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I'LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS

LASDI©

LASDI©

Some people absolutely love Christmas music. Some even start playing it the day after Halloween because they love it so much. I know there are people out there that just can’t stand it at all, but I’m not one of those Scrooges. I love, love, LOVE Christmas music - especially the classics.

So, the other day, I was washing dishes and streaming Classic Christmas Music station and the song, I’ll Be Home for Christmas, came on.

It goes like this:

“I’ll be home for Christmas

You can plan on me.

Please have snow

And mistletoe

And presents on the tree.

Christmas Eve will find me

Where the love light gleams.

I’ll be home for Christmas

If only in my dreams.”

Well. I found myself crying into the dishwater. I have heard that song a thousand times or more and never once can I recall it making me cry. But there were so many things that were rushing through my brain and effecting my heart and crying just seemed the natural response.

The first thing I thought of was The Kid - our youngest son, Jordan. He’s been in the Army for a couple of years now, and we are fortunate if we get to see him for the holidays. But even outside of this time of year, he misses home something FIERCE. He is stationed at a location where there happens to be snow, which is so different from his home here in Texas. So though I don’t think he cares about us having snow, as the song requests, I do know he dreams of being home just the same.

Thinking of The Kid led me to think of all the other soldiers and service people who won’t be home for Christmas. I thought of all the videos and commercials I’ve seen of soldiers surprising their loved ones: a child opening a remote-control car for Christmas and his dad ‘remoting’ it to the front door while the youngster follows it only to find his mommy in her fatigues, crouching with her arms open to embrace the child she hasn’t seen in so long; or the ever-popular soldier-dad who pops out of the basketball mascot suit to his son playing in the game while the crowd cheers. Oh, you can bet by this time, the dish-gloves had come off (as had the false eyelashes) and I had moved to the couch in full-ugly cry mode.

From the soldiers to the civilians who simply can’t get away from their work or who want to go home with all their might but maybe can’t afford it. My mind was racing, and my heart was pounding. And breaking. And my eyes were pouring.

How can I seriously find comfort and joy knowing this? How can I find the silver lining as I try to do in all things knowing people can’t come home for Christmas?

I started running through the song again in my head.

“Christmas Eve will find me, where the love light gleams”……YES. I got it. The love light. Where does the love light gleam no matter where we are?? I hope you know the answer before I tell you: OUR HEARTS! That is why he ends the song with “if only in my dreams”. If he can’t be there physically, he is allowing his heart to be there, just as he dreams it would be if he were.

Even though I wish the opposite of this truth, not everything is a Hallmark movie that has the most-perfect ending. Sometimes we can’t make it home for Christmas. Or sometimes our loved ones can’t make it home to us. Either way, if we let Christmas Eve find us where the love light gleams, we can imagine home and know that the reason we pine for it is because we are loved or have people that love us enough to want to be together! What a blessing. What a love light.

The Hubster and I are always home for Christmas. We put zero pressure on The Kiddos to come see us. Our Fall Family Day, Thanksgiving weekend and Family Festivus, full of traditions are our only requests. They are married now and have other family they may want to be with for Christmas and we do not want them to feel the burden (some of you know it well) of trying to please everyone for the holidays by traversing from one end of the world to the other in order to spend only a few minutes with each family member. In those moments, it seems that we are taking being “home for Christmas” for granted; as though it were something that we grumble about, not thinking of those who wish they had that very opportunity.

But now being home for Christmas has taken on a whole new meaning for me. It doesn’t matter where you hang your hat for the holidays. It doesn’t matter if you are all together or miles apart. It’s where the love light gleams that takes you home for Christmas.

So I will always be home for Christmas. If only in my dreams.

Merry Christmas, Lovelies. May your love light gleam brighter than ever.

What She Wore, Crabs, & More

Photo Source:  HERE

Photo Source: HERE

Look, I know the title of this post makes me sound a lot like Dr. Seuss, but there is a method to my madness.

There are so many successful blogs out there, and I really want to be one of them.  So in doing my research on what makes some of them so successful, I discovered that several of them include a “What I Wore” post every-so-often.  Well, Ladies (and if the title didn’t turn you away from reading on, Fellas, then I respectfully include you, too), since that is not exactly my style – to brag on my style – I thought, “Perhaps I can demonstrate my own take on it, She-STYLE.”  (See what I did just there?)

You see, every Fourth of July, The Hubster (Adrian) and I have our Annual Camping on the Beach Date Night.  (I capitalize it to emphasize its importance).  This year, he decided it was time to christen me to the crabbing world. 

Now I don’t know about you, but Date Night of any kind is an exciting thought – even if you know you’re gonna catch crabs.  So every year for camping, being the Bohemian-Glitter-Girl that I am, I try to dress up without dressing up.  I want my man to think I’m purty after all; but I also don’t want to wear a ball-gown to the murky waters of Surfside, Texas. 

In all the afore-mentioned blog posts, these girls have definitely got their sassy pants (or dresses, or whatever) on.  Trendy, pricey, and GORGEOUS.  Thing is, my take is a little different.  For instance, let me walk you through last year’s ensemble:

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

This image is © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used.

Hat: 99 Cent Store, $1, Glasses: Target (pronounced “tarjay”, of course) Dollar Clearance Bins, $1, Earrings: Beauty by Chelsea, thank you very much (in other words, The Daughts gave them to me), Shirt: Tough Mudder Team Carpe Diem, Free (I EARNED that sucker!!), Capri Mom-Jeans: Goodwill, $4.99, Shoes: Penny Wise Resale, $2

Yea.  Not too trendy OR pricey.  (But guess what?  The Hubster DID say I looked GORGEOUS.  Even in my high-waisted mom-jean capris.  He made the conscious effort to say so.  Rare, I know.) 

This year's ensemble and where it came from would equally bore you, but the date details wouldn’t.  (No.  Not THOSE details, Dirty-Birdies) So we use our small means to make for a big night…who CARES about that part?  The tent goes in the back of the truck and we literally lay on cardboard and blankets.  We drink wine out of plastic wine glasses that get sand in them and make our mouths a little gritty.  We watch the free fireworks at night over the sand and water.  And boy-oh-BOY did we go CRABBING!  We caught a bountiful booty of blues…and then we partook in the trophy that was sweet crabby meat!  Did it REALLY matter what I wore?  To take this moment in our very SHORT lives to breathe each other in?  To take this moment in our very BUSY lives to remember how small we are next to the great, big ocean God created, but how meaningful our living legacy and the one we leave behind can be in the very moment we remember that?

What you have or how much you spend does not make the man (or woman), I tell ya.  What you do with what you’ve been given sure does.  Do you let bitter people steal your joy?  Or are you, perhaps, one of those joy-thieves referred to? Are you making the most of every, single, precious moment?  Or are you recklessly wasting time sweating the small stuff? 

Are you dressing for success when you wake up without even thinking about clothing, or in your most-expensive clothes are you setting yourself and others up for failure?

Are you basking in crabs, or are you one of them?

Me?  When others are talking about What SHE Wore, I hope they are inclined to say, “Her heart.”

Picture Perfect Memories

These images are © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

These images are © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

Have you ever looked back on a picture and thought to yourself, “WHAT WAS I THINKING??”  I do it ALL the time, unfortunately.

There are some I cringe to look at because I was so young and now I’m so not.

These images are © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

These images are © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

Ahhh, the days of innocence when the thought of the chemical lighter fluid behind me didn't make me think of eating a carcinogen marshmallow.

There are some that I abhor because I was fat.

These images are © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

These images are © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

Woo!  And I actually got fatter than THAT!

There are some I look at and am embarrassed because I thought I was all that.

These images are © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

These images are © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

Well, I WAS all that in this picture, but I’m standing in a Dollar Store posing like that, soooo not really.

There are some I look at and think, “What was I wearing??”

These images are © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

These images are © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

What??  That cotton puffpaint-suit had matching earrings!

There are some that confuse me because I just don’t know WHAT I was trying to do.

These images are © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

These images are © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

Uhhh…YEA.

There are some pictures that make me just miss my old eyebrows.

These images are © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

These images are © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

Brook Shields had NOTHIN’ on me, apparently.

There are some where I realize, the higher and bigger the hair, the higher and bigger the fool.

These images are © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

These images are © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

I wonder where I was all dressed up to go in my Z Cavaricci pants with the towel so elegantly draped over the window behind me?

There are some that even friends warn you not to show.

These images are © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

These images are © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

(From Facebook): Hugh Durlam: "WOW. Some pictures are meant to be burned. I'm not sure what the biggest offender in this pic is; The hair, the wine in the jelly jar, or the wood paneling."

‘Nuff said.

Some I just wish for that smooth, collagen-plump baby face back.

These images are © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

These images are © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

But not the dress.  OR the hair.

Some I’m not even sure are ME.

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These images are © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

Dang it.  It’s me.

And then there are those pictures that are worth a thousand words.

These images are © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

These images are © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

Or no words at all.  (That one is so bad, that I cropped the other person out of the photo to help them avoid the embarrassment of standing there with me!  You're welcome.)

Yep.  I think we all have a collage of pictures we’re not sure we’d ever have the courage to show.  But I don’t regret one of them.  Nope, not even the puffpaint-suit one.  Each and every one of them contains a memory that has evolved me into the person I am today, and given me the life I now cherish and know is short-lived.

I wish I had a picture for every single moment: the good AND the bad.  It would give me a chance to reflect on what was sweet and savory, and what mistakes helped me learn and gave me wisdom.  I don’t have pictures of the hours I labored to give birth to Cameron and my bff, Sina, wouldn't let me push too early so that he would come into this world with a beautiful and perfectly round head.  I don’t have a photo for the moment I received a call that a good friend died.  I don’t have a photo for the first time Chelsea said, “I love you, Mommy.”  There is no photo I have to represent the very instant I accepted Christ as my Savior and my whole life changed.  I don’t have a photo for the first time I saw Jordan cry and it made my chest feel pinched.  I don’t have a photo to represent the heartaches of broken relationships.  I don’t have a photo of the butterflies in my stomach when I met Adrian and knew he was The One.  But though I don’t have a photo for those things, I have a picture of them.  They’re all in my memory, and they’re all perfect.  So go on and shake your head in revulsion over that photo of you dressed in satin shorts and tube socks with the world’s worst hair cut – but make sure you keep the picture of that memory in the perfect album: Your Heart.

These images are © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

These images are © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

Finger Prints on My Heart

Photo Source: http://4vector.com/free-vector/heart-fingerprint-132936

Photo Source: http://4vector.com/free-vector/heart-fingerprint-132936

Fingerprints are unique.  There are no two sets of fingerprints alike.  It’s amazing to me how precise they are, too.  Sometimes I forget how intricate God is.  That’s how I feel about fingerprints in a spiritual way.

Then there’s the practical, everyday way I feel about fingerprints.  They stick in my craw.  They also stick to everything in the house!  From windows to a stainless steel refrigerator, I spend much of my time trying to remove fingerprints from surfaces in an effort to clean my home. 

I have a 19-year-old young man still living at home.  Though I don’t really see him that often, I know he’s been there – ESPECIALLY in the fridge.  Fingerprints all over it.  I’m not mad at the fingerprints I find on the fridge; in fact, I feel a little lump rise in my throat because I know he will be leaving soon and I will not get to see those fingerprints as often.  But what’s baffling to me is it almost seems as though he doesn’t even BOTHER to use the handle that is connected to the refrigerator…it’s as though he paws at it with both hands until it opens.

It’s no secret I try not to use chemicals for cleaning.  But my trusty vinegar, lemon, and water just doesn’t cut it when it comes to the fridge fingerprints.  It leaves streaks and makes the stainless steel pretty dull.

So I did my research.  You will never guess what I found!!  Extra virgin olive oil!  (Talk about “elbow grease’!)  It removes the fingerprints AND shines it up for quite some time!  I know this sounds strange and almost opposite to the point, but I now swear by it because it truly works! 

So here’s what ya do:

Paper towel or soft cloth in one hand.  Extra virgin olive oil in the other.  Pour a small amount (maybe a quarter size at a time – remember: you can always add, but it’s much harder to take (rub) away) in small, circular motions, start from the top (in case you happen to have too much on the cloth and it drips, it drips downward for you to rub it in!)  and massage oil in, working your way down the door of the fridge, rubbing the oil in fully.  If you put too much oil, it can turn rancid and start to stink…found THAT out the hard way!   Then use other side or cleaner, drier side of towel or cloth and work your way back up the door of the fridge.  BAM!!  Clean, shiny and au naturale! 

before
These images are © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

These images are © 2015 by Life As She Does It. Please link back or credit if any content or images are used. 

What do the fingerprints you find around your house remind you of?  Don’t take them for granted as you clean them away……know they are unique and fleeting.  Allow them to massage your heart with the oil of their reminiscence and as you rub them away from the surface, make sure to keep them locked away in your memories.   They’re intricate and the person they came from is VERY special......especially if they’re yours.