Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Christmas Shopping? Any tips??

Christmas Shopping? The whole thing is bewildering to me.
First of all, I'm not a big shopper anyway...for which Ryan is always reminding me that he is grateful. On rare occasions, I'll get the shopping bug. For some reason, I'll have a little extra cash or it has been allotted in our monthly budget, and it's fun to search for the greatest deal and come back with a purchase and cash still in hand.
Second of all, it's a bit overwhelming...the gift, the perfect gift. I'm not one to just buy a gift for someone at random, wrap it up real quick, and throw it under the tree right before they walk in the door...just to pretend to look for it when I'm passing them out. I like to buy a gift that means something. Maybe I heard someone say they like this or are interested in that...when that's they case, I'm off - hightailing it...for the all-time perfect present (in my opinion). I find more joy in actually coming up with it, creatively brainstorming. I will say that yesterday I walked a few stores, and there are a few of you that showed yourself in the perfect gifts. Now, I just have to actually purchase them. Procrastination doesn't always work in my favor. But you see, when it's Christmas - I have to come up with the perfect gift for at least 20 people in a month's time.
At the end of every Christmas season, I say that I'll shop throughout the year. It sounds great, but it just doesn't happen. I admire the people I know that have their "gift" journal and buy and write the gifts down throughout the year or those who love Black Friday (Hats Off To Debbie!!), but it's the end of November and I'm wondering how I'm going to get 20 perfect gifts in a month's time.
So, for all you avid shopping guru's, please feel free to post any tips or ideas for how you do Christmas shopping. I would appreciate any advice you can give me for this season or the one that will come around again in about 365 days.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

December Is Here, and We're Chasing Dreams!

It's here! We already have our lights up outside, the decorations up inside, and the shopping list done. Not the shopping....just the list! It's only a few days after Thanksgiving and we're already in the Christmas mood.
We had a good Thanksgiving this year. We hung out with a few couples that do not have family in town. A full afternoon of good food and football. We thought about going bowling...but after stuffing our faces, all we could do was raise the remote. The day before, Kari and I spent the entire afternoon cooking for the feast: sweet potato casserole, cinnamon apples, pumpkin roll, and apple pie. (Kari did most of the cooking...I just did some of the easy stuff!)
Life is being good to us but is also showing us some challenges. Work for both of us is going smoothly. Kari definitely enjoys her job. She also has been working diligently on her birth assistant certification. On top of that, she is also juggling the thought of going back to school to get a labor and delivery nursing degree. (Some of you may not know this, but she has the aspiration to open a center for expecting and new mothers that has prenatal massage, baby massage, yoga, birth assistants, among many other things.)
With me, I am just plugging away at my job. Not sure if the word has been passed around, but I am in the midst of a career change...(although this transformation may take a long time.) I am trying to change careers and become a Park Ranger. I know, I know...you're thinking "from Information Technology to a Park Ranger?" Well, after a lot of thought and soul searching, I have realized that I took my current job for the salary only, which doesn't always make for a fulfilling or enjoyable work week. I applied and had an interview for a job in a Georgia State Park, was selected as a part of the top three applicants, but lost the job to someone who had a lot more experience than me. So as of now, I am just going to try and work to save a little extra cash so I can possibly go back to school to get a Masters Degree to give me more of an edge on my application.
Yeah, we have some lofty dreams, but we're young still and have a lot of room to reinvent ourselves. That is part of the" Jenk Adventure" and the joy of this life.
Among all the other excitement in our lives, I'm going to sell my truck this week and we are going to be a one car family for a while. Luckily Kari and I work fairly close to each other, and I still have the motorcycle as a means of transportation.
So that's it mostly. I hope everyone is doing well and is having an adventurous season!