in between holidays

it's 10:30pm saturday night and i'm putting off going to bed because i know it's 'back to work' tomorrow (and yet i'm excited about tomorrow too at the same time). anyways, here's some random thoughts bouncing around my head right now:
- i felt like i ate lots of food for thanksgiving; there was tons on the table and reminds me how excessive we americans can be (not that it's necessarily bad...just a LOT of food). it was delicious too, by the way.
- had a great time connecting with my parents and brother for an extended period of time. we celebrated christmas this week with them because we'll be in pittsburgh with shanna's family at christmas time. had tons of fun playing games, chatting, and just relaxing together. we're so blessed with the families that we have...
- enjoyed hanging out with todd & christa and the kids for another extended period of time. they are so encouraging and fun to be around - every time it's so refreshing...
- embarked on a new experience this afternoon - shanna and i went hunting for a tree to cut down with some friends. usually we just pick one that's already been cut, but this year we were told that for a super cheap price we could cut any tree and any size. operating on a tight budget, we jumped at the opportunity, and spent WAY too much time looking for the perfect tree. (two perfectionists looking for a perfect tree = a somewhat frustrating experience for everyone involved). we were looking for a very large tree (our obsession with big) because we have been blessed with cathredal ceilings in our apartment this year and for some crazy reason felt the need to fill the space. getting home and looking at the tree...i think it's quite possibly the smallest one we've ever gotten - lol. it's funny how God works things like that out to teach us lessons. amidst feelings of frustration, i was reminded of the series we'll be starting this thursday in youth group, "gimme more presence" - it's not about the hype of christmas, the flashy presents, and the unimportant stuff that so often clouds out the imperative. it's about being more like the kid in the smelly crib...thinking and acting more like Jesus. it's not about getting the biggest tree and paying for some stupidly high electric bill. again, not that big is bad...i'm just maybe beginning to notice how i live in excess so much of the time when so many live in need... maybe a 'smaller' tree isn't such a bad thing after all...
- i've been battling a cold for the last few days and have gone through almost an entire box of tissues. as i typed this i just sneezed on the screen actually (i bet you wish you could've seen it). hunting for the perfect tree this afternoon in the great outdoors made me want to hack off my nose with the tree saw.
- driving home from the tree farm, our friends' tree fell off the roof of their van and almost caused a wreck for the car behind us. looking back, a VERY funny experience that wasn't so funny at the time.

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