A Day to be Grateful For

A few Saturday’s ago I had work piling up on my desk (if you’ve seen my desk you know this is an expression, because there is always a crap load of crap on my desk at all times) and I had about a million things on my to do list. I have a huge, giant, enormously important event coming up in a few weeks that I should be better prepared for. It could go on…

Regardless, I decided to do the right thing – the healthy thing!- and spend the day with my soul friends (friends that are also your soul mates). If you ARE one of my few true friends you understand what it’s like to be me, or at least have an understanding. You know that I don’t just have a “job” but a life consumed with a higher calling, therefore we won’t necessarily see each other that often. Most friends hang out all the time. This is not the case with me and my friends because I don’t always have control over my time. It’s hard to live like that sometimes, but to do anything of great important or impact will almost always require a personal sacrifice. A comfortable life never makes much of a difference. However, there are times where I have to decide to be a real person and acknowledge that I have needs – I’m not superhuman. So, I dropped everything else and went apple picking with some of the most important people in my life. IT FELT SO GOOD!!!!! Even though none of my work got done that Saturday, I was fulfilled and fueled in a whole different way. My soul needed that. We need each other! God didn’t build us for relationships by accident.

Here we all are on the tractor ride headed towards those apple trees waiting to be picked!

These are my friends! Here we all are on the tractor ride headed towards those apple trees waiting to be picked!

My life long friend Nubbin (aka – Ryan, his “real” name) and his wonderful wife Ashlynn invited me on this outing to Nubbin’s favorite childhood apple picking spot up in New Hampshire. That’s one thing that New England can boast – all of our states are close together and each state can be easily traveled to for whatever seasonal adventure awaits! I could not believe I’d never heard of or been to Applecrest Farm & Orchards in Hampton Falls, NH. It was beautiful all the way up to New Hampshire, I felt like the old people who go on fall foliage tours. Once we got there and all my friends piled out of our cars in the grass parking lot and I was remind of all the other times I’d traveled with these friends. The last grassy parking lot we’d been in together was at Creation Festival for our annual trip that we all used to take. Good memories. Applecrest was like a mini-festival itself! There was so much to see, lots of farm stands, and food stands, and even a “make your own scarecrow” booth. Scarecrows…. scare the crap out of me. I guess that’s their purpose, but like, it’s not cool. You know the food is my favorite… my friends ordered delicious homemade apple pie and ice cream! I had the best cinnamon sugar cider donut EVER. It was still warm too, yummmmm!

Applecrest also had tons of fruits, veggies, and fall time food to purchase in their outdoor market. There was even different flavored honey sticks!! If you know me well you know that I LOVE HONEY STICKS! I had them growing up as a treat my mom would buy us at Topsfield Fair (see previous post) or during our own family time apple picking. Honey sticks make me feel young again. Applecrest had strawberry sticks, grape, cinnamon, apple…. MIND BLOWN!!!!! I was so pumped I had to buy nine new flavors! I also purchased their own coffee milk which was sold in a glass bottle I had to pay for as well. Of course I had to buy fresh nectarines for Clark, they are his OBSESSION. I got little pumpkins for myself as well, tis the season!

The delicious loot I left Applecrest with... all for just $20! Now you can see displayed in my kitchen at home.

The delicious loot I left Applecrest with… all for just $20! Now you can see displayed in my kitchen at home.

Applecrest was so quaint, so New England, so Fall time! Oh, and I didn’t even talk about the actual apple picking yet! It was so cool to get on the “hayride” as I called it (really just a tractor pulling us on a flatbed) and travel across the farm passing all the different crops they were growing on the way to the apple trees. Then they had what seemed like a zillion different types of apple trees to pick from. We also saw another one of our friends and their family while there, it was just a great experience all around.

apple picking collage

We had decided to bring our lunch and eat it together picnic style out in the field we parked our two cars in. I loved eating and talking together! I love picnics and we ended up actually having two this day! Ashlynn brought this Whole Foods curry chicken salad stuff… WOW! So good! There’s something about eating together that brings you closer. I felt like I was at the best family dinner table conversation ever.

It probably seems a little curious that such normal activities make me so incredibly happy. I describe almost a euphoric experience as if everything was perfect including my friends. I know this is not really the case… although it was a pretty amazing day! Lately my life has been so hectic and stressful, my soul friends were just what the doctor ordered. My only regret was that my husband was away on a business trip and didn’t get to come with us. He did fly back into Boston just in time to see out friends towards the end of the day though, so I was at least glad for that. Again, I know this type of Saturday may seem pretty regular to most, but to me it’s special. It was a day that I can look back on and be truly grateful. Thank you Lord for giving me this life, these friends, and a great support system in the midst of what has been a confusing and chaotic chapter in my life.

Sometimes you just need to let everything go and give yourself a bit of soul therapy. You have to take care of yourself. I’ve found that when I don’t do that… it’s like I’m a shell on the shore of the ocean that has been beaten down by the waves so much that it’s broken and withering away. It then becomes hard for me to be the best wife or the best mentor. Each person has different needs, this we know, but you cannot deny we all need to take care of ourselves. Self preservation is not a bad thing! For Kim… taking care of myself means being in God’s presence often, relaxing and being creative, and not overworking. It means taking time for myself and doing things that make me happy. It means being with people that make me happy. It’s the best feeling in the world to say “I can’t remember the last time I laughed this much!”.

It’s easy to become suffocated in my line of work because it’s so all consuming, it’s your whole life. You don’t even realize you’ve burnt out until you burn out. In my “field” we’ll call it… it’s even ”frowned upon” to take care of yourself. We are supposed to be taking care of others! The harder you work and the busier you are then the more effective or successful you’re being. False – and I learned the hard way. I have to be a bit of pioneer in my field and take that sabbath (funny how we easily overlook that commandment), take care of myself, and love Jesus more each day.¬†Because I have such a small amount of free time, or even unscheduled time, the “me time” gets thrown out the window. This is why it’s SO important for me to spend that precious little time with the people that are right for me. This is exactly what I talked about in my last entry. I just thank God for these friends! I’m so glad Ashlynn thought to invite me, because in the past I haven’t always been able to say “yes” as much as I’d like. I only hope the people I love keep on inviting me, despite their frustration that Clark and I can’t say yes most of the time. I’m glad I have friends that love me and love Clark. A day and a life to be grateful for. That is all.

 

Friends :)

Friends ūüôā

Advertisements

Seasonal Festivities

Growing up one of my favorite places, the Topsfield Fair, was the highlight of this season. This place became even more special to me as an adult. This year I was able to go with my family (sans my sister’s husband) and my cousin and friend. We were a crew! We had a great time together at the fair, and since it was Columbus Day and a monday (our day off) we were able to also spend the evening together buying my dad a new car and ordering our favorite Lynnfield House of Pizza for dinner. I was just glad to get some decent photo’s in too… you know me! Need it!

My father is sadly missing from this photo because he was one who took this iphone 5 photo of us in front of the famous sand sculpture!

My father is sadly missing from this photo because he was one who took this iphone 5 photo of us in front of the famous sand sculpture! Here my cousin Jonathan, my husband (who always makes this ridiculous face in photos), my sister Kendra, my mom, me, and my good friend Becky! =)

In true New England style we took our Dunks coffee (personally, yuck!) with us to the fair and strolled around all day visiting the different animals, farm stands, shows, and trade house booths. Kendra and my cousin Jonathan were the only dare devils who ventured to get on a ride this year… a new ride! It was like a million feet high and cost $12 to ride… they just had to! My sister was infamously a little bit wild as as youngster and sometimes it’s good to see where it’s carried over into adulthood. This wasn’t nearly as crazy as teenage Ken, but her personality is definitely fun!

My cousin Jonathan and sister Kendra! His mom is my mom's sister... she's one of my favorite people also!

My cousin Jonathan and sister Kendra! His mom is my mom’s sister… she’s one of my favorite people also!

The weather has been unseasonably warm so I was able to wear a cute outfit rather than my usual layers including a big poofy brown goose-down jacket. Clark insisted on wearing his big poofy vest though. Mmhmm.

This gallery style photo of me and my hott black husband is my new favorite!

This gallery style photo of me and my hott black husband is my new favorite! And I love french braids!

One of the most important parts of the fair is the food! I admit this is where my family indulges the most… we have to have it all! Maybe this is something I have inherited from my dad, because he basically eats his way through the fair every year. Not a bad way to do it. We had fried dough (of course), lemonade, roasted cinnamon almonds, pulled pork sandwich, steak kabobs, hot chocolate, my dad had a big cheeseburger, and Becky had the traditional carmel apple! The only thing I missed was the baked potato loaded with cheese, broccoli, sour cream… mmm!!! Delicious!!! There’s only so much money set aside for these types of holidays though, and we spent our allotment on our entry ticket… and FOOD! Fair food is the bomb.

Me and Becky enjoy our delicious fair food!

Me and Becky enjoy our delicious fair food while we watched the Lumberjack show… yes…

I am a sucker for steak. I love steaks!!!! As a child I hated meat… like… all meat. Weird. Then I had a rarely cooked fillet mignon at a fancy restaurant (I was NOT paying…) and I was sold. Then when I married my husband he cooked this chicken that I’m absolutely in love with! I would marry this chicken dish if I could. It’s SO GOOD… my husband is Haitian and it’s a chicken his mom has cooked his whole life. I can’t believe there are people who have gone through life without ever eating this chicken dish. Anyways… I about to go down a rabbit trail… back to the fair!

My family! Sterling (sistah's husband) had to work and wasn't able to join us. Huge bummah =(

My family! Sterling (sistah’s husband) had to work and wasn’t able to join us. Huge bummah =( Also… I’m bringing flare leg back. Apparently designers already have, but no one in real life has – yet!

Me & my Mimzy! Are we twins?

Me & my Mimzy! Are we twins?

Meow!

Meow!

The fair is one of those places that has become a part of me and who I am. The Fair means Fall is really here and I absolutely adore the Fall weather and clothes and warm cider! Although, now I finally realize that it’s also been the people I go to the fair with that has made it what it is. The Fair also means family time and being with the few friends who are just as close. One of my favorite Fair memories was the year I was a freshman in college all the way down in Florida. I decided to fly home and surprise everyone – plus how could I miss the Fair?! Little did I know how important it was for me to take that trip. It was one of the last times I saw Felipe before he was taken from us. He was so happy to see me, a great feeling! It’s surely one of my favorite moments throughout my entire life! I surprised him right near the entrance inside the Fair grounds… at the Topsfield Fair.

There’s something about this season that reminds me how important it is to keep people around you that are right. People who mutually know, love, and understand you – real friends. Maybe it’s the poetic fall of the leaves off the summer trees that urges me to shake off what is already dead too. If that means having less leaves, I’m okay with that. Autumn means a beautiful stripping of what is no longer healthy to carry. You may appear barren to some, but you don’t FEEL barren. You feel a new lightness and it’s refreshing! This is a season of my life that may require some “weeds to be picked” as my husband says. I guess this is just another thing I’m learning to breathe…

The Topsfield Fair Topsfield, Mass

The Topsfield Fair
Topsfield, Mass

A few rambling thoughts and one meaningful one…

It’s unbelievable how long it’s been since my last post! Can you believe how irresponsible I’m being as a blogger? Let me tell you, friends… it’s been a really crazy 2013. Clark and I have been kept irregularly busy at work and life is speeding by a little too quickly. Our students are keeping us more occupied than they ever have before… mostly in a good way.

To quickly sum up… Since January during the winter months we’ve had SEVERAL huge snow storms and for some reason the crazy weather¬†effects¬†life here in New England. Shouldn’t we ¬†really be used to it by now?! My parents took a trip to India.¬†Can you believe they didn’t bring me with them to India? How. Rude. We did house-sit for them though, which proved a little more involved than we thought. Being home owners is time consuming!¬†My family has also been preparing for my little sister’s wedding. My family as in – me and my mom mostly. In March Clark and I are spent his birthday in NYC for a couple days then I jetted off to California for 9 days to attend a great Missions Conference at Biola University, see my sister, see my baby on American Idol, and have a good ‘ol time.

Since then I’ve been spending all of my time trying to learn from the Biola Missions experience and turn our own church’s missions experience into something really great! We are going to the next level! Then I have the youth department… we are going on five straight weeks of trips this summer…. five SEPARATE trips! I am¬†exhausted¬†just preparing for them. Two weeks of camps. Then a missions trip to Oakland, California. Then we are going to Orlando, Florida for National Fine Arts competition with our wicked talented teenagers. Then there’s days of outreaches to get prepared for on top of normal youth group duties, Crews, Sunday Schools, Drama and Worship Team. Did I mention my intern just got a job and had to turn in her two weeks notice? Wow… all of a sudden I’m feeling overwhelmed. Can’t imagine why!¬†If this seems like a lot – it’s the tip of the ice burg! Tonight, I’ll just blog a quick thought.

How I Met Your Mother... one of my top 10 shows of all time!

How I Met Your Mother… one of my top 10 shows of all time!

“Kids, sometimes you think you think you’re living out one story, ut the truth turns out to be something else entirely.” – Ted Mosby, How I Met Your Mother

Lately, I’ve become extremely aware of the differences between myself and the upcoming generation. It’s like all of a sudden everything is different and my eyes have been opened. I’m as old as I’ve ever been right now!!!! Don’t get me wrong… in no way do I ever want to return to my teenage years! My life has never been better than it is right now, I feel very blessed. However, I never thought I’d be considered an “adult” by teenagers. They don’t consider me apart of their generation, which… is true I’m not. Weird. I’m considered “old” or at least “older” than them and not in a good way like “oh em gee, you can drive us around past midnight”… I mean old as in “well, you’re older so that doesn’t count”. As if I’m allowed be cool anymore?? As if I can’t even understand what they’re going through?!?! These kids¬†literarily¬†see me as an old married woman. Disclaimer: I really do understand that I’m NOT an old woman, but in this context I totally am. Some of my students go to concerts of bands that I cannot imagine a sane person ever listening to on purpose. I am not even kidding, their band names sound a string of words pushed together from the middle of a¬†schizophrenic¬†uncle’s holiday outburst.¬†There are bands – a seemingly endless amonts of bands – whom I have never heard of and have no intention of learning about. Why don’t teenagers ever want to go to sleep… they have to get up SO early for school?!?! How did I ever do school???

If I had to turn 25... I felt awfully lucky to have this handsome man start the party of right at midnight with this delicious display!

If I had to turn 25… I felt awfully lucky to have this handsome man start the party off right! He showed up on my side of the bed at midnight with this delicious display!

Welp, here I am at the quarter century mark and I’m feeling verrrrrry different than I even did three years ago. I can’t imagine how different I’ll feel in another three years. Right now one of my “life problems” is figuring out when I’m going to have a baby. No, seriously. People won’t leave me alone about it. Remember when you’re life problem was figuring out how to purposefully “accidentally” run into your crush in the hallway? Or what a so called friend said about you in third period? I even remember in college thinking how life was hard at times… THAT WAS NOTHING!!! Being an adult is such a strange new chapter. But I wouldn’t trade it in a million years.

Recently the husb and I came to the realization that I need to get a part time job on the side. It’s a struggle and challenge to think I could do this. In the¬†beginning¬†of this blog post I just went over how insanely busy my life is. I can’t make time for another minute of work. Somehow I have to sacrifice SOMETHING – I guess even if it’s things at church or with youth – to get a another job so we can stay afloat. Getting another job is also scary because of my health. Right now my schedule is flexible and I am in charge of my own hours and projects. If I’m not feeling 100% I can work from home or¬†maneuver¬†things to work out the way I need them to. Most of the time I can get rest when I need it. Getting another job does not give me this benefit.

All this to say… I must trust in the Lord. I wish I knew what exactly He was doing. It’s strange because I feel a little conflicted… I feel like my life is so put together for the first time in history yet at the same time I don’t what the crap is going on! God has always provided and showed up just when I needed Him too. I am under the impression I’m¬†operating¬†under His will for my life. I am just following His instruction! So… why doesn’t everything work out? Why do I have to get another job? What do I give up in order to attain said job? I’m confused but I just have to trust that He has everything under control.

I guess what I’m trying to say out of all of this is… “problems” aren’t exclusive with a certain age group or life chapter. There isn’t a place you reach in life where you can sit back and say “no worries now!”. It is interesting how problems manifest during each chapter though… issues look different now and come in different packages as an adult. However, as an adult I’m able to¬†maneuver¬†problems at least slightly better. This is¬†because¬†my foundation in Christ is set… I’ve been working on our relationship for twenty years! My foundation in my marriage is also set… I can rely on my husband. I have God to lean on and because I’m older I’ve already been through many situations where God has proven Himself. So, I’ve “lived and learned” as they say and I’m a little wiser (supposedly) when it comes to handling new problems. Maybe what I should say instead is that… I can trust God a little easier. I know He will take care of me. I know He will meet all my needs.

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose” Romans ¬†8:28

“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” Romans 5:3-5¬†

Clervois Christmas & New Years Greetings!

Hello friends and family! You’re likely reading this because you got a¬†holiday¬†card in the mail from Clark & I! We loved putting it together and sending it to as many loved ones as we wanted we could afford! So, here’s a digital copy for those who haven’t yet seen it – this goes out to all of you LTB readers and friends!

Screen Shot 2012-12-21 at 1.26.05 AM

It reads “Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year! From Clark & Kimberly Clervois, Our Greetings at Learning to Breathe!”

These six photos we chose because each represents something that we either care about or want to share with you here. We will work from the first photo on the upper left hand corner (working counter-clockwise) to the last photo where I’m wearing the red plaid shirt!

Photo 1 Happy New Years 2012! This photo was taken on the very first day of the year! We began 2012 with Clark’s immediate family at his parent’s house located in the gorgeous Port Saint Lucie, Florida! Not a bad start to the year, right? Clark’s wonderful sister Jovi took this photo of us. I love how every year at midnight she makes a big deal when the ball drops – we have a lot of fun! We always take pictures and light sparklers in the back yard. Clark and I only get to see his parents (Bob & Carole) once a year for about a week at New Years so you can imagine how precious those days are for Clark especially. It’s good to have a relaxing “chill” time down in Florida to rest up before the next year hits. We sure are ready for our upcoming annual trip to Florida leaving next week! This will be the fifth year I’ve joined the Clervois family New Years holiday =)

Photo 2 Happy Easter! This photo was taken on (Greek) Easter Sunday at my Aunt Nancy’s house. My immediate family are all pastor’s (as you know if you are a regular LTB reader)¬†so we are working on the real Easter! A week later when things have died down, we love to celebrate with my mom’s best friend and her daughter – my cousin – Deanna and her husband Matt. I’m very grateful for my Aunt Nancy and Deanna in our lives… they are family to us even if it’s not through bloog! I especially love my Aunt Nancy because she is by far one of the wisest women I’ve ever been in contact with and I’m glad she is my mom‘s best friend. My cousin Deanna also became a Youth Worker in our The Counter Influence youth group Clark and I lead. I was so happy when DD joined our team because she can bring a lot to the table and I know she will make a difference in the lives of our young people. You can also maybe tell by the photo it’s the last time you will see our “former selves” before diet season came and weight loss happened!

Photo 3Summer is coming! This photo was taken in our hometown of Salem, Massachusetts. Clark and I moved here when we got married and have absolutely loved being apart of the Salem community. The lighthouse in the background you see is the historic Fort Pickering Lighthouse on Winter Island. This “hidden treasure” quickly became¬†one of our favorites places to be in this city. Winter Island has a fascinating history that you can read about it online if you are History nerds like me and Clark! This location of Fort Pickering was the ONLY New England port NOT to be captured during the Revolutionary War! So cool. It’s a beautiful place to tour, walk, and take pictures now! We love adventuring to different historical landmarks on our day off every week. Another reason we love Salem – so much history!¬†Salem has also become near and dear to our hearts because this past September Calvary launched our third daughter church called Remix Church where my sister and soon to be brother-in-law are both pastoring in the great city of Salem! Clark and I are so proud of Kendra and Sterling! Plus it’s nice to live only a mile from Sterling… which is also where he and Kendra will continue to live when they get married in June! Us sisters are happy about that =)

Photo 4, 5, 6 Fall has arrived and Happy Thanksgiving!¬†The summer flew by. Being full time Youth Pastors keeps us extraordinarily busy during the summer months with camps, outreaches, missions trip, and more. I’ll mention more on that in a minute! These last three pictures were taken in Bridgton, Maine (right near Naples). If you are a regular on my blog you’ve seen the posts from our family’s Thanksgiving get-away to Maine! Being there was a huge blessing. A church family member loaned us the use of their condo on the lake knowing how much we all needed rest and relaxation! Clark and I first visited this lovely place for our TWO YEAR Anniversary in September… Can you believe we’ve been married two years?! It has really flown by and we’ve loved being married more each day. We really are enjoying each other’s company and hilarity. We again visited the lakeside condo with our family for Thanksgiving and had a wonderful time, especially enjoying my sister Kendra being home from Biola University for a week. Thank God for his provision and putting wonderful friends and church family members in our lives. God always meets our needs and takes care of us. Can you also tell in this last three pictures Clark is down 50lbs and I’m down 15lbs?! We worked hard to get there. Marriage makes you eat a lot of cookies… we finally picked up on that and are trying to eat and live¬†healthier¬† We are getting there!

A few ministry (“Professional” if you will) highlights from 2012…

Our “kids” at the Ci Youth: Our students were once again named the top giving youth group to Speed the Light! We started a new small group system called “Crews” that has revolutionized our ministry and fostered much discipleship and growth. We saw many students come to know Jesus for the first time, get water baptized, join a ministry like worship or drama team, and¬†receive¬†a calling into ministry themselves. We feel incredibly blessed to Pastor the¬†amazing, hilarious, and talented students of The Counter¬†Influence. We also are extraordinarily grateful to work with an amazing volunteer youth staff who back us up in every way! We are proud to say 80% of our¬†student body¬†are in Sunday School on Sunday¬†mornings! Our kids rocked out summer camp, a missions trip to Nicaragua, outreaches to places like Revere Beach, and our latest “Next Level” Fall Retreat. Our students continue to blow us away every chance they get… and they keep us VERY busy!

For Kim:¬†In March I was able to fly to L.A. and attend Biola University’s “Missions Conference” week and was truly inspired by all they are doing for the Kingdom (you’ll see some of that come to fruition at Calvary for the Missions Convention in October 2013).¬†I was able to

Clark and I this past July on Lake Nicaragua in front of a live volcano while on our SNEMN AIM Missions trip!

Clark and I this past July on Lake Nicaragua in front of a live volcano while on our SNEMN AIM Missions trip!

really settle into my role as¬†AIM Coordinator in our Student Ministry department of Southern New England (Assemblies of God) Ministry Network – otherwise known as SNEMN. The end of last year into the¬†beginning¬†of this year I traveled to many different youth groups all over our district (MA, CT, RI) taking to students about missions and promoting our 2012 AIM Trip. In July, I lead a week long missions trip to Managua, Nicaragua (with Missionaries Ken and Kendra Doutt) with 27 SNEMN AIMer’s who were the light of the world! It was honestly one of the best missions trip of my life – God moved in INCREDIBLE ways! This year I got the opportunity to teach a Youth Ministry class at Zion Bible College and was a great first try! I would love to do more of that. I attended a Youth Ministry Symposium at Gordon College in the fall with three of our Crew Pastor’s – loved it. I got the opportunity to be a guest contributor on Question Your Doubts a blog by Dr. & Rev. Christina Powell (check out my post). Coming up for me in February 2013 I’ll be speaking a bit about our Crews and my¬†experience¬†with Youth¬†Ministry¬†in New England at the OPEN BOSTON Youth Ministry conference. Looking forward to the next year in ministry!

For Clark: Every week Pastor Clark continues to blow me away with his preaching and communciating God’s Word to our students. He is literally one of the best preachers in the world – not biased or anything ;-). Biola University seemed to agree and flew him out to speak in a chapel service this past November! He delivered the¬†message¬†God had put on his heart with passion challenging these college students to dig deeper in their faith and love for the Lord! This year Clark took an important role in the planning of our district summer camps this year as well, and he continues to serve as the Northeast Mass REP for our SNEMN Student Ministries department! He also continues to lead our youth group with¬†wisdom¬†and grace while leaning on the Lord and following His direction! Our Youth Ministry at Calvary Christian Church continues to grow and develop under Clark’s keen leadership. He’s now leading worship and training up a new generation of lead worshippers with our CI Youth Band! Clark is not only a gifted preacher, but a extremely talented¬†musician¬† Our students love and respect him so much and I know they appreciate our leadership and role in¬†their¬†lives. Check out some of Pastor Clark’s video blogs to our students here¬†or o straight to his first, second, third most recent video.

Hope you enjoyed learning about our year! The End =)

Tip of the Day: Reuse Crystal Light Containers!

2012-12-13 01.11.18

Hello friends! What a wonderfully frozen wintery New England day we had today. I was out all day in this freezing¬†subterranean¬†like temperatures with back to back appointments but somehow I’m SO tired I can’t fall asleep (yes I realize the irony). Luckily, that means I’m here posting a delicious TIP OF THE DAY!¬†I don’t know how many of you readers are crafty… but I tend to be (or try to be)¬†especially¬†around the holidays. Our household is also currently a low carb one – thus the Crystal Light! I know you can say probably a multitude of bad things about how this particular drink mix can give you cancer… but it works for low carb diet AND can also keep your teeth healthier – free from excessive amonts of sugar causing¬†cavities! Sidenote: favorite flavor is obvs Strawberry Lemonde, delish! Okay, I’ll stop trying… But anyways… I love when I think up an idea that I didn’t steal from pinterest. Here’s my TIP OF THE DAY to use your old Crystal Light containers as storage for crafty or any small items really. You could even reuse these containers for food like a snack holder for lunch box! I’m sure the ideas could be limitless but it’s late so I’ll just post more pictures and be on with it! Enjoy and hope this proves useful to you! Happy 12-12-12 and to my friend Steph who’s birthday is today!

 

2012-12-13 01.42.56

2012-12-13 01.14.32

A Christmas Tradition

Letter_Well, today is December 1st after all! A wonderful snowy first of December day to start of the “advent” countdown (did you know I didn’t know it was called advent until like last year?) and also a fine day for our annual Christmas Party for the staff at Calvary. Growing up my sister and I always looked forward to the Staff Christmas party. My mother used to cook dinner for everyone and host in her own home! What a hostess! And with two small kids? Let’s just say me and my sister were to put to WORK! Still, Kendra and I loved the party and the people coming through. Growing up there were only two other pastor’s [other than my dad] and everyone felt like such close family. My parent’s are truly one in a million¬†because¬†they’ve been pastoring at the same church (quite successfully) for 25 Christmas’ now! Many of my Christmas memories and traditions come from being apart of my church and church family.

Now there’s almost 25 of us staff members &¬†spouses/significant others and we all couldn’t possibly all fit in the parsonage [my parent’s house] comfortably enough to eat dinner together. So, now it’s our¬†tradition¬†to go out to dinner and then retreat back to the parsonage for dessert, coffee, tea, and Yankee Swap! Woohoo! I’m sure to many this is just another Christmas party, but to me it’s especially enjoyable because it’s become a part of my Christmas traditions every year. Of course now I’m coming to the party as a “guest”, a Pastor’s wife! Strange.

Anyways… we took some lovely pictures which you’ll see I posted below. I absolutely LOVE my parent’s house at Christmas because it’s so beautifully decorated! It just feels like home. My mother makes our house look wonderful and is so creative with her decorating. My mom also gave me a wreath to take home for our apartment that her beloved Sally used to hang up in her home. Sally was like a second mom to my Mom, so a surrogate grandmother or great aunt type figure to me. Passing things down seems like a lovely Christmas tradition as well. I love taking out my own Christmas ornaments and decorations that used to belong to my mother, grandmother, and even great grandmother!

I’ll keep it short and end there. It just doesn’t feel as festive to me without this party every year! Loves it.

2012-12-01 23.27.47

What a blessing to have such a wonderful Mommy!

2012-12-01 23.25.33

Happy Christmas from the Clervois’!

Myself, Becky, and Andraya - two of my greatest friends and also fellow Pastor's wives [well, almost for Dray!]

Myself, Becky, and Andraya – two of my greatest friends and also fellow Pastor’s wives [well, almost for Dray!]

Some of the office ladies and Pastor's wives =) Lovely!

Some of the office ladies and Pastor’s wives =) Lovely!

Our Yankee Swap was fun and gave us laughs as usual... I'm actually pretty please with both Clark and my dad's findings!

Our Yankee Swap was fun and gave us laughs as usual… I’m actually pretty pleased with both Clark and my dad’s findings!

Dray serves up some of her delicious little desserts!

Dray serves up some of her delicious little desserts!

Didn't my mother roll out a gorgeous spread?

Didn’t my mother roll out a gorgeous spread? This photo just does not do it justice!

Katie (another staffer) said "no one has beautiful things anymore"... how right she is! My mom has beautiful pieces!

Katie (another staffer) said “no one has beautiful things anymore”… how right she is! My mother has these gorgeous vintage pieces!

Even Henry the Giraffe (from Kenya) is dressed up for Christmas!

Even Henry the Giraffe (from Kenya) is dressed up for Christmas!

2012-12-02 00.35.18

Even down to the light fixtures – a gorgeous Christmas sight! Those are my mom’s handmade ornaments hanging from this wreath!

One of my favorite things Mom puts up for Christmas is this little village that lights up! So festive!

One of my favorite things Mom puts up for Christmas is this little Christmas village that lights up! So festive!

2012-12-02 00.38.30

And what’s Christmas without a manger scene!

Another thing I love about my parent's house during Christmas is that each window in the house and a single candle light. Just breath-taking! I'll take a picture from the outside to post soon!

Another thing I love about my parent’s house during Christmas is that each window in the house has a single candle light. Just breath-taking! I’ll take a picture from the outside to post soon!

And finally the wreath given to me for my own home! Looks beautiful and festive!

And finally the wreath given to me for my own home! Looks beautiful and festive!

Tis the season!

Tis the season!

I only hope that someday my house is as gorgeously decorated as my mother makes hers for the holidays. Can you believe I’m a grown up decorating my own house? This is me and Clark’s third married Christmas – how time flies! I am blessed this holiday season with wonderful memories, traditions, family and friends, and of course my amazing husband.

Thank you dear for always understanding how important these Christmas traditions and family nuances are to me. Not only that but thank you for always participating in these activities and truly enjoying them with me and our family РI love you!

This was the first Christmas day that we spent together, 2009

This was the first Christmas day that we spent together, 2009

168472_182018048489864_1738333_n

This is from 2010 =) Our first married Christmas!

Last year 2011 in our Christmas jammies =)

Last year 2011 in our Christmas jammies =)