Monday, November 29, 2010

a lovely monday....

taken by Stephen on our honeymoon on P.E.I.

Things I'm grateful for today

-candles burning * cozy feelings * pleasant smells

-beautiful music (Chopin, at the moment :)

-my baby boy sleeping so peacefully

-the beautiful snow outside

-projects to do

-the ability to learn new things

-God's continual grace and forgiveness to me every day

-good books that inspire me to be better

-good books that let me explore other places and meet other people (or Hobbits, and Dwarves, in this case :)

-my sweet mother in law taking me out for coffee this morning

-the amazing sewing machine my awesome husband just gave me

-being able to have Stephen here and not far away from me for months at a time

-Christmas decorations * gingerbread houses * glass balls* stockings * snowmen


-homemade salad dressing :P

-being at home

Stephen is away for a few days now, with his work, so Ian and I are managing here alone. It's not so bad, yet. It's only been one day, and although I miss him, I'm so grateful for things like cell phones and video chat which make things so much nicer! I was just thinking last night how grateful I am that he's not a soldier, away from me for months at a time. I don't know how soldiers' wives do it. I'm just glad I don't have to.

Meanwhile, I have my many lists of things to do while he's gone. I love lists! They help me keep everything organized, give me a goal to work towards, provide that wonderful feeling of accomplishment when I check things off them, and are just plain fun to write out!

Stephen just got me this amazing sewing machine, which I'm so excited about! I've decided that my first project will be this baby quilt for Ian that I've been planning to make for months. I finally bought the fabric a few weeks ago, and last night finished cutting out all the squares. It's not a 'real' quilt. It's just a rag quilt. I'm not the most accomplished sewer (seamstress? :P) in the world, so I thought it wise to start with something on the more simple side. I can't wait to start working on it!

But before quilts, there are other things that need to be done. Like cleaning ovens. After all, one can't only put the fun things on lists. :)


Stephen, along with two of my best friends, and his brothers, gave me a lovely surprise birthday party about a week ago! Stephen took me out to Starbucks, and then to a hill by our home over looking the city of Vernon, to see the lights at night, and to talk. When we arrived home, we opened the door to a dark apartment (I knew I had left one light on :P), which turned into a bright apartment with yells of surprise!

This was the great crowd I got to share the party with! We played games, talked, laughed, told stories, ate.....

One of my favorite meals: tacos!

My friend made real tirimasu - so yummy!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pictures and Such Things!

I'd like share with you some of the pictures from our lovely time in White Rock, along with a very quick update of the rest of our time there!

I love snowy scenes! There is something romantic and cozy about swirling snowflakes, trees dusted with white, the contrast of dark, hard rock, and pure snowflakes....
It was so special to see my Nana again, and introduce her to Ian!
Our room was amazing!
Our first CD display, I quickly set it up before our first concert (1 out of 2) where we sold a whopping six CDs! For a crowd of about 23, it wasn't so bad. :P

A small sample of the itinerary of the concerts....the quartet was definitely the favorite, as well as the main "event" but there were a few piano solos, a family song, string ensemble, and a "two pianos, eight hands" number, which was a lot of fun! :)

They even let me sing a song with of my favorites, What Child Is This? That was a lot of fun! I love singing. :)

Stephen's parents looked after Ian one evening, long enough for Stephen and I to dash down to a local fish and chips place called Moby Dick's, where we had a lovely dinner together.

My baby is wanting my attention now, so I must run. Until next time!

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Lovely Birthday.......

As I sit here, sipping my coffee, munching on crackers with my favorite spinach dip, contemplating my life over the past few days, I feel a sense of deep satisfaction, contentment and real happiness settle over me.
I love it when things exceed my expectations, when everything is just beautiful and good, when I can rejoice in the good, and quickly forget the bad.
It started on my birthday, November 17. We planned to come down to the coast for a few days with Stephen's family, for a few singing engagements they (we) had. So last Monday, we got packed up (I'm getting really good at packing for trips the night before! :P) and got ready for our start on Tuesday.
We had such a lovely trip! Stephen bought me a peppermint mocha from Starbucks as the first way to celebrate my day. :) Driving in the mountains was so beautiful! At the beginning, the weather was mild and the last traces of colorful fall leaves were still hanging. As we got higher, we began to see traces of snow on the trees, and by the time we crested the summit, huge snow flakes were falling, and everything was beginning to look like a winter wonderland! I was so glad Stephen was driving at that point, he did such a good job of staying in control, and it left me free to just enjoy the beauty of the snow. Which I did. Immensely. I've always loved it when it snowed on my birthday!
We even got to visit my Nana, and Uncle Crawf, Auntie Joyce and cousin Lindsey on the way to White Rock (our original destination!) That was so special!
I've discovered that I love navigating. I love reading maps and figuring out the best way to get from A to B. I've also discovered that I do not like navigating without a map, when I'm relying mostly on memories from ten years before, or at best, just a vague sense of where to go. (yes, there is a story there. :)
The next exciting thing to happen was picking up the CDs we had just finished recording five days before. Having never done anything like this before, it was really exciting to see the fruit of our labor! (and yes, they're now available and for sale. :P)
Finally, we made it to our hotel. Although we couldn't see it, our hotel is right across the road from the ocean!
We had such a lovely time, just the two of us, before Stephen's family arrived a few hours later. We were in a suite that we would share with some of Stephen's brothers. It had a fireplace, a huge private bedroom for us, three bathrooms, tvs, a little patio......once Ian was asleep, we curled up on the couch and ended a lovely day by watching The Fellowship of the Ring, and eating hot cinnamon rolls, drinking coffee......I think that will become my new birthday tradition. :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Leaves, Glorious Leaves!

I love leaves! I love the smell of them. I love the way they turn colors in the fall. I love the way they crunch under your feet when you walk on them. I love seeing them floating to the ground from the trees.
Today was a perfect day for a tree lover! I keep thinking that winter is here, that the leaves will soon be gone, and we'll be left with the mere skeletons of the trees, but every time I go outside, I'm still delighted with the brilliant fall colors, slightly faded though they may be. November is usually a more grey month, although I've always loved it, (my birthday is in November, hence making it one of my favorite months :P) but this November hasn't been too grey at all!
We were at a park today to take pictures. Not of me though. This one was just snapped by my brother in law while other pictures were being taken.
I was taking pictures of my husband and his brothers for their CD that they are making. They're making it, and I'm helping them. :) They've been talking about making a CD for years and years, and I decided it was high time it happened! (They sort of asked me to help get it going, so I did. :P)
It's actually a rather ridiculous project. Not that their singing isn't good - it is! But we're doing the whole CD in two weeks. And when I saw whole, I mean it. Choosing the songs, practicing the songs, recording the songs, taking pictures, designing the cover, getting copies printed......all within two weeks. Yep, it's insane. And not usually how I roll, although I like challenges. :P Next time, I'm hoping for at least two months.

We spent a little while waiting for Stephen's brothers to show up so we brought Ian up front with us to explore the car. He was much happier where he could see us. :)

Fun Times :)

I had to share these pictures of Ian with you all. :) He's not quite able to sit up by himself yet, but if we put him on the couch, he manages quite nicely! He loves being able to look all around the room, as oppose to a perfect view of ...... the floor. :P
We're still working on the whole balance thing. :P He doesn't even mind falling over though, he gave me a big grin the other day, just before he did a face plant into the couch cushions! :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

San Antonio - Part 3 (Film Academy)

The film academy was an intense time of learning, inspiration, fun, and so much more! It's hard to describe it. It was only three days long, but the amount of information and inspiration they packed into those three days was huge!

I wasn't sure exactly what to expect, but it exceed any expectations I might have had, and more!

Some of my highlights were:

~Kirk Cameron's session on acting

~Geoff Botkin's session on script writing (that was really awesome)

~ Doug Phillips sessions on filmmaking and a correct worldview

~Stephen Kendrick's talk on directing

~Getting to preview a few scenes from "Courgageous" (by the way, it's AMAZING, and the minute it come out, you all should see it! :)

I really came away from the academy with a new appreciation for film, and the impact a well made film can have on the culture. I've felt strongly for some time that Christians should be more involved in our culture, in more areas than the "typical Christian ministry areas." It was so exciting to see the vision that these men have for taking back our culture!

I'm really excited about being a part of making Christian films, and having a higher standard for everything we do! I'm so sick of lame Christian films that are always second rate. I think we're finally realizing that we don't have to always be a step behind the world in things. That as Christians, we should be striving for the best in everything we do, for the glory of God!

I got to spend some quality time with this guy during some of the sessions. :) He was so good though, I hardly missed anything!
We ate most of our meals at the food court in the mall. It was amusing, actually. They do things quite differently there: the vendors are constantly encouraging and badgering you to accept their samples, and buy food from them. You can walk along in front of each of their counters, and almost get filled up just from the free samples. :)

Stephen; Daniel; Jeffrey Griffith (our stuntman from Accountable)

I spent most of my time with these guys. :)

San Antonio - Part 2

We had so many little adventures among our travelling, some of them a little more nerve-wracking, some of them were just funny. We arrived in the San Antonio airport around 8:30, Texas time. We were tired and very hungry, and didn't have a super good idea of what we were doing at that point.
When I booked the hotel, they said something about a shuttle that would come from the airport, and in my ignorance, I somehow assumed it would be directly outside the door, ready to take us to our hotel, oh yes, and of course it would be Free!
Well, that wasn't the case. After lugging all our bags and the stroller outside into the very humid Texas evening, we realized that the shuttles are not only Not free, they were actually quite expensive, and if we even wanted to take one, they would have to call for it, it wasn't waiting for us.
Then a very nice taxi driver assured us that taking the taxi was much cheaper, and the taxis were all lined up, ready to go. So, we took a taxi, and after about ten minutes, we arrived at our hotel. By this time, poor Ian was feeling the same way as Stephen and I, but was expressing his thoughts in a very vocal manner. After getting into the hotel, confirming that we did have reservations, we were finally in our room.
The hotel, called The Menger Hotel, was beautiful! It was pretty much a cross between a really beautiful museum and a hotel. Our room looked like I'm sure it must have looked about a hundred years ago. (in a good way!)

Phone booths in the main hallway of our hotel.

I really wish I'd taken more pictures of our hotel, but unfortunately, I didn't. :P

Just outside our hotel was the River Centre Mall. We walked through it nearly every day to get to the Grand Hyatt Hotel, which is where the Film Academy was being held. We walked along the famous river walk every day, and it was always a treat!

Since it's so warm in San Antonio, there were a lot more outdoor eating places, like this one. Tables over-looking the river walk. There were tons of places to eat along the riverwalk itself too! Stephen and I walked along it one evening, it was amazing! There was live music in some of the restaurants, little lights everywhere, shrubberies and waterfalls, walls, gates, stone steps....I loved it!Starbucks :)
The really don't do it justice!

The Municipal Auditorium, where about half of the movies from the film festival were shown, and where the Jubilee Awards Ceremony took place.
A beautiful little courtyard on the way to the Municipal building. I simply loved all the amazing old building! The architecture was incredible, and everything was so old, and so well kept!
I am quite convinced that San Antonio is one of, if not the very most beautiful city I've ever been to!
My feet got so sore every day from walking (although that was mostly because of the shoes I was wearing :P) but it was so worth it! I love travelling! I love seeing new places, and getting away from everything that's normal. There are so many amazing places in the world, and I'm so grateful that Stephen and I were able to take this trip! We had so much fun together!

Travelling - San Anonio, Part 1

Wow, it's been a long time since I've written here! The reason for my absence is not that I have nothing to write about, but in fact, that I've been so busy, I haven't had any time to write! There are so many things that have happened lately that it's going to be a challenge to capture them all. But I shall do my very best.

Stephen, Ian and I went on a trip recently. To Texas. What was in Texas? The San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival. (SAICFF) We've been planning this trip since January this year, way before Ian was even born. It was an incredible time there! It was doubly exciting to be going, because the short film we made back in June, Accountable, was accepted into the festival, so we were going with the knowledge that our film was going to be showing!
We drove to Seattle, and flew to Texas from there. Our trip to the coast was soooooo beautiful! I simply cannot get enough of fall, but fall in the mountains, and fall on the coast, where colors are ten times as vivid, and the scenery seems like something out of a beautiful fantasy story, was such an experience!
Ian was such a good traveller! In spite of being in his carseat for hours, he still had smiles for us!
He did such a good job with flying too! I have to admit, I was a little worried about it. I mean, there's only so much you can do when your baby starting crying, or even screaming, and everyone's in very close quarters! But we were really blessed to have very gracious people sharing our row, and none of them seemed too bothered by him. (either that, or they were amazing actors! :P)
I love airports. I love watching people, and seeing the incredible diversity in race, lifestyle, personality.....I love the shops, the food, the air of anticipation as everyone is always going somewhere!