Tis the season

This time of year stirs up feelings of joy, togetherness, generosity, and hope. Hope for a new year, a new way of doing things, a better version of oneself. Hope for better, more functional relationships, and of course, stronger thighs and tighter abs. This time of year also draws out all the ugly we repressed for the last 300+ days. Feelings of sadness, loneliness, grief, trauma, pain, addiction. I don’t know if it’s the placement of the moon, the winter solstice or all of the subliminal holiday messages of happy families flush with cash. Whatever the trigger, we all find ourselves in one or more of these emotions, states of being. Maybe we are reminded of those we lost – an empty chair at Christmas dinner, the movie we used to always watch with that person, the first Christmas ornaments that never were. Wherever you fall on this spectrum this holiday season, know you are seen, you are loved. You are better today than yesterday, and if you just raged on someone at Target for taking the last * insert whatever it was here * – good news! You can start fresh tomorrow. 

I say this every year, but if you know someone who goes to a dark place over the holidays – reach out. Leave a gift, a card on their doorstep, hug them in the grocery store, cry with them if they need it…notice them and their pain. You don’t have to make a big deal about it or go overboard. If they don’t want to cry, that’s OK too (they’re probably closet or shower criers – let them have that). The simple act of showing them love, letting them know you remember their hurts and their broken pieces, it means more than you know. If you don’t know what to say, it’s also OK to say, “I don’t know what to say.” It’s so much better than the awkward pause or disingenuous gestures.

Christmas in and of itself is JOY and HOPE – it’s also a call to be these things to others! Pay it forward, show kindness to strangers, give of yourself. As you sit down with family or friends (or dogs and cats) this Holiday – stop and breathe. Notice those people, in that space and show gratitude for however they showed up. Notice the breath in your lungs and what a privilege it is to share space and life with others. To share highs and lows, disagreements and redemptive resolution. This day represents promises kept, selflessness given, and the everlasting promise of eternity.  

Happiest Holidays to you and yours! Wishing you peace, joy, hope and continued growth in 2020!

snow

Music | Snow by Sleeping At Last

The branches have traded their leaves for white sleeves
All warm-bodied creatures make ghosts as they breath
Scarves are wrapped tightly like gifts under trees
Christmas lights tangle in knots annually

Our families huddle closely
Betting warmth against the cold
But our bruises seem to surface
Like mud beneath the snow

So we sing carols softly, as sweet as we know
A prayer that our burdens will lift as we go
Like young love still waiting under mistletoe
We’ll welcome December with tireless hope

Let our bells keep on ringing
Making angels in the snow
May the melody disarm us
When the cracks begin to show

Like the petals in our pockets
May we remember who we are
Unconditionally cared for
By those who share our broken hearts

The table is set and our glasses are full
Though pieces go missing, may we still feel whole
We’ll build new traditions in place of the old
’cause life without revision will silence our souls

So let the bells keep on ringing
Making angels in the snow
May the melody disarm us
When the cracks begin to show

Like the petals in our pockets
May we remember who we are
Unconditionally cared for
By those who share our broken hearts

As gentle as feathers, the snow piles high
Our world gets rewritten and retraced every time
Like fresh plates and clean slates, our future is white
New Year’s resolutions will reset tonight

 

 

trials of the lazy

Our weekend was filled with tree buying, snowman making, pizza eating, and sweet potato eating [to make up for the pizza eating]. We are not feeling the Christmas spirit, thus, not feeling the whole tree and decorating thing. After realizing how lame we are – we zipped to the depot to purchase a mini tree. Nothing fancy please. We were heartily greeted by the cutest white haired man as we walked through the doors – what a jolly guy [no, it wasn’t santa]. I was too busy squealing for cuteness when it practically jumped out in front of me. The Norfolk Pine dressed in glittery red Christmas balls! I exclaimed loudly, “SOLD! DONE! Get me out of this place!” Mick had to locate the most well rounded tree, fifteen minutes later, we were out the door. Easiest tree buying experience ever…PLUS…it’s a house tree so we can use it over and over again. Cheapskates dream!TREE

Friday night we gave into our five day craving for pizza and ate an entire large cheese pie. It was heaven. Obviously Saturday I did two Nike Training work outs. We also built the most adorable snowman – properly named Bert Maklan. He is currently melting unattractively outside.  The End.bert

the lights

Over the weekend Mick and I braved the frigid temperatures to photograph the amazing lights downtown. There are over 1.5 million lights all over with the highest concentration by city park. If you are a guest at the resort you can take a boat cruise across the lake to the “North Pole” which is a whole other set of lights. We can actually see the North Pole from our house. Along with the North Pole cruises they have a lights show on the resort property that puts Lights on the Bay to shame. Every tree lining the main street is wrapped in lights, and the tops of the light posts are decorated with lit snowflakes. It’s quite enchanting…except when the windchill is below zero. After the third picture both my phone and my camera shut down, I could no longer feel my fingers and I’m pretty sure Mick was cursing our idea. I had that wonderful feeling where your hands are so frozen they are burning. I was also pretty sure when I looked down my fingers would be black and I would soon be on my way to amputation. All that to say – I can’t wait to go back and spend more time, a warmer evening.

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arctic blast

Man OH Man! it’s about 12 degrees outside and there is an expected windchill of -25. yes. n e g a t i v e. The other night Mick and I took a walk [he ran, crazy person] up the huge hill entering our neighborhood and back – we both returned and felt like our lungs were water logged. Mick was coughing, I was trying to take deep breaths…bad news. I pulled up the weather on my trusty phone and realized, we are idiots. Of COURSE we felt like death was upon us, it was 19 degrees outside but ‘felt like’ 5! dummies. Despite the lung issue and my knees pooping and locking uncontrollably, we actually enjoy this weather. It doesn’t feel as cold as the temperature gauge reads, only because it’s a dry cold. It’s not a wet, bone chilling Maryland cold. Mick proposed going snowboarding this weekend but I think it’s a bit too cold for that…at least our first time out.

SO – in this arctic cold snap we will be watching movies, eating Pho and drinking a lot of coffee. We should also probably rock the Christmas music but we can’t stop listening to…wait for it…