Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas


The past five days have been a whirlwind. I finished classes on Friday and finished packing and straightening things up in Waco so I could drive up to McKinney on Saturday. As sad as I am to not be going home to South Carolina for break this year, it was nice not to have to rush out to make a flight.

On Saturday night, we all piled into the car to go look at Christmas lights. Dallas doesn't disappoint on this front:

Yes, that sign says, "Tune to 99.9."




There were even some displays that were synchronized to music...

video

On Christmas Eve, we went to the Gaylord Texan to see their Christmas display.






That evening, we attended a Christmas Eve service and then headed home to fall asleep before Santa arrived!

Christmas Day was a quiet day at home. It snowed all afternoon (see my previous post), which was a wonderful surprise.

And now it's time for me to start weaning myself off Christmas festivities. The week after Christmas is always a bit of withdrawal for me. I just can't quite give up Christmas movies and music yet. :)

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

My First Texas Christmas

And it's a white one.




When it started snowing this afternoon, I couldn't believe it. This has been a different, and at times difficult, Christmas. It was as if God sent a Christmas bonus just to remind me how much He loves me.

Today, I'm enjoying this extra-special Christmas gift.


Merry Christmas!!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Home!!

This weekend I got to come home to play for a friend's wedding. Words cannot describe how ecstatic I was to land in Greenville. Looking out at the window, I could see trees and mountains (small ones, but mountains none the less) rather than concrete. So wonderful!!

It was interesting playing in front of people again. I forgot how nervous I get! Plus, since I haven't had much access to a piano, it was a little terrifying. Note to self: make sure to practice more before you agree to do something like this again. Thankfully most of the music was pretty easy, but even the easy stuff feels hard when you feel like you haven't had enough time to practice!

The Hornbuckles were very gracious and let me stay with them this weekend, despite the fact that they had three (and then four) sick kiddos. I was just super disappointed that I could only wave from a distance to the kids! :)

On Saturday morning I went to Gaffney to meet up with Rachel and Ashleigh. I could hardly believe it's been a whole year since I've seen them! Completely unacceptable - another note to self is that I need to visit more frequently (or just move back to this area...).


The wedding was absolutely gorgeous. It was such a surreal feeling...I've only had one really close friend get married, but she was older than I am. Seeing a friend that's two years younger get married was really weird.

Here are a few pictures from the wedding:






And now I'm sitting in the Greenville/Spartanburg airport waiting to fly back to Texas. *sigh*

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas Extravaganza

This past week, the desire to do Christmas baking hit hard. Since I'm in school until the 21st this year, I probably won't get to do any at home. Or if I do, it will be after-the-fact Christmas baking, which just isn't the same. So, I designated yesterday as baking day.

We started with ginger cookies. I got the recipe from Oh She Glows. These cookies are delicious, and about as difficult to make as chocolate chip cookies.

You can find the recipe here.


While we rolled the dough into little balls, we watched The Polar Express.




Next it was time for Cookie Dough Truffles. I recently learned about Chocolate Covered Katie. She takes desserts and makes healthy versions that taste just as good. Think homemade Oreos, chocolate pie made out of tofu (this is on my list to make over Christmas), etc. You know me - always trying to find healthy foods that taste good. So I couldn't pass these up...


You wanna know the secret ingredient?


You're probably thinking that's disgusting. But these truffles taste just like cookie dough. They're going to show up tomorrow in little goodie bags on my classmate's desks. I can't wait to see their faces when they learn what's in them...but shhh, don't tell them. I don't want them claiming they can taste the beans. :)

The finished product...


They don't look very good (I need a melon scooper next time), but these suckers make up in taste what they lack in beauty.

The end of the baking session required me to be brave...


Our disposal hasn't been working for the past two weeks or so, and it's been causing the sink to drain very slowly. After plunging it probably 10 times, I decided it was time to stick my hand down there and figure out what the problem was. Good news - I fixed the disposal!! Thank goodness for rubber gloves...it's nasty down in that thing.

We ended the night with a nice face mask. There's nothing better than a little pampering after a busy afternoon. :)


Happy Monday! I hope your week is off to a great start.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

God is Good.

This saying is so cliche, but I don't intend it to be that way.

Stop.

Think about those three words.

I've realized recently that deep down, I have trouble believing those words. I am afraid that if I want something too badly, the Lord won't give it to me. Or that if I make plans, He will take them away. For example, I don't want to talk or put in writing that what I really want to do is move to Colorado next year, because I'm afraid the Lord will put in the middle of downtown Dallas. And I hate downtown Dallas.

This attitude is blatant mistrust in the Lord's provision and care. How many times has He blessed me beyond measure? And yet I'm still reluctant to give Him every last bit of myself, afraid that He'll laugh maniacally as He yanks my dreams away.

A couple weeks ago, I read this in Redeeming Law: "As students, then, we should recognize God's hands in...our geographical limitations and desires..."

It hit me - the Lord has placed the desire in my heart to live somewhere cold. Maybe He will grant that desire, and maybe He won't. But if He doesn't, I can trust that He will plant me where I need to be. He will change my heart, and He will bring good out of wherever I live. I can also trust that He's not going to stick me someplace where I'll be miserable, just to play tricks on me.

Then this morning, I got this verse in my inbox:

Luke 11:13 - "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!"

Wow.

I love finding that perfect gift for somebody I care about. If I, an imperfect sinner, know how to give gifts, how much more does God, who is perfect?

So revel in those three little words. Meditate on them. Don't just recite them. Because those are powerful words.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

This week was full of Christmas merriment. First at Christmas on 5th Street:





And then at our condo:





Hope you're enjoying the Christmas season! Let peppermint mochas, hot chocolate, and merriment abound! :)