Monday, December 28, 2009

Cheap Entertainment

I have two cats, both of whom have strange personality quirks. However, they share an odd obsession with boxes. They sit on them, climb inside them, dig in them, fight over them, and will flip them over to meet their needs.

Their obsession comes in handy when I need to put them in a carrier for any reason. I bring it out and they immediately start fighting over who is going to sit in it and they're generally happy to be in the carrier because they think of it as another box. Having cats that love being in their carriers is such a huge blessing when one moves as often as I have. :-)

Last night, Posie (a 12.5 pound Tabby-Siamese mix) spent twenty minutes trying to fit in a box far too small for her. She could sort of sit in the box but became frustrated when she tried to lay down and didn't fit. This resulted in her getting up and walking around the box multiple times, digging at it, and trying again (hoping it had somehow expanded since the last attempt). Finally, she tilted it on the lid and laid down on that while still digging at the bottom (now on it's side). See below for pictures of the early part of her attempts.

Today, I had to move some things around to get to some craft boxes. I finally found what I was looking for in one of the boxes and haphazardly put the lid back on it and focused on the project at hand. Not five minutes later, I looked over and Posie had removed the box lid and was sitting on top of the contents, in the box.

After the last twenty-four hours, do you think she's on the hunt for a new box to claim? I would feel badly for her, except that she has her very own box that she completely fits in and is allowed to tear apart. In fact, she routinely jumps in her box, known as "Posie's box," whenever I come in the door. Oh well, at least her toys are cheap: boxes! :-)

As you can see, she barely fits in the box.

But she's so proud of herself for fitting. :-)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

I love when I'm overwhelmed by funny and sentimental memories from childhood. Not that I want to live in the past, but sometimes it's just fun to remember the silliness and excitement of being a child on Christmas morning. Family traditions are so interesting to me. Each family develops their own and makes them unique, yet there's usually something common to so many of the traditions we share.

One of my favorite childhood family traditions on Christmas morning was how my parents made my brother and me wait to see our tree with all the gifts. We had an enclosed staircase with a landing part-way up. My parents would hang a dark sheet from the ceiling and make sure that we couldn't easily see around it. Even if you did see around the sheet, all you could see was the rest of the staircase. My brother and I would wait upstairs for what often seemed like hours (and as we got older, it was usually hours) before being permitted downstairs to start celebrating Christmas as a family. The anticipation and excitement would build to the point that we could barely tolerate it.

I hope the anticipation of Christmas has built to the point that you can barely tolerate it today! Merry Christmas!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

One Year

One year ago today, my grandmother passed away. It wasn't a peaceful passing but I'm confident she's at peace, pain free, and joyfully spending an eternity with Jesus. I didn't really get to know my grandmother until I moved to Indiana in 2005 and spent many weekends with her the year I lived there.

I'm so thankful that God allowed us to really know each other and used her in my life in so many ways. Grieving over the loss of her in my daily life has been different than the process I experienced with my dad and my grandfathers. I find it interesting how grief is so unique to the individual relationship, that no one process is identical to another. And yet sometimes, I wish there was a formula for it.

I miss her wise counsel, her laugh, her gruff tone when she'd had enough football viewing for one day (and insisted I change the channel to something else), her encouragement, calling her with recipe questions, and the way she could read through my facade. But I think most of all, I miss how she loved each one of her family members and friends. She had a way of getting to know someone so well and understanding what they needed and how they needed to be loved in that moment. I hope that someday I'm able to love others that way as well.

I'm thankful for the time I had with her and the way God has used her to shape my life. It's amazing how even when someone is gone from our daily lives, God can continue to use them to shape us into who He created each of us to be. I can still hear her reprimanding tone as she yelled at my grandfather when she'd catch him pesting someone or plotting some prank or scheme, "George!" :-) Everyone within earshot would just laugh, knowing he'd been caught and managed to achieve his goal of pesting someone (her) without having to actually prank anyone.

Today, I miss her and I'm flooded by hard memories of a year ago. Usually the better memories occupy my mind, but it's understandable that some difficult ones are there today too.

Below: Grandma with my cousin. Grandpa with his "Four Red Roses" (all the granddaughters). He was probably about to tickle all of us. :-)

Friday, December 18, 2009


I finished this (crazy) semester on Tuesday. That day involved working nearly twelve hours and driving more than two hours in traffic to and from my internship. I still have some writing to do for the project, but for the most part it is done. As is typical for me, I've been obsessively checking for my grades since Wednesday. :-)

As wonderful as it feels to not have homework to do today or tomorrow, it also hasn't sunk in yet that I have at least a month of no classes. I'm praying that I pass my classes and am able to graduate this semester, but it could be another two weeks before I know if I passed and apparently it can take up to a month for the graduation application to go through. It's so easy for me to obsess and want to know right now. One friend asked what I was doing to curb how often I check on my grades and I replied that I've been able to start only checking every two hours. ;-) She suggested I find other things to occupy my time and distract me, which is usually what happens. It just takes me a few days to get there and settle into the wait.

Overall though, this has been a really challenging week for me. God is definitely moving in my life and working on some things that He couldn't while I was in the middle of classes. Unfortunately, I've been struggling to be in the Christmas spirit so far. I've been so busy with finishing school and trying to graduate that I haven't had the energy to focus on anything outside of that. I've been trying to bake goodies this week and I need to move furniture and decorate.

I know people would say that Christmas isn't about cookies and Christmas trees; and, they're absolutely right. But, it creates and continues the feeling of mystery, wonder, and joy that Christmas embodies for me. It's the ambiance, it helps me focus on Christ and the gift God gave us in His Son.

And I know that I'm especially struggling with that this year as it is the first celebrated Christmas since my grandmother's passing last year. I miss her terribly and I know that if I don't fully celebrate Christmas this year, a bad pattern could be established where this time of the year is only associated with her instead of properly focused on Christ. There's a balance that needs to be found and I'm still working on it.

Yet, I know God will provide what I need to be able to focus on Him and His Son this season. Perhaps for me, the season of Christmas may only be a few days this year. But that's longer than the season I experienced last year. I hope that God's provision (which is really what Christmas is all about) never fails to amaze me. I hope that I always see His provision, acknowledging it when I see and experience it, thanking Him for how deeply He loves me and each one of us.

After all of that and looking back on this week, I think I need a good laugh. I present, Reindeer Posie and Santa Izzy...