Friday, December 31, 2010


Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Week in Review

Hello All! It’s a pre-Christmas, Wednesday edition of A Week in Review. So if you’ll please take your seats we’ll get started.

Now I know that there are lots of reasons why people are still not done with their Christmas shopping, most of which are invalid. Some are ok. One year my sister-in-law had pneumonia the first few weeks of December, so she got a pass on the procrastination. But I digress; the real reason for this paragraph is to give you a word of warning – if you do go out shopping these next few days don’t expect retail workers to have any Christmas cheer left. Honestly, at this point, we couldn’t care less if you get what you want for Christmas. We’re worn out. Having said that….

Merry Christmas!
After today I am done with work and my parents will be here! They arrive Thursday afternoon. I’ve got the apartment clean and decorations are up. I washed some sheets. I kind of gave up on guessing what they might like to eat, and asked Mom if we could go to the grocery store when they get here. Is that lame? She didn’t seem to mind. We’re having a family Christmas Eve with all of the siblings and their families and lots and lots of food!

Mom told me that she and dad have been practicing the fine and beautiful art of Tai-chi (I can’t help smiling when I say that). They’re going to bring their dvd and start the day with some meditation and very slow movement, with their hands in a kung-fu grip. No wait, I think it’s that board chopping position. Anyway, it’s all going to be very Zen. She seemed to suggest that I get up and do some Tai-chi with them, but I can imagine that happening, because it involves getting up, and Tai-chi. Actually, I think it’s great that they do this, and if it keeps them feeling good then I’m all for it. Isn’t it strange, though, the things parents pick up as they get older? I never would have guessed it. I suppose they think the same thing about me.

In other Christmas fun – I went to a high school Christmas concert on Monday, haven’t done that since I was in them more than 20 years ago. Mariah is in the bell choir, and she did a beautiful job. Actually, the whole concert was quite good. We ended with a rousing rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus with full orchestra and choir. And, before the concert, Sierra showed me her picture in the trophy case! Her academic decathlon team won the regional championship a couple of years ago. Nice.

I have a good friend named Joel who has done some beautiful work with designing and hand making jewelry. The pieces are all centered on the theme of staying close to loved ones where ever they are, especially with children as they grow up and move away. Each piece comes with a story based on that theme. I couldn’t do it justice trying to describe it, so here is the link and you can take a look.

I think that’s it. Merry Christmas to you all! I do hope that you have fun, that you love your gifts, and that you find some quiet, peaceful moments, too. Thanks as always, for your constant care.

You are loved.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Presents and Plans

I know that they way I usually talk about the COB makes it sound like I work in an infirmary for the very old and senile. Sometimes it feels that way, but honestly my coworkers are some of the kindest hearts I’ve ever known. Christmas time is proof of it.

My immediate group of coworkers includes 10 people. Every December, every one of them brings gifts and not just a bowl of candy for the group to share, but real gifts for each one of us. So far I’ve gotten a very pretty candle, a giant bag of Ghirardelli chocolates, lotions, a DVD, a necklace, a full sized roll of wrapping paper and jingle bells, and a lace table runner. Oh, and some apples with the best toffee dip I’ve ever had. I’ve found a present on my desk every morning for more than a week. A few days ago I took some of it home and showed Melissa the new loot. She said, “It really is every day.” And I said, “Yes, every day.” Merry Christmas to me.

I have something for them, too, of course – little books that I got at the store with a Christmas message. That’s not as nice as a lace table runner, but I hope they’ll like it.

In other news, did I tell you that my parents are coming here this year, and that they’re staying with me? I’m excited about it. I’ve never had them stay with me before. I suppose I should go to the grocery store…? What do parents eat? Will it still be ok to sleep till 11:00 every day? I’ll work that all out later. For now, I’m just really looking forward to it.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Last night some family and I went to the Christmas Devotional at the Conference Center. This has been a tradition for us for some years, and I always look forward to it. My friend Nicole said once that Devotional was her start to the Christmas season, and I have to agree. I wasn’t really feeling it before last night, but the scenery, songs and messages put my heart in the right place for the holidays.

President Uchtdorf’s message was especially meaningful to me this year. He actually quoted from “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas”! “Every Who Down in Whoville Liked Christmas a lot…But the Grinch, Who lived just north of Whoville, Did NOT!” He said that with all of the business and frenzy of Christmas, it’s easy to become exhausted and burnt out on the whole thing, and to think, like the Grinch, that “I MUST find some way to stop Christmas from coming!"

I admit, and most of you already know, that I have struggled to feel any magic in Christmas at all these past few years. I’ve fought feelings of loneliness and the disappointment of not having a family of little ones to wake up with on Christmas morning. I’ve looked back at the completed year and thought that it wasn’t much to feel positive about. And, of course, I work retail! If those other things don’t kill Christmas, then retail certainly will. I have often gotten to about December 20th and wished that the whole thing were just over. Sad and shameful, I know.

But, this year I feel differently. Maybe it’s because I’ve opened my eyes to all of the blessing life has given me. Maybe it’s because I’ve taken notice of my friends at the store who are there working with me and know how much I love being there with them. Maybe it’s that my heart has finally matured enough to accept and even appreciate the simple pleasures of being single, or because I know better that my family loves me for who I am. I think it’s a little bit of everything. And, last night, President Uchtdorf reminded me of something else, something more – Christmas is the celebration of the birth and life of the Savior of the world. I believe in Christ with all of my heart. I believe in his love for all of us, and that brings real joy.

This year I’m going to keep things simple, keep from spending too much money, enjoy time with friends and family, and work to being the best Angie I can be, the kind of person the Lord would have me be.

I hope that you all find your own moments of peace, joy and gratitude over the next few weeks. And if the urge to be Grinchy becomes overwhelming, just remember that God loves you, and Angie does too ;).

PS - If you didn't get to see the devotional, or are wondering what I'm talking about, there's a link here.

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Week in Review

Remember when I used to write A Week in Review? Do you remember it fondly? I do. I remember it as a time when I had something to say, before the long age of “eh”. But I have some stories today! So let’s do A Week in Review.

Jonah is turning 9…
And he might not live to see 10 if he doesn’t stop texting me. I’m kidding of course. I love that little boy, but honestly the anticipation for his birthday this weekend has him crazed. It’s all about Harry Potter this year. His teacher at school is reading the books to the class while the kids follow along in their own copies. Jonah loves it – LOVES it. He also loves Legos, and when he found out that Lego makes Harry Potter sets he came a little unhinged.

We were at Walmart a couple of weeks ago and looking at toys. They didn’t have much in the Harry Potter Lego department, and he was a little disappointed. When we got home we looked at some websites, and picked out the sets that he liked. I made a mental note, and then the next week got on Amazon and ordered the Quidditch set. That seemed safer than hoping to find it at a store. I told Marla, and she told Jonah. He pretty much knew what he was getting for his birthday because he had outlined very specific orders, so there was no harm in telling him. No harm until he started writing me every day, several times a day, to ask if I had it yet.

Here are some actual messages:
Monday, Nov 30, 8:57 pm, “Did you get my quidditch set yet?”
8:59 pm, “Did you?”
9:01 pm, “My birthday is this Friday!”

Then he sent a very cute picture of himself.

Tuesday, Dec 1, 3:58 pm, “Did you get the quidditch set?”
7:18 pm, “Did you get the quidditch set?”
9:17 pm, “Did you get the quidditch set?”
9:22 pm, “Party is in 2 days.”
9:23 pm, “When will it be here?”

Really, I’m not making this up. Now granted, I’m not good at checking my phone for text messages, so he probably sent one, waited for an answer (sometimes for a full 2 minutes) before sending another, but still it was getting out of hand. I tried to appease him by saying that I was sure it would be here in time for the party. I should add that he was very sweet, and called me himself to invite me to his party, and then he said he wanted to introduce me to his friends. So polite.

Yesterday I got my first message just before 4, probably about the time he got home from school. I decided to call the apartment office at home to see if they had a box for me (the mailman drops boxes off at the office). They had a delivery from Amazon, so I called Marla and told her that the quidditch set was here, and that I’d bring it to the party. The party is today. Jonah got on the phone, too, so I told him, and he said that he couldn’t wait, and that he can’t sleep because he’s so excited. I guess that explains the 9:22 pm texts. I assured him that he would be ok. He wasn’t so sure.

Later, another text message:
“Could bring the package?”
I told him I’d bring it to the party the next day.
“Today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” with enough exclamation points to fill up the phone's screen.
I didn’t give in.
Another message, “Can you come over?”
No, I couldn’t.
I was on the freeway driving home when my phone went off again. I looked and saw simply this, “Give me the set.”

He was one step away from threats of violence.

But I didn’t cave. This morning my phone rang at 6:00, waking me out of a dead sleep. It took too long to gain conscientiousness to get to the phone, but I saw that the missed call was from Jonah. Maybe that was his revenge, if he can’t sleep then neither will I.

Tonight I will go see Jonah at his birthday party and hand over the Harry Potter Lego’s Quidditch set. It will be a huge relief for both of us.

Dear Sierra wrote a good blog post about the little library they have at her house, and it made me think about all of the books from my childhood. She talked about writing her name in her books when she was little, and I did the same thing. Here’s a picture of one example.

I like to date things and give specific information, even to this day. The book is “Little House in the Big Woods” by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and as you know it’s the first book in the Little House series. My great aunt Evelyn sent me one each year for Christmas. She died before she could send the whole set, so when I was older, in fact when I was working at the bookstore, I decided to order the books I didn’t have to complete the set. When I got the first ordered book I held it in my hands, and it seemed so small. I remembered my books from Evelyn being much bigger, and was a little upset that the set wasn’t going to match. Mom still had my original books at home, so it was some time before I had those in hand again, and when I did I was shocked to see that my old books were the same size as my new books! They weren’t smaller, I was bigger. I was honestly shocked to see the difference between my memory and the reality. I suppose everything seems big when you’re little.

There is, in that book, a story about Laura, Mary and Ma boiling molasses and sugar and then pouring it into clean snow where it hardened and made candy. My mom thought that was a fun idea, so she did the same thing. We got a big pan of clean snow from the yard, and poured in the syrup, in squiggley shapes, and let it harden. It tasted like molasses taffy.

We had a set of children’s picture books on American history. I think I’ve mentioned these before. Dad read them to me, and when my little brother Courtney got older I read them to him. I have them now at home, and still pull them out from time to time. There’s a lot to learn in a children’s history book. These really are a much loved treasure.

Well, I think that’s enough for today. Thanks, as always, for checking in.
You are loved.