Monday, December 28, 2009

The White Stuff and A Stocking Surprise

Bing Crosby might have liked it, but a white Christmas is a big pain in the...well's a pain in everything! This morning I woke up and could barely move. I thought to myself, hmm it feels like I have been exercising, of which I really don't do very often. Then it hit me, duh, I shoveled a snow packed driveway! Every muscle in my body hurts and the worst part...I didn't completely finish the job, I was saving that for today! Ugh. I have lived in this house for almost nine years and have NEVER had to shovel my driveway. I have prided myself on my snow shoveling technique....just drive over the snow on the driveway until the snow is flat. And, I have never had any problems. I secretly laughed at those shoveling fools and thought why don't you just do what I right on over it. Even the stuff the road crews pack up to the edge of the driveway - not a problem for me and my car - we just drove right on over. Well not this year! The 2009 Christmas blizzard was quite a sight to see and there would be no driving right on over the piles of snow in my driveway. Plus, the road crews did quite a job piling a hedge of protection from any hope of getting out of the driveway! I got stuck twice in my driveway...or the road....hard to see where one begins and the other ends. I'm not sure I'll be singing the words of that white Christmas song ever again. Sorry, Bing, but I've had my fill! For more on this snowy Christmas story read here.

In addition to the white stuff that fell on Christmas eve, there were a few more surprises. Hannah awoke early on Christmas morning, as most kids do, and being the loving parent I am, I told her to go back to bed until 7:00! I finally relented at 6:30 and we headed down stairs to see what Santa had brought. She was delighted and surprised to find that Santa had brought her something she never thought she would get. It is hard to surprise Hannah. She has this weird talent that she can hold a wrapped present shaped liked all the other presents and tell you exactly what is in the box! It is weird. We have resorted to wrapping her gifts in multiple boxes to throw her off. But Santa gifts come unwrapped and she certainly knew, or at least she thought she knew exactly what Santa was bringing her. But he surprised her with a Wii! Never ever did she think she would get a wii. Hannah has wanted a wii for as long as they have been around, but I just couldn't justify spending the money on it. Until this year!

After she had opened her gifts from me, I went to feed the cat. As I headed back into the living room, she proudly popped up with my stocking. We have two stockings that hang on our fireplace mantle, one for her and one for me. Of course Santa only fills her stocking. But not this year! Hannah almost knocked me over as she handed me my stocking and said "look mom, Santa filled your stocking this year!" "Oh how exciting," I exclaimed as I apprehensively looked inside. I figured she had scoured the house looking for some things to fill my stocking, but no, it was filled with great little gifts, just for me! A new pair of gloves, a warm fuzzy pair of socks, perfume, and more! Wow, I was stunned! I have to admit that I enjoyed reaching my hand down into the stocking with the anticipation of what I would find! Turns out I have the best, most thoughtful sister-in-law in the world! She purchased these thoughtful little surprises and asked Hannah to hide them and then fill my stocking when I wasn't looking. Hannah played it out perfectly.

As I think back over the past few days, I am in awe of my many blessings. I am in awe that the God of the universe, the creator of all things, is mindful of me. I am in awe that He loved me enough to create me, but even more to save me. The greatest Christmas gift of all is God's gift of eternal life through His son Jesus. 2009 has been a Christmas to remember.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

2009 Christmas Letter

For those of you not on my Christmas card list, here is a post of this year's Christmas letter!

I was beginning to wonder if this letter was going to get written this year! Life has just been so busy lately. I love this time of year, but it seems even busier than usual. I started out with such high hopes for the Christmas season – our tree was up and the house was decorated before Thanksgiving (thanks to a little, I mean a lot, of help from my mom). But unfortunately that is where the story ends. To Hannah’s dismay, our house sits dark in a neighborhood lighted for the season. I have not had the time to dig out our outside decorations. Yes, we are probably known across the neighborhood as the house without lights! The outside may look gloomy, but inside all the halls are decked with holly…um…well, really with fake greenery from Hobby Lobby, but who can tell the difference!

I can’t believe 2009 is coming to a close. The most notable news of the year is that Hannah is now officially in middle school. We are in the throes of what I affectionately call middle school madness - complete with girl drama, boy craziness and a side of pre-teen attitude. Mix in the hormones of adolescence and all I can say is MERCY! If this is a pre-curser to the teen years I am doomed! I am, however re-learning all my communications skills. Hannah now has her own cell phone and I have discovered a whole new language the young-ins use today: IDK, CUL8R, G2G…any guesses? I think

we may be raising a generation that won’t be able to spell or maybe they’ll rewrite the dictionary and lol will be an actual word! I never thought I would utter these words, but oh my how the world has changed since I was a kid!

I’ve been doing a lot of business travel lately. Most of the travel is north of here, which is great in the summer, but not so great in the winter. I have always feared getting stuck somewhere because of bad weather and last week that fear was realized. A group of co-workers and I found ourselves snowed in…in Des Moines! 15 inches of snow kept us hotel bound for an extra day. I have never seen snow quite like that before. It basically shut down the whole town, even Burger King was closed! Luckily we found a Super Target open so we could get some necessities and food. Believe it or not some of us went to Iowa in December without gloves! I think the 6 of us collectively made Target’s sales goal for the day. While we were there we decided to make the best of the situation and we bought white elephant Christmas presents. I should probably mention that we got our rented minivan stuck in the Target parking lot and nice strangers helped dig us out. That night in the hotel we exchanged our gifts while we dined on Papa John’s pizza – the only place brave enough to deliver! Ah, making memories with my co-workers!

In April I became a published writer! My first published article entitled, The Monster in the Crowd, appeared in a local Christian news magazine. I was so excited to see my name in print! But with the victory came defeat. Riding on the adrenaline of getting published, I sent off another article to one of my favorite Christian Women’s magazines. The thrill of being published came to a screeching halt with the sting of rejection. I’ll try again. I just have to believe that God is going to use the whole single parent to the strong willed child thing to His glory! I’ll keep you posted on the writing front! I’m still writing a blog, although I haven’t had a chance to write in it much lately. I hope to get back to it soon and write more often. Feel free to drop by sometime: (

We are so grateful to God for His many blessings. We look forward to what He has in store for us in the coming year. BFN! (For those of you not fluent in text, let me translate – Bye For Now!)

Merry Christmas

Krista and Hannah Grier

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to

harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.