My Three Joys

Can you believe it? Me either. But I am pretty sure I say that ever year around this time.  This year Jake and I are ahead of the game with having most of our Christmas shopping done and a good handle on the holiday season.

This week brought bitter cold temperatures to Iowa and definitely made it feel more like the Winter season. I am extremely thankful for my warm house and ability to be super cozy and lazy like I have been today.

This week however, was anything but lazy. But I was okay with that too. 🙂

Number One

I have the best husband ever. Of course it is easy for me to say this because he is my husband, but when I think about all of the little things that make him unique, I cannot help but smile and know how lucky I am. For instance, Tuesday morning at work I received the following text from Jake:

“Pedicures tonight? Yay or nay?”

Of course I immediately smiled, replied with a “Yes” and shared the text with my co-worker because it was too good not to share. Jake has been addicted for the past year and I love when he suggests we go.

I asked Jake to do a little research on finding a new location as our previous location in West Des Moines has been lacking in their quality of service and it was time we moved on. Jake and I agreed to test out Nail Trust in Windsor Heights. And I am so glad we did. Jake and I were greeted right away and after picking out my color, sat down in the best massage chairs I have ever had the pleasure of sitting in. OMG. HEAVEN. These chairs reminded me of the ones you sit in at Homemakers and only dreaming about having in your house someday. They were brand-new and even had butt/hip massagers. Jake and I could not keep our eyes open as we fell into a trance while being pampered.

It was a perfect way to spend a Tuesday evening.

Number Two 

Friday night Jake and I headed to his staff’s Christmas party. Although it was bitter cold outside, it was delightfully warm at his co-worker’s Melinda’s home. Jake and I enjoyed the good conversations, adult beverages and yummy appetizers.

Melinda, being the amazing Children and Families Ministry Director she is, had us engage in some “forced family fun”, as she called it. Each of us were handed a Christmas Chat card where we had to read a question out loud and provide an answer for all to hear.   I have to admit, I enjoyed hearing everyone’s responses to questions such as,

“If you could jump in to any holiday song, which one would it be?”

“When does Christmas start for you?”

“What ornament do you look most forward to putting on the tree every year?”

After our forced family fun, the real fun began with the white elephant gift exchange.  I love white elephant Christmas parties. The Lennon family has a long-standing tradition of having a white elephant gift exchange on Christmas Eve and you better believe us Lennon’s can come up with the best white elephant gifts. This year’s hottest gifts at the staff party were a Tastefully Simply Chocolatini mix, a brand new Chia Pet, a beautiful glass candle holder and a picture frame. Jake really wanted that glass candle holder, but after it was taken, he picked out the Chia Pet. Apparently Chia Pet’s are hot commodities, because it was quickly taken as well. Jake ended up with a box of bubble gum and blueberry candy canes. I happily walked away with three fun lotion and body sprays from Bath and Body Works.

Number Three

I have been doing a lot of thinking this week about Joyful Girl and the direction I want it to take after the first of the year. While I enjoy cooking and baking and then sharing the how-to pictures of my recipes, it can sometimes be time-consuming and take away from other things I want to focus on. I will be starting grad school on January 17th and there is no question that school will take priority over my blogging.

I had some really good conversations with family and friends this week on some ideas I have been kicking around and what changes I want to make after the new year. This week has been another reminder of the good people I am surrounded by who are so loving and supportive.  I look forward to continuing to assess Joyful Girl and working out my ideas so that I can continue to blog without affecting my school.

I hope everyone had a splendid week and looking forward to the 13 days we have left until Christmas.

I know that I am looking forward to the yummy chili Jake is making tonight. I can already smell it as he slaving away in the kitchen. Nom, Nom, Nom.

Do you have a favorite way you countdown to Christmas?

I currently do not have a countdown, but love the idea having an advent calendar for my children someday. I always did enjoy the red and green construction paper circles that you can tear way and look would be a fun tradition to have so that each night before bed, they can break away from the chain.

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5 thoughts on “My Three Joys

  1. I look forward to reading your blog..You have not only entertained me but given me new ideas for recipes.Thank you ..
    I made your Potato soup last week It was such a hit..no leftovers..I also liked the the easier to make stuffed bell-pepers…less time.and as for Panko crumbs ?Am now hooked on Panko crumbs..I know you will have new obligations after the new year.and we still need to hear from you
    Yes school must be first and I am sure you will find a way to be connected after school starts…..
    Love Mom

  2. I love the white elephant gift exchange too. We used to do it every year at my office but now that I’m retired I think I’ll try and do it with the family and the grandkids.
    We don’t have a countdown but when we host Thanksgiving, we put up our tree without decorating it and ask that everyone bring an ornament to help us decorate it. It didn’t have to be expensive just something they liked. It was really interesting to see all the different ornaments! We take them out every year and remember who brought each one. My hubby really enjoys this and was upset we didn’t host thanksgiving to do it again this year.
    Don’t know how you manage to find the time for all you do now but enjoy your blog and hope you keep it going. Have a Merry Christmas and Hugs to you and Jake

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