Tag Archives: Advent

Looking back, looking ahead and looking around

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January.  Ordinary time.  Fresh off the heels of an awesome (although shorter) Christmas and Advent season.  A season that we decorate our house to the brim in celebration of a sweet baby who came to save us from ourselves.  He came to an unwed couple, on a long and dusty journey in a stinky animal shelter.  Yep, he nailed our lives right on the head.  Imperfect people on a journey surrounded by a world of stinky temptations.  He tops it off with the most magnificent light, guiding us straight to HIM, accompanied by wisdom, preparation and love.  What a way to start the year!

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From Thanksgiving to Epiphany, it’s a month+ long party and celebration!

And so, this morning, as I drink my coffee and enjoy my quiet time, I plan the day and week ahead and pause to look back on last year’s “Resolutions” and to ponder the year ahead.  I’m joining in a link up of 2014 with a lovely group of ladies and see that we ALL want a fresh outlook for 2014, each trying to be a  better person one day at a time.   I’ve joined in at In Honor of Design, however, they are all linked and you can get to a multitude of fantastic sites from there!

Looking back:

  • Losing weight.  Wellllllll, I’ve stayed pretty steady in the actual numbers department, however, I have definitely made a much more focused and consistent effort in actually working out this past year AND healthier dishes, snacks, etc.  I’m certain it comes down to portion size and/or stress eating, so always room for improvement.  I feel good though, so I’ll just keep on keepin’ on!
  • More Joy-filled and focused.  Hmmm.  I’m going to say that I  am honestly so task-oriented that the JOY gets lost in the day-to-day.  The fact that I am working on it is a good one, the fact that I am less that consistent is yet another area to just keep plugging along, one day at a time.
  • Use and learn my real camera more often.  Fail.  Flat out.  Although…..I have recently started pinning photo tutorials and joined a photo website (free) with a bajillion tutorials and areas to join in and have work evaluated in a constructive criticism manner.  This might just be the year…..

It would seem 2013 was a big fat failure in the resolutions department OR it would seem that it is what it is….life…not always perfect and just taking each day as it comes and try to do a little better the next time.  It’s precious time wasted to moan and complain about all the imperfect moments that I wish I woulda/coulda/shoulda done differently.  It’s taken me 43 years to figure THAT out and a daily work in progress.

Looking ahead:

My word for this year will be “Be Present”.  Okay, that’s two words, but it’s my blog and that’s what I am picking.  Rather than changing all these individual things and ideas and re-working the wheel and all, I just want to be present in whatever I am doing.  Chilling the Eff out on multi-tasking when I am with my family and friends.  If I’m making dinner, I’ll make dinner—not make dinner, start laundry, change clothes and pack lunch for the next day.  If I’m talking to my kids or husband, to stay put and talk, not talk and and half-listen while I putter around taking care of a million small details at the same time.  It’s going to be hard.  No joke.  Honestly, I’m going to have to take a couple of days to really think about what I can do to re-train my brain to just SLOW. DOWN.

Looking around:

There it is, though.  Now that I am done blogging this out, I can get dinner going…THEN get ready for work.  Because TONIGHT we have a game to watch, folks.  It’s going to be a great one!

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For more inspiration on 2014, go check out IHOD and the multitudes and get ready 2014….here I am!

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7 Christmas QTs

Linking up at Jen’s Blog today so that she has some reading material while she is under the weather.  Moms really aren’t allowed to get sick, so I am always baffled when we do.  Baffled.

Hoping Christmas was lovely for you and if not perfect, hopefully you found some moments to hold tight to….like I did.  Ours was a great Christmas, however, for the first time in our family, I felt a shift.  The shift of teens in the house and only 1 of 4 still blessedly smitten with Santa, the Elf and the whole shabang.  It was subtle, but it was there.  Compound “the shift” with having done our family dinner with the in-laws on Christmas Eve and grandparents and step-dad having come and gone after breakfast, mom and sis out of town, and zero plans for anything EXCEPT relaxing and enjoying the day……I was in a constant state of post-Advent Zombie-ness (if there is such a thing).  Aimless.  Lost.   Shuffling.  A month of bustling and scurrying to and fro to a sudden halt……what does one DO with that?  I mean, WTH?!?!?  Clearly a 2014 goal needs to be getting comfortable with relaxation and learning to embrace that idea.  Anyhoo, it WAS lovely…Advent was wonderful and we are so very blessed to be together and loved and healthy and happy; there is nothing to complain about, because it’s ALL good.

Traditiona Pioneer Woman cinnamon rolls for breakfast.  So flippin' delish!

Traditional Pioneer Woman cinnamon rolls for breakfast. So flippin’ delish!

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Our tree. Pre-present carnage. Simply the best morning light, I’m not sure what I will do after our tree is down….it’s an essential part of my morning coffee and Daily Readings.

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The Hubs on video, videoing me taking a picture of him.

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This kid. 16 and questioning everything, BUT….he opted for Midnight Mass with his brother and I versus 11 a.m. Christmas Mass with Dad and the girls. MM wore us all out. He and the cat caught a few winks after presents. Smart kid.

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Next year she will be in Middle school. THIS year she put Zebra cakes on her list for Santa and he came through. That will never happen again. 10 is an awesome age, is it not?

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Headbanz. Christmas games and camaraderie. Love these moments.

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When I don’t have anyone coming for dinner, I don’t focus. I misread the brisket times and well…..Christmas dinner was scrambled eggs and toast and PIE! Christmas dinner was served on the 26th and a total winner. Worth the wait. We’ll call it a win, even though it was a day late!

That wraps it up for today.  As usual, I am going to be rushing to get out the door in time for work, so enjoy the day!!  P.S.  for those of you without cable, may I suggest Chromecast?  The Hubs got it figured out yesterday and SO.  COOL.

Blessings!!

It’s the end of the world/week…whatev…

Even though it’s Saturday, I figured I’d go ahead and jump in with Jen and her crew for the

— 1 —

Clearly the world didn’t end.  My son says they found another Mayan calendar dating to 3025.  I haven’t had time to research his claim, but clearly THAT explains it…or the whole Matthew 24:36  “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. “  Yes, apparently even the Mayans didn’t know…

— 2 —

I FINALLY watched Minor Revisions this week.  Episode 1 AND 2.  All in the same night.  The best part was that Hubby watched, also.  He NEVER watches TV.  Ever.  Thinks TV and Technology are the downfall of society.  Books are the best.  And yet….he watched.

— 3 —

Our youngest had yet ANOTHER round of strep this week.  Guess we’ll be paying a visit to the ENT this coming year.  Joy.

— 4 —

Our youngest son clearly jealous of his sickly sister, decided to pull a “complications from the flu 2 weeks ago” stint and develop an ear & sinus infection with diminished lung sounds the next day.  Translation:  not contagious, on antibiotics and an inhaler=much better.  Adding to the stress of finals week.

— 5 —

Mama’s spidey senses peaked on our son’s health the same night we were to go to our church’s reconciliation services.  Hubby took the rest of the gang whilst son and I trekked to the Pediatric After hours.  Translation:  He and I will make a visit to reconciliation this afternoon.

— 6 —

I am reaching my annual “officially OVER food” quota that generally accompanies December and the glut of goods brought into the office, luncheons and my desire to bake and share.  Perhaps Santa will bring me some willpower for Christmas.  Although Hubby did promise to “help me out” after Christmas…y ‘all pray for me and our marriage on that one, K?

— 7 —

On that last note, I am lacing up the kicks for a quick walk since we aren’t covered with snow in our area!!  And then off to Publix for our supplies for our (8th?) annual “Happy Birthday, Jesus!” luncheon with my grandparents!  More food.  And quality time.  So that surely balances, no?  Blessings!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

It’s the most wonderful (busy) time of year…

The girls and I at the Nutcracker

The girls and I at the Nutcracker

Here we are:  12 days until Christmas.  Which would explain my semi-absence from the blogsta world.  So much is packed into this month.  I love it.  It’s hectic and chaotic, but it is fun!!  The anticipation of Christmas, Advent activities, baking, shopping, it’s awesome!  I figured it’s Thursday night so I’d tie this into Quick Takes @Conversion Diary and now TV Fame with Minor Revisions!  Woot, woot!!

With so much packed into this month there are things I’ve neglected or have yet to find the time/energy to deal with yet (7 off the top of my head):

  • hanging Christmas cards up (they are still in the basket we collect them in)
  • Passing out Advent Anonymous cards (need to print up the notes)
  • Finish baking (it’s an ongoing process and a tasty one at that!)
  • blogging
  • reading blogs
  • watching Christmas shows
  • watching Minor Revisions…Plan B is Saturday night @ 10p.m….

However, there is so much I HAVE done with the time I’ve not spent on the above (more than 7):

  • Walking several times a week (at least 20 minutes…I need some de-stressing)
  • Maximizing my hour-long lunch break (can you say Power Shopping!)
  • Burned up the internet with my online shopping (a working mom’s best friend—heck, EVERY mom’s best friend!!!)
  • Peanut butter buckeyes x 2 (cookie swap and prepping for neighbor sharing)
  • Attended the Nutcracker with the girls
  • Working at my J.O.B.
  • Sent my Christmas cards out
  • Made a PLAN for the coming week (before the kids get out of school and are in my way at lunch break!)
  • Picnicked with Hubby and the girls one Sunday afternoon
  • Prepared kids for various upcoming concerts, Christmas programs, Girl Scout sleepover and birthday parties
  • Planned for Christmas Eve, dinner, Mass….
  • Thrift shopped (a whole post really needs to be devoted to that…serious fun!)
  • Participated in the #AdventPhotoADay contest/photo sharing
Day 13, Feast Day of St. Lucy...The Eyes have it..

Day 13, Feast Day of St. Lucy…The Eyes have it..

And now I shall wake the minions (those still remaining…..the high schooler and Papa are already gone for the day)

So get on with your busy elf….and I’ll check back intermittently!  Blessings and Make way for the Lord, Christmas is coming!!!

WIWS Vol. 5…or peeping at other peeps Church garb..

Here is Sunday again.  We are well this week, Hallelujah!!  Heading into the SECOND week of Advent…WHAT?!?!?!?  Linking up to Fine Linen and Purple with Kendra and all the other pretties and taking some fashion notes 😉

Apparently a LS day....sweet and simple ring

Apparently a LS day….sweet and simple ring

Shoes for years...Naturalizer.  I think.  Cozy.

Shoes for years…Naturalizer. I think. Cozy.

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Full view..thanks dear son..should have picked a spot other than their room..

Full view..thanks dear son..should have picked a spot other than their room..

That little montage is all kinds of out-of-order, but I’m beat and it will have to do.  Here’s the deets:

Necklace…a repeat, also featured HERE….earrings not posted but everyday silver hoops and if you REALLY, really, really want to see a picture, you can click HERE….the bracelet and ring are also Lia Sophia…what can I say?  I am a sucker for parties where I can earn lots of great jewelry!

The pants are Apt.9 @ Kohls’s, and featured on my volume 1 of this little meme HERE, however, the shirt, THE SHIRT, ladies is from my STELLAR day at the thrift store where my grand total of $1.50 netted me this Liz Claiborne shirt and a BCBG wrap dress.  The shirt was a BUCK!  I’ll save the dress pic for another day, but I DID wear it to the Nutcracker with my girls yesterday.

I’m also joining in with BethAnne for the #AdventPhotoADay picture contest, fun chronicling advent on Instagram and Twitter and blogs everywhere 😉

Peace out, peeps!!  Happy fashion show!!

What I wore Sunday (but not to Mass)…

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A nursemaid’s outfit.  Consisting of sneakers, running shorts (also good for walking) and a Tshirt…no makeup, no jewelry…bare bones, baby.

This Sunday, the FIRST day of Advent, we missed Mass.  URHG!!!  We decided to quarantine ourselves and for that I am certain we earned a few brownie points for not subjecting the entire congregation to 1) probable flu with DS#2 and 2) bronchitis with DD#1.  Good times, I tell you….good times.  Don’t hate.  It’s Advent.

And so, after spending $70 at the Pediatric After Hours clinic, I then dropped a Benjamin @ Publix on a Zpack and high quality prescription strength cough syrup/gold. Hoping to be reimbursed for crying out loud.  crying.  crying.  crying.

At this point we decided Mass was most definitely NOT happening and we would rally the healthy-ish people and commence with the Christmas decorating….post to follow once I get the pics up..

So, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it and you should join me in heading on over to Fine Linen and Purple and check out some REAL fashion!  Blessings!!

Quick Takes…quickly….

I’ve been MIA for the last few Fridays with various activities and blah, blah, blah, but I’m here for this one….super quick…I hope….otherwise go visit Jen @ Conversion Diary for a look at a Domestic Monastery and various Quick Takes from all over the world!

1)  Heading into Advent and the holiday pace is picking up quickly….small moments of panic and overload, making “quiet time” even more important=less blogging. for me.

2)  With the Christmas season of shopping, parties, baking, etc. I decided that I need to work in exercise DAILY and really focus on what I’m eating so I can keep it in check and not head into 2013 one size larger…however, this weekend IS baking for my annual cookie swap.  Hey, balance, balance, balance!

3)  My cardio=P90X and walking, however…..before you think I’m psycho cray  with P90…let me assure you, I call it my “20 minutes with Tony”..I work up a good glisten, I’m sore for  a few days and I haven’t stressed myself over how to fit it in…maybe I’ll graduate past 20 minutes eventually; at this time, 20 minutes is working for me and I’m good with that!

4)  Oatmeal, raisins and flax seed for breakfast and chicken and spinach for lunch…a little boring and repetitious, however, tasty and both seem to keep me pretty full and satisfied keeping the Oreo intake WAAAAAAY down.

5)  Sick kid (again??!! thought she kicked this 2 weeks ago!!) and Hubby’s back is out—tho’ slowly getting better, therefore  the boys will be on Attic duty and ladder duty for operation Christmas decoration this weekend, bring on the lights!!

6)  Christmas cards are mailed out which means I can mentally begin shopping and decorating and enjoying Christmas…I don’t know, OCD?!?!  I just can’t do anything until they are sent out.  Period.  End.

7)  Santa’s in the house….our youngest just handed me her letter to review and it melted my heart.  We can safely resume Friefel…our elf on the shelf.

I’m out.  It’s late.  I’ve got a date with Tony before work….y’all have a great weekend!!