Wow...what a week it has been! The holiday season is busy enough, but throw some intense work stuff on top of it, and it's downright stressful! I have had a really hectic couple of weeks at work, and can't even tell you how relieved I am to be on vacation after that! I am glad to say that I got done what I needed to get done before being out of the office for two weeks, so I can rest easy and enjoy my time off!
When things get really busy, the to-do list tends to pile up, and that just creates more stress. Anyone who knows me knows that stress + me = not a good situation. That is definitely my weak area. So I do a lot of thinking and planning ahead, trying to anticipate things that need to be done, so that they don't sneak up on me and create pressure that I don't need. Of course my wonderful husband helps in this area- generally speaking, I can ramble off a list of what is stressing me out, and he will just take care of it. It sure is good to have him on my side! It is so easy to get caught up in all the "shoulds" of this time of year, isn't it? I should finish my shopping, I should get all the wrapping done, I should this, and that, and the other, oh, and throw in a band concert here, a dance recital there, a Christmas party over yonder, and yeah, things get a bit out of hand. It is good to take a few moments for a reality check and remember that: I am one person. I am human. I can only do so much. And if things are not perfect, the world will keep turning, time will keep rolling on, and life will go on. Being "the one who makes the holidays happen" is a lot of pressure, but it doesn't have to be. I have to keep reminding myself that it's ME who makes it that way, because *I* want everything perfect, and *I* have control. I want my family to have the most wonderful holiday EVER, but it's no good if they don't have ME in there somewhere! It is all too easy to forget that.
So anyway, we are now 6 days away from Christmas! My kids are so excited! We have watched some of the fun Christmas shows from my youth, like Santa Claus is Coming to Town and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. We have the tree up, the cards are mailed, and I have all the stuff purchased for Meredith and me to do the holiday baking. That will be done in the next couple of days. We like to make cookies and other treats and deliver plates of goodies to neighbors and friends. This year, I have some really YUMMY stuff planned! Look for a Kitchen Creation in my next post with some of the recipes that we plan to make! Last year, we discovered some incredible mint chocolate chips made by Nestle, and they are great in cookies. So we will do those again this year, in addition to some oatmeal white chocolate chip cherry cookies, chocolate dipped macaroons, and some dipped pretzel treats, as well as my mom's special fudge. I can already feel my waistband expanding....but how can you resist at this time of year???
Ok, onto the crafting business. I guess I ended up having a bit of a Christmas rush in my Etsy shop after all! I got several orders last week, which was a very nice surprise! I hope everyone who ordered was happy with what they got! So that was fun. I signed up to participate in a Hello card swap on the PBS Swappers group, and that has kind of been hanging over me for awhile. The cards are due in to the swap hostess by the 30th, so I have had that in the back of my mind that I need to get that done. I had some paper that I had in mind to use, that I picked up when I went to JoAnn's a few weeks ago, and finally got time today to flesh out my ideas. I like what I came up with, and hopefully everyone else will too! I have to give credit where it's due, and report that I used a card sketch from the Mojo Monday blog as the base for the card. I just love this site!! I feel pretty good about my ability to put colors together and whatnot, but I'm not so great with layouts, and this site is really helpful in that area! I am not sure why I felt like using springy colors here...maybe I'm getting a bit weary of winter already. But I really liked the striped paper, and that is where I started. I also had an embossing folder that I wanted to use, with leafy vines and little birds, which gave me the idea to use a Sizzix die I have with a bird as well. So here is the final result:
I mentioned that Meredith and I will be doing our baking this week. I thought it would be nice to make some little tags to go on the plates of goodies that we will bring to our friends, when we get them all made. I put these together, and they are very similar to the card I made for Kendra that I didn't get a picture of a couple of weeks ago.
Being off work this week, I am looking forward to some free time to think about some new crafting projects, as well as spend time with my family and friends. One of my local friends is having a wrapping party in the next couple of days, and that should be fun- get something done and have a good time with friends, all at the same time! I just know that my vacation time is going to fly by, and I hope to fill that time with some good memories. Happy holidays to everyone! May the season fill your hearts with joy!