Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve Randoms

Today is the last day of 2012 and I am not ready for it to be blog-wise.  One the last day of 2012, I would think I should do a year-in-review, or year-in-pictures or something... but I'm not ready for a post like that.

Chris and I arrived in Michigan Friday night after stopping by to see my Aunt and Uncle in Indiana.  It was so great to see them and the visit was WAAAAY too short...

Aunt Pat and Uncle Marshal

We had a great visit
Whenever Chris and I arrive in Michigan with Lexie and Lloyd, I feel like the circus descends on my parents tranquil bubble of life together.  This was never more true than Saturday early-afternoon -- less than 15 hours since we pulled in the driveway when Lloyd had injured his paw and I was sick with a horrible stomach bug.  We were basically performing surgery on Lloyd's toenail while I was throwing-up and succumbing to the illness.  It was more excitement than my parents house had seen since... well, since the last time we visited.

Lloyd with his bandaged-foot, and me with the stomach bug
Chris has specifically asked that when Lloyd and I each get a serious ailment again in the future, could we please space them out, even by a few hours?  He was running around like crazy trying to take care of each of us and we were SO grateful to be at my parents' where we had two extra people to help take care of us.

Our Michigan plans turned up-side down when I got sick and we had to miss church yesterday morning, and we had to cancel our big Christmas dinner with family last night (half of the family who was coming over have the stomach bug as well).  I seem to be through the worst of the stomach bug and we're hoping to do our "Christmas morning" celebration this morning and then maybe a New Year's Eve celebration tonight.  The New Year's Eve celebration was supposed to be a night on the town... but depending on how I'm feeling, it might just be a toast in our family room.

We have plenty of football to look forward to in the next 48 hours.
Go Purdue!
Go Northwestern!
Go Nebraska!
Go Wisconsin!

Happy New Year!

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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Friday, December 28, 2012

Friday Letters: Post-Christmas Traveling

  • Dear Christmas, You FLEW by this year!
  • Dear Time in St. Louis, You were really awesome this year -- I was not expecting the time to be as much fun as it was.  Thank you.
  • Dear Exercising, You and I have had a date every day of vacation thus far (except travel days and sick days) and I have loved it... I look forward to a date every day I'm in Michigan too.
  • Dear Mom and Daddy, Chris and I are ON OUR WAY!
  • Dear Snow, You remain MIA.
  • Dear WICKED, You are A-MAZING!  I love you!
  • Dear Cabelas, Why in the world were you SOOOO much busier two days after Christmas than one day before Christmas?  I was NOT expecting that!
  • Dear Drive-To-Michigan, Please go by quickly... very quickly.
  • Dear Lloyd, You seem to have LOVED your time playing with your cousins... I think we are going to need to get a little brother or sister for you... but not at the moment.  I'm glad you have so much fun with your cousins.  You guys are a HOOT to watch!
  • Dear Lexie, I'm glad you've learned to make the best of life when we're in St. Louis.  Now comes your reward -- time in Michigan where you are the Queen and your Sanden Grandparents spoil you rotten!
  • Dear Hubby, I love you and I love our Christmases together.
 What letters are you sending this Friday?

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

WICKEDly Awesome Night!

Last night Chris and my Miller family all went to go see WICKED the Musical!

Have you seen scenes for WICKED?  Are you familiar with the music?
You need to be!  Everyone needs to be!

We have been excited about this evening since last March and it was wonderful!

Dinner, Dressed Up, Family, Music, FABULOUS Entertainment, Memories...

Great Italian food... most of which I took home -- this was a huge plate of food!

Beautiful, Historical, FOX Theatre

Don't we look great?  Our outfits show what a special occasion it was!

We had great seats.  What a show!

The whole theatre was extra beautiful because it was decorated for Christmas.

It was a great night.

 My hubby made it happen!  I love him so much!

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Few Miller Pictures

Here are a few (very few) images of our Miller Christmas...

Grandparents, Parents, Siblings - the whole fam... well, our whole fam on this side

Grandparents and Siblings

Chris' parents and us
Santa found us... and went WAAAAY overboard!
Hello, Frosty!
My boys are exhausted after all the excitement.

Tonight we are going to see WICKED in downtown St. Louis with a BUNCH of family!  We organized this MONTHS ago (like last March) and we are SOOOO excited!  I'm the only one that has seen the show before and I am OVER THE MOON at seeing it again, and I'm so excited to be sharing this with Chris' family.

I can't wait!!!  :-D

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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Oh, Holy Night.

Have a blessed and beautiful Christmas Day.

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Monday, December 24, 2012

From Our Family To Yours...

Merry Christmas and God's Blessings for a Blessed and Beautiful New Year!

Our Christmas Letter:

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!  We have had a very blessed year including both of us remaining at the same jobs, and in our same house – that hasn’t happened since we met.
        Chris is enjoying his second year teaching 5th and 6th grade Literacy in Rifle and has acquired additional responsibilities in his school.  He is the student government adviser, school technology consultant, and co-6th grade team leader.  In addition, he will be leading the 2nd annual Ski and Snowboard Outreach for his school – a program he initiated last year. This opportunity enables middle schoolers who have never skied before to receive 5 ski or snowboard lessons in the Vail/Beaver Creek area. He really loves his work.
        I continue my work as a teacher for students with visual impairments and had my first completely blind, Braille-reading student this year.  My Braille skills are at an all-time high as I transcribe all of her general education materials into Braille and all of her assignments back into print.
        Chris and I were able to do quite a bit of travel this year as we continued our baseball park adventures seeing games in Toronto, Baltimore, Washington D.C. and Detroit.  Chris only has two more parks to go before he’s visited all 30 Major League Ballparks.  In addition to seeing baseball games, we were able to visit many of friends this summer as we drove through Niagara Falls, Buffalo, NY, Virginia (Northern, Lexington, Hampton and Virginia Beach), Lookout Mountain, GA, and Nashville, TN.
        Other travel this year included Lake Chelan, WA for my Dad’s 80th Birthday celebration, Ann Arbor, MI where Sandens v. Millers squared off at the 50-yard line in THE BIG HOUSE at University of Michigan, and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for some fun in the sun.
        Our black lab, Lloyd competed in his first “Dock Dog” competitions this year, with his longest “Big Air” jump measuring 22’.  I fear Chris has become a full-blown “pageant dad” determined to unleash Lloyd’s full jumping potential.  Our cat, Lexie, remains Queen of the World – no competition necessary to prove her value.
        This fall Chris enjoyed our mountain surroundings by hunting elk, deer, bear, and grouse.  I became active in a PEO Chapter in Glenwood Springs, followed my Michigan Wolverine football team, and tried my hand at canning.  We were very blessed to have both of our families (my parents, Chris’ parents and Chris’ siblings) come out to Rifle and Vail again this year for Thanksgiving.
        Our outlook for 2013 includes more graduate school, more teaching, a little more travel, and hopefully more snow in our beloved mountains!
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 of another year.
       You are welcomed to visit our blog:

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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Yes, Virginia,

September 21, 1897

"DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.
"Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
"Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.'
"Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?



VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.


Did you read that last paragraph?  I mean really understand its full weight?

No Santa Claus!  Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever.  A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, TEN TIMES TEN THOUSAND years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

And I would like to add, he will continue to make glad the heart of all -- children and adults alike, if you let him.

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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Home for the Holidays... sort of

Chris and I are "Home for the Holidays"... his home to start with and then my home next week.

I had this song in my head the entire drive, which was interesting given that I was sick for our entire drive..

My body must know that I don't have to work for a little while...
Aches and pains
Sinus congestion
Runny nose
Ears plugged
Sore throat

Here's hoping I'm feeling better in time for Christmas and family festivities.

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Where Are You Christmas?

Some days, the Christmas Spirit is harder to come by than others.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Dozen Images of Christmas

Our Christmas season has been so wonderful.

Here are a dozen images of our Christmas Season thus far:

We saw this sign and tree that have begun growing together while we were out driving in the mountains... I think these two very opposite objects growing together as one really reminds me of marriage.

Can your dog jump this high for a snowball?
We LOVE this puppy!

Lexie thinks that the Christmas decorations are her personal Christmas presents -- our house because a playground full of obstacles for her own personal entertainment.  :-D

 This is one of my favorite ornaments... I have so many favorite ornaments because I remember where so many are from and who gave them to me.  This was from my mom and dad (my mom picked it out) a few years after I started decorating my own tree away from home.

If you ever want to find the warmest place in our house, find Lexie... a cupboard in our bathroom has a heating vent inside and its her favorite place to sleep.

Novelties of living in a ski town...

Plates of Christmas Cookies ready to be delivered!

There are beautiful Christmas decorations everywhere... including at the local gun shop... this is "Rifle" after all.
 Our sweet puppy took a flying leap off our of four-wheeler while we were driving along at 15-20mph.  We thought he fractured his leg, but, fortunately, it was just a sprain.  Our little guy was in a lot of pain for a few days, and we really pampered him.  Breakfast in bed and everything!

I think this is one of the coolest decorations I've every seen... Compliments of the Rifle Library!

Christmas cards are filling our mailbox every day, and I love displaying them!

 I love Nativity Scenes... and I really like this picture that I took of a Nativity Scene on our street.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

December 18th - Wonderful Day!

December 18th is a wonderful day!

Three years ago, Chris and I had our first date...

Two years ago, Chris asked me to marry him...

December 18th is a wonderful, wonderful day!

I don't have any pictures of our first date... but I have pictures of about ten days after our first date... have we changed much?

So, Chris used to shave his head... he was voluntarily bald when we met.  Luckily, in no time, Chris decided to let me see him with hair, and he hasn't shaved his head since.

I think he looks SOOO handsome with hair... but I don't think I would appreciate his wonderful, thick, handsome hair nearly as much if he hadn't been bald when we met:

 We had so much fun on our first date.  My toast at our rehearsal dinner, and Chris' toast at our wedding entirely focused on special moments and memories from our first date.  Here are a few:
  • We saw a local play for free BAREFOOT IN THE PARK by the Eagle County Porchlight Players
  • We ended up going to help a high school girl who I had gotten to know through our church's youth group; we spent time with the high schooler and tried to get a toddler to sleep
  • We went for a drive into the mountains and nearly slid off the side of the snowy mountainside... you've heard of a 3-point turn... Chris made about a 37-point turn to get us down the mountain
  • I complimented Chris on his nice truck and he told me that he specifically was thinking about car-seats when he opted for the 4-door option :-D
  • The next day, we went to lunch... so not officially our first day, but in our first 24 hours of knowing each other, Chris prayed over our meal and he said, "Lord, we give You all the glory for what You're going to do."... I remembering thinking as Chris was praying.. "WHOA!  Does this guy know something I don't know?  What's God going to do?"
One year later, this wonderful man was proposing to me!

Chris surprised me on Riva Ridge on Vail Mountain while we were skiing, and got down on his knee and pulled out the most beautiful ring I had ever seen, and told me that he had my parents' blessing to ask me, and he asked me to marry him.

What did I say?  "DON'T DROP IT!!!!"
I have seen entire skies get lost on Vail mountain in a snowstorm... and when he opened a jewelry box, there was 12" of fresh snow under our skies.
I eventually managed to say, "Yes!" and the ring safely made it from the box to my finger without falling into the snow. 

The first people we told we were engaged was the staff at Lodge Tower, where we changed and showered in the spa before beginning our drive to St. Louis for Christmas.
We called our parents from the road.

And I took about 100 pictures of my hand with my new engagement ring on the drive.

For a FULL account of our engagement story, you can read every little detail here.

Happy December 18th!

Lord, We give You all the glory for what You're going to do... and what You've done!

Happy Anniversary, Hubby!

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