Friday, December 21, 2012

Five on Friday

1.  This is what really gets me in the Christmas spirit.  I love our school program and that handsome king/wiseman and pretty girl from Bethlehem singing the songs I love really set my heart on the important things of Christmas.
2.  It's been one week since the horrible tragedy in Newtown.  I have gone up and down dealing with this.  I have cried thinking about those babies.  I have cried thinking about those teachers and how they gave their lives to protect those babies.  Walking in to Packy's Christmas party I cried because I know his teacher would have done the same thing.  Thinking of those presents under the tree that won't be open, I cried.  I don't think there will be any level of understanding why, except that there is evil in this world.  Makes it all the sweeter to celebrate the birth of our Savior, who came to save us from this evil and will come again to restore this world to what it was created to be like, without sin.
Here are some blog posts that were helpful to me:
God Identifies With Suffering: Rev. Tim Keller
Lamentations: Jen Hatmaker
A Tragedy at the Birth of Jesus: Rev. Chip Miller
A Connecticut Winter: Why our Hearts Break: Rebekah Lyons
(Did you read the 11 days before Christmas poem?  I wept.)
(SNL also made me weep.)
3.  Ann Curry created a 26 Acts of Kindness Campaign where people are participating in acts of kindness and tweeting it in memory of the people who died at Sandy Hook.  Now let me just say, I am not an Ann Curry fan, but this is really cool.  I love reading all the #26acts tweets and see how people are reaching out to others.  Shouldn't this be how we always live?  Taking care of others and finding ways to be kind?  Wasn't that what Jesus did while he was on Earth?
4.  I guess I am a big crybaby during Christmas. The TV shows and radio shows that I listen to are helping people and surprising people and it's just heart warming.  Kidd Kraddick, my morning radio show DJ, had a couple of weeks of helping people who were struggling financially during Christmas.  People would write a letter and "nominate" a friend or co-worker who was having a hard time and needed help buying toys.  I would cry just about every time.  I watched a story about Inner-City Arts, a downtown LA after school center that keeps kids off the streets and involved in the arts. Wal-mart came and donated an amazing amount of supplies, computers, and toys to these precious kids.  It's these stories that really get me out of myself and caring about others.
5.  I have had some anxiety for the past couple of weeks.  Like wake up and my heart starts racing anxiety.  I hate it, but I can deal.  I think the more I take the focus off of me and onto helping others, however that looks, the less the anxiety overpowers me.  The more I keep my eyes on Jesus, and the freedom that his birth, and ultimately death, gives me, the less I see the tiny things that are irritants in my life. So grateful for the gift of Jesus.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Mercer Full Circle

Mom dug up some pictures to show you the full circle of Mercer cheering in our house. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Ten on Tuesday

1. Emory attended a cheerleading clinic at Mercer University on Saturday.  For $30 she went to a clinic from 1-7, ate dinner, got a t-shirt, and cheered at the game with the varsity cheerleaders, including a half-time show.  First of all, what a bargain. She had so much fun, they did a great job with the half-time show, and I didn't have to entertain her on a Saturday. Second of all, my mom cheered for Mercer.  My dad remembers seeing my mom on the court before they started dating (and thinking she was super hot).  I went to games when I was little with my grandad (my only grandparent that has passed).  Cheering for the Bears is a sweet childhood memory for me. I love that kind of full circle nostalgia.
2. I love Christmas shopping for Emory.  She no longer wants toys and I love shopping for clothes, bags, and earrings.  She is in fourth grade and I find myself in a dilemma with her.  I try teach her to think for herself and not to be influenced by her friends, but I also don't want her to be left out.  I want her to belong.  Yes, I want her to be her own person.  And yes, I want her to feel comfortable with her own style.  But I also know that when all of your friends have a certain bag, that you (I) might want it, too.  Let's just say it's hard to be the mom of a girl.
3. Sometimes Facebook makes me mad at people. I know this is my problem and that people are not out to get me. For the trillionth time, I have taken it off of my phone. It's fun to see what 1000 of my closest friends are doing, but when it affects my attitude towards people or makes me feel left out, it's time to take a break. For some reason, if it's not on my phone, I don't check it nearly as much. If I don't check it, I don't know that I wasn't invited to go out to dinner with people that I'm not really that close to anyway.  Maybe it's a girl thing, maybe it's a me thing, but even though I know Facebook isn't reality, it can sometimes alter the way I feel in an unhealthy way.  When that happens, I take a break.  I always do better when I cut out the junk.
4.  I am over birthday parties.  Sad right?  It's just that I don't know how to handle them.  I have one who gets invited to lots of parties.  I have another who doesn't. When I have parties I can either invite the entire class or only invite close friends, and that's where it gets sticky.  I know everyone says not to talk about it at school, but I know that they do.  There are no secret parties.  If it's an after school party, the birthday mom usually picks up the kids from the carpool line so the ones who weren't invited see the group leave.  Breaks my heart.  Now I know that you can't invite everyone to everything and that in real life you must learn to deal with disappointment.  I can use these opportunities as teaching moments but that doesn't mean they don't hurt.  Me and them. (This is where Facebook can once again remind you of everything you weren't invited to.  And no, I don't let my kids look at Facebook.)  I have really gone to the invite your one friend over and we will go out to eat party.  Or, I'll send you to NYC to see your Aunt Betsy because that can sometimes be easier than navigating a birthday in a small town at a small school. 
5. My mom came over to help decorate my house for Christmas.  The kids and I did the tree, but she did the rest (it looks so pretty).  She likes to do it.   She finally said out loud what I know she (and maybe others) has been thinking.  "You need to hang some pictures on the wall.  It looks like no one lives here."  I struggle when it comes to decorating. I have so many blank walls and empty tables that are begging for some kind of display.  I can't just go to Tuesday Morning and buy bric-a-brac.  I am totally knick knack challenged.  It has to be really special for me to want to put it in my house and the problem is that I don't find things that I love that often.  And if I do, it is usually too expensive.  I'm not a minimalist, but my house kind of looks like I am.  I just hate clutter and a knick knack that has no meaning, looks like junk, to me.  
6.  Here's what I'm watching right now; 30 Rock, Modern Family, and Scandal.  The first two make me laugh and the last is a drama that takes place in Washington, DC.  I love "behind the scenes of your government" type of shows.  It's really good.
7.  Britney Spears has a new song and video with It's mostly his song but I love her part in it.  She looks so pretty and happy in the video.  She has had a good year and that makes me happy for her. (I kind of have a Britney Spears thing in case you didn't know.)  I have listened to this song way too many times.  With my iPod in (because it says a bad word) or in my car sans kids.  I got busted booming in the Kroger parking lot when I got out of my car next to someone I knew.  She laughed about my thumping, and I replied, "It's Britney B#$&*."  At that moment, I realized not everyone loves Britney Spears like I do and that she had no idea what I was talking about.  I quickly explained myself and went in to buy some milk. (And if you don't understand that, then you don't really like Britney like I do either.)
8.  I am keeping Christmas simple again this year.  No Christmas cards or crazy expectations. I know people are simplifying presents, but I really like that part.  I like buying the kids presents.  I don't want to do want, need, wear, and read.  I don't want to do 3 presents because the wise men brought 3 presents.  I don't go crazy but I like finding things that I know they won't be sick of before Valentine's Day.  It's a challenge to find things they'll like, find the best price, and then wait for Santa (UPS man/love this) to bring it to me.
9.  Have y'all seen the guy who built Noah's Ark?  Like an actual ark.  Really cool. Please look here.
10.  Packy came home from school wanting an Elf on the Shelf, because all of his friends have one. I have never bought one of these elves, mainly because I'm lazy. (I have tried to eliminate anything that requires me to do something every day of December, including the Jesse Tree, wrapped Christmas books that are to be opened and read each day, Advent envelopes with daily activities.  It's too much pressure and I feel set up to fail. Getting behind and feeling like you have to catch up [and guilty] is the worst.  The worst!)  I asked Packy if he knew what the elf did.  He didn't so I explained that the elf observed the kids in the house during the day and then reported back to Santa each night about how you were doing.  He thought about it for a while and then looked up at me with tears in his eyes.  He said, "Mama, I don't want to get an Elf on Shelf because I know that I'll mess up and he'll tell Santa.  Then I won't get any presents."  So, I'm off the hook. No elf for me.
11.  Have you seen this yet?  (Language warning.)  If you are on Instagram you will really like this.