on hot tea, movies, and friendships

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I went home early yesterday because I felt awful. Mostly a headache, but I was also quite nauseated. I felt really bad because I had an important rush ad that I had to finish. But we were in a meeting all morning, and then I decided to finish the ad and leave. I was working hard and all of the sudden… my computer crashed. (And who says Macs don’t crash…) So I lost most of what I had done, and I went to my supervisor and told her that I had to go home. She was very understanding, thankfully, and so I took my first sick (half) day.

I slept most of the afternoon, and then in the evening my coworker/neighbor Cida called me and told me she had ingredients for a Brazilian soup that she wanted to make for me. I assured her I would enjoy the company (and the meal!) and she came over.

It was really good! It was a fish stew with vegetables and potatoes and noodles. Cida told me in Brazil they make it with the whole fish, but for my sake she just used filets. :-) She served hot tea with dinner, and I’m not used to drinking hot drinks with my meals. After the hot soup, warm bread, and hot tea I felt all warm and cozy all over. We then watched “Little Women” (thanks to the Garrisons for giving me their extra copy :-)). Cida had never seen it, and it had been about 10 years since I’ve seen it (although the book was my favorite when I was younger). It was fun to see Cida enjoy the movie. I had to translate much of it, since she had a hard time following the older English. She kept exclaiming over and over how she loved the characters, and how real they were, and how it reminded her of her relationship with her sisters. It was fun. :-)

So all in all, the day ended well because being with a friend made my headache go away – or was it the stew? :-) I enjoy Cida’s company very much, and appreciate her thoughtfulness to bring me dinner when I wasn’t feeling well. I hope I have the chance to reciprocate!

on decorating for Christmas…

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“Daddy, can we help?”
“Kids, why don’t you help me with the ornaments while Daddy puts on the lights?”
“Mommy, AJ moved my ornaments to the back of the tree!” “AJ, don’t move the ornaments.”
“Be very careful with that ornament, Amy – it belonged to Great-Grandma Penn.”
“Mommy, let’s hang the bells on the bottom branch so the kitty can play with it!”
“Kids, stop playing with the tinsel. It goes on the tree!”
“Here Ashley, hang up your ‘Baby’s First Christmas’ ornament.”

Do you ever wish you could play flashbacks of occasions like a movie? As I was decorating my Christmas tree today, I was thinking of all the times we did the same while I was growing up. It made me smile, and made me miss my family.

Christmas decorating can be a very lonely affair.

Ebony and Lewis like the bright red balls on the strange tree that now stands in my living room. Ebony has already tried climbing the tree but got tangled in the garland. I hope that has dissuaded her from trying again.

I really like the star I got for the top of my tree. I got it at Hobby Lobby (my favorite store!):

Here is my tree, all decorated. It’s a 6+ ft. Douglas Fir tree. All the ornaments are red and gold with red and gold beaded garlands, and I’m pleased with how that looks. I also put a garland, lights, and big red bows on my porch railing, and a garland under my breakfast bar. I also hung the stockings there. :-) The nativity scene is on my table, and that’s about everything. I love decorating! My apartment is now ready for visitors. :-)

28 days until Christmas!
29 days until my birthday! :-p

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Give thanks, with a grateful heart
Give thanks, to the Holy One
Give thanks, because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son

And now let the weak say “I am strong”
Let the poor say “I am rich”
Because of what the Lord has done for us
Give thanks.

Colossians 3:17
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Tha pastor said something interesting last Sunday. He said, “If you don’t know Christ, you have nothing to be thankful for, because everything else will pass away.” I thought that was an interesting idea. So often I make my little “thankful” list: I’m thankful for a job, for a place to live, food to eat, cats to keep me company, family who loves me, cell phones, etc. Yet I forget to add God to that list. Above everything else, I should be thankful to Him and for Him and His (undeserved) love for me. I am thankful that He has brought me up out of sin so I can know Christ as my Savior. I know that’s all so cliché, but there’s really no better way to say it. Even if all those things passed away – my job, my house, my cats… I still will have Christ, because He will never leave me. Now that’s something to be truly thankful for.

Anyways, I just wanted to share that! I hope everyone else has a wonderful Thanksgiving (you, too, Zay, even if you are in France :-)). By the way, thanks for your comment, Charlsie, and Edie from before. It is great to get in touch with other MKs!

almost Thanksgiving

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I can’t believe Thanksgiving is almost here! It will be the first time in 6 years that I haven’t gone elsewhere for Thanksgiving. I am going over to the house of an old friend who now lives in Houston, but has returned to Atlanta to spend Thanksgiving with her family. I’m excited to see her again!

Ten years ago (when we were in 7th grade), Mrs. Kirschner and my mom got together and decided that since their two daughters were the same age, they should spend the night together. I hardly knew Beth, but that sleepover Thanksgiving of 1995 was the start of a great and enduring friendship. That night, we started our Story. Our Story is significant because it’s all we talked about for the next year (until I moved back to Peru Thanksgiving of 1996). It took place during World War II (yes, this was the beginning of my fascination for 1940s life), and was about two families – next door neighbors. There wasn’t one central plot (hence our difficulty in finding a good title for the story) but rather several subplots involving each of the 13 main characters. It really isn’t a very good story, but we finished it (50 pages typed, single space) and were very proud of it. We would have our moms drive us to the big public library where we would diligently search for things about the home front during World War II in order to make our story more realistic. We discussed earnestly about publishing it and whose name should come first. Then, as the years passed, we realized that this story needed a lot of help and so we put it to rest. :-)

Beth and I have never lived in the same place since 7th grade, but we have maintained a great friendship. She came down to visit me in Peru, and I was proud to be her maid of honor at her wedding two years ago. I miss her a lot and hope that someday we’ll find each other in the same city again. Maybe we’ll be next door neighbors, like our Story (with Beth Z. on the other side of us :-)).

Oh here’s a fun fact, because I love this kind of thing: Beth’s parents are from Muncie, Indiana and were Ball State graduates. Mrs. Kirschner’s family started a church in Muncie, called Westminster Presbyterian Church, which is where I went the whole time I was at Taylor. :-)

I am excited to see Beth again, and spend Thanksgiving with her and her wonderful family. You don’t meet too many people who have been your best friend for 10 years or more, and I’m thankful God crossed our paths the one year I was living in the States!

Taylor alum

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Last night I went to my first Taylor alumni dinner. Wow, I definitely don’t feel old enough to be an alum of a university. I was definitely the youngest person there, but it was fun to reconnect with Taylor people who live in Atlanta. Of course, I was 45 minutes late to the dinner because it took me an hour and 15 minutes to get to a place 7 miles from my apartment. Welcome to Atlanta at rush hour. (Did I ever touch the gas pedal?)

Anyways, it was a fun dinner and I won a door prize – the CD that the Chorale put out last year. I’m listening to it right now, and enjoying it very much. Brings back memories from chapel. :-)

I’m on book four of the Chronicles of Narnia, in preparation for the Lion Witch and Wardrobe movie coming out in a few weeks. :-) I’ve been enjoying reading these books again. I am going to have to get a set of this series for myself. The problem will be finding it in the correct order (the order in which CS Lewis wrote it). I like the challenge of finding old books. :-)