Contemplations on my Christmas Break (aka Emerging from my Holiday Stupor)


Is this thing on?
What day is it?
Where am I?

Yesterday was my first day back in the real world and, though my re-entry wasn't extremely difficult, it wasn't exactly easy either.

I was "on vacation” December 23 - January 3, but I did make three separate trips to the office to do payroll, pay bills and other necessary things. But at least it didn’t involve driving in rush hour traffic, wearing heels, or talking to anyone except myself. Not that I talk to myself while doing payroll. *ahem*

Though I wouldn’t say I got lots of R+R these past 10 days, I most definitely had lots of great times with family and friends, and that's really what matters anyway.

Kendra and I, and a friend and her daughter, went to see The Nutcracker Ballet at the Fabulous Fox Theater on Christmas Eve afternoon.

Then we had a great Christmas Eve dinner with cousins.

Red hot smokin’ Santa really did read my Christmas list. Hello little red beauty….and a double batch of chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.

It’s unusually cold in the ATL for this time of year…….brrrrrrr….  I'm even wearing socks in the house, and I never wear socks in the house.  Who says the global is warming?

I can’t believe swimsuits and cover-ups are out in the stores already.  I mean, give me a break.  Shouldn't we at least be able to buy our boxes of Whitman's chocolates for Valentine's Day without being reminded about squeezing into small pieces of fabric held together on the sides by string or gold metal circles?

I bought a swimsuit and cover-up on Sunday.

Honestly, it didn’t really dawn on me until sometime around Christmas that we were entering a new decade.

Two Thousand Ten or Twenty Ten?

And I guess for the sake of being nicer for the new year, I will reserve my sordid opinion about the terrible liberal slant that was so prevalent in all of the mainstream media's "year/decade in review" montages.  So - yeah, yeah, yeah....Bush ran the country into the ground for most of the first decade.  Whatever.  At least we're on firm ground now.  Unless we get sick.  Or laid off.  Or ride in an airplane.

I watched more movies over the break than I watched the rest of the year combined:
Duplicity – marginally good. I'm just not that into psychological thrillers about hair products.
While You Were Sleeping – Enjoyed it!  Light, entertaining and funny. And I like Sandra Bullock.
The Hangover – 5 stars. One of the funniest movies I’ve seen in a very long time.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – touching and wonderful (and long!)

What was your favorite movie of 2009?

I seem to have misplaced more things than usual this holiday season, including but not limited to: my new health insurance card, both of my car keys at the same time, an American Express bill, my powder compact, a gift card, a roll of stamps and a pair of gloves.  This is the second pair of gloves to go MIA.  And the only thing on the list that's been found so far is one of my two car keys.  I mean, I can function without gloves, but who can function without a car key?

I got my hair cut over the break and I asked my hairdresser to give me some loose waves instead of blow drying it straight, and she did it using a flat iron. (Pardon my non-makeup face, but we're all friends here, right?  At least I'm not in my pajamas.)  I actually liked the new do but so far have not been able to do it myself…not even close.

I had some extensive dental work done last Tuesday and have since been back to the dentist four times. That's one of the major reasons there wasn’t much R+R during my vacation..not to mention how much it cost.

We celebrated our New Year’s Eve wedding anniversary with dinner at the new St. Regis in Buckhead. They had an 8 course meal that was delicious and lots of fun.  The designer bought several pieces of art from me for the hotel project, so it was fun to see them hanging on the walls in the hotel  We had a drink in the wine bar before dinner. You will notice I did not don a dress for NYE – wore jeans in fact. Fuss free, comfortable and not a single person looked at me crossways.

I vowed I was going to leave our inside Christmas décor up until mid-January because it seemed like I barely got the house decorated before the clock struck Christmas Eve. But, I changed my tune by the 27th and all the berries and snowmen and santas are packed away for another year.

And then I started thinking about what I was going to put up in their place and for some reason green and birds and nests and ferns and botanics and eggs kept swirling around in my head and then I got the new Pottery Barn catalog and look what I saw

I've been keeping a reading journal since 1999, recording all the books I read each year and notes about certain books I really loved.  In 2009 I read 13 books; I'd hoped for at least 20.  I have a clean fresh page in my journal for 2010 and at least two bookcases full of books waiting. 

What was your favorite book of 2009?

I've made a few resolutions / goals for the new year but I've learned I do best if I tell you how I did after the fact instead of telling you about what I hope to do before I get started. 

So how'd I do in 2009?  One of my biggest goals was to lose some weight - and more importantly lose body fat (hello having a baby when you're almost 40!).  I lost 27 pounds and 13% body fat.  It was not easy. In fact the first 3 or 4 weeks were really, really rough.  Ask me if you want specific details, but there is one way and only one way to successfully lose body fat and keep it off:  lots of protein and water, no sugar or refined carbs, minimal alcohol and caffiene, and weight bearing exercise alternated with intense but short cardio.  I can't tell you how many people ask me what I did and when I tell them they say, "I can't possibly do that."  They can. You can. I did.  If you have a new year's resolution to lose weight, you can do it.  But if you're going to do it, do it the right way. You can count calories or fat gram or points all you want.  You can use your Wii or kill yourself logging hours of pretty meaningless "exercise" on the treadmill.  It will work in the short term.  That's why Weight Watchers is so popular.  But it won't work in the long term.  That's why it's not called Body Fat Watchers.  Big difference. 
For those of you who have been waiting for the grand finale of the Running post...sorry about my bad timing.  And sorry that I don't really have it in me to craft the grand part of the grand finale.  But it's a great ending.  Robbie is now Robert (or Rob).  He found me on facebook and caught me up on the 9 years that have passed since we ran together.  He's married, with a son of his own...and he is still running!  In fact, he's run 20+ marathons and made it through college on a cross country scholarship.  He wrote me about how much his first year of running meant to him.  And I wrote to him about how much his first year of running meant to me

And finally, I have a new business underway and it will take most of 2010 to get it up and running. 

Thank you to this awesome lady for my logo design.  Try her!  You will LOVE her! 

And to this awesome lady for her great photography skills.  This is one of the many wonderful photos she took around my house. 

Happy New Year to all of you! 
 I hope it's great for you in many, many ways.


Mrs. Potts :

Happy New Year & Happy Anniversary!

The cold weather is sucking the life out of me - it makes me want to cozy under my covers in the morning instead of getting up & working out.

Marilyn *Pink Martinis and Pearls* :

Happy New Year, Jillian. Good luck with your business. You'll do great, I just know it! :) xoxo

Tonja :

I don't know if I can remember all the questions you posed, but...
The Help was the best book I read. I highly recommend it!

It is too cold down further south, too! I hate it!

I just walk right on by the swimsuits...why torture myself?

I think it should be Two Thousand Ten, but I think most will say Twenty Ten.

Don't think I saw a movie, in the theater, in 2009. I watched Love, Actually at home, though. I think it's only 4 or 5 years old!


We celebrated anniversary on the 30th...37 years! Congrats!

I won't even say what I think about Obama and the job he's doing...I'm trying to be nice, too.

I'm determined to lose weight and read your thoughts on weight loss with interest!

AND, congrats on the business! I'd like to hear more about what you will be doing! Love the logo!

There, hope I got it all!
Have a great year!

Just Mom :

Oh my WORD, I have no idea where to start as far as comments. So I guess I'll simply say


Pink in a sea of blue :

Happy New Year! Man. ATL has a St. Regis now?? Love the one (and bar) in NYC. I miss ATL.

I, too, keep a list of books I read each year and I, too, lose things- that being one thing I recently lost (misplaced- it WILL be found)! Good luck finding your items.

So glad to hear about Rob(?). I ran in HS and WISHED I had pursued cross country in college. So awesome he ran in college and still today. Your brief finale still brought a tear to my eye.

Good luck on the new adventure.

Suburban Princess :

Your house is gorgeous!

Happy Anniversary!

Lauren Thomas :

Good luck on your new business adventure for 2010! I started my own business last year and it really is intense - but so worth it!

I love your new hair style!

And you've gotta love Georgia. You know the saying is "if you don't like the weather, wait a day. It will change."

mer@lifeat7000feet :

Okay, lots to say:

I loved reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and also The Help in 2009.

Your house is beautiful.

As are your children.

Happy Belated Anniversary.

Tell us about your new business!!!

And WAY TO GO on losing 27lbs...that is awesome!!!

Unknown :

Great post! First, love the hair with the layers. I too can never get it like they do in the salon! Also, would love to hear more tips on which foods you ate specifically for the weight loss - like what did you have for breakfast? Lunch?
Thanks for the linky on the logo! Can't wait to see how the business goes - and that picture of your house is great! Still dying to know what the photo shoot was for! Happy new year!

Wacie's Way :

Congrats on your anniversary, Happy New Year and good luck with your new business venture!! Speaking of bathing suits, had to put one on this weekend while at an indoor water park - scary to be in a suit in January!! At least everyone else was just as pale as me!! Love your home decor - wish you were closer so you could decorate my house!

Justabeachkat :

Wow, what a post!

I'd be VERY interested in learning more about your weight loss ideas...especially since the wedding is looming in the near horizon. Yikes!

I'd love to hear more about your new career?

Hugs from the beach!

new email -

green-eyed lady :

Congrats on your new business! How exciting! Can't wait to hear more.

I too had a baby close to the big 4-0 and while I have lost all my pregnancy pounds I'm still not as fit even though I workout quite a bit. I definitely need to lose the body fat!! You need to spill your secrets!

Best wishes for your goals for 2010. Oh, as far as books go, I have been back to rereading old classics like Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, and Pride and Prejudice. They just don't write them like that anymore.

Gracie Beth :

Happy New Year! You sure have been busy! I had to catch my breath just reading that post. Your house is lovely.

Lipstick :

I love that pic of your house! Beautiful!

Miss Jody :

*Your home is beautiful!

* Love your red mixer :)

* good luck on your adventure! (business)

Have a great new year :)

Susan :

Wow, Jill! What a newsy, interesting post. You are a busy, busy lady. Best of the best on your new venture. What exactly is it? When I saw the Bee I wondered is you were raising honey bees, like Mickey :o) NOT!!!

Ms. Mayhem :

I just think your wonderful. Have a great New Year!

Holly :

Happy 2010 to you too!

Sounds like you had a great holiday--good luck with re-entry into Post Holiday Life--and with your new venture.

I keep some sort of a track of the book I read on Goodreads, but maybe a journal is a better, more tangible way since I don't have a clue how many I read in 2009. The Help was excellent!

Holly :

Oh! I forgot to say I think your new hair-do is divine AND my jaw dropped when I saw your living room. Goooorgeous!

Unknown :

So many things to comment about! First of all, love your photos and your recap of the break. It looks like you had a great time with the kids!! Your hair...darling! I love the waves. And finally, your logo is fabulous! Congratulations on your new business. Your home is gorgeous...I'm in lust with that zebra at first sight! Hope you're having a great week!

Unknown :

Oh, and the Hangover...Dave and I haven't laughed that hard in a LONG time! We both thought it was hysterical.

Julie B. :

1. Your hair is adorable - so flattering.
2. Your keeping room is worth keeping.
3. What does the logo mean to you?
4. Will it be an online business?
5. Favorite books: "A Girl Named Zippy" by Haven Kimmel, "Safely Home" by Randy Alcorn and "This House of Brede" by Rumer Godden.


Mrs. Jones :

Amen, sister! It is the only way to go when you're losing weight. Such a foreign concept to most ladies who had "cardio for hours" and "eat no fat" drilled into our heads. My trainer had me add more protein and fat to my diet and it was just what I needed. The 20 minute cardio is so effective it just blows me away. Proof that you don't need to work out for hours to have a great bod!

TarHeelMom (formerly JCAUNCMom) :

Jillian, I'm a new follower and also am an Atlanta mom and J. Crew fan. LOVE your blog! Just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for a Beautiful Blogger award at my blog,

Keep writing -- you're terrific!

bevy :

Love your post! So full of news and info about you and your year... Love your hair too! So soft and flattering. I also love your sordid opinion about the terrible liberal slant. Oh, don't even get me started girl!

Thanks for your dear, sweet comments on my posts about my husband. He is a keeper!

adrienne :

Wow! Happy Anniversary! Thanks for the update on Rob. So excited to hear about your new business. Do share the details when you can. I'm sure it will be fabulous--I think you have great taste! Always enjoy your blog--love your sense of humor! Happy New Year!

adrienne :

oh, and congrats on your weight loss. that is some hard work girlfriend!

Hillcrest Acres :

Happy New Year!!!! Happy Anniversary to you too. Good luck with your new business.

The photo of your home is beautiful!!

Caffeine Court :

LOVE the logo, your house is beautiful and you look awesome.

So sorry about your teeth. I am in the midst of a bunch of work on my teeth and every time I write a check I crack another one as I clench my teeth in frustration. HATE IT!!

Momma Roar :

Getting caught up here on the weight loss. 27 lbs - that's AWESOME!! I thought you've always looked beautiful, but I'm sure you feel so much better too!

27 is about what I'd like to lose - 10 lbs from each child! LOL

I'm also glad I found the ending to the Robbie story - how sweet! And wonderful! And what an amazing way God used both of you to help each other. A cross country scholarship? That's awesome!!!

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