Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Time to Forgive. Then Again Maybe Not.

A few years ago Jonah and I were in my car together on our way to somewhere, probably Target, probably so that he could talk me into buying him toys. He was in the back seat and being unusually quite for a little boy who can talk a blue streak. It was summer time, and the air conditioning in my car wasn't working very well, and for a second I was scared that Jonah had lost consciousness in the heat.

"Jonah, are you ok?"

"Yeah, I'm just sitting here. I'm thinking about my enemies."

What?! Enemies?! And then he started listing them off, including a cousin who, in order to protect the child, I'll call Jack.

I said, in an attempt to be the good aunt, something about Jesus wanting us to be nice to and love everyone.

"Oh, but I hate Jack!"

So much for my teaching moment. It took all I had not to laugh. It's important not to laugh out loud at the kids when they are being so serious. I have, though, told that story a thousand times and laughed at it ever since.

Jonah turned 8 years old this month, and his baptism is this coming Saturday. A couple of days ago I was talking to my dad on the phone, and mentioned Jonah's baptism, and Dad said, "Did you tell him that if he's going to be baptized then he needs to forgive his enemies?" I had not! I did talk to him about giving up his toy addiction, and he assured me that that didn't need to happen until he turned 12, so he's good there.

I probably should ask him about his enemies, just to make sure that his conscious is clean before Saturday. Although, I'm sure that Jonah is the good guy in these scenarios, kind of like Batman and the Joker. No one ever tells Batman that it's time to forgive.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Angie's Christmas Countdown, December 25

Luke 2:25-32

25 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.

26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.

27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,

28 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,

29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:

30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,

31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;

32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.

Angie's Christmas Countdown, December 24

Luke 2:8-14

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Angie's Christmas Countdown, December 23

Luke 2:6-7
6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Angie's Christmas Countdown, December 22

Luke 2:1-5

1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Angie's Christmas Countdown, December 21

Luke 1:26-32

26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,

27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.

30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.

31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.

32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

Friday, December 18, 2009

A Week in Review

It's 9:22 am. My brain doesn't start to function, not well anyway, until after 10, so this might be a little fuzzy. We will press on, nevertheless, with a Week in Review.

A Big Girl Bed
I got a new bed. Actually, it's a hand-me-down bed from Barry and Melody. They bought a new bedroom set, very nice, and asked me if I wanted their old bed. I said, "Yes I do!" I have slept in a twin size bed all of my life. Since leaving the craddle I've been in a twin. Friends and family have over the years told me that it was time for a big girl bed, but they cost some money, and I've always had a small room in all of my different aparments and homes, so it just didn't seem practical. And, I'm a good sleeper. It' nearly impossible for me to get up in the morning out of my tiny, not so comfy bed. If I had a good one I'd NEVER get out of it, and then I'd loose my job and have to face all kinds of dire consequences.

Then Melody offered me their bed for free, and I was so excited. Maybe a queen size has been my heart's secret desire all of this time? That must be because it was happy. Barry brought it all over last Friday and set it up for me. Big wood frame, box spring, and a giant pillow-top mattress. I mean giant. He warned me that the bed was pretty big, and suggested that we just put the box spring and mattress on the floor, but I wanted the nice frame, so he put it all together. When he finally threw the mattress on top I was stunned! It's huge! Honestly, this thing is so tall - more than waist high, almost chest high. I laughed every time I looked at it. What a ridiculously big bed! I feel like the princess and the pea.

I get into this bed by first stepping up on the wood frame, and then climbing in from there. I'm considering setting up a mini-tramp. There is some room on the floor, and then I could get a running start, hit the tramp, and do a tuck and roll into bed. Nice. Until then, I'll be climbing up from the frame. Once in, though, it is so, so comfortable. And I bought some Egyptian cotton sheets - heavenly. Absolute heaven. Everything you've heard about Egyptian cotton is true. And yes, I've been late for work all week. But loosing my job to stay in this bed just might be worth it.

And then....
That's really all I have to talk about today. It's crunch time at the store, and I'm working a lot of extra hours. I'll admit, it's exhausting. But people have been nice enough, and exhaustion is just part of the whole Christmas thing, isn't it? I hope you're all enjoying the fun of the season.

I don't know that anyone is reading the countdown scriptures, and it's ok if you're not. I understand that there are one million things to do in December. I have honestly enjoyed doing it. It's been a good reminder every day of Christ, and I like thinking about all of the prophecies of His birth. Sometimes life can be tough, and sometimes it feels like that light at the end of the tunnel is way too far away. What I love about the prophecies of Christ'st birth is that the people had so much faith in them, and that faith pulled them through. And in the end every sign came, every one of God's promises was kept. And those who were there to see it rejoiced.

Here's today's countdown scripture:
3 Nephi 1:10-15, 20-21

10 Now it came to pass that when Nephi, the son of Nephi, saw this wickedness of his people, his heart was exceedingly sorrowful.

11 And it came to pass that he went out and bowed himself down upon the earth, and cried mightily to his God in behalf of his people, yea, those who were about to be destroyed because of their faith in the tradition of their fathers.

12 And it came to pass that he cried mightily unto the Lord all that day; and behold, the voice of the Lord came unto him, saying:

13 Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfil all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets.

14 Behold, I come unto my own, to fulfil all things which I have made known unto the children of men from the foundation of the world, and to do the will, both of the Father and of the Son—of the Father because of me, and of the Son because of my flesh. And behold, the time is at hand, and this night shall the sign be given.

15 And it came to pass that the words which came unto Nephi were fulfilled, according as they had been spoken; for behold, at the going down of the sun there was no darkness; and the people began to be astonished because there was no darkness when the night came.

20 And it had come to pass, yea, all things, every whit, according to the words of the prophets.

21 And it came to pass also that a new star did appear, according to the word.

Thanks, as always, for your constant care.
You are loved.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Angie's Christmas Countdown, December 17

3 Nephi 1:4, 8
4 And it came to pass that in the commencement of the ninety and second year, behold, the prophecies of the prophets began to be fulfilled more fully; for there began to be greater signs and greater miracles wrought among the people.

8 But behold, they did watch steadfastly for that day and that night and that day which should be as one day as if there were no night, that they might know that their faith had not been vain.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Could I Interest You in a Book?

I like all of the recommendations that go on this time of year. It’s fun to read about products that others have fallen in love with. I’d like to do a list of my own, but being a working girl, I don’t do much cooking or homemaking. I’m not a techno-geek, nor do I have a wide, unique range of musical tastes. But, there are two things I do know - books and make up. On these I can talk at length.

Makeup is such a personal thing. I can’t guarantee that you will love what I love. Every girl has to find her own regime. But I will say this – Estee Lauder's Idealist is the best thing I’ve ever done for my skin; Laura Mercier lipstick is worth every penny, and I would die without Clinique’s gentle eye makeup remover every night.

Books are just as personal as makeup, really. Still, I feel more confident making this list. Here are some that I’ve read over the last few years that have stuck with me.

1. “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – EVERYONE should read A Christmas Carol. I don’t care how many times you’ve seen the movie/musical/play, it has to be read. I couldn’t believe how much was in the book the first time I read it, or how powerful its message is. Dickens creates scenes, thoughts, feelings that can’t be translated into a movie. Read the book.

2. “Atonement” by Ian McEwan. This story isn’t nearly as happy as A Christmas Carol. It's sad, actually, but a great reading experience. It’s about a wealthy family in England in the 1930s, and the son of their housekeeper, Robbie. The family has a son and two daughters, Cecilia and Briony. Cecilia and Robbie are in love, and just beginning their relationship. Briony witnesses a crime, and accuses Robbie. The events of this one night change all three lives irrevocably. What I love about this story is how it sunk into my head and wouldn’t leave me alone. I thought about it for weeks. I still think about it sometimes. The writing is great, and the characters, especially Briony, are so deeply developed. A very good read.

3. “Gilead” by Marilynne Robinson. This is some of the most beautiful writing I’ve ever read. It’s about an old man who is ill and doesn’t expect to live much longer. He married later in life, and has a young son, and he’s writing out his life’s experiences, and those of his own parents and grandparents, for his son. He wants his son to know who he is. What struck me most about this book is all of the life lessons, written in simple sentences or paragraphs, that show a wisdom that only years and years of life could give. On almost every page I read something that I wanted to share with someone. It’s brilliant.

4. “These is my Words, the Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine”, by Nancy Turner. This book is more light-hearted than the other two. I really like books that are written in diary form. The first person narrative keeps the story moving. And I love pioneer, old west settlers stories. Sarah Prine and her family are settlers near Tucson, AZ. There’s all kinds of old west action going on. And, it’s a love story, one of the best I’ve read in years. Don’t let the title throw you. I saw this on the shelf at the store for years and didn’t pick it up because of the title, “These is”? That’s not right. But enough people told me that they loved it to make me finally give it a try, and I’m very glad I did (don’t worry, the story isn’t written with that kind of grammer).

5. “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte. There has to be at least one classic on this list, other than “A Christmas Carol”. I bet that you all have an idea of what Jane Eyre is about – a young girl is hired by a rich English gentleman to be a governess to his ward. The girl and the gentleman fall in love, but there are dark secrets in his past that threaten their happiness. It’s so romantic. Really. I love it. When Melody and I were in London we went to the British Library to see their collection of old documents, and the original hand-written manuscript of Jane Eyre was there. It was so exciting. One of the best days of my life. There are a lot of good movie versions; the best was done by the BBC just a few years ago. But read the book first. Always read the book first – words to live by.

That’s enough for now. I hope you see something here that catches your interest, and if you read it, I hope you like it. Some might make good gifts too!

Angie's Christmas Countdown, December 16

Helaman 14:5-8
5 And behold, there shall a new star arise, such an one as ye never have beheld; and this also shall be a sign unto you.

6 And behold this is not all, there shall be many signs and wonders in heaven.

7 And it shall come to pass that ye shall all be amazed, and wonder, insomuch that ye shall fall to the earth.

8 And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall believe on the Son of God, the same shall have everlasting life.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Angie's Christmas Countdown, December 15

Helaman 14:1-4
1 And now it came to pass that Samuel, the Lamanite, did prophesy a great many more things which cannot be written.

2 And behold, he said unto them: Behold, I give unto you a sign; for five years more cometh, and behold, then cometh the Son of God to redeem all those who shall believe on his name.

3 And behold, this will I give unto you for a sign at the time of his coming; for behold, there shall be great lights in heaven, insomuch that in the night before he cometh there shall be no darkness, insomuch that it shall appear unto man as if it was day.

4 Therefore, there shall be one day and a night and a day, as if it were one day and there were no night; and this shall be unto you for a sign; for ye shall know of the rising of the sun and also of its setting; therefore they shall know of a surety that there shall be two days and a night; nevertheless the night shall not be darkened; and it shall be the night before he is born.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Angie's Christmas Countdown, December 14

Isaiah 25:9
9 And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

Friday, December 11, 2009

A Week in Review

Merry Christmas! The season is in full swing. Are you frazzled yet? Hopefully not so much so that you’ve gone cross-eyed and can’t read, because I’m doing A Week in Review.

Would you believe it?
I got into a car accident. It was minor. I’m not hurt. My car is a little dented, and my psyche freaked, but I’m ok.

It happened after Christmas devotional. The whole day had been great. Church was good, I had a nice afternoon, nap included, and then the devotional was wonderful. We had good seats down close to the stage. In fact, we were close enough to get on TV! Here’s the link if you’re interested. We’re along the bottom of the screen during the first chorus of “The First Noel”.

After devotional I walked around Temple Square to see the lights and the nativity, and then slowly made my way back to the parking lot. It was all so beautiful. My little heart felt warm and happy.

Driving through town I realized that I was pretty hungry, and then remembered that I hadn’t gotten to the store on Saturday, and had literally nothing at home to eat. Maybe a drive-thru? No, it’s Sunday, and I was just at the First Presidency Devotional. But I really was hungry, so I caved and went to McDonalds. I pulled into the parking lot and saw a car backing out of its space up ahead of me, so I stopped to let it pull out and go. While sitting there, I saw out of the corner of my eye something coming right at me. It was big and dark, and I went for my horn, but it was too late, bam – right into my door. My first thoughts, “It was such a good day. I knew I shouldn’t have come here.”

We did the exchange of information. Luckily the other party has insurance. We didn’t bother with the police (I later learned that they probably wouldn’t have come to a parking lot anyway). The people were nice about giving me their names and number, so I just took that and left. They did ask that I get an estimate on the damage and then call them before calling the insurance company because they might want to pay for it out of pocket. Ok, that was fine with me.

I got an estimate on Monday - $1600. Body work is really expensive. Tuesday I called the people with the numbers. I got their voicemail, so I gave them the cost and asked them to call me back. He called that afternoon all angry that it was going to cost so much. “Your car isn’t even worth that much money! You need to go to two or three places for estimates. Don’t tell them how much the others were. That’s how it works. You go to three places.” What? This guy backs into my car, and now is barking all kinds of instructions at me? I told him that I was going to call the insurance company to see if they had preferred body shops, and then would take it to one of those. He pretty much hung up on me. Nice. When I called the company I just filed a claim and am never talking to that guy again. The insurers can handle it from here.

On Wednesday I took the car to the shop that put a new clutch in a few months ago to get the clutch adjusted. This was just maintenance work, nothing to do with the accident. I asked them to be careful with the driver’s door, because it’s bent, and there’s a dent in the front fender, and the two panels pull on each other when opening and closing the door. When I went back to get the car, the dent was gone, and the door and fender didn’t get caught up any more, and I thought, “Hey they fixed it! Oh no! I have an insurance claim on that.” The damage that I had reported to the company wasn’t there. Visions of being arrested for insurance fraud ran through my head. Of course, the mechanics meant well. They're very nice. But still, insurance fraud!

That same evening a girl from the insurance company called to set up a time when she could come inspect my car, and we met for that yesterday. I told her about the mechanic popping out the dent and she asked, “So did they just think they’d do you a favor?” I guess so. It was kind of funny then. There are still other dents and scratches, and the door is sticking in the frame, so she had plenty to look at. She said that she’ll file her report today, and then I’ll hear from the company about payment. I was so relieved after she left, like my part in this whole thing was over. She didn't accuse me of anything, the damage really isn’t so bad, and I can still drive the car just fine while waiting for the money to fix it. All’s well that ends well.

You know, it’s strange, I felt a lot of guilt those first few days. That guy talking to me like he did about the estimate and how I was supposed to be handling things really upset me. It took a while to shake that off. A person has to know where to draw the line when taking responsibility. Being at McDonalds was probably a mistake, but that accident was not my fault. I don’t owe that guy anything.

I suppose an accident is the perfect end to my car's year. First a pulley and belt fall off, then the starter core burns out. Several hoses have broken, and I had to replace the clutch. And for the grand finale....someone crashes into it. For crying out loud. It's like the drum roll and cymbal crash and the end of the overture.

I have this fun thing that I do. When people in Utah complain about how cold it is, I say something about growing up in Minnesota and how cold it is there. This usually ends with something like, “You people don’t know cold!” Ha! It’s probably fun only for me. Others are irritated, but I’m going to keep doing it. It’s important to give people a sense of perspective. But, this week I’ll give Utah their complaints about the cold. This morning it was 5 degrees. Single digits is cold. But, I would like to point out that the current temperature is 27 degrees, according to The Weather Channel, and in my hometown it’s 11. I just wanted to make that distinction.

We had our department Christmas social today. Elders Perry and Holland were there, and each shared a short message. It’s always so great to be at meetings with them. I love being here. I really do. In fact, on Sunday when I was walking around temple square, I stood looking at the temple itself, all surrounded by Christmas lights and thought, “I love being a Mormon. It’s awesome.” And it really is.

Here’s today’s Christmas Countdown scripture:
Mosiah 3:8
8 And he shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; and his mother shall be called Mary.

Thanks, as always, for all of the blogging fun.
You are loved.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Angie's Christmas Countdown, December 10

Micah 5:2
But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Angie's Christmas Countdown, December 9

I've often thought about Joseph, Mary's husband. He must have been a remarkable man, very good, very loving, very faithful.

Adoption has played a big part in my family, my sister and two nephews are mine through adoption. From this perspective, it's very sweet to think of Jesus being raised by an adopted father. Not his actual father, but a man who took on this child, and his mother, and gave them a family.

Here is the dream that Joseph had while trying to decide what to do after learning that Mary was having a baby.

Matthew 1:20-25
20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:

25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Angie's Christmas Countdown, December 8

I got a message from my brother in Rochester, MN today saying that they watched the broadcast of the Chirstmas Devotional and saw us on TV! It's funny because Mariah and I were discussing what we could do to ensure that we got on TV, like stand up and sing along with the choir, every time, but in the end we chickened out. Looks like we got on anyway. I'm going to see if I can watch the recording on the Church website.

Here is todays Christmas Countdown Scripture:

1 Nephi 11:14-23
14 And it came to pass that I saw the heavens open; and an angel came down and stood before me; and he said unto me: Nephi, what beholdest thou?
15 And I said unto him: A virgin, most beautiful and fair above all other virgins.
16 And he said unto me: Knowest thou the condescension of God?
17 And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.
18 And he said unto me: Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh.
19 And it came to pass that I beheld that she was carried away in the Spirit; and after she had been carried away in the Spirit for the space of a time the angel spake unto me, saying: Look!
20 And I looked and beheld the virgin again, bearing a child in her arms.
21 And the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father! Knowest thou the meaning of the tree which thy father saw?
22 And I answered him, saying: Yea, it is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things.
23 And he spake unto me, saying: Yea, and the most joyous to the soul.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Angie's Christmas Countdown, December 7

Hello All,
Last night my family and I went to the First Presidency's Christmas Devotional. It was gorgeous. We've gone every year for as long as I've worked at the COB, and it's become a Christmas highlight. I love it.

The Choir always performs at devotional along with the Orchestra at Temple Square. Last night they did "For Unto Us a Child is Born", which is in my opinion one of the best songs ever to be performed live, that and "The Hallelujah Chorus". Both give me chills. I was thinking about the words to that song. As you know, they come from the book of Isaiah and his prophecies about Christ. It made me wonder about other Christmas prophecies, and then I thought, "Let's find one every day from now until Christmas Day and put them on the blog." What a good idea! So, here's the first, the one from Isaiah, made so beautiful by Handel:

Isaiah 9:6-7: "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

'Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end..."

Friday, December 4, 2009

A Week in Review

Hello Everybody! I’m told that this is the most wonderful time of the year, and what better way to put an exclamation point on that sentiment than with a blog post? Here’s a Week in Review.

Candlelight Christmas
Marla and I discovered a Salt Lake City gem – Candlelight Christmas at This is the Place Heritage Park. It’s beautiful. Everyone I’ve told about this since being there has said that they didn’t know that the park had a Christmas event, so I’m on a mission to get the word out. It’s a great evening. All of the buildings and homes are decorated with an old fashioned, classic theme, lots of evergreen branches, red ribbons and lights. I’m pretty sure that the early settlers did not have electric light displays, but you can see the danger in combining candles with branches and ribbons. They’d hate to burn down the park. Anyway, there are great light displays along the outside of the park and up on the hill. Some of the fences had wagon wheels in lights all along them, very cute.

AND there’s a train ride. We debated riding the train because of the cold, but the workers assured us that there were blankets on the benches, so we braved it. It turned out to be my favorite part of the night. The train was so cute with its holly and bows, and there was Christmas music playing. We rode past the big light displays, and through the village, and then up the hill. At the top of the hill there was a small pond, and a large sailing ship in lights sitting just on the edge so that it reflects in the water. From there we could see across the whole valley. It was gorgeous, and I loved being there with Marla, just the two of us, having our own Christmas evening together.

There’s a lot more to do at the park than I’ve written here, craft projects, Father Christmas, a live nativity. It’s all good. I recommend going.

I’m reading an interesting book, “The Man Who Invented Christmas: How Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol Rescued His Career and Revived Our Holiday Spirits”. The title pretty much says it all – it’s a biography on Dickens and his writing of A Christmas Carol, and of how that book changed English and American societies’ views on Christmas. I just started it, so I don’t have any fascinating facts to interest you with right now, but I will, and I’m sure you’ll be looking forward to that.

A Paper
I finally finished a term paper for my History class. It’s on a couple of documents from British history, one of those being the Magna Carta, and I’ve been working on it forever! Here’s how this went down: the Magna Carta was signed in 1215, and while there I thought “Hey, that would make a good paper” and then got started. That was almost 800 years ago. Way too long to be working on a paper. But, it’s done, and I think that I’ll be able to submit it today. What a relief.

Isn’t it strange that it’s Christmas time again already? Melissa bought a tree for our apartment on Tuesday. It’s really pretty – very full and thick, and perfectly shaped. I wasn’t too interested in the tree one way or the other, but now that it’s up, and the place smells all piney, I like it.

I’ve decided to take a more relaxed approach to Christmas this year. I have in the past gotten too worked up over it. I don’t know where people get all of their expectations, but I’ve had it in my head that Christmas is for families, and it’s suppose to be so full of love and warmth and excitement that you’re in danger of your chest exploding. I kind of blame those tv commercials with the guy who buys his wife diamond jewelry and then gives it to her while she’s sitting in her rocking chair with their new baby. Geesh.

But soon after Thanksgiving I was thinking about that holiday and how much I love it, and a big reason for loving it is because it’s so relaxed. No pressure. Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be anything other than what it is. And then I realized that Christmas can be exactly the same. Christmas doesn’t have to BE anything either. It can adapt to all of us, whatever our circumstances. It’s a lovely holiday. The trees and decorations are gorgeous, the music is good, parties are fun, and you know I love getting a gift or two. I can be happy with and love Christmas just as it is, for what it is. And of course there is at the heart of the holiday the birth of our Savior. Some of the most beautiful verses in scripture are the Christmas story. They’re simple and sweet with so much importance in so few words.

That’s how I’m going to do Christmas this year, simply and with importance put on the little things. No pressure to make it spectacular, just enjoying it for what it is.

Thanks as always for your continued friendship.
You are loved.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Love this so much!