Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Finish This: Week Fifty-one {and Merry Christmas!}

Merry Christmas to all! Can you believe that it's Christmas Eve already?! And next week is New Year's Eve, and then bam - 2015! Jeepers creepers.

Bek, don't get ahead of yourself. Today is a day for family, singing, candles, and link-ups. Stay focused!

By now, I hope you know the drill. I'm linking up with the awesome hostesses of Finish This: Nicole at Three 31, Jen at The Arizona Russums, Becky at The Java Mama, and Lisa at Coastlined.

{Next week is The Great Big Year in Review post - I'm so excited to hit "publish" on this puppy! If you'd like the prompts so that you can participate, comment below or email Nicole and we will hook you up. You don't want to miss this big kahuna of a post.}

My favorite Christmas tradition is opening one present from my parents on Christmas Eve... it's always pajamas and my sisters and I always wake up Christmas morning in new pajamas. For several years my mom has been complaining that there are no. more. pajamas. anywhere {with four girls, it's close to true!}, but somehow she works some Christmas magic and we always get pjs. It's my favorite. {I thought about sharing a picture, but then I thought you readers might not appreciate it.}

My most memorable Christmas was probably 2012, because my grandpa was having a good day and he was able to stay awake and play dominoes with the family for a couple hours. It was one of the best days in Grandpa's last year, and my mom rightly noted that Christmas Day 2012 was a true gift, because it ended up being Grandpa's last Christmas with us on earth. I treasure my memory of that year.

The best gift{s} I've ever received, besides the grace and love of God, growing up in the best family ever, and having the most fantastic friends in the world, was the TARDIS blanket from my sister last year. I'd been asking for TARDIS slippers and she kept telling me she was not getting them for me. I didn't believe her, but it turned out she was telling the truth. My mom gave me the slippers and my sister gave me a warm snuggly blanket. I was shocked that a) she was telling me the truth and I hadn't believed her and b) that such a beautiful blanket exists.

The gift I'd rather forget was totally my idea and my sisters were dragged along in my madness. After performing The Nutcracker for two years {and between the four of us, there were only a couple dances we weren't in}, I convinced my sisters that we should perform it {AGAIN!!} for our parents... in our living room... with music for only 4 songs. So we practiced every time the 4 of us were left alone together, and on Christmas morning, that's what we did.
My poor, patient sisters... my poor, long-suffering parents...

There you have it - Christmas memories galore! I hope your Christmas is holly-jolly, calm and bright, and full of the love of Christ!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Goals for 2015

It's that magical time of year when Bek reviews her goals for the current year and sets in stone writing her goals for the coming year. It is also the magical time when she starts writing about herself in third person, and everybody {including her} is confused.

Moving right along...

Shall we start with 2014's goals?
  1. Invest time in new friendships. Yes! 2014 was full of friendship, and I'm looking forward to spending time with current and future friends.
  2. Get into a real exercise routine. Yes! Except for a few summer weeks that were simply crazy, I exercised at least three times a week for the majority of the year. I'd like to thank my sister for the cool workout jacket she gave me and my city for offering Zumba classes. 
  3. Continue to blog at least twice a week. Yes! Specifically, my goal was to keep up Funny Fridays, which has kind of died, but I did blog two times a week for the entire year!
  4. Try at least one new recipe bi-monthly. Oh my word, big fat fail here! I tried one recipe and made it at least three times, but that's it. I do feel more confident cooking, though; I coordinated 5 days of meals with my sister and friends for Family Camp, and I hosted Thanksgiving and made half the dishes. 
  5. Goodreads: 40 books. I adjusted my goal in June to 50 books, and as of this posting, I have read 55 books and am in the middle of 4 more. So that's a yes! :) 

Onto 2015! I really like what Emilia is doing and I'm going to concentrate on Mind, Body, and Blog. I also have some other categories, but I'm keeping those in my journal. So here are my Mind, Body, and Blog goals:
  1. Read 50 books. When I was thinking about my reading goals for next year, I came up with some specific kinds of books I want to read, and of course some of them are doula-related, so stay tuned for reviews.
  2. Maintain exercise routine {3x/week}, reduce sugar intake, add more vegetables. I'm going to get back on the MyFitnessPal bandwagon and start tracking food again, and the food is going to be less sugar and more veggies!
  3. Keep on blogging... Specifically, my goals are to:
    • continue linking up with the Not Alone Series at least once a month
    • share a doula-related book review once a month
    • post something "personal" each month. This can be a Doula Update, a Funny Friday, a general update, thoughts on a specific topic, or something else. I can add it to a link-up {like 7 Quick Takes}, but the "prompt" is my own. 
Bam - goals! 2015 is going to be splendid!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

What's Shakin', Bacon?

Ok, this post isn't really about bacon. It's more like a "what's up" post, but hey, the bacon is dancing. No turning back now.  

Last Friday, the young adults' group I'm a part of threw a Thanksmas Party. We combined Thanksgiving and Christmas into one big yummy food, ugly sweaters, fun games, twinkle lights, and uproarious laughter-filled gathering! It was so much fun...and I didn't take one single picture. I think the only thing that was recorded was the Ugly Sweater Runway Show, and I don't even know who has that blackmail material recording. 

After the party ended {at 11:30!!}, I unwound by reading about pregnancy. Yes, this is true. I'm in the midst of two different books right now, which makes both books feel longer. In order to quiet my Type-A-ness that yells "in progress!" at me, I have finished two book reviews for BAI's assignment. Hopefully I'll remember to post those before Christmas... I know you'll be on the edge of your seat till then.

Speaking of the edge, we are almost to the end of 2014! I'm starting a post to review 2014's goals, and I'm excited to remember all that this year brought. 

Thanks for shakin' the bacon with me. Happy Week Before Christmas!

P.S. If you need something to brighten your day, or just want a good excuse to look at Lee Pace, check out this beautiful and hilarious post. You won't regret it, I promise. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Finish This: Week Fifty

Ohhhh my gosh, people. Two weeks left of 2014. Gulp. Ca-razy!

Counting down the weeks means linking up with our fab hostesses: Jen at The Arizona Russums, Becky at The Java Mama, Lisa at Coastlined, and Nicole at Three 31 - happy birthday, Nicole!

{Hey, with the New Year approaching, I'm joining these awesome bloggers in posting a Year in Review post! This is the mother of all Finish This posts, and I've been prepping for weeks. If you want to join the fun on December 31st, let me know or email Nicole, and we will hook you up!}

Getting older is fantastic. More and more often I find myself thinking, "It's great being an adult!" I am a quarter of a century old, and I think that each year is going to increase in both challenges and triumphs. That's my hope, anyway.

My best kept secret should probably not be published on the internet. Sorry Charlie.
I will follow Nicole's recommendation and share instead 2 "secrets" to my life success. 1) Always wear deodorant. 2) Pick a recipe, master it, make it your signature dish, and laugh away the applause.

My guilty pleasure is reading birth stories. Grace at Camp Patton has theeeee best birth story link-up everrrr and whenever I've got some time {or even when I don't!}, I slink over and find new stories to read. Yes please thank you kindly please here's to you.

My favorite place in the world is wherever my family is all together. Usually that means my parents' kitchen table, and now sometimes it means my living room. In a couple of weeks, it's going to mean an airplane on its way to Omaha - yay for family travels!

There you have it! Next week is all Christmas prompts because Christmas Eve is next Wednesday. Holy Moses. Come join the fun!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Finish This: Week Forty-nine

Happy Hump Day! Wednesday is Finish This Day, so let's join the link-up fun with Nicole at Three 31, Jen at The Arizona Russums, Becky at The Java Mama, and Lisa at Coastlined.

{Side note: if you've been following or participating in Finish This for a while, start looking forward to the Year in Review post happening on December 31st. This is a beast of a blog post - I've been working on it for several weeks! If you want to get in on the fun, email Nicole and she'll send you the prompts.}

My ideal winter weekend pretty much happened after Thanksgiving. The house was clean, the Christmas lights were twinkling, the pajamas were cozy, and "Gilmore Girls" was binged. Also, brunch with the bestie and her man happened, chai was consumed, and no cooking was required #leftovers. It was fantastic!

My favorite song lyric is too hard to choose! Augh! I make no long-term commitment to my favorite song, but currently my favorite song is by Amy Stroup and goes:

Hold onto Hope, Love
I've searched high and low
for you for you

Each day gets closer
So hold on stronger 
To me and you

Someday soon I'll find you
Someday soon I'll know you
Someday oh oh

I smile because a) it's easier than frowning, b) I have a great smile, and c) God is good and I am loved. 

Ta- da! Thanks for joining, and be sure to come back next week for more Finish This!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Q & A {and a Mustache}

My college roomie Catherine tagged/challenged/invited me to participate in this "get to know you" Q & A. Enjoy!

Four names people call me other than Rebekah:
  • Bek 
  • Beks
  • BG
  • Bekah
Four jobs that I've had: 
  • Babysitting {started at age 12}
  • LifeWay Christian Stores associate {senior year of high school}
  • after-school and day-camp counselor {first two years of college}
  • teacher's assistant/peer leader {senior year of college}
Four movies that I have watched more than once:
  • The Fall
  • Pride and Prejudice {Kiera Knightley version}
  • Sense and Sensibility {Emma Thompson version}
  • Pitch Perfect {haters gonna hate}
Four places I've lived:
  • parents' house in Seattle-ish
  • Kentucky
  • Frozen Tundra {aka Omaha}
  • my condo in Seattle-ish
Four places I've visited {check out the Travels tab!}:
  • Berlin
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Ometepe, Nicaragua
  • Kentucky {I surprised AJ}
Four places I would rather be right now:
  • under a warm snuggly blanket
  • on a front porch swing with a summer breeze
  • in my bff's apartment {with Nicholas Cage's face everywhere}
  • cutting down a Christmas tree with my Kentucky family
Four things I won't eat:
  • avocado {I know, I know, it's soooo good for you, and I've tried, but no cigar}
  • tomato
  • ketchup, mustard, or mayonaise 
  • any peanut butter other than Adam's #PBsnob
Four of my favorite foods:
  • tacos
  • crack popcorn
  • sangria {this counts as food because there's fruit in it, right???}
  • cereal
Four tv shows I watch:
  • Call the Midwife
  • The Mindy Project
  • Doctor Who
  • Gilmore Girls {don't mind me, I'm just on a binge!}
Four things I am looking forward to this year:
  • putting up a Christmas tree
  • hosting our young adults' group's Thanks-mas party 
  • planning trips for 2015
  • deep cleaning my house
Four expressions I always use:
  • Shut the front door!
  • Holy Moses
  • yes please thank you kindly here's to you thank you very much
  • hot damn {hey, being honest!}
Four people I'm asking to participate in this Q & A:
There you have it, Catherine! Thanks for the tag :)

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Not Alone Series: Advent

Hi friends! I know that today is Saturday and NAS link-ups are on Tuesdays, but sometimes even with Amazon Prime, things take longer than planned. So I won't make you wait another moment; let's get on with this Advent post!

What are you doing for Advent? How are you preparing your heart for this season?

So many bloggers mentioned Ann Voskamp's Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas*, so I ordered it myself. Then I read another blog about how she was excited to read this book with her children, and I took another look at it and finally clued into the word "family" and translated that to "kids" and so I cancelled my order and ordered the grown-up prequel, The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas*.

That is the really long and dramatic story of how I'm preparing for Advent. Funny, because the story of Christ's coming is also long and dramatic. I mean, mankind fell not even five chapters into Genesis, and Jesus came 42 generations after Abraham. I can't even fathom that. My grandmother has researched my family history back to the Revolutionary War, and I'm pretty sure that's fewer than 15 generations.

Ann Voskamp is leading me through the generations, starting with Adam and Eve, all the way through to Christ's coming. What a beautiful story of grace and mercy. God loves us humans so much!

NAS is taking a break from linking up until the New Year, so I plan on sharing some highlights from this devotional throughout the month. What's your favorite Advent reading/tradition/devotional?

*affiliate links

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Finish This: Week Forty-eight

This is a fabulous Wednesday for a link-up with Nicole at Three 31, Jen at The Arizona Russums, Lisa at Coastlined, and Becky at The Java Mama.

My biggest fan is my family. No matter what scheme adventure I'm on, they support, encourage, tease, and uplift me. Even if they don't understand everything I love {doula-ing, Doctor Who, cough cough}, they are happy I'm happy. 

My greatest blessing is the fact that God loves me. How great the Father's love for me!

Sometimes, all you need to feel better about life is a glass of wine and some Pushing Daisies. What can be wrong that a little Lee Pace can't fix?

That's all I have to say about that!