Friday, December 17, 2010

Round 12: Santa

If you could not tell from previous posts, I am more than slightly obsessed with Christmas. Yeah, duh, we got that. But something else you probably caught [if you've been paying attention] is that I LOVE Santa. And when I say LOVE, I mean LOVE. Santa is one of my absolute favorite parts of Christmas. Let me review:
1. It's not Christmas until Santa comes in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
2. My favorite theme of the Christmas season is Believe. [more on that in a minute]
3. I smile whenever I see a Santa in the mall
4. I love any artwork with Santa in it
5. I still go to bed early [ish] on Christma Eve so Santa can come. [Yes, he still does]
6. I still set out a treat for Santa.
7. Hands down, my favorite wrapping paper has Santas on it
8. The saddest thing ever is when someone stops believing.
9. Most of my favorite Christmas movies have something to do with Santa
10. I have been known to wear a Santa hat on random Christmas occasions.

Santa, to me, represents all that is good and magical and wonderful about the holiday season. As a child, there was nothing more exciting than the thought of Santa. I loved writing to him, making crafts of him, making cookies to leave for him, and seeing the magic proven on Christmas morning with full stockins, new presents, and an empty plate and glass. Of course, this also made falling asleep on Christmas Eve just about impossible. The lack of sleep was so worth it.

{How fun is this? Hope those kids are sleeping!}

Some people choose not to let Santa into their lives. That's their right, and I won't say anything about it because it's really none of my business. But to me, including Santa in Christmas only magnifies the true meaning of Christmas. What did our Savior come to the world for but to give us the most amazing, impossible gift of all? Why should we not allow the tradition of Santa, a man who brings joy to others and expects nothing in return, to fill our holiday season as well? The magic of Santa only magnifies the reality of our Savior's infinite goodness. That's my opinion, at least.

{Beautiful artwork by Greg Olsen}
I love hearing children tell me all about Santa, about how they saw him at the mall or at a party, how they wrote him a letter and mailed it... The innocence of children makes Santa even more fun for me. I remember asking my mother when I was young if she believed in Santa. "Yes, I believe in Santa. Do you?" I nodded. "Good. If we believe in Santa, he'll believe in us." I still hold true to that. He is as real as we let him be. This is probably why I love The Polar Express and Josh Groban's song Believe.


One of my favorite TV shows is NCIS [hang in there, bear with me, I have a point]. One of their recent holiday episodes involved pulling off an impossible task for a little boy who asked for just one thing for Christmas. Acting as Santa's helpers, they made it possible. When they have done it, the forensic specialist Abby, who is the most interesting TV character there is, says to the agent who did it, "You would make a great Santa." He replies, "I guess you just gotta believe." Then Abby delivers my favorite line of all time: "I do believe."
It's that simple. Believe in the magic, believe in the wonder, believe in the tradition. Macy's has the theme of Believe for the Christmas season, and each Macy's store has a mailbox specifically for letters to Santa. For this reason alone, I have grown exponentially fond of Macy's. [Okay, that and the fact they sell Frango mints. Gimme a break.] I almost get choked up when I see it. To bring emphasis to the importance of believing during this season of wonder and miracles and magic.... Way to go, Macy's!

{Someday, I'm going to go see this NYC Macy's in person. LOVE this!}
I believe in Santa Claus. Do you?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Round 11: Chicago Christmas

Permit me an indulgent Christmas dorky blog post about something that none of you get to experience but is one of THE highlights of the Christmas season for me.
Chicago Connolly Christmas.
This started...well...when my dad was little, I guess. He grew up in Chicago and his mom still lives there, so every year, around Christmas, the whole family comes in. Those that travel more than an hour to get there stay over at Grandma's house. Now some of you may be wondering how we do that, as it has to be a lot of people. Well, you would be right. It is. But long ago, Grandma and Grandpa were really smart and invested in air mattresses. And couches with fold out beds. And then actual beds. So never fear, there is room for us all....just don't expect to be able to move very much.
Okay, I'm going to pause here momentarily and introduce you all to the cast of Chicago Connolly Christmas.

Baga -- she gets top billing. It's her house that we invade, her fridge we raid, and she is the most wonderful woman on the planet!
Papa -- although he is no longer with us, he loved Christmas a LOT, so he too is a key player. We think about him a lot around this time. I'm convinced he comes to laugh at us all and give us a "Good O".
The Pennsylvania Gang -- Dad's older brother, his wife, and their three kids. They always drive in, which I have never understood as I am not a roadtrip kind of person, but more power to them! Almost as into swimming as we are. Almost. =)
The Lafayette Contingent -- Rather scattered at this point, but we're all still in the category. My dad, mom, brother+wife +daughter, me, sister 1 and sister 2. And the dog. We always have to bring the dog. Baga insists. We drive, too, but it's not bad.
The River Forest Posse -- Dad's younger brother, wife, and three kiddos. Chicago based. [I have to say River Forest to distinguish them from others]. My aunt is from New Orleans, and her food is TO DIE FOR! Love it. They have some of the best Chicago accents ever.
The Seattle Crew -- Dad's sister, husband, and two girls. INSANELY tall family. Not even kidding. And some years it is a miracle we even get them in. Remind me never to be in Seattle during an ice storm. ICK!
The Mokena Band -- Dad's youngest brother, wife, and three girls. Also Chicago based. [Again, the distinguishing of Chicago family] We see them the most, as it's oinly a 20 minute drive or so from their house to Baga's. Don't discuss Cubs baseball with them, they are Sox fans. Nuff said.
And last, but not least, Georgia -- Baga's black lab. Has the most powerful, vicious tail in the world. More than one innocent bystander has lost a kneecap to it. Sweetest animal in the world.

So, if you were counting, that's 28 people and 2 dogs. Are we insane? You betcha.
Don't worry, only 18ish sleep over at Baga's. She has three bedrooms besides hers, with two beds in each, so the rest of us sleep on those air mattresses and couch beds and actual beds in the basement. It's tradition, and nobody has died....yet... Actually, it's a ton of fun. We laugh a lot.
Anyway, so all 28 (ish....some years it's just not possible to get every person there) gather for one day where we enjoy lots of food, stockings, and gifts.
Let me say a word about the stockings briefly: They are hilarious. Papa and I used to hang them every year, it was our special job. Now it's just me, but I like to think that he's sitting there in his chair still, smiling as I figure out the best logistics. Anyway, each family buys one stocking present per other family persons, and for the adults, it's mostly gag gifts. There are nice things too, but mostly funny. And half of the presents don't fit in the stockings, so we have piles. We used to attach strings from the stocking to each pile, but untangling that mess kind of ruined the Christmas spirit, so we don't anymore. Just piles....everywhere....
Okay, so then after that, and more eating, (we're Connollys. We eat.) we go upstairs to the tree, where all of the big presents are. The cousins [the unmarried ones, at least. No idea how long that'll continue, I'm the oldest unmarried one, so I'm kinda the one who'll decide, I guess] draw names every year and get a present for their person, and we each get a present from Baga, too. The adults just get a present from Baga. And then there's Carly....the next a field all her own....she totally cleans house in the gift department.
Anyway, once that's over, we just hang out and eat [duh] and play games and eat [yes, again]. It's really awesome and I love my big, huge, crazy Connolly family.
Chicago Connolly Christmas is this weekend. I'll let you all know how it goes with an official recap post later, but I know a few things for certain already: there will be Aurelio's [best pizza EVER] and Pop's [best sandwich place EVER] and the Pennsylvania Gang will not be there. We'll miss them! [We have to go early this year due to Jen's crazy swimming schedule and our family is so wonderful to come in early, but those guys have their own swimming that weekend and could not miss. Sad day. =(]
Hope you all have some sort of special Christmas something that only your family does, too. It really makes the season even more exciting and magical and fun and bright. If not, I hope you'll enjoy hearing about [and imagining] mine, and maybe you can create one for yourself. It's a really good time.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Round 10: Christmas Movies

Okay, after the complete insanity [it's okay, you can insert the word EPIC if you so desire] of yesterday's post, I decided to tone it down a bit for today's....but only a bit, because, and here's a shocker, I am also a HUGE Christmas movie buff. No, really, just ask my friend George who likes to give this Christmas quiz slideshow and I know all the answers every year. Yeah, I'm that good.....or that sad, depending on your opinion and stance on Christmas movies.
First of all, you should know that Connollys are very very big on tradition. And by Connollys I mean my immediate family, I cannot speak for the extended Connollys, much as I love them. Anyway, we have a rule that there will be no Christmas anything before Thanksgiving, because that holiday deserves all the respect a holiday can get. We officially kick off the Christmas season on Thanksgiving, after we have all feasted and napped, by watching Scrooge. It is a musical adaptation of the book A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, and it is truly a classic. It has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. In my opinion, it is the best version of it. Albert Finney is amazing, playing both the young Scrooge and old, and delivers a believeable performance of a true character transformation. And the music is awesome. And to share a quote, "There is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish. The thing is to try to do as much as you can in the time that you have. Remember Scrooge, time is short, and suddenly, you're not there any more."
Beyond that first movie, things are far less structured, but no less opinionated. See the following list for movies and opinions. If you don't agree, that is your perrogative and I will allow it. But don't expect to sway me, I am immovable! =)
A Charlie Brown Christmas -- CLASSIC! Grew up with this movie, know all the lines, and consider it a significant part of the Christmas movie collection. Linus tells us just what Christmas is all about, and they sing Hark the Herald Angels Sing, and it's just awesome. "Do you have pantophobia?" snicker...
Garfield's Christmas -- CLASSIC! Again, a rather important part of Christmas movies from my younger days, and currently as well. Nothing like Garfield aroung the holidays to make things happier! They go to Jon's parents' house and it's just hilarious, particularly the Grandma! "If I'm not back in an hour, send a banana cream pie after me."
Christmas Eve on Sesame Street -- Mock if you dare, but I seriously love this movie and so do my sisters, and so do, as we found out, another family of fully grown children/adults in the area. WE'RE NOT ALONE! This movie is so cute, and I fully intend to share it with my children one day. "And if that isn't a true blue miracle, I don't know what one is."
The Polar Express -- ever since this movie came out, it has been a favorite of mine. I always loved the book, but seeing it in movie form was really special. The music is awesome, and I have always loved the theme of Believe for Christmas. "Though I've grown old, the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe."
How the Grinch Stole Christmas -- ANIMATED VERSION! Sorry, this is one I will not bend on. The animated classic is SO MUCH BETTER than the feature film with Jim Carrey. It just is. The end. "He puzzled and puzzled till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas... perhaps... means a little bit more!"
The Santa Clause -- This has been a favorite of mine for a LONG time. Tim Allen as Scott Calvin is hilarious and the little guy who plays his son Charlie is adorable. I just love how Charlie believes the entire movie and only towards the end does Scott believe it too. Again with the believing theme, but a GREAT family flick, and totally hilarious. "What are you talking about? Everybody likes Denny's! It's an American institution!"
Miracle on 34th Street -- the OLD ONE! You don't have to watch it in black and white, but this version, the CLASSIC, is the best. Maureen O'Hara, John Payne, Edmund Gwenn, and Natalie Wood. Awesome, amazing, terrific...can't think of enough good words. Plus, they sing in Dutch. BONUS! "But... but maybe he's only a little crazy like painters or composers or... or some of those men in Washington."
The Muppet Family Christmas -- I suspect you all may think that I'm a little childish [sticking tongue out at you], but this is also a classic. The Muppets surprise Fozzie's mother by showing up unannounced for Christmas, and hilarity ensues! So good! "Whoa-ho, is this piano out of tune! I love out of tune pianos."
Claymation Christmas Special -- Okay, I have no idea what this thing is actually called, but I still love it. Very fond memories of childhood with this one. Skating hippos, soulful singing camels, the California Raisins, waffles... It's got it all! "I told you there was a song about snacks!"
A Christmas Story -- Another classic. A little boy who wants a Red Rider BB Gun for Christmas and all he has to go through to get it. His imagination runs wild and it is truly hilarious. If you've never seen it, you are missing out! "Okay, Black Bart, now you get yours!"
It's A Wonderful Life -- I LOVE this movie. I really truly do. One of my absolute favorite Christmas movies--heck, one of my favorite movies PERIOD. Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore.... Classic cast. This is just a masterpiece, and I fully intend to make it a significant part of my Christmas traditions. "No man is a failure who has friends."

{Classic photo from the film. Beautiful.}

The Natvity Story -- This beautiful movie only joined my collection recently, and I absolutely adore it. Keisha Castle-Hughes delivers a powerful and stirring performance as Mary, a young girl with an incredible mission, and Oscar Isaac is amazing with his portrayal of Joseph, the humble carpenter with a huge weight on his shoulders. This movie gives a whole new scope to the story we read so often at Christmas. "There is a will for this child greater than my fear of what they may do."

{Does it get any better than this?}

So those are my Christmas favs. I know there are others, but did you really want me to go on? I thought not. What are your favs? Share with the class! Then we can all watch a ton of Christmas movies together wtih popcorn and hot chocolate! Party time!

*Sorry for the complete LACK of toning down. I didn't mean for this to be so long. Really.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Round 9: Christmas Music

WARNING: You are about to venture into the height of Becky's Christmas Dorkiness. All who are not prepared for what lies ahead may wish to turn back now and read a nice cooking blog instead. You have been warned.
Question: What songs do you have on your ipod? What makes you tick? What is the soundtrack of your life? What songs take up the most space on your ipod or computer or shelf of CDs? Okay, I have no idea what the answers to the first three questions are for myself, but I know the answer to the last one!
As I have previously stated, I have over 1000 Christmas songs on my itunes. Sad, you might think, but I am actually quite proud of it. But instead of raving on and on about how Christmas music fills my soul with joy, how I used to secretly listen to it during studying for spring finals because it helped so much with winter finals, how the entire month of December is filled with nothing but Christmas music... Yeah, instead of that, and in honor of the announcing of the Golden Globe nomiations today, I'm going to give out nominations to Christmas songs. And there is the fact that I do not have one favorite. I have multiple.

Best Christmas Song -- Comedy
Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer - Elmo and Patsy [A Connolly girls favorite. We know all the words.]
The Twelve Days of Christmas -- Bob and Doug McKenzie [I cannot help but crack up to this one. "And a beer...." Bah hahahaha]
Rusty Chevrolet -- Da Yoopers [I distinctly remember one Christmas Eve hearing this on the radio, and I have never forgotten it]
The Twelve Days of Christmas -- Allan Sherman [The most random song ever. Hilarious]
You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch -- Thurl Ravenscroft [technically, this is a soundtrack, but whatever]

Best Christmas Song -- Non-religious Non-traditional
Christmas in Killarney -- Anne Murray [I SERIOUSLY love this song!]
All I Want for Christmas is You -- Mariah Carey [truly a wonderful song, especially if you have a special someone]
The Night Before Christmas -- Amy Grant [Always loved this song. So good]
Please Come Home For Christmas -- Charles Brown [I really love this bluesy jazz number]
The Bells of Christmas -- Kenny Loggins [makes me get all choked up and stuff]
Feliz Navidad -- Jose Feliciano [Tell me THIS isn't your favorite too!]

Best Christmas Song -- Religious Non-traditional
Love Has Come -- Amy Grant [sorry, this song taps into my inner Baptist, complete with handclapping]
Mary, Did You Know? -- Clay Aiken [I'm not a huge Clay fan, but this song is awesome]
Breath of Heaven -- Amy Grant [Never fails to move me]
Rejoice -- Il Divo [This song is seriously amazing]
No Room At The Inn -- Anne Murray [I love this song. Again, my inner Baptist]I Cannot Find My Way/Three Kings -- The Forgotten Carols by Michael McLean [this song touches my heart every time]

Best Christmas Song -- Non-religious Traditional
White Christmas -- The Drifters [seriously, who DOESN'T love this song?]
Holly Jolly Christmas -- Burl Ives [it's a classic!]
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas -- Mel Torme [This song is the epitome of all Christmas songs]
The Christmas Song -- Nat King Cole [This is without a doubt, the best version of this song]
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year -- Andy Williams [seriously my happy song]
Sleigh Ride -- Johnny Mathis [grew up with him at Christmas, love this song]

Best Christmas Song -- Religious Traditional
Do You Hear What I Hear? -- Andy Williams [the BEST version of this song]
O Holy Night -- Josh Groban [I spent a major part of the Christmas of 2004 listening to this with all the lights off except Christmas lights]
What Child Is This? -- Mary J. Blige and Andrea Bocelli [Best duet I have ever heard. Ever.]
O Holy Night -- Celtic Woman [they are INSANELY incredible]
Panis Angelicus -- Il Divo [it was a toss-up between them, Josh Groban, and Celtic Woman. I love them all.]
The Lord's Prayer -- Andrea Bocelli with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir [Yeah. 2 for 1 special. Seriously the most powerful song ever.]

Best Instrumental Arrangement of Christmas Song
Auld Lang Syne -- Kenny G [FAVORITE]
Ave Maria -- Will Galison and Toninho Horta from Carols of Christmas [very reflective and beautiful]
Mad Russian's Christmas -- Trans-Siberian Orchestra [it's really the sugarplum fairies and nutcracker songs, but HOLY CRAP is it awesome!]
A Christmas Festival -- The Boston Pops Orchestra with John Williams [it's got EVERYTHING!]
O Holy Night -- David Darling from Carols of Christmas [beauitful, beautiful, beautiful]

Best Christmas Song from a Motion Picture
Believe -- Josh Groban from The Polar Express Soundtrack [AMAZING song.]
Where Are You Christmas? -- Faith Hill from How the Grinch Stole Christmas [makes me tear up sometimes]
God Bless Us Everyone -- Andrea Bocelli from A Christmas Carol [Amzaing song. Amazing.]
Thank You Very Much -- Cast of Scrooge [don't start, it's an amazing song!]
Somewhere In My Memory -- John Williams from Home Alone [honestly, this is one of the greatest songs from a movie ever]
True Blue Miracle -- Sesame Street [do not laugh, it is an amazing song from my childhood that will ALWAYS be a favorite!]

Best Christmas Song by Mormon Tabernacle Choir (Yeah, they get their own category. I'm convinced they were the angels that sang when Jesus was born. Totally serious about that.)
What Shall We Give To The Babe In The Manger?
Hallelujah from Handel's Messiah
Joy To The World
Angels From The Realms of Glory
The First Noel
For Unto Us A Child Is Born from Handel's Messiah

Best Christmas Song in the LDS Hymn Book
Joy to the World #201
With Wondering Awe #210
Far, Far Away on Judea's Plains #212
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing #209
Angels We Have Heard on High #203
Silent Night #204

Best Spoken Word
The Polar Express read by Liam Neeson [Yeah....]
The Night Before Christmas by Robin Willams [SO good!]
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss [Yeah, I have the whole thing on CD, so I can actually listen to the movie. Way fun.]

Best Christmas Album
Christmas Album -- The Boston Pops Orchestra conducted by John Williams [AMAZING]
A Christmas Celebration -- Celtic Woman [OUTSTANDING]
My Christmas -- Andrea Bocelli [totally blew me away]
Noel -- Josh Groban [very VERY good]

Billboard Greatest Christmas Hits -- Various Artists [probably the best collection of original traditional Christmas songs ever]

Best Christmas Artist that is Totally Out There
Mannheim Steamroller
Trans Siberian Orchestra

Best Christmas Artist Overall
Kenny G [seriously, I adore all of his Christmas stuff.]
Andy Williams [classic]
Amy Grant [no really, she has everything!]
Anne Murray [a regular part of my Christmas music repetoire]
Nat King Cole [the true king of Christmas music]

Well, now that this has been the longest post EVER, I just have to say that I know these nominations are mine and not necessarily yours, but all of these were chosen for a specific reason and I love them dearly. And they are all on my ipod [winces]. And I KNOW I left some out, but really, look what I DID put in!

But anyway, whatever your preference for Christmas music, listen to it, love it, enjoy it, because we only get it for a limited time. It brings true magic to my Christmas, and I hope that it does to yours.
Oh, and PLEASE listen to some of my nominations if you aren't familiar with them. They're way good! And if you have any for me, let me know! I am always open to new songs! =)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Round 8: Wrapping Paper

Okay, before you all roll your eyes again that I will be gracing you all (yes, all three of you) with a blog post on the single topic of wrapping paper, I need to break in with a special report: I am SO grateful that I did not die last night on my way home from my parents' house, or this morning on my way to work. And I very easily could have in that craziness of a blizzard. Never have I been so grateful for my apartment than I was last night. I was safe, I was warm, and even though I could hear the crazy wind and snow outside, it didn't bother me. Well, until I had to get up and drive this morning, but whatever.
And now back to your regularly scheduled dorkiness.
Wrapping paper is what makes the world happy.
Well, I don't know about that, but it certainly makes ME happy! Anytime anything is wrapped in special paper that serves no other purpose but to cover a gift and make you more excited about the occasion the gift is for certainly SHOULD make someone happy! And Christmas wrapping paper is the ULTIMATE wrapping paper, thus delivering ULTIMATE happiness. And yeah, I'm having too much fun with the caps lock. Wrapping paper has that effect on me.
{Seriously, though, look at this beautiful-ness! Aren't you smiling???}
Let me spin a little story for you. Growing up, we had the regular wrapping paper that you could pick up at any store. We used a lot of it, mostly because we were terrible at wrapping presents and used way too much, but we were also really good at using the odd scraps. Anyway, we knew all of the paper we had, and we had our favorite rolls. Grandma's presents always came in much nicer paper, much fancier, and we used to save it for when we could use it again next year. But the best, and I mean BEST, wrapping paper of all was the paper that Santa wrapped his presents in. It was something none of us had ever seen every year, obviously, since Santa wraps his presents at the North Pole and they have their own AMAZING stash of wrapping paper, (I'll post on Santa later...look for it). But it was always so exciting for me to see that new paper, that special Santa paper that was only used for his presents. Maybe that's just super dorkiness on my part, but that was really special for me.

{Sighhhh, what a beautiful mess.}
Some people are really talented when it comes to wrapping paper. My aunt Karen is one of them. Her presents are works of art. It's almost a shame to open them. Almost. I, on the other hand, have very little skill. Well, that's not true. I have very little artistry when it comes to wrapping. I'm quick and efficient (okay sometimes I use too much still, so what?). My presents are very rarely anything awe-inspiring, but the paper is cool. =){Seriously, look at this TOTALLY AWESOME paper! I want presents like this!}
Basically, one of my favorite things is Christmas Eve, when we've finally brought down the presents (more about traditions later, stay tuned) and assembled them under the tree, and then step back and look at all of those presents wrapped in that amazing paper underneath our tree with the lights reflecting off of it. So stinkin' cool.{Okay, this is a touch ridiculous, but LOOK at the variety! Who wouldn't be happy with this???}
And the wrapping paper is a MAJOR part of that awesomeness!
And this has nothing to do with the fact that I just collected 35 rolls of wrapping paper for a community Christmas thingy and was in charge of all of the wrapping volunteers, who wrapped 264ish presents in an hour and a half. Nothing at all.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Round 7: Christmas Candy

Okay, show of hands, how many people get excited when they walk into the grocery store after Thanksgiving and see Christmas colored candy on the shelves? ............none of you? Okay, so it's just me then. Awesome.
But no really, I do get excited by that. Nothing says Christmas is here like holiday colored M&Ms and Reese's and Hershey's Kisses and Hugs. True, yes? Of course, true.

I know it seems weird, but I really do like it. It makes me smile to see some of my favorite things during the rest of the year suddenly show up in Christmas colors. I would much rather have a bag of Hershey's Kisses that are red and green than a bag that is only silver. It is the epitome of Christmas spirit when the candy gets into it.
Every year in our stockings, Santa leaves us candy. Typically, we get some Christmas colored Hershey's assortments. You know, Mr. Goodbar, Krackle, Hershey's Milk and Dark chocolate. We sometimes get little holiday snickers. But every year, cuz Santa loves us, we get the coveted Reese's tree.

[cue hearld angels]

Seriously, best thing ever. You always have to wait until the last minute to eat that because nothing else compares to it. Seriously.
Now, as for other candies....well, who doesn't like candy canes? Don't answer that. Mint is the quintessential Christmas flavor. I'll post on that another time.

Homemade Christmas candy is amazing too. I don't have that often, as Connollys lean more towards baked goods, but I fully love and appreciate any homemade Christmas candy.
Basically, Christmas Candy is like regular candy plus holiday spirit, which everyone knows equals AMAZINGNESS. If our candy can get all excited and festive about Christmas, then why not us, huh? For reals.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Round 6: Christmas Socks

I know, I know, I said I wouldn't talk about my thing with Christmas socks, but honestly, it was the first thing that came into my mind today. Besides, I'm wearing a new pair of Christmas socks right now and I am really excited about them.
Now some of you might be thinking, "Really? She's going to do an entire blog post on socks she can only wear one month out of the year?" Yeah, it's crazy, right? But you might want to keep reading anyway if for no other reason than it could be a fascinating read, and really, if you're reading this far, then you don't have anything better to read right now anyway, so why not read about my obsession with Christmas socks, eh?

I mean really, aren't these fun???
I'm not sure when this thing with socks started. I know that growing up, my mom had a few different pairs of socks for holidays and she used to get us a pair or two every year, and it was always exciting. (Hmm, maybe that's the trouble right there: a child who is excited by socks.....) Anyway, whatever it was, it stuck and now that my feet have stopped growing, thankfully, (uhhhhhhhh.......) the socks that I have had for years still fit, so when I buy new pairs (and I do), they just add to the growing collection. The saddest day ever is when I realize that a trusty pair of socks that I have had for some time have gone the way of all the earth and I can no longer wear them without the skin of my foot touching my shoe. Sometimes I still wear them. Depends on the sock.
To illustrate how bad my little Christmas sock fettish is, let's use a real life example: I just now tried to count how many pairs of Christmas socks I have. I couldn't do it. That right there is the sign that something's wrong, when I can't even remember how many pairs I have.
But this year I have branched out. This year I have purchased at least 3 pairs of Christmas KNEE SOCKS. I KNOW!!!!!! Shocking, you say. Daring, you say. What the heck, most of you say. Yeah, yeah, I know, but now I can wear Christmas socks with my boots and maybe see some of them above the boot! Or I could just make myself look like an even bigger dork and wear them with regular things because it's freezing cold outisde and my calves appreciate the extra fabric. Like now.
There are, of course, rules to wearing Christmas socks. Rules, you say? How's that? Well, just look:
1. Christmas socks match absolutely everything. Every. Thing.
2. If your selected Christmas socks don't go with your outfit, refer to Rule #1

Now that's not so bad, is it? Pretty straightforward.
I firmly believe this, actually. Normally I'm pretty set on color coordinating, but come December, the colors are blurred by the Christmas Spirit of your socks and magically, the socks match everything. Don't you laugh at me, you fashionistas with no Christmas Spirit, you Scrooges of the fashion industry! My feet enjoy expressing Christmas by their attire, so you can just deal with it. And go to your nearest department store and buy some for yourselves and see if your feet aren't happier in Christmas socks. I promise you, they will be.
These aren't mine.....but they might as well be. Hey, some of those are cute......
To wrap things up, let me just say this: whoever thought of putting Christmas things on socks should be given a statue somewhere. Or a plate of Christmas cookies, if the statue thing doesn't work out. At the very least.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Round 5: Christmas Trees

I have an almost unhealthy obsession with Christmas trees. Something about them just makes me happy all over. A few weeks ago, I ran to the grocery store for a few things and I saw a big truck unloading fresh-cut Christmas trees and I just grinned so big. And the air smelled AMAZING!!!!!! Yes, I am one of those great big Christmas dorks that actually goes around SMELLING trees. I can't help it. They just smell so fresh and clean and Christmasy! I blame my mother; every year when we have our tree, when they cut off the bottom for us, Dad hands it to Mom to smell. And when we trim the top of the tree so that the star will fit, he hands the bit he cut to her so she can smell it. Now we both smell it. And when the tree was still in the garage before we decorated it, I would go over and literally stick my face in the tree and inhale deeply. It is one of my very favorite things to do. Garfield calls it "tanking up on Christmas spirit". I agree.
Now, I'm pretty insistent on having a Christmas tree and decorating it. A real tree, not a fake one. Unless a fake one is just not feasible, ie college students, then it's okay. I don't blame anyone for not having a real tree; but in my opinion, fake trees are lesser creatures. That's just me. There's nothing quite like going to a tree farm and seeing all of the many different kinds of trees and trying to find just the right one for our family. Good memories there. Of course, nowadays my family goes to Lowe's for our tree and, as previously stated, it took us 5 minutes. But then, we are seasoned Christmas tree shoppers. We know what we like.
So cool. If you can do the tree farm, do it!
As for decorations, some people go for themes on their trees and make a huge deal out of the details and that it be perfect and for show. Great, good for you. Hey, I enjoy a nicely decorated tree every now and then, too. But my Christmas tree has the most random assortment of ornaments ever. Every year we get a new ornament, and every year we try to see how many we can fit on our tree before it looks ridiculous. And then we step back and see a tree full of childhood memories.
My favorite part of the tree, though, comes when all the decorations are up and the lights and everything, and we turn out all of the lights in the house except the tree and let the light from it fill the room. The walls are spattered with colors, shadows of needles, reflections from the ornaments... It is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen, and it never fails to make me happy and at peace.
I am also one of those people that wants to go to NYC just to see the tree at Rockafeller Center. Cuz I'm a dork.But look how pretty it is!
When I was I think 15, when we were in Chicago for our Connolly Family Christmas (I'll post about that later, it's always a WAY good time), we took a day and went up to Navy Pier, which is usually a summer thing, but we decided, hey, why not? And they had a Christmas tree special display room with displays from all over the world. I was in HEAVEN!!!! It was seriously SO STINKIN' COOL! But again, that's because I am a great big Christmas dork.

I just LOVE these trees! Note to future would-be-fiance I'm a sucker for Christmas trees!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Round 4: Christmas Lights

I have a Christmas Dork obsession with Christmas lights. No really, I do. It all started when we were kids and we thought it was so cool that Dad would get ON THE ROOF to put up our lights. I'm not sure what it was, maybe the fact that he was risking his neck and life for some lights, so they must have been really important, or the fact that it always looked so cool when he was done... Not sure, but something about it made me love them a lot. And then as Christmas got closer, our parents would take us for a drive just to look at Christmas lights. Growing up in West Chester, there was a lot of lights all around, but one house in particular, on the way to our best friends' house, was always spectacular. They had nicknamed them the Griswolds, but I didn't understand what that meant at the time. I actually thought that was their name.
This isn't it, but it looked like this in my mind. Cool, huh?
Anyway, I know better now, but I still remember the excitement and awe that I felt every time we were going to take our Christmas Lights drive. It was during the last of those drives, in 1997, when my parents informed us what they were going to name our youngest brother, who was due the next month. It was a very special night.
Now that I'm older, I still get a childish delight out of Christmas lights. Especially when they are done well. I have a few rules about Christmas lights/decorations that go outside.
1. Plastic figurines look tacky most of the time.
2. Very very rarely are plastic figurines a good idea, See #1.
3. Blow up things are worse than plastic things.
4. Under no circumstances may Christmas light nets be used.
5. If nets must be used, refer to #4.
6. Setting lights to music gets you 1,000 automatic bonus points, and may possibly negate rule #1.
7. A poor job of lights is not worth any lights at all. If your lights are going to suck, save them for your tree. If you even have a tree. Grinch.
But generally, I'm not picky. =)
Lately, I've really liked the red/white light combo. Just white lights are always gorgeous, just red lights slightly creepy. But the combo is really very nice. This year, my parents and I opted for just white lights on the outside, mostly because all of our colored strands were busted. But inside on the tree, we ALWAYS have colored lights. I love that. I LOVE the way the lights play off of the ornaments and shine onto the walls. One of my very favorite things is to turn off all of the lights in the house except the tree and just lay on the floor in that room and stare. With Christmas music playing, of course.
The best lights I have ever seen are these one Temple Square in Salt Lake City:
Isn't it beautiful? If you've never gone, go. Seriously, amazing.
For those of you more local, come by my parents' neighborhood. They have a neighbor who sets lights to Trans-Siberian Orchestra. That's about 5,000 bonus points alone, and it's FABULOUS, which earns another 2,000. So, really, he wins.
I love Christmas lights. Don't you?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Round 3: Christmas Cards

I have a slight obsession with Christmas cards. Maybe it's because I'm nosy, maybe it's not, but I really and truly love going out to the mailbox in December and finding cards from people that I haven't thought about since...well....last Christmas! I love opening up those cards and seeing the pictures and reading the letters (which are sometimes the best works of fiction I have read outside of a Barnes and Noble or more ridiculous than the Letters to the Editor).
My mom tapes Christmas cards to the doors in the front foyer of the house. The front door and frame, the basement door, the coat closet... When I would come home from college for Christmas, the first thing I'd do is go and see who we had heard from this year.
Last year, I did a lot of the addressing of envelopes and stamps. That was a little stressful, but I really enjoyed it, because I could see who we send cards to and where they were at the moment, and then I could later see who sent us cards. Again, I'm nosy. Whatever.
The actual cards are pretty fun too. I enjoy seeing who goes for the religious theme, who goes for Santa cards, and who just opts for something wintery. But mostly, I enjoy how we reach out to each other during the Christmas season, even if it is just to tell everybody what totally awesome things we've done this year. I know that things are changing with the technology now and the poor economic state, but I really hope that Christmas cards -- actual cards in the actual mail with actual Christmas stamps -- don't die out completely. It would be really sad.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Round 2: The Advent Calender

One of my absolute favorite parts of Christmas is the excitement that surrounds the entire month of December, and before, if you cheat, which is mostly fine by me. But it seemed silly to write a Christmas Dork post on excitement, so I opted to choose an example of that excitement: the Advent Calender.
Now, some families go for the Lego calender, where each day you pull out a small set of Legos and put it together, until right before Christmas you have a full set of characters and spaceships, or what look like spaceships.
Fun; cute, maybe; but not for me.
Some families go for the chocolate calendar. Each day you open the little door with the day on it and get the piece of chocolate inside, until the chocolate is all gone on Christmas morning.
This is more my style, but still, not for me.
I have also seen really cute wooden advent calenders, where each little door with a number on it opens up to reveal a surprise inside. This is also really cute.
You could have all sorts of fun with this, painting and colors and such, but still, not for me.
But the advent calender I grew up with, love, and still insist on using, is a felt one. It's homemade, and we all love it. Each day, one of us, and we all know the order we are allowed to go in, puts one of the little velcro items up on the tree, until Christmas morning, when the star goes on top. It's always so much fun to see the tree get more decorated, and it just brings the excitement of Christmas closer. I decided recently that I am going to make one just like it for my kids, because counting down until Christmas brings the excitement to life, and ending with the star on top of the tree brings the rememberance of why we truly celebrate Christmas and why it is special.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Round 1: Snow

Snow is falling on the ground...actually, it's just sort of blowing around right now, and eventually it gets to the ground, where it is blown across the roads and makes really cool swirly shapes as I drive through it. It seems rather fitting that for December 1st, I wake up to find snow on the ground. Not a lot, but just a dusting. Just enough.
Which brings me to Round 1 of your Becky's Christmas Dork List: Snow.
Yes, that nastiness that covers roads and clogs tires and turns all grey and brown and disgusting if it is there for too long. Yes, I do like it. Not all the time, mind you, considering that nobody likes driving home from work in a blizzard, especially when the road treatments are less than quality work, but I like it enough that it made the list.
But in general, I really do love staring out of my window and watching snow flakes gently (or not so gently, like looks like the sky is having a wimpy flurry fight) fall to the ground. I love being all warm and snuggled inside with hot chocolate watching this. I love waking up to find snow on the ground, particularly if the sun is out and making the whole world glitter.
I am also a firm believer in a White Christmas. There is something very special about that in my mind. And it doesn't even have to be a major snow. Just a dusting will suffice. Just enough to make the world white and glittery.
I get excited when it snows most of the time. If I have to go somewhere in it, I am less excited, but still excited. I love catching snowflakes on my tongue, throwing snowballs, making snowmen, and I REALLY love the crunching sound of walking through the snow. I love taking walks when there is snow on the ground. I LOVE taking a deep, cleansing breath of the cold, snowy air.
Basically, I like snow. Deal with it. =)

I mean, c'mon, isn't this pretty? I know it's fake, but still. So pretty!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"I'm just a great big Christmas dork, okay?"

That was what I told my boss this morning when she heard me talking about Christmas scrubs. I was sporting my new Merry Grinch-mas scrubs today, and was saying how I'd love to have some Christmas Charlie Brown ones, and she started laughing at me. So I gave that awesome reply, which made everybody laugh.
Ah, well, it's great to be good at something.
But the truth is, I really am a great big Christmas dork. I am so delighted by the smallest things that relate to Christmas. I'll go into more detail in a minute, but I have decided that for the next 25ish days I'm going to do a post of something Christmas related. I have no idea right now what they will be, but because I am such a Christmas dork, I have no doubt that I can do it.
Ok, for starters, I have around 1000 Christmas songs on my ipod. No, I am not kidding. Ask my sister-in-law, who wanted to make some Christmas CDs and suddenly found herself completely overwhelmed in a Christmas music overload. It was more than scary, and I felt a little guilty about making her sift through it all, but remember, I am a great big Christmas dork.
For two, last night, on my mom's birthday, I helped my parents pick out a tree (which is not nearly as exciting as it used to be, but that's not necessarily a bad thing), spent a good few minutes just standing there smelling it (really, you should try it), and then helped my dad finish putting up the Christmas lights, which is my yearly project, probably because I'm the only one who still gets excited enough to WANT to do it. Not that the others don't like Christmas lights, cuz they do (we're all a little dorky about that), but not enough to put them up.
For three, my Thanksgiving tradition involves watching the Macy's parade in its entirety, because it cannot be the Christmas season without Santa coming in at the end. I can hear you all now: "WOOOOOWWWWWWW, she really IS a great big Christmas dork." Yeah, I know. I tried to warn you.
For four, in case you missed it above, I am wearing Merry Grinch-mas scrubs right now. And wished for Charlie Brown Christmas scrubs. And yesterday I envied a co-worker her Rudolph ones. Nuff said.
For five, I have the least amount of self control around this time of year. I want to buy everything related to Christmas. When I go to book stores, I am instantly drawn to the Christmas children's books and very seriously consider buying some. "But Becky," you say, "you have no children!" Yes, thank you, I know, but what if I want to read them? And I will have children eventually, so why not buy some now? I have a ton of Christmas movies and Christmas books already, and it gets worse every year.
And finally, for the moment, at least, it is not uncommon to hear me squeal like a little girl at random points during this season about something. I kid you not, I heard one of my favorite Christmas songs on my ipod this morning already, and I squealed. I saw Christmas trees and ornaments last night and I squealed. I discussed plans to watch a Christmas movie with candy cane hot chocolate while wearing one of my many sets of Christmas pajamas with my roommate and I squealed repeatedly. It is bad, people.
And yet....I totally love every minute! But remind me not to discuss the current state of my sock drawer since pulling out the Christmas ones....[bites finger].
And for your viewing pleasure, may I present:

Isn't it cute? Seriously. If only it lit up and blinked and stuff... Sorry, my dork is showing again.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thursday Thoughts

It has been an absolute zoo in the office today. People are calling in sick, we're having emergency surgeries, and one or two regulars are on vacation. All of this means we get staff members rotated in that have no idea how the office runs, which means those few of us regluars get weighed down by everything. And not to sound like I'm whining, really sucks.
Anyway, that's not what I came on here to say. I need to reflect and get perspective again, so I'll see if I can do that.
Do you remember the first movie that really affected you? I do. Little Women. I think I was 8 when I first saw it, and it's the first movie I remember seeing in the theater. I went with my mom and Lori, my other mom, and I remember thinking that I was just like Jo. Loved to read and write, shut herself away to do all of that, didn't want to grow up, liked to run around...I didn't realize until very recently that I was on to something there. I have grown up to become a sort of Jo myself. But I also remember thinking that I was very much like Beth, quiet, shy, musical, more content to be at home than anywhere else. One of the things she said has always stuck with me: "I was never like the rest of you...making plans about the great things I'd do. I never saw myself as anything much." I felt very strongly that those were my words coming out of her mouth. Still do. And they weren't words that indicated how low her self-esteem was, or how depressed she must have been. Beth was always positive, looking for the bright side, the peacemaker. She just had honestly never thought of herself as something great. Never considered what she might do, if she had the desire. Then she died in one of the most heart-wrenching scenes of all time. I remember crying in the theater, the first time I had ever done so. To this day, I cry in that scene. When I listen to the soundtrack and that song plays, I get choked up and sometimes, tears fall. Why do I have such an attachment to this movie? I don't know. But it exists. It's my comfort movie. It's my sick movie. It's my "I need to forget about life for a while" movie. It's MY movie.
I have this thing for TV shows. It's really quite sad, but I really enjoy watching TV. Stories are what get me. Good stories, exciting plots, intriguing characters...and humor. I have to have some humor in there somewhere. I feel bad, having so strong an attachment to TV. I feel like there should be something better for me to fixate on, but for the life of me, I cannot break my TV addiction. Well, it's not really an addiction, as I can certainly miss an episode or two (not without tears, though), but mroe of a fascination. And I have shows that go on all through the year, so there is always something that I can watch at least once a week. And when a show ends...ugh, that just kills me. What am I supposed to do now? What about those characters? How does their life go on? Currently, these are my shows in primetime: Chase, Castle, NCIS, NCIS:LA, and Bones. Yes, they are all crime-fighting shows. During the off-season or summer, depending on the show, my shows are: Burn Notice, In Plain Sight, Covert Affairs, and Rizzoli and Isles. Again, all crime-fighting shows. It seems like a lot of shows, right? Like I seriously need help? But each of those shows are only on one night a week, and very few are on teh same night, so really, it's just one 45 minute (if you take out commercials) show every day. That's not bad at all, right? Ok, yeah, so I occasionally watch reruns of Without A Trace and Extreme Makeover Home Edition, but only when the other shows aren't on! I crazy? Or is this normal?
If you couldn't tell, I get pretty attached to fiction. I am one of those "But what happens after that?" people. Epilogues make me happy. I like knowing that there is a story after the story, so to speak. But I seem to get more attached to fiction than to real some cases, anyway. Why is that? What is it about these characters that keeps me so invested in what happens to them, in what their lives hold for them, in who they are? Is that the writer in me, or is it a personality trait, or is that a completely human response?
I am so tired when it's time to go to bed at night that I honestly wonder how I am going to do it all again tomorrow. I wish I could say that I know what gets me out of bed in the morning, but I don't. Maybe it's knowing that I'll hate myself if I stay in bed, maybe it's knowing that I have responsibilities, maybe it's just for the money. There should be a certain level of satisfaction in our lives, don't you think? We should go to bed feeling proud of the day we had, if for no other reason than we endured. We should have some level of excitement for the days ahead, shouldn't we? Or is a monotonous stream of endless tedium all that we can expect?
Wow, I waxed awful prosey there. Sorry about that. Anywho, the weekend is on the horizon, and it is looking mighty fine indeed. Hope you all get to enjoy some quiet time this weekend, and if not, maybe it'll be fun anyway!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


It's been a while since I've posted, I know, and even longer since I've actually posted anything worth reading. I've been feeling a bit contemplative lately, so prepare yourself for some reflective ramblings.
Do you think that we are sent here for a reason? Not just to gain experience and to get a body, but to you think there is something specific each of us are supposed to accomplish while we are here? I've been feeling really antsy lately, like there is something that I am supposed to do and I don't know what it is. And it feels like the harder I search for it, the more confused I get. What do you think?
I've been working out 5 days a week for the last 5 weeks or so, and it feels really good. Which is weird, considering I tend to refrain from anything that could be considered physical activity ever since high school. But it is seriously my favorite part of the day (ok, ok, other than bedtime). I love feeling like I'm pushing myself. I hate myself during the workouts, but afterwards....ahh, it feels so good. I hate myself when I've been sitting for a long period after working out and have a hard time moving, but I love it too, because it reminds me that I worked hard this morning. And the only person making me do this is me. Feels good. I look nasty when I do it, cuz I get all red and really sweaty. I am NOT one of those girls a guy will check out while working out. Seriously gross.
I don't mind coming into work in the mornings. No, really, I don't. The way my office is situated, I get to see the sunrise, which just makes everything better. I love waiting for the first hint of pink to hit the walls of my office, and then watching the sky change colors as the sun comes up. It's so peaceful and for a few minutes, everything is perfect.
Fall is finally here, which makes me so happy. I love the fall colors, the fall temperatures, the fall smells... I just love fall. And I REALLY love going outside when it is brisk and cool and taking a deep breath, letting that fresh, cold air fill up my lungs and then letting it all out on a sigh. One of my favorite FAVORITE things to do. And it's even better in winter, but we'll get to that another time.
Ok, I think that's all I've got for you today. There's more in my head, but you've all seen enough for one morning. Maybe I'll post again this week and share some more stuff. =)
I'm off to Michigan this weekend to visit Carly and her parents (YAY!) and taking in a hockey game while I'm at it, so that will be awesome. Enjoy the rest of the week!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Time is too precious

Go to this link and watch the video. This was the most heartbreaking story I've heard in a LONG time. Please watch it and hug your family! Time is too short and precious!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I moved!

Yes, it is true. I am now officially no longer living with my parents at my house. Well, not so officially. I have yet to change the address at the post office. But as my shampoo, razor, and underwear are at the apartment, I think it is safe to say that I live there. It was not a great night for sleeping, but what first night at a new place in a new bed is? Best thing is that my universal remote is all programmed for the TV that my brother and his wife GAVE me, so now I can watch movies and my favorite tv shows all from the comfort of my bed. Go me. And I've already recieved the Mommy-talk about not hiding out in my room with only the tv for company, so don't bother. =)
What will take some getting used to is not having stairs, windows that open nicely, a rocking recliner, a large bed that I can sleep diagonally in, a dog barking at everything, real leftovers from real meals, and a bathroom to myself. Oh, and the DVR. Oh how I am going to miss that DVR! But my parents assure me that I can still come over and use it, as long as I don't clog up their system. What they think they are going to be recording that will take up so much space, I have no idea. Maybe my dad will DVR Zenon or something.
Actually, my parents told me I can come over whenever I want to. As long as I really do live in my apartment. Which is really nice, considering that I work about 5 minutes from their house and 20 minutes from my new place and lunch breaks are much easier to just drive over there and fix a sandwich and catch a power nap. Or watch one of my shows that I've DVRd.....
Anyway, living with roommates again will be interesting. It's been 2 years since I've had to do that...not that I'll actually be home long enough to actually do much living with them, considering my schedule, but that's ok.
What is REALLY going to be interesting is being responsible for my own food. In college, I lived off of ramen, quesadillas, and fast food. Not healthy, I know, but my schedule in college was nutty and that worked for me. Since then I have not had to cook anything for myself. I guess this is what we're going to call the Return to Quesadillas! Subway and Jimmy Johns does not count as fast food, so I can do that. And ramen....well, fall is coming.
So I'll post some pictures if I ever get actually moved out of boxes. At this point I really don't know when or if that will happen.
But happy September, people. Autumn is on its way!

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Rant...

I know, it's Friday, and I should be so super duper excited about it that nothing could make me want to rant, but it has been an insane week and I have a few things to get off my chest.
1) When you come in contact with people, BE NICE! If you have a concern, don't take it out on the person who can help you. Don't yell, don't insult, and don't wish pain upon them. We are all human here and just because you have anger problems does not give you cause to ruin someone's day. BE NICE!
2) Don't look for excuses to straddle the line. If you have determined to live and believe a certain way, then please do it! Don't try to be as much a part of the world as you can without technically doing anything wrong. There is a reason that we are told to rise above the world. Yes, that means modesty too. When you have gone through the temple, that is even more important than before. Act, dress, speak in a manner that you wouldn't mind doing before the prophet. I don't quote myself very often, because I rarely say things worth quoting, but this one came as I was preparing a lesson for RS and so I don't believe they are my words at all: "Living the Gospel should not have shades of grey. There is white and not white. End of story." There, that's enough.
3) When you're driving in a car or riding a motorcycle (and you'd better be dressed appropriately for safety with that one, cuz otherwise you're an idiot), USE A TURN SIGNAL! It's not only respectful to other drivers, but it's a matter of safety! How are the cars behind you supposed to know that you are going to slow down and turn if you don't indicate it? It's not like it's a complicated thing.
4) There is no cause, none, to insult anyone's religious beliefs. Religion is not the issue ever. The choices that people make should be the issue. Religion is not something that should be attacked. Respect the beliefs even if you don't agree with them. Let's all try for a little understanding, ok?

Ok, I think that's all I have right now. The wind has been taken out of my sails.
In other news, Carly turned 1 this week. She's getting so old!!! And SOOOOOO beautiful! She and her parents are coming up to play with me for a week before they move on to Michigan. Who's excited??? Oh, that's right, me.
And football is starting. Let the party begin.
Good Friday, everyone.

Monday, August 2, 2010


Maybe it's because it's August, maybe it's because it's a sunny day, or maybe it's because I had a really good night's know, one of those where you wake up and go "WOW, that felt good!". Whatever the reason, today feels amazing. It's not a special day of any kind. It's just Monday here in the office. We're swamped and I barely got off the phone to get to lunch. I shouldn't be so happy, so fresh, so alive today, especially seeing as how my parents are in California with my sister at her National meet and my brother and his wife and daughter are headed to Idaho today. Everyone is on vacation except me. Well, and my other sister, but she's having a great time exhausting herself with teenagers, so that's almost a vacation. And here I sit, in my office, at the orthopedic clinic, answering calls and waitng for the clock to say 5:00. I should be wallowing in misery and self-pity.
But I'm not. I woke up this morning with a smile on my face and it has stayed there all day. Ok, not ALL day, it's vanished a couple of times when I had a difficult patient or doctor, but it came right back when that was done. I feel so like myself today that I am left to wonder where I went.
Actually, I lied. I know why. Yesterday was Fast Sunday. I know, that's not usually something that makes people smile and feel all happy. But this time, it did. I had some amazing experiences yesterday during my fast. I think it was the most sincere fasting I have ever done. Why? I don't know. I didn't spend all day in my scriptures, I didn't spend hours on my knees, and although church was wonderful, it was not especially spiritually amazing. But my heart feels different. I wonder if it's because I realized yesterday that no matter what we are going through, there is a way out of it. The Lord always gives us a way out. That sounds so basic, but I realized that it counts for me in my life, and not just Nephi. I fasted for some things that I never really thought to fast for before. I always seem to think that I need big things to fast for, but yesterday I had big things for other people and just some little things for me. Granted, they aren't so little to me right now, but compared to the other things, they are small. But I know that just because they are little does not make them less important to the Lord. And I know that if it is His will, He can help me with my little things just as surely as He can help the others with their big things.
Why do I feel so alive, so awesome today? I think it's because I'm finally learning how to turn things over to the Lord. I have a looooooooooooooong way to go, but I think I'm starting to get it.
Have a great week, everyone. You deserve it.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Forgiveness: My Burden Was Made Light

This is one of the most amazing stories I have ever heard. I was brought to tears by the faith of this man, by his love for the Savior, and by his ability to forgive. I can only hope that I can be half of the disciple of Christ that he is. What an amazing example he is to all of us and what a lesson this was for me.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


It seems like it's been forever since I've posted anything, probably because it HAS been forever since I've posted anything. But that's mostly due to the fact that I have a very boring life.
No, really, I do. I work and I go to church, and once in a while, I actually get to go to one of those crazy fun activities that I help plan. But lately, I've been dead to the world because of circumstances that are mostly beyond my control. I hope that changes soon.
You know what I realized today? The summer sky is one of the prettiest things I've ever seen. It's so bright and blue and gorgeous! The only thing better is probably a clear fall sky when all the leaves are changing color and there's a tiny bit of a nip in the air.
Here's something else I realized: I like getting into a warm car. Not a hot car, or a "so hot it will be an oven" car, but a gently warmed car. I really do enjoy it. Bizarre, I know.
Hmm, what else.... I miss Carly. I know, I hasn't even been a month since I last saw her, but when you spend any extended amount of time with that little munchkin, she takes a hold of your heart and any time away from her is sad. On the upside, her family is moving in a few weeks and thanks to a week in move out/move in dates, they are crashing at our place for a week! YAY!!!!!! And it's almost Carly's first birthday. I KNOW. One year already, isn't that nuts? I still don't have a present for her, so I need to get up on that.
Umm....we just passed the 5 month til Christmas mark, so get your shopping started, time's a ticking away! Does anybody else automatically think of Christmas whenever it's the 25th, or is that just me?
I miss my siblings (yes, Erin, this means you too). I have seen them sporatically this summer, but we always have so much fun tpgether and I'm all alone at the house right now, and Jenny was right, being the only child isn't that great! Not that I don't love my parents, because I do a lot. But siblings are special, and I want mine back!
Ok, here's a confession: I have zero self control. Ok, not all the time, but when it comes to certain things (ie. dvds, books, music) I am the weakest link. Amazon and ebay are my best friends....and my worst enemies. I need to block those sites from my computer just so I won't buy anything else! But that little voice gets into my head and says, "It's ok, you just got paid. You can afford it." And that is all true, but it's a terrible habit to have! How do I stop it???
Well, hope you've all enjoyed my rambling catch-up today. Maybe I'll actually have a themed post sometime soon.
But maybe not.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Our True Identity

I promise I won't always post movies on here, but this one is a must. This was so amazing, and exactly what I needed today. I love President Uchtdorf, not just because he's German and has a really cool accent, but the spirit that always surrounds him, and the power with which he addresses us always strikes me to the core. This message is so important and I wish that more people realized how much potential we really have. Love you!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I know, I know, I'm not a mother. In fact, I'm nowhere close to it at this point in my life. But I was looking around for some morning inspiration on the LDS website and I came across this video. As a huge fan of videos in general and someone with a strong affinity for youtube, I was helpless to resist. And I am so glad that I did. I brought tears to my eyes and filled my soul with such peace. I am not a mother yet, but I know that motherhood is a divine calling and that there is a special place in the Lord's heart for the mothers in Zion.

Motherhood: An Eternal Partnership with God

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ugh.....and some ranting

I really couldn't think of a better title than that right now because I'm working on about 3 and a half hours of sleep. It would have been more, but I got cold in the night (seriously, who gets cold in the summer??? so weird) so I woke up and had to get warm, which took a bit, but I managed to fall back asleep for 45 minutes.

Yes, if you couldn't guess, I went to the midnight showing of Eclipse last night. So what? I like the series and I like movies, and yes, they are a bit (sometimes MORE than a bit) cheesy, hokey, and outright strange at moments, but I like them any way. I'd tell you about the film, but it's all mixing with my dreams right now...I'm pretty sure I enjoyed myself, but whether that's a product of the film itself or the company I was with, I don't know. I think it was both. I do remember being highly amused at some points, but then again, it was a midnight showing. Everything is funnier after midnight. What I remember of the movie, I really liked. I do know that I am going again, at least once more when I am fully awake. That's probably the best way to go anyway, but I kinda like the excitement of midnight showings.

What I do NOT enjoy about doing these midnight showings are the crazies that come out. I want to smack the lot of them. I saw some middle aged woman and her posse steal 4 seats from this woman who was trying to save them for her daughter and her friends. Granted, you're technically not SUPPOSED to save seats, but who honestly barrels through and says, "Well, we're here and they're not, so we're taking them"??? I wanted to turn around and be all "Are you kidding me right now?" but considering the woman was bigger than me, I just opted to mind my own business.
You know what else I find irritating, while I'm on a roll? People who come to a movie only to heckle it. If you hate it, leave. Don't come. Or come on a night when some poeple might not care. I'm not one of those little Twihard geeks, but I do like to be able to hear the movie and enjoy the experience of watching it without wishing I had a sock to stuff in the person's mouth. Yes, we've already established that it is cheesy and not going to be up for an Oscar, but that doesn't mean it's ok for you to come and criticize every single thing that you think is stupid or bad. I'm sure you have something better to do with your night. Do that instead and let me enjoy my movie.
And another thing: Stop asking questions during the movie! Chances are, your questions will be answered by the movie in due course! And more often than not, we're not going to know either, because, hey, it's our first time seeing it too!
Wow, I'm really going off here. I'm gonna step off my soapbox now and go find something else at work to keep me awake. Like work...that might be a good idea...

Monday, June 28, 2010


I think today is the most beautiful Monday ever.
Or maybe it's just me.
I went to the temple for the first time on Saturday, and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Very few things even come close to it. There was such peace and joy, and it's carried over from that day, those precious moments, and I hope they stay with me for a long time. My brain feels like it's going to explode as it tries in vain to work everything out, and my heart feels like it's going to explode because it knows how good everything is.
I don't want to talk about it too much more, mostly because I'm not even sure what to say or what I think or anything, but there are two things I know very clearly. My Father in Heaven loves me and is proud of me, and I am who I was meant to be. In fact, I feel more myself now than I ever have before.
It was wonderful to be able to have my parents and my brother and sister-in-law there with me, and to have my second parents there as well. I feel so blessed to be surrounded with such great people! And so many others who knew what the experience would be for me and offered advice and counsel, and those who spoke with me after who knew how I had changed and offered their congratulations: thank you, all. It was just as wonderful as I had hoped it would be and more!
What a blessing the Gospel is in my life, and what an added blessing that I got to enter the House of the Lord.
Maybe today really is the most beautiful Monday ever.

Monday, June 21, 2010


Welcome, friends, to the new and much improved Becky Blog!
Hopefully this one will be much better than the last one, which was a bit here and there, but had some truly great moments. Sadly, a tragic accident led to the end of such greatness, but we move on and do the best we can in other spheres.
In this other sphere, I do hope we can all be great friends and share stories that will uplift, aid, and otherwise entertain, as I really have no idea what I can say that will uplift or aid, but I am quite sure that once or twice, you will be entertained.
So come one, come all! Share lots, share a little, share nothing and just creep on other people's lots or littles, it makes no difference to me.
Get ready for more rambling, more tales, and more hilarity, as I am quite sure that, like cheese and wine (though I have no knowledge of the latter), I only get better with age.
Let's hope I don't get moldy in the process...