Randomly We Roll Along

So many thoughts are floating around my head this morning, and it’s really hard to pin any single one down.  Getting the words out will help, but that’s going to make for a really random post today.  Which I haven’t done in awhile 🙂

  • I had a dream last night that I woke up and went to the kitchen to get my coffee and I looked out the window to see all the snow melted and our dog frolicking in the green grass of our yard. Spring was here! Then I woke up. I’m thinking it’s going to be a very long winter.
  • Yesterday I got my living room back! I couldn’t be happier.  Due to coughs and colds and an effort to not share them, Bekah has been sleeping in the living room for almost a month now.  Even when Alisha was doing better, she continued to sleep on the couch. Which meant not only was my living room cramped with the Christmas tree still up, but all her books and hoodies and electronic devices.  I’d had it. So, yesterday in a never-before-seen fit of OCD I single-handedly put away all the Christmas decorations, moved the living room furniture around, and reclaimed my space! Bekah slept on the air mattress in the basement last night.
  • Someone is permanently moving to the basement. This brings me great joy, because I haven’t redecorated a room in our house in quite some time.  I really don’t count the bathroom.  That was surfacey stuff.  We have a theme in mind for the family room/someone’s new bedroom in the basement.  One of our great loves: music!  I found this and we’re going to work the whole room around it.  I’m excited. Of course, it’ll have to wait until we recover from the season of spending.  Ideally the room will include ALL new furniture and a piano.  I’m probably still dreaming.
  • This week has really taught me some lessons about myself and my ability to roll with the changes that life throws your way.  I think I’ve made progress! (I should be in Philly right now, but I’m still sitting at my kitchen table.)
  • I never shared the amazing picture that this sweet lady took of our family at our photo shoot in the fall. She rocks! All of those smiles are the ‘real’ deal, which is why out of all the great shots Beth got, I chose this pic. It wasn’t the most perfect one (why must I ALWAYS tilt my head in pictures?!?), but it was really us.
  • Today I’m supposed to have coffee with a friend I rarely get to see since she moved farther away. I miss her.  She went from living 5 minutes away to about 30 minutes away. Not a huge difference, yet a HUGE difference.  Can’t wait to see her and her new little baby boy. He’s so sweet!
  • I’m not sure why ‘spring cleaning’ kicks in for me this time of year, but if all the sale ads are any indication, I’m not alone.  Go ahead, take a look.  All the ads are full of rubbermaid bins and organizational things.  Oh, and exercise equipment. Let’s not even go there! I want to run. I NEED to run, but my hip and fear of the pain I might inflict upon myself is too great.
  • I’m not into the whole ‘New Year’s Resolution’ thing.  The friends we always spend New Year’s Eve with have a tradition.  Every year Josh pulls out the journal. We go around the room (usually youngest to oldest) and say what the best and worst thing was about the past year, then we all say what we hope to see happen in the year ahead.  I do like this tradition. It’s kind of a “forgetting what is behind and looking toward what’s ahead”  (Phil. 3:13)  The fun thing is that we’ve been doing this together since 1992. To look back over the years and see the things that have come about is pretty awesome. Marriages, babies, jobs…we are truly blessed!
  • I recently wrote a whole post (in my head) while I was blow drying my hair.  It never got from there to my laptop. Maybe someday soon.  It was titled, “Instant Potatoes aren’t SO bad!”
  • Speaking of titles, I’m going to let you in on a little secret.  That’s the hardest part of blogging for me.  As soon as my fingers hit the keyboard, they fly.  Very seldom do I not know what to write.  I have many words in me, people, many words.  But the title? Well, I usually save that for last.  It’s hard.  To sum up the many words with a few.  Not my strong suit.  I could always make a stand of it and say I don’t like to title things (or people), but that wouldn’t be completely honest. Because I do it all the time.
  • If you read any other blogs, most of them are doing a year in review, or a best post of 2010 type of thing. Not me. I end the year with completely random thoughts. Kind of telling I think.
  • My coffee is almost gone, and so is the random.

Have a great Thursday!


Two In A Row!

I hope you don’t fall out of your chair, but I’m posting again. Can you believe it? Neither can I. Yesterday AND today. Shocking. I guess I have a lot to say. Most likely it’s the vacation mindset setting in.

Today I got up bright and early to go pick my ‘niece’ up from the airport. She’s not my niece by blood, but in every other way she is.  She’s also 22 which makes me feel ridiculously old! It’s a good thing I had to go get her since it got me up and out of the house at a decent time. We had way too many things to return this year!  Bekah’s Converse didn’t fit. Marissa’s boots didn’t fit.  Alisha’s jeans didn’t fit.  We went to JCPenney’s, Sear’s, Carson’s, and Borders (those are all IN the mall.)  Then we went to Kohl’s, Target, Family Christian Store and TJ Maxx.  I did walk into Old Navy and then right back out.  Don’t get me started on THAT place right now! They have nothing in their stores. So frustrating.  All the returns and exchanges went pretty smoothly except that my kids are my kids.  When the exact  item wasn’t available in the correct size, the next best options was always more money.  Yes, friends, this is ME.  Put 10 purses in front of me and don’t show me the prices or the brands, and I guarantee you I will pick the Dooney &  Bourke as the one I like best.  It’s in my blood. I can’t help it.  I typically don’t indulge my expensive tastes, but there are just some things you don’t do in knock-offs.  Chuck Taylor’s being a prime example.  Air Walks from Payless…umm, not on MY feet.  Go ahead, call me a snob. I’m done with stores for awhile though.

For now it’s time to pack. Heading east…although with the snow that way, south is looking at lot more inviting 😉

What plans do you have for New Year’s Eve?


Checked Out

I hope you all had a happy Christmas!  This year was weird and different for me. In very good ways.  There was still the abundance of gifts, the tree, the ‘stuff’ of Christmas, but this year the one thing lacking was the guilt. That made for the sweetest Christmas ever.

The brief twinges of guilt that I did feel, were quickly washed away by remembering how much my Heavenly Father loves me, and that was the end of that.  Why such a feeling of guilt at such a happy time of year?  Guilt because we always (always) overdo it on the gifts.  This year I just didn’t feel bad about it.  We did it because we can. We didn’t go into debt to do it either. We say no to our kids so often throughout the year, and they know at Christmas that they will get many of the things we regularly say “no you don’t really need that” about.  We got them electronics, expensive boots, stuff we would normally never buy.  And some even without coupons (I know. I know!) It’s shocking for me.  Could our money have gone to a much better cause?  Probably. But the issue for me is that this is the first year that I can remember not having that guilt eating at me all through the holidays.  I’m finally free!  Being free not to give has made me free TO give. I’m not sure that anyone but a select few will actually ‘get’ what I’m saying, but that’s the gist of it.  Why this has been a great Christmas.

And just for a second, let me get on my soapbox.  I don’t do this often, because I really don’t take criticism well. I need to address this though. The whole ‘happy holidays’ thing.  Maybe in your little corner of the world, this isn’t even an issue, but in the circles I run in, this is a sticky point for people. Let me say, because this is my blog and I can, get over it people.  There are bigger battles to fight.  And for the record, I say Happy Holidays to people, because it’s a WHOLE season of holidays that starts at Thanksgiving and rolls right up through New Years.  At no other time of the year are there so many holidays widely celebrated by the masses in such a short amount of time.  Weeks from each other. I really think people say this contested phrase to encompass the WHOLE of the season, not to purposely take Christ out of Christmas.  I personally love this time of year. Those few weeks are the happiest of my whole year, and I refuse…do you hear me?…I refuse to get involved in your petty arguments about the injustice of the whole xmas vs. Christmas thing.  The whole Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays thing!  I have better things to do with my time. Like smile and show kindness to the clerk who tells me to have a happy holiday.  To let the lady with 3 little kids who looks harried and hurried go in front of me at the checkout.  To very purposely smile and show kindness to the very, very grumpy person who has to handle all the returns.  Even when I’m just as grumpy and I don’t feel like it.  So there. That’s all I’m going to say on that subject. (stepping down off that soapbox now 😉 Fight amongst yourselves. I’m sitting this one out.

Spending our Christmas in pajamas and breaking tradition and not going to the theater to watch a movie, but instead watching one I got as a gift (Inception…wow…just WOW) was awesome.  Realizing that the ‘prepared’ ham meal I had my husband pick up on Christmas Eve at Meijer actually was not all that prepared and the ham needed to bake for 2 hours prior to being eaten…well, that was not so awesome (it was after 6:00pm when I actually opened the boxed meal.)  But eating pancakes, scrambled eggs, and turkey sausage in our jammies for dinner on Christmas day was actually pretty cool. We drank lots and lots of coffee, and I read.  2 novels in 2 days.  My drug of choice.  I ignored my laptop and my iphone, and only talked to family who called me.  I do kind of feel bad for not calling my other family members and wishing them a Merry Christmas.  I checked out. Quite literally.  Other than playing Uno with the girls, and watching movies with the family, my nose was in a book.  It was wonderful!

Hope your Christmas was as enjoyable!

What a week!

Our Christmas tree with the crazy "FF5" top hat tree topper.

This time of the year is always crazy-busy for me.  This year being no exception. The difference is I’m enjoying myself in the midst of the busyness this time.  If my house is any indication, this week has been off the charts.

My counter is piled high with Christmas gifts that need wrapped and shipped across the country, Christmas cards that still need to be written in, addressed, and sent, and about 50 receipts that need entered into the check book.  Let’s hope when I get to that it doesn’t ruin the day.

Phil is still working tons of overtime.  He’s currently taking a nap.  Last night we had the wonderful opportunity to see some good friends in concert along with BarlowGirl. So, so glad we got to see them!  I love them dearly and we only get to spend time together once or twice a year.  Even though the tour took them an hour away from us Thursday night, we opted for the Friday night concert  3 hours away on a non-school night.  The weather cooperated and we had a great time!  Those friends are all now on the road to Minnesota in the middle of a blizzard. Following their tweets, the bus was stuck, now is unstuck, but the roads are treacherous.  Praying for their safety!  The tour is over this weekend and they head home Monday. My friends Amanda and Shannon came with us and spent the night here since we got home so late.  We had bacon and French toast and coffee, and watched the Eureka Christmas special this morning. It was so very fun!

This week my best friend since middle school had her 2nd baby, and oh my WORD the sweetness!  I was able to be there with her the first week after she had her first baby (18 months ago), but since things are in a huge time of transition and somewhat chaotic at work right now, there is no way I can leave and head back to Philly.  I’m sad.  But I’m also happy because our Christmas break from school is so crazy late this year, I’ll be able to spend the whole week between Christmas and New Years in Philly with her!  I can’t wait to see them.  My sister-in-law and brother just found out they’re expecting their first too.  So, I am totally prepared to be the best auntie in the world to my Philly family!  I’m  having a VERY hard time not buying every cute baby thing I see right now.  If it’s soft and fuzzy and screams of baby cuteness it usually ends up in my cart.

Our school Christmas program is this Tuesday night, and I still have to make 26 party hats this weekend.  It’s funny how now that I’m the only ‘official’ teacher left at our school and everything as far as planning and implementing was kind of on my shoulders, it’s also the least stressed I’ve ever been about a school program.  The kids can pick up on that, and practices have been fun and they’re going SO well.  The two year old’s are going to bring the house down singing their “Little Snowflake” song.  Again with the cuteness factor! It’s just doing me in this year.  I see cute and I melt like butter.

Speaking of butter, it’s caramel corn time!  I’ve already make a few batches this season, but over the next two weeks, it’ll be a regular caramel corn shop in my kitchen.  What with all the making of caramel corn, packaging and shipping of it, I will again be firm in my decision why I will NEVER sell it as a business.  I make it in love for those I love.  End of story.  Now a lot of my regular readers and commenters are already on my list of people who will receive some in the mail, but if you’re someone who has never had my famous (haha) homemade caramel corn and you’d like some, let me know.  I’ll see what I can do.  If you live in the Chicagoland area, even better!  I might even hand deliver it 😉  Cheaper than shipping (which is getting to be ridiculous in cost!!)  I was trying to figure out how much stamps for Christmas cards were going to cost me this year.  It’s a lot.  So, if there’s no gift card in that Christmas gift I sent you, well, I spent THAT money on the postage.

I have a lot of words in me today! Sorry.  It’s just I’m so excited about life right now, and I just have so much positive pouring out of me at the moment, I just have to share it.  I’m even feeling positive about the fact that I have to get this house organized for the equally crazy week ahead.  That’s just my meds and the 4 cups of coffee I had kicking in.  It’s currently raining and gray, and that rain will most likely be snow by tonight.  I’m ok with that. I may just stay in my pjs ALL day.

Oh, and my birthday is this week, and I’m throwing myself a party.  It’s not as tacky as it sounds.  I’ll tell you all about it later 🙂

What are you up to this fine Saturday?

Happy Sunday!

Ahhh, Sunday morning! I used to dread it, but now…it’s love.  Our new church has Saturday night service, and for someone who is decidedly NOT a morning person, this is a beautiful thing.  I sip coffee, go through the newspaper at a leisurely pace, and then have a 2nd cup of coffee. Good, good times.

Yesterday I spent most of my afternoon decorating the house for Christmas.  My family didn’t participate at all.  This kind of made me sad, but I know it’s just not their thing, and for some reason this year my excitement about the Christmas season is off the charts compared to other years.  I’m in a much, much better place than I was a year ago.  Looking at the obvious, not much is different in my life, but the inside stuff, the stuff of my heart that you can’t see, well, that’s where things are very different.  And it’s a good thing.  I’ve changed.  I’ve grown.  I’m finding joy in life again.  Since the Christmas season is all about joy and hope, I’m embracing it with all that I am.

That being said, for the first time in 3 years, I’m going to send out Christmas cards!  I found some cards I thought were really cute at Target. And then some others at Hobby Lobby that had a great verse in them.  Then when I pulled all the Christmas boxes out of the attic I found a box of cards I bought last year that I never sent.  Nice. I didn’t say I was more ‘with it’ than I was last year, just better at handling my mess-ups 😉  So, I guess I’ll be returning some cards this week.  That’s ok since my kids have decided they want this crazy tree topper they saw at Hobby Lobby, and I need to get us new stockings.  Shopping!  Our old ones kind of melted together (they had fabric paint on them) in the attic over the summer (oops.)  I think I’m going to let everyone pick out their own. The stocking they like best.  Which means they won’t match.  Which proves just how far I’ve come in the last year.

What are you up to this Sunday??