December 30, 2012

in 2012 i...

Took up baking.
I've decided that although cooking causes me to break out in a profuse sweat, and causes me to bare my fangs at whichever poor soul happens to be in the house with me, baking is completely different! Baking I like. Baking fills me with happiness. It also fills my house with good smells. It also makes me feel that I've arrived at some higher level of existence. I mean, it's like all my life God has been trying to tell me to bake some bread, and now I've finally listened and done according to His will, and now my soul is at peace. And now I want to marry the bread machine that I stole from Karen's garage instead of Hawkeye.
Or something like that.
I made these cookies.

I looked upon my handiwork and saw that it was good. So I ate them.
Caramel... plus chocolate... plus cookie... this recipe was a total win. Especially with a mug of coffee.

Didn't get married.
Much to Emma's dismay. She says my child bearing days are going to be left far behind me if I don't hurry up and do something about this crisis.
But the other girls said it's all good... they'll let me be their Old Maid of Honor when they get married. Get it? Old maid?
I have a lot to say about being single...

And there's a lot more where that came from.

Drank lots of coffee.
I ground up those beans and experienced the creamy goodness that is freshly ground coffee. Everyday.
I dreamed of owning an espresso machine (which hasn't happened yet, but 2013 is full of possibilities).
I had coffee breath (which made me want to sniff my own breath).
And on the days I didn't drink coffee, I gave up.

And for Christmas, different best and highly favored friends of mine gave me about 4 lbs of coffee beans which is great because now I won't have to buy coffee for, like, three whole weeks.

Got serious about DIYing.
Okay, so maybe I'm not as serious about DIYing as Martha Stewart. I mean, I have yet to gather a handful of Popsicle sticks and a few yards of recycled string, and hot glue them together thereby creating an expensive couch that looks like it just got shipped over to my house by King Louie the 14th because he no longer needs it for Versailles.
But, I do like decorating my house, and I like giving people gifts. Alack and alas, money doesn't grow on trees. Also, deep down in my heart (and also on the surface of my heart), I'm a cheap penny pincher. You know how Frank asks Steve Martin on Father of the Bride if he wants to go with the "chipper chicken"? That's me. I'll go for the chipper anything if it'll save me two cents. So I decided to stop wasting my time on Pinterest, and actually do some of the stuff I see on there. And now my living room has been completely redecorated via DIY, almost all of my Christmas gifts were homemade this year, and now I'm making lists of what all I need to find at the local thrift stores so I can upcycle and DIY my bedroom into shape.

And I've enjoyed every minute of it. I've found something that I love to do, and I'm doing it.

Put down deeper home roots.
You know how people say live in the moment? And it's like, Go sky diving! Go to the movies! Travel the globe! Climb Mt. Everest! Swim in the ocean! Learn five languages! That's great. Maybe someday I'll do those things (except sky diving, climbing Everest, and swimming in the ocean because I figure those things are life threatening and I'm not really in to threatening my own life). But for me, living in the moment is when I stop and settle. It's when I put down roots. It's when I'm content down in the cockles of my heart with where I'm at. And I'm at home. Home is the best place. And it isn't just about my house and the roof over my head, it's belonging. This here- North Idaho, Heritage Baptist Church, and the people make up home for me. Every year, this is more my home, and more my town, and more a blessing.

Learned to find the beautiful things.
It isn't that deep. There's ugly, and there's beautiful. 
Those little kids being killed up at that Sandy Hook school. That's one of the ugliest, wickedest things I've ever had the heartbreak to hear about.
And sometimes things just aren't beautiful. Sometimes they're just plain butt ugly.
But no matter how ugly things are, God always makes pretty things, beautiful things. He's like, super talented in that way.

And whether it's the Sandy Hook shooting, or some upheaval in my own life, I've learned (am trying to learn) this year that I have a choice: to focus on the ugly- because it's there and it's real, or to focus on the beautiful- because that's there and it's real too. It ain't easy, but I choose beautiful. Because He really hath made every thing beautiful in His time.

Figured out what a weakling I am.

Okay, I admit, when I first saw the above picture on Pinterest, I pinned it all like, Uh huh... that's right. I'm like, strong and stuff like that.
But after I thought about it for awhile, and finally stopped checking out my bicep strength, I changed my mind. I'm not strong. I'm a big, fat, wimpy weakling. I mean, I'm scared of Willy Wonka for heaven's sake. But it doesn't matter. Maybe I'm a weakling, maybe I'm not very confident, maybe I doubt myself, and maybe I don't have the guts to look out my window after dark because I'm afraid Freddy Kruger might be looking back at me. But this year I've learned that doesn't matter because God has all the strength I need. And this year I've rested in that strength. God has held me and His strength has been my hammock, and at the end of the day, I've just swayed in the breeze; completely confident in His strength- not my own. And I can look whatever comes my way right in the eyeballs with absolute assurance that God is right there flexing His biceps on my behalf. It's amazing how that works. His strength is made perfect in my weakness. That's beautiful, right there.

There's a verse in the Psalms that I really love. It's a good end-of-the-year verse.
The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me. Psalm 138:8a
That about sums it up.
May the Lord perfect that which concerneth you in 2013.


December 25, 2012

a thankful christmas

For silly little girls with crazy hair and Hello Kitty nails.

For all the snow. Because I love a white Christmas even though I hate driving on the bad roads.

For little girls loving lip gloss so much that they have to reapply it every 25 seconds.

For Emma's thoughtfulness. And weird but wonderful creativity. She cut up some old socks and made Molly some fashionable "fingerless gloves" for Christmas. So she can suck her fingers you know... 
Because Molly has to suck those two fingers no matter what. And when Emma grows up, she's going to be the next Martha Stewart and our Pinterest Queen.

For family.

For friends.

For Emma's sense of fashion.

For the way God comforts and blesses and gives.
For the way He gave His Son, and rescued me.

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

That's my favorite Christmas verse. It's the newborn King and the King of Kings all rolled into one.
And it thrills my heart to pieces.

Merry Christmas, everyone!


December 12, 2012

a post with lots of pictures

Today, I ran around town with a really uncomfortable feeling in my right armpit. Turns out I forgot to put my cami all the way on, and a large portion of it was wadded up under my armpit. I don't understand how these things happen.

Anyway, remember how I said I was going down to Alabama to visit my big sister for Thanksgiving? I had been planning it for months. So I bought my ticket. For the wrong date. So I was actually home for Thanksgiving, and flew out the day after. Who knew Thanksgiving was on the 22nd and not the 29th? Apparently not me.
It was a fun Thanksgiving though. I got to celebrate it twice.

At Karen's...

I made homemade rolls. Excuse me while I try not to feel really proud of my industrious self.

And at Shelly's...

And then I got down to visiting Shelly and her chirren.
We were silly.

We were semi normal.

Then Shelly and I built a bonfire that promptly threatened to burn her house down. And maybe even the neighborhood. And I thought about calling a cute fireman for help, but that ended up not being necessary. Bummer.

After I beat the fire out with a shovel, my bare hands, and a lots of sweat, we had s'mores.

And before I left, we went to see a Christmas light show.

There was a little train ride at this light show. The conductor was... interesting. Have you watched Brave? You know the big blonde guy who talks funny? Here's a clip in case you haven't seen it. Blonde dude starts talking right around 12 seconds.

That was our train conductor, And ober on da lef humhumblahbuna also lalaflefla. You right lamalama?
I was like, What'd he say? And no one knew. It was a mystery to us all. A lovely little Christmas mystery.
I laughed the whole train ride.

I love Shelly. I love those kids. If I had my way, they'd be living in my house, sharing my room, and using up all my hot water. Instead they live far, far away, and I pretty much never get to see them. And so I just look at pictures, and talk on the phone, and get a lump in my throat.

Then I got on a plane and flew home, and they frisked my bun at the airport because apparently you can only have so many clippies in your hair and if you're over the quota, they pat your bun down to make sure you don't have any weapons of mass destruction hidden in there.

But I made it home.
And we've had lots going on since I've been back.

Emma and Lily have been dressing themselves.

Emma's sense of fashion never ceases to amaze me.

I have no idea what she's crying about, but her face cracks me up.

As do her Minnie Mouse shoes and those socks.

I would explain, but I have no idea...

Lily's motto is, WEAR ALL THE HAIR THINGS.

After that, Leah turned 13.

Now we have a mature teenager in the house, and Karen made her a "sweet pink wedding birthday cake".

Nailed it.
That cake picture will bring me all the joy and laughter I need until the Apocalypse.
And I am not joking when I say that I hope Karen makes me the same cake for my birthday. (Which is exactly one week away, by the way. I like presents.)

Then I decorated for Christmas.
I love my Christmas decorations. I heart them. I literally get tears in my eyes when I have to pack them away.

Would it be pathetic to leave my tree topper out all year? It's my favorite thing, and I could use it for a night light.

I made that door hanger thingy (pat, pat on my back). My friend, Brandi, gave me some pieces of birch bark awhile back, and at the time I didn't know what to do with them. But they were cool so I stuck them in the garage for one day when I felt inspired. I felt inspired while I was chopping off all the super long branches on  my tree. So I took some of the tree trimmings, a snowflake ornament, some little bells, and hot glued it all together, and I love it. (pat, pat again)

I think that's all for now, guys.
I have go finish up my Christmas shopping.

I love you,