Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A baby changes everything...

It's that time again, when the world does an about face and all together decides to celebrate the birth of a baby, so long ago.

I love this time of year. It's always been a lot more to me than presents and carols and trees. I love the spirit that seems to humanize (most) people. Even my friends who are not believers in the commonest sense seem to step back, become a little kinder, a little more tolerant.

The birth of seven-pound-six-ounce baby Jesus (thank you Ricky Bobby) brings about a rebirth of goodness, kindness and compassion, even if it's only for a couple weeks out of the year.

Can you imagine being Mary? Being just a teenager - maybe 13 or 14 - so young! Being pregnant with the Son of God? Can you imagine being Joseph? Being asked to become the adoptive daddy to the Savior of Man? What heavy responsibilities asked of a couple so young. This was a baby that truly DID change everything.

But apparently God knew what he was doing. And the story began.

Now most of us know that Jesus wasn't born in December, and that Santa as a person may not really be real (although he is in spirit all year long), yet it's appropriate that we celebrate the season of wonder in the winter, when life is covered in freshly fallen snow and the stars seem to shine brighter in the darkness of the sky. (Insert bad dad joke here: It's the season of wonder alright - I WONDER if this winter will ever end! Ba-dum-bum!)

This Christmas, it will be warm here in Texas. No snow anywhere in sight. And Carl and I will take some time to thank God for that day so long ago, when the Son of God came to earth as a tiny baby. We will thank God that He learned from His parents, that He walked the earth and shared the Good News. We will thank God for His sacrifice and His redemption and His Spirit in our hearts and in our lives.

And I will thank God for you, dear blog reader. May you have a wonderful, warm and happy Christmas and always, please, remember the reason there is a Christmas season. :-)

And if you haven't already heard it, take four and a half minutes out of your life and listen to Faith Hill singing 'A Baby Changes Everything' - and see if you don't get shivers down your spine and thankfulness in your heart.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Post from the Land of Yuck

Since last Friday afternoon, I have been down with the Yucks.

Not the Laughing Yucks. Those are fun. I especially like the side-splitting, pain-in-the-gut yucks that leave you gasping for air. Those yucks don't suck.

No, this was (is) the phlegm-y, hacking cough, sore throat, fever, headaches, body aches, what-the-heck-is-that-coming-out-my-nose kinda Yucks. And just for kicks, I lost my voice for a couple of days. I still don't really have it back.

It's a bad time to be down too. There are deadlines to meet, cookies to bake, gifts to give, laundry and cleaning to be done. But no. I have been bent low and wiped out with this nastiness.

So this Christmas will probably be really low-key. Just me and the husband, maybe a movie and a chicken pot pie or something for dinner. Heck, since he is coming down with it, we might just spend the holidays cooped up on the couch in front of the TV, catching up on some old DVDs and Tivo.

And you know what else?

Have a great Thursday night.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Musical Postcard - Fountains of Wayne

You know how there are songs that just remind you of home? I was reminded of a fave Fountains of Wayne tune by an LL Bean commercial. Can you believe that? LL Bean?

Anyhoo, there is a tune off their 2003 album 'Welcome Interstate Managers' called "Valley Winter Song" that I just love. And subsequently totally forgot about, until LL Bean tried to sell me some slippers and a winter coat. Their commercial features this song and it immediately took me back to this album, and reminded me of other great songs like "Stacy's Mom" and "Hey Julie."

Anybutt, growing up in my home town, I spent a lot of winter nights at the recreation area skating rink. I would trudge through the snow (it was Michigan, for crying out loud) and meet up with my friends and we would skate the night away. The rink was outdoors, and there was only a small warming hut to store your boots and unfreeze your hands after a couple hours of skating around the rink.

Some of my most favorite times were at the skating rink.

So here is a video using Fountains of Wayne's "Valley Winter Song" done by a dude named boojwahz. Not only is it a great tune, but it reminds me of some of the best times of my life. I hope you enjoy it as much as I!

And here are Fountains of Wayne doing the song live.

UPDATE: I found the CD stuck behind a stack of books in the office. SWEET!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Hmm.... what WOULD Jesus do?

I'm pretty sure Jesus doesn't worry too much about the commerce side of His whole enterprise. He's probably got people that manage that. But I have a feeling SOMEONE is gonna get canned (or at least receive a stern talking-to and a three-week stint in purgatory) for this one:

fail owned pwned pictures

I really hope I'm not going to hell for this.

Another month, another chance to ...

...either a) screw it up or b) make it FABULOUS!

I am really hoping for a fabulous December.

So far the freelancing has been going well. I mean I've at least made the last three house payments, so that rocks. I am enjoying my work with BC and am meeting this week with a veep out there - so that will either a) RAWK or b) not rawk.

Ever notice how life is full of choices? A's and B's? Ones or twos? Rawking and not rawking?

Sometimes life is like a ginormous restaurant where every dish ever conceived is always on the menu. You can stuff yourself silly with appetizers or enjoy a buffet of entrees or you can skip it all and go right to dessert.

The hard part is the moderation.

Sometimes, I want to dive right in like I did last night at the Chinese buffet. I had a little Mongolian grill with lots of fresh veggies and chicken and I threw a little lo mien on the plate. I had a couple of dumplings and some garlicky string beans. I had 1.5 plates and that was just a little too much. I was miserable for about 20 minutes and then I was hungry again (HA! That was a joke!) I totally feasted on average Chinese-y food and it was OK.

Because there will be times when the ginormous restaurant will be closed. And then dumplings and Mongolian grills will not be available to me. Life will serve raman noodles and generic store brand macaroni and cheese. With instant powdered milk and fake butter. And I will be (try to be) content with that too.

Man - I really love those garlicky string beans.

What a weird post, huh?