December 31, 2013

Twenty Thirteen in Review // Happy New Year

This is it folks, the last day of 2013.  As I alluded to in a previous post, it's been both the most wonderful year and also one of the hardest in my life.  I decided to do the New Years tag that Ally has done for the past few years.  So, here we go...2013 in review.
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What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?
Went to my first contra dance, and learned to drive the tractor and the stick shift truck!

Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make one this year?
I prefer to call them goals, and I did have several...mainly learning to operate the tractor and driving the stick shift truck.  Check those off the list!

Did anyone close to you give birth?
My friend Lauren did.  A beautiful baby boy!

Did anyone close to you die?
Not that I can think of.

What countries/states did you visit?
Aside from Washington state, which is right next door, nope. Hoping to visit my grandma in CA soon, though!

What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
A job.

What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory?
Tuesday, October 1st.  Can't give specifics, but I will always remember that date.

Did you move anywhere?

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Singing in the church Christmas choir!

What was your biggest failure?
Um...nothing is standing out.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nope, praise the Lord.

What was the best thing you bought?
Jack, my Nikon D3100 camera!

Whose behavior merited celebration?
I don't know...

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Not going to name names, but there was at least one that comes to mind.

Where did most of your money go?
Buying hay for my sheep, Christmas presents, and clothes.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The contra dance at our house and the Newport Bluegrass Festival...oh, and the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who!

What was the best concert you’ve been to this year?
I've only been to one, the Spokane Jazz Orchestra Christmas concert.  So, so good!

What song/album will always remind you of 2013?
Life's a Happy Song from The Muppets, Where I Belong by Building429, and Red by Taylor Swift.

Compared to this time last year, are you:
1. happier or sadder?  I'm not sure.
2. thinner or fatter? Not noticeable either way.
3. richer or poorer? Richer...although certainly not wealthy. ;)

What do you wish you’d done more of?
Traveling.  Day trips.

What do you wish you’d done less of?

What was your greatest musical discovery?
Les Miz!

How did you spend Christmas?
With my family.

How are you spending New Year’s?
We usually stay home, but I think we're going to a swing dance this year!

Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?
My Aunt Liz.  We talk several times a week.

What was the best book you read?
To Kill a Mockingbird.  Fantastic, amazing read!

Did you fall in love in 2013?
Wouldn't you like to know? *grin*

What was your favorite TV show?
Psych, Duck Dynasty, Road to Avonlea, and Downton Abbey.

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

What did you want and get?
A goat, a new kitten, and a really nice camera!

What did you want and not get?
No complaints here...although a new laptop would be greatly appreciated.  Also, some ducks.  But I'll be getting those this coming spring.  Can't wait!

What were your favourite films of this year?
How to Steal a Million
The Decoy Bride
Leap Year
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Nanny Diaries
Bride Wars
Thoroughly Modern Millie
Kate & Leopold
The King's Speech
Just Like Heaven
My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Iron Man 3
Star Trek: Into Darkness
Man of Steel 
And I'm probably forgetting quite a few.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
What did I do on my birthday??  I know I turned 24... lol!

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
Vintage, ruffles, thrift store finds.

What kept you sane?
Star Wars.  My favorite escape.  And more seriously, my heavenly Father who knows my every struggle and loves me unconditionally.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
This adorable and handsome gentleman, Tom Hiddleston...

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Well, if what happened on October 1st hadn't happened, that would have made my year completely fantastic, that's for sure!

What political issue stirred you the most?
The imprisonment of Pastor Saeed Abedini.

Who did you miss?
Many more than the others.

Who was the best new person you met?
Winnie and the Delallo sisters!

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
To let go of my own desires and will, and let God work in my life.
And, to be kind to everyone.  You never know when a smile is hiding a broken heart.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
In Christ alone, my hope is found.
He is my light, my strength, my song.

Five personally significant events of 2013:
Lambing season, Sandpoint contra dances, the contra dance at our house, the Newport Bluegress Festival, and VBS at church.

Five things I want to do in 2014:
Get a job, continue to build my sheep business, dance more, travel more, and live more.

Five people I’d like to know better in 2014:
Gosh, I don't know!  I'd like to know all of my friends better and meet more of my bloggy friends.

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And there it is, my year in review.  
I am looking forward to discovering what 2014 holds for me and those I love.  It's going to be a great year...

Have a Happy and Blessed New Year, everyone!!

What was your year like?  Happy?  Sad?  I want to know!

December 30, 2013

Christmas Twenty Thirteen // One King // Vlog no. 8

Rule One: The Doctor lies.

As do least in this case.  Because I have one more Christmas post to share.  Rather, a vlog...

Amazingly enough, I've actually begun to feel more at ease singing in front of people.  Which is really good, because I do love singing.  Still working on calming my pre-performance nerves, but they're not nearly as bad as they used to be.  It does help when you're doing it to bless others and for the Lord, not for the applause...although, applause it nice, too. *smile*

How about you?  Do you enjoy singing or playing for others?  I want to know!

December 28, 2013

Christmas Twenty Thirteen // The Day

Here I sit, cuppa peppermint tea in hand, typing up my final Christmas 2013 post.  I still can't quite grasp that this year is almost gone.  It's been the happiest and also one of the hardest years of my life, and the Lord has blessed me throughout all of it.  But this isn't my years end post, this is my Christmas Day post...

I've had a beautiful Christmas this year.  Honestly, they just keep getting better as the years go by.

My Christmas began on Christmas Eve.  Still recovering from a bit of a cold I picked up somewhere, opening my dear friend Winnie's package - clearly marked "open December 24th" in red ink - was just what I needed to cheer me up. *smile*

beautiful handmade fingerless gloves + yummy Christmas goodies + tea = a warm and happy person

Later, my bro and I settled down on my bed to watch A Christmas Story while feasting on summer sausage, saltines, cheese, and chocolate.  It's tradition!  (Only I skipped the chocolate this year since I've been recovering from that cold.)  There is no other film which gives me the giddy feeling of being 10-years-old and joyously anticipating Christmas morning like A Christmas Story.  They so perfectly captured what it's like to be a kid, and it's contagious.  By the time we're finished, my bro and I are bouncing up and down on the bed...we're both over 21.  Still kids at heart. *grin*

Bonnie thought we were selfish, not to share our sausage with her. ;)

And then, before you know it, it's Christmas morning!  We opened presents with my mom and dad and then dad read us the account of Jesus' birth from Luke 2.   My daddy surprised me with a new lens for my camera (a 55-200 mm), and my bro gave me a Star Wars graphic tee shirt (I may or may not have sent him a link and told him to buy it for me;).  My dad gave my mom the entire dvd collection of Road to Avonlea, so we watched a few episodes while I peeled potatoes for our Christmas dinner.

After feeding the animals, I got to work on the rest of dinner.  Bro was in charge of cooking the ham and mashing the potatoes, while I put together candied yams and a pecan pie.  I had never made a pecan pie before, so it was experimental.  It ended up being cooked for too long, so it was more like candied pecan pie than an actual pie.  Well honestly, how do you tell when a pecan pie is golden brown??  Oh grandparents brought cheesecake, so it was all good. *wink*

The ill fated pie, before it was baked to a crisp.
Dinner was delicious, if I do say so myself...and I most certainly do. *smile*

And after dinner was over, and my grandparent's headed home, it was time to sit, relax, and watch more Road to Avonlea while the Christmas tree lights twinkled.

Merry Christmas!!
How was your day?  Did you spend it with family, friends, or both?  I want to know!

December 24, 2013

Christmas Twenty Thirteen // Formal Jazz

o u t f i t
grey shirt // thrifted {Hospice}
plum tank // thrifted {Hospice}
plum tulle skirt // Kellie Falconer Design
headband // made by me
pearl necklace // made by me
grey ribbon bow belt // just a length of ribbon
plum flower & ribbon brooch // made by me
silver nail polish // Essie

Yes, I LOVE my plum tulle skirt from Kellie's lovely Etsy shop!  I feel like I'm a little girl again, playing dress-up, only it's dress-up for grown-up ladies!  It makes a blissful swishing sound as I walk, only I don't feel like I'm walking.  I feel like I'm floating on a cloud.  

I wanted to have my bro take some photos with the snow in the background, but it was 2*F outside that day.  No thanks, I'll keep my coat and boots on, if you don't mind.  Jenny took these photos for me at the Ladies Christmas Brunch.

I also wore this ensemble to the Spokane Jazz Orchestra Christmas Concert later that evening...

The concert was FABULOUS!!  Far and above exceeding my expectations, which were high.  Well worth the 6 block walk from the car to the theater in 2*F weather while wearing dress shoes. *wink*  And the theater itself was beautiful, as you can see in the pictures.  Thanks to Kellie and Algy for the photos!

Our evening ended around 10:30 at Denny's, eating cheesy fries and hot fudge sundaes, with my bro entertaining the waitress with corny jokes.  The perfect way to end a perfect day, wouldn't you agree?

We are epic.  The end.

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Merry Christmas Eve!!
Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions that your family does every year?  I want to know!

December 20, 2013

Christmas Twenty Thirteen // Christmas Brunch

It's snowing outside.  Snow that looks like sifted powdered sugar, coating the ground with a frosty layer.  
Absolutely beautiful.

And I'm inside, warm and cozy, still in my pajama pants (some days, it's completely acceptable), typing away.  You see what I mean?  These are the days I love best.  The peace and quite.  Time to think and reflect.  Anyway...rambling a bit there.

Every year Grace Bible Church has a Christmas Ladies Brunch.  It's an elegant affair, with the three essentials - faith, friends, and food.  Am I right? *grin*

Dinah Raye did the decorating this year, with Laura, Rachel, and myself helping.
I think it looks just like a winter wonderland, don't you?

Jenny and I are totes adorbs.  Just sayin' it, 'cause it's true. *smile*

We played several word games, heard life stories from many inspiring ladies, sang Christmas carols, and, of course, ate the delicious food.

All of the serving was done by these guys...

And they did a wonderful job.  It was so nice not to have to help in the kitchen this time!

Thank you, guys!

I'll be sharing what I wore in an outfit post later.  But, as you can see, I did wear my Kellie Falconer Design tulle skirt...and I. love. it!

Up next, the outfit post and then the Spokane Jazz Orchestra Christmas concert!

Merry Christmas!

Does your church have a special Christmas event?  
Have you gone to any fabulous Christmas parties this year?  
I want to know!

December 19, 2013

Christmas Twenty Thirteen // Decorating {part two}

For as long as I can remember, this album by Mannheim Steamroller has been our official "Christmas tree decorating" music.  It really doesn't feel like Christmas till I've slipped the disc into the player and hit "play".  Isn't it amazing how simply hearing a favorite song can bring back so many memories of Christmas past?

I have to say, the "Christmas tree selecting" committee did a fabulous job this year!  We always cut down a tree from our property, it's usually a bit too big, and we have to trim it...literally.  But this year, it was like the small bear's bed and porridge from Goldilocks and the Three Bears - just right.

Decorating the tree with my's so very special, especially knowing that the years that we'll all be in the same house, living together as one family won't last forever.  I'm looking forward to having my own family someday, but in all honesty and sincerity, I'm going to miss living my folks.  I'm so happy right here, right now.

The train always goes around the tree.  Always.  It's tradition.

Rather predictably, Merlin finds the tree quite fascinating!

Only six days till Christmas! *confetti* *fanfare*  I am so excited!!

Merry Christmas!

How about you all?  What Christmas traditions does your family have?  I want to know!

December 17, 2013

Christmas Twenty Thirteen // Decorating {part one}

Our Christmas festivities began at Dinah Raye and Roger's house.  Basically, I feel like they're my aunt and uncle.  Besides seeing them at church, I generally stop by their house once a week for a visit on my way to the library.  Which is where I was this afternoon, actually. They live about 10 minutes or so away from me, which is terribly convenient.  We always have a wonderful visit and they make me laugh so much. *smile*  So this year my friend Laura, myself, and my bro got to help decorate their tree.  Happy happy happy! *grin* 

We thought this bell snowman was cute.
And we thought this sheep had an oddly shaped head.  What do you think?
It's Christmas tree Laura!  We were looking for burnt out bulbs, and this happened. ;)

Of course, all of that hard work made us hungry.  These mortal forms require sustenance!  Donuts and hot chocolate are always a good idea.  So let it be written, so let it be done.

"I'm in shock!  Look, I have a blanket!"  My bro claims the tulle kept him warm.  Jury's still out...
Somewhere along the way, we found it necessary to string this sock snowman up with a string of lights...

We fit every single ornament they had on that tree.  What do you think?  Did we overdo it a bit?

Merry Christmas!