Friday, December 31, 2010

Resolutions



















Happy New Year from the windy city! Well...almost new year. I get to see my best friend tonight, so I'm pretty excited!

Looking back, 2010 has been a pretty good year for husband and I. Here are top 5 favorite things (in no particular order)about 2010.
  1. We moved to a new apartment
  2. The birth of Raelin Deann 
  3. Our trip to St. Louis
  4. Tigers vs. White Sox game with the fam
  5. I finally feel at home in Chicago
It's been a long time since I've set a new year's resolution. So long, that I don't even remember ever setting one, though I'm sure I probably have. This year is going to be different, I have 2 new year's resolutions. I will stick to them...hopefully.

Resolution #1
Have a quiet time with God everyday. This is something that I've always known I should be doing, but haven't ever done.

Resolution #2
Send birthday cards to family and friends. Who doesn't love to get real mail? I know I do. And I got a new table top letterpress kit for Christmas, so I'm going to need to show off my cards. The hardest part of keeping this resolution will be collecting birth dates and addresses. 

Monday, December 27, 2010

I'm Back

I'm home from a short, but wonderful weekend in Michigan. We had such a great time visiting all of our family and gorging ourselves on delicious treats. 

I'm so thankful for all of the wonderful gifts I received. But one that I am extra excited about is a book I won in a mystery gift game at one our family gatherings (thanks Mal!). What book? SoulPancake by Rainn Wilson (Dwight from The Office)

Front and back cover of SoulPancake
















I've been skimming all morning, it's full of fun creative challenges and tasks that really get you thinking. I plan on bringing you along for the ride by blogging about each challenge I complete. Hopefully by doing so, you'll chew on life's big questions with me!

I'm starting today with :: Pen Pal on the D.L. I have a person in mind, hopefully they'll write back. I can't say more than that, because it's secret.

"A hidden connection is stronger than an obvious one"  —Heraclitus of Ephesus

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!


















Merry Christmas from Jamie & Tim! Like the sweaters? We went to an ugly Christmas sweater party last weekend. SO MUCH FUN! We had a really great time! I should have made cards with this pic and sent them to family and friends,, that would have been funny. Maybe I'll send out new years cards...

I'm so excited to hug my mom and dad tonight! It feels like forever since I've seen them. I'll be signing off for a few days, as we travel all over the mitten to visit family for Christmas.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

NICE Assignment: Let's Say Thanks

Another NICE Assignment already? Yes! This one is so easy and nice that it didn't take me until the end of the week to do it (assignments are usually posted on Operation NICE on Monday or Tuesday).

Let's Say Thanks is a campaign sponsored by Xerox. Their mission is to provide people across the country with the opportunity to send a personal message to troops overseas. It's easy, it's free, it's quick and last but not least it's a great way to show your appreciation for our service men and women!

All of the postcards are so cute! They were all drawn my elementary aged children. Tim and I chose to send this one...















After you select your card you can either use one of their pre written messages or write your own. Some of the testimonials from troops who have received at card via this campaign, brought a tear to my eye.
"I just wanted to return the gratitude and appreciation on a personal level  to all the men and women that put together "Let's Say Thanks".  Sometimes it's difficult to get up in the morning and put on the uniform, but receiving things like this reminds us why we serve.  I appreciate those taking the time to send strangers a reminder of not only what we're fighting for, but also who we're fighting for.  THANK YOU!"
An Air Force Senior Sergeant
---------------
"I want to thank Dominic for the solider postcard. It made my day. I have it on my desk to uplift my spirits when I'm feeling down. I even noted that he wrote the card on my son's birthday so it was blessing. "

An Air Force sergeant
 ---------------
"Thank you for thinking of the soldiers so far away. Mail call is the highlight of the day and brings up moral. The picture on the front of the card even has a female soldier with red hair, like it was meant just for me. Thank you again for the prayers and gratitude that is being sent to us over here."
An Army Sergeant

10 minutes of your time can make a stranger's day. Isn't that an awesome feeling?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Generally Speaking

Pumpkyns - Nine West
























Seriously, just purchases these about five minutes ago. Can't wait for them to arrive! After slipping, sliding and actually falling on my butt once, Tim and I both agreed I need some suitable winter boots. These fit all the criteria, rubber sole with grip, waterproof, and stylish.

This is way off topic, but I had an epiphany tonight...first here's the background story, so my epiphany will make sense to you.

Generally, anything having to with living "greener," Global Warming (I mean Climate Change) or obesity being a problem our government needs to solve, really annoys me. I never really knew why until tonight. It's not that I'm against taking better care of the Earth, in fact I think we should be good stewards of what God has given us. This was all top of mind tonight as I was cooking dinner, because of something I read on Facebook in response to this video.

And the reasons stuff like that video annoys me, hit me as I flipping the bacon (hahaha)...
  • I already don't and never have ate a lot of processed meats. Growing up and even now, because my mom gives it me, I have always ate beef, pork and chicken that was home grown, if not by our family then by someone we know.  In general I feel like I live a pretty "green" life without even trying
  • Often times (and maybe I'm being a little sensitive) I feel like farmers are made out to be villains, because they use pesticides or plant genetically modified crops. Just like everyone else in the world, they want their professions to advance and be competitive.
  • Personally, what I think the cause of these diseases are more than what we eat, is what we do. Kids are in-active and so are they're parents, they sit in front of the TV or computer and play video games, surf Facebook and watch YouTube videos, instead of being outside, having imaginary friends, playing the sandbox, pretending to be Pocahontas and that the pine tree is Grandmother Willow or racing their bikes as if they were horses...(I may or may not have done all that as a kid ;)
I guess I should conclude with—I am by NO MEANS that educated on this topic, I've read a few articles but that's about it. These are just my personal feelings which probably don't make a whole lotta sense to you. But I had to share because venting to my hubby just wasn't enough..

Friday, December 10, 2010

NICE Assignment: Spread Good News

I'm still trying to keep up with the NICE Assignments posted on Operation NICE, but I haven't been as disciplined in doing them or blogging about them. But that doesn't mean I'm not nice...for instance the last two nights on the way home from work, the women in front of me have dropped their phones without know, I chased them down (not far really, just like down the stairs) to return them.

When I read that this week's assignment was to spread good news, I thought how could I not do something that was so easy and free. The assignment was simple, find a piece of good news (she even linked to The Good News Network, a website dedicated to sharing good news) and share it with someone.

After browsing The Good News Network and tearing up at a couple of the stories, I decided I would share, "Reluctant Hero Becomes First Living Medal of Honor Recipient Since Vietnam." An excerpt from the article is below the picture. It's truly a heroic story.

Photo via Good News Network





















"Staff Sergeant Giunta, repeatedly and without hesitation, you charged forward through extreme enemy fire, embodying the warrior ethos that says, “I will never leave a fallen comrade.”  Your actions disrupted a devastating ambush before it could claim more lives.  Your courage prevented the capture of an American soldier and brought that soldier back to his family.  You may believe that you don’t deserve this honor, but it was your fellow soldiers who recommended you for it.  In fact, your commander specifically said in his recommendation that you lived up to the standards of the most decorated American soldier of World War II, Audie Murphy, who famously repelled an overwhelming enemy attack by himself for one simple reason:  "They were killing my friends.”

"That’s why Salvatore Giunta risked his life for his fellow soldiers -- because they would risk their lives for him.  That’s what fueled his bravery -- not just the urgent impulse to have their backs, but the absolute confidence that they had his.

I wrote a little note saying thanks to all those have served our country at the bottom of the article, and left it where I had been sitting on the L train. I hope whoever found it, took the time to read it and left it for others to read and appreciate as well!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Our Christmas Tree























So, last year Tim and I didn't have enough room for a big Christmas tree (we lived in a tiny tiny studio apartment) , so we bought a little 15 incher from Urban Outfitters. Even though we have room for a bigger tree this year, we've decided to stick with our little one for one more year.


















Wrapping gifts is favorite part of getting ready Christmas. I love planning and coordinating wrapping paper. Weird...maybe. This year I went with white, silver, gold, and accented with this super cool deer tissue paper.






















You may have noticed, none of them have tags. That's because, for some reason, I don't really like putting sticker gift tags on the gifts I give. I put sticky notes on the backs of each gift until it's time to pack them up and then I write on the front with marker.

I'm really liking  the arrangement and the combination of wrapping papers and colors this year!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Need a Good Book?

Cold gloomy weather tends to make me want to curl up on the couch with a good book. I'm one of those people who can get lost in a book, it doesn't matter what's going on around me, I can tune it out. My husband can attest to this.

This week I read Little Bee. It's a pretty easy read, I read it in 2 days. But it is so so so so good. One of the best books I've read in awhile.






















I don't want to tell you much about the book, because the way the story unfolds is breath taking. I will warn you that it's a little "heavy" and will make you sad, but mostly it's a story of hope. I'll leave ya with the blurb on the back.
"This is a story of two women. Their lives collide one fateful day, and one of them has to make a terrible choice, the kind of choice we hope you never have to face. Two years later, they meet again—the story starts there..."

Thursday, December 2, 2010

December Love List

And so another month begins...I didn't do very much blogging last month, my November Love List is still on the homepage of my blog. **I must be better this month** So what am I loving this month?

I think it would be lovely if my Christmas tree looked like this






















  •  Oodles of family time - this year we're packing 5 Christmases into 3 days! 
  • Decorating for Christmas, we don't have that many decorations to put up, but I'm really looking forward to it this year. 
  • Snow, if it's going to be cold, you might as well have snow and lot's of it
  • Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas" (listen to it here)
  • Wrapping gifts - I'm taking special care with each one this year. 
  • Criminal Minds, I stinking love this show. I've been watching it like crazy lately.