the day after

I am sitting contentedly amongst the post-Christmas chaos that is our living room. I actually like having bits of paper strewn about and gifts not put away--for a few hours at least! It's disconcerting (to me) when gifts are rapidly opened and before you can sigh contentedly and survey the bounty, gifts, paper and all are whisked away, leaving a naked and barren landscape which gives no indication of the joy just had.
Lest one think that we have allowed our Christmas to ferment and bubble over into the "day after" take heart, for we had our family (of three) Christmas today. It was nice to return home after a busy weekend of gifts, food, and fellowship to a house still decorated, stockings still hung, and gifts still under the decorated tree. It's much less of a letdown.
Sonny wrote in his blog about adjusting to the changes of growing up and being alone on Christmas day. Tuan and I (still leaving and cleaving) have to adjust to different family tradtitions, establishing those of our own, and deciding who to spend Christmas with and when. I grew up with about five different Christmas celebrations (now whittled down to about three), while Tuan had just one. My stocking was filled with practical and fun gifts (with a little candy), Tuan's was pure candy. We took our time opening. Tuan's family opens and finishes so quickly that if you blink, you'll miss it. I suppose my gentle readers get the drift.
We both hate to miss any familial celebrations, so we have decided to start a tradition of having our family (of three and hopefully more) celebrate Christmas on the 26th. Last night (Christmas night) we celebrated advent, drank coffee and opened stockings. It was so fun! This morning, we ate breakfast and opened gifts from each other. Good times. I'll try to post some pics of Christmas later.
The events of last week (Tuan's surgery, for one) made for some craziness and necessitated rearranging my own expectations of Christmas. It got me to thinking however. Every year, you hear: "it just doesn't feel like Christmas," or perhaps, one thinks to oneself: "this isn't what I expected." Perhaps our own failed Christmas expectations are like those of the Jews, the wisemen and others who had these great expectations of the Messiah's coming and found, instead, Jesus lying in a manger, with poor parents and surrounded by animals. Rich Mullins sang: "the hope of the whole world rests on the shoulders of a homeless man."
I was feeling down about a lot of things and so frustrated on Christmas eve. Tuan and I went to the service of Lessons and Carols at Columbia pres. It was manna to my soul. Their pastor, Caleb Cangelosi sang "O Holy Night" which was exactly the spiritual realignment my soul needed. Christmas eve is now my favorite part of Christmas.

Truly He taught us to love one another
His law is love, and His gospel is peace
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we
Let all within us praise His holy name
Christ is the Lord, O praise His name forever
His power and glory ever more proclaim


surgery and pain

Tuan had surgery on his finger yesterday. It's amazing how one small part of the human body can cause so much pain. When he cut his finger, it sliced into the bone and cut a tendon. The doctor, put a pin through the bone and hope fully that will help the bone/tendon repair. He is in incredible pain--we would appreciate your prayers. He is also on heavy drugs (meperdine), which means Tuan is pretty much walking around doped up. Very doped up. Thank you to everyone who has expressed concern and is praying for him. We appreciate it!

Random quote:
"Love is pain, highness. and anyone who tells you differently is selling something."

Can anyone guess where that came from?


Bleeding Profusely

Today, as I was tackling the dishes in the mess known as the kitchen, the phone rang. "honey," said my husband, "I've cut myself on the table saw." "ha, ha, you're joking," I replied. "No, really did" said he and with that all of the day's plans were shot. He had deeply cut his left middle finger. Off we rushed to MEA (I can't believe how fast I drove) and the doctor took a brief look at it and immediately sent him to a specialist (at one of those frou-frou plastic surgery places, no less). "Don't eat or drink anything as you'll probably have to go under general anesthesia" he advised. We had a tired baby with us, who good natured as he was, would not make it through surgery/recovery. Caroline, who I was going to hang out with this evening very kindly agree to get Johnny for us, but when we arrived at the Plastic Surgery Place, Dr. Lucas decided to postpone the surgery until Thursday, so Tuan's finger is stitched up and bandaged, but not fixed. (is that a legitimate sentence?) He actually cut off some of the bone and sliced the tendon. Ouch!
Please pray folks that the bleeding will stop and that there will be no infection!!
In other news, we are getting into the Christmas spirit. Having family around makes such a difference. My mom came down Saturday, our church had it's annual formal dinner that our "couples" group puts on, my brother spent Sunday/Monday with us and we to Hattiesburg to visit our "other Mom" (Mrs. Les Fortier), and enjoyed dinner at Crescent City with her, Sonny and Tuan's folks. Today was to be girl's night with Leigh, Anna, and Caroline, but the Lord had other plans. Tommorrow night, the TLNA (Twin Lakes Neighborhood Association--aka Mitchells, Nasekos, Vincents and Las) will be having our first ever progressive dinner. Tuan and I are hosting the appetizer portion of the evening. I've been highly motivated tonight to clean and such--it's been so fun. I'm naturally nocturnal and so I'm staying up really late and getting stuff done. I need to go to sleep, but I'm so WIRED!
Johnny is going to be baptized Sunday morning. I know you are all occupied with family/church matters, but should anyone not be we would love to have you worship with us at Mt. Olive!


first words, first parade, new car

This morning Johnny began babbling some consonant sounds. He said "da-ma" which will forever pacify both Tuan and myself who have both been vying for first word. My nephews first word was . . . . Al Borland. As in "home improvement" "tool time" Al Borland. My sister and bro-in-law just about fell over when he said it. Obviously that was one of their shows of choice at the time. If Johnny follows in Logan's steps it could be:
Henry Gale
I sure hope it's not McSteamy.

In other words and worlds for that matter, Mt. Olive had it's Christmas parade last night. One of the Moms in the church got really motivated and made a cute float. All told, we had ten kids riding on it. They exuberantly threw candy at folks and we won third place! One funny thing was that as we passed the grandstand, the judges tried to stop our float to give us our prize, but the somewhat deaf man driving the float never heard him and just kept going. The emcee ran after us and gave us the award as if passing a baton. It was funny.
The wife of the float driver had arranged for hot chocolate and marshmallows, our pastor's wife brought chocolate dipped pretzels and as I contributed Christmas cookies, we had quite a little party at the church afterwards (and even sang Christmas carols). It was a good, fun, spontaneous thing for our little church, and talk is already brewing about how to make the float better next year.
If you looked at the surface of all that happened last night, it looked a bit "mitford-ish." I mean, we even had the former lady mayor running up and down the sidewalk and the way the "party" came together aftwerward was something Jan Karon might have written. It was indeed, fun, but no Mitford. I really appreciate the way that sin and its complications are never absent in her writing, but there are times when I read about something and think: "oh, that is WAY too idyllic." Mitford is kind of like our memories--we don't forget the big problems, but the minor ones/those that don't directly affect us are often glossed over. I suppose, though, that is why we like and read Mitford.

In other news, the Las bought a new (to us) car yesterday! We had shopped online and at some of the local places and found this random circular with exactly the car we'd been looking for: A 1994 Toyota Landcruiser. It is so sweet.

I remember when I was younger (and practically lived with the Kimbroughs) every time they would make a significant purchase, Wendell would sit down with me and the owners manuals and explain step-by-step the features of a particular item and why that purchase was the best possible one that ever could have been made. I think it's rubbed of a "little" on me, although I now prefer imports over Fords. : )

Although it is older, the mileage is low (140000) and the toyota mechanic gave it a clean bill of health. Plus, the price was right. It has a 3rd seat, four-wheel drive, and a sun-roof. We are very happy about it and it feels like "us." The gas mileage isn't great, but as it gets the same as the wrangler . . . . why not drive a landcruiser? Also, Tuan doesn't commute, so we don't drive a whole lot.

So, good times in La-land. Does anyone read this anymore? Let me know.