Friday, December 24, 2010

My Christmas wish....

My Christmas wish tonight is that next year Ethan and I will be able to celebrate Christmas like "normal" people. As in, go to a Christmas Eve service together, and spend Christmas Day with our families. Being a police officer tends to get in the way of that. That's okay, because we're just in the season of our lives where it hasn't been possible. Working on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day is just a part of our lives at this point, but I'd be a liar if I didn't say I couldn't wait for the day when that isn't part of our equation anymore.

However, all is not lost!

Even though Ethan is sleeping right now since he has to work overnight and then his regular shift, I have finished wrapping all of my presents, and am sitting in my living room looking at our gorgeous tree and exterior lights on the balcony and am just reflecting on the past year. It's been quite the year. A lot has happened...more than I even thought was possible in the last year. I'll do a yearly recap on New Year's Eve as is my custom, so I won't go into detail here.

So, my plan for Christmas weekend .... tomorrow morning I'll wake up whenever I feel like it. Ethan won't be here since he'll be at work. I'll make myself some breakfast and then head over to see "my" kids and give them their Christmas gifts. Then I'll come back home and watch Christmas movies until Ethan gets home... and then the fun begins...we head to Greenville, SC to meet my parents and sister! This will be literally the first Christmas Day that Ethan and I have seen my parents and sister the entire time we've been married. They're driving from Charlotte, we're driving from Atlanta...we'll probably be eating Chinese a la "A Christmas Story" but we'll all be together for a couple of hours at least. :) After that, Ethan and I will come home and open our presents under our tree and then go out to see some friends. I also plan to see "The Black Swan" at some point as well. I will probably also inhale the rest of the Christmas cookies sitting around our house even though I've eaten WAY too many of them at this point.... I really should go make myself run but I somehow don't think that this will actually happen.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The end of the beginning

This week has been quite busy! On Wednesday, Ethan graduated cum laude from Georgia State University with his bachelor's of business administration with a major in accounting degree. His parents, my parents & grandparents, and our sister-in-law traveled from North Carolina for commencement, and then we had a big party later that night at Mary Mac's Tea Room in Atlanta to thank our family and friends that have been such a huge support and encouragement along the way. I really don't like the above photo by the way...but it was one of the coldest days in Atlanta on record, it was raining, and the person operating the camera didn't really know what they were doing. So that's the only proof I've got. :) I bought him a Halliburton silver 4" attache briefcase which he absolutely loved. He had mentioned to me years ago that someday he'd have one of them when he wasn't working as a police officer I thought it was the perfect graduation gift.

It's been a long 4 years since he started at GSU...but his hard work has paid off, and he's DONE! With his bachelor's degree, that is.

Now we move on to the CPA exam. He begins prep class January 11th and will take one section at a time. He'll take his last section of the exam in July, and then we'll move on to applying and interviewing for public accounting positions so that he can put in the required one year of time working as an accountant to earn his CPA certification. Then....back to school for his Masters of Tax. Now you see why it's the end of the beginning. The end of the first of many steps...

But I digress. I am just so incredibly proud to be married to an amazing man who provides for us and works his tail off no matter what. He worked a full time job as a police officer and held down two part time jobs while attending school full-time and still made time for his wife and other family members and friends. He graduated with honors despite all his responsibilities which barely left him time to breathe. My husband is an amazing, amazing, AMAZING man, and I'm so blessed that he comes home to ME every day.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas...and my husband's gift to me.

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

I love the Christmas season.

I love celebrating the birth of my Lord and reflecting on the awesome and completely amazing love of God for us that He would come to earth in human form and live among us in squalor (compared to Heaven!) to demonstrate His love for us. If I ever have children, they will know that the greatest present one could ever receive has been given to them by a Heavenly Father who loves them more than Ethan or I ever could.

In the more superficial realm: I love the Christmas lights, the Christmas music, the decorations on people's lawns, the family togetherness, the hot chocolate...just everything about Christmas. My husband is not as "into" Christmas as I am, but when he married me he made a big effort to be excited about Christmas with me. The past two years we have been together on Christmas Day... before that, I was usually in Colorado working.

My dad was never big on decorating the outside of our house with lights, no matter how much my sister and I would beg. We had grand plans for what we could do with the lights... the grandest of which was "SANTA STOP HERE" spelled out on the roof. He never went for it, and we were always disappointed because the front of our house had such great bushes, and there was just so much potential to transform it into a Winter Wonderland of lights! I had mentioned to Ethan that I was disappointed that I never had a house with a light display to admire as a child... and he remembered. We don't have a traditional house in the sense that we have a yard, etc...but we do have a rather large balcony in a loft building here in Atlanta.

This is what I came home to yesterday.

He has a plastic handcuff in his mouth....that's what he used to secure the lights to the balcony. I guess that's par for the course when you're married to a police officer...

We live on the 3rd floor....and it's quite high. I couldn't even watch Ethan on the ladder since he was in quite the precarious position... I had no fear he would fall because he's much too sure of himself for that, but I'm a girl. I worry about the people I love. I just kept thinking about how guilty I'd feel if he fell off the ladder while putting up an amazing light display for me!

After he finished the light display, we put our Christmas tree up and decorated it with Manheim Steamroller's 1984 Christmas album playing softly in the background. He also bought me a salted caramel hot chocolate from Starbucks to sip on. For a guy who isn't that "in" to Christmas, he sure went the whole nine yards for me! I'm one blessed girl!