life of faith

taking baby steps & leaps & everything in between


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Post-Thanksgiving Pajama Day.

That’s what I have deemed today. It’s Sunday – Dayne’s and my fourth consecutive day off from work – and the first day in a loooooooong time that we don’t have any reason to leave the house. It’s a balmy 60°F, so our windows are open, I’ve got the slow-cooker rockin’, and there’s some gingerbread cookie dough in the refrigerator waiting to be baked.

The gingerbread cookie dough I made this morning, mixed by my AWESOME FANTASTIC brand new KitchenAid 6-speed hand mixer - courtesy of one Miss Erica Jones!

Our Crockpot (that I've been afraid of using for over 3 months) working hard making its first ever dinner entrée: apricot-glazed pork tenderloin -- thanks Doug & Molly!

We are all decorated for Christmas! I have a habit of deeming things “family traditions” since we got married – starting with apple picking & baking, then pumpkin carving, and now Black Friday Christmas-Tree-Getting and Decorating Extravaganza. Dayne loves it, in case you’re wondering.

We’ve got our Christmas tree and brand-new Willow Tree nativity scene (thanks John & Marcia!):

Our gingerbread house (completed yesterday):

Our reindeer bowl (credit to Maribeth & Jason from Christmas 2010!) and our tealight church (along with a ga-ba-zillion holiday candles spread everywhere throughout our living space):

Our mini JOY nativity that I found at Hallmark last Christmas, along with two light-up glittery Christmas trees (also compliments of Maribeth & Jason Christmas 2010):

Our dining room is also Christmas-ified:

And of course I’ve got our front door & outdoor ledge decorated, too:

And who can forget Christmas stockings?! We don’t have a mantle but I tried to be creative:

The star in the middle was a homemade Christmas gift from my mother-in-law last Christmas. It's made of sheet music!

And one of my favorite touches… our first Christmas ornament:

This week, I plan on spreading my unending Christmas cheer to my desk at work. Dayne’s happy I have somewhere to take all the decorations that didn’t quite fit in our apartment.

I’m just delighted and thankful to be with Dayne at the very start of this amazing adventure of establishing our own family. Dayne’s not much of a traditionalist, but I have some very warm memories revolving around the holidays with my family, and I can’t wait to create our own memories between the two of us and with our children in the future.

I’m thankful for all the things I do & don’t take for granted on any given day. I’m thankful that Dayne & I had three delicious Thanksgiving meals lovingly prepared for us by our families this year, and we have more food & fellowship to look forward to at Christmastime. I’m thankful that my family was able to throw a surprise 90th birthday party for my beautiful great-aunt Louise last weekend, and for all that it taught me about not being afraid of aging:

Who has time for fear when you're having this much fun?

On this Post-Thanksgiving Pajama Day, I’m thankful for life and God and love and meaning. I’m thankful that when things are hard, at least it’s never boring – and when things are great, it’s preparing you for when things are hard. I’m thankful to be in a great place in my life, even with its inherent difficulties and learning experiences.

I’m thankful that when I’m stressed, Dayne tells me to just take one thing at a time. And when I’m in Christmas cheer mode, Dayne just lets me do what I want to do 🙂 And even though he wasn’t much for decorating, I’m thankful Dayne enjoyed hiking around for a Christmas tree with me, sawing it down, dragging it, strapping it to our Rav4’s roof, and driving it home.

Victorious.

Love.

What and who are you thankful for this holiday season?


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Thursday Night Vacation Update.

So much has been going on that I only have time for a random, quick post!

I am on vacation – the girls are away with their parents for a long weekend – and I am sooooooooo happy. I felt noticeably lighter tonight than I have in a long time. Possibly because the weather is getting better and I got to spend time with two of my favorite people tonight!

Amy came over to make a twine ball with me.

Let me just say that I have never considered myself creative, or craft-y, or gifted with too many feminine traits. Dayne’s mom is AWESOME at these things, and she has been such a help with making samples of napkin rings, twine balls, favors, etc. Then I try to copy what she did, and it turns out looking very… Lisa-like.

To prove my point, here is the twine ball that Deb made (along with the shepherd’s hook she found for $1… how does she do that?!) and we decorated together:

Looks pretty, right? 🙂 I’m just gonna have to get more of Deb’s help until I become less inept at crafting.

This also happened tonight while Amy was playing around with the camera on her new iPhone… I love moments captured in time like this:

And this verse came to mind tonight and I liked it, especially the Amplified version:

Isaiah 26:3: “You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.” (emphasis mine… I want to work on doing these things [especially leaning on Him] and attaining that perfect & constant peace!)

Also, PUPPY!:

My family got the cutest dog and dogs are the best, right?! He is such a little angel. I wuv him. (Can you already hear me asking, “Dayne, can we get a dog?” Because it’s happening. Sooner than later.)

And lastly, ERICA’S COMING TOMORROW!!!