Monday, December 29, 2008

My Blog Got What It Wanted For Christmas!

My blog was apparently on the "nice" list this year, because it got just what it wanted for Christmas - a MAKEOVER!

This was such a fun Christmas present to receive (thank you, Emily!). And watching the design come together was equally thrilling (thank you, Danielle!).

I hope you enjoy the new look.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Family Portraits

For twenty consecutive years, our family has run (I use that term very loosely) a race called the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning. And when we come home from the event, we have a family portrait taken in our Turkey Trot shirts.

I was hoping to use one of these pictures for our Christmas card this year. I love the first and last one, but I'm so totally entertained by the non-verbal communication between daddy and son in pics 2 & 3 that I want to send out all four.

So, here's a virtual Christmas card that shows you a little glimpse into how a 3 yr old boy can get a little out of hand, and how one look from a daddy can restore a bit of order to the portrait-taking process.







Monday, December 15, 2008

All He Wants For Christmas

All my son wants for Christmas this year is a snowboard.

He makes this request as we stand outside in t-shirts, shorts and flip flops. It's 79 degrees, and only a thin veil of clouds holds the 80+ temperatures at bay.

"We live in Florida..." I remind him. "It doesn't snow here. You wouldn't get very much use out of a snowboard."

"But it snows in Alabama!" he counters. "I'll just take it there to ride it."

Oh.

"And I want the kind with the button you push that makes it blast off up into the air!!!!!"

"Right.... yes, the turbo-rocket-propulsion-booster snowboard."

"Sure, mommy. Just make sure it's the one that goes ZOOOMMMM up the trees!" he sings as he scooters down the sidewalk.

"Hey, buddy. I have an idea," I call out after him. "Let's call your Baba and you can ask her to get that one for you for Christmas."

(I have a feeling that the navy blue sweater waiting under the tree is going to be a huge disappointment...)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Winners!

Thank you all for participating in my version of the Cool Christmas Giveaway. This was a really fun week to have a blog! I decided to mix it up a little with the way the winners were chosen and announced.

So... I'd like to introduce you all to Drew.
He'll take it from here:

video

So.. to recap, congratulations to:

Lora for winning the sets of Tiffany & Co. stationary;
Vickie (AnooCre8ion - how clever is that?) for winning the Tiffany For Men fragrance gift set;
and Melodee who will be receiving three GREAT books about raising boys!

I have a bonus surprise. Several of you didn't specify which prize you'd like. Whether you were just being sweet and complimentary (they're all great, I'd take anything) or indecisive (I don't know what to pick)... (which, by the way, sounds like our family every single night when it's dinner time, so I have a special place in my heart for you ladies...), Drew and I decided to put you "Undecideds" in a separate category to draw for an additional set of the "Drew" books.

Take it away, son:
video

Congratulations to Renee as well! I love this particular video because it just shows how confusing this time of year is for little ones ("What holiday are we celebrating this week???")

And oh how I WISH I had kept the video rolling. Because right after I stopped recording, he placed all the remaining names in the red bucket again, shook them up, pulled out an entry and shouted, "JOHN MCCAIN!!!"

Maybe I should send him a fragrance gift set...

Worth The Wait?

I hope it will be worth the wait... I'll be announcing the giveaway winners within the hour and apologize for the delay!!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Moving with Purpose

So, it's Week 2, Day 2 of Boot Camp.

I continue to discover great spiritual parallels each morning as I huff and puff my way along the uphill (seriously, up..a...hill...., I hate that hill) path toward physical fitness.

The assistant Bootcamp Man is shouting his favorite phrase as I run by: "MOVE WITH PURPOSE!"

He says it sixteen times a day. I do appreciate his reminders. Although my immediate "purpose" may be to turn the jumprope 15 consecutive times without it getting caught in my ponytail and then wrapped around my ankles (again), I know that there's a greater purpose to my movements.

Firmer, leaner, healthier...This is not the time or place to do "just enough to get by". If I can make every single move count during this pre-dawn hour, really count, I will see some amazing end results.

So, as he shouts it again, I'm inspired to keeping moving with purpose today... even after I've unlaced my running shoes.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Welcome to the party... Won't you come in?


Check Out The Cool Christmas Give-Away that Lysa Terkeurst (Proverbs 31 Ministries) is doing today

(Would you like to win something wrapped in a little blue box? Well, then, come on in...)

Welcome to my 100th Blog Post Party!

I've never hosted a "virtual" party before. While there's no need to send out invitations, if I DID, they would have looked something like this. (Yes, you ARE worth it).

And I know that you can't really taste them, but please take a look at the beautiful hors d'oeuvres we're featuring...

(www.freedigitalphotos.net)

(www.freedigitalphotos.net)

(www.freedigitalphotos.net)

I stayed up late last night putting the finishing touches on the decorations...

(www.freedigitalphotos.net)

... and arranged for some spectacular entertainment:

(www.freedigitalphotos.net)

I wish I had a party favor for each of you, because if I did, it would definitely be something like this.

BUT, one of you IS going home with a beautiful gift, and I'm so please to announce the winner of the November 28 Giveaway!!! My friend at the Paper Sack (www.panapizza.etsy.com) made a lovely cornhusk angel that will now belong to:

"ufjanet" - Congratulations!
(Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:

2

Timestamp: 2008-12-05 21:06:23 UTC)

I'm pretty sure that the "UF" portion stands for the University of Florida. Ah... I should have thought to add restrictions.

If you've read through this entire post, I think you deserve a little surprise, too. So, I'm pleased to announce that I'll be linking up to the Cool Christmas Giveaway at Lysa's site in order to give away the following prizes:

(Since this blog is inspired by the everyday happenings in my life, I decided to give away 1 item in honor of each member of my sweet little family.)

The gift for Mom? Two boxes of fine Tiffany & Co. stationary (one lined in the famous Tiffany blue border, the other box lined in a sophisticated, dark blue shade).

The gift for Dad? One fragrance gift set of Tiffany for Men cologne and lotion.

The gift inspired by our Drew? A few good books that I don't know what I would have done without for the past 3 years: "Bringing Up Boys" by Dr. Dobson; "For This Child I Prayed" by Stormie O'Martian; and "That's My Son" by Rick Johnson

So, leave a comment. I'll give you until next Friday (12/12) at 5pm. Indicate in your comment which giveaway you would like (Mom, Dad or Drew). And maybe this time I'll get a little creative with the drawing.

Thanks for stopping by and helping me celebrate! Sorry to end the party so early, but 4:30 a.m. comes awfully early...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A One Track Mind

He's starting to get the picture. All those genius marketing people are earning their salaries right now. Because my son is ALL ABOUT CHRISTMAS. Every commercial, every ad, every single thing he sees... he wants it on his Christmas list.

Yesterday, I was driving home when we pulled up next to a motorcyle at a stop light.

OOOOHHHHH! I WANT THAT!

What?

That! That motorcyle!

Buddy, be serious.

I AM being serious. I want that motorcycle for Christmas. Can you put it on my Christmas list, mommy? Please please please please PLEASE!!!???

Surely you know why I cannot buy you a motorcyle for Christmas, right?

(long pause to think)

Oh, yeah, because it won't fit in the package, huh?

Since I was exceptionally tired (Day 3 of bootcamp and all), I just agreed with him and let it go. I'm pretty sure the topic is going to come up again sometime over the next 16 years, so I'm preparing my list of better reasons now.

And just to prove how singularly focused his little brain is right now, my mom overheard him singing the lyrics to one of his favorite Bible songs yesterday while playing under the Christmas tree at her house.

11 months out of the year, he sings:

Ho-Ho-Ho-Hosanna
Ha-Ha-Hallelujah
He-He-He-He saved me!
I've got the joy of the Lord.

But this December, he's belting out:

Ho-Ho-Ho-Ho- SANTA!

Looks like it may be time to visit the library - I'll be looking for books with "The True Meaning of Christmas" in the title.

What's coming out of the mouths of your babes this month?

(Click HERE to sign in for a chance to win our giveaway! Contest ends tomorrow night!)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Boot Camp

At 4:30 a.m. the alarm clock shatters my deep slumber. I know I cannot press the snooze button (there's not a minute to spare), so I force my body out of bed and shuffle to the bathroom to find the pile of workout clothes that were set out the night before.

It's Day 3 of Fitness BOOT CAMP and every muscle in my body is aching. If I consider the hour of "FUN" in store for me today, I might seriously talk myself out of going. So, instead I check the weather to see how many layers I need to wear.

Thirty-seven degrees. Perfect. So... about 37 layers should do the trick. (I'm pretty sure that I could not survive living any place where precipitation comes down in some form other than rain drops).

After running several laps of warm-ups, my lungs are making some serious complaints and my legs have reason to be upset, too. But my instructor's orders are drowning out my objections, so I move quickly to the next activities.

I think it's ironic that I have such fond memories of jumping jacks, jumping rope and relay races from my childhood. Because these same activites are torturous punishment for a 30-something year old, "moderately fit" woman who happens to be carrying around an extra ten pounds.

I'm concentrating hard on the instructor's commands because I don't want to be called out like the girl next to me ("ARE YOU BRINGING IN AN AIRPLANE OVER THERE - WATCH YOUR HANDS!!"), but my balance is off and I think I might fall over if I "STOP LOOKING AT THE GROUND!"

I'm thinking about how uncomfortable I am. Actually, I'm wallowing in it.

And then he says, "YOU KNOW, IT'S O.K. TO BE UNCOMFORTABLE EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE!" (He talks in ALL CAPS!! Most good drill sargeants do.)

It seems like a simple statement at first, but I begin to wonder if I truly believe that. For instance, when my heater doesn't kick on instantly to ensure my house stays at a comfortable 72 degrees, do I remember that it's o.k. to be uncomfortable?

When a friend is indifferent or rude, do I feel like I deserve better treatment, or do I remember that it's o.k. to be uncomfortable every once in a while?

When I'm waiting in line, when I encounter poor customer service, when I'm hungry, when I face adversity, when my three-year old is crawling up my painfully sore quads to get a little closer, when the bank account dictates that I reprioritize my "necessities"...

Do I really believe that it's o.k. to be uncomfortable every once in a while?

Bootcamp Man is promising that we'll reap the benefits of a little discomfort. Leaner. Firmer. Disciplined. Healthy.

As I contort my weary body on the damp workout mat, I'm reminded of some of Christ's earliest followers. Their stories are filled with examples of suffering and discomfort, but always with the promise of God's faithfulness attached. They knew that there would be many trials in this world. The promise to take heart because He has already overcome the world is a promise we can still claim today (See John 16:33).

And I'm realizing that it's not really about this physical discomfort at all right now, but about my general willingness to be uncomfortable... especially in my faith.

I love the way that the Message relates the opening verses of I Peter 4:

(1-2) Since Jesus went through everything you're going through and more, learn to think like him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. Then you'll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want

Right now, I want a soft warm bed and a licensed massage therapist. But that won't make me leaner, firmer, more disclipined OR healthier - in my physique or in my faith.

So... the alarm's set for 4:30 a.m. Three days down. Seven days to go!

(AND ONLY TWO DAYS LEFT TO LEAVE A COMMENT ON FRIDAY'S POST - "LET'S SHOP" FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN THE GIVEAWAY! Scroll down to the previous post for details)