Category Archives: Christmas

A 2016 Recap and a Merry Christmas!

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…


Charles Dickens summed up how I feel about this year.

Highlights and lowlights:

Low: Our Hearts BrokeTwice.

High: Love doesn’t die.

Low: My children don’t like the above Christmas card

High: I don’t really care 🙂

Low: We emptied and sold a house, hauling and selling stuff every weekend for four months

Saying goodbye to Grandma's house

Saying goodbye to Grandma’s house

High: We became a multi-generational family. It’s better than I ever thought it could be

Low: Four major appliances broke

High: We have Brendaen img_8339

High: We almost have a finished basement!

High: We didn’t get divorced during this process 🙂

High: I shocked myself and hired a woman to clean our home for two hours during the month of December. And I have all sorts of thoughts about this. It shall be written! #2017post

Low: Grief is not linear. Loss hangs over you and hits hard at the oddest times.

High: Friends and family. You hold me together.

Low: So many well-intentioned blog posts didn’t get written.

because :

Poor time management?

No, the other one.

Higher than a kite: In April, New York ICM literary agent Zoe Sandler called and made all my dreams come true. I have not written about this publicly yet. Hold on to your earrings, ’cause I’m still freaking out.

Low: Publishing houses apparently aren’t worried about my self-esteem #boatloadofrejection

High: Zoe is the best.

High: This is the book deal year. I can feel it . #please?

Low: “Mom, no more hashtags!”

High: #whatevs

Low: “And stop with the emoji’s!”


visage_avec_des_larmes_de_joie_emoji_sticker_rond-r8efa1045719143db81c284357ea6ef17_v9waf_8byvr_512 #can’tstop


High: Fantastic books here and here. More coming!

Low: Read some duds, too.

High: There was soccer and basketball and swimming and running and piano and singing and chores and Netflix and cows and driving and did I mention soccer?nelson7

Low: My running suffered.img_8379

High: Running saved me.

Shout out to good health and running buddies!

Low: Faith was tested

High: Staying in the boat

Low or a High? Our country voted Donald Trump as our next president. #what?! If we’re Facebook friends, you know how I feel 🙂

High: I get to teach the best A&P class ever. We dissect pickles.



High: Fallimg_9461

Life was good and life was hard. The year felt short and some days felt forever long. I cried a lot. And laughed a lot, too.

If 2016 taught me anything, it’s that tomorrow can change in a second. SEE. FEEL. HEAR. TOUCH. RIGHT NOW, in the present, all that you love most.

Questions swirl in my brain as I look forward to a new year:

Will Cope go to college?

Will my boy like me again?

Are all teens surly while seeking independence from their mothers? Theoretically speaking…

Is Brynne growing up too fast?

Will Paige still hold my hand?

Will I get a book deal?

Am I good enough? #sayyes

Should I let my hair go gray? #chicken

Will I master a consistently clean house?

That was a joke.

Tonight is the winter solstice, the longest night of the year. Tomorrow the earth will begin to spin toward greater light. Literally. This makes me giddy. There is light ahead! As a born and often unrealistic optimist (my best quality 🙂 ) I’m holding out hope.

“… it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period…”– Charles DickensA Tale of Two Cities

Merry Christmas, friends. See you in the new year!




Okay, now we can move on to December!

Let’s kick off the season with the best part: LIGHT.

Join me?

Follow Our Savior Jesus Christ. In 25 Ways. Over 25 Days.

Keep it simple, simple, simple.

My friend, Rebekah, copied pasted, and printed out the 25 ideas listed, and put them into an envelope for her children to open every morning. LOVE IT. 15321614_10211192681475802_1883106853_oClick HERE to do the same!


A LINK to the following advent calendar


screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-10-40-02-pm screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-10-40-22-pmscreen-shot-2016-11-29-at-10-22-57-pm

Tonight I showed the video to my family. Tomorrow we begin. No matter how big or small, all service brings light.

He is the light. We are the light.

Merry Christmas – let’s #lighttheworld on fire!


A Glimpse at Christmas

Paige has been asking for an elf on the shelf for years. “They come to your house and watch you and you can’t touch them and please please please, I NEED an elf!”

IMG_3393 Inspired by my friend, Lindsey, and  this post, twin elves arrived at our house while the girls were at school. There was much shrieking! After Paige read the note she said, “no, no, no we can’t TOUCH THEM!” So  they ended up moving themselves every night after we were in bed. They are magic, after all.

DSC_0327 To get into the Christmas spirit we did our family annual “secret santa.” How tricky could we be? Always fun!

DSC_0366 Sometimes the elves got into the pretzels, but mostly they reminded us to do nice things.IMG_3381 I found this hysterical.

IMG_3430 We bought our tree from the local fire department, decorated it, and had a fight about the ornaments…we repented later with tears and apologies. Yep, just keeping it real here.

IMG_3555 Our church youth group went caroling at a retirement center. After a shaky start, we sang with gusto and had a great night 🙂DSC_0388 Our elves continued to move, hanging out in odd places.

DSC_0374 Our tree has a duct tape star, made by my Nellie-mak many years ago. He now thinks it looks trashy. I refuse to get rid of it!

DSC_0318 Paige left little snack crumbs for the elves. If we get mice I’ll blame it on Christmas.

IMG_3800 Our elves speak Spanish!

IMG_3507 Brynne proved to be my real Christmas elf, addressing Christmas cards. Whew.

Apparently, our address is difficult to find:


Did you know, one of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy!

Making cookies makes me happy…

IMG_3728   It’s one of the most fun things we do as a family in December. Even when Nelson tries to walk out of the picture. Note the weather? AWESOME.

My children were grumpy there was no snow whilst I not-so-secretly expressed my great glee at 50-degree December temps. It makes the morning run so much better. And I know…the white stuff is coming.IMG_3736 Christmas favorites.

It was an odd year, too. My children are getting older. They have amazing opportunities!IMG_3589 Nelson left before Christmas to go ski in Canada with his Nordic team.

IMG_3558   Cope went to Germany to au pair for her nice and nephew!

IMG_3680I think she really ate a lot of treats and bratwurst. Incredible experience!

IMG_3765Finally, all my children came home.

IMG_3824 Christmas Eve is always special. We read the story of Christ’s birth in Luke 2, Matthew, and The Book of Mormon. This is our angel declaring the good news!

IMG_3850 Andy Rooney said, “One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day.” This is the “before” shot.

IMG_3456I bought myself some Wicked Good Slippers from L.L. Bean 50% off. Life is complete.

After the presents were open, The Professor left us Christmas morning for a basketball tournament in England! What???!   IMG_3980 But guess what? They won!IMG_4028 And strutted the famous crosswalk in front of Abbey Road Studio. Proud of our #hornets!

We’ve missed our daddy. Especially when the basement flooded. I can’t talk about it yet.

But…IMG_3972 It snowed! And the kiddies were happy. I’m adjusting. It’s beautiful!IMG_3982 And our dear Mr. Goody plowed me out when I got stuck in the driveway. Hey, I’m a feminist and all that but I sure like men with tractors!IMG_3987 Obsessed with brussel sprouts this season. I’ve got a knock-out recipe…

DSC_0442 Days before it snowed we had a photo shoot. IMG_3940 My parents arrived from Arizona. Yahoo!

DSC_0432 Striking a pose. DSC_0426 Ewwwww…my feet are getting wet!DSC_0447 Mom, I can’t sit down on the wet rocks – my pants!DSC_0449 So he sat on his sister’s hand. “This is so wrong,” he said. But aren’t they cute?DSC_0481 Walking down the catwalkDSC_0487 That’s enough, paparazzi.

So there you have it. Our Christmas. Food. Our beloveds. Snow. Presents. Love.

My friend, Scott, sent me this article by Tim Urban, an author/illustrator. It’s called “The Tail End.” He writes: “I’m 34, so let’s be super optimistic and say I’ll be hanging around drawing stick figures till I’m 90. If so, I have a little under 60 winters left.”

But his bigger point was that he’s used up about 90% of his time with the people he’s loved best: his parents and siblings.

I’m thinking about my children now. They spend so much time together now. But these long December days together are dwindling. They are going incredible places. How many more moments do they have with each other? How many more Christmases will we spend together?

Gee, aren’t I a bundle of fun???

I’m just saying: The Tail End has made me feel more intentional this season, more mindful of this time that is flying by.

When you actually draw a picture, marking out the days you’ve had with your parents, siblings, children, best friends, like Tim Urban did, it becomes starkly clear that although you might not be at the end of your life, you may be nearing the end of your time with some of the most important, and the most loved people in your life.

So this season, I especially liked this:IMG_3813

First there was a little family. Now there’s our little family. Your little family.

I hope that this Christmas season we made the most of our time together. But if not, remember: tomorrow is a new day. Tomorrow is a NEW YEAR!

Happy 2015. Happy 2016!


Sunday Meditations: Why I Love Mary


Mary was named National Geographic’s Most Powerful Woman of 2015, and while I don’t “worship” her the way some religions do, I revere her. I always imagine the type of young girl she must have been, to be chosen to raise the most extraordinary man and influence the world has ever known.

Sometimes I feel very inconsequential, like I’m never doing enough, that I’m not “living up to my potential,” the message “CHANGE THE WORLD OR YOU’RE NOTHING” constantly being thrust at us. It’s exhausting.

During the bustle and hustle of Christmas time, I’m so happy to pause and think of Mary. Quiet and serene, holding a small baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, in a dirty barn in a field under the stars. Or maybe she was loud and boisterous and had a wicked sense of humor. I don’t know. But she’s sitting in the barn wrapped in pure love with some cows, her Joseph, and their beloved baby. She’s thinking nothing of social media likes or platform or being important. She’s just loving her baby. This scene is pure peace. I want to sit under the stars with her and just hold my babies, hearing nothing but the cattle lowing…

A few years ago I realized that the greatest thing I would probably ever do in this life was raise good children. What a wonderful way to change the world.


My Bestest, Most Favoritest: Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies

I’m quite particular about the sugar cookies I’ll eat. Most anything that comes in a box or tin? Pass.

I like to save my sugar cookie treats for the good stuff: soft and homemade. Offer me one of those and I might fight you for it. This gem of a recipe comes from my Aunt Naomi, from a small cookbook she compiled and entitled, “Good Food That Won’t Kill You.” Is that convincing or what?

Not too sweet, these sugar cookies are delicious even without the frosting. They’re perfection.

We make them once, maybe twice a year, at Christmas and Valentine’s.unnamed-2

unnamed-1Are you on our nice list? We might deliver!

DSC_0070unnamed-3 unnamed-5

DSC_0280Our decorating is top-notch, don’t you agree?

Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies


  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cups buttermilk

For the frosting:

  • Um, better Google that. I’m a Betty Crocker type of frosting girl 🙂


  • In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder. Add shortening with a fork (or electric mixer) until crumbly.
  • In a small bowl, beat together eggs, vanilla, soda, and buttermilk.
  • Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until combined (I like to do this right in my stand mixer, being careful not to overmix).
  • Chill one hour for better rolling.
  • Roll out to 1/4 inch thickness and cut into shapes. Yield: about 4 dozen cookies.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 7-9 minutes. Take out of oven before they brown.
  • When cool, frost, sprinkle, dunk, devour, deliver.

The end. Enjoy!


How We Do Christmas

Image-1-3An idea from and I love it.

Instead of long “I want” lists, the darlings carefully choose what they most want and need. Whew. It sure makes Santa’s job easier. Santa especially loves the “one thing to light up the world.” Because the world surely does need hope and light.

Last year we gave the kids money to spend on someone else, or to donate. Some favorite charities: Heifer International, Lemonade International, WishListNH.

This year, as we try to “light up the world,” we’re going to focus on serving more locally. For instance, Mert is in the veteran’s home this year, his first Christmas without his Bertha. He sits by the elevator, waiting for someone to visit. Wouldn’t it be lovely to jump out of the elevator with kisses and cards?

And then there’s our dear Anne who visits Harry, who is also in the veteran’s home, but Harry can’t remember his beloved wife’s name. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to play secret Santa?

How about caroling Mr. Goody who lives alone in that big house?

Or how about that coat drive at the elementary school? Of the food pantry which always empties as soon as it’s full?

It’s a busy time of year, but I’m trying to slooooooow down this bus, to look around, and do something for someone else. Funny how that makes for such a magical Christmas.


My Favorite Things {maisymak gift guide}

A “Favorite Things” gift guide, perhaps stocking or Christmas ideas, of some ordinary, everyday items that are very loved around this house. Are you ready for the excitement? Well, let’s talk about my…vacuum! (see? I told you it was exciting!)

IMG_33211. It’s called The Shark. And I love it. After months of looking and agonizing, we bought The Shark with the 7-year warranty. I’ve always had an upright, but really do l love this. My love affair with the vacuum continues…just with a different vacuum!

IMG_32982. The Whirley Pop. “This looks too grimy and used to post,” I said to Brynne. “That’s because we use it so much,” she responded. Good answer. We love it. A LOT.

IMG_3269 3. I’m obsessed with all things lemon. I bought this 3-pack at Sam’s. I think it’s supposed to be a gift…for someone else. But I LOVE it. Can’t seem to find this set on-line, would we love Mrs. Meyer’s as much?

IMG_3278 4. Neutrogena or Target brand grapefruit acne wash. So lovely (and teens adore!)

IMG_3292 5. Lemon again! This stuff. Oh man. A mix between a vaseline and lotion, I use it on my lips, eyes, hands. Also in lavender. It’s divine. Out of San Diego, its coming soon to a website near you…

IMG_3282 6. I’m not a big lipstick girl, but I do adore this color. Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie in Break Away. Look for sales b/c this is more than I’d normally spend on a lipstick!

IMG_3297 7. Jane’s Jumbo Eyeshadow/liner. Sign up for Jane’s “daily deal” and you’ll see this deal often: a smooth-gliding jumbo liner for less than $5. I wear this almost every day and my eyes don’t look nearly so tired.

IMG_3303 8. Cocoa butter? Oh, the smell! I adore this. The only problem is you’ll want to eat it. Find in the grocery store!

IMG_3307 9. A splurge for The Professor. What can I say? He likes his ground pepper. This Le Creuset is beautiful and high quality.

IMG_333110. Cosco brand trail sock. I’ll never wear anything again. Like, ever.

IMG_3345 11. Dansko’s Black Tooled Clog. I bought these a year ago, wear them almost daily, and they still look brand new. Best investment. Great quality clog for the mama who doesn’t bother to polish or wipe scuffs…does anyone do that anymore?IMG_3325 12. SkipHop Messenger Bag. So, uh, technically this is a diaper bag. But I bought it at a big Nordstrom sale this summer for 1/2 the price. I use it for school…minus the diapers. I adore it; It’s durable, wipeable, cute.

IMG_3335 13. I have two magazine subscriptions. Writers Digest is a must!


14. Whitney English Day Designer.  I really love this daytimer. It’s a big splurge, but you can try out the free printables if you’re considering. Really great if you like a day planner with monthly, weekly, and hour-by-hour pages. This year I went back to my $15 cheapy. I’m already regretting.

IMG_3346 15. Just sayin’. I can only find these at Christmas…and I found them…

IMG_334716. It’s Holiday Streaking time again! I wish I had posted early, but if you’d like this as a word document or Google doc, I’ll send it to you!

IMG_326017. Lord Tennyson. Sorry, you can’t have him 🙂

Hope that was fun…it was fun for me to post! Once I did a runner’s gift guide. What are some of your favorite things? Inspired by some of my “Favorite” posts: Sarah, Tina, Laura, and Julia.

Merry Christmas! (can you believe it?)


What to Do With All Those Christmas Tree Pine Needles: Drawer Pillows!

Don’t call my crafty or anything, but this is heaven in a fairy pillow.

Thought I’d share some heaven in a pillow with you. My Brynnie-the-Pooh came over the river and through the woods, from grandmother’s house with the most darling and deliciously-clean smelling drawer pillows:

pillow“Smell this, Mommy!” she said excitedly.

Oh, it truly was heaven in a fairy pillow!

“We made them! First you beat the tree – Grandma was making all these weird noises while she beat the tree with a broom…here I’ll demonstrate.”

So she demonstrated how one beats a tree with a broom making cavewoman-like noises, and ta-da! all the dry pine needles fall off onto the floor.

DSC_0005First, let’s pay homage to that beautiful christmas tree that was once cut fresh, sold on a lot, wrangled into the house, planted in a pot of water, dressed, tangled with lights, attacked by small children and pets, and glowed bright all month long.

pine needlesAs the weeks wore on and the pellet stove blew dry, hot air, hundreds and hundreds of pine needles fell.

By January 1, I am more than ready to say good-bye. The tree has done its duty. It’s time to have that big ol’ bonfire in the backyard!

But hark! Grandma has a story, an old tradition.

“Every Christmas, when I was a little girl, I would make pine needle pillows and send one to my grandmother.”

In my head I can see the the sock drawer being opened. Day after day, the fresh scent of pine floats through the air, reminding a grandmother of her granddaughter. It’s a Donald Hall or Tomie DePaola story book story if I’ve ever heard one (I’ll let him know.)

Oh yes, we had to do this.

So we took off the ornaments and packed them away. The lights were untangled, tangled back up, and stuffed into a bin.

And then the beating of the tree began. What great, messy fun this was for a kid!DSC_0138

Seeing my husband’s face? Quite priceless.

“What the heck are you doing?” he asked, as pine needles flew threw the air.DSC_0145

“We’re beating the tree, of course and making pine needle pillows!”

To his credit, he turned around and walked back into the kitchen. The beating unleashed a fragrant christmas tree smell that wafted throughout the house –  it smelled so good!DSC_0146After our tree was truly Charlie Brown-worthy, I threw it out the front door with nary a trail left behind. The girls then took all the pine needles and rubbed them together between their hands so nothing was left on the sticks.

DSC_0147A bowl full of fragrant and soft pine needles

DSC_0155We ironed a bit (optional) and cut squares, turning the fabric inside out.

Sew 3 and 3/4 quarters around the square on the sewing machine, then turn the fabric right side out.

Load pine needles into the pillow, and sew up small hole by hand.

DSC_0148These little pillows smell so good, and the girls are so excited to give them away as teacher and family gifts. Etsy has quite a few ideas, but I’m partial to my fairies 🙂

DSC_0150A grandmother-mother-daughter-christmas tradition lives on.

Meaningful and easy = my kind of craft.


How to Meditate Like a Zen Monk


I’ve been intrigued by the concept of meditation ever since reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s wonderful memoir, Eat, Pray, Love. I laughed at her description of trying to sit very quietly and letting go of all angst, worry, and to-do lists…because she couldn’t do it for a long time.

I can’t do it either. Fidget, fidget, and a million random thoughts.

I don’t know how to mediate. What am I supposed to think about? I pray all the time, but admittedly, I have a feeling I’m a tad more rushed, anxious, and distracted than a Zen monk.

This past summer I committed to getting up extra early and sitting on the floor in front of my bedroom window where the sun rises. For months it was glorious. Sun on my face. Sitting quietly, saying a prayer, and reading a spiritual passage.

It did make a big difference with how I felt both physically and emotionally. I felt calmer, more “centered” (that’s such a zen word, isn’t it?), and patient. Was this meditation?

However, in New Hampshire it becomes dark so quickly, that by October there was no sun streaming through my window at 6. Since sitting on a cold dark floor was too hard; I struggled to keep reading and feeling “centered.”

But the goal remained. Over the last few months I have read a bit about meditation and the great brain benefits. In addition, my Anatomy & Physiology class is finishing up a unit of the great brain; I needed to try meditation!

The resolve was clinched after listening to Lewis Howes’ podcast with Bill Harris, “How to Meditate Like a Zen Monk in the Fraction of the Time.” Ohhh! This one was for me! I could learn how to meditate in mere minutes and be well on my way to ZEN!

Meditation Benefits: Clarity, increased creativity, increased productivity, greater peace of mind

Being the Christmas season and all I’m feeling a bit stressed out. To say the least. If there was ever a time when I really wanted peace of mind, to really enjoy a wonderful time of year, it was right now. One of the biggest excuses I use not to meditate is I don’t want to take the time, but if meditation could help me be more productive AND peaceful at Christmas time, it was worth the extra minutes of effort.

So, after an early morning run this morning, in which it rained freezing ice pellets on me the entire time (Holiday Streakers! – another commitment!), I sat down on my living room floor with my wet clothes still on. I sat in front of the fire and the dog and the Christmas tree, plugged in my ear buds, and attempted to meditate like a zen monk. No excuses!

The free Holosync demo was 20 minutes. 20 minutes! Who has 20 minutes?

Be quiet. Listen.

It began with sounds of falling rain.

Oh, I like that…it’s raining outside. Wouldn’t it be faster to just listen to real rain? Sh!

Then a voice came on to tell me how wonderful meditation was and I too could buy a year’s subscription!

This sounds like internet marketing. Well, I’m not buying! We are saving money this year! Man I sound just like Luther Crank from Grisham’s SKIPPING CHRISTMAS. I’m as grouchy as he is too.

While the sales pitch goes on, it also says I’m hearing sound technology that will help my neural connections. Yeah, I could use more neural connections. It’s like African drum beats with rain. It’s nice. I try to block out the sales pitch and breathe all zen.

Is he going to stop talking soon? Can I really sit here for 20 minutes?

Remember that last time you tried to meditate sitting next to Gregor? That didn’t last more than five minutes before we burst out laughing. We’re so immature.

I’m cold.

Focus. THIS is your problem. You need to focus. Breathe in 1-2-3-4-5 Hold for 1-2. Exhale for 1-2-3-4-5 and Hold for 1-2.

My mind wanders to the open computer where I’m plugged in.

Don’t you dare check your email! But there’s like a million messages. Dang it, there’s a new lesson from Power of Moms about organizing your life. You still haven’t cleared your inbox. You’ve got to do that today. Today! It has to be TODAY! Breathe 1-2-3-4-5 and Hold 1-2. Close your eyes.

I swear, along with the drum beats and falling rain, this pitch goes almost fifteen minutes.

I’m cold. I should have showered first. But then I’d never start meditating. Scoot closer to the fire. There. Oh, Tenny boy, you’re a good dog. Pet doggy. I should give him a shower. Is that a tick?

I really should vacuum all those Christmas tree needles up. Paige fell into the tree this morning, knocking off ornaments and needles. She also landed on Brynne’s Christmas present – a box that is now dented.

There’s hardly anything under the tree. It looks a little…sparse. Yeah, our Christmas idea was a great one…but…do we have enough gifts? Maybe I should go to the store right now and buy some more presents, more STUFF for under there! No, no, no, you cannot do that. It will completely ruin everything we’re trying to do. Buy experiences, not things. Happy, happy, happy family.

More stuff, stuff, stuff. No. Be quiet.

Five more minutes of meditating.

I’m not doing this right. Maybe I should just quit. No, there are five more minutes of neural-engaging drum beats and a rain storm. Breathe. Feel the breath. Productivity! Clarity! Creativity!

I shouldn’t have been so snappy today with husband. Maybe I should call him, offer to go to the grocery store and buy his ingredients for the holiday brunch tomorrow. The holiday brunch. Oh my gosh, the holiday brunch is tomorrow! Okay, I’m going to get the dough ready tonight and let it rise in the fridge. Then tomorrow I’ll get up super early – really – I have to do it – no sleeping in. 5:30 I’ll get up and roll out the dough. I’ll make the frosting tonight. And then I’ll read my scriptures and meditate and write. I’m so behind. It’s fine, breathe. I’ll get ready, be really patient and nice with the kids, bring the rolls in the car and meet with Karl to talk about my teaching performance…what is my teaching performance? Am I a good teacher? Those brain packets are so long…what was I thinking? Maybe I should have just given a test. Breathe in 1-2-3-4-5- and Hold 1-2. Class is from 9:10-10. All set there, right? Then I’ll stay on campus and put the rolls in Becky’s oven – don’t forget to grab the frosting tonight! Put it out so you don’t forget. Nelson’s basketball game. Sell raffle tickets, then off to the Danbury church to see Santa and see Sam and Max play.

Don’t panic. It’s okay. You’ll get it done. Oh my gosh I have so much to do. Why didn’t you just make the stupid Christmas calendars a month ago? Enter grades, write comments for all students, work ahead for January syllabus. This house needs to be cleaned so badly. Clean, clean, clean. Send gifts in the mail this weekend! or they’re not going to get there in time. Did I get Nelson that last present? Make the granola – today! It has to be today! Carpe Diem. Send the Christmas card through Mail Chimp. Fast, easy, nice. 

Oh look, the neural drum beats have stopped. Meditation is done for the day.

Exhale. I feel so much better.


Obviously, I have some work to do.



Sunday Mediations: Handel’s Messiah

There’s a brilliant, but aging composer, a grieving Christian scholar, a scandalous adulterer. All came together by coincidence or divine providence?

When Handel was given a biblical text by Charles Jennens, he set aside. 18 months later, desperate for composition, he picked it back up. Handel did not leave his home for 24 days; he sat composing until the great oratorio, The Messiah, was completed. It is reported that when Handel wrote the Hallelujah chorus, his assistant found him in tears saying “I did think I saw heaven open, and saw the very face of God”.

This remarkable story has been recreated:unnamed

Handel’s best-known oratorio, a beloved Christmas staple, is the subject of a new BYUtv docudrama, praised by the New York TimesCheck out the trailer, warm up your voice, then watch the full-length version online.