Thursday, December 29, 2011

well hello there stranger

i don't really like blogging about not blogging but i just have to say that i'm so disappointed in my lack of posting lately.  even with the hustle and bustle of the holidays i have had some free time and plenty of photo-worthy opportunities & i've just slacked off.  it makes me sad that i won't have record of all those great memories to look back on - my mind alone isn't the best at 'recording'.

we had such a blessed season with our families celebrating the birth of our savior.  i wish i would have taken more time to be with Him too. 

for the past two years i've had ben read me the christmas story first thing when we wake up on christmas morning and it may just be one of my favorite traditions.  twice = tradition right?  i hope we do this every year, always.  everything is quiet and we're just laying in bed [basically my favorite place, its restful and free of distractions, unlike the rest of our lives].  this christmas we were snuggled on an air mattress in the middle of grandma ada's living room but it was still it was perfect.  and i got to hear about God's plan to rescue His people.  who would herald the way, the women who would bring john the baptist and Jesus into the world.  it is absolutely the most perfect way to begin Christmas morning.  i obviously could read it myself but it's sweeter when ben does it.  your husband reading scripture to you [or your family if you have babes] must just be one of the best things in the whole world.

we ate and visited, ate and visited, did presents [too much...we have way too much] and traveled all over the place.  i did do some crafting this year - sadly i didn't take too many pictures because i was in such a frenzy to get things done.  but i would like to share!  maybe i'll replicate some of my projects again just for kicks.

i hope that you had such a sweet holiday with the people you love, worshipping our Lord & celebrating Life!  i'll be back soon with a girl christmas update, new years that is right around the corner & some of my holiday treats!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

tacky christmas sweater party

it's that time of year again.  we are having and hosting christmas parties galore.  i'm loving every bit of it.  our stockings are hung on the tv stand with care [we don't have a mantle] and our tree is lit all a twinkle.  on sunday we had some of our favorite people in the whole wide world over for a christmas sweater party.  we snacked, danced, laughed & and looked ridiculous all night long with our high school friends. 
it really was such a blessing to be together.  our last few clubs of the season felt blah and a few we really weren't able to run.  the point of club is to build relationships and to give a gospel proclaimation and it didn't feel like we were getting to follow through much with either.  this night was a great reminder of just being together.  and being together is awesome.  ben & i love these friends so much & i thank God daily for giving us a heart for them to know Jesus.
yes, my friend is plugged into the wall.  that is real. 
me and my handsome stud of a husband.  ok.  is he not just the most awesome mustached, bill cosby sweatered husband in the whole world?  look at that face.

merry christmas to all!  i hope you are surrounded by people you long to share real Life with.

[ps.  sorry for the poor pic quality.  it was so dark in the house and i always end up making my pics dark, grainy and blurry in this kind of light without a flash whomp whomp]

Monday, December 5, 2011

:monday:

what is worse than a monday?  a monday covered in rain & clouds that's what! 

but then i started in about a week late on some advent reading and my day miraculously took a new turn.  don't miss an opportunity to sing praise!  i know i was so blessed by this scripture.  i hope you will be too.  [and i'm going to be completely honest - sometimes when people post scripture i skim and don't take the time to breathe it in.  i want to stop doing that.  it's God's word.  so what if i was hoping to see how they turned a coffee can into a tu-tu...God wants to talk to me, how is that even possible!?  what a blessing...breathe it in]

psalm 146 & 147 [in part]
Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, O my soul! I will praise the LORD as long as I live;

I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
Put not your trust in princes,
in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.
When his breath departs, he returns to the earth;
on that very day his plans perish.

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD his God,
who made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them,
who keeps faith forever;
who executes justice for the oppressed,
who gives food to the hungry.

The LORD sets the prisoners free;
the LORD opens the eyes of the blind.
The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down;
the LORD loves the righteous.
The LORD watches over the sojourners;
he upholds the widow and the fatherless,
but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.

The LORD will reign forever,
your God, O Zion, to all generations.
Praise the LORD!

He Heals the Brokenhearted
Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God;
for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.
The LORD builds up Jerusalem;
he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.

He determines the number of the stars;
he gives to all of them their names.
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
his understanding is beyond measure.
The LORD lifts up the humble;
he casts the wicked to the ground.

Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving;
make melody to our God on the lyre!
He covers the heavens with clouds;
he prepares rain for the earth;
he makes grass grow on the hills.
He gives to the beasts their food,
and to the young ravens that cry.

His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his pleasure in the legs of a man,
but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him,
in those who hope in his steadfast love.

Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem!
Praise your God, O Zion!
For he strengthens the bars of your gates;
he blesses your children within you.
He makes peace in your borders;
he fills you with the finest of the wheat.
He sends out his command to the earth;
his word runs swiftly.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

carter's first birthday

over thanksgiving this little man also had his first birthday party.  he was all smiles, giggles and grunts for the day. 
homemade cupcakes and icing for the big day.  my favorite part was the little toppers.  well, my favorite part besides gobbling them up.

carter also had his very own mini cake.  he was timid at first but eventually he got the hang of it and was all about the sugar!

carter, you are so big already!  i can't believe how quickly this year has gone by.  hopefully next year i'll be a better cousin and get to squeeze your cheeks more often.  we love you very much!
i'm so glad that we were able to be there for such a sweet day!
[some pics stolen from cousin sarah, carter's momma]

Saturday, December 3, 2011

not too late for thanksgiving

so now that everyone is 'over' the thanksgiving holiday and moved on to christmas it seems to be perfect time for a week old update right?  right on schedule.

life seems to be more busy in my head than in real life.  does that make any sense?  i have all kinds of things swimming around in my head and fighting for attention.  my mind seems to literally never stop these days.  and even though i do have free moments or hours to get things done, i'm still sort of stuck contemplating how to do all the many things i have to do.  it a paralyzing predicament.  one which doesn't lead to much getting done.  anywho...here's one thing i'm getting done.  documenting our weekend full of family, friends and mass amounts of food.  no i didn't take pictures of myself stuffing my face through several different meals, but i most certainly could have.

for thanksgiving dinner we went to my grandma margaret's.  it was wonderful to see all the fam and i even whipped out the camera for a few shots right before we left. 

 some of the kiddos...
way too much pie.  or not enough pie.  guess it depends on who you're asking.  i treated myself to some pumpkin pie...its my favorite.  i'd like to have some more right now!

some of my many cousins + my momma

benny bear & i...gobble gobble
max taking a break
from grandma's we went on up to nky for a few days to visit the brzinski's.  i love getting to see them and since long weekends are a rarity for us we just had to take the opportunity.  maybe the visit spurred on some puzzle addictions but i'd say that its worth it.  at least sitting around the table together is better than nearly anything else.  we went and saw a  movie as a fam, went shopping for a minute on black friday night and i even was able to sneak on over to rick's to see a few friends.  i loved seeing those friends.  it doesn't happen often and those girls are so fun - it was really sweet.

we returned to lexington on saturday for my cousin's first birthday party but i'll be back for more on that.  sunday we had hoped to put up our christmas tree but it just poured and poured outside so we had to reschedule.  we still haven't been able to take care of it!  and christmas is so soon [i'm sure you already know that].  i want it up and twinkling...now.  or three weeks ago...whatever.  fingers crossed that tomorrow my dreams come true :)

now for the real reason for thanksgiving - giving thanks.  we are so incredibly blessed.  i'm absolutely overwhelmed with gratitude for the ways that the Lord has provided for ben and i.  from things like a place to live, a bed to sleep in, heat, food to eat, cars to drive and a job to less tangible things our gigantic, caring family and a community that i'm convinced is perfectly orchestrated by God, a husband who is a man of God, creativity, learning, & conversations that give Life.  then there are even more powerful, eternal gifts like grace, love from our Creator, a call and a purpose on our lives, breath everyday, and adoption into the King's family.  we can never be thankful enough.  we don't deserve this life.  i pray that i'd remember that everyday.  we are incredibly blessed.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

so happy for school projects

ben has been working on a school project nearly all day.  and i couldn't be more excited about it.  he has to show a video of his family history.  do you know what that means?  LOTS of old family photos.  i could literally show you like 300 that are amazing & awesome [full of mustaches, large rim glasses & chubby cheeks] but i'll keep it to just a few...for now.

benny's parents.  look how pretty!
[bears, mustache, chunk...what's not to love?]
 heck yeah short shorts in the mountains
 
and last but not least, the reason i'm scared to give birth...ben's giant little brother

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

hip hip hooray

this past weekend we were able to have some family time and celebrate poppa steve's 60th birthday.  ow ow!  can you believe it?  my parents are growing up!  now they are grandparents and that is just strange.  i'm so glad that we were able to celebrate with them and i hope that pops felt well loved.  we watched an ugly game of uk basketball, stuffed our faces with mexican food & cake & of course just visited.  maybe we also got a little cheek squeezin' in with this little man.  our first ever nephew, cormac.  [all pics thanks to my sis-in-love, greta who is graciously sharing with me].
 [pop, cormac, sophie, paul]
 momma and dad
 greta & her babe
my brother & sissy
::grandma & jim::
and i just can't resist adding a few more baby shots.   you know i love the kiddos.  and we never get to see this one!  ben & i are trying to get the hang of snuggling with the little guy.
oh, and he can eat his whole hand.  and you thought your nephew had skills.
pop-

thank you for always being an excellent father and provider for our whole family.  i pray ephesians 3 for you and mom..."i kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. i pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. and i pray that you, being rooted and established in love,  may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,  and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."

love-
jen jen

Saturday, November 19, 2011

business or pleasure?

when spending countless hours milling around an airport people often ask if your travel is for business or for pleasure?  ok so no one asked me that this time but if they had...well i'd have to say this was pretty much both. while i wouldn't be able to go on adventures if it weren't for work, it is the perfect opportunity to hangout & have fun halfway across the country too with my dear friend, jules.  since she lives about 3 hours away it isn't often that we get to see each other but since we're coworkers we do get to talk...a lot.
the past few days we've been out in colorado meeting with young life [the ministry we both love & lead] for work.  it was a blast and i think that things went well.  i think it is extra special fun because the women that we meet with have the same mission as us [in life] so even though we may be doing something silly, like selling clothes, being together is more special than that.
as i packed for this trip i was a little frantic, and last minute [as usual].  we had 400 loads of laundry to do and waited until the day before i left to do them, of course.  i had no clean clothes.  i'm not exaggerating.  so after 24 hours spent in the laundry room i started making my stacks and planning outfits.  i was actually quite proud of myself because i felt like for a super-fast-pack-up i had put together some pretty sweet fits.  on my flights in and out i thought of how i'd be the most comfy.  leggings.  duh...no brainer.  so i packed leggings for the ride in and out, a black long-sleeve tee for the way out and a black tank for the way back and long sweaters for both ways.  seemed pretty fool-proof to me.

that is until i get to security and they call my sweaters 'jackets' and make me strip down to my all black skin tight outfit that could easily be mistaken for a black unitard.  so i have to walk through security like that.  and the shoes...oh gosh the shoes. i wore my boots, tall socks and leg warmers.  i forgot i had to take off my shoes.  so there i am [twice] in my black unitard, socks and legwarmers hustling through security hoping that no one will see my rear end or bra straps.  i'd show you a picture of the madness but then there would just be more strangers out there witnessing my public indecency.  lets say, lesson learned.
and in case you were wondering..
some other eventful tid bits were that i am seriously allergic.  maybe to planes.  maybe to the person behind me with a cat secretly stashed up their shirt.  i have no idea.  but my nose was a faucet and i went through an entire pack on mini tissues from ky to dallas.  disgusting evidence below.  you can't just put something like this in the flight attendant's trash bag.  how embarrassing.
jules and i met up in dallas to finish the last leg of the trip to colorado springs together.  its always good to be with friends.  could you imagine wheeling all this through an airport alone?  i wish you could see how ridiculous we looked.  i'm sure a room full of security folks had a blast viewing our luggage struggle.
our rental car was super phatty, just like last year and even had one of those handy dandy reverse cameras so you don't run over things.  julie's response "forget everything you were ever taught about backing up!"
 we were really excited to make it to town, pumped about our meeting and hanging out, mountains & having multiple chins!
 view leaving the airport...
we organized, and practiced and ate.  a lot.  maybe we were silly.  and maybe we were drank too much pop.
here's jules and i on the big day.  its a big ol' presentation for us.  kind of like a first day of school pic.  if my mom was there we could have gone out on the back porch and put our backpacks on.
one last anecdote: in dallas i found cow mannequins wearing leather jackets...i thought "now that doesn't make a bit of sense, or does it?"

Friday, November 18, 2011

there was this one time...

when i looked up at the sky and thought "the clouds are moving really fast today for clouds." and then i thought "but my car is passing these clouds like whoa so maybe they aren't that fast afterall."  ben gently reminded me that sometimes my car can appear to pass airplanes too but that doesn't mean that my car is in fact faster than a plane.  which turns out is true.  clouds = mindfreak.

lesson learned.
[via]