Christmas 2008 Wrap-Up

Typically, I get great joy out of wrapping a nice gift in some plain red paper and plaid ribbon...or some such configuration. I will attempt to wrap up a YEAR (hard to contain) in mere words (lowly containers, indeed).

So, if you'd like to stick around...here goes nothing.

Jerod and I have cruised swiftly through our FOURTH year of marriage! I can't believe that it's been four years already. We celebrated by taking a trip to Asheville/Biltmore, NC, at the beginning of December. (the first two pics)

I am slightly sad to say that we have only a few interesting milestones to share this year...(so if you were thinking of checking on the price of an 52" HD TV at Bestbuy.com, go ahead, I won't fault you).

We have been busy taking classes--his for teacher recertification, and mine for digital design. I have finished 21 of 33 hours (as of 12/10!) for my certificate. Lord willing, I'll be done at the end of this summer. No, I'm not sure exactly what I'd like to do with my meager photoshop and other adobe software skills...but I surely have had a BLAST learning this stuff and creating some meaningful projects. (click here for small design portfolio)

Jerod has been on his toes keeping up with his "kids" at school, and driving through Charlotte each day to go teach them. The work is draining and satisfying, as I'm sure all teachers out there can understand. He often gets feedback from current and old students about how much they love him as a teacher. I would have loved him as a teacher, too. He gets so darn excited about whatever it is he's teaching. His students this year have named him "The Math Daddy."

Good ole Winthrop University is my neck of the woods these days, as I continue to serve in the President's Office coordinating events and maintaining two historic homes. I love being at a place that serves as a home and a community as well as a place of employment. I think few people are so blessed as this. We're feeling the money crunch at Winthrop as a state-supported school. The state of SC keeps asking for money back...so at this point, we're nearly private. So, in that spirit, I encourage you to do all your Christmas shopping in the state of SC since it seems to be lack of money in the sales tax area that has been the biggest contributor to the shortfall. (Or fire Governor Sanford, whichever you can manage for me. :)

In March, I was again able to travel with the Men's Basketball Team from Winthrop to the first round of the NCAA Tournament. We were sent to Denver, CO, so I had a few days in the Rockies to explore, cheer on the team (we lost in the first round...), and see my cousin, Elasha. Elasha lives in the best little neighborhood near downtown Denver, and it was quite a treat all the way around.

June took us to Orlando, as I had convinced Jerod that we should use our economic stimulus check for its intended purpose. We had a blast at the Universal Parks, botanical gardens, and zoo. A great time for R & R after long school years for us both. My favorite was the Dr. Seuss land in Islands of Adventure. Everything looked candy coated and unreal. And of course I could ride "the Hulk" roller coaster all day without stopping (see pic below with my YIPPEE IT'S A ROLLER COASTER!! face). There is at least one post about that from June should you want to hit the archive and read all about it.

I don't know exactly what has happened to the last half of this year. One minute it was July, and the next, December. Classes and church functions and fun have been a blurry whirlwind, plopping us smack in the middle of the holidays. I still have my two faux pumpkins on the side porch with orange lights (not lit since October)...but the tree is up, and there is some sense of festive around the house.

Finally, I've been keeping busy with "The Birth: A Reflective Celebration of the Coming of Christ." A play that I'm singing in this Christmas...and also that I've done some of the graphic design for. There is a post from earlier this month with details about that. But for the sake of the wrap-up, between this play and the messages I hear at my dear Renovatus (church--click for website), I am reminded that the Jesus I believe in is very real. He very much came here to show us how to live. He very much wants to be part of our everyday lives. It is a truth that I face every day, as I navigate both "the mud and the muck" of this life, as well as the completely happy moments. Our community, our friends, our faith..it's the glue that hold us together.

Our hearts are grateful for another year to learn, to worship, to give, and to share with you. Merry Christmas, and may God bless you in the coming year.

The Joneses

Jerod's email: jeirdo@yahoo.com
Shelley's email: iamshelleyjones@hotmail.com
And, we're both on Facebook, too. Come "see" us!

1 comment:

Sheila said...

Awww, now I feel like I was beside you in 2008! (When in sad reality, I didn't even lay eyes on your pretty face!)

Thanks for a year-in-review!