Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Christmas traditions...

Just last week (literally) I was basking in the 90+ degree sunlight of my backyard, watching our neighborhood children trek over to the community pool while balancing noodles, inner tubes, snorkel gear and water wings precariously over their heads, and sprinting on tip-toe out to the mailbox because the driveway was hotter than my broiler.

This morning I sipped my hot white tea while wrapped up in a thick blanket, waiting for the heater to come on.

Only one conclusion can be derived from this sequence of events: Fall this year in Phoenix was a full 48 hours long and it is now Winter.

I hate the cold, but it's impossible to hate everything that Winter brings with it: pumpkin carving, turkey roasting, hot chocolate whisking, tree shopping, present wrapping glory. The only problem with the holidays in the valley is that we don't have autumn to help us ease our way into it. So now, before I could see it coming, plans need to be made.

For those of you who aren't readers of this blog, or who we don't talk to often (how unfortunate, we keep meaning to call), Corey and I have made it a tradition to adopt a family for Christmas. While we have made it a goal to be more thankful all year long for the rich blessings we have in our lives, Christmas is a time where we have found it particularly rewarding to wrap all of those thankful feelings up into a big gift and bless a less fortunate family. Especially with the current (and seemingly never ending) economic climate, one would think this would be an easy task. Unfortunately, it's not.

So, I am enlisting all the help I can get.

We are looking for a family in need of a little help this Christmas. It could be help buying some presents for their children so they have something under the tree, or it could be a load of firewood and a Christmas dinner. We aren't particular about the nature of the need, but we do have one large stipulation, which is where we went wrong last year.

The family must be in need. Not 'in want'. We are not looking for someone who is brokenhearted that they can't buy their kids the largest plasma TV for the playroom. We aren't looking for a family who will sneer at a Guess coat because they were holding out for a Prada one. And, we also aren't looking for a family that can't afford Christmas presents because they spend their entire paycheck on cigarettes, alcohol, and eating out.

I don't mean to sound snotty about it, but I am well aware that there are thousands of families just getting by for a multitude of legitimate reasons, and I have no interest in ignoring their needs so I can pay the electric bill of a lazy drug-addict who signed up for public assistance so he won't have to work.

Also, we simply can't afford to buy a family of six every new video game system just so they can keep up with their friends.

So, if you know anyone who is deserving of some help this Christmas please let us know. It can be as face-to-face or anonymous as the family is comfortable with, we just really want to help someone who needs it.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Bad Blogger!

It's true - I'm a very bad blogger. It's not due to lack of conviction on my part, as I have sat down with the laptop approximately twenty times since my last post, but I just never manage to hit the "Publish" button.

There has not been much excitement in our little corner of the world, and a major part of that is Corey having been in Texas all month completing his instructor training for the new position. It's not the first time the Air Force has separated us, and God knows it won't be the last, but to say that I'm counting down the minutes until his return would be an understatement.

In the meantime, Sprocket and I have been at home trying to find some sort of routine in the chaos that is a puppy's first few months of life. So far, we've come to a stand-off in the area of sleeping habits as he would prefer to only sleep a few hours at night and then lounge around all day taking naps as he pleases. As this doesn't quite work for my schedule I have been a walking zombie, at least until noon, and not as much gets done as I would like. These are the days that I miss coffee. A lot.

He is growing quite well though, and once we got his sicknesses under control he has put on enough weight to make him a happy 24 pound, four month old lab. He is quite obviously mixed with a breed that has a less substantial bone structure than normal black labs, and we don't expect him to get anywhere near the 60-75 pounds that most full grown adults get to, but we would be foolish to think he would be a good guard dog at any weight. Sprocket has never met a person he didn't want to paw, lick, and nibble to death - regardless of the location, time of day/night, or just the fact that they look frightening.

I have some rather unfortunate medical tests and problems to deal with in the coming months, and it will be nice to get Corey home and establish a little order to our tumultuous world (as least as well as we can). Nothing life-threatening, but definitely emotionally draining, and I am very thankful for the thoughts and prayers of my family and friends in-the-know (and of course those who just send general good tidings our way).

As we get more resolution and perhaps some answers I will post more about the situation, but until then I am doing my best to find comfort in the blessings I DO have. It's sad and amazing to me how much we (and especially me) overlook the things we are gifted with while focusing on the things we can't and don't have. It's a daily struggle for me to remain on the positive side of the fence (perhaps Maleficent gifted me with pessimism) but I do appreciate the warmth that comes with good friends and family.

I hope that going into the holiday season this year all of us receive not only the gifts that we are asking for, but also the ones we need.