Merry Christmas everyone! May you have a joyous and happy day with those you love
I was thinking today about our first Christmas together, six years ago when we had just started dating. We each spent the holiday with our families, but after Christmas I flew to San Antonio to spend some time with Dwyatt and meet his family!
While we were there Dwyatt took me out on a date to the San Antonio Riverwalk, which was still all lit up for Christmas! Talk about magical! We strolled along the canal, listened to an outdoor band, and ate dinner somewhere I don’t even remember. What I do remember? That night a small part of my heart fell even more in love with the wonderful man by my side.
Wow, time flies!
You know? As much as I love Christmas… I’m tired of it being dark all the time. It’s dark when I drive to work, dark when I leave work, and dark when I get home. Today is the shortest day of the year, and do you realize that between today, December 21st, and the longest day which is June 21st, we loose over 4.5 hours of sunshine?!?! Isn’t that crazy?
On a positive note, I guess all the darkness is a good thing or else we wouldn’t have as much time to enjoy those beautiful Christmas lights I was oohing and awing over yesterday…
But seriously… as soon as Christmas is over, I’ll be ready for summer…
I had to share a quick snapshot of our house this year… Dwyatt did a wonderful job and I’m ashamed to say that this year I didn’t even help! However, I was fighting the crowds at the mall while he hung lights, so I think we’re even
Also, this year they’re all set up on timers, so when we come home from work the lights are already on! Makes me smile every evening when we drive up.
I love when the world is aglow with Christmas lights… one of the magical things about this season!
Dear Mr. Winter Storm,
While I’m extremely excited that you are dropping some snow for me in Colorado this week, hopefully ensuring that I get to see my true Rocky Mountain white Christmas, I ask that you please not interfere with my travel plans on Friday. You see… I-70 which I must drive down for over 6 hours runs right through this the purple part of this map… not good!
Any chance you can re-route and drop some extra snow on the mountains? A good 12″ of additional snow before I go skiing next week would be fabulous!
Recently I’ve been struggling with the number one question most people ask… What is my purpose? How am I to use my talents to further the kingdom of the Lord? It seems I can see others purpose so easily at times, like all the wonderful women I know who are nurses… they bring such healing and care to the world that it’s easy to see they are literally God’s hands at work. Others faithfully endure hardship and show us all strength. Some are missionaries and risk their lives to share the gospel with people around the world…there are so many examples of people living lives of purpose…
But me? I’m an engineer… I don’t heal anyone and I so far have not experienced great hardship. I even struggle to share my faith at times, though I’m learning to get better. So what do I have to offer? So far, God has blessed me with a life full of wonderful things, loving relationships, and daily joy. Why me? I certainly don’t deserve it… I have messed up in countless ways and fall far short of the glory of God. However, despite that I have found that if I am willing to take the steps, and work hard for something, God has faithfully fulfilled all my dreams and blessed me far beyond I deserve. I expressed some of these thoughts to a fellow blogger who has a powerful story and online ministry. (you can visit here!) He replied to my comment with some words that struck me deeply. More deeply than I thought a blog comment ever could! Among other things, he said:
You beautiful child…. Your blog is so beautiful, and so blessed. You are a beacon into the night. Your life is blessed, not because your life is about overcoming; but about hope and joy. Right now your life is a message of such simple beauty… an example of God’s grace personified in the flesh.
Really? Could that be me? How come I get the amazing opportunity to have my purpose be personifying hope and joy? Maybe it’s my perspective on life and the fact that I find it natural to look for the beauty and goodness in all things. Ask my husband… I’m a hopeless optimist!
I have been rolling these words around in my mind for a week or so, and I’ve decided that it’s not just me that has this purpose. It’s all of us… during the good times in our lives it’s our purpose to live joyously and to share with others the redeeming power of God’s grace.
I hope that no one reads this and thinks that I’m trying to brag in any way… quite the contrary… I think that to fulfill this purpose of hope and joy you must constantly point back to your Creator. Nothing I have is mine, and I’m learning to hold onto everything I have with an open hand. I’m sure that one day I’ll face hardship and then, in those moments, my purpose will shift to be one of showing strength or endurance. However, until those days come I want to live as a beacon of light in this world, living fully, living joyfully, living humbly, and always always using my life to point to my Lord and my King, Jesus Christ.
So, I guess my point is this: if you are happy and life is good, enjoy it. Rejoice over it, and thank God for it. Enjoy the blessings and the good things in life, rather than worry and wonder why they were given to you. God wants us to be happy, and I have to believe that anyone living richly, humbly, and for His glory puts a smile on God’s face. :)
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:14-16
Yesterday some of my girlfriends and I got together for our annual Christmas cookie baking day! We went through more butter and sugar than I care to think about and ended up each bringing home around 6 dozen cookies, but it was so much fun
This was our 3rd year to do this so it’s turning into a little tradition. It’s funny how things are changing though. One of our friends wasn’t there because she is having a baby soon, and another friend brought her adorable 3-year-old daughter to help us. So odd to have friends starting to have children. They are a blessing straight from Heaven, and it’s so much fun to incorporate them into our traditions! Yesterday my little helper was in charge of separating M&M’s for the Rudolph noses, and them placing them on the cookies when the came out of the oven.
The final result:
I think they are adorable! First recipe that I found and actually made off of Pintrest (follow me @CaitMariePhoto if you like!) Anyway, I hope that everyone has a great start to the this week.
Two weeks until Christmas!
Look! Posts two days in a row… wow!
Ha ha, ok well for those of you who don’t know, I love the Christmas season. Love it. As a follower of Christ I love the fact that during this time of year it seems to me that the whole world is celebrating the Advent of His birth and the anticipation of Him coming again! I realize there are plenty of people out there who do not celebrate Christmas the way I do, but it just puts such joy in my heart that I find myself overflowing with excitement and love.
So, last weekend it was finally time to go buy a Christmas tree! This is one of my favorite annual Christmas traditions, because we buy a real tree every year. We typically just go to the Lowe’s by our house, but to me it’s still a special outing. Dwyatt looked at me kind of funny when he saw that I was bringing along “the big camera” to capture this little event, but I just wanted a few photos to remember the evening by. We typically make a whole evening of it: buying the tree, bringing it home, opening a bottle of wine, blasting Christmas music, and decorating the whole house! Such fun!
Lowe’s had a lot of trees this year! Oh so many to choose from!
Dwyatt liked this one…
Dwyatt measured to see if it was about the right height… it was so we brought it home!
Next we donned our Christmas hats and pulled out all the Christmas boxes!
This is Weston’s first Christmas… he was excited, confused, and overall not very helpful…
I also got to set up my new Willow Tree manger scene this year, I love it! (And yes, that is me in my santa hat setting it up…)
Finally the tree was finished! So beautiful And covered in so many ornaments that all have special meanings to us.
This one of my favorites… I gave it to Dwyatt while we were still dating. This is what you get when two engineers decorate a Christmas tree.
I’ll be back soon! Tonight is our company Christmas party so I’ll be sure to take some pictures of that!
For Thanksgiving this year we traveled to Conroe to visit Dwyatt’s side of the family. On Thursday we were up early and so eager to start cooking that we had the whole meal ready by noon! So, we ate until we were completely stuffed with all the usual fixings… and then settled in for a long afternoon of football, followed by a nice long walk around the neighborhood with a glass of wine in hand.
I love that at Thanksgiving in Texas you can still get away with just a light sweater and it still feels like fall. So nice
On Friday we braved the crazy black Friday shopping mall hysteria. However, I’m ashamed to admit that I pretty much just bought stuff for Dwyatt for Christmas… they were having amazing sales! Oh & I found my Christmas dress which I will be wearing tomorrow night! I found it at Banana Republic and with all the Black Friday discounts I got a $250 dress for $40. How could I pass this up? It’s super sparkley and I can’t wait to wear it tomorrow for the Devon Christmas Party! See:
We also made sure to take some family photos while we were there to remember all the good times of having everyone together. First: Dwyatt, me, his brother Devin, and Mom.
However – this is how the boys acted when they weren’t forced to smile for a camera:
The whole group! I love family
Well, happy Friday everyone and I’ll try to catch up some more this weekend. Especially now that finals are over for the semester! Yay!
So, I am officially behind on blogging… again… I won’t give you the same old excuse about how busy I’ve been (even though that would be true) because life is always busy!
Lets start with the rest of our weekend to Hermann! On Saturday we drank more wine… does this surprise anyone? Ha ha, probably not! We also ate so much cheese that I think I ate a full months supply of dairy. It was fabulous, but ugh, I was so tired of cheese! Oh and when we got to the wedding… guess what they had for appetizers? You guessed it, cheese & crackers.
Well, here are some more pics of the weekend… like I said we had too much fun!
Gorgeous wedding and beautiful couple
The grooms cake was an oil rig! So cute
Yes, that would be my husband with the bride, wearing a fireman’s hat, singing his heart out on a plastic microphone… Life is never dull
Ok, up next… catch up from Thanksgiving & decorating for Christmas!