Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 in review

1. What did you do in 2009 that you have never done before?
found out that i am going to be an aunt!

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions and will you make more for 2010?
i don't make resolutions. i have a list of various goals i want to achieve but it's a fluid list & not associated with the new year. i crossed some items off in 2009, added some new ones, and hope to keep making progress.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth in 2009?
no new babies in 2009, at least not in my close circle.

4. Did anyone close to you die in 2009?
one of my dad's cousins and the last of my Gram's brothers passed away this year.

5. What countries did you visit this year?
just stayed right here in the U.S.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
2009 was a year full of rich blessings for me. i don't feel as though anything was lacking, other than my loved ones not all being closer.

7. What date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
July 11, seeing one of my best friends get married & being so so happy for her that she finally is loved the way she deserves.

8. What was your biggest struggle in 2009?
any struggles i had seem silly & meaningless at this point. my biggest struggle was watching so many of my friends go through a challenging & difficult year, feeling as though there was so little i could do to help.

9. Did you suffer any illness or injury in 2009?
nothing noteworthy. a couple of mild colds & that's pretty much it. i am grateful for the uneventful!

10. What was the best thing you bought this year?
tickets to see the Sox!

11. Whose behavior merited celebration?

my friends who handled their challenges with far more grace than they realize.

12. Whose behavior disappointed you?
those who caused some of the challenges certain friends faced.

13. Where did most of your money go?
paying the bills. but there is a roof over my head & i want for nothing, so i am ok with that.

14. What did you get really really excited about this year?

Alison's wedding. finding out about my in-progress niece or nephew. getting to visit my friends. meeting Brandi and Lil Foot's Mommy--and i would have been excited about meeting Pocklock but that was a surprise! getting to see the Sox in Fenway, thanks to a very generous vendor from work.

15. What song will always remind you of 2009?
"I'm Alive" by Kenny Chesney & Dave Matthews.

16. Compared to this time last year, are you: much happier, much nicer or richer?
i am happier & i am richer in the ways that truly matter. i like to think i am nicer too...

17. What do you wish you had done more of?
the same things i did, just more of them. and taking more photos of them

18. What do you wish you had done less of?
calling the time i spend doing things i enjoy "nothing" because they are something.

19. Did you fall in love in 2009?
"Love isn't some place that we fall. It's something that we do." (from "Something That We Do," by Clint Black)

20. What was your favorite TV Program in 2009?
oh man... i can't pick just one!! Big Bang Theory. Grey's Anatomy. Dexter.

21. What was the best book you read this year?

Faithful: Two Diehard Boston Red Sox Fans Chronicle the Historic 2004 Season (Stewart O'Nan and Stephen King)

22. What was your greatest musical discovery this past year?
remembering older songs that bring back good memories.

23. What did you want and get?
a Jon Lester Red Sox jersey. i also got a Mike Lowell World Baseball Classic jersey i didn't even know i wanted but that i love! i also got the entire series of Boston Legal on DVD.

24. What was the best movie you saw this year?
Disney's A Christmas Carol.

25. What did you do on your birthday and how old did you turn?

i turned 33. i celebrated it low-key, just the way i like it: a nice quiet dinner out.

26. What one thing would have made your year more satisfying?

nope, i don't wish for a single thing to be different. this was a very.good.year.

27. How would you describe your personal fashion statement this year?

same as always: it has to be comfortable--and if it looks good, that's a bonus.

28. What kept you sane this year?
Twitter kept me sane a work many days.

29. What celebrity did you fancy the most?

the only "celebrity" i pay attention to is Mike Lowell. ;-)

30. Who did you miss this past year?
i miss a lot of people. see number six.

31. Who were the best new people you met this year?
i refer you to number fourteen.

32. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned this year:
you can't control what happens around you or to you, but you *can* decide how you will react to it. once i fully wrapped my brain around this, i felt so much more at peace.


Grace in Small Things 343:365

1. only working a half day!

2. having a yummy dinner out & then a nice quiet New Years Eve in--just the way i like it.

3. Boston Legal on DVD!! man, i miss Alan Shore.

4. looking at the big pile of Christmas cards i received in the mail. i love getting cards!

5. feeling thankful that i had such a fantastic 2009, especially knowing so many who didn't.

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Grace in Small Things 342:365

1. affirmation that good people still exist in this world, when an elderly man on the flight fell ill an hour before we landed & two doctors on the flight immediately came to his assistance, staying with him for the duration of the flight.

2. a safe flight.

3. the gentleman in my row who not only pulled my suitcase out of the overhead bin but also carried it off the plane for me until we were in the jet way & i was able to roll it.

4. new glasses!!

5. having good vision insurance.

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I Want Wednesday: December 30, 2009

**i absolutely love art that depicts the change of seasons, so it stands to reason that I Want Four Seasons prints found in erinjane illustrations on Etsy

**I Want it to be baseball season.

**I Want a dining room & to find a cool collection of dishes to hang on the wall, something like this. i think it's such an appropriate way to decorate a room dedicated to eating!

**I Want some of these magnetic page clips. i have a cute little ducky one that Nichole shared with me but i find that i have more than one book going at a time lately & i could really use some more.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Grace in Small Things 341:365

1. watching favorite Christmas movies again & again.

2. i didn't completely forget how to eat with chopsticks! (must be my awesome teacher.)

3. getting to meet Courtney in person.

4. Reese's Peanut Butter Trees.

5. "everything's better with Christmas lights."

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Grace in Small Things 340:365

1. spending time with friends.

2. remembering (thanks for reminding me, Nichole!) to bring my camera with me to the mall to get some photos of the incredible Christmas decorations.

3. Christmas isn't over yet!

4. having lunch with a friend. so many of my favorite people live so far away from me. we can keep in touch thanks to technology but it's so nice just to be able to go to lunch & chat face to face, after doing a little shopping.

5. a good book.

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Grace in Small Things 339:365

1. Disneyland at Christmastime.

2. laughing so much you find yourself gasping for air.

3. a milk chocolate peanut butter sandwich from the candy shop at Disney.

4. Disneyland's Small World all decorated for Christmas.

5. fireworks.

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Grace in Small Things 338:365

1. getting to celebrate Christmas with very dear friends.

2. all the incredible gifts i received this year. i am so so so very spoiled.

3. being reminded of my Gram's "sugar plums": dates split about 3/4 open, stuffed with peanut butter & rolled in sugar.

4. a delicious Christmas feast. most especially the caprese bites.

5. seeing the Grand Canyon from the air, surrounded by snow.

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Friday, December 25, 2009

Grace in Small Things 337:365

1. joy in my heart.

2. love in my life.

3. peace in my soul.

4. hope in my world.

5. the birth of Christ.

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joy to the world, the Lord has come!

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. The angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
(Luke 2:7-14)


Thursday, December 24, 2009

all is calm. all is bright.

A virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel.
(Isaiah 7:14)

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
(Isaiah 9:6)

O little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight.

For Christ is born of Mary
And gathered all above
While mortals sleep the angels keep
Their watch of wondering love
O morning stars together
Proclaim His holy birth
And praises sing to God the King
And peace to men on earth


Grace in Small Things 336:365

1. the warmth of memories filling my mind, of childhood Christmases and holidays past.

2. traditions. new & old.

3. the Christmas Eve Candlelight service.

4. the movie "It's a Wonderful Life." even though the ending makes me tear up every time.

5. gifts which can only be seen with the heart.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I Want Wednesday: December 23, 2009

my life is filled with more than i could ever want, much less deserve. my blessings are rich & full. there is truly very little i *really* want for myself.

today, i want...

...peace to fill the lives of those i love. especially those who have struggled with challenges over the past year. and for the new year to bring fresh beginnings and hope to the places where there were shadows.

...for no one in my world to feel left behind, overlooked, forgotten, unimportant or alone.

...good health to be granted to all those i love. and to all those they love., laughter, gratitude, compassion, love, good memories and a spirit of generosity to thrive in each of our lives.

...quiet moments in which to reflect and appreciate all that we have. be the kind of person that each of the people i hold dear deserves to have in their lives, and to bless their lives as they have mine. wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas, overflowing with the same joy and excitement you felt when you were a child.


Grace in Small Things 335:365

1. only two half-days of work left for me in 2009.

2. having a good chat with Heather on the phone.

3. homemade clam chowder.

4. hearing Christmas carols playing out in the shop outside the office door.

5. a Yankee Candle gift card arrived in the mail from my mother. will be perfect for stocking up on new Spring votives soon!

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Grace in Small Things 334:365

1. this Real Simple Daily Quote that arrived in my inbox:
"Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future." (Paul Boese)

2. all of my Christmas preparations are complete. all that's left is to sit back and enjoy the holiday & all that it means to me.

3. the movie "Elf" which makes me laugh.

4. people who will listen to me venting.

5. flannel pajama pants.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Grace in Small Things 333:365

1. the Mike Lowell trade to Texas has been called off due to impending thumb surgery. i refuse to get my hopes up only to be disappointed but i am pleased that doom has been, at the very least, postponed.

2. January Redbook in the mail!

3. frost on the rooftops when i left for work this morning. i know most Floridians find this weather unacceptably frigid, but for the few days its here each year, i find it refreshing. plus, it was fitting for the week of Christmas & the first day of Winter.

4. it never hurts to know that this cold snap won't last more than a few days, as opposed to a few more months.

5. i got the box of gifts from my dad in the mail today. i added them to the pile under my tree. as i sat back to survey the abundance of boxes & colorful wrapping, it humbles me just a bit, because it is evidence of the real gift: my life is so full of people who love me.

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Grace in Small Things 332:365

1. seeing everyone's snow photos.

2. a refreshingly chilly day here in Florida.

3. my stash of wrapping paper for Christmas. i have lots of options & i love seeing them all standing at attention in my wrapping paper storage container.

4. everything's wrapped & under the tree!

5. getting a good inventory of all my wrapping supplies so that i only stock up on what i need. i love feeling organized & knowing i won't end up with three new packages of tags when i have more than enough already but no silver ribbon.

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Grace in Small Things 331:365

1. this quote from the Grey's writers' blog on the Thanksgiving/Christmas episode (which i finally watched):

My friend Peter called me today and when I said, "How are you?" He said, "I’m trying, actively, to renew my faith and my hope and my joy and my optimism. They’ve all gone missing, which is not okay with me." I love Peter. I love that when his faith goes missing, he doesn’t sit and feel sorry for himself. He goes turning over rocks and stones, looking for it. He prays and he calls friends and he says out loud what he’s feeling. Which, in itself, demonstrates that his faith is not as far away as he imagines. That’s the feeling I hope this episode left you with. That miracles are possible…That a simple song can lift your spirits…. That speaking your truth, or opening your checkbook, or offering a simple apology or making an attempt to understand another’s point of view can turn your whole day or your whole year around. That life doesn’t always happen the way we hope or plan but that that doesn’t matter. How we greet what life throws our way is all that matters.

2. dinner at Five Guys. yum!

3. getting my eye exam out of the way.

4. freshly tamed & highlighted hair.

5. being warm & snuggly in my bed.

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Grace in Small Things 330:365

1. the atmosphere in the office at work has shifted dramatically. for the better.

2. having a potluck lunch with the office staff at work.

3. laying on the couch watching Christmas movies.

4. a whole pile of Christmas cards in my mailbox.

5. sweater weather.

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Grace in Small Things 329:365

1. a poinsettia appeared on my desk at work today!

2. my work computer came back late this afternoon after being fixed yet again.

3. remembering to bring magazines to work with me to pass the computer-less time.

4. a mysterious box appeared in the mail yesterday from Giuseppina! it is now waiting under my tree for Christmas morning.

5. watching classic Christmas tv specials.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Grace in Small Things 328:365

1. the work Christmas cards are *finally* finished.

2. the solitaire app on my iPod. without it i would have gone insane from boredom or fallen asleep at my desk with no computer all day.

3. a bag of Bath & Body Works goodness appeared on my desk at work today!

4. *all* my baking is done now!

5. packing Christmas cookies in my lunch.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Grace in Small Things 327:365

1. when i got to work this morning, there was a NY Times "Best Moments in Red Sox History" publication on my desk for me. i love little Christmas surprises!

2. chocolate & peppermint.

3. Picnik. made editing the Christmas Party photos *so* much fun. ;-)

4. my snowflake necklace.

5. January Real Simple in my mailbox!

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Grace in Small Things 326:365

1. all my packages are in the mail & will arrive before Christmas!

2. the really nice postal worker who helped us get all the packages to be mailed from the truck to the building with his rolling bin.

3. the very amusing guy who was behind me in line which made the wait go by quickly.

4. my shipping costs came in slightly under budget!

5. the season finale of Dexter. holy crap was that a great season! love that show!

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Grace in Small Things 325:365

1. i got a huge beautiful red poinsettia today. i love it.

2. taking a day to snuggle up on the couch & just watch football & enjoy my tree.

3. how beautifully the church is decorated for Christmas.

4. dipping into my box of See's chocolates.

5. scrolling through the photos from the Christmas party & having some good laughs.

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Grace in Small Things 324:365

1. this quote from the movie "P.S. I Love You"

We're so arrogant, aren't we? So afraid of age, we do everything we can to prevent it. We don't realize what a privilege it is to grow old with someone.

2. Disney at Christmastime.

3. the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights.

4. when Disney makes it "snow".

5. the way Christmas & Disney make my "inner child" spring to life.

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Grace in Small Things 323:365

1. i got my first Christmas card in the mail!

2. the company Christmas party was a success.

3. i won a gift card for Macaroni Grill as my prize!

4. laughing so hard during the prize drawings that i couldn't call the numbers.

5. being reminded that i am lucky to have a really good boss.

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Grace in Small Things 322:365

1. the baking is done! the baking is done! well, the cookies being shipped anyway. i need some sugar cookie trees, some peanut butter blossoms & some Candy Cane Cookies for myself now, but no pressure there.

2. a very entertaining episode of CSI:NY on the DVR.

3. houses decorated with Christmas lights.

4. the humidity went away & some brisk air took its place. puts me in the holiday spirit.

5. sampling Christmas cookies while you bake.

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feast your eyes.

yes, it took me just over two weeks to get these uploaded & onto my blog. i underestimated how busy i would be! Nichole has the Thanksgiving menu on her blog, so you'll have to pop over there for a full description--we made a deal that if she handled the words, i would provide the pictures, as a collaborative post of sorts--so here is my contribution. yay teamwork!

The Table


Soup & Salad

The Carving

The Main Event

The Drama

those are fire engines & on-lookers , in case that's not obvious without having been there.

The Candle Garden

and ummm...dessert was devoured by candlelight & i seem to have forgotten to take a photo before gobbling its deliciousness up. oops.


five minutes with Theo Epstien.

i was ranting at with Pocklock this morning about the grave injustices taking place on our beloved baseball team in the overnight when she suggested a blog post. i already had the seedling planted, but her creative brilliance is responsible for the title and format. and so, without further delay, let's set the scene: elevator. lone occupant when i step on: one Theo Epstein, Red Sox GM. and... go.
listen, Epstein. Mike Lowell. now don't look at me like that. you knew we were going to start here.

so let me get something straight. we are trading him to Texas. for a minor league catcher. *and* we have to pick up a significant chunk of his salary. so you can clear the way for a *possible* Beltre acquisition? let me rephrase that. we could be shelling out somewhere around twenty million dollars to ditch a class act with a solid bat in favor of a dirt bag whose last great season was 2004, when he just so happened to be juiced. i'm sorry. the logic of that choice hasn't emerged for me yet. can you clarify it for me?

still waiting.

nothing to say?

let's move on. speaking of choosing dirt bags & other players for whom you have lusted ::cough::E6::cough:: over class acts, i have to have some questionable taste in men. and i speak with authority on that topic from former life experience. i'm glad one of us learned the lesson. and even *I* wouldn't have made the Lugo mistake. you win.

and speaking of paying that salary for Texas to take Lowell. ya know, the Yankees may drop a lot of cash on payroll but you fly under the radar. you win the prize for signing the most payroll checks out to PLAYERS WE NO LONGER EVEN HAVE. WHAT GIVES? look, you've gone & made me all shouty. i'll let you explain yourself.

and i'm still waiting for the logic on that Lowell trade too. in case you thought i was distracted from it.

and while you're at it, you maybe ought to let Beltre know--*if* we (maybe) get him (just in case)--that if he thinks choosing #25 is a good idea, the cold shoulder i gave JD Drew for the better part of a season & a half for putting on that #7 jersey will pale in comparison to the contempt that will sear into your new 3B's back when the Sox come to Tampa. hell hath no fury & all that. i'm sure you've heard that one before.

i'm also wondering why we are spending so much energy on "unloading" a perfectly good player with whom we have no complaints, a clubhouse leader & a consummate professional, with one year left on his contract, who looked pretty darn good at "only" 75% last year, WHEN WE HAVE BIGGER ISSUES. like the troupe of traveling Ramon Ramirezes that void known as the bullpen. and perhaps a sixth starter since everyone knows there's no such thing as "too much pitching" and we have some guys in our rotation that have a first aid symbol hovering over their (much beloved) heads. oh and ummmm... NO LEFT FIELDER! (PayBay!!!) (sheesh. have we not gone over this for several months now?)

this just in: Sox acquire Boof Bonser. ok Theo. WHAT.THE.HELL. are you *trying* to kill me? for real. at least lay your cards out on the table. do you know how long i have howled with laughter over that guy's name?! now you are forcing me to root for him??

and another thing. can you just not make up your mind? Alex Gonzalez plays for the Red Sox. no he doesn't. wait...yes he does. nope. he's gone. really. so... let's kick the tires on this guy named Coco Crisp. he might fit in well in Boston. hmmm... seller's remorse much?? may i redirect your attention back to Point Number One. better known as Mike Lowell. who i hope rams his bat up your rear with his cleat every time Texas plays Boston. except that he won't, because he's a class act. he will, instead, quietly go about his business, hopefully having an All Star MVP season, and turning your stomach lining into an angry crater-surface of ulcers. so does that mean we can hope he'll be back in 2011? i'm confused how this works.

here's an aside for you: you know that Beltre is a Bora$$ a) why would you want to deal with that tool yet again? and b) what makes you think you will get the player you so badly want when the anti-Christ is pulling all the strings? he was just waiting for you to shove Lowell out the door so that he can laugh maniacally as he sends Beltre to the Rangers or the Twins or...anywhere not Boston. kinda like he did last year? guy named Teixeira? ring any bells?

just so you know, i am really restraining myself from slapping you upside your perfectly-coiffed head about Lugo. you should know you scarred me for life with that one. i will forever flinch when the ball is hit to short. which reminds me: you are officially on The Lugo List now. just wanted to be clear about that.

i have to tell you, Theo. these decisions have left me scratching my head. they make no sense. have you suffered a blow to the noggin? are you being blackmailed? perhaps we should have *you* tested for various substances... because i am searching for a shred of sense in all this & i have to be honest, i'm coming up empty-handed. and you've been curiously (suspiciously?) mute.

i realize that Texas is being all coy & telling us "nothing is in stone yet" but i am onto you, Epstein. it doesn't have to be Texas. i know if that falls apart, you will just try somewhere else. the destination isn't important, the *departure* is what bothers me. i should give you fair warning though: if you send him to the Bronx, you should probably go into hiding, because you've already got me teetering close to the edge as it is.

well now. *that* was therapeutic. thanks for allowing me to give you a little piece of my mind. i'll let you get back to business now. but i'll be watching.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

and of course i was sitting right up front.

tonight was our "Candlelight & Carols" Advent service at church. it's one of my favorite services. the church is lit almost entirely by candles (one spotlight shines softly on the altar) & we pause to think, to reflect, to find peace in the midst of all the bustle associated with Christmas. it is designed to feel like a refuge in the center of a whirling storm.

we reach a point in the service when we are pausing to remember loved ones who have passed away. the church is silent & reverent.

and then, i hear it. that unmistakable whine.

a mosquito.

and he is buzzing all around me. first by this ear, then the other. lands on my neck, my hair, my arm. i cannot just allow a mosquito to land on me & nibble. just can't. so i am trying to discreetly swat him away. but he.won't.leave. he just keeps hovering. and whining. faster & faster. tormenting me.

and there i am, swatting away at the mosquito. but the church is dark & no one can *see* it. so i just look insane. arms flailing, hands waving, trying to defend myself. from a mosquito. AT CHRISTMASTIME. only in Florida is this an issue.

i can't tell you how grateful i was when, at the end of the service, the guy sitting behind me tapped my shoulder & said "i just want you to know, i know you're not crazy. i saw the mosquito. i wanted to swat him for you when i saw him land on your hair but i thought you might turn around & hit *me*."

so much for some quiet moments to breathe & re-center myself.


Grace in Small Things 321:365

1. coming home & turning on my tree first thing (the socket it's plugged into is operated by a switch by the front door, which normally has a lamp plugged in there but it's easier to turn the tree on that way then trying to crawl under it, skirt the gifts & attempt to not bump fragile ornaments or knock the whole thing over) and in the otherwise dim & quiet apartment, i hear my little ornament playing "Silent Night." makes me happy.

2. midweek Advent services. particularly this week's, which is very serene & reflective in nature.

3. getting my most challenging batch of Christmas cookies finished, except for the decorating--but that's the fun part!

4. Sarah McLachlan's Christmas music.

5. a church lit by candlelight.

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I Want Wednesday: December 9, 2009

**I Want to get all my Christmas to-do list items crossed off by the end of this week--wrapped, baked, boxed & shipped out--so that i can finally relax & enjoy the rest of the Christmas season.

and thus ends my Wants for this week. i haven't had time to find anything new to want because i've been running around like an idiot.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Grace in Small Things 320:365

1. someone Christmas-a-fied my work window!

2. very pleased with some recent decisions i have made.

3. last two Christmas gifts have arrived! just need to wrap 'em up & ship 'em out!

4. snuggling up on the couch to watch some tv after a long last week.

5. second batch of Christmas cookies - done!

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Monday, December 7, 2009

Grace in Small Things 319:365

1. my Christmas cards have all been mailed!

2. i worked on the company Christmas cards off & on all day. they have glitter on them. it was EVERYWHERE. i looked like i got into a brawl with Tinkerbell & lost.

3. one batch of Christmas cookies-done! mmmm... Peanut Butter Blossoms...

4. a nice cool shower after busting my tail all evening.

5. slipping into a bed with cool fresh sheets.

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Grace in Small Things 318:365

1. all my Christmas gifts that have to be shipped have been wrapped! they are sitting under my tree right now & it all looks so festive!

2. sparkly Christmas ornaments.

3. getting my home back in order after i trashed it with Christmas preparations over the last three days.

4. good memories of Christmases past, as i unpacked all my decorations.

5. flopping onto the couch at the end of a long busy weekend with a sense of accomplishment.

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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Grace in Small Things 317:365

1. making the rest of my home all Christmas-y.

2. when it stopped raining this afternoon, a cool front moved in. the air is brisk & it puts me in such a good holiday mood.

3. clean ceiling fans. (how does something that never stops moving manage to collect so.much.dust?? seriously. of course, it may have something to do with the fact that i forget to clean them as often as i should because they don't *look* dirty...til you stop them.)

4. finishing the last few bits of my Christmas shopping!

5. i love this:

Ever thine.
Ever mine.
Ever ours.
(Carrie Bradshaw reading from "Love Letters of Great Men: Volume One" in Sex & the City: The Movie)

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Friday, December 4, 2009

Grace in Small Things 316:365

1. my Hallmark "Joyful Tidings" angels.

2. i decorated my tree tonight. i love my tree. i love all my ornaments. i could just sit & stare at my happy shiny tree for hours.

3. the colorful lights of the tree reflecting off the silver garland around the window & all the sparkly ornaments.

4. eating on dinner--a super simple dinner of frozen waffles--on my Christmas plates makes everything feel more festive.

5. a box full of Yankee Candle goodness from my god daughter--and permission to open my gift early so i can enjoy them all month long! medium-sized jars of Hollyberry (a favorite retired scent, back just for the holidays), Christmas on the Beach, North Pole and Christmas Cupcake!

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Grace in Small Things 315:365

1. the woman in the charcoal grey Chevy Trailblazer who let me into an endless line of traffic this morning.

2. evergreen boughs hanging in the office, making the whole downstairs smell absolutely divine.

3. one lazy evening before i become a Christmas whirlwind.

4. burning evergreen-scented candles that (almost) make up for having an artificial tree.

5. forming my Christmas Plan!

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Grace in Small Things 314:365

1. lunch out with the girls from work before finishing up errands for next week's work Christmas party. free lunch always = good.

2. my boss went out & got an emerald crab for our fish tank just because i told him how cool i thought Nichole's was & how much i enjoyed watching him when i visited California over Thanksgiving.

3. stockpiling Christmas shows & movies on the DVR to enjoy throughout the whole holiday season.

4. Candy Cane Kisses. yumminess.

5. quiet evenings spent at home.

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I Want Wednesday: December 2, 2009

**I Want a red poinsettia. i get one every year, in honor of my Gram. she loved them & we would give her one every year for the Christmas season. now i get one for myself in memory of her. i do the same thing at Easter with an Easter lily.

**these are the Christmas DVDs I Want for my personal collection:

**I Want these two prints from Studio Mela in my bathroom:
The Little Family

Count the Waves

*I Want this Christmas Tree Forest pillow from Quiltish


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Grace in Small Things 313:365

1. figuring out the new digital format my cable provider upgraded to for its on-screen guide & DVR controls. now that i understand it, i like it! so much easier to navigate!

2. finally got to change my work calendar off that horrible turkey. i like the bighorn sheep for December much better.

3. the lights on my tree throw enough light that unless i'm doing something that requires a significant amount of brightness, i can use it as my primary lighting in my living for the evening.

4. flannel pj pants.

5. i love my new iGoogle theme for the Christmas season (it's the Winter Village one, for anyone curious):

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Snapshot from Along the Broken Road: November 2009

photo of me
ummm... ummm... i have no good excu... WAIT!! there *is* a photo of me from this month but it's on Renee's phone! ha. at least i don't have to say there isn't one at all this time.

1) current candle scents:
Fall Festival. Autumn Gold. Lakeside Birch.

2) what i am currently reading:
"Joy in Mudville: The Big Book of Baseball Humor" (Mort Gerberg). "Watching Baseball: Discovering the Game Within the Game" (Jerry Remy with Corey Sandler).

3) newest music i added my playlist:
"All I Ask for Anymore," Trace Adkins. "Laughed Until We Cried," Jason Aldean. "You Found Me," The Fray. "Your Smiling Face" and "Who Comes This Night," James Taylor. "Hope Now," Addison Road. "Hello," Schulyer Fisk. "I'd Rather Be With You," Joshua Radin. "Lucky," Jason Mraz with Colbie Caillat. "As I Lay Me Down," Sophie B Hawkins. "Need You Now," Lady Antebellum. "What Are You Doing New Years Eve" and "Merry Christmas Darling," by The Carpenters. and a whole bunch of Christmas music by Straight No Chaser, including "The Christmas Can-Can" and "The 12 Days of Christmas."

4) movies i saw:
The Bourne Ultimatum. Mr Brooks. Disney's A Christmas Carol. Auntie Mame. To Catch a Thief. The Time Traveler's Wife.

5) something yummy i made this month:
Romaine-Wrapped Tilapia with Red Onion and Capers.

6) someplace i ate out this month:
at the Pacific Club for Nichole's birthday! so.freaking.yummy.

7) something that made me cry:
the Publix Thanksgiving commercials. they get me every time.

8) something that made me laugh:
"The 12 Days of Christmas" by Straight No Chaser. especially the ending. seriously, laughed until i cried.

9) something i looked forward to this month:
Thanksgiving dinner. i have been lucky enough to be invited to some of the most incredible holiday meals, possibly ever.

10) something i am thankful for:
those days when my heart is full to the point of bursting.

11) something i want to remember about this month:
there are still good people in this world, despite the way it seems sometimes.

12) a photo i took this month:


Monday, November 30, 2009

Grace in Small Things 312:365

1. it's the official end of hurricane season.

2. nearly all the gifts i ordered online have safely arrived already!

3. the Christmas playlist on my iPod.

4. how pretty my lit tree looks through the window.

5. i have a ton of respect for Drew Brees & the Saints. i could stomach a half dozen losses to them easier than a single one to Peyton & The Manning Face ™.

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Grace in Small Things 311:365

1. "fast pass" in the airport security line.

2. humongous hugs.

3. exceptionally smooth airplane landings.

4. being able to light the Christmas tree now that it's officially Advent.

5. feeling like the luckiest girl in the world to be so well loved.

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Grace in Small Things 310:365

1. stocking up on See's chocolates.

2. the smell of fresh-cut Christmas trees.

3. lazy vacation days, watching movies with friends & eating Thanksgiving leftovers.

4. the opportunity to try new foods.

5. warm apple pie with vanilla ice cream.

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Friday, November 27, 2009

Grace in Small Things 309:365

1. pumpkin flan for breakfast.

2. losing track of what day of the week it is because i'm on vacation.

3. the earth has so many cool things to see. today, it was the La Brea Tar Pits.

4. sunset over the Pacific Ocean.

5. walking with the wind in my face & hearing the waves crashing into shore.h

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Grace in Small Things 308:365

1. family and friends. to not just receive love, compassion, laughter and understanding but to give it as well.

2. faith. forgivenes. a joyful spirit, an optimistic attitude and a soul at peace.

3. a full tummy. a fuller heart.

4. all my needs are met and i have far more than i could ever want, much less deserve.

5. the ability to recognize the multitude of ways in which i have been blessed and the opportunity to pause for reflection, to be humbled by the abundance that fills my life, and to be deeply grateful for it.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Grace in Small Things 307:365

1. time spent with friends.

2. vacation.

3. the way sunlight shines on freshly washed stemware, creating a tiny sunburst.

4. cupcakes.

5. a warm kitty on my lap.

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I Want Wednesday: November 25, 2009

i was browsing through the Hallmark Dream Book and these are the ones I Want from this year's ornaments:

**Winter Wreath -- my Gram loved birds & cardinals always remind me of her & my Gramp.

**Season's Treatings -- i love this new series! i love to cook & bake. this series looks like it's perfectly suited to me!

**Star of Hope -- one of my favorite Christmas carols.

**Snowflake Season -- i have a collection of snowflake decorations for my tree & home for the Winter season.

**Star of Bethlehem -- this one reminds me of my all-time favorite Christmas carol, "O Little Town of Bethlehem."

**Holy Family -- i love how peaceful this one is.

**Blessed By Heaven -- my dad & Gram often got me angel ornaments & decorations as gifts. i love that this ornament also has a traditional feel to it.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Grace in Small Things 306:365

1. free WiFi & scoring a seat by an outlet when my flight was delayed yesterday.

2. a row all to myself on the plane!

3. Nichole's birthday & getting to celebrate it with her!

4. a fantastic meal in fantastic company. followed by chocolate birthday cake.

5. bubbly champagne silliness.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Grace in Small Things 305:365

1. one-day work weeks...

2. ...because as of 3:30pm i am on vacation!!

3. watching the anemone move around the fisk tank. they are so strange & cool & interesting.

4. treating myself to a few new tunes on my iPod for my flight.

5. hugs from friends you haven't seen in forever.

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Grace in Small Things 304:365

1. one day until vacation!

2. getting my Christmas tree assembled so that it's ready to decorate when i get home again.

3. early online check-in for flights.

4. Wes Welker. i knew i was going to love him playing in New England when i first coveted him four years ago!

5. when everything fits into my luggage effortlessly.

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Grace in Small Things 303:365

1. i only have a few more little items to pick up & then my Christmas shopping is complete!

2. getting to see ultrasound pictures of my niece-or-nephew-to-be.

3. two days til vacation!

4. going to see Disney's "A Christms Carol" & not being disappointed.

5. reading in bed.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Grace in Small Things 302:365

1. three days until vacation!

2. we got an anemone for the aquarium at work! they are so cool.

3. mini Reese's Peanut Butter christmas trees.

4. hermit crabs.

5. it's been a week since they replaced my modem and (knock on wood) my crazy intermittent internet service appears to be fixed now.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Grace in Small Things 301:365

1. the Disney World Christmas commercials. they make me smile.

2. cake. peanut butter & chocolate. what more can a girl ask for?

3. Real Simple, December.

4. *and* the December issue of Redbook! good mail day!!

5. finding a perfect Christmas gift for someone after almost settling for something else in a moment of desperation that the right gift wouldn't appear.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Grace in Small Things 300:365

1. new fish in the tank at work!

2. York Peppermint Patties. especially when they are shaped like snowflakes for Christmas. festive!

3. doing some major damage to my Christmas list.

4. having a good hair day.

5. 300 Grace posts completed. 65 to go. that's a *lot* of things to be grateful for.

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I Want Wednesday: November 18, 2009

**because i typically have more than one book going at a time, and only one little bookmark, I Want these page flags which i think would come in very useful.

**i *hate* carrying my cell phone in my pocket, especially when i am in a Disney park or at a ball game. but tucking it into a bag leave it too far away. so I Want this KangaRoom Mesh Phone Case. in cherry, please.

**i keep saying i need a surge protector (i just have a power strip at the moment). i looked at a bunch & i think I Want the PowerSquid surge protector. maybe. it's just really...not cheap. but a whole lot cheaper than needing all new electronics.

**i have absolutely nowhere i could possibly put these (the smaller photo shows you how big they are!) but I Want these snowflake strands.

**I Want to sniff these scents to see which ones need to come home to live with me.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Grace in Small Things 299:365

1. a brand new fresh 2010 desk calendar.

2. re-arranging my desk at work so that my left shoulder doesn't feel like it's going to fall off.

3. a tv episode with a really good cliffhanger. and *not* having to wait til next season to find out what happens next!

4. bubblewrap.

5. laughing til i cry.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Grace in Small Things 298:365

1. one week until vacation!

2. i got an envelope in the mail from Valerie with the Kraft magazine she was generous enough to share with me, only to discover she also tucked in a pair of earrings from her great little Etsy store!!

3. i cannot recall the last time i had my a/c on. from now through April is why i put up with six months of humidity.

4. a new work computer! one i (hopefully) won't have to fight with on a daily basis, just to turn it on!

5. perspective.

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Grace in Small Things 297:365

1. leftovers in the refrigerator mean i get a day off from cooking but still get to eat yummy food.

2. taking a bit of a break from the internet for the weekend. just to recharge.

3. Target. i always find the best stuff at that store!

4. the smell of crisp air.

5. the pretty reflection one of my votive holders casts in a dark room when the candle flickers.

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Grace in Small Things 296:365

1. waking up super early on a Saturday but feeling completely refreshed.

2. perfect weather for wandering around Animal Kingdom.

3. my camera.

4. a new pair of sneakers.

5. a growing stash of Christmas surprises.

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Grace in Small Things 295:365

1. having people who will put up with me, even when i am cranky for no good reason.

2. peppermint-scented hand lotion.

3. a fresh Sharpie.

4. remembering to have a few magazines in the car for when my computer is down at work.

5. sincerity.

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telemarketers who call trying to sell me a consultation for re-financing my mortgage. when i try to cut in, they start talking louder & faster to dorwn out whatever protests i have, forcing me to shout (which is always nice at work).

a) this is a place of business. (but ma'am, we can still talk to *you*...)

2) i do not have a mortgage that needs re-financing. (but ma'am, you don't know until you have a consultation!)

d) and i do not have a house!!

i cannot even describe the great satisfaction i took in hanging up the phone at that point when the telemarketer tried to interject with yet another "but ma'am..."


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Grace in Small Things 294:365

1. (light) sweater weather!

2. this daily thought from Real Simple delivered to my inbox:
"Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you were."
(Cherie Carter-Scott)

3. this excerpt from Cass Just Curious's post today.
Like everything, I have no idea how – but its not my job to figure out how….its my job to be ready for the opportunity.

4. my Kraft Food & Family Holiday issue didn't get delievered so the very kind Valerie is going to send me her extra copy!

5. a really good eipsode of The Good Wife

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Grace in Small Things 293:365

1. increased storage (from 10GB to 80GB for the same $20/year) from Google for my Picasa Web Albums (where i store all my photos online). i really love the whole Picasa system & how freaking easy it is to use. this increased storage just makes me love it that much more.

2. December Good Housekeeping. have i mentioned how much i love magazines?

3. my new mini food processor. it is so cute! and helpful! and did i mention cute?

4. Tek finally accepted his player option. i really want him to retire in a Sox uniform. and i kinda hope he does so after this season. maybe move into the coaching side of things, where his baseball knowledge can continue to benefit the Sox.

5. catching up on Private Practive thanks to my trusty DVR.

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I Want Wednesday: November 11, 2009

**I Want this bathroom rug from Bed Bath & Beyond. it would go perfectly in my bathroom.

**I Want to decorate a pumpkin like this for Thanksgiving, since i can't get away with carving a jack-o-lantern in the heat & humidity down here.

**I Want the Pioneer Woman cookbook.

**I Want somewhere to put some more of the insane number of photos i have, like a set of these photo albums. i like the brown set but the other four color combos are fun too.

**I Want to have a stash of these Coola Suncare Minis to have on hand in my purse & camera bag, for when i end up spending time outside unexpectedly.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Grace in Small Things 292:365

1. got to start a new bottle of shower gel which means a new scent: black raspberry vanilla. mmmmm...

2. grey days which are a welcome break from all the glaring sunshine. sometimes my eyes just need the break.

3. an awesome belated birthday gift that arrived in the mail today.

4. when a friend takes the time to thank me for being a good friend--something that is not necessary because it is important to me to be a good friend, but i do appreciate knowing that people i care about feel i've been a good friend to them.

5. a half gallon of one of my favorite limited edition seasonal ice cream flavors from Publix: Santa's White Christmas. delicious!

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