Thursday, January 27, 2011

Day 66 - Grandma Came for Christmas

My grandma loved Christmas. We spent Christmas Eve and her house and on Christmas morning, she would always come over and see what Santa brought us. My brother and I would go over to her house and put up her tree after Thanksgiving. Scot moved to Chicago and then decided to go back to school so the last couple years Grandma was with us, I put up her tree myself. I remember one year I was putting the ornaments on the tree and I came across a little school bus ornament. Years ago, something very unfair happened to my Grandma and it had to do with her school bus so I naively assumed she wouldn't want that ornament on the tree as it would remind her of all that happened. Well, when I was done trimming the tree, she came in, looked it over and do you know what she asked me? "Where is my little school bus ornament?" She proceeded to explain to me that one of her students had given her that ornament and that she loved it. Humbled, I found it and put it on the tree front and center. I don't know if she meant to do it, or if she even ever knew that she did, but with that one simple inquiry, she taught me a valuable lesson - never let the bad things in life ruin the things you love. There is good in everything and even if it's just a tiny reminder of a friendly gesture, it's worth holding onto, remembering, and displaying with pride.
I lost my grandma before she could see me get married, but I am so thankful for all the time I did get to spend with her. Devastated though I was by her passing, I still have one of her African violets. It bloomed 10 days before Christmas this year.

Thank you Grandma, for coming to Christmas this year. It was lovely to see you.

Well, dear friends, that is me today. More to follow hopefully this weekend. Enjoy your evenings and have a blessed tomorrow!

Day 65 - New Lights

I was the photographer for the Nutcracker photos this year and after attending a practice, I realized I would need some sort of lighting to help. Bothwell Hall is extremely dark. So I was lucky to find a pair of soft boxes for an extremely reasonable price. They arrived in plenty of time for me to play with. Here is one of Josh's ornaments illuminated with my new soft box.

Now that's one lucky little sock monkey!

Day 64 - This Is What Happens When Ezzy Procrastinates

Those of you who know me at all know I tend to be a procrastinator. I wouldn't say I'm notorious for it, it's more of a sneaky sort of procrastination - the kind that sneaks up on you and when you aren't looking sticks it's foot out from around the corner and before you know it you're lying in a pile of undone-ness and the procrastination is rolling around on the floor, tears rolling down it's cheeks. Well, I fell into such a pile of undone-ness this Monday when it was 2 degrees outside and my car wouldn't start. I knew when we bought the car it needed a new battery, but I had been putting it off because I really didn't feel like going to Wal-Mart. Procrastination was cackling with naughty glee when much to my chagrin, the engine wouldn't even turn over. Luckily, Josh could take me to work and we got a battery that evening. This post is dedicated to him. He went to Wal-Mart after work and bought me a battery and then, in the subzero temperature, installed it. What a guy!

It's hard to believe, but I have more, dear friends! Keep hanging in there with me ...

Day 63 - Cantata

Dec 12 was the combined St Paul's UCC/Federated Church choir cantata. So of course there was snow. Quite a lot of it. Hence the photograph of our winter protection.

It's the same every year - I get super excited in the fall when they choose the cantata we'll be singing. I have a lot of fun getting reacquainted with it, practicing the music, getting psyched for Christmas. Then something happens. I don't know if I get bored with it or if I just get nervous but a few weeks before rehearsal, I can't wait for it to all be over. But then, on the Sunday morning as we start singing and I look at all the supportive and loving faces in the church, it hits me - God gave us these gifts to use and we are using them! And if my singing can make one person feel more Christmas-y then the whole thing was worth it.

Stay tuned, dear friends. There is much more to follow!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Day 62 - Choir Practice

There isn't too much to say for my day 62. We had choir practice in the morning for the following Sunday's cantata at church. I took a photo of the choirs practicing.

I am always amazed at the beauty of a church all decorated for Christmas. It instills such a warm and tender feeling in me. Childhood memories emerge and the awe and wonder of the whole season really come alive. This year, it seems more true than it has in the past. I'm not really sure why this should be and now that the season is over, I suppose people are tired of hearing about it. But any season or holiday that causes people to be nicer just because of the date is a holiday that makes me believe in the humanity of people. That's why I try to keep Christmas all year. (You'll notice, dear friends, that I say "try". I am not perfect.)

That is all the posting I can do tonight. More will come. Peaceful sleeps, dear friends, safety on your morning drives and blessing on your tomorrows.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Day 61 - A Talent I Don't Have

 I love my baby brother. Scot and I have always been close. He choreographed a dance for me to the song "Desert Rose" when we were in high school. It was a moving piece and he danced his heart out for me. His birthday was not long after that and I decided I would make him a t-shirt with a rose opening over a desert scene. I bought that RIT Dye and worked on painting on this shirt for hours. Then I through it in the washing machine to rinse it so he could wear it. And the dye ran. And ran. And ran. When I pulled it out of the wash, it was nothing but a gray blue smudge. I cried. Hard. It wasn't the work I had put into, but I was heartbroken that this token of my love for my baby brother was destroyed the night before I needed to give it to him. He knew of course that I loved him and loved his dance, but I really felt my heart break when I saw that blob.
Scot lives in Macomb now. He's the shop carpenter for the theatre department at Western Illinois University so I don't get to see him very often anymore and I never get to see him dance. But this Christmas season he helped choreograph, direct, and dance in the Carlinville Summer Repertory Theatre's production of The Nutcracker and on day 61, I got to see my baby brother dance again. Here is in practice.

Keep on dreaming of rain, baby bro. You're never too old for your big sis to love to watch you practice a talent she doesn't have.

That's me for this evening dear friends. Much more catching up will follow in the next week or so. Sweet dreams and have a blessed tomorrow!

Day 60 - Reminiscing

Josh and I have been together for a little over 7 years now and every day I think I learn something new about him. And if I don't, I should. The whole world can be crashing down around me, but as long as I have him, it's never too far gone. Mushy stuff aside, Josh is the best sport a photographer could ask for. When we first started dating I was in a photography class in college and Josh modeled for me all the time. (You know what I'm thinking about, Joshy!) But he also offered his limbs for my art and one of the photos I took a long time ago was of his hand holding a burning candle. Well, day 60 was a day for reminiscing and the nostalgia got the best of me. Here is me recreating a memory. Thanks, Josh!

Still more to come, dear friends. Stay tuned!

Day 59 - A Wet December Day

By now, I have forgotten a bit about what was going on a month ago, thus learning my lesson to post within a couple days. I do, however, remember why I took this photo. There were city workers outside my house all day long working on a busted water main. This was what was left at 10 that night.

That's all I have to say about day 59. More posts to come soon!