Everyday Tidbits...

Be Kind. Do Good. Love is a Verb.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Weekend Reflections 12/16

Looking outside...it's clear and cold. But the sun is shining. It's currently 23. We had our first snowfall last night. 

Listening...to silence. The Doctor is seeing patients this morning. The Boy is on the couch under a blanket. The Artist is still asleep.

Loving...Yesterday was my birthday. The Doctor and I drove up to McCall to get a burger at our favorite little restaurant. Yes, we drive 2 hours just to get a burger at My Father's Place. But, you have to understand. These burgers are delicious and McCall is our happy place.

We love the drive up. The winding road through the mountains. The river that runs along the road. We love the drive and we talk and plan and share and just enjoy being together.

Yesterday, the drive was snowy. The trees were gorgeous. The river that we rafted this summer was full of ice. It was beautiful. 

Thinking...that I am blessed.

In my kitchen...Crio Bru. But, I ran out of Sugar-Free Caramel Syrup last night, so I need to pick up some more. Tonight, we're grilling burgers, because...Snow BBQ!

Wearing...fuzzy yellow minion jammies, black turtleneck and black slippers.

Reading...Let's just not talk about it. I've become a book blogger who doesn't read books.

Today...I am working on bills.

Quoting...“The secret of Christmas is not the things you do, at Christmas time. But the Christmas things you all year through." -- The Secret of Christmas, sung by SHeDAISY

Feeling...tired, but surprisingly content. Epiphanies are amazing. Not always easy to acknowledge, but amazing nonetheless. Understanding yourself and why you have specific or limiting beliefs is key to moving forward and becoming better. I am a far from perfect person and I say and do things I regret. But, life is a journey and I am realizing that progress only comes when you are willing to accept the need to be discerning about yourself.

Planning...this week. I think I have most of the Christmas shopping finished. Thank goodness for online orders. I need to finish the quilt I'm making, but the fabric I need is delayed by weather and won't arrive until Monday.

Gratitude...for the good things that social media brings. The main reason I stay on Facebook is because it allows me to connect with friends and family who live away from me. Yesterday, it was so fun to read the birthday wishes from people I love.

From my world... 

I may be a book blogger who isn't reading books right now, but that didn't stop me from finding a book ornament and putting it on our tree.

What about you? What are you reflecting on this week? How has your week gone?

Thursday, December 14, 2017

#CoverCrush: Christmas Oranges

I will freely admit that I judge books by their covers. The cover is usually what first captures my attention when browsing Goodreads or Netgalley. Actually, in all honesty, it isn't just usually, it's pretty much all the time. The cover determines if I look at the synopsis and reviews.

One of our family's Christmas traditions is that we read stories on Christmas Eve. Everyone shares a favorite story or two. We did this when I was a girl and as a result, I have collected Christmas books. Each year my mother gives my sisters and me a new Christmas book. So, when I begin decorating for Christmas, that big box of books comes out and replaces the traditional books on my living room shelf for the month.

One of my favorite stories is Christmas Oranges. It is a beautiful story of kindness. I can't read it without crying.

And this image, perfectly captures Rose's longing for the sweet magic of Christmas.

What about you? Any book covers capture your attention this week?

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Flashlight Commentary. If you want to check out some other terrific bloggers and what their Cover Crush posts look like, you can do that here: The Maiden's Court, Flashlight Commentary, A Bookaholic SwedeLayered PagesA Literary VacationOf Quills and Vellum.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Saturday, December 9, 2017

#WeekendReflections 12/9

Looking outside...it's cloudy and cold. It's currently 22.

Listening...to Christmas music. The Doctor is home from seeing patients. The boys are up and about. We talk and laugh a lot. I love it.

Loving...Thursday and Friday evening, the Artist participated in the Theater Showcase at school. All of the theater students presented the projects they had worked on this year for district competition. The Artist did set design, an ensemble piece which was a scene from the musical Chicago and a pantomime. 

I loved watching him on stage. His solo pantomime is amazing. And his ensemble scene was awesome. I love observing him with his friends and peers. He has made good friends at school and more in his theater classes. It has been a joy watching him overcome some of his natural trepidation in performing. 

Thursday night after his pantomime performance and after the show was over, he was so hyped and excited. It was a delight to see. And I am so impressed with all of these kids. Seriously. there are some talented students and some truly fantastic pieces performed.

Thinking...that I really need to get my Christmas shopping done/ordered/wrapped.

In my kitchen...Crio Bru. They have a peppermint flavor that is amazing, especially if you add a Dark Chocolate Peppermint Truffle to it... Not sure about dinner. 

Wearing...fuzzy yellow minion jammies, black turtleneck and black slippers.

Reading...Let's just not talk about it.

Today...I am working on a handmade Christmas gift and paying bills. The Artist is going with Grandma and his cousins to buy a toy for Toys for Tots. Each year, she takes the grandchildren to the store and gives them each a set amount of money to buy a gift and then they give it to the very nice Marines who are standing at attention near the donation boxes. The Artist loves doing it. The Boy is working this afternoon/evening. The Doctor is at the office, but we have office business to do this afternoon.

Quoting...“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.” ― Bruce Lee

Feeling...tired. Still weary, but working through issues of my own.

I have decided that expectations suck. We all have expectations. You can deny it all you want, but you have them. I have them. We expect people to behave in certain ways. We expect our children to do specific things. We plan activities or events and we expect that they will follow a precise pattern. And then, when those expectations are not met, we are angry. It's hard to let perceived slights go. We lash out. We hold grudges. We get feelings hurt.

Do me a favor the next time some of your expectations aren't met. Ask yourself why you are reacting the way you are. It's unlikely that the person who didn't meet your expectations did something heinous. They just did something that you didn't want or anticipate. But did they even know that you had assigned an expectation to the event or their behavior? Probably not. So ask yourself why you're so annoyed and then let it go. I'm trying to do that and it's difficult. But I am learning that finding the Why in anything is important. I have my husband to thank for that. He has an amazing way of helping me shift perspective.

I don't think there is a person alive who doesn't have some kind of personal or emotional issue to work through. Everyone has them. Every family has them. There are no perfect people. There are no perfect families. No matter what people portray on social media or on Sunday at church. Trust me. No one's life is perfect. 

Someone's trials might seem petty or trite compared to your own, but to them? Those trials might be overwhelming. And you probably don't know the depths of their struggles. You're just on the outside looking at what might be the fragile pieces of their sanity, still holding together a shell of calm, despite the fractures that keep appearing in it. So if they didn't meet your expectation? Step back and give them the benefit of probably having a good reason. Like I said, I've been trying to do that more. Sometimes the self-reflection that follows isn't always comfortable.

Have we become so selfish that we think everything is about us? A post on Facebook by a friend or acquaintance suddenly seems like a personal attack. When, in reality? It's just something that person posted. A thought or experience that radiated with them. It has nothing to do with you. If you think it does or it resonates with you, ask yourself, "Why?" and reflect. You might not like what you see, but hopefully you will learn something from it and gain a better understanding of someone else. And, you don't have to comment on any post you disagree with. Did you know that? You can move past it. Try it some time. It's not easy. I actually did it yesterday, because I realized that the reaction I had to a comment I made, was my own and the person replying wasn't directing anything towards me. But, it's not easy.

If you invite someone to an event, don't be offended if they don't come. It's likely not about you. They may have another commitment; they may just need a break; they may just not want to be around other people. Accept that they have the right to do that and move on. 

And if you're concerned or really want to know why, just ask. Don't assume. I assume way too much and it's never a good thing.

And these weekend reflections? These are my rambles. My thoughts. They help me work through issues or ideas or thoughts I am having. If you see something in them that resonated with you, ask yourself, "Why?" And then reflect and you may gain a better understanding of yourself or compassion for someone else.

Planning...this week. Christmas seems early this year. I've struggled in finding my Christmas spirit, but I love that my boys have it.

Gratitude...for a wise husband, who through his own struggles and learning has gained wisdom and knowledge that he shares as he counsels and helps others.

From my world... 

Hoar Frost is surreal to see at a distance, but absolutely beautiful up close.

What about you? What are you reflecting on this week? How has your week gone?