whew! for a week or so there i had nowhere to spill my guts and ramblings...inspired by my friend madi, i'm trying out blogspot, as my last blog was stamped out by a ruthless hacker - but i oughtn't go there, i tend to become quite cynical on matters of thievery and mischief aimed at me for no particular reason. where was i? oh, guts and ramblings...well, to be quite honest, we've had a major rift (or a hundred or so), c and i have, over the past eleven or twelve months; but things have really improved here lately and by the grace of God, we are starting to look like married people, in my opinion, ought to. quite refreshing and fabulous. what else? i put up the christmas tree today. and the lights...i don't hang lights outside, i can't see them very well there. i string them over doorways and around ornaments inside - i love the soft glow against the green branches, the white walls. soothing, serene, and festive all at once. along with the lights emerged the nativity set i grew up with, the cinnamon scented pinecones, the holiday music. the wonderful felt advent tree brian's mom made us last year, the pale blue stained glass angel, the toy that saved christmas video. i look at it all anew every year, i reflect as i arrange shepherds and the tree topper on how we have changed this past year, what we have gone through and (hopefully) how we've grown. i remember again the baffling mystery of the birth of Christ, the babe in the manger, who was God, who is God, who would grow to perform miracles and die a horrible death for my sake. i am blown away time after time, it never gets old. i can be sarcastic and cynical often, but at christmastime, i am able to retain a sense of wonder like no other time of the year.