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Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Month to Remember

It has been a very, very long time since I have posted a blog...mostly because I haven't really had the time but also because I haven't known quite what to say. My last post indicated the holidays had descended upon the retail world...and my job in the process. Now that I'm on the other side of them, let me just tell you that they just about killed me this year. Apparently, the 24 year old Kelly is a lot less patient and a lot meaner than the 23 year old Kelly, and I was just not feeling in the Christmas spirit until I had gotten about 2 glasses of wine in me on Christmas Eve and my feet had stopped aching just a little bit. We hired a lot of new people at work right before holiday hell hit, and while a few of them were, and are for that matter, awesome...the others managed to piss us all off and then quit when we really needed them. Not to mention we had nearly double the sales as last year, which is good overall but really sucked at the time. I did, however, manage to get all of my shopping done nearly two weeks before Christmas, so that decreased the stress level a tad...but I, of course, compensated by trying to organize my new house amidst the holiday rush. Working 50+ hours a week and then staying up until daylight cleaning and organizing the house meant that I got very little sleep for a good 3 weeks....and got sick twice in the month of December. The first time I fought through it like a trooper...and the second nearly killed me...but here I am alive and well in January!

Christmas itself was amazing. My brother and his girlfriend arrived on December 23rd...and in the wee morning hours of the 24th I finally got to meet Hannah. We immediately became friends, which is super important as it could have put a major damper on the holidays AND I knew how much my brother likes her. On Christmas Eve, I nearly had a nervous breakdown because I missed nearly half of the one and only church service I regularly attend each year since it seems that 95% of Chattanooga waited until the VERY LAST MINUTE to shop. That being said, I managed to sneak into the service in time to hear my favorite song and light my, SUCCESS! We spent the rest of that evening drinking a lot of wine (marking the first time in nearly 2 months I consumed enough alcohol to feel a buzz), eating my mom's delicious cooking and watching National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation...all traditional in my household. As my parents and Hannah went to sleep, my brother and I played pool and finally got a chance to catch up until about 3 AM, when we decided to get a few hours of sleep before enjoying a white Christmas. Total bonus? We drank some gin, and I now have a good gin memory to begin to counteract the one I strive to get over someday...hint, lots of scars. My favorite part of Christmas morning, as always, was the hot apple cider/delicious food combo I actually did most of the prep for this year...but the presents didn't suck either. I got a ticket to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter from my brother and Hannah (I may have cried a little), a new camera!, the coolest Keurig coffee pot ever, new clothes and shoes for my completely new body...and lots of other goodies. Seriously, my family is amazing...and almost as stoked as I am that I'm 38 pounds lighter than I was Christmas 2009. I'm actually super healthy now and have crazy amounts of energy. Who knew that being more organized, eating more veggies and fruit and less chips, and always being on the move could make you feel better? Weird. After we all hung out for a while, we remembered that playing Wii and drinking cider is only entertaining for so long...and then we gotta get out. So, we braved the cold and carefully drove the icy streets to the Majestic movie theater downtown so we could finally check out the 21 and up Ovation Club, where they serve alcohol and things like crab cakes to eat. While lounging in a recliner and drinking red wine, I realized going to a regular movie theater is pretty lame. I never wanted the day to end...but, like always, it flew by. I must say it made it much easier to go back to work when I realized an hour or so into my shift on the 26th that there weren't nearly as many people with returns and no receipts to deal with...whew! It also helped knowing I was off on the 27th for Erika's bachelorette party...which brings me to an awesome time and also that second time getting sick I mentioned earlier.

December 27th started out with knowing Brent and Hannah were leaving in the afternoon, which was a total bummer of course, but not before we met up with my mom's sister Amy, her husband Julian, and their kids Grant, Jackson, and Charlie--all of whom I hadn't seen in almost 5 years. Please, don't get me started on why it had been that long--I'm just happy I got to see them again! Due to weather and traffic delays, we only got to hang out with them for less than an hour, but it was nice to catch up and exchange gifts nonetheless. By this time, I was beginning to feel pretty sickly, but I kissed everybody goodbye and made a quick stop at Victoria's Secret to get a gift for Erika before heading to her party. I showed up a little late, but didn't miss anything important and also provided the party camera so all was forgiven. After playing a few games and giving Erika her gifts, we all spruced up for what proved to be a hilarious night. Before going out, I checked my temperature--which was 102 degrees. Never one to bring down a party, I took tylenol and drank some water and moved on. There was no way I would ever forgive myself if I missed one of my oldest friend's bachelorette parties, so off we were! First, we went to Niko's where I tried my first chocolate martini (hello--YUM!) and we got a picture with Mrs. Pierce. The next stop was Las Margaritas for cheese dip and, well, margaritas. Then Sing it or Wing it for blow job shots and karoake...and convincing Karen to put her shoes on repeatedly...and then we decided to forgo Taco Mac and head to Steak n Shake. We stopped along the way for ridiculously awesome pictures and memories...which all added up to me sleeping on Erika's Mom's couch until 4 PM and calling (or texting, since I had no voice) out of work sick. The plague that traveled around work for more than a month and had already tried to kick my ass once finally succeeded in bringing me down...for a day. In case it isn't obvious, I love working and HATE calling out sick. Nevertheless, I was pretty weak for the next few days and felt like a major burden on everybody I loved for a while. New Years proved to be pretty low key, and I spent a long time on the phone with Kristin in the early morning hours of 1/1/11. Instead of resolutions this year, I decided to make a list of things I want to try out this's hoping this works out better for me.

Retail world is slowly but surely getting back to normal, and I couldn't be more grateful. Of course, 3 days ago we got hit with nearly a foot of snow and I was stuck at home for waaaaaaaay too long....until work people rescued me today! Now, I'm staying at the house of one of my work friends...and as it is nearly 6 AM, the house is totally asleep except for me, the resident vampire. Sleeping most of yesterday didn't help, and being at somebody else's house also adds to my insomnia, so I may be working later on very little sleep...or none at all. Oh well--I know I'll sleep a ton tomorrow night :) As I'm on a friend's computer, I'll hold off on posting some pictures until a later date. Ta-ta friends!