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Monday, December 29, 2008

Some Good Intention Goals

My good friend Stefanie has inspired me to write some goals for the upcoming new year. I have thought about a few, but always hesitate to set them as I fear failing miserably at following through with them. But I'm going to give it a shot (in no particular order).

Goal #1: Save up to buy new furniture. roommate and I have furniture in our house, aquired by my wonderful friends Dale and Jessica. And I love the furniture! However, this pretty much fills up our upstairs living room, and I would very much like to get our very empty downstairs living room filled up. I have my eye on a cranberry colored couch set from JC Penny' out! :)

Goal #2: Spend more time in Bible study and prayer.
I have to admit, last year I did terribly in this category. I had very lofty intentions but ended up doing Bible study and prayer way less then what I wanted. This year I am really going to concentrate on making this a number one priority every day. This is essential for me and I am excited to make it a more prominent part of my day. :)

Goal #3: Get in shape!
I would say this is a number one goal for about 99.9% of the population every year, so I'm sure it sounds a bit cliche. But I don't care. It is true, I do go to the gym often. However, it doesn't exactly get me to the skinny toned-self I would like to be. ;) I am going to start keeping a better eye on what I am eating and drinking and try to mix up my exercise routine a bit more. My good friend Jared is constantly running marathons and halfs...maybe I could set a goal to do one with him.:) It's always nice to have more energy and to feel like you are doing good things for your body.

Goal #4: Travel
I would like to take a few long weekend trips this year to see friends in other states. I haven't been able to do that for a while but I really feel like this is the year to do this. I have some friends in Cali that I want to see and I really would like to see my brother and sister-in-law and the babies in Texas. Also on the list is to see my sister and brother-in-law and more kiddos in many people I want to see! I am going to try and do this.

Goal #5: Get back into music.
For those of you who have known me for a while, you know that I have played the clarinet since I was 9. Music has always been a huge part of my life. But since I have been out of college, I have not been able to perform like I used to. When I was in college I performed in symphonies and orchestras all the time and I really miss that. I would like to get back into that somehow. I am not sure what that means yet, but I'm going to be looking. I am also trying to get better at playing flute, piano and sax. Although I learned how to play the basics on these in college, I would love to perfect my skills on this and incorporate it somehow into my music goals. I miss music so much.

Well, there we have it! Happy New Year friends!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Arizona Bound

Today I leave for Arizona for Christmas time with the family. I am looking forward to some days of relaxation and spending time with the people I love. :) I wish my dad could be there to make the picture complete...but you are there in spirit dad! For all my friends, have a WONDERFUL Christmas. Enjoy your families, enjoy good food, and don't forget about baby Jesus. :)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Spirit

I have heard it from many people this year and have come to believe that I have been experiencing it myself. The lack of Christmas spirit. Times are hard for many people this year. Economically our nation is in a state of crisis. I have many friends who have lost loved ones recently which is making it extremely hard to deal with the holidays. The fact that we have had very little snow in our typically snow-littered Christmas season hasn't helped. But I was thinking about it today and thinking of what it truly means to be in the 'Christmas spirit'. Just listing off the reasons why my Christmas spirit hasn't been there has made me realize that my focus is entirely wrong. It is so incredibly easy to get caught up in the tradition and commercialism of Christmas. It's an underlying understanding that during Christmas you put up a tree, buy presents for people, go see your relatives, and have a big Christmas dinner. These things are all great, but I don't believe our 'Christmas spirit' should be derived from these things.

I think the the spirit should be a spirit of thankfulness. Thankfulness to God for sending his son to us on this very special day. Today I was thinking about the true miracle of this day and everything that it has meant for the rest of history. The true significance of this birth. Of all of the births in history, of all of the millions of babies brought into the world, this one was the most remarkable. I was trying to think about what the different players in the Christmas story must have been thinking and feeling on this very special day. Joseph had to have been an incredibly faithful and trusting man. He was caring for Mary, who he was engaged to, and was pregnant. Though he knew she was a virgin, this was extremely unacceptable in his society. Mary could have gotten stoned for being an adulteress at this time and Joseph could have been shunned for choosing to support her. He chose to trust God and walk along side her and be faithful to Mary. Mary must have been honored and terrified at the same time. Here she was, probably barely even 14 or 15 years old and is told that she is going to give birth to the son of God. Knowing that she is a virgin and that many people will not believe her, she says to the angel Gabriel, 'Let all of these things you have said to me come to pass." She gratefully accepted this very overwhelming and honorable task into her heart. Jesus was born under seemingly unremarkable conditions. In a manger with animals and shepherds around. Not something you would imagine a Son of God being born in to. But God had a powerful purpose for all of this. I don't really know that I know all of His reasons, but I imagine it to be because He wanted to send a message that he was here for the poor, for the rich, for the sick, for the needy, for the young, for the old...for everyone.

When I really look into the birth of Christ and what it has meant to the world, I instantly get my Christmas spirit back. It puts to mind the huge sacrifice that was made for us later on in his life. It also puts to mind what Christ stood for. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. I think that our Christmas spirit should come from these things and should always be remembered. Merry Christmas friends. :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Unfavorite Holiday Game

I have decided that the famous ‘gift exchange’ at holiday parties is my least favorite game of the season. I’m not talking about your casual gift exchange among family and friends. I am talking about the gift exchange where you pile all of the gifts in front of the group and everyone takes a number to see in what order everyone chooses a gift from the pile. This is the exchange where you may choose to steal someone else’s present or open a new gift when it comes to your number. One gift can only be stolen up to three times. There are a couple of reasons why I don’t like this game. The first one being, I think the spirit of the season should be more about giving and sharing rather then stealing and choosing the ‘biggest, shiniest gift under the tree’. When I think of Christmas I think of the birth of Christ, spending time with my family and giving to my loved ones. I don’t like the constant ‘it’s all about me’ theme that seems to surround Christmas. Now granted, it may seem like I am blowing the idea of this game out of proportion. I realize that it’s all in good fun. However, this is just one reason why I personally don’t like it. The second reason I am not a fan of this game is that it takes FOREVER to get through it. Last night I went to an IAAP meeting (International Association of Administrative Professionals). We played the ‘Exchange Game’ at the party. There were over 40 people at this party. So that meant that we had to get through over 40 people selecting AND opening a present, or stealing a present. I found that at the beginning we went through the numbers at a fairly quick pace. But as we approached number 25, the game got progressively slower and slower until we were almost at a complete stand still. The problems arose when a person decided to steal a present. After someone steals a present, the person they stole it from can either steal someone else’s present or choose a new one for them self to open. Most of them were choosing to steal someone else’s present, therefore setting off the snowball cycle of stolen presents. Meaning we could never get to the next number because everyone who got ‘stolen’ from kept stealing right back. It was endless! I think it took us upwards of TWO HOURS to get through this game! So be forewarned…if you are looking for the ‘Gift Exchange Game’, you probably don’t want to come to any of my Christmas parties.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Black is the New Blonde.

I dyed my hair jet black today. I have been wanting to do this for quite a while now but have been scared to. I finally took the plunge...and discovered that I actually like it! I have a few friends who will probably kill me for doing it (you know who you are). I just had highlights put in a few weeks ago when I got my hair cut, but I didn't really like them that much. I couldn't really tell any difference from what my hair color looked like before.

So now I am the black haired woman. :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Modern Technology...Not So Helpful

When I was at the airport this weekend I came across an interesting dilemma. Have you ever tried to use the restroom with your carry-on luggage in tow? Let’s just say….it’s not an experience I enjoy. I will begin by saying that modern technology is not all that it’s cracked up to be. Automatic flushing toilets are Satan. Let’s look at this scenario. I am trying to stuff myself in to this tiny bathroom stall with BOTH my carry-on bags in tow. So basically once me and my bags are inside, there is sitting room only. I discover that my lock, of course, is broken. So I assume the position with one arm holding the door shut, with my feet on top of the bags that are piled directly in front of me. I go to sit down and do my business and in mid-pee I get an unexpected shower from the oh-so-helpful automatic toilet flush….that likes to flush whenever it darn well pleases. So not only do I get the spray of joy, but when I AM finished it doesn’t flush and I have to find that little button thing that you push to flush in manually. Then comes the task of getting myself OUT of the stall with the luggage. Not so useful that the doors open INTO the stall that is already packed with the toilet, your body, and your two carry-ons. I finally squeeze myself out with the luggage in tow to get to the ‘automatic sinks’. The sinks do come on on command; however, your two choices of water temperature are scalding, or boiling. I go to stick my hand under the ‘automatic soap dispenser’ and there is no soap in any of them. So I go back to boiling my hands in hopes that the millions of nasty germs I’m sure to have picked up in the disgusting bathroom will have been burned off. Then I proceed to go to a cafĂ© in the airport to get my $10.00 turkey sandwich. As I sit there eating I am pondering all of these things, and just how ‘useful’ modern technology has turned out to be.