What’s on your must-read list for 2019?Continue reading
Writing my grandparents story dominated my creative energy over the past few months. Consequently, the chronicles of my life adventures in this space have taken a back seat.
When I joined the Foothills Voices writing project, I had no clue what my topic would be. I only knew that I love writing and Appalachia. A class joining the two seemed to be a no-brainer.
Between the research and writing itself, I’ve not had as much time to devote to other reading and writing. Now that I’m close to publication, I have a bit of room to breathe and catch up on the fun and randomness happening around these parts, present day.
Jay and I decorated our newest overnight rental cabin for Christmas. My niece helped us put up the Christmas tree at our home on Sunday. My perfectionism kicks in and paralyzes me when the spacing of ornaments (and colors, textures, lights) are not just so. And of course, they never are.
My niece reminds me to zoom out and see the bigger picture. I tried to put that into practice as I decorated Poolin’ Around. Hopefully, our efforts will be appreciated by the families renting our place around the holidays.
I refuse to celebrate Christmas until after Thanksgiving. Books, movies, and music of the Christmas music have to wait until after Turkey-day. My one major exception to this rule is shopping. To me, that’s more of a chore than a celebration, so the sooner I can get that taken care of the better.
Mostly I like to wait on all things Christmas because once I start its all-Christmas all the time. If I were to start any earlier, I’d be burnt out before the big day arrived.
As I type, I have Christmas music playing through my computer speakers. I have a classical channel, one with standard-issue Christmas songs, and inspirational music.
The Kenny & Dolly album “Once Upon a Christmas” is a classing with my family, as is Alabama’s “Christmas.” My mother had both records and played them throughout our childhood. Now I own the CDs, and am thankful for the Spotify channels now that I no longer have a CD player in my car.
Jay and I are headed on vacation this weekend, so tomorrow I’ll be finishing up my packing. Heck – who am I kidding? Beyond creating a packing list on my iPad and browsing Pinterest for Winter capsule wardrobes, I haven’t started packing.
We’re heading north to Philadephia, Boston, New York City, and quiet a few tiny towns along the way. Traveling in December, my hope is that we’ll encounter plenty of snow. Of course I’m not the one who will have to drive in it, but I love the idea of walking the streets of the big city getting pelted.
I may try to do a few posts as we travel with updates, depending on Jay’s workload. I expect us to take a ton of pictures, and posting dozens at one time can be overwhelming. If he has to work while we’re on vacation, I try to come up with a fun distraction for myself.
In Avignon a few years ago, we stopped at a cafe for free WiFi. While Jay caught up on emails, I used Google translate to learn how to say “one more please” in French. If I caught myself becoming annoyed that he never truly is able to get away from business, I just smiled at the waitress, pointed at my champagne and said “encore un s’il-vous-plaît.”
I didn’t intend this to be a Christmas themed post, but I suppose that’s where I am right now. A whole week of Christmas, and its not even December yet!
Do you have a holiday celebrating strategy? Or are you more laid back? Have you started your shopping? Finished your Christmas cards? I’d love to catch up with you in the comments.
In the span of one day, I both started and abandoned at audiobook on developing poise in one’s life. In a month devoted to writing on the topic of finishing, it might seem odd that I’m sharing about giving up. Actually, a vital part of seeing a project to the end is not getting derailed by side projects or ideas which don’t relate back to the original goal. Continue reading
I never get tired of telling the story of the first time we met in person! Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!!
On this, our 100th monthiverary, I wanted to re-share our first date story. I can’t begin to express how much I love that this specially milestone also falls on the ever-lucky Friday the 13th.
Jay and I had decided via MySpace messaging that we would meet on Friday the 13th of October at Johnny Carino’s. When I got home from work that day, I started getting ready. I had selected a pink corduroy blazer and a tan camisole. Unfortunately, my good booty jeans were dirty, so I had to go with a back up pair. I proceeded to straighten my hair and leave my apartment 30 minutes before I was supposed to meet up with him. I grabbed a book on the way out because I knew that it wouldn’t take me that long to get to the restaurant (which is about 10 minutes away), but I didn’t want to…
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This past week, Alexandra Kuykendall released her book”Loving My Actual Life: An Experiment in Relishing What’s Right in Front of Me.”
One of the things I love about MY actual life right now? Opportunities like this to be a member of a book launch team. I received an advanced copy of the book, and wanted to share some of the notes I made as I went through each chapter.
Each month, Kuykendall chose an aspect of life to focus on living with purpose. Following the description of her goal for the month, she writes daily notes logging how she experienced the heart of what she is trying to accomplish. Continue reading
Since the moment my feet hit the floor on January 1st, I’ve been geeking out about my 2016 planner. Even before that, I was legitimately bummed to not be able to start using it the moment in December I opened the shipment.
When considering what makes the holidays special, I think mostly about those which define Christmas for me and my family. Some have slowly fallen away, while others I am purposeful about keeping alive each year.
An icy day 5 years ago changed my dad’s life forever. A small act of heroism cost him his livelihood. In the moment life seemed unfair, and with each ripple I’m discovering that I am simultaneously right and wrong.
Rather than some grand gesture, my father’s story was an act of every day courage. He didn’t deliberately set out to be a hero, but rather showed up, did his job, and worked a small miracle for a stranger.
Since childhood, my holiday expectations have been built around family traditions. I’m sure this isn’t unique to me, but I am incredibly partial to our rituals.
For Thanksgiving, my aunt would bring a poster board and a marker. Each of us had to write what we were thanful for, then everyone would review the year’s wworth of blessings. I recall one year predicting “Fred Thompson will be president in 2000!” Understanding I’ve always lived a blessed life, I cannot recall while I failed to give thanks for something which had actually happened.
I also don’t know why she stopped bringing the poster board. Perhaps she grew weary of teenagers (and then twenty-somethings) mocking her festive attempts. This past year we were all grateful to get together, but never gave voice to our blessings.
Jay’s family never traditionally had ham for turkey day, but his mom added it into routation because I don’t eat turkey. She also takes special care to bring chocolate based desserts to satisfy my sweet tooth.
With each year, we melt slowly into a family. Not me & Jay, and my family and his, but rather all of us. Family.
I hope to write more in-depth in the weeks leading to Christmas. What are some holiday traditions you insist upon?
Linking up with Jaime for her Stream of Consciousness weekend gathering.
Welcome to my new blog home. I’m Brooke, the blogger formerly known as Frugal Trophy Wife. While I love the tongue-in-cheek nature of the name, I found that it really didn’t fit with the nature of my blogs.