Monday, December 22, 2008

Family Time

My family is coming TOMORROW!!! I have been so excited for so long and it is finally here!!! Kate and Mam-ma got into Houston last night and everyone will be driving up to Abilene tomorrow afternoon. In anticipation, Jon and I did some serious cleaning Saturday. Our house hasn't been this organized ever. It feels so nice to have cleaned everything out and have a place for it all. I also think this is the first time that all the laundry/sheets/towels have been clean, or at least they all were for a few hours. I've seriously been dreaming of a white Christmas for Abilene, but the forecast says it will be more like summer than winter. So no snow for this Christmas :(

However...I can rest assured that I will be sick of snow by the time we get home from skiing. Yesterday while fliping through the tv channels I came across and old episode of 'The Girls Next Door' (don't judge me!) where they went snowboarding in Vail!! I allowed Jon to tune in this once so he could get some pointers from their instructors and see what it is all about. Guess who shows up half way through the episode! Shaun White...duh! He was helping Kendra learn how to ride a rail. I must admit I was jealous. I went to the snowboard park the last time I went snowboarding, but I couldn't work up the courage to do anything :( but maybe this time!! I think I'm getting ahead of myself a bit...we still have Christmas to contend with.

This past weekend I was trying to finish up the last of my Christmas shopping, as was everyone else in Abilene. I don't mind saying that Walmart was hell on earth. Satan was definitley attacking my patience and holly jolly Christmas spirit! I literally walked a fourth of a mile to get inside and they didn't even have what I was looking for. My favorite part was sauntering behind the families of 5 pushing one cart down the isle. I think Walmart should mandate that only one family representative is allowed at a time the week before Christmas. They get the same amount of revenue and because people are in a better mood and aren't crazy mad, thus they may not be in a panic to get out as fast as possible. But, I'm glad to say that I made it out with some of my sanity intact. I won't pretend like it didn't give me a headache for a majority of the day though, seriously.

One thing I am proud about is that I have all my presents wrapped and nicely under the tree before Christmas eve! This is a wonderful feat for me. Usually I wait to go home and shop in Houston last minute, but since we are hosting I got things done much earlier. Another reason was because we had to mail Jon's family their presents and had to be done very early to get it there in time. This got me in the present mindset far earlier than normal.

All in all I am SUPER excited for Christmas and I can't believe it is almost here! Before I go I must say to remember what this season is truly about! God's promise of salvation being fulfilled with the greatest gift of all. Jesus our savior!!

"Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
'Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.' " Luke 2:13,14

Also, if you have never heard Handel's Messiah performed, put that on next Christmas' to do list. The ending song is the famous Hallelujah chorus which is so beautiful in it's entirety.

Have a blessed Christmas!


Thursday, December 11, 2008


So, last night one of my prayers was answered! I have been praying for a long time about Jon and I meeting some new couple friends and getting more involved at Beltway. When we placed membership a few months back i knew that it would be hard for us to get plugged in at such a big place. One thing that we have wanted to get involved in for a long time was a life group. We had expressed interest a while back, but nothing came of it and I was a little let down. But, Jon and I pursued it because we felt it was necessary for us to get involved at Beltway. Well a few weeks ago we found out that there was a group starting to meet on Wednesday nights that was being led by a couple in our Sunday morning class. We had never talked to this couple, so we didn't know what to expect. But, it happened to be perfect timing and the night that we needed to meet on. Honestly, at this point I had almost given up hope of finding a group we could fit into and I was starting to enjoy my Wednesday nights at home. Isn't God funny how He sometimes waits until we are so comfortable to ask us to change, making it so much more of a commitment to Him. Well, God is always and totally right. I went into last night dreading it a little, I hate forced awkward conversation and I was worried that Jon wouldn't talk and it would be up to me. But, God is so gracious and blessed us with a wonderful evening! The group wasn't studying anything right now because of the holidays and different couples being gone a lot. It was a great time to just talk, get to know the group, and share what's been going on in our lives. We stayed for almost 3 hrs!! Plus, Jon stepped up and was such a wonderful spiritual leader. I love him so much! The night was wonderful and we feel so great about God choosing this group for us. Literally we were almost giddy! How perfect is God's timing.
Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

First Bruner Thanksgiving

This year I celebrated two monumental things in my life on one very special day. I celebrated my first Thanksgiving as a married woman with my husband, and I spent my first holiday away from my family. It is great to have a new family, it is twice as much fun to have two families than just one. But, I think it is going to take a while to adjust.
This Thanksgiving I learned so much more about Jon's family. We decided to never do holidays together until we were married so we could put off the switching back and forth business. So, as this was my first big holiday away from home, it was also Jon's first holiday to have me around. Jon's family does things pretty similar to mine, but it is neat to see all the traditions that they have. The biggest one was the difference in recipes! I know that every family does there own signature Thanksgiving dish, and The Hickl signature dish is something I look forward to year-round. It was as if I had a whole different Thanksgiving meal experience! One cool thing that Jon's family does is cook the turkey in his grandma's very very old oven. It is soooo different! It looked like a giant metal crock pot. But I just loved that they still cook it in there! And it tasted wonderful!
One thing that I'm not used to is visiting both sets of grandparents over the holidays. Since my mom's family lives in Idaho it is always an either/or scenario. After we spent Thanksgiving day with Jon's mom's side of the family, we spent the next day with Jon's dad's side of the family. It was great to get to see all of them as well, but it was tiring. We did get to have two Thanksgivings in one so it was well worth it!
One thing I really missed this year was having a ton of leftovers! Even if we go to my aunt and uncle's house for Thanksgiving my mom still fixes some things at home so we can have Thanksgiving for days. I missed not having all the leftovers to gorge myself on. I was actually surprised how little I ate this year! Usually I come away with at least a 3 lb gain, but I felt about the same this time around. I'm sure I'll more than make up for it at Christmas.
As sad as it was to be away from my family for the first time, I survived and had a wonderful time celebrating with Jon's family. I'm so glad that I married someone who's family is so similar to mine so I always feel at home. Here are a few pictures from Thanksgiving:

Katy and I in our apron's working hard on the Thanksgiving Feast to come!

Jon and I worked hard to make this beautiful apple pie.

My first Bruner Family Picture!

Ma-ma working hard in her apron to make sure her recipes were perfect

Yay for our first Thanksgiving!

Overall my first Thanksgiving away from home was wonderful and I am so Thankful to have such a wonderful new family!