Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Best Christmas Present Ever

The best Christmas present I ever received was a while back when College Geek was a Grade School Geek and Middle Geek was Baby Geek and the Littlest Geek was... well you are going to have to wait for it.

It was December 23 and I put College Geek on the bus for the last day of school before break. I had a million things to do before Christmas. But before I dove into my list of things to do I thought how about taking some time to pause and relax - the calm before the storm so to speak. I asked my neighbor (also at the bus stop) if she would like to come over for a cup of coffee. I am still not sure why I was able to convince her to also pause and reflect but we went inside and had some coffee and conversation. Soon the phone rang. This was before caller ID and I had (and have) a policy of trying not to ignore a live person over one on the phone BUT for some reason I answered the phone.

Phone: "Hello Mrs. Geek, this is Ms. Social Worker from the State."

AbFab: "oh"

Phone: "I wanted to tell you that Middle Geek's biological mother has had another child. He has been in the hospital for a few weeks and they think he is about healthy enough to send home. Since we like to keep sibling groups together, we wanted to first ask your family if you would consider taking him in."

AbFab: "oh oh oh!"

By now my neighbor was listening intently with me.

AbFab: "Of course, oh my God"

Phone: "Shouldn't you talk to Mr. Geek?"

AbFab: "Who? Yes of course I will tell him, he will be SOOO excited!"

Phone: "Are you sure he will agree?"

AbFab: "Agree with what? Oh. It is not much of a decision. Tell me everything!!!"

Now it just so happened that Mr. Geek was on a business trip. And he was not a meeting or conference but he was driving the length of the railroad from Ohio to Missouri stopping at various stations for inspections. This was also long enough ago that not everyone wore a phone in their pocket. (Remember those days) So it was going to be challenging to find him and tell him.

AbFab: "I will call and tell him and get his okay." (The hard part would be finding him, I knew we were completely on the same page regarding more children.)

Phone: "Okay let me know. It is possible he will come home tomorrow, the hospital was hoping he would be home for Christmas."

My neighbor and I squealed, there is no other word for it. The lists that both of us planned to complete that day before Christmas Eve were instantly forgotten.

I called Mr. Geek's secretary.

AbFab: "I was wondering if there was any way that you could get a hold of Mr. Geek BECAUSE (I talked right over her expected explanation of him on the road, uncertain schedule etc.) -- I want to tell him -- he has a new son!"

Mr. Geek's Wonderful Secretary: "Eeek!! Your kidding!! Oh My! I will find him!"

Like all great secretaries I knew that she could make it happen.

Now began the phone calls to my family, who also instantly dropped their last minute things to do before Christmas Eve. I have to give you some more background at this point. As College Geek outgrew all of his baby clothes and baby stuff, I patiently stored everything in the basement. When Middle Geek joined our family (a good story for another day), I pulled everything out and much of it was old and dated. After Middle Geek we knew we still wanted more children. We were assured by the state (that we were adopting through) that they placed older children and it was unlikely (actually they said impossible) for us to get an infant. We really thought that was great and that our next child would probably fit in the large age gap between College Geek and Middle Geek, making Middle Geek the Littlest Geek and ....- are you following this -- and so as Middle Geek outgrew equipment or clothes, I immediately gave them away or sold them.

So (have you caught on yet) it is Christmas Eve's Eve and I am getting an infant tomorrow and I have NO INFANT STUFF!

The remainder of the day is still a joyous giddy blur. My mom and sister came over. We went to several resale shops looking to rebuild the nursery. As we were shopping we were so hyper that we told everyone we met about our "Christmas present". One saleslady even threw in some toys for us to take for him.

Mr. Geek was found - his travel companion actually had a cell phone. He was so happy, he cried, right there in northern Indiana, in front of a virtual stranger (I told you I did not have to ask him if he wanted another child).

And that was the Greatest Christmas Present Ever.

I would like to thank Damama for inspiring me to get this wonderful story down in writing. (It has been repeated over and over of course.) And also her point to the Writer's Workshop which gave us the writing prompt.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Take5 Tuesday

5 things on your tree, (if you’ve put one up yet.)

1. Lights - flashing, I lost this argument or maybe since I didn't help decorate I lost my vote.
2. A victorian angel on the top.
3. An ornament from when there were only four in the family - I think we need a new family ornament.
4. A beautiful tree skirt made by my Mother-in-Law. (I know it is not technically ON the tree.)
5. Various personalized ornaments - my favorite kind.

5 of your Christmas traditions

1. Go to Christmas Eve Church Service
2. Wake up early and open presents
3. Meet the rest of the family and have brunch and open gifts. All the kids open first - mass chaos, then the adults open theirs one at a time starting from youngest to oldest.
4. We play a Christmas game and drink wine while the prime rib cooks. We have played Cranium, Apples to Apples, this year the game is Partini - I hope it's fun.
5. Before dinner, we take turns (from youngest to oldest again) saying what we are thankful for. The youngest usually mentions their favorite Christmas present, somebody always mentions that they are thankful we will get to eat soon, lol.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Stories

Story 1

One of my favorite things to do is sing and my favorite part of Christmas is Christmas carols. So on Sunday I got to combine the two for an entire morning -- it was like a perfect storm (in a good way.)

It started at 7:30 am ( which was way too early and COLD, but still...) with practice with the Praise Band. Immediately following was Choir Practice. I don't routinely sing with the choir due to lack of time, however I have sang in choirs since third grade, so I really miss it, especially at Christmas time. We had a special All Church Choir for this Sunday so we could sing the Hallelujah Chorus. I could not pass that up. We had a choir of at least fifty, with brass and timpani etc. There was not much time for practice before church began and we were able to bring Handel's Messiah to life. I don't think I could ever get tired of that piece of choral music, I have sung most of it both in College Choir and in Community Choir.

After the choir sang, I moved to Kidszone. This is what our church calls "Sunday School." My friend from Praise Band plays the guitar and I lead the kids in worship songs about once a month. Today we led them in Christmas music. (I have to admit switching from singing Joy to the World with a choir and singing Joy to the World with guitar kinda hurt my head. I had to have the guitar play quite a bit until I could find the starting note. Thankfully kids are very forgiving of this -- I believe I have found my target audience for my solo career.) We added an impromptu "Jingle Bells" just for fun.

The next church service was the Contemporary service where the Praise Band plays, so it was back to singing as a backup singer. I had one more Sunday school class to lead in song and the day was over. It may sound a bit hectic (and it was) but I could not have asked for a better start to Christmas Week.

Story 2

My mom and I were Christmas shopping last week. Pretty much from the start I could tell that my mom was not feeling very well. You see, my mom lives for shopping the way I live for singing. She loves everything about it and she can shop for hours and hours. After just a few minutes, I could tell her enthusiasm was just not there. Finally she admitted that she had been feeling sick for a few days and was getting more and more miserable. Of course she refused to quit shopping and go home, so we pushed on.

We were in Sears’ Men’s shop when she was feeling so bad that she had to rest and leaned upon a display table of sweatshirts. A young man working there saw her remarked that he too was feeling some of the exhaustion of the season. Then he said, “Why don’t I find you a chair.” Just to put this in perspective -- have you ever tried to find an employee help you during the Christmas season. And here was a young man offering to go out of his way to help an obviously tired woman.

Now I know that there are plenty of stories about the craziness and crazy people this time of year but to me this is what Christmas is about. We can get caught up in the madness, we can complain about the maddening people, we can argue Seasons Greetings vs Merry Christmas like it is a Holy War -- but what is truly important is how we treat each other, on a person to person level. It matters more, how did you treat the sales clerk today or how did you talk to the crabby old man in line. It did not matter if the man said Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas, what mattered was the kindness in his heart. What mattered was the kindness in his actions.

So my wish for all of you is this -- I hope you find love and kindness this Christmas season.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Mr. Geek's Nightmare

This is the commercial that is haunting Mr. Geek.

For the record- I did not show it to him, he showed it to me. (I believe he is still shaken.)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Did you Guess?

AbFab Geek was in Tunica.

Thirteen Things about my trip to Tunica Mississippi

Riding in a Charter bus can be –

1. Noisy – On the bus among many strangers, were my mom my two sisters, my Aunt Sally and my Niece, Cheri. Let me tell you, those women talk a lot – and loud.

2. Boring – We had a movie showing on the bus each way and my mom actually shushed us.

3. Stomach churning - The winds rocked the bus back and forth, back and forth and the ceiling was covered with carpeting that was a swirl of blue, purple and ..

4. Embarrassing - The bathroom door is challenging for some to lock, including some poor man I opened the door on. I thought I covered it really well becauseI ran back to my seat really quickly so he would not know who walked in on him. Why did this have to happen during the first hour of the adventure, oh why?

5. Fun – Perhaps you have met my family or a family like them, we can be our own entertainment and keep each other amused, heck, rolling in the aisles, for days. We also had tour guides that kept us busy with games and BINGO, and at one point a singing Bus Driver. No, the Singing Bus Driver was just weird!

6. If you are ever in Tunica, you will have to eat one or more of the Buffets (it may be the law for all I know.)

7. You can guarantee the following at each and every buffet – Fried Chicken, Chinese cooking, Mexican food, some sort of salad bar.

8. After a couple buffets, you can become part detective and seek out the hidden gems, Fresh strawberries, Eggs Benedict, Caramel Apples and some wonderful southern cooking (greens and sweet potatoes etc.) and surprisingly very good sausage and sour kraut.

9. It is far enough in the south that you can find – Grits for breakfast, Greens cooked with Bacon, Delicious Fried Chicken, and Sweet tea.

10. If you are under sixty, you will feel young at least until midnight when the younger crowd comes out.

11. Although the television news is from Memphis there are no Memphis newspapers, in fact although it is the closest metropolitan area, people in Tunica will deny this. We had one cashier tell us “Oh yeah, I live in Memphis.” And then look furtively around, like someone might overhear.

12. It is fun to hang around bored bartenders. One bartender made us delicious coffee drinks made with Bailey’s and topped with whipped cream. At another bar, a bartender was trying out several new drinks and shots and kept lining them up for me to try and review. (I think my palate became a bit less refined as time went on.)

13. The most fun of any Girls weekend is the time that we all get to spend together. The highlight was shopping in one Casino Gift shop, we bought my mom her Christmas present (We told her not to look.), my niece bought new shoes, and we all bought new Glamorous Sun Glasses.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Where was AbFab Geek?

Oh my, I seem to have stumped everyone (not counting Cheri who does not count because she was there.)

Here's some more clues.

It is in Mississippi.

You can eat in a different buffet for every meal.

Ch-Ching, Ch-Ching, Ch-Ching, Ch-Ching.

Pay no attention to those old people, or that lady over there chain smoking and dragging her oxygen tank.

(Answer and Back Story tomorrow.)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Where has AbFab Been?

Oh My, there is so much I have wanted to tell you about my adventures during the last month!

Let's start with the game: Where was AbFab Geek?

First Clue: Here we are leaving. Note how low the sun was in the sky. And check out the psychedelic rug on the ceiling. Where could these women be going?

It must have been a long ride to include a game of Cover-All Bingo (which I lost).

This town decorates their cars with part of the cow, not just Cow Bells.

There was a piece of Blarney Stone there for Good Luck!

And we all got new sunglasses with plenty of BLING!


Good News!!

My laptop is back!

Can you see my smile? Did you hear my happy dance? (Sorry about that.)

It has a new hard drive and I am working at setting all my bookmarks and prefered spots, but we are settling in together quite nicely.

I hope to resume my blogging shortly -- Just in time for Christmas!