Friday, December 17, 2010

Colonial Christmas

My family lived in Yorktown, Virginia, the home of the British Army surrender in the Revolutionary War, for four years throughout my middle and most of high school years. I think it's safe to say, all four of us fell in love with the rich history, beautiful landscapes, proximity to the ocean (we lived on a peninsula in the Chesapeake Bay), and the four seasons! One of our most favorite places, though, is about 30 minutes north of Yorktown, a perfectly preserved look into American history: Colonial Williamsburg.

Williamsburg is one of my most favorite places on earth as it is steeped with amazing history and very fond family memories. And my most favorite time to attend is Christmas. Williamsburg encapsulates the coziness and family-focus of Christmas better than any place I have been. I'm sure there are places that rival it's Christmas beauty and fun, but it's certainly a favorite for me and was our Christmas home for three of our four years in Virginia.

This week, it's snowing in the Tidewater area which makes me want to go even more! I loved when it snowed in Virginia, so am definitely jealous of those folks today! In any case, I'm here in Dallas where there is no snow in sight and you can easily walk outside sans coat. So instead, I thought I'd share a few images from this Christmas wonderland. I hope you enjoy! And if you ever have the opportunity to have a Colonial Christmas, do it. It's fabulous.

The decorations in Williamsburg are all colonial-style made from fruit and foliage. They are amazingly beautiful!

One of my favorite traditions was to get a cup of wassail with cinnamon and a gingerbread cake. Although a poor image, the above picture is exactly how the cakes look! The wassail was typically served in a paper cup if you bought one while walking on the street

King's Arm Tavern was our host for Christmas dinner for several years. We thoroughly enjoyed having a traditional colonial-style Christmas dinner! Triple yum.

Christmas Eve we always went up for the firing of the Christmas guns and the lighting of the tree. The fife and drum corp would march in, they'd shoot off the guns, and everyone shouted "hazza!"
I mean seriously, gorgeous!
This is the iconic image of Williamsburg, the Governor's Palace

And this is a book on how to make your own Williamsburg Christmas decorations! Yes, I have it. No, I did not buy it. :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Crazy Busy!

Today has been one of those days where I have so many things on my must do list that are all equally important and a multitude of emails flooding in that I needed to take a minute break to resort my brain. Sometimes I get too rattled and wind up in a tizzy, so have learned those situations require a few minutes away from the work to think about something else. So of course that something else today is the work!

Back in August, one of my accounts left the agency. I had worked on this account for over three years and it was a substantial piece of business. It was most definitely an insane account, but they only advertised three times a year so the insanity was somewhat contained. Plus, it was one account so we could always ask the client to prioritize their "must haves", which we did frequently. After this account left, rather than fill it with another equally-sized one, I was given multiple smaller accounts (smaller in budgets) to fill it. I'm definitely thankful for a change of pace, new learning experiences, and an expanded list of my already diverse client experience, but I must say I'm overwhelmed. And these changes came in the midst of hard personal things, which always happens, right? :)

I now have:
1. 10 accounts - my historical high was four; also seven of those are currently active, five in planning season
2. Four group directors - previously had two, three of these current four are new for me
3. Four new planners - two are right out of school and two are new to the agency and each have very different styles, understanding, and need to be trained differently
4. Seven brand management teams

It is definitely a challenge and I'm continually navigating the best way to get things done while also managing my teams, but am thankful for new experiences. I will also be thankful for a respite over Christmas to empty my mind and rest with the fam.

Okay, now back to it so I can finish my 10 item must do on 12/15 list! :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Little Light of Mine

I had to share this as I've never seen it on TV. Each December, our agency has an internal voting for the best creative for the year. Last year, my favorite (and the year's winner!) was for Salvation Army and once again, my favorite for the year is the Salvation Army.

Anyway, I watched it three times for it's so good. My favorite is the guy with only two teeth singing at the top of his lungs (they cast creative from actual people served by the Salvation Army).

The Salvation Army has solid purpose to do the most good for the sake of Jesus Christ. Enjoy.

A Boyfriend for Christmas

Last night Katie and I watched my favorite of the cheesy, made-for-TV Christmas movies, A Boyfriend for Christmas. And then we decided it's too bad we didn't ask Santa for a boyfriend on year instead of Barbie like Holly did, as maybe he'd bring us one this year. *Sigh*
I also watched White Christmas, one of my favorites, while cleaning/organizing/working on Christmas things. And without fail, the "what do you do with a general when he stops being a general" song brought tears to my eyes as it always does. I guess it's because of my dad and granddaddy.
Happy Christmas movie season!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Elle est une petite bebe!

Bring on the sparkles, princesses, pink, and all things girly for new Baby Franks is a GIRL! Yep, my brother will be surrounded with more glittery, girliness and I'm sure McKenzie will teach her all the ways of princesses and barbie.

She is looking fabulously healthy and weighing in at 12oz (which means nothing to me...) and is set to make her way into the world on or around April 28th. Apparently she has a name, but Adam and Heather are keeping it under wraps for now. I'm sure it'll be perfect!

Bring on the girly baby sewing. I'm going to have to show some restraint, I have so many ideas... :)

Thank you, Lord, for this most precious blessing. We are thankful for the life you are knitting together and are praying now for you to save her and use her in mighty ways for your glory. Blessed to be her aunt.

Turning Around Annoyance

To be quite frank, today I'm annoyed. Some things are pretty minor, but since there are some bigger annoyances, too, they seem to be magnified. In the span of the past few days, the following has occurred:

1. I learned that my upstairs neighbor asked the landlord to wait to fix the leak in her daughter's shower that has been creating a royally disgusting mess in mine for two+ weeks until after their Christmas party on Saturday. Mind you I haven't been able to use it in this time frame. Seriously? A party? Ugh...

2. Two buttons on my favorite Ugg boots cracked this morning and a piece broke off of one of them. They're not in warranty anymore, so I'm hoping I can figure out a way to fix it. Thankfully they're the inside buttons...

3. I was late to work. No, not past 8:29:59, but arrived right as they were shutting the door for Wednesday Morning Meeting. And one of my new planners was presenting...

4. I'm currently dealing with a GIANT error on the part of a former TRG employee. I'm really, really hoping our print negotiating supervisor can get us out of it or else it'll be bad with the client...

5. I learned some incredibly sad news about a situation in one of my girls' families which just breaks my heart, particularly as we try to love her and one of my other girls in the midst of an excruciating family situation, too.

6. I got a new account today that, as of yesterday, was handled by the boyfriend of one of my other bosses who was let go. I didn't know him and don't know her well (she's a new boss), but I just feel awkward and sad for them.

7. My car has been starting strangely since it got colder. It's annoying me as I'm nervous for something worse but crossing my fingers it's just cold. I mean, the car is German, it shouldn't get sad at temperatures in the 30s!

And so now, I'm letting it go and recognizing that each of these issues, big and small, are not a surprise to God and WILL ultimately be used for good, regardless of how they turn out today or tomorrow. For I'm striving to know the Lord your God is God; he is THE faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands. Deuteronomy 7:9

And I'm turning the annoyance into JOY. Joy in the above affirmation and in the good things I do see today; things such as:

1. Finding out if I'll have a niece or nephew...TODAY!!

2. Thankfulness that both of my precious girls in the midst of hard things refused to go at it alone and chose to tell me and eventually the entire small group.

3. Fun pink Christmas trees!

4. Peppermint coffee in my snazzy Christmas mug

5. And we still have cinnamon and chocolaaaaaaaaaaaate!!!!

Thank you, Lord, for helping me turn mourning into dancing. Annoyance into joy. Frustrations into praises. And for this most beautiful season celebrating the birth of salvation and ultimate love.