Sunday, January 15, 2017

South Padre Island

Every January, we have our annual staff meeting for work. I typically refuse to call this a "retreat" since my idea of what a retreat and the idea that employers and churches have are never the same thing. However, this past week, the two definitions got pretty dang close.

Last year, we had these annual meetings in Newton. This year, thanks to our new colleague who lives in Brownsville and has all kinds of connections, we were able to get an awesome deal at The Pearl, a hotel on South Padre Island in super south Texas. It was amazing to wake up and see the ocean every day. It was lovely. We even got a little bit of time to relax, in between meetings about visioning and budgeting.

It's not always easy, but I am very lucky to be able to have the job I have, work with the people I work with and travel the places I get to travel, (especially when that place is not in Western Kansas).

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Yoder Family Christmas

My Mom texted me a photo of my Dad standing on their back deck in the 7 inches of snow that they got today. But when I was in North Carolina a little over a week ago for Christmas, it was perfectly mild. (Not as crazy as last year when we had the front door open Christmas morning, my dad wore shorts and my sister and I sat on the porch multiple times).

I actually prefer a mild, North Carolina Christmas (since a different previous year it did snow on Christmas Eve and it was magical but we were for sure snowed in for several days because Asheville has like 1 snow plow for the whole city).

It wasn't too hot and it wasn't too cold. It was just right.

As I said in my previous post, I had a really great time over my holiday break. So much so that I am still wishing it was still going on. (20 degree weather in Kansas has not been that great). I'll "get over" getting back into the routine of ordinary life again, but at least I have these photos to look fondly on.

Here are some highlights from my Yoder Family Christmas.

1. Levent and I traveled there together. (Last year, I was in North Carolina without him and the worst time getting to and from there. For real. My flight got cancelled and my Dad had to drive 3 hours to pick me up in Atlanta). This year, we rented a car and drove down from Columbus to Asheville together. While long road trips are never really my favorite, I don't seem to mind them when I am with Levent. We listed to a lot of This American Life podcasts, I drank lots of coffee and we stopped at McDonalds, (which is a place I secretly love but try to avoid).

2. Party potatoes! This is a potato dish my mom makes that is super unhealthy but oh, so delicious and is in my mom's recipe canon. I've been craving them for months and I finally got to sit at my parents' table and eat them. Yum.

3. Reading to Malakai and hearing all the funny things 4 year olds say. What a guy. He is growing up so fast.

4. Drinking lots of coffee with my sister.

5. Going to Early Girl Eatery for Brunch, which is one of my favorite places in Asheville

6. Going to Virtue, a cute boutique in downtown Asheville (and spending way too much money).

7. The morning hike at DuPont State Forest

8. Puzzling

9. The late night French Broad Chocolates run with Leah and Levent

10. Eating at 12 bones before leaving town.

Okay yeah, most of these things are about eating. I don't even care. That's one of my favorite things to do in this little city I love so much. And like usual, my time there went by too quickly.

When can I go back?
My parents are taking a selfie :-) 

Monday, January 2, 2017

Miller Family Christmas

Well, we're back from our Christmas vacation. Tomorrow, I head back to work, so I want to take this time to look back over the last week and a half at my holiday 2016 photos. Levent and I traveled a little differently this year, flying into Columbus to be with his family for Christmas, then driving down to North Carolina to be with mine for a couple days, then driving back to Columbus before flying out New Years Eve. 

I don't know if I just needed a break from every day life or if it was because all our travels went without a single hitch, but this Christmas holiday was so wonderful. (Even though about 50% of those involved had a terrible cold). 

Miller Family Christmas highlights included: 
1. Staying in Wilbur and Shirley's beautiful old home, which always seems magical at Christmastime, and spending time with Levent's siblings

2. Going to a NHL game. (My first one ever! Go Blue jackets). 

3. Star Wars!

4. Eating supper at a Afghani cafe for Shirley's birthday

5. Having breakfast with my cousin Betha and Aunt Joy

6.  Puzzling for HOURS. 

7. Enjoying the traditional Turkish breakfast on Christmas morning. (and having lamb for Christmas dinner). 

8.  Going on a walk with Shirley (stopping for coffee first at the Upper Cup)

9. Ice skating

10. Relaxing and watching 2 KU games. 

11. Figuring out that you can take a glass, antique cake stand (that I got as a gift) as your carry on through TSA. :-)