Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Can you believe 2010 is just about gone!!?? What a year this has been!! I got a new job and a fiance! And that was just within the last 6 months! The first six months was surrounded with the adventures of dating and exploring career options. I really focused on school last Spring and deciding what I wanted with the future. Chris came along and has really supported me with whatever decision I wanted to make. Chris also got a new job with Halliburton and he couldn't be happier! 

It's so weird to talk about 2011 with "we" instead of just "I." I just think about the wedding or see another wedding and I get so emotional because I can't believe my dreams are coming true!!! It is really ridiculous how excited I am and how sappy and thankful I get when I think about my new life in 2011. I CAN'T WAIT!!!

A look back at 2010:

Here's to 2011!!! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Unwrapped

Christmas has come and gone and I must say it was fabulous. Santa was good to everyone in the family. 
First we had Christmas with the Walkers:

Then Christmas at Nene's. We ate and ate and ate at Nene's. We took a tour of the land and the lake, opened presents and shot fireworks. And then the next day we had Christmas at Grammy's. 

This was my last year to get my stocking at Grammy's since I will be a married woman next Christmas!!! A bittersweet moment. 

Dad got all sorts of hunting stuff.
Mom got an iPad:

I got a Sonicare toothbrush!:

Chris got a new gun!:

 Oh, and did I mention my brother got the cutest puppy ever?! Meet Gauge.

We finished finished Christmas off by heading to the Independence Bowl. We had a blast eating and hanging out with family and friends. 

 I got a new idea for the wedding too... ;)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Silent Night

Silent night, holy night. Sometimes I chuckle when I read that title. I mean, do you really think it was a silent night that night??? I think NOT! At least not to start. Poor Mary. Whew, giving birth all-nat-ural in a barn. Brutal. It may not have been a silent night that night, but it indeed was a holy one. Amen.

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Saviour is born
Christ, the Saviour is born

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth

Fun Facts:
The origin of the Christmas carol we know as Silent Night was a poem that was written in 1816 by an Austrian priest called Joseph Mohr. On Christmas Eve in 1818 in the small alpine village called Oberndorf it is reputed that the organ at St. Nicholas Church had broken. Joseph Mohr gave the poem of Silent Night (Stille Nacht) to his friend Franz Xavier Gruber and the melody for Silent Night was composed with this in mind. The music to Silent Night was therefore intended for a guitar and the simple score was finished in time for Midnight Mass. Silent Night is the most famous Christmas carol of all time! 

Thanks for letting me indulge in my favorite carols. I hope everyone has a truly wonderful Christmas and we never forget the true reason for the season!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

The First Noel

I really like this song. And as weird as this is, N'sync has a quite lovely version of this song. But I like this song because it kind of tells the whole story. The shepherds, the wise men and the star are all mentioned in this song. And of course the King!

The First Noel, the Angels did say
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay
In fields where they lay keeping their sheep
On a cold winter's night that was so deep.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

They looked up and saw a star
Shining in the East beyond them far
And to the earth it gave great light
And so it continued both day and night.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

And by the light of that same star
Three Wise men came from country far
To seek for a King was their intent
And to follow the star wherever it went.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

This star drew nigh to the northwest
O'er Bethlehem it took its rest
And there it did both Pause and stay
Right o'er the place where Jesus lay.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

Then entered in those Wise men three
Full reverently upon their knee
And offered there in His presence
Their gold and myrrh and frankincense.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

Then let us all with one accord
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord
That hath made Heaven and earth of nought
And with his blood mankind has bought.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel! 

Fun Facts:
The First Noel is unknown in origin but is generally thought to be English dating back to the sixteenth century. There is a misconception that the First Noel was French and it is believed that this is because of the French spelling of Noel as opposed to the olde English Anglo-Saxon spelling of the word as in Nowell. After England was captured by the Normans numerous words were adopted from the Norman French language and Noel was re-spelt as Nowell, early printed versions of this carol use the Nowell spelling. The First Noel was first published in 1833 when it appeared in "Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern," a collection of seasonal carols gathered by William B. Sandys.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Joy to the World

Such a classic Christmas song. Because of Christmas and the birth of Christ our world can have JOY! I just love when church choirs sing this song. The inflections of tone and excitement in this song are great. And I don't think it is a coincidence that everyone always sings this song with a smile on their face :)

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the world, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

Fun Facts:
The words and lyrics of the old Christmas carol 'Joy to the World' were written in 1719 by Isaac Watts (1674-1748). Joy to the World is a popular Christmas carol which is based on Psalm 98 in the Bible. The father of John Watts was a Non-conformist and so extreme were his views that he was imprisoned twice. His father's influence over Isaac was demonstrated when he choose to attend Non conformist Academy at Stoke Newington in preference to a University. Watts was ordained as a Pastor of an Independent congregation. He wrote many hymns and Carols and was awarded a Doctor of Divinity degree by the the University of Edinburgh in 1728. The music to the carol is by George Frederick Handel (1685-1759).

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hark the Herald Angels Sing

Ahhhhh, I love this song. I know I say that a lot. But I love them all for different reasons. I love this song because it gives the powerful names of our Savior! Give glory to the newborn King!! 

Hark the herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled"
Joyful, all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With the angelic host proclaim:
"Christ is born in Bethlehem"
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Christ by highest heav'n adored
Christ the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come
Offspring of a Virgin's womb
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
Hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with man to dwell
Jesus, our Emmanuel
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris'n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!

Fun Facts:
“Hark the herald angels sing” Christmas Carol was written by Charles Wesley, brother of John Wesley founder of the Methodist church, in 1739. A sombre man, he requested slow and solemn music for his lyrics and thus “Hark the herald angels sing” was sung to a different tune initially. Over a hundred years later Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) composed a cantata in 1840 to commemorate Johann Gutenberg's invention of the printing press. English musician William H. Cummings adapted Mendelssohn’s music to fit the lyrics of “Hark the herald angels sing” already written by Wesley. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Oh Holy Night!

I really like the song Oh, Holy Night. Another favorite thing of mine to do, besides really study the lyrics and words of songs, is find the second and third verses of songs. A lot of times we only sing the first verse and the chorus in church. But the second and third verses of this song are beautiful. 

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
O'er the world a star is sweetly gleaming,
Now come the wisemen from out of the Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friends.
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim!

How powerful are those verses! "His power and glory ever more proclaim!" "In all our trials born to be OUR friend!" Oh, what a holy night that was in Bethlehem. 

Fun Facts:
The words and lyrics of the old carol 'O Holy Night' were written by Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure in 1847. Cappeau was a wine seller by trade but was asked by the parish priest to write a poem for Christmas. He obliged and wrote the beautiful words of the hymn. He then realised that it should have music to accompany the words and he approached his friend Adolphe Charles Adams(1803-1856). He agreed and the music for the poem was therefore composed by Adolphe Charles Adams. Adolphe had attended the Paris conservatoire and forged a brilliant career as a composer. It was translated into English by John Sullivan Dwight (1812-1893). 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Away in a Manger

This week is CHRISTMAS!!! I adore Christmas! Everything about it!!! The chill in the air, the snuggling, the apple cider, the giving gifts, and getting gifts. But most importantly, Christmas is the CELEBRATION of the birth of my Savior! Hallelujah!

My other favorite thing about Christmas is the songssssss! I love Christmas music! I have always wanted to  see the Trans Siberian Orchestra. They have come to Shreveport for the past several years, but I have yet to make it to a concert. I love this:

Another classic Christmas song is Away in a Manger. I love this song. One of my favorite things to do is sit down and really look at the words of a song.

Away in a manger,
No crib for His bed
The little Lord Jesus
Laid down His sweet head

The stars in the bright sky
Looked down where He lay
The little Lord Jesus
Asleep on the hay

The cattle are lowing
The poor Baby wakes
But little Lord Jesus
No crying He makes

I love Thee, Lord Jesus
Look down from the sky
And stay by my side,
'Til morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus,
I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever
And love me I pray

Bless all the dear children
In Thy tender care
And take us to heaven
To live with Thee there

My favorite part of this song is the last three stanzas. It is so comforting to know Jesus is looking down form the sky and staying by my side; staying close by me forever and loving me. What a joyous song for the Christmas season!

I found a neat website with a little history on Christmas Carol,
Fun Facts:
Away in a Manger was originally published in 1885. The publication of Away in a Manger was in a Lutheran Sunday school book and this created the misconception that the lyrics of Away in a Manger were actually written by Martin Luther himself. The author is unknown. The music to Away in a Manger was composed by William J. Kirkpatrick in 1895.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My Heart is Bursting!

My heart is literally bursting at the seams!!! There is so much love this Christmas season! I simply adore Christmas. I love opening the door and the house being warm and smelling like Christmas! In case you didn't know, Christmas smells like cinnamon and spice. Close your eyes, think about it, breath in cinnamon and spices.....Ahhhhh- Christmas!! 

Of course the other obvious reason my heart is loving this season, is because of my wonderful fiancĂ©!! Eeeekkkk! It is so weird to say that word. Ha! But, he truly does make me happy! 

Beyond Christmas and my soon-to-be hubby, it seems everyone around me has something to celebrate! I don't know if they want me to air all their business on here, but I am just too excited for them! I will use a little code when discussing them though. 

C- She is making big decisions in her life right now. She graduated with the dream of medical school, and while that dream didn't work out she has a new goal in sites- opthalmology school. She took her whatever test and of course passed with flying colors. She now has TWO interviews- one in Houston and one in Memphis. I couldn't be more excited for her!

J- She had a surgery in October and has been quarantined to her house ever since. Well, she is back in action, sorta. She is now allowed out of the house! And soon enough she will be walking without crutches! I can't wait for her to be at 100%, but for now I am glad she is able to get out and enjoy herself! 

A- She graduates this month and recently had a teaching interview! She's not sure if she wants to get her Master's but for now she is happy with getting interviews! She is still making her decisions on what she wants to do, but I am so excited she has a job opportunity and something to look forward to in the future!

I thank God for blessing me and blessing my friends' lives. We are so fortunate.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Good Bride, Bad Bride

Good Bride- Has known her wedding colors since she was a little girl
Bad Bride- still hasn't decided

Good Bride- begins dieting immediately
Bad Bride- eats Cheez-its before going to try on dresses

Good Bride- Knows exactly what flower she wants at ever location and in every bouquet
Bad Bride- still hasn't decided.

Good Bride- Has a golden tan and flawless makeup
Bad Bride- Still rocking the winter paleness and is lucky to make it through the day with make up on.

Good Bride- Has an answer to every question asked
Bad Bride- Only has the answer, "I don't know yet" or "Haven't gotten to that part yet."

Guess which one I am...and enjoying every second of it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Say Cheese!

I love taking pictures. I carry my camera with me every.where. It is always in my purse. I just never want to leave the camera at home because (since Shreveport is now the Hollywood of the South), you just never know who you may see around town. So I always have my camera handy. I have a Canon PowerShot SD630. It's a small point and shoot camera but takes great pictures. I couldn't be more pleased.

But since I have started at LSUS I have access to a Canon EOS 50D:

This is a WHOA fancy camera. I love taking pictures with it. I feel like a pro. And taking pictures with this camera and seeing the results has led me to the conclusion that anyone can be a good photographer- you just need a good camera. This camera takes incredible photos. I take pictures and put them on the website or show them around the office and people just rave. And I'm like, "are they serious??" Using this camera takes no effort but it does take fabulous photos!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday Five

1. I'M ENGAGED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just in case you didn't know :)

2. See the flowers above, yes, that's all I have been thinking about. Flowers, colors, dates. food, dress, colors, location, money, colors. Ah! It.!!! There are soooo many things that have to be decided on!! And while I am not really in a time crunch, I just want to get it done so I can enjoy being engaged! And plan the fun stuff like showers and registering! :)

3. Colors. Did you ever think sometimes you learned about in kindergarten could be to stressful?! I mean it is just a color. Red. Yellow. Black. White. Blue. But ohhhhhh, no. You have maroon, bright red, apple red, shiny red, then the paler reds that begin to flirt with Pink. I mean its exhausting just trying to pick a color!!!

4. I know men usually don't care about the wedding plans, but I like to pretend they do. So while I am pretending that Chris actually cares what the colors are, I don't want make any decisions while he isn't here. Which is hard to do because he is on a rig for the next 14 days with no cell reception. Makes it a little tricky. But besides all that pretending, Chris is color blind- so why do I want his opinion any way???? Because I want him to love it too!

5. With ALLLLLL this excitement I am really trying not to lose focus of what this season is about, my engagement, CHRISTMAS and JESUS! Even without the distraction of planning a wedding, the Christmas hustle and bustle can make you lose the true meaning of Christmas. Don't forget, Jesus is the reason for the season! And we are celebrating the birth of that sweet baby that came to save the world!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Proposal

I am still so excited I can barely contain it! And if you ask Chris, I am not containing myself at all! Haha! He is excited too, but he is a boy.

So The Proposal...
We had plans to go to Natchitoches to see the lights on Sunday. We went last year on the Saturday of the parade and it was CRAZY. There were people everywhere and you could hardly enjoy the lights. We decided to go on a Sunday this year to avoid the madness. Chris was going back to work on Wednesday for two weeks, so I knew if I wanted to go it would have to be that weekend. So we made plans to go and Sunday afternoon, we set off to Natchitoches. Before we left Chris was ironing his shirt - a BUTTON DOWN! For the life of me I could not understand why he was wearing that. Keep in mind I had on a long-sleeve tee and my hair in.a.braid!!! Hence the reason there are no pictures of us that night. Ha! We decided we would eat dinner at Mama's or Papa's on Front Street and then look at the lights. So on our way down I thought I would just call to make sure they are open- they're not. So I started Google-magic. I found The Landing, which turned out to be just fabulous! Of course, Chris had no idea where we were going to eat, he was just going with the flow. He said, "Well I knew we would eat somewhere..." Men. So, The Landing was perfect it had big street lights and colored Christmas lights all inside and just a perfect little setting. Lucky for Chris it turned out to be so perfect. So we ate dinner and went to the car to get my gloves and Chris's coat. Where the ring had been hiding for 3 days! We went to the river front and started walking in front of all the lights. We were chatting and I was taking pictures of the lights. We passed a couple of benches and Chris asked if I wanted to sit down. Of course I said, "No! It's too cold. Let's keep moving to keep warm." I always ruin everything. So we kept walking and taking pictures of the lights. Finally Chris had had enough and just sat on the bench hoping I would follow. I did, eventually. It is all a bit fuzzy after this. Chris and I both agree, we kind of blacked out. The excitement and emotion escalated and we just don't remember the details. And as I sat he told me how much he loved me. Loved me more than anything in the world. And of course I replied "Well me too!" 
Chris: Well I have a question for you." - and made a move to his jacket pocket. 
Jennifer: Shut. up.
Chris: No, I really do have a question. -moves down to one knee- Will you marry me?
Now this is all a blur. I know he asked and I said YES! I guess that's all that matters!

So that's the story. I couldn't even take it all in. I can still barely comprehend that I am making WEDDING plans! Ahhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!! We hurried back to the car to call everyone and go see both of our parents. Everyone is so excited!

We haven't really picked anything yet. We are getting closer to a date though. It is soooo crazy to have to pick a date that will change your life Chris is gone for two weeks, so I am going to try and do a lot of research and when he gets back he can just agree to everything and we can say we made the decision to together! Ha!

We're getting MARRIED!!!!!!!
Just in case you haven't seen:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Remember this day 12.5.10

Yep, That's what Chris told me on Sunday night when HE PROPOSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

YES, you read right and yes, that was a LOT of exclamation points! We are SO excited! I keep telling Chris I am more excited than him, but he says its because he has known longer! Haha!

And there it is! Eeeeeeekkkkkkkkk! It is absolutely perfect! He had it customed made to a picture I sent him in October, as a joke!!

So the next question is "Have you picked a date??" And the answer is a resounding NO!!! Ha! Not that I am not super ready to walk down that aisle, but it has been 2 days and we just haven't gotten that far! His schedule can be a little crazy, so we want to let that settle down. I don't know where the ceremony will be, or the reception, or the band (or d.j.?), or my colors, or wedding party, or my dress, or flavor of cake, or the food, or how big or how small. No I don't really have an answer to ANY of those questions- And don't judge me! Sure a girl always dreams of her wedding, but I never had anything specific in mind! I know all the stars have to align just perfectly, so I don't want to get too committed to a date and then recepetion place be booked or nail down the church and then minister can't be there. Ah! Too much to think about!

And I don't want to miss this time to just be over the moon excited! Sunday night was like living in a dream!!!!! Who would want to give that up to worry about the details?! Not me!

I want to say my blogging will increase. Because I want to document everything! But I have a feeling life will be getting quite insane! Haha! I will do my best and try to keep everyone up to date! I am sure I will be creating a wedding website with all the details (whenever we actually figure those out).

**Also, I just had to add two new tags- Proposal and wedding!!!!!!! AAAAHHHHHHH! **

Lots of more details to come!

*Also, I realize that I am posting this on December 7, which is also Pearl Harbor Rememberence Day, and I will never forget that day either. A huge thank you to all the current and past military members. I will forever be grateful.*

Friday, December 3, 2010

Friday Five

1. It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas! YAY! I love Christmas time and all the pretties that go up as decorations around this time. Stockings, the tree (duh), the smell good candles, pretty ornaments, mantel decorations. Ahhhhh, so lovely.

2. First Christmas party of the season was the Staff Senate Holiday Party. It was very nice and a good time for the entire staff to take a break and enjoy the holidays and company. And I won a plant!

3. I discovered last night, gingerbread house decorating is not my calling. Wow. That little icing bag can be tricky.

4. I am ready to complete my Christmas shopping. So much pressure to get everything done! Eek!

5. It was around 40 degrees when I woke up and got dressed this morning. That is cold! And it was even colder earlier this week. But now, when I walked across campus at lunch, I started sweating! I wear the big sweaters and jackets to try and convince myself (or mother nature) that it is DECEMBER, and it should be cold outside. But to no avail, I will be hot when I walk to the car after work in my thick, red, festive sweater...