Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Happy Holidays!

So you know those letters that everyone sends out about everything they do during the year and how their children all got scholarships to Harvard except for the one who is at Julliard and how their pets win obedience championships and everyone got a promotion and they are spending the holidays skiing in Switzerland? Yeah, we don't send those either. Because it's the holidays and also Child 2's birthday, I don't really feel like blogging. I mean, I spent all evening making traditional birthday pudding, so I'm tired. What, you don't have birthday pudding? Well you should because it looks like this and it is almost better than a brownie.

Ok, mine didn't look like that because I don't have a striped towel in Thanksgiving colors draped artistically over the placemat because the birthday candle might make that a fire hazard, but you get the idea.

Anyway, the children gave me permission to post our annual Christmas letter on the blog, so here it is! Along with our annual family photo. Happy New Year!

Reasons we never send out Christmas letters anymore:

Jen has jet lag from her recent China trip.
Husband is on his iPad and isn’t paying attention.
Child 1 is never home, even when she’s “home” for Christmas break.
Child 2 is whining about how everyone else has nicer Christmas cards.
Child 3 won’t participate because we called her spoiled.
Nobody is ever happy with what we write about them.
Nobody has a better idea for this letter.

Happy Holidays and stuff,
Some of the Sudweeks Family

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

That's not how a food coma should go

You will all be happy to know that Lille Jul Aften went off successfully, even though no one got invited until the day before. Apparently, we didn't sound out invitations. And by "we" I mean anyone who was in the United States and could have very easily invited people but waited until I got home from China. That would include everyone in the family except Child 3 who invited someone months ago who actually remembered and came. The food was all gluten free and completely delicious. It was not, however, dairy-free and I am paying for it dearly. Presents almost didn't get wrapped. Good thing I hardly bought anything this year.

Somebody seriously explain to me why Christmas has to come around every single year? Except for the decorating part which I love, and the rice pudding game, I really could do without the whole thing, especially the wrapping presents part. Because the deep, dark secret is that I suck at wrapping. Really. I hate it and I can never get the wrapping to look like I want. Somehow, no matter how hard I try, it ends up looking like this.

Child 3 is an awesome wrapper. She gets it from Husband who all but measures his paper with a ruler. I throw everything I can into bags and what doesn't fit is what get's wrapped. This year, I was using very cute Santa paper and no matter how hard I tried, I always cut it crooked. When I was finally almost out of paper, I realized, it was printed crooked! Totally unfair. I mean, how is a wrapping challenged person supposed to be able to make a gift look decent if you can't follow the lines when you cut? Anyway, it's done, so I'm going to bed.

But before I fall asleep, which will be around 3 am because I'm still not over jet lag, I just have to brag about one thing--I got an award! I know! I can't believe it either! An actual award for actual work that I actually did and it's framed and everything! I totally didn't see it coming because I wasn't actually there to receive it. I was in China, but when I came back, there it was! I seriously almost cried and now I will love my supervisor forever, because as you know, I never, ever get awards. The only downside is that this year, I won't have the excuse of no award to buy myself some new shoes. Don't worry, though, I'm sure something else will not happen so I'll need consoling in the form of maybe cowboy boots.

So macadamia nuts are delicious, not quite better than a brownie, but the honey roasted ones come close. However, throwing a temper fit over how they are served to you and interrupting an international flight because you don't like that they are not on a plate is not, repeat not better than a brownie. And the fact that you do it because your dad is the owner of the airline is no excuse. I mean, come on Ms. Cho, what is so offensive about this?

I mean, it's a lovely shade of blue, and there is even a notch so you can actually open it. If she was offended by the meal service, maybe she should talk to the owner of the airline. Oh, wait. But seriously, her conduct was the most offensive thing about the whole incident and maybe after she is arrested she will learn some manners. The good thing, though, is that macadamia nuts are now very popular in Korea, which is good for the growers in Hawaii. Just don't eat all the nuts before I get some more honey roasted ones. Those are seriously yummy! I don't even need a plate, I'll just open the bag and pour them straight in my mouth. Bad manners, maybe, but it doesn't involve purposely humiliating anyone so it's a step up from Ms. Cho's behavior.

So Merry Christmas! And to all a good night, or probably morning because jet lag. Ugh.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Home with the lights on

I made it back from China. It was a fun trip, but as suspected, I was not able to connect to Blogger, thus no blogging for three weeks. It was odd having all that time to myself with nothing to do in the evenings and no responsibilities. OK, it wasn't odd at all, it was amazing! Think about it. Three weeks with no homework, no dishes, no cooking, no vacuuming, no grocery shopping, and only laundry for one person. I had so much time on my hands I got foot massages twice a week. And at breakfast in the morning, they brought me peppermint tea without my even having to ask. Frankly, if I hadn't missed Husband and the children so much, I would never have wanted to leave. The problem is that when you are actually posted overseas and not just there temporarily, you don't get to live in the Marriott and there is still a lot of laundry. And homework.

However, there were drawbacks to being in China during the winter. First, it was really hard to breathe at times. I bought a mask, but it said "comfort mask" on the box which I suspect meant it didn't do much. And it was freezing and windy, and I'm not exaggerating about the freezing part. On the warmest day there, it only got up to 37 Fahrenheit. And besides not being able to connect to facebook, or Google, or Instagram, my iPod, which was the only electronic item I brought with me, has a new feature. It turns itself on and starts playing 80s music all by itself. Apparently, somebody in China has a thing for INX, Phil Collins, and Rick Astley. I'm not complaining, OK, I'm complaining a little bit, but it was a little disconcerting once when I wanted to skip forward to another song and then it started playing backwards until it got to the beginning of the song that someone else wanted to hear which was "You'll Be in My Heart" from Tarzan. Um, no you won't be in my heart, Mr. Selfish iPod Monitor. You missed that boat when you kept playing One Direction over and over. This is the problem of sharing your playlist with the whole family. At least he didn't like Miley Cyrus.

The very first thing I did when I got home, after hugging the children almost to death  and posting a status on facebook, was fix the Christmas tree. I left Husband with one job for Christmas. One job! Which was to take care of the tree since the awesome delivery place no longer delivers and I didn't have time to get one before I left. So he did actually get a tree at Home Depot and did actually start to decorate it with Child 1. But then they thought it didn't look right, so they gave up. And when I came home after flying straight for 14 hours, the tree that greeted me looked like this.

Which is not what I had in mind at all. So before going to bed, I fixed it. Yes, I stayed up for almost 40 hours straight so I could make my Christmas tree look more festive because that is how much of a micro-manager I am about the holidays. So now the tree looks like this.

So now is all as it should be and it finally feels like Christmas. I don't know why, but the version of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" that they played at the Dirt Market over and over and over again just didn't do it for me. But the tree and being with my family all under one roof does. Now I just have to wrap the billions of gifts I brought back from China. Does cellophane packaging count as wrapping? This year it might just have to. The tree took every last ounce of energy I had.

And by the way, the gluten-free buttery marshmallowy Chex-mix my friend "Lydia" made for me is almost better than a brownie, and in fact, might be the best dessert I've eaten in years. She is an awesome friend and extremely thoughtful, and those kind of friends are definitely better that brownies.