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November 2008
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January 2009

Christmas comforts

    I'm comfortably ensconced in one of our (slightly battered) kitchen chairs, enjoying some random chit-chat with Luke while we eat our lunch and watch the snow fall outside.  My lunch is nothing more than a big slice of fresh, homemade bread, still steaming hot and covered in melting butter.  Oh, I know all the diet gurus just began hyperventilating (the carbs!  the fat!), but you know what?  I don't care.  It's Christmas time, and one of the things I love about this time of year is the opportunity for a little seasonal self-indulgence.
    Now, you need to understand that I'm not talking about all-out gluttony.  What I'm referring to is taking a little time to relax and enjoy some of the things that bring us pleasure, without any guilt.  I'm not going to chug down eggnog and cookies until I look like Shamu and feel like a stopped-up volcano, but neither am I going to nibble celery on Christmas Eve!  I love going to my mom's house over the holidays and sneaking a cookie from the tray in the kitchen now and then, or enjoying some of her homemade pralines.  Are they good for me?  Probably not, in the strictest sense.  Are they just plain good?  OH, you better believe it! 
    Christmas is a very multi-layered holiday for me.  First and foremost, of course, is Jesus' birth - the true "reason for the season".   If you have any questions about that, just read the first chapter or so of the Gospel of Luke.  Pretty amazing stuff!  In addition to that, though, Christmas is time for family and friends; time to laugh and talk and play games and just enjoy each other's company; time to relax and allow ourselves to appreciate all the blessings in our lives.  And frankly, I consider my mom's cooking a huge blessing!  So at this time of year, I don't allow myself to feel guilty about the cookies I eat.  Instead, I enjoy them and am grateful for them (especially for the fact that I didn't have to bake them all!).  And I think that's as it should be. 
    You know, "joy to the world" isn't just about church and religion and all that.  It's about life, in every area; what we eat and drink and watch and listen to, where we go and what we do.  I believe God wants us to find joy in all of it - everything He's given us.  Even cookies.  So this Christmas, don't feel bad about that extra cookie or praline; just be grateful for the little joys in life!  I know I am. 

Blogger MIA!

    I am a bad blogger.  A very, very baaaaad blogger.  I can't believe I've gone this long without posting.   I am getting coal in my bloggy stocking for Christmas, for sure! 
    I can't say that I have any real reason, other than the usual holiday craziness, for not writing.  Several times I've begun a post, only to delete it after several fruitless attempts to come up with something interesting.  I know it's shocking, but I just don't have a very thrilling life!  A good life, yes; a full and satisfying life, most certainly; but thrilling?  Not so much. 
    Anyway, we are in full-on Christmas mode around here and lovin' it!  The trees have been up for several weeks now, the stockings are hung, all the decorations are out to be enjoyed....and yes, I did say "trees", plural.  One upstairs, one downstairs, and the kids each have one of  the little 3-footers in their rooms.  What can I say?  We're Christmas junkies!  My family loves everything about Christmas.  In fact, it has happened in the past that Jon and I have been up before the kids on Christmas morning!  (I worry that we aren't raising them right....what kind of kid sleeps in on Christmas?  Maybe they were sick that year and I just don't remember....) All the gifts are wrapped and under the tree, I've been baking cookies (talk about a Christmas miracle!) and tonight I'm going caroling with some folks from church.  How much better can it get?
    Just to top things off, we got about a foot of snow yesterday, so we are really living in a "winter wonderland".  The kids have been having a blast sledding and building snow forts.  Earlier I looked out and Zeus, our monster puppy, was pulling the kids down the hill on the sled.  Of course, when they all tumbled off, he took off running with the sled!  He's really funny - the first day it snowed, he was so confused.  You could just see it in his face: "What's all this stuff?  I don't remember this being outside!"  He got into it pretty quickly, though, and now he and Shyla romp and roll and have all sorts of fun out there. 
    I'm really looking forward to having Jon home for two whole weeks over the holidays, too.  His work schedule is pretty intense - partially because of the commute,partially just because of the nature of his job -  so it'll be nice to just hang out and relax.  We're going to spend some time with family, of course, but we're also going to just hunker down here at home some and chill.  Yay!
    So that's what has been going on in Casa Grouchy Mom.  Like I said, nothing thrilling, but we're pretty happy.  And isn't that what we all want?