Regular can of 'baccy you say? No, says I.

Lawsie mercy! Well. Currently, I'm house/apartment hunting on Craig's list and simultaneously watching Jennifer Hudson's I'll Be Home for Christmas on ABC. And last night I watched Oprah's Christmas at the White House. I just love Christmas specials. They're special.

So, I'm going to level with you. Got my battery-powered laser beaming level right here and I'm pointing it at your forehead. For those of you wondering--or not wondering--I did not get the ED position at Duke that I interviewed for a few weeks ago. "Bummer" is an understatement. Frustrating? Check. Heart-wrenching? Check. Embarrassing? Check. Baffling? Check. The emotions roiling inside me don't really have names. They have descriptions. Twisting, tumbling, suffocating, squeezing. Yes. That's it. So, I'll soldier on. Applying, applying, applying. Emailing, emailing, emailing. Calling, calling, calling. Praying, praying, praying. It can be exhausting. But I'll trust. I'll trust that He knows best. That maybe I would have hated it. That maybe it just wouldn't have been a good fit. That maybe their scrubs would have made my butt look big. Raise an eyebrow if you like. Scoff if you dare. But I know He knows better than I do. So, I'm okay. Don't feel sorry for me--don't shed one single, dreadful tear. Just keep praying. To God be the glory all the more when I get that exciting phone call.

On a lighter and less life-altering note, Brother Barrett came to visit us this past weekend and boy, did we have fun! We went to Graham and Joanna's first holiday potluck get-together--I made fudge with Craisins and pecans in it and meaty meatballs I found on foodnetwork.com (and subsequently changed the recipe to suit my sophisticated taste buds. Also known as, I added barbecue sauce and brown sugar. and heavy cream. Ummmmm, good. Good, is the word I'm looking for.) We played this hilarious game called Lady in the Garden/Telephone Pictionary. No idea where "Lady in the Garden" came from, but in Telephone Pictionary, you get in a circle and everyone has a pen and paper. First you write something down--anything random--that's the point. Then you pass it to the person beside you and they have to draw it. They then pass their little Picasso to the person next to them and that person has to write what they drew--so by the time your cards get back to you, it's a hilarious flip book of miscommunicated and misinterpreted drawings and scrawlings. And it. is. side-splitting. I highly recommend it at your next soiree.

On Saturday, Andrew and Barrett and I went Christmas shopping at the gargantuan Southpoint Mall--one of my absolute faaavorite things! The mall was teeming with people, all on the hunt for the perfect purchase for that special someone. Moms, Dads, teenagers, kids, babies--strollers, slings, carriers galore! The cuteness was unbearable! And of course, Santa and Santa's Helpers were there taking photographs with the all-but-obliging children. (How much you wanna bet 90% of those little girls had sagging tights?? I'm sure it was a major contributing factor to the orneriness.) So, back to shopping. I love buying presents for people. I try to find things that I would debate keeping for myself, that way I know when I give it to someone they will just melt from the love they feel and the pleasure of getting such a gift! If you want it, they will want it, trust me. It's a tried and true holiday fact. I helped Barrett find something for his "special friend" and I just know that her eyes will shine and her tummy will tingle when she opens her gift! I also helped Andrew and Barrett buy jeans--yet another weird favorite thing of mine. Noah used to take me with him sometimes for a second opinion on those few and far between boy shopping trips. I think that's where my love of helping people find clothes they love was born. And then I worked at the Gap where my love of helping people find clothes was reduced to the number of Gap cards I could hustle in a five hour shift. Kill me. I'm also loving that many of your Christmas gifts are gracing the skirt around the trunk of my tree right this very instant. Makes me feel like y'all are just sittin' right here! But anyway, we had fun. Good times all around. We ate at the Barbecue Joint, a restaurant quickly becoming an Armstrong favorite. We've only been twice, but it is tasty on the tongue! We went to church on Sunday and took the exam for the leadership class Andrew and I have just completed (provided that we pass the exam, of course). You mean, God gives exams?!? Why, yes, he does. Shucks.

Christmas is coming. Eleven more days. Don't be surprised if someone rings your doorbell later and there's eleven Lords a-leaping on your stoop. Your first thought will probably be, "What are all of these royals doing sashaying across my lawn?" And then, you'll know. Christmas is coming.

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