far apart.

December 26, 2011

If I could tell you one thing I learned this Christmas, it's that I could have had all the snow in the world, the biggest presents under the prettiest tree, and it still would have felt like something was missing without all my family around. Thank goodness for Skype and for parents who will read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas over the computer screen even though we're far apart.

christmas confession session.

December 21, 2011

1. The man I spoke to on the phone yesterday afternoon who kept referring to his wife as "my bride" (who he married nearly 44 years ago) deserves everything he wants on Christmas morning.
2. Phil Dunphy, will you marry me?
3. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is now a movie? Time to confess: I didn't finish the book.
(side note: I cry in the trailer War Horse. Who cries in the trailer War Horse?)
4. I also cried at the Post Office on Monday morning. Something about seeing a line of cars all waiting to drop off Christmas letters and packages and then listening to I'll Be Home For Christmas as you drive away will do that to you.
5. All I want for Christmas is: you. Really.
6. Kylie and I called a long over-due girls night, which meant leaving the uno dolares theater early so we could talk. Instead, we watched parts of the latest Victoria Secret fashion show to encourage any sort of motivation we have for our new years resolutions.
(6.5 I still have no motivation.)
7. Half of my Christmas shopping was done completely online. Bless you Amazon.
8. If the boy who asked you to be his girlfriend when you were sixteen asks you again nearly six years later... It's even cuter than I thought it would be.
9. I miss my parents way more than I care to admit.
10. I read Christmas Every Day every year.

"Peace on earth will come to stay,
When we live Christmas every day."-Helen Rice

I love this season.

the 90s.

December 19, 2011

Thought Catalog (which I love) published this article (below) which I love, love.

Things 90s Kids Will Have to Explain to Their Children:

-Topanga was at some point in human history considered not only a legitimate first name for a human being, but the kind of name that would inspire in malleable teenage boys a life-long infatuation. Topanga, in our day, was leading lady name-material. Topanga (pronounced Tah-payne-ga, for those who will have only ever seen in it written down) is the name of the quintessential girl-next-door who will live, along with Feeney, in our hearts forever.

-At some point, we carried around little plastic eggs with tiny screens on them — in these screens lived our hearts, our pets, our raison d’etre, our very own Tamagotchi. We loved them, we listened to their tiny electronic screams of malnourishment, and we occasionally forgot to pick up their poop for long enough that they died a tortured, poop-filled death. They were perhaps our first foray into the life-consuming world of electronics and self-absorption, later to be fully manifested by Facebook.

-Though on the surface, they are the exact same thing in every conceivable way, whether you liked The Backstreet Boys or N*SYNC said more about your character than all of the terrible macaroni art you could ever make for your child psychologist. Essentially, liking *NSYNC meant you liked Justin Timberlake, as he was clearly the Seabiscuit in that race from the get-go. You even liked him with his terrible, icy-blond mini-fro. Liking the Backstreet Boys gave you a bit more of a cultured palate, as there was no clear Diana in those Supremes. Nick was kind of the wholesome, if northern-Florida-redneck safe choice (save for his humiliating younger brother, Aaron). Brian was the shy, sensitive type. AJ was the hottt, dangerous meth addict. Kevin Richardson was mute with sexy, sculpted facial hair. No one liked Howie. Choosing between the two groups was like choosing between two beloved children, but once that line was crossed–there was no going back.

-“I wanna really really really wanna zig a zig ahh,” has a meaning, and all true nineties kids know it, but we must never share it. Like the Illuminati, it must remain between us, the keyholders. With great power comes great responsibility.

Is it sad that I still feel like the 90s were basically yesterday?
When did I get so old?


christmas memories.

December 16, 2011

Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.
--Hamilton Wright Mabie

I love this time of year. I love the Christmas movies and traditions and the shopping and the wrapping and the snow, (and unfortunately since snow isn't in the forecast next week, I went ahead and ordered this a few days ago) -- But one of my most favorite things about the holidays are the memories.

When my sister and I were little, my parents told us that two elves named Thumpkin and Dumpkin would come stay in our home a few weeks before Christmas. The purpose of their stay was so that they could observe and report to Santa whether or not we had been good or bad that year, and what exactly we would deserve on Christmas morning.

Now, when I say I loved it when Thumpkin and Dumpkin came to stay at our house, I l-o-v-e-d it. It was almost even better than Christmas itself. A kid with two magical elves can't easily be beat. We had a big dinner in honor of their arrival, and I remember always setting two extra places at the kitchen table for our new friends. We'd set up little beds near our own at night so our elves could sleep by us, and you can bet your bottom dollar we never forgot to say our prayers with them around. We meant business. And honestly? It was one of the most magical parts of the season. The only downside to any of it was that I lost friends in the first grade because of this. You can imagine what my classmates thought of me when I told them I had two invisible elves in my pocket. (true story. ask my mom.)

But beside the Christmas elves and the memories, I'd have to say that the one other thing I absolutely love about Christmas is the music -- probably because most songs remind me of a memory, anyway. And I know there are plenty of people who dread Christmas music when it starts at the beginning of November, but not me. No siree bob. I love it all, but most especially, I love Jon Schmidt. I don't remember a Christmas without his CD. Whether we were listening to it in the car picking up last minute gifts, or on Christmas morning as we read our letters from Santa (and Thumpkin and Dumpkin!) -- this song always seemed to be playing in the background.

So I share with you all my most favorite song of the season, because as I spend my first Christmas far away from my parents, this song will always remind me of Christmas at home.

Silent Night by Jon Schmidt on Grooveshark

maybe it's what some people call stalking.

December 8, 2011

SAVE THE DATE from Hailey Haugen on Vimeo.

I promise I only really stalk people through their blogs, because blogs are so much more fun than Facebook. But after obsessing over Haugen Creative videos (like this one and this one and this one) I ran across her own personal Vimeo account a few days ago, and posted on my own blog her own video about her missionary coming home. This is when I knew we were probably meant to be real life friends.

And then Kylie, my stalker-in-crime, texted me this afternoon and told me that Hailey (we're on a first name basis now) was engaged. And she had posted a video of the whole thing.

So you can't blame me when I admit that it made me cry, because it's "shark week" (if you know what I'm saying) which also means I cried during Modern Family last night, too... but that's beside the point.

And yes, admittedly I found her on Facebook, and although we only have 1 mutual friend, I feel like adding her just to say: Hi. I think you're awesome and your videos are awesome and your love life is awesome and we'd be as good of friends I think as I would be with Taylor Swift if I knew her in real life, too. Awesome.

So that's all I have for today. Watch the video above just because it's cute, and because you can stalk her through me, and I have to say it: it's the best time of the year to be in love.

here we are.

December 7, 2011

"Uncle Sam, Here we are,
Volunteers for Pearl Harbor"
Brooklyn Navy Yard, December 1941
photo found here

it's a great feeling.

December 5, 2011

Life got brighter, and somehow, the world suddenly got brighter, too. You know how this is? You’re walking along, and then the sun comes out from behind a cloud, and the birds start to sing, and the air is suddenly warm, and it’s like the whole world is happy because you’re happy. It’s a great feeling.
- Gary D. Schmidt

Laughed out loud several times this morning as I read The Wednesday Wars at work (thanks to Mandy for the recommendation!) I feel like Holling Hoodhood summed up life the last little while, even with the freezing cold temperatures (like 8 degrees?) and the falling on ice part of my Monday morning.

Weekend in photos above.
Don't know if anything is better than catching snow on your tongue, making chocolate covered Oreos, and watching the Christmas Devotional at the conference center with some of your best friends, (one of them who happens to be really cute, too).

happiness is homemade.

December 1, 2011

The Happiness Project:

-One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy. One of the best ways to make other people happy, is to be happy yourself.
-Never start a sentence with the words: “No offense.”
-Look for happiness under your own roof.
-“Nothing,” wrote Tolstoy, “Can make our life, or the lives of other people, more beautiful than perpetual kindness.”
-When I find myself focusing overmuch on the anticipated future happiness... I remind myself, “enjoy now.” If I can enjoy the present, I don't need to count on the happiness that is (or isn't) waiting for me in the future.

other happy things:
-this video.
-this video.
-this video.

... and snow in the forecast.

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