days play back in your mind, slow at first, folding into weeks, into months, edges of the frame deep and hazy, just so slightly out of focus. a flute of champagne and a fur coat, a red heart balloon floating to the ceiling. cold and blue, grass frosted white. the frame speeds up and the sun rains technicolor shadows down from the sky. a green wig, a pink flamingo. the gray smoke curling off a birthday candle. a bunny mask, a tiny baby. spring speeds into summer, days begin to melt. beach sand and a crashing wave. ice dissolving into rum. fireworks and baby’s crawling. the frame skips, and faster now the days play back. blurry and close, a tear stained cheek. a falling leaf and husband’s older. a pumpkin glowing, a baking pie. things move faster, faster, a deafening cacophony. only glimpses now, a string of lights, a flurry of scissors. a baby’s eyelash, fingers entwined. and the noise of it all bears down, holding you still, and your eyes sting and still it moves faster, alive now and engulfing you, setting the air you breathe ablaze with an electric current. christmas, an explosion, sound and light and nothing else.
and then the frame goes dark.
with nothing left to give, like a dying moth, it loses color. faded and brittle it turns to dust, pale wings crumble, hollow body breaks away, spent and broken, nothing left but a shimmering pile of ash. and then you wait, wait for something new, something living, breathing, to stir…to grow wings and fly. and while you wait the world sheds its skin…that sickly, blinding, faded film peels away.
excited enough to continue with the continual circus that is Georgia Armstrong.
we left off with the title company and our lender scrambling to get an extension letter from one of the lien holders of the house.
the title girl is really the one who is handling that situation- and she is also unbelievably frustrating.
on December 7th, she says we are good to go and will have our letter within 2-3 days.
so our lender sends us our list of things we need to do for closing. we complete EVERYTHING within a week’s time.
during that particularly hectic and stressful week, title girl says it will be another 2-3 business days.
so we arrive at December 14th. she says another 2-3 days.
2-3 days pass.
And on the 17th, she says it will be ‘a few more’ business days because they needed a HUD, which she decided to send over on that day, instead of a week ago.
which begs the question…is she a complete effing idiot? If they needed a HUD, why in the hell did she wait so damn long to send it to them? And also, can she count? It would appear not.
In the meantime, we’ve rushed our appraisal and had to shell out extra cash for a second home inspection, switch home insurance companies, have a roof inspection, fax things, and sign things, and copy things, and email bank statements, and all kinds of things, so we’re kind of stressed without title girl proving to be just as big an idiot as Georgia – who by the way, didn’t take care to have the renters leave on the water before the inspection, which is a requirement. She wouldn’t answer our calls. But LUCKILY the home inspector was cool and just let it slide, knowing Alex’s family owns a plumbing company. We haven’t heard anything from Georgia in about a month, actually.
So Julie sends more emails to the title girl, as does our lender. So she decides to tell us it will be another few days, that she’ll go ahead and update our title – because she hasn’t done it in the last 3 weeks – and still hasn’t ordered our survey.
We were expecting to close on the 23rd. And we are most pleased that we spent extra money to rush EVERYTHING to have it all in within the first week, since we were told our extension letter would be sent to our lender within 3 days and to get everything done ASAP.
Then to top it off, Georgia’s jack ass assistant starts firing off emails asking just unbelievably dumb questions. I think it should be a requirement that in order to work in ANY professional setting, you must first master the basics of the English language, proper spelling, grammar, etc. And common sense. You must also have common sense. And not be lazy. And answer phone calls. These bitches are all of those things…dumb and lazy and rude.
And now it’s December 28th and NO ONE is answering any of Julie’s emails and no one has any clue why the Ocwen extension letter is taking this long. We only needed it extended by a week in order to close but it’s taken almost a month to even get the letter back to begin with.
And here’s the kicker: Our mortgage loan will expire on the 5th if we don’t close before then. It’s already happened once in the time we’ve been trying to buy this house…so we’ll have to start all. over. again. At that point, we’ll probably walk away and then do everything we can to have Georgia fired.
But on the bright side, the samples came in the mail for the new kitchen counters. HUZZAH.
baby in a bathrobe. christmas eve breakfast. old ornaments. flashing lights. long naps. back scratches. fringe and plaid. leopard shoes. red toes. singing ties. suit jackets and sneakers. chocolate cake with a silver bow. presents and paper, tissue and ribbon. a tiny ukelele. late nights. rudolph and hot cocoa. homemade croutons. surprise rain boots. seafood lunch. a hand carved bow. new toys. a warm fire. paper snowflakes. tie dyed yarn. handwritten notes. baby jesus. burning incense. toy helicopter, a tiny flashing dragonfly.
We make this for Christmas every year and box it up for people we love. If you have ever gotten a box of this from us, that means we kind of think you kick ass and deemed you worthy of hours spent slaving in the kitchen. Also it’s just amazing.
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 6 tbsp butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour a baking sheet.
2. Mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
3. beat together butter, sugar, and eggs.
4. stir the dry ingredients into the butter/egg/sugar mixture.
5. stir in cranberries, chocolate chips, and nuts.
6. dump onto your buttered/floured pan and shape into a rectangle.
7. bake for 25 minutes.
8. remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes. once it’s cooled, cut into stripes about 1 inch wide and flip over onto their side so that one of the soft sides is now face down on the pan.
9. put back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes.
10. DEVOUR. or share. whatever.
*Consider the fact that I shared this recipe my virtual box of already cooked biscotti wrapped up with yarn and paper snowflakes with your name in silver glitter. That means I love you. All of you. For life.
a year ago, to the minute exactly, I was in that foggy place, the place where you exist purely as instinct amongst shadows…I was there and I was fighting with every last shred of the fabric that bound us both together, fighting against everything that in the foggy place seemed right, knowing it was time for us to be separated, to be finally ripped from each other, and breaking my body in two to make it so.
and in that heavy second where I was truly alone inside myself once more, with the whirlwind in my head blocking out all sound and light, I was scared I wouldn’t be able to find you in the dissipating fog. But you were there, still tethered to me, tiny roots that grew through me and grounded me to the earth, our souls still intrinsically anchored to each other, minds and hearts connected, where our bodies suddenly were not.
a year later and nothing has changed. you are everything.
So B had his first birthday party on Saturday. And he cried. And he fussed. And for a lot of it, he was not happy. And I was worried. And I was anxious. And by 7 that night, he had a 102 fever and a nasty stomach virus.
But when he was happy, I swear to god rainbow beams were shooting out of his face. He gave his best friend Jonah kisses and ate his giant cupcake. There were cake pops and polka dots, teal velvet, and endless bubbles. Corn dogs and popcorn and candy and chicken wings. Pizza rolls and giant pretzels, hot chocolate and frozen drinks. Golden felt crowns and a bunny-masked pinata. A velociraptor with a top hat and a cupcake. A photo booth that went forgotten, volleyball and corn hole. Music and mayhem, painted balloons and metallic gold.
I don’t like kid’s parties. I don’t like the themes, or the awkward sitting, or awkward small talk, or staring at the kid while they cry and open presents and the like. I don’t like kid’s parties. So we didn’t have one.
So I’ve been sifting through the comments on this post on and off throughout the day, seriously crying each time. During one crying fit, B summer saulted over my side, gave me a giant kiss, grabbed his towel, and cuddled me. I almost died. Go read it – the rest of this might not make sense if you don’t.
Every time I go to reach out, I’m too late and their needs get taken care of by several other people. But I want to help. Badly. I want the boys to do this every year, select toys and clothes and things to send to someone else who needs them and wouldn’t have any kind of Christmas without them.
I fully don’t expect anyone to comment with their private financial details and whatnot, but if you’re struggling and in need, I want to help you.
I know what it’s like to be a child in a home where we moved around to people’s couches and spare rooms, where we had to ask for handouts, make those decisions where it’s either pay the bills or feed the family. I watched my mom struggle and I saw what it did to her. And there was always someone that would step in, help in a way that seemed trivial to them…but it would have the biggest impact on us – and I don’t know if they ever even realized it.
We’ve got wipes and clothes and some diapers and toys for NB-12 months. I’m a size smallish. I want to help if and where I can, especially if it means any of you get to have some gifts under the tree for your kids this year if they weren’t going to otherwise.
Send me an email and let me know what you need. firstname.lastname@example.org.