Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Uncle Hubs & Aunt Feather

The year 2011 brought with it many life changes in our little family, and the year 2012 is already expecting one major change in our larger family unit:

Hubs & I will have our first niece or nephew!

Excited much? The next progressive step in our lives was for somebody to have a baby. And I couldn't be happier that it is my brother and sister-in-law taking the plunge. We are joining them in their excitement and can't wait to meet the little guy (or gal).

Their wedding

I love my aunts. They are fun and wise and loving and very special. I hope that I can be that to this little one. I love my uncles. They are crazy and funny and loving and very special. I hope that Hubs can be a favorite to this little one.

So, this Christmas is the last with just the sibs. Next year we will have a welcomed addition, but I want to enjoy this last time together without our time and attention diverted towards the cuteness and antics of the children (maybe they'll have twins...).

But, I can tell you exactly where I'll be next year on Christmas Day:

On the couch holding my niece or nephew. Enjoying everything about him for the limited time I have to see him. And, giving the stare-down to any and all who dare to snatch him out of my hands.

Congratulations little bro & sis. I love you lots, pray for you often and rejoice with your news!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

St. Louis Site: Candy Cane Lane

On Saturday night, we decided to return a movie by walking to the rental store. It is less than a mile away and the temperature was in the mid forties. After returning the movie, however, we decided to continue walking to a nearby park for fun.

That's when we saw the traffic jam. We continued on our way, but were intrigued over what could bring so many people out that they would wait in line to see. 

The area we were walking around in is known as St. Louis Hills. It has beautiful brick homes and I love taking walks in the area. It was fun this time around because many people had put up beautiful Christmas lights. Even our park had a giant Christmas tree with more lights than I've ever seen.

Traffic was still backed up after we walked around the park, so we decided we had to check it out. Turns out, they were in line to see Candy Cane Lane.

This was one of the most impressive displays of neighborhood lights I'd ever seen. There were lights canopying the street, each house was tastefully decorated, an exquisite sand sculpture was displayed, and they even had a large screen with "Polar Express" playing. You could tune your radio to a certain fm station and hear the movie playing. The residents were taking donations to go towards the Joplin tornado relief and giving out candy canes to those driving through. There were bonfires going and the only thing really missing was some hot cocoa.

This simple walk to the movie store became one of the best outings we've taken in a while. We had commented that it isn't feeling much like Christmas this year, with warm weather and NO SNOW. Seeing these lights made us get in the mood a little more!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

6 Reasons Why I Should Start Running

My friend sent me an article called, “6 Reasons to Start Running.” It reminded me of things I knew; reasons why we should just be working out in general. But then I decided I needed some reasons that were more personal.

If you’ve been following the feather files from the beginning, you know that my very first post was about getting into running. Since then, I have been in and out and in and out. While I am not where I was 3.5 years ago, I am also worse off than I have been at times. I want to work out, but the excuses wear me down each evening and it just doesn’t happen.

6 Reasons why I should Start Running

1.       I don’t want to be fat. It’s true that I am too self-conscious of myself. I hardly ever wear shorts because I can’t stand my thighs touching each other. My knees are awkward and ugly. I’m not happy when I can feel my stomach bunch up into rolls when I sit. Without working out, my legs will continue further down the road of cellulite and spider veins. I don’t handle the effects of gaining weight very well, and running will help me avoid that future. (*For those of you wanting to scroll down to the bottom and scream in all caps, "YOU'RE NOT FAT," I know that. I'm strictly speaking in the preventative sense in that I don't want to put on unnecessary weight, which if I continue as I am, will happen in the years to come.)

2.       I love food. I can’t be one of those people who limits themselves to eating a very small amount of food and I will not ban ice cream from our home forever. Scientifically and mathematically, I need to use that which I consume. So, if I am not going to give up food, I’d better take up exercise.

3.       I like healthy. Activity is healthy, it is also non-existence in my 8-5 office job with a 40 minute daily commute. When I ran jogged this morning, my lungs and heart were not used to exertion. They struggled to keep up and, although my legs were willing, the rest of my body was shocked that I would subject it to anything more than a walk around the neighborhood at a relatively fast pace. My stomach even threatened to show me in a more real way the shock it was undergoing. (Fortunately, I was able to coax it back to a happier state.) Healthy food alone will not improve my health; activity must be included.

4.       June 2, 2012. A friend and I signed up and paid the registration for a 10k listed as one of Runner’s World Magazine’s top ten hills. It’s something that I need to be ready for and it is the deadline that I need.

5.       Sanity & Schedule. I rarely have a bad night’s sleep, but I remember that working out regularly makes sleep even more enjoyable and inviting. Going to bed having done something other than sitting is a really good feeling. Making time for working out/running crams the schedule a little tighter, but honestly a tight schedule is sometimes more helpful than a loose one.

6.       Hubs. Hubs likes running and he likes healthy exercise. He is happy when he makes time for it, and I probably am, too. Hubs also likes an attractive wife and I know he thinks I’m more attractive with my thighs don’t touch either other as much and I don’t have to suck in to have flat abs.

So, a gym membership is going to have to happen and activity, including running, will begin again. It’s not even the New Year and I’m ready for the change

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas songs & decor

Oh, the weather outside is frightful / But the fire is so delightful / And, since we've no place to go / Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

I put the Christmas cd's in the car this week. I am that person scream-singing in my car to all the songs. Hand motions and facial expressions may or may not be included. But I love Christmas music (with the one exception of Santa Baby). From the simple childhood songs, to the ancient carols, to the triumphant brass, to the songs with deep lyrics and closely intertwining harmonies, I could listen to these songs throughout the year.

It's about the cross / It's about my sin / It's about how Jesus came to be born once so that we could be born again // It's about God's love / Nailed to a tree // It's about every drop of blood that flowed from Him when it should have been me.

Listening to the music this year has made me remember how much I loved singing in a group, working out difficult lines that, when put together, make lovely melodies. Like most things in my life, I didn't stick with it and it is such a vague memory anymore. Instead, I've become a proficient car singer.

There have been so many babies to become a king / But only one King became a baby

When it comes to interior design & decor, I don't pretend that I am any good at decorating. Really, I have no clue how to put things together, but I am happy with our simple mantel this year. And, I did decide on the colors I wanted to stick with. Instead of pulling out every item in the 4 Christmas totes, I stuck with things that go together (I hope). My lack of style really begs the question, "Why would you even show the world your finished product." Nobody is going to see it this year besides us, so I'm sharing it so it doesn't go to waste.

Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother / And in His Name all oppression shall cease // Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we / Let all within us praise His holy Name!

I really wanted 3 dark brown frames with white matting for the printouts, but we decided not to spend money on decorations this year, so I had to use what I had. It works, but I'll still hope for the new frames next year.

He is here / The Savior has been born / The one we've waited for / Surrounded by our praises // He is here / The promise of our King / To you our lives we bring / Let you glory be revealed

Just a simple carpenter who found himself in love / with a girl bearing the child of the Divine // Just a simple manger yet somehow it was enough / to accommodate the God of space and time

Only 2 weeks until Christmas and I've only bought Hubs' gifts. I ordered my Christmas cards too late and they will go out after the holiday. We've gone to zero Christmas parties and we've not even put up a tree. But, I'm enjoying the twinkle lights around the neighborhood and the carols on the radio and I'm looking forward to time with everyone I love over the holidays!