Saturday, December 31, 2011


 Today Chris and I are headed to Memphis for some amazing Bar-b-Que and an AWESOME football game.  We are cheering for the Vanderbilt Commodores in their 3rd Bowl appearance in the last 50 years.
We will be at the Liberty Bowl clad in Black and Gold and cheering like crazy!
Black and Gold
Go 'Dores!
 Happy Last Day of 2011!  We wish you a great one!
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Friday, December 30, 2011

Bowl Picks

This week and the week following January 1st marks the end of football season for another year -- and it is so sad!

Since I have been at my in-laws this week, I have not seen as many bowl games as past years, but I did catch the Notre Dame v. Florida State and the Washington v. Baylor games last night and both were very exciting.

On Saturday, Chris and I will be celebrating the end of football season by attending the LIBERTY BOWL in Memphis, TN to watch the Vanderbilt Commodores CLOBBER Cincinnati.  We are so excited!  It is the 3rd time Vandy has been to a bowl game in the past 50 years (I went to their more recent bowl appearance 3 years ago and they won!  They're bowl appearance prior to the one 3 years ago was in 1956 (I think)).  Chris has never attended a College Bowl Game or even a College Football Game.  We are SO excited.

As for the remaining bowl games, here are my picks:

12/30/11 BYU v. Tulsa
My Pick: Tulsa
12/30/11 Iowa State v. Rutgers
My Pick: Iowa State
12/30/11 Wake Forest v. Mississippi State
My Pick: Mississippi State
12/30/11 Iowa v. Oklahoma
My Pick: Iowa
12/31/11 Northwestern v. Texas A&M
My Pick: Northwestern
12/31/11 Georgia Tech v. Utah
My Pick: Georgia Tech
12/31/11 Cincinnati v. Vanderbilt
12/31/11 Illinois v. UCLA
My Pick: Illinois
12/31/11 Virginia v. Auburn
My Pick: Auburn
1/2/12 Penn State v. Houston
My Pick: Penn State
1/2/12 Michigan State v. Georgia
My Pick: Michigan State
1/2/12 Nebraska v. South Carolina
My Pick: Nebraska
1/2/12 Ohio State v. Florida
My Pick: Ohio State
1/2/12 Wisconsin v. Oregon
My Pick: Wisconsin
1/2/12 Oklahoma State v. Stanford
My Pick: Stanford
1/4/12 Clemson v. West Virginia
My Pick: West Virginia
1/6/12 Kansas State v. Arkansas
My Pick: Arkansas
1/7/12 Pittsburgh v. SMU
My Pick: Pittsburgh
1/8/12 Northern Illinois v. Arkansas State
My Pick: Northern Illinois
1/9/12 LSU v. Alabama
My Pick: LSU
Chris and I have one more day left in St. Louis and then we begin the cross-country trek and football pilgrimage back home to our life in the mountains.

We have had a wonderful vacation and we'll be sucking the marrow out of these last few days of it.

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Harp On It

Last night, as a Christmas present to Chris' extended family, I gave an informal harp concert as much of the family had never heard me play.  My hubby played with our new camera while I played for the family.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Family Picture

I anticipate a family picture in front of the tree will become a Christmas morning tradition:

Lexie, Brooke, Chris and Lloyd
Merry Christmas!

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Good News

I saw this news broadcast online last night and I had to share.

I hope you're enjoying your time after Christmas with friends and family and residual Christmas cheer.

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Monday, December 26, 2011

Colorado Pioneer Woman

Just call me the Colorado Pioneer Woman -- well not really...

The Real Pioneer Woman

However, my amazing hubby bought me a crazy awesome camera for Christmas and he and I are BOTH excited to use it, play with it and learn about photography techniques!
Canon Rebel T3i

Playful photography, HERE WE COME!

This was a total surprise, although I did want one eventually (I was thinking in a few years) but this way, I'll have some time to practice taking pictures before I'm trying to photograph our children.

Chris and I are headed to St. Louis today after a WONDERFUL full week with my parents in Michigan.

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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Glory to God in the Highest Heaven!

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field,
keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them,
and the glory of the Lord shone round about them:
and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them,
Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, 
which shall be to all people.  
For unto you is born this day in the city of David 
a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.  
And this shall be a sign unto you; 
Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, 
lying in a manger.  
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host
praising God, and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." 
Luke 2:8-14

Luke 2:8-14


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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Hopes and Fears

The Hopes and Fears of ALL the Years
Are Met In THEE Tonight!

Merry Christmas

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Friday, December 23, 2011

From Our Family To Yours

From our family to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!

Please enjoy the Miller Family Christmas Card 2011:

Joy To The Word
from chris, brooke, lexie and lloyd
The Miller Family 2011
Our Christmas Letter 2011
For to us a child is born, to us a song is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace - Isaiah 9:6
The text of our Christmas Letter:

Welcome to the first ever Christmas letter from Mr. and Mrs. Chris and Brooke Miller!  What a blessed year, full of change and celebration, 2011 has been for us.  Our year of change began on December 18, 2010 when Chris proposed to me on Vail Mountain on the same ski run (Riva Ridge) where my dad proposed to my mom nearly 30 years before.  Thus 2011 was ushered in with wedding plans, engagement parties and bridal showers.
            We were married in Muskegon, Michigan on a beautiful June 25th afternoon, after competing in a 5K running race that morning (we wore bride and groom shirts and I wore a veil).  We were blessed to have many family and friends travel thousands of miles to attend and participate in our wedding.
            The day after the wedding, Chris and I began our marriage with a three-week European Honeymoon including a 13-night Mediterranean cruise.  With the exciting ports of call (Kusadasi, Turkey was our favorite), the daily activities on the ship (we took second place in the LOVE AND MARRIAGE game show), and the AMAZING food, we truly felt like Honeymooners on “The Love Boat”.  After the cruise, we spent additional time in Rome and Budapest before returning home to begin marriage on American soil.
            In August, Chris started a new job as teacher of 6th grade social studies and language arts in Rifle, Colorado (30 miles west of Glenwood Springs) and I returned to my position of Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments throughout five rocky mountain counties (including Rifle).  We were fortunate to find a little house to rent in Rifle and so began my fall project of combining our belongings and turning our little rental house into a home.  Just as Chris and I were feeling somewhat settled with our new marriage, school routines and our cat, Lexie, our lives underwent a big change in October when an energetic black lab puppy joined our family.  In a subtle nod to our University of Michigan football allegiance, we named him Lloyd Carr and bought him a maize and blue leash and collar.  Lloyd joining our family must have been the key to sports victory because not only did Michigan have a great 10-2 football season, our favorite St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series!
            Our autumn was further blessed when my parents, Chris’ parents and Chris’ siblings traveled to our little home in Rifle for Thanksgiving.  Chris and I cooked a feast and our families shared very special memories, including skiing on Vail Mountain.  We could not feel more blessed this year.
Our love and prayers are with you this Christmas season as we celebrate the birth of our Savior. We hope the love of God is renewed in your daily life through the power of the Holy Spirit as you prepare for the blessings and challenges of another year filled with God’s love.
We have a blog:

God's Blessing to you this Christmas as we celebrate the birth of our King!

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Joyful Noise

Christmas Candlelight Service
Chris and I and my parents attended the Candle Light music service at my church this past Sunday.  It was the first time I had seen the service in ten years -- and the first time seeing the service but not participating in the service in 23 years.

Christmas Candlelight Service
I was blown away by the beautiful Christmas music created by three choirs, two handbell choirs, a string ensemble and a harpist.  The place was PACKED, which was wonderful to see and we felt truly privileged to attend the service.

Christmas Candlelight Service

Christmas Candlelight Service
 Hearing these beautiful Christmas songs song by beautiful and very talented voices made me think of some of the most memorable performances I have ever witnessed in my life...

Christmas Candlelight Service
A few stick out in my mind, and each of the singers were sick and in each case the singers were simply making a joyful noise to the Lord.

Christmas Candlelight Service
 In one case, Carrie Underwood had a very hoarse voice as she croaked "The First Noel" on stage at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee.  At one point, between vocal whispers she said, "Make a joyful noise, Y'all."  She was doing her very best to sing and her voice sounded nothing like her famous, strong voice -- and it was the most memorable song of the night.  A sincere voice praising her king.

In another case, Chris and I attended a new church in Colorado a few weeks ago and a woman suffering from multiple sclerosis sang "Little Drummer Boy".  The pastor mentioned that the singer had missed church recently due to her pain, but that God had put a song in her heart and led her to share it with us that Sunday.  The woman was in a motorized wheelchair and was dressed very nicely for church -- she looked like someone who is sick and dressed up.  The song was so beautiful and I cried through the entire thing.  She sat in the wheelchair and sang her heart out ... probably wracked with pain and it was one of the most memorable performances I've ever seen.  That is the result when a joyful heart makes a joyful noise.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

A few Sundays ago in church, the minister shared the story behind the lyrics of the Christmas song, "I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day."

I know this Christmas song and have always enjoyed the differed quality to this Christmas ballad than the other jolly Christmas song.  This melancholy song full of heart thoughts is an honest and beautiful testament of God's goodness in a tumultuous world.

What I did not know is that the song was originally a poem written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow during the Civil War after Longfellow's son (who enlisted in the Union Army without his father's blessing) was severely injured and going to be crippled for the rest of his life and Longfellow's wife died from injuries related to a house fire.  On Christmas day 1864, the Civil War was still raging and Longfellow's world was shattering, and he wrote the poem "Christmas Bells".  In 1872, the poem was put to music and it became the Christmas song, I still enjoy today, "I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day"

Something I love about this song is that, every life will have a hard Christmas.  Every person, even a Christian with an incredibly strong faith will have a Christmas where they are in mourning, when the world is in turmoil, when their world is in chaos, when their family has changed and traditions are not enough to capture the magic and wonder of Christmas.

Every Christian has that one year, or those Christmas years when "In despair I bow my head, there is no peace on earth, I said"... and then the faith returns, "God is not dead nor doth He sleep..."

I pray for you, even in the darkest Christmas, that you Hear the Bells on Christmas Day and are reminded that Jesus was sent to be a light amongst the darkness and He has conquered the grave and darkness of the world.  God is Good every Christmas, no matter your circumstances.


I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

I thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head:
"There is no peace on earth," I said,
"For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men."

Till, ringing singing, on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,
Of peace on earth, good will to men!

In case you have not heard the song, please take the time to listen today.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Home Sweet Home

Chris and I arrived in Michigan at my parents' home VERY late Saturday night.  There was very little sleep had on the road -- and then we went to church Sunday morning, the Country Club for brunch and then church for a musical Candle Light Service Sunday night.
On Monday, my mom and I had a sisterhood meeting in the morning and then Chris, my mom and I all hit the nearby mall for some shopping in the afternoon.

The result of two full days of driving, little sleep and two full days of activity:
I fell asleep before dinner in front of the fire with Lloyd as a pillow
 How precious are those few places in the world where I, a grown woman, can be completely relaxed and so perfectly comfortable and safe, I can fall asleep on the floor in the middle of a room?

A little Monday evening catnap after a day full of Christmas errands

Where is the one place in the world where you can fall asleep on the floor?

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Monday, December 19, 2011

And a Child Shall Lead Them...

My Hubby shared this video with me last night, and I thought sharing it was the perfect way to begin this final week before Christmas.

The hearts and loving spirits of children who have been taught about God amazes me and inspires me.


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Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Best Thing...

The best thing about the Christmas cards we're receiving this year is this:

Seeing the cards addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Miller; Chris and Brooke Miller; Mr. and Mrs. Chris Miller.  No sight is sweeter to me than receiving cards with these addresses...

It was one year ago today that my amazing boyfriend asked me to be his wife.  It was two years ago today, we went on our first date.

 It was one year ago today that my hubby put this gorgeous ring on my finger (and he added a wedding band to it just over 6 months later).

We are more happy today than we were then, and I am more in love with him today than I was one year ago, one month ago, one day ago.  I am so in love with this man!

Happy Anniversary, Babe!

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Better to Give...

It is better to give than to receive...
and Chris and I had a BLAST this past week buying Christmas items for a "Angel Tree" family through the school where Chris teaches.
I felt like a happy elf with all the wrapping and my hubby was impressed with how quickly it was done!
 We were on cloud nine with the privilege of buying presents for this family.

I confess, that we have had our share of arguments in this first married Christmas about the shopping budget for friends and family... but shopping for this family, there was nothing to argue about.
Santa has the best job
We felt so fortunate to be in a position to be able to shop for this family... and shop for children.

We both became choked up at one point or another of this shopping process because we were so excited, emotional, tired, thrilled to be sharing the Christmas spirit with this family.

Even the animals loved the gift-wrapping commotion

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