that perfect hand…

In Ocean's 11, Danny said that "the house always wins. If you play long enough, never change the stakes, then the house takes you. Unless, when that perfect hand comes along, you bet big… and then, you take the house." Here's the hand I've been dealt, sometimes it's risky and sometimes it's safe, but all the time… it's perfect. It's mine.


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ruckus raisin’; tree choppin’

I have my first, real live, gorgeous smelling, beautiful Christmas tree!! My friend from school, Karla, and I …along with the conscription of our counterparts, Darcy Pederson and Luke Hughson (last names so if we get caught, they get in trouble)…went out last night and this is what we came home with!! It was such a good way to chill, take a risk, and be cheap. The guys sawed them down and then held them to the roof of the getaway car while we attempted to take the backroads back to my place and the guys’. It was unreal.

…decorations to follow haha.

Karla’s mom was convinced we’d axe our legs off so we took the saw.
Darcy and Luke’s tree.
Kate’s tree. Notice I didn’t saw it.
SO proud!
For real…we drove down the main roads. Like this. One tree on either side, the boys’ hands froze off and at one point I was actually going th speed limit and the tree Luke was holding onto slowly started sliding down my window. It was a sight, let me tell you. Excuse the rust spots.

Luke had more fun than any of us…check out his thumb!

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!
Cheers!
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Rider Pride

I legitimately was confused, yet respectful, of Mark’s love for the Sakatchewan Roughriders… but in support of my brother in law, I sat loyally through the entire Grey Cup final today and by the end of it, I was excitedly yelling with the best of fans… I came by it innocently, wanting to watch the game just as BC-moral support for Mark’s favourite team (and Mark himself) but I’ve decided that it really doesn’t matter whether I understand it or not, football is the BEST sport to watch EVER. Oh yeah… AND THE RIDERS WON!!!!!!!!! For the first time in HOW long? I don’t know, I will have to ask Mark. Actually, way to go Mark, I really believe that your dedication to this team helped them through. I am not going to pretend to be hardcore because I am not, but that was unreal! I didn’t even answer the phone during it!! I guess it only makes sense to keep it in the family so I may be considered a convert or betraying BC but like Jes said “forget BC” and ultimately, forget the Lions… because today (and NOT only in the truest “only because they won the Grey Cup” form) I am now a Riders fan. Yeaa…


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do you think we grow out of it?

My roommate told me today she’s overly Christmas-spirited this year. I think it’s because she’s in love.

Griffin went to see the parade with Santa in it last Saturday with Auntie, Uncle, and Alicia. I wonder if it’s in part to start the season off and see Santa themselves…to see it through the eyes of a child?

Kyla mentioned that it is supposed to snow this weekend in Victoria and my heart swelled about three times the size. I think it’s because I was hoping it would.

I bought a box of Christmas cards. I think it’s because I want to spread the feeling.

Cardamon, Cinnamon, Cloves, and Cookie-Cutters. I think it’s because I decided to make gingerbread.

Do you think we grow out of it? That feeling that warms us up from out fingertips to our tippy toes? As I was driving to Scott and Kyla’s today, I had a phonecall from someone and what the person wanted was my commitment for something. I had to look at my watch for today’s date and I was floored that it’s already November 23. Maybe it’s because it flew by so fast that I was shocked, but more so… there’s no snow on the ground, I haven’t worn my mitts and toque for any other reason than they look cute, and I have yet to have my oh-so-favourite feeling of icicles on my eyelashes and a cold red nose. I anticipate this time just as much as I have every year, but that feeling has been twisted into a feeling I don’t actually recognize: How do I get in the Christmas spirit, and the winter that I love so much, when I can still walk outside in shorts and a shirt and wave to the neighbour boy that’s doing the same?

I wouldn’t. But my friend Suzanne does. And I think it’s weird.

To combat the weirdly unexpected missing of winter to trigger that oh-so-loving-feeling of Christmas, I actually went to Wal-Mart and walked over to the seasonal section and just looked. As I fingered the intricate, yet inexpensive, ornaments and bulbs, my heart started racing and Boney M came through the loud speaker singing “Little Drummer Boy”…

Insignificant? Hardly. For as long as I can remember, us kids have stirred Christmas morning to the record of Boney M’s Christmas and if I am not mistaken (my dear sisters, correct me if not true) I always happen to be alerted as the words “Come…they told me.. pa rum pa pum pum…” softly drifted into our bedroom. I think that, aided by the fact that Scott and Kyla have their beautiful Christmas tree erected and decorated, reminded me that Christmas…and that feeling…doesn’t need the snow or a frostbitten nose…or snow drifts cascading across the house’s side.

So I made gingerbread tonight… I can’t for the life of me spell the Swiss term for it… and that, accompanied by my in-love-Christmas-spirited roommate, and the gentle anticipation of snow potentially this weekend reminded me of something pretty great:

I happen to love you all. It’s not a huge revelation, it’s just unbelievably true. I don’t know if people read this that I don’t know, but if you do, I hope my words have been able to reach you in some way through reading this. It’s a powerful thing, blogging, I wonder if anybody believes in the intensity of it.

I know it’s early, and some of you may not have nestled down and thought about what is on the horizon pending this upcoming month, but I sincerely wish you Jesus’ peace in the coming little while. I truly believe that this peace is real, and needed, all the time… but all too often, we get sidetracked by the consumerism and the wanting snow and expectations for everything to turn out just right. Heck, look at me. I let papers, old friends, reading, dishes, the gym, coffee, showering… everything that makes my existence allow so many moments that I miss or forget or ignore.

The funny thing is, no matter what city I am in, no matter how it’s packaged or who delivers it or how quickly it seems to come, the spirit is always there…

Maybe simply to reconnect with who we are. And what’s important.

Maybe to get that lighthearted feeling… a reminiscent one that makes it ok that my nose can’t be cold and I can’t go skating on outdoor rinks…but it’s enough to have those memories.

Maybe… it’s a real time to reconnect with Jesus. I mean really, we all feel pretty devastated when someone disregards our own birthdays.

No…I don’t think we grow out of it, we just get better at wanting it.

And wanting it for the right reasons.

And wanting it because it makes us feel safe, warm, and alive right from the tips of our fingers to the ends of our toes.

Happy Holidays, friends, I cherish you.


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flights are about 400$, I will keep checking for sales…

…to go back to Camrose. For real.

Honestly, I think God created Camrose and my sister and brother in law’s life there to be “my” place. I am kidding, as that is extremely selfish, but the last 7 days in Camrose, like every other trip there, has been so huge for me a in challenging way. See everything I am extremely stressed, hurting or broken, I find myself heading there…then leaving there with an entirely different perspective: On God. That’s it. I mean, I am quickly learning that my relationship with Christ can be deepened and fostered without going to Camrose, but this time, that’s what I needed from it. I will spare the “gory” details but my heart is soaring at what reading break brought for me.

I spent the week working at CLBI with Jes (and Mark) for the 75th Anniversary of the school’s existence. While it was tiring, and hard work, it also was the first opportunity for me to feel right at home… I love being at CLBI with Jes because it gives me insight into her world, particularly into her and Mark’s ministry there. While I marveled at the Norwegians and the Scandinavian food, I found a quiet comfort in the busyness of it all: they seem to like me here. 🙂 Coupled with some other special visits and connecting with Jes’ connections there…specifically her in-laws and old landlord, I really felt like I had come home. While, at this point in my life, home is anywhere someone will cook me a meal and offer some advice (I am kidding), I really felt like it was the first time I was able to talk in 3 months… about anything and everything. Which was unreal.

I also got to go horseback riding with Amy, Mark’s sister, which rocked. Many of you may have heard me say in the last couple months that I cannot compare Victoria and Alberta because they are completely different in every possible way. It’s true… because when I was riding the horse in the cold, wintry prairie winds, I realized how truly different the places are. And how much I miss being in Alberta. (I know what you guys are thinking…will she ever be content? But that’s not what this is about)

Simply put, I am blessed beyond words because a girl could only dream to find comfort in so many places, such as Penticton with Mom and the kids, Smithers with history, the island with family and friends, and Camrose Alberta with my sister’s world and God willing, maybe my future? But I am more blessed for these gentle reminders that show this girl the ultimate comfort is in God.

I don’t think how much I can emphasize how much of a wonderfully awesome time I had this past week. Or how much I already absolutely, completely miss it.

PS This was the verse at CLBI’s anniversary bash… while the skin-sagging part made Jes and I chuckle, I think it is extremely powerful:

“I’m still in Your presence, but You’ve taken my hand. You wisely and tenderly lead me, and then You bless me. You’re all I want in heaven! You’re all I want on earth! When my skin sags and my bones get brittle, God is rock-firm and faithful. . . . (Psalm 73:23-26 The Message).


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i need a life

Hey avid readers…. all those I know, don’t know, and used to know (actually that’s a good question I have no idea who even reads this thing). ANYWAYS, I am calling on your for prayer-support for me. I have 6 papers due in the next 4 weeks and I am having a stress-flash. I am leaving for Camrose on Thursday (which I am super excited about) but just pray for me that I get some work done while I am there — it is crucial to my world. I am so scared about not finishing on time and I am even more scared about producing bad work. I hate failing at things and I hate when November hits and all of a sudden I am royally overwhelmed and questioning my life, future, and reason for being. Yes, it is that hardcore… I am on the verge of mental breakdown.. which I never thought was possible for a 22 year old. But then, I think that every year.

Love you all: friends, family, enemies, and people I have no idea of — that’s tripping me out still.

Cheers!PS I took this pic on my new cell phone from my car when it was raining, hence the spots and only half of the parliament buildings. But I think it’s not bad, especially for a phone (which rocks by the way – It’s a Motorola Krzr K1 and it is part of Bono’s Product(RED) campaign – which I totally support and you should totally check out).