Monday, December 1, 2014

Buy Once Give Twice

Just when I think, I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!! (I'm referring to 'phases' that toddlers go through), things seem to turn a corner for the best. Of course, some other challenge is inevitabely waiting around the bend, but it is God's grace to allow me a moment of reprieve before the next thing comes along. I was struggling with one of the girls big time for most of November, and when I was about to lose my mind (I actually did lose my mind I think, but it's coming back, as much as it will as long as I'm pregnant anyway), things got better. The girls have been playing so well together, even though we've been stuck inside a lot the past couple of weeks. If only I can learn from life, so that next time I'm in the thick of a difficult phase with one of them, I can remember that it WILL pass, and we will make it through! It's so hard to remember right in the middle of life happening, isn't it?
I must say, I'm glad they are back to their happy selves, because I on the other hand, am not functioning well right now! 29 weeks along...officially the third trimester. And I feel like I'm back at the nasty old first trimester. Not the nausea, but pure exhaustion, worse than any I've ever experienced. And brain fog (if this whole post is scattered, assume it's severe pregnant brain). It's embarrassing, I can't count the number of times someone has asked me a simple question and I can't seem to respond in any appropriate manner. Tonight at the grocery store for example...Cashier: "Would you like your receipt?" Me: blank stare for a solid 5 seconds, followed by a few umm's and some awkward looking around as I fumble in my brain for the complex answer I was thinking of..."No thanks." Wow. If you think I'm avoiding you, I'm not. I just don't socialize well right now. I'll be back in 12 weeks or so. Until then, I'm just trying to keep the house in some semblance of order and keep the kids alive. I cannot describe how overwhelming December seems, so I try not to think about details. Like the tree that has been up but not decorated for a week. Or the gifts that I need to think of, purchase, and ship across the country, which entails toting toddlers to the post office which is the worst thing in the entire world. I love Christmas, I really do, and since these details are overly stressful this year, I choose to watch Madea Christmas with my husband whist drinking mulled wine. And writing meaningless blog posts like this one. Actually, there is a point to this post, which I forgot all about until I wrote that last sentence.
I had planned on doing some research and putting a lot of time and effort into making a gift guide for anyone who cares. Not just any gift guide, but a guide to where you can buy gifts that make a difference, cause that's what makes me so friggin excited about buying gifts these days! It's the 'buy once, give twice' mentality, and I am just thrilled that there are so many options out there today where the money you spend (which face it, money WILL be spent this month) goes not only to the gift recipient, but goes to help someone you will never meet this side of heaven. Well anyway, like I was saying, I was going to put lots of effort and research and time into linking you all to the websites and such, but I happened to be reading Jen Hatmaker's latest blog post, and guess what? To my delight, she already did the work. She has an awesome post with links to the most amazing organizations, I was blown away by how many options are out there, even a few for men! (Lots more for women and kids...and cooks!) So, I'll provide the link to her post at the end of mine and I so encourage you to check it out and make a difference globally as you shop for loved ones this year.
Buy Once, Give Twice: Gifts With a Conscience
 I'm also including the links for two other organizations I love, NightLight and Sevenly:
Last but not least in this conjumbled post (Is that a word? I'm thinking not)...a few pictures, cause I know that's why most of my family reads this. It's not for the writing. They just want pics!
Thank the Lord, they're back to being best buds!

Before Thanksgiving was even here, Addison was begging me to decorate for Christmas. She had been excited all month since she sees decorations at Costco (where we apparently go way too often) all the time. So one night when Brad had to work late, I finally said yes, we could watch A Charlie Brown Christmas and decorate a bit. Her eyes lit up and she went running up the stairs. I asked what she was doing and she said, "Mommy, I CAN'T wear this for Christmas! I have to get our Christmas clothes!" And she returned a few moments later with her and Lily's Christmas dresses. I figured why not, so I dressed them up and we put up stockings and a few other things before I crashed on the couch with them for Charlie Brown:)

We woke up the Wednesday before Thanksgiving (travel day for us) to a snow storm. Not ideal travel conditions, but it was beautiful! I covet our neighbors tree...
The kids table, above, and the grown-up table below. Look closely and you'll see my mouth is shoved full of food before anyone else has sat down. Come on, pregnant lady tries not to eat all day to save room for the feast, and you all want to take pictures while the food's hot? I feel no shame.
The first snow from Wednesday melted Thanksgiving day, and we had strangely warm weather. We planned on staying the weekend at my parents, but checked the weather Friday night and realized a huge storm was blowing in, so we last minute packed our bags and drove home on clear, dry roads late Friday. I cannot tell you how happy I was to be in my bed, safe and sound and warm Saturday morning, when the sound of ice hitting the house woke me up, followed by 12 hours of blowing snow and a temperature drop of 60 degrees in a matter of hours. Home Sweet Home. This was my view from bed that morning, with sweet Lily looking out at the snow.
Hope you had a good Thanksgiving:)

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