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Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Neverending Theme

I enjoy reading other people's blogs. It gives me a peek into the challenges and joy of other's. This also reinforces to me that so often people are experiencing the same questions, internal battles, and life events that I am or have gone through. I have found it to be one of the delights of technology. Of course it has its pitfalls, but finally the common man has an outlet outside of publishing a book or waiting till death when some historian discovers your long lost diary.

I started all this to say I really relish reading new years blogs. I love the excitement and anticipation of a new year. I also love the wistful memories of the year past. It is always a bittersweet time, letting go of the old, and bringing in the new. I will try to not let the bitter overcome the sweet. It is a new year, and I know that I have no guarantee in this life other than the saving grace of Jesus. On this I will rest all my hopes and dreams for the new year. Come what may, He will never change.

Happy New Year

Lamentations 3:22-24 (Message Translation)
God's loyal love couldn't have run out,
His merciful love couldn't have dried up.
They're created new every morning.
How great Your faithfulness!
I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over).
He's all I've got left.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Loved Every Minute

Tonight the Christmas tree and other miscellaneous decorations will come down. We tried to make the tree last till New Years. It is unfortunate but live trees do not last well in the presence of our blaring heater. You can barely see the tree skirt as it has been replaced by a blanket of needles. Micah also took it upon himself to start taking down ornaments over the last couple of days. The tree is pretty much bare from his height down. Taking down the tree is like ripping a bandaid off. I cannot think about. I just have to do it. It is a shame after so much excitement and anticipation it all winds down so quickly. Alas that is simply life. I must keep a brave face for Kaylie. She was already heartbroken when I mentioned eventually taking down the tree on Christmas Day. Her responce was completely dumbfounded, as she innocently asked, "Christmas is already over?" She has such a merry heart. A week past Christmas she is still humming Christmas tunes. I am glad the message still rings true to her, and I hope it does not fade even as the twinkle of lights begins to dim.

In spite of Christmas being over we made many new memories. I decided to keep things happy and lighthearted so I decided to share a quick rundown of our Christmas events.
We had a traditional Christmas Eve as a family. Traditional in every way except for the blanket of snow sitting outside the window. I was released from work at 11am and enjoyed the afternoon by getting a few last minute gifts and then settling in at my aunt's house for some Christmas treats. Kaylie was completely amazed by the snow. She told me she had prayed for snow. She was so excited to see her prayers answered. We went out for a bit, but that did not last long. I am fairly cynical when it comes to any reports of snow in Texas, and I had not prepared well for a snowstorm. Kaylie is also a true Texan. She loves the look of snow, but about five minutes outside, and she was freezing to death. Micah was excited, but still too young to really understand what the commotion was about.

We had a great dinner at Italianni's followed by my absolute favorite dessert, the tartuffo. I'm not sure if I spelled that correctly. I am fairly certain that if their is a special dessert in heaven this is it. I always share with someone because I am embarrassed to say that I would eat a whole piece, which is not small. I must set some restrictions on myself.

Gift opening was fun. It is more fun to watch your kids. I was still very blessed by the family. My favorite part was really just being together, and feeling the joy and festivity that comes from grateful hearts. The weather was quite bad, but my dad and I still ventured out for the midnight mass. We were 2 of maybe 15 people in attendance. It was actually quite special. The chill of the night was quickly dampened as warm candlelight and joyful voices filled the air. The pastor gave a wonderful homily which was very relevant and gripping. I am not trying to knock the Lutheran chruch, but I have been to many services where the sermon was a bit weak, and the pastor got off on too many rabbit trails. The most surprising event was that the pastor actually came to speak with us afterward. After 10 years of attending this Christmas Eve service, he recognized us. I'm sure they find it quite humorous that we are so faithful to that Christmas Eve service even in inclement weather, but have never set foot in the church any other time of the year. Well no explanation really needed. Whether they know it or not we are of one faith serving the same God. We just happen to attend another church the rest of the year =)

Christmas Day was very special. It has been awhile since we spent the whole day together as a family. I cooked a prime rib with sides, and my mom prepared turkey and desserts. Chris' mom was with us as well as friends who are just as much family. We ate too much, played the wii, watched t.v., talked, laughed, and played games. It was everything Christmas should be. I am so grateful for family and friends. Thank you to Chris, Kaylie, Micah, Mom, Dad, Allyster,Melody,Mom #2, Mark, Trish, and big Micah. You guys made this a Christmas for the history books. I loved every minute.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Oh How Sweet

This afternoon I have just been pondering how sweet it is to walk with God. It is a walk that He never leaves. I had a particularly rough day Sunday. I allowed frustration in which tried to talk me into the believing a lie. After severely chasitising myself for these misteps, I felt tremendous guilt. It was in those moments that I remembered the precious promises of God. He never leaves, even to the end of the earth. My rightness before Him is only found in His Son. It is not always some incredible holy moment. It is usually in the nitty gritty, unattractive moments that His promises are reinforced to me. I am so thankful that my hope lies with someone stronger than myself. Oh how sweet it is to walk with Him.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas is Upon Us

A light shining, piercing the darkness. Jesus did come, and oh what a glorious day when He will come again, but for now we take pause to remember. I have read blogs and heard sermons over many many Christmases and you know what? It never gets old. It is such great news!

The time has come once again for all the yearly rituals to culminate into the much anticipated day we call Christmas. I am excited. I am happy because I cannot wait to bless my children and family. They are a blessing to me throughout the year, and there is nothing better than to give. Whether you have tangible or intangible gifts this year, there is something wonderful and sacred about time set apart to reflect on the goodness and love that has kept us together. I believe this is the core of tradition. I do not particularly care if you believe Jesus was born in December or September. It is not a certain day that we celebrate, it is an occurrence that rocked the foundations of the world as we know it. It is a time reminding us year after year that no matter how much darkness or empitness you feel, there is a Light that came to break that darkness and fill the emptiness.

We will celebrate today and tomorrow not for what we are able to give through ourselves, but to be a conduit of the love that was so freely given to us.

Have a very merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

30 Years!

Tomorrow my beloved husband will turn 30. He has told me this is no big deal because he has felt 30 for a long time. This is one of the reasons I love this man. He is comfortable in his skin. He's not one to freak out about age, although I have seen him searching for the occasional gray hair. Sorry honey, but I like your gray hairs!

In all seriousness I am so proud of my husband. Not that he has not always been great, but I have seen him grow in love and patience over the years. I have seen his passion for God multiply. He's a great dad and a patient husband. He has a natural gift of intelligence. God has given him favor to end up in places that would not have seemed possible from earthly circumstances. If you have known my husband for any extended period of time you would know he has a great love of comics and superheroes. He has a strong sense of justice and compassion for people. He has many artistic talents, and is all around a wonderfully well rounded person.

The first portion of this post was started prior to Chris' birthday. Unfortunately I am just now able to finish this blog. We had a great time of celebration. We had dinner at home and the best part of the night was a little surprise we cooked up for Chris. Chris has wanted a PS3 ever since they came out. Being the great guy he is he decided it was not a necessity . Instead he wanted to focus on paying off the rest of our debt. I really wanted to do something special for his 30th birthday, but I also did not want to dishonor his wishes. I got him to agree to letting me spend $100 towards his birthday, not necessarily for a gift but just for the day. My wonderful family pitched in the rest and we were able to buy a very niced refurbished PS3. I was amazed out how nice it was, not even a scratch. We weren't even sure if it would come by his birthday. It was supposed to take 5-10 days to ship, and we ordered two days before his birthday. I was shocked when my sister called to tell me it had arrived at her house on his birthday. I know he would have been happy with a note stating it was coming, but it was so much more fun to hand him a box. He had no clue what it was, and was totally shocked to pull a PS3 out. He was so excited just like a kid at Christmas, and in turn we were happy because it is always fun to bless someone.

Happy birthday my love! May God take you even deeper in the coming years!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Counting Blessings

I sit here on an early Wednesday morning enjoying a cup of coffee, listening to the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack, and preparing for another work day. My heart is full. Each day this week has brought a reminder of God's unfailing love. I can't adequately explain, but the heaviness that usually overtakes me as I sit down to work has been replaced by such an abiding joy. This is not to say that the day does not bring its trials. I still get frustrated. At times I am overwhelmed when I come home to a plethora of activites that desire my attention. In spite of these Christ remains!

I have another blessing to add to the every growing list. This is for healthy kids. Monday we had check-ups for both Micah and Kaylie. The experience was less than perfect. A long wait beforehand combined with Micah's newly acquired fear of strangers, and a meltdown from both childern after a round of immunizations made the visit mentally tiring. The great news is I have two healthy and thriving kids. Even with Kaylie's recent bouts with asthma, our doctor was quite pleased that neither Kaylie or Micah have needed immediate medical attention recently. I know we are not immune, but with fears of swine flu and all sorts of sickness God has kept us. For this I am grateful.

We undertook another great feat at the beginning of this week. We decided it was time to wean Micah from his pacifier. I know this is a controversial issue with many parents. It was hard for me because Kaylie naturally stopped using a pacifier after her first birthday. On the other hand Micah has clung to his and is ever so reluctant to give it up. We have also been guilty of using this as a crutch. If he was crying or whining persistently it was a natural inclination to pop a pacifier in his mouth. I noticed he did not attempt to talk as much. Any babble that he did do was always with the pacifier in his mouth. I am pleased to say today will be the fourth day Micah has been without his pacifier. We made it through a fairly traumatic doctor's visit and a couple of really fussy nights, but we did it! I know we are probably not completely out of this woods yet, but I know we did the right thing. He is already starting to try and talk more. He had a nice conversation with Chris last night. Of course we are not really sure what it was about, but he was really into it!

I pray that today would be the best Wednesday ever and that you would be acutely aware of God's great love in your life. May you experience all of the peace, joy, and fulness that He has in store for you!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Taco Bell Conundrum

It's gross and disgusting. It is the epitomy of junk food in all its unflattering glory. Yes I'm talking about everyone's favorite pseudo Mexican fast food joint, Taco Bell. I know in my head that it is everything I should abhor in food. I have poured over the nutritional information in an effort to jog my good sense, and yet there are times when I get this irresistable craving. Yummy Mexican pizza just sounds so good. I don't even try to fight it, and before I know it I am consuming a months worth of calories for lunch. I head back to work and almost instantly I have buyer's/eater's remorse. I feel like I have consumed rocks in my stomach. In fact that might be more helpful. I remember reading somewhere that a certain animal eats rocks to aid in digestion. Anyway that is beside the point. What I really need to find out is what perpetuates this awful cycle. It's not something I do all the time. Perhaps the problem lies in the amount of time I allow between each visit. I give myself just enough time to forget that sick feeling. It could be that they put drugs in there food that are time released and I am forced againts my own will to return. Maybe it could be that I need to strengthen my own will power and learn to say no to those unhealthy desires.

No, no it couldn't be that. I believe the drugs may be more plausible.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


I have put off writing a blog long enough. I had plenty of time over the holiday, but everytime I considered sitting down to write, something else would grab my attention. I suppose I was just enjoying the moment. It was a great Thanksgiving. In fact as I sit to write this blog my heart continues to overflow with gratefulness. I am blessed not just in the joys of this moment, but in the grace I have been given to endure trials that have brought me to the place I stand today.
God's goodness has been waiting at the corner of every bend. What a gentle shepherd He is leading and guiding. I just cannot shake this gratefulness, and I do not want to!

Thanksgiving was quite traditional. We cooked a lot and did a lot of dishes. Kaylie delighted in the childhood pleasure of watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. I remember watching that and wondering why it always seemed to be just us kids enjoying it. Of course now I am the one in the kitchen feverishly making preparations. I finally understand mom. I did take some moments to watch though. It's just not Thanksgiving without a parade. It was fun, but I was wiped out by the end of night. Our plans to go to Half Price books for their 7am black Friday deals were canceled almost immediately when my alarm went off at 6am. Instead we enjoyed a leisurely morning, and ventured out a bit later to do some shopping. I am proud to say I have finished shopping for Kaylie and Micah.

When I was younger my dad took us to the Fort Worth Parade of Lights the day after Thanksgiving. We have always talked about going again, but it was either too cold or someone was sick. With the decent weather we decided to give it a try again. Let's just say things have changed in the last 15 years. Gone are the days of a leisurely small town parade. No the size of the crowd was monsterous. By sheer luck we ended up with a front row seat on the road. Then began the hour long wait for the parade to start. Kaylie really enjoyed it. Micah got squirmy. It's definitely not the Macy's parade. I would say the Neiman Marcus parade might even be better. It was an experience, one that we will definitely not be repeating in the future. This might not have been the case if we had not experienced the parking garage of doom. When we tried to leave we were stuck on the top row of the parking garage with a gridlock of cars trying to get out. We sat in the same place right beside our parking spot for about 30 minutes. We had not eaten dinner and were seriously getting tired. We decided we would rather be out and about instead of stuck in a car. Dad suggested we just get out and go eat. This seemed like a great idea until we realized all the restaurants had a wait of over 1 1/2 hours. At this point there was nothing to do but laugh. We ended up going to a Qdoba which tasted so good after everything that had happened. It will always be a night to remember.

If you are still with me thanks for reading all the updates. I hope that you to will find your heart overflowing with gratefulness throughout this holiday and beyond.