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gift ideas

I am an avid fan of Twitter. As my pastor, Scott Williams, says, “Twitter is like a river.” Basically, he means that you don’t have to try to read every tweet by every person you follow, but just catch some of the info as it flows by.

Yesterday, I noticed a tweet posted by Promise Tangeman, a very cool chick who designs, photographs, and creates awesome art. She posted about giving gifts this season that give back. Today, I headed over to her blog and checked out her list. I thought it was pretty great, so I thought I’d share it here with you:

Promise Tangeman’s Christmas Gift Guide 2010!! 10 Gifts That Give Back

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finer with age

Today is the first day of the last month in my twenties. Not to be too dramatic about it, but–never mind, let’s just be dramatic about this! It’s my last month in my twenties!!! I am so excited about this!

Yep, you read that right. I am thrilled to be on the cusp of turning thirty. See, I have this theory about aging. Let’s take a moment to think about all the beautiful, successful female celebrities of today. {Yes, I am basing my theory on celebrities. Yes, I realize the shallowness of this.} The majority of my “favorite” female celebs are all in their thirties or older. And what’s more, many of them have been around for awhile, and it is my opinion that they have only improved with age. {Some of my faves: Kate Hudson, Rachel McAdams, Gwen Stefani, Halle Berry, Jennifer Aniston, Demi Moore, Sarah Jessica Parker…}

Okay, okay…so they have access to the finest physical trainers, dietitians, dermatologists, etc.–not to mention, ahem, plastic surgeons. Let’s just ignore those facts and let me live in my happy little world, where turning thirty means that I will become more toned, taut, and beautiful; my career will skyrocket; and I will marry a hot younger man–or be fabulously single.

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{this is me, today}

Ahhh, turning thirty looks pretty sweet to me. Bring it on, December 31, 2010! Happy birth month to me!

~abi~

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AlexDecember 1, 2010 - 6:38 pm

Hahahaha I laughed through this whole post because it's just so cute :). I must agree with you though, all of my favorite celebrities are 30s up. Happy last month of your 20s!

Scott WilliamsDecember 2, 2010 - 5:47 am

Nice post… Thirty is the new (you know the saying).

Cool pics… Both are cool but diggin' the one on the right.

Keep doing what you do, believing in yourself, stay focussed and your career is going to skyrocket. :)

RobinDecember 2, 2010 - 3:46 pm

Oh, girl. You are awesome at any age!! And believe me, it only gets better! Keep being His light and love. (And I'm still believing your man is out there being prepared for YOU right now!) Love you.

Steve RDecember 8, 2010 - 4:49 pm

Glad you're looking forward to ur 30's. They have been the best years of my life so far (3 1/2 years in).

You joked about your career, personal life taking off, etc., but you might be surprised…alot of great things happen after 30. And being eager to see what lies in store is a great way to enter the coming decade.

Best wishes for an extraordinary year!

cirlce of life, love, family

Last week, I left Oklahoma around 1:00pm to make the oh-so-familiar drive up I35 to Iowa. I have driven that route so many times in my life that I could navigate it in my sleep. And sometimes I do. ;)

Thursday was Thanksgiving Day, and it dawned cold and clear in Iowa. My mom’s side of the family gathered at a local church, as we have been doing the past several years…ever since we outgrew my grandparents’ farm house. We always form a {giant} circle before we eat. We count how many are there, and then we pray. It is a sweet, sweet tradition, and I know every single one of my relatives would agree in saying that The Circle is a special place with a special feeling of love and safety and family.

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{my grandparents are on the left above}

This year there were fifty-five people in The Circle. I believe a few more may have come in later. This represents only my mom’s parents’ direct descendants. Just them, their ten children, their grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Oh, and the fifty-five people there weren’t even a full showing. We’re a large family.

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Of course, after we pray, we eat.

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{My aunt Cindy baked this delicious pie! I ate a piece before I even fixed a plate of food. Because that’s how I roll. And that’s why I roll…}

Before and after the meal, there are always multiple games of Rook going on around the room. My grandpa is better at Rook than your grandpa. My nine year old cousin is better at Rook than you are.

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After the meal, I conducted an impromptu engagement session for my sweet cousin Anna and her fiance Michael. They braved the cold and totally rocked it for our quick shoot. It doesn’t hurt that they are adorable and completely and happily in love.

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To say that I had a wonderful Thanksgiving would be an understatement. I missed my dad’s side of the family, because I had to get back for a wedding here on Saturday. But I did stop and see my grandma {dad’s mom} on my way out of town, and she gave me a bag filled with homemade cookies and zucchini bread, to enjoy on the drive home. I love my family!!!

Hope you have all recovered from the holiday weekend. :)

~abi~

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jaredwanzerphotographyNovember 30, 2010 - 6:06 pm

I really like Michaels coat I think I want one ha.
Great pictures!

Kelly BeaneDecember 1, 2010 - 3:03 am

Sweet times and photos!

CaseyDecember 1, 2010 - 4:41 am

Love The Circle! What a sweet family you have!

AnonymousDecember 1, 2010 - 8:00 pm

I feel honored that my pie made your blog! cindy

Best Military storiesOctober 24, 2011 - 5:32 am

Its really great to spend the time with our dear ones. The images are really good.

Oklahoma has coolness to offer

So, if you are looking for a good read this week, I’ve got a great recommendation for you. Head over to one of my favorite blogs, Jeremy & Kathleen, and check out Kathleen’s riveting tale of their Everest Base Camp Trek.

Picture 1

Kathleen is an excellent writer and illustrator. She is living, blogging proof that Oklahoma is capable of producing some of the coolest people on this planet! I am warning you now, her blog is addictive!

~abi~

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And KathleenNovember 29, 2010 - 6:24 pm

Aw, shucks! Thanks, Abi!

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.

I am thankful that I was born into a family who are strong believers.  My parents came to Christ before I was born.  Their lives were completely transformed by God.  Faith has always come easily for me, because it has always been a part of my life.  I don’t know who or where I would be without the spiritual foundation my parents formed for me.

I cannot imagine my life without my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  The freedom, joy, and peace I experience through my relationship with Him is so amazing.  I would be a complete and utter dismal mess and failure without God.

I am thankful for my wonderful family, immediate and extended.  My grandparents on each side are a supreme example of true love and dedication to their spouses, of hard work, commitment, and good character.  My aunts and uncles and cousins constantly cushion me with love and support and camaraderie.

My parents are both the hardest working individuals I know.  My dad has always worked hard to support his family.  He is constantly repairing things for us, whether it be around the house or on our vehicles.  My mom always puts her family first, quick to sacrifice her own wants or needs or desires in order to give us more.  My brother Abe is funny and gifted.  He is passionate about his beliefs and has the most tender heart of anyone I know.  My sister Mandi is the definition of a survivor.  She has battled through some crazy circumstances and has kept her head held high when most others would have thrown in the towel.  My sister Amber is wise and pure and good.  She is the perfect one. :)  She is an example to me in every aspect of life.  My brother Jack was hilarious and brave and intelligent.  He loved his wife with a love more amazing than I have ever witnessed elsewhere.  My sis in law Ashley is broken yet strong.  She is weathering the loss of her soul mate, her true love.  She brought so much happiness into Jack’s life, and she continues to bring joy to my family.  My niece Laila has influenced me to be a better person.  She has so much depth to her character.  When you look in her eyes, you can see her past conflicts overcome by her inner strength.  My nephew DJ is so intuitive and such an understanding individual.  When he was born, he changed our family in such a positive way, as only a first grandchild/nephew/niece can.  My nephew Jace is so smart and funny and has all the ingredients to be hugely successful at whatever he chooses to do in life.  He has a sensitive and caring heart for others.  My nephew Daxon is the wild man who is always guaranteed to make us all laugh.  His spirit is unbreakable, which is awesome.

I am thankful for my church family.  For Scott and Anna for believing in me always, more than I even believe in myself.  For Deidra, who always genuinely wants to listen to what is going on in my life and as a bonus always has great advice for me.  For Robert, whose spiritual insight and wisdom he offers freely and humbly.  For Vince, who calls me Miss America and makes me laugh.  For Kendra, who truly shows her appreciation for me.   And for all the other lovely LC staffers who make N-Dub the best place ever! :)

I am so thankful and amazed by my fabulous lifegroup. The faith and love and support and growth demonstrated by this group of people just astounds me and encourages me. You are all such a blessing to me! I will have to do a more in depth post on this in the future!

I am forever thankful for all of the beautiful souls who I am fortunate enough to call my close friends. This also will be a future post, or more likely several posts. There are so many wonderful people who have impacted my life!

Happy Thanksgiving Day!!!

~abi~

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