Finally settled in to Rumson NJ

Happy New Year to All and to All a Good Night

Work has been beyond busy as of late. I’ve had more than my fair share of early boat rides in and late boat rides home. This has left me fairly exhausted, and very cranky. Hence, my New Year’s resolution to be less crabby. So far I’m not off to the greatest of starts. The other morning, Evan followed me into the garage as I was trying to leave so he could have one last good-bye hug. Instead of thinking Oh, how sweet!, I could only think that I was already late for the boat, and that Evan had just dropped puzzle pieces all over the floor. I yelled at him. He quietly picked up the puzzle pieces and went back inside without saying another word. I felt AWFUL. Really, Rachael — you couldn’t give your son two seconds of his time for a hug? Fortunately for me, Evan had no idea what I was talking about when I apologized later, so I don’t think I did any permanent damage to his psyche … although I cannot say the same thing about mine.

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So it turned out that the family all got together on Christmas Eve after all. JP made a reservation for everybody at the local hibachi place and it was AWESOME. Not so much the food — that was just ok — but having everyone together, watching the kids eyes light up (literally and figuratively) as the chef did his cooking magic, and not having to host or cook or clean up was priceless. We may have started a new Christmas Eve tradition…

Christmas Eve proved to be a long night. I had been working long hours all week, and I hadn’t had a chance to wrap anything. After JP put the kids to bed, I got to work. I think it was shortly after midnight before I was all done. I cursed the irregularly-shaped boxes that manufacturers seemingly love to use for kids toys and shook my head in embarrassment at the sloppy wrapping job I did. At least my kids are too young to notice at this point. Next year, I’m taking a cue from Gee and going the gift bag route. Soooo much easier.

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We went to bed hoping beyond hope that the kids would sleep in. Turns out – they did! I don’t think they woke up until almost 8 AM! Unfortunately, Madison did not get the memo. At 4 in the morning, she woke up and puked all over our bed. When JP set her down on the floor so we could strip the bed and I could start laundry, she ran into the hallway and pooped. Great. I started the laundry, JP cleaned up the poop, and we put new sheets on the bed. Madison seemed ok, but I could still smell poop. I figured it was just gas. I was wrong. Apparently, Madison had pooped twice — one in a spot that JP cleaned up, and one in a spot just outside of the guest bathroom. Geeda had the unfortunate experience of stepping in it. And that is how our morning started. Merry Christmas!

The day got better. The kids made quick work of opening their presents and JP cooked up a nice breakfast. Kerry hosted Christmas dinner and the kids had a blast playing with their cousins. I bowed out early because I had to work the next day, and the extra long night’s sleep I got was the best Christmas present ever.

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I got a belated Christmas present of sorts when I found out that the proposal I was working on was given a 1-week extension in the due date. This meant that I no longer had to work on New Years Day, or through the weekend.

JP and I celebrated the end of 2014 at our local Italian restaurant (Undici). Truthfully, I was very much of a “good riddance” mindset. This has not been a good year, by any measure. But as I bemoaned 2014, I kept hearing my friend Roxanne’s voice in the back of my head. Roxanne had lost her mother to breast cancer a few years back, and had just recently lost her father. I kept remembering back to when Roxanne first told me that the initial round of chemotherapy a decade prior had weakened her mother’s heart significantly, and that she was not eligible for a transplant because doctors had recently discovered the cancer had spread. I was heartbroken for her and lamented the terrible luck, but Roxanne shook her head. “My mother always said that every day is a gift,” she replied.

In the spirit of trying to be less crabby, I will try to remember these words when I am tempted to complain about the commute, my long working hours, the messy house or anything else that is somewhat trivial by life and death standards.

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