All I Want For Christmas

No…I’m not about belt out  a Mariah Carey song! Your ears will thank you!

Apologies for the post coming a day late. The last week has been a whirlwind of emotion and stress and crazy decisions.  But that’s neither here nor there….

Happy Christmakwanzakah to you and yours!

If you’re still shopping around for things to get me (I kid, I kid) there are a few things on my list…

All I Want For Christmas is….

1)   To be closer to my family. – I’ve loved living in Florida. I love what it has meant for my health, for my love, for my worldliness. (Yes…worldliness…if you’ve ever been to Miami, you know what I mean.) What I haven’t loved is the distance between me and my people…My friends…my family…my new family. I miss the impromptu brunches, the holiday celebrations, the birthdays, the Sunday afternoon cookouts. Call me a homebody…call me a wuss…call me whatever you want, but I adore my family in the most amazing way.

I am happy to report that this Christmas wish will be a reality in the next 7 days as we move 8.5 hours north of Tampa. A new start, and new beginning, new jobs, a new home, and much, much closer to the ones we love in a city that both Allen and I adore. Nice going, Mr. Claus!

2)   For Allen to know how much I love him. – I’m not saying that he doesn’t. I’m not saying that I lack affection or act like a frozen hermit crab when we’re together but I have been quite impatient and testy lately. A lot of things had been up in the air with regards to our move and I certainly wasn’t the most peaceful person about it. Allen, as usual, was the ever cool, ever calm, ever collected partner. His stress doesn’t show…his love and his affection, never waivers.

This man has been an incredible gift in my life. One that I will spend the rest of my life cherishing and being in complete and total awe of.  I cannot wait to call him my husband. I cannot wait to be forever bound by the sacrament of marriage.

I am a different person because of the way he is with me. I’m proud of him every day. I proud of the man he is, the woman he makes me, and the life we’ve created together.  He takes my breath away every single day and I am so grateful that he is mine.

My wish is for him to never, for one second, doubt the devotion and the love I feel for him. My best friend…my life partner…my soulmate.

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       Photo courtesy of Hayley Juliet Photography

3)   A new job. – Following my company’s buyout, both Allen and I were laid off in September. Don’t feel pity for us…if it was not for that, we would not be able to complete the number 1 wish on this list. He’s found a amazing opportunity for him to showcase his undeniable skills, but I’m still looking. I’ve had 2 great interviews and hope to know something in the next week or two but nothing solid yet. I want nothing more than to be a financial contributor to my family. Please keep your fingers crossed for good news on the employment front in the near future!

4)   My own food. – We were supposed to move last week…but a few wrenches got thrown in the mix so we got delayed. For some absurd reason, I opted to pack our kitchen stuff first. The pots, the pans, the stuff in the pantry…the fridge was cleaned out and the freezer emptied. All that remains in our culinary mecca is a bulk warehouse sized container of garlic powder, a jar of chow chow, mayo, capers, butter and frozen broccoli. All of which are a little tough to create lunch and dinner out of. So aside from the ham and GF bread we picked up at the store, we’ve been eating out…a lot. Not only is it denting the wallet, but it’s making my insides feel like a war zone. I hate eating out frequently. I hate paying for something that I know I could make 10 times better and 10 times cheaper. I am definitely ready to have my own kitchen again…soon, Han…soon.

5)   For people to stop celeb-obsessing. – Between the Duck Dynasty BS, the Kardashian divorce drama, the McGraw-Hill relationship rumors, Paul Walker’s accident, etc., etc., I am so OVER people posting about it and talking about it and seeing it plastered all over magazines. I can’t stand to watch the news and I despise the entertainment ‘news’ shows for their half-truth speculations. Enough already!

The world has more important problems than the 8 pounds one movie star gained, or the plastic surgery another had, or the divorce filings of the rich and famous. There are starving children, abused animals, crooked politicians…this country has more disgusting, indescribable crimes than a Patricia Cornwell novel. Instead of worrying about making it better for our children and our children’s children, we’re more involved in discussing Miley Cyrus’ twerking or Justin Bieber’s partying habits.  Let’s not indulge these over-paid, under-qualified attention whores and focus on what really matters in the world: our families…our health…the love and well-being of those around us. Let’s take this holiday season to stop fighting about who got the last Xbox or flat-screen TV and take the opportunity to spend time with others instead of playing video games or watching the tube for hours.

Life is short…You will not be remembered for your money, your electronics or your cell phones. You won’t be remembered for your luxury automobiles or your gossip magazines and the ability to spout off the most expensive celebrity divorces in history. You won’t be remembered for your designer purses or your red-soled shoes. Your integrity and your legacy is what matters…you WILL be remembered for your love, your kindness, your way with others and your goodness. Enough with the stuff that doesn’t matter…leave a lasting mark on mankind, and the world will be a better place for it.

6)   For others to pay it forward. – I experienced the rush of this for the first time tonight and it was amazing. Allen and I ate an early dinner (out of course) at a nearby steakhouse chain. About halfway through our meal, I noticed an elderly gentleman (approximately 80-85 years old) who came in alone. He was walking with the assistance of a cane and struggled to keep up with the hostess who was hurriedly ushering him to his seat. When she approached the booth she intended to sit him in, he asked to sit at the back where it was quieter. She obliged and seated him in the back at the very last table.

Seeing him made me sad. I absolutely HATE to see people eating alone. Even if they look like they’re just shooting in for a quick lunch break, I hate seeing it. I feel pain for them even though there may not be any pain involved regarding their reason to be eating by themselves.

Something about this man struck me harder than normal and I’m not sure why.  When I got up to use the restroom, I passed his table and watched him as I approached the hallway next to his table. He looked so at peace…eating his meal and enjoying his beer with a grin on his face. For all I know he could be an escaped serial killer but the sight of him there with no one to chat with pulled at my heartstrings, and I decided to do something I’ve always wanted to do.

I approached my waitress afterwards and told her I wanted to pay for his meal. She grabbed the man’s waiter who looked as if I’d just told him that his whole life had been a lie and his biological father was the lochness monster. Clearly no one had ever requested a total stranger’s tab before. “You want to pay for his dinner?” The waiter said. “Yes, all of it. The entire tab,” I replied. “Uhh…do you know him?” the waiter still seemed totally dumbfounded. “Not at all. I just want to do something nice for a complete stranger” I said as I signed the tab.  As I turned to walk away, the waiter asked me what I wanted him to say when the man asked for his tab. “Just tell him Happy Holidays and to return the favor by doing something nice for an unsuspecting stranger.”

As I walked out of the restaurant, a wave of emotion overcame me. Of all the pointless money I’ve spent on things I don’t need…things that I’ve bought to feel good or make me feel better after a stressful day. All this time I should have been doing this. Please…if nothing else this holiday season, try this. I’m not suggesting that you pay for a man’s steak, but do it somehow…You will feel amazing.

7)   To lose 100 pounds. – Last but not least, for Christmas I’d like to reach the century mark. Despite the eating out and the crazy hustle and bustle, Santa only has to deliver on an additional 1.4 pounds!!

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Under 150…I don’t even know what to say! I must admit, I still struggle daily with my self-image. I see that I’m wearing smaller clothes…I know that my size 8’s are too big and the scale number is dropping. I see the shock when I run into people I haven’t seen in a while, but I don’t see the change in myself. I still see the wide, flabby overweight girl when I look in the mirror. Maybe it’s all the loose skin that has me disillusioned, maybe it’s that I can’t see what’s really in front of me. I logically know there is a change when I think about having lost 98 pounds now…I’m just ready to really see it. Feel it. Believe it.

Maybe I’ll buy myself a pair of size 20 pants…maybe I should get a cardboard cutout of old me (Add that to the list too!)…or maybe I’ll stop acting absurd and focus less on the physical morphing. I’m still the same blonde, crazy, witty, dog-obsessed, pink loving, makeup zealous, sweet, Southern girl I’ve always been…just in a slightly smaller package this year. And you know what they say…good things…the best things…come in small(er) packages.

Wishing you all the merriest of holidays!

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6 thoughts on “All I Want For Christmas

  1. Congrats on your wish coming true on the move and I hope you all have safe travels ! It is such an inspiration to hear about your weight loss journey and I too am going to do something different this coming year with my own weight loss, after the baby arrives in Feb if course. Good luck and hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and New Year!!!

    Kristine

  2. What a great post Hannah! So much to look forward to in 2014! So glad that you and Allen are able to move back home. Enjoy the adventure. I hope you hit the 100 lb mark soon, well I know you will! I’m currently working through my latest plateau, back under 190! I started the year at 190 and of course wanted to be WAY under that, I’m not there yet, about 4.8 lbs to go, plus I know I can do WAY better next year, I feel like I’m in a much better place to reach it.

    • Thanks, Ashley!! There is definitely a lot to look forward to this year and I could not be more excited! Congrats on your successes as well! Hope that you and the family have an amazing holiday!

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