Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Walkin' in a Texas Wonderland

As promised (sort of)...some photos of our Christmas day stroll.  To help set the scene for folks far away:  December 25th.  Mid-afternoon walk along a town lake, that's also a ladybird lake, that's really a dammed up river running through town.  Roughly 50 degrees, a married couple's first Christmas.  She loves walking, he hates walking, they both love each other.  A little duckwatching, a light breeze, lots of Spanish spoken, but not by them. 

I think my very favorite part was at the end, when Carol of the Bells started chiming out from this tower, or at least I think it was this tower:

It's called Buford Tower.  Did you know that one of the first--if not the very first--friends that Mac and I made in Austin is named Buford?  Pretty cool.

Yay for walks with sweethearts and best friends, and for Christmas walks at that!  I think it was the best gift Mac could've possibly given me.

Monday, December 28, 2009

How Rude!

How rude of me to not include Mac's blog address on the last post.  And how rude of me to say "How Rude!", knowing that for at least one other person in the world, it will conjure up unwelcome images of Jar Jar Binks.  Mesa sorry!

For your viewing enjoyment:
Supposed To Be, by Jack Johnson and Jar Jar Binks
Many Deaths of Jar Jar Binks

Mac doesn't seem to agree that the above videos are hilarious.  What's your vote?  Am I nuts?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

While I Was Away...

Here's a look at some of the things that went down during my incredibly long lapse from blogging:

I managed to convert 1 to 2 to 3 (and in case it's not obvious from the last picture...make a little cash along the way!)

I made my first successful pie crusts ever!

Mac started a blog of his own!

(Oh, and hell froze over too.  Tiny joke, as Mac used to tease me about my excessive blog presence.)

And speaking of hell freezing over, Mac took a walk with me yesterday for Christmas : ]  A walk as in...outside...with no foreseeable destination!  My favorite.  I think this deserves a post all its own.


I almost forgot!  I also got a new job, which is as close as I'll probably ever come to a childhood Della Street fantasy.

(Not to be confused with this...)

Haha, thanks for indulging me.  It looks like I also acquired a new follower in my absence, which thrills me to pieces.  Hopefully I haven't lost everyone with the last few hours of blogging!

Merry Christmas Blues

Taking a Starbucks break on our Christmas walk--thank you, are my very favorite gift.

It seems like it's hard not to feel blue about Christmas at some point.  Whether it's leading up to it...during...or the day after when it's all over.  Some part of me wonders if we're not all reaching for something that we'll never fully find until Jesus comes again.  The fullness of eternal peace, joy, and life.  Unity, family, and a home.  Maybe there's something deep within us, reminding us through some kind of longing ache, that what Jesus came to do is not quite finished yet.  There is more to the story...more to hope for...and this, as good as it is, is not as good as it gets. 

As long as there is breath inside us, there is opportunity to hope.  But hope, I find, is rather hard work.  Work enough to last me the remaining 364 days of the year.  I'll be honest, there is a part of me that is struggling to let go of this year.  So many wonderful things happened in 2009.  So many stories I had always secretly hoped for and dreamed of finally came true.  There is a part of me that does not dare to keep 'hoping forward', I guess.  It seems much safer to remain somehow stuck in time (forever teetering on that dangerous border between contentment and just plain settling).  Of course I know this is nonsense, and so rather clumsily, I will move forward with the rest of the world into a brand new year.  I will do the work of dreaming, hoping and praying...for more adventures and answers to come.

Hope is the opposite of giving up.  When I am tempted to give up (and that is much more often than I care to admit...though much less often than it used to be, I believe...), I hope I remember words like the ones I read today...
I cry out to the Lord;
I plead for the Lord's mercy.
I pour out my complaints before him
and tell him all my troubles.
When I am overwhelmed,
you alone know the way I should turn.
I look for someone to come and help me,
but no one gives me a passing thought!
Then I pray to you, O Lord.
I say, "You are my place of refuge.
You are all I really want in life."
-from Psalm 142-

Sometimes I feel stupid for writing the things I do.  I'm glad David didn't...or at least...didn't let it stop him.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Best of Times, etc.

This photo has nothing to do with the post--I'm just so excited to see leaves that change color!

In high school English, we were supposed to read Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities.  I read just enough to 1) Know that it was the best of times and it was the worst of times, 2) Understand why, when I took up knitting, my best friend nicknamed me Madame Defarge and 3) Make me want to actually read it now that I am an adult of my own free will.

The thing is...and this is a tragically lame comparison, I know...but I have been thinking about Dickens' words a lot lately in regards to this year.  It's been the best of times (being serenaded on Skype, falling in love with the handsomest, funniest, most thoughtful, understanding, best-dressed cowboy singer and all-around favorite man on the planet, being proposed to on bended knee with magnetic poetry, shopping for a wedding dress with my mom, taking a tour of photobooths on a roadtrip across the USA, a bachelorette party of two with my best friend, getting married in a WWII lookout shelter overlooking the Pacific Ocean on one miraculously unfoggy day in April, spending the summer on Flathead Lake with my new family and two of the best doggies ever, building a cozy little summer home above the garage, sharing all of this with family and friends at our reception and going away party in July, heading off into the sunset for a new life in Austin, TX, finding a new church and friends that welcomed us in, settling into our first apartment, making Thanksgiving dinner with each other like we dreamed of one year ago) and it's been the worst of times in some ways too...(learning to navigate a strange new city and way of life, being unemployed and unable to find a steady job for 9 months, wondering how we're going to make it, application after application, interview after interview, rejection after rejection, finding out how selfish I am when living side by side with another human being, facing up to my fears about love, marriage, new things, looking stupid, driving and everything else imaginable, starting completely over with every person I meet and finding myself without a reputation, a career, a common background, an image or some kind of attraction to stand on, missing my family and friends like they will never know).

 It's no Dickens tale, I know, but still.  In the best of times (and reflections thereupon) I feel toppled over with blessings and the vast, undeserved love of God poured out.  In the worst of times (and unrecommended reflections thereupon) I feel uncapable, abandoned, forgotten and alone.  I know through and through that God always loves and cares for us, but sometimes I don't understand when I can't see Him acting on that. 

Well, my mischievous husband just sneaked up from behind and scared the stuffing out of me and I seem to have lost my train of thought (which is bound to produce a "WOW" from said husband when I later catch him reading this post).  It doesn't matter much, because the conclusion of my story is and will always be that God is in control and I love Him and trust Him...Besides, Madame Defarge has a lot of knitting to do.  Thanks for indulging my rambling.  In the process of doing so, I discovered it is much easier and much more fun to recall the best of times.  I'm pretty sure they always outnumber the worst of times anyway.  And worst is circus peanuts compared to some people' I should just stop whining.

*Note to Mr. Dickens--I'm sorry I massacred your masterpiece.  One day soon I will actually read it and feel quite stupid, I'm sure.  Incidentally, I do hope your story's conclusion was the same as mine...