Places to go, People to see, Stories to write

8 Dec

Last night I finished writing the last installment of our Ireland blogs. Though its done, it will be a bit yet until you see it. Selecting, prepping and inserting the photos for those bad boys takes for-ev-er.

But as I wrote the last few paragraphs and tied the story of our first European adventure up with a nice bow, I felt very sad.

First of all, I was reliving the end of a trip. Like the end of vacation isn’t bad enough, right? But mostly, I was sad that I’d finished writing.

This past year or so has been crazy for us. Business picked up, we were both busier with our day jobs, we had a list a mile long of things we wanted to do and see and try. And it was fabulous. But it didn’t leave much time or energy for my random, rambling, what-the-hell-is-she-talking-about blogging. And I missed it. With out regular writing, I feel scattered. Like I can’t get a grip on my life.

So after Ireland, I was thrilled that I had something I felt I had to write. Not for anyone else, but because I know that the silly, small details don’t stick in your mind forever and I wanted them written down and saved forever before I forgot them.

Then last night, as a wrote about our flight home I thought, “Oh shit! What am I going to write about now?!”

The answer is I have no idea. But the other answer is everything.

I’m going back to blogging it all. The way I used to do it. Back when every time we went out with friend they would nervously call the next day to say, “Are you going to blog that?’

You bet your bottom I am.

So here we go kids, back to the land of blogging it all. Time will be made. Words will be written. Hopefully blogs will be read. It’s not a resolution. It’s not a goal. It just is. Because it must be.

With that, I will warn you that I plan to post a few things that I wrote long ago and never posted. Because they required the uploading of many photos and I was just too busy or too tired to do it. So when our Memphis 2010 trip gets blogged, don’t be surprised. Likewise for the story of our 2010 Christmas adventures.

But we’ll start today with this year’s Christmas adventures…

Before I even realized November was here, our December calendar was busting at the seams. It felt more daunting than delightful.

Late fall was like hell for me – a photo backlog that could wilt the hardiest of photoshoppers, a house (and closet!) neglected since the shooting season began in April, a dusty to-do lists of things I’d wanted to do for me. You know, like paint my toe nails.

So I had an honest breakdown over the whole thing and made some changes to make sure the same mess doesn’t creep up next year. Then I got to work. I wrapped up my photo work. I cleaned my closet. I still haven’t painted my toe nails, but we’ll get to that.

Then I made a conscious decision not to treat all the wonderful things on our December calendar like another Godforsaken to-do list.

Yesterday I started reading a new-to-me blog and I found a post about this exact thing. The blogger compared it to black friday and how businesses strive all year to get to that day and flip the switch from loss to gain. Then the rest of the year is pure profit. What an awesome way to put into words what I’ve been thinking! And I felt a little guilt lifted too that I wasn’t the only one feeling that way.  That I’d adapted an attitude of screw that, I’ma sit by my Christmas tree if I wanna. To hell with productivity.

So cheers to the rest of the year being pure profit!

The profiting started last weekend. We were up and at it early Saturday morning for a photo shoot. But this time, we were in front of the camera to capture some fun, wintry photos of the two of us. I’ve decided that decorating with photos is my favorite, and I plan to swap out large, seasonal prints throughout the year. We’d just gotten some great fall photos done in October, so it was time for winter!

After a few hours of having a blast with the photos, we headed for St. Charles (MO not IL) and spent the rest of the day enjoying our first taste of their Christmas Traditions.

Oh my heavens, it was fabulous. Blocks and blocks (and more and more blocks) of tiny shops full of wonderful and weird gifts, bakeries and cafes.

Every single building was trimmed with real garland and dotted with red bows.

Horse-drawn carriages (complete with really cute dogs!!) jingled up and down the street while carolers and Santas from various countries and eras strolled around town spreading holiday cheer. For real, they were spreading real cheer. I felt very cheery in their presence.

Let’s get a better look at the that puppy. Ohmagoodness it’s cute!!

There was even a Fife and Drum Corp marching the street playing Christmas songs!! AND they played (and the carolers caroled) REAL Christmas songs. About CHRIST!!

Late in the afternoon, we even stood in line to get fresh, warm cookies and cups of hot cider from a cookie shop. Are you kidding me?! It was almost too much Christmas to handle. But only almost, it was really the perfect amount.

I thought it might be hokey. I am not a fan of people in period costumes. But it wasn’t at all. I felt like I’d fallen into a snow globe, save for the fact that it was 65 degrees outside.

We capped the day with a visit to the casino (cus that’s how we roll) and dinner out on the town when we got back to Edwardsville.

When we made it home, I threw our sleeping bags on the floor next to our Christmas tree and we camped out on the floor playing Mario Kart and watching “Christmas” movies. (We consider any movie with a Christmas scene to be a Christmas movie. Our favorites include Sleepless in Seattle and Die Hard.)

It was a perfect December Saturday. Pure profit.

This week is full of bits of Christmas. I crafted my girlie friends on Monday, we’re having holiday celebrations all week at work, finishing off our Christmas shopping this evening. Then this weekend comes 2 of my favorite holiday traditions: The Fancy Pants Christmas Party and shopping with the women of my family.

The Fancy Pants Party started in college. It used to be fancy, like with fancy outfits. Now its more of a jeans-and-sweaters situation, but we all have houses and china and better taste in wine…so its just a different kind of fancy. It’s just a small to-do with our former college roommates. But they are some of our very favorite people and this party is an annual highlight for me.

There’s a dirty Santa gift exchange that has featured some of the best gifts I’ve ever seen. Most of which cannot be mentioned here. One year, there was a fish. Like a real fish…in a bowl. Last year, I got this…

I’ll let you figure out what it is.

We also take nice holiday pictures each year. Here’s one from last years celebration that looks worth of the Awkward Family Photos blog:

The next day, it’s off to the races with my mama, aunts and lady-cousins as we disguise a day-o-drinking and laughing until we pee as “shopping.”

Here we are last year after a healthy dose of “shopping.”

Recaps of those events will grace this blog, I’m sure. We’ve got a good start to a month of slow paced fun and a “pure profit” attitude to cash in on.

We ought to be rich by the new year.

4 Responses to “Places to go, People to see, Stories to write”

  1. klmphotos December 8, 2011 at 10:23 pm #

    Hell Yes!

  2. Sherrie Futch January 4, 2012 at 10:02 am #

    Happy new year! Ok, I know you have a job(s) and all, but you are seriously leaving me hanging here, girl! We are leaving for Ireland on March 16, and I’m booked at Lawcus and Pax, (and have Dublin booked, too) and have reservations at Out of the Blue. I need more suggestions! Our family has loved your blog, especially my 17 year old daughter! We have laughed and laughed. I hope our trip is as great as yours and Zac’s was. Did y’all do one of those medieval castle banquets? If so, was it worth it, or was it over the top touristy? Keep it coming! Oh, and by the way, your Christmas photos in St. Charles remind me so much of Christmas in Old Salem, North Carolina!

    • maggieandzac January 4, 2012 at 11:22 am #

      Hi Sherrie! I swear they are coming soon! I’d hoped to post them over my Christmas break, but instead I spent DAYS sorting photos and turning them into prints and canvases for my walls. It was exhausting! You’re definitely on the right track with your plans so far. With Lawcus & Pax, you’re guaranteed a great trip!! We didn’t do a castle banquet, wasn’t really our sort of thing but if it interests you I say go for it! Even if it is over the top and touristy, who cares, it’s all what you make of it! Nothing wrong with being an crazy tourist every now and then : ) My Dublin post has some must-sees that you’ll want to watch for. We really liked the Smithwick’s tour in Kilkenny too, that part of Kilkenny is barely 15 minutes from Lawcus. I’ve got a pile of info a mile long about general travel notes to share on Fodor’s too. Maybe I’ll go do that to hold you over :) Thanks for reading!!!

      • Sherrie Futch January 8, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

        Thanks Maggie! I couldn’t agree more with your comments. We’ve tried to raise our children to be curious and respectful about other places and other ways of doing things. Anywho, can’t wait to read more, especially your Dublin info.

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