Tag Archive for: christmas

Of Family: Fears and Failures

You may argue with me, but my family is the best. My parents have always been consistently faithful to each other, to us as role models and to their commitment to lead a Godly life.


Matlach Family Thanksgiving 2012-Fun
However, we aren’t without our mistakes. And I’m not without my regrets as to how I’ve treated them, what I’ve said  or my crappy attitudes when they don’t do what I want them to do.


Matlach Family
Each time we all get together, I tell myself that I’m going to be mature, I’m going to respond with grace and humility and I’ll give to them generously.

But I don’t. I act like a bratty 8 year old. I fail terribly. I get crabby. I demand my way. I get ticked off, retreat to my closet, eat chocolate and cry. And pet the cat(s). Thank God for cats. Seriously.


Matlach Family Thanksgiving 2012-Siblings
Then, I crawl back to the party I’ve offended and ask for forgiveness. It’s the same dooloop over and over again. I feel hopeless that I’ll ever really change. And you’d think I’d learn.


Arrested Xmas-Rebekah, Side
After all, I’m old enough to know better, I’m a mother in waiting, supposedly a “professional” and a wife of 12 years. But 8-year-old-Becky rears her ugly head time after time after time after time…


I’m so thankful for the Creator of the universe and for His forgiveness. Otherwise, I may end up seriously hopeless-never leaving my closet, nutritionally destitute from my steady chocolate diet and perhaps even rejected by my cats due to stinkyness.

But in Him I find hope that I can and I will change-with His help.

“If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you. I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.” Psalm 130:3-5

Like me, you may have difficulties with the people you love the most. My intention with my vulnerability is to encourage you out of the stinky, chocolate-laden closet while in pursuit of His cleansing forgiveness.

Don’t give up hope. In Him there is hope!




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The 2013 Christmas Card Reveal

While the majority of humans ramp up for their annual family Christmas photo with matching wardrobes (including coordinating hats and gloves), perfectly manicured outdoor scenes complete with snow, and fussy–but bribed children…Biceps and I decidedly go a little different route. (Go here to see the last 12 years of our Christmas Card Photo weirdness. You know you want to.) 

Typically, our Christmas card photo preparation begins at a thrift store buying things I’m embarrassed to purchase. I then move on to my bag of props and costumes found on the floor of my guest bedroom closet. Lots of laughing is involved. And lastly, I’m usually at Lowe’s or Home Depot loading up stacks of lumber, paint cans or pieces of sheetrock–for those final touches.

I’ve never looked pretty in these photos. I’ve never thought, “Wow, Crossfit really pays off” as I edit, print and crop the final Christmas photo choice.

Instead, Biceps and I could be overheard saying such things as, “Yeah, you look really terrible in this one. That’s the one!”, or “Oh, your face looks super creepy in that one. Perfect!”. We enjoy the hideousness that we can conjure up in one single photo.

So, without further delay….here is our 2013 Christmas Card Photo Reveal!


2013-Xmas Final Photo-Cropped
A few fun facts about this photo:
1. Yes, that is an Atari system. But it’s a brand new “wireless” one that we taped mic cords onto to make it look vintage.
2. I am wearing a “retainer” made from a paperclip.
3. The Jesus paint-by-numbers was done by Grandma Greiman and hangs in our guest bedroom.
4. The books behind my head are the complete set of “Anne of Green Gables”.
5. I do own the rainbow belt and wear it often.
6. The squirrel and slinky deer are ours and they do decorate our house presently.
7. The paneling is not. It was a Lowe’s purchase, propped against our breakfast nook wall.
8. My baby bump is showing and there was nothing I could do about it.

I hope you’ve enjoyed yet another year of weirdness. And, if you feel like you’ve been missing out on the other Christmas weirdness-which you most certainly have-check out the rest of our Christmas Card Photos. Enjoy.

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Christmas is over-what’s next on the list?

Every year, around August, I start thinking about and planning for Christmas. Biceps and I begin discussing that year’s Christmas photo  and I begin gathering costuming and necessary accoutrements.


And, I have a theory about Christmas:

Lists rule, disorganization drools.


List for 2012 Christmas Card Photo:

1. Angel Wings
2. Large Tighty-Whities
3. My “dress”-a white sheet
4. Halo
5. Red Jeans
6. Cape
7. Devil Horns
8. Triton

Totally normal Christmas Photo shoot list for most families, I assume.


And sometime after Thanksgiving, I start scheming for Bicep’s birthday-(also known as my “pre-Christmas”), because he’s a Christmas Eve baby.

List for Bicep’s Birthday:

1. Egg pancakes for Birthday breakfast (Greiman tradition)
2. Some sort of weaponry present
3. Some sort of clothing item present that he will probably return
4. Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting with chocolate ice cream (plus more chocolate options, just in case)
5. Back-up Chocolate


Now, if you know anything about Biceps and I-you know that we are frugal. Christmas is budgeted throughout the year, with a little set aside each month. That way, when present making (or for this year-present buying) comes around, we don’t go into a sticker-shock-induced-coma.


Usual List for homemade presents:

1. 95 Ripe Bananas (boy, do the cashier’s give us a weird look)
2. 8 Bags Pretzel Rods
3. 4 Packages Almond Bark
4. 5 Bags Flour
5. 5 Bags Sugar
6. 3 Jars Molasses
7. 2 Bags Peppermint Candy
8. Etc….


And then there’s the Thank You Note List for Gifts Received (past, present and future):

1. Golden Toilet Lighter from Daniel
2. Self-Adhesive Mustache Pack from Christy
3. Portrait of a Sheriff from Beau
4. Inappropriately Shaped Pine Cone Ornament from Carisa
5. Pooping Penguin from Justin
6. 1966 Ford Mustang from Biceps


But now, the carefully planned out lists have been fulfilled and thrown away. The presents have been unwrapped, the meals have been eaten and the house is silent.

And, it’s time to put all the Christmas cheer back in its appropriate box, wrap it up in tissue paper and store it-once more-up in the attic, until next Christmas.

And I am left with a “Christmas-less” house-until next August when the planning begins again. I don’t have a list anymore. It’s a little disconcerting.

What’s next on your list?

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3 Weeks Until Christmas

Confession time: Christmas is my absolute, unequivocally, most favorite time of year. I start the Christmas Carols on Thanksgiving day and don’t stop until well into January. I decorate the day after Thanksgiving and love creating new themes each year for the house. My station is tuned to 94.1, which in Tulsa is “all Christmas-all the time”.

And one of my favorite things to do this time of year is to create a bizarre Christmas photo with my best friend and husband.

Here are a few from Christmas past:


Ah, yes. The ’80’s were a good decade. The hair, the high waisted swimsuits, the neon colors, the immovable cobra hair. Could it get any better than that?


Our house blew up. Seriously. Why not wish our friends and family Merry Christmas with a picture of total devastation?


Bananas in hammocks. ‘Nuff said.

If your appetite is now whetted and you aren’t satisfied with just three lovely Christmas Card pictures-don’t worry. There’s more where this came from. Including litter boxes, cats, missionaries, glamour shots and more.

We’ve been doing this since our first year of marriage in 2001 and we just finished this year’s beauty. I wish I could share 2012’s masterpiece with you now, but I must wait until all recipients on my long list have received their cards first.

Let’s just say, it’s pretty awesome.

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