A Porter Style Christmas

Our holiday weekend consisted of some pretty basic things which included eating, last minute shopping (for each other) and eating some more. We played games, we opened gifts, talked about “the good ol’ days,” and laughed a lot. Here are some pics and a little loot we came away with.

Kyle’s dad and bro…suave.

All the kids gathered around papa Kyle for story time!

(most of) the Porter/Goodwin fam including the latest addition…and someone in the top right corner who apparently wants to be an addition…

Kevin in his sock monkey onesie.

Jen opening her new pride and joy. Good thing too since Kyle traipsed 8 mile and had to negotiate with some people of questionable morals to snag that bad boy…

It’d be a lot “cooler” if those headphones were actually plugged into something…

All the fun we could handle…

The Who of Whoville

I was listening to a radio interview yesterday about Theodore Giesel and his talents and musings and, of course, the Grinch was at the forefront. I know we’ve all read it, seen it, quoted it, but it’s one brilliant reminder of how everything- even the mean and dark things of this world- is spiritual. The meaner and darker they get, the more beautiful Christ looks. Well, Christ and Whoville.

And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: “How could it be so?
It came without ribbons! It came without tags!
“It came without packages, boxes or bags!”
And he puzzled three hours, `till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!
“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.
“Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”

And what happened then…?
Well…in Who-ville they say
That the Grinch’s small heart
Grew three sizes that day!
And the minute his heart didn’t feel quite so tight,
He whizzed with his load through the bright morning light
And he brought back the toys! And the food for the feast!
And he…

The Grinch carved the roast beast!

We’ve found ourselves in the tropical oasis that is Houston and I’m preparing for maybe my first ever 70 degree Christmas. We stayed up until 3am- my family has never stayed up past 10:30- and our days are full of hang out time and anticipation of the holiday. It’s my first Christmas away from home, and yet it’s not entirely unfamiliar. Here’s to Christ and Whoville. And all the darkness that makes them shine.

Three Things (and How Not to be a Holy Wife)

Things I’ve learned in the last few weeks:

My behavior directly impacts my enjoyment of our marriage.

I generally blame our disagreements on Kyle and his quick temper, but as I make a concerted effort I’m starting to see that the way I react directly shapes whether we lovingly discuss or unlovingly argue about a certain issue. Sometimes I feel like a seven year old girl without the capability to control my emotions, but most of me knows better. Sometimes I cry out of sadness or frustration, but sometimes I cry to be manipulative.

I’m most anxious to read my bible and pray after Kyle has disappointed or frustrated me.

This makes me sound really devout and holy, though it’s actually the direct opposite. I find myself running to spend time with the Lord because I’ve suddenly realized, time after time, that I’ve once again idolized my husband and expected more from him than he can give. After the pillar crumbles, He’s all there is left. In that respect, there’s much joy in disappointment.

We’re taking it for granted after only six months of marriage, but there’s nothing sweeter than coming home to the person you love most on this earth. Learning and growing together is the epitome of our earthly joy. Even on a bad day.

Photo Attribution

A Memory and Peppermint Tea

Perhaps it’s the chill in the air or the fact that it happened almost a year ago to date, but as I was cooking dinner last night (another round of our favorite Corn Chowder) I was overcome with the memory of the first time I knew Kyle had asked my dad to marry me. I’m not talking anything obvious like accidentally finding the ring or an email he’d sent about flying his family down here for the engagement, but something so subtle that no one else would have seen it if it hit them in the face.

We were visiting my family and arrived to an unusual scene in our house: no one had prepared dinner. We rarely ate out when I was growing up, but this night we arrived to find my dad and sister headed out the door to pick up dinner at one of the three main eateries in our small town. Actually we went to two of the three main eateries because my sister chose grilled chicken over rotting her body from the inside out with fried okra and butter. Whatever.

We were in the truck -my sister and I in the back seat, my dad and Kyle in the front- when I heard it. Kyle had said something hilarious to the male species, probably something about Mike Gundy or Gisele Bundchen, and my dad laughed. The laugh wasn’t the abnormal thing- my dad’s generally a jolly fellow- but it was a genuine, relaxed, whole-hearted laugh. Like he actually thought Kyle was funny.

I know my husband and his sense of humor- it’s pretty solid. But I also know the laugh he usually got from my dad; a smile with no teeth and a nose that scrunched a little too much to be genuine. Almost a pity, “I’m being nice to you because you’re with my daughter, but my shotgun is in the next room and I know how to use it.” This night, something was different.

Turns out Kyle had asked him for my hand in marriage a few weeks before. As I sit here and think about all that’s happened in the last year- the engagement, the wedding, the move to Dallas, two new jobs- I can’t believe how blessed we are. But I also sit here next to our Christmas tree sipping peppermint tea and soaking up all the greatness and I know that Kyle doesn’t complete me. That if there hadn’t been the ring or the secret wedding or the telltale laugh, my life would still be full and I would still be joyful and my tree would still be glowing in the corner. It would only be a different corner and might taste of blackberry tea instead of peppermint, but my joy would be ever present. This year, I just get to share in it.