Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Can't seem to catch up

There is so much to blog about, but I barely have time to breathe these days. I'm exhausted and I'm trying to enjoy the season, which leaves little time to blog about the things I'm doing that are trying to maintain a sense of normalcy this holiday season. With that said, I'll try to get some pictures up of the following things one of these days, but for now, here is a rambling post full of bullet-points:

* We hosted our annual party for some of our good friends last weekend. I made a bunch of appetizers, which meant I was cooking half of Friday and all day Saturday, but they turned out great and it was fun living in my kitchen for awhile. The highlight for me was making mini pumpkin cheesecakes (so yummy!) and Gingerbread Snowflakes from Miss Martha. If I do say so myself, they turned out adorable!

* I've done the vast majority of our Christmas shopping this year online. I've found good deals, lots of free shipping and I haven't had to run around all over the place looking for stuff. With only 2 gifts left to purchase, my holiday shopping is almost complete. Thank God!

* I was in charge of our office holiday party for the second year in a row, after swearing that I wouldn't do it after last year's craziness. Well, now I've officially had it. I'm out for next year. It's frankly not worth the bitching and moaning from folks and the work involved in putting it all together. On the upside, I provided the holiday music and two of my worker bee co-workers who helped put the party together liked it so much that they've asked for a copy of it. :) They said it was a great mix of all those songs you hear out in the malls, but can never remember once you get home. It's such a silly thing to be proud of, but oh well. Ha!

* As of today, I know of 9, count 'em n-i-n-e people who are having babies sometime in 2009. And about half of them are close family and friends. I'm so happy for everyone, but no joke, I'm buying stock in Babies R Us! Oh, and we keep telling my mother-in-law about the babies and she finally replied with "Okay, I don't want to hear anymore about your friends babies." Implying, of course, that she'd like to hear about our babies! Hahahahahaha! Yeah, not for a loooong time, if ever.

* Instead of real babies, hubs and I are starting to consider a baby of the furry variety, namely a puppy. We have a short list of breeds we're considering and will likely head to a dog show after the first of the year to see the breeds in person, talk to the breeders, etc. Once we finally decide on a breed that would be good for us, we'll get more information from AKC breeders and local breed-specific rescue groups. Most of the dogs on our list are also known for being good therapy dogs with proper training and this is something I'm really interested in. Not only would we be giving back to the community, but we'd be ensuring we'd have a well-behaved dog in general. We're not exactly sure of the timeline yet, but 2009 will likely see us adding a furry friend to our home. Very exciting!

* Lastly, I chopped my hair. This was sort of inadvertant as I asked the stylist for a "long bob", but she didn't so much hear the "long" part. I'd been toying with the idea of going short for some time, but I didn't have the guts to go for it. It was much easier for the stylist to accidently goof, at least for me. Super easy to style and such in the morning and it's just fun to have a very different look.

And that's the long, somewhat convoluted version of what's been going on these days. Things with my dad are still sticky, but I'm trying to leave most of the crazy to the lawyer and only get involved when absolutely necessary. So far, so good. And I seem to be having more good days than bad, but I'm not sure how much of that is due to accepting what happened vs. being too busy to really take it all in. Time will tell.

Hope everyone is having a happy holiday season!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Still upright, barely

As most of you already know, we found out on the 20th that my father had passed away. My brother received a call from the police that morning for permission to enter the house for a welfare check after concerned neighbors had contacted them. What they found was not good and it started a whole storm of events that is still ongoing. Those first few hours passed in a blur. My brother called me at work and I lost it, but quickly tried to regain my composure to deal with everything. I walked over to Jim's office and he sat with me outside for awhile so I could try to wrap my brain around everything. As I've talked about here, I'd had very little contact with my dad in the past year, which makes his death even more complicated than it would have been otherwise. I also had to quickly make a decision on whether I'd continue with my plans to walk in the 3 Day Walk as I was scheduled to get on a train to SD a few hours later. Ultimately, I decided to still participate in the walk and I'm so glad I did. Alyssa and I talked a bit about it at the beginning of the trip and then I put it aside for the duration of the weekend. I think the distraction was good for me, but it didn't stop my nights from being very long and holding little in the way of sleep.

Without meaning to, my brother and I divided the tasks that needed to get done with him serving as point person for the coroner and funeral home and me dealing with all the legal stuff once I got home from the walk. To say that things are complicated would be an understatement. Aside from the swirl of emotions surrounding his death, there is also the financial hornet's nest that we are left to deal with. Earlier this year, my dad switched me from being executor of his will to just a backup, in the event that his tax attorney couldn't perform the job. Thank God he did that. Even without being the executor, the amount of paperwork I'm having to sort through and the information I'm having to provide the attorney is taking days to get through. We took a trip out to my dad's house in Arizona over the weekend, which was tough for a bunch of reasons that are just too much to post here. We came back with 6 file boxes of paperwork that needed to be sorted and organized before I could decided what needed to be copied and mailed to the attorney. I'm still in the middle of it and it's just draining.

In terms of the emotional fallout, it's been pretty low for me. With the exception of my outburst when I first found out, I haven't really been able to cry and deal with the emotional stuff. I think part of this is having to stay strong to deal with all the practical stuff and part of it is still being angry over what happened earlier this year and the mess that has been left. How calloused to be angry with someone who is no longer here, right. And yet, I can't stop ping-ponging between being so incredibly sad and so very angry, with a background anxiety that I can't shake at all. I also feel like my brain in a fog , which makes focusing difficult. And sleep. Ha! Haven't had a good night's rest in almost 2 weeks. I sleep, but it's light and I wake up a lot in the middle of the night and feel just as tired in the morning as I was when I went to bed. I'm sure a lot of this is just going to take time to sort through.

Originally, my mom was going to stay home for Thanksgiving because she had made plans with a family friend to hang out. Once we realized we'd need to make a trip out to Arizona that weekend, she came down early and we had a good little Thanksgiving dinner at the house, just the two of us. [Jim and my brother hung out with us in the morning, but we insisted they do they're normal dinner plans that afternoon.]Even in the fog that my brain is living in, I managed to pull together an honest to goodness traditional dinner in a few hours. With enough leftovers to eat on when we got back Saturday night. It was really nice to have a real holiday with her in the midst of all this, even if we did do it in our pajamas. :)

I'm back at work today, but it's hard getting back to the real world. I've been tucked in my little cocoon of family, our house, a few friends and the tv for so many days that it's hard getting back into the swing of things. For everyone that emailed, called, sent Facebook messages, etc, thank you so much. They mean a lot to me and I'm so grateful to have such warm and caring friends. There are still many that are unanswered and I swear I haven't forgotten about you, it's just taking me awhile to get to everything.

I'm trying to take things one day at time and just get through as much as possible each day. I know things will get better. I know that eventually all of the craziness will be worked out and I'll be able to actually grieve properly. But for now, I'm floating along, trying to keep everything in order and maintain some semblance of normalcy.