Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Amazing Amazon

Amazon.com is a favorite website. Books are cheaper there. Books that I can't find anywhere else, I find there. I've also bought work-out gear, dog toys, and other stuff on that website for good prices. And, if you buy over $25 worth...shipping is free.

What's not to love about Amazon?

Then, I got a kindle for Christmas, which makes me love Amazon even more. Now, I can download books practically anywhere for about half the cost! And I get to read them on the coolest new gadget and also this year's #1 gift.

And since kindle sales were so high, do you know what Amazon is doing?

They are giving away free kindle books!! That's right. I just downloaded 2. Hundreds of books are priced at $0.00 and since my kindle can hold over 1,000 books, I am enjoying browsing through the website, picking out books to download.

Free books - ah. I'm in bliss.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The end of a decade

Christmas went by way too fast. And now, we are 3 short days away from 2010 and the end of the decade with the most changes in my life, by far.

In this decade, I graduated high school. I turned 18. I said good-bye to friends and we went our separate ways.

In this decade, I went to college. I graduated from a college. I entered my 20s. I made new friends. I stayed out late. I worked a lot. I learned the money spends faster than it is made. I made choices, bad and good. I had fun.

In this decade, I traveled all over. Italy. Canada. Hawaii. Mexico. New York. Georgia. Washington, DC. California. Colorado. And more.

In this decade, I pushed myself outside my comfort zone. I gave a speech in front of legislators in Topeka. I moved to a new place, all by myself. I traveled alone. I had roommates. I found a church family. I made friends.

In this decade, I saw changes in my family. My brothers graduated from high school. My parents moved from the house I grew-up in. I gained in-laws. I saw relationships change, but not weaken.

In this decade, I met Hubs. I said, "yes" to a date that I didn't want to go on. I continued on a path that I was unsure of. I stopped wanting to live only for myself and added someone else's dreams to mine. I said, "YES" to a marriage proposal. I planned a wedding. I said, "I do;" committing myself to him for the rest of my life.

In this decade, I gave up dreams willingly. I learned more of what love means. I worked a lot. I gave back rubs during finals week. I had a love/hate relationship with dental school. I encouraged. I listened. I learned about dentistry. I rejoiced. I sympathized. I supported. I pushed and I pulled.

In this decade, I ran a few races. I worked out more than ever before. I desired to be healthy. I overcame the fear of running.

In this decade, I saw Hubs graduate. I stood there beside him the entire way. I planned a party. I said good-bye to friends. I packed our things. I moved to a town in which I never wanted to live.

In this decade, I rescued a dog. I walked in the early morning. I got another job I love. I met new friends. I persevered through a "lost" time in life. I transitioned from a dental school wife to a dentist's wife. I encouraged. I rejoiced. I sympathized. I listened. I learned more about dentistry. I pushed and I pulled.

In this decade, I saw God provide. I learned to lean on Him more. I learned to trust myself less. I learned that nobody makes you happy. I learned that joy is found in my relationship with Christ. I let Him lead me where I did not want to go. I had godly people encouraging me. I had opportunities to share the gospel. I have a long way to go.

In the next decade, I doubt there will be as much change. Right now, the next 10 years seem predictable in the general sense. However, I have no idea what God will bring our way. What I do know is this: ten years goes by super fast and I want to make them count.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Being a Kid

I truly don't remember having this much snow since living in New York. There we would have this much snow day in and day out for 6 months. I don't ever remember seeing the grass after the first snowfall until spring.

So, Hubs and I went out to play in the deep, soft snow. We had a blast.

First, I made a snow angel.

Ransom could play in the snow for hours. He tunnels and leaps and bounds through all the drifts.




When we get stuck, or when Ransom thinks we get stuck, he comes over and digs us a path to get out of the snow.

More digging.

The drifts were really high. This one was taller than me so I thought it would be cool to take a picture with only my hands sticking out. There is some logistical issues with the snow that is in between your legs that won't let you sink down all the way. Oh well, you get the picture.

This one was taller than Hubs, although you can't tell.


Now we leave to go back south where there isn't as much snow and it should probably melt by the end of the week. Maybe we'll get some more snow-fun in before leaving!

Friday, December 25, 2009

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas...

Just like the ones I used to know...

And, I got it!


Ransom and I trudged out in the storm at 5:30am this morning looking for the perfect spot to do number two. Of course, the perfect spot was 3 blocks away, but we had fun jumping over the 3-foot + snow drifts!



It is supposed to stay cold and snowy all day, stay warm inside.

Merry Christmas from Hubs and Feather!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Oh the weather outside is frightful!

Tomorrow, Hubs and I will brave the expected blizzardly weather and travel north to spend Christmas with family. Not only are we looking forward to family-time, but also our favorite restaurants. Oh, how I have been craving Indian and Chinese food for weeks. Do you realize that we do not even have any decent Chinese restaurants around? It's rough living in a small town...

Family time has been in large amounts lately. For the last 4 weekends we have been with family and for the next 2 weekends we will be with family! How cool and rare is that? I have a feeling the visits will drop off as the new year begins and regular life returns. So we will enjoy every moment!

Three of the past four weekends, we have actually had family stay with us. That is so fun, although we are still working on Ransom's menacing barks as unfamiliar people enter. So, when I got the call yesterday that mom was going to be staying the night with us, I gladly washed the sheets and prepared for another welcome visitor. A fun surprise.

Then, I took her to work. And, put her to work, too! What a crummy daughter I am!

If I don't talk to you before, I hope that you Christmas is very merry. I pray that you will worship God for sending His Son; and I pray that you will love everyone else more than you love you. For these are the ways to truly have a Merry Christmas.

Now for a couple of Christmas Songs...


An oldie but goodie...
Share Joy, Joy by David Phelps

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Song #2

The next Christmas song I am sharing is, "Hallelujah." This song has actually been around for a while, but this version is really beautiful and the harmonies are amazing. I think it would be great at a Christmas Eve Service with the lights down low. I hope you enjoy it, too!

Share Hallelujah by Mark Lowry

PS - I had to add that dumb word verification thing to my comments. I have been getting a TON of spam comments from pharmaceutical companies. If this doesn't work, then I will have to block all anonymous comments. SORRY!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

"I love you. You love me..."

"We're a happy family. With a great big hug and a kiss from me to you, won't you say you love me too!"

Ah, Barney. That loveable children's character of the 90s. It was very odd that on Thursday morning, that song go into my head. Why? Perhaps it was a warning that later, at 11pm, I would open my front door to find a 4-foot, 25-pound stuffed Barney.

You see, we skipped our small group's Christmas party to hang out with Hubs's parents. But, I had already put together the white elephant gifts, so we sent them along. Note to self: never give white elephant gifts without being there to regulate what you receive.

Our lovely friends decided to put a gross t-shirt and visor on Barney and then put more gross presents in a bag on Barney's lap.

One good thing came from this: Ransom loves Barney.


He immediately went after Barney by shaking him around and dragging him all over the house. When we finally had to hide Barney for a while, Ransom laid in front of the door and whined.

The next day, Ransom killed Barney.




He had a blast with Barney, but for now we have made Barney off limits. We took some video, so if you're interested, check this out:


video

Christmas Song #1

I love Christmas music. I love good Christmas music. And, most of my favorite songs are obscure that many of you may not have heard. So, over the next days until Christmas, I want to share them with you.

The first one is "One King." It's not only a beautiful duet, but it talks of the Savior's birth. One of the main lines reads, "There have been so many babies to become a king, but only one King became a baby."

If you click on the link below, it will take you to a different website, but the song should begin to play on its own. Enjoy!

Share One King by David Phelps

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The most festive

For the staff/elder Christmas party we were supposed to wear ugly/festive Christmas outfits. Only about 4 of us actually did anything, but there was a prize. Ya'll know I'll do anything for a prize.

Turns out, I won. My outfit was complete with a turtleneck covered in poinsettias, a sweatshirt with snowmen decorating a tree, dangling snowmen earrings, a snowman pin, a bow in my hair, and a jingle bell around my neck. You can't forget the jingle bell. Hubs even donned his Christmas tie!


Afterwards we had a white elephant gift exchange. I laughed hard. Richard got these really cool glasses though!


We played some cards and then headed home to our sick puppy. He got in a little squabble with another dog and was bit on the chest. Blood was squirting, he was limping. Before we left, we thought he'd be fine. When we got home, it seemed more serious. He could barely walk and he was still bleeding. The worst was his yelping with every move he made. Even if we touched him, he would wince and cry. It was a very sad sight.



This morning, he woke up feeling better. He is still a little sore, but definitely on the mend.

PS all you Nebraska friends, we are headed your way next week! Looking forward to seeing your faces, hugging your necks, and seeing those rounded bellies (those who are pregnant, that is).

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ornaments

Wow. It's been a busy week already. Christmas parties, errands, Christmas shopping (still), and regular life, too! All my online shopping items have come in the mail this week. I think I have just as much fun opening those boxes as the people will unwrapping their gifts!

Plus, all sorts of people are having babies lately. Then they post the cute pictures online and I can hardly get anything else done! Oh, my post from a few days ago really had nothing to do with babies, just life in general. I felt the need to clarify for those of you awaiting an announcement in the next few months.

I started a little tradition when Hubs and I got married. Each year, I buy an ornament for our Christmas tree. The ornament marks something memorable in our life that year.

In 2006:
That was an easy year, celebrating our first Christmas married. Don't know if you can see it real well, but my hair was super dark brown and super short. My hairstyles over the years merit a post all of their own!

In 2007:
This was a hard year because it was a boring year in our lives. Nothing real exciting happened, so we went into Target and each picked out an ornament for each other. Hubs picked this one out for me because I really wanted a dog.

In 2008:
Hubs and I took our super big 12-day trip to Hawai'i with our best pals, Ryan and Martha. It was a very memorable trip and so I bought a palm tree to remember it by.

2009 was easy. We graduated from dental school, so I looked for a graduation ornament. No luck.

We moved to Kansas, so I looked for a moving truck ornament. No luck.

I had to settle for this ornament:



Although I didn't originally want to go with a dog ornament, it was all I could find, and it was a change in our life this year. I'll add his picture someday and it will be our memory from 2009!

Hmmmm, this makes me wonder what will happen in 2010 that will be ornament-worthy.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Changes, Responsibility, and Growing up

Hubs and I were talking tonight about all the responsibility that comes with changes and with growing-up. There's finances. There's jobs. There's home. There's marriage. There's family. There's church. There's friends. There's Christmas gifts. There's even just making dinner.

There is this tug - a pull between wanting to have a house, family, and be "grown-up" versus loving the easy life without quite as many choices and responsibility. If we could just skip that in-between awkward phase.

It's like junior high. Part of you loves the simple life of being a kid; yet the other part of you is ready to wear make-up and get a job. But you are just stuck in this awkward transition stage.

So, we are kind of in junior high again. We are in this dangling phase where we don't necessarily know what will happen in the future, but we can't continue not making changes and plans. The temptation is to sit and wait until we know what the future holds. But in doing so, we would miss out on so much of our lives.

And this, my friends, is how we learn to trust God.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Wants

I'm having a moment of complete selfishness, which no matter what the experts say, is never good and is not something I should ever let myself indulge in. But in my moments, I was thinking this:

I want to go to New York City. I want to see a show on Broadway every night. I want to spend hours in Central Park and I want to see all the famous buildings. I want to eat at the famous restaurants and go to the top of the Empire State Building so that I can see the entire skyline.

I want to have time each day to work out and read my Bible. I don't want to have to compromise one or the other. Plus, on top of that, I want to have a clean house and all the laundry done.

Okay. I'm done and will be working on contentment and loving others today.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Thankful today.

I'm thankful for warm clothes while I walk in -10 degree windchills. I knew I signed up for this when we got the dog.

I'm thankful that our dog is content in his crate during the day. No worries as I head to work.

I'm thankful for our garage. Now, if I just had a parking garage during work!

I'm thankful for a job that I love going to when I wake up. It's not only a reason to get out of the house but a way to serve my church family.

I'm thankful for Starbucks. It is such a great place to meet friends, talk about our lives, and encourage each other through the struggles.

I'm thankful for the Bible. I'm in Leviticus today (in my 90-day journey) and learning more and more about God.

I'm thankful for my dentist. And, that I get to spend every evening with him in my home.

What are you thankful for today?

Monday, December 7, 2009

December

December is supposed to be about bundling up for the snow. About listening to Christmas songs 24/7. About going to Christmas parties. About decorations. About hot chocolate. About romantic evenings. About the stillness outside. About joy. About that "thing" in the air that just makes ya happy.

Instead, December has been about sickness. It took me forever to put up the decorations. I feel like the house is a mess. I feel like I will never finish my Christmas shopping. It has been about surviving, not enjoying. It has been about cold morning walks. It has been about getting further and further behind each day.

Then, I went to this Christmas coffee tonight at church. It was decorated all pretty. We ate desserts and drank decaffeinated watered-down coffee. We sat around the table and talked with friends and it was nice. It started to feel like December.

And then, my friend and I walked outside. Snow had completely covered the ground and the air was still. There was that quiet peacefulness all around. And I heard the snow lightly crunch under my shoes.

December is here. Seven days late.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Impressive!

It is currently 34 degrees outside.

My doorbell rang 5 minutes ago. Ransom went psycho, but after he was put in his crate, I went and found a 4th grade boy at my door.

It was obvious that he was there to ask me to buy something, so I said, "hello" and waited. The boy told me about the cards he was selling for school. He told me how I could use them at local restaurants. He said they were only $10 and that he had only sold 1 so far. I asked if I could look at the card and where he had been so far. He had been to many houses on his bike. Going door-to-door finding many people not yet home from work and others who didn't want to buy.

I admired his dedication. I know that as a 4th grader I for sure would not ride my bike through the neighborhood, knocking on strangers doors in 80-weather. I wouldn't even do that as an adult. But this boy was doing it; and he was doing it in very cold weather.

After a not-so-good day/week, I found this boy very refreshing and genuine. Smart, too. I invited him inside to get out of the cold, and although I could tell he wanted to, I was still a stranger and he stayed safely outside.

I hate it that schools put pressure on children to raise money for them, even if it must be necessary. I was one of those slacker kids who never sold anything, nor cared. I bet a lot of parents just take the stuff to work and hope their coworkers will buy. So, I hope this boy finds more people to buy from him. He sure is putting in the effort!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas Card Outtakes

Who knew taking Christmas card pictures this year would be so difficult?

Too blurry.


Oops.

Awkward.

Frustrated.

A new day.

Not ready.

Trying to get Ransom's attention. Mission failed.

Ransom obviously getting sick of me holding onto him. And, whoa, the hair is crazy.

Another oops.

Did we ever get one where we all were looking at the camera?

You'll have to wait and see. But the whole ordeal wore these two out.

Maybe next year we'll find someone to take the pictures for us.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

50 years and great examples

Thanksgiving was extra special this year. We had family come from Texas and West Virginia; some family members I had not seen in 10 years.

The occasion? My grandparents 50th wedding anniversary.


Their anniversary was actually in October, but Thanksgiving provided an easier time to gather. We went to downtown Kansas City to Jack's Stack in the old Freight House. It seemed right since Pop-pop used to build locomotives.


Mom and Dad rented a room for the event. It was great food and even more fun to hear stories from Grandma and Pop-pop's 50 years together.

For their gift, I took some of their old photo slides and put them on a cd. Then, I created iPhoto books for them. One was of Pop-pop's years in the Navy; the other just of family photos.

Here they are on their wedding day, October 16, 1959.

And 50 years later...


What a great example they have set for us, especially today when marriage is not a lifelong committment. Pop-pop and Gram travel all over still today and continue to have adventures together. They have modeled what love, committment, dedication, and caring truly mean. Thank you for being an example to Hubs and I; I love you both so much.


Following in their footsteps are my parents, who just celebrated 28 years of marriage. They have been a true example of what it means to follow God wherever He leads. I can learn a lot from watching their life together. Thank you for being an example for Hubs and I; I love you so much.


And here's the couple who is just starting out on the journey. They'll marry on May 15th and move off away from all their family to live the college life learning to cling to Christ first, and then one another for a solid foundation. We are looking forward to watching your life; I love you.


And then there's us. Silly as ever and knowing that laughter gets us through most anything. We have 3 years under our belts - I like to think we got the hardest years out of the way, but I know we have just begun. We are leaning on God's direction each day and striving to be more like Him. I've learned that love is so much more than an emotion, feeling, or desire. We have lots of years ahead of us; but we have some great examples to gain wisdom from.

For Sarah



I did decorate for Christmas.