Thursday, December 29, 2016

Away in a Manger

Luke 2: 12
" This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. "

Well, here we are on the 5th day of Christmas and I've only written a blog one other time this entire month. Sheesh! We've got a lot of catching up to do. Just a few things going on at the "LOAE" (Lipstick on an Elephant), residence...

 Let's start here. A few Sundays ago, my family and I went to a "drive-through nativity" at a local church. What a wonderful experience it was for the whole family. My toddler sat on my lap as we looped around to see all of the actors and live animals out and about, bringing to life the Christmas story. Everyone enjoyed it. My 10 year old even admitted she thought it was great. Being the sap that I am, I immediately started to tear up the moment the actors that played Mary and the angel Gabriel began their scene. What a wonderful reminder of the reason for this Christmas season.

The next Friday, we...MOVED!!!! Yup, that's the big news I was going to share with you, we moved! One week before Christmas, we moved to a beautiful, temporary, townhouse. The week before Thanksgiving, we put our house on the market and within 2 days had 2 offers. We quickly found a big beautiful townhouse to rent because settlement was scheduled within the month; and here we are. It has been such a whirlwind. And I've seen God's hand orchestrating it all. The timing for my family of every last detail, God had it covered! Now, I did use the word "temporary", here. We are hoping to start building our dream home soon. Please pray for this process for us and with us. I know that God has the perfect place for our family to finally settle in.

The week after we moved...Christmas came. "Somehow or other it came just the same! " (Dr. Suess). We managed to get settled enough in that week to purchase a Christmas tree, decorate it, bake cookies, shop and wrap gifts for the whole crew! On Christmas Eve, we met my family at our local church and experienced a wonderful family service full of lessons and carols. My mother pointed out it was the first time in many years that my brother, my parents and me had Communion together. So special!  What a whirlwind it has been; stressful, but also a time full of hope and happiness, too.

Christmas Eve, sprinkling Magic Reindeer Dust .
Someone is so excited!!
Christmas morning, after opening gifts.

This week we are still unpacking and trying to get temporarily settled in. We are so blessed to have been led to this house (go to this link to see the beautiful homes that Ten Oaks Homes builds). I pray that this season has brought you, and continues to bring you, much comfort and joy. Hope was born that starry Christmas night, in a humble way, for all people. The most innocent precious lamb, born in a manger, that was God himself incarnate, born as a sacrifice for us so that we may live eternally. "The hopes and  fears of all the years, are met in thee tonight".

Here's our tree Christmas morning before the children opened their presents.
I just love our new living room. The wood beams on the ceiling are very "Fixer Upper"-esque, and I have a gas fireplace!!

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Not Chip or Joanna

Proverbs 21: 9
" Better to live on a corner of the roof than to share a house with a quarrelsome wife. "

What a verse, LOL! My poor hubby. Although, I have to say in my defense, sometimes it could go either way. Last Thursday, my hubby and I celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary!! Let me tell you, it has been a wild ride! I married a man that knew the instant he met me, I was "the one". He also knew that I had 3 children and that I was going through a divorce, and that my divorce was...shall we say, "less than pretty??" We dated for 3 years before we got married and then, 9 months and 3 days later had our first baby boy. Then less than 2 years later we had our first baby girl, then the year we turned 40 our next baby girl was born, and finally 4 years ago we had our last baby. It's been a crazy, busy life with lots of ups and downs, but a good life grounded in our faith and our hope, and most importantly, our love. Thank you for loving me and being my biggest advocate all of these years, my Love. I can't wait to spend the rest of my years with you.

Here we are about a week before our anniversary in Annapolis.
We were married in Annapolis and lived there for many years. What a beautiful city!

Last Tuesday, November 29th, the first episode of season 4 of Fixer Upper came on. I was looking forward to it for weeks. I missed it.  I really like the farmhouse chic style of Joanna Gaines, and love to see the houses completely decorated and beautiful for it's new owners. That would be a dream of mine, to move into a new home completely furnished and decorated from top to bottom. Of course, a fully stocked refrigerator and pantry would  make that dream even better!! But, what makes the show even better is the great rapport and candor between Chip and Joanna Gaines. It would be just another decorating show without the antics of Chip and the eye rolling of Joanna. My husband and I like to watch it together. I'd like to think that we could be the next Chip and Joanna, but probably not. We have renovated and built our share of houses over the years, however, it would take us years to finish a house, we've been renovating our current home for 6 years!! I think the network probably needs a quicker turnaround time than that. Also, my husband would die before he ate a bug or put an old toothbrush in his mouth. He would be great at telling you how to do things properly and perfectly, though.  I, too, could not do what Joanna does because I wouldn't be able to make a decision about the design or decor of the house. I would be a nervous wreck second guessing myself. Our lucky customers would be walking into a house that had hardly anything done, but what was done, would be perfect. And, they would have a bunch of mismatched furniture because I couldn't make up my mind what style I was going for. So, Chip and Joanna we are not. What I do think we have in common with the Gaines' is our faith and I look forward to reading their new book, "The Magnolia Story".  This would make a lovely Christmas gift for the Chip or Joanna in your life (hint, hint!!).

I can't wait to share some more things with you in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned. And...if you are missing my blog (I hope, I hope). I hope to be able to write more regularly after the busy holiday season.

I pray the start of your December is making all things merry and bright for you and your family!!