Wednesday, December 26, 2007


If I had my way, it would be Christmas every day of the year.
The constant reminder that we are the receiver's of God's gift.
The idea that we should "follow the star".
The "newness" of the day.
All of these things are what make Christmas special to me. As I've grown older, I've had to accept that it is no longer about the presents. That giddiness of being a child and waiting to see what Santa has brought is gone. Now it is about experiencing God's love. I'm the receiver of His gift everyday, but I'm most reminded of it at Christmas time.

I hear the bells on Christmas day. I need to listen to them everyday. This is why, if I had it my way, it would be Christmas everyday.
For that reason and simply because I love the colors. I love the decorations that adorn the house. Reflecting on that, it is this time of year that makes these things special. If I left them out to rejoice in Christ's birth everyday, would they lose their special meaning?

Maybe next year I'll fill every room with Christmas items, to remind me of the importance of the season. For now, sadly, it is over. It is time to clean up the pine needles and put the ornaments and decorations back in the attic. Where they will lie peacefully until next year. Until then, I need to remember my gift. Everyone is a receiver of the best gift of all.


Saturday, December 22, 2007

Saturday, the 15th

The Party

There were over thirty friends and family that braved the snow storm to come celebrate. The theme was White Winter Birthday Bash. Heather O. created Wally, seen here, the marshmallow snowman.

We had a white chocolate fountain which was delightful!

We also had white cheese, it was yummy!

Dave, Greg and I are enjoying a toast! I have white wine, of course!

Here is Bill, cutting the cheese. That joke got a lot of laughs.

There were also many, many cheesey pictures!

Rachael, Mike, and the birthday girl!

I'm taking a moment to ponder my twenties... not really. I'm just posing for the picture.

Sami and I get a good picture.

Jenny, John and I. All in white. What a happy family! Hey, we survived the cruise together, we're closer then family!

Sami, Heather O. and I. This was the third try. Sami took video of the singing and me blowing out the candles. I was trying to take this picture on the video setting... We were pretty giggly.

The cake, which did not burn down the house, was chocolate with butter cream frosting!

Perhaps the most memorable moment for everyone, was when there was a knock at the door. It was around 10pm, so I was excited that people were still showing up! When I threw open the door, there was Eddie.

In a very surprised state, I screamed, "OH MY GOD EDDIE!!!!" We haven't seen him since we lived in Savannah, five years ago! I was so surprised, I started laughing and crying. I had screamed so loud that it had echoed down the street. I am honestly surprised that the cops didn't show up!

This had to be the look on my face!

I had such a great time! It was so much fun to spend the evening with everyone! I even turned on the karaoke, and we sang, loudly and off key to "Sail Away". I will spare you the video. It did not turn out so well...

And that was the best party I've ever had!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

That big day! Emily turns 30!

I know, you've all been waiting to hear about my birthday. Because I haven't talked about it enough for the past year. I made a list of 30 things to do (the idea came from my friend Shannon, who turned 30 in August). Here are some of the things...

A countdown down at midnight with a toast to my 30's (it was a raspberry sparkle-tini)

I popped popcorn and strung it and hung it on the tree.

This is bright and early (around 9am) after the flower delivery man brought me my 30 flower bouquet. Yes, I answered the door in my tiara (another thing) and my pajamas. I think he got a good chuckle out of that. I received another bouquet later (purple roses & carnations from Tammy) in the day, and yet another on Saturday (2 doz. white roses from Heather W.)!

I opened all my birthday cards on my birthday. I usually open them as they come in, this year I waited! It was not easy to wait...

I am eating peppermint ice cream, yet another thing checked off the list.

We took over thirty pictures on my birthday (another item on the list), but most of them are the same thing, they would make a good flip book.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

365th day (+ ten years)

My last happy un-birthday of my twenties. You know, from Alice in Wonderland. I'm still not ready to turn thirty. I'm trying to figure out what I did in my twenties.

Ten years ago, I had just gotten my retainer put on. Last Tuesday, it came off. I had my wisdom teeth taken out (only fifteen months ago).

I've grown my hair out and chopped it off at least three times, only this last time I donated it.

Ten years ago, I was in my second year of college. I was a Resident Assistant for a year and a half. I was a camp counselor.

I graduated from college with my B.F.A. in Historic Preservation and Architectural History.

I got married.

I've gone to Las Vegas five times.

I've had several different addresses (especially if you count all the ones from college) but I've lived in four different states and six different cities. In all those moves, we only lost one box of stuff.

I've been to St. Louis, Kansas City (both Kansas and Missouri), New York City, Chicago, Orlando, Pensacola, Atlanta, St. Augustine, Charleston, Cincinnati, Detroit, Windsor, Frankenmuth, L. A., Philadelphia, Hoboken, Cape May, Indianapolis, Trenton, Savannah, Grand Rapids, Traverse City, Cadillac, Mackinac Island, Holland and the upper Peninsula.

I've been on a Mediterranean cruise and to Germany. I've been white water rafting. I've been to the Crayola factory. I've been to the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Central Park and Harold's Square. I've been to the High Museum (in Atlanta), the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, every single museum in Savannah (honest -we took a lot of field trips in college), the Children's Museum in Indianapolis, the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, the Detroit Institute of Arts, EPCOT, the Biltmore, the Birmingham Historical Museum (Michigan), the Henry Ford Museum, Edsel & Eleanor's house, Henry Ford's house, the Meyer May House and Meijer Gardens. I was an intern at Conner Prairie (a living museum in Indiana). I've been to de Yooper Tourist Trap.

I saw The Lion King, Wicked and Spamalot on Broadway. I saw the red carpet movie premiere for Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and shook Kevin Spacey's hand.

I've been in three weddings, and attended seven others, plus my own.

I did not go to my ten year high school reunion (I was at one of the weddings).

I've worked at Bath & Body Works, two different Hallmark stores (one was for my mom). I've done antique furniture restoration. I've served two years on the Historic Preservation Commission. I was a docent (tour guide) at the Andrew Low House. I was a Partylite Consultant.

I've taught Sunday school in three different churches. I've been a member of four UM churches.

I've thrown or was a part of seven surprise parties.

I've seen Jars of Clay, Needtobreathe, David Crowder Band, Sunday Drive, Jaci Velasquez, Lilith Fair, Norah Jones, Boston, and I know I've forgotten a few other concerts...

My 21st birthday was on a Sunday. My parents took me to Chili's where I celebrated with an Amaretto Sour. I've been to eight wineries.

My favorite television shows have been: Animaniacs, Friends, ER, Gilmore Girls, the West Wing, Ed, CSI, Heroes, Survivor, Scrubs, This Old House, Trading Spaces, Every Day Italian, Emeril Live!

I've painted the entire exterior of a house. I've painted three of the bathrooms, when Bill worked for Boat U.S. I painted Ann Curry's kitchen (Ann was our pastor's wife in Savannah, not the one on the Today Show) and her dark room. I helped paint the bathroom at FUMC GR. I painted every room in our house in Toms River. I painted three Noah's Ark murals. I painted my mom's kitchen. I helped Jenny paint her mom's living room. I climbed a ladder and defied falling and painted the stairwell in FUMC Marquette. I have not painted anything in this house!

I've been a bee, little Red Riding Hood, an angel, a hippie and a greek goddess.

I've only cooked one entire Thanksgiving dinner.

We've had a New Year's Eve party, two Halloween parties, two Memorial Day gatherings, a Super Bowl Party (actually two, but last year's we won't count because of snow).

I've sent over eight hundred Christmas cards!

I realize now, that in ten years, I've done a lot! There is so much more. Some things are pretty terrible, others are happy and memorable. But for now, I think that's a good start.

Here's to the next ten years!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

We interupt this program....

To share pictures of an important event!

Here I am, hanging an ornament on the tree... You may notice the length of my hair...

My bff Heather O. came with me to the salon. Time for a cut. Here's Heather the stylist, measuring my hair.

After it's washed, she piles it up on my head so I can walk from the sink to the chair without dripping all down my back. But I stopped for the photo op, so I still dripped.

Pippi Longstocking! Look how long it is!!

Heather has carefully measured out two ponytails at 11" each. Here she is hacking away at the second one. Her scissors were way too small to handle such a big job!

Here are my two "rat tails" ready to send to Locks of Love! I think they will go a long way. The weight of them, holy moly, they were heavy. Everyone was coming over to pick them up. No one could believe I was walking around with that much hair on my head! Well, I was.

Here's the new cut! Three years and I can do it again! Thanks for sharing this with me.

I've been talking about this for a few years. If you know someone who can donate their hair, check out this website...

Good bye long hair!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Day 2 - Villefranche, France part 1

We woke up Tuesday morning and looked out of our window, and we saw land! There was the coast of France. We watched from our window for a little while, then we decided to go up on the deck and look around from up there. After we ate breakfast, we headed for our assigned meeting place to go on our first excursion, "Nice & Monaco on Your Own".

We were tendered into the Villefranche port. From there we got on a bus which took us over to Nice. We did have a guide, Stephanie, who told us facts about the area. When we got off the bus in Nice, she told us what time to meet her back at the bus, and about the little market that was open until 1pm. There were flowers upon flowers and plants at one end. The flowers gave way to gifts, souvenirs and finally food. The market was about four blocks long. Bill and I walked up and down twice. We stopped and bought postcards, and then decided we were hungry. Should we buy something to eat from the market, or try a cafe?

We decided to try something from the market. We saw these things, and thought they looked great! We bought one avec jambon et frommage (with ham & cheese). My french wasn't too great, but I managed to place our order. This thing was tasty. (We never found out what it is exactly. Think pizza dough, with holes likes a pretzel, but not twisted like a pretzel. It tasted more like a french bread pizza, with the ham and cheese sprinkled and baked on top!) Plus it was huge! Bill bought a bag of fresh picked olives which even I enjoyed! Olives in Europe do NOT compare to olives here.

We walked around Nice. We walked over to a square with a fountain. I ordered two coca colas. We walked through a park where there was a carousel. We walked along les Avenues D'Americannes (the American Avenue) which is along the Sea. It was sunny and blue over the water. Then we walked back over through some shops and it was time to go!

The bus took us over to Monaco which was only about a 45 minute drive from Nice. (Villefranche lies between the two) Here is a picture from the bus looking out from the middle road. There are three roads that run from Nice to Monaco. We took the low road to Nice, and the middle road to and from Monaco. We did not take the high road.