Tuesday, November 29, 2011

beautiful people

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”

- Elisabeth Kubler Ross

Monday, November 28, 2011

peppermint winter

I heard this song for the first time and I just love it!

It makes me feel warm & fuzzy Christmas feelings :)

peppermint hot cocoa

I've never been a coffee drinker. And therefore I've never been a Starbucks drinker.

Until I found out that the Starbucks on campus had hot apple cider. Amazingly, delicious, happy-fall-feelings hot apple cider. It kept me going through papers and studying and just made me happy :)

When I arrived back on campus and realized Starbucks wouldn't have apple cider anymore I got super sad. But then I realized they'd have peppermint.

Peppermint is my favorite. Well, okay, one of my favorites. I have too many favorites. But anyway, as I'm sitting here getting ready to stop procrastinating on that 5-7 page paper due tomorrow (it's just a rough draft, don't worry), I have peppermint hot cocoa in my hand. And, well, that just makes me super happy :)

Because I love Christmas.

In fact, my dorm room was decorated for Christmas within an hour of my return to campus, and of course I'm currently listening to Christmas music :)

Now about that paper....

Friday, November 25, 2011

christmas tree farm

So now that it's officially Christmas season (if it were up to me, it would be Christmas all year round), my family headed over to the Christmas tree farm to tag our tree. This is one of my favorite traditions.

I love running between all the trees, shouting for the rest of the family to come and admire the good one I just found, joining hands around the prickly trees to make sure they're not tooo wide, seeing who can balance the best on the stumps left behind from trees gone home with happy families, my dad reaching his hand up to make sure the tree will fit in the house, the sadness when almost every one I pick is too tall (someday I'm going to have a house that can fit the biggest Christmas tree I can find),
remembering the tag numbers of our favorites, the long debates over each tree deemed worthy of inspection, watching the tree get sawed down, hoping it won't fall off the roof of our van on the way home, and counting all the houses with Christmas lights we see.

Normally we don't get our tree until closer to Christmas, but this year, since I'm home on break and the weather was be-a-u-tiful, we tagged our tree and then when I get home for Christmas it will be standing tall and proud in the living room. It felt kind of weird not wearing 5 layers and gloves and a hat & scarf, but I'm not complaining ;)

Oh, I just love Christmas :)

My brother tried his hand at taking pictures... not bad :)

Christmas socks are my favorite :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

turkey day

I've heard that nothing says Thanksgiving like a little football, and this year my church hosted a flag football game.
I love my church :)

Now here's a confession: I've only played football once in my entire life. Yup. Once. And that was in eighth grade in Kansas at the National Science Olympiad competition. My little brother's taught me to throw and run a few plays in our backyard, but I was too chicken to try it out this morning. So instead I grabbed my camera and took some shots.

And I discovered I actually kinda like sports photography. Especially when the lighting's as beautiful as it was this morning :)

After the game, I smiled unconsciously when I walked in the front door... the turkey smelled SO GOOD. My aunt and uncle came from MD and my grandpa joined us too. We ate, and we ate... and we ate. We always have turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, broccoli casserole, & squash. Yum. Let's just say my food baby was so big I could've easily been 5 months pregnant. ;)

While we let dinner make room in our tummies for pie, my uncle, dad and brother played football outside and, for an hour, my 80-something year old grandpa told me all about the month long cruise to Europe he just got back from.

Then finally -- pie time!! Apple & pumpkin :) And eventually a family game of Take-Off... Dad won. Now my sister Jennifer is playing the piano, my brother's checking his fantasy football, and Mom & Dad are on the phone with my oldest sister, Anne, while they wash dishes and clean up the kitchen. In a few minutes, the TV will be turning back on and we'll all watch Horton Hears a Who -- because it's one of those rare times when there's a movie on since we don't have cable -- and I'll probably fall asleep ;)

Happy Thanksgiving :)

"O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker." Psalm 95:1-6 

[My mom's stuffing is my absolute favorite!]
Welcome to my family. Instead of explaining how a room is set up, we draw it out. On a white board. Yup.