Happy New Year!

I confess that I always breathe a sigh of relief at New Year's. I have no scientific evidence to back this up, but I'm pretty sure that Christmas trees are kid crack. From the minute mine goes up, it seems my kids are more insane than ever. The decorations that I so love getting out start to feel like they are mocking me as my kids run wild through the house hopped up on pine scent and too much sugar.

Even our Elf on the Shelf, Buddy, whom I love like a member of our family for his ability to make my kids behave with just a nod from me in his direction, brings a whole new level of issues. What started out as a fun and simple hide the elf every night has turned into a full-fledged I’m a better mom than you war.  Now Buddy can’t just hide, he needs to bring daily gifts and treats and do tricks - preferably tricks that leave a mess. I don’t know about you but I have more than enough mess makers in this house, thank you very much.

As any mom knows, Christmas really is exhausting. Don’t get me wrong. I love it. But it is exhausting.  I'd like to tell you how I didn't end up on Snapped (don't pretend you've never heard of that show where they chronicle the stories of women who snap and kill their men) in the New Year even though I'd be perfectly justified as I am quite sure that Christmas Psychosis is an up and coming justifiable defense for the very un-Merry act of killing one's husband. Let me explain....

It was noon on Christmas Eve. We were having dinner with friends around 4:00 and I was on my way to the grocery store. Not to buy a couple of last minute things that I had forgotten - to do all my shopping for Christmas Eve, Christmas Brunch and Christmas Dinner. Um, yeah. That’s how I roll.

As I am frantically stuffing groceries into the back of the minivan that is full of “hidden” unwrapped Santa presents, my phone rings. It is Son One announcing his surprise visit and asking if he can, in fact, come for Christmas. While I am ecstatic and overjoyed, I quickly remember that I haven’t finished his Christmas shopping as we were planning to see them the following weekend. Again, um, yeah. That’s how I roll. (Resolution to add to list - do not say that’s how I roll as it sounds stupid).

Anyway, I rush home, and get to mixing Bloody Marys cooking with my favorite cooking friend. We discuss the Christmas gift debacle and decide that since Alex and Alyssa (and this makes my heart swell) are currently obsessed with outfitting the perfect kitchen, a gift card to Bed Bath and Beyond will work in a pinch. When there is a break between football games - do you see my exasperation shining through  here? - I ask Mr. Bell to run up to the store and pick up a gift card to Bed Bath and Beyond. This is key…. Remember this part of the story.

Fast forward to the end of the day. I am a mom so although it LOOKS like the end of the day, it is Christmas Eve so my day was really just beginning. There were presents to wrap, stockings to stuff and breakfast casseroles to make. Mr. Bell kindly offers to wrap some presents. I know. I felt like the luckiest woman in the world at that point. He wrapped 6 of them, declared himself exhausted and announced that he was going to bed. Let that sink in a minute, will you?

I felt my head starting to spin Linda Blair style. Exhausted? REALLY? All that football watching and waiting for dinner to be made can really wear a person out. But wait. He did go to the grocery store and buy two things AND wrap 6 presents. Somehow I stopped the spin. Pulled myself up by my Merry knickers and kissed him good night all while my blood pressure was about to blow the top of my skull right off of my head. That would show him…. Okay, stop, I told myself. It is Christmas. Do not be THAT person. Hadn’t he run right out between football games and picked up that gift card? Yes, yes he had.

He went off to bed and I went back to making Christmas Merry. I went to retrieve the gift card to Bed Bath and Beyond . I pull out the gift card and wait. That can't be right. It says Bath and Body Works. ARGH! The head spin resumes with a ferocity I‘ve never known. I want to kill Mr. Bell. I am completely out of my mind and yes I know it is just a gift card but seriously? I cannot type the things that went through my mind at that point. Full Christmas Psychosis was about to take hold. Fortunately he was asleep and had no idea that I was on the verge of total meltdown. How I did not wake him up screaming like a psychopath, I can only attribute to a Christmas miracle that took place in my home that night and I kept my mouth shut. This, my friends, is a true miracle, I don't care what your belief system is.

For the record, in the morning, when they opened the gift card, they seemed very happy about it. I said, "You can have enough anti bacterial kitchen soap for years to come." That was the only kitchen thing I could come up with at that point. My son insisted that they both love Bath and Body and use it every day - he even showed me some from his overnight bag. I still felt bad (and slightly annoyed) but oh so happy that I kept a lid on it and was not the cause of a Christmas scene that would go down in family history.

With the Christmas decorations now safely tucked away for another year, I wanted to share the top three recipes from the blog this year. I must say I’m a little surprised by them.

The third most popular recipe was Slow Cooker French Dips. I think the popularity was perhaps the oh-so-adorable surfer in the post.

The second most popular is a little disconcerting to me as it is also the most often googled recipe and I’m scared how many people are looking for Tater Tot Casserole.

And the number one recipe this last year was the Slow Cooker Stuffed Peppers. Perhaps moving away from my food issues and discussing appliances was a good thing for me, I don’t know. But I did have a flurry of emails asking about the shirts. And so, because a girl can’t live on blogging alone - I announce the shirts!

Kinda like this only better!

From my most popular post this year, Shirt 1

From my most popular tweet this year - Shirt 2

And my favorite Julia Child quote just because - Shirt 3
For ordering information, click to email me here and just put SHIRT in the subject line and thanks for supporting this blogger who is in serious danger of being forced to find a real job. You know, like one you go to every day and they boss you around? Please save me from that. Shameless plug over.


  1. Ya okay you had me at (bloody mary mix) I mean, that's how I roll.....hahahaha

  2. Yep Mich. The holiday dinner is not complete without a larger than usual bloody mary!

  3. Christmas sure is exhausting for us moms, I couldn't agree more. A bloody mary sounds good about now. Happy New Year!

  4. Amen, Megan! Thanks for stopping by and virtual cheers. If only I could magically turn my diet Coke into a bloody mary....

  5. Love the shirts! Funny how the Bloody Mary's are the general consensus for merry-making...We'll call them Bloody Merry's from now on!

  6. Now that is an excellent idea, Jani! Why didn't I think of that???

  7. Would I be a TOTAL nerd if I admit that I have NEVER had a Bloody Mary???

    And I LOVE the French Dip Sandwiches. And the T-shirts...


  8. Oh Micmac. Micmac micmac micmac. You do not know what you are missing. It's like a super healthy vegetable smoothie with a kick. Go make one. Now. There's a recipe on this very blog....