Wednesday, December 30, 2015

the day before the day before

It is the day before, the day before a brand new year starts.  The sun is shining and it is really a beautiful day.  The ground is frozen in places and the air is cold and crisp.  There was an earthquake here last night, measuring 4.3-4.8 depending on the source.  So, that's exciting.  I was very much asleep at the time and didn't wake up at all.

I broke open the pumpkins I had grown over the summer, the ones I displayed on the front step all through the fall and all of December.  I broke them open with a big rock and left them in the garden for the chickens.  They were not interested.

Blake and I had a date today after wrestling practice.  We had lunch at our favorite Mexican place, Esteban's.  He told me that the guys were trying to talk with him after practice and he kept telling them he had to go because he had a date.  They laughed when he told them the date was with his mom.  I thought it was pretty cool.

Austin is off with his girlfriend's family for the day.  They headed to the mountain to go sledding.  The other day he went with friends and tried snowboarding for the first time.  He was sore but he said it was really fun.

Aaron is crabbing today.  I don't think I've mentioned it before but he has been crabbing commercially as the commercial season permits.  The captain that he works with is the owner of the restaurant that I work at.  I don't know if it's "normal" to love a job such as crabbing, but Aaron does.  He loves being out on the boat.  He loves the wildlife that he gets to see.

Here we are on Christmas Day (even wearing our matching Wildcat Wrestling hoodies)....

In honor of the approaching new year I have begun my 2016 reading list.  I even stopped in at the library today and requested a few to begin with.  I plan on re-reading The Book Thief this year.  Last year Aaron got me my very own copy from a library in Ireland!!  This excites me to the core.  I also plan to read and actually finish George Orwell's 1984.  I'm fascinated by the concept but for various reasons haven't read it through yet.  Ah, a new year and new reading goals!
Welcome 2016!!  Please be kind.
Happy new year everyone!
{New Year Wishes and Christmas Bliss} - Sugar Lump Studios - Artwork by Nancy Maxwell James:

Sunday, December 20, 2015

of December

The year is winding down in a flurry of Christmas songs and gift exchanges.

I'll be glad to see it go.  I've not lived a harder year.

The final days can come and bring with them the joy of the season, celebrating the ONE who died for me (and you!).

Then, the new year will dawn and I will embrace it like a long lost friend.


We don't have plans for Christmas.  We'll just lay low at home, exchange gifts and probably stay in our pajamas all day.  We'll eat homemade cinnamon rolls and drink coffee.  We'll have a ham dinner in the afternoon.

Earlier this month Aaron and I went downtown to the tree lighting.  It was bitterly cold but there's something about the festivity and the small town that makes braving the cold worth it.  We walked around a bit, into Popsies (the best old-fashioned candy store EVER!) and into the Holiday Market where they're selling handmade things from local artists and we snagged a cup of hot cider (and spotted a Christmas present for our younger son).


Also this month we were honored to attend a Naval Change-of-Command ceremony, in which one of our friends was being promoted to Commanding Officer.  The ceremony was held in this old theatre which is still used as a movie theatre on the Navy base.  I played with the photo a bit to make it look like how I imagined (if only that modern red pickup weren't in the picture).  Austin and 5 other ROTC members were the Color Guard for the ceremony and represented the high school very well.  Aaron and I thoroughly enjoyed the ceremony and the traditions that are honored and upheld.

Our Christmas tree is so beautiful this year.  We bought it at the Lions' Club tree lot which was a first for us as we usually cut our own tree up in the mountains or from a tree farm.  As we decorated the tree, Blake commented that he really likes our decorations because they are so diverse and eclectic.  They really are!  There are decorations we hang every year that I've had since I was a kid.  Some of the decorations are the ones the boys made when they were little.  Some are the original decorations from our first tree of our married life.  Not much matches but it is colorful and sparkly and full of memories, just like I like it.

Our boys are both very vested in their individual sports.  Blake is wrestling on the varsity team and doing really, really well.  As a freshman on varsity, most of his matches are against seniors but he holds his own.  I love watching his skill and his control and the lessons he learns through defeat.  This weekend he wrestled in a tournament with 16 schools.  He earned 3rd place for his weight class and his team earned 2nd place overall.
Austin recently shot in a ROTC competition.  We got to be there and watch him shoot his three positions.  It's difficult to see the actual shots in the targets without a scope but it's amazing to watch him shoot nonetheless.  He has amazing control and focus.  In the picture below you can see the targets, what you can't see is the tiny white circle in the center of each black circle that they are actually aiming at.  Also in the picture you can see Austin in most of his precision gear (minus the jacket).  And you can see his girlfriend, Elena.  We like her.

The offhand position.

The kneeling position.  This is Austin's best.
My employers threw a generous Christmas party.  We were spoiled with great food.  I'm thankful (as I've said before) for Christian employers.  These people are genuinely kind and loving and I really can't even begin to tell you all the ways they've been a blessing to Aaron and I.  I'm thankful for my co-workers too.  We are a colorful bunch and, like a family, we might not always get along, but we always help each other out.
This is me and my Elyse, enjoying the hot chocolate bar!

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