My road – the one paved with good intentions – never ceases to be plagued by detours. And detours can be distracting. Distracting and deflating. Mostly due to focus issues that can arise while on life’s little detours. Because detours can tempt our focus to settle on all that hasn’t gotten done, rather than seeing all good comes with side-roads.

Over the last couple of weeks, several of the things I had great intentions to get done didn’t. I had great intentions to finish posting on hydrating for the holidays. I wanted to share about the joys/freedom of:

Pop-up-invites. I lived out the beauty of relative-spontaneity when I invited a group of gals with whom I regularly meet to pop by for “coffee & tiny bites” (I wanted to be sure to set the menu bar low). But I had no idea of how low it would go until I realized the morning before they were coming over (by the way, everyone invited said yes – I think the spontaneity worked for them, too) that I couldn’t show up to my own house in time to open the door for them!

But my absence and inability to get it all together didn’t matter. They’re my friends. I left a side door for them to come in – which they did. One started the coffee. Another grabbed a loaf of sweet bread, cut it and set it out on a nice plate that she found. Yet another tidied up the shoes and sundries that had been left out in our own mad-dash to school. It was such a sweet reminder that people never care what is served or how its presented, they simply love to be invited and to be together.

and dialing down stress by:

Using Cash. In this day and age, when it’s super easy to click-to-pay via credit card or even by phone – employing cash can really dial down the stress by up-ing awareness of what we have and don’t have to spend. It helps the holiday pressures and the New Year aftermath.

But, neatly completing my silly-little-series-road wasn’t traveled. We left town for Christmas in Arizona – with my entire family (10 adults, 15 grandkids) – as soon as all the kids’ breaks began, so detours won out over my great intentions.

I tried to get all my shopping done. That didn’t happen either. The coolest thing: my younger boys didn’t really notice. They might have noticed if we’d stayed in town, but the gifts they could have opened, but didn’t, took a major back-seat to what has been the apparent resounding theme of this year’s holiday – relationship/others.

I also tried to get my Christmas card done. Which I did, in part. It’s printed. But as is my M.O., the card has yet to be sent. (See Also: three of five birth announcements, Christmas cards 2013, 2012, 2009, …) My hair-brained idea of a TBT card – to which my kids eye-rolled, but bought in – has yet to meet a stamp:

Christmas Card 2015

I wanted to, but still haven’t, called my sweet friend Missy to be sure that she didn’t mind her child being a part of our card. (In fact, I owe her a few return-phone-calls!) I wanted to, but still haven’t, complied all of our addresses into one place so I can easily address the cards. I wanted to, but still haven’t put them in the mail – even though I took them to Arizona to mail from there.

I pretty much did NOTHING the entire time we were gone. At least nothing according to ticking things off a list.

I did get to do A LOT of relationship. And really, what can be better – even if/when the relationship stuff can bring with it sticky.

I may not have made it very far down my road paved with good intentions, but I put some miles on a few detours. And, I got to experience/enjoy what I hope will be a theme for 2016 – OTHERS. Not in some comparing or keeping up sort of way, but hopefully in a compassion-driven way – baby stepping down roads that are worth traveling, taking every relationship-oriented detour along the way.

Thanks for walking it with me.


Christmas Card 2015 back2

Card-back blurb printed so tiny that even those with 20-20 vision need readers to see it (eek!) – maybe I’ll mail the cards for Valentine’s Day, or Easter, or … next year?

TBT – Throwback Thursday – setting the bar low for pics of Christmas cards past/present and easing pressures on Christmas cards future (even though 12/25 is a Friday – oops!) This memory-pic makes us laugh… and inspires.

We smile at the fun experiences (rarely extravagant) that we’ve shared together through the years. We’re reminded that we don’t walk the road alone, that friends (like Henry in lacrosse shirt) make good/bad times better. And we remember to welcome strangers into the mix – even when the stranger invites himself. (We’re still not sure why the Six Flags security guard felt compelled to join our family pic.) Here’s hoping that even with who’s-that-glances, we’ll chalk it up to business as usual.

Wishing you wonderful Christmas blessings as we celebrate THE GIFT that makes it all possible.

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