Saturday, November 27, 2010

Christmas [traditions].

This is our first Christmas. I'm feeling a bit of pressure to start new traditions, and I feel that all the Christmas decorations we buy will be with us til the end of our days. Now, this probably won't be the case, but I can't help but feel that this Christmas sets the tone for every Christmas to come.

I know it's still November, but we've started decorating and preparing!
My family always cut our Christmas tree down at a Christmas tree farm in the "mountains" of California. I wanted to keep this tradition going - but it's a bit more intense when you live in Colorado! We ventured way up into the mountains the day after Thanksgiving with David's parents to find the perfect tree. It wasn't a Christmas tree farm, really... It was a forest. And it's a lopsided tree, but it has pine cones on it and it only cost us $12 to cut down. It's perfect.

See? It's perfect!

Since we don't really have all that many (count them: 2) sentimental ornaments yet, we had to make do with cheap ones and handmade ones. I was inspired almost ten years ago by a gift I got from a friend, and we decorated our tree with handmade yarn ornaments!

A while back I asked my mom for a recipe that I remember from my childhood. So, today, I made ginger snaps from my great-grandmother's recipe! They're the best.

I love incorporating decorations from our wedding into our everyday decorations and using them as Christmas decorations as well.

All that to say, I love Christmas. I'm so excited to spend it with my husband, and I'm looking forward to incorporating old traditions into our "baby family" and inventing our own traditions!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Thanks for the inspiration, Ash!

I'm thankful for so many things.
  • My husband. He makes me laugh and lets me be completely myself. People probably think we're crazy when we're out in public, but we don't care!
  • My job. For a five year old who, today, was my helper and didn't throw any fits. For infants who comfort distraught older children. For learning to handle and engage with a child with autism. For sweet baby kisses. For getting to see, firsthand, the changes God can make in someone's life. For being reminded every day what a good and gracious God we serve. For getting to love on kids. For my amazing boss and coworkers who stand up for and support me!
  • For my family. They are so strong and amazing and inspiring. I am encouraged by their incredible faith in God.
  • For french press coffee (I'm having it for the first time in a year right now!)
  • For the Plus One Christmas CD. They've never steered me wrong.
  • For cheap haircuts that come with head massages.
  • For David's family. I'm thankful they're in the state!
  • For our apartment. It's warm and cozy and feels so much like home.
  • For Bloom. Love it.
  • For my little car (Baby Mzungu) that just drives so well in the snow!
(Our Christmas decorations... Meager, but heartfelt)

Friday, November 19, 2010


It's been a long week, and I am exhausted.

But I wanted to say a few words about how blessed I feel to have my job. We had a graduation party last night, and everyone there testified to how much her life had been changed as she went through our program. It made me so incredibly proud to be a part of the process, and so thankful to serve an amazing, gracious God. Though my job is incredibly hard a lot of the time, it's worth it. I'm thankful to spend time with graduates and residents who realize that the staff is there for them - that we're not working against them. We want to celebrate with them, and we try so hard to do so. It's hard not to get caught up in the petty arguments and silly ranting sessions, it's hard not to get weighed down by the lack of thanks or recognition. It's hard to be available every second of my work day, and to deal with tantrums and runners and poop along with disrespect and anger and exhaustion. But it's worth it. It makes it all worth it. I, also, often struggle to love the women for exactly who they are and where they're at. They're hard to love sometimes - but then, so am I. But they're working so hard and it's really admirable. Plus, their kids are super cute and wonderful and most of the time, they just need some cuddles. I've found that's often all they need... An encouraging word and warm, safe arms. I'm happy to provide that, any day!

I'm thankful for my husband who attends these graduations even though he is so busy and not invested in the process like I am. I couldn't do it without his support, and I'm so thankful to have an amazing man by my side (especially when all I hear about all day are the bad ones).

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I love that it's 60 degrees today, this third day of November. That we live by an amazing park (that they just found three one hundred year old skeletons in), with trees that are exploding with color. I'm so thankful for friends that I can laugh with, for my husband who is my best friend and loves me so well, for friends all across the country with whom I can share life. For my amazing parents who are still praising God and having faith in the midst of a few too many hard things at once. For my brother who cares so much about the world and other people. Way more than I did at 17! I'm so proud of him.

I love living in Denver, with all the beautiful colors and warm fall days.

I'm thankful for my amazing job, with the most supportive boss, honest coworkers, residents who are so strong and determined, sweet children who are doing so well... For the Mission, who encourages and rewards us to live as healthy people. I'm thankful for family, and learning to love and support them as best we can. For the hard decisions and choices. I'm thankful for Bloom - for passionate people and friends. For community, for our house church... For discussions that make me rethink the way I live my life. For realizations that we can only do so much... That the most important thing is to love everyone around the very best we can. Whether that means giving a ride, listening longer than I would've liked (realizing that my job includes a lot of listening), scrubbing the kitchen floor, offering tea at house church, giving grace and grace and grace, over and over again.

I love that it's getting into the holiday season. This year is going to be the busiest yet, but I'm so thankful that I get to be a part of it. It will be different than I would like, but I hope that I can use it as an opportunity to love and be better. And though we're waiting til the first snow to start decorating, I am so excited to make The Flat a cheery, celebratory place with David. Our first Christmas!