November 30, 2012

Thankful Hearts

My heart is still full from last week's Thanksgiving celebration.  Kern and I arrived in Mississippi late Wednesday evening--just in time to fit in two Thanksgiving meals on Thursday.  We started out with lunch at my parents' house and ended with dinner in Brookhaven.  It was just the kind of day I had hoped for--full of family, relaxation and Gran Fran's chocolate pie.

My dad led us in prayer time and emphasized a point that had not previously crossed my mind.  He reminded us to be thankful for the CREATOR, not just the creation.  It is easy to list blessings--family, a home, food, friends, pets--and all of these are good.  However, it is imperative that we not forget the one "from whom all blessings flow"--God.


Another highlight of my Thanksgiving weekend was finally getting to meet this guy--Hayes!

Hayes is the son of Kern's best childhood friend--Chad and his amazing wife, Katie.  We had such a good time visiting with them and getting to play with Hayes.  Have you ever seen a sweeter face?


I love spending time with Katie--I wish we lived closer!



The boy picture--Hayes took this photo very seriously. 


As we close out the month of November and race full speed ahead towards the Christmas season, let us not forget the one "from whom all blessings flow."  After all, it's really all about Him.

November 19, 2012

Ray LaMontagne at D.A.R. Constitution Hall

The first Pandora station I ever created was Ray LaMontagne.  (Can you even remember Pandora now that Spotify is the cool music listening medium?)  That illustrates my point -- I've loved his music for a long time.

It has always been a goal of mine to see him perform live and when I heard he was coming through DC, Kern and I snapped up tickets quickly.  In fact, we bought them so long ago, I almost forgot about it.  It's hard to believe it is mid-November already!

The concert was everything I was hoping for -- Ray and a simple backdrop of old doors and some basic lighting.  His music speaks for itself.


Afterwards, we left D.A.R. Constitution Hall and strategically happened upon McDonald's for some burger and fry bliss.  Why does it only taste good after 11:00pm?


They even have a George Washington print in this Micky D's--appropriate, I suppose, since it's across the street from the White House.

November 13, 2012

Friendsgiving!

The Ladies at Lexington Place decided to host the First Annual Friendsgiving this year.

Thanks to an organized email chain and a stellar excel spreadsheet, a meal amongst nearly forty hungry people was executed perfectly!

The rules were simple: everyone bring a food item that could feed 8-10 people.  A few guys volunteered to do the turkey...and...it was magical.  I forget how much I love typical Thanksgiving fare until this time every year.

Clay, Kern, Will and Buck


A little porch sitting before the meal: Charles, Laine (she's BACK!), Carolyn and Jordan


Carolyn, Laine and me
We missed you, Katie B!


The girls did an amazing job seating the crowd - there were tables and chairs for each person along with a lovely place setting!


Libba and Laine


 

Once everyone was seated, we took turns going around the room and sharing something that we were thankful for from the past year. 


After the meal, some of us gratefully lounged on the couch while digesting.  It was definitely the sign of a successful meal!

Kern, me, Charles, Matthew and Laine


A big thank you to the Lexington Place girls!

I hope "Friendsgiving" becomes an annual tradition.  Next year, I'll be sure to fast the week before...

November 11, 2012

Happy Veterans Day

Happy Veterans Day, friends!

Last year, I posted this entry about my Dad and his military service. 

The members of our military are truly selfless servants.   I am often awed and humbled by their ability to put the needs of our country before their own.  I feel fortunate to call these men and women fellow citizens.



I love this photo of my dad--it was taken in 1966 in front of the Tidal Basin and Jefferson Memorial.

Many of us have parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins who have served or who are serving.  During this month of thanksgiving, remember to take time to thank each one for their service.

November 09, 2012

Bits of Home

During my stay in Mississippi, I did more than just attend an election night event...

For one, I got to milk a cow at Mississippi State University!  As this point, I am feeling quite knowledgeable regarding farming between my trip to New York and this cow milking experience. 

It was a little intimidating at first, but the cows were nice...so that helped! 

 Bulldogs for Harper!
I particularly appreciated the Harper/Wicker signs together.

The weather was perfect for a football game on Saturday -- I loved being outside and soaking in the Mississippi air.  Yep, it is different (in a good way) there.

On Sunday, Jody and Greg came to Madison to see me!  We had a great visit. 


On Monday evening, mom and I made homemade pizza.
My mom has been making this crust since the 1980's--it is the pizza I grew up eating! 
I still remember what a treat it was on Friday night - I got to have pizza and one caffeine free coke (my solo soft drink for the week).  It was a BIG deal for this 7 year old!


Did you know my dad always puts fresh roses on my bedside table?
What a gentleman!


SWEET TEA.  I only drink this brew in the south.  Never disappoints!


I AM SEWING!  I feel like this should be its own blog post...except...that I would have nothing really major to show because I am only sewing on a button--the most basic element of sewing.  Anyway, it was a major milestone for me.  Now if I could only make pillows...


I took a walk with my parents one morning -- so much more relaxing than a city run!


I wasn't sad to leave because I will be back home in less than two weeks for Thanksgiving.

Mom and I have already made the menu...and I'm ready for chocolate pie!

November 08, 2012

Election Night in Mississippi

I had the privilege of being in Mississippi this past election evening to celebrate my boss' re-election as the Third District Congressman in Mississippi.  It was a special night and fun to see so many familiar faces of friends back home in God's Country.


Representing the DC office: me, Ty and Jordan


Congressman Harper being interviewed by anchor Marsha Thompson.


Beautiful, beautiful flag!


My parents came with me--we had a great time together!


The Harper family


The nature of an election night means that some will be happy with the results while others will inevitably be disappointed. Whether you were jumping with joy on Tuesday evening or wishing the outcome was different, there are many reasons for all of us to celebrate: the ability to vote and peaceful elections being at the top of my list!

My dear friend Mary Ellis sent me an email earlier this week prior to the election with these reminders:

After the election is over, I can predict (and guarantee) the following results:
1. God will still be on His throne
2. Jesus will still be King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
3. The Bible will still have all the answers to every problem.
4. The tomb will still be empty.
5. Jesus will still be the only way to heaven

6. Prayer will still work - it will still make a difference and God will still answer prayer
7. The cross, not the government, will still be our salvation
8. There will still be room at the cross. 
9. Jesus will still save anyone who places their faith and trust in Him.

10. God will still be with us always - He will never leave us or forsake us.


My prayer for our nation is that we will all learn how to work together--because our leaders are merely a reflection of the electorate.  I am so thankful to be a citizen of this amazing country and I look forward to our future.  We are all so blessed.

Can I get an A-men?