Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Something a bit... different?

Well, most of Christmas went as planned. Church was an adventure. I had decided to try a new church in the area, and I came out half-deaf and feeling like I still hadn't been to a Christmas service. In fact, instead of feeling a heightened spirit of Christmas I wondered if I had just fallen victim to the commercial side of the season. The church had recently been transformed from a World's Gym and comprised of a viewing room full of chairs and a large stage in between two square movie screens. When we walked in Santa Claus music was blaring so loud I thought Tommy would not want to go to church ever again - not because it was boring, but rather because it was too loud. After a couple of minutes a big screen rolled down and covered the stage, and a count-down to the service began. By the time there was only a minute left the lights had dimmed and the music changed, and when time ran out the screen rolled back up to reveal a rock-style band complete with all jeans-clad members clapping their hands over their heads and singing along with the words on the screens. Behind them dry ice or some other magic smoke filled the air. The sermon, if you could call it that, comprised of a big screen showing of the ad for Rocky Balboa and the minister spending half his time on stage wearing boxing gloves, pretending to punch himself out. This isn't to say that I didn't get his message, or that I didn't find some parts humorous, but the actual message sure seemed to get drowned out with all the hype. With the welcome speech to all the podcast and internet viewers, and to those in Australia, we half expected to see the church appear on TV in a few months or years, insanely rich and its highest member suspected of fraud. Next year we're going for something a bit more... traditional. Hopefully we'll have found the right church for us well before then anyway.

Yesterday was far less uneventful, thank goodness, and today brought some much-needed rest. Tomorrow it's back to work until the next holiday weekend. I hope you enjoyed a wonderful Christmas with those you love.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas!

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It's Christmas Eve. The final window on the advent calendar has been opened and with it the Christmas story completed and read to Tommy before we even arose out of bed. Cinnamon rolls have sweetened our taste buds and fresh hot coffee warmed our hands. We've watched a movie together and will soon prepare to make holiday cookies. Then we'll get ready for a quiet ham dinner at home followed by my Christmas wish to Tommy and Brian, a quick trip to town for Christmas Eve service. We'll give Tommy his one little Christmas Eve present, and he'll be very excited. I imagine he'll want take it with us to church. When we come home we'll put together a plate for Santa, complete with carrots for the reindeer. We'll talk about how we hope Santa doesn't leave any crumbs for the mice (our latest adventure). Then we'll help Tommy settle into bed, remembering the excitement we harbored when we were his age and re-living the experience through his eyes. If Its a Wonderful Life is on we'll watch it to the end, and I'll cry like I always do. Then we'll make sure everything is set for the morning and turn out the lights. Unlike when we were little, we'll have no trouble sleeping, and when morning comes we'll each have our own surprises, and the best part of it all will be the time we share together and the expressions we await as we watch our gifts become unwrapped in the hands of their recipients. When it's all over we'll be reflective, thankful, and amazed at God's wonders. At the end of the day, as we set Tommy's unwrapped gifts back under the tree,we'll prepare to spend New Years with friends and look forward to yet another beginning.

Here's hoping the spirit of Christmas warms your heart as much as it does my own.

Merry Christmas!

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006


We are back from our annual trip to New Hampshire for my family's big Christmas party. It was a quicker visit than we are used to, and it left us feeling completely exhausted, but it was well worth the trip to spend time with family, and especially for Tommy and many of his cousins to get a chance to play together.

It may have looked more like November outside, but the boys certainly didn't mind!

Less than one week until Christmas!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

No Time for Saturday Sky, Part II

This has turned out to be a productive crafting day, though I still need to go back and touch up some mistakes. These are nothing in comparision to the inspiration found here and here, but I really enjoyed making them.

No Time for Saturday Sky

Because I'm still making these... I think I'm almost done!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

A Few Thoughts on Knitting, Crafting, & Christmas

I have finally discarded the idea that my knitting habit is only temporary. In addition, I have decided not to photograph every little thing I make, particularly since I'm currently swimming in sweater ornaments. I so enjoy almost any type of crafting and always have, but I somehow lost that interest for quite a few years after high school. Now that it's back I'm going crazy with ideas. I love the feel of the soft yarn on the needles and selecting colors and patterns of fabric for quilting or other projects. I look forward to trips to the craft store to seek out buttons, ribbon, and any other little things that might catch my eye.

Since all of this started coming back to me I have taken a liking to flickr for inspirational reasons. Every week or so I look through other crafters' photos for more ideas (not that I need any more). See my favorites here. Today I stumbled upon the purl bee's photostream and this lovely little post. Recognize a couple of the photos? ;) Blogging and flickr have become quite valuable to me for the very purpose of connecting with others who share the same interests and, again, for inspiration. Now if only I had enough time to turn all my dreams into reality! *Sigh*

On a different note, I wanted to share a few of my favorite ornaments. My mom won a Hallmark tree when I was six, and it came with an entire collection of ornaments. I was very blessed to receive them when it came time to have my very own Christmas tree. These are just a few of those that I look forward to displaying each year:

I love the holidays.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Time of Need

I have been so (happily) busy with Christmas preparations that I haven't yet taken the time to comment on my more reflective and somewhat deeper thoughts from December. There are so many. I will soon.

In the meantime, I'm asking for your prayers. My aunt 's car went off the road last week, and she is still trying to recover from some very tough injuries and trauma. I think about her each day and say a prayer of my own. This is a difficult time of year to have this happen, and a simple prayer can mean the world. Thank you in advance, to those who might offer a prayer.

On a lighter note, I hope you'll also take a time to reflect and enjoy the wonders of the holiday season and all the things for which you can be grateful. Have a wonderful night!

To Ali & Randall

Just for the record, I don't plan on posting all of my thank you notes here, but given the fact that some of our family is so far away, this just had to be said...
Ali, I don't know if you read this at all, but we just loved the package you sent. We received it today and opened the card and coffees as instructed. The scent is invigorating and a very nice surprise! You are so thoughtful! (To those who are not Ali, the coffees can be found here. ...She sent us some Kenya, Peru, and Sumatra. -If you haven't caught on by the title, we like coffee, and it just makes it that much more special that it came from Ali in Salt Lake City!)
Brian opened the CD too, and as he unwrapped it, he said, "Uh oh. Was I supposed to wait to open this?" Then he saw the note, which was priceless. (Ali attached a sticky note to one of Brian's old CD's that read, "I think this is yours. Merry Christmas!") Gotta love family. You're the best!

Merry Christmas!
Thank you Ali & Randall!

Monday, December 11, 2006


More photos here, and hopefully lots more to come soon.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Not So Much

This was going to be a sock. There is a small possibility that it still will become a sock. However, all signs currently lead to no.

In addition to this sock and another to match, there were going to be stockings. Little hand-sewn stockings in beautiful fabrics selected and arranged oh-so-carefully by moi. These stockings were going to be filled with something on which I hadn't yet decided, and were to be handed out on Sunday when my sister and family will be here.

Today there was going to be blogging, calling, writing, sending, wrapping, shopping, cleaning, and lots of making. Apparently my list was a wee bit too long.

I shopped! And I'm blogging! Yay! I'm sorry I can't offer much more just yet. Hopefully soon. In the meantime I need to rest my feet. I made the mistake of wearing boots with heels, and the balls of my feet are in significant pain.

...Until next time!

(For now I await pizza and boneless hot wings... Then it's off to see Santa!)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


My sister had her baby! No details yet except that it's a girl. Today is also my mom's birthday. Happy Birthday to both! Very special. I can't wait to meet the new baby!
Congratulations, Jess, Bill, Liam, and Caelyn! We love you!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Holiday Inspirations

I've been meaning to post about our Christmas preparations, but I was hoping to have some appropriate photos to share, and so far nothing has quite hit the spot. We decorated our (artificial - at least until we get a house) tree last weekend - and the inside of our small apartment. Today I put lights on the railing and in the windows. I tried the window lights last year but didn't think they fit well. I'm not sure why, as I now think they look quite pretty. They hang like icicles but are longer on each end of the window than in the middle and are indoor lights. It's amazing what a transformation has taken place. We really didn't do very much, but our home feels much warmer and more inviting than any other time of year.

Every Christmas I take out a book my mom gave me a few years back. It's called A Festive Christmas and is full of beautiful inspirations. (Thanks Mom!) The only directions I have used were for some Aromatic Dough Ornaments. Unfortunately I over-cooked them, and they had to be thrown out. I thought about trying again this year and using them to make a simple garland, but I don't know where I would hang it. I've considered some of the other gift ideas as well, namely the Trimmed Fabric Ornaments (pictured below). They are lovely. Then again, so are most of the photographs in the book:

I love looking at books like that. Sometimes the inspiration is as comforting, if not more, than the real thing.
I have also found myself terribly attracted to Scandinavian designs, and I think it may be the Christmas theme that has drawn me in far enough to mention it here. Of course I have suspicions that this is only the beginning. PBS aired a promotional special this morning, Rick Steves' European Christmas, and it was full of lovely Norwegian and Swedish holiday imagery. Maybe some day I'll make it there. You never know. =)
Time to study. More soon.

One More Tonight

Before I go to bed I just had to post this. After all, anyone who knows me knows I am a Gilmore Girls addict. Hey, I even bought myself the fifth season when it went on sale at Target last weekend ($16!!!!!) and gave it to Brian to wrap up for me for Christmas. It's ok. He knew about it before hand and couldn't pass up a deal like that himself. (Come to think of it there was a follow-up, "But now I have to get you something else." Not that he really does. It's just that he was expecting to spend between $40 & $50 on the thing. It was a real steal, I tell you.) Of course, not that Brian ever enjoys watching it with me. *Cough.* *Cough.* Yeeeeaaaaahh. It's ok. I love 'em both.

So anyways. Back to my point:

I'm not usually into anything with skulls and such, but this one I just love. Don't you? :)

...In case you're confused or missed this week's episode, Lorelai wore a similar shirt on the show. See pictures here. I tried not to post about the combo-favorite show/knitting thing, but when I saw this I couldn't resist. It's all explained in the photos.

Now really, until tomorrow (err... later today... ). Goodnight!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Saturday Night Sky

This was the best I could do. The sky was so beautiful tonight, with a mix of stars, clouds, and moon... This video does it no justice whatsoever. Maybe some day I'll combine better technology with a little bit of skill.

Until tomorrow.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Time for Paddington & a Little Reminiscing

I was supposed to go to a holiday dinner at a nice restaurant with my co-workers tonight, but one unexpected thing happened after another. After an already late evening I drove home through severe wind, rain, and thunder storms (in December - who would have thought), and by the time I was home I wanted absolutely nothing to do with going back outside. Instead I spent my evening eating pizza and watching Paddington Bear with Tommy. Now I'm so tired I can barely keep my eyes open. I'm pretty sure I fell asleep before Tommy tonight. I can't explain what I'm doing at the computer now, awake, but here I am.

While we were waiting for our dinner tonight I opened up a college magazine. I hadn't received one for a long time, as I hadn't notified my school of any address changes since before Tommy was born, so it was strange to look through it and see so many changes. I haven't been back since I left to have Tommy, but I still think of my time there often, as it holds some of the best and worst memories of my life thus far, and of course I wouldn't be who I am now had I not spent my time there. Yada, yada, yada, I know. Anyway, it was weird. I won't post any pictures of the changes here, but just for the few classmates I have who might be reading, a little reminiscing: