Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It's Almost Christmas!

Today is Tuesday. Which means that Christmas is in 3 days! It also means only 1 more day of work this week. And Christmas dinner with my coworkers and their spouses tonight. And just general merriment in my heart.

Last night Derek humored me and we watched The Holiday together. (Have you ever noticed that The Holiday has nothing to do with Christmas - its just a chick flick that happens to take place over Christmas? Anyways, I still love it!) And we turned out all the lights and had a fire in the fire place and Christmas lights on. Sounds like a good start to Christmas week to me.

This year our festivities will start on Thursday, Christmas Eve, with Derek and I exchanging gifts with each other. Then we are going to go to church here in Lexington at noon, then pack up Moose and a bunch of gifts and head up to northern Kentucky to spend the rest of the weekend with his family.

This is the first year that we are not going to see both of our families on Christmas. Since my sister moved out to Colorado in the fall, my parents decided to go out and spend Christmas with her. So we are going to celebrate with my family over New Year's weekend when my parents are back in Columbus. While I will miss seeing my family, it is kind of nice to only be going one place for the weekend and not worrying about when we need to leave and all that stuff.

It's weird growing up because up until this point I've always done the same thing for Christmas every year. The only thing that changed was where we went to eat on Christmas Eve. And at first I spent so much time and energy trying to make things as much like they have always been as possible. But now that we are doing something different, I realize that Christmas isn't about always doing the same thing and trying to make everything just like the way it was when you were little. It doesn't really matter when we celebrate or what we do. And it's kind of nice that the pressure is off and we can just enjoy family and celebrating the birth of Jesus.

Anyways, I am pretty excited about Christmas this week and hope you all are too :) It's so close!!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Happy Day

So today is a happy day for several reasons:

1. When I walked into my office this morning there was a Christmas gift on my desk for me. What a great way to start any day. I opened it and it was a black Lands End fleece jacket. I asked for a fleece jacket for Christmas because I am always freezing at work and needing more things to layer with. And I just really like fleece jackets. And it has my company logo on it, which I guess I am getting old, because I kind of like that. I'm not sure why.

2. We had our work Christmas party today. It was at the Malone's Banquet area on top of Sal's restaurant, which is where we had the rehearsal dinner for our wedding. So, happy memories, tasty food, getting to skip some of work today, and it had one of these:

I'm a sucker for a chocolate fountain. I went up twice. You can judge me. I love work Christmas parties. Even though this one was in the middle of the day, I still got a little dressed up for it this morning. I put on eyeliner and fancy pants. Most days I come to work looking like an LCA student - khakis and a polo. It's comfy and easy. (Don't worry, I look nice if I have a meeting or some reason to look nice, but mostly I snicker when we get e-mails from corporate in the summer and at Christmas telling us we can dress in business casual attire, because my attire most days of the year is business VERY casual.) But today, for the Christmas party, I dressed up a little. I might even go as far as to say that if I worked in the New York office, I might be able to wear what I wore today.

3. We have Derek's Bible study Christmas party tonight. This will be lots of fun because it's all of Derek's Bible study and their wives, which equals a lot of our friends. I love our friends and I love when we all hang out together. It used to happen a lot more frequently in college and now that we are all grown up with big people jobs and responsibilities, it doesn't happen nearly as much as I would like.

So I feel really happy right now and just felt like sharing, because what is a blog for if you can't share when you're having a happy day.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


So I am lacking blogging inspiration, but I wanted to update the blog, so I thought today I would share whatever comes to mind. Warning, this could be a long and very random post and I don't have any pictures. You can choose to stop reading right now, I won't be offended.

So first off, this past weekend was pretty successful. I baked lots of cookies, and put together fun little cookie bags that I wanted to give out as gifts. So I definitely checked number 1 off of my list of things to do.

From there, I only partially completed my to-do lists. I got about half of my Christmas cards done. I still need to lick the envelopes (I don't really like that part) and put stamps and return labels on them and send them out. I also need to do everything for the other half. I meant to do this last night and instead my friend Sarah came over and we played Settlers of Catan and watched the Office. Settlers of Catan is a real fun game, but Derek always beats me. He pretty much beats me in any game we play (Settlers, Monopoly, Scrabble, Chess, etc). It's better when we play games where we can be on a team. (I told you this posts would be random). So Christmas cards don't really get to be checked off the list.

I do have most of my Christmas shopping done. My mom came down to visit me on Monday and we went shopping. She helped me pick out gifts for my grandparents, who are usually the hardest to buy for. Now I just need to coordinate with my sister on a few more gifts (which is difficult because she works on weekends and we have a 2 hour time difference, so sometimes its hard to find a good time to talk) and maybe pick up a few more things, but I have most of it done.

Also, when my mom and I went shopping I got to show her what I want for Christmas, number 1 on the list is this dress from Banana Republic:

Except I think I would wear my brown boots with it. When I told Derek about it, he asked which pair of brown boots I would wear with it. I said I don't know, I'll have to figure that out when I get it. I also have a cute pair of brown pumps that would go nicely. As I was browsing Banana Republic's website, I found this dress right next to it that I would like to have as well:

And luckily for me, I also have a pair of black boots that I could wear with it. Whenever I pick out clothes I always have to figure out what shoes I would wear with it first. Because if I don't have good shoes to wear with it, I won't wear it. Going shopping with my mom is so much fun though, because when I go by myself I look at stuff and know that I will never own it. But when I go with my mom I know there is a chance. I have the best mom.
Ok, back to my list. So while most of the shopping is done, the wrapping did not so much get done. I brought everything downstairs and put it on the coffee table totally in the way in hopes of wrapping it all so that it wouldn't be in the way. I just moved it all to the dining room to get it out of the way and have only actually wrapped 2 gifts. I found some cute gift bags at Target though, and I put some gifts in gift bags. That is probably cheating, but it is so much easier.
#4 on the list was to do a little crafting this weekend. This did not happen. There is something that I want to make for Derek's grandma and send to her for Christmas because she just moved into a new assisted living place and I wanted to give her something she could put in her room. But the craft involves sewing and that intimidates me. I need to do it soon though so I can send it to her.
Other random thoughts. It's almost Christmas and I haven't watched Elf all the way through yet. Elf is my favorite Christmas movie and I watched a lot of it when I was up in Columbus for Thanksgiving, but we didn't finish it for some reason. I feel like I need to watch it all the way through.
Also, this is the time of year when I start to get antsy and want to travel. I spend my time daydreaming about all the places I want to go next year and how I can make it so that I have enough vacation time to do it all, and enough money. Next year I would like to go to Colorado to visit my sister, the beach and New York City. I am trying to scheme up a way I could go to NYC for work and just stay a little extra. And potentially bring my husband and some friends along with me.
Today I am very tired. On Monday I didn't go to bed until 1:30. Then, for some reason woke up at 6am on Tuesday morning, well before my alarm was set. I figured that was God's way of telling me that we needed to hang out, so I got up and spent some time with him. And I felt great all day yesterday. Today, I am struggling. Why is it that when you don't get a lot of sleep, you always feel it the day after the next day? The good news is I worked some extra hours last week, so I can come into work a little late for the rest of the week.
I could probably keep going but I think I will stop here for the sake of those of you who are actually still reading. I'll try to do better next time.

Friday, December 11, 2009


So today was a very productive. This weekend I have a 4 day weekend (kind of, I had to go into work this morning for a meeting). There's a lot going on - tonight we have Derek's work Christmas party, tomorrow morning the Young Life women's brunch, and tomorrow night our Bible study dinner, but in between all the celebrating I am hoping to get a few things done, such as:

1. Make Christmas cookies
2. Write Christmas cards and get them sent out
3. Finish up some Christmas shopping and get gifts wrapped
4. Do a little crafting

So today, after work I had lunch with my friend Carly, and then got to working on number 1 on my list. I have several different kinds of Christmas cookies I would like to make, so I dedicated today to making things dipped in chocolate. I made buckeyes, chocolate covered ritz peanut butter crackers that I learned about from my friend Kari, and chocolate covered pretzels.

Everything looks so great, I can't wait to share them with friends! Other things that made me happy today - I got to wear my red and white striped Williams-Sonoma apron, and listen to my 2 favorite Christmas albums: Reliant K - Let it Snow Baby, Let it Reindeer, and Jessica Simpson's Christmas album. I even finished up a half an hour before our Christmas party tonight, which is why I have time to blog about it. Oh happy day!

Thursday, December 10, 2009


So after a record number of posts in a week last week, I have been a bit MIA from the blog world this week. That is because I got to spend much of Tuesday and Wednesday in Harlan and Bell Counties. For those of you who don't know your Kentucky counties, these are the 2 southeastern most counties in Kentucky. We are doing a planning study at work to improve one of the major roads that runs through these two counties, and as part of the study we had 2 public meetings this week (1 in Harlan County and 1 in Bell County) to see what the folks who lived there would like to see done.

Ok, so that is all the background as to why I spent a few days of my week down in eastern Kentucky. So, being from Ohio, I have never spent much time in eastern Kentucky. In fact, I had never been there until this past fall when we designed a some traffic signals for various locations throughout eastern Kentucky. It is definitely a different world from Lexington or Columbus. Lots of poverty, trailers, and people who live on government assistance. I even learned about the phenomenon of the first of the month. (As we were driving to one of our meetings for this project on September 1st there were all sorts of people with tables set up on the side of the road selling stuff. I found out that this is what happens on the first of the month because that is when everyone gets their checks, so people go out to the main road and try to sell stuff.) I don't say these things to belittle the people who live their or make fun of them, it is just the way it is, and it was all totally new to me.

Up to this week, the only folks from the area that I have had any interaction with are the engineers who work at the highway department, and some local elected officials that we had a meeting with a couple of months ago. So I went into the public meetings thinking that I was going to meet a lot of interesting people - i.e. poor, uneducated, lack of teeth, thick accents, etc. What I encountered was not at all what I expected. The folks who showed up to the meetings, were very polite and gracious. They were for the most part well dressed, and intelligent. They were so appreciative that we were trying to improve their road. They did have thick accents, but I think the stereotype that people from eastern kentucky get is for the most part unfair and inaccurate. I'm glad that I was able to get to know these folks a little and see that there are lots of folks who live there who are hard working, intelligent people who really care about the towns they live in.

My favorite person that I met was Hardy. He was the janitor for the school that our Wednesday night meeting was at, and he had to stay until our meeting was over so he could lock up the school. It was obvious to me that Hardy was a Christian. He just seemed so joyful, and humble and like he took pride in his job and was working for God and not for men. At the end of the night he helped us pack up all of our things and stayed late to put the cafeteria back in order so we could get home. I can't really put it into words, but his attitude and presence were that of someone who, though he probably doesn't have a lot, he knew he was blessed and just wanted to bless other people. And I feel like I definitely saw Christ in him. This may not make any sense, in fact, I'm pretty sure it doesn't. But I felt like I needed to share, because I feel like you don't come across people like that every day, and while I talked to him some and got to know him a bit, I'm afraid I didn't come across that way. So I'm not really sure what the point of all this is, other than to just be reminded of what it really looks like to be like Christ, and even though I am sure there is a zero percent chance Hardy would ever read this, just to recognize him as someone who really had an impact on me, even though I only talked with him briefly, and is doing a great job of sharing Christ with the world.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

State Champs!

So this week is full of exciting news. In addition to welcoming new baby Silas, it was a big week in sports. UK beat UNC yesterday for the first time in a long time, and LCA won the Class 1-A state championship. Unfortunately Derek had to work all day long, and Megan had a ticket to the UK-UNC basketball game, so Biscuit and I journeyed out to Bowling Green to go cheer on our team. It is probably the coldest I've been in a while. (When we got to Cracker Barrel for dinner, probably a good hour away from BG I still hadn't fully thawed out.) But it was totally worth it to see our friends win convincingly, a state championship. They did amazing.

I put this picture in from the paper because I think it is funny. Number 20 is our friend Max and he was so jacked up. Here he is with our friend Chase getting real excited about tackling a Mayfield player. It was so fun to see our friends play so well and be there to cheer them on and see them win a state championship. Way to go LCA!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Silas Daniel

So yesterday while I was hard at work at work, my friend Angie was hard at work bringing this little guy into the world:

Man, is he precious. Derek and I took our lunch hours today to go visit Micah and Angie in the hospital. We had a very slim window of opportunity - we knew if we didn't see him at lunch today it wouldn't be til next week that we got to meet the little guy and I could NOT wait that long. So we got to hold him and snuggle him and he is the sweetest baby. He had his little hat on the whole time, and as we were getting ready to leave, Angie took it off and I discovered THIS:

That's right. A full head of dark hair! Ijust love babies with lots of hair, especially dark hair. I think it is so precious. We probably spent a good 10 minutes trying to leave because I just kept wanting to look at him. Angie better be careful because I could take this one home with me.

Confession: All of my friends having these cute little babies is making me start to want one of my own. (Deep inhale and exale.) I need to stay strong.

Welcome to the world Silas - we are so excited we finally got to meet you!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Generosity Experiment

I found this article yesterday, called The Generosity Experiment. It totally resonated with me, because now that my tree is up and my house is decorated, I don't want this Christmas season just to be about shopping for gifts, making cookies and crafts, and going to holiday parties. I want it to be a season that glorifies Christ. Since its His birthday, shouldn't we all be asking ourselves what He wants?

That's why I like this challenge, because I think that Christ would want us to show our love for Him by loving and giving to others. And not just in a give gifts to your close friends and family way, but it in a share the love of Christ and give to complete strangers kind of way. So I think I will join the generosity experiment and ask God every day to show me ways I can be generous towards others so that it might remind me and show others who this holiday is really about.

I think we're in a neat stage in life where we begin to transition out of the traditions of our parents, where Christmas was all about us, and transition into making traditions of our own and thinking about what we want to make Christmas about for our kids. This is a conversation that Derek and I have begun to have, and will continue to have, and my desire is that we would celebrate Christmas in a way that in the future, our kids would know that Christmas is about Jesus and its about taking care of and loving others. (P.S. In saying this I am not saying that I did not grow up this way - in fact today I got a text message from my mom asking where good places are to get gift certificates for high school and middle school aged kids of homeless families. Growing up my parents did a great job of showing us the true meaning of Chirstmas.)

Here is another sire for you. It is called Christmas Change and it is basically a place to share ideas about how to celebrate Christmas with incarnational living. I am loving reading through it and finding some great ideas about how to keep this season about Jesus. I'm so excited for Christmas this year! Don't get me wrong, I am definitely excited about the decorations and wrapping gifts and making cookies, but I am more excited about celebrating Jesus' birth and keeping my focus on the things that are important to Him.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

O Christmas Tree

So the tree is up! And just as I thought I did the tree decorating and Derek decorated the rest of the house. (He also helped with the tree but I didn't have to do any decorating besides the tree.) So here it is:

We do a colorful tree with colorful lights. That's because Derek and I like two different kinds of ornaments. Derek likes the unique multi-colored ornaments and I like red, white/silver and green balls. These are some of Derek's faves:

And these are some of my faves:

Ok, so I have a lot of favorites. Anyways, we have both types of ornaments and a very colorful tree. I think my dream christmas tree would have white lights with red, white/silver, and green balls. I would also love to have a blue and silver tree. What are your favorite kind of ornaments - are you with Derek and like the unique ones or the pretty more formal ones like me?

By the way - the star on the top is plastic and gold and from Kroger. I think we need to look into getting something new.

So here is some of Derek's work around the house:

Thes are of our mantle. I would love to get some embroidered stockings and silver stocking holders that spell Noel or something like that and some silvery and white and red accents. But this is what we have and I think Derek does a good job with it. Here is our Christmas village from my grandma that Derek set up:

And here are some cute plates I got as a gift last year from Williams-Sonoma:

So this is a little snapshot of some of our Christmasy decorations. Nothing crafty or homemade, but it's festive and was fun to get out as we listened to Christmas music and rediscovered everything we forget we had. Yay Christmas decorations!

Decoration Time

Oh my gosh! I can't believe in my last post I forgot to mention one of the best highlights of the weekend in Columbus - putting up my parent's Christmas tree! This is one of my favorite things to do and now that I live in Lexington I am not there every year to help, so anytime I get the chance I am so excited. We always watch the movie White Christmas when we are putting up the tree. (Derek doesn't like that movie, so we don't watch it while we are putting up our tree, we listen to Christmas music instead.) One of my best friends from back home, Ann, usually comes over and helps us decorate too (she is like our third sister), so she was there to join in on the fun. The tree looked great. I wish I had pictures but my camera was out of batteries this weekend and I left the charger in Lexington.

Tonight, Derek and I are going to put up our Christmas tree! I am so excited. So much Christmas decorating in a few short days, it is wonderful. We put up an artificial tree every year because we are gone for most of the holidays visiting family, we figured it was silly to buy a real one. Derek really likes real trees and maybe one day when we have kids we will do the real thing, but for now the artificial tree works, and its a really nice tree that we got from an LCA family.

Decorating the tree is my favorite part. We don't have a lot of decorations other than the tree, a nativity scene, some candles and a few decorations that people have given us over the years. My grandma gave us some pieces to a Christmas village a couple years ago and last year Derek set is up on the top shelf of our china cabinet. Actually, last year, I was sick when we were decorating, so I helped with the tree and Derek decorated the rest of the house. He did a good job with what we have, and he even took pictures. I will make sure to take some pictures after we are done tonight.

This is how big I wish our Christmas tree could be:

Oh yeah, we also don't put lights up outside our house - not because we don't want to but because our house doesn't have an outlet outside in the front, so there is nowhere to plug them in. Isn't that wierd?