Thursday, December 29, 2011

thankful for..

  1. He came.
  2. mom came to celebrate it with us.
  3. waking up before the sun on Christmas morning to "mom. SANTA CAME. our tree. it's FILLED with presents. lilah. she got a WHOLE kitchen. my stocking. i didn't get coal. it's FILLED with PRESENTS. i got a YODA pop." oh God thank you for leading him to my side of the bed first. perfect end to being up all night with a puking 3 y/o. :( for memory's sake: we had to stop several times through opening gifts for a sick little girl.
  4. gifts that say they're listening to me, reading my posts, & care enough to seek it out. thoroughly surprised.
  5. she's played with the kitchen every day since
  6. a plate with "pizza" & a "fork", & "coffee mug" delivered to my laptop
  7. waterslide the whole family can ride together at Great Wolf Lodge. their faces. the laughing. the shreiking
  8. clara loving the humidity, laying on the floor in her diaper, grabbing her feet with a drooly grin
  9. scoring months worth of [the good] loofahs for half price
  10. kids are forgiving
  11. "be joyful because you have hope. be patient when trouble comes, and pray at all times" Rom. 12:12 NCV
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Saturday, December 24, 2011

He came

"As silent as snow falling, he came in. 
And when no one was looking, in the darkness, he came....

The God who flung planets into space and kept them whirling around and around, the God who made the universe with just a word, the one who could do anything at all~was making himself small. And coming a baby.
Wait. God was sending a baby to rescue the world?
"But its too wonderful!" Mary said and felt her heart beating hard. "How can it be true?"
"Is anything too wonderful for God?"[the angel] Gabriel asked.
So Mary trusted God more than what her eyes could see. 
And there, in the stable, amongst the chickens and the donkeys and the cows, in the quiet of the night, God gave the world his wonderful gift. The baby that would change the world was born.
Mary and Joseph named him Jesus, "Emmanuel"-which means "God has come to live with us."
Because, he had."
My kids & I have watched this adorable video over and over! The story comes to life & cracks you up too!
In case you haven't seen this Christmas Story (pictured above), you can check it out here.

Merriest Christmas!
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Thursday, December 22, 2011

thankful for...

1. my mom is coming to our house for Christmas
2. gifts hiding in closets and behind storage in the garage
3. smell of Gain-washed clothes
4. the accident was minor
5. silver-clad tree, aglow
6. 5 different cookies baked and shared, newbies just as good as they looked
7. new friend-prospects in our new city after 1 year, (incl. 1/2 a year in hiding w/newborn & pregnancy hormones
8. manicure
9. free shipping
10. sensible, solicited advice
11. clementines, kids can peel
12. Carter's foot & hands as a reindeer on his sweatshirt
13. Lilah requesting one for her brother even before taking her own prize
14. perfect stocking-stuffers come to mind, are available
15. giving
16. dan assembling toys without my nagging or even suggesting.
17. Clara chewing on Sophie & drooling & cooing, on her back w/her feet in the air
18. warm & fuzzy socks
19. finding Carter knows the true meaning, re-telling the story nearly perfectly
20. my mom is coming to my house for Christmas! (worth a second mention)

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

gifts, suddenly inadequate

This is the day when I sabotage all of my efforts to be thoughtful, budget-friendly, and done in advance. With just five books left til Christmas, I have all of my gifts bought and wrapped.
Still, I start to think of the recipients and what they mean to me and second-guess my carefully chosen gift. 
Is this really enough? But she is so special...she teaches my kid every day OR 
he makes so much effort to be a great uncle 
OR she's always generous and supportive, I should add something more. 
I was especially pleased with the gifts I bought for my husband this year.
Until.....I found out what he got me!
Unintentionally, I swear.
Last week when he started beaming over my Christmas gift I made a conscious decision to keep my eyes & ears closed.
I expected it must be something grand, but couldn't imagine what it was.
Never anticipated it was....well, let me tell you what happened:
I sent a text message to a friend telling her "Coldplay tickets go on sale tomorrow" and she replied with "a friend with an AmEx card got her tickets presale".
He told me he opened a new card so that I couldn't find out what he was buying when I saw the American Express envelope in his hand the other day.
For 8 minutes I considered trying to pretend I was surprised on Christmas morning to give him the satisfaction. But I could not contain my joy. I was BURSTING! Surprised! Elated! Shocked, really. It was completely his idea and he went to much trouble and come to find out, through many road blocks to get us close up when Coldplay comes to DC in July! I can hardly believe it! 

Needless to say, I'm questioning how my gifts stand up to his.
We weren't even going to give much to each other this year.

Same with my mom, I got her something perfect; something only I would get her & she wouldn't get herself.
Then yesterday she SHOCKED me with the news that she's coming to spend Christmas with us. A never-thought-in-a-million-years-she'd-leave-my-brothers-in-NY-and-come-to-VA-to-be-with-me kinda surprise.
Are you feeling like you need to add a bit more for the people that mean so much and do so much?

In the end, gifts, no matter how grand, never seem to adequately convey ones gratefulness and desire to bless another. 
I think you're pretty safe if you
give what means the most to you. 
Your time. Your attention. 
Turn your cell phone off in their company. 
Go to the party you'd rather skip but would mean so much for you to attend. 
Make their favorite, not yours.
Give them the best, take second pick. 
Make the effort. Make it special. Make it genuine.
More lessons I've learned on giving in Satin Sheets are Slippery
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Monday, December 19, 2011

2011 Christmas card to readers

Dearest detailgalblog readers,
I would have sent one to you if I had your name & address. 
Thank you for reading this gals' details and for commenting when they strike a cord with you. I've been surprised and blessed through this blog all year long.
May there be killer bargains wrapped under your tree, 
favorite finds in your stocking, 
good food shared with loved ones,
and may the Joy and Peace of God fill your home... 

card: tiny prints
photography: s.j.bridgeman photography buffalo, ny Pin It

Thursday, December 15, 2011

thankful for...

  • his face bounding off of the school bus toward me
  • my husband conspicuously planning my Christmas gift
  • pine & holly branches from the yard in my vignettes
  • they have no idea those things are already here, hidden in the garage
  • surprised by hometown-ers in my new town. talking best food & mutual friends.
  • one-click & Amazon delivers it; cleaners & k-cups at good prices, w/free shipping
  • Christmas cards from old friends; the faces once babies now grown
  • Luke 1:28, 34, 37*&38
  • "let every heart prepare Him room." what a lyric!
  • Fresh Balsam on sale 2@$20. Now I'm not the only one not burning it this season. Still think this is my favorite.
  • the Jesus Storybook Bible audio. He's here
  • getting dark at 5 gets kids in bed by 7:30
  • finding the doll, lost in NY, here in VA and on clearance
  • MAC lipstick in Dubonnet; perfectly red. date-night lipstick.
  • Clara's stocking hanging too, our family of five feeling right

  • Zack Morris in made-for-TV Christmas movie
  • weekend plans
  • answered prayers
  • this fun Nativity story video. what a way to introduce the story of Christmas to your kids!

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    Friday, December 9, 2011

    Holiday Card Display

    Are you watching for the mailman & trotting down to the box immediately like I am?
    Oh what fun it is to open a Christmas card with family & friends' faces smiling back at me! My kids are just as amused. A few early birds have come in already & I can hardly wait to see what comes in over the next few weeks.

    How do you display your collection? 
    This year,  I transformed our family room wall, where the kids' artwork is typically displayed (like this).
    I wrapped this IKEA curtain wire with berry garland & used the clips to hang the cards.
    I switched out the framed art for our own family Christmas cards from years past. The background is a paper bag. (my favorite holiday use for your paper bag here)

    I mailed my cards out on Wednesday. Tiny Prints came through with the perfect matte finish on a cheery card this year. I'll share it with you soon.

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    Thursday, December 8, 2011

    Thankful, by practice

    I'm a dreamer. I revel in grand schemes. 
    The little things have never been my strong point.
    If you're been following me here for a while you know my toughest challenge being a stay-at-home mom of three littles has been the painful predictability of that sort of life. Mundane is not my thing.

    I believed, looking around me & seeing no prospects, that "someday my prince would come" even if out-of-the-blue. And just like that, out-of-the-blue he called me because my cousin shared my number. A few months after our blind date, he asked me to marry him on a bridge in Central Park across from The Plaza hotel in NYC. I said "YES!" blinded by the rock he was holding out to me. Yes! to the ring, Yes! to the love story; Yes! Yes! Yes! to the extraordinary.

    And nine years later, my life couldn't be more ordinary. Charmed, for sure, but ordinary.
    My mundane life is peppered with exciting risks like selling our house by owner in 3 weeks last year & moving across the country to a place we'd never visited.

    How did a dreamer like me end up living this typical life? 
    The husband, the kids, they're as great as I could have dreamed, yes. Realizing I wasn't going to be changing the world because I was going to be busy for 8 years changing diapers has been the struggle. 
    Every now & then something threatens what matters most to me, or I read a widow's blog, or a mother's heartbreaking battle with her child's illness & I am shaken to contentment.

    Contentment an elusive goal for a dreamer like me.

    Then I read this book: One Thousand Gifts.
    A friend recommended it to me last year. I got it, read the first page & thought, "ugh. who cares?" I wasn't "in the mood" for this poetic challenge to gratefulness.
    I picked it up again last month and I can say, it has forever changed me. 
    I am enlightened to the practice of thankfulness and how it begets joy.
    The practice of looking for things that bring a smile to my face, a sigh to my heart, a twinkle to my eye has changed me.
    I'm making lists of these "gifts" each day and on Thursdays I'll share some of those here with you.
    I do hope you will read this book.
    If you're not "in the mood" now, pick it up so when the moment strikes you, you will have it on hand. One Thousand Gifts.

    For Thankful posts, click on the "i'm thankful for" image in the sidebar
    or the "being thankful" label, also in the sidebar

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