Friday, November 28, 2008

Andrew's Christening

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world."

- Matthew 28:19-20
Early this November, we went to Charlotte for the Christening of our nephew, Andrew. It was a beautiful day with family and friends. The sacrament was celebrated by Deacon Jim, who is a friend of the family. His personal connection to our family and the emotion he showed was touching. He did a wonderful job dedicating Andrew to the Christian faith.

(Mary Catherine, Warren, Andrew, and Alex)
(Godmother- Aunt Julie)

The party afterwards was filled with food, fun, and laughter. We had a beautiful sunny day that allowed us to spend the time outside with family and friends. Mary Catherine, John's sister, and Warren, her husband, did a wonderful job organizing the baptism and party.

(The Family)

(John and his Dad)
Andrew is fortunate to have a family who loves him and loves Jesus. I am confident that Andrew will grow up with God's presence all around him. I am excited for him as he becomes a child and then an adult in the church making his first communion and then being confirmed. My prayer for Andrew is that his journey to Jesus will be as special as mine.

John and I are blessed to have wonderful parents and a wonderful extended family. We enjoy every family get together and look forward to the next. We are fortunate to have a happy family that gets along and cherishes spending time together.

(Brothers- Andrew and Alex)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pumpkin Decorating Contest

The Fun Committee at work held the annual Pumpkin Decorating Contest (not sure how many years they have had the contest). I submitted an entry, as usual. I generally participate in any activity where I get a chance to create something art-like. I designed my pumpkin to look like Jack the Pumpkin King from the Nightmare Before Christmas.

This year, I won third place. In previous years I won first and second. Maybe next year I will win first!

(pictured here are the first and second place winners.)

All of the entries this year were done well. It was difficult competition! :) Congrats to all participants!

If I want to win first place next year, I guess I better begin thinking of ideas now!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hiking At Eno State Park

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy,while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.
~John Muir

John and I enjoy hiking and we do not get to go nearly as much as we would like. When I was in graduate school in the mountains of Virginia, John would visit me during the summer and we would spend entire days hiking. We spent time on the Appalachian Trail and other areas nearby. We had many interesting adventures that we talk and laugh about to this day. We learned a lot about hiking, direction, and compasses during those summers! We were exposed to many parts of nature that we had never experienced and are thankful for each and every things that crossed our path.

One of the many things John and I have in common is enjoying nature. Even before we dated, and were just friends, we spent much time outside in nature. We both have the need to explore and see the beauty that is God. I personally find that I am the most connected to God when in nature.

While in college, I would retreat to the hiking trails, campus ponds, and woods when I needed to solace. I would spend time in conversation and prayer with God. I cannot help but be touched by God's spirit through all of the abundant life in nature. This is my true reason for being an environmentalist. Destroying nature and the environment is a direct hurt to God.

I always feel like John and I grow as a couple and in our spirituality when we hike together. We are always amazed by the beauty and feel at peace while in nature. We are thankful to live near a beautiful state park that has many hiking trails. Many of our Saturday afternoons are spent hiking in Eno State Park, when the weather is not too hot or cold. We especially enjoy the spring when everything is blooming and autumn when everything is changing colors.

Our most recent hike was this October where we witnessed the beginning of the changing of the leaves. We walked on the trails and crunched in the fallen leaves. We were dazzled by the river and its ability to reflect the changing colors. The river mirrored the brilliant colors and carried the leaves away. I felt sheer peace our hike. It helped me clear my mind and prepare myself for the upcoming work week. It was stress release at its best for me.

During our hike, we stopped to take a picture of our vegan hiking boots. Several Christmases ago, my parents bought us vegan hiking boots so that we did not have to hike in our sneakers. Our boots are SO comfortable and we are proud to say that they are cruelty free.

I cannot wait for our next hike. I hope it is soon!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Company Outing

The company that I work for has a Fun Committee that plans employee events each quarter. The events helps foster community within the company. This year our company picnic was a little late -October 23.

The picnic was held at Lake Crabtree in Morrisville, NC. We were allowed to take the afternoon off and picnic while enjoying the company of co-workers. There was a lot of food! I brought veggie burgers and recycled/compostable lunch ware. I ate more food than I wished I would have eaten!

Next to the picnic shelter was a small playground that several of us decided to visit. The monkey bars and slide brought back many memories from my childhood. We enjoyed acting like kids as we attempted the monkey bars and the slide. The slide did not present any challenges (although you would not know that by the look on Diana's face). The monkey bars, on the other hand, presented serious challenges for me. I was only able to hang and was not able to maneuver myself to the other side. I was not good at this activity as a child and I can see that age has not helped one bit. The only thing that was easier is the drop to the ground because my feet were not that far from the stones!

I really enjoy the fun committee activities and always make a point to attend an activity, if I am not traveling for work. I think that community with my co-workers is important for my well work happiness. It helps me to get to know my co-workers on a personal basis and makes it easier for me to approach them at work when tough situations arise in the office. Most of the people that I work with are nice to be around.

I cannot wait for the Holiday party!