Merry 3 Days After Christmas

12.28.2010

I am always sad when Christmas is over. I can't explain why. I just am. I love the preparation and anticipation that goes into everything for the month of December.

And then, before I can even blink...it's gone.

But here I sit. 3 days after Christmas and all of decorations are in the same place and our tree is still lit. It's just the knowledge that in just a couple of days, the decorations will be packed back up and the tree will be taken to the curb.

Seriously. That's sad

One thing that keeps me happy in this post Christmas season is knowing that the reason we celebrate December 25th in the first place is alive all year.  So when the garland is gone and the stockings are no longer hung by the chimney with care, His promises will keep me uplifted and encouraged in the months to come.

I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. 
-- John 10:10
I read this is someone else's blog earlier today:

Jesus isn't just the reason for the season. He's the reason for everything

So in the days leading into 2011, remember that. That even though we'll be 11 months away from another Christmas season, Jesus is an every season kind of Jesus.

And May All Your Christmases be White...

12.27.2010

This was the scene we awoke to yesterday{Dec. 26th} morning.


I still am still in disbelief that we got a white Christmas. It was the prefect gift and I consider it a blessing that we had it. There is a song sung by Audrey Assad and Chris Tomlin and below is a portion of the lyrics;
Could've come like a mighty storm
With all the strength of a hurricane
You could've come like a forest fire
With the power of heaven in Your flame


But You came like a winter snow
Quiet and soft and slow
Falling from the sky in the night
To the earth below

How true? Jesus had the ability to come as anything, but He came in a way that represented everything that He was; peaceful, clean, pure, lovely. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Christmas is a magical time and  snow adds even more to that.

Okay, back the subject at hand: CHRISTMAS! Christmas eve was very relaxing and spent lounging around the house until it was time to go to church. I am so thankful for our Christmas eve service. It is the perfect. Too much of the time, we get lost in bows and receipts and lines and can't find our way out long enough to be reminded of what Christmas is about. The Christmas eve service provides that reminder. It was a little different this year because a little girl {who was so adorable} sang "Happy Birthday, Jesus" and it was absolutely enchanting. She had a great voice for such a little person and the words needed to be heard in that simplistic way;
 Happy birthday Jesus
I'm so glad it's Christmas
all the tinsel and lights
and the presents are nice
but the real gift is You...

I was pretty close to tears {as I normally am during this service} by the time she was done. I always get emotional, but they are always tears of thankfulness and joy.

After church, we headed over to hubbys parents for food and presents and family time!
allll the presents

the Christmas story being read to the kids
The great thing about having nieces and nephews in our family is that we get to experience their excitement, but then go to our quiet home where it's just us and our pups. But one thing is for sure, they were SO excited.  But they weren't the only ones to be excited...


I've been wanting this plate for quite some time, but I just couldn't bring myself to buy it. But my wonderful mother in law knew about it, and got it! I can't wait to display it next year!

We got home around 9:30 Friday night and I rushed to put on my Christmas p.j.'s.

Hubby really wanted to open the presents that night, but I insisted we wait until the next morning. And I'm so glad we did. We woke up early, got a fire going, and sat on the floor to see what goodies we got!

I was so excited with my presents and I think hubbs was with his too! For Christmas breakfast I made cinnamon rolls and sausage and it was delightful.  After presents and breakfast, we went back to hubby's parents to play santa for our nephew! We went in with Andrew's brother and got him a John Deere power wheel. It was great and he absolutely loved it.


It was a great day! And yesterday {Dec. 26th} we headed to Winston-Salem in the snow to see my parents and the Meadows! It was the perfect ending to a very merry Christmas!


So here's to hoping you and yours had a merry Christmas and happy New Year!

Merry Christmas Eve

12.24.2010

Christmas eve, you  always seems to sneak up on me...

...but presents are wrapped...

...the stockings are hung by the chimney with care...

...ornaments glitter in the fire light...

...and some of us are already enjoying early Christmas presents..


I love Christmas eve. The older I get, the more I appreciate it. Sure, it used to be all about presents {and maybe I still like that part...}, but now I look forward to spending time with my hubby {and dogs}, Christmas service tonight, spending time with family and friends. Yes, I realize how cheesy I sound, but there is really no other way to say it. Christmas is so much more than what's under the tree or isn't. I overheard more than 1 person this week saying that they were ready for Christmas to be over because of all the presents they had to buy. Are you kidding me? This is an awesome season and I am so sad that it's going to be over in just a matter of days! If present buying ruins it, then stop. Don't buy anything. Bake cookies to give to people. Invite friends into your home for dinner. Take the time to realize what it's all about. I assure you, I will remember the people I spent this holiday season with more than what I received as a gift in the years to come.

So with that, I hope that each and everyone of you have an amazing Christmas eve and day tomorrow. Give hugs and kisses and 'I love you's'. It's worth way more.


p.s. I'm still holding out for snow tomorrow though no one seems to know what's going to happen.

I'm Dreaming Of A...

12.21.2010

I'm not ashamed to say that I have literally prayed for a white Christmas for years now and it appears that it could actually be possible this year!

According to the Weather Guy it is a reality that could start Friday night and go into Saturday.

Here's to hoping that my prayers come true this Christmas!

I would be totally content if this is what we woke up to Christmas morning. Though I understand this isn't probable, it's still a pleasant thought. Either way, we'll have hot chocolate, a fire in the fireplace and each others company. And I of course will be wearing my Christmas p.j.'s all day.

That's right folks. I have pajamas that are only for Christmas eve/day.


So, snow or no snow, sounds like a great day!

Prayer Request

12.18.2010

It's a funny thing that happens when you start to blog. You stumble across other blogs that you start following. And by doing this, you can't help but to feel as though you know the individual writing the posts and the people they're writing about.

With that said, my prayer request is for a couple that I've never actually met or verbally spoken to. But Amy is someone that I feel like I know. We both love the Lord, our husbands and our dogs. Today, her and her husband's {Dusty aka DW} world was turned upside down.

This is the story.

Like I said, I know that they both love the Lord and are trusting in Him completely in this situation. But I'm asking the folks that read my blog and that also blog, to lift them up in your prayers. God is a healer and He cares.

The Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting …” (Psalm 100:5)

Just Because...

12.15.2010

Ever since I've started at K&L, I feel so disconnected from the blogging world! Before, I had ample time to  blog about  anything. Things that no one would even want to read, but I still wrote about it. Now I feel that since my post are going to be more sporadic, I'll need to write about things that hold more substance.

After this random rambling one of course!

I'm still shocked that Christmas is a mere week and a half away! I don't want it to end. I love our tree and all of our Christmas knick-knacks around the house. I love driving home listening to Christmas music and seeing more houses than not lit up in our neighborhood. I love that as I'm typing, I'm moving my foot to the beat of Vince Guaraldi Trio's, A Charlie Brown Christmas. I FINALLY got our Christmas cards our today.

Please count how many times I've said Christmas in such a short paragraph...

Anyways, this past Sunday, Andrew and I drove the snow to the Biltmore Estate. Neither one of us had ever been, so it was perfection to see it at Christmas time and for there to be snow falling from the sky and already covering the ground. I was so upset though, because I realized on the drive up, we had forgotten to charge the camera battery! Despite that, we still got some great pictures.
he always squints! but still so cute

the Biltmore!

It was bitter cold by the time we left! But we had an amazing time and we're already planning to go back in the spring {with a fully charged camera battery}. I have loved being able to do Christmas activities for the past 2 weekends and being surrounded by snow. It's so great. This weekend we'll be at my grandparents for their Christmas party and then dinner on Sunday with some great friends that we never get to see enough of! This really is my most favorite time of year!

And of course I can't forget to mention that Carolina is on a whopping 3 game winning streak! 2 of the 3 weren't that huge {other than they were just a win}, but the win against Kentucky was much needed! This Saturday the Tar Heels will take on the Longhorns of Texas in Greensboro. Here's to hoping the winning streak can be extended to 4...

Harrison Barnes

Dexter Strickland

Coach!
Hubby and I will be going to Chapel Hill on January 2nd for a game and I can't wait!

And with that, my random rambling post is done! I will certainly try to post after this weekend!

I hope everyone is enjoying everything that this season has to offer...it is truly magical...


“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).--Matthew 1:23

{all UNC images via here}

First Week!

12.11.2010

Whew! Just finished my first week at my new adventure! It flew by and I really enjoyed it.

Monday was the typical first day; lots of information that I'll never remember, but that all has to be given. And Tuesday through Friday was becoming more acclimated to what I'll be doing and getting just a taste of what all happens in a law firm.

I really like my boss and the BD coordinator. I think even though this job will come with stresses and challenges, we're going to make a great team. My boss told me on Friday that once I get a better understanding of what we do, she wants me to take on a lot of the PR side which is exactly what I want!

I know that the coming months will stretch me and my brain in ways that it's never gone. But I'm ready to face that head on.

This is the big mama jamma building that I get to go to every morning. It's 47 floors and K&L Gates occupies the 41st through the 47th. My office is on the 45th floor and the views are amazing. Not that I have a window...but I totally look out of other peoples :) It's really convenient  to stores and restaurants.

Another huge perk of working uptown and the location of my building is that I get to ride the train. This was a huge draw for me because I absolutely hate traffic and the majority of drivers in the Queen City. It's a great way to decompress and just to sit and relax a the end of the day. AND my train pass is subsidized! That is a huge perk and I am so thankful for it.

It's funny for me to look back over the the few months before I was offered this position and the stress I would feel at times. I know that God is a provider and that His timing is perfect...but in those moments, those facts were completely lost on me. I didn't know what to think. Hubby kept assuring me that a job would come, but I kept saying to him that God could not give me a job and use the time as season for us to grow and be stretched. And though I know that would've been a great learning season, I am so thankful that He blessed us in this way.

My times are in Your hands...
--Psalm 31: 15

We Decked The Halls!

12.08.2010

The season is upon us! Since the day after Thanksgiving, I've slowly be spreading Christmas sprinkles around our home. And this weekend it was completed! We left around 10 on Saturday morning to make the 2 hour hike up to Boone. And much to our delight, we were greeted with fluffy flakes falling from the sky. It was a certifiable winter wonderland and it was positively perfect!

{are you loving all of my alliteration?}

Once we pulled into Boone, we stopped for lunch at Chic Fila which was quite a task with 11 of us!

sweet niece
equally sweet nephew
After lunch, we drove in the slushy roads and the snow filled sky to a picturesque Christmas tree farm rightfully called, What Fir.  It was slightly overwhelming to see all of the Frazier Firs poking out of the snow covered ground. But nevertheless, we found a great one!
beautiful snow covered trees!

i think this is the perfect one!



After tree picking out, it was time to actually enjoy the snow and watch our nieces and nephews have a great time. And I have to tell you, seeing children enjoy snow and Christmas activities, made it that much more special. It makes me excited to know hubby and I will get to experience that one day with our own little ones...someday.
ready to attack

nephew was ready to escape...still cute picture

they're joy is unexplainable

Once everyone was thoroughly worn out, cold and wet, we piled back into the cars and hit the snowy roads. We made a pit stop to the outlets in Blowing Rock and I got a cute J.Crew shirt for $15 and a Banana Republic shirt for $10! They were both on clearance and then it was additional 40% off. Love when that happens! After church on Sunday {which was great as usual}, we finished turning our home into a Christmas village.
finished product!

stockings!

a section of the mantle
We finished off the day with a great dinner and each others company. It was a great weekend!

I love this time of year!

Gobble Gobble!

11.27.2010

Let me start out by saying that I absolutely LOVE Thanksgiving. There is just so much to love about it:
  • food,
  • family, 
  • friends, {apparently a lot of 'f' things}
  • and we're at the cusp of entering the BEST, most wonderful time of year...CHRISTMAS!
But I entered this Thanksgiving with a different view. A better one. I took the time {and the pictures} to recognize what matters.  Not looking so forward to Christmas that I missed what Thanksgiving is all about. It is just as its name says--a time to give thanks. And that's what I did. I thanked my family; my friends; my God. I am beyond blessed...

So on to the recap! Hubby and I {and our 4-legged children} hit the road Wednesday evening to arrive at my brother's house for an amazing dinner with his wife and our great grandfather.

{Sidenote--my brother is a freak. Seriously. The guy made homemade croutons, tortillas, whipped cream and yeast rolls...just while we were there! I swear the whole "good cook" gene completely skipped over me}

Thursday morning, Jessica {sister-in-law}, hubby and myself got up to go to the Turkey Strut 5K. Andrew didn't run in it--he was our personal photographer and moral supporter. But it was so fun and there were a ton of people! I had no clue that many people wanted to run 3.1 miles on turkey day, but they sure did. It was super chilly and halfway through, it started raining! Winter is trying so hard to make its way to the south...I'm rooting for it!
we're ready to go!

tired but so happy at this point
my biggest supporter in every area of my life!

Afterward, we headed back to my brother's house to get ready to undo all of the calorie burning we had just participated in. There were still a few minor details that had to be finished up, but because of that, I got to use a KitchenAid Stand Mixer for the first time. I know, it's sad, but true. I was converted though! I loved it. So for anyone that is interested in spending $200 on me anytime soon, this is what I want! 

As I said before, the whole cooking gene skipped right on over me, and because of such, I tried to steer clear of the hustle and bustle of the kitchen other than using the above amazingness. But I was able to distract my brother long enough to get a picture with him and our great-grandpa.
such handsome men!
I showed Papa Lacy the picture and informed him that he was one good looking man and his response was "Not bad for all the mileage I suppose". I told him that he was good looking no matter what! As the food started making it's way to the table, I decided it looked too incredible NOT to get a a picture...or a dozen


Just looking at those pictures make my mouth water! It was a certifiable feast! I managed to just have one helping of most things, but some things just demand 2 servings. After lunch pretty much everyone went to nap except me and my brother. He had to make chicken enchiladas for their next Thanksgiving feast, so with me being the best little sister ever, stayed up and helped him out. It was fun, but a little tedious. This is where the homemade tortillas come into the picture and my job was to roll the flour, smash it {seriously} and after they cooked, stuff them with the filling. Once that was done, it was time for them to hit the road with my great grandpa and for us to make a few more stops as well. We stopped by my parents again to hang out for a few minutes and then headed to the Meadow's! I hadn't seen Brittany {or the rest of them} in far too long and it was so great!

Friday morning, Jessica & I got up and went to Target and the mall. Neither one was really THAT bad, but we also did not go at 4 am. That's just crazy. But I was able to get the rest of my Christmas shopping done done for the most part and got some things for me to wear at my new job! So all in all, it was a very successful shopping trip. We headed home after that and just relaxed for the rest of the evening on Friday.

It was a great Thanksgiving and now I can't wait to start transforming our house into a Christmas village! I always love December, and I know that this year will be no different!

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

Truly I Say to You

11.24.2010

{I know I'm a couple of days early with the new layout...but I can't help it!}

I've really been praying that the Lord helps me in focusing on what is really important this time of year. Traditions are great and I am all for them, but that isn't what makes Christmas. Christmas is a time to bless others and to recognize even more how very blessed we are. The older I get, Christmas changes. Not in a bad way; but now I'm not counting down the days and hours for Santa. Now I'm looking for ways to glorify the Lord. Whether that is helping a family have gifts for Christmas that they may not otherwise have or if it's just spending more quality time with friends and family. Because at the end of the day {and year}that is what matters. The relationships. God has given us a small window of time on this earth and I'm learning more and more how small that window can be. So while I'm here on the other side of it, I'm going to live it the best way that I can.

Death is not our enemy; a wasted life is our enemy.- Louie Giglio



I signed up for Max Lucado's Christmas devotionals this year, and this is what he suggested in Day 3:

One of the best ways you can prepare yourself for a great Christmas is to listen for God's voice. What might he want to say to you as December 25 draws near?

Life gets busy. Especially this time of year. But regardless, find that time, that space, that quiet to just sit and listen. God wants us to be excited for Christmas--but not because of Santa or presents. He wants us to find joy, excitement AND peace because of Him and the gift that He gave us all those years ago. 

So this Christmas, don't only take time to watch Charlie Brown Christmas and The Grinch. Take time to listen for God. To bless someone. To desire family and friends.

It's not the bows and lights that make this a magical time of year.

A New Chapter!

11.23.2010

So as you may remember from this post, I was a little worried about my job situation once the project I'm currently working on ended.

Well not anymore!

Starting December 6th, I will be an employee at the international law offices of K&L Gates!

I am so excited! I think that this will be a great opportunity and I'm going to learn so much. My official title is Business Development Assistant and the BD department is focused mainly on marketing and events {right up my alley}. It's funny because for months now I've said that I'd love to work Uptown and now I get the opportunity to do so. Hubby thought I was crazy, but I think that I'll enjoy it immensely. So with that said, please be praying that the transition will be as close to flawless as possible!

Thank you all so much for your prayers and encouragement. I know that God's timing is perfect, but the unknown can still be a scary place to be!

At least I know that I'm never alone.
 
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