Christmas Season Header

Why do a whole blog post about a header? Well, why not! πŸ™‚

Christmas 2012

I — surprisingly — did not take a ton of pictures this Christmas Eve/Christmas Day. I did get to enjoy time with friends and family, at a more relaxed pace than usual.

From left to right:

Me on Christmas Eve.

My friend John, newly returned on break from a missionary adventure in Minnesota.

Katie and Lori, super kind and incredibly talented friends from high school.

Decorations from Katie’s Holiday Get-Together. (See what I mean about talented?)

Kenzie, my cousin’s daughter, who is about the cutest thing ever.

So, while New Year’s is right around the corner, Christmas season still goes on for a few more days. So snuggle up with your loved ones and enjoy them!

Quick-Takes: Christmas Octave

— 1 —

It is still the octave of Christmas! But, I have to admit, I’m having a hard time continuing the celebration. I returned to work right away and haven’t been able to get together with any friends in the evenings, so I’ve fallen into a bad habit of coming home, eating dinner in the living room while watching TV and going to bed. I haven’t even turned the Christmas lights on. So sad. I hope I manage to change this pattern this weekend.

— 2 —

One of the movies I watched this week was Fireproof. I like this movie, even though I am not married. There is one scene where Caleb is complaining about his wife not responding to his demonstrations of love and his father relates this to Caleb’s relationship with God. This made me wonder if the Love Dare process could be used to grow in intimacy with God. Perhaps sometime in the next few weeks, I may acquire a copy of the Love Dare book and work my way through it. Either this or some other retreat-esque program to help me grow deeper in my personal relationship with Jesus.

The people who put out Fireproof even have a page with Catholic resources! Very cool!

— 3 —

Today, we celebrate Childermas. I wasn’t sure what Childermas was, but there it was on my calendar this morning, so I turned to the all-knowing Google to find out more. Turns out Childermas is another name for the feast day of the slaughter of the Holy Innocents, when King Herod decided to kill all male children under the age of 2 years, because of the threat that Christ posed to him. I knew about the Holy Innocents, just not this other name for them. So, maybe there are traditional ways to celebrate this day? I’ll have to look that up, since another thing I’d like to do this year (these are sounding an awful lot like “resolutions” … which I don’t make) is to incorporate more traditions into my day-to-day life. Please help a girl out and let me know of any special ways that you celebrate this day. πŸ™‚

— 4 —

This Christmas Eve, I got a special treat! I was on my way to my family’s Christmas celebration, but decided to stop by a friend’s house, so that I could give Mom and Dad R their Christmas present *on* Christmas. When I arrived, they invited me in, stating that they were just talking about me. (Which makes me wonder what they were saying and how did I become a topic of conversation???) They were in the middle of dinner and invited me to join them. It was lovely. I love spending time with all of them. I ended up missing dinner and the kids opening their Christmas presents at my family’s celebration (I didn’t think that it started until after 7 pm, but that wasn’t right), but maybe this worked in my favor…

— 5 —

… because they seem to really like the gifts I gave them! Normally, my gifts kind of get lost in the hurricane of presents and gift wrap, but this year the kids only had my present to focus on. I bought all of their presents from a friend’s store, Bliss Baby and Kids. Kenzie got a sea creatures puzzle and a canasta. Vanessa got a kit to make bracelets out of small, colored rubber bands, which she started working on right away, stating that she loves making things (score!). And Petros got a Stomp Rocket. Which he immediately set up and started launching rockets from the kitchen into the living room, targeting his aunts and uncles. Kenzie got involved, too. She’s 16 months oldn and had a blast running after the rockets and bringing them back to Petros.

— 6 —

Just in case anyone was wondering what’s going on with my Project 52s… I have to hang my head in shame. I was about to say that I haven’t been able to work on this, but I suppose the more honest answer is that I have chosen to do other things. I think part of the problem is that I don’t have my list of subjects readily available, so I don’t pre-plan what I’d like to shoot for that week, and then the deadline comes and I’m at a loss of what to do. Then, I don’t want to turn in a crappy photo because I haven’t spent enough time thinking about it, so I don’t turn in anything at all. The other problem is that my laptop is currently the only computer that I have at the moment, and it’s a little hard to get to at the moment. So, anytime I think about editing some of my photos, I glance over to where the laptop is and determine that it would be too much effort to clear off the desk so that I can effectively work. I have got to come up with a better plan for next year. Any suggestions would be welcome! πŸ™‚

— 7 —

Yesterday was Cardiac Monitor Liberation Day!!! I was very excited to get that thing off and ship it back! πŸ™‚ Objectively, it wasn’t an incredible burden, but it was a little annoying to have to deal with wires and a cell phone pack all the time. And blisters started to form. I’m lucky that they only just started forming and are therefore very small. So, I just have to deal with them and patches of rashes. Hopefully, I will have new skin soon and the itchy can stop! πŸ™‚

Sorry for the lack of pictures in this post…. I’ll try to do better next week! πŸ™‚ (This statement is still valid from the last Quick Takes….)

God Bless!

For more Quick Takes, visit Jen at Conversion Diary!

Happy Cardiac Monitor Liberation Day!

Yesterday was the last day that I had to wear my cardiac monitor! And so, it was the perfect day for us to get about 7 inches of snow, which I had to shovel. After all, if all my shoveling is going to give me a heart attack, at least this way LifeWatch will notice and send an ambulance to my house, right? πŸ™‚

My priest always affirms me in these kinds of things by making statements like, “Prudent.” I’m sure he never means that sarcastically. Ever.

And just look at the size of this driveway! It might give *healthy* people heart attacks!
A Shoveling Nightmare!
(I also like the snow blowing sideways in the shot.)

It was so worth it!

I only had to dust off the car this morning and getting onto the road was a breeze. Not having to wear a cardiac monitor — also very cool. As monitoring devices go, I suppose it’s better than most. However, as you might remember from when I first got it, I am allergic to both certain adhesives and nickel metal. So, after 21 days, I have blisters on my skin from the electrodes.

Goodbye, then, cardiac monitor. I won’t miss you that much! I’m not certain if the title of this post pertains more to my liberation from the device or its liberation from me, but either way, I think that separation is a good thing for both our sakes. πŸ™‚

Advent Quick-Takes: Preparation Edition

— 1 —

This is the week of Preparation in Advent, and I have had much to prepare for! This has also meant that it has been the slowest. week. ever. I’ll be celebrating my birthday this weekend with my friend, Lindsay, at Kalahari, which is a big waterpark in Ohio. I love water and I love warm temperatures, so basically, this weekend is going to ROCK! πŸ™‚ And, most of the rides have warnings on them, saying that cardiac patients should not go on them, so I will also be a big REBEL! And!!! My cardiac monitor is not waterproof, so I will be unplugging for the duration. Bwahahahahaha!

— 2 —

But all of this must be okay, because when I told my priest this after Mass this morning he said, “Excellent!” Which is totally permission, right? πŸ™‚ There are reasons why he and I are friends. πŸ™‚ And he knows about last night…

— 3 —

About last night… I went to the Christmas Party at the rectory last night at St. A’s. I get invited there twice, since I’m a sponsor in RCIA and I’m on Parish Council. However, my evening was cut short when my cardiac monitor kept going off. At one point, I got a voicemail on the device’s cell phone. And the monitoring company only calls you if there is an event that they noticed. After about the 6th event in a very short time span, I was started to not feel well, so I decided to go home. Of course, I was questioning the logic of LEAVING a place with 3 priests in attendance to go to a place where I’d be alone…

On the way, I texted my friend, Fr. John, to let him know what was going on. He prayed for me and I used my redemptive suffering to pray for others, and I woke up in the morning, so I’d have to say it was a successful night! πŸ™‚

— 4 —

Which means… that I was watching Jen‘s “Minor Revisions” WHILE having a string of cardiac issues. That’s gotta mean something, right? πŸ™‚ I mean, I probably should have gone straight to bed, but I stayed up to watch the show and join in the tweeting party. πŸ™‚

— 5 —

I have been involved with two Project 52s this year. And I’ve fallen behind on both of them. At this point, it doesn’t look like I’ll finish. But I will continue to try and make up the missing photos and I intend to be a part of them again for next year. Here’s to picking back up and keep trying! πŸ™‚

— 6 —

Last week’s post #6 was about my cardiac monitor, so I’ll keep up with that tradition. While I was excited to get it last week (mostly because it was mailed to me like a present), I have to admit that I am a little less enthusiastic this week. Even though, objectively, I am still very mobile with it, I have to have the cell phone portion plugged in at least once during the day and overnight, which makes me feel tethered to the wall sometimes. Plus, I can’t sleep on my left side. πŸ™‚ And, I’m starting to develop a rash from those electrode sticker things.

BUT! At least I am not blistering from the electrode stickers. AND! There’s someone monitoring me 24/7, so that if something really bad happens, they will send an ambulance to wherever the GPS tells them that I am. πŸ™‚ So, I don’t have to feel worried about the fact that I live alone. πŸ™‚

— 7 —

My birthday is on Monday!!! And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that it falls in the week of Joy. God gives me incredible grace. I can’t thank Him enough. I love my life. I am deeply happy, no matter what happens. Not to say that I don’t have bad times, or that I don’t get sad, but overall, I am full of joy. I hope, in some way, I can share that with others.

Sorry for the lack of pictures in this post…. I’ll try to do better next week! πŸ™‚

God Bless!

For more Quick Takes, visit Jen at Conversion Diary!

Sad, But Don’t Know What To Do

The other day, I was trying to say something nice, but inadvertantly said something that triggered a pet peeve of a friend of mine. I was called out on Facebook for it, which felt like a slap in the face to me — like my feelings are not to be considered and making another person feel bad in public is okay. Why wouldn’t my friend talk to me in private, if I offended her? I certainly didn’t mean any offense.

I don’t understand the reason for her reaction, but I respect her opinion on the matter and apologized and will try to not do the same thing again in the future.

But. It is now days later and it is really upsetting to me still. Why? Why is this bugging me so much?

Well, first, I guess, I really love people. And, especially if I consider you my friend, hurting you hurts me.

Second, I would think that my friends would know me and would assume first that I’m not trying to offend them, instead of assuming the worst.

Third, now I’m actually afraid of saying anything to her again, lest I offend her. Again. Maybe it’s better to not say anything than to risk the friendship.

But then, what kind of friendship would that be if we never spoke?

Does she even want a friendship with me?

I get that most people would just blow the incident off and not think anything of it. And I have tried praying to God and asking him to heal me. Since I realize that the problem is with *my* heart. But, I also don’t believe in sweeping problems under the rug. I don’t think an issue will truly go away if it’s not dealt with.

Sorry for the sad post. I promise I’ll be happy again soon!

Someone Has a Sense of Humor

Okay. First, my phone sent me this notification this morning:
Time to Leave for Christ
(Which makes me wonder…. Did I miss it?)

Alrighty. Then, I am reading in the Catechism. What is the next section/paragraph that I am to read?

Paragraph 1006. Starting the section on Death.

Very funny. πŸ™‚

I guess I’m extra glad that I went to Confession last night?!?

Advent Quick-Takes: Hope Edition

— 1 —

I’m so excited about Christmas! I love shopping for friends, family and random strangers, and doing random things to bring a little joy into the lives of others. I know that I’m horrible about posting; I always seem to run out of time, or I get home at the end of the day and am too exhausted to sit down at the computer. Perhaps one day, I’ll get all caught up.

— 2 —

Speaking of buying things for others… My dentist (He and his wife are also friends) is running a couple of charity programs. One is called Pajamarama and asks people to donate pajamas, underwear and socks of all sizes for children in need in the greater Detroit area. It was so fun to go out on Black Friday and shop for them! It was the only thing that got me out of the house that day; I didn’t need anything for myself and thought that the day could use a little more charity and a little less selfishness. πŸ™‚

— 3 —

Can you help me out? I’m trying to find new ways to “gift” prayer. My priest always says that prayer is the best gift you could give another person, and he always asks for this for his Christmas gift. Of course, I pray for him all.the.time anyway, so I try to look at it like alms, and pray for him *extra*. But, I also like to give him something tangible as well, even if it is just an expression of the time in prayer that I have done. After X number of years, I am beginning to run out of ideas. So I will bounce it off of you guys and see what we can come up with! Thanks in advance!

— 4 —

The first day of Advent! It was almost a week ago now, which is hard to believe. And before you ask, no, I have not spent the time in prayer that I have been hoping to, but I still have hope to make this Advent a little bit more prayerful than last year.

I started by doing a little bit of decorating. I put up a wreath that I had gotten on sale after Christmas last year:
DSCN3350

And lit the first Advent candle:
DSCN3351

And spent some time contemplating the Crucifix:
DSCN3359

— 5 —

We had our last day of catechism this week for the year. It was on saints, relics and martyrs. It was probably the most attentive the class has been all year, and this was even with Christmas presents being on the table, ready to be opened! I was quite impressed! I tried to find creative ways to wrap the presents, and ended up with Stuffed Animal Ravioli!
DSCN3372

— 6 —

I became an “official” cardiac patient recently. And last night, I received a Holter monitor in the mail for my 24 hour test. I was excited, because it arrived on my doorstep via Fed Ex Just. Like. A. Present! πŸ™‚

I am pretty good about following directions, so when I saw this:
DSCN3379
I did, in fact, open it immediately and got it all set up, even though it was like 10:30 pm. Good thing the monitoring company is open 24 hours, since it took 2 phone calls to get everything operating properly.

Upon reading the inside instructions, I saw that it had a warning for patients who were allergic to nickel metal or adhesive. Well, actually I am allergic to both of these, and depending on the adhesive, I can get huge blisters. Last time I had an allergy to adhesive, I ended up being treated by the Trauma/Burn team — it was that bad! But, I figured, it’s only 24 hours. Can’t be that bad, right?

Well… Turns out my 24 hour monitoring is actually… 21 DAYS! Yikes! At least this will give the doctors a good idea of what is going on.

And, looking at the box, apparently I will be taking up yoga, too:
DSCN3380

— 7 —

I’ll end with a question… What are you most looking forward to during these Advent days?

For more Quick Takes, visit Jen at Conversion Diary!