Friday, December 31, 2010

A Perfect '10

The fun thing about blogging on a semi-regular basis is being able to easily reflect on feelings from the past year as I start to look forward to the next one. This time last year, I was more than a little bit apprehensive to move on to a new year! 2009 was just so great. But, as I said then, "life just keeps happening, doesn't it?!" I'm so glad it does (and that I chose to embrace it!), because 2010 was a special year, too....

Things I was looking forward to in 2010, as noted in my New Year's Eve post, 2009:

· Celebrating our 1st married Valentine’s Day, and our sixth anniversary of “togetherness”
· Celebrating our 24th birthdays
· Trips to Springfield
· Summer in St. Louis
· Visits from loved ones to our home
· Becoming involved at our new church 
(Other than Sunday services, we never really got involved. It is what it is.)
· Hearing about friends’ wedding planning
· A trip to Minnesota 
(Bummer that never happened. But, we're starting 2011 with a trip there! So, that's good.)
· Kelsey’s wedding
· A vacation to somewhere (...MEXICO! And it was grand.)
· Celebrating our first anniversary!

After having been reminded again & again this year about God's habit 
of keeping my nature to make plans in check, I'm planning (ha!) to 
go into 2011 with the expectation that the year will bring events 
and occasions that I haven't counted on! (And, vice-versa.) With that 
in mind, here are the things I'm looking forward to in 2011!

- Matt & Ashley's wedding 
- John & Natalie's wedding
- Brice & Rachel's wedding (noticing a theme here?)
- Mike & Rochelle's wedding
- Brandon & Morgan's wedding
- All wedding-related planning and festivities
- Rachel's graduation & bridal shower
- The birth of Matt & Melissa's baby
- Enjoying the social/familial benefits of being home
- Discovering what our involvement in a Springfield church looks like
- Celebrating our 25th birthdays
- Celebrating our 2-year anniversary
- Traveling? Perhaps? (Although I'm not expecting a tropical vaca this year...I mean, seriously, have you seen the preceding list?! Oh, and see below!)

And, the big ticket items...

Buying a house (!!!)
- Moving more closely toward starting a family (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) 
(Notice how vague and non-committal that is. Like that?)

I must admit, I feel a wee bit tired already! Ha. But, truly, with 
that much to look forward to in 2011, how could I not be excited to ring in the new year?! (I 
mean, it could rival the fun of 2009. Not that it's a competition or anything. I'm completely 
happy to have so many joyful years to enjoy....)

"Little moments", "everyday love" much joy and laughter to make 
our years great. 

Here's to another wonderful one! 

Celebrating New Year's 2008.

Oh my goodness, I'm so frustrated with the formatting of this post! I have spent more time trying to fix it than
anyone should, especially on NYE. 
So, my apologies. But, life's too short, you know?!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Oh, Deer.

There's nothing quite like passing by a recently-struck-by-a-truck-&-paralyzed deer sitting in the middle of the highway to (momentarily) dampen your Christmas spirit. I know this because that's exactly what happened last night. While driving home from my parents' house, after a lovely evening of apple pie and "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation", Bobby and I drove past the aforementioned scene. It wasn't pretty. (Although, it was sort of a "Christmas Vacation"-type situation, the more I think about it....)

A neighbor was by the road, ready to assist the driver whose truck had been quite damaged from the incident. We stopped briefly to make sure everyone was okay and to be sure that they had help on the way. As we drove past, Bobby quickly turned the volume of the Christmas carol on the radio way up, and in the back of my mind I think I knew what he was doing. He confirmed my suspicion shortly after by saying that, yes, as we were driving away he saw that the driver was pulling out a rifle to put the deer out of his misery.

(Which, I should mention, was quite the clear reminder that we are not living in the big city anymore! I'm sure some St. Louisans carry firearms...but keeping one at the ready in the back of the truck should the need arise to kill injured animals roadside? I suspect not.)

Of course it was the compassionate thing to do, albeit thoroughly disheartening to think about the poor animal who I'd seen living seconds before being killed. (Not to mention that I was thinking of him more as "Rudolph" than "Bambi" being that it is the week of Christmas, but I'm trying to ignore that comparison.)

Post-spending time with my family, it wasn't a great night; it wasn't a great night for the reindeer regular-deer, either. But, if there is a bright spot to be gleaned from the scenario, it's recognizing Bobby's act of love in protecting me from hearing a gunshot. He knows me well enough to know that it would have been a potentially-upsetting sound. It was a small gesture, but oh, so sweet, and quite appreciated. It was as if his instinctual desire to protect kicked in, and I couldn't help but imagine him doing such a thing if we'd had little ones in the car. It made me think again about what an incredible dad he'll be someday. He's already an incredible husband.

I love you deerly..."Sparky".

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I had to go to Walmart yesterday to return a couple of ornaments. (Look at me, getting so much blog inspiration from trips to the store!) Even though I only had to walk ten steps from the door to the return counter, the guard greeter at the entrance not only had to check my receipt, but she put little stickers on each of the two ornaments. (I mean, truly, the return counter was right there.) I expressed some surprise at this seemingly tedious and largely unnecessary procedure, the lady agreed, and profusely apologized for having to follow protocol. She said that customers yell at her "all the time about it", and she was oh, so sorry for slowing me down. I told her that "really, it's fine" and that it was not a situation worth fussing about. 

Today, I was scheduled to substitute teach again. (Oh, yes, by the way, I'm subbing now...a turn of events that is certainly deserving of a blog post--or several--of its own. I am accumulating quite a collection of stories!) Anyway, I was told yesterday that I was needed as a para. sub. all day, only to find out this morning (after getting up/getting ready, making it to school by 7:00 a.m., & getting started in the classroom) that the regular guy had actually only requested a sub. for the afternoon...and I wasn't really needed until 11:30 a.m. The secretary who had scheduled me was "very, very sorry" and said she'd make it up to me. (I'm not exactly sure what that means in the "Subbing World" but I do like the sound of it.) 

In each of these recent experiences, both of the women seemed quite prepared to have to deal with someone who was notably upset at the given circumstance. Their ready apologies and timid manners lead me to think that they've had to deal with that before, which is sad. Sure, the situations were annoying (and could have been upsetting), but it was fun for me to be able to respond to the cards I was dealt with a positive attitude, reacting with a smile and an upbeat state of mind. 

When a situation or circumstance is less than ideal, I have been known to make a stink about it. (I know, 'tis true.) And, I used to get quite bent out of shape when things didn't go according to plan. Suffice it to say, 'Flexible' was not my middle name. I wouldn't go so far as to say that it is now, but between my maturing and my husband's constant example of having a "roll with the punches" attitude, I am far more easy-going and (probably) more pleasant to be around.

That's not to say that I don't still have the confidence or gumption to stand up for myself or someone else, when necessary. But, these days the definition of when it is necessary has changed for me, and I'm learning to keep things in perspective. Taking a stand or trying to exert change has somewhat taken a backseat to the pleasure I'm finding in expressing joy no matter the circumstance...and surprising those who least expect that reaction. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Food for Thought

I went to Wal-Mart yesterday for my weekly grocery shop. (I should mention how very much I'm enjoying living 2 minutes away from a Wal-Mart again!) As I carried my bags inside after the shop, I couldn't help but consider how wonderful it is to know that we could afford all of it....

When I shop, I don't have to obsess over prices or wonder if our bank account can handle the total bill. Of course, we have a budget, and I feel as though I've developed a pretty good eye for sticking to it. I usually know if a product is overpriced...or priced well-enough that it's worth stocking up on! I use coupons when I can, and that's a habit (skill!) that I hope to keep developing.

So, I'm a conscientious shopper, yes.

But, I never have to think so hard about what I'm buying to the point of questioning whether or not I should put the milk back on the shelf because the utility bill is due this week, and we really need bread instead.... Not even close.

This is the time of year when we're typically more sensitive to things like this, and more acutely aware of our cozy condition compared to those less fortunate.

I'm prayerful that God will provide clear direction for how Bobby and I can demonstrate His love and use it to bless others this Christmas season, as we ourselves have been so richly blessed....