Friday, December 31, 2010

In the Moment...

A year ago today, Ben and I were at a giant hospital (the hospital Tate is now in) to have a level II ultrasound because of a tiny cyst they had found on Lucy's brain.  I was 5 months pregnant.  You can go back and read the story here and here.  

It's one of those days that will stick in my head forever.  I remember how I felt, how the hospital smelled, the shoes I wore, the nervousness, the relief, sweet relief that the cyst was gone, that the baby was perfect, and she was indeed still a girl ;)  

Some days from this past year are like that.  Completely memorable.  Others, are just ordinary and blur together. I'm so thankful for both.  It's why I blog, it's life, and it's all worth documenting...the good, the bad, the ugly.

I never know what each day is going to bring.  Oh, I think I know, I plan, I anticipate...sometimes I dread, but really not one of us knows what the next moment will hold.  Only my Heavenly Father knows, and only He gives me the grace to bear whatever is in store.  Joy or pain...I need His grace either way.

My friend Steph, Tate's mom, had this quote as a favorite:  

Yesterday is history
Tomorrow is a mystery
Today is a gift

That's how I want to live 2011.

Happy New Year Blog World!
 

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Fun & Not Fun

In a Nutshell (since my last post)...

  • I had a birthday.  33 feels just fine so far.
  • Christmasses  (that's not a typo,)t's the new word for the never-ending celebrations of food and presents...what?  you haven't heard of it?  yeah, me either.
  • We have entered the world of (red) Wii and Netflix.  Both are fairly amazing.  Oh, and Just Dance...which I remain undefeated in so far ;)
  • Days before Christmas we found out that Noah's good buddy Tate's cancer has returned, and this time there is not much that can be done.  It's devastating, I don't know how else to say it.  Please pray for Tate, as he's in a lot of pain, and for his family...because how do you prepare to say goodbye to your child?  Devastating.

Noah and Tate

  • Thanks for your prayers bloggy friends.



Monday, December 13, 2010

Cute&Cheap

I've been wearing a pair of boots lately that I keep getting a ton of compliments on.  I bought them like a year and a half ago, but haven't worn them a lot until now.  I have no idea why I waited so long, I love them.


Anyways, the conversations usually goes like this:


Them:  "Hey, those boots are super cute!"


Me:  "I know!  They were super cheap!"


Them:  "You wouldn't even need to tell me that, I would never have guessed!"


Silly people.  Don't they know that I get a way bigger kick out of telling them what a great deal they were than I ever would by letting them think they were expensive!?!  Seriously.


So, as you know, Dave Ramsey has me on a strict budget plan, so new boots are out of my clothing budget right now.  But, I just so happened to visit the website, Go Jane where I ordered my cute boots from, and guess what?!?  They have cute boots starting at $13.  


I know.  Madness.  I had to share with you.  


  
You are welcome.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Winner and Terrible Song

We have a winner!  Gretchen @ Lifenut...it. is. YOU!  (email me your address:)


I'm a little giddy about this because she is one of my favorite bloggers.  I always leave Lifenut completely amused by her writing style.  And her.  And her family.  Well, you get the idea.  


And, in honor of her win, and this post that has kept me thinking of terrible Christmas songs all week long....I give you the Christmas song I desperately despise, with all my heart. And after my few years of working retail, back in my early 20's, (which was not when this song was new, by the way!)  I can honestly say I've heard it 1.2 million times.  


Enjoy.  *cough*  


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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8gmARGvPlI

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Friendship and a Giveaway...

There's nothing quite like a friend who has known you for forever.  There's something magical about going through significant stages of young life, together.   Preschool, grade school, awkward stages, puberty and junior high, high- school, community college... :)


I've made some really great friends as an adult, but there is something different...something I can't quite put my finger on,  about those relationships with people that have known me forever.  The history shared together really is priceless.  They've seen me at my best, and seen me at my worst.  Over the years, we get to see each other grow and mature...and it's really quite amazing when I think about it.


Today is my friend Shell's birthday.  She's one of those friends.  And her name really isn't Shell, it's Michelle...but sometime in college I started calling her Shell, and now for the life of me I CANNOT STOP.  It's like my pet name for her. ;)  


I give you us, at our senior prom.  (me on the left, Shell in the middle, ignore the girl on the right)  

Happy Birthday Shell!  You're still the amazing, beautiful girl you've always been.  Love you!

Oh wait, there's more...
In honor of Shell's Birthday, and Christmas Time Baking, and the fact that I've eaten through two bags...I'm doing a little give-away.

Of these:
Brachs Chocolate Stars



I have no idea why, but these things are a-maze-ing.  I've been talking about them on Facebook, for weeks. They are delish on their own, or, you can make these:

 

The recipe is on the back of the bag :)

To enter the giveaway, leave me a comment about friends, or chocolate, or your senior prom...whatever you feel the need to share  AND go over and visit my beautiful friend, Shell at Giblogger, and look at her beautiful family and wish her a Happy Birthday...but don't even bother asking her to dish secrets about me, because we decided long ago, in our tiny little apartment together that "what happens in the loft, stays in the loft."

The End.

Oh wait, not quite...the giveaway will end at midnight tonight...along with Shell's birthday.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Today...

 My last post may have sounded a little more scrooge-like than I intended.  I do in fact like Christmas. :)  I would, however,  enjoy it even more, if it involved more days like today, and about 98% less materialism.  


But today, today was nice.  Really nice.














I'm working on our Christmas program for church, and addressing Christmas cards.  I love both.   I'm also on a strict diet...of cookies.  


It's the most wonderful time of the year.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Can I Just Say...

Sometimes at Christmas, Christians make me crazy.  Myself included.  Christmas becomes this crazy-train that I can see the crazy, and yet can't find a way off of it.  So I just keep on riding...even though I literally feel the motion sickness settle in...which is a nice way of saying, I want to barf.

I'm not sure this post is going to make any sense, to anyone other than myself...but that's the genius of having your own blog....it doesn't even matter if anyone else gets it.

I dread Christmas shopping.  If I only had a few presents to buy, I might enjoy it...but by the time I even get through half of our huge list I am less than jolly.  This year, thanks to my new bff Dave Ramsey I'm happy to report we've budgeted in every last penny for Christmas.  And instead of looking at the budgeted amount and rejoicing that we have enough money to make it work, I feel sick to my stomach that it costs so.much.money.  I can't help but feel like it's really sort of a waste.  A big waste.

We celebrate the birth of Jesus by spending a bunch of money and time on material things.  

We can put whatever spin on it that we want to, and trust me, I'm the Queen of justification, but it really boils down to the above sentence. 

As a believer, what message am I sending?  Because I have to tell you, I feel like a hypocrite.  Because what I believe to be true, and what my actions are do not match...it's practically the definition of a hypocrite. 

Maybe I've forgotten what I really truly believe.  Maybe it's time to take a few steps back.  Back to my source of truth, which is not tradition and/or consumerism but God's Word.

As I look through the Bible, I can't help but see that God himself didn't command me to make a huge ginormous yearly celebration over the birth of his son.  No matter how many times, well meaning Christian people tell me, I will still not think it's biblical to give each other gifts because God gave us the gift of his son.  Is it wrong?  No.  But can it be?  Yes.  

As Christians, do we really see what we're doing?  We're offended when people and shopping malls say Happy Holidays rather than Merry Christmas, because how dare they take Christ out of Christmas!

The world can't take Him out of it, they never had Him in it in the first place.  But believers...lets at least be honest with ourselves.  We love the tradition of Christmas.  We love the church services, the programs, the Christmas carols.  We love reading the Christmas story.  Some of us even enjoy the crazy schedules, parties, and lists of wants.  There's nothing wrong with any of those things, what feels wrong, for me at least...is doing it all in the name of celebrating my savior.   We love to try to make traditions into something holy.  And the world, it sees us better than we see ourselves sometimes.  They see behind the facade. 

God wants us.  In the hustle and bustle of a holiday that we've created, where's our heart?  In the massive amounts of time and money it takes to prepare for the holiday, where's our heart?  Is it thinking about all Christ has done for me?  Is it ministering to the emotional and physical needs of those around me, is it doing what God really has asked...being still and knowing that He is God?  

Mine is not.  Mine is too busy.  Mine is explaining and rationalizing to my heavenly father that it's totally ok, because after all...I'm celebrating his birth!  Think he's pleased?  Think I've convinced him?  He's not impressed by my justification skills...in fact, he's trying to crucify them.


The past few years, we've tried to do small things to back out of the craziness, so to speak.  Interestingly enough, at times it made me feel like a huge party pooper.  It's easier to go with the flow...turns out, being a hypocrite is super easy! :)  But I long to do something radical about it.  It doesn't matter how many times I try to tell my kids that Christmas isn't about presents...because if presents are involved, ITS ABOUT PRESENTS! 
I guarantee that my boys love their birthday because it means gifts, not because they're celebrating their birth.  

I long to say that the true meaning of Christmas is about Jesus, and have my actions and life mean it.  I'm not so excited about being the weirdo scrooge who poops on the party that is Christmas.   

Maybe next year.  

Any radicals out there?  


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Old Lady

My five year old, Jake, is always listening.  He doesn't miss a thing.  And the memory this kid has is ri-dic-u-lous.   Let us all pray he grows up to use it for good and not evil.


The other night Ben and I were chatting in the kitchen.  Somehow we got onto the topic of a friend's age.  Ben informed me that the person was in fact younger than me, and I just couldn't believe it!  Certainly I was not their elder?!?  Really, I used those words.  


I was wrong.  I am their elder.  Barf.


I went on to explain to Ben how it's not that I feel like 32 (almost 33) is old, it's just that it seems like highschool was just yesterday!  There is some disconnect in my head.  Or I need there to be.  I need to feel the gap from 1996 until now.  But alas, I do not.  


Anyways, fast forward to this afternoon...I'm in the living room changing Lucy and hurrying Jake along to get to afternoon pre-k on time and I hear him yell from the mud room...


Hurry up old lady, you're gonna make me late!


"Did he just call me his old lady?"  I thought to myself.


I gave him the chance to re-phrase his question.  He declined.  He fed me back my own words from the conversation the other night...where I mentioned that I am in fact an old lady.


He kills me.  However, he will now refrain from using the term "old lady" when referring to me...or any other woman for that matter. ;)