone and even though the kid clearly has no idea what's going on, it's a great time for parents to fuss over pictures with Santa and cute pajamas for Christmas morning. The third Christmas, children are typically in tune to the idea of presents, can sing along to at least a few carols, and understand that there's a certain magic associated with the season. Second Christmases, on the other hand, have none of the aforementioned qualities. Atticus was clueless when it came to opening presents and just didn't get what all the fuss was about, plus we'd already celebrated the big First Christmas milestone last year, which made it cool despite the fact that it was just another day in the life of a baby, even with the mountain of toys. 


3. The mountain of toys.                                                          
We live in a modest 3-bedroom house. When your husband has equipment-heavy hobbies like camping, climbing, and beer-brewing, things get a little crowded. Add to that grandparents and aunts that LOVE to spoil Atticus rotten and a 90-lbs. dog…well, you get the picture. We've taken to storing half his toys in the guest room closet so we can rotate them out. Even so, things are getting a little cramped around here. And if I hear that goddamned plastic helicopter sing "Up in the Sky" one more time, I'm going to throw it through the window.

4. I gained 10 pounds
No explanation needed, here. The weight gain has forced me to embark upon a detox journey that has left me very hungry and disappointed when faced with free breakfast tacos on my first morning back at work. That vile bacon is calling my name, and it feels rude to ignore it. I'm sorry, bacon, but we can't be friends anymore.

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