Sunday, January 30, 2011

Our First Christmas

As I previously posted, this has been an unusual Christmas season for Nate and me. After returning home from our last Christmas journey, we realized we hadn't had the time or energy to have our own Christmas. We had to make one of two choices: pack everything up and try again next year or finish decorating and celebrate our Christmas in our own time. We chose the latter.

So we decorated our apartment for Christmas on January 7, invited a few couples over for a Post-Christmas Christmas party a week later, and opened our presents yesterday. Unconventional? Yes. A first Christmas to remember? Absolutely.

We will be striving for a bit more of a normal Christmas for 2011, but I'm so thankful I have a husband and friends willing to accommodate this quirky arrangement. Here's a little photo sampling from Summers' Christmas 2010/11:

Our First Christmas

My Attempt at a Creative Centerpiece

This smoker and nutcracker have been a part
of Christmas for as long as I can remember

We thought even our lamps needed a little Christmas spirit

Stoking our Christmas Morning Fire

Silly Boy

My Sweet Treat

Saturday, January 29, 2011

I Don't Paint My Fingernails...

...but I may come home from work with my hands looking like this:

Please note the remnants of a magenta polish around the nails of my right hand. This happens when a 2nd grader has never painted nails before but really wants to paint Miss Anne's. I had a blobby mess in the middle of the nail and no polish on the sides! I think I had 5 different girls help me out before I finally had to say I couldn't handle any more sparkle. :-)

As much of a headache as I got from the fumes, as much time as it will take to remove the layers (upon layers) of polish from my hands, and as much as I really don't like my fingernails painted, my day was completely made when all the girls said, "This is the Best Day Ever!!"

I think it's safe to say I love my job.

Friday, January 28, 2011


I saw significant daylight lingering in the sky during my 6 p.m. commute. Spring will eventually arrive! Praise be to God. :-)

Sunday, January 23, 2011


In my previous post, I mentioned we tacked on one more weekend adventure to our travel calendar. And while we were craving some time at home, this was was a trip well worth it. As I write about quite frequently, our niece Lydia has completely stolen our hearts, so it was a special honor to be present for her baby dedication. This ceremony is in place of infant baptism, as Nathan and Tara's church practices adult baptism, but the meaning is essentially the same. Nathan and Tara pledged to raise their daughter in a godly household, to teach her biblical statutes, and to show her the love of our Father. The pastor shared a prayer for her, and the congregation smiled at the cuteness of the three babies up front--a beautiful moment.

Lydia is 4 months old. Despite frustrating her parents with her disinterest in sleep, there is little evidence of the corruption of sin. She is beautiful, pure, and innocent. Just look at her!

Her future is full of possibilities and choices to make. While it would be comforting to know the paths she will take or to make some of the hard choices for her, we as her family cannot. She'll make her share of mistakes, but we will be praying she has the courage and strength to make the right choices for the big issues in life, especially the choice to become a follower of Christ.

Although the freshness of her life emphasizes the potential of her future, I was reminded that I, too, must constantly make the decision to dedicate my choices to be pleasing to our God. While we all may be further down the road than Lydia, may we all realize that we have a fresh future thanks to grace, for if we are in Christ, we are new creations! (Check out 2 Corinthians 5:17)

Father God, may Your hand guide our sweet niece to know and love You. No matter what talents she may have, may she use them to bring You glory. No matter how tall she stands, may she hold her head up in the confidence of knowing her Savior. No matter how beautiful she becomes, may her inner beauty shine brighter. No matter how far away her family may live, may she know our love for her. Yet no matter how much we love her, may she know You love her more.

And Lord, whatever choices we have to make, whatever paths our future holds, may we be found dedicated to You.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

December Travel Blitzkrieg (and a ton of pictures)

**I started this post a week and a half ago and am only now getting back to it! We decided to add another trip to our schedule, but I'll save that trip for another post. :-)**

We are home! And we're very excited about it, too. December was full of friends, family, and over 2,529 miles in the car. Though we've barely kept up with the (un)packing, laundry, and figuring out which direction we're heading, it's been an amazing journey! Here's a peek at the ground we've covered in the last four weekends of December.

We started by heading to Pierre, SD for my wonderful friend Lindsey's wedding. She and I have been friends since the day we moved into our dorm rooms at Northwestern, and it was such a blessing to see her joined in marriage to TJ! He is great match for her brilliance and beauty, and it was an honor to stand up with them. Plus I to to reunite with 4/5 the Fab Five (My core group of friends from Northwestern :-).
The Beautiful Bride

These girls make my heart happy. Miss you, Emily!

The following weekend we started our Christmas celebrations by traveling to Kansas City. All of my family was able to be there, and it provided another opportunity to ooo and ahh over Lydia. Do you think she knows she's loved? Even if she gets used as a prop? :-) But she's the prettiest prop ever!

In my mom's words: "Best Christmas present ever: Jesus
Second best Christmas present ever: Lydia"

Eberline Siblings: Love you so much!

Nate and I were able to see both sets of parents during the Christmas weekend. We celebrated with Nate's side of the family on the 23rd and on Christmas Eve. Despite the snow we were also able to attend the Christmas Eve service at Nate's home church. The youth did such a great job! But I will say it was odd to attend the first Christmas Eve youth program since I was a participant!

Summers Christmas

Most Wonderful In-Laws

We spent a low-key Christmas Day with my parents and my grandma. After a wonderful ham dinner, we made our traditional trip to the movie theater to watch Narnia in 3D!

The following weekend we traveled to Indiana to celebrate Christmas and New Year's with Nate's extended family. We were both battling wicked colds by this time (hence us looking beat up :-), so we don't have a ton of pictures, but it was wonderful to celebrate with my new side of the family!

While the Summers side is male-dominated,
we're holding strong and gaining in number!

2010 was an eventful year for us, and we definitely ended with a bang. While the travel tested our grit, we were reminded of the many people we are blessed to call family and friends. Here's to a blessed 2011! May it be just as meaningful but perhaps a bit more restful. :-)

**A Few More Miscellaneous Pictures**

Penny crossed a new milestone:
77,777 miles, the holiest number of car mileage!
(aka we've been on the road long enough to think this is funny. :-)

Nate and I celebrated our 6 month anniversary
which means another piece of wedding cake!

I just can't resist. She's just too cute!

Happy 2011!

Monday, January 3, 2011

6 Months

To my loving husband,

Six months ago we dressed up, gathered with our friends and family, breathed a sigh of relief after we recited our vows without incident, and entered into our marriage covenant before our Lord and Savior. Your left hand gained a ring. My last name changed. It was beautiful. It was perfect. It was everything a wedding should be.

Our wedding tans have now faded. Your tux has been returned; my dress is packed away; and our friends have returned home. As real life has fully invaded our lives, I realize our honeymoon didn't last as long as we'd hoped. Our days are no longer perfect, but they are beautiful. And I am more sure than ever there is no one I'd rather be standing beside. I love you, my sweet man!

Your adoring wife