Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Do not be afraid.

to be... thoughtful, thankful, joyful, sad, contemplative, angry, alone, together, celebrating, mourning, and preparing.

Tonight is the last night==tonight we light the 4 advent candles and the center white Christ Candle.

"In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered.

Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

[Light the Christ candle.]

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for see -- I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger."

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors."

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us." So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. (Luke 2:1-20, NRSV.)

All: Come, Lord Jesus. Amen.

So many times I've heard these stories told--are they correct? are they pieced together? are they just stories? decidedly so, but does this diminish the need to hear the story, to live it, to learn it, to love it, to tell it? No.

Can you say, without a genuine smile, "for unto you this child is born." I sure can't. Maybe it's because my sister is having a baby soon, or the entire world I know is also having a baby soon, but the miracle of life is so captured here. The child is not brought into a perfect world, but a world of love, and devotion. There are the bare amount of gifts, the parents are scared, and God sends someone to them and says "Be not afraid." No, I'm not implying that every child born is the Messiah, but that this story expemplifies some of the struggles and hardships that we all face. Every birth, every child, every one of us is part of the creation, part of this Divine story. God looks at each of you and announces, "Glory to God in the highest! Peace on earth among all."

"Do not be afraid" this Christmas--stand before your (occasionally annoying family) and love and cherish them. Know that because of each of them you are able to be you. Take time this holiday season to search for that spark among your families--even after you've been hanging out for 2 days staright and you want to kill someone. (this is not the peace the big G is after.) Look at their faces and think about the miracle of their birth--every face. Not just those who profess Christianity, but every face contains that spark. Sometimes it gets clouded, sometimes it's hard to see, but it's there. (It's like in Hook when Peter goes back to Never Neverland and is grown up and fat and the kids don't recognize him for a bit.) That's reverant, right?

I wish you all many holiday blessings, many joys, many ups and many downs--and in all of this to remember the miracle and the glory of the season.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It's a hard knock life for me

... no one cares for you a snitch, when you're in an orphanage.

Or, when you are the new person and have like zero vacation time. Who would have thought that I, working at a religious organization, would have to work on Christmas Eve. I mean, I work with churches for goodness sake. NONE of them are open!!! I mean, it's basically pointless. It isn't that I don't have work to do, but does anyone do work the day before vacation? I mean, CHRISTMAS EVE. I need to prepare for the birth of the Lord. I'm relatively sure that requires me cleaning my house and then sitting in the car for 3 hours on the way to Dallas, having family Christmas with Ben's family and then going to church.

The rumor is that we may get out at 12. I mean, this is quite generous and I can't complain, but I'm going to... only because I shouldn't be working at all. In my opinion. Yes, I could take off. I could use one of my 2.83 vacation days, but I'm saving them. Tonight the goal is to finish cleaning the house and pack. This all seems extremely simple, but it isn't. It takes a lot more work than one may believe. I mean, outfits, dogs, presents, luggage, cleaning the bathroom, the kitchen, organizing. It's hard work to prepare. Yes, I could take off and then not worry as much about time and when we leave etc, but then I'm also trying to think ahead, vacation wise. This stresses me out. If I took tomorrow off we could get up and leave relatively early--not worry as much about traffic, get there at a decent time, but I take a vacation day. Or, I can work for 1/2 day, run home, pack the car, get on the road, pray that it doesn't take us 5 hours to get there like it did for Thanksgiving (usually a 2.5 hour trip), and keep my vacation time.

Thoughts? What's the plan? If I go ahead and turn in my vacation time, and then they announce that we DO get to leave at 12... will it count as a full day? I'm guessing yes :(


Monday, December 22, 2008

morphine, imprints, and the pretty life.

I have finally conlcuded my love affair with the Twilight series. It has changed my life... or at least my last month. I'm a wealth of information when it comes to Vampires and Shape Shifters (who some assume to be werewolves--they aren't.) I'm sad that it's over. I'm disappointed to go back to watching tv. I'm sad to not come home to Bella and Edward and their life changing world. I mean, they have "forever."

I will say--the last book is not my favorite--probs because J. Black is all up in there messing things up and loving on babies, narrating the first 1/2 (annoying-town), and generally smelling up the place. Though, I do appreciate his disgust for Rosealie.

I now have some assumptions about the world...

1. The mafia is really vampires--espesh the mafia in Italy.
2. Really pretty people--vamps.
3. Michael Jackson--also a vamp because he can moon walk.
4. During menopause and hot flashes women become close to a werewolf--intense heat and uncontrollable moonds.
5. Teenagers should not be vampires.
6. I need a special gift.

Friday, December 12, 2008

put sufjan stevens on...

Ps. I heart him. I also love his rendition of Come Thou Fount.

I have nothing in particular to write about today. Ever other month we have to work on Friday until 4 pm (typically we get off at 12:30 unless doing something that requires us to stay at the office.) Today, is said Friday for me--not having a lot to do, but having it be my "late" day. Boo. This especially stinks because we have to immediately leave to drive to Houston when I get home. Ben is in his friend from colleges wedding. We aren't even going to make it there in time for the rehearsal so we'll just meet them at dinner. Luckily, he's no stranger to the aisle walking. I think we should both actually add that to our resumes under "skills." I may also add "sale finding" and liturgical dancing. I haven't quite decided...

So it should be fun to go to Houston and see some friends that we don't get to see that often. I'm debating on if I should go running with K, one of my honored heroes and friends, on sat morning at 6 AM! I haven't worked out in a while and I feel rather disgusting. I've been eating tons... totally a holiday conspiracy to make me gain weight. Someone should do something about this. We'll see what tonight holds. If we're in relatively early, I think I'm game for the 8 miles.

So we had our holiday gift exchange at work today. What a beautiful Friday that was started with breakfast tacos. I mean, isn't that a gift enough in and of itself? I say, "yes!" But we had white elephant, I ended up with $15 to starbucks. Then we had a Christmas lunch--also amazing food with an unexpected holiday "bonus." It turns out, working at a church you don't get bonuses. I mean, I think the only Christmas bonus I've ever gotten was from the people I baby sat for. So, how grateful am I? Pretty stinkin' excited! I suppose being a grown up has its perks :) Mayb's I can stick that dolla into savings for our Italia trip. I better start calling it Italia now because clearly, I'll be fluent once we return.

I'm still down to needing to purchase 3 gifts. Blech. I mean, I LOVE buying presents for people. Love love love it. I like to think about it and try really hard (and I make lists.) It's out of my control. I'm a list maker. I currently have one sitting next to me with the things I need to remember to pack this afternoon. It's part of my fake ocd.

I also didn't make it around to my extensive cleaning and laundry doing that I had intended last night. I got my hur trimmed, sushi with new friend, then home. The sushi and wine lasted a while though so I didn't get home until 9... which, if you know me, 10 pm is around the time of winding down (except when I get enthralled with my vamp books and can't put them down.)

So now I have an hour of work left, though I'm thinking maybe 45 minutes and I'm outta here. I haven't yet begun to restrict my liquid intake... which I'm sure will be an annoyance to my hubs later, but alas life is life.

SO, remaining on my list... get my things together for the conference on Monday (have to stay out at a resort), pack, clean up, love my dogs, shut de do', keep out de devil, head to Houston, read my vamp book in the car, paint my toe nails (also in the car... sorry, Ben), change clothes ina gas station (ew), and then be charming. All in a days work..................

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Emotional Involvement.

So, I've continued on my vampire quest and have now finished the 2nd book in about... 2 days. I came home from work, read (oh, ps... read at lunch displaying anti-social behavior), ate dinner and watched Prince Caspian on our NEW TV. It has a lot of letters LCDHD bla bla blue ray dvd. I know nothing of TV's other than this is better than my old one that I got with a $100 gift card for moving into my apartment when I moved to Atlanta 6.5 years ago. Yah, we were behind the times, but not any more! I digress... so watched the movie--way more violent than I thought it would be, and then immediately went back to reading and didn't stop until I was finished. In the midst of this Ben went to bed. I remained in bed reading, lights on. Oops. I had also planned on getting up this AM to run. But alas, I was tired from consuming too much drama.

Update: Just spent my lunch hour at target and bought the next book. Oh the thrills :) If only I could get really... "sick" and go home and start reading now. I need an intervention. That's what I'll call my SMU happy hour tomorrow and girl sushi night on Thurs--an intervention. Both including wine? does that work? I say, "yes."

Is it wrong that I want Ben to be a vampire? No, not one of the ones who eats people. I had to clear this up with him last night. There are OTHER good, well dressed, vampires who are lovely to be around--unless you start miraculously bleeding. Then it's a bit touch and go.

About me--I have a tendency to get wrapped up in the drama of tv, books, etc. It's just who I am. WIll this fade? Absolutely. Will I always have a fondness in my heart for Edward? Most assuredly so. Will someone consider having me psychoanalyzed? Outlook good.

Thus begins the holidays.

Friday, December 5, 2008

A series of unfortunate events.

Work should begin at 10 am and end at 4 pm. I got a call yesterday morning saying I didn't need to be in until 10 because someone hit a gas line. Oops for thems, yays for mes! Seriously, though I was then awake to my crazy dog needing to go out, and then scratching at the window, it was still realllllllllllly nice to just lay in bed! It made my day move rather quickly... minus my interaction with the law.
I got a ticket. Jerk. So, I'm driving to work in my marry old way (happy that I'm going in late, unhappy with my outfit, disgruntled about not really having much winter clothing) and there is a motorcycle cop sitting in the road. (ok, not in the road... but beside it.) SO............. he pulls me over and says, "I've pulled you over due to your speed. Do you know how fast you were going?" Me, "Yes sir, my speedometer said 45." Him, "Actually, it was 46, but close. The speed limit is 35." Me, (shiz) "wow, I really thought the speedlimit was 45." Him... "I'm an ass. You're right. It IS ridiculous that the speedlimit on this road is 35. I'll see to it that this is changed." None of that happened. He just handed me a ticket and told me to contact the court before Jan 4. Done and done. No worries, I sent in my info on the Methodist Foundation envelope... I'm pretty sure this will win me bonus points with the judge... or at least have her allow me to do defensive driving. I haven't had a ticket in 4 years!! Probs closer to 4.5 years. So, it's ok I suppose. I was due for some ticketing.
So then... (I'm a pen chewer) I notice that my lips have a nasty taste and so do my pens. Gross. Like all day I'm sitting there thinking that something is wrong with me... probably a drastic illlness with sudden onset and one of the symptoms is a nasty taste on your lips. Oh wait... I sprayed bitter apple stuff all over the bottom of our christmas tree so Maggie wouldn't eat it yesterday. It totally works. I would never eat anything that tasted like that. I will not be attempting to eat our christmas tree or the ornaments... at least the ones on the bottom half.
ANNNNNND, there was a company meeting (optional, I opted not to go because it didn't effect me) and so I left to go to the restroom only to come back to the front door and find I'm locked out because the lady at the front is in the meeting. SO, I had to wait a while until someone came to let me in. Hilarious.

Basically, though, I had a good day. It ended with sushi, wine, laundry, and Harry Potter. Today I fly home for my sisters baby shower (and I'm buying the 2nd book in the Twilight series!!!!) Teenage vampires. I love them. I love them... and eye patches. Those are not related. The second one just refers to my fascination with pirates.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Dear Clinton, please come be my bff.

So Clinton Kelly will SIGN his newest book for you. Ok, if you are where he is he'll sign it.. OR, if you purchase it, send him the reciept, he will sign a sticker that you can then place in the front cover of your book. Freakin' Fabulous. I want it. I also desire him to be my bff. I'm not entirely sure how I should stalk him in an appropriate manner so that he sees he needs me. He probably needs me to be on his show or to do something else wonderful. Now how to begin this friendship that is our destiny... hmmm...suggestions?

Which moves me to my other fantasy friendship. So, I think my nurse practitioner is pretty amazing. Granted, I first was intrigued by her when we moved here and I had zero friends and she was young (but older than me) and obvi intelligent. And, dont' get me wrong, I like going to the doctor at signs of death--and because I hated my job and desperately hoped they'd find some sort of not serious serious illness so I wouldn't have to go to the hopeless void that was the spa. Anyway, well, she called me 2x last week with my lab results--I feel our friendship even more. So, I googled her name, found her email address, and emailed her to send me my results because I have no clue what anything she said meant--nor did I write it down. So, yesterday 2 very short emails later--I'm sure we'll be dating and seeing movies soon. Perhaps I'm jumping the gun a bit. Maybe one of the emials simply stated that I'm indeed not low on vitamin d. It doesn't matter. I used my best sarcastic hilarious wit and replied. Now I sit awaiting a long winded email infused with how cool I am.

Oh, back to life, back to reality--back to the here and now. SO, tonight I plan on cleaning, doing laundry, and putting up my Christmas tree while my hubs works late--every night this week! Lame. I also need to run. SO, I'm attempting to not lose all of my endurance from training, but I haven't been running so much in the last few weeks. I'm back on schedule starting this week though. I'm training for a 1/2 in January. My goal is to get faster. This training schedule is basically going to kick my arse though. Yikes. If only the holidays were filled with downtime and not hectic craze. Lucky for me... I only have 3 gifts left to purchase... oh, well that and the fact that holiday cards are hit or miss for me. We'll see what happens there. If you dont' get one, know I at least thought about it.