Mid-December Round Up

IMG_5291A mid-December Round Up so you don’t think I dropped off the planet entirely.

What I’m enjoying:

  • My Christmas tree. Mmmmm. I love how the house smells, how it looks all lit up, and it reminds us of the True Light who came into the world. And I did let it sit there, naked in the living room for over a week before I found time to decorate. Cuz that’s just how we roll sometimes. No worries, I will leave it up entirely too long in January to make up for it.
  • Sewing for Christmas. I don’t have nearly enough time to keep up with all the fabulous ideas, but it is soothing and delightful to spend some time with fabric, creating gifts for the people I love. And hey, it helps keep my mind off how cold and dark it is. #sewingtherapy
  • Cranberry anything. Cranberry sauce with brie cheese (ohmygosh so good). Cran-tini’s (my friend brought these to a party recently). Cranberry sauce. Cranberry applesauce. Must find more ways to bake with cranberries (I’m thinking something that combines cranberries and dark chocolate- please send me the recipe if you have something I should try).
  • The front of my fridge filling up with photos of the cutest little people alive. I have so many cute people in my life.
  • The chandelier I installed in my laundry room. Some day I might even show you pictures, but in the meantime, I’m loving how it looks with my red china cabinet.IMG_5311
  • My dogs. I am considering getting a puppy sometime soon, but also recognize how nice it is to have a couple old bitches who know the drill. They pee where they are supposed to, come when they are called, nap when I am not around, and know when I say “go lay down” I actually mean it. I should qualify that by assuring you that Maggie is still Maggie and will punish me when my schedule is too busy or I’m not around enough (which has been a trend during this busy fall). Suzie, on the other hand, worships the ground I walk on and what’s not to love about that? Anyway, I enjoy them. And today Maggie killed the mouse that I found trapped in the dog food bin. Living with killers has it’s perks.
  • The fence. It seriously never gets old. Especially because it has given Maggie a new purpose in life. Every morning she runs out the door and checks the fencelines for intruders and pees around the perimeter. Life with a fence is totally worth the hype around here. Hands down the best improvement of 2014.
  • Blankets. Warm, cozy blankets.

What I’m wearing:

  • My favorite fashion that has finally come back is flannel shirts. I purchased one particularly warm one (Eddie Bauer) and it takes me back to my high school days- although the current ones aren’t nearly as baggy. It is cozy and fabulous.
  • Anything warm. ‘Tis the season, folks, where all my fashion choices are suddenly based on how warm I will be wearing it. This year’s best buy: a pair of fleece lined leggings. I’m wearing them under pants (read that again– UNDER pants not AS pants- you’re welcome) and they are keeping me much warmer and thus much happier.
  • Sweatpants. Usually* just at home where I keep the temperatures somewhere above freezing but not much warmer than that. There is nothing better than getting home, changing into warm sweats (because I’m lazy and tend to leave them on the bathroom floor over the heating vent), throwing on my slippers, and getting on with life. *With a few shameful exceptions

What I’m looking forward to:

  • Christmas. I think I love everything about Christmas (well almost). I love the liturgical celebrations. I love spending time with my people. I love the many social events and excuses to celebrate with my various crowds of friends, family, more family, more friends.
  • I love the stillness of Christmas morning home by myself. It has become sort of a sacred tradition for me in the years where family traditions have morphed to be at other, more convenient times. Christmas morning I sleep in (as long as a dog with an old bladder allows). I turn on the Christmas tree lights, make a pot of coffee, read the Christmas story, and savor the stillness. It is a moment to really reflect on what all the celebrations are for: to ponder the nearness of our God. And it affords this introvert a few moments to recharge before continuing with the celebrations.
  • Some time off work. Maybe a day or two that I can catch up on some stuff around the house.
  • Seeing some dear friends who will be in town visiting over Christmas.

What I’m thankful for:IMG_5292

  • Friendship. I have been blessed with such incredible friends. I don’t even know how to begin to say how thankful I am for their constancy in my life. For being there. For including me. For truly knowing me and loving me anyway.
  • Home. ‘Nuff said. I love this little place.
  • Good work. We are coming off an incredibly busy summer and already into a full winter of design projects. I am thankful for good work, for a wonderful boss, for the blessing of having a work/life balance in my life.
  • The Little People. I have such an amazing gang of little people in my life and I cannot imagine life without them. Nieces and nephews, godchildren, honorary nieces and nephews. They inspire me and call me on and delight me. And they are so good at teaching the rest of us to find joy and awe during this season.

What I’m reading and resonating with:

What I’m reading and laughing over:

What I’m agonizing over:

  • How on earth I am going to finish all the Christmas projects I have underway
  • Complicated relationships and how to navigate them well
  • Distant family members. Life goes on and I’ve learned I cannot spend all of my time and energy grieving and being wrapped in someone else’s illness or anger. But the pain is never far away. Christmas brings back so many happy memories and it makes me sad that we can’t still share those together. Or that pain and illness and anger has robbed all the precious memories and distorted it into vicious hatred. I’m praying for my own loved ones and all of those in the painful cycle of mental illness and addiction. And for the families and friends who grieve their absence. May He who came to save us bring healing and restoration.
  • The ongoing mouse saga at the Little House
  • The cold and the darkness, and my loathing of cold and darkness
  • The kitchen improvements that I’m dying to begin… and yet facing it with fear and trepidation at the same time.
  • My own frailty and limitations. I’m still working on embracing the poverty of those limitations every. single. day. And even there, it is a good reminder of what we celebrate this season: that we all need a Savior. We don’t have to do it on our own. He came to save us from our sin and our frailty. Come Lord Jesus!

Have a Blessed remainder of your Advent!IMG_5334

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