Tuesday, November 30, 2010

December already?

Just yesterday when I went to write the date, I wrote October instead of November. Clearly, my brain is about a month behind schedule. I still cannot believe that tomorrow is December. There is part of me that wants to panic because we still have pumpkins sitting on our front porch, and all of our Christmas decorations are still safely stowed in their containers in the closet. But, I’m determined to have a different Christmas season than years past. Usually it seems like I’m rushing around going from task to task, and I really only stop to enjoy the season when it’s a day or two before Christmas. This year, I’m going to remind myself that things don’t have to be perfect. My goal is to do things simply and still with kindness. That means that I’ll be sending out our Christmas cards soon without the pictures of us (sadly, the CD with our pictures is still M.I.A). Our decorations may not be as elaborate as last year. And some (or all) of our Christmas cookies may be of the slice-and-bake variety and not from scratch. But, I hope that gives me a little more time to remember what the season is all about. Or, at the very least, this will ensure I don’t end up wandering store aisles late at night talking to myself. Happy almost December!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanksgiving Show-and-Tell

It doesn’t take much for me to get excited about Thanksgiving. What’s better than a holiday spent with family where it’s practically mandatory to eat large amounts of delicious (I hope!) food?
We made our last-minute preparations today, so we’re ready and I’m even more excited.
The meals are all planned. I plan our normal, weekly meals by list, so it’s only fitting that the biggest meal of the year would be planned as well.
And we have plenty of food. The table is (somewhat) ready. I’ve really been on an apple kick this year. I like the look of these apples in my favorite bowl. And best of all, this centerpiece is edible! My sweet neighbor friend, when I lamented to her that stores no longer have any Thanksgiving decorations, let me borrow some of hers, since she is going to be out of town. She let me borrow those pretty placemats… …and these cute hand towels. (The green one says, "give thanks.")

I love having company because it’s a great excuse to splurge on fresh flowers.

Is it Thanksgiving yet??

Friday, November 19, 2010

Maybe I spoke too soon

Remember how I bragged about finally getting our Christmas photos? I suppose I should have waited to celebrate until we actually got the pictures in our hands (or on our computer, in this case). Since the day that we took the photos, I’ve bugged the lady that supposedly has the photos on a CD at least three or four times. After a couple weeks went by, then I finally found out that a different lady has the CD. The result? Still no photos yet. I’m confident that we’ll have them in time for Christmas – maybe Christmas 2011.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


This past weekend Husband and I saw the movie Megamind. I wasn’t sure how it was going to be, but I was pleasantly surprised that:
1) Our outdated movie theater is finally offering movies, including this one, in 3D.
2) The movie was hilarious!
We laughed so much throughout the movie. I’d go as far to say that it’s one of the funniest movies, animated or otherwise, that we’ve seen in a while.
The only unpleasant thing about the movie was the family behind us, where every single one of them (including the baby!) coughed loudly throughout the movie and sometimes in unison. (If I had had any cough drops or hard candy in my purse, I would have pushed them on this can’t-stop-coughing family. Also, I vigorously washed my hands after the movie in irrational hopes that it might keep me from getting sick.)
But coughing aside, it was a great movie.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans' Day

Today I give thanks for all those men and women who have served our country. When I think of veterans, I think of my grandfathers, my parents, my husband, my uncles, and my cousins. (Yes, I come from a large military family :) I also think of all those that I will never get to see or thank who have sacrificed so much for me and every other American. As I reflected about this day, I remembered a column that Ben Stein wrote that really touched me. He says better than I can about service and what is important in life. These are a few of my favorite quotes from the column. [The entire column can be found here.] Enjoy! Ben Stein: “I no longer think Hollywood stars are terribly important. They are uniformly pleasant, friendly people, and they treat me better than I deserve to be treated. But a man or woman who makes a huge wage for memorizing lines and reciting them in front of a camera is no longer my idea of a shining star we should all look up to.” “Real stars are not riding around in the backs of limousines or in Porsches or getting trained in yoga or Pilates and eating only raw fruit while they have Vietnamese girls do their nails. They can be interesting, nice people, but they are not heroes to me any longer. A real star is the soldier of the 4th Infantry Division who poked his head into a hole on a farm near Tikrit, Iraq. He could have been met by a bomb or a hail of AK-47 bullets. Instead, he faced an abject Saddam Hussein and the gratitude of all of the decent people of the world. A real star is the U.S. soldier who was sent to disarm a bomb next to a road north of Baghdad. He approached it, and the bomb went off and killed him. A real star, the kind who haunts my memory night and day, is the U.S. soldier in Baghdad who saw a little girl playing with a piece of unexploded ordnance on a street near where he was guarding a station. He pushed her aside and threw himself on it just as it exploded. He left a family desolate in California and a little girl alive in Baghdad.” “There are plenty of other stars in the American firmament. The policemen and women who go off on patrol in South Central and have no idea if they will return alive. The orderlies and paramedics who bring in people who have been in terrible accidents and prepare them for surgery. The teachers and nurses who throw their whole spirits into caring for autistic children. The kind men and women who work in hospices and in cancer wards. Think of each and every fireman who was running up the stairs at the World Trade Center as the towers began to collapse. Now you have my idea of a real hero.” “I came to realize that life lived to help others is the only one that matters and that it is my duty, in return for the lavish life God has devolved upon me, to help others He has placed in my path. This is my highest and best use as a human.” Happy Veterans’ Day to all!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Deployment Care Package

My best friend here said goodbye to her husband just a few days ago, as he left for his deployment. She seems to be hanging in there, but I know that these first few days will be especially tough for her. So, I did the only thing I know to do in times like these: I made a deployment care package. Except this one is not going overseas. I made one just for her. (Although we will send her husband some care packages as well, as soon as we get his address.)

I call it a deployment survival kit. It includes: some nail polish, chocolate (of course!), a chick flick, popcorn, some mini bottles of wine, tissues, and stationery.

I’m not sure if this will make her feel better, but it was a nice chance for me to spoil a great friend. And is there ever not a good reason to buy chocolate?

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Husband and I recently took a picture that’s been 5 years in the making. In almost every unit that we’ve been in, they let families/couples take pictures in front of the jet for Christmas cards or family photos. And every year since we’ve known each other, there’s been some reason why we couldn’t have our picture taken. One year we found out about it after the fact, a couple years Husband was away for training, and last year I was out of town for work. Every year when we’d get Christmas cards from other military friends smiling in their token picture in front of the jet, I was so envious. Finally, this year we got our picture! I know Husband wasn’t excited about it, since it involved three things that normally don’t appeal to him: 1) smiling (nicely) for photos, 2) going into work on a day off, and 3) being the focus of attention. He was a good sport about it, though. I’m not sure how the pictures turned out, but I’m certain I know who had the biggest smile in the picture.