If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Friday, January 3, 2014


This old girl had a big holiday season!  I enjoyed spending time with family.  I had some time off from the hustle of work.

First, I celebrated with my work family.  We wrapped up our year with a meeting and each of us reported the progress from our starting days back in August and looked forward to tasks anticipated for next week.  Then, we shared a delicious deep dish pizza provided by our boss supervisor mentor and guide.  (Her title is one that is hard to define because, after all, who in the world could possibly 'boss' eight women?  Plus, she doesn't hand down directives so much as identifies areas of focus, offers suggestions, and asks questions of us to lead us toward action.  Technically, she is our department head and shoulders lots of responsibility and passes along expectations.  Actually, she is more of a leader, guide, and mentor who also protects us when we err and stray or when others are making unreasonable demands of our time and skills.)  Finally, we exchanged gifts that we had selected for a random exchange - each of which had a kitchen focus.  I gave an adorable snowman-shaped serving dish and I received a montage which included a large jar with a chalkboard label, a vegetable spray spritzer, and some delicious smelling lemon soap and lotion.  We also rejoiced over the coffee maker our department leader gifted to us for the office!

We celebrated with Mike's family at his mother's on Christmas morning.  She had prepared ham, biscuits, and gravy and we all brought other contributions of eggs, potato casserole, etc.  We always give gifts to the children (our great nephews and niece).  Knowing that they are bombarded with toys and fun things to play with at Christmas, I usually give books.  However, I didn't make it to as many school book fairs this year as usual.  So, they got things like Legos, dump trucks for the twins, a doll for little Josie, and a starter tool set for Jayme.  Then, we play Dirty Santa by drawing numbers and taking turns opening a gift or stealing somebody else's gift.  We swapped things like pliers, wrenches, screw drivers, a beverage serving carafe, a covered cake pan, a cookie jar, and signed bottles (by the master distiller) of Jack Daniels whiskey.  It was a lively morning with good food, good fellowship, and lots of good-natured laughter.

I went over and visited my parents and we had a fabulous visit!  It is so nice to be able to spend time with them without the distraction of a meal to prepare and serve or lots of other people around.  (I enjoy boisterous times with the whole crowd, too, of course!  Quiet times to talk and visit are just hard to beat, though.)  I love it when I have time to just sit and catch up with the folks and learn what is going on in their lives and...just breathe together.

Our children all came at the same time to visit us this year and exchange gifts with one another.  It was a loud and rowdy time and we all truly enjoyed it, I think.  We munched on ham and biscuits, sausage balls, dips and chips, and sweet treats.  Everybody contributed to the smorgasbord and all was delicious.  Paper and bows flew and children and grandchildren bounced around and smiled and giggled and guffawed.  The grandchildren are spoiled with gifts from the adults and the adult children draw names and exchange gifts.  Their name drawing is done online and they make lists of hopes and wishes.  I love getting to see their lists and it provides Mike and me lots of choices for indulging them.  With the whole crew we strive to give them something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read.  It was nice to have them all in the room together for a rare gathering like that  (except for one poor flu sufferer who was home in bed).

We are always amazed at how well the grandchildren play together without fussing or arguments or tears. It is also wonderful that our grown children seem to enjoy one another's company.  Running and bouncing and climbing and giggling and squealing and cooing and smiling and playing and imagining and sharing - the grandchildren.  Talking and laughing and teasing and discussing and sharing - the grown children.

Mike and I also got to have some time together.  We watched lots of TV - football, crime dramas, holiday movies, Duck Dynasty, and he took in several old westerns, of course.  We rested and coughed together as we are still trying to shake the residuals of the flu.  We read books and dozed.

We are gradually getting back into the swing of a 'regular' routine.  It is always nice to celebrate our many blessings and share time with our family reminding us why we are here and why we continue to...do.