Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Chrisrmas Memories

Happy Monday after Christmas and last Monday of 2010! We all heard it as young people, the older you get the faster time passes -- how true it is!

Our Christmas holiday was just perfect. We went to visit family in the bay area and had a wonderful time visiting with family and friends. We made the trip home on the 24th to be sure to have cookies and milk out for Santa.

Christmas was idyllic.Like a classic story, Mason was up at 5 AM ready to see what Santa brought and try as we might, Dave and I were not successful in convincing him to go back to bed. Go figure! We all opened our gifts and enjoyed seeing what everyone got. Mason got a recycled computer (new to him!) with more Legos than one boy should ever get in one day! Dave got several history books, one in particular -- The Gettysburg Companion. It's just one more intentional step to that dream job as a park ranger in Gettysburg National Park! Along the lines of visualization and intention, Dave gave me a guidebook to visiting New England. We will spend the early part of 2011 planning our 10th wedding anniversary in Vermont to see the fall colors. I can't wait! After the gifts were opened, Mason played with Legos (darn near all day!), Dave worked in the kitchen making an amazing prime rib dinner and I kept my personal tradition alive, I napped on the couch with Spencer! Not all day, but at least an hour was spent in midday, luxurious slumber! At some point during the day we watched National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, ridiculous humor that's a holiday must!

After many phone calls and dinner, we pulled out the sleeping pads, bean bags, blankets and pillows into the living room where we all cuddled up to watch Miracle on 34th Street. The fire was flickering, the tree was lit and we all just slowed down and fell asleep. I just can't think of a better Christmas, ever. It was the best one ever!

As we head into the new year, there is much work to do. I have two books to write, along with a companion blog and a glove business to grow. If all goes as planned, our patent will issue in 2011, how cool will that look hanging on the wall? Do me a favor, pick up the phone and call a couple of sporting goods stores near you and ask for ZipperBack Gloves. When they say they don't have them, suggest they carry them. If you feel so inclined, you can let them know we have no minimums so they can try us out with an order as little as a dozen or two! Big smiles!

Have the happiest new year ever and be sure to reflect on all your blessings. It's been a tough few years and though there have been difficulties, there is also much to be thankful for! Focus on the good and watch it grow! I love you all and look forward to hearing back from you about your holidays! Love, Kathy

Christmas Pictures

Mason with Santa - He's getting to be such a big guy!
(Mason, that is - laughing!)

My cousin Lisa and I - vowing to spend more time together in 2011!

Mason, cousin Kayla and Aunt Terese

Mason and Grandma Mary

Ric and Terese

"Elf Dave" sitting by the little fire. This makes me laugh!

Dave's bio-family! Sister Kisti, Mason, brother-in-law Mark, nieces Kelsey & Brooke and nephews Lane & Evan.

Just a nice shot of us as a family to wrap up 2010

Ornaments. Just make me smile and I thought they might make you smile, too!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Holiday Traditions And Belief

With less than one week before Christmas, it's safe to say, ready or not, here it comes! Christmas and the new year on on the horizon and they are coming no matter what.

I made a very concentrated effort this year to not shop. I didn't want to go into shops or the mall as like most people do, I felt like giving what I want to get; enjoyable experiences. I saw this with Mason when he decorated his cookies to give his school bus drivers, teacher, and principal -- he loaded them up with icing, tons of it, just the way he likes to eat them! It made me smile to see him so proud of giving what he made. Beautiful Christmas cookies are only one of our holiday traditions.

Another is visiting Santa! At the ripe old age of seven, Mason is questioning his belief in the mythical characters of Christmas. The doubt started with the fairies that bring little treats each day to the Advent calendar. Mason informed me on Friday that he believed I was the fairy who put the treats in the boxes. "Really? Why do you think that?" I asked. "Because I see that you put foil wrapped snowmen in the gift basket for Ms. Morris (his teacher) and those are the same snowmen I got two days ago in my *opit day." He said firmly. Uh-oh I thought as I came back with a very quick and clever reply. "Oh Mason, that's silly. Just because we have something the same doesn't mean the fairies don't exist. Do you think that if Santa brings Legos and you can also buy them at the store that that means Santa isn't real?" Silence. I waited hoping that I'd stalled the inevitable when Mason said, "Good point. I'm gonna be keeping my eye on those opit day fairies but Santa's real, oh yeah, Santa's real!" Now Mason still believes in Santa but he will be the first one to tell you the Santa in the mall is not the real one. Mason is well aware that the man in the mall is a helper, an agent if you will of the big man himself -- legitimate enough to share his list with for sure.

Before we wrap up the gift that is the Monday Motivator before Christmas 2010, let me share with you a budding optimists view of naughty and nice and what could land in your stocking Christmas morning. Like all parents this time of year, Dave and I leverage the, "You better be good. Santa can see you and if you're naughty, you just might find a lump of coal in your stocking." This year, Mason quipped, "Well, I don't really want coal but if I got a lump, I could burn it in the stove and it would keep us warm. Did you guys know you can burn coal to keep warm?" He asked. What do you say to that? I just smiled, feeling very proud that we are raising a thinking and optimistic young man!

Merry Christmas friends, you are loved and appreciated!

* Opit Day -- When Mason was just learning to talk, we would talk about his Advent calendar and say, "Oh, we have to open the next day!" He caught on very quickly and began to say, "Opit Daaaayyy. Opit Daaayyyy" pointing to the calendar. It stuck and now Advent calendars in our family are referred to as "Opit Days."

Monday, December 13, 2010

Happy 44th Year!

Merry Christmas Friends!

It's been busier than usual here at Partak Central with all the things mentioned last week and now we add Mason has strep throat, an Operation Mom dinner on Tuesday night, Mason's Christmas program at school on Thursday night and a few other not so noteworthy commitments as well. I baked a gazillion cookies on Sunday and as busy as I am, I'm looking forward to decorating them. I can already see snowflakes that are bright purple and vibrant yellow with white sparkly lines and of course, you all know how I love my Christmas bear and moose! Mason and I also did a Gingerbread House together. I wanted to do this one as my project, all mine, but Mason wasn't having it. He made his presence known. Smiling!

Since it's been busier than usual, I haven't gone all out with the indoor decorations and even enjoyed letting Mason do his own thing with them. He doesn't have the same style I do, but that's what makes it so wonderful, it's all Mason.

So it's my birthday on Friday and can I just tell you, I am loving getting older! I feel like I have so much more to offer the world and I feel better offering it. I'm loving my life and all that it entails; the good, the bad but especially the mundane. I love dinnertime, sitting in the hot tub under the stars, going for a run with Dave, Spencer on his leash and Mason on his bike, and watching the news in bed. From my very core I believe that our lives are made richer and more worth living by having people to love and share the day to day activities with. Thank you for loving me and being interested in my life. Big 44th year smiles and love to every one of you! Kathy

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Good Problem To Have

Have you ever had a good problem? You know, the kind that has you jumping through hoops and running in circles but you're actually grateful that you have the issue? Well, I have just such a situation right now. I'm going crazy juggling inventory, fielding customer questions, trying to handle web site issues, taking new retailer information and orders, and filling ZipperBack Glove orders directly from our site. It's a lot of work for one elf (it is Christmas after all!), but I think we all agree a season-two sell out would be a good thing!

With the success we are seeing with ZipperBack Gloves, we are also happy to report a huge upswing in the participation and community support for See's for Soldiers. We are in year six and have grown from a single Kiwanis club to 14 clubs all throughout the state of CA and Sutter Buttes Canine Rescue in Yuba City as well! Fox40 did a piece on it yesterday as well as The Eagle radio station. You can se Dave in action at And speaking of Fox 40 news, they are doing a piece on ZipperBack Gloves on Tuesday. I'll send you that one next week! Smiles!

Dave, Mason and I went to cut down our Christmas tree and it's up. As it goes with Dave and Christmas, bigger is better and we have a 12 foot tall tree. It's possible he's even outdone himself with his outdoor decorations this year. I'm baking and pouring lots of love into goodies that when all wrapped up will be our gifts for Christmas. Needless to say, things like sitting down to write keep getting pushed by the wayside and Monday Motivators go out on Tuesday evening. I started addressing Christmas cards last night and was thinking about a year-end letter to include with our personal card. I smiled when I realized there was no reason to add another thing to my to-do list as you guys don't need a year-end letter, you get a weekly update! Of course that lead me right back to that I hadn't written it yet and by a technicality, Monday was over. Welcome to my world of long lists, circular thoughts, and good problems to have.

Happy Tuesday and know you are able to handle all that comes your way, good and bad. Problems will come and go so you may as well do the best you can and enjoy the journey because after all, is there really a destination at all?