Friday, December 31, 2010

Welcome, 2011!

It’s no secret that I’m a type-A person who just adores making lists and goals. Usually I agonize about what resolutions to make, as I wrestle with a long list of challenging things I want to accomplish. But, this year, I’m taking a different approach. I’ve slowly come to realize that some of the best things in my life that have happened were not things that I methodically planned and listed as a goal. They were things that happened to me without my doing at all, like meeting my husband, making great friends, getting to see family, and having opportunities to serve in the community. This year I’m going to be open to what the year has in store for me. It’s probably a good thing because this year already holds so many things that will be out of my control: where and when we move, when the house will sell, what I’ll do at our new location, etc. It’s a little scary, but also incredibly exciting. Happy 2011!

Farewell, Christmas

I think this was one of the best Christmas holidays I’ve ever had. It had everything that makes a Christmas complete: family, too much good food, an annual viewing of A Christmas Story, laughter, and a beautiful morning at church. It also had an excessive amount of presents, which was completely unnecessary but still appreciated. (Example: I have not been able to go more than a few hours without holding my Kindle in my hands.) We took down our Christmas decorations yesterday, even though it made me sad. And my parents left this morning. I told Husband this morning, “I’m sad that the visit is over!” He wisely said, “Well, that’s a good thing because it means it you had a good time.” It was a good time, indeed. Goodbye, Christmas 2010!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Adam

Husband informed me, while we were dating, that December 23rd is Christmas Adam. “What??” I asked him. He explained that if December 24th is Christmas Eve, then he decided that December 23rd was Christmas Adam. As in, Adam and Eve. I’m not sure if he came up with this clever naming on his own, but I like that the day before the day before Christmas gets its own name. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas Adam and Eve. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy Birthday, Grandma

Today is my grandma’s birthday. She passed away many years ago, and I’m always sad that our time together was so short. But, I remember her very fondly, especially today.
My grandma lived several states away from us, so going to see her was always a fun and exciting adventure.
I remember once we arrived at her house earlier than we expected. I ran up to her in the yard, and before I could say anything, she said, “I have a granddaughter that looks just like you!” I giggled and said, “It’s me, grandma!” She hugged me and said, "Well, bless your heart." My grandma had trouble seeing later in her life, so to this day, I’m not sure if she truly didn’t recognize me at first, or if she was just trying to make me laugh.
She had a huge collection of salt and pepper shakers in her dining room, displayed on several glass shelves. Every time we visited, I loved looking at them and admiring all the different shapes and sizes.
I inherited one set of her salt and pepper shakers, which I’ve displayed in the kitchen of every place I’ve lived. It’s one of my most treasured possessions. In fact, when we hosted the party for Husband’s (ahem) high-spirited military co-workers, the salt and pepper shaker set was the only thing that I thought was important enough to put in a safe place before the party.
I also inherited my grandma’s hair, or at least family members that have told me that my hair is a little bit wavy like my grandma’s. Even when I have a bad hair day (or decade), the one consolation is that I have something of my grandma.
My grandma is my kindred spirit, too. It just so happens that my grandma got married in a place thousands of miles away from her hometown before my grandfather went off to war. And coincidentally, I met Husband in that very same town, where neither of us are from, but happened to be at the time. And, Husband and I have almost an identical wedding anniversary as my grandparents: we got married the day after they did many years later.
I know my mom has expressed her appreciation over the years at how welcoming my grandma was when my mom married my dad. My mom was of a different religion from my grandma, and my grandma told her that there are many different paths to heaven.
I remember that she was always impeccably dressed, wearing a nice dress and jewelry every day, even if she wasn’t going anywhere special.
I remember that she liked watching Dallas. I wonder what she would be watching today.
She must have been an early riser. One time when she visited us, she was up and dressed, sitting quietly in our living room before everyone else. Except that she had accidentally set off the motion detector of our alarm system. I remember my parents frantically running around the house in their pajamas, trying to turn off the alarm that, by that point, was blaring outside throughout the neighborhood. “What’s going on?” she asked. She happened to be hard of hearing and had no idea that she had set off the alarm.
My grandma wore false teeth, and I was fascinated by her nighttime routine of taking them out. Before I was old enough to know what was impolite to say, I told her once after seeing her without teeth, “Grandma, you look like a frog!” Instead of being offended, she just laughed and squeezed me tight, saying, “I love you a million.”
To the woman who I love and admire, I wish her a happy birthday. I love you a million.

Friday, December 17, 2010


This has been a fairly long and tiring week. But, by far, my favorite thing this week was going to the airport to greet one of Husband’s friends, who just got back from his deployment. We brought him some balloons and even a couple of cold beers. Before we left for the airport, I told myself, “Don’t forget the camera….don’t forget the camera…don’t forget the camera.” And you know what? I forgot the camera. Thankfully, another lady brought hers, and she captured the sweetest scene of my friend running up to greet her husband and hugging him tight. It brought tears to my eyes. And it was the perfect reminder that what is important isn’t what’s under our tree, but who is around our tree, especially if you’re lucky enough like me to have your loved one home this year. And maybe, just maybe, at some point this season, I’ll remember to have the camera ready.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Landscaping?

Is it me or does our landscaping sort of resemble Christmas holly?
I can’t tell if it really does, or if I just have Christmas on the brain after a weekend of seeing the Nutcracker, admiring Christmas lights in our neighborhood, and enjoying our Christmas tree.
Either way, I know our little plants have come a long way since they were eaten alive by deer after we first planted them. And the fact that I haven't killed them yet is a Christmas miracle!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Happy St. Nick's Day

As I get older, I become more thankful for the traditions that my parents did when I was a kid. One of my favorites was celebrating St. Nick’s Day, which is on December 6th. We’d leave out our shoes the night before (December 5th), and there would be a treat from St. Nick in our shoes in the morning. I’m continuing this tradition this year with Husband. I wrapped some candy (Butterfinger minis and a box of Raisinets) and put them in the only shoes that I knew for sure he’d see before work: his flight boots. This link has more information on the actual holiday. (I was pleasantly relieved to see that the holiday really exists and wasn’t just something my family dreamed up as an excuse to have more candy.) Happy St. Nick’s Day!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Roger that

It’s been 3 years since I got out of the military. Even though I work in a civilian job now, the military lingo hasn’t left me. Yesterday I sent an e-mail to a colleague that I’ve never met telling her about a problem and asking her a question. She wrote back, saying that she wasn’t sure. Then she closed the e-mail with the words that tugged at my military heart, “Roger, we’ll have to look into that.” My mind raced at first, wondering if she had been in the military or maybe was a military wife, too. Then I looked at the cc line of the e-mail and noticed she had sent the e-mail to a man named Roger. Roger that, she’s not military.