Saturday, December 31, 2011

the perfect Christmas.

Christmas came and went so fast!

We did so much in that week:

-Went to the Trail of Lights at Chatfield
-Did last-minute shopping
-Bought way too many Starbucks drinks
-Spent time relaxing at the house
-Cooked chicken Paprikash with home-made halushka (our Hungarian roots comin' out)
-Went to Christmas Eve service @ Denver United Church 
-Christmas morning at Sanctuary Christian with the whole family
-Ky and I got our annual Christmas morning Starbucks for everyone (12 drinks in all)
-Built an epic K'nex set with the sibs
-Played card games into the wee hours of the morning
-Took way too many pics between Em, Ky and I.
-Ice skating & hockey playing on Evergreen Lake.  One of my biggest highlights of the week. Playing 5 on 5 with all the bros.  Super proud of my two goals :)
-Two Avalanche games
-Shooting guns at our friends' ranch 
-Spending some good old family bonding time together.

This Christmas was pretty different from Christmases past.  Our family seems to be continually growing so this year seemed especially crazy.  Any activity we wanted to do required at least three cars.  I felt like a little mother hen counting heads to make sure we had everyone.  There were definitely moments when there were three different sources of music playing, people laughing, dog barking, and people yelling over each other to talk. Haha but I wouldn't have traded it for anything.  It has become a rare treat, a special blessing, to have everyone together.  

I would be lying I said it was all pure bliss.  It wasn't a "perfect" holiday.  Dad felt really bad most of the time.  Stress levels were high.  There were prayer & tear filled nights.  People got on each others' nerves.  But the fact that we could all be together for it, to cherish the good times and support each other in the hard times, is really what makes it.  That's really all that matters in the end.  There will always be something that goes wrong - like a leaking roof on Christmas - but that's just a part of life.  It keeps it interesting and, in a strange way, brings us closer together.  And that, truly, is what makes for a perfect Christmas.  

To be close to the ones you love.  

Making memories that last for years.   

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

most wonderful time

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Christmas is less than a week away.
Family is soon to be in town.
Gifts wrapped and under the tree.
Cleaning is coming along.
Baking will ensue in a few days.
Decorations have long been ready.
Christmas music is the tune of choice.

I love Christmas so much.
It truly is the most wonderful time of the year.

However, I have been reminded this year that not everyone sees Christmas as being "jolly and bright."  There are families struggling to pay the bills.  Kids go another holiday without family. Some hope to just "get through" the holiday season.  

My heart and prayers go out for these people.

I hope, regardless of what's going on, that you can find some joy this holiday season.  Be glad in the fact that you are simply alive and healthy.  You can walk.  You can talk.  You can see.  You can breathe.  And you can enjoy.  Above all, I hope we can all be overjoyed by the fact that God sent his son to us.  So that you can live, breathe, love, and cherish life.

love, joy & peace to you all!


Monday, December 12, 2011

through it all

I'm not sure where to start this post.
This past week has been completely insane. In every way.
I could tell you every little detail of it and bore you senseless...but I think I'll just hit the major things that happened:

-Parade of Lights last weekend: so magical!  I looooove getting to do that every year :)

- Had my last week of classes for the Semester!  Woo!  It was one of those weeks that I kept asking myself, "WHY am I going to this school!?"  Between professors and students, I was super frustrated.  I've found that when I'm in classes that are extremely easy and I don't seem to learn anything from them, I just end up hating the class.  It seems like the biggest waste of money & time. *sigh* one more day. one more day. one more day.  Puedo hacerlo.

-A random lady yelled at me when I was waiting for the lightrail.  She was apparently talking to me and I didn't know it so she went off on me.  Then, once upon the light rail, a guy shoved me out of the way so he could get off the train.  I ended up stumbling back and running into a lady.  Some people...I tell ya.

- This past Saturday I spent all day working on Christmas presents!  Oh man, I'm soooo excited to do our home-made Christmas gift exchange this year!

- My computer is pretty much toast.  I worked on it for two days and it's just done.  Thankfully I was able to get all my pictures off it before it totally tanked (haha I got my pictures but none of my old school papers...shows you what I think is important in life).  Suuuper lame. I'm just glad it's the end of the semester.  So, I'm on the hunt for a cheap laptop (preferably a mac).  Let me know if you or anyone you know is looking to sell theirs!  

- As some of you may know, Sunday was quite the day for the Martin household.  Because of some odd symptoms, mom took dad to an Urgent Care center on Sunday morning while everyone else went to church.  They ran a test which came back abnormal.  The lady said he had to go to the ER because he either just had or was about to have a heart attack.  So, I spent most of Sunday in the Emergency Room with my parents.  They ran many, many more tests and found out:

1. The tumors are bigger.
2. He didn't have a heart attack nor was in danger of one (thank you, JESUS!)
3. Blood work didn't look super great.
4. He has some fluid buildup on the lungs and in the ankles. 

The doctor said lots of other stuff...but that's the bottom line of what happened.
Thanks so much to ALL of you that were praying for dad and all of us doing that time.  We all really, really appreciate it.
Dad isn't feeling much better.  He is still in a LOT of pain, getting very little sleep, tore a muscle in his stomach from coughing, and still has a hard time breathing while laying down/shortness of breath.
So, please keep him in your continued prayers!  Thanks!

I guess you could say this week has been...well, rough.  Lots of curve balls and challenges that I didn't really want to get thrown my way.  But ya know, I can't really complain.  I have a God that walks with me every step of the way.  Every moment of every day.  Teaching, guiding, and loving me through it all.  And I have awesome friends and family that are always supportive. 

In regards to the picture above, I taught a little class at work about how to make a Christmas stocking!  It was really fun and they turned out real cute.  

Sometimes I find myself wanting my life to look like the one to the left - perfect, clean, organized, put together.  And I think I try my best to make it so that things are that way in my life.  However, when looking back at this week, I see my life looking more like the one to the right - disheveled, chaotic, eclectic, changing, sporadic, and messy.  It is nice to have all your ducks in a row (especially if you're slightly OCD like me) but I think there is also a time to accept the mess in your life.  Many times you can't control it.  Stuff happens.  Life happens.  Learning to be okay with the things I can't change and striving to make the best of it will surely be something that I'll continue working on.

Anyways, on a lighter are some pictures from the week:

 Parade of Lights!

 Ok...think what you want...
but one of the greatest little things is when you walk into the bathroom stall and you realize you're the first one to use it since it's been cleaned.
So awesome. hahaha it's the little things in life.

 Catholic church on campus

  Went to the Tattered Cover and H&M downtown with Irene on my lunch break! So great!

Also, I got to take Christmas pictures for my lovely friends and their adorable kids!

This is probably my favorite picture I've taken thus far.

It's been quite the week.  Hope you all have a splendid week to come.
Through it all, I hope you can seek, love and know God in a deeper way regardless of what may or may not come your way.

Friday, December 2, 2011

favorite things

"If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit."
-Galatians 5:25

I've been thinking about the Holy Spirit this week.
Such an interesting topic in the Bible. 
The fact that God wanted to be with us ALL the time that he chose to give us a part of Him: His Spirit....just blows my mind.
He says He does  not give us the Spirit in small amounts, but He gives it to us abundantly.
Even in the times when we don't seem to "feel" the Spirit or "feel" like he's doing a work in our lives, he's there.
Emanuel: God with us.
So intricately attached...surrounded...encompassed by His Spirit.

Also, I just finished reading "Heaven is For Real" by Todd Burpo.
It was given to me by a dear friend and I can't recommend it enough.
It will have you thinking about heaven for weeks.
An easy read and a truly stunning depiction of how REAL heaven is.
Go check it out!

 The following pictures are some of my favorite things that God sprinkled into my life this past week:

"snowflake" chai from my fave coffee shop 

gorgeous sunset God painted for me while at work 

 mini Martinelli's!!  I squealed when I saw these.

I got to see so many long-lost friends. Ahh...fills my heart.


Snow + Christmas lights = by far one of my most favorite things 

Our family was blessed by a new, beautiful, perfect addition this week!
I love her way too much already.

 That fresh, new baby smell is one of the best smells on earth.


Haha so I decided to try to do a little DIY project.
It turned out pretty well!
Bought a $5 nasty sweater from Goodwill,
cut it, sewed it,
and viola! 
A new, warm winter skirt!

I'm sitting in a coffee shop (AKA: the perfect place to listen to random convos)
This high school boy is talking to what seems to be his shrink.
Haha I just heard this:
Boy said, "Me and my sister don't really get along."
Shrink, "What happened?"
Boy, "I was getting out of the car, she got pissed, and she punched me. IN THE FACE!!"
Shrink, "Hahahahahhahahahaha."

hahahhaha this made my day.  His face was priceless.