Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas to All!

Recently my husband, who works security at the airport, came across an interesting passenger flying out of Salt Lake City. As he stood at his post, items came along the moving belt that captured his notice. First a wide black belt, with a large, ornate buckle. Then a pair of tall, black boots. And last, a large red coat trimmed with white fur. The owner of these items had a bushy white beard and a twinkle in his eye.
It is difficult for children to believe in Santa. It seems like they lose their belief at a younger age now then in years past. Each one of my children has said this year that kids at school tell them Santa Claus does not exist, and my youngest is in kindergarten! But my children still believe. They believe in a generous heart, they believe in doing good works. They believe in being kind to others.
There is no harm in Santa Claus. The harm comes when we put receiving above giving, when we let ourselves get caught up in the next big gift item and make the packages under the tree more important than the true reason we celebrate Christmas in the first place. Essentially, it’s a matter of choice.
Last Sunday, on the way to church, one of my children announced he would like to do more Christmas shopping—just for fun. I pointed out that people seldom shop this time of year for fun; it’s fast becoming an Olympic worthy sport. So we talked about the shopping they had already done, and I reminded each of them Christmas is not about the gifts. “Why do we celebrate Christmas?” I asked. “Jesus’ birthday!” they chorused.
I believe in Santa. But I also believe he has many helpers all over the world who catch things one lone man may miss. After all, the spirit of service essentially means we look after one another—if our Heavenly Father and his Son are pleased by our assisting each other, surely Santa Claus can benefit from our sharing of the true spirit of Christmas. We are each a little warmer of heart when we consider the needs or wants of others, even in the smallest of ways.
And who’s to say Santa didn’t take a quick stop in Salt Lake City this year on his way back from vacation? My family and I would like to wish you all a joyous and generous holiday season.

Much love,
Cheri Chesley and Family

Thursday, December 17, 2009

You don't have to play along, but...

...I'm going to whine a little. I'm sick. No, it's not H1N1; just a regular old sinus infection that aggravates my usually dormant mono virus. I'm totally wiped out. As I lay here web surfing a little bit ago I thought of all the things I had to do today, and my body literally melded to the cushions. I felt heavy, like I suddenly weighed 100 lbs more than I do.

But, I'm the mom. I had things to do. Kids to corral. They were already getting into plenty of mischief with my being stuck to the couch. So I pulled myself up and out and got things going. Now, every hour and fifteen minutes I have to get my twins up to help me with the laundry. Someday, when we get the dryer fixed, we won't have to shlep our clothes next door and upstairs to my mom's apartment and back to use her dryer. It's almost 6PM and I just found out it's casual Friday at their school and nobody has clean clothes to wear that aren't what I call "Saturday clothes." You know, the full of holes and so worn you can almost see through it.

I'm still tired. I'm coughing and I do it more when I move around. My throat is raw and hurts each time I swallow, even water. But I don't get a chance to be sick. Life does not stop for the sick mom. Especially this time of year.

Is it bedtime yet?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

With pleasure, there must also be a little pain

Otherwise we wouldn't know how to appreciate what we have. If we live an easy-breezy life, how would be learn to recognize when stuff is really good?

But I'd like to caution against extremes. If you live a life of extreme hardship, you become conditioned to difficulty and you lose the simple joys that are possible every day. If you live in a life of no worries--ever--then you are painfully unprepared when something bad, even only a little bad, hits you.

I for one would very much like to experience a few ups to go with my downs. I think it would make me a better rounded person. Otherwise I'm turning to cheesecake to round me out. Kidding.

Believe it or not, there is an expectation of me in this world. I am the responsible one, the practical one, the level headed one. I'm the one someone would send in to a crisis to defuse and deflect. I don't feel particularly worthy of this label, but in moments of extreme clarity I'd have to admit its accuracy.

But get me in a group of girls and I become giggly, goofy, and loads of fun. At least that's what I'm told. Man, this is starting to sound arrogant isn't it? You can stop reading if you like.

I faced something in the past few days I did not expect. And it's what has captured my mind more than anything else that happened. Now I have to decide what, if anything, should be done about it. I'm tempted to believe this is one of those things that actually WOULD go away on it's own if I just ignored it.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

It's officially December...

...and I'm back. And I did it. I wrote my novel in a month for the National Novel Writing Month of November. Whoa. 50,820 words. It's not complete. I did write a beginning, middle, climax and ending but it's all kind of out of order and needs a lot of work. It's also the final installment of my series, so I finally know what happens from beginning to end. It will make the revisions so much easier.

Somehow my family survived. They were all remarkably helpful during this time.

I have work to do now. Our family is facing a huge crisis, or potential crisis, and right now we're fighting to keep things right. In the meantime, I'm taking a completely unrelated but also family-themed trip to Alaska.

You heard me. Alaska. In December. On purpose.

I'm excited to see my family. It's been a while. It will be so awesome. At the same time I'm apprehensive. I hate cold. I am not a fan of long flights. My legs desperately like to stretch. I don't have an easy time sitting through a movie. Now imagine that during a 5 hr flight. Sigh. I really hate coach.

Ok, honestly I'll be so glad when this week is over. When I wake up in my own bed Wednesday morning I will breathe again.

And then it's back to writing. Here's hoping my family will remain in tact while I'm gone.