Friday, December 31, 2010

Hey, eleven

I'm a big fan of brand new years, but not a fan of new year's eve. I like fresh beginnings, but the celebration of the end always seems slightly deflating. For me, being in the middle of a giant crowd as the seconds count down to the calendar's turn feels more lonely than being cosy in bed with a journal and candlelight. Of course, I always forget that until afterwards when the bewilderment of it all begins to sink in. So I guess it's a good thing that this year's end will find me preparing for bed, possibly even sleeping already, with the alarm set for 4.30am and the promise of a kind of impromptu and definitely l-o-n-g road trip ahead.

I have some thoughts to share about what 2010 taught me, but I'll save them for my return -- when my brother and brother-in-law are not engaged in an intense mercy match which has already yielded one pair of pants split right down the seam. Yes, it's kind of difficult to concentrate. In the meantime, there may be updates at Twitter.

Goodbye, 2010. I think I'll miss you.

* * * * *


Katie -- all credit for Christmas light pictures goes to my camera, which makes my picture-making world so happy and easy.

Rebecca Simon -- thank you, lovely! <3

Asea -- that draws out the Christmas fun! And mail from Austria...!

Samantha R -- and I wish the same for you, too. xx

Amanda -- the colouring book is so adorable :).

Friday, December 24, 2010

One hundred joys {minus fifty}

Here we are. It's Christmas eve and the air is thick with warmth. There's a trail of wrapping paper throughout the house and a tiramisu trifle, covered, in the fridge. The postman has delivered his last load of mail for four whole days in a row (what will we dooo?) -- all is calm, all is bright (and sort of grey with hovering clouds). However: in the pre-family-returning whirlwind, I did not get to finish sharing one hundred joys. In fact, I got only halfway there.

On the phone this morning, my sister blithely suggested I complete the project simply by typing fifty repetitions of her name, and she wouldn't be far wrong because she is definitely one of the HUGE joys in my life. But I'm content simply to let the project softly fade and to say that my life has more than a hundred joys in it -- more like millions. At the top of the list is the fellowship with God made possible through Jesus -- the man who began life on earth as the tiny baby whose birthday we're all partying at tomorrow. And just below that is the people He's surrounded me with. And among that list I count you all. You're definitely listed in the joys of my life. So thank you for being there, for reading, for commenting, for inspiring me, for sharing, and for actually taking notice. Each of you -- even those who read secretly and have never dared leave a comment -- are important to me. I wish you joy.

And I wish you a very merry Christmas. My wish is that you will know and understand the message of the season, that you will not suffer from unmet expectations and family dramas, and that the quirks and challenges of the most wonderful time of the year (which sometimes isn't) will roll off your shoulders or just plain make you smile. Please know that you are loved. It's something we all need to be reminded of -- and often.

PS. I'll be taking a wee blogging break for the next week, but hope to be back on New Year's eve with contemplations on what 2010 was and what 2011 might be.

* * * * *


Simplythis -- you nailed it! The giver of the Indie Rock Colouring Book and the giver of Mockingjay are one and the same, the excellent Hayley!

Samantha R -- I'll have to share the recipe for the coconut-crusted chicken. It's amazing!

Caitlin -- no, A&S aren't up here this year, but I hear all about my small peoples' lives by telephone.

Rebecca Simon -- and I send Queensland love back to you! I hope you're "simply having a wonderful Christmastime", and loving NSW as well!

Margaret -- Christmas love to you! Thank you for your comment :).

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

One hundred joys {quatre}

31) my parents arrived home here in Queensland after a 4,600km road trip from the west coast -- which, I might add, they completed in four days. The feeling of going to sleep in a house full of people is so good; 32) our swimming pool. LOVE; 33) the happy whiteness of cleaned-out kitchen drawers; 34) doing Christmassy preparation things with my little bro and marvelling at his excellent writing skilz.

36) wrapped gifts under the tree!; 37) an afternoon of grocery shopping with my Mum (an ordinary chore becomes more fun when shared with a friend); 38) the most perfect, perfect, perfect Summer day, twice in a row (and I have a theory that whenever people come to stay, it's rainy and grey. Thank you for disproving my theory this time, Mr. Sun!).

39) little ferns poking out of the retaining wall, there entirely of their own accord; 40) Christmas cards from Friends & Relations (Pooh, anyone?); 41) unexpected bargains (a gorgeous jacket, a t-shirt, and two tanks for < $25).

42) a cappella choirs in the mall; 43) my Dad turning into a geek all because of his new android phone; 44) sunglasses -- the world is so much less squinty!

45) the fact that my niece feels compelled to determine whether individual pieces of breakfast cereal are male or female; 46) my parents' collection of fascinating old treasures; 47) coconut and sesame-crusted thai chicken with kaffir lime sauce.

48) amazing friends who send amazing Christmas mail of amazingness; 49) watermelon juice all over my brother's face; 50) home, even more homey now my family is together in the one place.

* * * * *


Katie -- was it cool down your way these last few days? This weather is so remarkable, but I'm happy. Today was the most PERFECT Summer day!

Samantha R -- yes, it amazed me how opposite ends of the street could have such different skies. That's Queensland for you, I guess.

Mothercare -- you and I are together under the same sky (and roof!).

Bek -- you are delightful.

Rebecca Simon -- and you relish your holiday. Hope it's awesome!

Mitanika -- absolutely! Fries on blue and white china is the perfect blend of tacky and treasured ;).

Amanda -- we do indeed live in a land of extremes. It constantly amazes me.

Asea -- Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow? Sending some warmth your way :).

Friday, December 17, 2010


I'm here! I'm alive! Just busy and so, so sleepy. I'll be back soon with more to say. ♥

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Queensland December

My neighbourhood, 6.43pm, facing east.

The same street, 6.43pm, facing west.

I took these pictures on the way home from my church's Christmas carols tonight. My feet were in the same spot for each picture; I just turned in a different direction. To me, these pictures sum up the changeable nature of Australia, and especially Queensland, at Christmas time.

* * * * *


Samantha R -- I consider that a real compliment, seeing as you are a beautiful photographer with way more experience than me! Mm, yes, I think Pride & Prejudice is probably a little in front of Sense & Sensibility in the favourites stakes -- but only just.

Rebecca -- and to you! Although it's a rainy Sunday here and not a sunny one, so please choose your desired wish: rainy or sunny (and enjoy!).

Katie -- oh, thank you! (For some reason I can't seem to enable the photo commenting option at my picture tumblr, but I'll keep trying.)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

One hundred joys {trois}

21) fries and a cheeseburger -- still the best junk food and dinner for under $5 (and yes I know that mature people are supposed to have outgrown McDonald's but... I never said I was mature); 22) a farewell afternoon with a lovely friend spent watching Sense & Sensibility and discussing life and Jane Austen; 23) lace curtains making the light all soft and pretty.

24) ^ this timber pathway, down among the mangroves and the marsh grass, dotted with afternoon sunlight; 25) the thought that my littlest brother is flying into Queensland this very night; 26) everything that has ever come from Rosemary Sutcliff's pen; 27) getting a good grade in a scary subject.

28) LiveJournal, and all the excellent people I know there; 29) candlelight; 30) ceiling fans -- oh, how thankful I am!

* * * * *


Caitlin -- I enjoyed it so much. The scene at the end, with the lake covered in lilies... was exactly how I've always imagined it.

Meaghan -- re. Dawntreader: Caspian seems to be in his early twenties, which is definitely substantially older than in the book. He and Peter are meant to be close in age; re. chocolate mousse: revenge is so, so sweet; re. being on my list: you will always be 'on my list' :D; re. holidays: YES HOLIDAYSSSS! Welcome to yours! And PS: spam my blog whenever you want. I like it.

Mitanika -- inspiring you to go home and read your Bible straight away might not have been the filmmaker's intentions, but I bet it made Clive Staples happy :). PLEASE do a big flaily blog post about it. I want to read your thoughts and squee with you!

Samantha R -- I need to remember that quote and ponder it regularly.

Asea -- Saturday; that's today! Enjoy the lovely Dawntreader and remember that the sea around the ship is my sea, in my town! ;)

Rachael -- beautiful indeed :).

Thursday, December 9, 2010

For about fifty reasons, I need to remember this:

"I've spent too long wanting what was taken from me
and not what I was given."

Caspian, Voyage of the Dawntreader [film; 2010]

* * * * *


Amanda -- sushi is the best! Healthy and yum.

Caitlin -- another reason we are meant to be friends. :)

Katie -- henceforth I shall call them sushi fish as well. It makes sense to me!

Samantha R -- and also to tell me I was wearing my seatbelt wrong, apparently.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

One hundred joys {deux}

11) carol nights under a laser-starred roof, with Colin Buchanan and crazy confetti bombs; 12) not having anything to fear when being stopped for an RBT; 13) those little fish-shaped bottles of soy sauce that you get with sushi; 14) people who use punctuation and use it nicely; 15) my neighbour's blinking Christmas light display.

16) Jimmy Needham's Nightlights; 17) alphacross races with my sister (alphacross is SO the new crossword puzzle; we called it first); 18) art that actually takes your breath away; 19) dessert nights with lovely girlfriends and chocolate mousse in martini glasses; 20) someone named a street after me!

* * * * *


Caitlin -- yay! I'm glad you're playing along.

Samantha R -- you inspired me to take part :).

Asea -- it sounds like an excellent way to spend an afternoon, whether those gingerbread houses turned out mansions or shanties :).

Bek -- actually, you are awesome.

Katie -- woohoo for impending freedom! And yes, I agree: Christmas baubles are just the thing
for trees.

Monday, December 6, 2010

One hundred joys {un}

Though belatedly, I'm following in the footsteps of some creative souls and taking part in a celebration of good things known as 100 Joys (it all began here, at Sarah Markley's blog). I truly believe that every good and perfect gift is from above (see James 1:17). This blogventure gives me opportunity to step back and look at some of those gifts coming my way each day. The joys I share will be random and unordered and recent. All thanks to the King.

1) the kangaroos which dot the land around my sister's home (I especially like seeing tiny-awesome joeys poking out of pouches). 2) vaccuumed floors. 3) phone calls with my personal psychiatrist and mother, CMC.

4) alphabet noodles -- instant fun for $1.49. 5) watching movies with my sister. 6) the excellent chain of libraries in my region.

7) happy crazy times with faraway old friends and nearer new ones. 8) Mercy Me's Christmas album. 9) Okay, Hanson's Christmas album, too. 10) gmail chats with Meaghan. ♥

By the way, I'm sorry for the week of silence here in Blogville, DC. It turns out that the holidays can be just as busy as real life -- and sometimes even busier.

* * * * *


Katie -- Hooray for holidays indeed! I believe yours are right around the corner?

Elizabeth Fay -- as you are loved in all aspects by me.

Samantha R -- "it's the most wonderful time of the year"? :)

Rachael -- yes, a friend of mine showed me that clip -- hilarious!

Sarah Lee -- thank you so much for your sweet and encouraging words! Love and courage to you in all your endeavours, especially KBR.

Eweight -- oh YES it's a good feeling! (And when you read Dug Down Deep, let's chat about it!).

Asea -- it's like I can sense the snow in her stories :). How did your gingerbread shacks turn out?
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