Monday, December 24, 2012

Back To Blogging?

We came home to Alabama for Christmas this year. We rotate every-other year and this was the year to visit Brooke's family. This year was especially hard for Brooke as it is her first Christmas without her Daddy who passed away in September, but she was so glad to get to spend time loving on her Mom. We left after church and got in here at 10:30pm.

To be honest, the couple days before we left, I was not real excited to be leaving for Christmas. I really enjoy being in MY home, with my immediate family and puppy dogs, relaxing at home. But today I realized I can never really quit thinking about my work responsibilities when I am at home...I have to get away. So, while I miss my puppy dogs badly, I am glad to be here. And, it does help that my in-law family is great.

Although we've been in Alabama just a little over 24 hours, I've had some time to think, pray and do some year-end reflection on my life. One of the things I'm going to try and commit to in the coming year is getting back to blogging. I don't blog like an author wanting to be read...I blog more for me. It's sorta like a journal (but I try not to put the really personal stuff on here if it would affect others). It helps me process and, I must admit, I really enjoy reading blog posts from the past and remembering what was going on in my life at that time.

Amanda and I went to the mall here in the Decatur metropolis (population 55,902...yes, a bit of sarcasm). As Amanda was checking out Bath and Body Works, I checked out the kiosk that was selling the cool remote control helicopters. As I was looking, I heard applause up the mall a ways. When Amanda came out, we headed that way to see if a group was singing or something. We had just figured out it must not have been a singing group when we saw all the people were gathered around the photo booth for Santa, but as we got closer, this is what we saw:
The picture is a little blurry, but this is an actual picture Amanda was able to snap with her cell phone. Obviously a soldier had returned home for Christmas and was able to surprise his daughters. Touched my heart and made me tear up. If you want to go into a full-blown cry, you can watch/read the story here. And if you can watch the video without crying...there must be something wrong with you!

Ever since I was a kid, I have loved Christmas time. Christmas music, decorations, family, the busy build up and then some time off. I especially loved the Christmas break in college where life was MAJOR stressful with finals, etc and then I could home home for a couple weeks and just chill with my family.

(reading in Alabama today)
One of the things I have tried to do these last couple years is read a Christmas book or two. I have found that reading is one of the most relaxing things I can do, and so last year I started a new "Christmas tradition" and started reading a Kindle Christmas book or two. I choose from the MANY Kindle books that are offered for free.

The first Christmas book I read this year was Claus: Legend of the Fat Man. I don't seem to have the patience to write book reviews, so I'll just post the link above to this book on Amazon so you can check it out. But the book description sounded like sci-fi remake of the Santa, North Pole, Jack Frost story. And that's pretty much what it was. A little different, but I enjoyed it. I have it 3 out of 5 stars.

The second book I chose, which I just finished tonight was The Christmas Dog. The description I read for this book sounded like it was going to be a little more of a "sappy" story...and it was. A feel-good-and-very-predictable story that did what it was supposed to do...make me feel warm and fuzzy as I read it while listening to Christmas music. I gave it 3 out of 5 stars.

As I mentioned earlier, I have a great in-law family. Got to spend the evening with Brooke and Amanda as well as my mother-in-law, sister-in-law and her husband, my niece and nephew. We had dinner together and then opened Christmas gifts. It was a good time and we are looking forward to Christmas dinner together tomorrow.

(Amanda with the compound bow she got for Christmas)

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