I am generally not a fan of cold weather, but I could see myself *occasionally* missing evenings like this once I move to subtropical Japan. Chilling rain outside… hot cocoa, snoozy kitties, fuzzy blankets, and glowing candles inside…

Seriously, it can’t get much better than that (sometimes!)

A Christmas apology, and the seeds of hope

“I’m sorry that this season has become about fights over manger scenes on public property, about complaining when clerks say, “Happy Holidays,” instead of “Merry Christmas,” about rampant commercialism and faux persecution.

I’m sorry that Christians in the United States can be so entitled when we’ve long enjoyed majority status, when we can be so blind to our own privilege…

It is ironic, really, because in the church calendar, the seasons of Advent and Christmas call us to reflect upon and celebrate what Christians believe was the most radical act of humility of all time – the incarnation…

The doctrine of the incarnation holds that the God of the universe, in his love for humanity, emptied himself of his power and became human, like us, in the form of Jesus…”

Great article to read in its entirety, regardless of your personal belief system.

A Christmas apology, and the seeds of hope

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!! I hope you are celebrating a very joyous season with your loved ones 🙂

Annie’s definitely got the spirit of something… That’s for sure.

Two of my favorite culinary items from this past weekend’s Army/Navy Football + Christmas party are pictured above: jumbo spiral cut ham and chocolate chip cookie dough brownies! I also loved the mashed potatoes, but they aren’t quite as photogenic 🙂

The party was a hit. It was pouring rain outside, but pretty much everyone we invited showed up. After the game (yawn), we played a rousing and hilarious game of Cards Against Humanity, and then played with the XBOX Kinect until our knees and joints ached. I never tire of Dance Central!! I looove that came, and of course – I always win 🙂

This is our last week before we head home to Virginia for the holidays! It’s pure admin before we go. Medical clearance for Japan, various appointments for government passports for Japan, random miscellaneous paperwork… you guessed it, for Japan. I feel so bad for poor Annie. Her past two Japan-centric visits to the vet were traumatic enough, but the worst is yet to come! Early January, she has to get a blood test that will require tying her up and restraining her, since they will take the blood straight from the jugular. They will ask me to leave the room 😦

Probably a good idea, to be honest. It’s gonna be heartbreaking!

“My son is mentally ill, so listen up!” Putting the nation’s spotlight on mental illness…

“The only time mental illness dominates the national conversation is when something goes tragically wrong. But the dialogue doesn’t last. It gets buried under arguments about gun control, video game violence, and unheeded signs of trouble... ‘There are tragedies that happen every day in this country because people are untreated for mental illness. They end up in jails, in homeless shelters – and families are torn apart.’ … It frays bonds, breaks up marriages. It steals hope.”

Good read.

“My son is mentally ill, so listen up!” Putting the nation’s spotlight on mental illness…