Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Gimme Snow.

Friends, I love weather. I especially love weather that changes frequently. It must be due to some of my attention deficit. Growing up I enjoyed the ever-changing Hawaiian weather. Blue skies would change into dark clouds of rain lasting 5 minutes, which gave me just enough time as a kid to run outside and cool off in it. I've observed changeable weather in many beautiful places. I am an appreciator of it. Today in my current locale of UT, I am enjoying the beautiful snow falling outside of my window. I know many that absolutely loathe this weather (some of them being members of my own family). I suppose I look at it as an excuse to be indoors to cuddle up with a good book, movie, hot chocolate, or a significant other. There are good times to be had, friends. Indeed there are.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

15 days of Christmas Songs #15

I came across this song the other day on youtube, and had forgotten how much I love it. I think these words sum up so much of what I feel for this time of year. It's all about my family, and most importantly about Jesus. Like the last line says, "My precious Jesus is more than an heirloom to me". I am thankful for the life and birth of my Savior. Lo amo con todo mi corazon.

To anyone reading my humble blog, I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

Up in the attic
Down on my knees
Lifetimes of boxes
Timeless to me
Letters and photographs
Yellowed with years
Some bringing laughter
Some bringing tears

Time never changes
The memories, the faces Of loved ones, who bring to me
All that I come from
And all that I live for
And all that I'm going to be
My precious family
Is more than an heirloom to me

Wiseman and shepherds
Down on their knees
Bringing their treasures
To lay at his feet
Who was this wonder baby yet king
Living and dying
He gave life to me

Time never changes
The memory, the moment His love first pierced through me
Telling all that I come from
And all that I live for
And all that I'm going to be
My precious savior
Is more than an heirloom to me

My precious Jesus Is more than an heirloom to me

15 days of Christmas Songs #14

My brother Shane reminded me this morning that the songs from "Scrooge" are pretty great. Of course I knew this, but when it comes down to it, there are so many great songs that it's hard to choose! For day 14 I have added a few songs from the movie. In our Hawaii days, I was actually in this play as a 9 year old. I played an Urchin. It's true.
I love the story of Ebenezer Scrooge by Charles Dickens. Scrooge is a tight-fisted, greedy man who hates Christmas and anything that engenders happiness. Through the course of one night (x-mas eve), he is visited by three ghosts that change his life forever. He repents of his ways and becomes a model of generosity and kindness. "Many laughed to see this alteration in him, but he let them laugh and little heeded them. His own heart laughed and that was quite enough for him. And it was always said of him that he knew how to keep Christmas well if any man alive possessed the knowledge."

Take note of Tiny Tim's song (#2). I could cry, really.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holiday thoughts

Two songs coming tomorrow...

Friends, I'm feeling a little emotional today. Good emotional. Thankful emotional. Christmas emotional.
This week I was able to be a part of a Sub 4 Santa, and it was a great experience. It caused me to reflect on Christmas as a little girl, and receiving from good people that wanted to help our financially needy family. I was asked to write up a little something to tell about the family, etc. Here is what I came up with:

The Guzman Family:
On Monday morning, a co-worker and I piled many boxes of gifts into my car and headed for the Guzman home in Orem to spread a little Christmas cheer. From what we knew, this family had come upon hard times not long ago when Sandra and Alexis’ Guzman’s mother died. They have since been living with their grandmother, Alba, who was disabled. Upon arrival at the humble home, Alba met us and welcomed us inside. She handed me a card, then began telling the story of their hardships. Her daughter, the mother of Sandra and Alexis, had been killed while visiting her home of El Salvador. As her mother put it, she was killed for $125. Alba began to cry and told us it had been very hard for her and for the children since her daughter’s death. She told us of her gratitude for the gifts we were providing and hugged us both.
Before we left, I looked around and noticed that there was no tree in sight, then asked if they had one. The reply was no. The wheels started rolling in my head, and I recalled a x-mas tree I bought at an after holiday sale last year for $5 and was currently sitting in storage. I assured her she’d have one. A tree, along with lights and ornaments were provided that very evening.
What a wonderful experience for us to be a part of! I was grateful to have brought a little hope and cheer to a family who had obviously been struggling financially and emotionally.
As a young girl, my family had many years of financial hardship. I recall the same kind of help each year at Christmas time from various donors. I am just grateful that I could give back in a small way for all of the years that I received.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

15 days of Christmas Songs #13

Caroling, caroling... this is a family tradition. Every Christmas eve we take to the streets and knock on unsuspecting neighbors doors and sing our little hearts out. Good times are had by all!

Monday, December 21, 2009

15 days of Christmas Songs - #12

Seriously, this is my favorite song to sing in church during the holiday season. This version is a bit different, but the words are the same and just as lovely.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

15 days of Christmas Songs - #11

I always love this one too. Friends, I love this season - period!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

15 days of Christmas Songs - #10

We've been listening to the following group, The Singers Unlimited, for as long as I can remember. My parents taught us to love the tight harmonies. Hope you enjoy it.

Friday, December 18, 2009

15 days of Christmas Songs #9

This song has much more meaning being far away from home at Christmas time. I remember hearing it while I was in China many years ago. I could hardly wait to get home to my family before Christmas! My sister Shannon and I listened to this song frequently and felt the anticipation of singing x-mas songs by the fire, devouring mom's special x-mas eve soups, and just being with those we loved. I'm sure this song resonates with those who are especially far away from family at this time of year. Some won't be able to be with their loved ones, but like the song says "I'll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams..." Sometimes the memories of Christmases past suffices. Make it a good one, folks!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

15 days of Christmas songs - #7

Who doesn't love a Charlie Brown Christmas?! This song brings back memories of watching my favorite x-mas movies on t.v. as a kid. Charlie Brown was one of them. Love it so much.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

15 days of Christmas Songs - #6

If you have ever been to the my family's home for Christmas, you know that there is one song that is always requested above all others. Heck, it doesn't even have to be Christmas. We've been known to sing it in mid-July! This song is so dear and so sentimental that my mom has requested it for her funeral one day. Ah, bless her - it's going to be a long time! My sisters and I have been singing this song in 3 part harmony since I was about 12. Here is Amy Grant's rendition.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

15 days of Christmas Songs - #4

I adore this song. I hope you'll hear and feel the warmth this song brings to the Christmas season for me. Each time I hear it, I feel like an observer watching a beautiful Christmas scene unfolding before me - filled with the most tender parts of the season. For me, it is my family. What would this season be without them to share it with?
If you haven't heard of First Call before, I take pleasure in introducing you...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

15 days of Christmas Songs - #3

Thanks to Franz Schubert for this magnificent song. While 'Ave Maria' is widely considered a church song, it is actually a secular art song. It is tells the story about a young maiden who implores Mary to give her comfort in her time of distress. I always hear this piece around Christmas time and think it is absolutely beautiful - whether hearing a man or woman sing it. I was pleased to find that Andrea Bocelli sings it so amazingly. Enjoy.

Friday, December 11, 2009

15 Days of Christmas Songs - #2

Ah, Harry. I suppose he is one of the "newer" Christmas favorites - even though his x-mas album came out in 1993. I always love hearing this song at this time of year. The nostalgia of it is great. I was 17, and I have such memories of good friends back in high school, of being in heavy like with someone, and of fun times working at Chick-fil-A. Those were the days, eh? Do enjoy one of my favorite vocalists, Mr. Harry Connick Jr.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

15 days of Christmas carols - #1

Who doesn't love a good Christmas song, eh? Here we start with song #1 for 15 days of fave Christmas songs. You may find some of them cheesy; some are, yes. You will most certainly find them sentimental. If you know me, you know that music and memories are synonymous. They truly go together - especially at Christmas time. Each Christmas is filled with old songs and new. Truth be told, I prefer the old. The sounds of songs I've known since I was a little girl fill me with such joy for the season and for life. I am a sentimental girl.

And here we go, folks.

Ah, this one could very well make me cry. Then again, I'm pretty sure all of them will.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Thanksgiving in Charlotte

My ideal vacation... to simply do nothing, and to be with people I love. Yep, that was my recent trip to Charlotte, NC. Time spent at my baby sister's home is simply that - a true vacation. We don't have to go sight-seeing, and we don't have an agenda of any kind. My time is simply spent in her beautiful yellow house playing, or just sitting with my nephews Gavin and Ryan, my brother-in-law Kurt, and my little sister Caiti. Sometimes it is a surreal experience realizing once again (after ten years) that my sister (4 years younger) has a family. Folks, lemme just say that my little sister is great at her current occupation of mother and wife. She's so smart and could do big things with her life, but her greatest joy is being a mom to G & R. She puts her family before anything else. What I love about Caiti is she has such a calmness about her. Even growing up, it seems like she was always the calm one. I hardly remember her raising her voice. I love that about her parenting style, too. She gets on her sons' level amid chaos and encourages peace. There are some people that were simply meant to be mothers, and she is definitely one of them. Also, she's gorgeous. Seriously. Kurt is a lucky husband! Needless to say, I love 'er.

I wasn't the only visitor over the course of the week of Thanksgiving. My brother Shane and awesome sis-in-law Sharon and their boys came to visit as well. That makes THREE Curran siblings. But hold on, big brother Quinn also made it in town with g-friend Darlene. It was a Curran party with half of us siblings at Caiti's house. Fun times were had by all. Good times in Charlotte! Thanks for everything, Caiti. Love you!

Beauty of a little sis 'n me.

Awes sis-in-law Sharon and her silly Aidan.

Sharon and Shane's cute Owen 'n me.

Crazy faces of Ryan, Gavin and Auntie.

Ryan and I enjoying our delicious t-give dinner. Seriously, seriously yummy!

Auntie & Gavin.

The Summerhays family.

Sisters and sis-in-law (pretty much my sister) on a little outing together. Fun, fun.

Curran siblings representing in Charlotte.

Displaying the sibling line-up: Quinn - 1, Caiti - 6, Me - 4, Shane - 3.