Project Life Week 51

Week 51 was all about two things - prep for the Holidays and dealing with technology crises. Mom's laptop crashed suddenly on Sunday, which threw her entire life (and mine, to a degree) into an uproar. Rob did manage to salvage her hard drive, and thanks to a new cable he ordered, was able to retrieve all of her documents. I took her to Office Depot on Monday so she could get a new computer (I had already found one online that they had in stock). The only downside to that was she had to upgrade to Windows 8, which was a serious challenge for her. But, by Thursday, she had her documents back and her new computer customized in a way that she could function. She got me a $100 gift certificate to Technique Tuesday as a thank you gift.

So here's this week's layout. I used the Jade core kit:

I kept up with journaling the week using the Day One app for my MacBook and my iPhone. It helped tremendously in putting together this layout. The photos were mostly random everyday pics I took during the week, so having those stories recorded really saved me!

The "Say What?" card was something I recorded Zack saying while having our weekly "Big Ass Burrito Tuesday" dinner at Q'Doba. It was so...."Zackian!"

The card with the "story" die cut contains the journaling about Mom's computer saga. The stamp that says "crapiness" is from this awesome set by Studio L2E. I love finding journaling cards, stamp sets, and embellishments that aren't all "oh this was the BEST DAY EVER." Life isn't like that! There are going to be some crappy days! I appreciate products that reflect the normal-ness of everyday life.

My niece had her 13th birthday this week as well. I documented her party with a 3-up insert:

And that's all she wrote for Week 51!

Pre-Christmas Traditions

On Sunday night, the kids and I spent the evening at my mom's, wrapping presents and helping her with her minimal Christmas decorations. She and the kids have this system where each person gets his or her own wrapping paper and all of their presents are wrapped in that same paper. Alyssa always has some penguin-themed paper, Zack and Mom always have some red-dominant print. Rob and I each get whatever the others don't. It works.

After the living room is decorated, we each get to open one present early. It's never our "big" present - just something minor that will put a smile on our faces but not leave us disappointed on Christmas Day.

Alyssa got a new Colorado Rapids team scarf:

She seems so enthusiastic, doesn't she? Actually, she had just come off a work week where she received overtime hours. In fact, she's been basically working straight through ever since she got home from school. Mom told her she needs to learn a new magic word - NO!

Zack's early gift was a vinyl copy of The Beatles' "White Album." He's eventually going to own all of The Beatles' albums on vinyl. Like having them on CD isn't enough. :)

I opened up a package that contained a Washington Nationals zip-up hoodie. It's a little tight on me, but it gives me something to work down towards, right?

After the present-opening, Mom served us gingerbread and whipped cream. Having a treat is also a tradition we observe during this pre-Christmas rite.

Operation Anti-Bah Humbug Day 1

I am determined this Christmas season to be filled with wonder, joy, and to leave any feelings of "bah humbug-ness" behind.

One of the ways I'm going to accomplish this is to attend church on Sunday mornings. Church services help me to clear my mind and to focus on spirituality - very useful for banishing the "bah humbug" monster.

St. Stephen's Episcopal Church is a wonder. The main chapel is relatively newly built, but I still get the same feelings in there that I did back at the old St. Mark's in Worcester. The scent in the chapel is comforting. I suppose its the scent of the incense used. I take comfort in the ritual of the liturgy, especially now that I understand the meanings and reasons behind each of the rituals.

I had some serious challenges the rest of the day, but looking back to how the day started still comforts me. The Christmas season can be stressful, but keeping the "reason for the season" in mind helps to keep the stress at bay. At least for Day 1.

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