coming out from behind the tree….

So after the New Year’s Day meltdown what happens next?  Once you admit that you are sad and overwhelmed, where do you go from there?

Well, I got busy. Just in a different way.

  • I got back into Bible study
  • I got back into aerobics class
  • I started my 2011 Siesta Scripture Memory Team notebook
  • and I got snowed in for a week

Yup.  You heard me.  Getting snowed in for a week was the best thing that could have happened to me just now.  Everything came to a screeching halt and we just played.  We enjoyed Ginny.  We snuggled in front of the fireplace, we watched White Christmas, we played with the neighbors, we went for a nature hike, and I didn’t put in a single job application all week.  I just put the whole mess aside and gave myself up to enjoying this rare event of being snowed in.

And trust me, getting snowed in for a solid week in Atlanta is unheard of.

Wanna see photos?

yup.  I kinda thought you might.

This was after only about 2 hours of snow.  We got more than this, but the photo is so pretty, I just had to share.

Martin insisted that I take this shot.  I didn’t think it would turn out, but it ended up being one of the most unique photographs from this snowfall.

the only “flocked” tree I have ever liked….Our outdoor Christmas tree, with lights, covered in snow.

I love the way the colored lights glowed through the snow.

find a happy place.....

This is my happy place.  Snow is falling outside.  I have slippers, wine & cheese, a good book, a sleeping dog, a fire in the fire place, a beautiful Christmas tree.  you will notice that second glass of wine.  It wasn’t for me, but for my wonderful hubby who would come to shove the dog out of his chair and complete my happy place picture.

Our dog Kirby, heading for Narnia…..

Ginny playing in the snow with papa. I didn’t get very many shots of this, mostly because the snow was still coming down and I didn’t want to damage my camera.  So after snapping off a few shots of Ginny and Martin, I put the camera aside and just went out and enjoyed the playtime.

Our front porch.  Out of four steps you can only see ONE set of treads.

Martin and Ginny in front of Grammy’s house.  We hiked the mile to her house because she can’t go for a solid week without seeing her grandbaby.  Plus it gave us a chance to try out our fancy new sledding rig.  cool yes?  We both enjoyed pulling Ginny and the neighbor kids in it.

My parents were both very glad to see us by the way.  They had cabin fever really badly, so an infusion of cuteness really helped.

Ginny getting warm after a day in the snow.  She is turning into quite a ham for the camera.

So wrap up the week and put a bow on it.

Seven solid days of a snow and ice covered driveway made for some concentrated family time.  That might drive other folks insane, but  not me.

This week of being snowed in was exactly what I needed.  No, I don’t think God sent the snow for all of Atlanta just to help my heart, but I know He used this time in my life to quiet me down and say “Child, you have been mourning the past, and yearning for what is behind you, but look.  See?  This is the present.  And it is filed with wonder, beauty and joy.”


the christmas 2010 recap

otherwise known as “it is dark behind the Christmas Tree”

We tried (just like every year) to have a low-key Christmas season but it just didn’t happen.  Between

  • Journey to Bethlehem (which didn’t happen due to inclement weather, but we got to spend a lot of time planning and organizing and being ready for it anyway)
  • co-writing, directing, costuming and staging a new monologue each week in our church services
  • learning to run the ProPresenter booth at church
  • trying to keep up my job application volume (it never pays to let momentum slow down in a job search)
  • choir commitments
  • trying to find time to keep up with aerobics class (this one we let slip)
  • keeping a general structure and schedule for Ginny
  • decorating the house
  • planning a 14 hour drive to Dallas to see Martin’s side of the family
  • Presents
  • Christmas cards/letters
  • wrapping
  • baking
  • eating

my head was spinning.

By New Years day I was a basket case.

We are really no busier than other people I guess, but when you add to all this stuff an underlying current of sadness…I finally lost it.  Martin left the room for a few minutes on New Years Day and when he came back he couldn’t find me.  I was curled up, under and behind the Christmas tree.  The mourning from my job lay-off had finally surfaced and I just didn’t have any more strength to resist it.  It is plain and simple.

I. Want. MY. Job.  Back.

Yes, God is in charge.

Yes, it will all be fine.

But while embracing the changes and relying on God for His good provision, I had skipped over the mourning phase of this whole mess.

Martin eventually found me under the tree and talked to me till he could get me to laugh. Once I was laughing at the whole thing I finally climbed out from under the tree and life went on.  Thank goodness Ginny was at my mom’s for the day.

Why am I telling you this?  Why am I publishing it to the world on a blog?

Because I think this kind of thing happens far more than we like to admit.  Normal people have small dark patches in their lives.  Normal Christians grieve.  Even over things like lost jobs.

Now on to the fun stuff. Wanna see pictures from Christmas and the days following? Of course you do.  Especially when I promise that there are NO photos at all of me curled up behind the Tree. Martin wanted to take one but I wouldn’t let him.  He said I looked cute under there.  Not really what I was going for actually.


whimsical decor in our terracotta and teal bathroom. I think it turned out well.

zoom in to see the actual ornaments. this had a very Whoo-ville feel to me.

Helping Grammy make Jello on Christmas morning

Opening presents

look at me mama! I play mooosic!

Historic Christmas Day Snow. First time in 128 YEARS!!!!

You will notice that this is not much snow really.  But it was enough to count.  Please keep this photo in mind when I show you the snow we got just a few weeks later.

hanging out with Papa in the hotel room

This pretty much sums up most of how we looked on the Texas trip.  Frazzled, tired, but happy.

Ginny and her cousin Emily playing in a fountain. Mama Altie behind them.

it is out of focus, but since Ginny and Emily hardly ever stopped moving, getting them in focus was a bit difficult.

The Russell family photo at the ranch.  Chaotic, loud, and fun.  Thank you Lord for amazingly wonderful in-laws.

Ginny getting to see a player piano at Cousin Harriett's house.

learning to pain ceramics

On the drive home from Texas we stopped overnight in Jackson, MS at a friend’s house.  She has a ceramics shop, so before we left the next day we all went and painted some things.  Ginny will have her very own set of dishes that she painted herself.  She also painted the shop cat, but we didn’t get to bring her home.

More in my next post.  This one is already too long.