Friday, December 29, 2006

Back to the basics

Well, it's been awhile. So I decided to write. I figured the returning readers were getting sick of staring at that Christmas tree clip art.

I am on my last month-long "break" of my life. Next year at this time, I will have a job, and there will be no such thing as having 4 weeks off to run around and do as I please. Today is the first day that I have had to myself, believe it or not. Every other day has been packed with activities, helping, and socializing.

I awoke this morning and laid there for a few minutes, trying to guess what time it was. "About 9 or 10," I thought. I felt refreshed, but the day was bright and it seemed like morning outside.

Wrong. It was after 12. I shuffled downstairs and helped myself to the box of Krispe Kremes that was sitting on our kitchen counter.

"Dad suggested we get those for you, but I figured it is because he wanted them," my mom told me. I don't care why anyone bought them, just so long as I got to eat one! They melt in your mouth, I tell you.

After breakfast at noon, I showered, picked up a few things, and played a game of online euchre. I am now officially bored. I guess I forgot how boring having time on your hands really is. After this post, I plan to get out of the house and start the productive part of my day, but it's sad that it is already 4 p.m. Sad, but not really- as far as I am concerned, EVERYONE should be allowed to have at least one day like this entitled to them a month- a day where you get to kill time in whatever way you please. Because when it comes down to it, relaxing is something no one ever finds time for anymore.

I leave for Arizona in a week. I am taking 5 of my great friends down to stay at my aunt and uncle's place, and am I ever excited. I have been checking every day, and it stays in the high 60's and sunny. I just hope that people don't think we're crazy when we're out in our swimming suits and everyone else is in winter coats. That is winter to them, as they are used to 110 every day in the summer. I'll take high 60's, thank you- I can't wait for the gorgeous weather and scenery! I know that no matter what, we will have fun because of the amazing people I will be with, and the wonderful place we have for our stay.

Another milestone coming up is my 21st birthday on January 2. It's so weird. I still feel like I'm 16. If someone asked me what age I would always feel like, it would be somewhere in the teen years. Time goes by so fast, and I don't realize it until I look back on pictures and remember all of the memories I have from Jr. High & High School. It is amazing how fast you grow up and mature, not only in how you look but especially in how you act and make choices. It is also exciting to see how you have matured in Christ-- an area that is so important! One thing I am so thankful for is the idea that I gave my life to Christ so long ago, so my relationship with Him has only strengthened through the years.

Alright. Well, this post made me hungry, so I am going to go eat a banana with some peanutbutter. If we're out of bananas, maybe an apple. Love you all. T

Monday, December 04, 2006

Top Ten Christmas

Everyone has a favorite Christmas pastime. To me, the excitement of the holidays is everything we do to prepare for the day itself... such as decorating, baking, and caroling. It's the joy that is in the air that is contagious. What is your favorite Christmas delight?

Top Ten Christmas

1. Putting up your Christmas tree and hanging ornaments on it
2. Singing Christmas carols
3. Making Christmas cookies
4. Eating candy canes
5. Stuffing stockings
6. Wrapping gifts
7. Shopping
8. Ice skating
9. Mistletoe
10. Christmas music

I have an anecdote to each one...

1. Putting up your Christmas tree- Every year, the tradition has been this: the day after Thanksgiving (a Friday), our family would get up real early and go to a tree farm and pick out a live tree. There was typically a fight between two split groups about which tree was "the best." Soft needles, or hard? Tall, or short? Full, or skinny? There are just so many decisions to be made. However, sadly enough, a few years ago we discontinued this exact tradition. It all changed when we built an addition onto our house, and ended up with a great room with a tall ceiling. Much to my mom's dismay, we decided to buy a "fake" Christmas tree, something she thought she would never do. Despite the doubts, we have really enjoyed our "tall" tree with lots of ornaments that seem to multiply on a yearly basis. We now use that Friday for a great big breakfast to fuel ourselves for a day of splashing our house with decorations.

2. Singing Christmas carols- Our church goes Christmas caroling every year on a select Sunday evening. It is always fun going around with one of five or six groups and harmonizing in beautiful Christmas melodies. Our audience always enjoys it, and so do the singers! Afterward is a yummy supper of chili, hot dogs, and hot chocolate.

3. Making Christmas cookies- Mmmm. What is Christmas without good, Christmas baking? Every year, my friends and I get together and bake all day long, and then deliver our goodies to the elderly. It is such a fun tradition that we promise we will never let die out!

4. Eating candy canes- I LOVE candy canes. One thing I would note, though, is the shape... I mean, I know they are called candy CANES but it is such an awkward shape to eat. A favorite of mine is to make brownies, frost them with chocolate icing, and then crush up candy canes to put in the frosting. What you get is a delicious blend of chocolate and peppermint. Who could resist?

5. Stuffing stockings- Or pulling items out of them! My siblings and I always "opened" stockings on Christmas morning (and presents on Christmas Eve). I love the idea of reaching into a deep, soft stocking and wandering what it is your fingers are grasping.

6. Wrapping gifts- I actually despise this task. I am not a good gift-wrapper, and usually resort to finding a holiday bag that I can stick my gifts into with tissue paper all pretty spraying out of it. On the other hand, my mom is probably the best gift-wrapper I know, and always adds little bells, ribbons, sparkles, and bows to her gifts as an extra touch. My dad is a very computed wrapper, with all of his creases and folds measured out to the inch. Then there is me... if there was a way to wrap presents in Adobe Photoshop, I'd do it. I think I am just too impatient.

7. Shopping- I LOVE to shop, but another pet peeve of mine is people, people EVERYWHERE! Not that I don't love people, and not that I don't love seeing them out and about during the holiday season. Sometimes, though, people in big crowds tend to move very slowly and less seldom, and my natural instinct is to move at a very different pace than that. I can become frustrated when there are large auras of people who are blocking where I need to be, when I need to be there. However, I must say that everyone who is out always shines Christmas joy and it is an exciting time of year to be out... especially for shopping deals. :) Yay for door busters.

8. Ice skating- Who doesn't love the notion of ice skating on a desolate frozen pond OR on Michigan Avenue in Chicago on a frosty evening? How romantical and fun! Especially when you can pull off a triple axel!

9. Mistletoe- Hmmm... all I can say is, watch where you're standing.

10. Christmas music- One of my favorites!! What a way to share the joy of the season... I love tuning into my most-listened to station to hear Christmas music playing hour after hour. I know it is a little over-the-top to play it nontstop from Thanksgiving until Christmas, but it honestly gets me pumped. LOVE it.

What are your anecdotes, stories, memories, or thoughts? Please share them!

Love you all, T