Tuesday, December 30, 2008

:::Christmas season wrap-up, 2008:::

:::the highlights of my Christmas season:::

{enrichment Christmas program}
{secret santa exchange at work}
{work Christmas party}
{Christmas tree at union station, courtesy of norway}

{wreaths outside union station}

{enjoying holiday movies at home}
{reading the Christmas story by the house tree}

{making Christmas cards}

{mailing Christmas cards}

{receiving Christmas cards}

{listening to Christmas music at work}

{writing last minute cards to all the people i forgot}
{waiting curbside for elizaben to pick me up, so excited for Christmas eve!}

{watching the motab Christmas dvd on the new flat screen!}

{Christmas morning -- stockings, presents, and cinnamon rolls}

{two new pairs of slippers}

{watching fellowship of the ring}
{going to see the wreaths at arlington}

{working on craft projects}

{Christmas day dinner made only from ingredients in the Bible, it was delicious!}

(yes, there's a typo)

{baking perfect sugar cookies for the first time in my life!}

{new year's eve and baked brie}

{watching two towers in the dark, really loving the flat screen!}

{watching return of the king the next morning}
{more craft projects}

{one last stop by the white house Christmas tree}

the end.

this was the best Christmas season of my adult life.

:::spt -- hope:::

i offer you a very dorky smile:

in my church we are taught that hope is more than merely wishing. hope is believing, with faith, that what you so dearly, dearly want to happen will happen. wishing is for wells and stars, but hope is anchored on a belief in the goodness of the Creator and His plan of happiness for His children. hope takes faith and optimism, testimony, and the act of doing what you can to bring about your own miracles while realizing that it is the Lord who truly makes all ends meet.

i have never said goodbye to an old year with anything more than sorrow. 2008 was tough, but for some reason at the end of this year all i can remember are the fruits of the growing pains, the lessons from the trials, the conquering moments after the hardships, and the peaceful healings that soothed heart breaks. these mercies were the greatest gift i received this year, and probably have received in my lifetime.

little, tiny, microscopic seeds of hope have been growing in my heart for a few years now. in the beginning i could offer no more than the desire to believe that Alma asked for. now, after struggling to understand the very basics of this concept (optimism? faith? my life?) the witness of hope has finally wrapped itself around me like a warm blanket. sisters, hope is good. it feels good. it tastes good. it smells good, looks good, sounds good. it is the best way to say goodbye to 365 days and ask for 365 more.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

:::once, twice, three times:::

three is the number of trips i've made to paper source this week.

two is the number of times i went today. for some reason i talked myself out of this lovely 'noel' sign on my first trip, even though it is fantastic and makes me feel nostalgic for Christmases before my time.

so, less than an hour after i got home, i walked back to the bus stop and road all the way across town again to right my wrong.

lesson learned: if it's a seasonal item at 50% off and costs under $20 and you really want it, just buy it, for goodness sake.
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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

:::as in time of olde:::

in one hour elizaben will be picking me up downtown and whisking me away to begin our Christmas festivities. let the merriment begin.

i was advised last night that we will be enjoying a biblical holiday meal on Christmas day. after making a few inquiries i learned that, 1. there was no macaroni and cheese in ancient times, and 2. even though pigs are mentioned in the Bible, we will not be enjoying a delicious holiday ham. pray for me.

now watch this and think of mistletoe and sleigh rides. it's the best ever. ever.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

:::spt -- joy:::

who knew something so small could bring me so much joy on bitterly cold winter days?

my little ear muffs have made such a difference!
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today i didn't go in to work so that i could use my floating holiday (it doesn't carry over). my only firm plan for today was to head to georgetown to spend some time at paper source. pretty good plans, if you ask me. thankfully the weather was much warmer today, in the low 30's as opposed to the mid-teens and low 20's like yesterday.

to complete my journey i chose to ride a new bus today -- the circulator. this is a bus of wondrous proportions. it is new, clean, bright red (which makes it easy to pick out), and the line i took picks up right at union station (where i usually commute from) and drops off at multiple points in georgetown. glorious gloriousness!

when we arrived in georgetown i was happy to see that the streets were decorated for the holidays and bustling with shoppers.

once i got to paper source i found some great sales inside -- 50%-75% off many items. paper source is one of those stores that fools you into thinking that your life will be infinitely more elegant, chic, and enjoyable if you keep buying their products.

and that's what makes it so fun to shop there.

for lunch i went across the street to le madeleine, which is a cute fake-french cafe/bistro, and a blast from the past courtesy of my washington seminar days.

i bought the lemonade purely because of the presentation. packaging makes such a difference, doesn't it? who can pass up having their own mini-decanter with a tiny glass?

have you ever seen a walk sign that lasts this long? it actually started at 68 seconds.

i didn't have to wait long to pick up the circulator again. i thought it was funny that i was waiting at a bus stop outside of a four seasons. ah, the other half...

while i was walking home from union station i looked up a street that heads to the capitol and felt very happy about my little excursion and my life. some days are as shiny as new pennies. i appreciate them as they come.

these very large envelopes were one of my favorite purchases from paper source. i have no idea what i'm going to do with them, but it was a small price to pay for the novelty.

and now, dear friends, i'm going to take a nap...or work on my project planner...or work on a project...ah...days off.
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Sunday, December 21, 2008

:::merry Christmas, readers!:::

around the national Christmas tree are 56 tree representing all the states, territories, and the district of columbia. as i walked past each one, i thought of all you, my friends and family. so, i wanted to send my love and best Christmas wishes to...

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thank you for your comments and support. thank you for following me over to the new blog. thank you for writing your blogs and keeping me informed about your life, entertained, uplifted, and happy.

merry Christmas to all!!!

*if i forgot you, please let me know! and if i put the wrong state name to the wrong tree, well, no one will be the wiser.

:::national Christmas tree:::

2 miles later in 30 degree weather i made it to the national Christmas tree. another real tree! boo for fake trees!

look, mom! the national Christmas tree has a little tumorous growth, just like you!

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