Speaking of loving Christmas, this person in my neighborhood apparently loves Christmas a little bit more than most of us. Seriously, can she fit anything else in her yard? I’m not so sure that she could. It's scary how much stuff she has stuffed onto her lot.
All is BRIGHT
Speaking of scary, my nephews were in town recently (which I loved) and we spent a lot of time together (which was fun) and I habitually jumped out from around corners to scare them (which was hilarious). Okay, that makes me sound so mean. It may be mildly mean, but the oldest (4) is old enough to scream and then laugh about it. One of my absolute best scares ever was one night when I came home from work. My nephew had apparently been crafting all day with my mom and made all sorts of things including a yo-yo from a toilet paper roll (which did not work… not surprising), a drum from an oatmeal container, and a scary mask from a paper plate. Apparently he decided that the mask is the "Red House Monster”.
Red House Monster
Sure. Anyways, when I came home and into the kitchen, my mom called “Oh, look who’s here!” I heard the patter of little feet scrambling to get to the kitchen. I could have greeted him with hugs and a hearty “I love you”, but instead I saw a mask sitting on the countertop. I quickly snatched it, put it on, and crouched down around the corner. As the sound of little feet got closer, I lunged out from my hiding place and screamed (more like roared) as loud as possible. I heard a tiny little voice scream in response. OOPS! Wrong nephew. It was the 2 year old little brother who had just woken up from his nap and had not seen the mask until that point. Okay, that was a little bit mean and more than a little bit scary. But I didn’t intend to be. But then I heard the patter of bigger feet. I crouched again. I lunged again. I roared again. This time: Success. My nephew screamed the loudest, purest scream that I have ever heard, which was immediately followed by an eruption of giggles and “Never do that again, Aunt Em.” And “I’ll get you back!”. I laughed so hard that I was literally on the floor crying. I still get that watery-eyed smile every time I think about it. But, no. I didn’t quit while I was ahead. At one point I hid in the bathroom in a clown costume and elf hat. Another time I jumped out from behind the couch with Dalmatian ears on. They were all pretty good, but none as good as the Red House Monster.
Speaking of doing bad things, Santa is more than welcome to bring me coal this year. In fact, I hope he does. Has he seen the price of commodities lately? He’s gotta pick something cheaper or the North Pole will have to start outsourcing.
Speaking of cheap, most people think that I am a very healthy eater. But I am here to tell you that I love Taco Bell. It’s true. Nachos Supreme with no Sour Cream. Double Decker Tacos. Bean Burritos with no onions and extra hot sauce. (Disclaimer: I don’t eat all of that at the same time.) And all for just a few dollars. And who is always up for thinking outside the bun with me? My dad. We went recently after a Preds game. Ryan Suter (my pretend Predators boyfriend) played a great game, but the Preds just couldn’t pull out the win. Preds Game. Taco Bell. Perfect.
Speaking of fake boyfriends, some day I will marry Tim Tebow. You are all invited to the wedding.
Speaking of smart choices, Hello, 21st century. It was a sprint, but I finally caught up with you. You move too fast! Just 5 or 10 years ago it was a thrill to have a cell phone at all, but now it is inconvenient to not have a smart phone.
Enter: iPhone. Finally. I can now send/receive picture texts, check my email from my phone, find my parked car, use a full touch screen keyboard, and play pacman anywhere I want. My favorite app? Shazam. In the car I am always trying to guess the title of a song or who the artist is. With Shazam you just tap the screen, it listens to a few seconds of the song, then it tells the artist and title. It fuels my obsession with knowing artists and titles of all songs at all times.
Speaking of songs on the radio, I have been loving a few of the remixed Christmas songs this year. My favorite classic? Joy to the World. So of course I love the remix by Chris Tomlin.
I’m also a big fan of 33 Miles' O Come All Ye Faithful remix.
But my absolute favorite modern Christmas song is Welcome to our World by Chris Rice.
And while I do rock out to the Christmas tunes and get in the Christmas spirit during rush hour every day, it is also true that sometimes during the winter I try to make it feel like summer. I crank the heat in my car until it is unbearable – just like that Tennessee July Heat. Then I blast the AC to make it feel like summer while blaring Keith Urban’s "Long Hot Summer". It happens… often.
Speaking of warm weather, I’m getting close to my Hawaii trip with my mom to see one of my friends get married. I can’t wait. I just know that she will be a gorgeous bride. I am going to Oahu and Kauai. I know that I will just love it. I am a beach girl at heart. Like, I love it almost as much as Kenny Chesney does.
Speaking of country music, my sister got me this awesome guitar for Christmas. It is signed by Lady Antebellum among many others. I was shocked and pleasantly surprised by my generous gift!
Speaking of pleasant surprises, I just purchased gasoline for an amount that started with TWO! My first time in a long, long time.
Speaking of cars, try to make your car a No Phone Zone. It isn’t worth the risk to try to do much of anything on a phone while driving. (Not to mention that it is illegal to text and drive in Tennessee anyways.) Just ask the grandmother and little boy that I saw get backed into at Target last week. She was pushing her buggy with her grandson in the red buggy seat when a distracted man on his phone put his SUV in reverse and never even bothered to looked. He slammed into the side of the buggy, but fortunately the woman and little boy were both okay. You know how the Target buggies for kids have the two red seats in the front? He was on the side farthest from the car. If he had been on the other side, I’m sure he would have been hurt. That’s close enough of a scare to count. And yes, I do say buggy instead of cart. It’s one of those things that I never knew was Southern until the past few years. Like wearing pearls and saying “fixin’ to”. Siri (the iPhone 4S smart girl) has a hard time understanding my Southern Belle charm.
“Siri, Do you have a hard time understanding my Southern accent?”
“The time in Blantyre, Malawi is 8:35 am.”
Speaking of misunderstanding, I was recently invited to a Christmas Panty Exchange. Yep. I went. Just to check it out. I read the invitation 10 times before it sank in. I kept thinking it said “party exchange”. Nope. Panty. I had never heard of such. Before the party you exchange names/sizes. At the party you take turns opening your gifts. I thought that you take Christmas panties. I searched high and low for the tackiest pleather snowman with googly eyes or something, but due to my procrastination I ended up just taking a red, festive pair. Well, sometimes procrastination pays off. Turns out that this was an exchange that happens to take place at Christmas. Not actual Christmas items. Everyone brought nice sets. So glad I didn’t go the tacky Christmas route! I would have been so embarrassed!
Speaking of gifts, check out my manly dirty santa gift that I ended up with at our family’s Christmas party last weekend. A knife and a Chili's gift card. Nice.
Speaking of food, my family recently got our citrus order from the Agriculture students in town. A full box of oranges and grapefruits. I ended up with most of it. You know how you are supposed to eat citrus if you have a sore throat because all of the Vitamin C will heal you? Well, turns out if you don't have a sore throat and eat as much citrus as I have, your throat will actually start hurting from all of the acid. Oh well, I do love oranges.
Speaking of colors, I always pull out my red high heels this time of year. And while I wear them I sing Kelly Pickler's "Red High Heels" in my head nonstop. They are my festive party shoes. Other than the tacky ones.
And speaking of Christmas parties, Christmas is this weekend and I am so excited. I can’t wait for the traditions, the food, the family. I love all of it.