Suzanne's Second Estate

A web log of my thoughts, activities, life....

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Have Yourself a Snowy Little Christmas, Part 3

On Christmas Eve, it snowed all day. Mom and I baked about a bazillion cookies. And Matt continued to check in with the weather report from Clatskanie. Because he's a pastor, he and the fam were planning to stick around town for their church's Christmas Eve service, have Christmas as a family in the morning and then drive up to see us in the afternoon.

However, as Mom began making Christmas Eve dinner, we received a call from Matt, informing us that their power had gone out and the Christmas Eve service had been canceled, so they were heading up immediately. They arrived around 8 p.m., just in time for Christmas dinner.

Something I should note here is that we had an "incident" with the coffee pot. Earlier in the day, Mom had forgotten to put the lid on the carafe, which evidently is a serious offense, and the coffee pot refused to work normally after that. I snapped this shot of Mom and Dad trying to figure it out. When Matt arrived, he couldn't figure out what was wrong, so he and dad headed out into the snow in search of a new coffee pot (we Hadley's love our coffee). Unfortunately, nothing was open. And, so, with renewed determination, Matt set to work again and soon discovered the problem (a clogged tube) and fixed the coffee pot. Hooray! From then on a I referred to it as the coffee pot that nearly stole Christmas.

Before bed we had a nice little Christmas Eve service. I was so thankful Matt, Anna and the boys got to come early. That made Christmas morning extra special.

Have Yourself a Snowy Little Christmas, Part 2

On December 23 my brother, Matt, text messaged me most of the day. "It's not looking good." "No Frontier flights have gone out." "They're not letting planes land." And so with trepidation I headed up to the Denver airport anyway that evening. Toby gave me a ride (after I promised him we'd sing "Carol of the Bells" repeatedly and in various keys) and was nice enough to stick around the airport for awhile after I went through security, just in case my flight was canceled.

But it wasn't.

I happened to be on the only Frontier flight to make it into Portland that day. We had no difficulties, and Matt picked me up in Portland with the help of his Suburban and chains. As we walked through the airport, sad, would-be travelers lay in all corners, trying to get comfortable on their luggage. "Don't smile," I whispered to Matt. I didn't want to make them feel any worse. With my 11:30 p.m. arrival, we didn't get back to Matt's house until 1:30 a.m.

Have Yourself a Snowy Little Christmas, Part 1

The week before I was set to fly into the Northwest, Washington and Oregon got pummeled with snow. I love this picture of Mom shoveling.

About 18 inches fell in Olympia, making my parents' house look ready for Christmas.

The snow provided an optimal backdrop for the Christmas tree! However, for as beautiful as the snow was, it caused major problems at both the Seattle and Portland airports. To be continued...

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It's My New...Favorite Verse

First let me explain the title. This Christmas my 3-year-old nephew Ben really enjoyed opening all his presents. The cutest part was that as he tore the paper on each one, before he could even see the contents, he would say (exclaim, shout): "IT'S MY NEW..." My new drums. My new race car. My new toothbrush. (Yes, that is an actual example; my sister-in-law is such a good mom.)

Anyway, I was reading in the Psalms a few days ago and came across this passage. IT'S MY NEW favorite verse. Enjoy.

Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. —Psalm 16:5-6

Monday, December 29, 2008

A Smilebox Christmas

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, my blog readers! Many of you may have received my Christmas card slideshow by e-mail. If not, please take a look. Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Vessel of Honor on Boundless

I couldn't believe what was happening.

The shuttle driver was prophesying. Not just praying with gusto, as I had seen him do in the past, but full out prophesying. What had begun as a simple prayer for the children in the Sunday school class I teach had become a very personal word from God to me.

I'd had half a dozen spiritual conversations with Tony, the 50-something shuttle driver at my local mechanic shop, and he'd prayed for me before. But this day was different. Without knowing my personal history, Tony proclaimed:

"Thank you, Lord, for preserving her. Thank you for preserving her purity. You have set her aside for a purpose. She is a vessel of honor."

Read more....

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Today I Recommend....

That you go to the Daily Durias and read about eight posts. It will make your day happier.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Compliments to the Dentist

This morning I went to the dentist for my six-month cleaning. Yesterday when I was telling people the reason I would be out of the office for a few hours, everyone said, "Oh. I'm sorry."

It's true that a dental appointment isn't the most savored of engagements. I mean, depending upon who you are, it probably ranks up there with getting an oil change, cleaning toilets or running naked into an icy lake on New Years Day.

But my dental experience was different. For you see, my appointment doubled as a self-esteem booster. The moment I entered the office the receptionist said, "Hey there, Cutie." After that, I was referred to as "Darlin'," "Sweetie," "Beautiful," and, my personal favorite, "Miss America."

Now I'm sure you have an image of this complimentary person in your mind. But the thing is, she is so sincere that I really walked out of there practically waving a hand and visualizing my tiara. Seriously. I felt so built up.

Compliments are a wonderful, powerful thing. So don't be stingy with them! They can even make a trip to the dentist a pleasure. (BTW, no cavities!)

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Horsey Bunch

I thought some of you would like to see my improv troupe's new poster. I think it's rather clever. If you're in the area, come to our next show on January 3!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Celebrating the Roomie

Last night my housemate and I went out to the Steaksmith to celebrate the straight A's she earned this semester. We enjoyed some delicious steaks and holiday cheer. I can't believe we've lived together for two and a half years. I love this girl!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

A Carpool Christmas

OK, so about a year ago I started a Facebook group for 20- and 30-somethings who attend my church. At a friend's suggestion I named it "Carpool." For over a year, the group had about 12 members. The intention was to get together and do stuff, but we never did.

Abe and Grace. Grace was our Clubhouse intern back in 2000. Now she and her husband attend my church!

Then last month, we all met up after church one day for lunch. Brandy made delicious chili, and it was a good time. I discovered that people were confused about the name of the group — Carpool. Some thought it was actually a group for organizing carpools to church. After that confusion was cleared up, the number of members shot to 21!

My friend Melissa helped me clean the house for the party!

Today I hosted a Christmas party at my house. Everyone brought yummy Christmas goodness (including Dan's "evil" chocolate pudding dessert), and we watched "Elf." I had a great time getting to know other young adults (single and married) who attend my church.

Something I love about the Gathering is that it is multi-generational and everyone is very service and outreach oriented. Among those who came today were four Sunday school teachers, a tech guy, our church secretary and a drama team member. I think that's cool. But because we're all serving, we're sometimes ships passing in the night when it comes to church. That was the best thing about today — gaining encouragement from our peers. If you're lacking community at your church, just start a "carpool."

Next event: bowling!

Dan: Tech guru and dessert-maker extraordinaire.

Brad and Kate talk art and Hallmark movies.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Relationship Advice From a 9-Year-Old

Nine-year-old Alec Grevin gives advice on how to talk to girls.

This is worth watching. :)

Monday, December 01, 2008

Something to Be Thankful For