Wednesday, November 30, 2011

~ Christmas Spirit ~

Here are a few of the things filling our home with Christmas cheer =))

                                                                    My ceramic tree passed down from mom :)

 One of my favorite Christmas decorations! The wooden Nativity scene carved by my grandpa :)

Isn't she pretty?
and in case you were wondering.....Yes, Santa stops here!

Monday, November 28, 2011

♪♫ Fa la la la la ♪♪♫♪ la la la la ♫♪

I could hardly wait to pull the decorations out of storage this year!!! It's my first Christmas as a married lady :) Aww, there's just something about that that feels and sounds soo good. I don't believe my spirits have been this high in years!

I've been Blessed with an amazing husband this year. What more could a girl ask for! Christmas is always a happy time of year for me. Most importanty, we're celebrating the birth of our savior. Ashamedly, I have not put near enough focus towards the true meaning of Christmas in years past. However, I'm making a conscious effort to start. Secondly, it's always a joyful time with loved one's. I'm truly blessed with great family and friends and thankfully get to share the holidays with them. I keep moving farther & farther away from everybody & everything I've ever known. It's been an amazing adventure for me, but that doesn't mean that it makes it any easier to be so far from my family. More than ever, I will treasure the time we get to spend together this holiday season. My birthday also happens to fall on the 22nd & hubby's is the 25th, a true Christmas baby. So, we will be celebrating our births, right along with Jesus'.

I'm looking forward to beginning our lifetime full of memories! Yesterday, hubs joined friends for a few hours  to watch football. He returned to find the house smelling like cranberries & cinnamon, the Christmas tree fully decorated & aglow, (taking up about 1/5 of the living room) & little bits of holiday joy spread throughout the house. 

Aw, it's the holiday season, my friends! I'm holly, jolly & full of joy, gratefulness & love!! Shoot, I practically hugged my boss this morning! The spirit of Christmas has overcome me, & I hope many blessings & moments of joy are in your path as well!

Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16 - 18, NLT

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Bikers...... I loathe thee!

I never would have thought I would say such a thing, but I am! They're everywhere! Mainly its the "hipsters" you see cruising the city on their two wheels, but I swear they think they own this city. They're darting all over the place and crowding your lane, giving you the stank eye if they think you've gotten too close. They ignore the traffic signals & lane rules & just barrel through, assuming you'll stop, because you can't hit 'em!

It's a dangerous world to be on the streets of Chi in your car! So you must have guts to take it by bike. That's something to be admired, I guess. Just driving down the street, there are horns blasting & people hand-gesturing to others. I've learned a few new words in sign language, I do believe!

I know, I know, they're practically saving the planet, with their earth-friendly mode of transportation & reducing traffic congestion because one less car is on the road. I don't mind sharing my roadways, I just want these peddle-pushers to have a little respect for the fellow man as well.

Pedestrians are everywhere you turn. There are also walkers & joggers evvvverywhere. I don't really have a problem with them, because they tend to mind the rules of being a pedestrian on the streets. I have to say, I'm more in the blame in their case. I easily got into the habit of stopping at stop signs, but not necessarily before crosswalks, because there's rarely anyone in the crosswalk.......... well, it's a different story here! There is always, someone in the crosswalk.

......... but the bikers are going to be in the cross-hairs if they don't watch it!
(Please do not take any comments in this blog as a potential threat of physical harm. It is all in good fun!)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I'm not exactly a "foodie" . . .

That's the new term used to describe those incessant, food-obsessed individuals who seek out the latest restaurants, donning food creations from the most prestiged chefs, who supposedly combine food & art. Come on, we all know what I'm talking about. . .

I think one picture proves my point.

Yes, I agree. The individuals who can create something this artistic, while still edible, do have a gift. However, I'm not intrigued by their meticulous positioning of the items, so much so, that this entree has probably seen 15 minutes of finger-fondling before it reaches your table. Another downside, who is this going to feed? The baby? It's one, bacon-wrapped prawn for goodness' sakes! I googled "elegant food" & found this stunning creation, so I honestly have absolutely no idea what one might pay for it. However, I'd guess it's on an appetizer menu somewhere in the ballpark of about $18.95. I mean, don't forget, that wasn't one, but two sprigs of grass!

Chicago is known for its world-renowned chefs & their nearly impossible-to-get-into restaurants where foodies book reservations 6 months in advance to try this over-priced, over-handled Prawn a la ______...... ( your guess is as good as mine!)

Although, I must say, in the short time I've been in Chicago, I have fallen in love with so much of the food! I don't need the frills or the extra dollar bills, but I'm a Kansas girl & come on, we were raised on meat & potatoes!

I. love. food.

..... & I've found so much of it here, that is non-pretentious & absolutely delicious! Chicago is a City of Immigrants as they say & what do people bring with them, beside their rich cultures & traditions? FOOD!!! It's heaven & I can't wait to start sharing it with you all. The challenge is, where to start. . .

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Proper Shake.

Shaking Hands

Some of the quintessential things in life are the little things..... as we know. To me, the importance and significance of a good hand shake is almost immeasurable. There is nothing worse than offering up your hand to shake that of a new acquaintance & they stare at it oddly, almost tilting their head to the side, as if thinking, hmm, what do I with this? However, the more common -- more annoying-- thing I encounter are those who will offer up their hand; however, it is a limp, hanging blob, which makes me wonder if they want me to kiss it?? What the heck is that?!

Really? Hasn't anyone taught you how to shake hands? Hasn't the significance of shaking hands as part of a first impression ever crossed your mind? True, making a first impression with me may not cross their mind.
Nevertheless, I can appreciate a good handshake!

What exactly is this, you ask?

Well, it is a firm, one shake (while making eye contact), then let go, sort of deal. Don't offer up jelly hand or the death grip! Also, don't be the notorious shaker, thus inducing the song in my head ♫♪ this is the shake that goes on & on, yes, it goes on & on my friends...♫♪♫

I do have a former English teacher to thank for my handshake expertise. One day in class, she randomly instructed the class on how to do the perfect handshake. She had probably encountered the Jelly Hand or Sir Shakes-A-Lot and it annoyed her too! She may not be all that thrilled if she knew that was the one thing I took with me.

Either way, I'm thankful! It was one of those small gestures that has stuck with me to this day. So, I've decided, the next time I have a Financial Aid presentation for a group of students, I will end it on my own tangent, teaching them the proper handshake.

No matter where we pick up these little pieces of useful knowledge, the key is picking them up!

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Wedding.

My Blessing.

My Gift.

My Joy.

My Hope.

My Life. . .

mr. & mrs.