Thinking… about ways that I can serve and bless the people in my life that could really use some extra love and support this holiday season. This has been on my mind for a few weeks now. I can’t help but wishing myself extra rich so that I could send financial support to people I know and love. I know money doesn’t fix everything but cancer, life, babies, illness, and job loss are expensive things. A generous gift of money certainly would relieve some stress, buy some fun seasonal extras, that of course can be done without, but having makes the holidays special, or could pay for bills and fuel.
Feeling… like I want to ask you a favor. This has to do with what I’m currently thinking. As you may or may not know I’m the praying type. I spend a lot of time talking to the Lord about life. While I’ve never had dreams, visions, or angelic visitations, I do know that He hears me. He really hears me. The morning after I poured my heart out to him about how can I significantly help a few people in my life, I got an email about a silly little contest. It’s a photo card contest and the winner gets $1500, a camera, and some holiday cards. When I read the email I knew it could be an answer to my hearts desire to help. So here’s the call to action. Will you please vote for my pictures? You can do that HERE (no need to sign up or anything, just click on it! And you can vote every day until December 3rd.). If I win I’m going to split the money into two $500 gift cards and five $100 gift cards and give it all away (and I already have a good idea on who I’ll give those seven gifts to!). The camera will go to someone I know who has been saving for one and would really use it, and I might just keep the holiday cards :). I feel like my odds are awesome if you are willing to help. I’m shocked at how few entries there are! So if you have the time I would appreciate the help and with little to no real effort on our parts we just might be able to really bless a few families this year.
Watching… The Lunchbox. This film was a recommendation from a friend and we loved it! It’s such a cute foreign film and I highly recommend it for your next date night. I think we rented it on Google Play for $3.99 which makes for a cheap date when you watch it in bed while munching on homemade cookies.
Reading… Carry On, Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life. I know that I talk about it a lot but I just love it. It’s a collection of essays about life, hard things, and mothering. She cusses a bit and I don’t agree with her views on everything but the main points hit me to the core. I’m so excited about it that I bought a dozen copies to give as Christmas gifts this year. If you are a loyal enough blog reader that you are reading these words right now (hi!) then I’m going to give away 2 copies to anyone who comments on this post. No rafflecopter, no shout-outs that it’s a giveaway, it’s just for a few people who are kind enough to read what I write when no recipe is involved. Thank you for being here. (Update: I’m sending books to Amy-Alisa, Christina, Danielle, and Kim, but don’t worry I’ll do this again!)
Excited… to go to Kentucky and Indiana for Thanksgiving!!! It’s been years and years since we spent Thanksgiving with my family, none of my kids even have memories of it. We are going to make the long 29 hour road trip next weekend and I tear up if I think about it too much. Going home is always so good, even if it’s not an easy thing to get there.
Missing… my baby. He turned one a few weekends ago and is now trying to walk. When did he turn into a toddler? He says “hi”, “Da”, and signs “all done”. He’s probably the cutest child ever.
Working… all the time. 80 hour work weeks for Thomas and just that many hours for me (I’m a mom, that means I work pretty much all the time), but I’d be fibbing if I said I didn’t like my current job the best of any I’ve had. I get to read as much children’s literature as I want, my sous chefs only ask for food as pay, and at this particular time in life, I’m not on night shift any more *knock on wood*. It’s not everyone’s ideal but I’m loving it.
Stressed… CHRISTMAS GIFTS!!! Yes, I just yelled at you. Here’s my deal, I want to give my kids 4 gifts each and I want to give my kids a million gifts each. I heard a little poem once (not sure where) that said what kids needed for Christmas: something to wear, something to read, something you want and something you need. LOVE that. But at the same time I want to give my kids lots of things, they are my kids! I love them and want to shower them with gifts. Here’s where I’m all stressed out… four gifts is not enough in today’s world. I don’t want to be totally worldly but my oldest attends public school. She struggles a bit with anxiety, especially when it comes to how other people perceive her. I’m afraid that she’s going to come home after Christmas break in tears because she heard about the million things everyone else got. She is a golden child; kindness and a real awareness of others are natural for her. But the comparison game is part of who we are, like it or not. I want my child to have a magical Christmas and I feel a pressure that, in part, translates magic into an abundance of gifts. I’m a practical person but this number of toys thing even gets me comparing. A few years ago when I had 3 small kids, the oldest being 5, we had a very normal Christmas. My kids all got the 4 things and I was so happy with myself. It felt like a huge Christmas compared to other years when we were in collage. I had everything under the tree and the Santa gifts laid out on our ottoman. I was enjoying the spirit of Christmas until I got on Instagram and saw all of the other displays of Santa toys mom’s were posting. I was SHOCKED. My kid was getting a little shopping cart and someone his same age was getting that plus a whole kitchen, food, dolls, aprons, stuffed toys, doll houses and more. The more I looked though the more I realized that that was normal. Then the worry set in. What if I’m not doing enough or giving them enough. I can, I could, maybe I should. Where’s the line between practical (do kids really need more toys?) and magical (it is Christmas after all!). Talk me through this. I want to hear your opinions on the matter. This was easier when my kids were smaller; as they age and become more aware of things and people around them, as well as themselves, the water starts to feel murky and the territory uncharted. I’m not going into debt for gifts. We never have and never will. But I can afford a couple of Lego sets per kid, a wooden train set I’ve been eyeing, an American girl pet puppy, craft stuff, books (oh the books I want to buy), as well as Christmas jammies, a new family game… No, I’m not filling up a room with toys, but when you have a bunch of kids it ends up a lot of stuff fast. Any thoughts for me?
Proud… to be an American. There was a Veteran’s Day program at May’s school which we all went to. There was a man there who told a story about a POW exchanged that he witnessed on a bridge between American and Japanese soldiers. The story was strong and well told and there was literally not a dry eye in the room. We live a pretty comfortable existence and have so little experience with war. I’m so grateful for generations past who helped to forge my current happy reality.
Wanting… you to know about this wonderful company called Dignify. Ashley at Under the Sycamore mentioned Dignify in this blog post (beautiful pictures too) and I was totally smitten. Here’s what Dignify does and sells.
We sell premium quality, ethically made, fair trade kantha quilts. Call them whatever you want – kantha blankets, sari throws, “Indian blankets”, vintage sari kantha – all you need to know is: They are hand-stitched in Bangladesh from six layers of reclaimed sari cloth. The women who make them were previously living on the street, or working in sex work (often these go hand in hand), or in a vulnerable situation at risk of such.
I bought this blanket for my Christmas gift to me from Thomas. I’m so excited to be investing a little money into things that matter. A company like this is one I can really get excited about, and my, isn’t that gorgeous! I can’t wait until it gets here and I can enjoy it after Christmas. I’ve already been thinking of whoever sewed it. What is her name? What is her story? One day I’ll know those details and thank her for sharing her gifts with me.
Wishing… I could reach out of the screen and squeeze you and then hand you a dozen eggs, a jar of homemade cider, a loaf of bread, and ask you how your day went. You read my blog. You read the words that I have to say and you read recipes that I make just for you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I wish you were closer so that I could be a better friend to you.
Eating… Junk, junk, and more junk. Hello donuts, holiday candy (curse you Cadbury eggs that are no longer just sold at Easter), pie, and eggnog saltwater taffy (it’s so good). I haven’t had a green smoothie in weeks. We eat pretty healthy meals but snacking and desserting are getting the best of me. Tis’ the season!
Drinking… wassail! Love the stuff nice and hot in the morning with a fried eggs or two. Mmmm. Recipe coming soon!
Loving… all things plaid. I have some Christmas plaid burlap in the fabric section at our store and it’s glorious. I just can’t figure out what to use it for.