Monday, December 31, 2007

new years resolutions

can it possibly be 2008 and am i a total dork because writing "2007" just starting feeling natural a couple of months ago?? i find the whole new years resolution thing to be a unique phenomenon...that one day a year you would actually highlight your faults and plan to do better (dont the vast majority of people do this at least weekly, if not daily anyway??) all the while sharing your lofty goals and aspirations with anyone faining interest only to crash and burn around day 6 of the new year. i have not been immune to this and have finally decided that if i throw this on the blog in size 12 font for all the world (or all 8 of you that read) to see, maybe there would be some degree of accountability to really keep me on track. after a lot of reflection and thought, these are just a few things i think i may be able to manage to keep up with::

1. i will not gain more than 5 lbs in 2008. anymore than that better have a really great explanation like growing a child or a new interest in body building.
2. i will drink red wine exclusively for the health benefits to my heart.
3. i will not place any gap orders online after benefiting my heart.
4. i will take the stairs WITHOUT complaining when the elevator is not running as fast as my feet could.
5. i will not buy myself a pair of $100 running shoes as incentive to take the stairs more often.
6. i will not purchase any ice cream in mass quantities with the exception of hazelnut dream.
7. i will stop perusing the volvo dealership without patrick with me.
8. i will order something other than chicken pad thai every 4th time we go out for thai food.
9. i will stop answering my phone until i have had a cup of coffee (some of you are relieved, i know)
10. i will slow down when approaching a pedestrian crosswalk instead of speeding up, hoping to pass the intersection before peds get to the curb...its obnoxious and dangerous...i was never a crossing guard.

thats my quick list. if you have any to add, feel free. im just hoping i wont fail myself this year. happy new year to you and yours and may 2008 be a great one!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas

we had an outstanding Christmas day celebrating the birth of Jesus. pat and i are both anxious for peach to begin understanding the real meaning of the day and participate in all the traditions...this year she was in bed when we read the Christmas story on Christmas Eve and we decided to forgo the birthday cake for baby Jesus as i knew it would be yours truly putting down the majority of it. we enjoyed a candle light service on Christmas Eve until georgia announced at 8 pm that she wanted her 'paci and crib'...with that we hummed joy to the world and made a quick exit out the back. while trying to buy ourselves a few more minutes in the lobby she continued asking for her paci (which we conveniently left at home) until finally a fellow mama rocking her infant in the universal spot for disruptive children said she had an extra that we could have. i gratefully accepted while hoping that her baby wasnt carrying any major viruses and gave the paci to georgia. she still has it in her possession and refers to it as 'some babies' paci. she didnt wake up until 9 on Christmas day and we, as all well meaning parents do promptly ushered her to the tree to begin opening her time to waste, we had a meal to prepare for 10 friends spending the day with us. here are a few pics of the morning...truly a great family day....minus a whole lot of family we are missing.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

gratitude and what not

i am a huge fan of gratitude in any and all forms. make a list, write a note, lift a prayer or tell a friend, just BE grateful. i am blogging this down today because lately i have been unbelievably homesick for the holidays (a post i started but decided in the end it read like a really lame spoiled kid missing the luxuries of home while surrounded by luxuries of a different kind) and opening every package that arrives with sappy tears followed by a pity party and sometimes even the ugly cry (oprah would be so proud). i typically am able to see the silver lining so to speak and readily point it out to others when needed and yet, here i am in korea with better half and peach for another joyous Christmas season and the only thing i seem to notice is my lack of decor (one tub accidentally got sent to storage), my lack of family (besides the above mentioned), and my lack of holiday traditions (although i have a new one...have i mentioned hazelnut dream?).

i went to chapel last night bitching almost incessantly about my cold (clearly ive been too healthy for too long if a cold is all it takes) and checked my watch as we sat down...this has become an annoying habit of mine that i intend to break by no longer wearing a watch to church and then i waited to get this church show on the road. this is the first base chapel that pat and i have ever attended and we have really begun to love it. it keeps us grateful as one scan of the pews reminds us that we are one of the few families that are not separated by this korea assignment. but last night, God, in His infinite wisdom and clarity stopped my "woe is me" train in its tracks. we have never been part of a church that was small enough to share prayer requests in the middle of the service, but here, at this small and intimate gathering of people who all have more than a few things in common, church starts with sharing needs.
here is what i remember::

1. pray for carol whose husband (my best friend) was blown up in iraq last month. she and her two young boys will be spending their first christmas without him.
2. pray for rose, my mother, who lost my father suddenly in an accident 3 months ago. while i am here, it is going to be a particularly lonely christmas for her.
3. pray for my childhood friend, andrea, who was less than 20 yards from the gunman at new life church in the foyer moments before he was shot dead by the security guard.
4. pray for my sister, tracey, who is unwed, 19 and pregnant. we are a family in crisis.
5. pray for tina and patrick, neighbors from a previous assignment who lost their baby girl as she slept last week.

so there it is. my moment when finally the tears i shed were legit. shed on behalf of families in crisis, of loved ones gripped by grief, of a brave young woman now mother, of loss and of loneliness and of gratitude. overwhelming and all consuming gratitude. who am i, that i should spend even a moment without pain? without grief? without suffering? who am i, that this Savior would come into the world in the most humble of ways, wailing and willing, covered in blood and yet sinless and pure bringing the gift, the grace, the hope and the joy of it all to mankind and to me? i will soak in this sea of gratitude and lift heartfelt prayers on behalf of those drowning in grief and despair. i will mark these names, carol, rose, andrea, tracey, tina and patrick in my memory and carry them with me through the upcoming weeks. if you have a moment, a second, a brief period when you can pause in the business of these weeks and remember them as well, i would be grateful. and if you know someone, a name that you would like me to add to my list, please pass them onto me. i will spend this season remembering the joy of it all, the significance of this holiday and the blessings that are too numerous to count but i will be mindful, prayerful and even tearful remembering those who at this time while surrounded by lights, carols and commercialism are covered in too many layers of grief, loneliness, uncertainty and fear to even notice. my hope is that this season of blessings received becomes one of lavish giving and tremendous gratitude.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

sooo good

i would have waited to post this for awhile, at least until it could follow something thoughtful or entertaining (both of which have been on hiatus from my blog as of late...would you believe me if i said i was sympathetically participating in the writers strike??) but when i saw the sign 'flavor of the MONTH', i knew i didnt have precious time to waste. okay, this may be my final endorsement of an ice cream, but after experiencing 'hazelnut dream' tonight at baskin robbins (yes, even here in good old korea) i cannot be silenced. seriously, this rivals my peanut butter tracks addiction and has me honestly considering buying this hazelnut sensation by the gallons. afterall, it is the 9th already and that only leaves 22 days to get my fix. do not wait to try this!! you will wish you had experienced it earlier in the month, i promise. im wondering how many gallons i have to store to get me through the rest of my time here...