Friday, December 31, 2010

Top '10

As I spend this last day of 2010 in my beloved home state, I thought I would take a quick minute (that makes no sense, "a quick minute" . . . all minutes are the same length!) and post my top 10 favorite moments/events/blessings of 2010. This may be harder to identify than I think . . .

1. Marrying my best friend at 4 pm on July 10, 2010
2. Completing my first year of teaching at 2:45 pm on June 4, 2010
3. Spending a week in Mexico at a resort on the beach with my husband
4. Driving across the country through 13 different states as we made our way to our new home
5. Moving in to our first apartment on July 28, 2010
6. Finding out that Brent loves his new job (and is really great at it!)
7. Being hired as a 3rd grade teacher in Maryland
8. Our first trip home at Thanksgiving
9. Meeting good friends at our new church and small group in Maryland
10. Finding out that, overall, my 4th graders from last year passed their state test

Hmmm, so there are definitely more great moments to add, that really should be in my top 10, but they just won't fit. So, here are a few more.

Going to the bedlam game with Nick and singing the alma mater with him
My grandparents and Steven coming to visit
My dear friend, Brittany, coming to visit
Eating dinner with Brent every night
My mbf, Hannah, getting married (I love that we were within 2 months of each other!)
Meeting friends at my new school
Discussing NFL football every Monday and Friday with one of my students

There are actually many, many more wonderful moments and times from 2010, but I'll stop there, since I'm headed out to lunch with my favorite guys, Brent and my dad. God has truly blessed Brent and I this year and I am so thankful for everything that he continues to do to provide and care for us and our families. As we close out the year, I hope that you remember all that God has done for you and your family as well.

See ya, 2010!

Friday, December 24, 2010


Sometimes we all, including myself need a reminder of what this season is all about. Remember that the birth of a tiny child from a virgin brought the hope and Savior for the world. I am so thankful to the Lord for sending his son to save me, and the world. I hope you take the time to read this on this Christmas Eve, and remember the reason we celebrate this beautiful season.

Luke 2

The Birth of Jesus

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.  (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Season.

So, if you know me at all, you'll know that I love this time of year.

I love everything about it. I love the music, the lights, the decorated trees, my decorated apartment, lights, movies, scents, cookies, candy canes, scarves and mittens, and shopping for gifts.I love kids' Christmas programs and giant gingerbread houses in the store. I love the joy that [many] people have around this time of year. I love love love singing Christmas carols during worship at church. I love that the whole world takes this time of year to celebrate Christmas and the birth of our Savior, even though many don't even recognize it anymore.

I also love the old-fashioned feeling of Christmas (think . . . Silver Dollar City-esque). Though society pushes us to become more modern and move along at a faster pace, Christmas is a time when the old-fashioned fun is still in vogue. Bing Crosby's on the radio. Danny Kaye's on television. And we all look forward it every year. Why? Because it feels good. right. simple. And we crave that. At least, I know I do. I crave it like I crave that picturesque display of Jesus in his manger-bed. Have we idealized it? Yes. But the point is still there. Jesus, our Almighty Lord, came in the form of a tiny, helpless baby, born in the most meager and poor of circumstances. His mother gave birth to him as a virgin. Angels announced his arrival! From there, He grew up to be the Son of God. What an amazing God we serve and I love the reminder that this season brings to me.

I love love love my nativity. Thanks, Mom for the new pieces this year. :) My hero of a husband repaired my angel last night after I knocked her off the mantle.  Here are some other pictures from our apartment as well!

So, I'm dumb and can't figure out how to turn this picture. It has something to do with the dimensions and it won't let me turn it on the blog. I guess you'll just have to turn your head sideways! Sorry!

And, this is 0ur Christmas-y living room, complete with the football game on TV! :)

Ah, sigh. I love Christmas. I have also been baking Christmas cookies and writing Christmas cards all afternoon. Good thing Brent made dinner tonight . . . taco bake! Yum! Come on over if you want some! :)

Until next time . . . enjoy the season. :)


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Home, finally!

Since we have now been back in MD for almost a week, I suppose it's time to share the glorious trip home we had over the Thanksgiving holiday.
I've had a few people at school ask me how my trip home was last week. Every time, my response is "absolutely wonderful."
Because it was.

We flew home late on Tuesday, got delayed in Baltimore and Dallas, and arrived in Tulsa just a bit before midnight. However, that did not stop us from waking up both families for a hug and a ride home from the airport! Those hugs were long-awaited and so great.

We stayed at Brent's parents' house while we were there, since all the beds at my parents' were taken. I must admit that it was strange (not bad, just strange) to be at home in Owasso but not be staying at my house. But it was nice, nonetheless!

Wednesday was spent hanging out with family and friends, and I made a trip to the gym in Skiatook. Boy did I miss those faces! Have you ever been tackled by a bunch of little girls in leotards? I can now say that I have, haha. :) And I was equally excited to see them! I sure do miss that place.

And Thursday! Thanksgiving! What a fantastic day. For the last 4 years, Brent's family has included mine in their Thanksgiving festivities, and this year was no different. I know that we are so very lucky to be able to have both of our families together for holidays. Truly a blessing. Brent's mom went above and beyond (as usual) to prepare for Thanksgiving. Here was the dessert table, just to give you a small taste of what our meal was like:

Here are some pictures from after the meal:

I love this picture. And I love these boys. Best ever. Aaaand funniest boys ever. It's true. :)
For this next photo, please ignore the giant green oaf in the front row with her eyes closed. I hate this photo of me but it's the only one I have of the whole family. Just look at everyone else and how great they look! Isn't this a good-looking family?

And here is my husband and I on our first Thanksgiving together. I love him a lot. And being married to him is so much fun and it is so worth all of that long distance that we went through. He rocks and I am so lucky to be his wife!

So, that was our day of feasting and hanging out with family. Friday brought [no] early morning shopping. I did go shopping for a new stove for Mom with her and my grandma, but that wasn't until 11 am. Her stove, when set at 375 degrees, currently wavers somewhere between 375 and 100 degrees while cooking. That would be a problem! After shopping, I headed to the annual reunion with Brent and his friends, which was fun as always! It's so neat that the group of boys has stayed so close all these years. What a great group!

Saturday was our last day at home (such a short visit!) but it was no less exciting. We made a short visit to our dear friends Jen and Kye's (miss them sooo much!) and then I had the joyous opportunity to drive to Stillwater with Nick to watch Bedlam! One of my favorite moments of our whole trip was singing the Alma Mater in Boone Pickens Stadium with my brother. It was pretty special, not gonna lie. I'm super proud of him.

Even though the Cowboys lost, this was absolutely, without a doubt, the most fun and exciting football game that I have ever been to! It was such a good game with so many exciting plays! I have never been in such a ginormous crowd that is screaming and jumping up and down and high-fiving with the catching of a ball in an endzone or making an interception. WOW. It made me proud to be a Cowboy alum, even if we didn't end up with the higher score at the end. There was no better way to spend my last night in Oklahoma than at Bedlam. Loved it.

And that ended our first trip home.
It was wonderful.
It was joyous.
It was much-needed and very satisfying.

And we only have to wait 2 and 1/2 weeks to go back! Which means lots of shopping between now and then, which Brent and I started today. We also put up our tree and decorated, though it's not quite finished. Pictures of the apartment are SOON to come!

Until then, I hope that you are enjoying every minute of this beautiful time of year, celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior. Remember the reason for the season!


P.S. A post from Brent is hopefully coming soon! It is sure to be witty and entertaining! Get ready! (I just read that line to Brent . . . his response was "Oh great!" haha)