Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas Fun

Chrismas day was very busy for me, but full of family!

Went to church with my family...when not an stage doing the music (4 of my talented family members), we took up a whole pew.

It was great to see everyone at Grandma O'Brians...the food was delicous!

Heath called my parents house and we exchanged our gifts with him on speaker phone.
The Miller family Christmas also included Nana and Gramps Thill. Dinner was great and we all were showered with many great gifts.

The evening was spent with the family at Grandma Rices, again great to see everyone...the food looked and smelled delicous, but I had been eating all day!

It was good to talk with Heath. But seemed so unfair that I be able to see everyone and he had to hang out alone. This was the hardest part for me, it jsut didn't feel right. I miss him like I never thought I could. Time please fly quickly!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas Eve

So last year my family came out to California, only they got stranded in Chicago for 3 days so spent Christmas there. This year we repeated what they did last year and will probably continue as a family tradition. The whole family runs into Meijer and has to shop for a $10 dirty santa gift all at the same time. We run home wrap them and then draw numbers and take turns choosing a gift or stealing an alreay opened gift.

Dad got two insulated mugs (one with yellow snow in it)
Mom got a miniture cooler
Amy got a glow in the dark vollyball
Russ got 3 goldfish in a large jar (this was my gift)
I got a fondue set and a Bee Gees CD
Rachel got condiments and a shirt that says "Practice safe lunch...use condiments"
Chase got a recorder(like a wooden flute) with a music book

Friday, December 23, 2005


Today I had lunch today with Grandma O'Brien, Auntie Sue and Linda (Ma) It was so much fun. I love spending time with them!

I started and finished my Christmas shopping in no time. It felt so good to get it all done so quickly.

Tonight I babysat Elijah so Jen and Brian could get some shopping done. Whenever he sees me he sings "Hoppy-Bah-day" so when I was getting him ready for bed we read a book about the Christmas story and at the end the story turned into the song "Away in a Manger". So I sang it to him and then asked him to sing so he sang "Hoppy-Bah-day". It was the cutest thing so I told him on Christmas we celebrate baby Jesus birthday, so we sang "Hoppy-Bah-day Je" over and over. He is so much fun!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Christmas thoughts

I slept in late today…I must still be on CA time plus vacation. I spent what seems like forever on the phone today going from the house to cell phone back and forth.

We went to Mars Hill tonight for the service, (they do it during the week to free up Christmas weekend so people can just relax with their family,) and the press gives them grief. Can you believe it? Just because the 25th of December is when our culture chooses to celebrate the birth of Jesus doesn’t mean that we can’t/don't celebrate this historical event while savoring the time to connect with family and the beautiful traditions that foster this time. In my opinion adding another “event” to an already full day will take away from time to relax with and visit all families.

Don’t get me wrong it will be nice to worship with my childhood-home church Sunday am, but I will admit that my time with my family, my grandparents, Heath’s mom’s family, and Heath’s dad’s family all in one day is a lot to fit in, and my time with each group will be spread thin.

At least Monday will be with my dad’s side of the family. Then Tuesday-Thursday my immediate family will be taking a surprise trip to create memories. That will be good quality time! I sure will miss having Heath a part of it! This has been hard to not have him here!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

More Encouraging Relationships

I had a wonderful lunch with Tracy...I am so blessed in the whole friendship area of my life! Talking with her and realizing we have a lot of the same goals for the next few months made me realize I really want to be better at keeping in touch when I go back in January.

The afternoon was spent with the Raymonds. Again, more wonderful people in my life that I love being able to pick right up where we left off but would love to keep in touch with better. I am always encouraged and feel understood when I am with them. The girls are growing up so fast and are so talented it is great to catch up with what they are doing these days.

Day to Play

Today was such a great day to just hang out. Jen and Elijah spent the night last night. It felt like we were in college again, only this time we stayed up talking until 3am and I think our usual was 4am…we must be getting old. It was great to catch up, but then a rough day to chase a toddler around on only a couple hours of sleep. He sure is turning into a little man! And he is so smart, he can say octopus and uses some sign language and it is like he knows exactly what we are talking about all the time. Chase took him out on the tractor and mommy pulled him in the sled. He gave me tons of hugs today also…. I am still catching up! It was wonderful to share the day with the amazing super mom and continue to share life with her.

This evening I went over to Holly’s to hang out, I left very encouraged. It is so nice to have friends that really know and love you and time and distance don’t mean anything. Catching up and picking up where you left off is so easy.

We were talking about being unsettled and the synicism in some of our circles and how that attitude can be so discouraging and frustrating when trying to grow and in seeking out how to best live out God's love. She was so encouraging when she said, Rhianon I think you are someone who is at peace, full of love, and have an intimate relationship with God. Just that conversation helped me realize how much I need to work on and fall short of who I would like to be. I can't let frustration keep me in the same place. I desire more from this life! I desire more from myself.

Monday, December 19, 2005

My birthday top 10

10. Chase woke me up singing (I fell back asleep and slept in late)
9. Relaxing was on the agenda for most of the day
8. Heath called and sang to me and made me laugh and cry (good tears)
7. Nana and Gramps gave me great big hugs
6. Rachel made me mom’s yummy pot roast for dinner
5. I had some delicious sangria and cheesecake
4. Friends and family came over and showered me with hugs, cards and gifts. (thank you all!)
3. I got to see the newest parents to be: Sean and Kelly with her cute belly
2. Baby Elijah sang “Hopp-ee Bah-day“ and gave me hugs and kisses
1. Heath sent me a brand new amazing wet suit! And called me a 2nd time to hear about it!

My surprise ....... The average surf stance....... My surf victory stance

Rachel and Chase had fun blowing up my wet suit and then dancing around with it. What a fun gift! I can't wait to actually use if for what it is supposed to be used for! The waves are calling my name! (Not right now with its 15-20 feet waves...yikes!)

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Home for Christmas

Stayed up packing and cleaning all night long

Safe, uneventful flight to Chicago

Slept the whole flight and drive home

Lots of snow here…it is so pretty

So so cold…ears are going to fall off!

Arrived just in time for the RBC Christmas cantata...

Russ directed it, mom and Amy sang in the choir, Chase and Russ played guitar. It was beautiful and so good to be back where there are lots of people that know and love me! I am catching up on the past 3 months of hugs…man have I needed them!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Update from the HEATH Man

(Heath sent this for me to post)

Well it has been some time sense I have talked with a lot of people/family, you know. So here is an update of what’s been going on with me here in Kuwait. Each day passing by with an almost normal routine just like back in the states, but you know each day has it wrenches too.

Well, my contact with my wife is an ever-changing schedule, some days I will be able to talk with her for an hour and other days only 5 minutes. Normally on Sundays I will be able to talk with her more, it is my only day off each week. If it was up to me, I would like to work each day so time would go by fast. Just can’t wait to see my wife again.

I tell you what, when you are away from you best friend\ spouse you have this new longing set in your heart that has a beat of it own. At times it is a low beating feeling and others it is a load percussion sound that is felt in my chest and the look a pond my face. Like my wife said one time or another, I just don’t feel whole without you by my side. These last three months here I have truly learned what those words that Steve Welch used on the day of our wedding “two hearts coming together to make one“. Some times I feel that I am walking around here without half my body, not knowing how to act, react, interact, and even relate with others without Rhianon by my side. It is kind of hard for me to become friends with other people, it feels that I am cheating them cause they are only getting to know me and not my better half. That is where all the bragging comes into play; I like doing this.

I have been so proud of my wife; she has been taking care of everything back on the home front. Also I am so thankful for my sister Rachel for being there, helping a ton and just being a great friend & sister to my wife during this time of separation. I could never thank her enough!

In short I can’t wait to be that husband physically back by my wife’s side.

Well, with my time off after work or on Sundays I do keep myself busy. One big thing is that I have been training with two other people on running. We are working up to a half marathon slowly, it has been fun. I never though I would say that running is fun but for the time it is. We are running about 20-25 miles a week, broken up, with Sundays our long run day. Right now on our long days we are up to 8 miles and by the end of February we will be running 13.1 miles each Sunday. During the week, in-between running, I am lifting weights. My last 5k run was on Thanksgiving Day. I ran a 20:40, beating my last Halloween 5k by two minutes. The races, running with a few hundred people are fun. I had never done it before I came out here.

Oh just to let you know this is a very large base and everything I do is on base. We really never go off unless it is work related. I walk everywhere that I need to go each day: the chow hall, PX (General Store), small movie theater, barbershop, and the gym.

Not too much to look at around here, just a whole lot of sand. It has been cooling down here also, not as hot as it was when we first got here. It has been getting down to the 40’s at night and 70’s during the day. I guess we are coming up on the rainy season, that’s what everyone is saying. So much, do I wish, I could be spending this time back in MI with some snow on the ground. I will be missing Christmas with family, maybe next year.

Well for now, those are the main things that have been going on for me around here in the sand box. Miss you all!

Love Heath

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Holiday without Heath

I just talked to my adorable husband. Gosh, I love him so much!!!! We are almost half way done with this separation, and then it will all be down hill from here on out.

Right now I am just trying to figure out what to send him in his next package. Hey, if anyone wants to send him anything it only costs $7 to send a flat rate box. Lately it has been taking 1-1 and 1/2 weeks to deliver packages and less to deliver letters or cards. I am sure he would love to hear from you even if it is by email.

It will be so strange to go home for Christmas without Heath, I almost feel guilty when I get excited to go. It will be hard without him there. But I am so excited to see everyone!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

December Nights and More

This week was a busy work-week, with appointments and observations and meetings and my BTSA class and tons of work for that. So I still have not done much to my home in a while. Rachel has been very sweet in helping me out with some big projects around here, things that I have only been able to think about when I crash into bed after a long day wishing there were more hours in a day or that I could function on less sleep and somehow have more energy. So that has been a big help.

This weekend we had a lot of fun. Friday night I took her to the extremely crowded Pizza Port for dinner and realized when we left they were celebrating the 9th annual Strong Ale Festival. No wonder it was sooooo packed. I somehow ended up with a free t-shirt and didn’t even have anything to drink. We stopped by more of our great friends, Ben and Chara’s and made plans for Saturday...

What a great, fun filled day. First we went to REI’s outdoor used items sale and found excellent deals. We stood inline for an hour before they opened and went in and just grabbed everything in sight and then sorted it out, I got some great deals!

For lunch we had So Cal’s famous Wahoo’s and then headed south to Balboa Park for “December Nights.”

It was a fun filled day! Tons to see, all museums were free from 5-9 so we ran through all of them. My favorite was the photography of ethnic history or something like that. We then ended the night with a huge bag of Kettle Corn...Yum!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Catch Up

It has been a while for these past couple posts! My internet connect has been a little sketch and every time I go to post I am kicked of line.

Life has also been busy…as always…right?

Only it has been a great “busy” the past two weeks!

I had a wonderful week off of school (thanksgiving week). Rachel and I had a lot of bonding time and time with all of my wonderful friends out here. I think it was extremely needed for both of us to get out of the house and play and be around loving, funny, wonderful people. So, here’s the deal…

Saturday we had a wonderful Thanksgiving meal with the Doung family, I had the juiciest turkey I have ever had. I also got to hold baby Dominic and he sucked only his thumb for the first time, I guess he usually shoves his whole hand in his mouth. He was so cute, and so good, he slept in my arms…well…like a baby.

Sunday we had yummy enchiladas with Matt and Brooke. And decided this Thursday to check out the new home church they are going to.

Wednesday we went down to check out Lisa’s new place and walk around her cut little neighborhood grab burritos and Mexican Hot Chocolate. This week she came over to hang out. It is great to have friends you feel so comfortable to just chill with. You don’t have to talk if you don’t want to, or on the other hand you can talk about anything with; real life or fantasy/dream world, deep or useless facts, or simply your own quirks and you know you still will be good friends just the same.

Thursday, December 01, 2005


Happy thanksgiving …it was!

Now, the best thanksgiving would be one celebrating with everyone I love, but under the circumstances, I still had a fabulous Day/weekend. Missing Heath and family, I still was with people that I love and had a great time.

In honor of Heath I took the surfboard out and met the Fullers at the most amazing beach I have been to yet. Santa Onefree (?), just north of us. It was amazing company, amazing waves and amazing to watch the sunset on a surfboard. I felt like a true surfer. I caught a lot of waves and rode quite few a longer than I ever have, in fact longer than I could ever imagine. I now know why Heath loves it so much! The waves were setting up beautifully and one after another. I even rode one next to someone and steered away without falling off and kept going. That was…awesome! It was also a much more laid back, non-competitive beach. Made for a great confidence booster.

It was fun to all be out in the water together. Rachel was also tearing it up, I am so glad she tried again with easier waves. We are hoping to go more the next couple weeks before we head home for the holidays.

We then went out to Corona to have dinner with the Fullers. We ended up staying the night and spending Friday with them, their house-mates, and their family. Rachel and I got up Friday am, took a trip to Target for the essentials; toothbrush, underwear, and a new outfit for only $16. We had so much fun…

Do you know people that when you are around them you feel good? You feel…really special, cared about, interesting…even funny. That is how we felt around the Fullers they just exude love and compassion, it is always nice to be in their presence. And always sad to say goodbye to.