Thursday, December 25, 2008

Etsy Feature

My mother discovered Etsy this year, and I couldn't have been more exited! She bought this awesome cross for me for Christmas:


Check out this fun and funky Etsy shop for more awesome treats like this one!


Fa-Ra-Ra-Ra-Ra Ra-Ra-Ra-Ra

...and to all a good night!

Just a quick post to say MERRY CHRISTMAS! I hope each of you has a peaceful and blessed holiday with lots of family and friends.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Christmas Miracle

I have blogged here about my struggle with getting pregnant. Matt and I have wished for a baby for quite a few years now, but still don't have a baby to add to our little family. It's something we pray about all the time, and we really do have faith that God will bring us children someday.

I always fantasize about how we will tell our family we are pregnant. One of my favorite fantasies is one where we announce it at the big family Christmas gathering. I imagine us giving my grandmother a gift that reveals our news like a framed sonogram picture, and as she opens it and realizes what it means, everyone explodes with excitement for us. I can't even picture it in my head without tearing up a bit, and I know that if it were to actually happen, I would be bawling like a baby.

This is the fourth Christmas that we have wished to make an announcement like this, but have been unable to. Someday I'm sure we'll be able to reveal the expansion of our family, but every Christmas that goes by until then, I can't help but feel sad that it's not time yet.

Our niece slept with us last night, and as I laid there watching her sleep, I couldn't help but wish that we had one just like her. If we had been able to conceive when we first started trying, our child would be around Kamryn's age. I watch her grow, and I fall in love with her over and over again...and I wonder what our life would be like if we had a little cousin for her.

Sorry for such a sad post so close to Christmas. I am actually feeling quite upbeat about Christmas this year, but I did have this moment of sadness last night (and early this morning) that I wanted to share. Maybe no one reads my sad blogs, but it sure feels good to put it out there, ya know?

Regardless of whether I have a child or not, I'm not letting my sadness cloak the importance of this season. While I yearn for a baby to call my own, I know that many years ago a baby came call me His, and THAT is what Christmas is all about.

Merry Christmas to each of you. May you know who you are and WHOSE you are...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Reality Check

This made me laugh, but oh, how true it is! Enjoy...

First day of winter...

See that below? That's our digital thermometer. See the time listed? It's wrong - it's actually 6:06. I just haven't adjusted for Daylight Savings yet. See the temperature? At first glance, you might think it's 36 degrees. You would be WRONG. It is currently 3.6 degrees here. 3.6 DEGREES! Today is the first day of winter. If this is what we're in for, I'm moving.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Silent Night...

I know I haven't blogged in a while. Forgive me - it's been quite messy around here lately. I was sick for almost 10 days. I had tonsilitis, laryngitis and a cold all at the same time. My boss's wife passed away last week. My great-uncle passed away too. We were in Indy for two funerals on two consecutive days, and my heart is feeling a little heavy from it all. We also just found out that our good friend had open-heart surgery last week. I'm thinking it's not such a lucky time to be friends with me right now!

Christmas can get so hectic, can't it? All the shopping, baking, parties, programs, blah, blah, blah. Don't get me wrong - I love shopping and baking and parties and programs. They really create a special buzz in the air - a bustle, if you will. The energy and spirit I see at Christmastime is like none other. Still, sometimes I can do without the bustle. Sometimes I just want the peace. The Silent Night.

I have to say that I am really kind of sick of Silent Night. We sing it at every single Christmas Eve service, and year after year I can't help but think, "Let's sing something different this year! What about 'O Come, O Come Emmanuel' or 'O Holy Night'?" We always sing "Silent Night," and always lift our candles in the dark sanctuary for the last verse. It has seemed a little cheesy to me for a while, and I'm over it.

Monday afternoon my office hosted a luncheon for retired United Methodist clergy in our area. We do this every year as a way to keep in touch with them, help them keep in touch with each other, and show our thanks for their many years of faithful ministry. It really was a nice event. We had a great turnout, even though the weather was a little nasty, and people seemed to have a nice time. My friend Julie came to entertain the crowd with her beautiful singing. She has a spectacular voice, and she really is a wonderful entertainer. She has this way of drawing you in, and making you feel like she's singing just for you. It's awesome!

After a few songs, she asked if they would like to sing some Christmas carols together, and they all seemed up for it. She asked if there were any requests to start us off. A voice from across the room suggested "Silent Night." I remember thinking, "Ugh. I am SO over this song!" But I decided to be a good sport, and sing along.

I couldn't sing for very long. That crowd could SING! They sang "Silent Night" in four (maybe five) part harmony, with so much passion and reverence, it brought tears to my eyes! Here were over 100 people who had served countless congregations for decades upon decades, who had probably sung this song at every Christmas Eve service they ever preached or attended - and they were singing that song as if they were singing it to Jesus himself.

I felt so convicted right there. If THEY can feel this much reverence for this ordinary, over-played song, what's wrong with me? Isn't that what Christmas is about? Jesus came to bring the "extra" in front of "ordinary," didn't He? This extraordinary savior was born to an ordinary woman. The man who would shepherd us all the way to the gates of an extraordinary Heaven was born in a very ordinary Bethlehem. His extraordinary, redeeming blood was spilled on an ordinary cross, built for ordinary criminals. An extraordinary Lord for very ordinary people - like you and me.

So this year at Christmas, I'm reclaiming Silent Night for myself. In the midst of the ordinary: the malls, the parties, the gifts, the decorations, the commercials, the cha-ching at the registers, the cards, the BUSTLE, I am going to remember that extraordinary baby sitting in the creche under my tree. I will remember that He came to add the "extra" to my "ordinary." And I will sing an ordinary song like "Silent Night" with a lot more reverence. At the end of the day, we all know that Christmas is about so much more than the bustle that permeates our world at this time of year. Behind it all there is a peace to be found...a Silent Night.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Have you seen this?

Have you seen this commercial? Matt and I saw it last night, and just about died!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

All Time Top 5 Christmas Movies *UPDATED!*

What are your all time top 5 Christmas movies? Here are mine:

1. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
2. A Christmas Story
3. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
4. The Holiday
5. Scrooged

I am sheepishly admitting that I have never seen It's a Wonderful Life or Miracle on 34th Street. Don't worry - I'm adding them to my Netflix queue right now!

Go on...comment away!

Elf was playing this morning at CVS, and I was immediately horrified that I forgot to put it on my list! So, I think Scrooged is being bumped, and Elf will be placed in the #4 spot. :)

The 12 Days of Christmas...INDY STYLE!

If you're near Indianapolis, check out the 12 FREE Days of Christmas in Indy. Sounds fun!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Playing the Part

The coming weekend will be a busy one for us. Veedersburg's Christmas Parade is Saturday, and Veedersburg UMC is going to have a float in the parade. I'm excited about attending this event, if only for the chance to get out of the house and maybe meet some people in our new town. Sunday our other church, Hillsboro UMC, will be having their Live Nativity and Chili Supper. Again, this is going to be an opportunity for us to meet some people in Hillsboro (and to have some yummy chili).

I wouldn't be lying if I told you I wasn't 100% comfortable about Matt and I playing Mary and Joseph in the Live Nativity. When the biggest struggle in our life the past few years has been conceiving a child, I imagine I might have some difficulty playing a new mother. Then again, maybe it will all be just fine, and I won't be bothered by it at all.

I think I've dealt with a lot of this transition by operating in "autopilot." There are days when I push my emotions to the back burner, and just work at checking things off my to-do list. Every now and then my emotions boil over as if to remind me that they're still there. Someday soon I think I'll address this pot of emotions, but right now I'm praying that God will allow me to keep them pushed back for this Live Nativity...