It’s Thursday! But not just any Thursday, it’s Christmas Eve! In honor of Christmas (Eve), this week’s three is three things we do to celebrate Christmas each year.
1. Christmas Card. We may or may not have a long-standing tradition of ridiculous cards. Some years we get really into it, and it takes all sorts of prep work. This year it’s still a little ridiculous, but we cut out all the prep work and just grabbed a decent photo of us from earlier in the year (like normal people do). Here’s the family photo for 2015:
2. Christmas Tunes. We take Christmas songs one step further and record a song each year to share with friends and family. This year’s song came from Judy Garland’s version of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” which she sang in the movie, Meet Me In St. Louis.
3. Christmas jammies. Actually, this is a bit misleading. We don’t have elf tops or striped skinny bottoms, but we do typically spend most of Christmas day lounging around in pajamas. The time leading up to Christmas always seems to be a hectic and busy one, so we’ve always found it vital to soak up whatever rest is possible at the end of it before bringing in the New Year. We’re definitely looking forward to it this year!
You know what I find really annoying on blogs? When almost every post starts with the writer talking about how much they’ve neglected posting as often as they would like to and promise to get back in the swing of things soon. It distracts from the actual content of the post itself and frankly just gets old to read. Soo…I won’t do that to you. I know, isn’t that so sweet of me? I’ll just, uh, leave the meaning of this paragraph up to your own interpretation.
1. It’s what time of year? Every time I see something Christmas-y online or someone mentions Christmas, it seems like it must be a long way off or a long time ago. When it’s 70 degrees outside (seriously, my windows are open), it’s hard to imagine Christmas being a mere week away. I’m not sure if it is the weather or the blur of events this past year, but it all seems strange and out of place. Or maybe it’s just this guy who insisted we get a photo during dinner.
2. Do you ever have a practically perfect day? Because for me, Saturday came pretty close. At the last minute someone unexpectedly offered to cover for me at work and suddenly the day was wide open. It was the perfect mix of rest and recreation. After a slow morning, we went on a ten-mile bike ride, then went straight to rock climbing for an hour, and then came home to get ready for a night on the town with some dear friends for dinner, dessert, and a show. I enjoyed every element of a day well-spent.
3. Do you know what the best part about a trip is?Planning it. I think it is safe to say that I love to travel, but maybe if we get to the root of it, I really love to plan and dream. Studies show that the anticipation of a trip gives a big boost in happiness. Well, this year’s Christmas presents from family (yeah, I know it’s early, but they couldn’t keep it a secret) happen to include a few trips so my planning mode is in full effect.
Here’s my round-up of three things on Thursdays. Two weeks ago was a holiday, so I made sure to take time off from everything but food, football, family, and giving thanks (I tried so hard with the alliteration but alas). Last week simply got away from me, so this will just have to be three things to cover three weeks.
1. Productivity should not be your only measurement. I can get caught up in looking at my hours worked, my projects billed, and my to-do list items checked. While not everything can be considered productive, not everything you do should be. It may take some reminding, some discipline, and some grace, but we’ve done everything we can lately to take in moments of un-productive time for recreation, friendship, and music.
2. We’re thankful for so many things. Remember Thanksgiving two weeks ago? It’s crazy how quickly our society can go from a day of thanks to writing lists of stuff we want under the tree. But I’d rather hover over in being thankful. We have a good marriage, a welcoming home, some amazing friends, and a strong hope as we face different challenges that life is bound to bring. Everything might not be peachy, but I am still so grateful for these things.
3. Christmas will be little this year. Is that a foreshadowing into this year’s card/song? Or is it just the statement that everything is going to be pulled back/reined in/minimized? Maybe both. Christmas is something to look forward to and can bring many wonderful things, but sometimes it can get away from us. This will be a season of scaling back and removing as many pressures/expectations/obligations as possible to find peace and rest instead. We felt it only fitting to get the smallest tree in the lot to reflect said philosophy.
Hello to the Thursday Three! It’s been a good week of lots of fun things. I’ll just go ahead and tell you that this will be a photo heavy post, but I’m alright with it. We’ve been showing off Raleigh to my youngest sister for the week, which is a great excuse to visit all of our favorite places in the area. All I can say is, YUM FUN.
1. You are never too old to try something new. Right before my sister arrived we decided to cash in one a Christmas gift card toward a local Art Bar. I’m much more of the writing type…I see things I like in art but when I go to replicate it…well, it doesn’t always go as planned. That said, we spent six plus hours painting away until our canvases looked like something we meant to make. Can you tell what it is?
This was the bonus 6″ x 8″ canvas the hubby painted while I finished up my masterpiece. It fits right in with the rest of our kitchen!
2. Christmas is still here in this household. Because both sisters were going to be in town this week and shipping is a total pain, we just decided to leave the tree and decorations up. At this point, it almost seems easier to keep it going year-round. Alas, we have a real tree and cannot make it last much longer. But who doesn’t love those twinkly lights on the tree?
3. There’s not enough time in a week to see all of our favorite places in Raleigh. I made a master list of all the things we’d go do and see and eat while my sister was here and we’ve only hit about half of them so far and sadly, she leaves tomorrow. Recently, I found a list of places to check out in Raleighand they really did include all of our favorites in case you are wondering what there is to do around here. I wouldn’t call Raleigh a tourist-y place, but we sure do like living here. It’s been really fun showing yet another family member all the reasons why we love it.
There is a season for everything. A season for laughter and a season for tears. A season for thankfulness and a season for sharing. I’m glad we have different seasons throughout the year, because each brings its share of sweet and bittersweet moments. Whether your Christmas season brings joy or peace, restlessness or the flu, I hope you know it’s just a season that is sure to bring a mix of everything. We cherish the good and address the bad as well as we can. Christmas is here and so is this season in life, whatever that may be for you.
While this season has been unexpected and sometimes busy for me, I’m glad we’re here. I’ll keep this short and sweet, because we all have a million little things to do this week in order to spend quality time with friends and family and some time relaxing, resting and rejoicing. We always look forward to putting together our Christmas card and a Christmas song to share at the end of the year. Here’s wishing you a wonderful Christmas, New Year and winter season.
Merry Christmas and Go Tell it on the Mountain!
(Go to Gratton Christmasfor more photos and a little bit of behind the scenes)
So many things yet nothing at all. How can it be? Here it is, another Thursday Three!
1. Sometimes the anticipation is the best part. This is a season where we are getting ready, celebrating through Advent and preparing for things we’re all looking forward to. There is a certain excitement in the time leading up to something, and we should cherish that. More to come, but for now, I’m happy to be in the planning and anticipation stage for a few different things.
2. Nostalgia and forgetfulness are at an all-time high this season.Oh, remember the porcelain tree my grandma had? Look, I have one just like it! Oh, it’s December 11th and all gifts/cards should be shipped in the next week. WHAT?!?!?!! I feel like I know it’s time for Christmas, but I’m just not ready still. Maybe I spend too much time hanging out in the anticipation stage and not enough in the preparation. Welcome to what Christmas looks like in our house.
3. Blogging is more than just writing. Doing photography for money is more than just taking photos. Being a musician is more than simply playing music. Sometimes it’s easy to get wrapped up in the idea that it’s one and the same with any of these (and likely many other roles). At the core, there is a lot of writing involved with blogging (and so on), which is why it is important to love it and continue to improve the skill. That said, the past few weeks and months I’ve really been pouring into all of the other components that go into a blog, like tweaking the website and being active in the blogging community. Trying to figure out how best to grow my audience or interact with readers. It’s been a lot of work and not nearly as much writing as you would think. I’m enjoying learning more about all that goes into it though in hopes of becoming both a better blogger and a better writer.
It’s that time of the week. The time when I talk about three random things that have either happened or I have been thinking about in the last week and call it the Thursday Three. Because, come on, who doesn’t love a little alliteration? Ready? Go.
1. I’m thankful for Thanksgiving. We headed out to the mountains for time with the hubby’s family. This meant, we had a great meal with his grandma, hung out with our niece and nephew, did a little bit of hiking, found a few Black Friday deals (I know, it’s been years since I’ve gone shopping that weekend), ate way too many tasty snacks and started thinking about Christmas.
2. Ever burst into tears just because life wasn’t going the way you wanted? Yeah, well, that happened this week. I’m not particularly proud of that, but we can’t have you believing my life is all about holidays and an overload of awesome. To be honest, there are things I wish were different in my life right now even though I have a good life. I’m learning what it means to be okay with life not going how I planned, and that’s not easy. Thankfully there are no photos to show here.
3. Christmas is coming. We have officially entered into the month of December and are starting to prepare. When we were out in the mountains, we bought a tree, and last night we spent some time decorating. I was reading another blog the other day that talked a bit about Advent and how it meant “coming” in Latin. It really stuck with me, so I am going to try to instead of just thinking about how Christmas is coming to also think about coming closer to Christ this year.