Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ohhhhhhhh Ya!

This years tree trimming video is edited and up on Youtube.  Be forewarned, it's 8 min.  We tried to cut it down but it was so much fun!  Turn your volume up so you don't miss the side comments!
The latest installment of Paul family merrymaking...  
Glad we had this night before the flu took my consciousness beyond oblivion for 6 straight days.  Also thankful to now be on the mend.

Friday, December 24, 2010

{{family}} - DPP '10

Tofer is home for such a short time and I so wanted pics with the whole fam while he was here.  Fellow photographer, Suzie Mauro, agreed to trade sessions with me!!  So yesterday we spent an hour, with Suzie by our side, walking through Bozeman and snapping all the way!! 

Merry Christmas from the Paul Clan! May it be Merry and Bright!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

{{smile}} - DPP '10

We were already smiling when we parked the van in the airport lot.  We were smiling as we walked across the breezeway into the foyer and turned toward the arrival gate.  Then we spotted the hats.  The smiles grew to obscene toothiness.  They only got larger when Tofer finally walked down the gangway and swung his little sister around in his arms. Our boy is home.
I hope your smile just got larger too.  Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

{{wait}} - DPP '10

The tree is still bare.
Tofer's plane was overbooked and he ended up in a hotel in Salt Lake last night instead of home with us.
We can't decorate until he comes.  It's tradition.  One that none of us has a desire to give up, especially since we don't have to.  It just means we are on pause; expectant... waiting.

Monday, December 20, 2010

{{arrival}} - DPP '10

We lit the final candle yesterday and I noticed that the stable and manger were lit by it too.  Our next candle is placed at the center of these on Christmas day.  We light the Christ candle to represent the arrival of the Son of God, the Light of the World, into our lives - tangibly.
God in flesh, cradled in the arms of His creation.
Tofer arrives from Hollywood tonight and we are on pins and needles waiting for the plane to touch down and him to walk down the breezeway and into our arms.  I'm not a late night person, but I think I might be guzzling the coffee tonight, & lighting the candles to welcome our son home - tangibly. 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

{{nip}} - DPP '10

The last 2 days have felt like I live at the North Pole. 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

{{coming}} - DPP '10

We never celebrated Advent when I was growing up.  I'm not sure why, but it was never a part of our traditions.  When our kids were still small I found this advent "wreath" at Ikea and began researching what advent really was.  We still didn't do it quite as reverently or adamantly as some, nor did we fully grasp the worship part of it.  Then we moved to Bozeman. The church we served in was more liturgical than I had ever been a part of in the past and Advent was a solemn & adoring element of December services .  Families were invited to come up and read the meaning of the candles and light a new one each week as we 'came closer' to the day of 'the arrival' of the Christ, the Messiah, the Savior...  Jesus.
Celebrating Advent has a profound place in me now.  Lighting each candle of Hope, Peace, Joy, & Love has become a tradition of the heart.
 7Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.8The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.9By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.10In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.11Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.12No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.13By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.14We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.15Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.16We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

{{peaks}} - DPP '10

Can't get enough of these snow against the dark trees, and rock and the way the snow creates it's own shadows.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

{{days}} - DPP '10

I grew up on a ranch where Grampa raised his own beef, we reared Appaloosa quarter horses and grew alfalfa for our own hay.  It wasn't a huge spread, but it was a great place to grow up - and, I miss it.  Then Jesus gives me days like this.  Days where I get to watch the stallions be 'ornry to each other and the mares give 'em what for.  Days where sheep stare back at me through mounds of shag and bleat unrelentingly.  Days where when I walk out the door they all rush to the jack-legs hoping I have some tasty treat because the grass is all gone and the hay doesn't come for an hour yet.  Days where I get to fall into the memories I love and smile - but I don't have to deal with the allergies!  Wahoo!
Aren't you thankful for the days you've lived, and the ones that make us remember those days with a smile?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

{{discover}} - DPP '10

Montana is so raw.  I love driving along it's backroads because they never disappoint me.  Mile after mile is fascinating. Deer, elk, antelope (pronghorns), buffalo wander in view, oblivious of me and my camera.  And, once-in-awhile, Montana shows me something chillingly beautiful.
I doubt this Golden took down the doe she is perched upon, but she was taking full advantage of the situation.  We sat and watched her from our roadside 'Acura Lounge', sipping cinnamon lattes and whispering questions and exclamations about her.   Laughing at the Magpies who wanted in on the action but were a tad skittish around that wicked shnozola of Ms. Golden. 

Monday, December 13, 2010

{{view}} - DPP '10

In the blue light of the morning I would stand on the deck and watch the deer and cattle come down the water to drink. 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

{{retreat}} - DPP '10

Our little cabin in the woods, along the Yellowstone river.  It was such a cozy place to be with my delicious man.  Miles away from civilization :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

{{glow}} - DPP '10

Downtown every window is lit.  *sigh* Love this time of year.
J is taking me away for a couple days.  A belated anniversary rendezvous. 
I'll post my weekend photos and Monday's when I return.  Have a lovely weekend.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

{{bloom}} - DPP '10

If you only knew how many years I have waited to have a glass teapot just so I could watch these blossom...
And then, a white elephant night comes along and here I am with a clear view.
Minda and I decided it called for an Oriental night.  We made sushi, and egg rolls and shared tea - flowering tea :)
Seems an odd thing to do in the middle of December surrounded by 3 feet of snow, but it was lovely.  Completely lovely.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

{{memory}} - DPP '10

I have always been captured by simplicity.  Uncomplicated life - not easy necessarily, just an unpretentious, clean, sincere, modest and wholesome life.  When I was small (maybe 4?) I remember seeing a picture of a bonnetted girl in a dress holding some flowers.  Her name was Holly Hobbie.  I was enchanted from that moment on.  I wanted to have her life.  She was kind, thoughtful, and a friend.  She spent time gardening and giving away produce, mailing letters to sick friends and far away ones, quilting together with old and young, and wandering through fields alone pausing to look at the bees and clover, sitting in the shade of a tree and pondering...  It was my dream to be that lovely of a person.
She disappeared from my life as I got older.  Then I became a mom & I suddenly wanted those dreams for more than just me.
I researched Holly Hobbie and much to my surprise found her to be the illustrator of the cards, books, and poems I had dreamt over as a child.  Then I found she had just began a new series of books for this new generation.  I wondered if it would be as sweet and beautiful as Holly had been to me.   I found Toot & Puddle just before Christmas one snowy afternoon in one of those cutesy, over-priced novelty shops that I was browsing through.  I sat down in a chair close to the window and began reading about these 2 best friends in that magical winter light.  I finished it in tears & read it again.  It was the same Holly Hobbie who loved home, and relationship, and simplicity.  This time, however, it was 2 little pigs (the cutest you ever saw) & they love each other enough to let the other be themself.  Toot is a traveler, but never forgets to write home and always comes home anxiously in the end.  Puddle is a homebody, but he loves hearing of the faraway places and makes Toot's homecomings the best.
My kids all love these stories now right along with me.  We love the beauty of the illustrations, the fun way Holly tells their stories, and the adventures, but what we love most is their love for one another.  Their bond.
I don't know Holly, but I wish I did.  I wish I could tell her how much she has meant to a little girl who grew up in rags with the hopes of being someone who would be loved by others for her love and care for them and who had enough to give abundantly.  I wish I could tell her how 3 kids, years later, grew up watching their mama get choked up over the sweetness & beauty of 2 best friends giving each other  the best of themselves without reserve.  I wish she could know their love for each other and their friends and how they feel built up and are filled with a desire to be even better friends when they read her stories.
They are captured by simplicity, though our lives are anything but simple.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

{{indulge}} - DPP '10

Every year a friend of mine invites several friends to bake 6 dozen cookies and come spend an evening fellowshipping and exchanging treats.  I don't see many of these ladies at any other time of year so it is always special.   This year my contribution was a family tradition.  MaCarroonies!  Cassia and I love these cookies so it could be dangerous that I baked enough to take to the party plus an extra dozen to take to friends who weren't able to come plus 2 dozen more for us.  That means it's time to hit the exercise overdrive button!

Monday, December 06, 2010

{{gather}} - DPP '10

James' works for a small business.  One where most of the employees have worked for 20 years and have become family in many ways.  We just barely became a part of this 'family' yet the others have welcomed us with friendship.  We feel blessed.

Last night we were treated to time together.  Ahi, Tenderloin, Amazing appetizers, Malbec, and laughter.  It was some of the best food I've eaten in years but the company was the best part.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

{{adorn}} - DPP '10

We are, little by little, getting things out for the season upon us.  I love to decorate, but we don't have much.  It's so important to me to do what I can with the limited time and funds we have, though.  Like this.  A friend gave us this wreath for our door when we moved in & we just added some cranberry picks to make it more festive.  Simple touches, here & there, as we can. Creating a sense of place, of cycle & custom, of home.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

{{treat}} - DPP '10

One of the reasons the holidays are so splendiferous?  CUTIES!  Lovely little Clementines, with their sunny color, and darling size that make our spirits and tastebuds soar. 

Friday, December 03, 2010

{{warmth}} - DPP '10

Winters are long in Bozeman, and covered from Oct. to May in feet of fluffy snow.  Before moving here I knew nothing of Patagonia Capilene, fleece or down sweaters, or Merrell Apexes, or YakTrax, or Smartwool.  Now I not only know about them, they are highly coveted. 
Cold?  Not these tootsies!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

{{stay}} - DPP '10

Staying home. Staying cozy. Staying warm.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

{{comfort}} - DPP '10

It's time again for the December Photo Project!  LOVE this month of documenting my world.  And so, we begin...
Broccoli feta soup.  A recipe made up on the spot that was devoured by my family. :)