New Year Lists

januaryHey.

It’s me.

I survived December.

Now it’s January.

Amazing how that happens every year.

Once again I’m having a hard time getting motivated to do anything. 

Last night while Jan and I sat eating our typical Sunday night supper of popcorn and sandwiches, he innocently asked what we needed to get done this week.

I looked at him blankly.

Get done?

Need?

Wait – you mean there’s life after Christmas?

So I shook the cobwebs from my mind and wrote a list.

Can I just say that a January list can not compete with the fun lists of December.

Lists that used to say make Christmas goodies, wrap presents, and pack for for New Year’s Eve at Aunt Sandy’s house now say clean the fridge, call the dentist, and work out.

Nope. No comparison.

Yet – somehow it feels good after the busyness and excitement of the holidays to have such simple, normal tasks to complete.

It feels good to find that routine again, like we’ve settled into the New Year.

So I added a few snowflakes and smiley faces to the list and found some lively music to brighten our attitudes as we tackle January.

My first task is to discover what green and growing things are lurking in my fridge.

There’s nothing like a hazmet suit to greet the New Year!

Christmas Letter

I’m supposed to be writing our Christmas letter right now, but I’m just staring at a blank computer screen.

Maybe I’m still a bit brain dead after directing the children’s Christmas program over the weekend.

I’m not sure if I could correctly identify my own children right now, let alone describe in coherent sentences what they did all year!

But at least I have the family picture taken!

We took it on a horribly hot day back in August when Matt was home.

Well, actually, I should say “they” took it.  I made them get all dressed up, go to a nearby park in excessive heat and high humidity so Pedro’s special gal (bless her!) could take their picture –  while I stayed in the air conditioning. 🙂

I’m such a good mom like that.

DSC_0281She did a wonderful job – especially considering the hot, sweaty and slightly goofy group she was photographing.

Each with their own personality and quirks.

The girls had searched Pinterest for cool ways to pose.

But they didn’t always work the way they were supposed to.

DSC_0243 Gotta love the awkward group hug.

At least they like each other.

Most of the time.

But maybe not so much when they are sweaty.

And then there’s this shot…

DSC_0285It pretty much sums up the entire year.

Life with these kids is never dull.

Now to put it in words and get it sent.

And my mind goes blank…

Hallmark Addiction

800px-Flickr_-_law_keven_-_A_parting_gift...In the past I have confessed to you all an addiction to Hallmark Christmas movies.

And in the interest of full disclosure, I will admit that I have not conquered this addiction. Actually – it has become worse.

I might have actually watched a Christmas movie in October.

But I recently learned that I wasn’t the only one who suffered from this malady.

An anonymous person close to me (who might actually be married to my husband’s brother and whose initials are a.u.n.t.j.u.l.i.e) recently shared this true story with me.

Working full time with 2 active sons she doesn’t have a lot of time to sit and watch entire Christmas movies – but she would frequently catch parts.

She saw the end of one particular movie that she greatly enjoyed, and was anxious to see the beginning.

Not having a way to record it, she had to watch it live. So she checked the listings and saw that it was on from 3 am till 5 am on Friday night.

Perfect! She always got up to go to the bathroom around 3 am – so she could catch the first part of the movie. (Because actually setting an alarm to get up 3 am was just too extreme!)

Friday night came – but alas – she slept through the night and woke up at 5 am,  totally missing the movie.

But not too worry! It was scheduled again for the next Friday night at the same time.

She spent another busy week obsessed with seeing the first part of this movie.

Friday night finally came – this time she went one step further and had the TV turned to the Hallmark Channel before she went to sleep to save time.

She woke up right at 3 and rushed downstairs.  The few seconds the TV took to warm up seemed like an eternity – but finally – there it was – the long awaited movie.

Her husband found her there – on the couch, in a dark family room, wrapped up in a quilt, engrossed in a Hallmark Christmas movie at 4 am.

That, dear friends, is an addiction. 🙂

Photo courtesy of law_keven

And We Were Thankful

We did Thanksgiving.

Two days.

Two hundred miles.

cousins

Two sides of the family.

Two sets of grandparents.

Two complete turkey dinners with all the fixings.

Aunts. Uncles. Cousins. Babies.

IMG_0853

Shopping.

Snow.

Laughter.

IMG_0857

Games.

Memories.

Twas a glorious time.

(be) Happy (in your) Thanksgiving!

800px-Thanksgiving-BrownscombeThe girls and I decided early in November that we were going to celebrate Thanksgiving all month.

That’s right.

Totally Thanksgiving all month.

We tried, really we did.

But there aren’t many Thanksgiving carols to play.

Or Thanksgiving movies to watch.

I soon realized that Thanksgiving isn’t really a  month long celebration.

It really isn’t a celebration at all.

It’s more of a time to pause.

To savor.

To reflect.

To give thanks.

Thanksgiving stands as a rock of remembrance at the end of November.

A time to recount the blessings we have.

To quiet our hearts.

To adjust our attitudes.

To change our focus.

And as I did, something amazing happened.

I found great joy.

And peace.

And contentment.

I discovered that a thankful heart is a happy heart.

So dear friends, I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving!

Which is to say, may you be be happy in your Thanks-givings today and everyday.