Monday, December 27, 2010

The Fun is Just Beginning!

Some of you may have already taken down your Christmas tree.  Maybe you've unplugged your outdoor Christmas lights, too.  The holiday wrapping paper is put away and you're nearly finished with the fattening eggnog in the refrigerator and the cookies in the tins on your kitchen counter.  Christmas is over and you couldn't be more relieved.

I talked with my mother-in-law today and she told me with a good laugh that ten minutes after her final guests departed on Saturday night she was taking down her tree and tossing it off the back deck.  She was tired of the falling needles and mess and couldn't wait to be rid of it. 

I can relate.  Our Christmas tree is getting barer by the moment.  It stopped taking water a few weeks ago and has lost so many needles it's virtually invisible on the bottom half.  The fact that we had to remove all of the candy canes and decorations from this part of the tree, to protect them from our two year-old, only makes the barrenness more glaring. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Signs That You May Be Spending the Holidays in a New Place

1.  Instead of being annoyed when people ask for your address, you get excited because it means you may actually get a few Christmas cards at your new house.

2.  You wrapped most of your gifts using clear packing tape. It was readily available and besides, no one will notice, right?  The regular tape could not be located and you refused to purchase more because you were sure you remembered having several rolls somewhere -- seven months ago when you packed up your old house. 

3.  This holiday season is stressful in different ways. Like not knowing where to buy a box of donuts for your coworkers the last week of work. (Poplar Bluff really needs a Dunkin Donuts.) 

4. You were overjoyed to finally be out of all the boxes.  Until, a few days later, you were wrapping a pile of gifts that needed to be shipped in ... Boxes. 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Making the Ugly Beautiful

Today my heart is anxious and concerned. My mind is filled with to-do lists and shopping lists.  I am feeling a multitude of insecurities.  My spirit is restless and unsettled.  I am anything but peaceful. 

And yet God's word reminds me that a quiet spirit is precious, beautiful, and to be desired.

"Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes.  You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."
1 Peter 3:3-4 (New Living Translation)

Oh how I long for a quiet spirit!

Lord, please quiet the cacophony of worries, fears and frustrations rising up in me today. I feel inadequate to the challenges.  Forgive me for my negative thoughts.  Help me cultivate the discipline of quietness.  I can't do it by myself. 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sad, Confusing Weekend

This weekend started bad and ended worse.  I am pretty sure this has been the most troubling, confusing, hurtful weekend in all my 33 years of life.  I feel more scared and upset than I did when my dad had brain surgery to remove a tumor eight years ago this month.  More sad and fearful than when my water broke eight weeks early when I was pregnant with Henry. 

I truthfully can't remember another time where I have been as upset as I am at this moment.  I wish I could give you details but at this point there aren't many.  More questions than answers. 

I came to work today, although yesterday I was pretty sure I would stay home.  I've been crying all weekend.  My eyes are so pink and puffy it felt like I was trying to draw a straight line on a balloon while I was putting on my eyeliner this morning. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Running an Obstacle Course

We all face obstacles when attempting to exercise. Just to get out of the door we may have to battle low motivation, uncooperative elements (wind, cold, rain), time that is limited or workout clothes that just really aren't cute enough to be seen in, in public anyway.  But I think some of us have especially difficult challenges standing in our way of a good workout.  Literally.  Challenges that could be described as shorter than waist-high with sticky, slobbery faces and poor manners. (Dogs, children, or both.) 

At least that's usually the case for me. 

But I have to be honest (not to brag or anything) that once in a while, I will have a great run.  Like this morning. 

I was alone in the frigid early morning air appreciating nature and thinking deep thoughts like, I wonder if the neighbors would call the police if I purchased a ski mask and jogged around wearing it?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Mommy Monster

(A game where I chase the boys around the house growling and trying to catch and tickle them.  Usually someone gets hurt, head-on collisions typcially, when one boy rounds the corner and finds himself face-to-face with the other boy, and running too fast to stop.)

Last night at the dinner table...

Christian:  Mommy, can we please play mommy monster tonight?

Me: No, honey, mommy is too tired to play mommy monster.

Christian: Aw, mom! 

Then, after some thought, Christian: Let's just play until someone gets hurt.

{Why are four year-olds so funny??  Share your kid's most recent funny line.}