Tag Archives: holiday

Serene Saturdays #34

We are complete again!  Our eldest came home from college on Thursday. Woo hoo!

For us, the holidays will really begin today, as we get to watch my youngest dance in the  Nutcracker.  For over 14 years, we have been attending the Nutcracker to watch one or both of our daughters dance.  This will be the first time we’ve watched the performance with our eldest sitting in the audience with us.

So that I can really focus on my family for the remainder of the holidays, I am not planning on posting this week.  Therefore, I will take this opportunity to say MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!  I hope your holiday is amazing, playful, and replenishing!

This week I am grateful for:

*  Reading aloud with my kids.

*  A furnace that kicks on.

*  Spanish and Art tutors for my kids.

*  A book study with great, wise, and fun ladies.

*  Getting to watch my youngest in the Nutcracker, sitting next to my eldest, my husband, and our dear, dear friend.  Priceless.

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Filed under Weekends

Are the Best Things in Life Free?

What do you love that is actually free?

“The best things in life are free.”  This is one of those phrases that parents say to their kids to teach them to value the little things in life or to teach them to be grateful.  Even as adults, we pass this phrase around as if it explains our gratitude for the small things that come our way.

Especially in this holiday season, you’ll probably hear someone say this phrase in reference to spending less on gifts, or in reference to doing volunteer work.

Love.  Memories.  A child’s smile.  Getting a good grade on an exam. Friendship.  A great marriage.  Making it through the first year of a business start-up and living to tell about it!

While each of these may fall into the “best things in life are free” category, I beg to differ with whether or not they are actually free.

I can speak from experience that having a great marriage definitely does not come freely.  It takes commitment, forgiveness, communication and a whole lot of hard work.  Getting a good grade is not a free gift – ask my college daughter going through her first finals week.   Finding the love of your life is a costly proposition for some.  Patience, heartbreak, relational skills, and prayer…

The truth is, anything that is worth something, costs something.

The cost may be intangible, but costly nonetheless.

Dedication. Commitment.  Sacrifice.  Money.  Time.  Tears.  Prayers.  Hope.

Often times the things that don’t have a high monetary value actually require the most work.

When do we value things that truly are free?  Whatever we come by easily or cheaply, we will also value little.  A dandelion inherently has little value compared to a rose because they are so easy to come by.

This holiday season, stop to let the enormity of the “free” things that come your way sink in.  Some cost you a lot financially, and others are precious gifts given to you after years of hard, committed work, after dedication to an ideal or dream, or after years of tending to seeds.  So take a moment to feel, deeply breathe in and wonder at the blessings that you have.

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Filed under General thoughts

My Holiday Scorecard

I have felt quite a mixed bag when it comes to Christmas this year.  On the one hand, I have really enjoyed getting our Christmas tree put up and attending our city’s tree lighting ceremony.  On the other hand, I have found myself wanting to stop school a early and let my kids watch way too much Christmas TV.

Therefore, I thought I’d make a little log of the “goods” and “bads” of my behavior.

Ways I have fallen short:

Not enough consistent school.  This is always an issue, but especially during the holidays.  It always feels like there is so much outside of education that needs to be done.  I am tempted…and the kids aren’t complaining!

Too much Band Hero.  Just before the Thanksgiving holiday, my elder son bought Band Hero for our Wii, complete with a guitar, a drum set, and a microphone.  And this confession is that it isn’t just the kids who are spending too much time conquering Band Hero, but I am right there with them!  I am wicked on the guitar…just saying.

I haven’t purchased or made a single present.  There are a lot that need to be done, but I haven’t found the ability/motivation/joy in doing so yet.

Not getting our Advent activities ready.  Every year, I create an activity-a-day based around a Christmas theme (i.e. crafts, baking, holiday movies, driving to look at Christmas lights).  For some reason, I haven’t been organized/motivated to do so this year.  Maybe it is because the kids are so busy that we don’t have many evenings home together.  It doesn’t seem as worth it this year.  But, my eldest has specially requested that I get them organized for her when she comes home from college…so I have to create the activities by then.  Yikes!

Just today, I mailed my daughter’s college finals care package to her.  I’ve had it in the car for well over a week – maybe two weeks.  I just haven’t made it into the post office to get it sent off.  I’m sure she’ll get it right about the time that her finals are over and it is time to travel home…

Ways I’ve been stellar (I like this list much better!):

I created the whole Thanksgiving dinner all by myself.  I know this is a little out-dated, but I still am giving myself credit for it.  In year’s past, we’ve had tons and tons of guests, each bringing a dish to share.  This year, with it being just our family and two guests, I did it all.    You’ll have to ask my family if it was any good.

I edited a pamphlet for a friend.  This one probably shouldn’t count, because I really enjoy editing, I really enjoyed what he had written, and I really like him.  But, it did take a chunk of time, and I need all of the stellar moments that I can count right now.

I got the Christmas tree lighted.  For some reason, this job always falls to me. This year, however, when I pulled out the lights, EVERY strand wasn’t lighting. I wrap and pack them away meticulously, but somehow they lost their ability to light over the year; therefore, getting the tree lit this year meant a bit more work than usual.

I am hosting a party for the teens in our church.  Our church is very new, so there aren’t THAT many teens, but I wanted them to have a chance to all get together to celebrate.  So this Saturday, we will welcome them over for Christmas movies and snacks.  There will probably be a little Wii Band Hero going on, but I will refrain from showing them all up on the guitar…

I have run driven/waited/eaten/read/slept/written in my car as I have shuttled my younger daughter all over the stinkin’ universe for Nutcracker practice.  The performance is on Dec. 17th, and I am eager, both to see her dance, and to have the rehearsals over!

I have drug myself out of bed early every morning to exercise at the gym.  That is huge, considering that I hate every part of the exercise process.

I have kept this blog going!

I guess that’s all.  I hope that my cathartic exercise relieved you of some guilt, or gave you someone to which you could compare yourself so that you could feel better about how you’re doing!

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