Uh. Hi. Remember me? I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t, considering that my last blog post was more than 3 months ago. However, in my defense, life has been crazy for us lately. A good kind of crazy, but crazy nonetheless. I really haven’t been keeping up with reading any other blogs either. So, if you’ve posted some earth-shattering news, and haven’t gotten a response from me, I do apologize. I’ve sort of been out of the loop. I’ve heard rumors that blogs are on their way out, that blogging is dead, etc. (which I totally do NOT believe; we Americans are much too narcissistic to ever let such a thing happen), but let me reassure you the reader that that has nothing to do with why I went on a little break. I’ve just been busy. And, I guess, in keeping with the spirit of this blog, I’ve been too preoccupied with actually living and enjoying my life to sit down and write any of it down. Yet, some interesting things have happened, and that warrants taking some time to fill you all in. So, let me see if I can sum it all up and give you the Cliffs Notes version (remember those?).
Gosh…where do I start?
In the middle of September, we were blessed beyond words to have our dear friends Erin over at The Joy Before Me and Wes “Mind Grapes” Whitener and their two beautiful daughters stay with us for an entire week. It was sheer bliss. We’ve known Erin and Wes for years, and since they now live in Texas, we don’t get to see them as often as we would like (which would be every day). However, we got in some great, uninterrupted (aside from the distractions of 6 small children under one roof) catching up. During their visit, Erin, who is a terrifically skilled hair stylist, gave this poor, tired, mom a much-needed hair revival. I thank God for her every time I look in the mirror.
Then we moved into October, and we celebrated the coming of Fall in the typical Buckland fashion. We picked apples at Hillcrest Orchards up in Ellijay, Georgia and went to the pumpkin patch at Washington Farms–our yearly traditions. This year, however, we decided to mix things up a little bit and, with much begging, pleading, tears and gnashing of teeth, I took the 4 Buckland kids trick-or-treating this year for the very first time. Ren and I have never known what to do as a family with Halloween. We both celebrated Halloween as kids. In fact, if you asked me what my favorite holiday was as a child, it wasn’t Christmas like every other kid. It was Halloween. Always Halloween. I loved the costumes. The candy. The excitement. The spooky fun of it all. Ren, on the other hand, is not particularly fond of the holiday. And he doesn’t love the idea, and understandably so, of subjecting our young children to the darkest, most macabre holiday of the year. So in years past, we’ve just sort of opted out of Halloween. But that also presents some problems. We’ve done the mega lame Christian “alternatives” to Halloween, which is essentially trick-or-treating for cheap candy out in the middle of some cow pasture in Boonieville. Or we’ve ignored the holiday altogether and gone to Chuck E. Cheese, i.e. Hell on Earth. Given those options, I think my kids might be safer dressing up as zombies, going door-to-door, and risking razor blades in Snickers bars. We reached a compromise, and so one Renaissance princess, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, Batman, Tinkerbell and I went out on October 31st and had a blast. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, right?
November keeps us busy with my birthday on the 1st, Josephine’s birthday on the 15th–the big 5 year mark for her, celebrated with an extremely girly catered tea party, and Thanksgiving with Ren’s folks. I used Alton Brown’s Roast Turkey recipe to the letter for the second year in a row, and I sincerely have no qualms about nominating myself Turkey Roasting Master of the Millenium. Best. Turkey. EVARRRR!!!!!
I am sure I am missing some other important events, but I am just giving you the highlights that my tired brain can actually remember.
Immediately after Thanksgiving, we acquired a puppy. Yes, you read that correctly. A puppy. I came home from dropping off Jo at school one morning and there, across the street in the middle of our neighbor’s yard was an incredibly cute and sweet Beagle puppy. We went door to door, called the shelter, put up fliers and searched desperately for its owner. But as you have probably already predicted, she didn’t have one. Apparently, there are morons in this world that think it’s a good idea to take a completely helpless baby animal and dump it off somewhere, in the hopes that some sorry sap (Stop looking at me!) will find it and give it a good home. Well, we tried. For two weeks, we kept whom I would later christen “Hell Puppy.” She chewed our house to shreds, pooped and peed all over the floors even after taking her outside every 15-20 minutes in the cold, and howled and brayed (a Beagle’s trademark) every time we put her in her crate. She was adorably cute and a good-natured pet, but her final week with us had me seriously questioning my sanity. So we called Ren’s sister, who’s a veterinarian (Dr. Lori), and she found a loving home for our Hell Puppy in South Carolina, complete with several children and a farm. Maybe when the kids are a little bit older and can actually be what some might call “helpful” and when we can afford a fenced in backyard, we’ll get a dog. But not now. No way. No how.
In the beginning of December I went on a cruise with 5 of my dearest friends. Kristen over at Foodieville, Angie at Hipps Family Blog, Amy from Amy’s Porch, Amy Mcollum, Tanya Grisson and I embarked the Carnival Fantasy “Funship” for a 4-day cruise to Cozumel. I can honestly say that I would travel with all of them any time, any where. You’ll never meet a greater, funner, more laid-back group of ladies. That trip was exactly what I needed. Being away from Ren and the kids for that long made me miss them so much. The best part of the trip for me was knowing that I had them to come home to.
You all are well aware of my not-so-festive sentiments regarding the holidays. However, that might have changed this year. We just wrapped up a banner Christmas here at the Buckland home. The kids had a great Christmas. Santa was really good to them this year. As he was to us. We are so pleased to announce the newest members of our family: Our nephew Caedmon Michael Ananya and niece Helen Claire Betselot Geddings. Ren’s sister, Lori, and her husband, Brian, adopted the two most beautiful, amazing children from Ethiopia over Christmas, and we got to meet them over the weekend. I am so impressed with these kids. Caedmon, or “Noni” as they called him in Ethiopia, came right in and acted like he’d always been a part of our family. They fit right in. I feel so honored and so privileged that I get to be a part of these kids’ lives watch them grow. I think my heart may have grown a size or two. God is good.
And that brings us up to date. That’s all I’ve got for now. I’ll try not to let another 3 months go by before my next post!