Holidays with My Blogging Buddies ~ #AAF and #FTSF

Illness struck my household this week, even knocking down my husband for a day. Now that I’m able to move without a little one in my arm (and catching up on chores), and I’m finally on to completing this post!

Since I wanted to participate in both this will be a COMBINED Finish the Sentence Friday and Ask Away Friday post! Read on…

What is #AskAwayFriday? Well…
#AskAwayFriday was created by the amazing Penny from Real Housewife of Caroline County as a way to connect with other bloggers with a great Q & A session of 10 questions and 10 answers! By offering a wonderful opportunity to get to know others while allowing others to get to know you and of course there is also the added bonus of making great friends along the way which is one of the best parts of this online world! Now to welcome our wonderful #AskAwayFriday hosts… NEWAskAwayFridayHost550

Tamara from Tamara Like Camera, Tiffany from Mrs. Tee Love Life Laughter, Christy from Uplifting Families, Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings and Amber from Bold Fit Mom
So…grab the brand, new button, follow our amazing hosts and co-host, hop through the great link ups and make some amazing new friends!

#AAF photo AAFBadge200_zpsb37e620f.png

 Ask Away Friday with Echo
In honor of Thanksgiving, Echo from the Domain of the Mad Mommy and I decided to swap and discuss our traditions! I asked 5 questions and April asked 5 questions, but we will each answer all 10! It can be so much fun to see things from another point of view!
What is your favorite holiday food? A holiday meal is not complete without turkey with cranberries and stuffing. When the savory and succulent turkey mixes with the sweet, but tart cranberries, topped with the absorbent and textured dressing ~ there’s nothing else like it!
If you you had to lose one of this season’s holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years), which one would it be? Sadly, New Years! I can’t stay up until midnight unless I’m working. Plus, unless the kids stay out all night, It’s no fun to go out and party, then pick up the kids in the middle of the night. Everyone’s sleep and resting and then we get in and out of the car to bundle them up.
For the last few years, my New Years has been spent in church. Not to say that the message isn’t important, but we arrive at 10 p.m., then stay up to 12:30 or 1. I’ve realized there is a reason that I don’t go to clubs late anymore… and it’s not just the music! I’m SO tired by the time 10 comes around. I may be “awake” doing things, but I’m thinking about my warm and comfy bed.
What is your favorite location to go for the holidays? A cabin in the mountains! It’s the one time I break out of my “I hate the outdoors” shell and bundle up and play in the snow with the kids. I love sitting in the cabin with the fire blazing in the background and just relaxing together with the kids laughing and playing in the foreground and background.
What’s your favorite Thanksgiving memory? When I was pregnant with Bee, I decided to host my first holiday gathering. I’m not sure if it was because I was nesting or what, but 37 weeks pregnant, I decided to invite 30+ people to my small home. My husband readily obliged and cooked a fantastic meal combined with dishes from the family. I loved watching my family get a little tipsy while I sat back and watched. It was nice to be around them and everyone was relaxed, playful and jubilant!
Do you have the same meal for Christmas and Thanksgiving? What is it? The only real difference in our meals is one of them will have ham and the other will have a roast. My husband dry ages the roast, then marinates it for days before the event. He finishes it off by grilling it that morning. When he’s done, you can cut it with a spoon.

Do you host the big holidays or go to them? Go to them! I have hosted one Thanksgiving dinner (see above) and one Christmas dinner. I’m not a great cook and get really self-conscious cooking for new people and really avoid it at all costs. Thankfully, my husband is a great cook and knows some good meals to make for large groups.

What is one item that your holiday isn’t complete without? Definitely a tree. Things did not seem the same last year without a tree. We put one up on the wall (picture to follow). Although creative, it just did not feel the same.

What is one activity that your holiday isn’t complete without? I’m not sure that there’s anything I can’t live without… each year, our holidays have swung from surrounded by family, sleeping on the floor with no say on what to do or how to do it, to being just the three of us (before the girls were born) in a cabin in the woods, a lighted tree and only eating our favorites. What I miss, however, is caroling. I love singing and I miss hanging out with friends from long ago, singing the favorites to friends and family.

Decorations: yes or no? (Dare to share) I LOVE decorating… but I have none to share this year, yet. I’ve never decorated for Thanksgiving, but I might change that next year. This year is too close!

Now that I think of it, I don’t really take pictures of my decorations… but here are some old pictures of my decorated Christmas.

2013:

Tree on Wall 2

2012:

2012 Christmas 2012 Christmas 2

Describe your perfect holiday! I would love to rent a cabin in the woods for whole family, instead of just us. Lots of fun, family and snow! 🙂

Head on over and check out Echo’s answers!

Bonus… I thought I’d die when… 

Well, that would imply that I had such strong feelings towards something. I typically don’t.

But I can tell you a story…

One day, I was watering the grass on a cold winter’s day… this was a California cold, so it was a brisk 50 or 60 degrees. One of my household chores was to water the grass, which took about an hour each time.

Dressed warmly, with a sweatshirt and a glove (on my non-watering hand), singing, desperately trying to make this chore “fun”. As I turned toward the street, I saw a familiar car. I did a double take because I couldn’t place where I saw it before.

1975 Chrysler

My initial reaction was that it was my neighbor’s car… one I hadn’t seen in a while. That first reaction didn’t sit well with me. Something was up.

My feeling was quickly confirmed a few seconds later when the car drove by again. By this time, my mind was racing, wondering who that was and why they were driving on MY street.

The peak of my curiosity hit when the car drove by a third time. In general, I’m very aware of my surroundings and would typically be nervous by this point. In my heart, I was at ease, but I still didn’t know why.

The car started down the street again… and my mind was put at ease.

The driver of the car was my biological father… and the car was my grandfather’s. I hadn’t seen that car in a few years and my grandfather has never visited me. That’s why I couldn’t quite place the car. I had NEVER seen in it my neighborhood!

Having my father visit me was also first time event. I can’t recall another time he had done that either. I hadn’t seen him in a long while, having moved to another state.

I’m sure for a lot of girls, they would be very excited to have their father visit them when that was out of the norm, but for me, it was EXTREMELY uncomfortable. After my chores, we, as a family, were heading out to see the Christmas lights, my favorite event of the year!

If you knew my stepfather, it was NOT his favorite time of year, and he was convinced to do it this evening. Rescheduling was not an option. So, I was put in the predicament of visiting with a father I barely see, who didn’t even take a few minutes to call first.

Long, complicated story short.. He had been in town a few days, didn’t know when he’d be leaving and call first because he didn’t know if I’d be home (He has said a few things along this line, so I shouldn’t be surprised). My heart broke with this news.

I couldn’t really enjoy the lights… I thought I’d die from heartbreak.

This has been another edition of Finish the Sentence Friday…

FTSF

16 comments on “Holidays with My Blogging Buddies ~ #AAF and #FTSF”

  1. kellylmckenzie says:

    Aw your FTFS is a heartwrencher. I am sorry.

    1. spiritedlife says:

      It is what it is. I don't expect more from him.

  2. Lisa @ Golden Spoons says:

    Love the holiday themed questions! and, what a heart wrenching FTSF story!

    1. spiritedlife says:

      It was a blast. I wanted to be more literal with the prompt than some. It's hard, but it is what it is.

  3. tamaralikecamera says:

    Sickness struck us too! All four of us! Ugh! That rarely happens.
    I don't like New Year's much. As a kid, it was filled with expectations and you always had to go back to school after it.
    I'm so sorry about your heartbreak from your father..

    1. spiritedlife says:

      Yes, it was all of us, including me and hubby! It was hard. I like the idea of New Years, to start anew, refresh. Wipe away all the old. Sometimes it's great, other times it sucks when nothing really changes.

  4. I'm sorry about your dad – my husband didn't speak with his mom for 17 years and I know the complicated emotions that come with fractured relationships… Also, I think the tree on your wall is brilliant!! The thing I love the most about the holidays is visiting the Botanic Gardens – they have this incredible light display. Seriously, it's completely magical. This Thanksgiving will probably kinda be lame for us… my husband is having hernia surgery on Monday and we're not sure how he'll feel so it'll just be the three of us (which means I won't bother with a turkey). Christmas should be fun though… we'll spend it with some family.

    1. spiritedlife says:

      I wonder if there's a local botanical gardens, but now that I think about it, I should check out all of the lights displays in the area! My kids would LOVE them. My dad and I don't speak really, the cordialness of holidays and birthdays, but he puts the onus on me to call, which I don't really find fair, so I don't really call.

  5. Sorry to hear about the relationship that you had with your biological father. I'm hoping that time has lent some perspective and healing.

    That said, I'm agreeing with Kristi that the tree on your wall is spectacular!

    1. spiritedlife says:

      My heart will always have a hole for a father figure. My bio father has shown himself to be just that… a bio father. I'm glad we got some sort of tree last year!

  6. The Vanilla Housewife says:

    I grew up without my dad so I can relate to the longing. I hope you got to see him again after that.

    1. spiritedlife says:

      I've seen him a few times after that, but none of them more fulfilling. At one point I was touched that he had so many pictures from my youth (I'm assuming m mother sent them to him), yet he liked to be a father at arm's length, never really being involve.

  7. Dana says:

    I'm so sorry about your Dad heartbreak. Even if it's what you have come to expect, you deserve more. And it seems like you have it with your husband and kids – love the happy shot in front of the tree! Happy Thanksgiving, April – I hope it's everything you want it to be.

    1. spiritedlife says:

      It is. I am blessed to find a great man even when I didn't know what I was looking for.

  8. I think your tree on the wall is so cute. Definitely a space saver 😉 But I know what you mean. I'd almost prefer not to decorate because we don't stay here for Christmas then after we come back that is the last thing I feel like doing (undecorating). So that's how I stay up until midnight on New Years Eve. I undecorate.

    I'm visiting you from FTSF – sorry about your heartbreak 🙁

    1. spiritedlife says:

      Oh, especially if I'm not going to be here on Christmas morning. I don't like decorating. The best part of decorating is waking up to the tree and the kids seeing the pile of presents under the tree! 🙂

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