christmas

A Picture Summary

The last few months of last year I was pretty much in survival mode. Here are the highlights of that time:

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Near the end of September, my grammy went to to be with the Lord. She was 90 years old, and I will forever be grateful that her decline, while it was a hell week, was only a week. This picture was taken just a couple weeks prior. I don’t think I’ll ever come to a stage where I don’t miss her.

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For my 30th birthday weekend the Courtneys came out, and we conquered corn mazes and it was a great time with friends.

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…And my big ‘finale’ to 30 before 30: going on the seaplane.

Shortly after the midget moved to Colorado to start new adventures. Which I could have sworn I had an artsy picture of packed boxes but apparently I do not. Also I got to meet my dear friend’s new baby in November, who is the most expressive little guy I’ve ever seen.

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Farewell 2013

The week between Christmas and New Years. Arguably one of the more awkward in the year. If you’re working or in school and you got back to work between those two holidays it always feels a little off. Like…but it was just Christmas…and I’ll only be here long enough to get back into the swing of things.

Unless of course you don’t work Wednesdays and then it just feels like you mentally skipped the holidays. Ahem, moving on.

In the busyness of Christmas week, I missed my Thursday update. Last week was especially crazy with midget and I driving 15 hours back from my grandparents, then work, then Christmas, then work, then a tea party.

This time of my life I have blessed with absorbing a ton of good teaching. There is no other way I can think to describe it other than absorbing. I have opportunities to plug in and listen to multiple sermons on podcast a week, there are daily emails filling my inbox with church and hymn history and blog entries not afraid to tackle deep truths and controversial issues. And that isn’t even saying church Sunday morning, spiritually deep music, or that theology book I just finished. It struck me last week, that as wonderful as sitting like a sponge and soaking in everything I can– if that is all I’m doing, then I’m missing the point.

I remember a Sunday School teacher, years (and years) ago giving the example of the reason the Dead Sea is dead is because everything flows into and nothing flows out. Later in life, a Bible college professor said how you needed to fill your cistern of knowledge, but it needed to be flowing through you.

I want to make it a point to share what I know, not that I will be saying anything new, but to share what I’ve learned. This seems to be as good a place as any to start!

….that’s not to say there won’t be a good amount of Doctor Who and Hobbit posts on this blog in 2014 as well.

Working on a Holiday

This morning I woke up, earlier than I would have liked, fed my turtles and dogs and went out front to scrape the ice off my car. This was followed by driving into the office and being one of the two people who were in the entire office. Which was eerie. My participation in Black Friday was limited to two books I just downloaded onto my Kindle.

So much has been said on how Black Friday is unfair to employees, because now Black Friday starts on Thursday! And that should be reserved for time with family and stores should not be open! Personally, I’ve only worked in retail for two weeks in my life. (It was a third job and it didn’t end up working out with my schedule with my other jobs). I’ve never worked a Black Friday, or even with the public over Christmas time. For which I am grateful, but that’s not what I want to write on this evening.

Wednesday evening I drove my mom to the grocery store. I was expecting chaos, and I was not disappointed. The lines were long as people were getting last minute items for their Thanksgiving celebrations. I stood in line and the check out lady greeted every single person with a genuine big smile, a ‘did you find everything you needed?’ and then, still with a genuine smile, ‘we’re open tomorrow if you’ve missed something! I always end up forgetting something.’ I have no idea if this lady was working on the holiday, but her cheerful attitude was the highlight of my otherwise stressful day.

Upon moving in December a few years ago, we ended up going to Shari’s for Christmas dinner. They had been so busy that they were running out of clean silverware. Every waitress and waiter we encountered, while very busy, treated everyone around them as if making sure they had a good Christmas was the most important part of their day. If anyone there that day had not wanted to be working on Christmas, they were doing an excellent job hiding it.

My grandpa had a stroke this week, and the normal Thanksgiving dinner that my grandma would have prepared did not happen. My immediate family couldn’t be there, but the normal gang ended up going out for Thanksgiving dinner.

I wanted to write to those of you out there who work on the holidays and say thank you. Thank you for greeting us with a smile, thank you for going out of your way to help us have a as-normal-as-possible Thanksgiving or Christmas.