Yep, I disappeared for a little while, but I'm okay with that. I was in Vegas with my family, celebrating the togetherness that we pretty much only get during the holidays. I was enjoying spending time with my mom and my sister, and when I wasn't spending time with them, I was enjoying resting and letting my mind veg out on trashy romance novels and TV movies. I thought of blogging, but decided it could wait - time with family is so rare. (Licking the beaters is also very rare.)
But now, I'm back - or, to be more precise, on my way back, since I'm writing this from McCarran Airport while waiting for my flight - and we can all celebrate my triumphant return to the blogosphere. Hooray!
Of course, one of the unfortunate side effects of taking a blogging vacation is that I now have a blogging to-do list that could frighten small children. LaBloShoeMo may bleed over into January a bit, if for no other reason than that I bought more fabulous shoes while in Vegas, and I have to show them off. Plus, many of you have told me how much you've been enjoying the foot fashion tips that I've been giving, so I figure a little added time won't be too bad. (Those of you who find the shoes boring can just continue to ignore them as you've been doing - no one will be the wiser.)
I have much to be grateful for this holiday season, especially as I reflect on the differences between last year and this year. Christmas has long been my favorite holiday, and last year was particularly hard because I couldn't find it in me to enjoy it. I couldn't stand the cheery songs and carols, I avoided all the decorations, I turned off all the classic holiday films. Everything about the season just seemed to remind me how unhappy I was and how hopeless my future seemed.
This year, things were back to normal. I happily sang along with "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" wherever I went (and I sang LOUDLY, too). I eagerly looked forward to Christmas shopping at the mall, just to see the holiday decorations. When I got to Vegas, I smiled through the annual tree decorating, as I reminisced about each of my many ornaments. I smiled a lot more, and was pleasantly surprised to realize how happy I really am these days.
It was a truly merry Christmas for Lara. How was yours?
On a more serious note, I'd like to take a quick moment to implore you all to do what you can to prevent drunk driving in these next days, particularly New Year's, when many people's judgments are suddenly less good than normal. A good friend of mine recently emailed to tell about the death of a friend of hers (and of many other friends of mine, though I didn't personally know her) - she and her boyfriend had been hit by a drunk driver and killed. Her message struck me deeply, and so I wanted to pass it on to you:
There is nothing anyone can do to turn back the clock... I have no idea if the 31-year-old guy who chose to drink and drive on Saturday night intended to kill two people that night, but I would bet that he did not. He probably was just out having fun in the way he liked to have fun (which apparently involved alcohol) and he made a colossally bad decision to drive. In addition to wishing that guy had not tried to drive after he had been drinking, I wonder if anyone noticed that he was drunk and saw him get into his car but didn't do anything to help him make a better decision or otherwise prevent him from driving.
So, here is my request:
Next time you are at a gathering where alcohol is being consumed, please go out of your way, maybe even out of your comfort zone, to separate the drinking from the driving. You all probably already take care of yourselves and the people you arrive with and leave with by designating a driver ahead of time if any of you plan to drink. But I want to encourage you to take it a step further than that. I challenge you to do something that you otherwise would not have done to prevent – as in, stop – someone who has been drinking from driving. If you see someone who you think might not be ok to drive, do whatever you can do to make sure that person does not get behind the wheel. Get involved even if that person is someone you don't know by finding out who their friends at the party are and making sure that person has a safe ride. Better yet, invest the time to start a conversation so that you can kindly ask them directly how you can help get them a safe ride. Call and maybe even pay for a cab for someone who needs one. If you are hosting a party and are serving alcohol, actively inquire – don't just assume – that those who drive to the party are not drinking or have designated someone else (who is not drinking) to drive them home.
Whatever you do, do it proudly and joyfully, knowing that you just might be saving the life of someone who is loved and would be dearly missed. Like Rhiannon.
Just something to think about as we celebrate a new year.
For those who are still interested, some quick shoes. No lesson this time (because I've rambled enough in this post already), just a brief show-and-tell.
We already talked about casual flats, and I got me a new pair from Payless this week:
And while we're on the subject, I also have this brown pair at home, bought last January while shopping with Reda:
And this pair at home, bought on some binge shopping trip during the year:
Those red flats pair well with these beautiful maroon flats (acquired this week) as a reminder for inserting a pop of color into an otherwise neutral outfit:
And lastly, a pair of brown wedges I've had since the spring, great with skirts/dresses as well as sexy jeans:
Coming soon: Demystifying black heels!