Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

(Santa Pac.  My favorite Christmas decoration.  I have a poster size copy framed and I hang it each year.)
1.  School program? Check.  Church program? Check.  Class party for the class that I am the Room Mom of? Check.  Presents bought? Check.  Christmas picture taken? Check.  Office Christmas parties? Check. 
2.  Sending Christmas cards? Nope.  Elf on the Shelf? Nope.  Jesse Tree? Nope.  Advent Envelopes with 25 days of activities? Nope.  25 Christmas books wrapped and read each night? Nope.  Homemade treats for teachers? Nope.  Reindeer food individually packaged for everyone in the class? Nope.  Advent calendar where you open a window? Not even that.
Now, I am not a hater of any of these things and have done most of them in the past (Not the Elf.  That was always too much pressure).  Just not this year.  I don't know why, but it just didn't happen and I am totally OK with that.  And I do have next week to cram in some fun. 
3.  For about 2 weeks I have been living with some serious anxiety.  I wake up and my heart starts pounding.  I have just come to terms with the fact that I am always going to have anxiety and, since I am an addict, I am choosing to not medicate it away.  Not today or ever.  And you know what?  I get through it.  I pray, exercise, and journal it away.  I dance it away.  Sometimes I can cry it away.  A hot bath helps.  An iPod at the grocery store helps.  Talking with Jason helps.  Sometimes just saying something out loud takes all the power out of it.  So, I have anxiety and I am still alive.
4.  I made these "Melting Snowman" cookies for Jay's class.  They made it all the way to the carpool drop off.  Then Jay leaned over to get something and they all slid.  Breathe in. Breathe out.  I'm sorry Mama.  No big deal.  Breathe in.  Breathe out.  (This was a Pinterest project that actually wasn't that hard.   I have been burned by a cute Pinterest project many times. 3 hours and nothing to show.)
5.  Our church Christmas program was last night.  Packy decided there were too many people there and that he would be excusing himself from the role of the Frankincense bearing Wise man.  Jason tried to talk to him.  Grandmama tried to talk to him.  Jay tried.  I was the last chance sent in at the last second.  I rationalized.  I begged.  I prayed.  And then I bribed.  I will take you to the ice cream store and you can get whatever toppings you want.  He replied, OK, but I am not going to sing.  I am not going to even fake sing.  And I am not wearing the hat.  And I was good with that.  And that is what he did.  Just stood there and looked cute while the Wise man next to him was belting out every word at the top of his lungs.
6.  Emory sang in a trio.  I did not know that she had become a famous country singer (in her own mind) but she rocked it.  She put both hands of the microphone and acted like she had been on stage her whole life.  Very entertaining. 
7.  Jay played it totally safe.  He sang the songs but made sure he did not have a speaking or acting part.  He did just what he was comfortable doing without any problem.  It was so good to see him sing and smile.
8.  I spent this week spray painting some chairs white.  I think white furniture is so clean and pretty.  I can take some ugly piece of beat up furniture and once it's white, it's so pretty.  Ugly and dirty one minute and clean and white in the next. Remind you of anything?
"Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.
Thankful to be celebrating the birth of my Saviour.  The one who took my awful mess of a life, and through his blood, made it white as snow. 
9.  This is a great list of 12 Things Happy People Do Differently.  (Thanks Howard.)  It's funny how many of these I learned in rehab.  In case you didn't know, in rehab they don't just get you off of drugs, they teach you how to live differently.  If you don't change, you go right back to where you left off.
10.  I was in the Chick-fil-A drive thru last week, super excited about Christmas miracle (my window started rolling down again), and guess what I saw in front of me?  Another mom hanging out the door of her wonky car.  I just had to laugh.  And then I realized we drive the same car so I had to take a picture.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. It's the most wonderful time of the year.  I sing that all the time and mean it about half the time.  Singing it can be a tension breaker.  Reminds me that whatever I am worrying about is really not a big deal.  Like I said, I sing it all the time.  (I even sang it to a stressed out mom at the dentist. Just trying to spread the cheer.)
2.  After Thanksgiving I was super excited about decorating for Christmas.  I got all of the boxes down.  We went to our friend's tree lot and picked out a tree.  I even put the lights on all by myself and it only took an hour and a half.  The kids decorated the tree (pending my approval of ornaments) and then I was spent.  Lucky for me, I have an amazing mom.  She has simplified her decorating, so when I called for her help she loaded up her truck with Christmas past and came over.  Christmas exploded all over my house.  I told her to go big and she did.  It is super sparkly.  Super sparkly is my theme for life.  Thank you Mom for making my house look amazing for it's debut Christmas.   You are the best.
2.  The kids each have a tabletop tree for their room.  Somehow we lost Emory's during the move.  Mom took her shopping and she got a 4 foot tree instead.  She also bought her the new Justin Beiber Christmas album.  It's funny.  I like most of it but rapping The Little Drummer Boy is too much.
3.  Packy was really into decorating his room.  After he finished his tree he started taping stuff everywhere.  I wasn't really paying attention when he asked me if he could use the snow.  I thought it was cotton snow.  It wasn't. It was tiny pieces of snow and he "snowed" his room.  The good thing about Packy is that he doesn't really like a mess so after about an hour he wanted to clean up the snow.  I gave him the vacuum and he took care of it.  Everything else stayed.

4.  Saturday morning one of our friends called and wanted to know if we would be interested in being in a parade.  Um, yes.  So the kids and I went to ride on the Beechtree Supply float in the Bolingbroke parade.  It was so fun.  They threw candy canes and peppermints.  Us moms sat in the middle and made sure no one fell off.  If you have not ever been in a parade you should put it on your bucket list. 
5. Do you know the song Strong Enough by Sheryl Crow?  I have always liked it.  It came out on her first album in 1993 and by this time I was quite aware that I was a handful.  Someone was going to have to be a strong man to put up with my mess.  Jason has proven to be strong enough over and over again.  He would not let me self destruct during the end of my active addiction, as bad as I tried.  He stayed, when leaving may have looked easier.  I love this man and he is for sure strong enough.  (The only part of the song I don't like is the lie to me part.  Don't lie.  Rigorous honesty.) 
6.  I was having my quiet time the other morning and I looked over at the baby Jesus in one of my Nativity scenes.  Sometimes the Christmas story seems surreal.  That a baby was born and lived a perfect life and then died so that I might have eternal life.  A baby. Sometimes I read the Bible and wonder why God designed the world the way He did.  (This is the kind of thinking that makes my brain hurt.)  I just know that I am amazed at the Christmas story, when I actually think about it. 
7.  Did you know there is a Jesus Calling for Christmas?  You sign up and they send it to you by email.  It's really good and helping me stay peaceful.  At least until everyone wakes up in my house.  You can sign up by going here and look for the Christmas devotional on the side.
8.  See the picture above?  That was my first attempt at a Christmas card.  Why is it so hard?  Two of my three were crying.  See the anger in that clenched fist? I remember doing the same thing when I was little.  Christmas cards did not get taken without screaming and tears. I want to break the cycle.  My mom was even at my house trying to calm me and the kids, and reminding me to do it differently.  I think Satan shows up when Moms get out their cameras for "the" picture.  The sad thing is we might not even send a card. (I did get this one of these two hamming it up.)
9. I called a man to come to my house and sharpen some knives.  Guess who came?  Packy was so excited.   He was thrilled that Santa dropped by to see our Christmas decorations.  But he did not want to sit in his lap. (My knives are crazy sharp.  Fruit Ninja sharp.)
10.  I watched my big kids sing tonight in their Christmas program.  So sweet and special. I love Christmas hymns.  I even enjoyed the 5th grade band.  If children singing Christmas hymns does not get you in the Christmas spirit, nothing will. 
11. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less. ~Anna Quindlen (taken from Ann Voskamp's blog)
Another mantra for December.  I am such a get it done person.  I want to treasure the moments.  Create memories by just being with people and not the gifts.  Slow down.  I am going to try. 
12.  Thank you to my sweet friends and my "happy". 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sunday Catch Up

(Attempting to get a family picture for Jason's mom.)
1.  Whenever Christmas begins to burden, it's a sign that I've taken on something of the world and not of Christ.  Ann Voskamp
That is my mantra for this month. 
2.  We had a great Thanksgiving.  The dark cloud lifted.  I took each activity step by step and it was tons of fun.  I laughed when I tried to make a ten layer caramel cake (for the first time) and all the layers slid and it resembled a giant stack of pancakes.  (I gave the kids each a fork and told them to have at it while I made a two layer replacement.)  We went to see Puss in Boots and laughed.  (I thwarted some young teens plans to get some kissing in at the movies by blinding them with my phone flashlight and gently reminding them that they were in a G rated movie. That made me laugh.) (I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize to anyone who sat near Jason and me during our high school screening of Dances With Wolves.  It's about a 3 hour movie.)  
3.  Keep your mind going in the right direction, and your life will catch up with it.  Joyce Meyer
4.  I am already working on Tuesday.  It can't be that hard right? Right.
5.  I would like to give a shout out to my friend Trish.  She wins the "I got my Christmas card finished early and had them mailed before you even thought about yours" award.  Very nice Miss Trish.
6.  So I learned that during dark days I can make it.  I just have to keep doing the next right thing.  Keep my eyes on the Lord.  Even when I don't (wait for it) FEEL like I am in a good place, as long as I keep doing the things I know to do, I will eventually get through it.  Better yet, God will see me through it.  Reflect on how HE has been faithful in the past and trust HIM for the future.
7.  I was wondering why they keep playing Harry Potter movies during Christmas since they aren't Christmas movies.  But then I remembered that neither was The Wizard of Oz or The Sound of Music and that's what I watched growing up. (Loving that I finally have a DVR this year.  I have a slew of Christmas movies recorded already.)
8.  Let's talk about the new Muppet movie.  I loved it.  Loved.  Laughed and cried.  Jason and I went with all the kids on Thanksgiving day. I love the movies on Thanksgiving.  It reminded me of being a little girl.  The Muppet Show was a big deal to me.  I hope the rumor that they are bringing back the show is true. 
9. Is anyone watching the Oprah Life Class on the OWN network?  I have only watched one but I really enjoyed it.  Oprah has always given props to moms and it was encouraging to hear her admire my position as a mother.  Sometimes you just need to know that people appreciate how hard it is to be a mom.  Just a mom.  I think I will watch some more and see what I think before giving a glowing recommendation.
10.  I'd like to thank all of the Room Moms of all of my kids classes, ever.  Being a Room Mom (and yes it is capitalized) is hard.  I am way too unorganized for the job but I am doing it.  The best I can.