Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday Favorites

I've really fallen out of the loop with Friday's Fave Five.  I don't know why, since it's one of my favorite blogging things to do.  Without further ado, here are some moments of gratitude that came my way this week:

1. After frigid temps last earlier this week, today it was near 60 degrees outside.  It was so nice to shed my coat and enjoy the warmth.

2.  I've mentioned before that the office I work in has two therapy dogs.  One of our dogs, a golden retriever who retired a few months ago, passed away last week.  He was such a gift to so many children, as he worked side by side with the therapist who counseled them.  I was touched over and over by how pure children are in expressing their feelings.  One little boy threw his arms around our therapist and hugged her, telling her to "it's okay to cry."  They came with notes and hand-drawn pictures and cards, throughout the week.  Such big hearts inside these little ones.

3.  On a lighter note, I mentioned to my husband one day how nice it would be to have some extra storage space for all the jars of spices I've accumulated.  By the end of the week, he'd installed a spice rack inside one of the cabinet doors.  With it and the drawer below, I have tons of space.  What a great guy!

4.  Gas at $1.57 a gallon!  Our grocery store gives points for every dollar you spend, and I redeemed a bucket load yesterday -- saved a dollar a gallon.  I almost did cartwheels when I filled the tank for $25!!

5.  A real letter in the mail.  It brightened my day:)

Susanne hosts Friday Fave Five every week.  Here's the link if you would like to join in.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

My new favorite scarf

A package arrived in the mail today!   So exciting. . . for months I've been admiring the handiwork of this lady.

I got some gift money for Christmas and decided to splurge and treat myself to one of her creations. . .a bamboo silk 'obsession scarf'.   Look at the darling card that came with it.  It's like another present:)

You know I'm excited about sharing this when I take a photo of myself (funny how, no matter how many pictures I take, some old lady keeps jumping in front of the camera lens) and post it on my blog!  But just look at how pretty this is. . . and there are more on Claudia's Etsy page.  Mine is Lake Blue.  But you can order any color you like.  And there are lots of other pretty scarves and wraps, too.

Thank you, Claudia

** edited to add:  I'm hooking up with "My Favorite Things" at Claudia's this week!  Such a fun meme!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Heavenly Peace

We finished taking our Christmas decorations down this weekend.  It was an all-day job, taking the ornaments off two trees, wrapping them in tissue, taking the trees down.  Putting away the rest of the knick-knacks (I put some things away last week), taking down the cards from friends, vacuuming up all those fake pine needles.

It feels good to have everything back to 'normal.'  However, the one thing about Christmas that I have a hard time letting go of is the music.  That may sound strange in a day when radio stations and stores start playing Christmas music before Thanksgiving.  And I am pretty sick of the snappier Jingle Bells, everyone and their uncle's rendition of Santa Claus is Coming to Town, and I could go my whole life without ever hearing Santa Baby again.

But, the real Christmas songs, the hymns, are the ones I never tire of.  Last week I was driving home from work and it was already dark outside.  A few houses still had Christmas lights on and their Christmas trees glowed in the windows.  From the DVD player in my car, strains of What Child Is This sung by Vince Gill, filled the car.

I thought of what it must have been like for Mary in the weeks following Jesus' birth.  When the hubbub in Bethlehem had died down, what was it like in the months that followed?  Scripture doesn't give us any details about how long the Holy Family remained in Bethlehem, and scholars have a variety of theories about it.  But, regardless of where they were, I imagine that for Mary the time with her newborn was spent much like it is for most mothers.  Cradling him in her arms, in awe of the miracle of his birth.  Feeling his warmth and smelling the sweetness of his head.  Singing him lullabies that, to our own ears, might sound much like Silent Night or Away In A Manger.  

I think back to the times when my kids were newborns and being with them in the middle of the night was my favorite time.  The quiet of the house, the absence of any kind of distraction, it was just me and my baby, and nothing else in the world mattered.  After the rush of Christmas, when things calm down and everyone around me goes back to a normal routine. . . that's when the songs of Christmas really speak to me.  I appreciate the peace that they bring.