Wordless Wednesday: Holiday Song

OK I know this is cheating. But spoken words aren’t written words, right?

Holiday Calm

 

I’m not worried. It feels weird.

wreathThis is the time of year when a lot of us are overwhelmed: by things to do, gifts to purchase and wrap, events to attend, loneliness, even. On top of everything else we normally pack into our lives, holiday hustle and bustle (and children’s labor-intensive projects that are all due at the same time!) can tip our lists over the edge of madness.

This is also the time of year, for me, when come down with a nasty case of bronchitis. I don’t remember if it happened last year, but every year before that going back to high school, right around December 10-15, it would hit me, knock me out for days.

It was a clear sign to me from my body: slow the eff down!

I am happy to say that I have come a long way in the last few years – it is one small victory in a sea of internal strife (a phrase that my sophomore history teacher used to use all the time) – toward not freaking out when I have a lot to do. As my close friends and family (and even several hundred Facebook friends) know, I’m certainly not even past my opponents’ 25 yard line on this one, but I think I’ve at least crossed the 50.

I sat down at my desk this morning and cleared a tiny space among the piles of receipts and papers so I could type. I listed out what I remember that I need to do, and the places I’m supposed to go. I’m not showered or dressed yet. My house, of course, is mostly a mess. I have a deadline coming up on Wednesday for which I still don’t have a hook (writers, you know what I’m talking about).

And I didn’t freak out or get panicky, like I used to.

I’ve had the normal amount of coffee. I haven’t taken any drugs. It’s only 8:00 AM, so I haven’t had any wine.

Could it be personal evolution? A fluke? Maybe it’s true holiday spirit, not just the hamster-on-a-wheel urge to shop and wrap and trim and decorate. Whatever it is, I feel okay. It’ll all get done, or it won’t, and either way as long as everyone is alive and healthy, that’s the point, right? “Shit’s gonna happen whether you worry about it or not,” my physical therapist used to say.

I guess I’ll take it. I just hope this means I don’t get sick this year.

Despicable Fun With Twinkies

This post is sponsored by Universal Studios and Hostess.

minion makeover

I’m pretty sure by now that the real star of the Despicable Me movies is not Gru or any of the little girls he adopted, but it’s actually the countless minions who share the spotlight. My kids loved them in the first movie, and in the second they definitely steal the show whether in their regular form or in their purple bizarro-minion state.

There are minion crafts and minion costumes and fast food meal toys and keychains and cookies and of course…food. What snack is already closer to a minion than a Twinkie?

minion parts

In celebration of the Despicable Me 2 release on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD, Universal Studios and Hostess are running a sweepstakes in which you can dress up your Twinkie as a minion using a printable set of cut-out parts and accessories – kind of like pieces for a paper doll – then you can upload a photo to enter to win every day through January 5! Prizes include a Despicable Me 2 Blu-ray™ and special offers from Hostess, or the grand prize, which includes a Home Theater System, a collection of 30 Blu-rays and a year’s supply of Hostess treats.

To enter and see all the rules, visit the sweepstakes Facebook page.

Old Year Resolutions

geocaching profile

There’s one month left in the year. I have two rather nerdy resolutions for the remainder of 2013.

1. Geocaching: get to 300 caches found.

I started geocaching on January 5 as an activity to do with my kids (and to keep up with my weekday hiking pal Debbie, who is a geocaching master – I sometimes refer to myself as her Padawan) but I quickly caught the bug and I love to do it alone or with adults, too. I have found caches in 7 different different states! I have probably introduced the hobby to dozens of people over this year. Most look at me like I’m crazy (or at least super nerdy) but some get excited about it and want to try it too.

I have found and logged 270 caches as of the end of November. Might as well try for an even 300 by December 31!

2. Blogging: wipe the slate clean, literally, of review posts

Given my need to make some more $$$ to close the gap in our family’s budget, I’ve been writing for dollars more and for the love less. My least favorite task is to write about something I got for free. It’s nice to get things for free because their makers want me to broadcast my good opinion of their products, but as I’ve been saying in my latest disclaimers, you can’t pay the bills with nail polish/cute dresses/insert product here. I want to write for either love or money (or in the best case, both) but no longer for free product. It’s just not worth the time.

That’s not to say that the products and services I accepted in exchange for posts about them are not worth investigating in general. I have some wonderful things left on my white board, from a sob-inducing novel to a handy Velcro ice pack, from profound, life-changing “health coaching” to a tasty alternative to fried French fries. I plan to knock out those posts by December 31 to close out the PR campaigns and wipe my slate clean, leaving room for assignments that have dollar signs next to them, or white space to inspire my imagination.

With the holidays coming and the kids off of school and the other billion things going on, I don’t know if I can hit these two goals, but it would be so lovely if I could! Do you have anything you want to wrap up by the end of this year?