Monday, January 30, 2023

December Randoms

This was my advent calendar of chocolates from Harbor Sweets. 😋

I saw these two plaques at a shop on the Cape and I liked them since one of my favorite movies is It's a Wonderful Life.

I also saw this dishcloth and thought it was funny. And relevant.  

I've been finding over the last year or so that I "fall apart" approximately once every 8-10 weeks or so. This is not a planned thing, it just seems to be an emotional cycle for me. It's not fun but it's cathartic and it gets a lot of the built-up stress out of my system. I think I'm handling the stresses and trials in my life pretty well (thanks in large part to the blessings of righteous living and keeping my covenants), but there's a lot going on under the surface and sometimes it gets overwhelming and something happens (or doesn't happen) to trigger it and then I cry easily and frequently and feel pretty upset for a couple of days. I've learned to lean into it and let myself feel all the feels instead of trying to avoid it, and that is very effective. I also get support from my mom and from one of my best friends who has been so supportive of me over the last few years, and I pray, pray, pray and turn to my Savior, and then it recedes and I'm back to normal again. 
Now you know the emotional life cycle of Donna as it relates to tacos. 😁    

A pretty sunset

This is my favorite laundry detergent.

I like this catalog but everything in it is very overpriced.

These were the pretty centerpieces at our Relief Society Christmas party.

Here is the aforementioned best friend. Sharalyn and I showed up to the party in similar sweaters and outfits which we thought was funny so we took a picture. She and I are very alike in many respects, including that we have the same birthday. I just love her!
A few weeks after this, there were ward boundary changes in the stake and I got put into another ward in another building. I was so upset about this for a couple of days--it was in fact the trigger for my last falling apart episode. That change in combination with all the big unknowns ahead for me this year was overwhelming, so I promptly fell apart and cried a lot and couldn't sleep for a couple of nights. But it literally lasted two days, and then I was pretty much back to normal. Lean in and let it out and let it go!

Church has been an essential source of stability and comfort for me in my life, especially over these last few years with my difficult and ongoing divorce, and seeing many of my good friends at church each week helped me more than I realized. Most of them aren't in my new ward and I very much miss seeing them on Sundays, along with the familiar faces of the people in my old ward.  It was hard when that was suddenly taken away; I felt like I had lost my weekly source of support. But I hadn't really--I still had church and the sacrament, just with different people in a different place. I knew that logically, but my heart still hurt over the change. 

It's been about a month now that I've been going to church with my new ward in my new building, and I've already gotten used to it. Life goes on. I continue and will continue to get together with my friends, which is hugely comforting. And I'm making some new friends. I still feel a little sad about it all, but it's okay. All in less than a year, I've lost the following: my trusted bishop who helped me so much during the darkest time of my life (he became stake president), my stake president who I went to for help and questions about the divorce (he became an Area Authority 70), and now my ward with my best friends, in the building I'd gone to since the age of 13. Things change frequently in the church and it can be hard, but the gospel itself doesn't change and neither does the Savior, and that gives me great comfort and a firm and unshakeable foundation for my life. 

Anyway, back to the Relief Society party! I made this pretty little evergreen arrangement, which I put on the TV table in my family room. Nearly two months later, it's still there! It is evergreen, after all.

I love David Suchet and that he was in this year's Tabernacle Choir Christmas concert! I look forward to seeing it next December when it airs on PBS. He was the best Hercule Poirot. My DVR has been recording all of the Poirots each week from every season the show aired, so I have a date with Poirot every Thursday night! 

I went into Boston one morning with my friend Beth to help pick up her son from college. I stayed with the car so it wouldn't get towed or stolen or anything. It was my first time sitting in the driver's seat of a Tesla, how thrilling! 😄

The view as I waited.

Argentina won; let's go Argentina!
Normally I don't care that much about World Cup soccer but it was more exciting this time, mostly because Sam got into it. 

Chocolate-covered pretzels are one of my favorite treats! I bought a few at a bake sale and devoured them.

This is one of the owl ornaments I got in Newport. I liked its vintage look.

A cute dish towel from Sharalyn. Continuing our twin-like similarities, we both have a house on Cape Cod.

John's winter band concert was our only concert of the holiday season, and we enjoyed it. They always play "Sleigh Ride" at the very end which is fun.
John is somewhere in the back on the right playing trombone.

I'm pleased to announce that John will be going to college at Southern Virginia University in the fall! It's an LDS-affiliated school where he can do NCAA wrestling and where he'll be supported in his desire to serve a mission. He visited it in August and really liked it, and it seems like it will be a great match. When someone asked me about it I realized that I didn't know where exactly it was (except that obviously it was in Southern Virginia!), so I looked it up and there it is. 
I also looked up the driving time and it's about 9.5 hours without traffic, so we can make it there in a day. Exciting things ahead for my eldest son!

Ornaments on the tree outside of my favorite Thai restaurant.

It's a miracle that John wore a Santa hat AND smiled for this picture!

My two new owls from Newport doing their job on the tree! 

That ornament next to the owl is a Strawberry Shortcake one from 1986 when I was six years old! We still have it all these years later.

I was looking forward to the third season of All Creatures Great and Small, one of my favorite shows.
I've been watching it this month, and it's good, although I liked the first two seasons a little more.

James and Helen finally get married in the first episode!

James is a great guy and reminds me of a friend of mine in both appearance and personality.  

John got me this box of bath bombs for Christmas, which was really sweet. They smell so good!

My Auntie Kathy surprised me with a gift. She saw these cute owl salt and pepper shakers and thought I'd like them. She was right! That was so nice of her.

We do a name grab for Christmas gifts with my brothers and sisters and my brother Ben had me and got me this cool book about the Nile River that I'd been wanting. Someday I will go on my dream cruise down the Nile and tour all the cool sites of Egypt!

An even prettier sunset!

Still working on organizing and selling the boys' old but in good condition clothes. I found another bin of them in the storage room!

I saw this on a walk in my neighborhood. So cute! 🎅

This was my attempt to take a picture of the stars one night. I like finding the constellations. I think I need to use my actual camera for photographing them effectively, though.