Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Day My Dog Ate My Gingerbread Grandfather

It all started out as a very pleasant morning.
Rolls were baking.
Smoothies were smoothing...ermmm blending. 
Mom and Maddy were talking. 
All was well, as it should be.

Then the world of Maddy and gingerbreads everywhere was shattered. 

I looked up and saw a broken man.

{somehow my sister's gorgeous creation went untouched}

The culprit was this fella.

I mean he is just the cutest thing. 
But not when he smells noticeably of ginger. 
He knew he was busted too...
after "sending him to his room"
as my mom says, 
she and I could not stop laughing. 

But I really did feel a hint of sadness for this little guy. 
He almost looks as if he's crying. 

I promise I'm not totally and completely obsessed with gingerbread men (or grandfathers).
This was just so great. 

Also, this week has involved the viewing
of several episodes of 
The Dick Van Dyke Show. 
It's one of my favorite tv shows ever. 
All five seasons are on Hulu right now. 

{happy Maddy}

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Breaking Down Christmas Break

The last few days have finally felt like I am truly on a break from school. 
What a beautiful experience it is to have rest! 

Yesterday, due to the good fortune of delayed airplane flights, 
I was blessed to spend an entire afternoon 
with my dear friend, and my Resident Assistant at school, Ruth. 

{this is what it looked like, with tea and yummy soup to sprinkle it with some flava flave}

It was a pure 
to hear how her heart is being 
as she has experienced the greater extent of her 
throughout this semester. 
How grateful I am to know a woman like her!


Today was a day for catching up and traditions. 
I snegged lunch and some time in one of my favorite
hometown spots with an old friend.
{looking out on my city, so lovely}

 Sean has been such a good friend my whole life. 
We realized today that we literally went to school
together from preschool until high school graduation.
He's the only one I've had that with.
What a joy to have such consistency in my life. 


Tonight was an evening of family
One of my favorite Christmas rituals each year.
An evening pre-Christmas spent
with some dear family friends.
They are such wonderful people.

We always consume copious amounts of
 bread rolls, soup and sparkling apple cider.
White Elephant gifts are exchanged. 
And Bingo is played to a mad happy extent. 

Christmas seems to be a time when 
doesn't just mean you have to be related. 

When we got back, my mom had 
pre-Christmas gifts
 for me and my sibbas to open.

*GIANT* Gingerbread Men!!!

{mine had weird bumpies on it's face, all gb men are different}

We cranked up the Christmas music 
and channeled our inner-cookie-decorating skills. 

I decided to make mine into a gingerbread grandfather
Gb's age too, ya know? 
I started with his heart and then made eyebrows
And suspenders
Those are the things that matter you know? 
Oh and his left arm is in a cast. 
He fell whilst playing Christmas bocce ball in the snow. 


It has been a thoroughly joy-filled week. 
I am grateful for each moment...
the tastes...
the smells...
the images...
the people...
and the hugs, always the hugs. 

{grateful and ever so blessed is this Maddy in this pre-Christmas time}

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Sandy Christmas

This week has been a sicky week. 
Bleh. Mrrr. Mehak. Gah. 
Luckily, though, the cloud o' disease didn't
set in until my finals were finished. 
I came home quick as a whip and slept.
And slept.
And slept.
And slept, even as I was sleeping.

Yesterday was my first day back in the real world. 
The morning started off with some
mad Christmas shopping with my mom. 
So wonderful. 

I think I realized for the 
first time
that Christmas shopping is not supposed 
to be a hassle. 

It's such a JOY to be able to spend time 
(with my amazing mother)
looking for special and personal objects
to bring a smile to the face of someone I love. 

I bet the wise men were stoked out of their
freaking purple-y royal robes
to bring their gifts to sweet Jesus. 
I want to be a joyful-gift-giver too!


Last night I was able to catch up with
 my sweet Hilly-friend. 
Our goal for the evening 
{we tend to have goals for our adventures, see here}
was something "Christmas-y".

We drove towards San Pedro 
over the bridges 
{love bridges}
across the harbor and up around the hill, 
past the Korean friendship bell
and the lighthouse.
These sights were accompanied by an overflow
of words
and laughs
and all around giddiness.

And then we had to stop and turn around.
Stupid construction.
On our drive to a coffee shop back around home, 
I spotted a Christmas tree lot on PCH. 

We pulled in and parked.
The moment I opened the door 
and breathed the first outdoor breath,
I knew I was really home. 

{love this lady}

My nose revelled in the smell.
It was Christmas-tree-meets-ocean.
Saltypine if you will.
The smell of a SoCal Christmas.

Growing up in Southern California 
was often confusing for me. 
Surfing the week before Christmas
is normal.
The ocean makes me feel at home.

Hilly and I walked through the trees,
aisle after aisle of sweet green, 
pretending we were in a forest. 

My nose nearly started weeping 
at the glory of it all. 
The salty breeze-laced greenness overwhelmed me. 
It was beautiful. 

Then we went to the beach
and ate ice cream
on the pier
as the waves crashed 
underneath us. 

Christmas involves all the senses.
Last night, 
my nose welcomed the season.


Thursday, December 8, 2011


Tomorrow morning at 10 am I will have the 
 final of my semester. 
As Christ is the smartest man ever alive, 
I finished out my study sesh with some prayer and Jesus time. 

As I ventured into the Bible and the devotional that I'm currently working my way through, 
the word love kept SCREAMING its happy face at me. 

First it was a quote: 

"If what we call love doesn't take us beyond ourselves,
it is not really love.
If we have the idea that love is characterized as cautious, wise, sensible, 
shrewd, and never taken to extremes, we have missed the true meaning." 
-Oswald Chambers
Then, it was 1 John 4:16: 

"So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. 
God is love
and whoever abides in love avides in God, and God abides in him.

Then I had a thought.
Nothing profound, just a snatch of a thought really:

God is love. 

So when I tell someone 
"I love you"
it reflects a valuable duty. 

I am telling him or her that I am committing to reflecting
God's love in that relationship.
Through the actions in my life 
and my words. 

Love seems to take risks. 
But it must recognize the true reason that it is taking those risks. 
Love is big. 
God is love.