Thursday, December 29, 2011

It's My Party!

It's My Birthday! Today I turn 27 years old. I used to think that that was old but I have to say it doesn't seem very different from being 26. I feel pretty much the same. I'm not too old and I'm not too young. I guess comparatively to the church I should be married with a couple kids by now, but to the worlds standards I'm right on track. I have a great job, great friends, so many great adventures to do. Life is amazing and it's been very good to me. Another year older, hopefully I'll be a little wiser too.

So my dear roommates organized a little party for me. My friends gathered at Cafe Rio for some amazing dinner. I understand the craving for it now. It was so sweet of everyone to come. I always so touched by the well wishes and kind gestures of people. I don't expect people to take the time to go out of their way for me so when friends do such kind gestures it really does mean so much to me. I mean I'm starting to tear up just thinking about all the love I was shown today. Seriously, Thank you friends. Your the best for taking your evening to spend with me.

After dinner we went back to my place for cake and ice cream. Jenny Elle made me a gingerbread cheesecake which was absolutely delicious. I made a wish this year but I can't tell it otherwise it won't come true. (And no it wasn't what my friends think it was for. I've wished on that enough).

My roommate Michelle surprised me this morning with a beautiful bouquet of white roses and a mug of Les Miserables. The card was a princess card. She sure does know what I like.

Again, thank you to all my friends for coming out and celebrating with me. I truly was touched by your kindness. As I turn another year older I ponder the goals that I want to make for myself in the coming year. I will need to make a list of the 27 things I want to do while 27. Here goes: 
  1. Disney World 
  2. Harry Potter World
  3. Study the life of Christ through books and scripture study. Keep notes in a journal. 
  4. Go to the Postal Museum
  5. Go to the Hirshorn Museum. 
  6. Go to the National Cathedral for mass. 
  7. Compete in weight wars (not telling my weight loss goal).
  8. Attend the temple twice a month
  9. Go to Palmyra for the Hill Cumorah Pageant
  10. Visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art
  11. Antietam Illumination
  12. Learn to play For Good on the piano flawlessly. 
  13. Crochet a baby blanket
  14. Get pictures in my travel frames
  15. Learn a new recipe a month
  16. Take the Night at the Museum walking tour. 
  17. Walk the Falls Church historic walking tour
  18. Picnic at Fort Washington
  19. Picnic at Great Falls National Park
  20. Play Volleyball more
  21. Keep up on my blog
  22. Stay more politically involved
  23. Save up for a big trip (Jerusalem is the goal is peace can prevail)
  24. Do my visiting teaching every month before the end of the month
  25. Learn a song in sign language
  26. Finish my LDS DC tour
  27. Laugh!

Christmas With the Family

This year I went home to Missouri to spend the last Christmas in my childhood home. We moved to Missouri in 1993 when I was 8. So many holiday memories happened here and it will be very sad to have my parents leave it. Here's a look at the last memories I will have in the place I called home.
Making all kinds of favorite holiday treats; dipped candy canes, peanut butter balls, pretzels, chex mix, oatmeal bars, oh so good!
Hanging out in the sun room watching the latest movie together.
Visiting the North Pole. The oldest and the youngest.
Osmonson girls
Osmonson boys.
My parents
The Osmonson Clan. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas comes to DC

Every year I make my way downtown to enjoy the Christmas displays. I have a routine where I go to the Botanical Gardens to enjoy their festive organic displays. Then I head over to the Capitol building for pics with the Christmas tree and then finally make my way to the White House for the National Tree and the state trees. I can't believe where I live sometimes. There are so many picturesque places for my viewing pleasure. I am truly blessed to be where I am and the amazing opportunities I have. 
The Lincoln Memorial

The Capitol Building

Library of Congress

Supreme Court
White House

 This year the theme was critters. There were homes for fairies, bugs and animals. It amazes me how they can create such a magical world with natural materials. Kind of feels like Ferngully come to life.

The Capitol Tree flown in from California

The White House Christmas Tree celebrates its inaugural year. Love the trains around it.

All things fair, Christmas and Hanakah

When we told Santa we all wanted husbands he said he was a toy maker. Don't worry Santa, we intend to play with them :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Card

This has truly been a very blessed year. I have had so many wonderful adventures and blessings come into my life. I tried to highlight the top ten things for the year in my Christmas Card.
To elaborate a little more
  1. Yes I went Skydiving! It was the most surreal feeling you will ever have in the world. You know that you are falling to the earth at such great speed, yet it it almost feels like your floating at the same time. Truly an amazing experience.
  2. I was so happy to have my sister Kayla come and live with me for the summer. I love having a sister that I can be close with. We did so many great things. I'm only sad that she wanted to leave me :(
  3. This year started the beginning of the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War. I was able to participate the City of Falls Church Civil War Days celebration as the coordinator for the children's activities. We also celebrated the 150th anniversary of the ascent of Thaddeus Lowe's balloon from Falls Church (our 15 minutes of fame). Even more exciting was going to the 1st Battle of Bull Run/Manassas (depending on which side you are on), to watch the reenactment there.
  4. Riley Jeanette Osmonson was born into this world in June and I officially became an aunt. She has won my heart and knows that I will spoil her rotten.
  5. My brother Brett was married in August to a real gem in this world. Whitney is so fun and refreshing and has completely made my brother happy. I've never seen him smile so much. The wedding was in California so a trip out there was made.
  6. I went to so many concerts this year. A few were NKOTBSB (New Kids On The Block/BackStreet Boys), Taylor Swift, Glee, Goo Goo Dolls, Michelle Branch, Parachute, Capitol Fourth, Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
  7. I was promoted to a role of a PMO Support Analyst which has been really good and challenging for me. I can see a better, stronger career path opening up for me and I am much happier with my employment.
  8. My whole family (minus Brett, Kyle and Tonya) came to visit me in DC for Memorial Weekend and I was able to show them around the area for all the festivities.
  9. I was able to run the Harpers Ferry Half Marathon in April. It was a very strenuous run as it consisted of really steep hills but I did prevail.
  10.  Over Labor Day weekend a couple of friends and I headed up to Acadia National Park in Maine for some camping. It was truly beautiful.
This year I have been blessed by the Lord with so many tender mercies. I am truly grateful for His loving kindness He has given me.

Where's the Line to See Jesus?

A dear college friend of mine sent me a link to one of the most amazing songs I've heard this Christmas Season. The story behind the song isa  4 year old saw kids standing in line at a mall to see Santa Claus. The child turned to his mother and asked, "where's the lind to see Jesus? If Christmas is Jseus' birthday, why dont' we see him more?" This inspired his grandfather to write this song.

I am completely touched by the lyrics to this song and the reminder it gives to us that this is the season of Christs birth. He should be seen all around us in everything we do. It's not about the presents, the decorations, the lights, the food. It's about the Savior and His birthday. I hope that when Christ looks down on my life, He will see me standing in line waiting to see Him.

Lyrics to the song,
" Where's the Line to see Jesus".

Christmas time was approaching
Snow was starting to fall
Shoppers choosing their presents
People filling the mall
Children waiting for Santa
With excitement and glee
A Little boy tugged my sweater
Looked up and asked me,

"Where's the line to see Jesus?
Is He here at the store?
If Christmas time is His birthday,
Why don't we see Him more?
Where's the line to see Jesus?
He was born for me.
Santa Clause brought me presents,
But Christ gave His life for Me."

As I stood in amazement
At this message profound
I looked down to thank him
He was no where around.
A little boy at the mall
Might as well had had wings
As the tears filled my eyes
I thought I heard him sing:

"Where's the line to see Jesus?
Is He here at the store?
If Christmas time is His birthday,
Why don't we see Him more?
Where's the line to see Jesus?
He was born for me.
Santa Clause brought me presents,
But Christ gave His life for me."

In the blink of an eye,
At the sound of His trump't,
We'll all stand in line at His throne.
Every knee shall bow down.
Every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

Where's the line to see Jesus?
Is He here at the store?
If Christmas time is His birthday,
Why don't we see Him more?
Where's the line to see Jesus?
He was born for me.
Santa Clause brought me presents,
But Christ gave His life for me.

Gingerbread Land

For FHE we made Gingerbread houses. My roommate AnnaLisa and I decided to make our creation in tribute to TIMEs magazines person of the year, The Protestor. We created an Occupy Wall Street camp with our graham crackers, gummy bears and candy picket signs. The Swedish fish in the corner spelled out 1%.

Zoo Lights

 A great way to spend a beautiful Sunday evening is a walk through the National Zoo. I love coming and seeing light displays around the city and themed lights are even better. God loves all his creatures great and small so it's wonderful to see them living and in lights. Lights make me merry and bright.

Garden lights.

Elephant family

Wild Cats

Under the Sea

It's Jacob!

 There was a great zoo themed gingerbread house display from children in the area. Some of the gingerbread zoo lands were absolutely amazing. I'm always in awe at the creativity some people have.

A captive audience but where's the popcorn?

Temple Lights Part II

The temple lights are so nice this time of year that they needed to be seen twice. This second time I went with a date. A blind date. A set up by the Langley Ward Social Club. I know right, Kara allowed someone to set her up on a date? Craziness. Well, I am getting older so when opportunities arise I figure I better take them. And really, it's a walk around the temple and a great Christmas show so how can I say no to that. The venue is magical.

So the date wasn't bad at all. We both went to BYUI so we were able to talk about the campus and professors we had. We walked around to a side that I hadn't seen as well before and the lights were amazing. I don't know how you can not be in the Christmas spirit with so many lights around on.

The show was really good. Sandra Turley, a broadway professional who performed as Cosette in my favorite play Les Miserables was the concert performer at at the Visitor's Center. She had an amazing voice for broadway. Her daughter was simply adorable. A little Prima Donna. They sang Where Are You Christmas and it was so touching. I loved it. Really stirred the heartstrings for an amazing reminder of Christmas and what it means to keep the spirit of the holiday with you always.

Well how did the date end you may ask. He didn't ask for my number and I wasn't just going to give it. (Work for it guys). So will I see him again? Only time will tell.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

National Harbor Lights

So after living in DC for four years I finally made it over to the National Harbor. I've wanted to visit there for a while and Christmas time was the best time to visit. The harbor tree was so magical all lit up. The lights were even set to move with the music that was playing. It was so cool. There is also a great work of art in the harbor of Poseidon coming out of the sand. I think he wanted to put the star on the tree.
Walking down to the end of the docks you could see all of the lights of the harbor and across the way to Alexandria and to the right the city of DC. I love where I live, so much to do, so much to see. 
After grabbing a bite to eat we headed over to Gaylords hotel to see the amazing ice displays. There I was able to meet Shrek, the Hippo from Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and Puss in Boots. Love it when characters from the screen come to life!