Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Gloria In Excelsis Deo

One thing that hit me like a gentle Mac Truck this Christmas was the deep joy of blessing. Watching Matt and Ann promise to love each other before God, being established into my own marriage to my best friend, reveling in the presence of family and listening to the words of familiar carols all had a profound effect on my small, sentimental self.

I received a gift from a dear friend who passed away last year, shortly after our wedding, by way of her sister, who is one of those "closer than brothers" kinds. Things like that are deeper than my ability to explain or even understand myself. But I do know that the gift reminded me of the goodness of my God. Maybe that doesn't make sense. But things like that - how painful loss can make me more sure of God's reality and goodness - make me realize that I have deeper parts in my soul than I knew about before.

And so my Christmas this year is described best by Isaiah:

"My servants will sing out of the joy of their hearts." (64:14)

I love that I'm allowed to be His servant. And that there's no more joyful or content place to be.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig

I had forgotten that Pensacola had a distinctive smell. It's kind of like a salt marsh, only watered down a little by humidity. When we got home last night I noticed it and remembered the first time I stepped out of a car to look at our apartment building. It's been over a year, but I suppose it took a full two weeks away from the smell for it to be surprise enough to my nose for the memory to pop up. The above is irrelevant, except that it sums up coming home after a long and active absence. It seems a long time since we've been home.

It has been a truly wonderful Christmas, though, and I will share snippets of my favorite parts... actually just the parts I got pictures of that were my favorites. I didn't get many pictures.

Food sweet food. At Sweet Christina's in downtown Fairfax (10409 D Main Street, Fairfax, Virginia 22030). We stumbled upon it by accident, as it is tucked around a corner, but were very pleasantly surprised. It was Christmas Eve morning and we had Starbucks in hand, so we felt obliging when we were told by a passing customer to try the Malva at Sweet Christina's. It's a South African bread pudding. Bonnie, the owner, overheard and brought out a sampler for the three of us (myself, the Hus and the Mother in Law) to try. It looked like this when it was half-eaten:

And. It was yummy. I wholly recommend Sweet Christina's and the Malva, which, as Bonnie informed us, is her adapted version of the traditional recipe. Her's isn't as sweet.

But, oh my. It is sweet.

More Christmas to come. The Hus just fell asleep on my shoulder. This is not condusive to typing. No need to explain why my shoulder is an attractive pillow when I am semi-recumbantly laptopping. I shall simply enjoy.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Cause for (joyful!) Celebration

Matt and Ann got married! This is the only picture I have, however, so the blogosphere will have to wait for photos of the bride & groom until I am at home at my own computer.

Needless to say, the wedding was incredible and beautiful. It seems to me that the Butterfield family is now complete. Ann is the perfect addition, my fellow immigrant into the foreign land of Butter-hood and a dear friend, to ice the cake. The joy felt by all present was great. It could even be said that my Hus teared up at the ceremony. I, most UN-ceremoniously, cried outright. God was very glorified in the proceedings. 

Altogether, it has been a rewarding weekend, albeit somewhat exhausting. We (the Hus and myself) are now at my parents until Christmas to sleep off the joy.

Merry Christmas, All! May deep joy be yours, too, as you meditate on the truth of the Season!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Megan is Faithfully Posting, So I am Encouraged to do the Same

"Hey!" shouted Jon, "I wrapped this present really good!" He was in the closet with gifts, paper, scissors and tape. Several minutes later, he threw out a lumpy package onto the bed, on which was the suitcase I was packing, "That one didn't turn out so good." He sounded disappointed. Luckily, the third present was a success, as he soon showed me. I was legitimately impressed.

This was Sunday night. I left Monday to drive (all by myself!) to Charleston, then Virginia (17 hours). As I drove, I listened to a mystery on tape, the sample XM comedy channel and my mother, who called often to make sure I was safe and warn me about inclement weather. I am now in Virginia, at my parent's. Despite some close calls (one isn't used to being cut off, when one has lived for so long in Pensacola...), I arrived safely.

I have no pictures as proof, so I leave this post pictureless. Sad.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Just Another Day Tutoring In Pensacola

Devin: You married, Ms. Butterfingers?
Me: Yep!
Devin: You shouldadonedid had a son by now.
Me: I what?
Devin: You shoulda done did had a son by now!
Me: I should have had a son by now?
Devin: Yeah.


Me: Because I'm married?
Devin: Uh huh.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Jon versus the Sheets... the final showdown?

We decorated for Christmas a week before Thanksgiving, but it was a secret. Now that it's Christmastime, I can revel in the decorations publicly. So, above is my revelry. I found those ornament placecard-holders at Pier 1 Imports last year and waited until they were 75% off to snag them. They like living in my house and holding up Christmas story-inspired phrases.

A note about the title:

Jon has never gotten along well with sheets. Most of the time, I shamefully admit, we sleep without a top sheet, because they always (I'm not kidding - always) end up on the floor, in a bundle, on his side of the bed. I'm lucky if there's still duvet left by morning. His mobility-while-slumbering issues extend to all sheets. When I awake, the bottom corner of the fitted sheet on his side of the bed is usually un-fitted from around the mattress and is curled up around the mattress pad on top of the top sheet-less, duvet-less bed.
At Linens 'N Things the other day I purchased some sheet holders that claimed victory over restless sheets. I was doubtful, but for a dollar and change (thanks to the 60% off), I was willing to try.
As you can see for yourself, they seem to have been telling the truth. Only time (two more nights, perhaps) will tell if they can take the long-term attack, but I do believe my fitted sheets will live a longer, happier life where they belong. Which would be ON the mattress and UNDER the couple sleeping in the bed.Please forgive the mess. I couldn't very well make the bed and still prove the efficacy of the gadgets.

Monday, December 8, 2008

FourThousand Words - (plus captions)

Some old pictures for the brother on deployment who cannot log into facebook (what is the AirForce thinking, blocking facebook?)

First we have the siblings in Colorado:

Second in line is the dog in dad's bed and dad in the dog's bed.
Next up, Me & the best friend in St. Augustine.
Then we have the girls two nights before my wedding:
How was that, Broseph?