Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Because I'm lazy and we've already mailed out wedding invitations and thank-you cards this year, I'm skipping out on sending Christmas cards. Besides, we don't have any adorable kids, and no one wants a boring picture of just the two of us. So instead, I figured I'd post a summary of 2013 instead.

This has been quite the busy year, to say the least. The biggest event was the wedding, obviously. On February 19, I became Lindy Conelly, and I haven't regretted it for a single second. These past 10 months have been wonderful. Andrew and I have learned so much about each other, and I continue to love him more and more every day. He's amazing, and I couldn't ask for a better husband.

The other major events of 2013 include a brand-new job for me and a subsequent move to Salt Lake for the two of us. It couldn't have worked out better. Andrew was already working in Midvale, so when I got a job in Cottonwood Heights, it only made sense for us to move. The bad part was that it was my second move in five months and Andrew's third move in a year. Our families would be content if they never had to help us move ever again, I'm sure.

Andrew and I have also gone on two vacations this year, both of which were fantastic and left me with the travel bug. The first, of course, was our honeymoon to Maui. It was absolutely gorgeous and I am determined that we will go back one day, hopefully sooner rather than later. I loved every second of it. The second vacation was our spur-of-the-moment birthday trip to Orlando for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We were only there for two days, but we had so much fun! I can't think of a better way to celebrate turning 26. I'm so glad we could go and just have a weekend of fun.

The rest of the year has been spent working, going to football games, watching movies, going to family get-togethers, and relaxing on the couch in front of the TV. I feel like most of the exciting things from this year happened the first half of the year, but we've been spending our time setting up our apartment the way we want it to be and simply figuring out how to live together. I think we've done a pretty good job of it so far. Andrew and I are both so excited about our first Christmas together as a married couple. It will be so fun to combine our family traditions and maybe add some new ones.

I would have to say that 2013 has been an amazing year. I'm not sure how 2014 could hope to beat it, but I'm excited to see it try.

Merry Christmas from the Conellys!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmastime Is Here

I love Christmas. And not just the holiday itself—the entire month of December. I love the decorations, the lights, and the look of the presents under the tree. I love listening to Christmas music and singing Christmas hymns at church. I love the work parties and the family parties. I love the spirit of giving and the service opportunities that pop up everywhere. Most of all, I love the Spirit of Christ that permeates so much of the season. Despite the cold temperatures, I associate warmth with the Christmas season, and I attribute that mostly to the spirit of the season.

I have to admit, though, that when I first started thinking about what Andrew and I would do for Christmas this year, I wasn't sure how much fun it would be. I thought gift giving would be a bit of a let down what with setting a budget and knowing pretty much what we were getting each other. I thought only having the two of us would minimize the magic some.

And then we spent the weekend after Thanksgiving shopping for Christmas decorations. We bought a 7.5-foot tree. We bought lots of ornaments. We bought lights. I bought yarn to make some Christmas projects. And as I put the decorations up and Andrew and I talked about our family traditions and new traditions we want to start, I realized that the spirit of the season isn't dependent on how many people you're sharing it with. It isn't dependent on how many surprises are under the tree. It's about being with people you love and remembering why we celebrate the holiday. This is Christ's season, and I get to spend it with the man I love, the man I have made an eternity-long commitment to.

So now when I get home from work and see this

And this

I get excited. We may not have the nicest decorations, or even a lot of decorations, but what we do have brings the spirit of Christmas into our home every day. I love this time of year, and I can't wait to start my own traditions with Andrew that our kids will talk about with their spouses one day.

And to conclude this post, I list five of my very most favorite Christmas songs:
  1. "I Pray on Christmas" – When My Heart Finds Christmas by Harry Connick, Jr.
  2. "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" – A Family Christmas by the Piano Guys
  3. "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays" – Home For Christmas by *NSYNC
  4. "Stille Nacht" – Christmas by Mannheim Steamroller
  5. "I Wonder As I Wander" – Kurt Bestor Christmas by Kurt Bestor