Monday, December 31, 2012

Another Year Gone

Photo by K.L.R.
 As I pause to think back to a year ago, I have a difficult time remembering where I was and what I was doing.  For some reason, last Christmas seems a haze.  I know I was preparing for the wedding of two dear friends, but everything else eludes me.

I've reflected a little bit on the past year, where I was and what has changed.  Honestly, it's not been the most monumental of years.  I agonized over planning the future, discovered my love for high schoolers (thanks CoTA!), graduated from university, studied journalism in NYC, survived an intense storm and no AC for three hot days, was published in a newspaper, became a substitute teacher, started working another job, grew relationships and started new ones, and changed.

What I hoped my life would look like?  Me, living in England.  Me, living with Steph in SC, still attending Church of the Apostles.  Me, having adventures and starting my life as an adult.

God changes desires.  Sometimes He uses other desires.  He has a different schedule.

While not the most thrilling of years, my friendships have grown, and for that I am thankful.  My friends are amazing, unique, and caring.  I look forward to the years ahead.

I'm excited to see what 2013 holds.  Hopefully it will be an exciting and adventurous year, full of good changes.

Happy New Year's Eve!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy Boxing Day

Christmas Perfection
 Merry Christmas and Happy Boxing Day to you all!

Christmas was very enjoyable!  We opened stockings, ate coffee cake (my great-grandmother's recipe), read the Christmas story, opened presents, enjoyed our presents, had a church Christmas dinner, and enjoyed having some cousins over in the evening.  Actually, having my cousins over was one of the day's highlights.  Elizabeth and her husband have two precious little girls who, along with their six year old aunt, Abi, made it feel like Christmas.  Seeing those little girls so excited, telling us about their gifts, jumping around, and rolling on the floor made the day more festive.

Boxing Day opened with snow on the ground and sleet coming down.  A perfect day to continue eating goodies and enjoy a new movie.  Later, I think we may enjoy Eloise at Christmastime...and maybe enjoy a new game!

In another post I'll highlight a few of my favourite gifties!

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Magnificent Is Only the Beginning

I was driving east on I-64.
The sun setting against the hazy sky showcased the Blue Ridge Mountains in all their glory.
Magnificent only begins to describe the beauty I beheld.
When I saw the next exit, I knew I had to get off and go up the mountain road to get a view from the top.
Little did I know how long it would take.
I saw the setting sun to the west, from one side of the road.
From the other side, I saw a chilly, winter haze basking the deadened mountains.
The valleys, lake, mountain ridges, and fields looked like Scotland in a film.
I wanted to stand and stare. Sit and stare. Write and stare.
However, the number of bear hunting trucks and being alone persuaded me to go on my way and do my thinking in the car.
It was a wonderful, 10-12 mile unexpected escape from life.

I thought of the sublime.
Wordsworth came to mind.
I'll be going back, but with a pen and a camera next time.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12/12/12--Writing It All I Can

Photo by K.L.R.

I remember the first New Years Eve that I cried lying in bed.
I was sad the year was over, never to return.

I've loved the twelve years that we were able to write the same number in a row during a different sequential month.

Now it is over.
I would be lying if I said it didn't make me the tiniest bit sad.

We are heading into the teens.

One hundred years ago, WWI had not yet begun.
The world was a very different place.

In other news, Happy 97th Birthday, Frank Sinatra!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Just Another Day

Ever wonder what 75 lit candles look like?
Photo courtesy of Mike Jordan
It's been one of those days where nothing has gone according to plan.
Seriously, nothing.
I'm sitting, eating chocolate birthday cake with wax on top.
No, the wax is not part of today's self-planning.
It is left over from Grandaddy's 75th birthday party last night.
75 candles on his cake...all lit. 
It gave a halo effect...and quickly formed a lake of wax on top of the icing.

Now I sit.  Cake on a plate.  Milk in a cup.
My plan for the evening was to watch Numb3rs with Mama.
Instead, Women of the Church Christmas party, our car not starting, finding another car (big thanks to the Taylor's for the loan), and not watching Numb3rs (well, not yet).
It could have been far worse.  The car could have quit on me at work.  Can you see me now?  Oy, I don't know what I would do.

Tomorrow morning I head back to Lynchburg for work.
Then, more plans for the future--oh wait, that's all the time.

Happy December!  Merry Snow Days (here's to hoping, anyway)!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Thoughts of the Night

Freshman year...we were babies!
Growing up, I really wanted the Kirsten American Girl series to be made into a movie.  Oh, and I wanted to be Kirsten.  After all, we shared the same name!

Tonight I watched Eloise at Christmastime while I wrapped some Christmas presents.  Without fail, whenever I watch that movie, I wish I could be Eloise.  What a fun role that would have been to play!  I definitely see similarities.  Now, if only I had grown up in the Plaza...

Watching The Holiday makes me desperate (more desperate?) to move to England ASAP.  Snow (rain), accents, culture, lifestyle...I miss it.

I'm thankful for good friends.  I was able to Skype with some today.  And, Becky.  Well, she is one of my dearest heart friends.  I was (yet again) reminded of the quote from Augustine about friendship while rereading some notes between Becky and me. 
"For though they cling together, no friends are true friends unless you, my God, bind them fast to one another through that love which is sown in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, who is given to us." (Book IV, section iv)
Now, I will finish my movie.  I've had serious ADD while watching it tonight!

Oh, lights and Christmas decor are up around the house!  Yay! 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Happy Birthday to an Awesome Uncle!

 Photo edit: a little "photoshop battle" we had (note: I don't have photoshop)
 Happy Birthday to my favourite English uncle!

Before 2008 I had very select memories of Uncle Gavin.

The first memory was from my first trip to England when I was five or six.  Daddy, Michael, and I were staying with Auntie Michele and we had a little, family gathering.  Uncle Gavin, Lisa, and Grandma came to visit.  The funny thing is, I seem to only recall Lisa, and she only vaguely.

My second memory was from my second trip to England.  We had a family get together at Grandma's house.  We cousins were having a grand ol' time giving Uncle Gavin a hard time, and he played right along with us.  I think we may have been calling him, "Uncle Gavin Graveyard Digger."  The name could be wrong ; )

Oh, that same trip, I accumulated a number of coins in my little purse.  Uncle Gavin offered to give me bills and take the coins off my hands.  Something was lost in translation to my eight year old mind, and upset, I said no, thinking he was trying to take my money.  (Chances are, I would have fared better had I taken the offer.)  Ah well, memories!

Nine years passed, and I found myself arriving at Uncle Gavin's suffering from jetlag, totally exhausted.  I got to be around my family a bit more and gain more grown up memories.  I got to know everyone better, which was grand.  Somewhere in Rochester lives a squirrel that started some sort of inside joke...a joke that is even lost on me!

Two years later I came to England for an extended stay.  Every Tuesday I would traipse over to Bromley for Tuesday roast at Uncle Gavin's, oh, and orange juice!  It was always a lovely time.  I loved spending time with Unc, Lisa, Ellen, Peter, Roy, Rex, and whomever else was around.  Uncle Gavin took care of me.  Daddy wasn't around, but Uncle Gavin took his "Uncle's Duty" seriously.

I remember my first Tuesday visit.  We talked about Grandma.  I think that's when we bonded.  I am very thankful for Uncle Gavin.  He became one of my favourite people; he still is one of my favourite people.

Happy Birthday, and many, many more!

Here's to hoping to see you soon!


Monday, December 3, 2012

Guess Who's Having a Baby!

They adore each other!
Today I learned the news...

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are having a BABY!

For those of you who don't know, I awoke very early in the morning to drink tea, eat scones, and watch the Royal Wedding about a year and a half ago.  Now, a baby is due to arrive shortly after their second anniversary.

Also, based on the report that the Duchess is less than 12 weeks along, my calculations show, the baby could be born near my (and Daddy's) birthday!  Plus, there are a number of people in my family who have birthdays in June and July, so maybe someone will get to share the day : )

Saturday, December 1, 2012

I'm Still Here!

This week exhausted me more than any other in a while.
Nights lacking sleep, 10+ hours work days, meetings, and more.
Tonight at work I felt dead, as if I had missed sleep due to writing a paper in college. 
Coffee perked me up, the phones were quieter, and I was able to chat with some work friends!

A stop at Wal-Mart on the way home became a necessity.
Chocolate and ear plugs are now in my possession...oh, and vitamins!
I was hunting for ear plugs in the hunting section and asked this guy if he could possibly direct me in their direction, as he seemed to know his way around better than me.  I thought he looked familiar.  Turns out, I just saw him at work as I was leaving tonight!  Fun, random work-people sightings!

Now, sleep beckons me.  I've watched Numb3rs, had a little red wine, tasted Lindor Dark Peppermint chocolate, and am now preparing to sleep in!  Tomorrow I will sleep and lounge (mostly).

On a different note, I hope to have definite plans to share very soon about what my spring will hold!

Till next time, sleep tight, and don't let the bed bugs bite!

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