Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Catching Up!

I realize that I haven't been posting as often this month ... things have been so busy! After the new year I will get back into the groove of things and there will be more but in the mean time, I thought I'd give you all a few updates ...

*Work - my supervisor went on maternity leave. She had a gorgeous baby boy and I'm so happy for her... but while she is gone I am running the department which means I am super busy with both my own workload and hers! I haven't had much time for social media or blogging during the day but that's okay with me. It is actually nice to be super busy because time flies by quicker while I'm at work. I also work really well under pressure so it has kind of brought out the best in me. I think it is going really well, I'm meeting all my deadlines and keeping it together, thank the sweet baby Jesus!

*Ministry - my husband and I recently agreed to be the Directors of the young adult ministry at our church. We're not certain of the exact ages but this is our group of "twenty-somethings". We are currently discussing our plans for this group and I am really excited about what God is going to be doing! It is a really diverse group of young people... some married, most single and in all different places in life. I am praying that this be a really fulfilling experience for us and a growth opportunity for myself as a person. Leading others has a way of really sharpening one's character so I am nervous but grateful for the opportunity. I also LOVE all the YA's in our group and have made some really special friends so I know it will be wonderful to share with them and strengthen our faith together.

*Christmas - it is such a fun time but it can also be hectic. I got the house decorated and I am really happy with it.. I haven't had time to snap photos but it looks really nice! I put the tree up in our sun room which is great because it has become the "forbidden room" for Aiden. You can see the tree through our window from the street which I LOVE. I found a really cute Christmas plaid tablecloth at Bed Bath and Beyond and it really makes a difference. I got a wreath, some poinsettia, and lots of red pillar candles that smell like cranberry. The place looks great and it totally feels like Christmas. Aiden loves it especially the mistletoe hanging from the ceiling. He reaches out for it every time I walk by with him. I'm super excited for our first Christmas at home as a family. I'm going to be making a special breakfast that will include red velvet pancakes... ohhh yeah!

*Getaway - we are going to be spending our first night away from Aiden on the week between Christmas and New Year's. I booked a romance package at a hotel and it sounds really nice... champagne & strawberries, a candlelight dinner, breakfast and a late checkout of 2pm. I am excited for the sleep opportunity this will provide too- haha. But I am also really nervous about being away from Aiden. I hope he knows that we will be back! It is just really important for me and the hubby to get some alone time. I am excited about it.

*New Years - I have no idea what the plan is for NYE. We have a celebration at our church but Aiden won't make it until midnight and I wouldn't try to make him sleep through all the celebrating. He is a light sleeper so he would just be miserable. I think it is going to be a quiet evening at home watching the ball drop. Maybe we'll have our best friends over and make a nice dinner ... I don't know.

*Home decorating - I do love decorating my house but I am NOT crafty at all...  my friend Caroline gave us some bookshelves and I am going to be sprucing them up with a little project. I can't say if I think it will be a success yet but it is pretty simple and I will definitely be posting about it more in detail soon. That is all I can disclose at this time.

*New Hair -- Guys, I got bangs!!! I haven't had bangs since I was like in 4th grade so it still feels really weird but it looks pretty good. I've gotten lots of compliments and it has helped me feel better about myself since the postpartum hair loss has kicked in. See new bangs in picture below :)

Anyway, if I don't post again until after the holidays... please have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!! Lots of love, health, happiness and blessings from my family to yours.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tis the Season: Gifting, non-gifting and re-gifting

It is mid December people! Christmas is upon us. For me, Christmas is a way to remember and celebrate the birth of Christ, a time to spend with the ones I love, to take a little break from my usual hustle and bustle and reflect on all the love in my life. My favorite thing about the holiday is the decorations... Houses are lit up and everything smells like pine. I love Christmas!
But the one part of this holiday that can get a little stressful- the gifts! I love giving gifts, I love shopping but finding "the perfect gift" can get a little overwhelming. Let's face it, I procrastinate every year and end up buy gifts the week before Christmas. That in itself is bound to cause unnecessary stress. So here are my tips and pointers on gifting, non-gifting and re-gifting:

1) Don't be a procrastinator like me - get your shopping done early! You can really pick out something that is meaningful if you aren't rushing.

2) and on that note... make it meaningful! I can tell by a person's gift giving if they really pay attention so make it count. I know gift cards are more convenient but nothing can replace the feeling that someone actually took their time and resources to PICK SOMETHING OUT for me.

3) You know that saying "it's the thought that counts" ? Well, it really is! One pet peeve I have is when close friends or family give the same "we had no money" every year. Especially when they are buying flat screen TV's, I-pads, and all the latest gadgets throughout the year. I mean, really? At least send a card then! It is a nice, inexpensive way to show you care.

4) My favorite gift of all -- a card! I love greeting cards of all kinds. We make it a point to send out cards every year because it simply is not in the budget to buy everyone we love a present. One day when I am a baller I will but until then I really enjoy sending out my Christmas cards.

5) Presentation counts-- wrapping, bows, labels, come on get into it! LOL.

6) Yummy goodies make great gifts. One year my friend made peppermint bark and gave it out in cute boxes. Just the fact that she took the time to give us something homemade really meant a lot.

7) Have fun, give from the heart and be a good receiver too! Christmas is not about the gifts at all. Don't get sucked into that "why did you get me something? I didn't get you anything" mindset. If someone wants to give, learn how to just receive gratefully. Gifting from the heart is "no strings attached".

8) Remember not to attach emotional strings when you give. Giving a gift no matter how big or small does not give you entitlement to anything. I know this one seems kind of obvious but given some recent events, I just had to mention it.

Happy last minute shopping friends :) XOXO

Friday, December 2, 2011

Monthly Devotional : December


I am so excited to share my very first GUEST POST over on the "Devotionals" section of the blog. This post is entitled "As I Sleep" and is an incredibly touching, personal experience of a good friend of mine named Sophie Jones. Sophie has chosen to remain anonymous but was very glad to share a little piece of her heart with you all. I hope you are blessed in reading it and look for our next devotional in January =)

To read it, go up to the tabs on this page and click "devotionals".

PS- If you want to contribute to future devotionals, please feel free to contact me!