New Year, New Update

Dusting off the ol’ blog again! So here’s a quick life update to catch you up on what all has been going on in the Robinson household.

Sun and view of mountains on a run

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Life Lately

Hello, friends!!!

Life has been a little nuts here lately…. I shouldn’t be complaining because I’m honestly very thankful for how God is using Alexander and I in the church, yet I am definitely ready for a little Christmas break. Craft time, here I come! (Meaning, I still have to finish making Christmas presents….oops!)

So here’s a “quick” update on all of the craziness in the Robinson household.

Yes we're crazy

Alexander and I celebrated a quiet Thanksgiving at home together. We had initially invited some couples over for the day, but everybody already had plans. Apparently God planned it that way because, by the time Thanksgiving rolled around, both of us were desperately in need of some quiet time for just the two of us. Our feast included turkey breast, stuffing, honey cinnamon sweet potatoes, steamed broccoli, vegan mac ‘n’ cheese, orange slices, store-bought unhealthy pumpkin pie (per hubby’s request), and healthy crustless pumpkin pie (honestly because I was “cooked” out and didn’t want to deal with a crust). Plus breakfast was Pumpkin Banana Bread, recipe compliments of the talented Chocolate Covered Katie (as were the mac ‘n’ cheese and healthy pumpkin pie). We did have a friend over in the evening for Phase 10 and pie, but most of the day my hubby and I spent puzzling, cooking, and cuddling. Kind of the perfect holiday in my opinion. 🙂

Alexander carving turkey Our Thanksgiving 2016 feast Crustless pumpkin pie

We aren’t really Black Friday shoppers, but Alexander had a $10 gift card for Kohls that could only be used on Black Friday so we made a fun little date night out of it. Alexander couldn’t find anything he wanted, so he let me use it (thank you, hubby!). I found a wooden decor piece, fuzzy socks (for gifts), and MY VERY FIRST STAR WARS SHIRT!!!!!! Why I waited this long to get one, I don’t know….

Star Wars shirt

Over the weekend we finished decorating for Christmas (you can read the story behind our Christmas tree here). We were blessed with so many Christmas decorations from a surprise “1st Holiday” shower some crafting friends had for me while I was up in Montana at the end of October. Plus my mom has passed down some of our family ornaments, and Alexander and I have picked up bits and pieces here and there. Needless to say, the house is quite festive now!!!

Alexander hanging Christmas lights First Christmas ornament Christmas horse and stockings

We also started Advent over the weekend–nothing elaborate this year, but we’re using the Jesse tree ornaments, a daily devotional specifically for Advent, and the “Perfect Advent Calendar.” They’ve all been wonderful; I might have to do a post just about Advent at some point; we’ll see.

Also…the end of November marked one month of my being plant-based/vegan!!! (At least to the best of my abilities; a few small slip-ups here or there definitely happened when I forgot to check ingredients or wasn’t sure if any of the ingredients were non-vegan.) After October being a month of unhealthy eating, minimal exercise, and just feeling overall sluggish, I decided to quit dabbling with a plant-based diet (as I’ve been doing the last couple of years) and give it an all-out try. Now, five weeks later, I am absolutely hooked! Alexander is still sticking to his meat, but he is in full support of my choices and he’s also very willing to try vegan dishes, so cooking for the two of us is pretty easy — I pretty much just come up with a vegan base and then add meat to his plate!

Last week seemed even more hectic than normal. Alexander’s work has been rather stressful lately, Monday we both facilitate for a Bible study at church, Tuesday was  just one event on top of another, Wednesday night the church’s men’s basketball league started up so Alexander played his first game of the season, and Thursday I had a horrid migraine and helped with Good News Club in the afternoon (yes, God definitely got me through that event!). Plus all the other usual house stuff and what-not…. By Friday night we were ready for a break so we went out on a cheap date night — hello, coupons and gift cards!

We stopped for staple groceries at Walmart and Sam’s Club; I normally do the shopping by myself so it’s fun when Alexander comes along. Granted, Mr. Make-a-Plan-of-Attack-and-Cross-Off-the-List is still adjusting to my Let’s-Just-Wander-and-Look-and-Not-Buy tendencies. Hehe–we still enjoy our trips! Plus, at Sam’s he found a giant bag of Chex Mex to give a friend for Christmas…hubby was a little excited about that! From Sam’s we headed to Qdoba where we used Alexander’s birthday coupon (buy one, get one) for a scrumptious supper — steak nachos for hubby and a veggie burrito in a bowl for me. Alexander made his meal last until lunch the next day. Mine made it home but — let’s be honest — I finished it that evening….

Qdoba burrito in bowl Alexander and his nachos

Next stop was Menards for boot trays. We actually had rebate money to spend, which basically acts as a gift card. Score! And, of course, we can’t go to Menards without walking through the Christmas aisle. That’s pretty much become tradition already.

Christmas trees at Menards

And we found this little gem for one of Alexander’s Star-Wars-loving friends who isn’t planning on decorating for Christmas this year.

Star Wars Christmas decor

After Menards we hit the mall because we have gift cards to a few stores there as well. (Yes, we really, really like our cheap date nights! We call it “frugal.” 😉 ) We went exploring in Target (I always like to check out the $1-$3 deals at the door!) and ended up skimming through the racks of clearance clothes, which we normally don’t do. Well…God had something special in mind. We found two things for me to try — a button-up denim dress and an “Adventure Begins” t-shirt.

The “Adventure Begins” t-shirt probably needs no explanation if you’ve read the title of this blog. As for the dress…it’s not something I normally would have grabbed to try on because it’s just not a style that I’ve ever worn before. But I thought it was really cute, and it’s a style that I’ve seen before and liked, so…yeah. I tried it on, ended up really liking it, taking it home, and rummaging through my drawers to come up with an outfit to wear to church the next day. Alexander can vouch that I was really, really, REALLY excited about my new dress. Hehe… proof that I do occasionally wear something other than jeans and t-shirts!

adventure begins shirt new denim dress

The past weekend was wonderfully relaxing with just church, Sunday school, and projects around the house. We did get literally dumped on with snow Sunday night and Monday…after the weather forecast called for “<1 inch”! Ha!We probably had at least a foot and it fell in such giant, gorgeous flakes! Zip and I went for a run on Monday, pretty much at the end of the storm, and I discovered that breaking trail through snow in off-road areas is kind of exhausting. Yet beautiful. And magical. And silent. And incredible. Winter is still one of my favorite seasons in which to run…. Zip loves it too; as soon as we arrived back home he was burrowing through the snow with nothing but his tail and rump poking out! Silly pup….

Snow-covered Zip Zip burrowing in the snow

Well, this post is probably long enough for now, and hopefully it’s brought everybody up to speed on the most recent Robinson adventures! I do have a final quote I read this morning that I’d like to share with you all…maybe it will touch/challenge your hearts as well:

Clearly, the early Christians considered Jesus to be not just their Savior but also their Lord. He was the atmosphere in which they lived, worked, prayed, suffered, and loved. ~Ann Spangler, Immanuel: A Daily Guide to Reclaiming Christmas

Until next time!

Questions for you….

1. Do you celebrate Advent? If so, what tools/books/calendars do you use?

2. Is Christ the atmosphere in which you live?

This has been a challenging thought for me….I’d like to say yes, but I know that’d be somewhat of a lie because areas of my life exist which I must continually hand over to the authority of Christ. I keep getting this mental image of walking around in a atmospheric bubble of Christ…like the vibrant, living, teeming earth in its atmosphere versus the stark, dead, cold moon with no atmosphere. I know which one I desire to be… Dear Lord, please help me to glow and grow and thrive in Your continual covering and presence!

Profile, deep snow

A Christmas Tree Story

It’s starting to snow outside — a very fine, light, dusty snow. We haven’t had much snow here yet this year, so every little bit we get is a treasure. Fall here in Casper was long and gorgeous, but now the colder temperatures have hit and the weather is getting a little more “Christmassy.”

Zip and I enjoying the first snow

We decorated for Christmas just this last weekend, after Thanksgiving. Friends and family have blessed us with an abundance of Christmas decorations, so our home is quite festive. And God blessed us with a Christmas tree, which is a story worth sharing….

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Daily Writes on To Touch the Stars

I need to start writing more regularly, so at least some of my daily writing journals will be posted on my other blog, “To Touch the Stars.” If you’re interested in the rambling brain of a writer, please feel free to go take a look! For now, those entries will stay on my “writing” blog; I don’t know if I may at some point combine the two.

https://totouchthestars.wordpress.com/2016/11/01/daily-write-1/

Weekends in the Wilderness

When Alexander and I first started developing a “more-than-just-friends” relationship, we quickly discovered that we shared a passion for camping and hiking in God’s great outdoors, especially in the Rocky Mountains. As we progressed in our long-distance relationship, many of our days together were spent on some sort of hiking adventure — last May we visited one of his friends and explored near the Tetons, in the summer we meandered amongst wildflowers and camped out for the Needtobreathe concert at Red Rocks in Colorado, that fall I took him up to a lake in the forests near my college, in November he proposed after a short hike in his Michigan woods, and this May our honeymoon road trip to the Oregon coast involved numerous outdoor adventures in all different sorts of country.

Moving into marriage, we hoped that we’d be one of those couples always off on another camping adventure. Our home in Casper, Wyoming, locates us near enough to plenty of mountains for weekend getaways, or so we rationalized. But I don’t know if either of us really thought our grand dream of frequent camping and hiking would ever come true. I was certainly hesitant to think so.

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Simply Run

Apparently it’s going to take a while for me to get into a good routine of posting on a regular basis. So much has already happened since I last blogged, and I’m not sure where to begin. Beautiful drives, hikes, the new home, exercise, food….

So I guess I’ll start with something that’s been on my heart a lot lately, and that I’ve wanted to blog about for several months.

Storm over mountains; view after run Continue reading

Off on Another Adventure…

It’s been over a year since I wrote on this blog. Not counting the quick post with the article about my publication, I haven’t posted anything really personal or descriptive or friendly or interesting….

Flowers and running shoes

To be honest, the last year has been a whirlwind. I certainly would have loved to keep up on my blog, but it took a backseat to school, relationships, and life in general. I was working through my fifth and final year of college, seeing a phenomenal young man, being very active with friends on campus, taking care of my new dog, running around Dillon, working on the publication of my book, etc.

And it’s been an absolutely wonderful year in which God has not ceased to amaze me.

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