Saturday, January 04, 2014

Things I Learned in December

Whew...the blog has been too quiet the last couple of weeks! Now that the holiday madness is behind us, I've got high hopes for the writing I want to do in this space this year. Meanwhile, I'm linking up with Chatting at the Sky for my monthly list of lessons learned...

1. I am a little bit obsessed with the Reminder function on my iPhone. I am a list girl, and I *love* that I can not only jot down a note to remind myself, but I can actually have my phone ding to remind me on the day or at the time when I need to do it!

2. Four words: Cranberry Cinnamon Honey Butter

3. If you don't know what an acronym stands for, don't make an assumption or disregard it as irrelevant. ASK. If you see "Science Fair and PTF" on your kindergartner's school calendar at the beginning of the year, and you don't bother to ask the teacher for clarification, you might end up making plans on the night of your son's Christmas program. Because apparently "PTF" means "Christmas concert," and you won't get any other notice that a Christmas program is in the works until about ten days before the fact. Related lessons: Don't be afraid to call and ask people for undeserved favors (the Nashville Symphony was kind enough to let us trade our Messiah tickets for another night). And if you are the one distributing information, avoid acronyms unless they are obvious and make your info as clear as possible. Sure, you've always done it this way every year and everyone knows that...everyone, that is, but the new parents/new members/new kids.

4.  A Christmas gift for teachers that will be extremely well received, if you can pull off the logistics, is a container of homemade soup and a loaf of bread. Every December, I always want to do a bunch of Christmas baking, but the problem is, EVERYONE does a bunch of Christmas baking. Often that means people end up with piles and piles of cookie plates, candy tins, and other assorted goodies they definitely don't need and may not even want. This year it occurred to me--why not give the boys' teachers a meal, like I would take to a new mom? They're busy women with families and I'm sure it would be a blessing to have a night off from cooking after a long day at work (especially after the exhausting last-day-before-Christmas-vacation). I made this soup and a loaf of artisan bread to go with the small gift we got for them; both the boys' teachers seemed really appreciative.

5. Speaking of teachers and Christmas break...kindergarten teachers do NOT get paid enough. I went to Elijah's school for an hour and a half to help with his Christmas party and when I got home I needed a nap. Those kids were higher than kites on sugar and holiday excitement. I already knew teachers worked really hard, but this reinforced my respect and gratitude.

6. Sephora is a great place to shop for new makeup. I went in (there's one inside our JCPenney now) to find a good shade of lipstick to wear with a new red dress, and the saleswoman was incredibly helpful. She picked out a few shades for me to try, cheerfully started over with a different brand when I cringed at the price of the first one, and then sent me home with a free sample of my choice of moisturizer. (For the record, I ended up with No. 36 - Diva. I really love the color!)

7. The reindeer names "Donner" and "Blitzen" are German for "Thunder" and "Lightning." That one was a bit of New Year's Eve trivia courtesy of my brother-in-law's German-major girlfriend.

8. Gin is made from juniper berries. Another random, useless piece of NYE trivia.

9. For all my husband's love for strategy games and claiming he's not a words guy, he's awfully good at Taboo.

How about you--what did you learn last month?

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