Tuesday, December 30, 2008

No Pictures of Christmas

As Sam and I loaded up the car with Christmas presents and luggage for WV, and getting all those last minute things, we decided to pass on the camera, as I could not find my "point and shoot" and Sam did not want to bother with his AMAZING cannon rebel. This was a choice I regretted as soon as I walked in my in-laws' door. My mother-in-law bought a new tree (Sam was not happy about this), but it looked really good in their new front window. She had beautiful decorations all over the house and it looked like the perfect country Christmas house. I would be able to prove this to you, if we had taken pictures, but you will just have to imagine it for yourself. 
This was my first "McGhee Christmas." Sam and I have celebrated 5 Christmases together now (can that be true!?!?) The first 2 years we were dating and did Christmas separately with our own families and the past two were celebrated in Tennessee together and Colorado with my family. 
We had to do a "modified" McGhee Christmas this year, as we woke up a little later than they usually do. We opened presents as a family and then got ready to visit the extended family. We had a meal at the grandparents house, with Sam's aunt (who we are so thankful to celebrate Christmas with this year, after her awesome recovery from cancer this summer) and her family. We then went to the other grandmother's house with lots of extended family (my mother-in-law is the youngest of 7). Not all of the siblings were there, but the house was full with lots of children playing and laughing and the family was together under one roof.
It was a long day, but a lot of fun. My family did a much smaller-scale version of Christmas, especially when we moved to Colorado, and I had never experienced so much family in one day. Despite all our differences, frustrations with each other, or other things we get hung up on, family is important to have especially around the holidays.
This was my first Christmas that I did not spend with my immediate family. Money, time and distance got in the way this year. After 22 years of doing Christmas the same way, it was a little different for me not to be in Colorado with my family. I miss them.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

.....Well, sort of. There are no snow covered trees or anything in Tennessee (yet) maybe this will be the year. But, there are red cups at work, we've been listening to Christmas music, and tonight we put up the tree. This is probably my favorite time of the year-and these are a few of my favorite things...(the sound of music reference is for Donna)
people are nicer
the crisp cool air is refreshing
the music is great
cuddling up on the couch with a blanket
decorating for Christmas
seeing family
Christmas plays (especially the ones at church put on by the kids)

As far as music goes-Mariah Carey's Merry Christmas CD is my favorite! It is the best CD to sing to, clean to, and get ready for Christmas to. I thought I lost it, but I found it this afternoon and listened to it probably about 5 times today while I was cleaning the house. 

I just love Christmas-the expectancy, the good spirits of everyone you come in contact with and the best gift that we could ever ask for-the birth of our Savior! 

There are only 19 more days until Christmas!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

November List

Since I have had so much going on this fall, I decided I wanted to change some things, learn some things and do some things in November, so here is my list:

1. Learn how to crochet (which I learned on Saturday)
2. Cut out sugar from my diet (still working on that)
3. Scrapbook (probably with online photo websites)
4. Jump-start my MK business again (anyone who wants to have a party, let me know)
5. Keep my house clean (still working on that too)
6. Try new recipes (let me know if you have any good ones)

I feel like I had a lot more "November Projects at the beginning of the month, but now that it is the 17th, I'm not sure much more can be added and achieved in November. I might have to start a December list soon. 

Friday, November 7, 2008

My Niece/Nephew

I want to preface this blog by saying that I hope Shawn and Sara aren't mad, but I felt compelled to write and to share with others.

My brother and sister-in-law are adopting!!! They have been on a waiting list since spring, and have been preparing for their newborn to join their family! As I read their latest blog, I started thinking-how patient people they are. Awaiting one phone call to totally change their lives. I am also anxious to be an aunt! And I may be 1400+ miles away, but I will spoil them!!! I admire them for staying so positive and preparing. My sister-in-law is more of a planner than I even am!

I wanted to share this with whoever out there reads my blog. If you have any advice, encouragement, or just want to watch a beautiful story unfold-please read their blog! Also, there has been an article in their town about them and their preparation. You can read it here

I also wanted to say this:
Shawn and Sara are two amazing people who I admire more than they know. They are so strong, and care so much for each other and their children they have yet to meet. They are both teachers who are passionate about their students and love what they do. I love being around them and playing games, acting like kids, sledding and spending holidays together. They are two people in my life I wish I got to see more and hate that we are so far apart. I cannot wait to meet my niece(s) or nephew(s), and patiently wait with them, praying that God will bring them their baby soon. 

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Beauty and the Beast

You guessed it, Sam and I dressed up as Beauty and the Beast for our church's annual Trunk 'n' Treat! Belle is my favorite and I have the whole movie memorized-and yes I sing just like her! Sam's costume was fun to make-he was really into it, and I was glad he wanted to dress up with me! 

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sights of D.C.

Well, before Melvin got sick, we did get to see Washington, D.C. Sam had never been, and I had only been once before, so here's a glimpse of what we saw...

Iwo Jima-this is one of my favorites, because as you walk around it, it looks like they are raising the flag. I just think this statue is amazing!

The Pentagon Memorial-dedicated September 11, 2008. They used limestone from the building that they saved from where the plane crashed into the building and wrote the date of the attack on it. The benches have each person's name on them. As you read their name, the way you are facing tells you if they were in the building, or in the airplane. The youngest person that died was 2 years old-her sister and parents were with her. The memorial is beautiful and artistic and a wonderful way to remember those who lost their lives on that terrible day. 
My Parents!!! We got to meet up with them because Dad is contracted to D.C. through December-Mom flew in for a long weekend. It was really nice to see them and have "tour guides" around D.C.
Gardens at Mt. Vernon-apparently our first president was quite the gardener! The acres around his house are beautiful and the gardens are still used today!
Mt. Vernon-what a beautiful house! The "stone" is actually wood painted with sand thrown on it to look like stone-I was impressed. 

I must say, I don't think there is enough time in a year to see everything in D.C. but it is an awesome place to visit and learn more about our country's history.

More to come.....

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


As my husband affectionately calls our car, Melvin is very sick. We went on our trip-to D.C., Delaware, an unexpected trip to Pennsylvania, and to West Virginia. On Friday, as we pulled off the exit in WV to go to my in-law's house, Melvin started chugging (you know, that feeling like you're running out of gas). Except that 100 miles before we had filled up and there was no way our tank was empty. We made it safely to my in-law's and the next day Sam took Melvin to the shop. We extended our stay in WV, I missed a day of class and Sam a day of work, but were optimistic that Melvin would be ready to head back to Tennessee on Monday. Well, that's the thing about mechanics (sorry if you are one), but it is never done when you think it will be. We had to leave Melvin in WV and come back home. 

I must mention here, that there is NO PLACE LIKE HOME! As good as it is to see family and friends, when I walk in my door-there is no other feeling. 

Well, here we are on Wednesday, and we found out that the heads(?) in the car are cracked. Let me remind you that I know nothing about cars and don't really know what that means, but I know it's bad and I know it's expensive. We are so blessed to have such great people around us who have offered to help us out! God is good! Hopefully Melvin will be restored soon, and back in the same state as us! I'm just happy that things are working out!

Friday, October 17, 2008

On Cars and Fall Break

Normally, I don't stress so much about the car being in the shop. I don't know enough about cars, so I usually take them in and say "can you fix it?" Sam, however stresses a LOT about cars. See his blog about that here. Today, as I was on my way home from school, (We are now on Fall Break!!!) I was talking to Sam and he was explaining that even though the car has been in the shop twice in the past two weeks, there is a belt that is making a terrible sound and will probably break soon if it doesn't get fixed. 
First, it's time to change mechanics because they are obviously NOT fixing our car, and second, we are supposed to be going to D.C. to meet up with my parents then to Delaware to see extended family. Can I just tell you how ticked off I was this afternoon! 
Good news is, Sam is currently changing the belt on my car. (Again, I don't really know what this "belt" does, but I know the package said it was a serpentine belt and I acted like I was going to be helping Sam work on the car in front of the guy at the auto parts store.) I also know that it is really important and now I know that it is a little tricky to take off and replace. I am so thankful for our neighbor that had the tool Sam needed to work on the car (he had every tool but the one he needed) and I'm thankful that he is helping Sam, because I look really cute standing over the car, holding the flashlight and reading the book to Sam, but that's about all I'm good for. Plus it's getting chilly outside. 
The other good news is, we are going to leave tomorrow morning (which works out, since I hadn't even started packing!) Our travel plans got a little rearranged, but I think it will work out and we'll get to see a lot of family and I'll actually get to take a vacation for Fall Break!
God is good!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Carving Pumpkins

Sam and I, along with our friends, Sarah and Elliott carved pumpkins today!!! Sarah had never carved a pumpkin before and we thought we should be there for this new experience...The following are our creations:

Elliott helps Sarah start her pumpkin

Elliott, Sarah and Sam, working hard

I was busy taking pictures, 
so it was dark by the time I got finished

Sam's is the one with the moon, mine is the face

Sarah's 1st Pumpkin!!!

Elliott's Creation...yes it's from the Nightmare 
Before Christmas, did I mention Elliott is a 
very talented artist?

Sunday, October 5, 2008


Since I haven't posted in a while, and some friends, (or Hilah) have been bugging me to...here you go:
Let's start with Friday, as Donna and I ventured to Lexington, KY for a women's conference-Brave. We passed a billboard that held Donna's future...it was some kind of "get discovered here" sign at the Entertainment Center and RV Park. I told Donna we should go, but since we already paid our registration, we figured we should keep heading to Lexington. 

The conference was amazing. I cannot put into words what I experienced, but I was reminded once again how awesome our God is. I sang (with no voice, because I had been sick all week and student teaching.) But I stood there singing my heart out, pouring all of myself into worship. Not thinking about how good (or bad) I sounded, but fully worshiping God! What an awesome feeling. I have not done that in a very long time. 
I shared my struggles with women I had known for only a few hours. I poured my heart out without holding back. 

Let me share this...
I am really good at hiding things inside. Wow, I don't tell a lot of people that. It's not that I try to be fake with people, it's just that I am a fixer. I always have been. I like helping other people and being there for them. I am good at giving advice I should give to myself. But when it comes to me, I try to fix it myself. I don't really tell other people, because I think I can do it on my own. Now I know this is a flaw and not healthy at all, but this is what I do. I just take it all in stride and think, "I can do this." Like I have super powers or something.

I am learning (and relearning) that I must rely on God. I am grasping for things in my life I cannot reach, and should not reach just yet. I am so focused on the future that I don't see what I have right here, right now. I am learning to trust God again. To trust Him for who He is. It is that head knowledge that I have known for some time, it's getting it to my heart that takes awhile. 

I wasn't expecting to share all of that, but I am feeling relieved. I am breathing in once again, waiting (not so patiently), but waiting, because I know that God is in control. 

I wanted to share this song (chorus) by Nichole Nordeman, one of my favorite Christian artists. I have loved this song since I first heard it and it was the theme song at the conference (Hence the title)

So long status quo
I think I just let go
You make me want to be brave
The way it always was,
Is no longer good enough
You make me want to be brave

Sunday, September 21, 2008


There is just something about laughter, more especially the laughter of a child. We spent the evening with a family for our SNO youth group event. (Sunday Night Out) It was a lot of fun playing badminton with the kids. As I watched my husband jump on the trampoline, bouncing the kids high into the air and listening to them laugh, I got that little kid urge to get on too! I think I even said the words "I wanna jump too!" -Real whiny like a little kid! As we jumped and all held hands, and got dizzy, I just enjoyed the laughter. It was such a nice summer/fall night, cool, but not cold and the Fall air smells wonderful. Without a care in the world, I laughed and jumped and thought about how great being a kid is!  
I love laughter and little kid giggles are the best! 
Giggle today!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I am so Blessed

I felt I needed to have a happy blog...
Friday was a much needed break. Our friends got together to celebrate Chantele's birthday. (a little late, but still) We went to the lake, and ate hamburgers, hotdogs and chicken. It was so nice to relax and talk and catch up on each others' lives. These are the friends I have had since my freshman and sophomore year. Wow-that seems like such a long time ago now. These are the friends that knew me when I came all the way from Colorado at 18 years old to a small Bible College in the South. The past 5 years have flown by, and friends have come and gone, but these are the friends that have been and will be with me through it all. They are blessings I thank God for everyday. The lake was also a great blessing to me. This has been "hell week" for me. VERY stressful, lots of deadlines and lots of emotions. Walking down by the lake looking out at the beautiful horizon not caring about anything at that exact moment, I was reminded of how great God is and how much HE is in control. 
Yesterday was a good day at work. I worked with good people and laughed-A LOT! I love it when it's like that. I saw a lot of my "regulars" and I always enjoy that. I feel like I am a part of something. The bux has been good to me and I really enjoy my job! 
Last night Sam and I just hung around the house, did some laundry and picked up the house a little. Sometimes it seems like I can never catch up, but I look at my two bedroom, 1 1/2 bath townhouse and realize how great we have it. I fell asleep on the couch and went to bed at 10pm-very early for me. I am a night owl usually, but this year is getting to me. I might turn into a grandma and have to go to bed earlier and earlier. 
Church was really good. I got to listen to the sermon today, which doesn't happen often because I am usually teaching downstairs during the service. I enjoyed Roy's preaching and was reminded of how simple it can be, but how difficult we can make church sometimes and how we argue over silly things. - Always a good reminder that humans can be so petty at times.
We spent the afternoon with Mike and Donna (our usually Sunday routine). I guess I should restate that-I spent the afternoon out with Donna and Mike and Sam stayed with the kids and played the wii all afternoon. I always enjoy spending time with them. They are a wonderful family and I am blessed by them every time I am around them. 
Well, that was my weekend, and many of the blessings in my life. I needed this time to reflect and be reminded of how good my life is. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

This too shall pass

These words were said to me tonight and I can't stop thinking about them. "This too shall pass." What a simple saying, but it gives me great comfort. 
Sometimes, when it feels like the end is so close and there's light at the end of the tunnel, life dumps even more in my lap. "This too shall pass." 
Things are getting better, work at the bux is lessening, student teaching is wonderful and my research project, well, it's getting there. I keep saying things like "things will slow down soon," or "when things aren't so busy." I am tired of telling this to people and I'm tired of not being able to do the things I want to do. "This too shall pass." 
There are so many things I want to be spending my time on, so many people I want to spend my time with, but there just seems like there is no time. "This too shall pass." 
I'm really not this negative, this is just a phase. "This too shall pass."

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Fall is Approaching

I was talking to a friend after church today about our busy lives and we joked about how thankful we are that breathing is an involuntary action. The more I think about how much is going on in my life, I am reminded to breathe. This next year is very full, and as I think about how it is already September, I begin to stress, but am still breathing.

I struggled at the beginning of the summer with grad school and figuring out if that was where I wanted to be. I think about those nights that I cried to Sam because I didn't want to do any more homework and I laugh. I laugh because at the time I saw no end in sight. It was just the beginning and I didn't know where I was headed. I can see now that there is an end and that I will be able to make it through. Now I am trying to figure out how it is already September, how I am 4 weeks into student teaching, how my research paper is almost half way done (in rough draft form) and how I only have 10 months left of grad school! Today I was reminded of the hope I have and the love and confidence of the people around me. 

I am constantly reminded that God does not change and I take another deep breath and hold on. I came across a quote tonight that said Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured. I think I will fall asleep thinking about that.