Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

"So, as a new year starts and we try to benefit from a proper view of what has gone before, I plead with you not to dwell on days now gone, nor to yearn vainly for yesterday however good those yesterdays may have been. The past is to be learned from but not lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we experienced, then we look ahead, we remember that faith is always pointed toward the future."

-Jeffrey R. Holland, Remember Lot's Wife

Friday, December 30, 2011

A Favorite Christmas Tradition

We started it when we were little. The whole family would head off to the 1$ Store and buy each member of the family a little gift. The trick of it was that you had to be inventive in how you hid your purchases since the whole family was walking around the store. I'm sure when we were little we thought it was awesome to have gifts that were secrets from our parents, and now it is still awesome because we usually try to come up with he most funny/random/creative crap.

Once home safely unseen by the others the gifts are wrapped and placed in our GIANT family stocking where they remain until we open them Christmas night.

Some of the best gifts this year: carpet cleaner for the dog, hand sanitizer, no rip toilet paper, and a FBI badge.

*It should be noted that we buy each other thoughtful, useful Christmas gifts too :)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Christmas

Last December I spent a Sunday morning wandering through a beautiful art gallery. It is not my usual Sunday morning activity, but as I wandered through this famous, usually packed space the quiet, and emptiness spoke to me. I had a spiritual experience as I came upon a painting of the Christ child, being looked upon and adored by his mother.

I think I've seen every nativity ever made before (and half of them are in our living room), however this particular representation of a mother adoring her child, and her savior spoke to me in a way none other had before. It showed a mother overjoyed at having a child, and in awe of who her child was, and what he would do.

Before I'd never really thought at the joy Mary must have felt when she became a mother. Everyone mentions how intimidating, hard, or overwhelming it would be to realize you are the mother of Christ. However, there must also have been great joy. She had our Heavenly Father on her side, like no other mother before or since. She had a knowledge of what was to come. She knew that there was great reason to rejoice in the birth of this son, because of who he was, and what he would do for the world.
About the hope he would bring to it.

I've been thinking a lot about hope the past weeks. About what it really means and about the role it plays in my own life. I think President Uchtdorf spoke of hope best when he spoke in General Conference a few years back:

"Hope has the power to fill our lives with happiness"

"Hope is a gift of the Spirit. It is a hope that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the power of His Resurrection we shall be raised unto life eternal and this because of the faith in our Savior."

"(Hope) is believing and expecting that our prayers will be answered. It is manifest in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perseverance."

"There may be times when we must make a courageous decision to hope even when everything around us contradicts this hope... Hope teaches that there is reason to rejoice even when all seems dark around us."

And I think that this hope, bringing happiness and rejoicing, is really what Christmas is all about.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Two more.
Then on to more important things.
Better things.
Happier things.
Here is to the weeks ahead which hopefully will be full of sleep, family time, TV, movies, friends, treats and laughter.

Two more...

Friday, December 9, 2011

Happy December

"December come to me I hope you can see you're not just in dreams"
Norah Jone's December

It is officially my favorite month of the year! And this particular year I'm trying something a little bit exciting. I've decided to create an advent in which each day has something Christmas-esque to do up until the big day. I want to be sure to take the time to enjoy all of my favorite things about this season and not get too overwhelmed with the stress that comes.

It's nothing fancy, but combined with the icicle lights it makes my day every time I see it:

The fancy cute numbering came from this happy place.

*disclaimer my walls look like some awful green color here but in actuality they are a light grey.