Sad and Thankful

I spent a lot of time touching McK this weekend. I felt the need to have my hand on her somewhere, essentially at all times, over this past set of days. She and I have always been very cuddly, always very loving, and I think if I told her I loved her any more than I already do it would be all I said in a day. But this last little while, with what has happened in the US, even the slightest touch of her soft skin was a necessary part of any waking moment for me.

I have not been able to watch the news. I cannot, right now anyway, bear witness to the grief and sadness in all of those families and not be a broken mess. I can still barely bring myself to watch any 9/11 documentaries because all I see when I do is loss. I could not stomach the idea that when I was getting McK ready to go to school on Monday, 20 other families would not be doing the same, even though they JUST DID on Friday.

I am not the type to say “go home and hug your kids” after a tragedy such as this because I am a firm believer that you should not need a reminder to do that. I can’t fathom a day where I do not smother my girl in love, or tell her how amazing I think she is, or stroke her hair out of her face as she falls asleep. And I do not know what I would do with myself if I didn’t get to do that, every day, whenever my heart felt compelled to do so.

I am blessed. I am lucky. I am thankful.

Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler

Two weeks! Two weeks from tomorrow and I will be on a plane, heading to New Orleans, where the sole purpose of the trip is to watch some FOOTBALL!!! There will be a little shopping, some really phenomenal eating, but mostly, there will be football-ing.

My NFL team is the New Orleans Saints. It has been ever since I first saw them play at the Superdome in September of 2008. Theres just something about dem Saints, baby. From the moment they take the field, the post-coin-toss moment where Drew raises his hand, swipes it down and 86,000 people start chanting “Who dat?”, the group huddle and cheer prior to the start of the game where giant men surround one gaint man and hang on every word he says and in unison they agree that they deserve this win, they have earned this win, they expect this win. And watching them play? Its breathtaking. From Darren Sproles who is all thigh, to Jimmy Graham who is all legs, to Akiem Hicks who is all Canadian, to Jonathan Vilma who is all in, to Drew Brees who is all eyes. Makes one amazing team who is all heart.

I will be, in my obsessive fan glory, decked out from head to toe in black and gold. I have even bought spray paint to paint old boots gold a la MsBehaviour’s Bomber Boots. There will be black and gold nails, gold eyeshadow, my beloved number 9 jersey (natch), face paint, gold glitter, tattos, eye glare tape, and fleur de lis’s stuck everywhere I can stick em. But the piece de resistance? The dragging panther.

You see, when we are there, the Saints play the Carolina Panthers. And, much like the guy at the Bomber game who drags around a tiger on a rope when we play the TiCats, I will be dragging along a black panther on a lovely golden string through the streets of New Orleans. As excited as I am to watch Cam Newton play, I hope he gets a royal TROUNCING on game day.

Add to that some decidedly witty and clever signs that we are sure to get on TV, and there you have an NFL fan at its finest. Anything less would be an insult to the cult that is the Who Dat Nation.

Geaux Saints!

A Very Merry Christmas Indeed

I like Christmas. I think its fun and pretty and when you don’t overdo it, completely enjoyable. I like that we have made our own traditions, however much angst and disappointment that created with certain relatives. I like that we no longer pile into the car on Christmas eve and go have dinner with relatives we only see once a year and sit through the evening watching so-and-so ignore so-and-so and pray for no arguements or drama and stay way later than we want to. I like that I make a meal for the inlaw side of the family in my home on Christmas eve now. That McK gets quality time with her grandma and grandpa and uncle. And I like that they leave when I tell them to so McK can go to bed at a reasonable time.

I like that I decorate my home with the same decorations each year, as boring as that may be to some. And that there is a spot for each and every one of them. I like the way my stockings hang on the mantle and my tree has evolved from a picture perfect specimen to one adorned with McK’s creations and various ornaments gifted to us by wonderful friends. I like that our door is open to anyone who wants to come by on Christmas day, share some coffee, wine and conversation and that there is always something to nibble on laying beautifully on the table. I like that McK gets up, discovers magic under the tree and can’t WAIT for the first visitor of the day. I like that we all get to sit around in our pj’s till we decide we want to get dressed. Its cozy. Its simple. And its perfect. For us.

I’m not into Griswold-esque light displays, copious amounts of “stuff” everywhere, cooking a huge meal (and cleaning up after!), or a bazillion people in my home all at once. I take down the decorations on the evening of Christmas day when the boys are out picking up Tim Hortons for everyone thats left in the house. I don’t generally let Christmas linger in my house. On to the next I say!

This year will be a little different. Theres a “significant other” that may come along with the bro-in-law and it will likely be her first introduction to some of the other in-laws (could get interesting). Theres a cabin that may be rented where, if we decide to do it, we won’t even be at home on the day. But either way, we will make sure McK has the best possible time with the people she loves most in this world. That is the present I give to myself every year.