Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend

We left Spokane at 5:45am on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving. 
Five of us piled into the little Civic. 
We dozed, talked, listened to Christmas music on Pandora (thanks to the iPhone)
We dropped one of our party off at his family's home in Seattle. We passed this beauty on our way out of the city.

 Rachel and I were thankful for the extra room in the backseat. 

Safeco Field in rainy Seattle

We dropped Rachel and John off in Tacoma and arrived in Olympia at about 1:30. We took naps in the living room and had a lazy day. 

On Thanksgiving day, we slept in, got ready, made food, and ate at about 2pm.

My plate. I was SO full... no second helping for me!

One of Carson's many servings of pie. I ate half of a piece of chocolate pie, but he made up for the both of us!

That evening, we sat around and looked at the Black Friday ads.

A little before 10:30pm, we went to Wal-Mart to see if we could get any deals (we wanted a laptop). It was madness. I tried to capture the crazy mess of people but couldn't. People were in the frozen food section lined up for computers (the same one we wanted, so we didn't stay). There was plastic over items to be opened and sold at midnight. People had ripped those bags off and gotten their stuff.

On our way out, we took a picture in the surprisingly empty Christmas tree section: Jordan, Savannah, Jasmine, me, Carson

This was our list of stores we wanted to hit. We ended up skipping most of those and going to places in the mall instead. Best Buy had maybe 500 people in line so we definitely avoided that.

We waited for an hour in the rain for Macys to open (and then discovered we could have been waiting the nice warm mall for that time)

We shopped for SO LONG. The guys got grumpy and left before 1am, but we stuck it out. At about 5:30am, we got really tired and parked ourselves in JcPenney with this terrific view.

A kind employee took pity on us and gave us candy canes. We were going on the strength of these and Thanksgiving dinner 15 hours beforehand.

Our final stop was World Market at 7am. We enjoyed what the store had to offer. 

And then this is how we looked at 8:30am when we got home. Don't judge unless you were out shopping for 10 hours also.

We took naps, showered and changed, then watched Christmas movies (Rudolph, Elf, The Shop Around the Corner) and played or observed Settlers of Catan

Saturday was another day to sleep in. That afternoon, we packed our things. Carson and I went to Meconi's, Carson's favorite place to eat in Olympia, while we waited to meet John and Rachel downtown.

We stopped at a gas station on the way home, where Rachel discovered that she had been tagged with a $3.99 price tag.

The rest of us resumed listening to Christmas music on Pandora, but Carson listened to a sermon like this:

And that was our Thanksgiving weekend

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

549 days!

Where were we two years ago?

Where were we a year ago?

And how about six months ago?

That must mean that a year and half ago, we were here:

That's right, we've been married a year and a half, or 549 days, according to our wedding website.
It's been a terrific little journey together and we can't wait to double, triple, quadruple and just generally multiply the number of days and years.

Monday, November 21, 2011


This time of year is just such a whirlwind. I had lovely plans for the month of November which involved writing down things we're thankful for each day, recording those things, writing notes telling others how we are thankful for them... I suppose that it was life that hit, making those things a mere dream and not a reality. Suddenly, it was mid-November and I realized that all my papers were due the week after Thanksgiving; some big ones and some small. Life became more about checklists of things to do rather than counting blessings. Those times happen, and thankfully are short. That isn't the point of this post at all.

This year, we are thankful for:

  • Our relationship with the Lord. We have seen Him working in our lives this year. Not in crazy crazy ways, but we've seen more of His faithfulness in the day-to-day. I feel that it's often easier (maybe) to trust Him in the crazy different new things in life, and more difficult in the day by day things. This year, I've seen God in the small things.
  • Our relationship with one another. That's a given, of course. We have known one another for not-quite three years, and each year has brought something entirely different. We are growing with one another, which is another terrific blessing. I think I speak for both of us when I say that though we're very normal in our imperfect human way, we have grown in love for one another and our relationship has gotten deeper.
  • Our church family. This year, we officially became members of our church. It was actually back in June that we had our membership interview, but before that time and since then, we have become head over heels for our fellowship. We are able to serve, be discipled, disciple others, sit under excellent teaching and fellowship and interact with a fabulous body of believers at CTR. 
  • Our biological families. I put church family first since right now, they're the ones who are living life with us. Our families, though, are the people we call when we're not sure how to do something or just to say hello. We have seen quite a bit of Carson's side this year but nothing of mine, so we are thankful too for the blessing of technology so that we might stay in touch. 
  • Our friends, acquaintances and the people we're around. Right now, most of our friends are from church or school, since that's where much of our time is spent. Carson has made some friends at work and really enjoys all the people he's with on a daily basis there. I have just one friend from my last job with whom I've enjoyed dinner dates since quitting that job, but mostly, my friendships this year have been getting to know people better and meeting just a few new faces. This year held the added blessing of Jillian's visit. 
  • Our ministry situation. We mention the Reilly building on occasion, but I'm not sure I've explained what it is or why we're here.  The twelve members of the Reilly building are ministry interns, each with different ministry designations within the body of Christ the Redeemer Church. Some do youth ministry, some children's ministry, and there are five of us who do a little of everything, but are living here especially to clean the church. Though dusting and vacuuming are not always my favorite things, I am thankful that I live in this building. It's as close to a dorm as we can get - all of us live on one hall, right above the church office. We have a community up here and there are great friendships and fellowship within this place. I'm so thankful for each of the people we've been blessed to know. 
  • Our financial situation. Since this year involved school for both of us and graduate school application fees, money has not been freely flowing. However, Carson and I both worked this year (I don't work anymore; my job ended in May when I returned to school full-time) which was a blessing in this economy. Carson worked for the US Forest Service this summer and when he got back, his boss back here called him up and offered him a full-time position. We are SO thankful! Carson loves his job, possibly more than any sane person should, and is not only thankful for the money, but the atmosphere. It's a perfect job for him, and allows him to audit two classes at Moody.
  • Our education. 

i won't be home for christmas

As the title of this post says, I won't be coming home for Christmas this year.

It was never supposed to be like this. I was going to be home every Christmas for tamales and toothbrushes in my stocking. I would be there for the annual family picture by the tree on Christmas morning. I would be there when Dad's side of the family visited every other year.

Moving away has brought so many good things that I almost regret bringing up the ones I don't like. The things I've missed out on since I've been in Washington. I missed my little sister's graduation. I missed birthdays. I haven't been home for Thanksgiving since 2007, and for Christmas since 2008. I missed Scott's voice changing and him getting WAY tall (two things that surprise me each and every time I come home). I miss out on oyster roasts at Granddaddy and Grandmama's the day after Thanksgiving. I miss eating Frogmore stew over newspaper and shucking oysters. I miss the Night on the Town and Water Festival, Beaufort events I've always loved. I miss signs for boiled peanuts on the side of the road. I miss Southern drawls.

That isn't to say that I don't like where i am right now. I do. I really do like the West. I like snow (until January... then I don't like it at all). I like that there are beautiful lakes and magnificent mountains and trees. This is a beautiful state. It's very grand. I love this place because it's my life right now. If I had not come to this place, I would not be married. I would have missed out on wonderful friendships, a great school and a church that tops every other church (does everyone say that about their church?).

It hasn't been a hard transition from Beaufort to Spokane, but they really have been two different lives. When I would come back to Beaufort, Spokane seemed like a place I'd merely dreamed about. Now it's home, but not in the same way home is. Home is marsh and beach and salty air. It's where I'm from and it's in my blood. It was the place I was raised; Spokane is the place where I grew; it's where I live.  But I've learned how to support myself, pay rent, do a job interview, make new friends "from scratch", be a wife, and more about myself here than any other place.

I digress. The point was that I won't be home for the holidays. The truth is that I'm sad about that. The beginning of December will mark one year since I have been back to visit and see my family. I can hardly believe that twelve months have passed so suddenly. This time of year makes me miss the things I once took for granted: warm little puppy bodies snuggled next to me, a green Christmas, Mexican food, the aforementioned oyster roast.

Yes, I'm feeling nostalgic and perhaps even a little bit homesick. I'm not sure I can help it this time of year.
This is a Carolina Christmas - Christmas tree hunting with the siblings at Lowes in 60 degree weather...

Friday, November 18, 2011

life in grainy pictures...

I know that I did a post of cell phone pictures awhile back, but I can't recall the last time... since I hadn't uploaded pictures from my phone since July, I'm going to assume that it's been longer than that. So I thought it was about time.

First up, I texted this to Carson one night just before bed (sorry about no makeup) this summer... he hates the nightguard I have to wear because it's big and gross so I sent a picture because I'm mean. 

Here's a picture from our girl's night back in July: Izzy, me, Rach, Steph

A painting I did as a gift for Carson's mom's birthday

On the way to the airport after Carson broke his foot

Picture Carson texted from work when he was crippled and just sat in an office

The mail waiting for me after I returned from three weeks away (Naches, Olympia, Pennsylvania)
We NEVER get that much mail in a normal three weeks.

Turquoise nails

Teaching Rach how to sew buttons. A proud moment.

Ah, summer school!

...what we do during movies. I WOULD say that I took a picture of the board because I won, but that's so unlikely.

We got a dog! Okay, no. But she was super sweet and I would have kept her.

First day of Theology

We wore jackets on a cold and rainy day in AUGUST. 

Looks like a lonely party, but the rest of the people were just out of the picture

Fishtail braid first attempt... can't figure out how to keep my thick hair in it!

Winking owl 

It was a sewing weekend...

So I organized our cupboards and discovered that we overbuy salt. We might still have these in 25 years... 

Rach and I in class (on break)

The day I got my nose pierced

This was at 8:30 on a Thursday. Yep, he's really asleep... looks like he's trying that planking trend though.

Three days after I got my nose pierced, we were on retreat and I forgot about it and pulled it out with a towel and couldn't figure out how to screw it back in... so I used a regular stud. I was nicknamed "Diva" because of this stud.

Cleaning the church... I guess I just document everything

This was NOT our favorite Writing Class book so we're not sure why there's a movie, but we texted it to Emily anyway.

Joey the goat

Happy Reformation Day (Oct 31)

It's an owl... (I know... it doesn't look like an owl...)

Our wedding video came in the mail! (and I look five years old)

Molly's German Chocolate Cake that I was so worried about and turned out fine!

Texted to me from Carson's phone. What a stud.

My second Halloween costume. 1/3 Three Blind Mice

I won a giveaway from here and LOVE the cards!

Carson loves the perks of working at a supplement store...free or super cheap stuff!

I just love him.

Trying to get a decent picture of my nose ring.

What I was doing when I should have been taking notes in Sys Theo...

My first cold of the season
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