Yesterday, in the wee hours of the morning, we had our own little Christmas, just the two of us. So...
1. The effort and consideration Jan Michael put into the most delightful stack of presents. He knows his girly, pink-and-pretty-things-loving, exercise-and-cooking- enthused wife very well, and I made out like a bandit. A bandit!! But - and we hear this truth over and over, don't we? - it's knowing how much time and thought he gave toward of all it that especially makes my heart light up.
2. The reaction of my ever young-at-heart husband when he opened his G.I. Joe Cobra H.I.S.S tank. This is at the very, very top of the very best things about this year's Christmas.
3. Our Christmas breakfast eaten on Christmas dishes and made, in part, with my new toaster oven :)
1. Country roads in between tiny towns on a sunny December day
2. Lunch with our Mama & our Gran, who were coming across the mountains so Grandma can spend Christmas with us. I think she'll be thoroughly worn out by the end of her visit - there tends to be, as you might imagine, a high level of exuberance when we're all together. We just keep her young, that's all :)
3. Water, and lots of it, for a gal who is determined not to get sick. Think again, dumb cold! You will not get me!
1. A big pile of Goodwill & craft store treasures, just waiting to be spun into crazy Christmas sweaters
2. Cinderella with Tessa at the 5th Avenue... The music! The singing! The sets! THE COSTUMES! THE WICKED STEPSISTERS!! Will you think I'm silly if I tell you I had goosebumps? Or that I still have goosebumps?! Please, if you have the opportunity, you must go! For days after, you will twirl around the living room, humming about pumpkins turning into coaches and impossible things happening every day :)
3. A new exercise DVD for my back end from the library... and a body that's able to do what I ask of it
2. Glitter and sparkles and color at the poinsettia festival with my friend Angela... Is it possible to have too many Christmas outings? I think not!
3. Number 3 is a tie between yakking with both our sis and youngest brother, and laughing until I almost cried when hearing about the crazy Christmas sweaters that will be on display on Sunday ... and my Jan Michael, who waited on me last night because I was a little off my feed. Let's hear it for a husband who will bring me my favorite cold-brewed green tea in my favorite mason jar and who will smooth my hair and hold my hand while I mewl and carry on about not feeling well :)
3. This precious baby, hearing his Mama's voice for the first time with the help of a cochlear implant:
1. The discovery of some pink, girly lotion that I'd forgotten all about
2. Easy-peasy Christmas treats, with pretzels, Hershey's kisses and red & green M&Ms: 3. A 3rd place finish at Tuesday night trivia; one of these Tuesdays we're going to shatter that 3rd place ceiling, you just wait!
1. Friends who are seeking to serve God and to do His will, and who encourage us in that direction; they are priceless.
2. A very nice man who was parked near me in the boondocks of the Costco parking lot and who offered to take my cart back to where it belonged. (This is not meant to take away from today's three good things, but going to Costco for milk & Jimmy Dean turkey sausage on a Sunday afternoon just 2 weeks before Christmas was not one of my better ideas. Please feel free to learn from my mistakes.)
3. "A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely." Roald Dahl
1. Witnessing Jan Michael's unabashed delight while we cruised down the toy aisles at Target. A husband who will try on an Optimus Prime mask and slash through the air with a Jedi light saber = just the right husband for me. We will not grow up, and we're kind of proud of it.
2. Lovely, quality time together while the Caramel Corn King whipped up 6 batches for a Christmas party tomorrow. It's a treat to be his helper :)
3. Our second Christmas card in the mailbox! Keep 'em coming, people!
1. The sun and the fog busted out a tag-team maneuver in the late afternoon, and driving through it was like moving through a golden, shimmery mist.
2. A Christmas outing with my friend Angela, which began with bundling up and wandering through this:
3. Snowflake Lane, the second star of the evening. Only very good things can come from toy soldiers drumming and elves dancing and snow falling!
1. A nap with the Mr.
2. Day six of The 30 Day Shred. It's getting easier!
3. A little bit of handygal work with a hammer & nails and lots of Christmas lights strung around our bedroom. And the very best part - sitting underneath all that twinkling color and listening to Jan Michael remember the Christmas (the BEST CHRISTMAS EVER! he says) when he received... the G.I. Joe Cobra H.I.S.S tank :)
Today's three good things coming soon! The day's not over yet!
2. A walk down the valley trail. I've zoomed down this trail hundreds of times for exercise, but the days I decide to meander around and really look at what I'm surrounded by are such treats. Slowing down for a little while is such a good thing. Today, my favorite parts were these: - The ducks, so many more than I've ever seen in the pond, and quacking to beat the band. One duck was especially exuberant, and sounded like a mix between a chicken clucking and a lady laughing, and it made me giggle out loud. - The people I shared the trail with, including a man with a white handlebar moustache who pedaled past on his bike, an elderly man with a red stocking hat and a cane who shuffled along and taught a very good lesson (without knowing it, I'm sure) about accomplishing things that aren't easy, and a not-quite-so-elderly couple who went strolling by, arm in arm. - The colors, which always amaze me, even in a season of dormancy and hibernation.
3. A bag of clothespins from the hardware store, some glittery scrapbook paper, and a fair amount of decoupage, which equals a fun, sparkly new way to display our Christmas cards. I like glittery, sparkly things!
1. A morning date with my friend Halcyon and her two sweet, spirited kiddos
2. A peppermint latte at a cozy Main Street coffee shop
3. This video, which is a crystal clear glimpse into what life will be like 30 years down the road. If you know Jan Michael, you know exactly what I'm talking about :)
3. Trimming our tiny tree while I tell stories of Christmases past. Jan Michael has listened to my growing-up stories 500 times over, but just today he told me again how much he likes to hear them. And that gives me a happy heart :)
I've been cross and out of sorts lately; it's ridiculous and unfounded.
To combat such rubbish, I'm invoking the find-at-least-3-good-things-everyday rule, taught to me years ago by my wise Mama. I am going to be very deliberate about it, and by it I'm going to whip myself into shape.
1. Foggy, gray December days - They help me to be quiet, somehow.
2. This, overheard at the grocery store -
Little boy: Knock, knock! Mom: Who's there? Little boy: Toilet! Mom: Don't say it! Don't you say it!! (This seemed too-little-too-late, as he'd already answered the knock, so to speak. Besides, I think it only fueled the fire for what came next, spoken with great conviction...) Little Boy: Toi-let!!
I laughed all the way down the coffee aisle :)
3. Every year I buy a silly, cheap Advent calendar; it's my first Christmas present to Jan Michael. I'm always excited to give it, and he's always happy to get it, and of our little Christmas traditions, it's one of my favorites.
4. Psalm 139. The whole thing is wonderful, but for now, just the first few verses:
1 O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. 2 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. 3 Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. 4 For there is not a word in my tongue, but lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether. 5 Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.
"Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow." ~Edward Sandford Martin "Thou hast given so much to me, Give one thing more, - a grateful heart; Not thankful when it pleaseth me, As if Thy blessings had spare days, But such a heart whose pulse may be Thy praise." ~George Herbert