A Day Well Spent

I kept forgetting that today is the last day of 2011– that tomorrow is 2012. I’m sitting in bed at my husband’s family home writing a blog on the last day of the year. For me, the only place better would be my own bed. But this last day of 2011 was well spent. The bulk of my day was consumed with a good friend. We visited, drank margaritas and ate Mexican food at a dive restaurant in Grapevine, Texas. This evening we visited with my husband’s grandparents (I ate Mexican food again. My guts are hating me).

Tomorrow my husband turns 35. He was the first baby born in McKinney in 1977. I hope it’s a good birthday for him. He will be starting it out well spent. We will have a New Year’s feast full of traditional treats: ham for progress, cabbage for wealth, peas for prosperity/luck and a pineapple upside down cake, because it’s his favorite.

I’m glad tomorrow is 2012 because I’m looking forward to a better year – hopefully a year of better health, wealth and wisdom.

No Internet, Monkey Blankets and Photo Bombs

We’re at Nanny and Pawpaw’s for the weekend … they live in the country albeit in close proximity to Dallas, however their internet service is sketchy at best. So we’ve been without internet for a day. Last night’s blog post was from my phone’s application (whew).

But for tonight it’s another photo blog since the internet is just now up again.

Jdubs got a monkey blanket for Christmas. It’s the cutest thing. And Nanny’s dog, Sadie, is a great dog (almost). They bombed each other’s photos, hence the “photo bomb” title.

Super Monkey! (is that a dog I see?) Photo bomb dog! Tah-dah.
The almost perfect dog. (wait, is that a kid in the photo?) Photo bomb kid.

Ten Christmas Afterthoughts

Just a few Christmas afterthoughts before the evening comes to a close …

  1. Sopranos is one of the greatest TV series ever created

  2. Cats and dogs can live in the same house peacefully

  3. The Nintendo Wii wasn’t such a bad gift idea after all
  4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo [who played with fire] and [who kicked the hornet’s nest] is trilogy of fiction awesomeness
  5. I love my Corral boots

  6. A sweet clementine is citrus greatness [and awesomeness]
  7. My dog loves me [and is now known as an “obnoxious shepherd” thanks to Jdubs … obnoxious and Australian Shepard came out as obnoxious shepherd]
  8.  I’m glad the Christmas decorations are put away for another year [I really hate decorating for Christmas]
  9. Oatmeal is always a good way to start the day
  10. Sometimes you just need a good hamburger

Light of the World

First Presbyterian Church Christmas Eve worship service.

Our new family Christmas Eve tradition is going to our church’s candlelight worship service. This tradition is only a few years old for us but it has legs for many years to come. It’s one of my most favorite things to do.

I was always a Campbellite, but I haven’t always been a Presbyterian. This new tradition is helping me feel more like a Presbyterian in general and not just a member of a Presbyterian church. Two things during our worship service make it so very special. One is the music from Jeff, Honi and Ladd. These three people have truly been blessed with the gift of music. They are bluegrass musicians, have beautiful voices and can play any instrument with strings. Tonight Jeff played the mandolin, Ladd played the guitar and Honi played the piano and stand-up bass. The music brought tears to my eyes.

The second thing that makes our worship service so special is the candlelight part of the service. The lights in the sanctuary are turned off, then a flame is passed from person to person until everyone in the audience has a lit candle, which represents Jesus as the light of the world.

It’s a new tradition that I am embracing and truly enjoying and looking forward to many more candlelit Christmas Eves.

Jdubs with his candle.

Over the River and Through the Woods…

…to Grandma’s house we go

One of our family traditions is literally that song. Every year we head “down to the river” for our family Christmas gathering with my mother’s people. I live in rural Texas, and this is an hour out into the bush from where I live. It’s remote, really remote. Your cell phone won’t work and you had better have plenty of gas in your car in case you get caught down there when the river rises during a storm because you will have to take “the back way” out, which adds an extra hour to the trip.

“The River” is in Shackelford** County on the Brazos River. We drive until the pavement ends, then keep driving and driving and driving. This area is very much a part of the Frontier History of Texas. Some of the land was once a Comanche Indian reservation. It also had a civil war era medical station on it. We’ve seen all manner of skittish wildlife like mountain lions and bald eagles.

Sometimes it’s hard to imagine that most of Texas and the western U.S. were like this. You really are in the middle of nowhere.

We actually go through the woods before we cross the river.
Over the river ... This is Daws Crossing on the Brazos.
Comanche Indian Reserve.
This is Grandma's house.
No rare beasts today, just cattle and deer.
Beautiful sunset. Thank you handy iPhone camera.

Package Delivery

Tonight was all about wrapping presents. Jdubs was a wild man, as usual. He delivered packages on his Spider-man bicycle and his scooter. He was also very handy in the gift wrapping too.

Ready for action.
And we're off on our first delivery run.
Beep, beep! Coming through.
Had to change vehicles ... this package is for Emmi.
A 4 year old's wrapping. I really like the pink bow.
Gift tags, pre-K style.


Happy wrapping, y’all.