Wednesday, December 08, 2010

My Happy Place

I live in your typical suburban town, with cookie cutter houses and a neighborhood park every few blocks. Everyone keeps their yards looking nicely manicured; flowers are abloom in the summer and snow is neatly shoveled in the winter. People are friendly and say hello, and year-round on mild nights we can hear kids laughing at the park down the street. It's a small town, complete with high school homecoming parades and over-the-top excitement when a Walgreens was built.

But my favorite part about my town is that it feels like it's in the middle of nowhere. While some might see this as a major grievance, I love it. We're surrounded by countryside and farms. I could literally drive for 10 seconds in any direction and find myself in an empty field. The majority of shops and restaurants are about 20 minutes away (save for The Walmart which is 10 minutes away; after all, I do live in America), and to get to any of them, I pass by several farms and homesteads.

And it's looking across these fields that I'm instantly taken to my happy place.

There is something so calming to me about a freshly baled field. Maybe it's the raw, primitive nature of it. Maybe it's the order of it; creating something out of nothing.
Some might think it an inconvenience to have to drive through this countryside anytime we need to get anywhere, but I think it's a gift. I treasure the drive to church, to the mall, to school.
I carry my camera with me most of the time, and sometimes can't help myself. I pull over and take a picture from the side of the road when I'm afraid the picture in my mind won't last.
Where I'm from, it's normal to be running late because you had to follow a tractor for 1/2 mile down the road.
I can be in the middle of a stressful day, but the moment I catch a glimpse of the country, my heart is calmed. I can't help but stare. With my beautiful mountains as the backdrop, the perfect rows all evenly spaced, the sun shining... I can't help but think that God's created this landscape just for me.
Kauai is another of my happy places. Drastically different, I know! Where's your "happy place?"

Monday, December 06, 2010

Monday Monday (La Laaa La La La La)

Good Monday morning to you!

Did you know that Christmas is just 19 days away? I KNOW! I feel strangely calm about it. Today I'll be putting my to-do list together of all that needs to be done before then. But more than that, I want to just FOCUS. Focus on not doing, and just being. I don't want Christmas to pass by us this year - again - without just soaking in the season. More on this later this week...

Seven random thoughts of the morning:
  1. I have four stockings hanging from my mantle. Poor Brody hasn't had a stocking the last two years; I've just doubled up and shared with him. Now Chloe needs one too. Gary's and mine have our names on them, otherwise I'd just pass them onto the little kids. Maybe I'll suggest to the girls that we'll alternate years, and this year it's Brody's and Chloe's turn to get stockings instead of them. Yeah, that'd go over well!
  2. Addie has two birthday parties and a playdate this week, plus another birthday party next week! My little social butterfly.
  3. Gary left town yesterday and gets home tomorrow. Confession: In his absence I ate an entire pint of Ben & Jerry's last night in 25 minutes flat. Maybe less. Soooo wish I hadn't done that. (Because now there's none for tonight!) (What'd you think I was gonna say?)
  4. Emma's class has been learning about Hanakkuh in class lately. I'm totally okay with that... but I sure hope the teacher intends to teach about Jesus' birth too. I'm interested to see how this plays out...
  5. Gary and I were in Florida the one time it snowed last month, which means that so far I haven't seen ANY snow yet this season. What state do I live in, anyway? It is strangely mild around here. Just the other night, Gary was out on the front porch talking on the phone while the kids played tag in the front yard. It was DECEMBER 3rd! In Colorado! What's going on? Come March, I won't be complaining, but I'm ready for those flakes!
  6. Don't you think cake would taste better if it were served on this pretty little cake plate? I think it's so charming.
  7. I don't even bake cakes that often. And if I do, they're in a rectangular cake pan. I'm not sure how I'd get it out and put it on this thing. (Kidding.) But seriously, the corners would hang off. (Kidding again.) But really, how do you keep the cake batter from pouring off the edge of this while it bakes? (Okay, I don't deserve something this pretty.)
    I can't find my iPod anywhere. Boo. And in related news, I have yet to turn on any Christmas music! Can you believe it? Today that will change. I proclaim today, "Break Out The Christmas Music Day" in my house, henceforth known as BOTCMD. And FYI, BOTCMD can change from year to year; it doesn't need to always fall on December 6th. In fact, I intended for BOTCMD to be celebrated earlier. So help me out, on this beautiful BOTCMD, what's your favorite Christmas album this year (new or old)?

    Happy Monday to you!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

From the Littlest

Well, hello there!

I'm Chloe.
My mommy hasn't written much on her blog in the last few months because she's been busy taking care of me. And doing a lot of this:
I think it's so funny.
When she doesn't pay attention to me, I get sad.
I'm a little high maintenance, but that's okay, right?
Because I'm too cute to resist.
You want to kiss these cheeks, don't you?


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