Saturday Celebrations

Discover. Play. Build.

I’m celebrating my funny grandma, new traditions, emails, Goodwill finds, and flowers.

I was so blessed this holiday, but I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that some of the holidays were painful for me.  The get-togethers with family force some unwanted conversations.  It reminds me of what it felt like in college when your family members would ask, “What are you studying?  What’s your major?”

You knew these questions were coming, and you didn’t really have an answer.  Although the questions have changed, the anxiety is still there.  I know some of my family is wondering when I’ll get married or whether I’ll have kids.

The truth is- I wonder these same things.  It’s like telling someone they’ve gained weight.  You don’t need to tell someone that. They know they’ve put on pounds.  I know I’m getting older.  I don’t need someone to tell me that there’s a baby making window. I’m well aware.

Luckily, the questions weren’t that bad this year.  My grandma did ask me about my wedding, but it was actually funny.

She asked, “Do you think you are going to get married?”

Here we go again- I thought to myself.

She continued, “Do you think I could be a bridesmaid when you do?”

“Sure, what color do you want to wear?” I playfully asked her back.

“I look good in lime green.  Do you think you’ll have any other girls or just me?”  she asked.

“Probably just you,” I told her and smiled.

There was also a near breakdown at the ornament kiosk in the mall.  The stand with the occasion ornaments celebrating phases of life- engagement, wedding, baby.  I couldn’t help but notice there wasn’t an ornament my life fit.  There was no ‘I’m still figuring it out ornament’ and I was so heartbroken.

I’ve never been the type of girl who has their future wedding planned out, but I have always thought of traditions I want to do with my children.  One of them would be to give my children an ornament each year.

I poured this energy and sadness over not having my own kids this holiday into love for my friends’ children and started a new tradition.  I made ornaments for each of their kids.  It was amazing the joy this brought me.  I love how God gives me what I need even if it isn’t always what I think it will look like.

My favorite gifts this year were emails.  On Christmas morning I had an email from a former student.  She emailed me around 3 am when she couldn’t sleep and was waiting for her family to wake up.  I love that she thought of me and wished me a Merry Christmas.

I also had an email from the teaching in China coordinator telling me I had been accepted into their summer program.  I’m going to be teaching in China this summer!

One of the best things about having some downtime is being able to run errands and pull over and stop  when I see a Goodwill.  I love looking through the books there, and I always find something that jumps out at me.  This time I found a Feng Shui clearing clutter book that has kept me up late at night and has me motivated to get organized in the new year.

Lastly, I’m celebrating flowers.  I had my girlfriends over for our annual Christmas party last night, and this was an opportunity to give my house some much needed TLC.  I could celebrate so much about this – my house being clean and put together, the way my friends and friendships soothe my soul, etc.

I love hosting and paying attention to tiny details that no one will notice but me.  It makes me feel normal and domestic.  Often in my busy school schedule, I don’t get to spend time doing these taking care of a home things that I love.

Today I couldn’t help but stare at the flower arrangements I made.  I don’t know that anyone even saw them, but they make me so happy.  I mixed plain white flowers with these red berry looking things.  They are so simple and beautiful.  I love being reminded of the beauty of such simple pleasures.  (If I could figure out how to upload a picture, I would.  I’m still learning.)

I’m so happy to be celebrating.  This is starting to turn into a novel, so I’ll stop :).  I hope you are celebrating too.

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7 thoughts on “Saturday Celebrations

  1. Jen, here’s a hug to keep away all the expectations of others. It sounds like you took such pleasure in the ornament creating and having your friends over, a good life you’ve created. Outside expectations are hard to confront & I like that you took it all comfortably, love that talk with your grandmother. I hope she will become your attendant if you do choose to get married! How cool is that! FYI-I love to look at books at Goodwill too-sometimes there are real treasures! Happy New Year!

  2. You are going to teach in China!!! Congratulations! I did that a little over 20 years ago. (Of course, I am only 25!) Questions are hard. I think my family has finally stopped asking me if/when I will get married again (my husband passed away 21 years ago). Girlfriends are great, hosting a party a definite reason for cleaning, and getting God’s message to do something and then actually doing it, kudos to you! Blessings for the New Year!

    • Jaana,
      Thanks for reading. We will have to swap teaching in China stories. I’m excited. July still seems far away though.

      I’m learning to not ask people questions. It seems like someone wants to ask the unmarried person when they are getting hitched; the married couple when they are having a baby; etc. It’s so annoying.

      Hope you have a great New Year too.
      Jen

  3. Life plans can sometimes be tricky, but it sounds like you are handling things extremely well. I am so glad you found a way to create new traditions with the children of your friends. Those are important too. I am also glad you have started blogging, and I look forward to reading and learning more about you. Have a great week!

  4. Leigh Anne,
    Thanks for reading. I always wanted to get my own kids ornaments, because I remember starting out and not having many. I thought if I did one each year then by the time they’d move out – they’d have enough to fill their own tree. It was fun to start this for my friends’ kids.

    I hope you have a great New Year!
    Jen

  5. I noticed the flower arrangements Jen. White flowers with little red berries placed so neatly in them. I thought to myself “I wNt to be more like Jen”. You are a great host and a great friend. Cheers!

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