Archive for the Happy Holidays Category

Let It Snow

Posted by Jen in Daily-Dallies, Happy Holidays |
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Mid- December…I can’t believe how fast time is flying.  I have been sooooo busy, but a “good” kind of busy – not a “bad, oh my gosh, when will it all stop!” kind of busy.  Last weekend was the holiday craft fair at the local school.  Meghan and her friend made chocolate lollipops and some jewelry and little dog scarves and treats.  They made about $50 each, which is perfect for the Christmas shopping they have left to do.  I went with my personalized name prints again and did really well this year.  I had a lady arrive about an hour before the craft fair ended and she bought about 20 different name prints.  Because I don’t charge for shipping, they are only $3 to $5 each, which makes it an inexpensive Christmas gift.  I do pretty well there each year, but this one was the best.  She even offered to have me come to her house to do a home party.  I have never done that before, but I am more than willing to give it a try.  It will give me a chance to meet some new people, at the very least.

My Christmas shopping is almost done.  I gave myself a budget and I’m sticking to it.
Sort of.
My main problem is all those little extras I pick up while I’m Christmas shopping.  Cafe Latte from McDonalds, a pack of gum at the checkout counter, Purell from the health aisle, wrapping paper and cute little Christmas gift bags (although I already have a closet full of them at home)…I know, it doesn’t sound like much, but it does all add up.  In any case, I’m going to attack all the wrapping this week so I can just sit back and enjoy the remainder of the holiday.

Snow Day

Snow Day

So, we finally had a snow day.  It came exactly when I wanted it to…during this two week period before Christmas.  We have 2 full weeks of school back-to-back and I was hoping to have at least one snow day to break them up and that’s exactly what happened.  That was a very nice surprise.

As always, the ice and sleet arrived immediately after the snow did.  Our driveway will most likely stay covered in ice until spring.  That is usually how it goes every winter.  It never quite warms up enough between ice storms for it to completely melt.  Each one of our cars has a tiny dent from sliding into each other as we drive into the driveway.  LOL

Well, other than that there isn’t much else going on here.  I have a temporary job lined up for January, but I am itching to get back to school.  Hopefully soon!  *fingers crossed*

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by Jen in Books, Movies & TV, Happy Holidays, Parenting, Spiritual Life |

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is here already!  I’m so very very VERY excited.  This is my favorite time of the year.  Thanksgiving is just the beginning…then we have the entire Christmas season to look forward to.  Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas trees, Christmas Carols, twinkly lights, mall Santas, Salvation Army bell ringers, eggnog, very special Christmas episodes on our favorite TV shows, Advent calendars, presents, family visits, snow (hopefully!), decorations…wheeee!  There is no other time of the year like this one.

Last year we didn’t get our Christmas decorations up until the middle of December.  That bummed me out so much that I made us keep them up until the end of January to make up for the late start.  :)   This year, though, we started early. November 21st was our decorating day and the house looks beeeeaaaauuutiful!  (I’m hyper-excited, can’t you tell?)

As for the rest of life – it’s all going so well.  The college savings fund is growing at a slow, but steady pace.  My new interest in tapping into my creative side has been a lot of fun.  I’m currently playing around with scrapbooking and some creative writing.  I don’t have much drawing talent, but scrapbooking is kind of like doing a web layout on paper.  I don’t really have to draw anything – thank goodness!  Digital scrapbooking is fun, too.  I am using a program by Serif, called Digital Scrapbook Artist.  It’s a really fun and addicting with a ton of free designs to use.  The creative writing…well, I’ve actually read a lot of books on writing and journaling recently, but I haven’t actually spent too much time doing the actual writing.  This is typical of me though.  I spend weeks and months preparing for a task before I actually do it.  :D   I’m getting there…

Meghan is feeling so much better these days.  The doctor finally determined that she was probably suffering from a flare-up of her previous sinus infection.  That is why she was getting daily headaches and low-grade fevers.  Her previous antibiotic didn’t quite clear it up and it was getting progressively worse during the past 2 months.  Her energy is back now and she doesn’t seem to feel quite as miserable as she did a few weeks ago.  Hopefully, this is the beginning of a positive upswing.

Speaking of positive…I have also been reading some pretty interesting books, which have been giving me a much more productive and positive view on life.  It kind of started with one of Judith Orloff’s books about positive energy. That led me to some books on living “in the now” (Zen-type books) and then I switched over to Steve Covey’s books (The 7 Secrets of Highly Effective People) and ended up reading a little bit of Bruce Lipton and finally moved on to Wayne Dyer.  His books focus on positive affirmations, higher energy living, service to others, etc.  I’m kind of taking a bit of everything and filling in the gaps with some of the beliefs – including the Christian beliefs from my childhood – and the habits which have worked for me in the past.  The final result is…well, I’m not sure yet.  I’m definitely a lot less worried these days and I feel a lot more centered and enthusiastic about all the little twists and turns my life is taking.  I no longer see my problems as “problems”…they are “projects.”   I forgot where I read that, but for some reason that really stuck with me.  Labeling them like that can put a positive spin on those situations which normally cause us stress.

So – all in all, it’s been a good couple of weeks here.  I cannot wait to enjoy the rest of this holiday season.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Enjoy your holiday! :-D

Back On Schedule…Maybe

Posted by Jen in Gaming, Happy Holidays |
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Goodness…it’s been a while!   I was starting to get this nagging feeling that I had abandoned my blog, so I scheduled some time to sit down and actually do a little writing this afternoon.

Once again, I’m doing a little tweaking of my schedule.  Whatever I was doing before really wasn’t working for me.  It became obvious to me because I found myself flat out ignoring my weekly planner and letting quite a few unproductive days pile up.  I mean, a little “unproductivity” is nice when we do it once in a blue moon, but I was starting to make a habit of it.  So, I paid close attention to what was sucking up most of my time and I think I figured out what it was.
I don’t think I’ll even admit to it here because it’s just too darned embarrassing.


Okay, I’ll fess up.

It’s Facebook.

Now, before you all judge, I’ll have you know that I was a virtual hermit for the beginning half of this year.  I was sick in bed for months with mono and I had practically no interaction with anyone other than my teddy bear and my teenager.  (Okay, so I don’t really interact with my teddy bear, but he sat faithfully at the foot of my bed during the mono-months.)  Anyway…when I was finally feeling better this summer, I realized I felt completely out the loop, socially.  Not that I was much of a social butterfly before this, but when we feel good we want to share it with others and I just realized I didn’t have many others to share it with.

So, I dusted off my old Facebook account, which I never really used before and I found tons of old college and high school friends.  It was pretty awesome actually.  I’m not much of a phone talker…which might surprise those who know me because I actually can and do talk.  A lot.  I’m the kind of person who has to leave 2 answering machine messages because I say too much and the machine cuts me off.    LOL   The problem I have with phone conversations is that I also like multi-tasking and when I talk on the phone, I usually can’t get much else done at the same time.  So, I just don’t like talking on the phone very much.

Anyway…back on topic…so, I went on Facebook and now I have a wonderful way to actually stay in touch with friends and family, while still doing other computer tasks at the same time.  Last Saturday, I met up with my old college roommates.  I hadn’t seen them in almost 12 years, but we met up again on Facebook and made the plans and there we were.  Hanging out and reminiscing about old times.  It was so much fun.  :)

So that’s the good stuff.  The stuff that is taking up a little too much of my time are those gosh-darned FB applications.  I think I have mentioned before that I come from a family of gamers.  Competitive gamers.  It doesn’t matter what the game is…we compete.  Facebook has a plethora of games – word games, arcade games, life-simulati0n games…you name it, FB has it.   And, I am beginning to realize that this might be what is messing up my schedule every day.  So sad, I know.  :)

What usually happens is that I usually make some breakfast and as I’m eating it, I’ll log in, check up on friends, respond to wall posts and then visit the games.  That is when 15 minutes turns into an hour.  I could swear that time ceases to run at a normal speed when we are online.  I think we get sucked into some kind of time altering vortex and while the rest of the world is running at normal speed, we are zipping along even faster.  Or something like that.  I think there was a device in the Stargate series that did that.

So I downloaded a little timer for my browser and I have added FB to my To-Do list everyday.  I am actually making it part of my schedule so that it will have a definite beginning and a definite end…instead of it being a filler activity that bleeds into the rest of my daily schedule.  I set the timer, do my little bit o’ socializing and game-playing and then I finish and get back to work.  I should know in a few days it this works or not.  If you don’t hear from me in a month, look for me in the Facebook Time Vortex.

In other news, Meghan may have finally been properly diagnosed for her chronic low-grade fevers, sore throats, headaches.  The doctor thinks it’s a sinus infection.  They gave her amoxicillan back in September for it, but he thinks it never really cleared up completely and it’s been slowly getting worse again for the past 2 months.  So, he put her on Augmentin and we’re hoping this is what she needs to blast those germs into oblivion.    When she’s better, I’ll be taking her to the doctor for her H1N1 flu shot, too.  They actually vaccinated the kids at her school this past Friday, but it sounded like quite an ordeal.  Kids were passing out and I think one of them has a seizure.  I’m not sure what all that was about, but I’m kind of glad Meg was home.  Sounds like it was a little chaotic.  I guess we’ll get more news about what happened when she goes back to school tomorrow.

Everything else is pretty much the same.  I’m slowly saving up my funds for my last 3 college courses.  I think Christmas gifts will consist of lots of homemade items this year.  I’m going to have to get really creative, which actually sounds kind of fun.  I’ve also been taking a peek at some of the leaked Black Friday ads.  I usually just go out on Black Friday to enjoy the Christmas atmosphere – all the holiday shoppers, Christmas music, decorations, etc.  But I think I need to do some bargain shopping this year, so I think I might actually venture out to do some honest-to-goodness Black Friday shopping.  We’ll see if I’m still feeling that brave a few weeks from now.

Happy Thanksgiving

Posted by Jen in Blogging, Happy Holidays |
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You Are 65% Thankful

  • You are a very thankful person – for both the big and little things in life.
  • Your optimism is powerful. Getting through hard times is fairly easy for you.


Okay – so I am quite a bit more optimistic than I was years ago. I kind of have to be…my body does not handle stress very well and I can’t afford to spend days at a time trying to prevent panic attacks, stress headaches, stomach ulcers etc. I have learned to shut out the bad and focus on the good when I am having a really stressful day. Unfortunately, though, I think I have swung too much the other way now. I find myself shutting out the bad to the point where I am very good at ignoring the unpleasant things in life – even those unpleasant things that I have to face. I’ve become less of a worrier, but more of an avoider. So, “where’s the balance?” I must ask myself again. I am really bad at finding the balance. I’ll make that New Year’s Resolution 1 this year…find the balance.


But, for now, I will focus on today. What am I thankful for today?
My daughter – an amazing young girl who is currently trying to balance the stresses of preteen life.
My family – supportive and loyal…and quirky and irritating…and generous and kind. I am lucky to have them.
My friends – I need to make more of an effort to really enjoy them and get to know them…and not be afraid to let them get to know me.
My faith – while it might feel out of reach these days, I know that it is something that I can always seek to strengthen when I am willing to make it a priority.
Happy Thanksgiving!!  


And I now officially welcome my most favorite time of the year….the Christmas Season. Yayayayayayay!!! I looove this time. Yay! Happy Happy Happy! *insert the happiest, joyfullest (not a real word), perkiest image ever!!*

Thanksgiving 2005

Posted by Jen in Happy Holidays |
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Well, it’s Thanksgiving Day and now that it’s almost over, I am ready to get into Christmas mode.
I have my Johnny Mathis Christmas CD playing and I already put up some decorations and my little bedroom Christmas tree.

I’ll be heading to bed tonight to prepare for a Black Friday tomorrow…that’s my second favorite shopping day of the year.
(My first favorite shopping day is Christmas Eve)  What fun!

[Currently listening to: The First Noel by Johnny Mathis]

Birthday Number 29

Posted by Jen in Happy Holidays, Personally |
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Well, I’m 29 years old today. Eech. Can I really be this old??
It was a pretty okay day for me. Mom is in sort of a funky mood…so I have been avoiding her all day. And, I didn’t get an official “Happy Birthday” from anyone until around noon. Even Meghan forgot, which bummed me out a little bit. But she did make it up to me by making me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch. All by herself…so, that was sweet. As for my gifts…well, I actually only got one this year, but it was a big one….my JVC GRDVL720U MiniDV Digital Camcorder . I am in love with it already.
Plus I got a bunch of money from the other family members, so I can buy some extras for myself when I head to the mall this weekend.

Well, I suppose I’ll just end this day by spending some time with Meg and then heading to bed. I can’t remember having a more disappointing birthday, to tell you the truth. I mean, I know that as you get older, the excitement of birthdays will dwindle, but….I just kind of expected to have this day be a little more special than every other day. Well, Happy Birthday to me. (And Christian Slater, Patrick Swayze, Edward Norton, Robert Redford, and anyone else out there)