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Happy birthday to me…

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…Happy new year to you!

Tomorrow is my 26th birthday. I’ve found that sharing my birthday with New Year’s Eve has been much like a roller coaster, filled with dips and climbs, rushes and lulls.

When I was younger, my birthday parties were always some of the best around, but having the party on December 31st was out of the question. Parents always had plans, vacations were extended, unexpected snow storms closed the roads. School was always closed so class parties happened before, or in the new year. As I got older, friends would gather in my living room for sleepovers, pizza boxes and empty soda bottles littering the floor as we counted down the final seconds of the year.

In college, our beach house became party central — filled with friends and friends of friends toasting with cheap champagne punch sloshing over the side of party cups. I even had my very own special birthday glass, lovingly decorated by my roommate for my 21st.

Post-college, but pre-grown up life, my birthday was found in crowed bars and tables full of drinks with friends crowded around. And now, things are slowly starting to change.

Friends no longer want to make the trip. Others choose dinner parties over bar stools and plans that don’t include old married couples. As I explained to one friend last night, I’m not angry. I realize that as we get older birthdays become less important and I can’t blame them for wanting to go where they will have the most fun.

But sometimes sharing my birthday with a night were everyone in the world is celebrating isn’t so fun after all…when they don’t want to celebrate with you. I suppose that even at 26, growing pains still exist.

I’m not throwing myself a pity party. Quite the opposite. I figure if nothing else, I’ve got this handsome husband I can snuggle up on the couch with, eat some cake and toast the new year and our future together.

I also just bought myself some new bras, and really, what’s more supportive than that?

A phone call at 3 a.m. is never a good thing.

T’was three days before Christmas and my mom was struck with the worst headache she ever had experienced. Thinking this was a terrible migrane, she headed to the hospital to get some relief. Drugged up and sent home, she thought that was that.

The next day I called her and she sounded…off. She wasn’t quite answering my questions coherently and told me she was still in a lot of pain. When I talked to my sister that evening, she told me my mom was heading back to the hospital. I asked her to call me — no matter what time — if there was something I needed to know.

Christmas Eve, 3 a.m. My phone rings. Already knowing that something was not right, I sat straight up in bed and gasped, “Oh no!”, startling Michael in the process.

My sister, crying into the phone, choked out the words. Meningitis.

Here’s a tip for you. Do not Google “meningitis” at 3 a.m. It will result in hysterics that last for a few hours.

By 7 a.m. I was drained, puffy-eyed and scared. You see, Christmas Eve has a tendency to be unkind to my family. It was on that very day that my mom was diagnosed with cancer many years ago. You can imagine the worst case scenarios that were running through my head.

As we drove to New York, we learned that it takes up to 72 hours to determine if it’s the viral meningitis — the easily treated one, or the bacterial meningitis. The kind that, um, kills people. Yeah.

Until they knew, my mom would be kept in isolation, visitors having to wear masks and gowns. Luckily my mom was in good spirits and they made the most of it.

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Still, my mom was in the hospital. When we arrived to see her the first time, the nurse told us she had gone in for an MRI. When she said the words “brain scan”, I almost lost it again in the hospital.

Later, finally able to see her, we were relieved to learn that she had viral meningitis, could go home in a few days and was not contagious. PHEW. But, she still wouldn’t make it home for Christmas. Not for gifts, not for the big family dinner with all of our relatives. That, she said, would be left to me and my sister. She refused to allow us to put Christmas day on hold. She wanted us to keep moving forward. Of course Christmas could never be Christmas without my mom.

Christmas morning, we packed up all of our gifts and stockings and marched through the hospital with bags and arms full. We took over that hospital room like it was our own living room and had a wonderful Christmas morning.

Who says you can’t laugh through the scary times?

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Afterwards we prepared Christmas dinner for 11 (a minor bump in the road left us with a completely frozen ham, so Chinese food plus all the traditional sides was our Christmas dinner!) and received the best gift we could have ever asked for when my mom was discharged from the hospital and home with us on Christmas evening, just in time for dessert. She received a round of applause when she walked in the room.

I am a first class overreactor, worrier and emotional roller coaster. I have to admit when I first received the phone call I was sure the cancer was back. I was sure my heart was going to break. I was terrified — absolutely terrified — of losing my mom. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to have her home, mostly mended, and around for many, many more years.

Let’s hope next Christmas Eve is a quiet one!

Dear random web searchers who have found themselves landing on These Little Moments,

I am so glad I can help you with “colored wedding shoes” and “beautiful weddings”. I am honored you trust my judgement in “big hair” and “ugly white shoes”. (Good for you, girlfriend. White shoes are tricky.) I am blown away that some of you are still searching and using the “Molly Curl” and that “pumpkin cookies” are something I can help you out with.

I’m surprised so many of you like the “perfect grilled cheese” and while I don’t have a fancy recipe for you, I can tell you that putting the butter on the bread instead of melting in the pan makes all the difference.

“Awesome blog writer” really flattered me and for the few of you who often search “Molly and Clink” I’ll tell you that I miss her face and a visit is in the works for January.

My “perfect engagement story” really is something I love to tell, but I wouldn’t mind hearing about yours either. Send me the link! “Randomness” is something I’m quite good at spewing and I do love me a “yummy martini”.

However.

For the person (or persons) who search “thongs” daily, I have to tell you, I really can’t help you. I did my own search to try and see where you’re landing and it takes you here, to a post where I make fun of really bad wedding junk. Me thinks that’s not the info you were looking for. I’m sorry I can’t be more of a help. Maybe if you broadened your search to say, “comfortable thongs” or “thongs are annoying” or something that will bring you to a place that can actually help you.

Unless you want to know about “thong sandals”, I’m not your girl.

I’ll be signing off for a few days as I get things ready to head home to New York for a very merry Christmas. I know I’ve been slacking on the daily posts lately and I apologize. Getting on the computer every morning — especially when I can just read my email on my phone — is hard! But I miss you and I miss reading you so my Christmas gift to myself is to get back in the blog swing of things and catch up on your lives. Sound good?

May your holidays be merry and bright and filled with wonderful things. Maybe even “Christmas thongs”.

Dear Santa,

It’s been a long time since I wrote to you. Probably since that Christmas I watched my mom do her hair in my grandmother’s bathroom and said to her out of the blue, “I’m starting to think Santa isn’t real.” She neither confirmed, nor denied it, so I pretty much figured it out.

It would be nice if you were real, though. If I still believed so fiercely that you would grant my holiday wishes. I mean, you came through with the ruby slippers I asked for once. And the dollhouse. Those were great gifts, mom Santa.

Sometimes I wish it was still that easy. That I could write you a letter and place it next to some cookies and the next day the cookies would be gone but under the tree would be a pile of wonderful things.

I wouldn’t ask for a lot from you this year. Up until the end, 2008 was pretty damn fantastic and even after the one blow of the year, I’m still so happy. So instead of gifts, how about I ask you for a equally fabulous 2009? A year that will hopefully bring a job, maybe a pregnancy, the first draft of my book and health and happiness to all the people I love.

And maybe, just maybe, a pair of Christian Louboutains. (They’re shoes, Santa. I’m pretty sure they’re not manufactured in your workshop so if you have to call the distributor direct I won’t think anything less of you.)

I’m virtually leaving this letter out for you, Santa, along with some pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and wishes for a happy new year.

Fly safely, dear Santa. We’ll talk next year.

Love,

Molly

What are you asking Santa for?

Christmas is in six days? How did that happen? Actually, most of my shopping is done, but I’m anxiously awaiting a few important gifts that look like they won’t arrive until the 23rd. The 23rd is fine, the 24th is pushing it, as we’re set to load up the car with presents and Kodiak and head off to New York to spend the holiday with my family.

Yesterday I attended a holiday party in a 1st grade classroom and while schmoozing with the mothers wasn’t awesome, the spread of holiday goodies was. My lunch was something like three mini cupcakes, a handful of chips and 47 cookies. Give or take a few. Ordinarily I would feel guilty about this, but I did go out and get those clementines and I figure eating a crate of those all week left room for the sweets. Plus, the gym and I are friends again so I’m not going to stress about holiday calories.

Especially since I’m making my now-famous (everyone loves them!) chocolate chip pumpkin cookies to bring home and let’s be honest, I can’t not eat some before packing them up.

To conclude my randomness for the day, I braved the mall yesterday and the economy may suck, but the stores are having ridiculous sales. I got fabulous new jeans for 20 bucks and they are a size I haven’t worn since high school.

Maybe there’s something to be said for cookie lunches.

Let me tell you something about unemployment. Unless there’s a very good reason (early breakfast with friends, class at the gym (ha), promise of a soy chai the size of my head), I don’t get up as early as I used to. Nope. We’re talking at least an hour later than the good old work days.

I’m not really complaining. As it is, I’m not a morning person. At. All. As a matter of fact, I’ve been up for at least a half hour and haven’t spoken to my husband yet. He spoke to me — some random morning song that made no sense but he made it up and sang it in boxers with bed head so the cute factor was pretty high. But aside from a kiss, there’s been no real interaction yet.

Mostly because it would come out something like, “Hi, grumble, grumble, hungry! Want Starbucks, grumble, grumble, stupid rain.”

The main problem with waking up closer to the nine o’clock hour as opposed to the eight o’clock hour is that once you hit nine, 10, 11 and noon aren’t that far behind. If you’re not careful, you’ll look up from the computer at 11:30, still in your pajamas with unwashed hair, un-plucked eyebrows, yesterday’s makeup and a pile of Christmas cards to mail. (Mostly because even though you diligently went to the post office and bought 60 stamps, you will still manage to lose 15 of them somewhere between the post office and your house. First guess is they’re lying in a puddle in the parking lot of the grocery store. Sigh.) (Also, count how many people you know before ordering cards. You probably know more than you think. Not that I’m speaking for experience or anything.) (No more parenthesis.) (For real now.)

To be honest, I didn’t shower yesterday. Which may come as a shock to the lovely people I had lunch with. I’m pretty sure I didn’t smell. If I did, they were really good about hiding it.

Today, I’m going to shower. Soon, possibly after the gym, because if I sit here too long I’m going to be right back in the same old boat.

A boat that is a little disheveled, possibly not so fresh smelling and has really messy hair.

I want a clementine. A whole box of them that I can eat without guilt. I want to smell their citrus-y goodness and hold each slice in my mouth, letting the juice slowly drain out.

I want a routine. One that doesn’t involve hours of job searching, followed by a nap.

I want a good sweat, sore muscles and a healthy flush.

I want someone else to do the dishes, fold the laundry and vacuum up the dog hair.

I want my mind to rest, allowing me to fall asleep at a reasonable hour instead of keeping me awake, tossing and turning and watching The First Wives Club past 1 a.m.

I want some good morning television.

I want a new winter coat in a rich, saturated color. I don’t want to worry about the cost.

I want a good cry, without feeling guilty about it.

I want my wedding video to arrive so I can remember pieces of the day that were a blur.

I want Christmas day with my family — I want to eat, drink and be merry and forget, just for a day, that I’m feeling blue.

I want the beauty of white twinkle lights in evergreen branches year round.

I want chocolate covered in chocolate with a side of chocolate.

I want it all.

Hey guys, when I was talking about people making comments about being domestic yesterday, I wasn’t talking about your comments. I was referring to two people in my every day life that made those comments to my face. I love your comments!

Moving on…

It’s the time of year where I find myself struggling to find appropriate stocking stuffers and little gifts for friends and family. Since I’ve now been privvy to morning television, I’ve been lucky enough to see many As Seen On TV product commercials and let me just say, friends and family? You are in for a very merry Christmas.

First up, we have the Snuggie — the blanket with sleeves.

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According to the commercial, “blankets are  OK,  but can slip and slide, plus your hands are stuck inside!” Luckily, the Snuggie is made of top quality fleece and provides not one, but TWO sleeves.

Kind of like, um…a sweatshirt.

The Snuggie looks pretty warm, so when it’s time for bed, relax with the Chillow — the cooling pillow!

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“Pillows are like the desert…hot!” Oh, really, Chillow? My pillow gets warm, sure, but hot? Like the DESERT? Oh come on, Chillow. For $29.95 (plus shipping and handling), I’ll just put my pillowcase in the freezer. (There’s a similar product for dogs, too. It’s called the Canine Cooler. Yes, really.)

Still not cool enough? Then you need the Cool Blast Personal Mister.

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It features “micro-mist technology, creating an ultra-fine spray, cooling and instantly refreshing you.”

Huh. So, it’s a SPRAY BOTTLE.

And if you’re still having trouble with hot and cold, there’s the Faucet Light.

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An LED light turns water blue when it’s cold and red when it’s hot! No more trying to remember if hot water is on the left or the right! And fear not, the nightmares of blood coming from your sink will disappear in time.

No need to thank me now. You can send me a card when your friends and family are overjoyed on Christmas morning.

Since I lost my job multiple people have been commenting that this is a blessing in disguise because not only can I find something I love to do, but I have time to be so domestic!

One person said it was so good that I can clean the house every day and another said that at least I had time to decorate for Christmas.

This reminds me of before we got married when I was told not to worry, after I get married I’ll learn to be domestic. Say what?

Why does everyone seem to think I’m NOT domestic now? I clean, I cook, I take care of the dog. I even have a subscription to Martha Stewart Living and she’s the queen of domesticity.

I’m really tired of hearing it. Short of cooking a five course meal each day while simultaneously vacuuming and knitting a sweater, I have no idea what I  could be doing better.

Maybe I should write to Martha.

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