St. Nick, E.o.t.T., Good-byes

December 7, 2012

SO our family celebrates St. Nicholas Day. My mother, who has German ancestors, learned all about St. Nick while my parents were stationed in Germany. Prior to that it wasn’t celebrated. She got little plastic boots that were put on display with all the decorations but would be “hidden and filled” by St. Nick and we’d have to find them (usually in Mom’s bedroom closet) on the morning of Dec. 6th. My mother even made sure St. Nick found me at college and I’d receive boxes with instructions not to open until Dec. 6th. Our boots were always filled with chocolate.

I chose to carry on this tradition for my children. Our first Christmas together (rather apart really as he was at sea until January 4th, making it home for our first anniversary) I found these awesome boot-shaped baskets just perfect for St. Nick boots. I purchased 6 at the time because I thought for sure we’d be having at least 4 children. My mom and my mother-in-law dove in with both feet on this tradition when the girls were born. For their first years they got stuffed animals and books. Chocolate was introduced on their third St. Nick. I remember the phone call from my mom telling me to just let T1 eat the chocolate pop for breakfast–“it is only one day a year.”

Well I really wasn’t ready for St. Nick this year. Did I buy candy? I hadn’t gotten any Christmas related books or movies? T2 was so excited St. Nick day was coming. When she excitedly announced “Tonight’s the night we put out our boots” I said, “What? Tonight? No, he doesn’t come until the night OF St. Nick Day.” “Uh, no Mom, he doesn’t.” I managed to gather everything together–forgetting that I had already stashed Hello Kitty Fruity Christmas Flavor Jelly Bellies in their boots (so I wouldn’t forget where I put them)–and leave their St. Nick surprises outside their doors. Here is a picture of the two of them when T2 got chocolate for the first time (that’s the chocolate pop in her hand–and yes, they did eat them for breakfast!).

St. Nick Day 2004

St. Nick Day 2004

Interesting fact I discovered while finding a good link for St. Nick Day: St. Nick is the patron saint of sailors and children. Good to know if you do the whole saint thing and you’re married to a sailor. 🙂 (We don’t but it is good trivia/)

I had to change my E.o.t.T. schedule this week so I went in two days in a row. Wednesday’s Prowler circuit whipped me but at least my back didn’t go out this week because of doing something stupid. Thursday we were going for a personal best bench press. I have to tell you, I was nervous. I was letting the weight psych me out. I actually bobbled my first attempt. You see I was slowing down the decent, losing momentum, realized I hadn’t touched my sternum so I “bobbled” and went for the touch but then I could not push it back up. My trainer was like “What was that mess?” He gave me a second chance. It wasn’t pretty but I did it. PBR: 135 lbs. My trainer offered to take a picture of my holding it up with the big 45 lb. plates on the bar to send to the Chief. Before anyone freaks that I don’t have a spotter in this picture–I can easily hold 135 lbs. up … it is the press that I need a spotter with and this was for a brief 5 seconds.

PBR: 135 lb. bench press. E.o.t.T. baby!

PBR: 135 lb. bench press. E.o.t.T. baby!

I went in to substitute half day for a sick kindergarten teacher after that. During that afternoon the Chief got the confirmation call that he would indeed be leaving at 0’dark thirty Saturday morning. I feel like we’ve been rushing ever since. Thankfully my car was finally read to be picked up. The Chief and I have been running so many last-minute errands and we chaperoned T2’s class field trip today. We finished out pine wood derby cars and dropped them off for the race tomorrow. We went out to dinner–I was hoping we’d do either some place we could get a turkey dinner or pizza (our Christmas Eve tradition) but neither of those appealed to the Chief (something about the thought of a 6 hour flight on a belly full of carbs or cheese & grease). So we ate chinese. New tradition in the making? We gave the Chief his Christmas gifts. Stackable storage bins for his garage. Miami Dolphins decal for his car (though he said it was going on the hood of mine, smack dab in the middle). Two huge glass mugs to replace the ones he broke this time home. The new Lady Antebellum Christmas CD “on this winter’s night” (he knows this was really for me). And a “build your own motorized mammoth” kit.

This was actually funny because it was a gift he insisted we get for T1. The reason he got it is because T1 is getting a gift that is a once-in-a-lifetime purchase and therefore $$ so she is getting nothing else for Christmas. The little snot announced “That’s what I was so excited about and wanted!” I pantomimed the gift she is getting. “Yeah, but Dad said I may be getting an I.O.U.” “Really? You think you should get gifts AND an I.O.U. gift just because you’re waiting? I don’t think so.” Later we did talk to her about the reality of the price tag and she is a bit more understanding. Hopefully it will not be an I.O.U. and it will be ready for Christmas.

We’re all getting up at o’dark thirty because T1 is going on a mission trip with the teen group. T2 and I will be going to the pine wood derby later in the day and I’ve arranged a play date for her so that I can go to the candlelight tour of historic homes. Hopefully that will keep me in the Christmas spirit. I’m really not looking forward to the Chief being gone. This is an awkward schedule that I’m not very fond of but I really don’t have a choice.

Guess I better be off to make sure his sea bag is packed with all the essentials and we can get a good night’s rest…



  1. It seems like you have things pretty well organized. I like the boots, it’s a lovely tradition! I hate it when that phone call comes. You can send pix to your chief? On the vessels mines on, their web capabilities aren’t very sophisticated. text emails only.

    • This particular pic would have gone to his phone directly from mine. He can only get pic in e-mails from his private account and he can only get to that when in port. I do have access numbers and company e-mails for emergency purposes only–not to send pictures of his wife benching 135 lbs to brag about. 🙂

      • yeah, that’d be funny on company email! i watch what i say.

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