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Sunday
Dec082013

Frozen-Dallas Edition

Some icy weather decided to head this way earlier than usual this year. Mike picked Christian up from school on Thursday, and by that evening we knew that school was cancelled for the next day because of what was on the way. 

When we woke up on Friday, everything was frozen. 

Tree branches hung practically to the ground, and some had grown so heavy during the night that they snapped off. 

Late in the morning, Christian parked himself on the couch to rest, and proceeded to stay there for almost the entire remainder of the day. Do you know Christian? This was not normal behavior. 

Since we knew that we would be stuck in the house for a couple of days, Mike had stopped at Sam's Club with Christian on the way home from school Thursday and bought a tree. We brought down the decorations and ornaments, too. 

One of the few things that I have to put up is this tiny sleigh made from fake greenery. Christian found it in my bin during one of his up-and-about stints, and asked where to put it. I told him to put it where he thought it would go best.

And if you can figure out what Christian is doing, as you can see his reflection in the TV, let me know. It looks like he's about to swing a golf club. If so, that's pretty tricky, since I was standing right there and didn't notice any golf clubs before or after taking this picture. 

I could tell you more about our day if I wanted to bore you right to death, since it consisted of resting, more resting, and a little bit of some extra resting. I did make salsa which was an absolute highlight. 

Then it was bedtime, and we woke up late Saturday morning, which was lovely. But soon Christian was tired again, so he hit the couch and cozied up under some blankets (our house gets really cold when it's cold outside). 

While he was resting, the girls sorted buttons, which was a sweet reminder of simpler times. 

And that was about the most exciting thing that happened all day. We did watch a guy slide down our street toward the six-lane intersection in his pick-up truck. He couldn't stop so as he approached the stop sign he laid on his horn to warn any on-coming traffic of his impending arrival. Fortunately, there was not a lot of traffic since the roads were so bad, so he was able to turn onto the street and carry on. So, that was exciting (nerve-wracking, actually), but for the most part it was quite an uneventful day. Christian took several showers, since they make him feel better when he has a headache. He just might be the cleanest boy on the planet right now. 

Mike and Michaela did venture out to Walmart to get some more lights because (no one should be surprised) we were a couple of strands short of a fully lit tree. Ha. They made it back safely, and soon it was bedtime.

Crazy times.

During the night, Christian woke up twice, once at 2:30 and once at 6:30. He showered at 6:30 (I can't remember about 2:30...I think he just took some medicine then), and then went back to bed, and just as I fell back asleep Mike came in and tapped me on the arm to ask what I thought about going to church. Since I was still somewhere between a dream and the harsh reality of an icy morning in Dallas, I think I mumbled something like,"No," as I hoped the Lord would forgive me for wanting to sleep a little longer. 

I did sleep quite a bit longer, and so did Christian. He hadn't had a fever yet, but when we took his temperature today, it was a little high, so he took some Ibuprofen and did his best to stay upright. He did rest on the couch for a bit, but he also joined the girls for a gingerbread house decorating session. Mike had picked up a kit at Walmart the night before, and it turned out to be a great idea.

I had my doubts at first. They began by fighting and fussing over who would do which part, but ended up getting along nicely and working together to make a cute little house.  

They think they are going to eat it. 

I think yuck. 

My opinion might not matter though. 

Eliana said they were going to display it outside. I told her only if she wanted all the animals to eat it. 

Mike finished the lights on the tree, and the kids and I added the cranberry-like garlands (my favorite). 

And we'll finish decorating tomorrow, hopefully. Christian was ready for bed at 7:30, and asked if we could wait until then. School has been cancelled, and he wouldn't have gone anyway. It's crazy that Dallas shuts down like this when a bit of ice comes through, but I guess they just aren't prepared for the amount of work that it takes to de-ice a whole city the way northern states are. So we'll enjoy the extra break (hopefully), and Christian can get better (hopefully)! 

Saturday
Dec072013

Unusual

Today was a strange day. Christian slept (or otherwise rested) on the couch all day, leaving Eliana wondering what her place in the world was.

Toward the end of the day, she laid herself flat on the arm of a large green chair in our living room with her face buried in the space where the arm meets the back, and whined,"But it's Saturday...Christian is supposed to do stuff and play!" She told me she just wanted to build something, so I reminded her of the LEGOs and she hurriedly brought them into the living room so that she could at least play next to Christian, if not with him.

Hopefully tomorrow will be a more normal day, the ice that has trapped us inside for a couple of days will melt away, and playmates will be restored to full-play capacity.

Friday
Dec062013

Lighter

The pack was so heavy; the stones pulled the straps down so that they rubbed meanly on her shoulders, but the rocks also dug unmercifully into her back with their uneven hardness. Stubbornly, she clung to the straps even as he reached for her bag. Why, she furiously wondered, would he, or should he, take the heavy sack? He hoisted it with one hand from her sore shoulders, and gently loosened her fingers. As he took the pack, she felt such relief that she almost stumbled although she was now without her heavy burden.

To her surprise, instead of dumping out the stones and returning the bag to her, he swung the bag around with a great effort and began carrying it himself. "Come on," he said,"We'll go together. Always together."

The sun chased the night away as it got lighter.

Tuesday
Nov262013

It Ain't Over Yet...

You thought I was all done talking about them, didn't you?

"If you'da been thinkin', you wouldn't 'a thought that."

Here is what happened: I was able to purchase the VIP experience (If you have to pay to be a Very Important Person, can you still call yourself a VIP?) for Michaela and me, and the perks included getting into the concert early (hence the third row seats), a freshly-signed-by-each-member-of-the-band poster for each of us, and a chance to shake their hands and stand for a photo.

I want to squeal, still. 

 

 

Each one of them shook our hands, looked us right in the eyes, and asked our names. I even remember one of them asking Michaela where she was from. Michaela will have to tell you what she thought of this, so I will speak for myself for a minute. After asking my name, each one of them looked at me and listened to me say,"Christina," shook my hand, and smiled in a way that made me feel, even if for just that moment, that they not only would remember my name, but that they truly cared! In the end, it was not the extra money that made me a VIP that night. Rather, it was Drew, Chad, Jon, Jerome, and Tim taking the time to make me feel like I mattered, even though I was one out of a thousand people who had shown up for the concert, and one out of another hundred who were waiting to meet them. 

I had many things to say, but I refrained, and kept my comments to a minimum (there was a long line of people, you know). I told Jon that every movie should be like that one (and I wish I could have elaborated, but I hope he knew what I meant), and that after watching it I felt like I knew them. He grinned and said...well, I can't remember if he said,"All right!" or,"Wooooo!" (I'll see if Michaela remembers, for the sake of accuracy and posterity...haha!), and then he gave me a high-five. I high-fived Jon Foreman. And I'm pleased to say that I nailed it (and not in the Pinterest-fail kind of way), and didn't miss his hand and hit Jerome in the face. Although they may have remembered my name for real if something like that had happened...

Meeting them was a wonderful experience, and I hope that Christian and Eliana can have the same chance one day (read: I want to do that again). 

Sunday
Nov242013

The Finale

"Dare You to Move" was the final song of the show. 

Or was it? 

It was supposed to be, but they came back out for an encore. The Fab Five all gathered together at the front of the stage, and Jon told us that they were going for an intimate, campfire-feeling with the next song.

This one was all acoustic; no one was plugged in.  

Jerome had his accordian (I think that's an accordian. It's an accordian, right?), Drew had his guitar, Tim had a tambourine, and Chad had the snare in front of him. Jon brought his voice, the others joined in with their vocals, and the whole thing was perfect. 

Like, I have tears in my eyes just thinking about it.

If you've never heard this song, stop reading right now and google it, or youtube it, or something. It's so good.

And the live acoustic version is beautiful. 

As he did throughout the entire show, Jon encouraged the crowd to join in. 

Don't they look like they're having the best time? 

I love it! 

And the show went on! Jon introduced the next song, "Ba55," (pronounced: B-A-5-5) and they just about brought the place down with the next performance. 

I use the word epic rarely, especially in this day and age when it is used so frequently, but this song and this part of the show? 

Epic.

It is a really fun song to crank up, and I have. Our speakers get loud, yo. I turn it way up when I want to get stuff done. 

Lit. It. Up. 

It was so good. 

And then it really was time for the finale. 

As I've been looking back over my pictures, I've noticed how Jon interacted with the audience; sometimes it seemed like he zeroed in on someone in particular for some reason, he didn't hesitate to reach out. 

And this last song is one in particular that I think hits home for a lot of their fans. 

"Where I Belong" 

This is another song that you have to hear. 

When I listen to the words of this one, I think,"This is Jon Foreman's Revelation Song."

Feeling like a refugee
Like it don't belong to me
The colors flash across the sky

This air feels strange to me
Feeling like a tragedy
I take a deep breath and close my eyes
One last time
One last time 

Storms on the wasteland
Dark clouds on the plains again
We were born into the fight

But I'm not sentimental
This skin and bones is a rental
And no one makes it out alive

Until I die I'll sing these songs
On the shores of Babylon
Still looking for a home
In a world where I belong

Where the weak are finally strong
Where the righteous right the wrongs
Still looking for a home 
In a world where I belong

Yeah

Feels like we're just waiting, waiting
While our hearts are just breaking, breaking
Feels like we've been fighting against the tide

I wanna see the earth start shaking
I wanna see a generation
Finally waking up inside

This body's not my own
This world is not my own
But I still can hear the sound
Of my heart beating out
So let's go boys, sing it loud

And on the final day I die
I want to hold my head up high
I want to tell You that I tried
To live it like a song

And when I reach the other side
I want to look You in the eye
And know that I've arrived 
In a world where I belong

I still believe we can live forever 
You and I we begin forever now
Forever now
Forever
I still believe in us together
You and I we're here together now
Together now
Forever now
Forever now
Forever now

Forever
Forever

And I wish the concert could have lasted forever...

This time it was really over, 

and I wish I had the words to express how wonderful the whole thing was. 

Just incredible. 

It's a night with Michaela that I won't forget until my mind loses all of its capabilities. I hope she remembers it too.