Thursday, December 24, 2009

Thankful Thursday

It's one of my most favorite days of the year! I love Christmas Eve!!

Today I am grateful for my oven and my fridge. I used the oven like a crazy person yesterday. Baked all sorts of stuff for tonight and tomorrow morning. And with the fridge, I am able to keep all those things good until we're ready to eat them.

And do you know what this means??? It means that on this blessed day, I have at least a few minutes to actually enjoy what is going on around me. Family, music, games, food, and fun! And I am so grateful for that. I'm especially looking forward to the reading of the first Christmas story and singing tonight! Pretty much my favorite part of Christmas; next to being with family of course.

Thank you oven and fridge!

What are you thankful for today?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

It has yet to begin to feel a lot like Christmas

I've tried for over three weeks now.

Most of the time, it's worked.

But the past three days have been chipping away the last of my reserves.

The optimism is fading fast. The feelings of Christmas spirit are fleeting. And I'm highly tempted to give into the "it's been a major bummer of a Christmas season and life stinks" thoughts.

Jonz has been sick the entire month of December. He's struggling with asthma, is on his second round of steroids this month, and has developed a respiratory infection so we've added antibiotics to his daily meds regimen.
We had such a wonderful few months respite from the regular vomiting our boys take part in. It decided to come back with a vengeance this month.
I missed the Relief Society dinner because I was coughing and didn't want to spread whatever it was I had.
We missed the ward Christmas party because Jonz and Goose were sick.
We spend most evenings and weekends at home because someone is sick instead of going out to do fun Christmas things.
The closer Christmas gets, the more of us seem to get sick.
Holiday gatherings with friends and family have to be postponed or more often cancelled because of someone in our family being sick.
But really, beyond all the "missing out on Christmas fun" things is the fact that having sick kids just wears on a parent. I can only take so much of listening to them struggle to breathe, coughing fits in the middle of the night, cries of pain and fright between stomach heaves, and continually disappointing them by telling them they can't play and have to sit still, they can't go play with someone, and they can't eat anything yet because they threw up less than four hours ago. My four year old has a hard time understanding those things and has spent most of the month angry with me, and my two year olds just think I'm straight up being a jerk.

Even though it's not Thursday, I'm posting an attempt to remember all the good things this month has brought in the hopes that writing it out and publishing it will help it to stick out more in my mind. Ready?

Happy December times- Christmas 2009
Breakfast with Santa, uncle, and cousins this month
The successful hunt for a beautiful Christmas tree
Singing Christmas carols with Bret to the boys most every night
The way the house looks at night with all the lights Bret put up and our fireplace going
Sewing superhero capes with friends late one Tuesday evening
Christmas shopping as a family
Scoring gifts at lower prices than we budgeted for
The First Presidency Christmas Devotional
Driving through a fun lights display and enjoying an evening with college friends
Bret's company Christmas party
Opening advent calendar doors with Jonzy
Peppermint ice cream
Hot chocolate and candy canes
Watching movies with Bret after the boys go to bed
Starting that puzzle that I don't know if I will finish
Hanging out late into the night with my siblings
That reminders of the Savior are everywhere I look and the strangest things remind me of his love

There have been many good and happy blessings this month. Really, it's a fairly normal month I think, but the holiday festivities make for starker contrast. I'm feeling better:) I think I'll go lay down with my four year old for a few minutes.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thankful Thursday to you!

Today I am grateful for Christmas lights. We've got them strung all through and on our house. The house is lined with them. The Christmas tree is covered with them. The banisters are wound with them. And our fake ficus trees are adorned as well.

When the sun goes down, the lights go on. And when the boys go to bed, the normal house lights go off and we turn on the fireplace. It's so cozy and Christmas-y!

If you can (and haven't already), I say go to Walmart, buy a string of lights for less than $2 and spice up your house a bit.

Christmas lights make the season all the more special and fun for me. Despite the troubles with sickness and hectic ways of December, I am still loving this time of year!

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Post number one hundred

In keeping with blogging tradition, for my 100th post, here’s 100 random things you never really wanted to know about me.

1. I eat my french fries two at a time.

2. I firmly believe all cats belong inside. (Unless, of course, they are barn cats in the country.) It's better for the cats and it keeps their "deposits" and disease out of my yard.

3. I like clothes pins. They make me happy.

4. I think beautiful music peaked in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

5. Not that I don't enjoy music from then on because I do. Very much.

6. My favorite songs with lyrics are hymns. Hands down.

7. I wish I could play the piano beautifully.

8. And the violin.

9. I love watching other people play the violin. And listening, of course, but it’s just so cool to see.

10. I buy hot dogs from Whole Foods because normal grocery store hot dogs don't taste right.

11. When someone almost kills me with their car and then flips me off, I've found that the funnest way to deal with that is to stick my thumbs in my ears, wiggle my fingers, blow raspberries at them, and imagine all the ways they could react to that if they would stop being cowards and look at me being just as childish, but much less dangerous, than they were.

12. Getting something I want on a fantastic sale gives me a big high.

13. I wonder what it is about Muppets that captivates all ages.

14. If I had an extra $1000, I’d go hog-wild on Christmas decorations from Michael’s and Shopko. They’ve cornered the market on my taste in decor.

15. If I practiced no restraint, I could also easily spend $1000 at a bookstore, a children’s clothes store, and a movie store…each. Good thing I’m a cheapskate or we’d be broke!

16. I’m a cheapskate. I rarely pay full price for anything.

17. I’ve been hospitalized three times; once for a nasty respiratory infection, twice for childbirth.

18. The scream of a child makes me want to bang my head against the nearest wall.

19. Unless he’s screaming because he’s hurt. It usually doesn’t bother me then.

20. I keep the A/C on in the car well into autumn because I like the chill.

21. I peel oranges to within an inch of their life and then break them apart and eat the little juice pockets. All because I don’t like pith.

22. I despise hypocrisy.

23. I realized my family was abnormal when I went to college. I didn’t know it wasn’t normal for families to get along peacefully and happily 99.9% of the time. I thought sitcoms and movies were major reality stretches, but apparently lots of people live that way. My abnormal family is the best!

24. I look like a teenager.

25. I suffer some consequences of looking like a teenager, but also get some perks.

26. I have horrible vision.

27. I’m right handed, but left eye dominant. So I write with my right and I shoot with my left.

28. Way back when I went to camp with the youth girls from church and totally fell for it on the snipe hunt. Three years later I got to play the part of a snipe. And two years after that I led the hunt and fully enjoyed passing on the con.

29. I can twirl a flag. I even went to color guard camp when I was 16. No laughing; it was done with dignity:)

30. The high school maturity level ended starkly for me midway through my senior year. I fail to understand why so many people can’t, or refuse to, move past it.

31. I do not think fast and so prefer written communication in matters of business.

32. I claim membership to “Pride and Prejudice” fandom.

33. I think I’m just as romantic as the next girl, but I do not like “Twilight” and I even think it’s a dangerously unhealthy obsession for many people.

34. I have auburn hair that hangs half way down my back and refuses to curl for more than 30 minutes.

35. I don’t like how shoulder length hair looks on me so it’s either short or long.

36. I wanted to grow it long in 2005, but kept getting fed up and cutting it until 2007.

37. I haven’t had a professional cut my hair since March ’08 (it was a trim and bang reconstruction).

38. I think I just made up a new hair term! Bang reconstruction. Or should it be bangs reconstruction?…

39. I gave myself a three inch “trim” this year. It was actually very fun to cut my own hair!

40. I play the barber in my family. Saves us a bundle (you know, for that cheapskate in me:)).

41. I’m not a good conversationalist.

42. I don’t like being interrupted.

43. I don’t like having to compete to talk.

44. Therefore, I prefer listening.

45. I enjoy people-watching.

46. Unless those people are doing inconsiderate things. Then people-watching just makes me angry.

47. I hate the word “potty.” My boys don’t (or won’t, as two are still in diapers) go potty, they use the bathroom. Silly pet peeve? Yes. But a pet peeve, nonetheless.

48. I’m a homebody.

49. I like my home. I made it so I would like it.

50. My favorite people live in my home.

51. People I like less are outside of my home.

52. So, obviously, home is my favorite place to be.

53. No, I am not a hermit. I very much enjoy getting out and about in the world. But home is my favorite and I’ll choose it 9.9 times out of ten.

54. I LOVE history and historical things.

55. I especially love being in places full of history. Museums, cemeteries, historical sites, and the like.

56. I love sentimentality and nostalgia.

57. I don’t wear jewelry.

58. I actually love jewelry, but I never wear it because I don’t want to ruin or lose it in my day to day life and it just seems to get in the way.

59. Bret loves and hates that about me. I’m less expensive during gift giving occasions, but I’m difficult to shop for.

60. However, attach some sentiment to a piece of jewelry and I’ll wear it on special occasions or days I want to think more about who it belonged to or, in the case of my wedding ring, I’ll wear it constantly.

61. I love nativity scenes.

62. I vote for real Christmas trees, but admit a temptation to go artificial.

63. Daisies are my favorite flowers. Gerbera daisies are fast becoming my specific favorite. They’re so big and colorful and happy!

64. I don’t like drinking milk unless it has chocolate syrup in it.

65. I haven’t been to the dentist in 4.5 years since that fateful August when I went in for a check-up, was told I had one cavity and three fillings that needed to be changed to the white kind, was scared into agreeing to change them, paid out the wazoo, and my mouth still isn’t the same. I went in with no pain and it took six months for the constant ache to go away, a year for the regular ache to go away, and I still get zings of pain.

66. I know I should go to the dentist, but my trust has been shot. I know…go anyway.

67. I hate being wrongly judged. It’s a pride issue. I’m working on it. But it’s going a lot more slowly than I’d like it to.

68. I like to take pictures.

69. One of these days, I’m going to take some photography classes.

70. I live next to a pond…which means I live under a main flight path for geese. They can get pretty noisy.

71. I took the ACT twice.

72. First time I took it, I thought I did great. I got a 26, not as high as I would like. The average for acceptance into my college of choice was 27. So I took a class (aka, “here, take these practice tests”).

73. Second time I took it, I thought I did worse than the first time. I got a 29. I thought maybe the trick was to come out of the test thinking I’d failed completely and I’d get in the 30s. I decided to leave well enough alone. And it turned out to be good enough to get me into that college. Crisis averted.

74. I never lived in the dorms. I went straight to apartment living.

75. I prefer to shop all by me onesies. Unless shopping is a date with Bret or Girl Time.

76. I wish I could, but I haven’t had my fingernails painted in years; too much chipping in my line of work.

77. I do manage to do my toes once or twice a year.

78. Some days, I long for a daughter. Some days, I want only boys.

79. There go those geese again.

80. I don’t have cable television.

81. TV is addicting for me. I’ve come a long way in keeping it turned off. I only really watch one show (and I watch it online with my husband since it’s never on when we can watch it. Who needs tivo when everything is online anyway???) and sometimes Seinfeld or Scrubs reruns. So why pay the outlandish price for cable when we don’t watch tv, it’s badly addicting, and everything we watch is online?

82. Yet, I’m tempted because our reception is crummy when I actually do want to watch something.

83. I (in co-ownership with Bret) have an amazing movie collection. It’s been the work of many years and It. Is. Awesome.

84. I heart Reese’s peanut butter cups. Deliciousness.

85. I’m not a big fan of chocolate. Sure, I enjoy it. But I don’t seem to crave it like most women do and sometimes I wonder if I received a faulty chocolate gene.

86. I take comfort in the fact that the 1995 BBC miniseries of Pride and Prejudice is my favorite movie. Maybe I’m not so different from the rest of my sex.

87. I like fountain soda better than bottled soda. Same soda, same brand, same temperature…but for some reason it’s just more refreshing when it comes out of a soda fountain.

88. I call it soda. I used to call it pop. I don’t remember when I changed over. But I remember calling it pop as late as high school…hmmm, interesting.

89. I love the mountains.

90. …”I love the rolling hills. I love the flowers. I love the daffodils.”

91. That song always reminds me of my grandpa:)

92. I am a citizen of the United States of America. Proud of my heritage, but admit I’m a bit nervous about the pathway my country is on. How did Thomas Jefferson say it?…I looked it up. “Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.”

93. I love reading about the founding fathers of my country.

94. I love reading.

95. I miss my stomach.

96. I really really miss my stomach.

97. I love being a stay-at-home mom.

98. I hate that being a stay-at-home mom makes me a mindless slave in the minds of many.

99. I love my husband! I thought I loved him more than anyone ever loved anybody when we got married, but even that can’t be compared to how much I love him now.

100. “…All the gold in the United States Treasury and all the harp music in heaven can't equal what happens between a man and a woman with all that growin' together. I can't explain it any better than that.”

Congratulations for makin’ it alllll the way through! I realize that’s not really 100 things; that some were drawn out into more when they should have been one, and that much of it is senseless rambling. But this is what you get:)

Ten points to the one who correctly names the movie that #100 comes from and an extra ten points for correctly naming the actor who said it.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Sure it's thankful Thursday. And sure, I'm thankful for lots of things today: Indoor plumbing (which we were threatened to be without yesterday), more than 45 consecutive minutes of sleep last night!, kleenex, a warm house, my totally-awesome-wonderful-rational-calm-understanding-makes-me-so-giddy-to-have-him husband. Lots of things.

But today I have a head cold (the latest slap in a string of physical misfortunes and ailments) and I don't have the energy to sit in front of the computer and elaborate on why I'm thankful for these things this Thursday.

So. Please know that I am thankful, that I want you to be thankful, and that I'd still love to hear what you're thankful about despite my lack of elaboration and excess of alliteration:)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Remember Today

I am ashamed.

When I changed my calendar to reflect the date this morning, I thought, "December 7th...I'm supposed to remember something on December 7th..." Today it's been one month since the daughter of friends passed away. I've been thinking about them a lot more than usual today. If you're a praying person, please pray for them. It seemed like I was forgetting something else, though.

All morning and part of the afternoon, when life slowed down for a moment, I kept thinking that there was something I was forgetting about today. And it finally clicked! Thanks to my wonderful husband's facebook status update, I remember that it's December 7th! As in 1941. As in "a date which will live in infamy," December 7th.

And so I am ashamed that it took me this long to figure it out. Yet, I'm also a bit happy that at least some part of my brain remembered that today was historically special.

Please remember today, whether you're a citizen of the USofA or not because this date, 68 years ago, ended up affecting the greater part of this world. Pause for the lives that were lost, reflect on the valor that was shown that day and in the days that followed, and be grateful that because of the sacrifices of so many a world war was brought to an end.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Today am an extremely grateful for Bret's job.

It provides us with enough money to support our family on. With careful planning, budgeting, frugality, and cost-cutting techniques we are able to live within our means and enjoy indulging in some of our wants.

But mostly, today, I am grateful for the flexibility Bret has with his job. That when situations arise, he can usually work things so that he can take the day off. Like today. I woke up sick and Bret was able to stay home with us and take care of me and the boys. I sure do feel spoiled...albeit sick, too.

I'm also grateful today for this lovely Christmas season. For the music, the movies, the decorations, and the wonderful happiness that comes from thinking more on Jesus Christ. What a wonderful time of the year!

What are you thankful for today?