December 28, 2015

      Nothing says Merry Christmas like a bottle of dry shampoo and hairy arm pits you've neglected all week, correct? Confused? Let me rewind a bit.

      Hello all! I hope each and every one of you had a fabulous Christmas, Hanukkah, or whatever it is you happen to celebrate. (: Our much needed holiday break started Thursday, Christmas Eve, around noon. Where we headed to my grandparent's house for some family time and shrimp cocktail. It was a FULL house if you saw my snaps, but something we do each and every year. My family is true to that more the merrier statement.

      Around 5 or so, we left my grandparent's house to spend the remainder of the evening with Joshua's family. Between the lasagna, cheesy potatoes, and array of cut-outs, my pants are slightly ill fitting this morning, but have not a single regret about it.

      We had the pleasure of watching our nephew open his very first Christmas presents. He's getting so big I can hardly stand it, but it's been a joy watching him grow this year and I can only imagine that next Christmas will be even better.

      Christmas Eve wound down, and we headed home with an over packed car. The weather was incredible, Pen was being exceptionally good despite the long day, and all was right with the world. When we arrived to our apartment complex, we felt uneasy. The door to the adjacent apartment building had been propped open and the most awful rushing water sound coming from it. Upon further investigating, it was obvious something was very wrong, and the only tenant that was home in that particular building spoke little English. We headed to our apartment, unloaded everything and made a courtesy call to the emergency maintenance department. We thought we were unaffected, after all, it wasn't even our building, then we went to brush Pen's teeth before bed. No water. We wouldn't be doing the dishes, taking showers, or brushing our teeth. We had nothing, and since we drink water out of the faucet, we didn't have bottled water laying around and the nearby gas stations were closed for the night. Against my liking, Pen had milk right before bed and went without brushing her teeth. Joshua and I mad a few more concerned phone calls, and spoke to maintenance when they arrived. The gentleman we spoke with made the entire situation seem not that bad. I think we got a total 4 hours of sleep that night.

what a gem

      Christmas morning we woke still water-less. It was a small defeat that my emotional self just couldn't handle. I broke down with this ridiculous Christmas is ruined spiel and turned into a blubbering mess. Joshua talked me down, and convinced me I needed to suck it up, throw on my Christmas jammies, and help him with breakfast. Because he was sure it would be on soon. Six people came over Christmas morning, you can only imagine how many dishes there were following breakfast and coffee consumption. My parents brought over some water bottles and gallons so we could use the toilet. We soon discovered that a gallon, even two gallons, wasn't going to flush our toilet. So there was that...

      After some much needed coffee to clear my senses, I convinced myself that there are far worse things that could happen. I doused my hair in dry shampoo and promised myself that the world wouldn't end if I didn't shave my already neglected arm pits. TMI? Maybe, but come on, we've all been there done that.

      The rest of the night was perfect. We went to my aunt and uncle's house like we do every year. We spent hours laughing, telling stories, and teasing each other. We played games until our bladders couldn't control themselves and laughed til we cried. Pen opened lots of books (her favorite) and a few awesome toys. The entire day kept my mind off of the water issue. Being together mattered more.

      Christmas had ended, and we were hauling everything inside holding our breath. I wanted to convince myself it hadn't come back on simply because it was Christmas and there was no way someone could come out to fix whatever was wrong. I wasn't totally shocked when Joshua tried the faucet and was immediately disappointed. Only this time, he called the emergency hotline. We were given bad news, that it was off indefinitely. And there were no further updates. Is it me, or does the word indefinitely just strike a nerve? At least we had water though, thanks to our parents and the few gas stations that had remained opened Christmas Day. The toilet only needed 3 gallons of water to flush... (please read that with as much sarcasm as you can).

      By Saturday, it had just become funny. Pen slept until ten, then the three of us packed up some stuff and we headed to his mom's to shower. As we all scrambled about in her small bathroom I couldn't help but find the entire situation hilarious. So often the holiday season is about the stuff, who gets what and how much of it they get, when in reality it's about the people you spend it with. If spending the holiday or the day after the holiday in a bathroom too close for comfort isn't the perfect example who not where, then I don't know what is. Sporadically, throughout the day, I'd call the emergency hotline number to hear the same prerecorded "We are aware of a water outage," message before hanging up. I guess I felt like if I called once, and that message was gone, it would mean we had water, and we could finally go home. We prolonged returning home for as long as we could, because the thought of being stuck without a bathroom made me anxious. The thought of a million dirty, smelly dishes, made me sick. We finally sucked it up, refilled some jugs of water and headed home around 9. Joshua immediately headed to the kitchen sink, before I even had a chance to cross the threshold. That sound, that glorious sound of water hitting a thousand stinky dishes. It was seriously the most beautiful noise I've ever heard.

      Fortunately now, this is all a memory. Something we can now laugh about, since we have ironically been involved in similar water-less conditions before. (It's why we moved out of our last rental). Sure I cried, I mean wouldn't most of you? I cried out of frustration, because you picture Christmas morning as this perfect little moment. You've had your gifts ready for weeks. You know what's on the menu for Christmas morning breakfast, you have all your seasonal coffee cups lined up big to small, waiting for coffee to fill them. Then  something changes all your plans. You can't wash those breakfast plates and coffee has to wait until someone shows up with water to pour into the coffee pot. As all life's lessons, they aren't always the best of situations or happen at the most convenient of times. At least we still had electricity, at least our apartment wasn't flooded, at least we had each other. The stuff isn't what it's about. The where isn't what it's about. It's the who. I couldn't have asked for a better reminder during the holidays.


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