Monday, December 6, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas! (Part 1)

Imagine how excited I was to wake up on Saturday and see snow! (Well, okay, I won't fib - Nathan woke me up at like 7AM to see the snow, and I was half-asleep, so I certainly didn't act excited then.)
But later in the day - after a "little" mishap...
Well, perhaps I should elaborate. Nathan, poor guy, had woken up early, and went in the living room so I could sleep in (how thoughtful!). He was playing on his computer, and got up to look for a disk, and.... Well, it wasn't pretty. His computer's power cable got caught around his ankle, and it crashed to the floor - cracking his LCD screen in three places. My poor husband. He was (and still is a little) distraught. Not so much over the item (though it cost over $600) or the repair bill (which will be at least $300), but because, being such a nerd as he is, his primary form of entertainment is his computer. He watches TV and movies on it, plays games on it, sometimes reads books on it, keeps up with online comics and newsletters, of course being on Facebook, and keeping up (occasionally) with his own blog.
So, his screen is broken. *sigh* The computer still works, thank goodness, but he has to hook it up to an external monitor to make it do anything, and we haven't done that yet, because our external is old and heavy (but at least we have one - thanks so much Mom and Dad for the desktop you gave us last Christmas!).
Aaaanyway... So after a few manly tears and a lot of hugs, I managed to convince Nathan that taking a drive and watching the snow would help him feel better. Boy, oh boy, was I wrong - he didn't cheer up a bit. And I can't blame him. Being someone who has never driven in Richmond in the winter before, I tend to forget how bad the roads are on the morning of the first day of a snowstorm. So he was a nervous wreck as we drove out, first to campus, and then to Lake Reba, to find a place to park and look at the snow. We didn't end up parking, by the time we got to the entrance to Lake Reba, I knew that an excursion wasn't going to make him feel better, so I agreed to give it up and just go home.
Sad day. I didn't even get any pictures of how perfect and untouched the snow was up there! Maybe next winter, huh?

Until then, have this gorgeous picture I found on picasa via google.

The rest of that morning was mostly him sitting in various places about the living room, being super sad about his computer, and me trying various ways to make him feel better. Nothing worked, really, so I defaulted to my spend-money habit of cheering him up (we're really trying to get away from that one...) and suggested that we go to Cici's for lunch. What better to cheer anyone up than a carb fest of custom-order pizzas?
We picked up Courtney (friend from school and church who also doesn't drive) and took her with us for lunch. Spending time with her is super important, because she will be moving in with us (yay roommate!) in a couple of weeks.
Background on that: I met Courtney a year ago when she started college - we were in choir together, and Dr. Wolf's studio. She's all-around a pretty cool lady. When I met her, she'd been married for about 4 1/2 months (I'd been married almost 1 month). This fall, she got really interested in looking for a church, and after looking around some, had an experience that prompted her to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Which was awesome, What was not awesome was her discovering, not long after she made that decision, that her father was dying, her husband wanted a divorce, and that she wasn't going to be able to pay to be in school next semester. :( She's had a really hard time lately. Fortunately (for all involved), Nathan and I have an extra bedroom, and found ourselves with an extra bed in said room about the time we realized that she would need one. So, when the semester ends, she'll be moving her belongings into our spare room and she and I are going to go job hunting together. :) We're not sure, at the moment, how long she is going to be staying, but since the whole point is to help her get on her feet and get into a place of her own, we're hoping to help her get that accomplished before the baby arrives.
Aaaaaanyway... We went to Cici's with Courtney, which did seem to cheer Nathan up a little, but like all material things, it didn't keep him happy for long. We just generally had a bad afternoon, sniping at each other as we got ready for the Saturday session of conference and on the way up to Lexington. We managed to get most of it worked out before conference started (and thank goodness for that - I hate being frustrated with him, and I know he dislikes being frustrated with me at least as much!), and had a fairly good evening.
The Saturday evening session of conference was really like a breath of fresh air (and a wake up call) for me. I can't remember much of what President Arntz spoke about (did someone take notes, because I forgot this time, and that makes me sad), but after his talk, a sister took the stand to give a talk about reverence. I was enchanted by the lessons she taught about the need for proper reverence in our lives, and our responsibility to teach our children that it is not about how we look (usually grumpy-faced, sadly), but about our inner attitude. I remember she asked how many of us had found ourselves sitting silently during the blessing and passing of the sacrament, and yet found ourselves thinking about temporal matters or desires instead of allowing our thoughts to rest on the Savior and the blessing of his sacrifice. I know that, for myself, I have found myself in that situation many times! She also taught about the importance of teaching our children that reverence happens outside the chapel, and is appropriate in our homes during family home evening, family prayer, and family scripture study. She taught that if we reinforce those habits and attitudes in our children at home, our efforts will show in our children's behavior during Sunday services. You can imagine what a brilliant lesson this was to me, as I am about to become a mother for the first time, and am seeking to better myself and my family so that Nathan and I may provide a gospel-centered environment for our family.
After the sister's talk, we were privileged to hear from Elder Stephen D. Posey of the Sixth Quorum of the 70. I don't know that I can accurately summarize what he spoke about, except to say that he echoed many sentiments of the sister who spoke before him (he had asked her to speak on that topic for that very reason - two witnesses), and added an emphasis on temple service and attendance.

I found that particularly interesting, because Nathan and I had been talking about how we REALLY needed to get to the temple again, and soon! I think, because of gas costs and temple closings, we are going to have to wait until January, but we are planning to try and make it at least 1 time a month after that. I can tell that I need the temple more in my life, to help me keep my mind and my actions centered on the covenants I have made and carrying them out in my life. I am fairly certain, from conversing with him, that Nathan feels the same.
Elder Posey also talked about the Proclamation on the Family, and how it was our responsibilty - whether we were in families of eight, three, two, or only one, to hold ourselves to the standards outlined there. I love that - that the proclamation applies not only to me, as someone who is about to be a mother, or to my friends who are married and have children already, but also to my single friends, as they strive to become people who are ready to provide for their eternal families. Elder Posey also strongly encouraged the married couples in our stake to never go to bed angry with each other, but to always take the time to talk out their problems, apologise, and forgive each other before bed, so that they might keep a harmonious home.
All in all, I think Saturday went really well (especially because at the end of it, Nathan apologised for being sad and moody and I apologised for being snippy and we made up and so had a good night of sleep.) for all the things that were bad about it. And I can't wait to tell you about Sunday, which was, in my opinion, pretty awesome.
But that is going to have to wait for another day, as it is a quarter to 7PM, and I have to go grocery shopping, fix dinner, and help Nathan with FHE in the next few hours. God bless, all, and I'll see you in a day or two!