Standing Tall

The musings of a twenty something girl from the Midwest.

Monday, December 31, 2007

A New Year

I’ve heard that if you can look back at a year and cry tears of joy and sorrow it’s been a good year. I can honestly say that 2007 brought both tears of joy and sorrow for me.

I moved in with Steve, we got a cat, discovered Coupling on BBC, and started precepting new nurses at work. I have grown as a person and more of an adult.

I moved out of the house that had been my home since I left Minnesota, my grandma died, and we took Moose away from the home he’s know his entire life.

What a crazy year it’s been. Here’s to a good 2008 to everyone!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


As I referred to in my earlier post, I mailed my Christmas presents from Boston over a week and a half ago and they didn’t arrive to Minneapolis in time for Christmas. I waited for the post man all morning on Monday, hoping for a big white box to pop out of his truck and on to our front step. This never happened.

I cried, I felt sad, I felt that I had let my family down. My mom started to cry saying that all she really wanted for Christmas was for me and my sister to be home and for us all to be healthy. My sister started reciting Dr. Seuss saying that Christmas wasn’t about tag, packages, boxes, or bags. I know all these things. Every Christmas special will tell you, that Christmas isn’t about the stuff of Christmas but the feeling of Christmas. I just never thought I would be without the stuff of Christmas.

Even though I didn’t have any Christmas presents to give, Christmas still came.

Every year since I can remember we went to my dad’s best friend’s house for Christmas Eve. Our family is very close with him and his wife and they have always been at our birthday parties/graduations/Christmas ect. This year was different though, the wife of our dad’s friend had been really sick over the last few months after breaking her foot, going into kidney failure (and perhaps a bit of sepsis), and they were not able to have us to their house as a result. The last time I saw her she was in the ICU and had just been taken off of a ventilator. She was barely responsive and looked really sick. I wasn’t expecting much when I went to see her as my mom said she still was really out of it.

As soon as we walked in the room she turned, looked at us, smiled and said “oh my, look at the whole gang who just walked in.” She was just like her old self. Joking, talking, and taking control of the situation. She noticed that I looked a bit blotchy and asked if I was ok. I felt silly telling her I got worked up over not having Christmas presents for my family, compared to what she went through it was pretty insignificant. She pried it out of me and as tears started to well up in my eyes again she turned to a large basket of pink flowers she had gotten recently. “Here” she said “I want you to take these flowers home and every time you feel sad about not having gifts to give look at these and feel better.”

And just like that I did.

Friday, December 21, 2007


Last week I packaged up all my Christmas presents into a big white box and walked up to the post office in Davis square to send them on their merry way to my mom and dad’s house. I have done this every year since I moved to Boston and never had a problem. Sure, send it by ground transport, Christmas is a week and a half away. It will get there in time.

Little did I know that a few crazy storms were about to rock the East coast sending everyone into panic mode. Roads were closed down, government buildings were closed, and most importantly, mail did not go through. So now I am in Minnesota, over a week since I sent out my Christmas presents and they still haven’t gotten here. My family’s gifts to each other sit nicely wrapped under the tree and I have nothing. We have two more post office days until Christmas and I am hoping for a Christmas miracle of giving to get my gifts here on time.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Cat is Out Of the Bag

“Thank God we have Moose or we would have run out of stuff to talk about a long time ago.” Steve made that comment one night over dinner after we had sat there discussing how adorable the cat looked rolled up on his rug for the last fifteen minutes. At first I thought it was kind of sad but then I realized it was utterly true.

Everything about the cat fascinates me. Being that I never had a cat before I’ve been reporting Steve on every move the cat makes. He got in a fight and had a bloody eye and ear after, he ate a bird in the kitchen, he sat in a paper bag for a half hour attacking the shadows my hand made on the side of the bag, he chased the string of a balloon around the kitchen for ten minuets before he popped the balloon, he put his paw in the watering can and drank a bunch of water that way.

Steve grew up with cats so none of these things are especially remarkable to him but I can’t get over the crazy/adorable things that Moose does on a daily basis. Even though I’m allergic to him, I love waking up with him on top of my stomach everyday waiting for my eyes to open so he can start begging for food. If nothing else Moose is worth his weight in allergy medication for the amount of entertainment and conversation he has provided Steve and me with.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Family Fun With A Tree

This year our Christmas tree has been fun for everyone in the house. Steve and I realized once we made the purchase of our tree that it did not fit in our tree stand so Steve gleefully took out one of his swords and cut away the trunk until it fit into the stand.

This is a very messy thing to do in your house.

Moose enjoyed attacking and eating the netting around the tree. Since the tree has been up he has been totally indifferent to it. Considering all the horror stories I’ve heard about cats and Christmas trees we’re pretty happy about his aloofness.

Netting is a lot like string!

I’m just happy to have a beautiful Christmas tree to decorate and make our house feel extra cozy!

Oh Christmas Tree!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

How to Make Money

“Ok people this is how it’s going to work.” Shouted a large black man as he stepped into the T I was riding home from work. Being from ghost white suburbia I started to get nervous. “You are about to see one black man dance on a moving train, if you like clap, if don’t like clap, if you really like it show me some love and make a donation!” He held up his back pack and pressed play on his portable boom-box. A Michael Jackson song from the ‘80’s came on and he walked forward and did a no handed back flip.

People clapped, “Now that’s what I’m talking about!” he yelled as he prepared to flip his body between two of the guard poles in the car. He then proceeded to more dance tricks including holding his entire body about an inch off the ground and “walk” up and down the car. He put on a good show of various move usually only seen on “So You Think You Can Dance.”

As we slowed to enter the next station he stopped dancing, everyone applauded and gave him some cash. I handed him a five dollar bill thinking if you are willing to put your face that close to the floor of the T you must really need money.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

So It Begins

Last week some friends and I made our way to Boston Common to watch the “Official Boston Tree Lighting” with special appearances by the green monster, some Red Sox player, a woman who sang back up for L.L. cool J, a singing police man, Julio Feliziano (the guy who sings Feliz Navidad), hip-hop dancers, Mayor Menino, and Santa (I know him!).

The Whole Cast!

I brought a large bag of freshly made gingerbread cookies and we helped ourselves to the free eggnog. There were plenty of handouts from the various sponsors so by the end of the night I had acquired a new hat, Christmas ornaments, tea, and some 7up. It was awesome seeing so many people together singing Christmas songs together. As a large reindeer sang Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer the entire crowd chanted in “like a light bulb” at the appropriate parts. It was quite the bonding moment between me and my fellow Bostonians.