Category Archives: Holidays

Happy (belated) New Year!

Having had the last week of 2015 off, I’ve learned quite a few things about myself.

First and foremost, I’m really good at being a sloth.  And when it comes to work, housework in particular, I have no problem letting it go.  I didn’t cook, or clean, or even bake the whole time I was off.

In my defense, the kids were all home, and with them comes lots of stuff.  And the kids were all home, so who wants to spend time cooking and cleaning?

Even when Link went back to Ohio, I slothed.  Maybe even more so because while he was here we bowled, and played games, and went to the movies, and after he left the other kids began spending time with their friends, so I no longer had things to keep me busy.  But since all their stuff remained in our itty, bitty house, cleaning was pretty useless.

Instead, I spent hours putting together a puzzle.  Which brings me to another thing I learned about myself.  I can spend hours putting together a puzzle.  Me.  One who normally can’t stand sitting still for any length of time.  But any chance I got, I’d sit on the floor and have to tear myself away an hour or two later.  Usually because things started to hurt.  I’m too old to sit on the floor for that long.

I also learned that I’m not in as good of shape as I thought.  At least not my left butt cheek.  See, when the family went bowling over the holidays, a little itch began to form inside me.  I’ve been pretty happy not bowling over the last few years, and instead, watching my daughter take all the glory.  But that day something sparked in me.  So on New Year’s Day, I convinced my hubby to watch me bowl in a high stakes tournament. I knew I wouldn’t win, but I felt the desire to bowl competitively.  I bowled 5 games, and two days later I’m still feeling it.  Oh well, small price to pay for a day of fun. And not that I needed it, but I have even more reason to be a sloth these next few days.

I return to work Monday after 10 days off.  I’m ready.  This has been a much needed break, and it’s been awesome to reconnect with my family, but I’m ready.

Before I go, I have to thank my hubby for allowing such slothness out of me.  He kept up with the necessary chores such as laundry and dishes and vacuuming, so that I could recharge.  I think he’s ready for me to get back to work as well.

Happy New Year to the best blog friends ever. Here’s wishing you all a happy and healthy 2016!  With a little bit of slothness mixed in…..





Posted by on January 3, 2016 in Bowling, Family, Holidays


Merry Christmas to All

It’s the day after Christmas and my holidays have just begun.

Having worked 8 days straight leading up to the big day, I didn’t really have the chance to appreciate the season.  I’d get up early to wrap a few gifts before beginning my long commute in.  Then I’d pick up another gift or two on my way.  I’d work 10-12 hours, come home and crash, and do it all again the next day.

No time to bake.  No time to enjoy Chip and Amp.  No time.

I finished my final shift at 9pm on Christmas Eve, and arrived home to find Link in my kitchen!  He, too, had worked that day, but his boss had let everyone go home early.  So he got off to an earlier start than expected and arrived “home” a short while before I did. So at 10:00pm on Christmas Eve, our holidays began.

We opened our gifts to each other, saving only the “Santa” gifts for Christmas morning.  Our much smaller living room was stuffed with people, presents and crumpled wrapping paper.  But it was also filled with laughter, chatter, and love.

Link is only home for a few days, so we all took off work to spend time with each other.  We’re planning to bowl and see Star Wars, and just be together.

In fact, I am off work until January 4th.  Hard to believe, I know!  So I will spend the time baking and shopping and singing Christmas songs, and finally getting to enjoy the season.

Merry Christmas to you all from the ShadowRuns!

Charlie Brown Christmas


Posted by on December 26, 2015 in Family, Holidays


Giving Thanks

So I’m a little late… par for the course when you run a hotel.  Especially one next to  a convention center that is hosting the local high school football championships the day after Thanksgiving.  The players and their friends and family all arrived to check in on Thanksgiving Day.

While the front desk agents checked in our entire hotel, I was in our dining area preparing to serve what would turn out to be Thanksgiving Dinner for all 500 of our guests.

Other than the other 2 managers, our entire staff worked that day.  And work we did.  We all went home that night and crashed, only to come back on Friday and do it all again.  By Saturday, my entire body hurt.  Hosting that many people three nights in a row is physically and mentally demanding.  Add to that, missing family time on one of my favorite holidays of the year, and I was d-o-n-e, done.

I’ve since made up for it, however.  On Sunday, we finally were able to have Thanksgiving dinner as a family.  We were missing Link, so we sat down together to Skype him.  He’ll be home for Christmas, and we’re all looking forward to that.

Since then I’ve also made time to watch Mario bowl.  Once again, she’s on the boys’ high school bowling team, and has proven herself enough to be anchor on the Varsity team.  As a Junior and a girl, this is huge.  The anchor is typically the best bowler on the team and is matched up against the best bowler (a boy) on the other team.  And she is up for the challenge.

She’s averaged 200 since the beginning of season, and has easily kept up with the boys.  She loves the look on their faces when she steps up in the anchor position.  And I love the whispers from the others when they realize how good she is.

She’s taking up where I left off, and it has been fun to watch.  I can’t wait to see where she’ll go from here.

So although I’m late, I’m very thankful.  I’m thankful I have a job I love.  I’m thankful I could find a day to share a meal with my family.  I’m thankful my boys are still in school (I’ve had my doubts…), and I’m thankful my daughter is pursuing her dream of bowling competitively and that I can arrange my off days to watch.

I’m also thankful I’ll have Christmas off.  Everyone will be home on that day.  Ain’t nothin’ better than that.



Posted by on December 5, 2015 in Bowling, Family, Holidays, The Hotel


Easter Rebellion

I have a confession.  Easter has never been one of my favorite holidays.  NOT because of what it represents, but because the traditions weren’t all that fun for me.

Oh, I enjoyed helping the kids dye eggs, and I loved buying “spring” toys for the upcoming warm weather – sidewalk chalk, bubbles, water balloons, Frisbees….

But with four young kids, the day itself was stressful for me.  Get up early, hide all the eggs and candy.  Drag the kids out of bed so they could hurry up and find it all before having to clean them up for church.  Wrangle everyone into their good Easter clothes, and try to keep them away from the chocolates before heading to church.

Then began the chore of keeping them still for the extra long Easter mass, then standing outside in the wind, or the rain, or the cold, or a mix of the three, until the church Easter egg hunt began.

Inevitably one would win the prize, so we’d have to wait around some more to collect the “big winner” prize.

I know it sounds like I should have enjoyed it.  After all, they did.  I just couldn’t get into the traditions that Easter brings.

Which is what made this year so fun!

I worked my normal 10 hour shift, getting home around 6pm.  While I worked, my hubby and the kids grilled pork steaks, made baked potatoes, baked beans, and green beans, and baked cookies and a cake.

I came home to some pretty awesome smells, grabbed a plate and enjoyed a wonderful meal with my shrunken family.  (Oh, how I miss Link.)

After we’d stuffed ourselves, we all grabbed our phones and sat in front of the TV for a night of games, courtesy of  We played Drawful, Fibbage, Word Spud, and You Don’t Know Jack, laughing the entire night.  Such fun!  I have to say I enjoyed it quite a bit more than the Easter egg hunts.

So maybe not the traditional Easter celebration, but if it helps me appreciate the specialness of the day, then I’m all for it.


Posted by on April 10, 2015 in Family, Holidays


Just like that, it’s over

And it wasn’t so bad!  Yeah, I missed Link, but we skyped him in the afternoon and watched him open his gifts.   It was almost like he was here.  Before hanging up, we made plans for next year.  He’s already put in for vacation time, so hopefully it will be honored.  And he may bring his friends home too.  Extra bodies next year will certainly make up for the missing bodies this year.

With only the five of us, the holiday was pretty quiet and laid back.   I stole Frankie’s brilliant idea of putting together a puzzle on Christmas Eve.  You know, Frankie, the mistreated mom on The Middle.  I totally get her.  I chose a fun candy bar wrapper puzzle, and while they groaned a bit when I told the kids of my plan, we were soon addicted.  Within 24 hours we had the puzzle put together.


I wish I had the camera stand we bought Link.  It’s designed to take pics of things on a table top, like a card game… or a puzzle.  Instead, I took a billion blind pictures, and this was the best one.

We also managed to watch a few more “classic” movies.  Planes, Trains and Automobiles and Jerry McGuire.  The kids seem to enjoy watching movies we thought were pretty good back in the day.  (Some of our most favorites are What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, The Breakfast Club, and Fargo.  And we’re always open for suggestions…)

After the presents were opened and our bellies were stuffed,  we piled into the van to go caroling bowling.  Who knew people go bowling on Christmas?!  Seems lots of us do.

Christmas bowling

We were asked to get closer. Only Chip and I listened.

The infamous googly eyes made the trip with us.  Doesn’t take much to entertain the boys.





Christmas is once again in the past.  The house is slowly getting back to normal and signs of Christmas coming to a close are everywhere.   The most prominent clues – tons of Christmas clearance sales, and our neighbor’s lawn.  Their Christmas tree has now joined the sagging pumpkins on their front lawn.  Wonder what we’ll see after the New Year’s celebration.


Can’t wait to see if I’m right.



Posted by on December 28, 2014 in Bowling, Family, Holidays


Could it be?

I’m feelin’ a little somethin’.  A bit of excitement.  A warm fuzzy.  Somethin’.

It started yesterday as I was boxing up a few stocking stuffers for Link.  I’m still extremely sad that he won’t be with us on Christmas Day, but as I wrapped his new toothbrush, and some batteries, some candy, and some Ski (that you can only get around here), I began feeling a little better.  He will be able to open the silly gifts that  Santa usually stuffs his stocking with.  I’m hoping it helps him feel like he’s home.  I wonder if he’s as sad as I.  I sincerely hope not.

Normally, I loathe shopping, but when Hubby and I hit the stores, and began finding things we knew the kids would get a kick out of, it became fun.  We weren’t buying just stuff, we were buying for THEM.  I brightened up when I realized the season can be exciting even though the kids are grown.

The biggest kid, by far, is my Hubby.  As I put a few gifts under the tree, I saw this:


And later when I opened the freezer,


He bought himself some googly eyes and is quite giddy over them.  Even Mario got a kick out of them…..


……although she got in trouble for popping a few of them.  “I couldn’t help it,” she explained to him.  “It’s like bubble wrap, once you start, you can’t stop.”

My hubby doesn’t know this, all he sees is my constant eye rolling, but I get a kick outa his childish antics.

I doubt the cat does…


I feel relieved things are turning around for me, and I’m looking forward to spending Christmas with the kids that are home. Now if I can just keep my Scrooge bottled up.

bottled scrooge



Posted by on December 20, 2014 in Holidays, Parenting


Tags: , ,


It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.  On the outside looking in, anyway.

I’ve got some of the shopping done, but still have plenty to go.  Too much, in fact.  But heck, I got plenty of time.  10 days!

Yesterday, I talked Mario into doing a candlelight house tour in a historic town not far from here.  The old homes were beautifully decorated and fun to see.  It was nice, but wasn’t enough to build excitement for Christmas.

Next up, the high school Christmas concert.  I love going to the kids’ concerts, and this was no exception.  I was a little nervous when Amp asked me to record a few songs on his phone.  Seeing my hesitation he quickly assured me, “It’s fool-proof”  as he walked me through the steps of pulling up his camera and pressing record.  I practiced a few times before letting him leave.   During the concert, I’d find myself deeply entranced in the music, and then I’d suddenly remember the camera and my heart would stop.  I was so afraid I’d miss the songs he wanted or screw up the phone somehow.  But I didn’t, and the concert was fantastic, yet I still don’t feel Christmassy.

Maybe it’s the 50 degree temps with gray skies and rain.  Maybe it’s because I’m feeling a little down about work.  Maybe it’s because Link won’t be home.

Whatever the reason, I’m not quite feeling the season.

I’m hoping to snap out of it this week.  I have more days off than what I’m scheduled to work.  I should finish up my shopping, do some baking, and listen to Christmas songs.  I should plan a fun day with the kids.  I should reflect on what Christmas is all about.  I should….

Sheesh, I hope my Christmas spirit shows up soon.

Christmas spirit





Posted by on December 17, 2014 in Everyday Living, Holidays