Friday, December 31, 2010

Our first Christmas together!

Sleepily we climbed the stairs Christmas Eve and laid our tired selves in bed. Christmas week was busy for both of us. Working retail is a beast this time of year and my man was coming down with a sinus infection to top it all off! I was tired from driving for the better part of the day, but it was Christmas Eve nonetheless. I drifted off into a contented sleep, excited about the joy that the next day would bring!

I awoke at 6:45 Christmas morning, quickly jumped out of bed and ran downstairs. As usual, I drank a warm cup of coffee as I sat by the Christmas tree. Soon my hubs was awake.

He is such a morning person! NOT!

I grabbed our stockings and presents to each other to open on the couch. We both had put Recees in each others stocking. You'd think we liked them or something, which is a valid conclusion.

His response to this awesome shirt from Urban (if I do say so myself) was, "now I need a Marshall amp!" It's true... we are music nerds and there's no getting around it!

Ok, so I loved this hat he picked out for me! It had a fight with my Santa hat and won, thereby taking it's rightful place on my head.

Next Jonathan opened his "big" present. I gave him the game he'd been wanting for a while. (Later he volunteered to be second for a shower...however I knew that he really wanted to start the game. Silly, silly!)

Now what could this big box contain? Hmmm...

A MACBOOK THAT'S WHAT! PC, you are dead to me. I shall henceforth be an Apple person! I knew it was coming though...I paid for half. They are expensive, but so worth the money!

My man is stylin' in his new chambray shirt! So fine!

Next on the agenda was to skype with my fam. All 7 of them crowed around to show us their Christmas presents and so see us open the ones from them. I got a wonderful (and shaky) tour of my little sissy's new "Tangled" barbies and my youngest siblings new bikes...among other things. Thank you to whoever invented skype!

Thank you parentals for the gifts!

It was so special to spend our first Christmas together this year. Last year it felt like a piece of me was missing to be without him. Quite a lot of changes have occurred this year, but I am so thankful for all of them!

Now, this wasn't the end of our Christmas celebrations. I just didn't take any more pictures, sadly enough. After we were showered, the pair of us headed over to the in-laws for the rest of the day. It is wonderful to have family so close! (All of mine are at least 4 hours away.) However, in the merriment of the morning I neglected to grab his family's presents on the way out. It was quite amusing when we had to leave their house to go get them! Oh well. I blame it on the fact that I've never had to take presents anywhere on Christmas. Yes, it's lame but it's my excuse.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Writer, not a Rider

Nothing against equestrians or horses, but I'm not into riding horses. I like the idea of riding a horse on a mountain top, through the forest and galloping in a wide-open field. But I like the idea of a lot of things. It's not that I don't like riding per se, it's just that I'm so darn sore afterwards! I also don't care enough to build up a resistance to how sore your bum gets after being bounced up and down for that long.

So you see, I'm a writer not a rider. And I much prefer it that way.

I got this journal for Christmas from my in-laws. Isn't the most beautiful thing you've ever seen? I really can't place a value on a good journal. There are many things that contribute to it's qualifications. If I don't like the look and feel of it, I find it hard to want to sit and pour out my soul upon it's pages. It needs to call to me and becon to be written upon. Needless to say, this journal meets all of my requirements. As soon as I pulled it out of the tissue paper, I fell in love with it's sheet music cover. I have never had a more beautiful journal in my entire life. I cannot wait to see what will fill it's pages.

We are headed to PASSION 2011 this weekend, and I'm sure I will have quite a few insightful things to record from the conference.

I. cannot. wait.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Bleak House

Since Sunday evening I have been enthralled with the story Bleak House by Charles Dickens. My husband was laying on the couch enjoying a bad sinus infection and I was taking care of him slash trying not to succumb to boredom. The remedy? Why, it was Netflix of course! Our instant queue is full of BBC films and movies based on classic literature just for such occasions. I hate having to peruse through the vast sea of movies when I just want to pick something and watch it. It just to happened that Bleak House caught my attention. Little did I know that it had 8 episodes, each at least an hour long! I am so into it now and I wish I could spend the rest of the day to finish the series! Dickens sure knew how to write intriguing stories.

I highly recommend watching it. It's bit slow at first, but once you start it you'll be hooked!

Peace out my friends...I'm off to watch the last episode.

A nail salon & Christmas Eve

"Shoot girl! You're only 21 years old! You ain't even seen the world yet." said the lady next to me.

I was getting my nails done the day before the wedding and the lady next to me had taken it upon her self to convince me not to follow through. Let me tell you, there were many comments that I refrained from making at the time.

"Girl, he ain't never gonna let you goez out to parties any mo. You'll be stuck at home with his yougins." she reiterated yet again.

"Well, I've never been the partying type anyway. I like being at home."

I tried to explain, but there wasn't really much use. She was so sure that I shouldn't get married. I, on the other hand, had seen enough of the world to know that I wanted to be with my man. I didn't need to "test drive" this type or "try out" another sort of guy to know that God had led me to my future husband.

"Maybe for now suga, but one day youz come back here sayin' that I waz right!"

She shook her long finger nails at me and that was the end of that. I left the salon, went to my bridal shower and the next day I got married. However, this remains a funny memory of my last day as a "single" woman.

Needless to say, I haven't been back and I have not found married life to be as horrible as she described. Still, doing something you've never done before isn't guaranteed to be easy. Change can sometimes be uncomfortable. But I must admit, adjusting to married life has not been as difficult as I anticipated. Not to say that it doesn't provide challenges. Things change, people change and life can never be the same as it always was...there's no way of getting around that fact!

This Christmas season has been one of those things that has changed a lot for me. Before last Wednesday, I hadn't been home since my birthday. Much had changed. Just last year, I was a newly - engaged graduate chilling at home with my family. I was just starting to look for a full-time job, very eager about all the changes going on in my life. And change it did! Though I have missed my own family this season, I must admit that it has been wonderful to get to know my new family!

After my hubs got off work on Christmas Eve, we jumped in the car for the trek to Panama City to get together with his Dad's side of the family. It was a wonderful evening indeed. We watched some of their old home videos, sang Christmas carols, read the Christmas story and "The Night Before Christmas" and exchanged presents. It wasn't exactly what I grew up doing, but that doesn't discount it's worth. Change is good and I am glad for the alterations that life brings. I hope we have many more Christmas celebrations like this one.

I am so blessed to be with this man!
Goodbye Christmas Eve! See you again next year!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My Miracle: The begining - part 2

(To catch up on the first installment click here)

Suddenly, I was unable to move and held captive by every word they said.
Then, from the depths of my soul a voice whispered…
“Jennifer, will you go for me? Jennifer, will you go?”
The cross flashed before my eyes. I saw Christ, dying for the nations…for me. How could I refuse Him? How could I resist such love, such marvelous mercy?
“Yes, Lord. I will do whatever You ask of me.”
I knew that a love so amazing, so divine, demanded my soul, my life, my all.
The next few months were a whirlwind of learning. It was as if I suddenly sprouted wings and could fly. My focus was different…I was different. The things that used to matter to me, well they just didn’t anymore. I stopped worrying about boys, clothes and whether or not I fit in. For the first time I actually felt God speak to my heart through His spirit. I was set apart and it filled me with joy. I learned how to listen to Him and He would speak to me.
“I want you for myself, for my purpose child.” I heard Him say often.
I also started reading the Word. That too had changed. All of the sudden everything I read made sense. I saw things I’d never seen before. And some of it astounded me. Some terrified me.
I saw suffering.
I saw how those who were faithful to God suffered tremendously. Some were tortured. Some were ridiculed. Some had everything taken away from them. And some were killed. This turned my world upside down. One verse in particular really popped out to me:

“My goal is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.” (Philippians 3:10)
“I have never suffered. I’ve always had a fairly good life.” I thought a lot about this fact.
I couldn’t get over the seemingly equal correlation between knowing more of Christ and suffering in this life. As I read the scripture and the biographies of many great men and women of the faith, I saw how many of them suffered their whole life long for the sake of the gospel. But if that was the cost of following Christ, I was going to take the risk.
At first nothing really changed, but I was soon to embark on a journey that would change me forever. And it started in the most unexpected way.
“Jenny, we’re going to Disney World this weekend!” my mother announced.

To be continued…

Monday, December 27, 2010

100th Post!

YAY! I made it to 100! I was so excited that I bought myself a MacBook. Just kidding...I got it for Christmas. Now I can stop blogging on my husbands computer!

Confession: this is actually my 101st post. However, to celebrate this momentous occasion I revamped the blog. I have been wanting to give it a make-over for a while and tonight I finally did! I'm hoping to get it looking more and more professional as I go. I'm not nearly where I want to be, but it's a start!

Thanks to all you readers out there! I love you hear your feed back on what I write. I really enjoy reading and responding to your comments. I'm using this to experiment with different facets of my writing style and to narrow down who I am as a blogger and writer. Hopefully, you now have a blog that is more pleasing to look at than before! Oh, and to keep up more easily you can become a follower. On the right side column there is a follow button. All you need to do that is an email address. Then you can keep up with all the blogs you "follow" in Google reader. It make my life (aka my blog time) so much easier when I figured that out!

Thanks again for reading!

Stay tuned for more of my miracle story...I'm just getting started.

The night before the night before Christmas

'Twas the night before the night before Christmas and all through the house
All the family was eating, though missing a spouse
Fun times were had and we were without a care
For we knew that Christmas soon would be there

After laughing, eating and YouTube-ing 'til sore in the head
Of to the Christmas tree they all soon sped
To open up presents quick as a snap
While their sister was home there was no time for a nap

Then they sang very loud, making a lots of noise
Enjoying being with each other, full of joy
'Twas a lovely visit to be with family galore
And I left hoping for Christmases like it...many, many more

That's my version anyway.

This Christmas was not only my first with my hubs, but it was also the first away from my family. Fortunately, I was able to go see them after work Wednesday evening and stay until Friday morning.

Before I left, my dear best friend stopped by to see me on her way home for Christmas.

My sisters! It was fun getting ready for our "mini Christmas" while I was home.

Mom even pulled out the crystal glasses like she normally does on Christmas!

The stockings are ready for Santa.

Here we are, all 6 of us kids!

This back massager is FANTASTIC!

Luke: too tough to die...or at least that's what I think.

I made my sister matching book page canvases with their initials on them.

"The Christian Atheist" - It looks like a good book!

I love my Dad!

We ended the evening with our annual production of the Christmas story.

The visit was far too short, but I'm thankful for being able to see them. I am so blessed to have each and every one of them in my life. 

Next stop, Christmas Eve!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Little known secret...

Are you ready for this?

(Ok, deep breath.)


Whew. I'm glad I got that off my chest. Seriously. When I was born my mother says that I had elf ears. They were pointy and well, elf-like. Don't you think I could pass for one of Santa's little workers?

I love wrapping least that's a start.

However, I am very glad my parents didn't give me up to Santa. Eventually my ears became normal, but they do stick out a little bit. That's why I NEVER wear my hair pulled straight back.
Silly elf ears.

I feel so much better having said that.

Was anyone else born with elf ears or am I just extremely abnormal?


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Humpty Dumpty, Shelves & Elves

Is anyone else super exhausted besides me? Goodness! I wish a little elf would come and help me get ready. I feel like the first of December was yesterday! Au contraire my friends. Christmas is THIS SATURDAY! I can't believe it. Time has really gotten away from me. It's just like him really. He likes to drag me behind him while he rushes forward like an excited little dog. Shame, shame. I blame him for not being able to post this earlier. I found this stuff a week or two ago. What kind of blogger does that make me?

You don't have to say. No really, it's ok.

Enough with the charades. Here are some of the fab things I picked up a while back.

I have been looking for a shelf like this for a while now. It's taken me several months because I refuse to barter my arms and legs. Seriously, they are so expensive! Now I finally found it!

We have mantle of sorts now.

I think it helps the little wall.

Merry Christmas to you too shelf.

There were two. How could I resist? This is before gitterification. (And yes, I just made up that word.)

Post - glitterification

I like.

Unfortunately, I am not so great at putting theses things up. I thought it was secure, so I proceeded to put my china on the shelf. WRONG! It came crashing down like Humpty Dumpty. All of my horses and all of my men couldn't put them back together again. Oh wait, I don't have horses. I do have one man though...but I threw the pieces away before he got home. It was quite tragic.

Nonetheless, the shelf is up and I like it. I truly appreciate the 4 tea cups who gave their lives for my endevors.

I also got these little mini shelves. I haven't decided where they will live yet. Poor things. They are homeless for now. Oh, and I also got a big old window. I forgot to take a picture of it though. Shame on me.

And what you ask was the total for all this? I will tell you.

2 matching shelves + 2 mini shelves + a cute window = $30

I'd say that was a good buy!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Hope not yet lost

I am free.

I am free in Christ. I am a redeemed child of God, adopted into his family. I am part of a royal priesthood.

This was not always so.

Sometimes I forget about the whole of God's redemption plan for the world. It is so easy to get caught up in my own world and think that salvation is all about me. As if! God has chosen to blind Israel for a time so that the rest of the world may come to know Him.

The other day I was listening to Selah's version of "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" and I heard a secondary melody in the background. I soon found out that it was Israel's national anthem. I was too curious to stop there, so I looked it up on YouTube. Before the intro was over, I was moved beyond words. It is so beautiful. The melody itself seems to be yearning for the promises of God that have yet to come to pass for them.

Here are the lyrics in Hebrew, the transliteration and in English:

English translation
כל עוד בלבב פנימה
Kol ‘od balleivav penimah
As long as in the heart, within,
נפש יהודי הומיה,
Nefesh yehudi homiyah,
A Jewish soul still yearns,
ולפאתי מזרח, קדימה,
Ul(e)fa’atei mizrach kadimah,
And onward, towards the ends of the east,
עין לציון צופיה;
‘Ayin letziyon tzofiyah;
An eye still gazes toward Zion;
עוד לא אבדה תקותנו,
‘Od lo avdah tikvateinu,
Our hope is not yet lost,
התקוה בת שנות אלפים,
Hatikvah bat shnot alpayim,
The hope of two thousand years,
להיות עם חפשי בארצנו,
Lihyot ‘am chofshi be’artzeinu,
To be a free people in our land,
ארץ ציון וירושלים.
Eretz-tziyon (v)'Y(e)rushalayim.
The land of Zion and Jerusalem.

As I listened to the anthem, I was reminded that our redemption story is truly precious. God exiled Israel, closed their eyes to His coming (although all the prophesies were fulfilled in Christ), and even sacrificed His one and only Son on our behalf. How great a Redeemer we have in Christ! How marvelous is the story of His birth!
Even so, my hear still breaks for Israel. I have found Rest while they are still yearning. Their hearts long for the One who has been revealed to me. But their hope is not yet lost. O come, O come, Emmanuel! Return soon and ransom your people! Open the blind eyes to see the light!

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan's tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o'er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death's dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai's height,
In ancient times did'st give the Law,
In cloud, and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.  

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Wrapped and Ready!

Nothing makes me more excited than to wake up every morning before Christmas, turn on the Christmas tree lights, sip some coffee and gaze at our tree and presents underneath. I'm so glad to be done with all of our gifts!

I can't wait for my hubs to see what I got him this year!

Last year, I was so broke. I blame it on wedding planning...and the fact that I was jobless.

I think I got my boo a toboggan and that's it!

Thank goodness this year is different.

I know we are going to enjoy our first Christmas together!

Hurry up Christmas!

We have wrapped the presents and are ready for you to be here!



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