A Happy Holiday Season

I have been a bit of a Scrooge this year as the holidays are approaching.  I refuse (and I say that lightly) to listen to Christmas music.  I don’t like or want the snow – not that I ever do.  Plus I have no interest in shopping for people’s gifts.  I think part of the problem may be that I am very focused on Lincoln, and all I want to do is things for him.  This isn’t a bad thing.  It’s just usually at this time of year I am doing things for me…

A typical Amber Christmastime:  The season for me normally kicks off with the Cities Sampler release day.  I immerse myself in the beautiful music while planning to start the Santa season.  For the past seven years, I have spent ~5 weeks leading up to Christmas working with Santa.  I have loved that job since day 1.  Thanksgiving occurs, which stops the Sampler listening and begins the Christmas music.  Then I spend many glorious days preparing my shopping lists, purchasing more gifts than necessary at higher amounts than needed, and I finish off wrapping these gifts. At work for the past 2 years I have helped plan the Christmas Party!  I thoroughly enjoy heading to Grandma’s/Aunt’s/Nebraksa/Parents’ to open gift and spend family time.  One thing you should also know about me, which shows why I love Christmas so much, is that my love language is Gifts.

This year is a bit different.  I didn’t go to the release day because my wonderful bestest Nikki won tickets to the Sampler Listening Party where I was able to reserve my copies of the CD.  Therefore on Nov. 17th I did not start listening to the Sampler.  (I didn’t actually start listening until this week!)  As Santa geared up, I did not.  This year I am just doing the scheduling.  While I have loved working with the people at Santa and have truly enjoyed holding this position for 8 years, I do not miss one bit of it.  I am not on the Christmas Party committee this year.  Thanksgiving came and went, along with a bit of snow.  I enjoyed the family time, but did not enjoy the snow.  I am fearful of driving with Lincoln in it.  I am a very good driver, but other people are not.  Christmas music has still not started.  I haven’t purchased a gift – nor do I really want to.  I love to give people gifts, but this year money is tighter, since having a baby is expensive, and I just worry.

Ultimately, the Christmas season will bring me great joy and cheer.  I will buy the gifts that I need and want to buy.  We are not strapped for money, we just need to watch more closely how we choose to spend.  Alabaster will probably not be buying all of his kitty/dog/bird cousins a gift this year.  And unlike most years, I could care less what I get for Christmas!  All I want is for Lincoln to be happy and healthy, and to get the things that he needs.

So instead of being excited this year about my gift giving and receiving, or Christmas music, I am simply joyful towards life.  I have an amazing family, an uber supportive work environment, and the husband and child that I have wanted for so long.

Christmas for me this year is a time to truly understand the gift that Jesus was and is.  I have been blessed incredibly these last few months and I am happier than I ever have been.  The holidays will be a time for me to share that joy and happiness with others as best I can, to do it for Lincoln and for God.

My Favorite Color is Green

There are many times in my life where I am envious of others.  I will see someone who seems very happy and content and I will try to figure out what is secretly wrong in their lives.  It is hard for me to trust that someone could be very content.  I do not believe that anyone can ever be content with everything in their lives, but I know that there is a higher level of contentment that I am capable of reaching.

The Bible says, A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones (Proverbs 14:30).  This week I think that I am going to start working on ways to be content in my life and find things that I am grateful for.

Starting tonight…  I am grateful for:

  • Having someone to snuggle up next to every night no matter what we went through that day
  • Having a kitty to snuggle up next to any time of the day
  • Being able to own a home, two new cars, and other nice things even though I still have not been employed
  • Solitaire
  • Mom, Dad, and Ashley; Mom, Dad, and Amy
  • Great friends
  • God and His word
  • Gold’s Gym
  • Books

As I started writing those down, I realize that I could go on forever.  There are so many things that can help me feel more content with my life that I already have.  It is important to start appreciating them more.

Messaging Change

There are so very many times that things change unexpectedly and are often unwelcome.  Last Tuesday I walked into work very happy and ready for another day at the job.  Very quickly bad news came that two of our managers were being sent to different stores, and by the next day we had two new managers.  I understand the changes and the reasons for them, but I am not very happy about it.  I miss them.

I recently received health insurance which is great, and it also means that I get half off of my gym membership.  I have to go to the gym twelve times a month to get the discount.  It seems like a lot of times, but I know that I can do it!  Sometimes though, I feel like the more I work out, the less fit I feel.  I must be building huge muscles!

Still applying for lots of jobs!  There seems to be a good number of positions open, but so many people applying for them.  I just have to keep praying and hope that the right job happens to me!

Church Council starts on Monday.  Since I do not really need to keep track of the dates anymore, I am terrified of missing the first one!  I am sure I won’t miss it, but there is still that worry.

I got a new Bible today that I am excited about.  It is a TNIV/Message Bible.  It has the TNIV translation right next to the Message translation so that I can compare the versions.  It sure would be neat if I could read Hebrew or Arabic so that I could read the original writings.

Deep Impact is tonight.  It is time for me to read the lesson so that I am prepared!

Politics and Groceries

Justin and I continually have a debate over voting.  Now that we are married and are actively watching the election coverage together, I want to make sure that we vote the same way.  This way, we are not cancelling each other’s votes out.  If Justin wanted to vote for the opposite candidate as I do because of strong political reasons, then I would understand that.  But Justin wants to vote for Colbert.  I feel that in our day and age, you need to vote, and you need to vote for a Democrat or a Republican.  If you feel strongly about a third party candidate then vote for them, but if you do not have a preference, at least vote for the one you dislike the least.  Justin thinks that voting for someone who isn’t running, or even himself, it is sending a statement.  I just think that the point it sends isn’t enough of one to waste your vote.

Justin and I grocery shopped together for real for the first time tonight.  He drives me crazy!! He has to compare price per ounce on everything!  It is kind of cute I guess, jsut time consuming.  But I loved the time we spent together!  I love being married!