photography,  Tis the Season

Happy December!


Hooray! It’s December and YES, I am working on the 2019 SAJ calendar. I’m up to April. I should be done this week.

As someone who suffers from entertains anxiety regularly, I really love to plan. It is calming and fun to daydream up good things and then work them out on paper so that they have a better possibility of happening.  Of course things don’t always go to plan and that causes more anxiety but I really enjoy the planning part.  Let’s just focus on that good part.

I love the beginning of December (pretty much August on, if we’re being honest) because it’s prime planning time. Whenever Bug or Payam moan about Christmas music playing in November I tell them it’s a good thing because then it doesn’t feel like Christmas time rushed past us and we barely got to enjoy it. Start early and make the best of it, I say!

I put my pink Christmas tree up in my office on December first. I LOVE it. This tree has so many good memories attached to it.  Remember when I bought it way back when Bug and I were living in my Grandpa’s trailer in the sticks? It was such an extravagant purchase back then. I remember emailing Bethany and asking her if I was being foolish to buy such a silly thing. Money was tight. But it made us happy. It was sort of a strike for independence.

Before I got divorced I would never ever buy something so flashy and synthetic but now that I didn’t have anyone to tell me it was stupid, I could. It took me a long time to detach myself from my marriage and the decisions that we would make together. I remember thinking, it doesn’t matter what I’m going to do and what he’s going to do. It’s not a chess game.  So I bought it and Bug and I loved it. It really wasn’t stupid at all! Kind of like listening to pop music in the car. Freedom is a wonderful part of a fresh divorce but it’s also very scary. Just like navigating your computer problems for the first time when you are used to having an IT guy living in your house…


Anyway, I digress. Christmas! Happiness! So many fun traditions! I didn’t grow up with Christmas so it’s taken me a while to develop my own traditions but I can safely say that in the last three years we have some solid ones.


We always go to Descanso gardens to see the lights and the girls and I dress up and see the Nutcracker. We decorate the tree and play music. I think we’ll do a time lapse video this year. That seems like a fun thing to do. I really love this time of year…


My crazy pants had to make an appearance. We haven’t put the big tree up yet but I think we’ll do that tonight.


But we have done our annual Christmas Time Public Relations effort and they are due to be mailed this week. Woot!

I’m so excited for our New Year’s Eve party. I learned a funny thing about myself while I was designing this year’s invite. It was kind of a breakthrough.  I constantly judge myself from other people’s points of view. Duh. This has been a problem of mine since forever.

It’s probably a side effect of the way I grew up.  Something about having a lot of parental figures telling you what to do all the time and having your own will quashed OR maybe it has something to do with being a type-A first born. Who knows! Anyway, as I was making the New Year’s invite I kept changing it because I imagined what my different friends might say… should I take off the “We’ll bring the drinks” part because they’ll think we are alcoholics? Should not put the “kids are welcome” part because they’ll think it’s a kiddie party and not come?  I walked around feeling super anxious about it until I finally decided IT DOESN’T MATTER! I’m not playing a chess game!  I am fun and people will come or they won’t come and I need to stop applying the Friend A filter!! So that’s my thing now. I’m not applying the Friend A filter. Or B or C or anything but the Brenda filter. Is this what I would like to do on New Year’s? Yes, it is!


So yeah, back to the public relations photos. I love them. Payam and I are getting fatter and the girls are getting more beautiful. Time, man. It happens. I hope we keep this up as we get more and more gray and frail. I’m really into embracing my grandma style. I know! I’m not a grandma! But when I am I want to look like this.


Sometimes when I hold my head a certain way you don’t see my double chin and I look super fierce.


As we were wrapping up our photo session we walked by a laundromat and for fun we took some laundromat shots. If you’ve followed Bug and I since the way-back-days you know how sentimental laundromats are for us. Remember Judy, the older laundromat manager woman who died? She was the first person who died in Bug’s life. It was a huge big deal for us. Sigh…

Bug and I really loved doing a laundromat cart racing shot. I looked through my old photos and I couldn’t find one of me racing with her in the cart but you know we did it. I just didn’t have a professional photographer following us around back then.


And then I found this one:


Oh sweet napping Bug with her pahs… I love the flood of memories!


  • terra

    What a happy post! I love the holiday cards. Y’all are all gorgeous!

    And I need to get rid of my Friend A filter, too. I have a similar background and issues. Thanks for the reminder.

  • gingermog

    I read this post last night just before going to bed, I’m not supposed to be looking at screens before I go to bed … but I couldn’t resist an update from my favorite blogger :)
    I was nodding away at your words about the scary freedom of being newly separated/divorce. Oh gosh, I’ve walked that path too, but oh so good not to have the voice “telling you you’re stupid,” squashing down your spirit and making you doubt yourself. I’m glad you bought your pink Christmas tree and it has brought you so much joy over the years. Like you I embrace Christmas, more and more as I get older. I can understand why some people get bummed out by it, commercialism etc.. I have a tonne of reasons why it should make me sad and it did for a while but I embrace what brings joy. Bring on more sparkle and twinkly lights I say.

    Love hearing of your new holiday traditions, seeing these photos of your family, watching the girls grown and I recall fondly the old days of baby Bug and launderette fun.

    We both jumped into the scary abyss but didn’t we fly :) xxxx

  • Cathy

    LOVE your holiday card, pink tree and you found the cutest wrapping paper! And old Bug pics – oh the cuteness. Happy, happy holidays!!
    This old time reader and fellow abyss jumper feels proud of your accomplishments. :) Also, yay for Christmastime!

  • BeachMama

    I love how you have embraced Christmas!! Your new traditions are awesome and you seem to be on the happier side of celebrating! As for the baby bug pick in the laundromat, oh my brings back so many memories!

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