Friday, December 31, 2010

Parting Gifts from 2010

Should old acquaintance be forgot...?

I never really understood the meaning of that song. In truth, I never really understood the WORDS to that song. If it's asking whether we should leave our past behind as we move forward into the New Year, my answer would be "not necessarily". Without dwelling on the past, I feel justified drawing from it.

Today, I reflect on the last 12 months of gifts - brought to me courtesy of the Epic Year 2010.

2010 brought me home. Home to my mother. Home to a family I didn't realize was so sorely missed. 2010 brought me to tears. Feelings of loss. Of pain. 2010 brought me to my knees. Praying to the Lord for His guidance and strength. Giving thanks for His love, mercy, and favor. 2010 brought me to my feet. Cheering for my amazing kids. Standing up for myself. Standing up for what is right. 2010 brought me to my senses. Revealed. Renewed. Restored. 2010 brought me out. My circumstances no longer binding me. Free to explore my God-given talents.

They say the present is a gift. I am grateful for the gifts of the past.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Very Obama Christmas

I didn't take any chances this time. My purse remained obediently in the car. My camera was strapped around my neck like a tourist. The camera bag remained obediently in the car. There was no way I was going to risk delaying my latest tour of the White House to see - and photograph - it at its very Christmas-y finest.

It did not disappoint. From the moment we stepped onto the grounds, through the halls, in every room - the beauty of The Season was breathtaking.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Jesus Take The Wheel

Make a U-Turn if possible.

This, the urging of my navigation system (I've dubbed her "Navi") if for some reason I veer off of her chartered course. She has never steered me wrong. Even when it came down to her or me during our 2009 road trip to Disneyland...even when I think I know better, she is programmed with the insight I just don't have.

I like to think God is a lot like that. I take comfort in it. He has chartered a plan for our lives. And if we listen to Him, we can't go wrong. All of His maps are instantly, constantly updated. He keeps track of all road conditions and on-going construction. And he adjusts our direction accordingly.

He gives us Free Will. We can opt out of His path. Choose our own way. Find ourselves stranded, out of gas, and in a bad neighborhood.

I'm thankful for the "resume route" option on my GPS. One touch to the screen and no matter where I find myself, Navi will reroute me. Recalculate the directions and tell me the most efficient way to my destination.

God is that type of God. And prayer is the key to resuming the route if we get ourselves off course. It's actually the way to stay on course. If we just stop trying to do things our way and let Jesus take the wheel, we'll get where we need to be. Not that there won't be bumps in the road or unexpected pit stops, tire blowouts, or inclement weather. By knowing - accepting - that God is control, we can sit back, relax, and take in a little scenery along the way.

Destination ahead.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Do You See What I See?

So I put it off long enough. Holiday Photo Shoot 2010 was actually a success. Our New Year's cards are ordered (the "Christmas Card" ship has sailed).

Despite my initial apprehension, the kids (read: ISAIAH) cooperated. And before I could morph into Shutterbugzilla, the deed was done. The result is a holiday card I am totally delighted with.

Here are some nuggets that didn't make the cut this year, but still prove what a fun and lovable bunch o' Brownies I have.

The look on his face = something is about to get set OFF


My beauties

You know it's a fun shoot when ornaments start sticking to clothing

Naughtiness was afoot

"Lalalalalala! Can't hear you, Mommy. The shoot is OVER."

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Beautiful Butterfly

"MyYaYa", my middle cub, turns 11 years-old today. I have learned so much from her. Most importantly ~ how to laugh. She is a riot. And always has been.

Happy Birthday, Sweetness. Watching you transform into the beautiful young lady you are has been a blessing.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Suddenly, my days are shorter. By stark contrast, my "To Do" list is growing longer. I've had several false starts with Blogging lately.

So, I'm going to call this *ahem*...

Stuff That Happened When I Wasn't Blogging.

Thanksgiving was beautiful. It was the first time in several years that I was able to sit down at my mother's impeccably set table, feeling awful thankful to be together this year.

Isaiah's Knob Saga is finally, blissfully resolved. After contacting the company directly, Andrew (AKA: my Knight in Shining Armor) came through. He UPS'd not only The Knob, but replacement tires, a new "H" harness, tools for installation, and instructions ~ free of charge. Didn't even ask for our insurance. Other companies could learn a lot from this.

The Infamous Knob

Fall weather is definitely here to stay, with winter licking cold at its heels. Today the temperature dropped 20 degrees in 2 hours. J has been scouring the neighborhood for free firewood. And with two fireplaces to fuel, I'll take what we can get.

Too bad we can't chop up the trees in our yard. They were gorgeous as the leaves changed...

...but J and the kids must have blown and raked up 4.5 million bags of leaves.

And alas, my new camera lens has arrived. Haven't had the chance to really break it in yet. But I think I am already in love.

But please don't hold your breath for that Perfect Christmas Card Photo.