We are currently packing two bags right now... one for sunny mexico and warm clothes for Camdenton with my family! I LOVE Christmas time! We can't wait to spend time with our families and relax! Here's us wishing ya'll a VERY Merry Christmas!
Today was awesome- I have no pictures to prove it, so you'll just have to take my word on it. Today I woke up and my friend, Lauren, was here to see me. She didn't call, she didn't text-- she just came over... and I LOVE that! One of my favorite things is drop-bys... I must admit this has only happened three times in the log cabin... two of which being Jamie-Jo and now Lauren! Hopefully I will have more of an open-doorness about me in California and people will line up to "drop-by" the white's apartment!! :) I can only hope! :)
Anyway, we chatted... my rockin' husband made peppermint hot chocolate (YUM YUM YUM), we did crafts and we painted. It was perfect! :)
I then put on normal-people clothes and headed to our craigslist friends (they are called craigslist friends because we met them on craigslist... not in the classified section mind you)-- we LOVE them. They are easy, they are fun and she is a GREAT cook! If they ever invite us over for dinner it's so dumb of us NOT to go! :) To Nathan and Jamie, thank you for reaching out to us and loving us! We value your friendship!
Tonight was also the Kanakuk Christmas party. It's the first one I've missed in the past four years. Weird... but okay. I hate that I couldn't be there for my family, support them and love on them. I just really really love kamp... :)
Then we met up with pretty much all of our Kamp friends at Big Cedar to hear our friend, Clay, play. He plays a mean guitar and has great vocals... but most importantly he is FUNNY! We had a blast! I've really enjoyed laughing a lot recently. The other night, nothing was funny, but I couldn't stop laughing... I think when your life is turned upside down, you're completely relying on faith, and your house is in boxes-- all you can do is laugh! So that's what I'm doing... laughing!
Tonight I was honored to sing a couple songs with Clay-- I normally would NEVER do anything like that... but Brady and I are trying to be more "yes" people... so I did it-- and I had fun! :) I might never get that experience again, so I'm thankful I did it!!! And thankful to all of my friends (and strangers) in the crowd that put up with me on the mic for a few minutes!!
We then took some dear friends home and the conversations we had were so honest, so deep and so wonderful! I am thankful that in these past four years that I've lived here the relationships I've made have been so meaningful. At times I get discouraged looking back at the MANY friends I have lost along the way to moves and schedules... but I think what the Lord showed me tonight was although I don't have constant community in Branson-- I do have some precious relationships that I will cherish for a long time! :) and that I am thankful for!
ALSO, I packed up like 5 boxes of kitchen stuff today!! :) FUN and PRODUCTIVE! That's a day I feel good about!!!
The past few days have been spent at my sister's house in Columbia-- last night we visited Santa and the magic tree! It was so much fun! I'm so ready for Christmas! :) This Santa was so awesome! I think it was the real one!! :)
WE ARE SO PROUD OF YOU, COOPER! Cooper and Missy left Branson about a year and a half ago with some big dreams and they are ACCOMPLISHING them! We had so much fun relaxing with the family and celebrating the way the Lord is using and will use Coop, Miss, Loo and Hayden!
I don't have a lot of time, but here are some of my favorite pictures from the weekend:
Today was Anabelle's December grooming appointment. To say she needed it was such a severe understatement! She looked like a regular old scruff-a-lup-a-gus!!!!!!! Here are some before pictures of her this morning... she wasn't excited about waking up!!
I broke down. I cried. I climbed into bed. I cried some more. I'm frustrated. I'm sad. I feel defeated. I feel useless. I feel stupid. I feel behind. I feel tired. I feel short-changed. Everything seems impossible. Nothing is getting accomplished.
The sad thing is, I KNOW all of these feelings are straight from satan. I just can't get them to stop.
Tonight I called our top 5 apartment choices... all of them having a higher January price then they had going in November. None of them willing to budge. None of them were excited about meeting us half way or even HEARING our other offers. How on earth are we going to pay this much money for a S-M-A-L-L apartment with me not even having a job yet?
Do we wait to go out there until we hear from Disney? What more can I do to get them to notice me? Do we stay here for 6 more months so I can get a job here and save money?
Do we go to Florida? I'm pretty sure I could get a job there...
I don't really need responses. I know you all think I'm totally awesome and fantastic (*winkity*wink*wink). I just really wanted to put my thoughts out there, and to remember this time. God gets the most glory during these transition/hard times... and I want to be sure to remember to give Him all the credit!
This is one of my favorite songs. Ginny Owens is an amazing artist who captures every feeling I'm feeling now and have felt before in this song.
It makes me remember that it's not about me. God will take me where He needs me to be in HIS timing and HIS way. He never promised it would be easy, He only promised that I would NEVER go alone! He is my provider, and I know He will ALWAYS provide! Why have I so quickly forgotten how He used this precious couple from silly Waxahachie, TX (financially in trouble themselves) to take us through the ATM? Why have I forgotten the literally 100's of kids who have given their lunch money to help us and give to those in greater need? Father forgive me for forgetting of all the kids we met in the DR and Brazil who are REALLY in need... Forgive me for being so wrapped up in MY desires that I've completely let go of what You need me to do. I'm willing to walk through the fire-- just asking for a little nudge in the right direction!!
Last night I attended my 4th Branson cookie party-- hosted by the lovely Norma Smalley... (Gary's allowed to come out about 53 minutes into the party-- but most of the hosting is done by the Mrs. and her daughter). There is always good food, great cookies and fun had by the who's who in Branson.
Sunday night GoGo's kitchen was CRAZY with candies, icing, cookie dough and FLOUR EVERYWHERE! It was like a professional bakery- we made her cute little snowmen first:
Then we made my mittens:
I came in second this year!!!!!! YAY!!! :)
I lost to the candlesticks you'll see in this picture--- Brady wasn't too happy...
In all seriousness... those candlesticks are pretty awesome--- I must admit I put my M&M in their pile... (that's how you vote... you get one M&M to place by the cookie you think is the best! :) )
This year was extra special because we got to hob-nob with the rich and famous... look familiar?
See if you can spy two of them in our clever and incognito photo:
haha!!! The cookie party is DEFINITELY something I'll miss about Branson! Such a fun holiday tradition!
Friday night Brady surprised me with a fun date night! :) Unfortunately I figured out what the date was going to be ahead of time... but it was such a good surprise it didn't even matter! We went with our friends, Geoff & Lindsay and Tom and Audrey... and we laughed A LOT!!!! We ate at this fun little place in Springfield, had McDonalds $1 Sundaes and ended the night with Christmas Vacation :) A classic!
Here's some pictures from our fun night out!
For those new to Brian Regan-- here's a YouTube video of him :)
A couple nights ago I went upstairs and came back with a Christmas treat! We had started our Christmas movie collection when we first got married, but last year I out-smarted the system and bought some of our favorite Christmas movies AFTER Christmas... just brilliant.
Anyway, we've had to wait 332 days, but it was worth it... because now we have an endless amount of Christmas entertainment to drown ourselves in the next few weeks!
To all my bransonite dedicated readers-- you MUST head to the Aromatique outlet in downtown Branson and pick up some AMAZING scents for 50% off... Peppermint bark is quickly becoming my favorite... I actually walked down the steps and thought, "did I clean today?"... wow...
I can't believe it happened-- it just crept up on me while I wasn't looking. I just finished December 1st!! This year has FLOWN by for us! We've been so blessed this year and have been able to do some incredible things! We are getting excited about our last few weeks in the mid-west. Packing them full with visits to family, packing boxes, downsizing and drinking lots of egg nog (which GoGo told us is the WORST thing you can drink during the holidays... thanks... a lot...).
Packing is going well... we have about 80% of the upstairs packed... :)
Tonight we headed out on the town with our dear friends, GT and Lindsay-- we ate sushi, bought WAY too many doughnuts and ended the evening with Home Alone. I love the holidays!
All of our presents are bought and wrapped-- it's nice having them done early this year, but it's a bummer when I'm at wal-mart and see something PERFECT for my sister... or my mom.... mom, you are banking this year!! :) I really think I enjoy nothing more than giving presents at Christmas!!! I spend most of December begging family members to open them early!! Sorry guys!
Alright... happy December 1st! We're going to fall asleep watching elf!!