oh by gosh by golly

Here's my holiday at home in a nutshell. There is an abundance of my beautiful niece. I just can't help myself. She started the holiday off with a back rub and ended with some tent-building (see below for details) with lots more goodness in between. Sounds like a perfect holiday to me! It was a very merry Christmas for the entire McMahone/Stone/Future-Jenkins family.

I confess that I'm still listening to Christmas music which I now classify as "holiday" and refuse to take down any and all decorations until January 1st. Or maybe 2nd.  

I've got a little idea for a mini blog-a-thon coming after the New Year. Stay tuned!


when the world falls in love

All Christmas-celebrating so has been, well, delightful. The Nutcracker was beautiful [don't worry, the fiance wasn't miserable, though possibly disturbed by the male dancers' attire]. We had a great night with our little Baton Rouge family, complete with great food [standard] and reindeer antlers. I had a little taste of glamour while greeting and chatting at the Governor's Christmas party followed by gift-wrapping extravaganza with D.

The three bests were at the house when I [finally] arrived home for the holidays. We spent part of the evening trading clothes and makeup and beauty products. You know you're friends when you no longer need to ask to borrow. I never imagined that seeing one of them digging through my makeup bag and the other thumbing through my closet would be such a heart-warming sight. The rest of the night was spent partly crying into my yummy pasta after reading Abs' Christmas letter to each of us and driving around our hometown looking at [judging] outdoor Christmas lights.

The last 24 hours has been filled with seeing faces that my eyes have missed. Molly, Brandon and Audrey completed the family and made it feel like Christmas had officially begun when they pulled up in the driveway. Soon after, I had a quick but sweet visit with Shauna. I could handle this every-two-months thing. We agreed that it's now my turn to make my way out West. This morning consisted being woken up by a beautiful three-year-old, followed by a little quality snuggle time.

And now our house is filled with the beautiful sounds of holiday buzzing while all are getting prepared to execute those yearly traditions. It really is the most wonderful time of the year!

Here's to a Very Merry Christmas to each and every one of you!


warning: it's a squishy, lovey post

I'm in Ruston for a spell. I made a quick trip home for florists appointments, my best friend's birthday and taking my grandmother Christmas shopping. Which, I must say, have all been a blast!

Dustin (post-flu) is working hard back in Baton Rouge. I'm headed back his way on Sunday morning. We were planning our play-by-play for last-minute Sunday afternoon Christmas shopping. You see, it's gotta happen quick because he is taking me to the Nutcracker at 6! I'm beyond excited. It's been several years since I've been to the ballet. I was doing my best to explain what it was like in an optimistic kind of way. Honestly, I just really hope he's not bored to tears. For his sake. His response is what inspired this late night post. He said, in a funny-yet-serious way...

"Meg, we could be watching someone throw corn in the air, and I'd love it because we were watching it together."

How am I this blessed? I pray his love and selflessness nestle themselves deeply into the traits of this future Jenkins family.


it's a feeling

I am determined to not waste a day of Christmas merriment - even in the midst of finals week. We only get one Christmas season a year, right? Though I have thought about petitioning for it to be a semi-annual event. I love it just that much.

The only way I know how to explain this time of year is that it makes me feel sparkly. Did you know sparkly was a feeling? Not literally, though I am constantly covered in glitter due to the great amount of decorating that has taken place lately. If I wasn't cramming, I mean studying, I would dig down into the pit of my emotions and attempt to better explain what I mean. I know it has something to do with love and smiles and family and the pure joy that comes from dwelling on the fact that this season celebrates a sweet baby who grew into a Savior-in-the-flesh. But as for now, we'll just stick with sparkly. It's beautiful that this season, being the coldest of the four, brings you the most warmth. Where does that warmth come from? Here are some things that have made my Christmas season more warm and sparkly so far.

Decorating the Governor's Christmas tree

Trekking to downtown Baton Rouge for the Festival of Lights with friends

Sights such as this one

Revving up the Christmas spirit with the roomies in 1301

A very merry First Week of December 5th to you!


let it begin!

I made a knot account. It says I have 364 items on my wedding to do list. Sound stressful? No. For me, that's 364 items of pure bliss!

Expect a plethora of wedding DIY project posts (peppered with lot-o-Christmas celebrating for the time being).

I asked my [loveliest] bridesmaids by picking out an ornament that I thought fit them. Tied on with a strip of lace is a stamped tag with a note on the back asking each one to be a part of our big day!

Molly helped me in picking out one of my dream purchases. My wedding planning book! Once I brought it home, it was staring at me - this blank slate of a cover. So I had to add some personal touches. Just a little linen, ink, and stitching.

Now, this is much more exciting. I made a wreath for one my dearest friends, Becca. "Why?" you ask. Because Chad proposed to B last night! We are, officially, in weddingland!

Thanks for taking a gander. Expect more soon!


my favorite day

Psalm 103:15-19

As for man, his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children’s children,
to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.
The LORD has established his throne in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all.

I figure Thanksgiving to be the ideal time to share about my very favorite day in all my 21 years. And also because this is the first time I've been able to wrap my mind around what has happened in the last 48 hours. On Tuesday, November 23, 2010 (around 5:15 PM, just to cover all the bases) Dustin asked me if I would spend the rest of my life with him. Never before have I been so sure of an answer to a question.


About a week ago, D asked me if I would want to have a picnic after work on Tuesday since I was leaving for home the next day. I didn't think anything of it, of course, since we are regular picnic-ers. He met me in the gardens in front of the capitol, picnic basket and blanket in hand. He put the picnic basket down in our chosen grassy area, saying that I could open it since what he brought to eat was a surprise. A surprise it was! When I opened the basket, all that was there was a piece of paper that said, simply, "surprise!" I whirled around, wondering/knowing what was going on. His face was no longer in my line of vision, though, because he was down on his knee, asking me to marry him. Among the many, wonderfully encouraging things that he said, I will always remember that he said what was most important was that neither of us wanted to live like our lives were our own and how excited he was to share a passion for not wasting our lives living for our own glory. Afterwards was an I'm-not-sure-there-is-ground-beneath-my-feet moment. Ok maybe it's still like that.

We spent some time calling our families while on the way to the next surprise. I kept thinking, "what else could I need?!"

Back at my house, my sweet roommates set up the greatest surprise engagement party. It was just the two of them when we got there. They led me into our living room where Abs and Ash were waiting for me. Lots of excited screaming followed. Dustin, knowing my heart, had set it up that they could be there - and an hour earlier than everyone else. They told me Hannah had car trouble and wouldn't make. She walked in about 45 minutes later. More screaming. Another surprise came when Lindsay and Tammie, two of my fellow leadership girls, walked in after driving six hours from Austin. Along with those girls, tons of sweet friends and family poured into our apartment throughout the night. Thankful doesn't do it justice. Thankful for getting to experience this "fullness of life" that I don't deserve and getting to do so it with this man of God who I love more than words explain. Thankful for the most beautiful picture of community I've never been a part. Thank you to everyone who shared this wonderful day with us! My cheeks have never hurt from smiling.

It was my favorite day.


eyes on the prize

I've been thinking about all the things I've been looking forward to.

I'm looking forward to finishing this [terrible] book, to a picnic with D tomorrow, to going home to family and friends, to my dad's fried turkey, to graduating.

Since this big change in my schedule which has, well, begun to wear me out, I noticed that I've just been "getting through."

I don't want to get through. 

So I'll enjoy the rest of this class and working this afternoon and doing homework tonight. And maybe a little late night pre-holiday decorating. Because there will never be another November 22, 2010.

Dance your cares away, people.

[Real blogging soon. Holiday style.]


fall fix

I'm a big believer in getting "the _______ experience." Take "the college experience" for example. Each person's definition of it can be completely different, but you know when you have achieved it. It's that moment when one event seals the deal, and you can graduate satisfied. Maybe it's a comforting mechanism which helps us to pass easily from one point in life to another without wondering if we missed anything. I don't want to miss anything.

It's only half way through the season, but I feel like my "Fall experience" meter is reaching the top. This is why:

#1: Rode rides at the fair (with the boy. oooo!)

#2: Admired Fall produce

#3: Watched a rodeo

#4: Carved pumpkins

#5: Dipped caramel apples

#6: Enjoyed a beautiful Saturday with the girls (and a Hannah Bonus!)

[#6.5: getting to wear hats and boots รก]

#7: Checked out a livestock show

Some pig! Charlotte's Web? Anyone?

#8: Played on hay bales

Tonight, I'll be able to add a ninth reason: having a Halloween party! Pictures soon. 

What completes your Fall experience?