My BFF N.L. got married on December 18 to one of my husband's good friends, B.W.. My twins, Serious and Starlet were her flower girls, so I was thrilled! And a lot of my "gifts" in this edition have to do with her beautiful wedding...
380. A Pair of Pink Dresses
381. Elegant details on a wedding dress
I'm actually not a big fan of wedding dresses these days: how the style is invariably the same bare shoulder, breast-hugging top, which basically makes all the dresses look the same. So I loved the details that made N.L.'s dress stand out - she had a friend sew cap sleeves with beaded trims on to her dress. And how about that matching tiara and necklace? Gorgeous and glittery. Here's a picture of her with one her bridesmaids, Teresa (also an old friend of mine).
Her dress had one of my most favorite wedding dress details (which I don't remember ever seeing when I shopped for my dress 12 years ago, bummer) - a lace up back.
384. Arranging flowers with Mom
My mom did my flowers for my wedding, and I talked her into doing them for N.L.'s wedding too, because I know she loves arranging flowers and I thought it would be something fun for us to do together. Well, what I didn't count on was Mom being so worried about getting everything exactly perfect for N.L. (and this all happening just a week before Christmas, too) that it ended up being a bit more stressful than fun. But the end result was wonderful and N.L. was tickled pink (oh, unintended pun. Her whole wedding was pink). (Side note: I was afraid her reception would be too pink, but I was amazed at how beautiful it turned out. She was also afraid the pink would clash with the Christmas decorations, but if anything the twinkling lights and golden ornaments only added to the glamor of it all).
385. Pinning flowers on men
After Mom and I put together the boutineers and corsages, I rushed off to the church to get them pinned on the wedding party before photos. Ah, all the handsome men who lined up in front of me for their turn to be pinned! I admit I got just a tad flustered from all the "attention" - I didn't stick any of them with a pin, but I did stick myself. Here's my handsome husband (the best man) all pinned up and kissing on another pretty girl in the wedding party.
386. Celtic violin/guitar duo
N.L. said she had always wanted two things at her wedding: fresh flowers (check) and live Celtic music. For some reason the Celtic music had me thinking "mournful", but the violin/guitar duo who played at her reception were foot-stomping fun!
387. Visiting with wedding guests - lots of old friends!
It was wonderful seeing Karen and Ed, Emily and Ann and lots of other old friends - ah, the good old days.
388. My twins turning 5 years old
December is also a month of birthdays for us - the twins, B. and Stars. I took the twins to see Arthur Christmas for their birthday (such a creative spin on the usual Santa story - think Santa meets Star Trek, or maybe Mission Impossible). Then we had a little party for them. One of their gifts was a pair of sleds, which of course they had to take outside and try out. My parents have a slight slope to their front lawn - with their older sisters giving them a big push, the twins thought it was a blast. And I thought it was hilarious that they were so excited about the rest of their birthday presents that they couldn't put down their gift bags: they had to hold on to them while sledding!
389. Discovering a new "old" Christmas song
Mom and I always go to the University Christmas Concert, which is a neat mix of traditional tunes and new pieces. This year I discovered this song, Walking in the Air, from the movie based on the book, the Snowman. Apparently it's a Christmas classic in the UK. I loved the haunting music and the Northern Lights at the very end!
390. Flash mob Christmas carols
Apparently flash mobs started as a social experiment, partially to poke fun at hipsters: but Christians have appropriated it to reach large crowds of people with songs with a strong Christian theme - but in a fun atmosphere of surprise. Here's one from this December at a mall (the quartet on the escalator is my favorite part, but the live creche scene at the end is neat, too)
391. The Twelve Days of Christmas for writers (source)
On the Twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,
A six-figure deal for my trilogy
Eleven full requests from editors
Ten-page critique from JK Rowling
Nine more beta readers
Eight adverbs permanently erased from my memory
Seven drafts that auto-revise
Six days alone with my work in progress (no distractions, yeah!)
Five golden story ideas
Four more hours before my laptop battery dies
Three agents offering representation
Two cups of coffee
And writing hut on an island in the South Seas!
392. Bagpipes instead of ringing bells for Salvation army donations
I've seen this guy around town playing his bagpipe several times in the days leading up to Christmas. I always dig up some change for the girls to put into the pot.
393. Winning NaNoWriMo for the fourth time
Though the idea has been in my head since I was 14 years old, I had never developed it beyond just that - just the bare bones of a science fiction story. This year I decided to tackle the old idea for my November writing month and see if I could turn it into a novel. I actually started the brainstorming and plotting and character development in October in preparation, and it was such a rush. Writing toward a goal of 50,000 words in a month is so exhausting, but so rewarding. This has become an annual experience I look forward to all year, a creative outpouring that oddly enough also fills me up.
Ed and Karen (or Red and Rarin' as B. calls them) (sometimes I call them Ked and Erin by mistake) stayed with us for the weekend of N.L.'s wedding and we had some wonderful late-night talks about all sorts of faith-related things (some of which I plan to share in future posts). Ed eats up theology like I eat chocolate, and he showed me this wonderful free Bible study tool, the Blue Letter Bible, where you can break down verses so that each word is cross referenced to a Greek lexicon, Strong's concordance, a Bible dictionary and more!
395. The worship of lament
Karen also gave me a book for a Christmas present (the best kind of present): A Sacred Sorrow, by Michael Card. "Many of us don't feel right expressing our anger, frustration and sadness in prayer. Our personal worship experience is not complete unless we understand the lost language of lament."