Monday, December 31, 2012

My Favorite Days

It's 10:00 in the morning on one of my favorite days of the year - New Year's Eve. I love spending this day outside with friends romping around in the snow, then being hauled around on a sleigh pulled by some horses in the woods with plenty of  time to return to our cozy cabin in the early evening, start a blazing fire while we cook a final, decadent meal to close out the year.

As an adult, I have a true love/hate relationship with November 15th through December 31st. Not one to focus on the negative, here's a few things I love:

Thanksgiving at my Mom's. Everyone participated in the cooking this year.

And I love me some Aunt Doll.

My AT&T Friends. I miss them, just not the nonsense that accompanied the job. Our annual Christmas lunch is truly one of my favorite days of the year. We select special gifts for one another, and they more often than not include alcohol in some form. This year, being the only unemployed one of the bunch, I opted for homemade gifts. Hot buttered rum mixture and homemade infused vodka.

The vodka making was so much fun I ended up making about 10 different flavors to gift family members on Christmas Eve. I see a lead role in the series "Moonshiners" opening up for me next season. Look out Tickle and Jim Tom. There's a new 'shiner in town!

Better than the gifts though, are my friends. We park our butts at a restaurant in OakBrook around 12:30 and start in on the manhattans and martinis without reservation, talking incessantly about life, family, each other, work, vacations and just about every inappropriate topic you can muster. Including the no-nos - religion, politics and sex.

We invariably turn our attention to Tim, and start pandering him about finding a cool chick worthy of his affections. We do it out of true admiration, of course. We love our Tim. And feel somewhat possessive of him in a big sisterly kind of way.

He tolerates us, then suggests we move our antics to another venue. Because we might just be getting the stink eye from the servers who feel we've overstayed our welcome as the first seatings for dinner fill the dining room.

In and amongst the Christmas preparation, we celebrate two birthdays in our house in December. Mr. Musky received an old school turntable and several Boss albums. Doesn't he look so excited?

And I have another teenager in my midst. It was an angst-filled week, that turning of thirteen. I'll spare him of sharing the details with the world, even though he said I could because it makes for a good story. Let's just say that it involved a grounding and a self-inflicted broken bone, and the parentals were none too happy about it.

But how can I not love that nasty cupcake-filled face?

I owe a big, huge thank-you to all who helped me out on another homemade gift this year. I made my mom a "Jar of Love," asking her family and facebook friends to send me a note or two on why they love her, a special memory they share, or just a sentence to brighten her day. It was a blast making this gift. I laughed, cried, and smiled reading what you all had to share:

And it was a big hit with Mama Kahling!

Christmas Eve. I'm kicking myself for leaving the camera at home, but I truly love how that day brings my family together. My parents come to our house, and join us at Mr. Musky's family gathering after church. I am so grateful and blessed to be able to share that holiday with so many wonderful family members, and am forever grateful to the extended Liss family for accepting my parents as part of their own. It makes for great memories for all of us.

Fun friends at the cabin.

Who just so happen to have kids that are friends with our little rugrats.

Makes for a great way to ring in the new year, not to mention playing games where kids keep beating the parents. Not fair!

And...we got to celebrate yet another December birthday!

That brings us to today, and my other favorite day of the year. I gotta run. Sub-freezing temperatures, a wild sledding hill and antsy horsies await me.

Happy New Year.