Thursday, December 16, 2010

good things

I need to write down the good things I can remember from this week before I forget. Here's a brain spew of them. . .

Mom came for a short visit, I sang a solo in the Messiah for the first time, kids so happy about Granny's visit. Monday morning kids are still happy about Granny's visit, Drew and Sam insist on multiple group hugs. Read stories from the Friend for FHE. Signed Sam up for basketball. Got visit teaching done, made neighbor gifts, delivered most of them. Parent day at gymnastics, kids learning and enjoying their gym class. Car was finally repaired. Christmas cards are finished at the printer, addresses mostly gathered. Gifts starting to arrive in KY. Came up with a great gift for Mike, ordered it. Thanked Sam's teacher and delivered gift to her. Went on a couple of great bike rides, Drew rode in the trailer. Clean sheets on all the beds. Remembered garbage day. Mike scrubbed the entire master bathroom! Mike took the a/c out of the window and back to the shed! Sam and Em are both doing well in school. Went to lunch with Mike :) and Drew :) No one is sick. The laundry is almost finished. I was invited to a book club. The party store is selling everything for 75% off so I got all I needed to finish up Mike's family party. Everyone in Mike's family agreed to their assignments. Taught a harp lesson. Visited with some good friends. Tomorrow is Friday, it is crazier than ever. This has been a really busy week, not too much busier than most weeks, but it feels positive. Lots of things have gone wrong this week, but so much has turned out Great! I am grateful for all this GREAT stuff :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My Best Christmas Gift

The morning of Christmas has expectations. Excitement, joy, happiness, love, warmth, companionship, beauty, plentiful, surprise, generosity, and giving are all words that come to mind when I think of Christmas morning. On Christmas morning in 2004, there was a big part of my life missing. As my kids excitedly found what Santa had left them the night before, I watched for their reactions. The were very happy. Watching my children be happy made the ache in my heart pound a little harder. Knowing that their dad wasn't able to be there with them, to experience some of the "firsts" for our littlest, and enjoy the elation of our oldest. The phone rang just as the wrapping paper had all been ripped off the gifts, and the stockings had been scavenged. I laid on the floor with my kids watching them unwrap and eat Christmas candy for breakfast. On the other end of the phone was Mike. That Christmas morning was as complete as we could get it that year. We were all together, if we count being on speaker phone. We all laid on the floor with the phone in the middle of us and talked about what we had eaten for Christmas Eve. We talked about how the weather was in our different regions of the world. We talked about the people we spent Christmas Eve with, the packages we received, and the gifts we gave. During a deployment, holidays are difficult. The Christmas season has expectations. Sometimes those expectations are hard to meet. It is all in our attitude. The best Christmas gift I have received is when I answered that phone call from Mike. He was thousands of miles away, but we were still able to share Christmas morning together.

Friday, December 3, 2010


Today I was thinking about giving and earning respect. I have recently become friends with a few people who have really made me reflect on what kind of person I am. These people have made me feel like I am a good person, and that they respect me for who I am, the way I am. Do I treat people this way or have I become complacent about how I treat other people? Have I become careless about the attention I give my family and friends? Have I forgotten how to listen when someone is speaking to me? Am I a taker or a giver? I want to be a giver. I want people I come in contact with to feel like I respect them. I want to care about how a person feels and what they are experiencing. I feel like I have lost my way a little. I feel like my possible addiction to instant social interaction (facebook and texting), has effected my human interaction skills.

I went looking for some guidelines to help me answer these questions, and find some ways to modify my behavior so I can get into good habits again. I am a fan of Matt Townsend; he is a relationship counselor. I like his point of view. These are his 5 rules of respect. I have added some of my own thoughts about the rules.

1. Keep private things private. (Keep secrets in the proper places. Respect things that are private to your spouse. Keep your confidences- have the discipline to keep it to yourself.)
2. Honor the people who aren't present. (Talk to people with respect when you are with them, and not with them.)
3. It's more about your delivery than your intent or content.
4. Wow people with words of respect. (Such as, May I, pardon me, please, thank you, forgive me, excuse me, sorry, etc).
5. Pay attention while others speak. (If an important political person was talking to you, it would be easy to sit and listen and tune out the rest of the world. If your toddler is talking to you, it isn't as easy, but so important to show the child that you respect them, and what they care about. Check your text message when the person has finished speaking and your conversation is over).

These rules seem so obvious to me, but I have strayed from some of them. On my way back to keeping these rules, I will remember how good I feel when I am around my new friends, and strive treat others in a respectful and kind way.