Monday, December 9, 2013

December, Daily.

First of all, props to those of you out there who are having no problem at all making every single day of December count by keeping up with your December albums daily, making delightfully intricate Christmas cookies, singing carols with your flawless soprano voices, taking perfect family portraits, and decking the freaking halls with boughs of -- what? What's that you say? People like this don't exist?

I want to believe that.

Yes, let us hope that people like this are just a fictional breed spawned by the pages of Martha Stewart magazine, because when I think of that kind of perfect, I get a wee bit breathless.  A Stepford Christmas is not for me. I am a Griswold through and through.

What I am trying to say in a roundabout way is that there's the idea of December, and then there's the reality. My reality includes an earnest hope that I will finally see the end of the jumbo roll of wrapping paper that I have been working my way through for the past three years. My reality does not include an iota of wassailing (whatever the heck that is; I'm pretty sure a breathalyzer must be involved) but it does include a plan to sleep in once the holiday break starts.  A morning without an alarm: that is as close to perfect as my December can get.

Oh, December.  I'm trying my best to be as merry as merry can be, but it's a challenge when the majority of my days consist of:

a. sitting in traffic
b. sitting in more traffic
c. sitting in even more traffic
d. repeat a-c in the afternoon, plus 45 minutes

I really (really) need the holiday break to start. I believe my students would stand by this statement as well, those poor things. I've been slipping them candy canes to distract them from their stress over the impending midterm exams.

In the meantime, I have been scrapping a bit to keep myself in a yuletide state of mind. It's kind of working -- sort of like immersion therapy.
I've been trying my best to keep up with my album daily, but when I lag behind, I don't sweat it. This is why I organize the album by week.  I'm all about the December Not-So-Daily.
My Advent "focal words" approach has actually been really helpful, keeping me centered on days when more accurate words would be "honk" or "screech" or "surrender" or "bills."
It's a simple approach, which works for me, helped along by the October Afternoon Very Merry December kit. There are a lot of albums out there that are veritable masterpieces, and I stand in awe of them, but I can't go down that path, lest my December 31 photo be one of me with bald patches from where I have pulled out my hair.

Speaking of photos, my family still hasn't taken one this month. All over Facebook for the past few weeks, I have seen photos of families of five and six and seven gathered together, but for some reason, just getting our family of three to say "cheese" at the same time is a Herculean task.  We shall see what the next few weeks hold. Last year our photo was taken next to an outhouse, so there really is nowhere to go but up, methinks.

I pulled together a few photos taken through the years for my most recent Two Peas in a Bucket layout:
I cannot believe how much my daughter has grown through the years. Whoosh! 

Also, please note the outhouse. 

I had a great time adding accents to this page. You know how crazy I am about bits and pieces, and there's no shortage of them on this page. 
I used a Technique Tuesday/Ali Edwards stamp set as a springboard for the journaling.  
Every so often, when the December rush gets a little too overwhelming, I try to take a step back. This is, of course, really difficult in traffic, but I'm finding hope in the small things -- a remembered signal before switching lanes, a yellow light that seems meant just for me, the same Imagine Dragons song being played on three stations within a five minute period, and the daughter next to me, snoring, oblivious to just how close I come to the "naughty" list every time someone cuts me off. 

Oh, December. Daily, you are growing on me. 


  1. oh jill! you are so funny! wish i could give you my snow day (okay- maybe i am not that generous as we are in the midst of state testing here). don't look at the perfection that is lisa dickinson's christmas card photo! it is so awesome!

  2. I realize that you're not about perfection, but can I just say that I love all the wonderful texture and color you've got in the negative spaces of your cuts! Trees and title both fabulous! I also love that you're resolved to imperfection! I'm with you! I haven't finished my DD album cover and have journaled about 5 days of the past 10 and that's gonna have to be good enough! Thanks for making me feel OK with not being on top of DD! Wishing you a great (reduced traffic) day!

  3. Jill, your DD post is my favourite this year)))

  4. I am SO laughing at the opening paragraphs of this post-seriously TOTALLY understandable and what I am living! ;) Haven't even started my DD, LOVE your approach though I might just hit the highlights because really--that's what I can do this year! LOVING your layout and album--AWESOME-sauce! Good luck with exams and STUFF! ;)

  5. LIke this approach! I have been just collecting December memories as well, as there is NO WAY I could capture what we do daily, lol. The monthly approach is how I keep PL manageable too!