I’m in the middle of Family Birthday Season – we have 7 birthdays beginning mid-September and ending December 2nd and then Christmas totally comes out of left field. Usually Birthday Season and Christmas take us by financial surprise. While excited and eager to send cards and gifts, the lack of preparation beforehand shocks me into a spending freeze. So yesterday at brunch at my in-laws’, I suggested that we do our annual name drawing for Christmas gifts a little early this year. With expanding families on both sides, it’s difficult to handle gifts for everyone so we’ve been drawing names for the past few years. I’ve already started getting ideas for people and I’m determined to keep costs way down, while not sacrificing quality, of course.
This year is unlike those prior because I was ready for Birthday Season on Sept. 1 and with the names drawn for Christmas, I’m hopeful to have any and all gifts purchased on Nov. 26. I’m a big fan of Ebates.com – a website that refunds a percentage of your online purchases - and on Black Friday, they double the percentage you get back. Add that to the deals stores already have on that day (free shipping plus major discounts) and you can save a huge chunk of change. Last year I saved over $200 shopping through Ebates on Black Friday - hit snooze and avoid the crowds. No strings either.
Aside from fantasizing about stocking-stuffers before Halloween, here is a current snapshot of my life:
- It’s Monday! which means there’s a freshly baked something in my cake display – a new routine I accidentally started a month ago to enhance Andrew’s experience of me being a stay at home mom. This week – chocolate chunk brownies :)
- I may be having surgery soon. Since Liam was born, I’ve been having occasional, yet severe, gall bladder attacks. Appparently this is pretty common in women who have been pregnant and often results in removing the gall bladder entirely. While I’m not looking forward to it, I hear the procedure and recovery time are no big deal. Nevertheless, prayers would be appreciated.
- For about 10 hours/week I watch Andrew’s and my niece, Mary Elise, who is 5 mos – just 6 weeks younger than Liam. While the house is usually filled with baby coos, hiccups, and occasional crying, the only sound I hear right now is my own typing. Both babies are down for their naps with barely a protest from either one. Bliss.
- I have an appointment for spiritual direction this week on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary! I am writing down all my questions re: humility and other virtues in application to being a catholic wife and can’t wait to receive guidance.
- To add more sweetness to my life, it has finally cooled off here in NWLA. Driving around two weeks ago, the bank clock reported an oppressive 102 degrees and now it’s struggling to get to 72 for today’s high. To ward off the chill in the mornings, I whipped out our duvet and down comforter and excitedly made the bed. A made bed is a warm bed. It may not be empirically true – but it feels true.