Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Baron Family Christmas

For the first time ever I experienced the Baron Family Christmas! (There have been a lot of firsts this year and will continue to be, I'm sure...)

The morning was lovely. Any day that Landon and I get to sleep in together is. However, these are few and far between. Opposite schedules make it impossible during the week, and typically on the weekends we are doing something adventurous on Saturday and then church on Sunday. And I am a sleeper. I take pride in my ability to take long naps, and I am a self-proclaimed bed lover, and make no apologies for it. If ever the day comes that we have kids, this may become a problem. But for now, I revel in it... I woke up later than Landon and when I went to the living room to see what he was up to he was perched in the mustard puke yellow St Vincent De Paul chair, with his headphones on and the computer on his lap. I asked what he was doing and the reply came that he was waiting for a song to load. We watched the music video together and as it ended he asked if I liked the music. "Ya. They're really good." "Well good, because we're going to their concert tonight and I got us a hotel room in downtown," he explained with a Cheshire Cat grin across his face. I was ecstatic! I love surprises and love that he went to all the trouble to plan something for us to enjoy together. It means more than I find words adequate to express it. So instead of staying the night in Salem at the Cantrall's casa, we would head to Newberg for the Christmas dinner and then go North to PDX. Stoked!

We made our way to Newberg in a drizzly haze, the blue Mazda humming up the freeway as we sat content, complete with Allann Brother's drinks in the cup holders and Brooke Fraser coming out of the speakers. We discussed music, traveling, careers, family... Anything and everything. We listened to songs over and over again, attempting to understand them, apply them to ourselves in a way. I giggled and swooned, taking in all that was happening, feeling very much like a princess out on a grand adventure. A deep part of my heart was impacted, and the result was very good.

We arrived and were immediately welcomed by cousins, aunts, second cousins, parents, grandparents and nephews. Landon's dad has two siblings, but they each have a two kids, and all the kids have kids except us and the Coopers. And though the hall was large, with a big table set down the middle, it was alive and bubbling with various conversations, kids squealing and laughter. Ah, commotion. I have been around it since birth and life wouldn't seem right without it.

Dinner was prayed over and dished up. I was again blessed to eat Gammy's cooking, something she is famous for. Ham, turkey, cranberry chutney, a potato dish, green salad... It was all there. The end of the table held the desserts, and in his 3 year old wisdom, Elliott was not too keen on leaving them alone. Who said having pie before turkey was bad for you? He patiently waited until his dad gave him the ok, though, and then enjoyed every sweet and satisfying morsel. As did the rest of us. And after the food, we all sort of pushed back from the table and the conversations continued. It was really fun to talk with family I had only met once or twice, and get to know more about them and what is going on in their lives. It was also fun to chase the little kids around, twirling Elliott in circles until both of us were nervous we'd lose our dinner.

Couldn't have been a better way to begin the holiday season. Again reminded of how wonderful this whole marriage thing is.

The Baron Clan. (Minus Joel, Danelle, Ilia, Baron and Aunt Bev.)

I've learned that this happens often.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Two and Six

I just realized I forgot to celebrate! Just this week I finished number 2 on the 25 before 25 list, which was to read all the Chronicles of Narnia books. There are seven in the series, and I definitely had moments of loving and not liking that I was reading them, but in the end I am glad I stuck it out. Lewis writes with great imagination and wonder, but also with a sense of gravity and sobriety. The parallels between the books and another book that I especially like (the Bible) were not only fun to realize but also intriguing. Who knows, reading these books may become a holiday tradition or something? Along with finishing number two, I began to work on number six. That is, I began ironing the squares for my quilt. They were already cut because we used them as flags at our wedding (my Aunt Carol did a fabulous job and I loved the effect), and instead of just discarding them I decided to utilize them in my first ever quilt. A few more squares to iron and then I can begin designing and sewing the pieces together. Pictures will follow...

Friday, December 3, 2010

'The Silver Chair' excerpt

Recently I finished reading book 4 of the Chronicles of Narnia, The Silver Chair. No one had told me about this book yet, as they had raved about A Horse and His Boy. And yet, I thoroughly enjoyed the read, especially this dialogue between Aslan and the newest child to experience Narnia, Jill.
But long before she had got anywhere near the edge, the voice behind her said, "Stand still. In a moment I will blow. But, first, remember, remember, remember the Signs. Say them to yourself when you wake in the morning and when you lie down at night, and when you wake in the middle of the night. And whatever strange things may happen to you, let nothing turn your mind from following the Signs. And secondly, I give you a warning. Here on the mountain I have spoken to you clearly: I will not often do so down in Narnia. Here on the mountain, the air is clear and your mind is clear; as you drop down into Narnia, the air will thicken. Take great care that it does not confuse your mind. And the Signs which you have learned here will not look at all as you expect them to look, when you meet them there. That is why it is so important to know them by heart and pay no attention to appearances. Remember the Signs and believe the Signs. nothing else matters. And now, Daughter of Eve, farewell--"
As I read over this portion of the book I was softly reminded of things God has spoken to me before, and where He has spoken those things. The veritable mountain-tops of my life, where the air is clear, as Alan said, and the my mind is not preoccupied with other thoughts. And to look for those things not by what I expected them to look like, not being thrown off by appearances. Typically, in my life, the things that seem to not be are the very things that are. I have so appreciated ready Lewis' works. I highly recommend them.