Friday, December 27, 2013

Merry Christmas to All

M and I had a very lovely Christmas (and almost no pictures to show for it!). We spent the holiday with the Greens this year and had a lot of fun. The whole family got together Christmas Eve and had a delicious dinner, followed by a little Christmas program. We sang carols and read scriptures about the Savior's birth, reminding us all about the reason for the season. Afterwards, we played games and visited, then headed to bed.

Christmas Day started out with presents and breakfast! We were so spoiled by our families--thank you! After presents, we watched Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. I had actually never seen this musical (shocking!), but it's one of M's favorites from his childhood (even more shocking!) and I loved it. We then got ready, visited M's grandparents, and headed to a family dinner and party. M's family has a big gingerbread house competition every year, and it's gets pretty intense! I made a good showing for my first time though--I was on the winning team!

TL: On Christmas Ever; TR: Matt's team made a gingerbread manger scene; BL: My team's winning gingerbread house; BR: The third team's Tongan house
Amid all the fun and presents, though, is the real meaning of Christmas. The miracle of Christmas is always so amazing to me. Without Christ's birth and life, we would be lost. My favorite part of the Christmas story is the shepherds. Maybe I have a soft spot for them because of my experience in Bethlehem, but it's my favorite part nonetheless. I love that the first people invited to visit the Christ child were humble, lonely shepherds from the fields. The first noel, the announcement of the birth of the Savior, was sung by angels to these hard-working and meek people. They had really difficult lives and did their best with what they had, and they were greatly blessed for it. I think that like the shepherds, we all are called to see the Christ, if only we will listen. No matter how hard life may be or the challenges we face, we are always welcomed, and even called, to the stable to see Christ for ourselves and believe on Him.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas at the Green Home

I absolutely love Christmas--the lights, music, stories, food, you name it and I'm probably a fan of it (except for egg nog). This year was especially fun because it was M and I's first married Christmas! It was so fun to decorate our little basement and bring in the holiday spirit.

I was most excited to set up the olive wood nativity scene that I got from Jerusalem. It had a place of honor right in the foyer.

This is when I bought the nativity set in Jerusalem, from Omar's shop 9/2011.
 I was also very excited to set up our first Christmas tree! In all honesty, I was a little nervous because I didn't have a clear vision of how I wanted it to look, but I think it came together rather nicely. We have some ornaments about the 12 Days of Christmas, along with some of the ornaments I grew up with. In the Pelton family, each of us would get a new ornament every year, usually from a place that we visited. I've always loved that  tradition, and I hope that M and I will continue it. Anyways, it's resulted in some pretty cool ornaments, so I was happy to add some to the Green collection.

(I had a really hard time getting a good picture!) 
A few decorations-- namely our wreath, Christmas Tree, Nativity, and Advent Calendar
The wreath was actually from our wedding, but I just added some festive ribbon to give it a holiday flair (reduce, reuse, recycle, right?). The advent calendar was a bit of an experiment. I saw a cool idea on Pinterest (of course...) about a paper-bag advent calendar, and it was super cute, so I naturally had to try it for myself. I used some leftover favor bags also from our wedding and numbered them 1-25. Then, I put a scripture in each bag to read on that day. The scriptures went through the story of Christ's birth and life from both the Bible and Book of Mormon. I then clipped the bags onto my string board with mini clothespins. It was cute, but I think it can be improved upon next year. Maybe I'll even put treats in the bags! I'm already excited... 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A New Title, A New Story

Well, I've finally gotten my act together and decided to start blogging again! However, it's not just my adventures that need chronicling... it's our adventures. Isn't it funny how once you get married, "me" turns to"we" in almost every circumstance? I think it's important to keep your individuality, but in the case of the blog, I thought it was appropriate to make the change.

So here we are! No longer is it "The Classy (but Sassy) Adventures of Cassie." Welcome to "The Greener Side." I think it's clever. Obviously, our last name is Green, but the title also refers to the idea of greener pastures, that the grass is always greener on the other side. My favorite response to that, though, is that the grass is greener where you water it. If you put in the effort, good things will come. Essentially, we must learn to bloom where we are planted. Instead of hoping for something else, we make our circumstance to be what we want it to be.

That's how I envision marriage, too. It's easy to look at other couples and think, "Oh they're so perfect," or "They're so happy. They have everything!" But here's the thing--every couple, every marriage, and every family has struggles. Comparing yourself or your relationship to another is pointless and is essentially a lie. I like the idea that the only person (or relationship) that you should compare yourself to, is who you were yesterday. Self-reflection fosters growth and improvement, which leads to watering your pastures and growing greener grass. That is something I'm a fan of.

So here's our story.