Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ways I Was Brave

I wanted to be brave in 2011, and I was.

Maybe not as brave as I could have been or should have been. But I was braver than I would have been if I wasn't trying.

My braveness included writing for Tired & Stuck, witnessing the birth of Eden Grace, undergoing surgery, going to BlogHer and giving a presentation to 9 whole people at church. There were other things, too.

I'm not going to miss 2011. It was the year everyone I knew needed a miracle. We survived, and it took courage to do so.

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Friday, December 30, 2011

2011

You were nothing, if not surprising.

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Year End

"The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." ~ Ernest Hemingway


I don't read as much as I should, so beautiful quotes like these come to me from movies. Hemingway's words were highlighted in "Bottle Shock." (PS: Santa brought me Netflix. Yeah!)

Anyway, in whichever way 2011 broke us, we can thank it for making us stronger.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Obsessions

I'm currently in love with the New Year. It's a new love, so everything is perfect. Surely, it won't be as flawless as I imagine. But right now, I'm obsessed with the idea of 2012.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Resolutions

On Christmas day, I wrote out a plan for December 2012. I want to be better at all this holiday hoopla. You know, tree decorating and Christmas card mailing. Neither of which were accomplished this year. It was surprisingly easy to schedule exactly what needs to be accomplished on each weekend of December 2012. I hope I don't lose the piece of paper with my master plan. Now, I just need to focus on January through November.

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Monday, December 26, 2011

Recovery

Christmas aftermath is rough. I took a 2 1/2 hour nap and woke up tired. My right eyelid has been twitching since last week, which the Internet said is likely due to too much caffeine and not enough sleep. Have I mentioned the whole world should take the week between Christmas and New Year's off?

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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Day One

Christmas isn't over. We have 12 days to savor the magic.

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Come, Let Us Adore Him

"The angel said to them,
'Do not be afraid;
for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy
that will be for all the people.
For today in the city of David
a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord.
And this will be a sign for you:
you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes
and lying in a manger.'"
~ Luke 2: 10-12

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Friday, December 23, 2011

Very Merry

As far as I'm concerned, the next few days (starting with today) are actually one long day with little sleep, lots of food and a ton to do. It's a blur of merry madness.

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Still Advent

Advent, I almost forgot about you. I almost forgot how beautiful you are. In the two days we have left, I will try to remember.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Cheer

The whole world is drunk on caffeine and anticipation. Or maybe it's just me.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Holiday Brunch

So, what should John and I eat for breakfast on Christmas morning? Yes, I really need your opinion. I want an easy, delicious menu. One that can be made mostly ahead of time and is meant for two. (I don't want leftovers.) It has to be protein packed otherwise my darling husband will be cranky. I, on the other hand, can practically live on bread alone.
PS: Mimosas are a must. 

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Santa & Siri

I have not been pleased with the Santa advertisements this season. Several big brands seemed to think it would be a good idea to compete with Santa (in a naughty, mean-spirited way). As if anyone could out do Santa. Are these marketers unhinged? Anyway, I was relieved to see that Apple is clearly on Santa's nice list.

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Time Out

I am perfectly OK with 2011 ending, but I wish we could put a hold on 2012 beginning.

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Decorations

So I decided to put up a few Christmas decorations. I do this so hesitantly because once they go up, I know there's a good chance they won't come down until Easter. But I have to say, I do love how a little Christmas cheer makes a home sparkle.

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Shopping

Click, Click, Click is the sound of Check, Check, Check off the to-do list.

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

10 Years Ago Today ...

My life changed forever in the most amazing way when I met my husband. Yeah for us!

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Give Big or Small

Just a friendly, no-pressure reminder that there are lots of great ways to make a great difference for a lot of great people who could use a helping hand this holiday season. It's easy and fun and any donation (big or small) is greatly appreciated.

A few of my personal favorites:
Sacred Heart Community Service
Family Giving Tree
Siena House Maternity Home

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

How to Be Happy & Brave

I love lists. So, I loved when Erin emailed me the 12 Things Happy People Do Differently. Here is the CliffsNotes version:

  1.  Express gratitude.
  2.  Cultivate optimism.
  3.  Avoid over-thinking and social comparison.
  4.  Practice acts of kindness.
  5.  Nurture social relationships.
  6.  Develop strategies for coping.
  7.  Learn to forgive.
  8.  Increase flow experiences. (Flow is when you’re so focused on what you’re doing that you become one with the task.)
  9.  Savor life’s joys.
  10.  Commit to your goals.
  11.  Practice spirituality.
  12.  Take care of your body.
In addition, Seth's Blog also featured a list of sorts today:

Insulate yourself ...
from anonymous angry people
Expose yourself to art you don't yet understand
Precisely measure the results that are important to you
Stay blind to the metrics that don't matter
Fail often
Ship
Lead, don't manage so much
Seek out uncomfortable situations
Make an impact on the people who matter to you
Be better at your baseline skills than anyone else
Copyedit less, invent more
Give more speeches
Ignore unsolicited advice

I think both are so smart. I'll be revisiting these as I dream up my resolutions for 2012.

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Soup's On

What I need to do is start using recipes when I cook. I don't know why I think I can wing it. Tonight I made a vegetable soup and decided to replace broth with wine (we had an open bottle that needed to be used). It wasn't an altogether terrible idea, but the result was not as brilliant as I had hoped.

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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Fa La La La La, La La La La

The tradition I grew up with was decorate for Christmas at the last minute. Which is a lot better than what I did last year ~ not decorate at all. With 13 days left, I'm curious if any of my halls are going to get decked. I'll keep you posted.

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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Countdown

Two weeks to Christmas. Let the swearing begin.
(Obviously, said swearing has nothing to do with the celebration of the birth of Christ and everything to do with a long list of gift buying yet to be done. Don't even talk to me about decorating.)

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Friday, December 9, 2011

Advent

We are all waiting, all the time, and not just in the days before Christmas. But we get busy and distracted and forget that this whole life is one giant waiting room for eternity.

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Best Gifts

I went to a white elephant office party today and scored a tiny three-cup French coffee press (with Peet's coffee, peppermint bark and a cute little measuring spoon). Yeah for me!
The gift I brought was just OK ~ a nice bottle of wine and a 6-pack of Toblerone chocolate bars.
It was something I would be happy to take home myself.
Nothing wrong with it, but nothing creative about it either. Chocolate and wine ~ a perfectly safe gift.
The thing is life has too few white elephant party's to always play it safe.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wish List

It's Erin's fault. She wrote about Asian Chicken Noodle Soup and introduced me to Eat Live Run. So I looked around and found this post. Now I want Philosophy Birthday Cake Lip Shine and a pair of Frye boots.
Lord, help me.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Traditions

I'm coming to realize I have a very specific December tradition: Panic.
It's not Christmas or the weather (which remains beautiful year round in Northern California).
It's the crashing halt of one year and inevitable start of another that truly unnerves me.

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Monday, December 5, 2011

Create Something

The whole difference between construction and creation is this; that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists. ~ Charles Dickens 

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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Strangers with Pie

We went to dinner at grandpa's new place. He is adjusting. It's not easy to be in a new place when you were in the old place for 52 years. But he has a great attitude.
Anyway, after dinner, we walked around, and we met a guy with some pie.
Like this old man had a quarter of a pie on a paper plate and was just walking around the complex.
"Wow. What kind of dessert do you have there?" my dad asks.
Stranger replies, "Berry pie. Sugar-free berry pie I made with Splenda. I was going to bring it to so-and-so, but they weren't home. So, I'm going to give it away to the first person I find who wants it."
"Done!" my dad says as he stretches out his arm and takes the pie from a stranger.
"I had no choice," he explains to me and my mom. "The man was giving away pie."

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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Giving Thanks

The priest's advice: When you have trouble being grateful, start with giving thanks for your five senses.

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Friday, December 2, 2011

Soulful Books ~ Recommendations Requested

I am not an avid reader. I wish I was. But when I love a book, I read it (or at least parts of it) again and again. I underline my favorite sentences with colored pencils. And the words become a part of my soul. I haven't read a book like that in a long time, and I need one. So, please, which is your favorite?

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Klutzy & Clumsy

My co-worker gave me a new nickname this week: Stumbling Stubler.

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