Love The One Your With

Oh How The Years Go By

In our times of trouble
We only had ourselves
Nobody else
No one there to save us
We had to save ourselves

And when the storms came through
They found me and you
Back to back together
And when the sun would shine
It was yours and mine
Yours and mine forever

Oh how the years go by
Oh how the love brings tears to my eyes
All through the changes the soul never dies
We fight, we laugh, we cry
As the years go by

There were times we stumbled
They thought they had us down
But we came around
How we rolled and rambled
We got lost and we got found
Now we’re back on solid ground, yeah

We took everything
All our times would bring
In this world of dangers
‘Cause when your heart is strong
You know you’re not alone
In this world of strangers

Oh how the years go by
Oh how the love brings tears to my eyes
All through the changes the soul never dies
We fight, we laugh, we cry
As the years go by

And if we lose our way
Any night or day
Well we’ll always be
Where we should be
I’m there for you
And I know you’re there for me

Oh how the years go by
Oh how the love brings tears to my eyes
All through the changes the soul never dies
We fight, we laugh, we cry
As the years go by

– Amy Grant

On this day, 18 years ago my life changed.

Two became one.

As with most things with me, {grand ideas at the last minute} I decided  Saturday I would spend Sunday working on a few things to celebrate our anniversary.  We haven’t really celebrated in a grand way…our love for each other…in a while.  My daughter’s dance recital is always the Friday of Memorial Day weekend.  {One year it was on our anniversary.}  I wouldn’t miss her recital for anything.  It is one of the highlights of my year to be able to see her dance.  I’m also very grateful to have family who travel from afar to see her recital and visit.  Thus our reason for not celebrating.  Don’t get me wrong, we still try to have a date with a dinner & movie, but not anything out of the ordinary or special, just kind of the same old thing we always do when we manage to go on a date in our small town.

So here I am at 1:11am typing this post.

I came up with a few things to do lot of things I wanted to do:

  • 18 gifts given on each hour on the 18th minute {made 5 of the 18 today}
  • CD titled 18 Running Songs of various running music
  • CD titled 18 Year Anniversary Mix filled with love songs
  • 18 balloons with a love note attached to each

I didn’t want to spend money for these expressions of love.  You see, we have an all inclusive beach trip planned to celebrate our anniversary for a later date.  It will be the first vacation we’ve had in 7  years ALONE together WITHOUT KIDS.  It is long overdue!  This trip was our gift to each other.  We agreed NOT to exchange gifts because of the trip.  However, I still wanted to do something special for him and for us.

What I will DO

Here’s the deal, I realized we won’t be AWAKE for 18 hours of this special day. {Duh! Shan…sigh…it’s been a crazy month.} Plus, I only have 8 gifts to give him, not 18.  I made 7 {2 are the CD’s mentioned above} and found 1 in the closet {it was a Christmas gift I forgot to give him because it was buried underneath all the piles…sheesh}  So instead of 18 gifts, he will receive 8 at 9:18am, 10:18am, 11:18am, 12:18pm, 1:18pm, 2:18pm, 3:18pm, 4:18pm.  Again, these are things I made him.  Maybe next year I can plan on doing the balloon idea.  I just didn’t have my act together to do that this year.

I’ll share with you photos and more information about the gifts in a future post this.  If he happens to read this before 9:18am he already knows what 2 of the gifts are.  It’s okay, because he doesn’t like surprises near as much as I do.  As a matter of fact, it’ll probably kill him to not be able to open ALL the gifts right away.  The essence of surprise will be what I enjoy about this plan. 😉

Happy Anniversary to my Husband.

Above current photos taken by Blue Lily Photography

Love the one your with,

My Top Eleven Favorite Christmas Albums

There is nothing like a good Christmas Album to bring about cheer during the holidays!  Honestly, the music is what I LOVE best, besides being with family.

Here are my top ten eleven favorite Christmas albums in no particular order:

1. John Denver & The Muppets: A Christmas Together
It’s not Christmas without listening to this album.  I have fond childhood memories of Christmases past while listening.  What I like best about this album are it’s original Christmas songs.  This means I never grow tired of hearing songs like The Peace Carol, The Christmas Wish and my most favorite Medley: Alfie, The Christmas Tree/Carol For A Christmas Tree/ It’s In Everyone Of Us.  This is a sure winner for any family.

2. Mindy Gledhill: Winter Moon (Songs For Christmas)
My newest favorite Christmas album.  If you are a regular reader, it won’t surprise you I have Mindy Gledhill in this list.  I absolutely adore Mindy’s style of singing.  She has brilliantly remastered some of your favorite Christmas songs with the soothing sounds of her ukulele and guitar.  My favorite song on the album is Little Soldier.  I wish she would do a music video for it.  Winter Moon, the title track, is a fun original song.  The video for the song is on my sidebar.  On the album you can hear the version without the puppets.  I look forward to listening to this album for many Christmases to come.  This is THE gift I am giving for Christmas to many people this year.

3. The Carpenters: Christmas Portrait
I have mentioned before of my love of Karen Carpenter’s voice.  This is a wonderful album filled with many of your favorites including songs from The Nutcracker.  My favorite songs on this album are Merry Christmas Darling and Little Altar Boy.

4. Enya: And Winter Came
I was listening to this album yesterday and my 16 year old daughter asks, “who is Enya?”  The question kind of surprised me.  Enya is like a staple in my music collection.  Guess I haven’t played her while she’s been around.  Enya’s music is so relaxing.  This album has some wonderful original Christmas songs.

5. Restoration Hardware: Quithmuth (Kid’s Christmas)
Boy am I glad I bought this album!  We picked this beauty up back in 2001 at Restoration Hardware for maybe $10.  It is my kid’s favorite Christmas album.  I was surprised to find it being sold on Amazon, but for a whopping $49!  It has some oldies but goodies including I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas, I Tan’t Wait Till Qithmuth Day & Monster’s Holiday.

6. Vince Guaraldi: A Charlie Brown Christmas
Soothing and relaxing piano everyone in the family enjoys.

7. Avalon: Joy (A Christmas Collection)
This contemporary Christian group is a favorite of mine.  6 out of 10 songs are original Christmas songs.  Many of their upbeat songs will brighten up any Christmas Party.  My absolute favorite songs are Joy, Don’t Save It All For Christmas Day, Light A Candle, and We Are The Reason.  Really I like them all!  We Are The Reason will make you cry. {a good kind, though 😉 }

8. Hilary Weeks: Christmas Once Again
It was fun to discover Hilary’s most recent Christmas album in my Christmas music collection this month {I forgot I bought it last year.}  I listened to it many times last year so it shouldn’t have surprised me so much.  Hilary’s smooth and gorgeous voice makes your most beloved Christmas songs better.  However, I love her original Christmas Once Again and Ring The Bells.  She is such a talented writer and singer.

9. Amy Grant: The Christmas Collection
I do not have this exact album, but I have every other Christmas album Amy has done.  I love every single song!  I am reminded of my Husband & my first Christmas together {1993}.  We listened to Amy’s version of Breath Of Heaven (Mary’s Song) as we traveled to meet his parents for the first time.  My Grandpa always said Amy Grant had a nasally voice.  Whether she does or not, I have always felt The Spirit so strong as I listen to her music.

10. Michael W. Smith: The Ultimate Christmas Collection
Just like Amy Grant, I do not have this Ultimate Christmas Collection. {I have his first Christmas album from 1989}  However, whenever I have listened to his other Christmas albums on Rhapsody my ears are carried away into bliss.  If you are a fan of Michael W. Smith, then you will adore it.  I appreciate his original Christmas masterpieces as well.  He is a genius on the piano.  My most favorite of his Christmas songs has to be Welcome To Our World.

11. Michael McLean: The Forgotten Carols
You may not have heard of this album, but it is one of my very favorites.  It tells the story of a nurse whose empty life is changed by her patient, John, who expands her understanding of Christmas. “The Forgotten Carols” are original songs from the perspective of characters such as the innkeeper who turned the young couple away or the shepherd who slept through the angel’s announcement. Their personal accounts, until now, have been overlooked or ignored. Together, John and Constance discover what the world has forgotten about Christmas.  Songs lyrics like, “we are not homeless like the Christ child was” and “I was not his Father, he was mine” say it all.  “Three kings found the Lord and so can we.”

Now it’s your turn.

Tell me, what are some of your favorite Christmas albums?

I miss hearing from you.

Linking Up:
Top Ten {Tuesday}

Merry Christmas,

Our Favorite Christmas Music

Today I added some of our very favorite Christmas songs to the blog. My kid’s favorite is The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late). A few years back I bought an awesome Christmas CD at Restoration Hardware titled “Quithmuth (Kid’s Christmas).” This CD reminds me of my favorite Christmas record my parent’s had when I was little. It has all the old songs I loved listening to as a child like “I Tan’t Wait Till Quithmuth Day,” “All I Want For Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth” and “I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas (Hippo The Hero). My kids thought the chipmunk song was hilarious when I first played it for them. This was before they came out with the chipmunk movie.

The rest of the songs are my favorites new and old. Old would be John Denver and the Muppets. I can’t go through the Christmas without listening to this CD. I wished they had “Alfie: The Christmas Tree” in the playlist database. It is my favorite on the album, next would be “Noel: Christmas Eve, 1913” which is included on the playlist. In addition to John Denver would be Amy Grant on the ‘old’ list. I absolutely love every Christmas album Amy Grant has made. My favorite song of hers also was not in the playlist database, “Breath of Heaven” (the original studio version, not the live version). My Grandpa always used to say he didn’t like Amy Grant’s voice. He said it was too “nasal.” I still made him listen to her cassette tape as we played games. 🙂 The Charlie Brown Christmas reminds me of all the Christmas TV specials I would watch growing up as a kid. Last but not least, The Carpenters. I just love Karen Carpenter’s smooth, velvety voice. It is so sad that both her and John Denver have passed on. Their music has definitely been missed.

My new favorite Christmas songs are from Celine Dion and Josh Groban. When you hear them, you will know why.

I ended my playlist with Band Aid’s ‘totally cool’ 80’s hit “Do They Know It’s Christmas.” It still reminds me of how blessed I feel to live in our country.

Happy Listening,
Shan