From Yule to Medieval Times

These past few days have been emotional and great all at the same time. I celebrated and experienced (somewhat) my first Yule with the kindred. I was still sick with the stomach bug but made it through the Sumbels and ritual. During this time my husband and I are trying to find each other again and that is proving to be a longer goal that I once thought. Over a decade of being together, you start to feel like strangers all over again. Christmas Eve, I surprised everyone with a trip to Medieval Times. The only way that we could pull that one off was an online discount, then another at check-in for a better upgrade, and not staying at a hotel which meant driving a total of 8 hours. As your kids get older that holiday sparkle fades in their eyes. The best gift I got was seeing that sparkle come alive again in their eyes as they watched the entertainment.

From Yule to Medieval Times (Friday-Monday), we were going non-stop. Then comes Christmas day when my mom decided to invite her and her boyfriend over. I hadn’t planned much for dinner and ended up throwing something together for 7 people, in an hour. Being sick and tired from driving I didn’t want anything to do with the kitchen. Next year I think we will do a longer Yule celebration since there is some debate on the holiday lasting 3 days or 12 days.

Today, since we didn’t get to do our family games like tradition thanks to family stopping by, I’m ordering pizza and we are doing a gauntlet of games. We will be playing Cards against humanity, exploding kittens, Stranger Things monopoly edition, and some classic Nintendo 2 player game battles. This weekend I have plans for more Havamal study since I learned so much during Yule. I have some wood burning to do and other things to set up my area. Pictures and whatnot of my progress will surely make a debut here. I’m slowly feeling like myself after the huge interview fail and working even harder on my web development course. Maybe marketing graphic design isn’t for me. All the great advice, positive words, and stories from my readers helped in more ways than one. Thank you, guys.

How was your holiday? Traditions new and old? Happy Wednesday everyone!

How I Single-handedly Ruined Thanksgiving Dinner…

At least according to my 16-year-old daughter. (I wanted to start with some journal entries to feel like I’ve caught myself up on my blog so thank you for hanging in there with me) First and foremost…I know my mamaw was rolling over in her grave the minute that I received the confirmation email. Being a southern woman, wife, and mother there are some things that are expected of us and one of those things is cooking a from scratch holiday meal, every holiday,  until the day we die. Before we die we are to also make sure to pass down ANY AND ALL cooking knowledge to the next in line which is learned through cooking every holiday. This year I did something so completely radical that my kids are ready to throw out the ENTIRE Thanksgiving Holiday. It went something like this once I got the kids home from school, dinner started, homework in progress and answering phone calls:

ME (to kids): Announcement Everyone!! (I’m all smiles so they know it’s not bad news)
KIDS (gather in the kitchen)
ME (still smiling): I will not be cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year. (still smiling)
KIDS (uprising officially commencing): OOH WHAT!! Now we have to go to grandma’s and PRETEND to like her food and PRETEND to like her boyfriend. Then have NOTHING for leftovers when we get home! I don’t want to let’s back out!
ME (wishing I had the ability to yell ‘SHIELD WALL’ and have the Vikings to back me up): No No…we’ll have leftovers.
KIDS (uprising paused and puzzled looks): Are we cooking?
ME (Still wanting that shield wall): No one is cooking?
OLDEST DAUGHTER (takes lead with fire in her eyes): Are we not doing Thanksgiving at ALL?!
ME (she is my mini me…I can take her if she rushes me): I ordered Thanksgiving dinner so all we have to do is pick it up, heat and serve the day of.
KIDS (in unison): What!? *Moaning and groaning noises*, its tradition! You ALWAYS cook dinner and WE eat it!
OLDEST DAUGHTER: *Steps forward, Thanksgiving is RUINED! *Stomps off.

This is the basic rundown of the conversation. I didn’t need that shield wall but I did need to explain to them the reasoning behind the break in tradition. Time, my employer only allows one day off for the holiday and I would spend an entire week of prepping, cooking, and clean-up. With the hectic schedules that are in my house, I would be up until midnight or later. Budget is another reason for my decision. I can easily spend $200-300 on all the ingredients needed to make my authentic from scratch southern Thanksgiving dinner but ordering the already made dinner I am spending less than half of what I normally would. BONUS of ordering…unfortunately the place I ordered from is about an hour away. I know you’re thinking why waste time and gas? My husband and I haven’t had a decent night out without the kids. We are treating this as a little date night and the town that we are traveling too has a bunch of shops that we have been meaning to visit.

My oldest girl has been sulking since I told her what was happening. I compromised and agreed to use the china (She has to wash it since I wanted to use paper plates but this will also appease my ancestors). Instead of me running around, exhausted, and irritated with everyone we can have a nice meal and spend the quality time together that we have been missing. My advice to mom’s EVERYWHERE…make it easy for you. Break tradition if you have too. You are not ruining ANYTHING for your children. Looking back they’ll see that you were there and in the moment instead of in the kitchen killing yourself frantically trying to recreate your great grandmother’s recipes.

Image from Cracker Barrel

My Fav!

I needed a mental break from all the writing and thinking I’ve been doing for the past couple of days and thought I would participate in ROE’s What’s Your Favorite Monday’s question. If you need a mental break or a little entertainment,  click on over and see what it’s about. While your there also wander through her valley of words.


 

This isn’t a huge surprise as my favorite holiday is Halloween. It’s something that my children haven’t grown out of because, well I haven’t. It’s not about the candy but the traditions that I grew up with. Without going into detail, yes we did decorate. Yes, we did wear costumes. We also ate certain foods (oh all the awesome yummy foods) and held sacred the ‘between hours’. Yup, you got it Irish Samhain which my grandmother was a firm, set-in-her-ways believer. And no I didn’t dance naked and we didn’t sacrifice anything. I still hold a feast for my family (my kids look forward to it every year), we do costumes, some trick-or-treating, decorate and I tell them the same stories that my grandmother told me.

So what is your favorite holiday?

 

Hoppy Easter

I took a break from the stress of trying to make a perfect holiday. Lesson learned…nothing will ever be perfect. The painting helped me relax and focus. My little bunny was created using only one color, gel pen for the white highlights on eyes, gel for a couple of whiskers, white space, and dry time patience. Dinner tonight will consist of burgers (that we pick up) because I’m going to have an easy evening. Hope everyone is able to do the same and enjoy the day.

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