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Holiday Greetings, Day 7 (on the late schedule)...

It's a good thing we are only 4 sleeps away from Christmas, because keeping up with this little task is proving to be more a challenge that I had expected. Yesterday we got a bit more snow...and lots of wind. And because I'm a moron and have this whole love-hate, procrastination relationship with Christmas shopping, I decided to brave a trip to Des Moines to DO my holiday shopping. Notice I didn't say FINISH, I said DO...because I hadn't DONE any before yesterday. In addition to the stress of the dicey drive, shopping itself the Saturday before the holiday is MAJORLY overwhelming. Especially when you go with only a partial list of what you specifically want to look for, plus a mental note of what spaces in your gift giving needs you haven't yet assigned items.

Each year for the past couple of years this task has gotten less fun and more challenging for me. Partially because mostly we just shop for our girls as we tend to do little homemade or craft inspired gifts for friends and relatives. Our girls have a closet full of clothes and a room FULL, FULL, FULL of toys. So it's hard to think about how/what to add to that mix. Personally, I've really tried over the past couple of years to step back from the commercialism that has become the center of the holiday season (one of the big reasons I don't participate in Black Friday regardless how good the deals) with the intent towards more conscious consumerism. These days I can more fully appreciate the simplicity of the gifts my brother and I received growing up. I hope to instill that same value in our girls, helping them to understand that giving/getting doesn't need to mean having in excess. I'd like them to come to appreciate how small thoughtful gifts and time together with family and friends are what the holidays are about. There's a bit of a disconnect between that wish, and how Scott's family approaches Christmas. So it's been an interesting balance to try to find over the years.

And Partially because as someone who doesn't necessarily have "traditional" religious views, I struggle to make sure my girls grow up understanding "the reason for the season." That regardless of what you believe you can use this time of the year to celebrate life and the gifts we each are given through the year, to share what we are able with those in this world who are in need of our love and compassion, and acknowledge the blessings that bring value, joy, and love to our lives.

But I digress...on to yesterday's recap of July 2008!

July for me can be summed up in one word, RAGBRAI. And if this holiday greeting thing was only about me, I'd be done for the night. But it's not...so I'm not.



July is a warmer version of June for us. We still maintain a lazier schedule that is just sooooooo much fun. This July Scott started his new job in a new career field with a new vision of what his professional future holds. July also brought my brother to Iowa for a 10 day stay before we departed for RAGBRAI with the crew. You can be assured there were 2 VERY happy little girlies in our house for those 10 days as Uncle Jason may just be their favorite person in the whole world. My absence on RAGBRAI means that the girls get spoiled silly by Aunt Pammy and Grandma Peg, which is like having their own little summer vacation experience. The last week in July may become a week they to look forward each year just as much as I do.

This July I was fortunate to have my first photography gig. An event that helped give me the confidence to think about taking on a new adventure in 2009. I'll let you know when I have some details in place to share!

My goal for tomorrow is to get back on track here. Lexi will (hopefully) head off to school, Scott will head to work, Brea and I will go off to our morning commitments and then with the coming of afternoon nap time I plan to catch up...although the pull of the craft room may over power the urge to write. I do have 2 gifts for 2 very cute little girls to finish up before we count our way down through those last 4 sleeps. They may be shortened sleeps for this Santa's helper!


peace

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peace