Some Things Were Meant to Change

Dear Future Stella,

I like to consider your Dad and myself spontaneous and adventurous. We like to try new foods, explore new places and try out new sex positions all the time. However, there are a few things that we hope never change and we look forward to them year after year and some of those things happened this past week. One is the tradition of going to your Grandma and Papa’s house for Thanksgiving. It was here where Baby Stella tried her first food ever (Grandma’s famous mashed potatoes) and this past Thanksgiving was as good as it always is except for one minor detail that I will explain later. The second is hitting up Madonna Inn the next morning for breakfast and paying our hometown Santa Claus a visit. Who needs makeup to make rosy cheeks, a fat suit and a fake beard when you are a 70-year-old-alcoholic-who-hates-shaving-and-loves-food? Lastly, we make a big production out of getting our family Christmas tree each year. We take about 3 seconds to pick it out and roughly 4 hours consuming the free beer the lot has to offer.

Thanksgiving in 2015 be like

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All of the above pictures came to a head right before the meal was about to be served and your Papa had had enough. We all held hands in preparation for Current Stella to say the blessing and your Papa said he wanted to say something really quickly. I don’t remember exactly what he said because honestly I just went up to my happy place in the clouds because being in the actual presence of his anger was a little too much for me. However, the gist was something to the effect of “What the fuck is up with you loser stupid millennials and your fucking devices? What happened to family and spending time together? If you don’t get your heads out of your asses and your eyes off your screens then don’t ever come to my God damn house again. It was terrifying and awkward mainly because he called out one person in particular BUT all of a sudden we got a whole lot of……

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Man, kiddo, do people still get together for Thanksgiving or do they just hang out virtually in 2025? Do we send a bunch of turkey emojis to our loved ones and call it a day? I super hope not.

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I bet you can’t make “cousin pyramids” on your phone. Actually, I bet you can. Its probably some lame app or some Snap Chat feature but it’s not the same as getting to do it in person. Side note- check out your cousin Anthony’s transformation in the pictures above in just one year!!! I could barely believe it. He’s like an actual man now.

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Who is going to squirt whipped cream in your mouth at Virtual Thanksgiving? Just yourself which isn’t nearly as cool.

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Whats the point of getting all cute and dressed up or setting the table if you have nobody to spend the day with? Might as well stay in your pajamas and eat off paper plates for your Turkey Day 2025.

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Lastly, who on earth would want to watch television when there are Grandparents like the ones above who just want to hang with you? Nobody I want to raise would ever want to spend Thanksgiving disconnected from their loved ones.

The next day we all woke up a little groggy and wondering if Papa really flipped a lid on the whole family or if we were just dreaming. Unfortunately, it was real but when I heard it be re-told the next morning it appeared the version I remembered was waaaaay tamer than what he actually said. Yikes. Not letting it ruin our tradition, we all headed to the Madonna Inn for breakfast. Current Stella likes it because they have pink sugar in a salt shaker on the tables that she can eat instead of her breakfast that we order. The Madonna Inn goes nuts with Christmas decorations so its the perfect place to get into the holiday spirit. Here is a little trip down Madonna Inn Memory Lane.

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After breakfast, we go stand in line to meet San Luis Obispo Santa. He’s classic. For fact checking purposes- I have no actual evidence of him being an alcoholic or loving food or hating shaving. In fact, I am now counting three different Santas which is cracking me up because I have this disorder where I can’t tell people apart that well so I truly thought it was the same dude for the past 5 years. Whoopsie.

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This year Current Stella asked SLO Santa for a Snow White Barbie doll. I really thought it would be easy to get but when I typed it in to google, about 25 different variations popped up. Cool. I will take a direct quote from Current Stella “You get what you get and you don’t get upset.”

Current Stella’s Elf on the Shelf, Payton, also made his appearance this week. I made the mistake of looking on Pinterest to see what other parents do with their Elfs. Fuck that! Moms be making outfits for their elfs and creating like entire scenes and shit. No thank you. Here was my very creative Elf placement.

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Current Stella’s elf is already missing his hat. Last year, after your Dad already put all of the Christmas crap deep into storage, I found Payton’s hat. I distinctly remember hiding it in a place I would remember next year. I have no idea where it is. Current Stella has not noticed that her elf is hatless but it is only a matter of time. I have heard Current Stella talking to Payton and its pretty damn adorable. Today I heard her explain to the Elf what Gail’s stocking looks like because last year we didn’t have Gail the Puppy and she wanted to make sure Santa knew which one was hers. As the official Santa of this house, don’t you worry your pretty little heart- Gail the Puppy is getting everything on her list this year and I would never forget which one is her stocking.

Future Stella, I love you. Current Stella, today I surprised you and took you to a movie after school. We saw Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur. You were terrified practically the whole time which is so ironic because the movie is about a pussy dinosaur who has to learn to be brave. I really think you should watch this movie like once a week for motivation. Also, during the movie you asked me what the highest number is that is not infinity. I still have no idea what the answer is but I can guarantee that whatever that number is, I still love you a tiny bit more.

Love,

Mom

I Really Super Hate ISIS

Dear Future Stella,

I feel like the world has gone to hell in a handbasket. I tried to find the origin of that phrase for you but I could not, but from what I can gather- its not good. Every time I read the news it is so tragic. To be fair, I just started using this new feature on my iPhone that updates me with the top headlines, so before this week I really wasn’t reading the news BUT STILL, there is a lot of really crazy things happening out there! Recently, some terrorists have reeked havoc in Paris, randomly killing 130 people. I just can’t even. Its so fucked up. I know we were both taught to not use the word hate, but I can honestly say I hate ISIS. I don’t get it, and I am not going to pretend right now that I understand any of it because I don’t. I can say that amidst all the dark the light always shines through. Emerging from all these tragic stories are so many wonderful people doing extraordinary things for mankind. In the same Paris venue that stupid assholes opened fire on a group of young adults just trying to enjoy a live concert, other complete strangers came to their rescue. Within hours on social media I felt united with kind souls all over the globe who just wanted this madness to end. I remember this happening after 9/11 as well. So much sadness and horror, yet I had never felt so close and connected to fellow neighbors. I can’t help but feel hopeful that the good will triumph the bad. You tell me though, Future Stella, did we overcome those misinformed, shockingly ignorant terrorists? I am naive by nature and hopelessly optimistic so I am not the best person to ask about this. I do hope you stay informed with what is happening around you. Life can be such a pleasant little bubble and its so easy to be blissfully unaware about what is occurring just outside of your zone. Especially at age 25. Just some food for thought.

Speaking of food, we are approaching Thanksgiving. This year we are heading to your Grandma and Papa’s house. This is actually the only place Current Stella has ever spent Thanksgiving thus far. She has committed to eating turkey and green beans. She won’t try stuffing and she won’t try mashed potatoes (despite the fact that they were her first food) and she told me today that there is no way she will eat pie.

Thanksgiving has always been spent with your Dad’s family for the majority of our relationship. In fact, I remember when we were just dating and he invited me to go to Thanksgiving at your Great-grandma Stella’s house. Some of the most repulsive pictures were taken of me that day. I was in beauty school and experimenting with “chunky” highlights- a look that can bring me to blowing “chunks” faster than my last post.

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The woman you were named after referred to me as “The Skunk” from that day forward and I really can’t blame her. After she passed away, the holiday moved to your Grandma and Papa’s house. Your widowed Great-grandfather would show up for the meal (but mostly for the dessert) and then he would want to immediately return to the nursing home where he lived after Original Stella died. This was incredible for me to see because originally he had to be dragged there kicking and screaming. Your Grandma made sure to serve his pie on the same plate as his dinner immediately following his Thanksgiving meal because that is what Original Stella used to do for him. He needed his pie ASAP. He had been with Original Stella since they were teenagers and he had always had that pie on his plate right after he finished his turkey and gravy so your Grandma knew better than to switch things up at this point. Thanksgiving was so sweet with him and I really miss him being a part of it. He had the cutest smile, Future Stella. It was jovial and it just screamed the message, ‘I love pie and I couldn’t hurt a fly.” I wish those stupid terrorists could smile like that.

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Your Grandma really takes on a lot at Thanksgiving. She single handedly puts on the whole event from start to finish. If decorating, shopping, cooking, and cleaning for 20 people seem like a lot for one person to do, what if I told you she also hosts your Papa’s ex-wife on top of that? Yeah, she really does. She has somehow managed to set aside some very deeply personal issues for the greater good of her family. Terrorists, are you hearing this?? Sometimes you have to be in the presence of people who are fundamentally opposite of you and although not ideal, you might find yourself enjoying it.

Future Stella, I hope you always have an abundance of things to be thankful for. I read in a book once that if you ever stumble upon a full moon you should look right at it and say the next few things that come to mind out loud. On my way home tonight I turned a corner and almost ran smack into the full moon. I remembered this advice and without thinking I said “blessed, happy, lucky.” I am so grateful to be alive. I am so delighted to have a life that I find enjoyable. I am so incredible fortunate to have people like Current Stella in my life. Those terrorists would do just about anything to take away all the emotions I feel when I am looking at the moon. They can try all they want but they can’t destroy the moon and that means that they can never win this. There will always be people who can’t help but be overwhelmed with joy and gratitude for life when looking at that round ball of light and that will always trump the evil.

Future Stella, I love you. Current Stella, you fell in love with a snow globe at a store this past week so I bought it for you. Inside the globe there was a mommy bear with a baby bear on her back. You broke it 24 hours later. It smashed in a zillion pieces on our hardwood floors. You were beside yourself and couldn’t comprehend the injustice. You were so pissed that it was filled with water. You thought it was really snow. You said, and I quote, “This isn’t fair. The snow globe was so special to me and I didn’t even get to show my babysitter. Why was it filled with water? Bears can’t live underwater. It doesn’t snow underwater. Mommy, do all snow globes have water in them?” I couldn’t really tell if you were more angry that the globe had broke or if you were feeling deceived by its design. I answered truthfully, that I had never actually broken a snow globe so while it makes sense that they are filled with water, I had never seen that before. You then requested your next globe to not be filled with water and to contain real snow. Yeah, ok.

Love,

Mom