Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Help Wanted

First, let me start off by saying that I am SO happy the election is over!!! I have mixed feelings about the results- I did not make up my mind until last week who I would vote for. I have always been one of those on the fence types about many issues. I was one of the undecideds everyone was talking about last week! I am looking forward to seeing IF all this change makes a noticable difference in the H household. Stay tuned for that one...

On to the help needed! I have many perplexing topics on the brain today...

1. We are probably going to take our house off the market. We may or may not put it back on in the spring. We have decided to totally redo our master bath, which will make a difference if we do. The contractor is coming over tonight to give us a quote! I'm excited about getting my (hopefully) spa-ish bath that I want, but not excited about tearing out walls, dust, and general unsettlement in the house. Reynie has inspired me to do a home tour, so you all can give me advice on the rest of the house coming soon!

2. The holidays are quickly approaching. We always have multiple family events to attend on Thanksgiving and Christmas, and are looking for a way to scale it down. Here's our delimma: B's parents are divorced and have not holiday-ed together once in the past 20 years. I would like to say, time to suck it up and move on, but that might not be polite! We usually do one holiday gathering with his brother's family at his dad's house, and then another gathering with the same exact people at his mom's house (minus the dad of course). Usually one parent has to settle for not having the holiday get together on the actual holiday, usually his dad, who in my opinion is the easier of the 2 to get along with!

I have not even mentioned my own family. My mom HAS to see us on the actual day. There is no negotiating. We go to my grandparents for Thanksgiving supper and Christmas breakfast, and then to her house later in the day on Christmas. Throw in the in-laws, and that's a whole lot of running around. We all live in the same town, but my children never get to be in our own home on Christmas day. Add to that the fact that there is MAJOR competition betweeen my mom and my mother in law for the children's affection. I also have to factor in my brother and his wife's family's multiple gatherings.

My question- how can we combine/simplify? Make the divorced inlaws get together for 2 hours and deal with their differences (they do see each other at birthdays and such and are civil with each other)? Make the mom and MIL celebrate together? Tell everyone if they want to see us they have to come to us and end up cooking multiple holiday dinners for all the gatherings? And did I mention that I really don't enjoy cooking? I'm exhausted just thinking about it all.

3. Atlanta area readers- this is for you!! I'll be in ATL this weekend for the wedding of one of my best childhood friends! We went to preschool together, he and B were bff's in high school, and he was the best man in our wedding. We are staying here and the wedding will be here. I'm pretty excited about it- Atlanta is one of my favorite places and we'll have all day Saturday to do whatever- the wedding starts at 5:30pm. I've done the World of Coke and all of the downtown attractions. This time I'm looking for some shopping places! Any good outlets I could find easily? Thanks in advance if you can help!

OK- lots for you to ponder. If you can offer ANY ideas, please feel free!


Our Moments said...

I feel your pain with the holiday gatherings. We don't have the divorced parents, but we do have a 2 hour drive from our house to either set of grandparents. And, it is EXHAUSTING!!! I really don't think the parents (grandparents) realize how taxing it is.

We have gotten it down to a science now, but it's still more than I wish to do... hubby's immediate family for lunch on Thanksgiving, hubby's extended family for dinner on Saturday, my immediate family for dinner on Thanksgiving... for Christmas, I REFUSE to be anywhere but my own house for Christmas Eve (we have our own Christmas Eve tradition)... Christmas day, hubby's parents house for lunch, my parents house for dinner...

Then, I feel like sleeping for a week after it's all over with.

I can't wait to see pics of T's wedding. Please post some when you have time!! I'm so happy for him.

Alice said...

Good luck with the contractor! That would make you like your house more I think if you redid your bathroom since you just did the girls....

See you tomorrow!

Reynie said...

I think it is a great idea to take the house off the market--such a bad realestate market right now. And I can't wait to see the tour of your house! The bathroom redesign will be lots of fun for you, too!

And about the holiday situation... let me know what you come up with. My parents are divorced and we have many of the same type issues. ugh.

Lastly, the ATL... I know there are some outlets up 85 but it is about an hour away. Down 75 there are some as well but again, about an hour away. For the city itself, you should go over to the Virginia-Highland area. They have great little stores and boutiques. Lenox of course is a shopping mall mecca but not always cheap. If you haven't been to the aquarium, it is totally worth checking out.

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

I hear you - I grew up with divorced parents so I had at least two, usually three of each holiday. Which sounds way more fun than it ever way.

In my family now, each cousin does Christmas morning at their own home. And around 4-ish, we gather at my Aunt's house for the evening. Everyone brings a dish so no one is doing the entire meal. My aunt does the main course but keeps it simple by doing lasagna and spiral ham. I know, they don't seem like they should go together but when there are 30+ people and lots and lots of food, it ensures everyone is happy. She makes (or sometimes I make them for her) the lasagna in advance and freezes them. So the day of she just pops them in the oven. Those who don't cook usually bring wine or nothing. We always have enough food to feed five times our group anyway. The key is that it is low key. We try to focus on being together rather than making it fancy. We do kids gifts first. Then when the kids are off playing, we do adult gifts. But the last four years or so we decided to do the Yankee Santa/Dirty Santa game. Where everyone brings one gift @$30 value and you draw #'s to select gifts and steal gifts. It's so much fun and it means we only need to purchase one gift.

Stephanie said...

I am Reynie's sister, Stephanie.
1. We have always had Christmas with my mom the weekend before, it is much more relaxing and not so rushed.
2. The people in your house come first. Stay home Christmas, if they want to see you and the kids, they can come to you...all of them. They can put aside their difference for one day. If mine can do it, yours can too. They may not like the idea at first, but will respect your decision.

Love your blog will visit often. My blog is

Lisa said...

The holiday stuff is hard. We made an agreement a couple of years back that on Christmas day we would be at our house. Period. The kids could stay in their PJ's and play with their goodies all day, and if someone wants to come over, so be it. I'll make a big dinner Christmas night and the more the merrier. We now do a little Christmas with Hubby's family a couple of days beforehand and they still come over Christmas evening. My parents usually come in town. AND we do Christmas Eve just the four of us. Thanksgiving we split between families (my family is out of town). I figure when I'm a grandparent it will be my job to make the rounds for my grandkids.

Can't wait to see the house tour. FUn!