Numbers One Through Ten

Feeling sad that Christmas is over? Here's a few things to 'chin up' about:

1. The brother and sister down the street zooming around on their brand new gender specific pink and blue motorized razor scooters. And the fact that, while they will come inside sweaty and stinky, they have actually burned no calories at all, only gasoline.

2. Gift cards!

3. The infinite supply of gum in my stocking(s).

4. New Year's is just around the corner. Bubbly, hoppin' john, collards, and a brand new start!

5. It snowed in Charleston. For the second time. In one winter.

6. Reminiscing about our well planned but poorly executed "igloo" in Hendersonville that I'm sure any Eskimo worth her salt would giggle at.

7. On the flip side of the ghastly and depressing task of un-decorating for Christmas, is the delight of simplifying your surroundings for January.

8. The two Hallmark driven "holidays" between now and Easter keister: Valentine's Day, and St. Patrick's Day. One's about love, the other's about the love of the Irish. And about how everyone you know claims a liddle bit o' brogue they can't disguise.

9. America.

10. On January 1, the countdown begins again. Merry, merry!


and wonders of His love

I think. Honestly, I do. That the thing I love about Christmas, the thing that makes me cry when we sing old fashioned Christmas hymns in church with lyrics so precise, the thing that makes me read and reread the account of Jesus' birth in Luke to seek and search any small clue is this:

if God. If God can be born to an obscure unmarried teenager and her anxious fiance in a crude, cold, clammy, stinky stable. If God can boldly step in to this furious fray. Step up to humanity's plate. Step out of heaven. If God can intervene. Interject. Interpose His precious blood.

Then He really must so love the world.

I can't help but marvel at His creativity. A baby. Of all things. To come as a baby instead of an apparition or a booming thunderhead or a beaming parting of the clouds. It's shocking, if you really think on it.

There cannot be an Easter Jesus without a Christmas Jesus. And Christmas Jesus came with the intent to be Easter Jesus.

repeat the sounding joy!


O Simplicitas

by Madeleine L'Engle

An angel came to me
and I was unprepared
to be what God was using.
Mother I was to be.
A moment I despaired,
thought briefly of refusing.
The angel knew I heard.
According to God's Word
I bowed to this strange choosing.

A palace should have been
the birthplace of a king
(I had no way of knowing).
We went to Bethlehem;
it was so strange a thing.
The wind was cold, and blowing,
my cloak was old, and thin.
They turned us from the inn;
the town was overflowing.

God's Word, a child so small
who still must learn to speak
lay in humiliation.
Joseph stood, strong and tall.
The beasts were warm and meek
and moved with hesitation.
The Child born in a stall?
I understood it: all.
Kings came in adoration.

Perhaps is was absurd;
a stable set apart,
the sleepy cattle lowing;
and the Incarnate Word
resting against my heart.
My joy was overflowing.
The shepherds came, adored
the folly of the Lord,
wiser than all men's knowing.


The Scoop: a tidbit for a Monday night giggle.

Once upon a time when I was driving back to Charleston from Chapel Hill for work on a rainy, windy, f-f-freezing cold Sunday afternoon I happened upon a shiny, white Cadillac. This Cadillac was, in fact, an ordinary Cadillac, as it was driven by a blue-haired, hundred-year-old lady at approximately 57 miles per hour in the right hand lane. Now what was so special about this centenarian and her lily white Caddy?

Well, it may have had something to do with the triple scoop Butter Pecan ice-cream cone she was downing like a madwoman on her way to Bridge club.


Mary had a baby, yes, Lord!

If you squint, screw your face up the right way and look closely at the snow-covered house, you will see a lady beckoning at the door for the sleigh riders to hurry on to the house. Likely for cider, hot chocolate or some such delightful confection. In another dimension, that's me.

In this dimension, this is me. Leggings, hoodie, amazing knit socks from Loose Lucy's or Granny's Goodies (can't remember which), and of course a Christmas apron if there's baking to be done. And there's always baking to be done.

When I went home this weekend to Andrew, Christmas came with me, wrapped around my shoulders and tied around my heart. I finished up decorating the apartment, (also known as getting our Christmas tree), mandated (nicely) that Christmas music be the only music played, and made PW's blackberry cobbler for dessert one night. I would have taken pictures, but I've realized by now that if you're at all savvy at this whole blogging/internet thing, you've probably met The Pioneer Woman.

On Friday night Andrew and I went to the Varsity theater on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, (kind of like the Astro (may she rest in peace) for all you Tiger fans), bought Salted Caramel Hot Chocolates from Starbucks, (recommendation, YES), and took in It's a Wonderful Life on the big screen in good old fashioned black and white. I loved every minute of it.

On Saturday, we got up bright at early at the frigid crack of nine thirty and made it over to Rob and Ann's house in Raleigh. They had graciously retrieved our Christmas tree from the mountains of North Carolina for us and we were just going to pick up our adopted baby tree and bring him to his new home. As we were heading out to the car Ann shouted, "look!", and sure enough: snow. It snowed on Saturday from about two o'clock onward, enough that our neighbors made a really big, sad, dirty snowman. College kids. Can't live with 'em (germs), can't keep 'em from playing bad electric guitar at all hours. By Sunday afternoon, the snow had burned off, but the cold dug in his icy heels and had decided to extend his stay.

And now this. We had requested a "table-top" tree from Rob and Ann, and a table-top tree is what we got. Short. Little. Table-top. Perfect. Only problem is, our table top that we were going to put our table-topper on was apparently too tall for our table-top tree. So our tree ended up on the floor like a regular, read: tall, tree and is more like a Christmas bush than a tree. "Oh, Christmas bush, oh, Christmas bush, how hearty your diameter..."

I'm almost 5'3" but I was wearing probably two inch clogs in this picture. So, I'm about 5'5" in this pic. (OOooOO, go me!) However, if you forget that little (get it) detail, and look at this photograph long enough, I kind of look like a giant. Kind of.

Never have I ever felt closer to the heavens. "Angels from the realms of glory, wing your flight o'er all the earth...!" Whew! I'm out of breath. You know, lack of oxygen at these high altitudes... :)


Vitamins. With a short 'i', like the British.

Go here. Read. Get a big glass of water. Swallow. Zip those skinny jeans.