Monday, December 26th, 2011
Friday, December 23rd, 2011
We’re at my parents’ house for Christmas. I grew up in this house, so it evokes lots of memories of Christmas traditions. My mom used to have a candy bowl each year stocked with Hershey’s kisses and Rolo. We would play music from Mannheim Steamroller, Julie Andrews, Evie, and Glad while we made sweet potato delight, ambrosia, cookies and pecan pie. I usually received Turtles and film (how antiquated!) in my stocking.
What are some of your favorite traditions, past or present?
Wednesday, November 30th, 2011
Today is my Daddy’s birthday. I have to thank him for being okay with the fact that I was born the day before his birthday, thereby overshadowing his birthday forever.
I am thankful for all the ways he has taught me, challenged me, and loved my mother and me. For all those op-eds he read to me as I grew up, blinking sleepily across the breakfast table (I know, that explains a lot, doesn’t it?). He is a big dreamer, a plot-hatcher, a wild innovator. Happy birthday, Daddy!
Saturday, November 26th, 2011
I am totally cheating and being thankful again for my nephews (ages 9 and 1). I am so blessed to have married into a family with lots of siblings so that I can be an aunt! It’s a very cool relationship.
Friday, November 25th, 2011
What is it that makes competition so fun and enlivening? My husband’s family is very competitive, and whenever we get together, we play lots of games. From ping-pong to poker, Jenga to Jeopardy, everyone wants to win – and that makes it lots of fun. (It also helps that I’m much better at losing than I was when I was a kid.)
Saturday, November 12th, 2011
We had a mild weather day today and took advantage of it by playing minigolf! My parents are serious forces when it comes to minigolf, and my husband and I are very competitive. It was really fun to have that opportunity!
Monday, October 31st, 2011
Today is our second wedding anniversary. (Yes, we got married on Halloween – also Reformation Day! – but not because of the date.)
In college, my girlfriends and I made a whimsical list of Top 5 Reasons to Get Married. I can’t remember them all, but I do remember that two of them were bugs and jars. After two years of marriage, I still kill bugs myself when necessary, but I don’t hesitate to ask my husband for help opening the tough jars.
In honor of this day, I’ll offer 5 Things I’m Thankful for About Marriage:
5. I gained more family.
4. My new last name is tremendously easier to spell over the phone. (I went from Menefee >> Payne.)
3. My husband allows – nay, demands! – that we keep Cocoa Krispies on hand at all times.
2. God and my husband haven’t let me stay the same.
1. I get to hang out with this guy.
Saturday, October 22nd, 2011
I just came back from a vacation. But today I took some time to be a tourist in my own town. I live in a vacation destination, yet rarely visit any of the attractions because I’m just driving to and from work and doing all those regular-life things.
Having company is a great excuse to put aside chores and do something touristy on the weekend. We visited Arlington National Cemetery today for the first time with my brother-in-law and his wife. He is in the Navy and has served several tours of duty, including in Iraq. It was a profound blessing to be able to visit Arlington with him and thank God that he is home safely. We watched the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and visited Arlington House, the home of Robert E. Lee.
Friday, October 21st, 2011
I’ve had the opportunity to share some fun stories lately. I just told a co-worker the story of meeting my husband and our first couple of dates. While on vacation, I told my husband a bunch of stories about traveling with college friends during my semester abroad.
Stirring and reliving these fond memories gave me a renewed appreciation for those times and warm fuzzies about the people involved.
(Musical note: I’m obsessed with applying the new Switchfoot song “Souvenirs” to my college travels right now.)
Saturday, September 3rd, 2011
Places take on familiarity and sentimental value with repeated visits. I once dated a guy who declared after one visit to a certain restaurant that that should be “our place.” I remember thinking, “Um… I don’t think it works that way.” “Our place” should happen organically.
My husband and I have several restaurants that we frequent, but one in particular is for special occasions and holds extra value because we discovered it on our honeymoon. We decided to make today a special occasion for no reason – just to go and enjoy dinner there together.