Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas 2008, first big Ski day

It's great that Christmas and New Years fall on Thursdays this year. That way, you pretty much have a whole, long, holiday weekend to hang out with family, go out to eat, go to the movies, etc. Unfortunately, we REALLY miss that being out here in UT. The Hardy parents were going out with friends to a Mexican place last night, and we really wish we could have be there. As a small consolation, we got a really white, Christmas snow storm to enjoy. The next morning, I went out to shovel and saw the morning sun hitting Ben Lomond peak which was beautiful.








All the snow also made for a great day skiing on Saturday. Snowbasin is a great place because it is not immediately close to Salt Lake airport like Alta, Snowbird, or any of the Park City resorts. So going skiing during Christmas week wasn't too crowded at all. I was able to walk on the lifts without waiting in line. Esther stayed home, keeping warm with cats and a dog at her feet.



Above: This is how crowded Snowbasin can get Christmas weekend.

Above: This pic is from the top of the Strawberry lift, looking down into Ogden. It was 5 degrees, and I think the winds were going about 30-40MPH. I could only stand it long enough to snap this picture before skiing down low enough to be sheltered by the wind.


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Christmas itself was a blast. Somehow Rascal managed to "wrap" himself. He was parading around in his bow, and we both asked each other if we had put it around him. So I guess he did this himself.




Having our first Christmas together with our dog was also great. I grew up balling up the wrapping paper to throw for a dog to chew up, and Storm proved that doing so is just instinct. She left a perfect Christmas mess on our living room floor.



We hope everybody had a wonderful Christmas. It still is Christmas too. As my mom would say, it's a season, and before you take down the lights, remember that historically, the wise men haven't even shown up yet. :)

Merry Christmas!!
Stay tuned for Happy New Year wishes and what we chose to do for our first Utah New Years....:)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My Daily Goodbye

I'm usually the first to leave the house while Esther finishes up breakfast. Each day, this is my last view of the house:






Sometimes it's a cat, Rascal or Harley, but most of the time this is the close-up puppy face I see as I'm pulling away:






The snow piles are growing..... last year they ended up taller than me.... can't help but hope they get even higher this year!

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Snow's been falling almost everyday, and it may snow on Christmas, which we're very excited about.

Friday, December 12, 2008

An Appealing Idea...

Since moving to Utah, the topic of starting a family is raised daily in one way or another. Currently, we are caring for our pastor's 16 year old son while he and his wife are away for a week...so we are overnight "parents" to a teen. This naturally gets us talking about parenting and how we see ourselves as prospective parents.

When we are not housing teen boys under our roof or babysitting
younger children of our friends or talking to our TEEN PARENTS about their kids, we are talking about all of our friends who are starting or growing their families. Since moving here, our friends at home are having babies at a somewhat alarming rate (SO SO sorry to miss all of those baby showers folks ;). And of course, living in Utah, most of our friends here have kids-even our younger friends. Not only do we talk about these things almost daily, but our friends (and family) are known to ask us about our intentions in this area on a regular basis...it seems it is the thing to do.

So, what are our thoughts and intentions?

Well, while the idea of having a baby is very appealing, I have to admit that
the idea of raising a child is not. We have plans to pay off debt, save $ and
travel more before starting down the one-way road of parenthood. Not to mention that my career is just starting and I'd like to have some real experience and make a name for myself before taking time off to be a full-time mommy. After all, how will we ever pay off my school loans if I don't work them off myself?

Ben's take would be only slightly different. He would add MORE SKIING to the list of things we would like to do before parenthood. :)

So, while these are all good arguments to delay starting a family (of babies,
not pets-we are already on that road!), I will expound on the appeal of having a baby. For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a mommy. I have wanted to know the connection to the child growing inside...and then watch as that child grows into the person God has planned, using myself and Ben as His #1 agents of love and grace in the child's life...being examples of His love and yet a constant reminder of why His perfection is found only in His Son's life, love and gift of salvation.

Then there is the flip side of that appeal-the fear I have of this sin-riddled world and the toll it can take on even the youngest of souls. I witness it daily in the children I encounter in my job and in my own sinful life. Do I really want to bring another child into this world as I know it?

The answer is difficult, yet simple. It is in God's hands. I am not ready to
plan on being Mommy, but I know that God's plan is ultimately what is best and I trust in that. It doesn't mean that I will not be scared out of my mind when (or if) that day comes, but I will find comfort, as I always do, in my God's promises to love me and do what is best for me...and any little ones that He entrusts to Ben and I. He has proven Himself to be my Father, my Mother, my Saviour and Lover of my soul...if He will be that for me, He can be that for my children...if He calls them and they respond with open hearts...

So, this is not a usual light-hearted or silly post about snow, mountains or wonderful pets...but as I said, this is a daily topic of conversation, contemplation and concern in our home and in my heart. And I don't see it changing anytime soon...but please give us a few years to work out some things before we start planning a pregnancy...

Now I am off to read Psalm 139 because it speaks to this topic and to my heart each and everytime my eyes fall on the page.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Finally Winter

We had a great Thanksgiving. Katers dropped in to bring family to the Holiday, which we were greatful for! We REALLY miss the big family get-togethers in general, and over the holidays especially.
We toured Snowbasin which had some great fires goin in the fireplace. We enjoyed a great Thanksgiving dinner with Kate, and our buddy Adam.
The cold weather and snow are finally on their way, after a fall of t-shirts and light jackets. Along with the colder weather, the animals in the household have featured some strange "growths" as of late- just in time for the Ogden holiday parade.
It was a great parade, although we were surprised at the reserved nature of those lining the streets. Evidently, if you cheer for the floats in UT, you are an official wierdo and you receive stares from those around you. This is a far cry from the flavor of a parade back home, but it was a really nice parade with great floats- even if people just stared at the cute kids in costume and didn't cheer. To make up for it, we had our recently weighed, 87 lb puppy there to bark and be a general pain in the butt.