On the Seventh Day of Christmas…

My true love gave to me seven swans a-swimming, six geese a-laying, five gold ring, four calling birds, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.
seven-swans
On this seventh day of Christmas, I find myself overwhelmed with gratitude for my husband and for God’s work in repairing our relationship every time we screw it up.
I woke up with a nasty sinus headache. We have a front moving through and are expecting strong thunderstorms this afternoon. My sinuses are a biological barometer. Thunderstorms = sinus headache. Every time.
Instead of attacking Monday with my usual enthusiasm, I’m trudging through and trying to stay focused. My husband is bringing me food, drink, and medicine to keep me together until lunchtime when I will probably take a 30 minute nap.
Our big plans for New Year’s Eve? Same as last year. Get to bed early, so we can spend a full day together tomorrow when I’m off. There’s something to be said for being married to your best friend. <3

What are you grateful for today?
Merry Christmas!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMcUCEe7A3k]

On the Sixth Day of Christmas…

My true love gave to me six geese a-laying, five gold rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.

On this sixth day of Christmas, I’m headed to church a little early. We’re doing a modified Lessons and Carols with a brunch afterward, so we have one service instead of two.
On Sundays, I make it a point not to turn on my computers in honor of the Sabbath, so after church I will hopefully be headed to the barn for some quality time with my pony.

How will you be celebrating today?

Merry Christmas!

On the Fifth Day of Christmas…

My true love gave to my five gold rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.
5GoldRings
On this fifth day of Christmas, I’m sitting in my office letting the creative juices flow. The dogs woke us up just before 6 (late for them), and we enjoyed a lazy couple of hours laying around the living room with the boys to start our day.
After that, I came to my office for Morning Prayer and some writing time. During the week, I schedule blocks of time to work on my blogs and my primary book project, but on Saturday, I just enjoy writing. I write whatever comes to mind, or I work on a photography project. Today, I’m outlining a work of fiction.
During the week, I write whether the creativity is flowing or not. If it isn’t, I pull up prompts or just write badly, but I write. On Saturday, I write or create art until the juices aren’t flowing. When I’m done, the rest of the day is mix of date time with my husband and time with my pony.
For me, Saturdays are about love. They’re a mini-Valentine’s Day every week.

What can you do to love yourself today?
Merry Christmas!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIjnEP0lvos]

On the Fourth Day of Christmas…

My true love gave to me four calling bird, three French hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.
4-calling-birds
As I start work on this fourth day of Christmas, I’m listening to my all-time favorite Christmas CD: John Berry’s O Holy Night. It’s contains some of my favorite songs, and I love John Berry’s voice.
My husband and I had conversation last night about how we could better honor the Christmas season. We decided to exchange one small gift each day next year. We set a limit of $10 per gift with handmade gifts being the preference. I’m actually really excited about finding or making him gifts throughout the year.
Today, I’m wondering what things I can bring from Christmas season into Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost. I deeply desire a life where the peace and grace of Christmas are carried through the year.

What is your Christmas wish?
Merry Christmas!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_iLXNSIaYc]

On the Third Day of Christmas…

My true love gave to me three French hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.
FrenchHens
On this third day of Christmas, it’s (relatively) warm and rainy here in Tennessee. I’ll spend the day in my home office with my wax warmer on to cover the scent of wet dog. 😉 I’ll be enjoying Michael W. Smith’s Strings of Christmas while I work.
After work, we’ll spend a quiet evening eating leftovers and enjoying Live Free or Die Hard. I’ll also be starting part two of Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I’ve never seen the movie (an probably never will), but I’m enjoying the book immensely. For us, snuggles and quiet time on the couch are a great way to be present and enjoy the holiday.

How are you working to be present?
Merry Christmas!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5rMQ6P12WY]

On the Second Day of Christmas…

My true love gave to me two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree. 🙂
TurtleDoves
Like most people, I’m back to work on this second day of Christmas. Most of my extended family lives in New England, and I am NOT traveling north in the winter, so Christmas has become more and more mellow for us as our children grew up and made families of their own.
Were also not very big on the American version of holidays. We prefer to honor holidays with church and time spent intentionally. So…
On this second day of Christmas, I have Christmas selections playing in the background as I work, starting with replaying the Facebook live stream of Lessons and Carols at St. Paul’s Church in Murfreesboro last year. I sang tenor in this particular service, and it was a magical service for me.
When the work day is done, we will spend a little time enjoying the 57 and sunny we’re expecting today and end with a movie. A quiet day of gratitude for all we’ve been given.

How are you celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior today?
Merry Christmas!!!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_iLXNSIaYc]

On the First Day of Christmas…

My true love gave to me a partridge in a pear tree. 🙂

Really what he gave me was help getting my desk set up complete. I still need to find just the right ergonomic keyboard for my personal computer and tidy up/zip tie my cords, but I’m almost set up to be able to run my work system and writing system from the same desk. Big necessity for my office space!!!
We had Chinese with our only unattached daughter and are settling in for Die Hard marathon.

Merry Christmas!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTFG_nvreoI]

Growing Potatoes

I’ve tried twice to grow potatoes inside. My first attempt was a total fail. I got stalks and no potatoes. My second time I was a little more successful. I had a crop of a whole two potatoes. Not exactly enough to keep my husband and and me fed!
Before the last year, I was pretty convinced I had a black thumb, but I’ve discovered it’s ignorance and not my thumb. 😀
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m starting a Master Gardner’s class next month. In the meantime, I’ve been learning from one of my favorite YouTube channels. I’m going to give potatoes another shot before Spring.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iF0C_vAvr8g]

Holiday Reflections

ChristmasPresents

For the first time in three years, I’m actually getting commercials. In our new home, our Spectrum internet service comes with a TV app that has 25 channels. Now that the days are shorter, I can’t be outside until 8:30-9 o’clock, so I’ve been settling in for some Property Brothers on HGTV on Wednesday nights.

I’ve been surprised at the number of commercials versus actual show. I know the statistics, but to actually watch it… WOW.

What I find more troublesome though is the message behind all the advertisements. Your wife will only know you love her if you find the perfect piece of jewelry. Your kids won’t feel loved if you don’t by them the latest toy, cell phone, etc. Your husband won’t feel loved if he doesn’t get a new grill, toolbox, car kit, etc.

Continue reading

To Santa or not to Santa?

HOT HOT HOT, HOT CHOCOLATE!There’s been a screenshot making the rounds on social media. I’ve included it below, so you can read it for yourself. It asks parents to stop giving their children expensive gifts from Santa, so poor children won’t think they’re less important or less valuable to Santa.
It seems innocent enough on face value, but if you dig in, it couldn’t be more political. It covers issues of religion, parenting, and socioeconomics all in one. A loaded bullet for sure!
As friends and family have shared the post, I’ve lurked, reading the arguments in the comments. Some parents think that children young enough to believe in Santa shouldn’t be getting iPhones and iPads. Some parents think other parents should stop coddling their kids. The list goes on and on.
Continue reading