Ahhhhh...a new year is on it's way! It seems pretty unbelieveable that we are in the 21st century. I kind of miss the 20th century.

If we are going to be in the 21st century, then I need the world's technological promises fulfilled. I still don't have a flying car, and I have never seen the earth from space. And I don't have a robot buddy.

Let's think about it. All we really have is a greater acknowledgement of how much trash we've got, the iPhone (for the few and the iProud), and the Prius. Life wasn't so bad when all we had to recycle was aluminum cans and phones had cords.

I'm just bitter. I really want a robot buddy and a flying car.

Happy New Year. May the farce be with you.

Every year I write some New Year's Resolutions.

What's crazy is that I usually keep most of them. Perhaps I am a goal-setter. Who knew?

This year, I've been thinking about some things that I'd like to accomplish, but they pretty much can be summed up by generalities.

Here's what I have so far:

1) Pray more.
2) Eat less.
3) Read more.
4) Spend less.
5) Clean more.
6) Eat out less.
7) Dance more.
8) Whine less.
9) Love more.
10) Envy less.

Closed for season.
Reason? Freezing.

dedicated to ET

I went to the optometrist today. I got to see a scary veiny picture of what my eye looks like on the inside. The doctor showed me a floater or two in my eyes. But I knew they were really bits of mascara. Every night, I always have a few bits of mascara floating in my eyes. They have to go somewhere.

I try every morning not to fret in the parking garage when I see a non-compact car resting in a compact car parking spot. Now that I am a compact car driver, I feel that membership should have some privileges. For all the people that think they have a compact car (when in fact they have a sedan or SUV), I dare you to a compare test with my car. It's like seeing a women's basketball team swarming the petite section clearance rack. Compact parking spots need compact cars.

I am not Santa. I do not need to eat a cookie for breakfast every morning. I do not need a cookie midnight snack.

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This post also entitled: A Very Johnny Cash Christmas

It's the holiday season, and it's time to start dressing in holiday fashions. So far, I have one dressy party, three non-dressy parties, and my family's holiday festivities for which to find outfits.

Most of my clothes consist of one color (or lack of color) palette: black. I have taken the little black dress, the little black sweater, the little black boot, and the little black pump with the little black purse to its limits. I really need to add color into my Christmas wardrobe so I don't look like I'm mourning Christmas every year.

I thought about adding some *pop* with some red shoes, but I've yet to find the pair that fit the pair I have in my imagination.

I also wanted to add a nice red sweater to my wardrobe, so I could wear it for my family's holiday get-together. I bought a nice, red, cowl neck sweater at Target which looked nice in the dressing room during my lunchtime shopping adventure. When I tried it on in front of my mirror at home, the cowl neck wouldn't lay the right way, and I kept envisioning how that neck would keep getting in my way or be filled with cookies crumbs all Christmas Eve night.

I took the red sweater back and searched the mall. I went to Forever 21, The Gap, Ross, and Target again. Nothing could be found that was the right red. I didn't want an orangey-red or too blue of a red. I wanted Rudulph's-nose-red. I didn't want it too clingy or too baggy. But no matter how difficult my own requirements were, there were very few red sweaters to be found.

I can understand why the mall stores might not carry full-on Christmas sweaters complete with bells and thistles, but I just wanted a holiday colored sweater.

On my last trip to Target, I bought a v-neck black sweater on the clearance rack. I might be mourning Christmas again this year, but who knows? Maybe I can get creative with that black sweater and put some stickers on it or something to pep it up. My hair is already red, so I should get automatic Christmas fashion points for that.

For some reason, I feel the need to post this.

My weekly grocery list:
-5 apples
-oatmeal packets
-dried cranberries
-organic milk
-frozen veggies
-spaghetti noodles
-spaghetti sauce
-chicken breast
-whole grain bread
-Laughing Cow cheese triangles
-corn tortillas
-mixed shredded cheese
-Guiltless Gourmet chips
-homemade salsa
-2 Larabars
-high-fructose corn syrup free yogurt

We had a winter miracle in Houston tonight. It SNOWED! I've seen snow many times before living in various US locations, but this snow was very special. The best part about it, was that it danced around, and then disappeared as silently as it entered our sky.

I examined the flakes to see if it was just sleet, or real snow. This was the real deal. Complete with unique flakes.

There's something so wonderful about unexpected blessings. Perhaps that should always be the true meaning of Christmas, and our focus. John the Baptist was an unexpected blessing to Elizabeth and Zechariah. Baby Jesus' birth was an unexpected (well, okay, also foretold--but the time was expected/unexpected) blessing to the world. And maybe even those crazy gifts that we give each other that can be a curse, should really be ways to give friends and family unexpected blessings.

I hope you have some unexpected blessings this season. (and I hope I do, too!)

-Did Santa ruin Christmas for Jesus? Or does he help it? It's something that I tend to think about this time of year when I see about 100 Santas a day.

-Why does the word Santa contain the same letters as Satan? Coincidence? Hmmmm...

-Is Santa's coat red because so is the blood of Jesus? Probably not.

-Jesus gives us life. Santa gives presents.

-Jesus lives in our hearts and he had twelve disciples. Santa lives in the North Pole and had twelve reindeer. Wow. Something about the number 12.

-Are there more Christmas songs about Jesus or Santa? Why are the Jesus ones considered offensive at school, but Santa gets a hall pass?

-Why did Santa get fat? I don't think Jesus was ever overweight.

Giving more like Jesus won't help the economy, but it might help a few other issues we have. [Click on Jesus]

I always thought love in a blue box meant that something was from Tiffany's, but now, my perspective has changed. I don't know if this is real love or just a feeling of being high off Vicks.

Living in Houston makes it a bit more difficult to conjure up feelings of Christmas. There might be a cold day, and I'll get really excited and pull out my winter clothing line and accessories. Before I can even find matching gloves, the weather changes back to 70 degrees.

When I think of Christmas, I have memories of being cold and also having to wonder if I will wake up to a Winter Wonderland the next day and be trapped in my house with movies and hot chocolate.

In the colder climates where I've lived, the pine trees in the stores are full, and the animals are hiberating. When you breathe out, you can see your breath. The car has to warm up for awhile (if you can get in it without the door handles being frozen). And my cheeks and nose are constantly frozen pink.

Those are the feeling of Christmas, I tell you. Times like those make you feel completely normal in a jingle bell covered red sweater walking into a pine and red-bowed filled room.

In Houston, to simulate the Christmas mode, here's what I do:

1) I put on my heavy sweater and stand in the frozen food section looking at the holiday Pillsbury selection.
2) I drive around with the A/C on looking at Christmas lights in the fancy neighborhoods.
3) I watch the ice skaters at the Galleria (this year I will hopefully skate with them!).
4) I keep my gloves handy, just in case, and sometimes, I buy a new pair at Target.
5) I start drinking hot chocolate and whatever other holiday drink Starbucks offers.
6) I attend as many Christmas parties as possible.
7) I make myself listen to Christmas music, and use that as my main shower singing track.

I've been thinking about this whole White Christmas deal. I don't think Jesus got a White Christmas in Bethlehem. So, where did the whole obsession with a White Christmas come from? I like to think it's a nice symbol of the purity of Christ and that's why we are so in awe when it happens, and not that we are the products of a Bing Crosby song's wish.

Last weekend, I also got to see Christan, Katie, David, and Jonathan. I didn't get a pic of Jon, so I'll have to take more pictures of him than all the other kids out of guilt (and because he likes pictures).

My mother and I went to visit Troy and Kim, and before our very eyes, Christmas started spilling out into the house.

Christan baked some cookies...

And served them with love.

Katie decorated the mantle with tender care.

And poor David was sent to slave away preparing the living room for the tree.

But worse than than, I think Jonathan was sent to the attic to dig out the boxes.

I can't wait until I have kids, and they're old enough to work for me.

All jokes aside, my nieces and nephews are the smartest and funniest kids in the whole world, and I know my mother will be so pleased to see this photographic evidence that they have the decorating and cleaning gene.

I have returned home from my Thanksgiving visit, a little rounder, but also well-loved, too. I got lots of sweet hugs from some little ones that I love.

Ethan feeding a deer

Marissa and Emily and their canine siblings, Sparky and Paws
Best day ever! It's pink!

Love like this can only come from a brother.