Monday, December 24, 2012

New Perspective on Gratitude

What is on your Christmas list?

How many gifts do you expect to see with your name on them under the Christmas tree?

What will make you truly happy tomorrow morning?

We all ask ourselves and our family members these types of questions each Christmas season. I found something this morning that really made me stop and think about the real gift of Christmas.

I went for a run this morning in Taft, California, and stopped off at the city park for a bathroom break. Sitting on the sink was a paper towel with a note written on it:
"To the City Guys:
Thank you for a clean and dry spot to rest.
Merry Christmas!
One of the Homeless"

Wow! The message of this note hit me in the face: What am I truly grateful for? What gifts do I truly appreciate?

This morning I am grateful for this "homeless person" who reminded me to be grateful for my family and the warm home I am blessed to sleep in.

This simple note also reminded me of the note Joseph may have written to the Inn Keeper long ago:

To The Inn Keeper:
Thank you for a clean and dry place to rest.
Merry Christmas!

I am going to try to remember each and every day to be grateful for the simple gifts in life.

Merry Christmas!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The End of The World Christmas Celebration

Knowing that we may not live to see another day, we decided to go ahead and celebrate Christmas early (the real reason for the early celebration was...we couldn't fit the kids' presents in the car for our trip to California. That's a lame excuse for an early Christmas though! We thought it would be a much better story to tell the kids they'd better open them on December 21st since the Mayan calendar ended and life as they know it may end as well!) Aren't we great parents?!

The kids drew names this year for our sibling/parent gift exchange. We tried to keep who we were buying a present for a secret. Some of the kids didn't quite get the secret keeping process. For example, Ian drew Cali's name. He bought her socks and vintage bows. He wrapped them up and made a tag that said, "To: Cali, From: Ian." It was supposed to say, "To: Cali, From: ?" Cali was supposed to guess who it was from. Obviously, the guessing part didn't happen.

Well, Little Miss Nyah got even more confused about the Secret Pal present. She bought a present for her dad; a gift card to Whichwich (his favorite sandwich shop). She wrapped it up and put a tag on it that said: "To:?, From: Nyah." She was just a little confused.

The gifts from Santa were a hit. Cali and Ian's big present was a snowboarding pass. Nyah talked Carson into asking Santa for a new dog. (Biscuit hasn't died yet, but the kids have always wanted a dog that moves around and plays, so that's what they got!)

Each child also received a new book, except for Nyah who received a Kindle. Nyah opened hers last. When she saw that it was a Kindle and not a book, she yelled, "Ha, ha, Suckers!" What an unglamorous thing to say! What a rude thing to do! (It was awfully funny though!)

Ian has been really into wearing sweats lately. Not stylish, but very comfortable! I thought I'd try to save some money on his gift. I bought him 2 pairs of sweats at Kmart for $3.99 a piece. Bargain, right?! When he held them up for us to see, he pointed out a strange pouch of material in the crotch area. "Is this a butt hole or a nut hole?" I have no idea what he was talking about, but I couldn't stop laughing!

Carson guessed each one of his gifts before opening it. "I know I will love riding this during the summer!"
He opened it. "Yep, it's a scooter!"
"I know these will keep my feet warm!"
"Yep, it's socks!"
That's how it goes with my boys. There is no magic or mystery!:)

Cali got a harmonica and a "headgear" so she can play it while she is playing her ukulele. She did not make any rude or inappropriate comments during present opening.
It was a fabulous Christmas celebration! I love my family!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, November 26, 2012

Awkward Family Photo and Awkward Family Stories

Splish, splash
Hebers taking a bath
Out in the open air

Just hangin' in the tub
Thinkin' everything was normal

We were wedged in real tight
Kids were starting to fight
We tried to escape
But it was way too late
and then
Splish Splash
We were stuck in the bath
How were we to know there
were people looking on?

There was a splishin' and splashin'
Screamin' and a leanin'
Pinchin' and a punchin'
Awkward moments on a Saturday night . . .

This year I decided to save the trees (and a little money) by posting our Christmas picture/card online instead of  sending the traditional card in the mail.  Our family loves looking at for entertainment.  We tried to stage our own awkward family photo for Christmas this year; thus the photo in the bathtub.  Count your blessings that we are fully clothed.  I also decided to share some of our more Awkward Heber Moments from 2012.  Anything I can do to embarrass the family. :)  Here it goes:

Awkward Moment #1
Aaron was in Costco with me shopping for groceries.  We were in a hurry that day.  Aaron was pushing the cart and following me at top speed.  He stopped for a second to taste a sample, grabbed the cart again and resumed our high paced sprint around the produce section.  Suddenly we heard, "Sir, sir!!  You have my cart.  My purse is in there.  Sir, stop!"  Aaron had stolen an elderly woman's cart.  She had an accusing look in her eye as Aaron apologized to her for his mistake.  I know she thought he was a real life thief trying to run off with her purse.  Awkward!!

Awkward Moment #2
I decided to take swim lessons at the beginning of the year.  My swim coach was male.  I finished a lap across the pool and came up to take a breath and get some critiques.  I looked down.  My left nipple (I think it was the left) was hanging out of my swim suit top. Awkward!!

Awkward Moment #3 (this one is a couple of years old)
Cali was taking a social dance class.  She had stayed home sick one day from school with a stomach bug, but had to go back the next day for some important tests even though she hadn't fully recuperated. She had social dance that day.  After a couple of twirls around the dance floor with her partner, she vomited all over the front of him.  I went to school to pick up Cali.  I asked the teacher if I could help clean up the mess.  Awkward!!

Awkward Moment #4
Aaron and Ian were in line at Kmart behind an elderly woman (what is it about my husband and elderly women?).  The poor lady swiped her debit card and entered her PIN number about 10 times.  She could not get the PIN correct.  Ian was getting antsy.  She finally brought out her check book.  "I will pay with a check instead," she told the cashier.  Then, to Ian's chagrin, the woman realized she was out of checks.  "I will try my debit card again," she told the frustrated cashier.

Suddenly, Ian let out a gigantic, loud sigh and said, "Oh, no!" in a voice much louder than he had anticipated.  Everyone in the line heard him.  The cashier heard him.  The elderly woman heard him.  Awkward!!

Awkward Moment #5
Ian refuses to throw away his old underwear.  I'm pretty sure he still owns some pairs of undees he wore as a 5-year-old.  He is 14 now.  He is a growing boy.  He is taller.  He weighs more now.  He should not be wearing these underwear.  He gives a whole new meaning to "tighty whities." One night he sprinted up the stairs in one of these pairs of particularly skin-tight underwear.  His poor 12-year-old sister, Nyah, caught a frontal shot and started screaming, "Ian, gross.  Oh, my gosh.  Sick!  Put on some clothes.  Mom!  Dad!  Ian is so disgusting!" Awkward!!

Awkward Moment #6
Carson paid me to not post any of his awkward moments.

Welcome to our life.  Here's to many more awkward moments in 2013.  We are so grateful to all of our friends and family members who pretend we are semi-normal.

Happy Holidays!
The Heber Family

Friday, November 9, 2012

Brrr . . . Staten Island, Grand Central Station, and The Empire State Building

We were in New York for 6 days.  We walked many, many, many miles.  Unfortunately for those around me, I chose to wear the same jeans, shoes, jacket and hat each and every day.  For those of you looking at the photos of our trip, you may not be able to tell one day from another.  I look almost exactly the same each and every day.  The only difference is . . . my spray tan gets a little lighter after each shower.  Go ahead.  Just try to tell Monday Vanessa from Wednesday Vanessa. :)

Times Square, The Rockefeller Center and Central Park

All of these photo opportunities happened before our marathon run on Sunday.  Walking through every nook and cranny of New York City is probably not the smartest thing to do the day before running a marathon, but, boy, was it fun!

I think I may have gone to bed at 5 p.m. on Saturday night!  I was zonked!!