Wednesday, December 19, 2012

picking out our tree!

(be prepared for picture overload)

we get a real tree every year.
and every year my husband tells me it's time to purchase an artificial one.
but i just. can't. let. go.
you see, my parents owned and ran a greenhouse and nursery operation for many, many years.
and my grandfather ran it before my dad took over.
green is in my blood. (just don't look at my indoor plants... because they always wither and die)
so to move to an artificial one, just seems wrong in my case.
i do covet the ease that comes with one.
no mess... no needles... no watering.
but i'm just not ready to go there, just yet.
maybe one day.
but, for now, we will keep getting our real one.

the thing i love about getting a real one, is our annual tree picking tradition.
we get in the truck and drive the 10-15 minute trek into the country to a tree farm.
there are trees everywhere.
plus all the extras... sleigh rides, hot chocolate, trails to walk down.
you can go out and cut down your own tree.
however, i prefer the frasiers and the balsalms to the scotch pines.
and there's only scotch pines to chop down yourself.
so we do not cut down a tree ourselves, but purchase a pre-cut variety that was shipped from the south.
but we still do the whole experience of the sleigh ride, bonfire and outdoor play.
and we have a grand old time!
a great family day!

on our sleigh ride around the farm property we even noticed a large hornets nest.
we walked back towards that area after we hopped off the sleigh.

the girls were interested to see it up close.
big M, naturally, wanted to knock it down. (what a boy!!! can you tell i don't have them?!)
i said, "no!"
i thought, maybe the hornets were hibernating in it?!
i have no idea.
suppose i could wiki it but just haven't yet.
so we left it as is... and took pictures of it instead.
then took a family picture right close by.

it was such a perfect mild winter day and so our annual tradition continues.
two days later, after the tree had thawed out in the living room, we set to decorating it.
putting all our colorful trimmings upon the branches.
it's a bit wild with colors but it's ours, and we love it!
and we will keep buying a real tree until my husband convinces me otherwise.

(i will apologize for a lot of the pics that are dark... forgive me for not having time or putting in effort to edit them?!)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

scenes from a morning

after yesterday's tragedy, it's hard to want to leave the house.
it seems the safest to stay in our little cocoon.
keep away from the outside world.
protect our littles from everything that's evil and bad in this world.
but we are called to be LIGHT.
light IN the darkness.
not light away from the darkness.
no one can make sense of what happened.
why so many children and innocent people had to die.
we will question God and ask why He allowed this to happen.
we will be frustrated, crying out to Him.
but we know that He is sovereign.
He has a plans and those plans aren't always known to us.
there is evil... but He will overcome.
bring your requests, your sadness, your burdens, your pain, your heaviness, your questions to Him.
take comfort in His word.

two verses that i put up on facebook this morning that have been giving me comfort:

if you don't know what you're doing, pray to the father. he loves to help.
james 1:5

if we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter.  he does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans.
romans 8:27-28

we have a slight connection to the shootings yesterday.
a little girl died who just moved to connecticut with her family who used to live in the city near us.
this family went to my brother and sister in law's church, the kids went to school with kids of our friends, etc.
we didn't know this family personally at all... but they were connected to people in our life.
it just hits home that much more.
i have heard that the mother to this little girl is putting up verse after verse on her facebook page.
she's clinging to the hope we have in Jesus during this time.
what an amazing gift we've been given... to know that amidst the pain, there is hope!
God is in the middle of this tragedy.
we can choose to make Him the centre of this and find healing...
or we can choose to hang on to the anger of the situation.
don't get me wrong... that anger is certainly warranted.
but anger and revenge and vengeance isn't going to bring healing to anyone.
i'm not sure what will happen from this point on.
i'm not even sure how i will feel a few hours from now.
all i know is that i want to keep my loved ones close right now.
i want to kiss the top of their heads and tell them i love them.
i want to say the things that truly matter to the ones i love.
i don't want to hold back on living life the way it's meant to be lived.
with love... hope... and victory!
because nothing is guaranteed in this life.
life can end in a fraction of a second... so cherish what you have, today.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

lucky #13

today marks 13 years of marriage for the big M and i!
we were married december 11, 1999.
13 years!
i know it's not anything like our grandparents' 60+ or what have you...
but 13 is still great, in my books.
we've probably already long outlasted most hollywood marriages.
but really, who's hasn't?!
did you know i was only 20 when i got married?
just a kid.
big M was 21, just 3 weeks shy from his 22nd birthday.
i like to think that we "grew up" together.
we both moved out of our parents' houses and into our own home.
we both did the dorm thing for a year at bible college, but honestly, that doesn't really count.
you get three square meals a day, you bring your laundry home on weekends and it's a constant party.
none of those things happened when we moved in together.
we definitely didn't eat three square meals a day... try KD 2x's a day.
we didn't bring our laundry to our mom's... although we might have tried, i don't remember.
and it wasn't a constant party... just a sometimes party.
we did have to work, you know?  ;)
but those years sure were great!
just the two of us!
no real commitments.
it was relaxed and fun!
and i can hardly believe it was 13 years ago!
where has the time gone?
i don't feel as old as i am.
i feel like we're still those young, free spirited newly weds... just have a few kids added like a cherry on top.
we've had our ups and downs, like any couple, but we've managed to stick it out.
the things that have changed?
-less hair on big M's head
-less stuffing, ahem, on my chest (if we're really being honest here)
-a bigger home (our first place was less than 900 square feet)
-a bigger vehicle (our first car was a tin can mazda protege! yeah!)
-more stuff (seen and unforeseen)
-and more love
i didn't know that you could trust someone as much as i trust my husband.
i've been so incredibly blessed by him.
he's my biggest advocate, my greatest cheerleader, my sounding board, my partner, my support, my lover.
he, unfortunately, gets the worst of me and i think a lot of it is because i'm too comfortable with him.
i tend to take him for granted.
i forget that he's a gift... a wonderful blessing from Jesus.
my resolve is to cherish him like he cherishes me.
spoil him like he spoils me.
love him like no one can but me!
we were chosen for each other.
13 years ago we made vows to one another in front of family and friends.
today we will celebrate with yummy chinese food (yay, i don't have to cook) and we will eat dinner with our three girls.
and we will think about how lucky this year is going to be.
even if my boobs are a lot smaller than they used to be!  poor guy!  ha!
(pics from my trash the dress session with charmaine toews in sept '10)
(more here and here)