The Year Without A Halloween Party

If you’re new around here, you might not know that Halloween is kind of a big deal. It is my favorite non-religious holiday (although if we get down to the nitty-gritty, paganism is a religion and Samhain is a festival to celebrate the harvest…. AND Halloween is All Saints’ Eve which falls on the day before the Christian celebration of All Saints’ Day… so can we really call it non-religious? I digress).

Anyway… we typically celebrate big around Halloween. For example:
2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | (I didn’t post the 2013 party)

Since we said “I do”, we’ve been hosting Halloween parties. It’s expected. People start asking me in August what the theme is going to be. And while I absolutely love that and look forward to the party every year, this year it felt forced and exhausting.

So I decided to cancel it. (I’d even made the FB event already.)

As soon as I did I had a few friends reach out to make sure I was ok. I had a few people tell me they were glad I took the year off. Some people were sad to not be getting together.

I felt very blah about it. Which kind of let me know it was the right decision. If you’re not excited about a voluntary just-for-fun party, why are you throwing it?

I love having people over and planning parties and celebrating Halloween with costumes and food and games, but… none of it sounded fun to me this year. I’m worried about COVID. I’m tired from chasing a toddler. I’m swamped at work, buried in home projects, and deadass tired by 7pm.

There is a small part of me that’s sad I cancelled. It doesn’t really feel like Halloween this year. Maybe that will change when we dress Maddie up on Saturday to trick-or-treat, but I didn’t make a puking pumpkin or carve a jack-o-lantern or buy costumes for the dogs. It’s a weird year.

And also, after last year’s party, I came down with COVID. (I don’t know that it was the party- we were outside the whole time, food was individually packaged, and I was the only one of all the guests to get it.) It made me very hesitate about getting people together. And I still feel that way.

It’s difficult to make a decision that might let others down (or feels like it might). Maybe past guests are thrilled to not have to come to another Halloween party at our house. Maybe it won’t be missed. I don’t know. But it did feel a little selfish to cancel.

I know it was not. I know our friends will celebrate the holiday in their own way this weekend, and we will take Maddie around the neighborhood, and next year we can chose to have a party or not. But it’s odd to break an 8 year tradition. And there’s my explanation for why there will be no Halloween post.

And now let’s switch topics. Tell me something fun you’re doing or did for Halloween!

-Aud

Coffee Talk

We haven’t had a Coffee Talk since June 2020 so I’d say we’re way overdue.

This week our a/c at work stopped running so if we were having coffee I would be drinking something iced or frozen 😁

If we were having coffee… I’d ask what your plans are for the holiday weekend. I swear… the days run together now and holidays (and birthdays and anniversaries) completely sneak up on me.

This weekend I’m having a garage sale on Fri. & Sat. Kyle is playing in a cover band on Friday night. I think friends are staying over that night, too. Monday my parents are having a Memorial Day party with their friends (& us). It will be a busy weekend.

If we were having coffee… I would tell you how much I’ve missed you. I miss blogging and reading your blog. With work and parenting and my p.t. freelance job… I just don’t have the time or energy or creativity to spare. I hope this balance shifts soon. I miss this space. A lot.

If we were having coffee I’d have to vent a bit… I’m not fully comfortable ditching my mask just yet, but I don’t hold it against people who are. That said, if the business you are entering has a sign that says masks are required, then you need to WEAR YOUR MASK. /end rant

For the next SUYB link up I think I’ll have three books finished. (RIGHT?? Yay!) So obviously I’m an avid reader now. I kid, but I have been thinking about joining the Book of the Month Club. What are your thoughts on that? Is it worth it? Is there a better alternative? Is it a waste of money? If we were having coffee I would definitely pick your brain on this.

If we were having coffee you might ask how M is doing. Can you believe she’ll be 18 months next week? A year and a half. I cannot handle it. She’s been very clingy lately, but she’s also a ton of fun. She’s goofy and giggle, and climbs like a monkey, and honestly has very little fear. (GULP.) She started going to daycare about two months ago, twice a week. I think she LOVES it. She’s learning to play with others and she’s so chatty on the car ride home- then sleeps like an angel at night. A true win for everyone. (And I get a day or a half day a week ALL TO MYSELF!)

Chances are we’re now out of coffee. Lol. Before we part I’d ask if you have any travel plans? I know some people feel safe moving around and some don’t. We have a few camping trips planned and a family trip to Michigan later this summer. We’re also tossing around the idea of a visit to Tampa (to see Aub and Meg!) and a fall visit to my favorite place- Williamsburg. What about you?

And with that… I need to go price some items for the garage sale. And get more coffee. Have a relaxing weekend!

2021 Check In

I think it might be mutually beneficial to have these monthly or bi-monthly check ins… Changing the calendar didn’t solve the world’s problems (and we knew it wouldn’t), but this year already feels a little more tedious than I expected. I don’t think it’s an entire dumpster fire, but I think the ashes and trash are still smoldering…. so all is not great. Ya know?

Personally, I’m in this weird place where I feel like I’m doing way too much… but that I’m also not doing enough. The other day I requested an application for a court-appointed child caseworker volunteer position. When I was telling K about it he said, “You can do whatever you want, but why do you feel like there’s a hole that needs to be filled with this giant commitment? You already take on so much. Do you need to do this, too?”

I deleted the email with the application.

I am a busy person… When I’m at home I force myself to stay on my feet and clean, organize, pick up, declutter, rearrange, etc. until I’m completely exhausted. I never feel DONE, though. It drives K nuts. And once I sit down on the couch, I pick up my laptop, Kindle, or Switch to entertain myself while watching television.

So right now I’m struggling with knowing that what I’m doing is enough. I mean, on one hand I know that it is… but on the other hand I get a wild hair that says I need to do more.

I’m trying to carry the same grace and forgiveness I had for myself in 2020 into 2021… but it’s a struggle. I think a new year just reminds us how long this insanity has been going on. Sigh. But we’re going to get through it.

Tell me what’s weighing on your mind or heart this month. How has 2021 been shaping up for you? Any major accomplishments we can celebrate? Any areas you’re looking to change your mindset toward? Let’s check in with each other.

What’s New With Me

Most of my blog topic ideas come to me when I’m rocking M to sleep and I can’t jot them down.

Last week I missed SUYB day (because I haven’t finished a book yet this year) & then just said the heck with it and skipped Thursday, too. I have a freelance writing job on the side now and much of my free time and creative juices have been going to that.

I thought I might just share what’s new in my world.

Bristol is starting obedience classes next month and I am pumped. She is incredible when she wants to be & terrible when she doesn’t… It’s at 8pm on Mondays, though, so send prayers & coffee. We’re both ready to be on the couch at that hour.

We’re starting to plan a few things for 2021 and it makes me so excited. Thank Jesus we bought a camper! We’re headed to a few races this year and camping at the tracks. The tracks are having limited spectators and it’s all outside. We’ll bring our own food & drink and sleep in our own beds. It’s as safe as it can be.

We’re also (fingers crossed) planning a low key trip with my family & maybe a girls’ trip later this year. Plus both of my bffs are getting married this year. Yes, the pandemic is still a thing and I am 100% about following the guidelines- but 2021 can’t hold me down. We’ve got lives to (safely) live.

Moo has started walking. She’s also started throwing tantrums. I’m amazed at how she’s becoming more of her own little person each and every day. She’s amazing (and temperamental like her mother…). Her love for her daddy & the dogs makes me melt every freaking day.

We don’t qualify for the vaccine yet in our house but I am SO grateful that some of my friends and family have been able to get it or get on a waiting list. I’m excited for tomorrow. I’m hoping a new year and a new administration can hit reset on some of the stresses we’ve been carrying. No single person can fix or change the entire system, but I’m praying the US is moving in a better, more unified direction.

At the end of 2020 K and I jumped on the Dave Ramsey train and then jumped off (lol). I like his method but I don’t love his madness. We’re cracking down on financial goals and hopefully moving in a healthier direction with money.

Beyond all that, I can’t think of anything else to share. I started and finished Bridgerton- which was the perfect little escape. I’ve been diligently working on my island on Animal Crossing (hahaha). About 30% of our Christmas decorations still need taken down. And Enzo is still perfection except for his stank-breath (& he steals K’s seat every time he gets up, lol).

What’s something mundane but new in your world?

1461+ Days of Anger

I am so tired of being angry. The body isn’t made for four years of anger and fear and frustration. I know I am not alone & I know it’s a privilege to just declare that I’m done being angry (I’m not). But dammit… my body and mind are so worn out. And the treasonous morons in the Capitol Building this week stirred up the waters that had since calmed in November.

I have noticed that I spend a lot of time policing my anger. I am gracious and polite to people who would not and do not extend the same courtesy to me. It sucks my energy and my patience, and by the time I get home to my family- the people who matter more to me than anyone or anything in the world- I have nothing left for them. I’m exhausted and short tempered and checked out.

Seems backward to me.

And so I just cannot and will not do it. They will see the judgement on my face when they say something terrible. My absence will be felt where I do not feel comfortable. My friend lists and following tab will diminish. And I don’t feel bad. Because my people get my good and gracious energy- not the world.

I am a dedicated subscriber to “If you can’t say something nice…” and “Kindness is always cool”, but I’m also a pretty big fan of “Take no sh*t.” And so I’m moving forward with a reservation and preservation for self. And I’m teaching M that in addition to telling men where to go when they suggest she “smile more”, she’s also under no obligation ever to stick around when she’s uncomfortable nor grin-and-bear-it when people are being especially cruel and hateful.

I’m tired of being nice.