Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Some random Tuesday ramblings

Happy Tuesday, friends!!  Here's a little random on this chilly Tuedsay...

  • Anybody else feel like January is literally crawling by?  Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining.  These colder, quieter winter months are my absolute favourite, so I don't mind at all!  It just feels like Christmas was a million years ago, and it's only the middle of January.  I guess far too often I complain that time is flying by too quickly, so I'll embrace this January "crawl".
  • I've been soaking up all the things I love to do in this slower time of year.  I have a 1000 piece puzzle on the go, I've been getting in some extra reading (FINALLY finished The One Hundred Year Old Man, well into The Handmaid's Tale now), I made a giant pot of pasta sauce and homemade bread last week, and of course Netflix... LOTS of time spent with Netflix!!
  • Speaking of Netflix... I have a new love.  It feels like it's been a long time since I've had a new love, but it finally happened.  Outlander.  Jamie.  IN. LOVE!!!!!!  Sadly, I blew through the two seasons on Netflix in under two weeks, so Jamie is already gone from my life. (at least, until Season 3 appears).  It's hard to let go of my loves when the episodes run out. *sigh*  Jamie was a good one.
  • So now I'm back into Shameless again.  While I was into Outlander, Season 7 of Shameless landed on Netflix, so at least I had an old favourite to return to once Jamie was done.  Sometimes when I "return" to a show after being away from it, I discover I don't enjoy it as much (this happened to me with Scandal, The Mindy Project, and Suits) - but thankfully, I'm still loving Shameless as much as I did the first time around!  Those crazy Gallaghers...
  • So, remember when I said 2018 was "The Year of Saving"??  Well, so far, so good.  Goal #1 was to have Christmas (my credit card) paid off by the end of January, and barring any disasters, I think that should be achievable.  After that, the goal will be to NOT be tempted to ring up a bunch of new clothing or Amazon purchases, and get a nice cushion built in the ol' bank account.  While I don't have any trips or big expenditures planned for 2018, there are quite a few weddings coming up this summer and all the events that will go with them, so it would be nice to go into that knowing I have some dollars saved up. Here's hoping.
  • Heart palpitation update:  Still happening, but definitely to a lesser degree, more like light flutters several times a day than the big thumps & stutter-steps I was getting back before Christmas.  I guess the medication is working.  I had my appointment at the Heart Institute on Saturday, for an echo-cardiogram, which went smoothly - at least as far as I can tell.  The technician can't say anything, he just has the reports sent on to a cardiologist and my own doctor, but he didn't gasp or cry or rush me into a heart transplant surgery, so I'm gong to take that as a good sign.
  •  You know what I want?  A SNOWSTORM.  Like a big, giant, 40cm dumping.  We haven't had one of those in a long time.  We lost a lot of our snow last week in a January thaw, when it poured rain for 2 days straight and went to 10 degrees. ugh.  Seems like it's either -30 or +10 this winter.  No in between.  How about a nice -5 and 40 cm's of snow?  I want to be snowed in.  I want to have added reason to hibernate.  Come on, Mother Nature.
  • I'm pretty aware that the above paragraph will have a lot of my friends and family screaming at me. Whatever.  I'm Elsa, bitches.
  • Songs I'm loving lately:  Perfect by Ed Sheeran (especially the Beyonce version), River by Eminem featuring Ed Sheeran (have I mentioned lately how much I love Ed Sheeran??), Filthy by JT (took a few listens, but I'm digging it), Lost in the Light by Bahamas (no idea how I stumbled across it, but I love it), and Never Be the Same by Camila Cabello (which is nice, because that Havana oh nana song DRIVES me up the wall).  Also, my strange iTunes purchase of the week is an Elton John hits compilation that was on sale.  I have never been a big Elton fan, but I just felt drawn to it.  And yes, I am loving it, too.
  • I have another quiet weekend coming up (knock on wood) which I'm looking forward to.  I have to take my car for an oil change on Friday, I have to make soup for next week's Soup & Sandwich at some point, and I have a paint day with Shannon booked for Monday, but otherwise, it will be another weekend of puzzling, reading, and Netflixing.  My FAVOURITE!!! :)
What's new and random in YOUR world???

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Setting Intentions, Being Grateful

I woke up with a headache this morning.  And my first reaction was to groan, and say, "Seriously, Universe?  Can you let up for just ONE. FRIGGING. DAY?!?!"

Despite a really wonderful holiday season, I've been bogged down and clouded over with worry and frustration in recent weeks, mainly due to the increasingly annoying heart palpitations that just won't quit, and then getting probably the worst cold I've had in years at the tail end of 2017.  Yesterday, I felt like the cold was on its way out and I was relieved.  So to wake up with a headache this morning was an unwelcome step backwards.  And I was pissed.

I lay in bed feeling sorry for myself for a few minutes, and then I gave my (sore) head a shake.  Seriously, Jillian.  You are getting way too "woe is me" over nothing!!  Get a grip!!

And it's so true.  I've been letting these little health issues (which, as far as I know, aren't very serious) drag me down and ruin my day lately, and I don't want to be that kind of person.  I don't want to wallow in despair over things I have no control over, and really, at the end of the day, aren't a big deal.

On New Year's Eve, I heard the story of a girl who was in a tragic car accident in our Municipality.  The accident happened on Christmas Eve, on one of the back roads, as she made her way from her mother's place in Luskville to visit friends in the city.  She lost control of her vehicle and hit a hydro pole, and when she tried to get out of her car, she was electrocuted by live wires.  She spent hours alone in the cold waiting for someone to find her and get help.  She has since had surgery to remove all four of her limbs.

She survived.  She has a long road ahead of her, yet still... she survived.

I don't know this girl, but she's been on my mind.  When faced with this perilous situation, she fought hard.  She showed incredible strength and courage, and a will to live. 

Sure makes my little problems pale in comparison, doesn't it? 

Yesterday, I read a blog post by one of my favourite bloggers, The Daily Tay, where she listed "18 Things to Focus on in 2018".  I was inspired by her post, and her list of self-improvement techniques, teachings, and mantras.  It was kind of just exactly what I needed to read, to help dig myself out of this little hole I've been burrowing myself into.  I also read some posts on a message board on a health website from people who suffer from heart palpitations who encourage others to not let them become the focus of their day; to try to carry on as you normally would and not let them control you.

It was all good stuff that I needed to read.  Valuable reminders that my life is great, that I am a lucky girl, and that I have the power to create my own happiness.  Start with gratitude.  Set intentions.  Feel joy.  Send good vibrations out into the Universe and you'll get back what you give. Be gracious and mindful.  Stop making excuses.  Believe that the Universe is on your side.

Last night, I went for a walk as snow gently fell, and I took deep breaths and inhaled the fresh, crisp winter air.  Then I went home and spent a few quiet moments with the Daily Devotional book I received as a gift from a friend, quietly reading and reflecting.  I turned off the TV, I sat on my couch, I did my ever-loving best to ignore the stutter-stepping going on in my chest, and I just breathed, and read, and thought.   It's a practice I hope to instill on a daily basis.

There are some things in life we cannot control.  Accidents can happen, illness will hit, and strange things will unexpectedly try to set us off-kilter.  I want to be prepared for them. I want to be strong in mind and soul.  I want to be positive and hopeful and determined.  I want to fight for the life I deserve.

So here's to making 2018 a good year.  The first few days have been less than stellar, but I'm ready to turn this ship around.  Headache be gone.   I'm ready to send some good vibes out into the Universe, and feel grateful for all the good things in my life, of which there are many.

Who's with me?

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Here we go, 2018!!

Happy New Year, pals!!

Wow.  2018!!!  How is it that I'm always a little blind-sided by the New Year?  How is it that each year seems to fly by so quickly, even more quickly than the last?!

The holidays were wonderful.  I'm a little bit heartbroken that they're over already.  It was just such a GOOD week of eating, drinking, exchanging gifts, and spending quality time with family.  I didn't want it to end!  The only bad part was, of course, the heart palps (yes, they're still here, and they're driving me nuts), and I also caught a cold that carried me into the New Year.

I hate to start the fresh slate off all whiny & complainy, but man, I hate not feeling well.  We're working on getting to the bottom of the palpitations and figuring them out, but add the good ol' common cold on top of it, and I get rather dramatic.  Yesterday afternoon/evening, I coughed so hard & so much I thought my head was going to explode.  Aside from that, it's been headaches coming and going, stuffy nose, and just feeling generally drained and tired.  It could be worse, I know, it's not the end of the world.  But I like to start my New Year off with some zip and pizzazz, and this year I just haven't been able to.

But I've tried!  Oh, how I've tried!!  Here's a few of the things - a few of my "Resolutions", if you will - that I've set to try and make myself feel better in 2018.

  • The good ol' standby, the Resolution that never gets old: Lose weight.  I really loathe the fact that I let myself gain all - literally, ALL - of my weight back after doing so well at losing it a few years ago.  I decided my best success comes when I follow a program, and while it would make sense to go back to Beachbody and do TurboFire and Shakeology, I really didn't want to make the time commitment (often at least an hour in exercise, 6x week), or the financial commitment ($150+ each month for the Shakes) that it requires.  Instead, I took advantage of a 50% promo with Weight Watchers and joined their Online club.  I think it's one of the very few popular weight loss programs that I have NOT tried yet, and decided to give it a whirl for 6 months.  I think if I could shed some pounds, I'd be feeling a lot better than I am right now.  I don't need to be a stick, I just want to have some energy and feel healthy again.  If I dropped a few sizes, well...all the better.
  • Of course, I come home after signing up for Weight Watchers and feeling good about that decision, and I'm greeted by all the leftover holiday treats I'd stocked up on... chips & dip, candy, chocolate, cookies, nuts, every which way I turn.  UGH!!  I wish I had the willpower to bag it all up and throw it out, but I don't.  I just love it all too much!!  So I'm giving myself the week to enjoy the last of the treats and then they have to go away.  I'll be "officially" starting my next weight loss journey next Monday.
  • 2018:  The Year of SAVING!!!  It's no secret that I'm really bad at saving money.  As soon as I get my credit card paid off, I wrack it right back up again.  And usually, it's on things I don't really need.  My goal for this year is to be more careful about spending, particularly on clothes ("Is this a WANT or a NEED??") and to start building up a cushion in my savings.  I have been successfully doing the 52-Week Money Challenge for several years now, and I'm going to continue it as well, but it usually is completely gone after Christmas.  I want to make more of an effort to build my bank account up.  I have no trips planned for this year, so that should help (last year, I had Florida and Nova Scotia). I also have no major foreseeable expenses (knock on wood).  It seems to me it's a good year to start putting some coin away... once the Christmas debt is paid off first, of course.
  • I have a goal to be even MORE artistic in 2018.  I know, I already do Paint Nites with Shannon as often as I can, but I want to do more.  Before Christmas, I took one of her painting on glass classes for the first time, and I LOVED it.  I found it so soothing and relaxing.  I also want to do more adult colouring (I have 3 books and use them so seldom), I want to play more guitar, and I want to write more.  I really want to let that artistic side of me flourish and grow.  
  • I plan to do some major de-cluttering and cleaning this year.  I have closets that are jam-packed, a fridge and freezer that are hard to get into they're so full, and just a lot of stuff lying around.  I need to watch a few episodes of Hoarders to spook myself, and then go on a cleaning & purging rampage!!  Thankfully, having Mondays and Fridays off in the winter, I have some extra time to do this.  This coming weekend, I'll be taking down Christmas, and after that, it's on to the next steps.
So, that's a little glimpse at my Resolutions for 2018.  The actual list is much longer, and includes mundane things like "Read 15 books" and "get new blinds for the living room".  But the ones above are the ones I'll really be focusing on, especially in the first few months of the year.

I can't wait to get out of this funk and move on to bigger & better!!  Here's to 2018!!  

Friday, December 22, 2017

It's almost time...

The baking is finished, the presents are wrapped, {most}of the movies and specials have been watched...  We're still three days away, but man, I am SO READY!!!!

Today will be a half-day, and I'm not only supremely excited about that, I'm also a little relieved... the Curling Christmas Party last night was fun, and I had about two beers too many, so the head is a wee bit fuzzy this morning.  At noon, we'll likely gather in the shop for a few drinks and a little MVT jam session, then it will be home for a nap.  Tonight, I'll be heading to Lindsay & Ryan's for our annual Christmas movie night, and that's always one of my favourite holiday traditions, especially now that Sam's so into movies!!

Tomorrow I have to make a quick trip to Shawville to get stuff to make the saran wrap ball game for Christmas Eve, and we're also going to watch Caden's hockey game.  Then we'll be off to Kayla and Ben's for the Eve of Christmas Eve at the Duquettes.  Super fun!!  I can't wait!!

Sunday is Christmas Eve, but we don't have a morning church service, so it will likely actually be a pretty relaxing day.  I'll have lots of time to pack up my stuff, get food and drinks ready, and get up to my mom's.  I'll have no trouble squeezing in my annual Christmas Eve viewing of Miracle on 34th Street, of that I'm almost positive.  After supper, we'll be off to church, another tradition that is an absolute must!!

I'm so excited about it all.  Honestly, the only slight problem I have is that I've been having weird heart palpitation problems.  They've been ongoing for months, but they have become much more frequent over the past week, which not only makes me nervous but also is SO annoying.  I have been to see my doctor about it, and I have tests and appointments coming up in the new year to try and get to the bottom of it, but in the meantime, since they aren't being accompanied by any of the serious symptoms (chest pain, dizziness, fainting), I just have to live with them.  And they are driving me BANANAS.  My doc has reassured me I'm healthy and he thinks it's more stress-related than anything, but they literally make me want to pull my hair out when they happen.  So frustrating, and I don't want them to ruin my holidays!!!

OK... I got that little vent out.  (Anyone who has been around me for more than 2 minutes lately has heard enough about the heart palps, trust me).  And now, I hope I can move on and just have a HOLLY, JOLLY CHRISTMAS!!!

Wishing you & yours all the best this holiday season.  Enjoy the food, the drinks, the presents, the fun, and most of all, the time spent with loved ones.  It really is more about the "presence"  than the "presents"!!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS YA FILTHY ANIMALS!!! SEE YA IN 2018!!! XOXO

Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Wishlist: 2017

How are we all doing with the Christmas shopping?  Are you feeling good about it?  Are you done?  I have to say, I felt like I was really on the ball this year.  I started my shopping in early November, and basically finished on Black Friday.  I took a day off work last week to complete a few odds and ends and stocking stuffers, things I couldn't get on-line, and with that I was completely, totally FINISHED.  Man, it felt good.  I'm so looking forward to setting up my little elfie workshop on Saturday, putting a Christmas movie on, pouring some rum & egg nog, and getting my wrapping done!!

So, as I prepare myself to wrap on Saturday, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to share my Christmas Wishlist this year!!  Confession:  I was almost, almost tempted to suggest no gifts this year.  Just buy for the kids.  I have a feeling my family would have jumped at it, but there's still that little smidge of kid left in me, and I just couldn't get my head around not having anything to open on Christmas morning.  I'm getting close, though... maybe, just maybe, I'm almost grown up??

Here's the usual disclaimer:  Gifts are not important.  What IS important is the love and time spent with family and friends during the holiday season.  I do not expect to receive everything on my list, I just put it together for fun as little "wants" cross my mind.  Once again, I'm extremely grateful that as I get older, my list is made up more and more of just simple "wants" rather than "needs".  I am fortunate and blessed.

But a girl still needs a few ribbons and bows beneath the tree, am I right?!?  So here it is, without further ado... My 2017 Wishlist:

A Mark Stone Sens T-shirt

I made my Wishlist before the Sens went into the crapper.  *sigh*  It's been a rough couple of weeks to be a Sens fan.  BUT...Mark Stone still rocks my world, and I'd proudly wear his name and number on my back!!

Gord Downie's "Secret Path" Album



It's no secret that I was deeply saddened by the loss of The Tragically Hip's frontman, Gord Downie, this past fall.  I've been a huge fan of Gord's music since my early teen years.  I have made an effort to purchase all of The Hip's work that has been produced to date, but I have yet to buy Gord's "Secret Path" project, which became his driving life force in his final months.  Despite battling terminal brain cancer, Gord Downie put his heart and soul into helping the Canadian Indigenous people who have suffered mightily, and told the story of Chanie Wenjack, a young boy who died trying to escape from a Residential School  in the 1960's.  I watched Gord's live performance of the songs, as it was televised several days after his death, and found the music and lyrics to be gut-wrenching and beautiful.  My favourite track is "Son".  I'd love to be able to sit down and immerse myself in the album at home.

SweetLegs Leggings

I don't know how it happened, but I have become a leggings girl.  I own multiple pairs and from different stores and brands, but so far, SweetLegs are by far my favourite.  I love them so much, I almost became a rep for the company this past fall.  A new pair would never go to waste in my closet!!

A long, black tunic-style sweater to wear with leggings

For a girl who owns as many leggings as I do, it's kind of a key wardrobe component that I am missing.  Here's hoping Santa can find me one that will suit my style!!

Book Club books for 2018

Our book club selections have been made for 2018, and as usual, I'm hoping to get one or two for Christmas!  This year's books that I need are:
Christine by Stephen King
They Called Me Number One by Bev Sellars
The Child Finder by Rene Denfield
The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson

iTunes Gift Cards

I'm not a big fan of gift cards for Christmas, but since I rarely buy CD's anymore, an iTunes gift card definitely comes in handy!  I've been holding off on downloading Taylor Swift's new album, so if I got a gift card for Christmas, I know what I would put it towards!

A Nutcracker decoration

This has become the new "breadmaker" on my list.  Every year, I wish for a Nutcracker - because I swear, it's the only Christmas decoration I do not have!!  The problem is, I'd like a fairly big, substantial Nutcracker - one that can stand int he corner of the room or beside the tree - and they are pricey, usually way over our spending cap.  I'm going to keep my eyes peeled for one on sale after Christmas, though!

A Salad Spinner

Ugh.  I hate salad, you guys.  But part of the reason why I hate salad is that I hate making salad.  And washing the lettuce is such a pain in the ass job!  Would I enjoy salads more if I had a spinner that made washing the lettuce easier?  I don't know.  Maybe.

An Instant Pot

My family is going to read this and say, "Huh?  What?  She did not have this on her list!!"  But it's a new addition.  And honestly, I'm torn on it.  I have friends who swear by them and say they are miracle machines.  And I do think there's a huge advantage to having one, in that I always forget to take stuff out of the freezer in the morning to defrost.  They tell me an Instant Pot works wonders on frozen food in a short amount of time.  But. BUT!  I'm single.  I have no one else to feed.  I never use my slow cooker.  It's yet another kitchen appliance to find a place for.  (Literally, my breadmaker is sitting on the floor in the corner.  I use it - LOTS - but I have no place to store it.)  How often would I actually make use of it?  I just don't know...

Socks

And while any old socks would do, I especially have had my eye on those ones with funny messages on the soles of them.  I think they're so cute.

PJ's

Who couldn't use a new pair of jammies?

A slotted metal spoon

One of those stupid little kitchen things that you never think of until you need one...

A panda mug that changes colours when you pour hot water into it

I'm a sucker for mugs.  Do I need more mugs?  No.  I don't have room in my cupboards for the mugs I have.  But I've been in love with this one ever since I heard about it.  Please, Santa??  Please????

An electric hand mixer

I have a hand mixer, one that works quite well in fact, but my beaters are in bad shape.  They're kind of starting to rust.  Might be time to get myself a new one...

A  board game, something like Clue

I know.  I hate games.  Why would I ask for a game?  Well, it has dawned on me that I have, like, ZERO games.  And I keep thinking it might be fun to organize a game night this winter with friends, or have some at my place if the kids are ever over visiting.  I have fond memories of playing Clue as a kid, so that's the one that came to mind.  I think it would be fun to introduce to Caden and Danica over the holiday season, as I'm hoping to have them for a sleepover at some point.

Gift cards for the movie theatre

Another thing I'm hoping to do over the holidays is go to the MOVIES!!!  God, I love going to the movies.  I'd love to take the kids to see Ferdinand, and I'm also dying to see Pitch Perfect 3 or The Greatest Showman.  Gift cards to the movies are never a bad gift when it comes to me!!

Well, I think that's it.  And that's quite long enough.  I'd be thrilled if I even just got one or two things off this list.  It's all fun stuff (except for maybe the salad spinner, but hey, I know one of those 2018 resolutions will be to lose weight, and what better way to do that than with salad?  BLAH.)

What's on YOUR 2017 Wishlist??

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Tuesday Randoms: Hollying & Jollying

Oh, you guys!!  I'm just having so much fun hollying & jollying these days!   The past few weeks have been brimming with fun Christmas activities and events.  And over the past few days, it has finally SNOWED!!!  My heart is overjoyed!!

Here's some random for this snowy, festive Tuesday:

  • So, I intended today's post to be a photo dump of all the fun Christmassy things I've been up to these past few weeks, but my iCloud is not co-operating.  Every picture I save, it says, "Failed - No File".  And I'm like, "um, hello, iCloud, the file is RIGHT THERE.  Come on."  Bah.  So I do apologize for this picture-less post.  I don't know what to do about the iCloud issue.
  • I have literally been having a ball these past few weeks getting my Christmas on.  Parties with friends & family, cookie exchange, book club, Christmas House Tour, Santa Claus Parade, and so on... It's been wonderful!!  That said, things are kind of winding down a bit, and I'm really excited about that too... quieter evenings and weekends to spend sipping hot tea or rum & egg nog, making last-minute goodies in the kitchen, wrapping gifts, watching movies... I enjoy the quiet, peaceful moments of the holiday season just as much, and I'm going to embrace them.
  • This past Saturday, I had a baking day with my mom.  Every year, I demand that she make Grandma's iced sugar cookies, and every year she laments that they are a pain to make and she hates doing it.  I decided this year to ask for a lesson, so that one of these years when she absolutely refuses to make them, I'll at least have an idea of how to go about it!  We ended up having a wonderful day in her kitchen, rolling out the dough, choosing cookie cutters to use, and then icing and "sprinkling" them once they had cooled.  Mom says the job goes better with two people, and it went so smoothly she wondered if maybe Grandma was supervising us... I'd like to think she was!  I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.
  • I took last Thursday off to finish my Christmas shopping, and I'd say I'm literally 99% done.  I still need to do one final grocery trip for fun Christmas snacks and booze, and a few little touches to complete a couple of gifts, but otherwise... DONE!  I intend on doing the bulk of the wrapping on Saturday, but I am still waiting on a few parcels to arrive.. I'm hoping to have them by Saturday, but I'm not 100% sure I will.  Which kind of makes me panic, but I keep reminding myself there's still another whole WEEK for them to arrive.  There's time.
  • Things I've really been enjoying this Christmas season:  My David's Tea Advent Calendar that was gifted to me; my giant elf, Lyndonne, running around and getting into mischief (Lyndonne is on the Loose!!); taking time each evening to watch something Christmassy on TV (whether it be part of a movie, a TV special, anything holiday related); the pine cone Advent Calendar that was handed out at church last week with a little message to read each day; the Pentatonix Christmas album I downloaded from iTunes. Little things that are making my heart happy and full right now.
  • On Sunday, we celebrated my niece Danica's birthday, as she will be turning 9 on Friday.  It gives me a little pang to think that my wee girl is turning 9... the years just fly by so fast!  We had a great afternoon of family time, and it made me feel so good.  It would also have been my dad's birthday on Sunday, so it was nice to spend the day together, all of us.  
  • Have I mentioned that I'm happy it's snowing?  I'm SO HAPPY IT'S SNOWING!!  And we have cold temps predicted from now until Christmas, so I think the odds of having a White Christmas are pretty much in my favour... Woo Hoo!!
Well, I think that's about it today!  What's going on in your world??


Friday, December 01, 2017

Hello, December!!!

Happy Friday friends!!  And HAPPY DECEMBER!!! 

I admit, I'm feeling a little rough today.  I curled late game last night, and we seemed to have to do a pile of sweeping. LOL  My arms are like jelly, but on top of that, I'm always too wound up post-curling, and end up staying up way later than I normally would.  Last night, it was 1 AM before I finally konked out.  And I didn't even have a drink, but I feel hungover.  Just tired and achy.  Blech.  (but we won, so... worth it? I guess?)

Anyways, whatever.  No time to be tired and hungover today, because it's FRIDAY!  And it's DECEMBER 1st!!!  So much excitement going down in the coming days, I can't even contain myself!!!  Here's what up in my world right now:

  • So, I've had this idea brewing in my mind since last December, when several of my friends were posting the daily shenanigans of their Elf on the Shelf elves.  I have this giant elf that my aunt won in a silent auction and then gave to me.  Most of my friends and relatives think he's creepy AF, but I think he's quite delightful and I have learned to enjoy tormenting the general public with my giant creepy elf.  So, I thought, "Wouldn't it be funny if Lyndonne got into mischief too?"  I thought it might get a few laughs if I started posting my big ol' elf getting into things during the month of December.  The idea would cross my mind every now and then throughout the year, and I would smile and think, "yeah, that'll be fun".  It wasn't until I brought Lyndonne out of storage a week ago that I suddenly realize, "Crap.  I actually have to come up with stuff for a giant elf to do!!"  The idea has blossomed, and I have a list of fun for Lyndonne to get into over the coming weeks.  I was so excited to get up this morning and post Day 1.  Lyndonne is ON THE LOOSE!!!
  • I also got to have chocolate for breakfast.  Nothing quite as exciting as opening that first little door on the el-cheapo Advent Calendar!!
  • I also have a "big girl" Advent Calendar... a David's Tea Advent Calendar that was gifted to me!!  I've been dying to crack into it, and I excitedly removed the little Day 1 tin of "Let It Snow" tea to bring to work with me today.  Can't wait to try it out.
  • I'm hoping to have time for a quick nap after work today to re-charge the batteries, then I will be off to the annual Cookie Exchange I take part in at my friend Sharon's, and I'm very much looking forward to it!
  • Tomorrow will be a day of tidying up the house and prepping, as the ladies will be arriving late afternoon for our annual Christmas get-together!  This year, we are having a Mitten Mayhem party - where you take a pair of mittens or gloves and fill them with little Christmas goodies, and then play a game to exchange the mittens.  (Which reminds me... I need to look up a game to play for the exchange!)  There will be delicious snacks, and...well...probably not a whole lot of drinks, as many of my friends are currently expecting babies, but I still expect it to be lots of fun and have lots of laughs!
  • Sunday will be church, and then another day of prepping, this time for the Christmas House Tour!!  No, I'm not actually on the tour, but as one of the main organizers, there's still plenty to be done.  Sorting out last-minute tickets sales, delivering the door prizes to the home owners who are on the Tour this year, making food for the refreshment table... I'm sure it will all keep me busy!
  • And then Monday is the Christmas House Tour!!  One of my favourite events of the holiday season!!  Our church has been hosting this Tour for years, and I've personally been involved in the organization of it for quite a while now.  I so look forward to seeing the beautifully decorated homes, and greeting everyone out that night.  Such a festive, put-me-in-the-spirit kind of night!  Can't wait!!
There's been a lot going on the past few weeks, and while I'm soaking it all up and enjoying every minute, I am also kind of looking forward to a quieter week next week once House Tour is over... Still have Christmas Book Club Potluck coming up, but then I think most of my big Christmas parties and events are over and I'll be able to settle in, hunker down, wrap and watch movies and sip some rum & egg nog... mmm.  Bliss!!!