The US Thanksgiving holiday has passed which means it’s time for an updated Christmas playlist. As per the norm, it extends a little further than the standard Andy Williams and Bing Crosby (though those are classics and good in their own right) which you can find on most local, AM/FM Christmas stations.
If you’ve been around for any of the years past, you might notice that the last track is the same one I’ve closed with on multiple occasions… this is on purpose as I’ve convinced myself that it should probably close every Christmas compilation ever made. I’m not ready to call it the greatest Christmas track ever but I think its as solid of a piece of music you can get to finish an album.
New to this game and want to catch up? Hit the archives for past compilations. My apologies for the creepy Santa pictures, I’m not really sure how it all got started.
1. Owl City (feat. TobyMac) – Light of Christmas
2. Jeremih – You’re Mine
3. Otis Redding – White Christmas
4. Matt Wertz – Snow Globe
5. Kelly Clarkson – Winter Dreams
6. The Maine – Ho Ho Hopefully
7. Newsboys – All I Want for Christmas Is You
8. Leona Lewis – One More Sleep
9. Cee Lo Green (feat. The Muppets) – All I Need Is Love
10. Jeremy Lister – Santa’s Lost His Mojo
11. Callie Moore – God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
12. Catherine Feeny – The Christmas Song
13. Clyde Bawden & Jason Barney (feat. Cody Carnes & Ashley Hess) – Christmas with You
14. Train – Shake Up Christmas
15. KT Tunstall – Sleigh Ride
16. Brigthen – Merry Christmas, Baby
17. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy – It Feels Like Christmas Time
18. The Ready Set – I Don’t Wanna Spend Another Christmas Without You
19. Kelly Clarkson – 4 Carats
20. Clyde Bawden & Jason Barney (feat. Ashley Hess) – Home for Christmas Eve
21. Neon Trees – Wish List
22. A Rocket To The Moon – I Believe In Us (This Holiday)
23. Troy Andrews – O Holy Night
*For those tl;dr folks, there’s some pictures down below.
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of being in my house, you know that we’re a little cozy and limited on space. Most days I like it that way, helps me to keep my material possession desires in check. We’ve had the boys in the same room for a while now but were just working off of two Ikea Malm twin beds in different corners of the room. It was functional but not necessarily practical. Discussions of bunk beds were had on several occasions but neither myself or my wife could come to agreement on what those would actually be.
I’m not actually sure what the final straw was that made me really decide to make a change but sometime a month and a half or so ago, I finally decided it was time. Instead of going the standard Rooms-to-Go/Ikea/pressed laminate or particle board route, I wanted to do something a little more custom for them and after a bit of just Google-ing ideas, I felt like I found the right solution. Once again, discussions were had due to past examples of my “handi-work,” but I finally won over the person in charge of the house and she agreed to let me move forward.
It was a random Sunday evening when I sent my business partner Ryan a text message to let him know we were closing up shop on the following Monday; once he found out why, it didn’t take much to convince him. He was at the house around 8 or 9 that next morning and we quickly loaded up for the closest big box hardware store here in town.
We spent an entire day (with multiple Lowe’s trips), 30 some-odd pieces of standard 2″ x 4″ x 8′, lots of screws/bolts/anchors, and about 50′ of nylon rope to end up hanging two custom, twin-sized beds from the wall in our boys’ room. They’re quite heavy, more than I anticipated. They’re each anchored 5 or 6 times into wall studs and the ropes are anchored as well. My wife was pleasantly surprised when she got home to see that we both accomplished the task and they turned out decently as well. She still had concerns about them purely hanging so I added the steel pipe, corner stands under the free-hanging corner to ease her (and my) concerns.
In addition, I created some birch wood rails that slide under the edge of each mattress so they don’t come tumbling down in the middle of the night. The color of the birch matches the color of the 2 x 4’s pretty well. Finally, I created a solid, yet removable ladder to get up and down from the top bunk. It’s made out of some of the leftover 2 x 4’s from the project and is a nice replacement to the metal folding ladder I offered them for the first few days.
The boys love them and have been put on a scheduled rotation of who gets the top bunk, changing out each time we wash their sheets. It’s created more play space for them in their room and allowed us to free up the other bedroom in our house purely for guests and/or a nice open space for us to make the boys go play when they’re being a little too noisy!
Since I don’t normally get to work with my hands, it was a nice change of pace. I was able to create something custom for my family, keep the cost well below what we might have paid for a nice set of bunk beds, and possibly even restored a little confidence in my wife that might allow me to try another project down the road.
I’m sure there’s much more to say about the craftsmanship, the process, the tools, the legacy, etc but I’ll leave that for another day or possibly another writer.
Here’s a few shots of the finished pieces. If you want more details about our process or the plans for the beds, hit me up.
I’ve subscribed to The Listserve for a while now but never really been prompted to respond to anything. I won’t discourage you from subscribing on your own but I’ll also add that there’s not much your missing out by not subscribing. Currently, there’s 23,425 subscribers from around the world who agree to be sent one email per day from the Listserve Lottery Winner for that day with anything they want to write about. I signed up because I like the concept but most of the messages end up being, “just smile and it will all be better,” “if we all traveled the world would be a better place,” “down with organized religion cause it’s the root cause of all major conflict in the world,” and so forth.
I haven’t unsubscribed yet but if I get on one of those simplify-my-digital-life kicks, it is easily one of the lowest hanging fruits that I can chop off. There have been a few good nuggets sprinkled here and there so I guess that’s what has kept me around.
With that said, when I opened up my inbox this morning to browse what ground-breaking advice I was going to receive from yesterday’s lottery winner, I was actually prompted to respond for a first time. The writer posted a note about wanting to change careers, having a lack of completing a higher education degree, how long it might actually take her to gain said education (with age not being on her side), and a concern about what would happen if she no longer had her husband to help support her/supplement her meager income. She mentions having visions of being a nurse but again leans on the crutch of education.
As with most things, I’ve got two cents and since she asked for feedback, I figured I’d throw mine in. Below you will find my response to Dolores Yates in case you’re facing similar issues or desires in life. (more…)