Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Pretty Pictures

I missed my post for Tuesday.  We had to run some errands Monday night that took us pretty near the temple.  We decided to take a look at the grounds, since we were so close.  I’m so glad we did.  It was truly beautiful and really helped me See Christmas Clearly, not only for the time we walked around the grounds, but for all of Tuesday – it just stayed with me.

Nativity at the Temple photo

(Sean took that one with his iPhone.)

My beautiful thing for today also has to do with a picture, actually 500 of them.  I finally got all the kids’ pictures sent off to Costco for one of their Christmas presents.  It feels like I’ve been working on it forever!  Basically, they will each get about 75 pictures of them from since they were a baby up to present day.  Then I have a whole bunch of family pictures of the kids playing together and hiking as a family and doing stuff with their cousins.  They will get to hunt and peck through those Christmas day to fill up the rest of their individual photo album.  Each child will get a very simple album that they can organize and do whatever they want with.  That way, they will each have something to keep by their beds to pull out when they are feeling lonely or sad or they just want to remember something funny.  I am hoping that seeing all those pictures of them smiling and playing together will help them know they are deeply loved and needed by every member of our family.  Three cheers for getting that one checked off the Christmas to-do list!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Three Beauties

Please forgive my lack of pictures to keep things interesting today.

It was hard to find time to write over the weekend, but I carried on in my quest to find something beautiful each day – to See Christmas Clearly.  Here is what I saw:

Saturday: Anna offered to help wrap presents.  While her enthusiasm for the offer only lasted long enough to wrap one gift, the euphoric thought of me not having to do it all by myself lifted my spirits for the next few hours.

Sunday: The talks in church were about the true gift of Christmas – Christ.  And about giving gifts that really matter – gifts that help bring others to Christ.  It helped me re-think my gift list and holiday to-do list to make sure I am giving and doing what matters most.  I appreciated the opportunity to re-focus.

Monday: I made three batches of strawberry jam before 9:00 this morning.  ‘Nuff said.

(Now I’m going back to bed.)  ;>

Friday, December 13, 2013

Lu’s Art Class

Today has not been my favorite day.  The early morning started out well enough, but by the time the kids had all walked out the door, my enthusiasm for the day evaporated.  I laid on the couch feeling grumpy and uninspired.  And I kept trying with all my little might to find something beautiful about today.  Days like today are the reason I invented my challenge – so I would please, oh, please find someway out of my own self-destructive mess.  I needed some extra help today.  Enter: LuLu – Bad Mood Buster Extraordinaire!


Once I finally forced myself up off the couch to get some lunch (and finally get dressed), LuLu guided me to the table, pulled out colored pencils and put a piece of paper in front of me.  She proceeded to give me an art lesson.  “Take your red pencil and draw a line like this.” “Take your blue pencil and draw a line like this.  Good job!” “Take your black pencil and make circles.”  I made swirly circles, which she totally rolled with, “I like your lollipops.  You make lollipops on your paper and I’ll make circles on my paper.”  And so it went until she felt we were finished with our art.


After some friends left this afternoon (there’s nothing like company to get me dressed and upright), Lu entertained me with song after song after made-up song that had me laughing out loud.  She also instructed me that if I was not going to stand up and dance with her, I needed to “wiggle on the couch” while she sang more songs to me.


My good mood from 7:00am returned and I’ve been busy doing good things ever since.  Alyxandria, thank you for being my beautiful thing today.  Thank you for lifting my spirits and being such a faithful, sweet companion.  It is my joy and privilege to spend each day with you.  I love you, little Lu!  You are a miracle, my love.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Love Notes

A beautiful thing in my life is love notes.  Just the other day I got an email from a friend I haven’t seen in a while.  It was short and simple and sweet – “How are you?” “I’m thinking about you.”  It warmed my heart and made me feel loved and appreciated.

I put a chocolate kiss (the mint truffle kind – yum!) and a little note on the pillows of my little ones yesterday afternoon.  It is something I’ve needed to do for months, but kept procrastinating.  But things have been a little rough around here lately and I felt like it was high time a few words and some chocolate worked its magic.

I think the magic it works is mostly in me.  I pause to really think about how that person has blessed my life.  And I feel blessed because of them – because of who they are and the privilege I have of walking along this path of life with them, even if it is only just crossing paths. 

When we take the time to willingly love another person – to let them know they are loved – we make beautiful things happen both within them and within ourselves.  They feel the warm glow of being appreciated and valued.  And we feel the light and warmth that comes from Heaven telling us we did good in helping another human being feel loved.  That is a beautiful thing.  It helps me see the true magic of Christmas a little more clearly.

Do something beautiful today (and then tell me about it).  ;>

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Seeing Christmas Clearly

I had an epiphany of sorts last night.  Without going into the long tear-laced details, let’s just say I realized normal everyday beauty has been missing from my life.  Not that I am not surrounded by a multitude of beautiful things, but I just haven’t been seeing them lately.Christmas Tags 001

Enter my Christmas project: Seeing Christmas Clearly!

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I am going to do my very best to see and document something beautiful everyday for the rest of the month.  It may be something I see or do or experience or remember or whatever – but something beautiful.  Something that reminds me that Christ loves me.  That this season celebrates Him.  And if I can see the beauty He pours into my everyday life, I will see Him.

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For my Seeing Christmas Clearly post today I have gift tags the littles and I made before school this morning.  We covered the table with scissors and glue sticks and markers and all different kinds of paper and ribbons and yarn and went to town making something a little extra special for those we love the most.  We listened to Christmas music and praised each other’s ideas.  They turned out beautifully and the spirit of the morning was beautiful!  And I felt happy and blessed.

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What will you see this Christmas season?

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