There's Somethin' About Christmas Time!

It's true! Our house has that feeling that can't really be put into words. The excitement hangs in the air like smoke after a firebowl. The food sits out on the counter from morning til night. Cookies, cakes, chocolates, cashews, bark, candies, Mountain Dew, Mountain Dew, and more Mountain Dew!

Yesterday our GREAT friends KRISTI and Peg Walker (HI KRISTI!!!!! I love you!) stopped by with a warm apple pie to share! We sat around the table and gabbed for a long time until more of our family rolled into the driveway! Yay for Grandma and Aunt Keren coming all the way from IA and IL! WHOO HOO! I got to finish the beautiful day with a lovely phone conversation... ;)

Then today I got to have a very special wake-up call, followed by breakfast with two very special girls in my life! There was laughter galore and of course some tears!

Later Father and I took Grammy to run her errands and then went to shop the afternoon away together! It wore us both out! I am amazed at the stamina dad has to shop, walk around, and keep up. We even stopped at Wegmans and just drooled over all the baked goods. So FUN!

Dad and I were reminiscing about our life-long tradition of heading into the woods with an ax and sled, trying to pick a "small" tree, chopping it down, and bringing it back to the house, only to find out it was actually ENORMOUS! (We secretly LOVE enormous Christmas tree's!)

I love my home! I love my family! And I can't wait until tomorrow when MORE come over the river and through the woods....

Oh, and I am anticipating ending the day the same lovely way it began...we shall see... =)


TODAY is a remarkable day! I am compelled to praise my God for LIFE. For MY life. I am living, breathing, alive, healed, WHOLE, and FREE today. 4 years ago today I never imagined that could possibly be true, but here I stand.

I stand in awe of my Savior. I stand in awe of his deep, intimate, and personal love for ME. I stand in awe of His unfathomable power. I stand in awe of His ways. I stand in awe of the beauty he created from ashes. I stand in awe of Psalm 23. I stand in awe that He is my Shepherd. I stand in awe because HE RESTORED MY SOUL.

I stand in awe of YOU, Jesus. So I'll let my words be few...

Jesus, I am so in love with you...

The National Christmas Tree!

I got to see The National Christmas Tree this past Friday night! I'll admit before moving, I had never even heard of it! But I was invited, and more then excited to check it out! We rode The Metro downtown (which I loved!) and only had to walk a little bit before the tree was in sight.

I think I squealed when I first caught a glimpse of it. To say it's enormous is an understatement! Obviously, it's so big you can't even see the whole tree in the picture. One of my favorite parts were the 57 other tree's surrounding The Big Guy in the middle. I know there are not 57 states in our country, but I can't honestly remember what the extra ones are. One was Portico, Portugal, or something. =) ANYWAY there was a smaller Christmas tree for each state in our country!

Well, as we crossed each "M state" tree I was getting more and more excited to find the Minnesota tree! Once it appeared, I leaned closer to read the lil sign, and what do I see? None other then the sign displaying our very own BACHMAN'S, who decorated the Minnesota tree! I totally freaked! I made my friend take a million pictures of the sign so I could show every one! I was flooded with Bachman's/Patricks memories and my heart was so warmed!
It was a beautiful night with beautiful trees and beautiful lights and beautiful company! I am so thankful that God has given me NEW Christmas memories in my new state! (Fur and I at Bachman's!)

Missing Minnesota

I am missing Minnesota. Quite a lot, actually. It's getting worse and worse as the minutes pass me by this morning. Particularly Minnesota Christmas.


I miss walking in The MOA at 6:24 AM every morning and being awed by the thousands of strands of lights dangling so delicately from the ceiling. I miss gazing at them and being mesmerized each day. I miss those moments before the hustle and bustle started at The Mall. Just me and the lights. Every thing was dark except for the little lights. That was the only time of day one could experience such a scene in The Mall.

I miss Black Friday with Matt at 4 AM and shopping in our dorky red matching T-shirts after work.

I miss walking around and shopping in my favorite mall. I miss my favorite stores that only The MOA has! There was something so special about me living so far away from the fam, and getting them presents from THE MALL OF AMERICA!

I miss the enormous Christmas tree on the East side. I loved resting my arms on the railings of level 2 and watching whatever was taking place around the tree that day in the rotunda.

I miss those gigantic red Christmas ball things that were always placed on the lawn on the West side. I miss the gigantic wreaths hung all over the place.

OK. I am starting to cry, so I'm moving on.


I miss my MOA Starbucks. Don't get me wrong, I am very happy at my VA store, but there's something so unbelievably special to me about my MOA II Starbucks. I miss my friends there. I miss our old crew. I miss how horribly stressful and busy it was, but we all did it together. We bonded. We were a little Starbucks MOA II family because no one else could understand how hard it was to work there, but we did. And we conquered every day. Together.

I miss walking in the day of the roll out to a Christmas Wonderland. The red cups, the new signs, the Holiday drinks, all the new retail that I wanted to buy, the ornaments, the mugs, the tumblers, Christmas blend, the Christmas music playing (I like the sleigh ride!!), and how excited I got just stepping into my store. I miss my MOA II people so much.

Great. Crying again.

Our Apartment

I miss Swz, a lot. I miss going for our FIRST Peppermint Mocha of the season, after having waited an ENTIRE YEAR to indulge. I even miss the stupid Chinese food that Swz and Boogz ordered WITH our PM's. Even though I was ticked because I said Chinese food was NOT Christmasy!

I miss our decorating night. I miss Boogz making fun of our millions of decorations. I miss her complaining about watching Home Alone on VHS. I miss our 2 little tree's. I miss Swz almost burning our apartment down by catching my (used-to-be-beautiful) tree on fire.

I miss my Christmas dishes and mugs. I miss my Christmas tablecloth and Christmas candles.

I miss exchanging presents with Boogs and Swz. I miss stockings with Swz. I miss watching "A Boyfriend for Christmas" on VHS, even though to this day, it's the most boring movie on earth, especially since it was fuzzy and there was a buzzing the entire 2 hours. I miss trying on my Puma outfit and dancing around, thus acquiring the nickname "Pumzy".

I miss the gazillions of left overs and amazing cookies that Mama and Grandmama Swz would always send over.

I miss the Holidazzle parade. Once with the Chapmans and the kids almost died of frost bite. And again with Boogz and Swz watching from inside The News Room. (Boogz? Be caught outside in an uncomfortable condition??!) I sat at dinner partly in fear because I knew I was so poor I could not afford one darn thing on the menu. Then God prompted Swz to pay the bill. I will never forget that.

The GC

I miss my GC community all the time. Every week. I miss walking into the room and feeling instantly part of the family. I miss knowing deep down inside that my presence in that place was wanted, needed.

I miss leading the children's Christmas program. (Even though I know it wasn't the most spectacular, and I KNOW Gretchen will BLOW that program out of the water this year!) I miss them ringing their bells. I miss Ronsi's bells going flying across the room and the horrified look on her face. I miss Tori knowing EVERY word and being so proud to sing the loudest.

I miss Eric leading Christmas songs with 19 disclaimers per song. I miss Gretchen's sugar cookies. I miss Jamie's sweet potato casserole.

I miss my GC family.


I've been mulling this all over in my mind for quite awhile. And I realized as I was drying my hair this morning that I miss my HOME. I miss my own home. I had a friend ask me the other night if I felt like I could come back to my current house and just unwind. I do feel at home here, I do feel at rest here, but what it comes down to is, it's not my own.

I miss my home. MN was my own. God established me there. My own home, my own church family, my own friends, and I miss it so much. (Yep, crying again.)

Thank you God for some of the most difficult and yet some of the best years of my life in my beloved Minnesota, my own home.

I love you all.

Enjoy Minnesota Christmas just a little bit more for me.

While You Were Sleeping

Hi Father! This post is especially for YOU! Peg was clicking pictures while we were waiting for your surgery to be over! This is what we do for hours and hours while we wait...and wait...and wait...I think you had the easy part! You were fast asleep! ;)

Update: Dad got all 59 (YES! 59!) staples out today! His stitches, too! YAY!
This is the screen I've mentioned in previous posts. Dad had a special code so we could watch how his surgery was progressing.
Big Mel and Johnny Cakes. Absolutely thrilled to have their picture taken! This is in the first family waiting room- the NICE one!

Aunt Cynth and I Facebook stalking! Her famous line of the day, "Why can't we just STAY in this room?!"

My amazing mother. Cool, calm, and collected. I get teary-eyed just thinking about the strength our God has given her. I hope I am half the woman she is some day.

This post is especially meaningful because it gives such an amazing up-close and personal look at the incredible PEACE that God washed over us while we waited for my dad to get out of surgery. How else, but through Jesus, could you explain our looks of peace and contentedness? Prayer is powerful and effective.
Pictures are worth more then a thousand words.

Bethie Update

Beth informed me last night that her little niece Mikayla, has been diagnosed with epilepsy. She has been having siezures and is understandably upset. Mik won't be able to ride her bike, eat chocolate, go swimming, and obviously other things. Please keep her and the family in your prayers. Thanks!

For Bethie

Beth (Brown) Wagner left me a voicemail tonight asking for prayer, and if I would post this. Her little niece, Mikayla, daughter of Steve and Alicia Brown, had some serious tests done on her brain today. The doctor has requested they come back immediately tomorrow morning. Please pray for the family! Thank you!

Dancing for JOY!

He's HOME! I am praising God today that my dad made it safely home! The trip from Philly went very well. My dad slept great the night before, and I quote from him, "Drugs are a wonderful thing!" HaHa! Indeed.

Thank you so much for praying for their safe return. My mom said she could FEEL every one's prayers.

I heard an amazing message on prayer last night, and I am still mulling it over in my mind. I am still wondering why God chose to answer our deepest prayers and bring my father through his 3rd open heart surgery. I am wondering if God was glorified through this situation. I hope so in the worst way. I am wondering if I would still praise God if the outcome wasn't what I had prayed for. I can only hope, and pray that it would be.

For now, I rest in thanking my Heavenly Father for my earthly father's life! My heart is so thankful that almost every Christmas song I hear brings me to tears. My heart is so full of awe and praise of my mighty God that I can hardly sing without choking up.

Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow!

We are dancing for JOY that my daddy is HOME!! =)

Check us out! (Thanks Katie and Chuck! I laughed so hard I cried!=)