Notes from Christmas 2011:
- Every year I try to buy or listen to (thank you Spotify!) a new Christmas album. This year I probably spent the most time listening to This Warm December: A Brushfire Holiday Vol. 2. Contrary to many reviews I've read (mostly the two from Relevant), I do not really enjoy Rogue Wave. I did however, love the songs by G. Love. The Christmas Cookies song made me think of my parents, and I just like the swingy, hillbilly feel. I also listened to A Very She & Him Christmas and I didn't love it at first. It did grow on me though, and I was just past indifferent by the time Christmas rolled around. I love Zooey, but sometimes she's not quite my style. I tried to listen to TobyMac's new Christmas album, and decided that if I ever need to wind my 3 year old up any more than he already was around Christmas, that is the music to accomplish it. Needless to say, we did not revisit that one.
- I was extremely spoiled this Christmas. My amazing husband suprised me with a guitar! I didn't ask for it, but had mentioned a couple of times that I need/want to learn to play. I really didn't even consider getting my own, I was trying to decide who I would borrow one from. TJ is the best at figuring out what I would love without me even realizing it. We were at my parents for the Wood family Christmas and when we were completely done, he brought it out with a bow on the case. I cried. And then "pling-pling-plinged" for the rest of the day, to everyone's delight.
- We were in Ashland for Christmas Eve, and were able to go to TJ's grandparents church for their candlight Christmas Eve service. It was wonderful. I was a little in and out with Stella, who felt that the service needed some commentary, but it was great. I was in the foyer when they passed the "wine" part of communion, and one of the elders actually brought it to me. I was really touched. I also appreciated that in a full house, when Stella did make noise and jabber, I never got the feeling that anyone was annoyed or bothered by the interruption or bother. Only smiles from everyone who turned to see where the noise was coming from. Now granted, my baby is the cutest baby ever, but still. I only felt welcome at this church, and it was so nice to visit a different part of Christ's body and feel that unity and love.
- I think my favorite was having our own little Christmas on Christmas morning. We had come home late Christmas Eve night, and then slept in. When we all woke up and had some coffee (milk for Siah) we sat on the couch and read the Christmas story out of Josiah's bible story book. Then we let him open his presents from us (my favorite was the set of wooden cars that can be put together in several different ways) and then we had pancakes and relaxed. Later we watched The Lion King together in my and TJ's room, which is special because the kids aren't generally allowed in our room, much less our bed. It was so fun snuggling up as a family. Josiah lost interest and played with a toy he brought with him, but I loved it. I was asked to stop saying all the lines with the movie, but other than that, it was great.
- New Year's Eve was pretty fun - we had a Star Wars Fiesta. Which just means that we got a large amount of queso from Casa and then had a Star Wars marathon in the basement. TJ had spent the week between Christmas and New Year's working in the basement, rewiring electric and putting up insulation and walls in the "rec room" area of the basement. It looks great. He primed the wall that the projector projects on so that we had a good canvas to watch the movie on, and then we pulled the king-sized mattress that Joe and Kelsey were recently given in to the middle area and settle in to watch the epic battle between good and evil in a galaxy far, far away. We decided to watch them in production order, as the older ones are far superior. When Josiah was given a wooden sword (from a friend who visited a renaissance festival recently), he told me that he was a Jedi. :-) I love it.
- Life at church just hasn't slowed down at all. We took over another store in the mall next us and turned it into a new, much larger children's church area. It turned out very nice. This Sunday we move into 3 services, and I'm on worship. I'm really excited about it, and super thankful to my biggest brother for being willing to help us with the kids while I'm serving and TJ serves with the ushers and design team this week. It's so nice being near family to help out with stuff like this.
- I'm not one to make resolutions. I was talking over coffee with one of my favorite friends this week and did mention my ambition, goal, determination to curb my tongue. I've come to realize that I say "I need" a lot about things that I might not really need. It seems that in the same breath I'm grateful about something, I see and vocalize the next thing I need to make it better, go with it, etc. I really don't feel that I'm discontented, but I don't want to talk that way and teach my children that nothing is ever enough. It's fine, I think, to have a plan of things to do or maybe get in the future, but I want to make sure I am fully content and thankful for all the things God's given me, and that my kids learn to be happy with and grateful for everything they have. I also want to really be aware of and curb the way I talk about myself, i.e. my body image. I know that there are very few, if any women who are perfectly happy with their body/looks. And if I want to strive to be healthy and fit, that's great. But I really want to be aware of and stop the times I find myself comparing myself to others and becoming dissatisfied. I read a quote by (of all people!) Denise Richards, in which she said that she will not talk badly about her body in front of her daughters, because she doesn't want to teach them that theirs isn't good enough and they shouldn't be happy with themselves. And I feel exactly the same way. I want Stella to be content, not freaking out about whether she looks like the latest "it" girl. So I guess my resolution would be to be more content and thankful, and teaching my children to be the same way.
Well those are all the notes I can think of at the moment. I'd love to hear your goals or resolutions!