September 18, 2008

AN ANNUAL OPPORTUNITY TO SAY 'I LOVE YOU'

There are less than 100 days until Christmas.

The reason why I bring that up….that means the stress level in my family is about to be turned up several notches.

No need to re-read….I said STRESS.

It was 10 years ago when Christmas morning in the Myers family was changed forever. To help us save money, my mom suggested that we start making our Christmas gifts.

With that one neurotic idea, a magical tradition
was born.

NOTE: Its frugal intentions were quickly replaced with intense competitiveness, year-long bragging, and immeasurable stress, but that’s what makes our Christmas mornings a blessing of love and creativity.

We’ve received a recipe book from my mom, filled with all of our favorite dishes and how to make them ourselves. She has also made blankets, pillows, and journals.

My dad keeps things fun. He has given us swings (right), slingshots, and a kite.

My oldest sister, Susan, is practical and thoughtful each year. She has given time capsules, ornaments, and Family Charades, packed full of our favorite movies, books, songs, and TV shows to act out.

Allison, my youngest sister, is the essence of creativity. She has incorporated song lyrics into amazingly painted pictures, made personalized word magnets for our refrigerators, and made a family quilt with everyone’s hand print.

Even the “outsiders” have embraced the tradition.

My wife has sewed pajama pants and painted coffee mugs, while my brother-in-law made a very practical size chart
(right) with everyone’s “vitals.” (I guess to help us shop if we ever do start buying gifts again.)

Personally, I’ve tried to stretch myself in Santa’s Workshop.

I remember the first gift that I made for our unique tradition. It was a set of cards that contained simple tasks that captured some of life’s little pleasures –
e.g. reading the comics or making a banana split.

A decent idea, but not very personal.

Then I saw the power of these gifts, and it has grown into an annual opportunity for me to say “I love you.”

I’ve made a board game – putting a Myers spin on Monopoly to generate “Familyopoly.” I’ve given a video, stained glass, and a photo mosaic. I’ve
written personal columns about each member of my family, and put together 5K running and walking programs for them as well.

Last year, I let my spiritual guard down and created a daily devotional and inspirational journal. It was a unique collection of letters, photos, journal writings, quotes, and scripture.

I wanted to share my relationship with Jesus Christ.

In my introduction letter,
I wrote: “In every excerpt that I have included, I truly feel like God is alive and speaking directly to us – whether it’s a letter from Mom telling me to clean my room or a note from Dad telling me that he his proud of me.”

Almost a year later, I want to share this journal with others.

I have created a completely different blog entitled
“Hear My Whisper” where I will start posting excerpts from this devotional. I have already posted my introduction letter to kick things off. (THE FOUNDATION: My Letter)

In the letter, it says: “I’m proud of my relationship with Jesus Christ, and I want YOU to know that if something happens to me, and I’m taken from this earth, that I’m going to spend eternity in heaven.”

That’s why I’m sharing it with you.

OTHER NUGGETS

DONATIONS NEEDED AT PNS
Here is a great opportunity to give back.

2 1/2 hours every Tuesday evening, is in need of specific items.

In its recent newsletter, the following items have been listed as "Urgent Needs":
• New underwear (all sizes)
• New socks (all sizes)
• Feminine hygiene supplies
• Twin-size sheets (gently used or new)
• Towels (gently used or new)
• Toothbrushes

Based on my time in the shelter's dispensary, these items are also needed:
• Multivitamins
• Razors
• Deodorant (travel size)
• Medicated foot powder
• Q Tips
• Band Aids
• Antibiotic Ointment
• Toothpaste (travel size)
• Shampoo (travel size)
• Anti-acid

Next time you're at Target – or you drive past Dollar General – think about this opportunity to help someone not as fortunate as you.

Like I've said before, I will come and pick these items up if necessary. You just tell me when and where.

UPDATING MY 101 LIST
MARK 'EM OFF
I marked No. 47 (Order a double scoop of ice cream)
off of my 101 List.

I realize this was an "easy" one, but I think it all balances out in the end. (Remember: No. 81 Take a self portrait in EVERY National Park.)

After going to the driving range with my little brother Anthony (BBBS), we stopped in at Cold Stone Creamery for a little ice cream.

Anthony was smart and stuck with a banana and strawberry smoothie, while I loaded up on a scoop of cookies and cream and a scoop of coffee-flavored ice cream.

I quickly realized why I never had a double scoop before – that's A LOT of ice cream!

STARTED TASKS
No. 43 (Participate in Yoga Flow in the Japanese Garden)

Here are some of the highlights from my
seven-week class:

• The Japanese Garden is absolutely beautiful. I had NO IDEA that was tucked back there.
(Click here to see the photo gallery, which will continue to grow as my class progresses.)

• It's offered through TCU's Extended Education Program

• I'm the ONLY male in the class. It's me and approximately 25 women.

• We meet every Thursday for a little over an hour.

• I'm doing it to enhance my running. (Really helps with my flexibility.)

IN THE PLANNING STAGES
No. 41 (Break the 4-hour mark in a marathon)

I'm up to 18.75 miles a week with my running and will increase by 10 percent next week (20.6 miles). This is all leading up to 25 miles a week
– the recommended distance you should be running consistently when you start training for a marathon. (I should reach that in about a month – increasing mileage every other week.)

I'm eyeing the Nashville Country Music Marathon on April 25, 2009. That means I will start my 14-week training program on January 18th.

No. 80 (Eat a hot dog & drink a beer in every AL ballpark)
The 2009 Major League Baseball schedule is already out, and I've already started planning how I can be the most efficient with my time and energy – combine these trips with business trips AND other list-oriented trips.

PHOTO GALLERY
I have started a photo gallery of all my completed tasks. (Click here to see)

'WHO IS PAYING ATTENTION?'
I would be interested to find out who is keeping up with my 101 List.

Blogger offers a new feature entitled, "Who is Paying Attention?" It is located on the left side of my 101 List. If you are keeping up with my progress, I would love to hear about it.

2 comments:

Katie said...

If you're nice to my parents when they're here in a few weeks, they'd probably offer up the guest room in our house when/if you come to Nashville!

allie said...

Not to make anyone nervous BUT my presents have already been started. I am actually turning my classroom into a Christmas present sweatshop!

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