Tag Archives: christmas

Holiday Wrap-Up

5 Jan

I thought I’d give you an update about my holiday!  I know it’s a little late, but…better late than never?  Right??

Matthew and I flew down to TX the Wednesday before Christmas, and – believe it or not – it was colder in TX than it was in Seattle when we left!  I definitely didn’t anticipate that, which meant I didn’t really pack for that kind of weather…and neither did Matthew.  Fortunately we made it through okay.

We had such a great time down there.  It was a very packed week, but we really enjoyed ourselves.  We made (almost disastrously) and decorated Christmas cookies, ate more food than you can imagine, went to the weirdest Christmas Eve service ever, and so much more.

Christmas day we went down to my Gran & Papa’s house in New Braunfels to spend the holiday with the whole family (minus a few, unfortunately).  Matthew got to meet everybody there, which was fun, and we all enjoyed our annual White Elephant gift exchange.  I personally think I ended up with the best gift out of everyone, especially considering most of the gifts are gag gifts.  I got a whole bunch of red satin ball ornaments that were my great-grandmother’s.  What a precious heirloom!  I can’t wait to hang them on my own tree someday.

Two days after Christmas, Matthew and I spent the day together shopping (thanks to the ‘rent and grand’rents who gave us gift cards) and enjoying ourselves at the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco.  And when I say Texas Ranger, I’m not talking about the baseball team, people.  I’m talking about THE Texas Rangers…as in the Chuck Norris kind of Texas Ranger.  My favorite exhibit was the one for Bonnie & Clyde.  As it turns out, one of the people in their gang killed a man in my hometown – CRAZY.  (And, not coincidentally, I watched the 1967 version of “Bonnie and Clyde” a few days ago for further “study” on the duo and was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it.)  And while we were shopping, Matthew got himself a pair of legit cowboy boots – one of his goals for the trip.  I can now say I’m dating a cowboy.

The rest of our trip in TX was spent chilling with the family, which was nice after the hectic-ness of Christmas.  (As an aside: I think, as I get older, Christmas seems to rush by so much faster than it did when I was a kid.  It’s a little saddening.)  I so enjoyed seeing my family, extended family included.  Matthew seemed to really enjoy his time, too, which was an added bonus.

We had Christmas with Matthew’s family the day after we got back to WA, which is always fun with all the kiddos.  And for New Year’s Eve we didn’t really do much, but it was fun nonetheless.  We made pigs in a blanket, and Matthew made a delicious roasted chicken with potatoes and carrots as a “last meal,” so to speak, of the year.  He’s a goober (but I love him).

When I think back on 2010 I have a wave of mixed emotions.  This last year was definitely an interesting one.  As a whole, it seems like it was a pretty dark year for me.  I went through unemployment, a huge fight with Matthew, a demotion, and the ending of more than one friendship (for more than one reason).

On the other hand, though, I can’t help but see just how blessed I am – if for nothing else – for how the Lord has turned every one of those bad situations into a good one.  I don’t know that I’ve ever been able to see so many bad circumstances (in my life, at least) come full circle into great circumstances.  I’m just so blessed.  🙂

I guess I’ll wrap it up with some pics from the holidays – click on any of them to make them larger.  Enjoy!

On a Jet Plane

Matthew caught this out of the plane window: the tip of a mountain peeking out through the clouds

The "Welcome Home" sign Kristen made for me & Matthew.

O Christmas Tree

Merry Christmas!

My Dad wearing the hat/beard combo I made him

Lunch with high school friends (Photo taken by Nathan MacDonald)

Matthew being a Cowboy at the museum

Me being a Cowgirl at the museum

The A-M-A-Z-I-N-G picture Matthew snapped at the museum

The New Year's Eve Chicken: "Before"

The New Year's Eve Chicken: "After"

That’s all folks!


Cabin Fever

23 Nov

I’ve had quite a bit of extra time on my hands the last two days because I’ve been snowed in the house.  So I thought, what better to do with my time than write a blog post?  And here we are.

We had some super snowy weather yesterday – I’m talking snow the entire day.  I couldn’t make it to work because I couldn’t find the driveway.

The driveway is supposed to be here somewhere…

It’s still on the ground today, but fortunately isn’t snowing anymore.  Since we’re trapped in the house, Jessica and Paul (the awesome couple I live with) have decided to start setting up the house for Christmas.  It’s slowly transforming from a house to a winter wonderland.  I love the Christmas season.  Love love love it.

With all this Christmas merriment around me, I can’t help but get a little bit homesick.  Christmas is always a big deal at the Clary house every year.  We have lots of traditions that date back before I can remember.  Decorating the Christmas tree together while listening to Mitch Miller & the Gang and afterwards watching “White Christmas” while drinking hot chocolate.  Watching “The Gathering” with my mom & dad – the other kids don’t really like this particular Christmas movie – and all of us getting teary-eyed at the end while trying to hide it from each other so we don’t look like big babies.  Baking and then decorating about a million Christmas cookies.  I love it all.

Christmas is a little different now that I live in Washington.  I don’t always get to participate in all the traditions, especially decorating the tree (which is the one I probably miss the most).  However, it makes me excited about one day having a family of my own with whom I can share these traditions and make traditions of our own.

This year I get to include Matthew in the cookie decorating holiday tradition after we fly to TX for Christmas, which is super exciting.  In the meantime, though, I’m going to decorate some Christmas cookies with the cutest 2-year-old and 4-year-old I know.  They just came out of the oven (and some of them straight into tummies), and now I’m waiting for nap time to end so that Operation Frosting and Sprinkles can commence.

Yum.  Can’t wait.  🙂




19 Nov

I realized that I’m way past due for giving you guys an update.  (*Note: I know I say this in a lot all of my blog posts – definitely needs to be will be remedied.)

Anyhow, I’m doing pretty grand right now.  I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is just a week away.  Where have the last couple of months gone?!  Before you know it, we’ll be heading into Christmas (my personal fave)!

Speaking of Christmas…BIG ANNOUNCEMENT.  Are you ready for it?  Are you sure?  Absolutely positively?  Absotively posolutely?  Okay, okay – don’t get pushy.

Matthew’s coming home to Texas with me for Christmas!

Did you have to read it twice because you were so excited?  I know, me too.  We’ll be in Texas Dec. 22nd through the 29th, and we’re both super excited.  🙂  He’ll get to meet the ENTIRE family on my mom’s side, which should be fun, and I hope to introduce him to a couple of my TX friends too.  And I can’t wait to include Matthew in all of our fun family traditions, including decorating Christmas cookies while listening to a little bit of Mitch Miller & the Gang.  Oh bliss.

My trip to TX back in Oct was fantastic – the perfect little vacation.  And my next day back to work upon my return I was promoted!  So lots of big things happening for me.  (Here’s a little eye candy of me and my Texi-boy for you – can’t wait to see him in Dec too.)

I should also tell you that after a year + working for Youth Missions International, my time there has come to an end.  It was a very natural end for both me and the organization.  The promotion at my other job just made it too difficult for me to try to do both.  I feel so blessed to have been a part of that wonderful ministry and look forward to helping out in any way I can, whether through volunteering and/or financial support.

On to other things now…Several months ago Jessica and I decided to decoupage Mattie’s ceiling fan to match her bedspread after I saw this tutorial on one of my favorite craft blogs.  And I finally got some decent pictures in some decent lighting.  So for your viewing pleasure (click the pic to zoom in):

Each blade is different (obviously) with an “applique” on each one to match some of the objects on her bedspread from Pottery Barn Kids.  I free-handed them and was pretty impressed, if I do say so myself.  😉  It was a really fun project, and I’ve become completely addicted to Mod Podge projects.

And now I feel like I’ve blog-vomited all over the place with all of these different things going on, but so much has happened – which means there’s lots to share!  These next couple of weeks are going to be B-U-S-Y for me, but I’ll try to get an update in here every once in a while.  Hope you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving!

Holiday Fun

30 Dec

Merry -late- Christmas and Happy -early- New Year!  I hope you have all been blessed richly this holiday season.  I have been fortunate enough to spend the holidays with my family in Texas.  Christmas was great, and I’m looking forward to the beginning of a new year.  Here are some pics from Christmas…

I was supposed to be home in Seattle Monday night, but I’m still here in Texas.  Because I’m flying standby, I’m not guaranteed a seat.  And Monday was a bad day to fly standby.  The next available flight is New Year’s Eve, and I’m hoping I can make one of the two flights that day.  Otherwise I don’t know when I’ll be back in Seattle.  In the meantime, my luggage is in Seattle.  That’s right.  My toothbrush, retainer, cell phone charger, clothes, and almost everything else is waiting for me to follow it to Seattle.  It’s frustrating, but oh well.

Although I wish I was already in Seattle, it’s nice to get extra time with my family.  The dad of one of my good friends from high school died on Sunday.  And because I am here for an extended stay, I will be able to go to the funeral and offer up some love and sympathy.  I’m grateful that I have that opportunity.  Please pray for her and her family through this difficult time.

Hopefully next time I write I’ll be in Seattle.  Happy New Year!


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Santa Claus is Coming to Town

16 Dec

This last week has been a fun one.  The most exciting part was seeing Santa…twice!

The weekend before last, Matthew and I went to get our picture taken with Santa.  You have to understand that Matthew (who takes after his dad) isn’t nearly as big a fan of Christmas as I am.  So I can sincerely say it was truly out of the love in his heart that he took me to see jolly old St. Nick.  Here’s the pic:

Saturday night Matthew’s family celebrated Christmas together and included me in their festivities.  A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned – in front of Matthew’s mom – that he would be the coolest uncle ever if he played Santa for his nieces and nephews, to which he quickly responded with a solid “no.”  But, much to his chagrin, his mom also thought it was a great idea.  So she bought a Santa suit, and poor Matthew had to play the part Saturday night after everyone arrived.  His nieces and nephews loved it – although they knew right away that their Uncle Matthew was the man behind the beard.  I had such a wonderful time spending an early Christmas with them and am thankful they like me enough to include me in family activities!

The last several days, including the weekend, I have been battling a cold or something.  It’s been a rough couple of days, but I feel like I’m nearing the end of it.  Thank goodness.

Get ready for the most exciting news…I’ll be home for Christmas!  This time next week I’ll be at home in Hillsboro decorating Christmas cookies with my family, watching Christmas movies, and enjoying my mom’s home cooking.  I love living in WA, but nothing beats Christmas at the Clary house.

Hope you’re enjoying this Christmas season!  Only one more blog until Christmas!


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Guns, Horses, and a Kitchen Catastrophe (Almost)

9 Dec

Not much has happened around here lately.  Hannah and I decorated the apartment last night with a few Christmas decorations and watched a few Christmas movies to get into the holiday spirit and enjoy some roomie time, since we don’t get much of it anymore.

Yesterday I was fortunate to meet Juca Cerpe and his daughter Julia, two of YMI’s missionary contacts in Brazil.  They are here in WA for a visit to learn about how we operate as a missions organization and do fundraising because they are going to be establishing a Brazilian YMI (MJI in Portugese) very soon.  I’ve heard so much about them, and it was awesome to finally meet them.  Juca said he had a question for me and (jokingly) asked if all Texans have a gun and a horse.  I shot a quick glance to Brian (the YMI president), who I knew put Juca up to asking me.  Nevertheless, it was so funny.

The other night Matthew and I made fettuccine alfredo…except it wasn’t really fettuccine, just some other pasta.  But it was homemade and so yummy!  Matthew even let me help, which may not have been the best idea.  The whole time I kept waiting and waiting for the water to bowl so we could cook the pasta – the one part I actually knew how to do (although I also got to grate the cheese as well).   So after all the waiting, Matthew finally said I could put the pasta in the boiling water.  *DISCLAIMER: Now you have to understand that I’m from a family of six.  So I’m conditioned to cook for six people.*  Just as I’m pouring the box of pasta in the water, Matthew tries to tell me not to pour in the entire box.  But he was too late.  Needless to say, there was a little extra pasta left over when we were done, since we were cooking for just the two of us.  The good news is that my boyfriend is the greatest and doesn’t get mad at me for little mess ups like cooking the entire box of pasta instead of just a quarter of it.  We actually had a good laugh over it.  And now he knows to be a little more specific with me when it comes to cooking!

Anyway, that’s what’s been going down in my life recently.  Be blessed by this verse (thanks to Jenna Huesing for showing it to me the other day):

“Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.”

Proverbs 30:8


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Blessings All Around

2 Dec

Thanksgiving has come and gone – I can’t believe it.  I was blessed to be able to spend my first Thanksgiving away from home with the Ventura family.  Matthew made a delicious dinner, and I made two decadent chocolate pecan pies.  That afternoon Matthew and I went to see A Christmas Carol in 3D, which was a fun way to end the holiday.  Now it’s time to prepare for the Christmas holiday, and I’m so excited!  Matthew and I went Christmas gift shopping for his nieces and nephews the other day, and it was so fun getting to pick out kid stuff.  And Matthew has a very special surprise for them.  I can’t wait to see their little faces light up!

In other news, I have had several donations for my ministry come in lately.  I feel so blessed to have so many people who support what the Lord is doing through my ministry with YMI.  I’d like to send out a big THANK YOU to each of you who have offered financial and prayer support for me over the last couple of months.

The Lord has been doing so much in my life recently.  Matthew’s dad, Stephen, lent me a book (Handle with Prayer by Charles Stanley) a couple of weeks ago, and it has been transforming my prayer life.  One of the subjects the book talks about is praying with authority.  Specifically, this concept has changed the way I pray about God’s provision.  In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus tells us not to be anxious because God provides, and  Philippians 4:19-20 says that God will supply our needs.  Therefore, Ishould not pray to God asking him to provide because I know he will; instead, I should thank God for what he has promised me he will provide.  Once I started approaching the “throne of grace with confidence” (Hebrews 4:16) my spirit is completely at peace and does not doubt for a minute that God will do what he has said he will do.

Another thing God has showed me just this morning was related to my thoughts.  The last couple of days I have had a “hunger and thirst for righteousness” (Matthew 5:6) unlike I have ever experienced before.  Several times I have thought to myself that all I really desire right now is to be righteous in the eyes of the Lord.  And then it hit me:

“O LORD, you have searched me and known me!  You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you have discerned my thoughts from afar.” – Psalm 139:1-2 (Special thanks to Matthew who pointed me to these verses when I mentioned all of this to him.)

The Lord knows my thoughts; he knows my heart and my desires.  What an odd moment it was when this truth really sunk in.  I am overjoyed that God knows my innermost thoughts and that he’s listening to them even when I do not realize it.  Praise be to our Creator for intimately knowing his creations!


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