Taming Hurricane Amy

Ahhhh, the week after Thanksgiving...I am CRAZY this week...and I think most everyone I know has been too.  Is it because there are only 3 weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year?  Is it because we live in a new house?  Is it because I have a one year old and not a newborn this year?  I have done zero Christmas shopping, my house is half decorated, my Christmas cards JUST got ordered yesterday, and I still haven't finished all of my laundry that piled up last weekend!

I have been running around like Hurricane Amy this week, and driving everyone around me (including myself) nuts.  TRUTH...ask my friends, my husband and my mom!  Today I decided to take a break from my life and go get my nails done and have lunch with a friend.  Does it really take so little to change my attitude and get me back on course remembering what this season is all about?  Truly a little time for myself has made me calmer, more reflective, and more thankful than I have been all week.

There are so many blessings right in front of me that I often overlook in the midst of the chaos of my every day.  I'll just mention a few as I reflect on last week.  I had all of my immediate family here for Thanksgiving...the ages spanned from 1 to 87...blessing.  Actually there's one younger than 1 that's scheduled to arrive in February...blessing.  My sister (7 months pregnant) and brother-in-law drove over 9 hours to come visit us for just a couple of days...and my brother flew across the country encountering way too many delays to see us for the same amount of time...blessing.  They could've easily decided to go their own ways for Thanksgiving as, as mentioned before, Christmas is only 3 weeks away...blessing.  Thanksgiving evening was spent with my husband, my kids, my mom and dad, and my grandmother all together in the kitchen having a pizza party and a dance party while the pizzas baked...blessing.  The weather on Saturday (when we actually celebrated Thanksgiving all together) was gorgeous and perfect for a 10ish mile run with my brother and for frying our turkey...blessing.  No one got burned or injured during the cooking festivities despite my middle child trying to jump over the hook up from the turkey fryer to the gas...BLESSING!

I could go on and on, and I often get so caught up in the details of the day that I forget to enjoy all of the amazing moments that occur.  I am involved with a Bible study right now called The Christ Centered Woman that has been such a good reminder of where my focus should remain.  The premise is that if we make our decisions based on Christ being the center of our lives that our lives will be more balanced.  Why is it that the time leading up to Christmas is usually when most of us lose sight of this?  Logic tells us that if we're celebrating Christmas that our focus should naturally be on Christ, but it is so often not the case.  There is so much talk of Santa and the Elf on the Shelf and good behavior and threats to not get presents, etc, etc, etc.

I am trying to make the effort to be more intentional about talking about baby Jesus and the story of Christmas with my children not only for their little ears but for mine too.  I have decorated my mantle not with my normal candles, stocking holders, and ornaments; I have instead decorated with three homemade nativities by my children, one that was my grandmothers, one that we got as a wedding shower gift, and one that was given to my children by their grandparents.  This is the focal point of the room, and I am hopeful that this will help my focus remain where it needs to be and keep Hurricane Amy at bay.  (We can only hope!!)  The shopping will get done (it always does, and there are always way too many gifts under the tree,) the house will get decorated, my Christmas cards will get mailed, and my laundry will get finished...well, that never really actually happens, but you catch my drift.  So I'm going to take a deep breath, make time for myself, and remember the Reason for the Season!

On the menu this week:
Tortellini Soup with Spinach
White Chicken Lasagna
Lamb Burgers with Pickled Feta Sauce
Spaghetti with Homemade Meatballs (gotta carb up for the big 1/2 marathon on Saturday!!)

Happy Cooking!!

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