Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas Day! I know I haven't blogged in a while, so I figured today would be a great day to connect and catch up! Christmas morning was quite different for me this year; waking up in a new place, across the country, far far away from my beloved family. I was sad not be able share the traditional memories that were always made on Christmas morning and making the 'rounds' around Dixie, visiting each Carlisle family's home to see what everyone got for Christmas. I was also sad not to be at Carlisle Christmas this year. Thankfully technology helps provide a wonderful alternative to dealing with the physical separation through skyping during the whole event, for 1.5 hours!!! I truly felt like I was there in the room. Thank you all for making that so special for me. I hope this is the only Carlisle Christmas I will be missing. I really enjoying watching Lola and Jack perform their traditional Christmas program (it tugged on my heart) and also see everyone exchange their presents. You two put on quite a show. Lola, you are a very enthusiastic and dynamic dancer! It made me miss you both very much, you are so special to me! I have all of your Christmas cards hanging on the fridge!

So, I know you are probably wondering how I am spending my Christmas holiday…About two days ago, I was looking for a church service to attend on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day and found a few churches I started to research and look further into. Jeremy had told me about the Acts 29 Network that Crossroads (The Bridge) is connected with and there are two churches here in Portland that were also involved with the network. So, I contacted a man named Josh from the Bread + Wine church to ask him about how their church was celebrating Christmas. It said on their website that they were not going to be gathering as a congregation, but within their gospel groups, which would be like the community groups at Crossroads (The Bridge). So, he invited me to goin his gospel community group for brunch on Christmas Day at 11 am. On Christmas Eve, I attended a traditional Christmas Eve service at a Covenant Church, where they had a candlelight singing of "Silent Night". I got teary-eyed during the candle-light service because of the memories it brought back from my childhood at the Presbytrian church I grew up in. It made me wish I was with my family, sharing this special memory. After the service, I headed to the grocery store to make some delicious peanut butter cookies to bring the the pot-luck brunch the following morning. When I woke up on Christmas morning, my roommate Willoughby was in the kitchen making his breakfast, so I joined him and made me some fried eggs and dripped coffee. We sat and visited at the breakfast table together and then proceeded with our day- he was headed off to his families house (about 2 hours south of Portland) and I was going to get ready to walk to the brunch, which was about 15 blocks down from my house. When I arrived at the brunch, I didn't know anyone and had not previously met anyone before coming, but I immediately felt welcome. Josh and his wife Laura are a young couple (about Emery & Jeremy's age) with a precious year and a half year old daughter. There were other young couples, singles, and next door neighbors there as well. I also got to connect with Josh's sister who was my age and visiting for the holidays. Josh and his sister are both from Fayettville, so small world…his sister said it was good to hear my southern accent because she lost hers (haha). I get comments on my accent all the time…Anyways, everyone had a lovely time, eating, fellowshipping, and getting to know each other. Afterwards, I headed home to Skype with my family and got to see my grandparents Gee & PopPop before they headed back to Haynesville. It was very special that I got to see everyone and be a part of their Christmas celebration. After I skyped with them and watched them open up their presents, I cleaned the house to get ready for a few friends to come over for dinner. Maria, Jessica, and Amanda came over and we all shared a Lybian dish, I made a spinach-pecan-blue cheese salad, and then Jessica brought over a Mexican dessert. We all ate well, like you're suppose to do for Christmas-stuff yourself. It was a great evening, everyone left around 11pm and I headed off to bed so I could get up and start to begin a normal 'running routine' and use my new GPS watch. I went running 9 miles today, it felt good and cleansing to run off the holiday treats.

Here is the crafts that I made and tried to sell, the "12 days of Christmas" from Portland. At first, I made one for my family, and decided it was clever and creative idea that was worth selling. I wasn't able to sell any because I didn't finish them until the day before Christmas Eve. But, it made for an interesting experience. I learning I don't like 'vending' on the street corner…..putting myself out there with the other vendors and beggars. Some of the places I tried to sell I was standing on the opposite side of the sidewalk as a newspaper vendor. But, it was worth giving it a shot. It just wasn't the right place or time. I tried selling them at the market and outside of two of the local grocery stores. I think people weren't 'shopping' for gifts anymore with Christmas Eve approaching so closely. Oh well, maybe next year I'll make a lot and set up a booth in the 'Crafty Wonderland' annual show.

1 comment:

  1. I love you and miss you. Your package was such a great reflection of your creative, loving personality.. making me miss you more. I'm planning to wear my hair clip tomorrow:) The egg carton is SO COOL. You should try again next year for sure. You never cease to amaze me. Again, I love you, twinsy.