December 24, 2011

The Night Before Christmas

It was the night before Christmas and all through the world
Everything looked like business as usual
Shepherds sat on a hillside looking up at the stars
While the world fell asleep unaware just how deep
Was the darkness the night before Christmas

And the night before Christmas it seemed to be just a night
But the wind blew like something was coming
And like children with secrets that they're bursting to tell
The cedars danced in the breeze while all of nature it seemed
Held its breath on the night before Christmas


And hopehope long awaited
The hope of the ages
Would break with the dawn
And the song that all of creation was anticipating
Would start with a baby's first cry

And on the night before Christmas Mary laid down to rest
While Joseph, he paced the floor praying
And in an everyday stable, in an everyday town
In the hours to come God would wrap Himself up
And come down from heaven and the world would forever be changed
After the night before Christmas

December 14, 2011

1000 Things I'm Thankful For: Part 3

41. Hot cocoa

42. A pastor with a heart for the nations

43. Hobby Lobby

44. The smell of balsam fir

45. A new job that I can't wait to start

46. My current job that has taught me so much

47. Hot showers

48. Fuzzy, comfy socks

49. Sunrises

50. When I get all green lights on the way to work

51. My cute little Christmas tree

52. Mexican food

53. Celebrations of the birth of Jesus

54. Promises kept

55. Christmas movies

56. Mercury glass

57. Yard sales

58. The JOY of the Lord

59. Skype

60. My coffeemaker

December 12, 2011

2011 Christmas Tour of Homes: Merry & Bright

Merry & Bright


Clockwise from top left: Ceiling medallion as a modern wreath; festive lights; 
Christmas, y'all; the reason; table setting. 

Merry Christmas, Y'all! 


December 7, 2011

Christmas Q&A

I saw this Christmas Q&A on Amy is the Party and thought I'd do it, too!

Egg nog or hot chocolate? Hot chocolate with a little hazelnut creamer mixed in.  And, marshmallows, of course!

Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? I think this is the first year Santa won't be visiting me. Sniff.  All our gifts will be wrapped under the tree.  But, usually Santa's gifts are unwrapped.

Colored or white lights on tree/house? White!

Do you hang mistletoe? Nope. No one to kiss.

When do you put your decorations up? The week of Thanksgiving. I leave town for Thanksgiving celebrations, so I try to have it done before I go.  That way when I get back home, it's already Christmas at my apartment!

What is your favorite holiday dish? I love Mama's sweet potato souffle and Grannie's cornbread dressing.  

Do you remember your favorite gift? Gosh. So hard.  My sweet mama's love language is gift giving. My parents are always very thoughtful and generous in their gift-giving. They gave me a place setting each Christmas of a beautiful white everyday dish set.  It started when I was about fifteen and carried on until I had ten settings.  I love them, and I get to think about the gift-givers as I use them everyday.

What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you? Celebrating when God became flesh and dwelt among us.  Recognizing the importance of His coming and reminding myself to eagerly expect His second coming.  Also, spending time with my precious family.

What is your favorite holiday dessert? A new favorite is a caramel snack mix that my friend Eliz makes.  I plan on posting the recipe in the coming days...

What is your favorite holiday tradition? Getting a new pair of Christmas pajamas.  It's the only gift we are allowed to open on Christmas Eve.  I also love our traditional Christmas Day breakfast with our grandparents consisting of sausage casserole, biscuits, Mayhaw jelly and coffee.

What tops your tree? Lots of colorful and sparkly picks and stems from craft stores.

Which do you prefer giving or receiving? Both! I love picking out the perfect gift for the people I love and wrapping them beautifully.  But, I also love when someone has taken the time to think through the perfect gift for me.

Candy canes: yuck or yum? Depends.  They have to be a good brand...and they have to be used as a stirrer for my coffee.

Favorite Christmas show/movie? All of them! My top four: original Miracle on 34th Street, Home Alone, Elf and The Nativity Story

Saddest Christmas song? All I Really Want by Steven Curtis Chapman

What is your favorite Christmas song? The Christmas Song (Bing Crosby), The Night Before Christmas (Steven Curtis Chapman), O Holy Night (Celine Dion)

December 5, 2011

What's Crafting? Take 2.

This weekend I had some glorious time at home to finish decorating for Christmas, clean my apartment and do a little crafting.  I accomplished a few projects over the weekend including DIY mercury glass and painting a yard sale ceiling medallion to create an unconventional Christmas wreath.

First, I'll show you the mercury glass.  I followed this tutorial that I found on Pinterest using Krylon Looking Glass spray paint.  It was fairly easy.  The hardest part was mastering the spray paint.  It is very thin and runny so it was hard at first to figure out just the right amount of pressure to put on the spray nozzle for perfect application.  

The Inspiration:

My Version:

You can't really tell how well they turned out from the picture.  I didn't think to take pictures of them with candles lit inside like the inspiration photo.  I had most of the glass pieces already, but I bought the medium-sized ones at The Dollar Tree the other day.

The second project was this neat "wreath" made from a ceiling medallion that I bought at a yard sale.  I think I got the idea from a Better Homes & Gardens e-mail and stored it away in my memory to do later.  I had the medallion and the paint already...just had to motivate myself to do it.  I love how it turned out! I'm not thrilled with the ribbon choice, but it was all I had on-hand.  I think I'll try to get some bright green to replace it this week.

I haven't gotten around to doing any of the three projects that I intended to do from my last post.  I have all the supplies for the Christmas pillows and have already cut the fabric.  But I have yet to pull out my sewing machine to finish the task.  I also have most of the items I need for the starburst mirror and Mod Podge letters.  I should have at least one of those projects finished to post soon.  Stay tuned!

December 3, 2011

A List: Things I Love About Christmas

  • Family gathered from near and far
  • Traditional breakfast casserole
  • Lights!
  • Roadside Christmas tree stands
  • Christmas music and hymns
  • Hot apple cider
  • A child's wide eyes when visiting Santa
  • Decorating my little apartment
  • The smell of balsam fir
  • Wreaths on every door
  • Starbucks Christmas blend
  • Most everyone is in a good mood
  • Christmas cards
  • New Christmas pajamas
  • Celebrating when God became man

What do you love?

December 2, 2011

Even More Christmas Gifts That Make a Difference

After I posted ideas for Christmas gifts that make a difference, a friend sent me a message with information about another organization that gives women living in the slums of North India an opportunity to learn a trade, earn income, and gain confidence from working.  This organization is called Ergon Handicrafts.  They make beautiful journals and note cards from handmade paper made in Jaipur, India.

Please visit the Web site and view their items! Perfect stocking stuffers! Also be sure to check the "About Us" section to read the bios of the six women that hand-make each product.

December 1, 2011


As the calendar flips to December 1, it's hard to believe that Christmas is upon us and the year is coming to a close. I absolutely love this time of year, and I anticipate its arrival for months.  It's such a sweet time.  There is something about this season that puts everyone in good spirits.  Is it the decorations and lights? Is it the lovely Christmas music and hymns? Is it the time spent with family and friends? Is it the parties and food? Is it the gifts beneath the tree?

When I think about my childhood excitement surrounding Christmas, I realize that it wasn't necessarily those things that made me so excited. Yes, I loved those things, but I think that the true joy and excitement I felt came from the anticipation that Christmas was coming! Even now, as an adult, I get giddy with the anticipation of Christmas' arrival! I anticipate the family fun, the decorations, the music, the gift-giving, the holiday parties and the like.  More importantly, I also anticipate the opportunity to celebrate the reason that we get to celebrate! The first advent of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The dictionary defines advent as "the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event." Most of us simply think of advent as a countdown to Christmas.  It is so much more.  I think that the reason why we anticipate the arrival of the Christmas season has something to do with the anticipation surrounding the first Christmas.  Many anxiously awaited the arrival of the Savior King.  Yet, only few realized the timing was so soon, and only few recognized it when it happened.  Still, He was prophecy and promise revealed! He was reconciliation for our souls in the flesh.

For me, Christmas is now a time when I think a lot about the second advent.  Like the first advent, no one can predict the timing, yet unlike the first advent, all will recognize and understand when the clouds roll back and our Lord descends.  It will be prophecy and promise revealed! It will be complete fulfillment in Him for those who believe! Every knee will bow and every tongue confess...

So as we begin this Christmas season, let's reflect on the first advent and the glory that was revealed.  Let's also foster a spirit of anticipation for the second advent and the glory that is to come!

Come, Lord Jesus!

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