The best Christmas idea ever

My gout is flaring up tonight. I was at the gym (oh shut your mouth already) doing my hour on the elliptical (yes she did) when a number of things started happening down in my right shoe that had nothing to do with getting skinnier. First, my toes went numb. Second, piggies #3 and #4 started to get that “I think we’re broken” feeling that only comes when those idiot little uric acid crystals settle in my joints.

On one hand maybe this is a good sign. My gout only flares when I’m eating healthy and losing weight, although I wouldn’t know about the weight part because I’m too afraid of my scale to even use the toilet in my master bathroom. I might bump it or trip and stumble upon it and who knows what kind of an accidental number might flash at me.

I was on Pinterest tonight pinning Things I’ll Never Actually Incorporate Into My Real Life when I thought of a brilliant idea. Wouldn’t it be amazing during December to make a different Christmas cookie 25 days in a row? I see so many fantastical recipes that don’t get enough attention, just think of the good I could do the universe if I baked Christmas cookies for a month straight.

Then again I’d probably have to add elastic waistband extensions into my already elastic waist-banded wardrobe. Maybe I’ll do a weekend cookie baking marathon followed by a tall glass of contaminated water early on in the season…Either way I’m planning to bake up some of these babies from isthisreallymylife sometime in the next 24 hours just for practice.


Today I discovered the best thing ever that more people should do starting in October: Christmas Layaway. I remember my mom putting our winter coats on Layaway at Penny’s when I was a kid. At Walmart today I saw two of my big ticket items on sale, and I know those prices are only going to roll right back up in the next few months. I snatched my stuff and trotted back to layaway so I can pay for them without having to store them at my house or use my credit card (we have Christmas budgeted into the next three month’s of pay periods).

Why doesn’t everyone offer layaway?? I’m going to google a list so I can give them my business.

(I just checked, Kmart, Sears, ToysR’ Us, Burlington Coat Factory, Marshalls, TJ Maxx plus a few elayaway suggestions.)

I’m sorely missing my husband this week and thinking about Christmas makes me think of him. We’re only a month away from the end of this extended summer of miserable separation and every day I sew more furiously and write for longer hours and try to fill my time to make the days fly by.

Then I stay up until 2 am because I’m afraid of the dark and can’t sleep in this scary town without him.

My life would be so much easier if I would just go to bed at 8 o’clock with the children. Think of the hours apart that we would cut back on if I could get four more hours sleep every single night, we’re looking at like 500 hours saved on loneliness in general.

My best advice? If your husband ever goes away and leaves you with your little children alone in Sin City, get yourself a dog with a really big bark. I think the entire neighborhood hears Sheriff when someone comes to my door. And now and then I’ll wake up at night only to look toward my bedroom door and see him standing at attention at the top of the stairs, ready to make his midnight rounds.

He’s probably better to have for safety than Jason, but Jason’s more fun to sleep with.





  1. Heather T says:

    I love your posts and equally the cookie idea. I am glad I am not the only thinking of Christmas. I am halfway done and it’s October. Jason is almost home! You got this!

    • annie valentine says:

      Yeah, but imagine what we’d look like at the next family party. Even so, send me any of your best cookie suggestions just in case ;).

  2. Ann Packard says:

    You have landed on Pinterest! You can fill that 500 hours of loneliness there. Start baking two different batches of your 25 days of cookies now (then freeze them) – then you won’t have to bake for 25 days straight!!! But if you are like me you would say, “Ehh! Too much work.”

  3. It made me smile when you said sleeping longer would take care of 500 hours for you. When my husband is gone for weeks at a time, I totally calculate how many hours we have until he’s home. He’s positive he married a neurotic woman, but he picked me for eternity and that’s his problem.

    And nights…I could hear cotton balls fall in the dark when he’s gone. I’m not exactly sure what I think I’m accomplishing by staying up until 2 and 3 a.m., but undisputed power over the remote control is kinda nice.

    • annie valentine says:

      Seriously Lindsey, remote ownership is powerful. I think having the freedom to watch nine consecutive episodes of Cupcake Wars is kind of addicting.