Letter to the future

Dear 2010,

Be nice.

No, seriously. Be nice. Your predecessor, 2009? Talk about your evil woman! I say good riddance to her. Don’t let the champagne cork hit you when you go.

I should be fair and admit 2009 had its good aspects. One of which was my laying the groundwork for the future professionally. And within that, I know in my heart that you, 2010, will be successful.

It has to be, and thus will be.

I don’t make New Years resolutions. I choose to make resolutions throughout the year, and personally I feel like making a New Years resolution is setting yourself up to fail at those goals. Because its hard to take goal seriously when its made because you feel like you should make it, versus making the goal at a time you are prepared mentally to truly succeed in that particular goal.

I do, however, choose to look to the new year with an unspecific and broad feeling of hope and determination.I’m going into the new year with a positive outlook on it. Stress and worry and pessimism be gone! Determination and activism and optimism enter!

So, you see, 2010… you really have no choice but to be nice. I will accept nothing less of you. I allowed 2009 to dictate me too much. And, as a result, 2010, I am taking over as boss. And you WILL be better, and you WILL be successful.

I will welcome you with open arms at the stroke of midnight with my husband and family and friends. And I will be very glad to see you. Welcome to 2010…

– Me

Weekly Winners (Dec. 20 – 26)

Christmas arrived and has passed… wonderful memories, wonderful times. One last Christmas-heavy Weekly Winners post. For more Weekly Winners, go visit Sarcastic Mom. You’ll be glad you did!

Traveling to Texas from Nashville... heading West into the sunset.
Traveling to Texas from Nashville... heading West into the sunset.

Christmas Lights
Christmas Lights

Gifted
Gifted

Ornamental reflection
Ornamental reflection

Candy cane hot chocolate
Candy cane hot chocolate

Tillamook cheese tray
Tillamook cheese tray

Peace in Christmas lights at BLORA
Peace in Christmas lights at BLORA

Nativity
Nativity

Texas tree top
Texas tree top

All of my photos on Flickr.

Christmas in my heart

Family -- Christmas 2009
Family -- Christmas 2009

Last Christmas, I wrote about there being “No price to the holidays.” This year, it felt like all I saw leading up to Christmas was dollar signs… the cost of living had me down in the dumps and stressed. It seemed like we were on this strange teeter-totter; once I’d be up, something would come out of no where to bring me back down.

Then… we began our trip towards family and a much-needed reprieve from everyday life. And, frankly, our bad luck followed us. In little ways — slamming my finger in a car door, my husband spilling hot coffee on himself — bad luck began to become funny. My attitude began to change, and I began to see the humor in almost every situation.

I also began reminiscing.

See, I’ve started this Christmas blog entry at least ten times in my mind over the course of the last two weeks. A dozen different angles. Hundreds of little stories and memories. All of which so precious. All of which deserve an entry to themselves.

My nephew made a video for a class project, and he gave us all a copy of it. “What Christmas means to me” is a gift I’m going to cherish forever… he did a great job on it, and as I sit here it makes me think… what would I say if I did such a project.

At around his age (ok, maybe more around my niece’s age), my answer would consist of stories about going to Grandma’s house with the whole family. It would talk about our “Christmas Program” in which the family gathered in the living room to sing songs, recite poems and read Christmas stories. I’d talk about Happy Birthday Baby Jesus cake, family photos, and lighting candles on the tree in order of grandchild’s age.

I’d talk about Children’s mass at church on Christmas Eve, where I’d sing in the children’s choir and Mom and my brother would be in the adult choir — complete with songs in Czech! I’d talk about how I never got to carry any of the main pieces of the nativity in during procession. Always either a donkey or a cow… no offense to the animals, but as a child you want Jesus, Mary or Joseph… or an angel… or at least a shepherd!

Finally, I would talk about Christmas morning and the wide-eyed wonder of Santa having come leave gifts over night. There were Barbies and Baby-Sitter’s Club Books. Board games and new jeans. Living in Texas, it wasn’t unusual to be warm enough to go outside and play in the afternoon. Or perhaps we’d go visit my Grandpa in Bryan.

Christmas would mean to me family, church, good food, and presents.

Today, my entry would look slightly different. So far, my husband and I have alternated Christmases with each other’s families. One year in Oregon, the next year in Texas. While both families have their own traditions, some things remain the same no matter where you are or how old you are… Christmas is still all about family, celebrating Jesus’ birth, good food, and presents — though today I am more into giving than receiving… Not that I don’t like receiving (new camera and an A&M Snuggie for the WIN!)… haha!

Ultimately, we should keep Christmas in our hearts year around. Its simply a magical time of year if only you’ll let it be so. Its a time of peace. Its a time of joy. Its a time of love. Its a time of hope. Its a time of faith…

Christmas means all these things to me.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas (or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or whatever you celebrate)… May the joy of this season carry us into the new year.