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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas 2011

It's been rather eventful! I took a wonderful 6 days off of work to spend with my family... and had a bad cold all 6 days. But I didn't let that get me down!

Not enough time to write a long, detailed post, so I'll cut to the highlights:

My brother came in town for a few days with his new girlfriend (who is awesome). It was great to see him!

Lovely Christmas Eve dinner with The Man's family.

Beautiful Christmas Eve Mass, quiet Christmas morning at home opening tons of presents.

Fun, awesome Christmas Day with my family opening tons more presents. (I think I had too much fun, I had to spend most of Monday in bed recovering, and was treated to delicious homemade turkey soup.)

First two days of Rank Camp Monday and Tuesday (I am SO SORE!)

And today we welcomed The Man's first grandchild to the world! She's precious! I can't wait to go meet her... I have to wait till all my cold symptoms are gone. And no, she will not be allowed to call me Grandma. Not if I can help it.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Red Decided

That's it. My last color belt. The next belt I earn will be Sho Dan Bo (black recommended).

This time I learned that there is always room for improvement. My last two promotions felt great. I felt strong and confident and like I performed well. For this one, I feel like I want a do-over. I was out for two weeks of the cycle with a knee injury, and I didn't practice nearly as much as I needed to. I knew the material in my head, but that just isn't enough. I have to practice, and then practice some more.

But I passed, and that's the important part. I will always have more to learn and I will always have techniques I need to improve, and each step of the journey isn't necessarily going to be forward.

I'm really proud of Little Man. He did an outstanding job in his promotion. Much better than his mommy. His focus and technique have improved so much from hours of practice at home, and I'm so proud of him for sticking to it. That's an incredible feat at 5 years old.

The week after Christmas I'll be doing Rank Camp again (yes, I am crazy, thanks for asking). What I think is really neat about this one is that The Man earned his Sho Dan Bo with a Rank Camp, and now I'll be doing the same thing, years later. Then it's just two more months to black belt. I can't believe I'm this close. It has felt so far away for so long.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Remembering Gratitude

I've been working on it lately. Because it's too easy to get caught up in the stress that life can create, I'm trying every day to remind myself how lucky I am.

To even have a car that can get broken in the first place, because so many people have to make do without one.

To have so many family members whom I love dearly.

To have a warm bed, and enough food, and a place to call home... because the poor lady who lives under the bridge near where I work doesn't have that.

So when tires go flat and radiators get broken and bills come in and turn our budget upside down and kids drive us crazy... we're still incredibly blessed.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What I Want for Christmas

Even though my sisters like to tease me about being the girliest member of the family (they're right), when it comes to gifts, I don't think I'm all that girly. Of course I'm dazzled by pretty sparkly things, and sometimes they make perfectly acceptable gifts, but when it comes down to it I would rather have something useful. A close friend once noted to me that her spouse would be in deep do-do if he gave her a kitchen appliance for her birthday instead of a piece of jewelry. Honestly, I would be thrilled with a new blender.

And there are other things I want that no one else can give me, like:

More time with my family. My Christmas gift to myself is to take all of my available PTO and have nearly a full week off for the holiday.

And these shoes: http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/products/Five-Fingers-KSO-Womens.htm (my brother will be so proud), and these: http://www.zappos.com/gabriella-rocha-farmer-black-suede.

I'd love to have the set-up equipment for my spring container garden (how many women do you know who would actually ask for a big bucket for Christmas?), and a pull-up bar, and frames for my Grandpa's paintings so I can finally hang them on the wall.

Mostly, I want to see the joy of the holiday in my son's eyes, to spend the days with people I love, to have what I need to continue to make our lives better. I don't want to stress over shopping, or have other people do so for my benefit. I would rather have your company than another pretty thing to put on the shelf.