I have always loved Christmas. The lights, the cookies, Grandma’s Christmas breakfast, and the presents (duh)! Then, once Jace came along it got even better. To see the magic of Christmas through a child’s eyes is unbelievable. It is usually such a fun, stress-free time for me.
This year, it has been hard for me to get into the Christmas spirit. I can’t believe we are less than two weeks away from the big day. I have a tree up and I have ordered a few gifts online, but I’m just not feeling it. I had made so many plans in my head to take Jace to the Festival of Lights, to ice skate on Fountain Square, and to bake cookies for Santa (since this could end up being the last year he believes). So far, we haven’t done any of those things. I just seem to be in a bit of a slump that I can’t pull myself out of.
This will be my first Christmas officially without my mother and my grandpa. Their minds had already gone last year, but at least they were there physically. They had both been sick for quite a while before they passed so maybe I just never really thought about what the holidays would be like without them. Obviously, I had thought about not seeing them, but I think missing the things they did is finally starting to set in. I never really thought that my family had any Christmas “traditions”. We didn’t bake cookies together, or drive around looking at Christmas lights, but looking back on it maybe our traditions were just a little less traditional.
After my parents divorced when I was a kid, Christmas Eve was spent with my mom. She never had a ton of money to spend on gifts, so she always made a big fancy dinner for all of us, and she always got unreasonably stressed out about it!! I told her every year that I would have been just as happy ordering a pizza. After dinner we would move to the living room where we would open whatever was under the tree. She was always so generous with what she did have. I wish I would have been able to give her better gifts, but I really think she was just as happy having us all there. The night usually ended with all of us in the kitchen, drunk, dancing and singing to Elton John or Joe Cocker! Like I said, probably not your typical Christmas Eve, but I’ll never forget it.
Christmas morning, we would go to Grandma and Grandpa’s house for breakfast. It might be my favorite meal of the year! Grandpa always sat at the head of the table, but never said much because he refused to wear his hearing aids and he couldn’t hear what any of us were saying!! He was a man of very few words, but for as long as I can remember as soon as it was time to open gifts his whole personality changed. He would light up as he handed everyone the boxes that he neatly wrapped himself. When any of the grand kids needed help getting a toy out of the box, there he was with his little pocket knife. And he always made sure to have the right batteries on hand for anything that needed them. My grandparents didn’t have much when they were raising their kids, so I think Grandpa really took pride in being able to give all of us everything we wanted.
It is hard to think about what it will be like this year without them. I am trying my best to keep things positive for Jace and to make sure that he still has a wonderful Christmas, he deserves that. I am glad that he is old enough that he will hopefully remember holidays with his grandma and great grandpa. For now, it is time for me to turn on some Elton John and dance in the kitchen with my son while we create our own Christmas traditions!
I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas, and be sure to cherish the time that you have with the people you love.
November was an absolute whirlwind! Between getting ready for the holidays, my son’s wrestling, work, and a home remodel that seems like it will last forever I completely lost track of time. While putting together the details for my January ladies’ night, I realized I never shared all the fun we had in November!!
Cantina Laredo was our host venue for our Taco Tuesday ladies’ night out on November 14th. I don’t know about y’all but when I plan anything I always get super nervous that something will go wrong or no one will show up. So, when my evening started off with a flat tire, I went into full on panic mode!
Thankfully, my grandmother, who has an air compressor, lives nearby and Eric was able to Facetime and walk me through how to use it!! I added some air to the tire and went on my way. *sidenote, I later found out that the tire had a huge gash in the side and it was flat again by the time I left the event.*
Nevertheless, I made to Cantina Laredo just a few minutes later than I originally hoped.
Once I started setting up everything else started to fall into place. Our featured photographer for the night, Judy Gehrlich, was there early and was sweet enough to help me put together the swag bags. These adorable personalized totes, that were filled with some really great stuff, were provided by the guys at PGM Custom Apparel in North College Hill and I could not be happier with how they turned out!! Their customer service was phenomenal, and I will definitely be calling them up next time I need anything customized.
Guests started rolling in a little before 5:30 and in no time the staff at Cantina Laredo had the drinks flowing and the Top Shelf Guacamole being served up with their table side prep stations. Everyone was sat at a large “community style” table which was a great for conversation and meeting new people.
Melissa Bauman was there from Le-Vel Thrive sharing information about the Thrive three step system. Thrive is a nutritional supplement that is great for people who are looking for increased energy, focus, and overall well-being. If you would like more information about the products you can find her on Facebook or visit her website at SMbaum.le-vel.com
Emily and Kelley Conner with EVER Skin were back for their second ladies’ night. After getting a sample of their Lavish body butter and finding out how amazing it was, I asked for a sample of the Revive intensive eye treatment. Let me tell you, I never really thought I had a problem with under eye wrinkles and bags until I used the Revive on one eye and not the other to see the difference. It is amazing!! You can see all of their products on their websites, Everskin.com/with/Kelleyconner or Everskin.com/with/Emilyconner.
It was so wonderful greeting all of the women as they came in and seeing how many of them brought items for the food drive that went to benefit the Shared Harvest Foodbank in Fairfield. Jerome Nelson, the resource development coordinator with Shared Harvest, was very grateful for everything we collected. Jerome also shared information on other ways people can help feed the hungry. If you are interested in doing any volunteer work in the community, give Shared Harvest a call and find out how you can help. 513-874-0114.
By the end of the night, a group of ladies that started out as strangers all sat around the table talking and laughing like old friends. I had a lot of people excited and asking about the next event. I have finally worked out all of the details and I hope you all can join us on Tuesday, January 9th 2018 from 5:30-8:30pm at Matt the Miller’s Tavern in the Streets of West Chester. You can register at https://cheerstothenewyear.eventbrite.com. If you have any questions or would be interested in having your business featured at the event, please email me at Cincinnati@Housewivesinthecity.com.
I’m very excited to be bringing Cincinnati Housewives in the city back!
I will be hosting monthly girl’s night out events across the tri-state area, sharing delicious recipes, teaching you all of my tricks on saving money and introducing you to my favorite travel spots. We will get together at a different venue each month to hang out and have a great time!