I woke up REALLY blue today. The sky was gorgeous (and blue), the sun reflecting off the neighbors’ white house shone brightly in my west facing window and the red maple in the neighbor’s yard that refuses to drop it’s vibrant leaves shimmered in the sunshine amid the evergreens behind it – even without snow, it felt like it was a Christmasy morning that I should be singing and decorating in.
But I can’t. Not this year. And it’s SO difficult for me. I feel like my heart is overly heavy with the desire to build memories with my children, to be intentionally creating opportunities for them to find JOY as this is the FIRST Christmas together that we all share the same last name. And I can’t bake. Can’t decorate. Can’t go out to shop for mittens and socks.
So, after feeling depressed all morning and sleeping the day away, Ken woke me around lunch time and brought me a fresh cuppa and I pulled out my iPhone with YouVersion and started practicing writing out my Hiding His Word verses. Spirit. Flesh. Spirit is life and peace. Flesh is sin and death. Life. Death. Life. Life. Life.
I had a tasty lunch and then after sharing my blue feeling on facebook, received a few messages from friends who were also feeling blue and realized how blessed I am. Back to those One Thousand Gifts! A little girl with curly blonde hair who checks on me very often (even when the other kids are engrossed in movies on apple tv) to snuggle right up to me and hold me tight and say “I loves you Mommy.” Of course, then she gets silly after a bit and she has to be shunned from the bed (I can’t handle jumping on the bed at this time). But who can resist a tight squeeze (even at this moment she’s trying to climb over my broken body and is saying over and over “I LOVE YOU!”).
Ken ran out for a minute and is coming back with a “Specialty Starbucks Drink” for me. If anyone who is ever interested in “my drink” it’s actually available all year round, but at Christmas time they put chocolate sprinkles on it. According to the Starbucks App, the correct way to order my favorite drink is: “Half Caf Grande 2-pump Mocha 2-pump Peppermint Chocolate Curls Caffé Mocha.” And yes, I realize it costs more than what most people in the world make in a week. It is a good thing I AM stuck in bed, we are saving a LOT of money because when I’m stuck driving around all day long, sometimes it’s the only thing I can find to keep me going until we get home (especially if it’s a skating day and Claire hasn’t had a nap).
Since most of my Christmas/Advent season is going to be me in bed, I would LOVE your suggestions on where YOU do your on-line shopping. I am in Canada but I am able to order things in the US (we keep a mailbox in the US so I can receive wedding invitations before wedding dates, magazines for half the price and awesome things from the US bloggers who sell on Etsy that I love).
I am working on a shopping cart right now at Nova Natural. I bought the girls’ kitchen there (gasp) 3 years ago, and it’s STILL the most played with toy in our collection – and at some point I might actually sand down some of the really marked up bits (uh, due to sharpies and a toddler) and oil it smooth – but even in it’s water-stained state, nothing is warped, and only once have I even thought about tightening a screw somewhere. It really holds up (and I don’t have kids easy on furniture).
I also ordered (and received) a re-useable (and multi-seasonal) Advent Wreath from “Caleb.” I was alerted to it while following Ann Voskamp’s blog A Holy Experience (Caleb is her son) after starting to read One Thousand Gifts (and yes, I have the iPhone App and use it daily).
I have ordered a few things from Etsy (Eye Love That, Blossom & Vine, Just Potters and working on my order for My Lovely Shop) I’m not elaborating in case someone sees! I’ve also commissioned a piece of artwork for a family member (which I will post after Christmas, I’m very excited about it, even though I haven’t seen it yet).
I have ordered extra copies of books to give away when I knew I’d love it because of the bloggers, tweeters and other people I’ve “met” through the Maximize Your Morning Challenge have raved and raved about them. And I’m creating a few little things on my own for a few people.
Where is your favorite place to buy books on-line? I don’t mean cheapest, I mean, do you have favorite INDEPENDENT BOOK SELLERS that you love who have a presence on-line? If I have to, I’ll hit Indigo/Amazon, but I want to support local and artisans (and both) if I can. I am going to have Ken pick up some things at the Regent Bookstore (of course) but there are a few things that my nieces want that I don’t think they carry. By the way, this year is the first year they’ve offered the Advent Reader as a PDF download. HIGHLY RECOMMEND! Even if you get it late (Advent started last Sunday) JUMP IN WHERE YOU ARE (an old Flylady exhortation).
One thing I am very interested in creating for one of my children (possibly two, although all four seem to have a flair for the dramatic) is a script/play book with easy text (one that the 5yo could memorize and the 7yo could read) so they could put on shows for us. To be honest, I’d prefer one PRE MADE if you have any suggestions! Teachers?
Finally, our little family decided when we suddenly became a family that three gifts per child would be our limit (plus the Santa Stocking, in my family Santa always brought the big gift, I think he’s downsizing now). My kindergarten and third grade teacher, Mrs. Schultz, always told us the Christmas story in her classroom and said they gave their children 3 gifts – like Jesus received 3 gifts from the wisemen. I always thought that was spectacular. Although I do wonder if I spend more time trying to decide what those gifts will be, they are usually worth the effort of planning (there have been some exceptions – oil paints in a rental being one).
I would love suggestions (comment, email, facebook or tweet me) for awesome gifts for the ages of my monkeys (and ages of all monkeys really, I have nieces and nephews from 4 months to 21 with kids of their own). I have a special Goddaughter who is going to be a big sister ANY MINUTE (I’m praying Jen) and a lot of friends and family that I just need to thank with some token of gratefulness.
ANY (all) suggestions are welcome!