Wednesday, November 28, 2007

happy birthday dad

Today would be my dad's 52nd birthday.

Even though the picture below is from my birthday, I'd like to remember him like that. Because that's just how fun he was. :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

a few more of my favorite things...

May I add 1 addition to the list?

*singing christmas carols in full voice in good company in a car where people can watch you look ridiculous. Including instrumental parts, and all other sound affects.

Lindsey reminded me that it was missing this morning. That, of course, is one of my most favorite things...especially w/ Lindsey & Chels.

And 2 additions to my "So Cool It's Freezing Winter Mix":
1. Here It Is (Over the Rhine)
2. All I Ever Get For Christmas Is Blue (Over the Rhine)

as soon as I update my version of iTunes, I'll be adding them to the playlist.

Monday, November 26, 2007

these are a few of my favorite things...

I had lofty goals of creating my own version of the song with words that rhyme of my favorite things just for this blog, but instead I'm choosing the lazier option.

This season is a joyful, but now difficult season for my family and me. Last year, my dad passed away 3 days before Christmas, so it makes this year a difficult one of "firsts" without him, except this will be our 2nd Christmas without him. Last Monday, the 19th, would have been my parents' 30th wedding anniversary, and this Wednesday, the 28th would have been his 52nd birthday. With those in mind and the anniversary of his death and Christmas on its way, it's a good time to be reminded of the things that make me smile. So these are just a few...

*fireplaces crackling
*watching the first snowfall at night sitting in my windowsill
*decorating my Christmas tree and listening to my favorite classic Christmas songs
*Christmas in the Chapel at LCC--it's not Christmas until I see it
*watching White Christmas and singing along, wishing I could dance like Vera Ellen
*getting Christmas cards from friends
*the book Cold Tangerines
*New York City on New Years Eve
*thinking about all of the BCG's (for those who don't know what that is, it's my dear "Bible College Girls" from our summer @ Christ in Youth Conferences 4 years ago)
*getting dressed up in fancy dresses for weddings
*adorable babies, like my nephew Evan...
*hilarious kids, like my niece Maddy
*romantic comedies
*popcorn with parmesan cheese on it
*the sound of beautiful piano music
*finding great bargains when I'm shopping
*giving people notes & gifts
*laughing with friends and my family
*playing board games
*road trips
*being in airports & flying places by myself
*discovering new music that I love
*driving around and looking at Christmas lights, wondering what peoples lives are like inside the windows
*good concerts...and not the kind where you stand the whole time...smaller ones that are more intimate
*sweet tea
*the smell of men's cologne
*taking a relaxing bath by candlelight with a glass of Moscato
*doing puzzles on snow days
*hoodies & sweatpants
*my cutout cookies...only my mom's/grandma's recipe
*the feeling of anonymity in a big city
*things that are new
*hearing Christy Nockels sing
*reading the thoughts of good writers on their blogs
*making a good homemade meal
*hearing encouraging words or getting a note or package from someone
*gospel choirs
*photography that isn't posed and captures a moment in time...someone in mid-laughter, people hugging, poster-like scenery, abstract things
*homemade vanilla ice cream
*seeing old people holding hands
*weddings of people that truly get what marriage is about
*the sweet faces of the kids in Oradea, Romania that I'll get to see again in March
*listening to someone who can really faves are probably Jon Weece (Southland Christian Church in Lexington, KY), Mike Breaux (Willow Creek), and JK Jones (right here at LCC).

I could probably go on and on with some of my favorite things, but I'll save it for another time, and maybe next time I'll put it into a song. So while you celebrate this season, what are a few of your favorite things?

Tonight as I put up my tree, I'll be enjoying some of my favorite tunes, and as of today, this is my official playlist of favorites for the season. I think I'm going to name it the "So Cool It's Freezing Winter Mix." Here it is (in no particular order):
  1. Merry Christmas Darling (The Carpenters)
  2. O Come Emmanuel (The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir)
  3. O Come All Ye Faithful (Eliot Morris)
  4. Tennessee Christmas (Amy Grant)
  5. I'll Be Home For Christmas (Michael Buble)
  6. Mistletoe (Colbie Caillat)
  7. I Celebrate the Day (Relient K)
  8. Step Into Christmas (Elton John)
  9. Joy to the World (Jim Brickman)
  10. One Child/O Come All Ye Faithful (Natalie Grant)
  11. The Angels Medley (Avalon)
  12. Baby It's Cold Outside (Steve Tyrell)
  13. Lights On the Tree (Sufjan Stevens)
  14. Oh Christmas Tree (Jim Brickman)
  15. River (Rachel Yamagata)
  16. O Come, O Come Emmanuel (Bethany Dillon)
  17. This Christmas (Elliott Yamin)
  18. Christmastime (Michael W. Smith)
  19. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (Gavin DeGraw)
  20. Jesus Oh What A Wonderful Child (Mariah Carey)

And that's that.

I'm off to trim the tree...whatever that means!

Monday, November 05, 2007

feeling the fall...

I'm really feeling the fall today. It's cold and windy and it's the first weekday that I'm leaving work and it's already dark outside. (Darn Daylight Savings Time...) Anytime I went outside today the wind seemed to blow right through my bones, and I literally did a little tap dance under the heater vent in my kitchen at lunch to keep me warm while I heated up water for some hot tea (Harney & Sons Chocolate Mint tea, to be need to try it.).

On certain days I let the cold weather of fall and winter get the best of me. Because it lasts so long and dreadfully feels like an eternity until the sun shines again in May, I always feel so stagnant and gray. I do enjoy the evenings where I can sit in my apartment, burn my Autumn Walk candles, cover up with a fleece-y blanket, drink my Chocolate Mint tea, and try my best to cover my dad's recipe for the best chili ever.

What I'm finding is that my life really isn't all that stagnant and gray. It's full of vibrant colors that I just happen to notice every once in awhile, but not on a regular basis. I just finished a book called Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist, and I HIGHLY recommend it to you. It's all about celebrating life and living it out even when it feels like all we do is pay bills and check our email and eat peanut butter & jelly sandwiches for lunch and follow the routine of our everyday life.

She wrote one chapter about a red tree that she saw in the fall, and I happened to read it just while the leaves on the trees were changing here. I couldn't help but realize how in past years I had seemingly missed the beautiful colors of the fall in the midst of my hatred for the cold weather's arrival. And suddenly this year, I've begun to notice the colors. And I hope I can continue to notice the colors...not only of the changing leaves on the trees, but in the life around me...the lives around me.

What often seems dead and dull is really full of life and color.
What seems cold and gray can be warm and vibrant.
What seems boring and mundane can remind you of purpose and simplicity.

On my way back from lunch I drove down one of the brick roads in Lincoln and noticed the yellow and orange trees above were starting to lose their leaves. They were gathering in the streets, and all I could think about was jumping in them. That's what I want to do.

Jump in the leaves.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

now walk it out...

This video is so funny...thanks to my SFG girls who showed us this in SFG today! Haha. Not so much a "spiritually forming" video, but it sure provides some good laughs!