Thursday, December 16, 2010

a visit with the big guy

Heaven help me, I don't really feel like blogging. I'm running low on brain cells these days. However, with it being the most wonder(full) time of the year, the family updates are piling up and if I don't blog soon it will turn into one of those never ending marathon posts that leave you cross-eyed by paragraph seven.

Last week we took Chica to see Santa. She was thrilled with this idea but I made sure to call a pregame huddle to discuss our strategy before the main event. We mulled over how nice of a person Santa is. How kind someone must be to fly around the whole world, doling out presents in honor of Jesus' birthday! We were excited! And upbeat! I was hoping this pre-visit warm up would prepare/brainwash her enough to walk up to an unknown, white bearded, booming voiced man in a red suit without switching into toddler meltdown mode.

It kind of worked. We drove twenty minutes to the mall only to find out I had forgotten to put my memory card in my camera. Dan offered to drive to the nearest Target (not a single store in the mall sold memory cards!) so Chica and I scoped out Santa from a safe distance while we waited.

Soon Dan returned and it was time to meet Santa. She had decided during our stakeout that she'd prefer standing next to him instead of sitting on his knee.
Annnnnd victory! No tears!!

Afterwards, she told her Daddy how the meet and greet went.
Santa even gave her a lollipop for her time- and here I was feeling robbed for forking over a fistful of cash for the mandatory picture package purchase. The Dum-Dum totally redeemed it.
We celebrated our successful Santa encounter with lunch in the food court.
Our morning got even better when we ran into some friends and all played together for a little while.
It was quite a merry day indeed.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

deeper still

This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend for the second time Deeper Still, one of LifeWay's many conferences for women. Last year, I traveled to Oklahoma for the event. This time, Debs wasn't able to be there, but three sweet friends from our new church agreed to go with me. Jen met us there from Nashville and we all had a ball.
Here's our fun group. We laughed so hard and had great conversations. I love a good girls trip.

The teaching and worship was incredible, as usual.

I've found that when I come back from a conference like this one, it takes several days for my brain to reboot. I saw some of the girls at church on Sunday we laughed because mentally, I was barely functioning.

I think in a way six solid hours of rich, challenging, convicting truth breaks down your mind. Old thoughts are carved away under the powerful chisel of scripture. The sword of the Spirit is swift and sometimes painful, yet I've found it's always effective. And just how the earth and all within it came to be simply by God speaking it into existence, His word goes forth into the depths of your mind and replaces the old thoughts and attitudes with new ones. Better ones. True ones.

It can make for one heck of a headache. But it's the best cure for a hard head.

P.S.- This picture with Beth was taken after the event by Rick Kalonick. You can see his website here.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

thanksgiving highlights

Thanksgiving was, as usual, a whirlwind weekend. But Danny and I agreed that it was our best trip back home since Chica was born. In many ways, it's just become easier the older she gets. Less stuff to haul around + more sleep at nights = better trip for the Hinton family.

The memories are too numerous to name, (especially when writing a post during Law & Order commercials) so I'll list a few that stand out/are triggered by Jack McCoy's closing argument.

1. The food. I contributed nothing to any of the feasts but it's my friend Blakely's theory that if you bring a grand baby to dinner, you're automatically exempt from cooking a side dish. I like her thinking.

2. Holding baby cousin. He's young enough to be a total snuggle bug yet old enough to look you in the eye. Precious baby.
Because he's the third born and adored by his older siblings, he's been thoroughly initiated into the physicality of toddler love. :) Therefore, as we passed him around, even Chica got a turn to hold him.
A few minutes into her turn, she decided her arms were tired and she let go.
3. The Hinton Bowl. It's tradition for the family to partake in a football scrimmage at the local high school before lunch. It's the first-borns vs. everybody else and this year we even had t-shirts. We were hoping Chica would be able to run around a little bit, but the temperature was so bitterly cold, we barely made it onto the field when she was ready to leave.
We cheered on the family from the car with the heat blasting and the snacks flowing. The set-up was just fine by me. Since moving to the south, my cold weather tolerance isn't what it used to be.

4. The last picture we took for my mom's Christmas card. By that point, we were all thrilled the tedious picture taking process was over!

Eventually all the cousins smiled.
But I liked this shot a lot more. :)
5. A sweet conversation with my step-sister Grace. If we lived closer, we'd totally hang out.

6. Black Friday Shopping. Standing outside Kohl's at 2:50 in the morning in 18 degree weather. It separates the girls from the women. (Or the sane from the loonies, depending on how you look at it.) I see it as deals so good, the stores practically pay me to shop there. :)

7. Spending time with family. No family is perfect. But I'm thankful for the one God gave us. They've loved us well for a long time.
Happy Belated Thanksgiving Bloggers and remember, the people are represented by two separate, yet equally important groups. Add that to the list of things I'm thankful for. :)