last post of 2011

The last post of 2011.

I’m working tonight, but that’s okay – I’m just glad I enjoy my job so much : ) It’ll be interesting to see what we do at 11:59pm…

Can’t believe this year is already over…so many changes in the past year of my life:  graduation, traveled to Colorado, passed the NCLEX, got a job, started the job, finished orientation, a great boyfriend, 3 new nieces and nephews, a couple of great new friends, a “new” car, pinterest (hahahaha), the list goes on!

God has blessed me so much this past year. It’s absolutely unbelievable! To think of where I was this time last year…wow, God’s brought me so far and taught me so much. I am so so thankful for God’s faithfulness to me this year. I’m looking forward to starting off 2012 with Him : )

Mexican Lego man says, "¡Próspero Año Nuevo!" : )


train tour

One thing I have decided that is to be on my bucket list is a train tour. If I could, I would do lots of them, starting with New England.

I have ridden the train a few times and I thoroughly enjoyed it (except for the first time when I sat in the seat where a kid had puked the night before and no one told me until 2 hours into the ride…that made for an interesting ride considering I already felt sick hahaha)

But item on bucket/wish list: take a train tour.

shazam! hey! unto you child is born!

Every year my church has had a children’s program on Christmas Eve. And following, my family has the tradition of getting together and eating snacks and reading, “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” (hence, the blog title) and staying up until midnight. Both wonderful, well-loved traditions!

However, this year was a little different: my church did the children’s program early and instead we had a candle light service on Christmas Eve. And I was wondering, like most people in the congregation I’m sure, how this change in tradition would pan out. Let me just say that I officially prefer the candlelight service. So beautiful, so meaningful and looking across the aisles at friends and family members, it brought tears to my eyes as we all stood with our candles in the dark and sang a Christmas carol. Such beauty.

And the other change was that most of my siblings were with their in-laws or their own families for this Christmas, so we didn’t read the book and the snacks were down-played. But my parents and Jordan and I watched ‘The Nativity Story” (again) and I thoroughly enjoyed it again. Mary’s attitude and faithfulness was just astounding…but that’s for another blog post for another day.

Right now I’m going to bed to wake up early for Christmas morning. So I leave you with a few pictures from the evening…

Eliza and Stella at the candlelight service. Photo cred: Cameron Easley

Beautiful candlelight service Photo cred: Erin Easley

Awkward Family Photo: Jordan and me. We always take (at least) one goofy picture and this is my fav from this year

Did I take this kind of picture of myself? Yes, I did. I wanted to showcase the work my mom did: in the mid-90s my mom went through this huge phase of fabric glue design shirts. My sister, my mom and I all had matching sweaters. This is my old sweater and I still enjoy it 🙂 P.S. This is my Jennifer Yoder face 😉

Christmas goodies tradition: cookies, snacks and sparkling grape juice. Notice Jordan’s cup: the largest one. In his words, “The pimp cup.”

the black polar bear

So thankful for moments like these.

At 30-30 Coffee with Stephen and the absurd black polar bear. This bear is a polar bear dyed black that stands right next to the entrance. He is about 10 feet tall, standing up with his hands out for an attack. Why did they dye him? Who knows. (He “died” twice hahaha) The first time we came here, we had just made a comment about awkward moments and we looked over and there stood an overweight man with his belly sticking out standing next to the bear with the bear’s paw on his shoulder. (The mom paw? Hahaha)


Isaiah 7:14 and 9:6 –
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel…
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Immanuel – “God with us”. Those verses are my favorite Christmas verses and I think they are just absolutely beautiful. God with us. I watched the movie The Nativity Story last night and it was such a beautiful portrayal of the story of Mary and Joseph and Christ’s birth. (It had me in tears nearly every other scene.) To think that God would send His only Son to earth in such a humbling way for mankind. May we remember during this season that Christ, the Son of God, came to earth for us and He truly is:

“…Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

I love this song and it doesn’t seem like the Christmas season until I hear it : )

breakfast in a small town

Today I had breakfast with two great friends of mine. We went to a small town diner in Marion, Indiana, just off IWU’s campus – cheap, satisfying coffee, eggs, bacon, pancakes and to top it all off, great company and conversation. I felt as if I was in the most perfect picture of small town America.

There is simply something so satisfyingly refreshing about a diner breakfast coupled with two such great friends. So much laughter and such solid conversations were had. I had forgotten how much I need time with girl friends that know me well and that can pour not only laughter, but wisdom and insight into my life. God has blessed me so much and He had made it so apparent in the past 8 months. To think that 9 months ago I was dreading graduation and it’s almost as if as soon as I stepped out IWU’s doors, God has been showering blessings on me and making His love so apparent.

I can’t explain it well, but for some reason, right after graduation, it was like a light switch was flipped and it became so much easier to trust God and allow for His will in my life. I suddenly was given such a peace about my future and my life in general. And God has provided time and again. I guess you could say Proverbs 3:5-7 have been the theme verses for my life during this time:

Trust in the LORD with all your heart 
   and lean not on your own understanding; 
in all your ways submit to Him, 
   and He will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes; 
   fear the LORD and shun evil.

Thank you, Lord, for being so incredibly faithful, even when we doubt Your goodness. I am continually amazed by Your graciousness. Oh, how I love You.