Friday, August 11, 2017

30 Days of Gratitude: Prompt 18

I am so glad it's Friday. So, so, so, so glad. It's been a crazy (good kind of) busy week at work and I'm stoked for 4pm to hit and dive into an easy, deadline-less freedom for a few days. I can't help but daydream right now of going out and staying out late tonight with my best friends, sleeping in then waking up without hearing an alarm clock tomorrow morning, lazying around my apartment in sweatpants, cooking a big breakfast, opening all my windows and sipping hot coffee with music playing followed by a walk around Shorewood. That's pure Saturday morning bliss. What's on your schedule for the weekend? Hopefully all sorts of fun stuff. I just went through my cherished daily planner notebook I blogged about a few days ago and smiled when all I saw for the next few days are the names of the amazing people I get to spend time and talk with,  quality me time and enjoyable hobby-front things I'll have a chance to tackle. Now that I finally for the first time in almost four years, have a job that gives me off on weekends, my appreciation from 4pm Friday afternoon till 8am Monday morning has grown incredibly. I can finally build social life outside of work, something that since this past June 6, wasn't possible. It's for sure been one of those weeks though, where I'm just craving the loving company of my friends plus a few cold Deschutes Black Butte Porters or Lakefront IPAs, key word- craving. Liquid encouragement, right? Right.

Also, I'm seriously thinking about getting another tattoo. Very, very, very soon. It's either going to be another tree or something nature related. Maybe a cairn?

Day 18: What Tradition Are You Grateful For?

There are only 136 days until Christmas! Turns out there's a website that tracks that, shocker, right? Anyways, I can't wait for Xmas. I could care less about getting any kind of materialistic gift, hey Mom and Dad I really do mean it when I answer with "I don't need or want anything" when you prod me for gift ideas the last few weeks of December. The only gifts I need every Christmas are the opportunities to spend time with all of my friends and family members. Period. Those are the real, valuable presents. Skiing, ugly sweater parties, egg nog with Bailey's Irish Cream, Christmas music (yes I start listening as soon as I devour the last piece of pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving dinner) and just no set-schedule whatsoever.  I'm pretty sure last time I checked, that I have five company holidays off around both Christmas and New Years (and Turkey day too!). Oh that will be such an epic, jolly few weeks of celebrating. Traditions are of paramount importance in our family and they come out in full-force during the holidays, especially Christmas. Every Christmas, our family traditions range from watching the classic, hilarious "Christmas Vacation" to going to mass Christmas Eve where my mother sings the most beautiful sounds I've ever heard. True fact and no shame- the one thing that makes me cry is hearing my mom sing. My dad every year cooks up this monstrous breakfast-for-dinner meal, otherwise known as heaven and then later on Christmas Day our dining room is the place of a very nice, formal family dinner. A laughter-filled game of "Lord of the Rings" Monopoly or Apples to Apples comes after. 

But the most important tradition to me, the one, immaculate tradition grateful for is when my father reads "The Night Before Christmas" to us all before bed. He's done it every, single, year since I've been born. We've used the same pop-up book of Clement Clarke Moore's story, though we're on I think our third or second replacement because, well...Santa gets a little tired after pulling a tab to make him fly up the chimney and he gets stuck. But it's the most sentimental thing to experience. We all sit in front of him in our living room, lights dimmed with our tree lit-up in color and ornaments and hear him narrate. He'll quiz us on what line is next or the order of the reindeer. On Dasher, on Dancer, on Prancer....and that's all I know without resorting to Google. It's a simple, easy and sweet tradition that I look forward to every December 24. It's a tradition that means so much to my dad, so, so much. We never ask for a chance to read it because that's his thing he proudly does. It's a tradition I cannot wait to proudly do when I have my own family and kids. When we decorate our tree every year, after all the ornaments are up, broken ornaments swept from the floor, lights glowing, train circling around the bottom (I mean come on, you have to have a train)- my dad waits till we're all done and does another little tradition that I can see in his face year, after year, that he gets a sense of pride and happiness from. He quietly strings strands of tinsel on the tree. Just him, no one else in the room. It gives me the chills when I watch it. He told he his dad, once did it too when he was younger. It's honestly probably my favorite thing to watch, every Christmas.  


On the iPod...(because Dave Matthews Band always wins)