Thursday, December 25, 2008

What a gift

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!  We've had a great time with John's family in Kansas. It's been so good to just be together... eating yummy food, playing games, watching movies.  I always miss being with my family (we were with them for Thanksgiving), but I'm so thankful for this additional family that I now belong to.  What a blessing!  

For some reason this year, I've been more in awe of the significance of this holiday.  I've always loved Christmas... and it really isn't because of getting gifts!  I love giving them away though - shopping for them, wrapping them.  I love the baking, the parties, the memories... the Christmas music and movies that I have to wait all year to enjoy.  And then of course there's the true reason we celebrate - Jesus' birth.  I've always stopped to recognize and appreciate the birth of Jesus.  And yet this year, I feel like I have new insight into what an amazing event Christmas is.  Christmas celebrates Jesus Christ, who was fully God - holy, pure and righteous... becoming fully man.  Becoming fully man for ME.  He came as fully God to give us new life - and in the process, became fully man, identifying completely with us.  I don't ever have to feel alone or misunderstood in this life.  My precious Jesus chose to intimately identify with me, through His life as a man and ultimately chose to give Himself so I could have eternal life.  Wow.  What a truly incredible gift.  

My prayer for my loved ones in this new year is that God would reveal Himself to you in a new, intimate way.  Reminding you of His love that not only came to SAVE you, but also to KNOW you.  

Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Tall, nonfat PSL, 1 splenda

Why does a Starbucks (I will accept no substitutes) pumpkin spice latte instantly make my morning better? Sigh. I drove into work this morning, so not wanting to be here. It's the day before Christmas Eve and even though I love my job, I'd rather be watching Christmas movies or baking cookies, or better yet - both. But the reality is, I have quite the list of things to accomplish at work before we leave for Kansas this afternoon. (We're heading to Wichita to be with John's family for the holiday!) I figured a Starbx stop was in order. Boy was I right. I get to work and sit down in my cold chair. I turn on my Christmas music and pick up that wonderful cup of yummyness (which has now cooled off to the perfect temperature for my drinking preference). Suddenly all is right with the world. Amy Grant Christmas is coming through my speakers and my pumpkin spice latte is warming me up quickly. I'm ready to start that list...

Have a wonderful Christmas everyone! I'll write more over the holidays, but until then - enjoy this season. And to my precious family who I won't be with... I love you and miss you so. Peds, have a great time in MN and kiss my little magician for me! (Here Paul is, in his box o'leaves - how cute is he??)

Annie, Mom/Dad and Fellers - have a wonderful time together for a Tender Tennessee Christmas. "It's the only Christmas for me!" Tell peanut that Uncle John and Aunt Kelly love him. (And here's Padrick in one of his adorable Christmas pictures. Look at that face - I love it!!)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I did the Incline!

At the base of the Incline
"I did the incline!" Four significant words that I've been wanting to proclaim as long as we've lived in the Springs. The incline is an old cable car railway that gains 2,000 feet of elevation in a mile. The steps up the incline are actually old railway ties and get incredibly steep much of the way up.

The incline is quite the status symbol around these parts... although I definitely didn't do it for status. (If it was for status, I'd pick a fashionable symbol like a great designer purse or something.) I made a personal goal for myself at the beginning of this summer to do the incline - for me. I wanted to conquer it for myself. I've never really been into the whole conquering adventure stuff... but for some reason, the incline stuck out as something I knew I had to do. So, I set aside the Saturday before Thanksgiving for this little conquest and asked my amazing husband to go with and support me. (We had some experienced friends offer to take us too, but I kindly declined. The images I had in my head of me on that incline were not ones I wanted anyone but my husband to have to deal with.) We started the climb at 11:30am and steep step after even steeper step, we made it to the top. It took us an hour, which is pretty normal for a first-timer. The trek was difficult with very thin air, exhausted-jello legs and steps so steep at times you have to lean forward on all fours to keep yourself from falling backwards. But the feeling at the top of that mountain was more than worthwhile. It was the feeling of achieving a personal goal regardless of it's level of difficulty, or even more threatening - my own fears. But I did it, and I’m so glad I did. Just don't ask me to join you the next time you go... I think I'm good down here, thanks.

John & I at the top