The Ginger Bread House

For Christmas Eve I opened a sweet sacred box containing the walls, foundation, roofing, and decorations. I dug out my piping bag and mixed up the icing/glue that would hold it all together. The plan was to decorate and create some Christmas spiced memories.

The munchkin and I worked to build the house, holding each piece in place till the glue held tight. We worked to decorate each side and enjoyed a Christmas movie in the background.

Does anyone else feel like Hansel and Grettle eating the witch’s house when they break off a piece to eat?

Looking back I realized I could have done a much better job. I should have decorated some parts before constructing the sweet little home. I could have used less icing to make it. I learned that a bit of strategy and more rest would have made it more beautiful.

But most of all I learned that moving forward prepared me for a better plan next time. That the experience and memories made were enough. We had a great time. I hope we can do it again.

Beyond those great Christmas family memories, upon reflection, the gingerbread house taught me that with enough rest and strategic planning, and actually putting in the work, we can achieve a lot more than we think we can.

Lately, I have been working too much. Working too much makes us surprisingly less productive. If I stopped, planned, and thought about what I wanted more and found a way to those goals, I could do so much more.

So, here is to resting, planning, assessing, and, creating to achieve the goals I want to achieve.

I encourage you to rest, assess, and find out what you want to achieve, then make plans. Goals are just dreams without a plan.

Happy New Year to all.


Holy Cross Day

The Church bells are ringing. Such ear candy. They don’t ring enough here and when I get to hear them, I revel in the sound. Today is an Orthodox holiday. One you are supposed to fast for.. When I looked at the Serbian Orthodox calendar for holidays, this one is highlighted as a STRICT Fasting day. Fasting here is not not eating, it is eating no animal products. Beans are the staple food, breads, and fish add to the meals. It is not as if people don’t eat, but they eat blander foods. Farting after is obligatory!

My mother-law made beans yesterday with no pork fat in preparation for today. I really can’t stand these beans with out pork fat and meat, and even sometimes with it. Other times, I could eat a ton of them with the right pork fat and meat. I think it is the cut of the meat that makes the difference.

She gave us a jar of the said beans as we were leaving and reminded me that “tomorrow is a fasting day”. Even though she knows I am Protestant. I don’t mind fasting so much, as long as there is diversification in food. There isn’t in my Serbian family, Ever!

Thank God I have an Orthodox friend in the U.S. who gave me great ideas for a virtual smorgasboard of possible posna hrana (fasting food).  But because I am in Serbia, most of them aren’t an option much to my regret! (YUM YUM Indian food!) Pasta is the one thing that I can make and probably will. I will dice up some fresh tomatoes and saute them with some garlic and drape it over the pasta. YUM!

With joy, I conclude that tomorrow will not be the traditional “Pass Gas” holiday in our house! Good thing, because it is already the internationally celebrated holiday of my BIRTHDAY! Holla!  And I already got the best gift! A Kiva loan donated in my name! How awesome is that!

Holy Cross day is a celebration of finding the Cross and the miracles that are to have been procured as a result. I would much rather celebrate the miracle of the work done on the cross when Christ gave his life for us. That is what today will be for me… It is like a second Easter. 🙂 With Pasta!