jannica merrit

humor. honesty. sometimes both.


December 2017

Keeping It All Together for the Holidays

I Kept It All Together For The Holidays!

For the holiday season, with good organization and time management skills, I kept up our usual schedule, all the while creating Pinterist-worthy cards and home decorations.  The kids enjoyed a myriad of holiday-related activities, baking cookies from scratch, and helping decorate our house.

I wanted to share all, but I can’t.  I pride myself on writing an honest blog.  The reality is I really tried but I sunk to a few new lows this holiday season.

The good news?  We all made it through, despite my son wanting three (yes, three) Christmas trees, making nice enough personalized cards with my adorable children (and actually sending them out), and presents for everyone were bought (and not shopped for at the Circle K on Christmas Eve, as I have heard some people have done).

A few new lows:

I never found our Christmas stockings, so pretended that tradition didn’t exist and was glad my kids forgot about it as well.  (It’s amazing what an overabundance of sugar can do; I won’t say “sugar coma”, but “sugar forgetfulness”).

I utilized spraying Febreeze in place of cleaning when company was coming over.  I was out of money from gift buying and couldn’t afford my cleaning lady, but didn’t step in to cover for her.  My kids are sadly too young to be forced into child cleaning labor, so I was glad the health department never checked the germ levels on my kitchen counters.

We actually ran completely out of clothes.  My children have too many clothes, and at their sizes, everything looks adorable.  On the days they weren’t too stained and different people watched them from one day to the next, I left them in the same clothes two days in a row because I didn’t have anything clean to put them in.  For Christmas Eve, their Godmother gave them each two new outfits and I was so excited because not only were they cute, that was two more days of clothes for them to wear.  As I write this, tomorrow’s work clothes are in the dryer, carefully calculated to have just enough outfits until my next day off when I will surely tackle the seven or so unwashed loads.

Some Most All of my presents underwent an Un-Martha-Stewart-like treatment as I didn’t have the time or energy to wrap or even buy gift bags.   I relied on an old tried-but-true method of wrapping called, “Close your eyes and hold out your hands.”  Santa was on the same page, but managed to put a bow on his unwrapped present (and he enjoyed a peanut butter cup as that was what we had on hand was a nice change of pace from the cookies).

In retrospect, I only had the bandwidth for so many things, and prioritized the holiday things over the routine things.   But, in January, I do hope to raise those standards back up.

Did anyone else lower their standards temporarily for the holidays?



  • I am just sayin’…

For Wherever Christmas Finds You

This time of year can be fraught with so many emotions, joy, sadness, hope, grief, love, and spiritual blessings and drama.  Some people find so much joy…and some people are left behind.  I have had so many different emotions for the holidays over the years.  

I remember the excitement of Christmas I felt as a child, and the loneliness I often felt before I became a Mom.  I had years after growing up as the fifth wheel at other family’s  gatherings and years alone and years with other single friends celebrating an “anti-Christmas”. 

Motherhood changed Christmas for me as well.  Now, I bounce around between my children’s excitement and my reformed curmudgeon status.

I want to wish everyone a peaceful, joyful day, wherever they are.   Whether with family or friends…or alone or at work, remember that this, too, shall pass.  Please keep in mind that things are heightened right now, and if you are sad or feeling despair, there is always another day to make a new start.

The expectations that we set for ourselves and others can lead us to frustrations and disappointments.

If the day is hard, if family isn’t getting along, if you have no family; just do your best to get through it.  Do what you need to, within reason, and muddle your way through.  It will be okay. 

Take a walk outside if you can or watch a funny movie. 

Start a new tradition that makes your heart smile!  Our family is still finding ours, and you can, too!

What are the holidays like for you?  What traditions bring you peace or joy?






My Strange Phobia

People who don’t know me probably think my large sports utility vehicle is usually dirty because I am a Mom who works in and out of the house and is busy, but that is just a small portion of it…

I have a few strange phobias, and there is the realistic one: I am afraid of the automatic carwash.  It isn’t so much that I am scared that it will fall down around me, and crush me and my big SUV.  That is a silly and irrational fear–because what are the odds of that happening–unlike what I really fear about it.

For one, the people running it crowd too many cars too close together.  The more cars they put through every hour, the more money they will make. So, it only makes sense that they will try to space the cars too close together.

The second thing I don’t trust is the machinery that takes over after I put my SUV in neutral.  How do I know it will keep me equidistant from the vehicles in front and behind me. Who is to say it won’t suddenly scrunch somewhere and send me careening through the soapy bubbles into the rear of the unsuspecting driver’s car ahead of me?  Or the car behind me straight into my back seat?  

With all the soap pouring on my unsuspecting car, I won’t be able to see anything, and will be completely helpless to avert disaster.

Then, if I emerge with my family and my car in one piece, there is the drama and questioning of when I can take my car out of neutral and resume control.  Some of these have a “stoplight”, that will change green when it’s time.  But will it?  Will I rip up my transmission or something shifting into Drive too soon?  (Because I don’t want to wait for the car behind me to get me!)

If someone is waiting at the other end to towel dry, that brings more fear of improper spacing.  I won’t run over the person with the dryish towel, but I am silently rooting for him to quickly finish before he car behind me catches up. 

And, don’t even get me started on the fears from five seasons of Breaking Bad.   What if the car wash I choose is like the A1A Car Wash and laundering way more than cars?  I honestly already had enough to worry about!

I hope, every time I go through with my kids, that no one else is aware of the danger and the probable bad parenting I am doing by exposing my kids to this risk.

Unlimited card?  Go through this more than a few times a year? No, thank you!  I bought a neutral colored car for a reason!


Leaving the House Pre and Post Kids

Is my life really so different since having my children?

In college, I would get up about two hours before I needed to leave the house. I would shower, because starting a day without taking a fresh shower was just nasty. I would shave, and not just to the knees, a full on “going-to-the gynecologist”. I would towel dry, apply mouse, and partially dry my hair. I would apply lotion all over, so my skin would hydrate in the dry climate I was living in. I would put on my make-up base, and allow it to set. I would dry my hair a bit further, then apply blush, eye shadow, eyeliner, mascara, and set it with a dusting of powder. I would finish my hair styling with a hot iron, curling brush, or crimper, depending on the style I was going for that day. I would then use some hair spray, to ensure my style would last for the day.

I would go to my closet, and if I hadn’t already thought of a theme for the day, I would pull out a number of different outfits to try on. I would match something to my hair style, or to what classes I had, and if I had a date for lunch or coffee that day. I had two closets full of stylish clothes, and stayed up on all the current trends. It might take five or six different attempts before I found “the one” that fit my vibe for that day.  I would then coordinate a lip color to accentuate.

Then I would go to my shoes. Some outfits had shoes I usually wore with them, but that didn’t mean I would always stick with them. My black pumps were a favorite, but I had shoes or boots for every occasion, and they all were worn.

Then, I would go to my jewelry box and determine if I needed earrings, a necklace, a bracelet, or rings. Some days all, some days just one or two. I tried not to always accessorize my outfits exactly the same every single time.

Two hours (or so) later, I was looking fabulous and ready to meet my day.

In motherhood, I get up about two hours before I need to leave the house. I give medicine to our elderly cat, and I let our dogs out to pee. I breastfeed my daughter, and try to get my kids to eat something solid and healthy (something solid). I clean up their faces, if they did eat.

I brush my teeth and hair. I pull my hair into a pony tail, or spray it as is if it looks ok–try to remember to, anyway. I wash under my arms and apply fresh deodorant. I find a clean(ish) pair of yoga pants, and try to find a clean t-shirt that doesn’t clash too badly. I then apply some Chapstick.

I change my daughter’s diaper and try to check that my son hasn’t put his outer clothing on backwards again. I check that both his shoes are from the same pair, and on the correct feet. I brush both their teeth and hair.

I chose between my tennis shoes and my black flip flops (which have stylish wedge-type heels).

Two hours (or so) later, I am ready to face the day.  So similar…same lead time…


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