Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Resting Grinch Face

When I have a stressful day at work, there's one person who can really cheer me up. Me.

Seriously, I did have a bit of a busy day. But I had a fun (for me) evening running errands and doing all things related to a Hedberg Family Christmas – coming in 3 more sleeps. Since my twin and I are co-hosting Up North, I wanted to provide some fun.

Well, I was curious about one of my intended surprises (see photo above) and I opened the package to see all of the options. Ohmigosh. I just cracked myself up. Just laughed and laughed. And really, can't stop laughing.

OK. One more...

I can't take any credit for begin ho-ho-larious, but my Resting Grinch Face and Santa Face will be my go-to cheer-er upper pictures this holiday season! I can't look at them and be stressed. Can you?Maybe after Saturday, I'll share all 8 options. Just in case it hasn't been established that I am 100% dork.

If we're only at 98%, I've got work to do!

Have a wonderful day and night and tomorrow! There's always a reason to smile.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The Llon Sleeps Tonight

Since the beginning of time – well, at least as long as these two Catholic schools have been in the same conference – the matchup between Assumption and Wausau Newman has always been the biggest rivalry.

There are no consistent winners. Just lots of close games and, typically, two well-matched teams. This year was no exception as both teams entered tonight's contest with 3 conference wins under their belts.

I thought it was a good sign when we walked into the school and they had an art display of sketches of our mascot! Almost like extra good vibes for the Royals.

That didn't quite work out. It was a hard-fought battle but the Royals fell short in the end, losing 62-52. Don't lose heart, ladies. There's a whole lotta season left. You are finding your groove.

And I can't wait to see you kick some butt in a few days when we travel all the way Up North to Phillips. Let's get some marks in the win column again. No worries, lions and lionnesses, you'll have your tribe to back you up! Thank you, fan bus organizers. 

Monday, December 10, 2018

How the Grinches Stole Playoffs

Turned on Monday Night Football and I thought our brand new TV was out of whack already. Nope. Thank goodness. Just a team of Grinches (aka Seahawks) trying to steal our Christmas. Or at least our playoff hopes.

Seriously, as much as I love lime green – and I have a kayak to prove it – it was too much. So hard to watch.

Well. That and the fact that the Vikings stunk.

Still, it was fun to get some back-and-forth razzing in with Seahawk fans. Some are family so I have to love them as they are.

In the end. Did the Grinches' hearts grow three sizes? Nope. Not so generous. In fact, they cheated. And we had a few injuries at their hands.

At least our TV isn't broken.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

The Least of These

My Advent column for this week's church bulletin...

“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’"
–Matthew 25:44-45

On my recent trip to Seattle, I was astounded by the number of homeless people “living” there. I had not considered the Pacific Northwest a mild climate location, but I guess it is. Enough so that people seeking a warm place to lay their head have been arriving by the busload over the past several years. Apparently, Seattle had a policy of sorts to be a “welcoming city” for homeless.

Welcoming, yes. But able to actually give them a home, not so much. They just can’t keep up.

What do we know about homeless people? Do we assume they made bad choices, screwed up their lives somehow, and that’s why they’re in the predicament they are today? Do we give them the benefit of the doubt?

There are plenty of homeless in Wisconsin Rapids. Most of us just don’t see them. Or choose not to see them. Out there in Seattle, though, they often told their stories on signs: Lost jobs. Veterans with medical issues. Single mothers. Was I in a position to help any of them?

Sadly, my first thoughts were concerns for my safety. Even though it was just a short half-mile walk from the Pike’s Place harbor area to my hotel, homeless or no homeless, it’s a big city for a small-town girl on her own. I had to be smart and nonjudgmental at the same time.

On my last evening there, I was taking pictures of the sunset on Puget Sound. I knew I had to hoof it back to the hotel to be beat darkness. But something in that sunset spoke to me. God was showing himself in the beautiful array of pinks and oranges. Was I overlooking other ways he was showing up – through people, maybe?

On my brisk walk back, I knew I had to slow down for one person. At least one. I stopped in front of an older gentleman in a wheelchair whose crude sign indicated he’d had a stroke. I’d seen him every day but walked right on by. That time, though, I placed some money in his hand and simply said, “May God bless you, sir.”  Then went to my hotel room and prayed for him.

As we focus during Advent on the coming birth of Christ, let’s not overlook the fact that he’s already here. We just need to open our eyes – and our hearts – and look.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

It's Beginning to Taste a Lot Like Christmas

Welcome to Christmas and Dairy State Cheese!
I realized quickly this week that I am behind the 8 ball when it comes to holiday prep. I thought that "extra" week between Thanksgiving and December would help. But it just enabled my procrastination.

Thankfully, in this day and age, a girl can whip together Christmas cards, get them printed, and pick them up – all in the course of an afternoon. I did that yesterday and today I was anticipating the only taste my mouth would come from licking envelopes.

Thank goodness for stickers and those self-adhesive stamps! And address labels – both to and from – should not be underrated either. I had my own little one-person assembly line going while watching Hallmark movies. That's multi-tasking. That's productive.

Since I got the cards done and ready to mail, I decided I would head up to Rudolph for their annual Christmas celebration where the post office hand cancels letters with a special Rudolph stamp. The little village was bustling with activity!

It was only 20 degrees so I wasn't going to linger outside. But God bless these kids waiting in line to see Santa. I think he brought some of the North Pole with him. B-r-r-r! Still, I could not leave town without stopping at the dairy – just in case they had some seasonal ice cream there.

They did not disappoint. Peppermint Stick ice cream definitely qualifies for the Most Wonderful Time of the Year! Besides being super yummy, I was able to run a couple errands on the way home and it didn't melt in the car. Winning.

When I got home, hubby was out for a few hours going to church and meeting up with sons 1 and 2. I plopped down to watch another Hallmark movie but felt like I should be doing something at the same time (I have a problem with sitting still). So I remembered I had the ingredients for some of hubby's favorite cookies. A pumpkin cookie recipe his Grandma Austin used to make.

I know. Wrong season. I was going to make them at Thanksgiving but didn't get the time. I figured I better use up the ingredients. On the back side of the recipe card is the yummy frosting recipe. The really good kind you have to make on the stove. I was totally a Becky Home-ecky today. But nervous about doing this third-generation recipe justice.

Did they pass the taste test? I'd say.

Definitely don't have as many to pack up as shown in the photo! Definitely the most wonderful time of the year, right?

Friday, December 7, 2018

A Little Deflated

Today was one of those days where I had to be the grownup and teach my kid that we have to focus on what we can control.

Yes, I tend to worry and stress about all kinds of things out of my control. But I had to the wise mom and pretend that I don't. Chalk it up to adulting. We're mature now. We calmly say, "Now what about this situation can I control?" And focus on it.

Hey. I try, OK?

I actually do better than I used to, that's for sure. Now that you can chalk up to age. There really truly is a point where you care less about what people think. And also don't over-stress when you can say NO to the question "Is anybody gonna die if this doesn't turn out the way you want it to?"

No lives on the line. No stress.

Hey. I try. I really do.

So the kiddo was a bit deflated and things will turn around because if they don't, I'll go all Mama Bear on the situation and take control!

But speaking of deflated... It was a tough night for our Royal hoopsters. Hubby and I watched the boys play at home. They were soundly defeated by an Auburndale team that couldn't seem to miss their 3-pointers. Yowza.

Meanwhile, our girls traveled to Neillsville to face a tough 3-1 team who handed our Lady Royals their first loss. Bummer. The girls were on the road twice this week and three times next week. We'll definitely be traveling for one of them anyway.

Kids, take it from this mature, calm adult: Don't stress. You can turn this around. A whole lotta season left!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Almost There

This was so me this morning. Up to late assuring that airline ticket went through successfully. And it did. One ticket. Mom isn't going with him. This time.

So my first thought upon waking was, naturally, "Oh my gosh, I can't wait to sleep in on Saturday!"

Yes, two mornings away yet. But we're almost there, weekend. Almost there.

So I'm being lame and cashing in early. Which, if it's almost 10 p.m., is actually late for this old bag.

Oh to be kitty.