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Thanksgiving: Days 26-28

December 10, 2011

Day 26: Type

This deserves an entire essay. I adore type. It’s a romantic love; I’m nostalgic for a place I’ve  never been, and I long so deeply to learn how to carve type, to press it and clean it and shelve it and cast it and mold it and love it the way they used to. We still love it, but it’s a little farther away now, and you can’t hold digital type in your hands. It’s an at once serene and exciting thing, though, that type is. It feels peaceful and a little bit like home to look at a really grounded baseline and look at the adjacent curve of the capital “O” descending ever-so-slightly beneath it and know that both harmony and trickery lie in that relationship. It’s so captivating to read about the outfitting of European underground systems with beautifully contemporary Helvetica and Univers, while Paris stubbornly refused such modernization and the adoption of something so un-Parisian. Type has life and breath and beauty, and a truly good face has the power to transform the world around it. Perhaps the most wonderful thing about it is that I know so little yet; it’s a whole world that I could spend my life getting to know, and I suspect the joy of it would never run out. I’m thankful for type. I’m thankful for the great designers that made it so ubiquitous today. I’m thankful for diversity and accessibility (though let’s not have too much of it), and I’m thankful for everyone from Erik Spiekermann to Kenneth Pybus who pass along their love for type to people like me.

Beautiful midcentury (maybe? I’m not great at identification) type on a building in Pennsylvania

THIS IS WHY THEY CALL THEM ROMANS!! I saw this IN ROME. I just about died. It’s beautiful. So intricate, such delicate stroke width variation, such austere serifs; these were Eric Gill’s ancestors in tradition. Wow. Also…I’m a dork. No question about it.

Day 27: My Birthday!

November 27th was my 21st birthday and boy was it a great one. We got home pretty late from our Thanksgiving trip, but I got a great night of sleep and the day was marvelous. My birthday took three days (not all day, but it was spread out over three) and they were all absolutely lovely. On my actual birthday, I took Zack out to brunch. I want to start a tradition of doing something intentionally kind and gracious for someone else on our birthdays; it’s easy to get sucked into being self-centered on that particular day, and it felt really good to give thanks for him and make him feel special that morning. It was an incredible few hours. We talked about God’s call for peace in our lives, what that meant for us as citizens of a war-focused nation, what the Bible says about it all, and how we felt about our country knowing that its core values are often opposed to what we believe. I love hearing his heart, and it’s so comforting and so assuring to know that we both have the same convictions about those things. It was such a great talk.

Zack looked absolutely dashing for brunch.

The next day, I got dressed up for a surprise night out. I met him downstairs, where he presented me with four bars of my absolute favorite chocolate, Green & Black’s, in four different varieties, including ginger, “because I know how much you like gingers.” Ha. That guy. Then, he led me to Gee’s, a gorgeous restaurant I’ve been eyeing the whole semester. It was fancy and amazing and we had it for lunch the next day too. Wow. We mostly spent the meal staring at each other adoringly and talking about how much we loved each other. Sorry, waitress…I’m sure that was uncomfortable for you. Oh well. After that, we walked to The House in city centre where Blaine and Caroline were waiting to surprise me! It was an incredibly happy moment because I happen to love both of them a lot. We had drinks at The House, which is my all-time favorite fancy-pants gathering place in Oxford, and then walked home. It was an amazing night, and I was just glowing happy the whole time. Zack is possibly the best person in the world :).

Us before dinner. I was pretty excited :)

Gee’s was beautiful. The dining room is in what was probably an old greenhouse, so it’s completely glass and the chandeliers and candles make it glow. It’s dreamy and so delightful, and the food was amazing.

Caroline looking beautiful at The House. I can’t believe they surprised me there; it was so fun.

The guys looking dapper. Zack’s stache was definitely the star that night.

The next day, I got to go to Alpha, which is a huge blessing every week, and then when I got home, Zack gave me a beautiful letter in which he told me beautiful things and promised me a beautiful future. It was incredibly sweet, and the final part of my birthday present from him. I am so blessed by him every single day.

So, I’m thankful that I’ve gotten to spend 21 years with my amazing family, and especially thankful that I’ve gotten to share the last 22 months with Zack. Happy birthday to me indeed.

Day 28: Christmas

December 2, there was the annual Christmas lighting ceremony in Oxford, complete with parade and Christmas booths selling delicious Christmasy things and local bands performing and children carrying homemade lanterns and just generally a lot of joy everywhere. Zack bought two tickets to the carousel, which was one of my favorite Oxford moments all semester. I adore carousels. They’re delightful and whimsical and childlike and fancy, all at the same time. We walked around and soaked up the Christmas spirit and got excited to celebrate Jesus. Advent at St. Aldate’s has been wonderful, and I’m so excited for the carol service next Sunday. Christ is coming and I’m excited. He came, and that’s what we celebrate, but He’s also coming, and that’s where our hope is; Christmas means both to me. I’m thankful for this season of anticipation and celebration of His love for us.

No matter how old I am, I will always love carousels.
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