Tag Archives: christmas
15 Dec

JAMIE’S BLOG – YEAR 9
bows – 16 days to go
{trust}  

There are 16 days left of The Promise 365!

I love Sunday afternoons. Today, I spent the day wrapping presents, watching the Hallmark Channel and watching the New England Patriots win. Brady sat next to me the entire time, tuckered out from all the activity.  While watching was the easy part, doing is always harder.

I can watch my share of Hallmark Christmas specials, and I can cheer on Patriots touchdowns, but I cannot wrap a present as my mother. I’m not knocking my own skills. I am a wrapping paper expert. I know all the secrets to making a present pop, including creasing the corners and lining up the design on the papers just perfectly. Alas, I cannot make a bow like Mama Sling.

I tried. Many times. I started over many times too. I used tape (it snapped) and yarn (it broke) and wire (it slipped). 

So much of this blog has been dedicated to the fond memories I have of Mama Sling. There are so many amazing memories and moments, and there are so many incredible things she taught me. But she didn’t teach me how to make her famous bows. 

The bows that she spent hours on, the bows that she wouldn’t let us smoosh under the tree. We had to Tetris all the presents under the tree to specifically make sure no bow would touch another bow. There was no bow smooshing allowed. This won’t be a problem this Christmas since I cannot replicate the Mama Sling bow.

But that’s not really the point, is it? I still have the memories of her laughter and her love and her magical Christmas bows. Even though I do not have her or her bow making talent, I have her in my heart, which keeps her by my side.   

The best part of Christmas is not the gifts we buy, but the moments we give each other that last long beyond the time we are together. Thank you, Mama Sling, for being by my side throughout these past nine years, and these past nine promises, and every Christmas in between.

Even if I can’t make a bow to save my life!  

Trust me!
More tomorrow.Jamie

{trust}
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JAMIE'S BLOG – YEAR 9 magic – 25 days to go

6 Dec

{trust}  

There are 25 days left of The Promise 365!

I am two movies into a Hallmark Holiday on the Hallmark Channel on this Friday night. They are admittingly corny and sappy and all end in the same way. But isn’t it nice to know you count on a happy, sappy love story every Christmas?

I like knowing there is a place in this world that still holds onto a little magic, happy love stories, and Christmas carols. After all, magic is only magical if you believe in magic.

Happy magic.
Trust me!
More tomorrow.Jamie

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JAMIE'S BLOG – YEAR 9 let it snow – 30 days to go

1 Dec

{trust}  

There are 30 days left of The Promise 365!

It’s the first day of December and the first day of Christmas and the first snow of the season! The back patio is already covered with a blanket of snow which makes the twinkling lights inside shine even brighter. It already feels like Christmas.

There is something special about the holiday season, despite all the loved ones it makes me miss. Over the years, the last nine years, I have written many times about my dear Mama Sling and it is always her that I miss the most.

The holidays are synonymous with Mama Sling, still. So many years later and it is always her that ties the holiday bow in my heart. The rest of my holidays will also be without her but not without her love. So I say, bring it on. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Here’s to a beautiful holiday season. 
Trust me!
More tomorrow.Jamie

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JAMIE'S BLOG – YEAR 9 all I want for Christmas… – 31 days to go

30 Nov

{trust}  

There are 31 days left of The Promise 365!

The Christmas tree is up, the light are lit, the candles are flickering and all I want for Christmas is my two front teeth. Seriously….my front tooth chipped AGAIN this morning. 

It’s not the first time, in fact, there are many times that this has been chronicled on this blog, including this one. Alas, the joy of Christmas is here and I will plan to make a dentist appointment this week too. 

Over the years, I have learned when things like this happen I just need to fix it. And that brings me to another lesson I have learned over these nine years — most things are fixable. Sometimes they won’t be exactly the same, but it’s not worth sweating the small stuff… or the broken teeth, when you can always fix, repair or start again. 

Trust me!
More tomorrow.Jamie

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JAMIE’S BLOG – YEAR 8 – DAY 359 :: joy is unexpected gifts

25 Dec


{joy}  

Another Christmas is in the books! And this year came with a surprise, unexpected gift under the tree. It was a box, a regular square shaped box wrapped in bright paper. But what was inside was truly unexpected.

You see Justin and I agreed we wouldn’t exchange gifts this year because our greatest and most expensive gift to each other this year was moving across the country. Instead, we put our resources into gifts for our family far and wide and on the other side of the country for Christmas presents.

But Justin didn’t listen. Typical. He gave me a gift anyway.

Truth be told, I gave him one too but to justify it I made sure the gift (Red Sox Tickets) could be used by both of us.

When the box landed in my lap, the last gift of the Christmas 2018 to be opened under our tree, I had no idea what it could be. It wasn’t heavy but it wasn’t light. It was a square box but when I opened it there was a bunch of tissue paper. 

As I pulled at the tissue paper, one by one, I discovered an old metal speaker from an outdoor drive in. It’s not just any speaker, it’s one from the drive in we used to frequent in high school for date nights and a few makeout sessions. 

One night at the Motor-Vu Drive-In Justin and I fell asleep during the late showing of some movie I don’t remember the name of. When I awoke it was 2:00 AM and the parking lot was empty. I shook Justin awake in the driver’s seat. It was just the two of us teenagers sitting in his Chevy Blazer with sleepy eyes. We awoke to more than the fact that it was past our curfew. I was pretty sure my parents were going to ground me (or worse) when I got home.

Justin scurried to start up the Blazer’s engine and hit the gas so we could make our breakaway. Just as we peeled away I realized the speaker was still on my passenger side window. The tires spun, the speaker wire snapped and the big, old, heavy metal speaker fell in my lap. 

I looked at Justin in horror and screamed, “What do I do with this?” holding the clunky metal speaker in my hand. 

He panicked and said, “Throw it out the window!” So I did. And we sped away. 

Justin dropped me off at my house and then hightailed it to his. As I crept up the steps and opened the door I knew I was going to be in trouble. Not just any kind of trouble but out-too-late-with-a-boy kind of trouble. 

As I tiptoed down the hallway, I heard my mother’s voice call from her bedroom. I knew I was in for it and I squirmed in my skin as I answered her call. But when I made it back to her bedside, after she scolded me in a hushed whisper for being out too late, she asked the most important question a mother could ever ask: “Did you have fun?” 

I have told this story so many times, so many ways to so many people. It was the unexpected night for two little souls in love. It was an unexpected response from my Mama Sling. And today, on a day that we were not supposed to exchange gifts, Justin gave me the most unexpected gift I could ever imagine. 

A speaker from the Motor-Vu Drive-In from Twin Falls, Idaho. A drive-in that is currently being torn down to make way for a new storage facility. A storage facility that is owned by the same one that Justin stored all his belongings in for the last nine years while we galavanted around the country on numerous adventures. That storage unit was just emptied out this fall as we moved its contents all the way across the country. 

Lost are the days of drive-in movies. And long are the nights where we would worry about our curfew. But this little metal speaker holds a memory and a moment in my life that was unexpected and absolutely priceless…and full of joy.

So much joy for a boy that I have always loved, and a man that still knows how to hold my heart and surprise me in ways I never see coming. 

So tonight, my joy is unexpected gifts and the memories that come with them.


More tomorrow… 
Lovemore,
Jamie

{joyful}
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JAMIE’S BLOG – YEAR 8 – DAY 358 :: joy is christmas eve

24 Dec

{joy}  

There may not be a more joyous day than Christmas Eve. The anticipation of what is to come and the spirit of love and memories filling the air.

And, then there is the grocery store which was a total nightmare today. But alas, we are tucked in and waiting for our takeout Chinese food. ‘Tis the season!

If there is something JOY has taught me this year it is to not wait for one day of the year to feel joyful and bright. Joy has reminded me to go after that which brings joy every day of the year. It is in the everyday moments that we build up reserves of joy that last through the year. 

So here’s to JOY today, tomorrow and every single day.

There is always so much to be joyful for.​

More tomorrow… 

Lovemore,
Jamie

{joyful}
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JAMIE’S BLOG – YEAR 8 – DAY 326 :: joy is a rest

25 Nov

{sunday, sunday} 

Sundays are for rest, rejuvenation, and around here, football. Today, it was a special day reserved for a little shopping and tree decorating and some Patriots. All very Christmas-y things for me.

But, last night I broke an ornament. So, today I bought a new one. It isn’t a replacement, really, it’s a substitution. It’s new. It’s shiny. I love it. Just like the old one.

The new ornament is a heart with angel wings in gold. It reminds me to focus on the joy of what we have, what we have lost and all the things that we have yet to know that we cannot possibly guess right now. 

And that is a lesson in joy. Sometimes, joy is just being with the now, right now. 
 

Today was a Sunday, which in so many ways is the place between the old and the new. 
And, right now, I’m trying to hold onto the joy of the weekend now before it too slips away into the new now.

Joy is a moment in time.

More tomorrow… 
Lovemore,
Jamie

{joyful}
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JAMIE’S BLOG – YEAR 7 – KINDNESS  DAY 357 :: christmas kindness

23 Dec
{counting}

Today I continue the month of Christmas Kindness!

Tonight I baked. Again.

This time it was a sweet cake recipe from my alkaline cookbook:

But the really sweet part was sharing the baking process with Justin.  And laughing in the kitchen while trying a new recipe. Who knows how it will turn out?

The best part is figuring it out together.
And sharing….that is what counts most.
How kind.

More tomorrow…

Lovemore,
Jamie

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JAMIE’S BLOG – YEAR 7 – KINDNESS  DAY 353 :: christmas kindness

21 Dec
{wrap it up}

Today I continue the month of Christmas Kindness!

We wrapped Christmas gifts tonight. As I was folding and cutting and taping paper I was also showing off a bit. I am a bit of a paper wrapper snob.

It goes way back to my junior high days when my youth group would wrap Christmas gifts in the local mall as a fundraiser. We wrapped the presents so everyone could take home perfectly wrapped gifts. They paid us money – and it raised funds for our initiatives. Win. Win.

I learned all the tricks of the trade in that booth. How to size up paper to match a box. How to fix a box when you ran out of paper. How to crease the corners and tie a bow to add that extra pizzazz.

So tonight, while wrapping gifts for our loved ones, I realized how KIND it is to fold paper for someone else. Really, it’s just as beautiful to wrap something up in a surprise box with all the love and perfectly creased corners, as it is to open up a gift from someone else.

‘Tis the season!
May your season be wrapped in kindness too.

More tomorrow…

Lovemore,
Jamie

{paper}
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JAMIE’S BLOG – YEAR 7 – KINDNESS  DAY 351 :: christmas kindness

19 Dec
{secret}

Today I continue the month of Christmas Kindness!

Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, laaaaaaa!

I received a Secret Sister email today. It asked for me to send a secret gift to a stranger. I immediately had a chain letter flashback from 1982. And just like then, it seems to be a silly little drill in getting people to give and get things from strangers. All hype. No hope. And probably pointless.

But, I decided to do it anyway. Why not!?

‘Tis the season. It’s also kind. And I couldn’t think of a better thing to do than to give a surprise gift to a stranger.

It is Christmas Kindness, after all.

More tomorrow…

Lovemore,
Jamie

{surprise}
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