Monday, December 27, 2010

This year was supposed to be lighter...

Everyone agreed we needed to scale back Christmas presents this year.

Can you tell a difference?

2009

2010Maybe just a little...

Random Photo, Take 24

Pic 23 was from December 2004 at my apartment in Anderson. Lots of fun girls came over to my house to help decorate for Christmas. This was Amy, Dawn, and Celeste. Love those girls and that memory!!

Here's #24

Matt's 2010 in Facebook

Christmas posts coming soon, but Matt also did his 2010 in Facebook thing, so I wanted to post those here too.

Here's his 2010 Facebook Photo CollageAnd his 2010 Status Collage

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Random Photo, Take 23

Photo 22 was from the summer of 2002. This picture was taken (probably by my best friend Ginger) outside of room 208 at our hotel in Gatlinburg, TN. I was there with a summer project with CCC, and my wonderful family came up to visit on July 5th. Great memory!

Here's 23...

Holiday Festival of Lights

Last Wednesday night, Mark, Steph, Steven, Matt and I went to the James Island County Park for the Festival of Lights. We all piled into Mark's truck for family togetherness. We had fun driving around the park looking at all the light displays. Of course, there was lovely Christmas music playing the whole time...

We would drive through things like this:And saw lots of things like this:Then we walked around and went into the shops and then watched the Christmas Trees that were set for their lights to go with the music. It was very cold, but we had lots of fun.

The James Island lights is something that I've done with my family almost every year since it started. It's also where I had my first-ever date. I remember going there with my Dad, and other family and friends from out of town. Lots of good memories!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Another Semester Down...

Image courtesy of here.

As of about 11 pm on Sunday night, Matt and I are both finished with school for the semester. It's amazing what a freeing feeling it is!! It seems that when you're in grad school, there's always the feeling of something hanging over your head. There's always something more you could/should be doing like reading, researching, writing a paper, etc.

Well, Matt is now 15 hours into his Master of Arts in Teaching. So far, he's gotten all A's and B's, and I'm SO proud of him. This last set of classes, he doubled up and took 2 classes at the same time. It was tough, so he probably won't do that again. He has a break for about a month but will probably be working on some assignments that he has for the general degree, not for a specific class. I really enjoy helping him with his assignments and sometimes think maybe I should get a MAT too. :)

This semester was not fun for me at all. I was completely overwhelmed by trying to take 2 classes, especially with how it worked around my work schedule. I ended up with a C in Statistics, which was sort of a relief. I've never gotten a C on a report card in my whole life, so I kind of freaked out when I first saw it... but then, I actually thought about it and, considering everything that has been going on, I'm very thankful for that C. It qualifies as my pre-requisite, so I don't have to take it again. And I deserved it. And I got a B in my Business Enterprise class. I probably deserved a C in that class as well, so I'm very thankful for that B.

After this semester, I've actually decided to take a break indefinitely from school. I want to be able to spend my time doing other things and being able to do them well. Trying to add school into the equation was a quite overwhelming for me, and I have other commitments that really fell to the side.

So, that's just a brief grad school update from us. Matt continues on, halfway to his goal (in less than a year!), and I'm bowing out graciously. I'm much more excited about being a cheerleader for Matt. He's gonna be a great teacher someday (again)!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Facebook 2010

I did some thing on Facebook that everyone has been doing lately, which is a collage of your statuses for the year. It was fun! I didn't edit these at all, but I think they're a fun combination of memories for the year!
This was another thing on Facebook I found from the status collage page which makes a collage of all your pictures from the year. I did edit this one a bit since some of the pics it had chosen didn't fit well, but I did choose other pics from the same album.
If you're a Facebook user, you should try it too. :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Random Photo, Take 22

Random Photo 21 was taken during our June 2010 California trip. This was at the Turner home and Steph and Jenny were just being goofy. I'm pretty sure this was the night before G&G's anniversary party. Do y'all remember for sure?

Here's #22.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Random Photo, Take 21

Pic 20 was Nala last January-ish when I was working on a t-shirt quilt. When I cut out the front and backs, I put the neck and sleeves on her. She likes being dressed up, ya know. :)

Here's #21. I really did laugh out loud when it came onto my desktop. (Sorry it's not the most flattering, ladies!)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Decorating for Christmas

We decorated 2 weeks ago and Steven, Steph and Mark joined us. Steven loves everything Christmas, so he came with us to pick out our tree too. We actually went to more than one lot to find the right one. And ended up getting our tree from the same place as last year.

Nala trying on the skirt before it went around the tree.
Matt and Steven starting the lights.
Pregnant Stephani needed to chill for a little while.
But she was a huge help screening the ornaments.
The peanut gallery.
Our Christmas Corner.
Tree with some presents underneath.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

20th Random Photo

Random Photo 19 was at a Flagler Family Christmas, circa 1993 or 1994, according to the notes on Facebook. Definitely at Rich and Lynne's house in Tracy, CA. Lots of lovely people in there!

Here's #20.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Baking!

It's one of my favorite things of the year, especially the Christmas season. This year, Mom and I spread it out over 2 days and didn't have much help from the other 2, but that's okay. We had fun!

Coming to a Christmas plate near you (maybe!):
-Peanut Butter Delights (my favorite!)
-Rice Krispy Treats
-Haystacks
-Rolo Pretzels
-Peanut Butter Kisses
-Fudgemallow Squares
-Peppermint Brownies

These were the results of Day 1, but I don't have any pics of those being made.
When I got to Mom's, she had already done all of these. We know for sure we did 140+ of peanut butter cookies, most of them with kisses in them.
And a couple of batches of RKT. We ran out of some crucial elements, but Laura did graciously make a grocery store run for us.
Rolo pretzels in the making. This is the first year I remember helping with these. Super easy!
Getting everything ready to go to different homes!
All done!

I know that none of those things are super-complicated, but it's just a fun thing to do with my Mom every year. And I also LOVE delivering these treats to friends and family. Not everyone appreciates the calories, but I think most people appreciate the time that went into them. :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Thanksgiving

I got to go to Atlanta for Thanksgiving this year and see part of my dad's side of the family. Matt had to work, so he stayed in Charleston. It was a little bit sad to not be together, but I was really glad I was able to see some of the Tyndall clan who I don't get to see often enough.

When I was driving up to Atlanta on Wednesday, it took me 3 hours to get to Columbia, which is twice as long as it usually takes. But, that actually ended up being a good thing because I got to see my friend Karl (a teammate from Central Asia) at a random gas station. He was driving from Orlando to Tennessee and ended up being in Columbia around the same time I was, so we met up. Yay for randomly seeing good friends! I picked up Valerie in Columbia, and we had a great drive to Atlanta, full of singing lots of good songs and also having good talks. Got to Atlanta pretty late but stayed up talking with Aunt Karen and helping her bake a little.

We slept in on Thanksgiving but still had lots of good time catching up with Jeannene and Grandma while helping Aunt Karen prepare for the Thanksgiving feast. Uncle Rob was watching football in the other room. :) Mom and Laura arrived a couple hours before we ate, so we all contributed to the meal a little, which is one of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving. I love it when everyone is in the kitchen together!


We had a great meal but then Valerie and I had to leave. More singing and talking on the long drive. I'm very thankful for a family that I enjoy hanging out with! Dropped off Valerie in Columbia then drove back to Charleston. All in all, it was a 34 hour trip but very worth it.

Just would have been better if we could have ALL been there... missed you, Uncle Kenny, Aunt Kim, Brittany, James, Bailey, Charlotte, Julianne and both Matts!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Random Photo, Take 18

Pic 17 was in August 2008 during our week in Charleston between Texas and Thailand. This was Laura, Mark, Steven and Matt out on the Petersons' boat, SIRreel. :) A fabulous day!

Here's number eighteen.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Random Photo, Take 17

Photo 16 was in Thailand, at Chatacuk market in March 2009. With my friends Amanda and Kristen and some yummy fruit shakes. (When I saw this pic, I wanted to go down memory lane, so I re-read this post from that day.)

Here's #17!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Random Photo, Take 19

Random Pic 18 was in April 2007 on a trip to Central Asia. This picture is with Emily, one of my closest friends and her firstborn (at that time, only-born) Luke. We didn't match on purpose.

Here's 19.

Random Photo, Take 16

Photo 15 was from August 2009, a brunch reunion for Gatlinburg Summer Project 2002 at our house. And a send off for Ginger to join staff with Mercy Ships. This was Morgan, Ginger, and Amber. Amazing women who I'm incredibly thankful for.

Alright, here's Number 16.

Weekend to Remember

God knows just what we need. Over a month ago, I got a text from a friend who had registered for a Weekend to Remember conference in Charleston from Dec 3-5. They couldn't go anymore and were offering to give us the tickets. For free. We accepted but knew it would be a challenge to get the time off. But it worked out, in ways we didn't expect.

Matt is God's gift to me, and I have missed him over the last year and a half. This weekend was an amazing time for us to focus on our marriage. Just to re-prioritize and remember that our marriage really should be more of a priority.

We didn't stay at the hotel and didn't do all of the homework and maybe skipped a session that was a little too early on Saturday morning after being up really late. But we still learned SO much and were so thankful for the weekend.

AND we ran into some friends from Charlotte and got to have lunch with them which was nice too!

Thanks, Ben and Jacq for the tickets! God used this weekend for us!

If you are married, I highly encourage you to do Weekend to Remember or something similar. God's plan for marriage is the best. Let us know if you have any questions.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Random Photo, Take 15

Take 14 was March 2008. Laura came out to Texas to visit us during her Spring Break. While we were at the dog park with Nala, she was playing with some huskies. The owner of the huskies pointed out that he had some puppies in the small dog park, so she went over to that side. Needless to say, she purchased one of those adorable blue-eyed fur balls and dubbed him 'Keto'. He stayed with us in Texas for a week until we flew home to Charleston for Dad's wedding. This was the day when my sister met her Keto! :)

And here's #15.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas Photo Shoot

Valerie has a good friend who has started doing photography. If you've seen any of Valerie's fun 'Diva' pictures, they're done by Melissa Breeland. I love her stuff because it's so different.
Well, she is getting started in her business so did a special of holiday photo shoots for $35. Matt and I got to do it on Wednesday night. It was fun but a little bit awkward as photo shoots normally are. We had some cute outfits for Nala, but she didn't cooperate very well. She was a little distracted by the new environment and the dog that she could hear on the other side of the studio door. :) Anyway, wanted to share this video that Melissa made of the best pictures. I think it's cute though there are a couple of pics I would have left out. What do you think?

And I'll put some of the fun pictures up. Which one do you think should be the Christmas card picture? If you are local, you should definitely check Melissa out! She's super fun and easy to work with... and makes it as comfortable as possible.

Random Photo, Take 14

Pic 13 was Easter 2010 at Grandma's house. This was Steph, Mark & Steven. :)

Here's #14. Do y'all still like this game?