Saturday, November 28, 2015

A Day of Thanks

We got up bright and early on Thanksgiving morning to make the long trek to GA to spend the holiday at my aunt and uncle's house. My cousins are all married with kids, so there is always a lot of kids for Emily to play with when we go there.

While Todd drove, I managed to find a webcam aerial view of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I'm able to get 4G service for most of the trip now, so I was able to see a bunch of the balloons. I would show them to Emily too. I really love technology.

We got to GA a little before dinner started. The house felt small mostly because the kids are getting so big! It was really great to see everyone. The food was wonderful too, with turkey, ham, homemade stuffing, potatoes, cranberry fruit salad and more. There was a great variety of pies for dessert as well.

The weather was great too so the kids were able to go and play outside for most of the day. The Lions were on the TV but I honestly didn't watch much of it because it was such a massacre.

I'm very thankful that we were able to spend the holiday with family this year!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Shopping and Thankgiving

Over the last few weeks, I've seen a series of memes about not shopping on Thanksgiving. About boycotting stores that are open on Thanksgiving and making a big deal that REI isn't going to be open even on Black Friday.

Well, I have a confession. I'll be shopping on Thanksgiving. Well, shopping may be the wrong term, but we are driving down to GA for the holiday and we will be buying snacks and gas on the way.

People seem to get up in arms about other people working on Thanksgiving and other holidays selectively. Gas stations will be open, fast food places too because lots of people will be traveling. I work in tech support and there will be people working at my company. Many other call centers will be open and taking calls as well.

Not everyone has family close enough to spend the holidays with and some people don't have any family at all. Some people would rather work too, and some people like the holiday pay. Sadly, some people are going to be working on holidays, it's just a fact of life.

I'm thankful that I have family to spend the holiday with and that I don't have to work on Thanksgiving. But sadly, I can't make it all the way to GA without stopping for gas so I'm also thankful that the gas stations will be open so I can get to my family.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

A Global Community

Last night, I was doing something fairly normal. Emily had been bugging me for a few days to play Kingdom Hearts so she could watch and try to read some of the dialogue. While I was trying to beat a boss battle, something horrible happened in Paris.

Once I got online, while Emily was getting her pj's on. I started reading about it. My Facebook feed was filled with pictures of the Eiffel Tower, words of comfort in French and the Twitter hashtag for people in Paris to use to find somewhere safe to go.

It reminded me of a day many years ago. I was in my last year of college, and I was playing a video game because I didn't have class until later. One of my roommates came to my door to tell me that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center.

Even though I don't live in France, last night made me feel a little like it was 9/11 all over again. I thought it might just be me because I've been feeling anxious and out of sorts this week. But when I posted my feelings on Facebook, several friends said that they felt the same.

Thanks to the internet, I have friends all over the world. Granted most of them live in the US, but spread out. I do have friends across the pond and in other countries. My friends, even though I only know most of them via the internet, are very important to me. In one group, a friend posted that she loved us all. The feeling was quite mutual, for I love my friends very much even if I've never met them in person.

We are becoming a global community thanks to the internet. We can share our sorrow for the lives lost in Paris, and huddle around the computer to get information. But we can also use this internet to comfort one another in times of tragedy. We share our joys as well.

I'll have more to say about the goodness that can come from social media later. But I'm very happy to be part of a global community. It has allowed me to become friends with some awesome people I would never have met without the internet.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Internet Outrage and Winter Holidays

Ah, 'tis the season for outage on the internet. While there is always some sort of outage over something, the winter holiday season seems to bring out the worst out of people.

If you've been online at all this week, you have probably seen the drama over the new Starbucks holiday cups. The silly things are red with the Starbucks logo, but for some so-called Christians it is a reason to get up in arms.

I'm going to say this right now - There is No War on Christmas!!!

As as Christian, I roll my eyes every year at the whole War on Christmas bs that gets floated around the internet and other places. I live in the USA and Christians are not oppressed here. In fact, some so-call Christians are the ones wanting to do the oppressing.

There is nothing offense in saying 'Happy Holidays," to someone. I consider the Holiday Season to start with Halloween and end with New Years. There are so many winter holidays in November and December, that it's actually kind of rude to assume that everyone is celebrating the same way.

I personally know people who celebrate religious Christmas, secular Christmas (called Giftmas by some people, which I think is a great name for it), the Winter Solstice and Hanukkah. If I know what holiday they celebrate, I try to wish them well for what every holiday is theirs. But when you see someone at the store that you may not know, like someone who holds the door open for you or a cashier, Happy Holidays is the clear choice because it includes just about everyone.

Right now, it's too early for Christmas drama anyway. It's not even the middle of November yet! Tomorrow is Veteran's Day, a holiday of vast importance that seems to get lost in the shuffle as Christmas tries to take over everything. Plus Thanksgiving is in there too.

Before you get all outraged over something stupid like plain red Starbucks cups, try and think about others. All people aren't the same, they have different viewpoints. Not everyone is a Christian, but if you are a Christian, you may want to try and be more like Jesus rather than trolling on the internet.

For me, I wish everyone Happy Holidays. Tomorrow I'll be thinking about the brave men and women who have served our country in the military. On Thanksgiving, I'll be giving thanks for everything wonderful in my life. After that, I'll get to Christmas and celebrate in my own way and wish people well in their own celebrations.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


Most of our Halloween activities happened before the holiday itself. We had the Halloween Carnival, went to the corn maze with Emily's Girl Scout troop, and visited the apple orchard. But of course on Halloween, we had trick or treating to do.

We have always gone trick or treating at the Asheville Mall. It's warm, bright and easy to get lots of candy. This year, because Halloween fell on a Saturday, we also had Todd with us. Emily was Anna from Frozen this year and I put on my Kaylee costume.

We got to the mall early so we did some looking around in Build-A-Bear and Barnes & Noble. Finally the time came and we started trick or treating. We did a circle around the mall, stopping in the food court for some supper.

After we ate and Emily played in the play area for a bit, we went back to the stores we hadn't hit yet. Emily's sack was filled up with candy and other things. She also got to get her picture with the Chick-Fil-A cow too!

It had been a very grey day outside and it started to rain on our way home. That made me glad that we opted to go to the mall again. While it would be nice for Emily to get the experience of running around in the neighborhood in the dark, ringing doorbells, our neighborhood is generally very quiet on Halloween so we'd  have to go to a whole other neighborhood which seems like a huge pain.

We got home and let Emily have one piece of candy, then it was time for her to go to bed. Even though it was the time change that night, I also passed out soon after. It had been a long but fun day!