Friday, November 29, 2013

Life t' death

So here's the D--i am sure nobody is too concerned about what i did last night, but you may be bored and i do feel like talking! :)

Yesterday  we went to celebrateThanksgiving at my parents house and my brothers were all there and their kids. It was fun. Especially since we haven't all been together in a while.

We all got there and visited until the food was ready and then we loaded up our plates. I have no idea how my Mom manages to make the most incredible food each year or how it seems to get better and better? She is amazingly talented and i very much appreciate all the hard work she puts in so that we can just be together and enjoy every moment.

(Thanks, Mudder!)

Dinner was superb, obviously. And we were full. Oh, my mom even made a side of jello. Ya see, my mother doesn't even like Jello. Actually i am pretty sure that no one likes Jello, but every year she reminds me that the meal plan should maybe include some sort of jello? "Dontcha think, Christina?"  I always agree---cause that just what i do, okay?! "Absolutely, we do need jello, Mom. We love jello!"

So i took this picture of the jello--which turned out beautifully and tasted really great too.(btw) We just like to give Mom a hard time. So i though i should take a picture to share.  She's going to be really happy that i did-- i can just tell :)

Behold "the jelllo"

Yumm-o, right? Don't be fooled by the milky color. (or make a joke about it...believe me) cause its "SWEETENED CONDENSED MILK, CHRISTINA!" Or so she "gently "reminded me. Ha! And it was know, as far as jello goes....

Anywhoooo, enough about the jello.

Dad prayed and we all dug into eat.  And i forgot to get a photo of all the amazingly beautiful and delicious food that my Mom prepared--i was just too exited to care about my camera.

I do love this group! 

Then we went on to take our seats at the table to talk or in the living room to just let ourselves digest all that good food. If i am remembering correctly--it wasn't long before my sis and nephews broke out "what does the fox say?" on their fancy phones and we all laughed and danced (mainly me) and sang. 

I noticed the incredible amount of pictures that i  took last night of no one looking at me--they were too busy living life behind those screens :)

"Hi my handsome Nephew--just look up real quick for a picture. Just a quick one? Real quick? ......No?"

"Oh, my beautiful niece, "Hi!!  How are you? Oh, your having trouble hearing me? I'm right here? Just look up.....real quick.....just look up for a second......a quick sec......No?  Okay."

"LOOK UP AT ME NOW!!! Awww, Thanks guys! :) You can carry on watching your MMA fight now....."

The main even of the night was that i got stuck helping with dishes---Gag! We had to take a picture--i guess it was a historical moment?

It really was a super good day filled with laughter, laughter and more laughter!!! I loved it! The fire was warm, the company was cool , the food was delicious and the day was perfect!

After hours of talking, eating and looking through the paper. Sam and i decided that we were going to go out at 8 pm.


I know.

We're daring like that.

We were about to embark upon brown Thursday! (also known as Thanksgiving!)

Lisa headed our with her crew, and Sam and i headed out with our--well, us. Only us.

We went to Target unsure of what we wanted. We looked for a Tv that was on sale. Realized it was a "ticket item" and saw the line around the store and both agree to blow that pop stand. Yuck. No thanks.  Lets grab a coffee and hit the road, Jack.

We left towards Herbergers and then decided that maybe we could see a movie instead?!?!? Which felt really exciting!

We looked at Showplace and the show we wanted to see wasn't playing until 10:15. Too late. He had to work in the AM.

So we found another show The Hunger Games,"Catching Fire" to see in East Bethel.

We grabbed our candy and headed up....

Only to see the worst show in the history of the world!!!

Seriously?!!? Kids are watching that and loving it? It has a cult following and everyone is okay with that?

After the show--which was both literally and figuratively  DARK--we got into the car and had to talk out our feelings.

"What the huh?! THIS is what our teenagers are watching and idolizing?!" I said.

He agreed.

We came to the conclusion that the movie--filled with kids trying to kill their friends--was a movie that left you feeling "icky".

We pinpointed our disdain for the show by realizing it missed the component of hope. There was nothing to hope for. No light.No redeeming qualities. A world void of hope that felt awfully dark and well, hopeless wasn't one i would ever pay to see again.

And even more so--i feel worried about the generation coming up looking to ol "dead in the eyes-- Katniss McGee".

It felt like they trivialized the value of a humans life in that show. Ugliness.

We agreed that we would rather our kid watch Bridesmaids than the Hunger Games.  I would rather they hear a swear word then take joy in watching young kids kill each other.

And don't get me wrong, i'm not some ol' hag that just doesn't "get it". I'm hip to shows. I feel like i'm down with whats cool.

But that movie made me feel like a frog in warm water--if ya get my drift.

It was gross.

I explained to my brother how we are so accustomed to deer hunting and seeing a deer dead on the road or hanging in a garage that its no biggie, but that the one time i hunted with Jeromy and he shot a deer and i watched as it went from life to death?!?!? Traumatic--to say the least.

To see it try to run away and then fall and still attempt to get up even with a bullet through it?

It haunted me.

The value of life is something that we are losing. These naughty video games where we hunt and seek and kill other humans--its creating a generation of crazy-school-shooting-wackadoos!!

I know thats a big statement, but i stand behind it.

We talked about heaven and how we shouldn't be afraid to go there and that as Christians there is hope in that. But to witness something (even a dumb animal) go from living to dead--its real. Its a real thing that should kind of effect us, right?

(Clearly a human life is ten thousands time more important then an animals. So that's not the point here.)

As we drove, pondering life and all of its questions I put some words to my feelings and felt better about them. Especially since Sam had felt the same thing.

That movie seemed to trivialize the value of life. And we didn't like it. Period.

It just didn't sit well for either of us.

Trying to forget what we just wached we looked for a happier note--we talked about the fun day we had and all the good things in life as Sam continued to drive me home.

And just as we were about to turn onto my street,(in our own little happy places) a rabbit jumped out in front of us and Sam yelled out "Life t' death!!" and i let out a gentle (clipped) scream (as my throat immediately closes when i get frightened) and Sam hit the breaks and veered right as i watched the bunny disappear under our bumper. I held my breath and waited for the "thud"...


...finally we saw the rabbit run out from the right side of the car and into the neighbors yard....

......silence...... hand went up to my heart......

....i felt my pounding chest......

.....the adrenaline was pumping...... head was pounding.....

And then my mind remembered that Sam yelled out "Life to Death!!!" as we thought we were about to hit this rabbit and witness what we had just been talking--so seriously-- about....

.....And i cracked up......

...And then he cracked up.....

And then i yelled out "LIFE TO DEATH" about twenty seven more times and Sam mimicked my closed throat scream, over and over and over again, until we got to my house....

And it was another perfect night in the books.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Bring on the Holidays!

Well, today officially marks the beginning of the "holiday season" and i couldn't be more happy about it!!I am anxious to head to my Mom and Dads house this afternoon to see my family!  I know that the holidays can bring out the worst in people some times and that many people don't even look forward to spending any amount of time with family. I get that. But i don't want to give into that.

Yes, our families can be a bit--eclectic--and challenging at times. But who cares. That's how i'm feelin' morning.

Honestly, i 've got lots of people in my life that cause me stress and frustration. Tons. People that i may even want to get into a fist fight with, you don't know.

But today, i am going to forget all the things that have been causing me stress and pain and i am going to focus on all that i have to be thankful for.

And that starts with my family. No matter how crazy we can be, i always love being together!!

I watched this video that i saw on facebook yesterday and i think it is such a great reminder for all of us who complain about--or don't show up for gatherings together because we are offended by the misfits in the family--to love them anyways.

This isn't the best copy if the video that I could find but it was the only one that i could link to my page. Hope you got to listen to what he had to say because it is a very powerful minute.

Very honest and true. Sometimes we don't know what we got till its gone. And then its too late. 

My next set of business this morning is Black Friday!  I know it strikes fear into the hearts of many.  You know what I have actually found? It seems to cause the most ruckus with the Christians??

I think i can accurately link the Christians who boycott Black Friday with the ones who have their lights off on Halloween. The debbie downers of the world. The ones who like to sit in thier house talking about Jesus, but never even turn their lights on to even meet their neighbors!? The ones who say it is "Satan's Holiday", so their kids don't get to experience the joy of being in their neighborhood--together as a family--talking to those neighbors and embracing their own community. It has always kind of embarrassed me, to be honest. We are so judgy and mean about things. And now Black Friday is one of them. Like its okay to be super offensive to the people who want to shop, while only loving on the homeless? Say whaaaat?

I see people starting groups all over trying to somehow cancel this day of shopping by creating other events that, like, 12 people go to?  As if the world has a black heart and they--being the saviours that they are--are going to change that? Its not about rebelling against th world, but changing it from within. And i think that is way more powerful than gathering all the christians in a house and ignoring the problem? Right?

Again, i think its weird.

For me, Black Friday is a day that i look forward to with such anticipation and excitement. Its the day that we prepare for at Mom and Dads-- as Sam and i sit and look through the papers and Lisa makes her list of where her and Jamie will go this year. Its about finding the perfect gift for someone else. Its about calling your friends at 3 in the morning to assure they are awake. And then calling again at 5 to see where they are. Its about sitting in line behind 6,000 other people at Target--outside-- in your hat and mittens freezing and cursing the day you ever thought this was a good idea. Its about listening to the people in line ahead of you and asking their opinion of  the camera at Target versus the one at Herbergers.Its about laughing as people show up with a blanket over their head and silently moaning inside as someone walks by with a glass of hot chocolate that  you would kill for since you can't even feel your lips and you brother hasn't shown up because he OVERSLEPT!!

Uhh, i mean, its all good.

 Its about community and its amazing.And i love it.

 I give you this beautiful photo that Jeromy took a few years ago--at 3 Am--because he we shocked that i was going to wear that outfit in public! HA! Whateves....its how i roll :)

Every year is different. Especially now that stores are changing their open times. 8 o'clock on Thanksgiving? Uhhh, i don't think so.  I mean, probably not. Its not likely. Unless we decide we want to try it.

When those doors open and there are scarves for 8 dollars??? Its like people become animals and suddenly the courtesy that we give each other on any other given day is lost. Lost i tell you. 

Sam and i laugh as we follow the crowd. We have a "herd mentality". Where they go---we go. They grab it--we grab it.  Ha! And there is nothing better than that.  People get crazy. Yes. But people also come together. We see the "Crazies" and we all look to each other for support.  Like a friendly eye roll to let that person know you just saw that other person cut them off. Its glorious. I feel like my goal is to just keep smiling and having fun. You don't know how rare it is to run across a smile in the middle of the night on Balck Friday. Its like an invisible hug!

Going from store to store in a mad dash--unaware of what for. Suddenly you need those socks since they are only $2!!!  Sure, i've been swept up in the crazy. We both have.  But usually one of us can remind the other to bring it down a few notches.  I will say one of my proud sister moments was when my brother and i waited in line at the return counter and Sam gave the women the "what for" and argued a deal--they weren't willing to give--into existence. I felt like I was with William Wallace that day. Frrrrrreeeedom!!!

And its a memory that we share and that we both still laugh about!

The beauty of coming outside and watching as the sun starts to peek up behind the trees. Its a moment you won't get anywhere else.

To be in the car with my brother, listening to a special Christmas CD that he has put together for this very day--and seeing that sun start to rise while listening to David Phelps--we equate that to heaven. Truly. I remember the day well when we sat there and decided--unanimously--that this might be what its like in heaven. The music. The beauty. The company.

And it was good.

It wasn't evil, savage, or selfish.

It was warm, loving, caring and breathtaking.

Nomatter how crazy it gets or if i return home with an empty van--its always worth a million dollars in the moments shared and the memories made.

I can't wait to see what tonight holds. If nothing else---i may just drink a coffee at midnight.

And that is perfectly fine by me!!!

Happy Thanksgiving to all--and Godspeed at Target, my friends!! :)