December 22, 2014

Home during the Holidays

This week was so nice.  Every night, we came home to the dark outdoors at 5 PM or later (because this close to the solstice, it's sunset at 4:47 or something along those lines with all of the clouds) to our recently remodeled house and enjoyed the holiday lights on our across-the-street neighbor's house. The Effort!  Well done (for them).  (Also, yay.  Holidays!)

Many Neighbors embrace the holiday spirit through light shows!  It's endearing.

I recovered from the rolled ankle earned at last week's trail half-marathon-come-10K disaster (which meant I cut myself all sorts of slack on the workout side of things), and I did laundry, chores, shopping, and even splurged to make a mid-week meal of gnocchi for guests (a meal that has tons of history for me, but that I hadn't made in at least 5 years).

Gnocchi is labor intensive.  I spent a few years putting in my time to learn how to make it (granted -- I was doing other things, it probably only takes 6 days, total, but it took me years {grin}).  But, regardless, it is a magical dish.  And using garden squash makes it that much better.

Roasted Acorn Squash Gnocchi -- one of the first real home-cooked meals in  the new kitchen.

So that was great.

In other news, all my Jewish(ish) friends (most of whom have kids) all reminded me that it was Hanukkah (primarily through their stories about gifts for their kids).  So Yay!  Winter presents!

And, a few conversations with close friends about holiday stresses reminded me that E & I have awesome families.  While many of our friends complained about the holidays and gift anxiety, we were calmly free.  In my family, the adults don't get each other presents unless they are seeing each other in person, and even then, it's low stress (pick a game or puzzle, we'll play it in the time we're planning to spend together).  Kids, of course, always get gifts, even if you aren't in town -- Duh!   E's family is a bit more high maintenance than mine, in general, but with in-person holidays, they've decided to manage by opting into secret santa assigned one-gift-per-adult awesomeness, which is amazing and wonderful and we've used it to explain to people on multiple occasions about just how cool E's family is...

Workout effort was minimal including Monday's gym visit, which was 30 min recumbant bike; 3X13 pushups; crunches; reverse crunches; ankle arch; lunge stretching; straddle; back twist; pike stretching.   Tue rest. Wed super easy, 2 miles jogging with some walking.  Th: 3.58 @ 12:28  plus 0.23 walking recovery.  Friday: REST (told you I was lazy this week!).  Sat:  2 @ 10:26 w/E -- I do love running with my man.  Then another 3 on my own, run-walking, averaging 16 min/mile...  Sunday was my own Jingle Bell Hell: 8.01 miles at 11:53 avg pace (my personal hell was promising myself no walk breaks - I could stop to use restrooms or sip water at fountains, but otherwise, I had to be jogging at a minimum).  This is an improvement, pace-wise, over last year.  So I call success!  Total mileage for the week -- 19.46, but much less of it walking than last week, so progress.

Happy Holidays!    



L.A. Runner said...

Hubby's family is an all-gift family… and he has FOUR siblings… and they ALL have kids. The whole shopping ordeal stresses me to the max. That and then the siblings have the maturity of 10 year olds and secretly (not so secretly) compare the gifts to make sure the same amount was spent on each one. UGH!!!!! Needless to say, each year I nearly lose my mind.

My family- totally chill like yours. Thank goodness for balance b/c if I had two high maintenance families, I couldn't deal with it.

Very glad your ankle is okay. I'm SO impressed that you made your own gnocchi. I can't even wrap my head around that kind of patience. I can barely wait for water to boil for the pre-made, pre-packaged kind. LOL.

Happy Holidays!

bt said...

@L.A. Runner -- that sounds totally stressful.

Several of the stories I heard from friends had to do with the odd difficulty of the financial *value* of the presents and/or the financial reality of having to buy so many items that people probably don't even need.

Some families, like your Hubby's have stress from some members of the family wanting things to be *fair* and even. They don't want to spend more than they receive, essentially, which is kind of weird when you think about the history of Christmas. One of my friends told me that her family does a white elephant gift exchange but that it comes with a *minimum* you can spend on the gift, which seems just so strange to me. If you find something great, how does it matter what it cost?

Some families (like mine before my mom chilled out) have people who just go crazy overboard and they make everyone else feel like they didn't do enough in response.

Some families, like a good friend of mine's, have siblings who are much wealthier than others and the wealthy siblings get gifts that the other siblings couldn't possibly afford to match. This apparently can result in guilt, frustration, etc.

Then there's just the stress of having to do all that shopping! My heart goes out to you with so many siblings and nieces and nephews to try to deal with.

Like I said in my post, I've recently realized how lucky we are on this detail and I'm *very* thankful.

Happy Holidays to you too!