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473rd Friday Blog Roundup

It has gotten veeeeeery quiet in the blogosphere as people get ready for Christmas.  The blog post reading is thin.

For the first time ever, we’re not volunteering on Christmas.  We’ve declared it a day of Nothingness: no commitments, no running around, no getting dressed, no stress.  We’re going to sleep in and then lounge about in our pyjamas watching movies and reading books.  Okay, fine, and play Candy Crush.  I’ve been looking forward to this all month.

But it’s very odd to not celebrate Christmas and yet have to navigate Christmas regardless since it’s everywhere you turn.  For instance, nothing being open.  That doesn’t phase me on Thanksgiving because I’m ensconced in hanging out with family at Thanksgiving.  But on Christmas, we sit there, twiddling our thumbs and saying things like, “we could… well… no… we probably couldn’t because I bet it’s closed… maybe… no… that’s probably closed too…”

So we’ll plan ahead, stocking up on milk and bread as if it’s a snow storm.  And then we’ll settle down inside the house.

So… what are you doing for Christmas?


I have a question for all iTunes users.  I suddenly have over 6 GB of “other.”  This has been since updating to iOS7.  I’ve deleted my Safari cache, deleted old text messages… what else can I do?  Have you ever had this happen and how did you reduce the size of the “other” column on the phone?


And now the blogs…

But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week.  In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:

Okay, now my choices this week.

The Bickerstaff Blog has a post digging down to the roots of the argument between working and stay-at-home parents; namely, “There is no rank or betterness to one way or the other, yet because of the judgement and strong opinions of others, we always feel the need to defend what we do.”  I really loved the post because it spoke more to our personalities than to benefits or detriments to either situation.

Not an IF blog, but definitely worth a read through an IF lens.  Sassymonkey has a post about situations where words fail us.  It begins with her admitting: “I’ve had a difficult year with words.”  And it continues with the question of what happens when writers can’t find words beyond the overused “I’m sorry” when they hear bad news.  “Shouldn’t I know something better, something less cliched? Something more meaningful? You rail against your lack of mastery of language because there’s got to be something better to say.”  I especially love the thought she comes to in the end.

I held my breath through a post about loss on Inconceivable!  Intuition tells her something is wrong with the pregnancy, and a visit to the doctor confirms a lack of heartbeat.  It is a heartbreaking post; a gut-wrenching post.  And just as the fall from the jungle gym took her breath away, she took my breath away with her retelling of the death.  Sending a hug to her.

Lastly, Stumbling Gracefully writes about the happily ever after… and what comes next.  After achieving the family she wished for, she wonders about setting a new life goal.  She writes, “I wonder, what does one do with her life when has everything she ever hoped for? What do you work for when it’s all been achieved?”  She sets patience as her goal for 2014.  It’s really a lovely post.

The roundup to the Roundup: What are you doing for Christmas?  How do you reduce the “other” column on the iPhone?  And lots of great posts to read.  So what did you find this week?  Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between December 13th and December 20th) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week?  Read the original open thread post here.


1 Kimberly { 12.20.13 at 8:19 am }

It has been quiet around the blogging world, hasn’t it?


I’m suggesting your post for the roundup because honestly, this discussion really needs to happen and a lot more often then it does. Its a fear we all have. A fear I have as I move forward into trying to establish myself in a comfy government job. So bravo for opening that door. It’s given me a lot of food for thought as I move closer towards starting my own pursuits into becoming a mom.

As for me, Christmas is a little crazy for me. Christmas Eve is split between both sets of parents. Inlaws in the afternoon and my parents in the evening for gift exchanges and general family happy time. This year, since my brother didn’t make it home I think me and hubby and mom and dad are gonna play some rounds of darts in the basement while we have a couple of drinks before we head home for the night. Christmas Day morning, dad and I take over the kitchen to make brunch for us, mom, my aunt, my grandparents (if they can make the trek up). After that, the rest of us nap and decompress while mom makes turkey dinner. We head home and have an early night. Boxing Day is the big family day at the inlaws so we go over there for another turkey dinner with his great big family. By the end of it, I’m had my fill of family and turkey and spend the rest of the holidays decompressing.

My Easter is spent much the way that you and your family will spend Christmas. We don’t celebrate and everything is closed so we twiddle our thumbs and be lazy.

2 Delenn { 12.20.13 at 9:19 am }

We compromise–we always go to the MOVIES! 🙂 Thinking Hobbit time!

3 a { 12.20.13 at 10:22 am }

I don’t have an iPhone – can’t help you there. 🙁

We’re starting Christmas today, with the holiday party at school, and a Christmas concert at the symphony tonight. My daughter has been campaigning to open a present for two weeks, so she may actually get to do so tomorrow. I’ll be baking cookies all weekend. Then we’ll be sitting around in our pajamas eating appetizers all day on Christmas, while the kid enjoys a surfeit of stuff. I also see no point in returning to work until after New Year’s Day. We’ll also be attending (most likely) my husband’s family’s Christmas celebration on the 28th and a performance of The Nutcracker on the 29th. Packed with activities!

4 loribeth { 12.20.13 at 3:09 pm }

I will be heading west this weekend to be with my family. At least, that’s the plan. :p The weather forecast is decidedly dismal (freezing rain/ice storm) & may interfere with our scheduled flight. :p Please knock wood, cross your fingers (& toes), pray (if that’s your inclination) & otherwise send positive vibes to the weather gods! Despite some delays & iffy weather at times, we haven’t had a flight cancelled yet in 28 years of flying home for Christmas; here’s hoping the streak continues…!

5 deathstar { 12.20.13 at 5:35 pm }

Maybe you should go to the movies? Or rent/download and watch a marathon of Harry Potter movies? New Year’s Day hubby and I used to watch Lord of the Rings, 1,2, and 3 and eat “lambas” bread. You could order Chinese food or make a buffet. I’ll be hosting Christmas this year and the in-laws will come over and I’ll be on my feet for a week making meals and unloading the dishwasher and having them talk to me from morning to midnight, missing my crazy half of the family and feeling guilty that I can’t have my mum over cause I can’t get a wheelchair in our place. And drinking a lot. See, now you don’t miss this festive holiday at all!

6 Clare { 12.20.13 at 5:43 pm }

Was just thinking about you Mel… Spent the day in Edinburgh which has Harry Potter links everywhere, and each time someone mentioned such details I thought of his much I think you would love it here.

For Christmas, I am off to London suburbs to relax with a family of expats, play with their kid, and eat as much curry and non-italian did as I can. Really enjoying a winter Christmas this year before we return down under.

It is very much my favorite holiday even if I totally missed the detail of it being a Christian one until I was 12. Just going to drink in all the European ways of celebrating with hot cider, lights, and plenty of time off!

Perfect way to chill before starting a cycle in January in Spain!

7 Battynurse { 12.20.13 at 6:20 pm }

I’m working Christmas and handing out the ornaments I made for all the babies.

8 St. E { 12.21.13 at 1:37 am }

Hopefully taking Figlia to the zoo on that day!

9 Rebecca { 12.21.13 at 3:43 pm }

Hi from ICLW. Usually the movies are a good option for the 25th.

10 Queenie { 12.21.13 at 4:24 pm }

No idea on the “other” column–but let us know if you find a solution!

I’m having surgery Christmas Eve, and hoping it all goes well and I get released in time to elaborate Christmas. 🙁

11 Mali { 12.21.13 at 8:54 pm }

Actually, your planned day sounds fantastic. I’m having in-laws over for lunch – that means parents-in-law, two sets of brothers-in-law and their families (they’ve descended on our town from the Middle East and Australia, so it will be nice to see them – hopefully the novelty won’t wear off, and I won’t be driven crazy by the noise from two very boisterous boys), and I’m particularly pleased to welcome my husband’s childless aunt and uncle.

I’m farming out some of the cooking tasks to my sisters-in-law, so it shouldn’t be too onerous. Cleaning the house beforehand, however, will be.

12 Lauren { 12.21.13 at 11:54 pm }

Wish I could boycott the holidays this year. Just not feeling festive… a day of doing nothing but movie-watching and regrouping would be perfect.

I don’t know how to fix your iPhone problem, but have an idea: try emptying your computer’s Trash while the phone is plugged in. Ever notice how you need to do the same to free up space on a USB stick? Same principle. Let me know if it works!

13 Northern Star { 12.22.13 at 11:09 am }

For the next roundup – http://nobuninthisoven.wordpress.com/2013/12/15/rest-cycle-musings/

I loved this raw, real post!

14 Northern Star { 12.22.13 at 11:14 am }

And another for the roundup – http://birdsbeesandmeds.blogspot.com/2013/12/questions-without-answers.html

Made me catch and hold my breath all the way to the end of the post.

15 Persnickety { 12.22.13 at 9:33 pm }

Christmas day and boxing day will be spent with my family- two events as the parents are divorced. Then it’s back to work. Both my husband and I are looking forward to next year, which is an “away” Christmas. We get to pick where and go away. I want to go back to Japan, I loved the not overly focused on Christmas atmosphere. He wants to do England /Europe. Sigh. Been there, done that and I know most places will be shut down. We could visit my extended family, but that is not the point of our away year.
I still have some level of irritation from the Easter I spent in Prague. Everything but the Jewish quarter was shut on Easter Sunday and it felt like every tourist in town was there. Not the best atmosphere for the museum.

16 Hope { 12.24.13 at 7:12 pm }

Enjoy your Christmas Candy Crush Retreat! It will be a low-key day here — just visiting my mom in a nursing home where she’s recovering from surgeries. I’m trying to let go of expectations about being merry, without veering too far into grinchiness.

So I loved this post about letting go of Christmas expectations (“Hence the tree never had belonged to ME. It had belonged to my family that was supposed to happen….”) to make room for something more personal.


17 Tiara { 01.04.14 at 9:36 pm }

I’m in catch up mode for blog reading but am so disappointed no one had advice about reducing your “other” on the iPhone. I noticed the same thing with mine & can’t come up with anything more to reduce!

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