Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out.
“Hello, Monday. How kind of you to drop by…”
I know full well that for me these next two weeks will be a challenge.
a. moving to a new house.
b. directing a Children’s musical.
c. preparing to host all my family for Christmas in the aforementioned new house.
Not to mention keeping up with all the regular things like having clean clothes to wear or feeding my family. Or all the Christmas things like addressing cards and wrapping gifts.
After the kids were in bed last night, my handsome hubby looked at me and directly told me I was not allowed to talk about anything stressful for the rest of the evening. We have two weeks of that to look forward to. So he played a video game while I watched Cake Boss and played on Pinterest with a cup of hot peppermint tea. Wonderfully relaxing.
And today we will tackle a massive agenda that rivals Santa’s famous list. At the top of that list is locating this: Mocha Nog. I love eggnog almost as much as I coffee. Almost. Anderson Erickson, an independent Iowa dairy, make the best eggnog. Nothing comes close. Last August, while attending the Iowa State Fair, I had the opportunity to sample this new creation. Verdict? Mocha Nog is pretty much heaven in a cup. And it’s officially beginning to arrive in Iowa grocery stores.
So armed with a steamy cup of coffee, an iPod full of fresh Christmas music (just downloaded this one for $5: 100 Classic Christmas Songs) and hopefully a tall glass of Mocha Nog later… I am ready to go all Chuck Norris on my list.
“Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am”
Philippians 4.13 (MSG)
Think about this…
I am vigorously downing my coffee and still trying to get back into the swing of things. It’s that time of year when things begin to race at me at a startling pace, but I am determined to remain calm and just enjoy every moment. I am determined not to burn the candle at both ends this year. I have a pretty good plan.
Recently my friend commented that I seem amazingly calm considering all that has been heaped onto my plate this year. I am learning that most of the things I tend to get worked up over, really are not that important (especially when it comes to Christmas). Influence the things you have control over and let God handle the rest. It’s all anyone can do… and it works.
My little Lovey will only be 2 at Christmas time once. And I want to savor it. Peanut and Ladybug are old enough that they will remember the magic of this Christmas well so fostering lasting traditions is high on my priority list.
Mostly, its about time. People will make time for what’s most important to them. And making memories with my sweet family is just that. Very important.
I am having an Intentional Christmas.
And it will be orchestrated to the tune of music. Some of my best Christmas memories are eternally tied to the songs which seemed to be only background music at the time. I have fond memories of decorating our tree, stringing lights and baking sugar cookies to the the rhythms of my father’s classic Christmas records. Yeah, that’s right… vinyl. (Sad to think that my children have no earthly what idea I am talking about.)
I am a sucker for good music. Especially Christmas music. And it’s pretty cool when you can get it free. Not too long ago I posted about Amazon.com‘s free monthly mp3 list. (You can read about it here: Music To My Ears.) As Christmas approaches, they are rolling out even more free holiday tunes.
My iPod is going to love me.
Here are some of my favorite Christmas songs available at Amazon.com right now:
The Bell Medley (Nice children’s choir version.)
Christmas Time Is Here (Awesome piano.)
Jingle Bells (Nice and jazzy.)
O Holy Night (Pretty version of the classic song.)
O Little Town Of Bethelehem (A sassy saxophone rendition.)
I fully expect that as December approaches, Amazon will be spreading even more Christmas music love…
“Mama, put on your listen ears.”
At first, I wasn’t sure what she was trying to say. Then, my loveable 2-year-old brought me the earbuds from my iPod. She wanted to listen to music. (Consequently, as a family, we now affectionately refer to all listening devices as “listen ears.”)
As a musician, it thrills my soul for my young girls to have an appreciation for good music. And in our family our tastes are very broad. You name it, we probably listen to it at some point.
My sweet girls love their Bieber (gag) however, they often beg me to turn on Ella Fitzgerald, Beethoven, and Bing Crosby. And oh, how we dance.
I spend a lot of time in the kitchen (like most mothers, I suspect) and it’s often quiet and tiresome. Good listening is a must. (Old time radio shows are my guilty pleasure.) If I am not careful, I would spend good wages on too much music.
Thank God for Amazon! Each month, they come out with a new selection of free mp3 albums. (Yes!) Currently there are 11 pages worth of free albums. There are some real gems hidden in those pages. Over the course of the last year, I have acquired some really great stuff from here!
Some of my favorites currently available for free:
Chacra World Music Holiday Sampler
Native American Flute Lullabies
Allegro Classical Fall 2011 Sampler
Cedarmont Kids Sampler for Moms
The Wiggles Summer 2011 Sampler
Amazon.com also had a great selection of featured albums available for download for only $5.00! (Norah Jones’ Come Away With Me is on this list for November!)
One more great free resource can be found at ancientfaith.com The Chronicles of Narnia books by C.S. Lewis audiobooks are available for FREE download! Check it out here.
Now it’s back to my coffee. The Christmas music is on… and the homemade cinnamon rolls are fresh out of the oven. It’s gonna be a good day.
Well today is the big day. I am helping to host an uber-sleepover for scores of screaming little girls. I know what you’re thinking… “What is she thinking???” Well, clearly I was not thinking when I accepted such a mission.
I can tell you that my little sweeties are beside-themselves-giddy. And just knowing that thrills me to pieces.
There. Will. Be. Coffee.
A whole lotta coffee.
So until Monday, my dear friends, I leave you with this…
(Watch all the way until the end. You won’t regret it.)
Several weeks ago, I read an article on CNN telling me I would soon be paying more for my coffee. Boo.
Today, I read an article on CNN telling me I will soon be paying less. I sincerely hope the latter is true.
Regardless, you simply cannot put a price on good coffee.
“Coffee smells like freshly ground heaven.” ~Jessi Lane Adams