Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas 2011

Christmas has come and it is through the eyes of the camera:

Christmas Eve!
Dinner is cooking.
Time to eat.
We always do the Chrismas poppers, and they have paper crowns and a small trinket inside!

The boys exchanging gifts Christmas Eve.
This is what they put out for Santa.
But Santa had some wine in mind too!
He always leaves a letter...or a note in this case!

Santa filled the stockings.....
...and he leaves presents under the tree......
...something for the dogs in their stockings
Then off to bed so Santa will come!

John with his coffee.

Michael in his festive cap....
Ryan, with his cup of Joe....
I'm there too in my pj's
Roscoe got a present.
And that coat I talked about in a previous blog, made it under the tree!
Riley liked the bone in his stocking.
Santa brings the boys an ornament each year.


The empty table will soon be filled.
Hubby who is usually taking the pictures, makes a rare turkey carving appearance!
One of the two birds!
Baked Brie
We serve buffet style due to the large amount of people.

Me and my Dad
We like to sing Christmas songs and use wooden spoons as microphones!

The table is filled with family.

Turkey makes me tired.
And then there's the clean up!

And to all a good night!

In a nutshell....

I'm sick.......... I'm tired........ I ate sugar........lots of sugar..... carbs too......I'm sad.......It's a new day!! Looking forward to it and sending big hugs to you all!

That's all I've got for now.....oh yeah...I've finally cleaned up. Now to the returns!!!

Thought for the day: Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrrives and puts itself in our hands and hopes we've learned something from yesterday. John Wayne

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I'm still standing.....

Hello friends. Just dropping by to say.... I'm alive, I haven't gained too much ( up a pound or two), I'm tired, I'm happy, I'm sore ( from all those trips up and down the stairs from my basement storage!) and I'M STILL CLEANING UP!!! Lol. I feel so guilty that I haven't checked in, and I have so much to talk about! But with my to do list so long, and one of my new girls out sick from work for awhile, I'm even more swamped than my usual swamped self.

Christmas was wonderful, and I will post lots of photos in a day or two. But I gotta tell you, having a sit down Christmas Eve dinner ( albeit, it was only the 7 of us) and then a full out, two turkeys, 1 ham, 24 person dinner on Christmas Day has worn me out. I am still putting away tables, and chairs, china and glasses, trays and roasting pans. Plus I do have some end of the year work stuff that has to be in by the end of this week. So indulge my whining for a bit please! I miss blogging, but I have been keeping up with all of you faithful bloggers out there. So give me a day or two and I'll be caught up. That is until my son and his girlfriend get here Friday for New Years Eve!!!!

Love, and big hugs to you all!

Thought for the day: Any thing is possible, and there is always an option.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Christmas, from my house to yours!

For those of us who celebrate Christmas, this is crunch time. The hustle, the bustle, the scurrying about, will go into full force this week. Stress is high, budgets are tight, and expectations soar.  It's so easy to get caught up in it all, and forget the meaning of the season. For Christians, it is the celebration of the birth of the baby Jesus. How often that important detail gets lost among the ribbon and tinsel, the lights and presents. That little baby, that came into the world so humbly many years ago, is the reason we are celebrating. I embarrassed to say, that image hasn't crossed my mind nearly as much as it should have these past few weeks.

Whether you are celebrating Christmas or not, I hope all of you are finding some time to take care of yourself during this hectic time. Sip a cup of tea, take a long walk, or nap, whichever is needed most, and give yourself a break for what you do or don't and/or holiday related. I looked at my "to do" list and shaved off a few things that I think matter, but might not. Just crossing them off me list made me sigh with relief. For me, it has been hard to maintain a stress free environment. I am hyper by nature, and I should be thin as a rail, the way I buzz around all day, multi tasking! The scale is up today, but I shrugged it off, and onward I continue. Did I make a few poor choices this week? Yes, I did, but I got back on track yesterday. That feeling of strength I was writing about a few posts ago, got lost in this last week. But I found, if I stop, take a breath, focus on what I want, and where I'm going, it's easy to get back on track. I'm not letting any little slips, turn into a big fall.

I wish all of my blogger friends a wonderful Christmas! I wish you some  peace and quiet moments, some merriment, and lots of laughs and hugs. May you make some wonderful memories with those you love! 

Thought for the day: Silent night.....Holy night....All is calm.....All is bright.......

Monday, December 19, 2011

Just a thought....

Hello Everyone! Hope you enjoyed the weekend. I have a full house now, and we are in the Christmas spirit. The quietness is replaced with a buzz and even though my boys are older, everyone is still excited for Christmas. I'm all through shopping and most of the gifts are wrapped. I just set up my dining room tables yesterday. It took me all afternnoon, but it involves, setting up long folding tables, figuring out the seating, decorating the table and getting out all the stuff I'll need. My notes really help me remember, and I always refer to the photos taken the year before, to remind me what goes where. I'll set the tables later in the week, but I feel good getting that out of the way. I was supposed to do some baking, but I was just too pooped! I have a full list this week, with work stuff and getting ready for Christmas Eve dinner and then my big dinner for 24 on Christmas Day. Today I have some baking on the schedule and a few errands
Eight more sit here. Somehow we all fit in!Disregard the dogs ball!

I can seat 16 at this table. This is last years photo

Christmas Eve dinner last year, with my parents.

I took a few minutes break yesterday to catch up with everyone. I read Dawn's post and felt her frustration at not meeting her goals. It made me think of this recent post I received in my email. It's from a blog that I subscribe to, and recommend, called Zen habits. I realized how fixated I am, and maybe you are too, on setting goals constantly. I'm not saying that you shouldn't, but read this post and let me know what you think. It might be something to try in the new year.

As someone who has not had much success in meeting my goals, I think as I continue on my journey that I am going to do what I know I should, take each day as it comes and do my best each day. It might take some of the performance pressure off of me! Big hugs to all of you!
Thought for the day: "Goals are dreams with deadlines" - unknown

 Reprinted from Zen Habits. This is a guest post from Joshua Fields Millburn of The Minimalists.

I have lived the last 100 days with no goals. And I have never been happier or more content in my life.

When I met Leo four months ago — two-thousand miles from my home in Dayton, Ohio — he said there were three things that significantly changed his life: establishing habits he enjoyed, simplifying his life, and living with no goals.

I was already living the first two: I had established my pleasurable habits, I had simplified my life. But it was difficult for me to grasp the “no goals” thing. The thought of living a life with no goals sounded insane to me — it was counterintuitive, it was scary, it went against almost everything I had ever learned about productivity.

In my corporate life of yesteryear, I managed hundreds of people for a large corporation, an organization in which I was often considered the productivity guy, the goal guy: I met deadlines, overproduced, exceeded expectations, got results. That’s why they paid me the big bucks.

I regularly had umpteen goals in various stages of completion: short-term goals, long-term goals, personal goals, business goals, health goals, financial goals, vacation goals, consumer-purchasing goals, you name it. I thought if I crossed enough goals off my to-do list, I’d eventually be content. So I worked harder and harder, focusing on every new goal with lapidary precision.

But I was stressed out of my mind with all those goals. My hauntingly perpetual to-do list was just that — perpetual, never-ending. And it was ever-growing. Plus, I was continuously disappointed when I didn’t achieve a goal, or when I missed a deadline. Hell, I was even disappointed when I attained a goal but didn’t overachieve. It was a self-consuming cocaine high — it was never enough.

I needed a way to quit my goals cold turkey, so I did two things after speaking with Leo.

First, I asked myself, “why do I have these goals?” I had goals so I could tell if I was “accomplishing” what I was “supposed” to accomplish. If I met a goal, I was allowed to be happy — right? Then I thought: Wait a minute, why must I achieve a specific result towards an arbitrary goal to be happy? Why don’t I just allow myself to be happy now?

Second, I decided to live with no goals for a while. I didn’t know how long, because I didn’t make it a goal. I figured I’d give it a shot for a month or so, maybe longer, to see what happened. If it affected me negatively, I could return to my rigid life of “achieving” and “producing results” with my color-coded spreadsheets containing scads of goals.

What happened? Breaking free from goals changed my life.

Three Ways Living with No Goals Changed My Life

1. I am less stressed. I have virtually no stress now. Sure, there are brief moments in which I feel vexed or bothered — but I feel so much less stress these days. People I’ve known for years comment on how calm I am. With no goals, they say I’m a different person — a better person.

2. I am more productive. I didn’t anticipate this one. I thought getting rid of goals meant I was going to sacrifice results and productivity. But the opposite has been true. I tossed productivity and became more productive. I’ve written the best fiction of my life, I’ve watched our website’s readership increase significantly, I’ve met remarkable new people, and I’ve been able to contribute to other people like never before. The last 100 days have been the most productive days of my life.

3. I am happier and more content. During my 30 years on this earth, I’ve never been this consistently happy or content. It is an incredible feeling, even surreal at times. With the decreased stress and increased productivity resulting from no goals, I am able to enjoy my life, I am able to live in the moment. And thus I am appreciably happier and more content.

Three Misconceptions About No Goals

Three arguments against the no-goal lifestyle presented themselves to me in the last 100 days, all three of which I’d like to address.

1. Complacency: Doesn’t a life with no goals make you complacent? Well, if by “complacent” you mean “content,” then yes. But, otherwise, no it didn’t make me complacent. In fact, the opposite was true: after removing the stress from my life, I partook in new, exciting endeavors, while living a passionate, meaningful life.

2. Growth: Doesn’t a life with no goals prevent you from growing? No. I’ve grown considerably in the last 100 days. I’ve gotten into the best shape of my life, strengthened my personal relationships, established new relationships, and written more than ever before. I’ve grown more in the last 100 days than any other 100-day period in my life.

3. You still have goals: You say you have no goals, but don’t you still have some goals, like finishing your new novel or “being happy” or “living in the moment”? It’s important to make a distinction here: yes, I want to “be happy” and “live in the moment” and “live a healthy life,” but these are choices, not goals. I choose to be happy. I choose to live in the moment. I choose to live a healthy life. I don’t need to measure these events, I simply live this way. As for my new novel, I intend to finish writing it — I’ve never worked harder on anything in my life — but I’m enjoying the process of writing it, and if I never finish, that’s okay too. I’m not stressed about it anymore.

Living with no goals has changed my life. It has added layers of happiness and contentment I didn’t realize were possible. It has allowed me to contribute to other people in meaningful ways. I’m not going back to a goal-oriented life. No goals. None at all. Life is outstanding without them.