Seven Quick Takes – Oh! Christmas Tree?

— 1 —

We still haven’t found the Advent wreath, probably because I haven’t started looking. I mean, I have to work my way up to it. The garage is…not for the faint of heart. Plus, I threw out my back while bouncing down the stairs with my three-year-old, a short-term solution to the Cycle of Endless NO, but a long-term hazard to my health. So I’m forced – forced – to take long breaks, reading my book and sitting up with the heating pad.

I’m almost finished with Ellen Finnigan’s The Me Years , which I bought on Betty Duffy’s recommendation and am really enjoying so far. More on that later. Along with about ten other book reviews that I have in my mental queue.

— 2 —

Christmas card photo

We are, however, going to get our Christmas tree this weekend.

Now, I grew up with a proper understanding of the Christmas tree pilgrimage. We don’t just go to some store. NO. We make an afternoon – or perhaps a day – of it. Every year meant a trip out to Jack’s Creek Christmas Tree Farm to tromp all over the hillside looking for just the right tree. It’s funny how the first tree is usually perfectly fine but must be rejected out of hand, because it wouldn’t be a true adventure if it didn’t involve at least one argument about the tree.

Last year, my dear husband searched for a local Christmas tree farm and happened upon Cat Spring Farms, a perfectly lovely family-owned farm in Sealy (about an hour and a half from Houston). I rarely do smart things when it comes to planning ahead, but I did have the foresight last year to take a photo of the sign at the entrance, which is the only reason I was able to track it down again this year. They have hayrides, a fire pit for making S’mores, and horseshoes. It may not be the most efficient approach to spend an entire Saturday getting a Christmas tree, but it’s worth it.

Plus, while I’m at the Christmas tree farm, I’m not at my house, which means there is no way I could possibly be dealing with the garage.

— 3 —

Catholic parish website design

In website  news, I finished up my first Catholic parish website design a couple of weeks ago for St. Joseph Catholic Church in Plain City, OH. Sarah Reinhard was kind enough to contact me about working with their parish and I can honestly, non-snarkily say that I learned a lot. I’d love for you to take a look, and if your parish is in need of a website, please contact me!

— 4 —

I had vague hopes of doing Christmas cards this year, as I actually sat down and compiled a list of addresses last year, but alas – I accidentally bent the flash drive on which I’d saved a backup of the address list after our server went kaput. So I would have to start from scratch. And my “smartphone” has somehow decided that every single person I am connected to on Google Plus should be added to my Contacts as “unknown,” but my best friend from first grade should apparently be deleted altogether. Technology has conspired against me because it wants me to just start sending e-cards.

— 5 —

My kids won tickets to the Houston Aeros hockey game tonight via an art contest through the Texas Renaissance Festival. I was talking to my mom about it. “Oh! That’s nice…so, is it going to be at…where’s it going to be?”

“You were going to ask if the hockey game is going to be at the Renaissance Festival, weren’t you.”

“Yes. Yes, I was.”

Sadly, it’s not. Wouldn’t that be the best, though? I’m sure hockey in 85-degree weather, played by men in authentic Renaissance period wear, would be a far more exciting spectator sport, don’t you think? I bet there would be far fewer penalties, for one thing. It could be sort of like jousting…on ice.

— 6 —

Our parish hosts Catholic Date Night once a month, and last weekend was our first chance to go. This is a FABULOUS program. For $10/person, you get a gourmet dinner with wine, free babysitting (if you register in advance), camaraderie with other couples, and then a screening of an episode from Fr. Robert Barron’s CATHOLICISM video series. There’s a core team of couples who coordinate the cooking and I think my husband would have gladly spent the night in the kitchen. He loves to cook and enjoys making elaborate dinners – and it’s an easy way to make friends, pitching in with the dinner prep. We thoroughly enjoyed the evening and I would very much recommend this format for other parishes. (Especially the babysitting!) (We actually decided to go at the last minute after friends offered to babysit, but seriously – babysitting is key to getting parents of small children to come to parish activities.)

— 7 —

My husband’s office had a Christmas party last weekend, and that meant another night of going somewhere without the children. This marked a 200% increase in the number of times we’d gone out without the children this year. Yes, that means we’d only gotten a babysitter one other time the whole year. This is how pitiful we are.

Anyway, it was another great evening, even when I accidentally dumped my plate full of food onto the feet of his coworkers huddled around the fire pit. I like to make a vivid first impression.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

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  1. says

    Hello Dorian! I enjoyed your Quick Takes! Our family also makes the trek to a Christmas Tree Farm every year (and have been doing so since the boys were small). It just doesn’t seem like Christmas if we don’t actually pick out our tree and chop it down!

  2. says

    “…we’d only gotten a babysitter one other time the whole year…”

    Life passes in phases. Now that our youngest are 20, we can go out anytime…and don’t.

    Church site looks good: sleek but not slick.

  3. says

    Just wanted to say that, we never get a babysitter except when I’m in labor, and then it is Grandpa. Maybe we are pitiful, but I like to think we are just that family-oriented. Honestly, we tried to let my dad babysit once before our second was born and we spent the whole meal wondering how our little girl was doing and missing her at our table. We are a family and we like it that way. We do get mommy-daddy time but it is always at home after the kids are in bed. We are always nearby, should one of them need us.

    P.S. – I am being negative to anyone who does get babysitters. Just suggesting that maybe you aren’t pitiful at all. :)