Frosted Cookies and Sloppy Joes

Dustythe journey continues 8 Comments

December 23rd 2022

I never know where to start…or end.

I can’t believe Kiyah is all sitting up and pulling herself up and growing so big. We know times flies but yet we still comment on it. It bothers me, however, I still find myself saying it.

So we just returned from our annual Cookies and Caroling. We used to do this “12 days of Christmas” with the kids. Some days would be like puzzles and cookies, sledding or hot cocoa and Polar express. It was easy when they were little. You could do little things and make it a big thing. They were all home all the time and so you could easily squeeze in 12 “events” leading up to Christmas. Its quite a bit harder now but I did decide amongst myself (like yesterday) that its just not possible but if we can get in those classic movies…do a puzzle, a winter hike, Jesus cake and Cookies and Caroling…I think we have done a good job and Christmas will feel complete. Last year we did a very mini weird version of C&C and had the Longs come here…we decorated some cookies and Mark had Hatcher put the bear rug on and go outside and scare the twins. I’m sure they will never forget that year even if they were only 5.

I don’t even know when it all started…maybe when Hatcher was a baby? We decided to bake cookies and make candies and place them in tins and then we would bundle up and put on silly Christmas hats and go to 6 or 7 houses and deliver the cookie tins and sing a few carols. It was very organized and professional in the beginning. We even had red folders with music. Most years we would drive to one of the “old folks” homes and sing there because Julie has relatives there…wait. Let me back up.

Julie and Jason Long are long (ha!) time friends. I’ve known Julie my whole life and Mark and Jason were good friends in high school and college. Before then, Jack Long was my elementary principle and 21 years ago he married Mark and I at a local church here in town. I don’t know how they got roped into the C&C but each year after the caroling…we unloaded hats and mittens, boots and coats and landed in their cape cod home for sloppy joes. After everyone ate, we squished into their living room to listen to Jack read Christmas stories to us as if we were still in 2nd grade at the Vera Wilsie Elementary. If fact, I remember Jack dressing as Santa when we were little. Now, we actually have littles again and new generations to listen to Olive the Other Reindeer and The Night before Christmas.

So this year…the outdoors wasn’t friendly enough for us to go out and carol but for traditions sake, we met at the Longs…frosted some cookies and headed over to Jack and Carols early for sloppy joes. We only got one story this year but the kids stayed a bit and played some euchre. It changes. It just does. Karson came with Abby this year so she experienced it all for the first time. All the kids are mostly grown…but now there are 4 littles. The tree is still so pretty with beads and tea cups on display. Carols house is uniquely decorated with antiques and clocks and the original floorplan is still as it was when it was built (which I like)….but its different. One of the twins (now 6) came up to me and whispered in my ear…” I miss uncle Mark” and I whispered back…”I miss him too”. The high and low of the night because I wondered if they will remember him.


Christmas has always felt like this big event that you spend lots of time “rehearsing” for. You generate alot of time thinking on it…making lists and searching for hints from the kids as to what they would like (or they hand you a list. ya know. Whatever.) You spend time searching stores and the internet looking for these items. Sometimes you do this for months and sometimes you do it all in one week (the one right before christmas) but either way you put forth alot of time, energy, and money for this one day. Sometimes you even make items from scratch in your garage. (the week before) Then its your turn to go on stage. I actually get nervous. Like I know I’ll forget lines (like the gift that didn’t arrive in time and the one that did but is crap quality and I’m not gifting it so now I’m short on gifts) but all my effort will now be on show and I get to see how I did. I don’t think its suppose to look/feel like this but it does for me. I wonder if I’m alone in that? Of course, this year I was totally solo…I was mostly solo in shopping last year too…but actually…I have always done most of the shopping and put forth the most effort. Mark would go shopping like once…as long as I fed him well first …and just buy a bunch of stuff and be good (until he discovered you can buy most of Christmas off amazon and then we could all see our gifts ahead of time on accident). I put way way too much effort into this. I overthink all of it. Always. So I like/loathe Christmas. I want to do the show but I want it to be over too. Sigh.

This year I tried to make it extra special…meaningful, but I’m afraid I might have dropped the ball. I guess we will see. See, to me–there’s always more. Always something better. There’s no good stopping point…for most things in life. Its hard when your brain thinks like that. You aren’t satisfied often.

I did have one little lovely elf that helped me do something special. I’m excited to see how it goes over.


Dec 24th

I woke up thinking I’ll get into Gods word first! I got a Bible out….and then remembered I needed to go get my ground coffee out of jack jr…so I did some shoveling to get me there…took some snowy photos…got the winter bin out of the garage…meandered back to the house….made coffee…filed through facebook…saw a post from Katie Fore who lost their son a couple years ago (age 10) and is, of course, hurting this season (its so stinking sad) and clicked on a link to a song someone commented with….listened to said song and sat on my sofa with tears running down my face. After that I did make coffee….but now I’m texting my cousin and finishing up this. And wondering…..why do I even keep doing this? Who even reads it? It doesn’t seem to have purpose. I feel like I do want to write to you…to someone…but with more purpose. I’m just not sure what that is. I know it keeps people updated…there’s not so much drama, so is it even interesting?

Today we will hike, watch Christmas movies and eat chinese food. I have to finish up my Jesus cake (ran out of powdered sugar) and we will do that after we go to Christmas Eve service. (its like a whole ordeal…when I find the paper, that I printed off 10 of last year to ensure I would find it this year, I’ll post it in case you want to start the tradition too)

Throughout the week I have lots of much deeper thoughts…but I don’t get them “on paper” so I forget what I want to tell you all.

I think I have decided though that winter is not for me. Mark and I talked about having a place to go to during the winter months…like snowbirds. Soon my kids will be off doing their own life and I’m not going to sit here in my house alone, shoveling snow. I either need to go north where I can be fully in good snow all the time and ski everyday or go south to avoid it altogether.

Okay folks. Its time to get the show on the road. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas.

Comments 8

  1. Merry Christmas Dusty, you have an impact on so many still, I pray you continue to write. Your words help and remind me of losing Gordy so many years ago, your words comfort me still, pain eases but memories never leave you. Praying for you and your family alone for your first Christmas. Make new memories and find joy in your children. Tears are good therapy. I still think you should write that book, new and old widows would benefit from your experience and the words you have. Have a blessed Christmas and look for Gods purpose for you now, he has one for you.😘🙏🎄

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  2. Dusty I love reading your posts and it’s excellent therapy for you. I think you would be better off in the south when you get older. Your bones & arthritis won’t hurt as much! You are doing an excellent job and the kids are still getting old & new traditions.

  3. Dusty I love your posts and I think you are doing an amazing job. I think you would be surprised how many moms feel the way you do about the holidays…we do it all for the ones we love! Hang in there beautiful lady, you got this! ❤️

  4. Hi Dusty, I also like reading your post. I don’t think your alone in the way you feel and go about Christmas.
    So many things to deal with during the winter! And it only gets harder.
    Enjoy your time with family. I know you do. Merry Christmas 🎄

  5. Hey Dusty!! I love reading your blogs! I still just want to give a huge hug when I read them. You inspire me to be a better person! Merry Christmas to you all! Hugs and prayers!!

  6. Love you girlfriend!
    And though i don’t stop and read every post, bc my own life has so much “drama” that i don’t always take the time… it is still a special gift to everyone who loves you and your family! As we continue to pray for you all, it’s nice to know how you’re doing. Thanks for taking the time to share with us! Merry Christmas, Noel, the Lord IS COME!
    Give the “kids” a hug from me, please. And every hug you get back is one from me to you!

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