You've probably been wondering where I've been.... Nope, didn't fall off a cliff, the face of the earth, or some other equally high distance somewhere. Here...let me catch you up....I've been a tad bit busy. :o)
This time of year is partially to blame, although I typically thrive on the busyness of the holiday season. For the past two years, Thanksgiving has been held at our house, and I go all out with the spread. Not only that, but hubby and I spend the ENTIRE week cleaning the house from top to bottom!! Then, I'm usually up until at least midnight the day before finishing up deserts and breads and such, then wake up at about 6 or 7am to start on the turkey. Guess what....don't have to do any of that this year, and I'm actually relieved!!! We will still be spending some time with family, but it won't be at my house. All I'm responsible for this year is the desserts, and I can handle that job all the day long. :o)
While I'm relieved about the reduction in Thanksgiving duties this year, there have been other equally exhausting things to take it's place. Mostly, it's been changes that will have to be made to accomodate new things, but hey....we'll live through it, and figure out a way to make it work. :o)
Also, I've been doing a bit more singing lately with the parents (only one more left this year...another big relief). About 2 weeks ago, we took a trip to east TN to sing. Now, I've been to east TN loads of times, but never toward Chattanooga. I didn't know what I was in for as far as the driving was concerned. (Take notice all you people who may drive through Chattanooga at some point in your lifetime.) I had no idea we would be driving through the dang mountains! I've been through mountains before, but never for this long. It was up, down, around, and back again....here comes this curve, and that curve, and this steep hill going up, then coming down. Oh, and let me not forget to mention the TWO-LANE roads, and drivers who are maniacs!!!! I wanted to scream at them to stay on their side of the road...not that it would've done any good. (I also couldn't help but think about that show that's been on the History Channel lately--Ice Road Truckers: Deadliest Roads...or something like that. That show freaked me out so much during the first 2 episodes that I just couldn't watch it any more.) Anyway...I do think it was a miracle that we arrived in one piece, much less that we made it all the way back home (thank you, Lord). Oh, and one other thing....our final destination was in the middle of NO WHERE!!! I don't think I ever fully appreciated until now what a blessing cell phone service is! We stayed in this nice, rustic cabin pretty much in the middle of the woods with no phone and no internet. Yep, I had some withdrawals. We thankfully had a tv with a satellite dish so we didn't drive one another stir crazy. Poor hubby had been trying to reach me all night long to make sure that we arrived safely...I felt so bad that he wasn't able to do anything but leave me a voicemail (which I couldn't check until we had driven almost 45 minutes on our trip back home). Let me say this....I don't think I have ever been more thankful to be back home after an out-of-town trip!
I've also been working on jewelry! I don't know how much of that I've mentioned on my book blog, but for almost 5 years now, I have had the most fun with my jewelry making hobby! :o) It has to be one of THE MOST fun things I have ever learned to do. I'll sit down with a movie, pull out a bead box, and get to work. Then, two hours later, I've got some pretties all ready to go for a show somewhere. My goal for this next year (I made this same goal last year, but I'm serious about it now!!!.....no, seriously!!) is to incorporate some parties or other fun events to make a little extra dough....maybe even do an Etsy store. I still need to work out all the particulars, but I'm ready to get busy!
So, when have I had time to read, you ask? Well, almost none at all. :o( Would you believe that after I read a monthly record of 19 books in October, I've only read 2 so far in the month of November? Pretty pitiful, huh? I really need to pick up the pace, too, because the time to finalize the winners for the INSPY Awards is only a few weeks away, and I have to figure out my favorite in the Amish category. Like...December 5th is the deadline. Agh!!! Three of the nominated Amish books were part of series, and because of my OCD nature that I can't read a series out of order, or jump to the very last book (even though it was the one nominated), I have been reading a few more books than what's required. I just have to be able to know the whole story....I know....I'm crazy. Because of this, I have 6 books to finish before the deadline. Oh....dear.... So, all this means that I've had zero time for other reading, or for reviews for other books, or anything like that. I've already written up one review for an INSPY book, but we have to save them until the winners are announced (let me just say that it was a GREAT book!).
So now after I have written what is probably one of the longest posts ever on this blog, I feel I should stop a moment and reflect on the crazyness that has been my life lately, and also, what the holiday season is about to bring. We're coming up on two of the most wonderful holidays of the year, and out of the two, Thanksgiving seems to be overlooked anymore. Stores go from Halloween decorations to Christmas decorations with nothing in between. Don't they realize there's another holiday in there? Now, I'm not gifted at all with saying something really eloquent about how we should all stop and be thankful for everything, but I can't help but wonder at a few things. How often (outside of the Thanksgiving season) do we really stop to count our blessings? How often do we thank God that we've lived to see another day? How often do we thank Him for our family? Or are we too busy trying to one-up our friend, or wanting the latest gadget? I have taken notice of some of these things because of our society, and then, turned inward for some self reflection. My desire right now is to take a moment each day to just be thankful--thankful that my husband made it to another day a few months ago; thankful that my parents are still with me, and that we're still able to sing and minister to people; and thankful that I have a full-time job in a great environment without wondering if I'll be laid off. Wow, Lord....how You've blessed me....let me never forget.