Tonight we celebrated my little sister's birthday. My mother, officially, has no teenagers left. (MAN that's a lot of smoke. Bert, I think we be gettin' old!) (Photo thanks to my dad- I was across the room with a clingy baby, iPhone saves the day again!)
Birthday girl chose taco bar, and since my traditional present is fixing the birthday meal, we had a hey dey- carnitas in the crockpot, tomatillo salsa from the garden, fresh pico de gallo, guacamole, radishes, red salsa, cheddar, seasoned rice, the most gorgeous halibut you ever saw, corn tortillas, wheat tortillas, and Aunt LoLo brought an enormous chocolate cake. (Dad brought fish and fixings- thanks!!) No one in the world can make a bigger burrito than Aunt Bert, and no one in the world can EAT a huge burrito like Aunt Bert. It's a gift, really. (And isn't she purty?)
I did actually make something today! It's a list (well, a few lists) and it totally counts.
First, a story from dad: he calls it the analogy of the flying monkey. I get the words all mixed up, but basically other people's issues are their own- their own monkeys. Don't let their monkeys jump onto your pile, just because you got close. I'm still trying to wrap my head around the difference between doing service, and taking on other people's problems, but I think I need to make a sign for my house "No Monkeys Allowed."
Second, I was reminded in Sunday School today that we need to figure out what is important to us, and shake off other things that suck away my time. So I made a list.
Daily scripture study/meditation
Keeping a Garden
Time with kids and family
Making "whole" foods, cooking
Creative outlets and making stuff (writing, jewelry, art)
My duties at church (choir director)
Time with friends
Obviously, there are seasons for everything (like, my choir duties are probably going to bulldoze my B priorities in December getting ready for the church program) but as we head into the holiday season, I'm going to keep this list close, and remember not to get close to anyone else's monkeys by mistake.
Do you find yourself stressed in the holidays, too? I can't even tell you why, but it's a hard time of year for me. The cold, the darkening days, the expectations and planning....they're all exciting to me, but draining.