Monday, May 31, 2010

I'm thankful


We headed downtown this past Sunday after church to check out the Rose Festival. Actually, our main motivation was to see these American flags Ryan helped WWII vets set up this past week. He did this with the other people at work. 1,000 of them. Each one was to honor a different solider who died from Oregon. Obviously, there's more than just 1,000, but the vision of that many flags was sobering. In another display, there was bios set up for servicemen and woman killed in Iraqi Freedom. That's what hit home for me...seeing the faces.. reading how they were killed. Seeing that many were young, probably just starting a family back home. I'm thankful for the lives given. It's one thing to give your life for a friend, but quite another to give your life for a stranger. These men and women did just that. They gave the ultimate and for that I will be forever grateful.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Hopeful.


I'm home with a sick boy. I miss going to work on these days. It's nice to get out and I love my job. This is the first infection in a while that's not ear related (except for the cold we got from pro flying cross country--to be expected), so if we get the ears situated, I'm hoping the rest will come! Speaking of ears, we see a fabulous ENT next week. I am 95% sure tubes will follow during the next possible appointment. Hallelujah. At first I was really scared about my sweet baby going under, but I have a peace that this is the next step.

If that's not a little bit of hope for my mommy box, the sun should be starting to shine in a month. I know (I can't let myself go there), but at least 3 months of the most perfect, beautiful weather is coming for a little while. It's safe to say, we will not longer be inside at that point. We will have some glimmers in June, but it's coming in July. I feel like I'm counting down for my wedding! I'm praying for an awesome summer complete with my friend coming to visit, my parents coming, a fun long weekend trip to Boise, ID to visit Ry's oldest sis, and Ryan's bike race with his friend from Seattle to Portland (the wives and kiddos will possibly supporting along the way). We'll end the summer back with Ry going to 2 weeks of Army training and me back home. I'm hopeful.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Vacation Highlights.

We had a great vacation this year. It was great, relaxing, and a good re-grouping to move forward and grow together as a family.
Here are some highlights...

1. Our time with the SCers (as in South Carolinians) was great! Catching up with sweet friends and of course, my family is always refreshing. My family is so sweet to "pull out the red carpet" when we come home. I loved going to the beach, out to eat, a little shopping, and hanging out with my parents. I was blessed to be there 10 days. I leave always wishing for more time, but isn't that how home is suppose to be?






2. After a week there, Ryan and I headed to good 'ole Port Canaveral to board a big ship. We enjoyed relaxing time like this...

enjoying places like this...

but definitely missing this..

3. After our cruise we met one of my sisters and her kids and enjoyed 4 days and one water park worth of Disney. Ryan and I both enjoyed it just as much as Titus. He was def off scheduled but faired so so well. All you need to add to us is a silly goofy hat for Ryan and a sweet pin collection for me and we would be a "Disney family." (sidenote.. if you want to collect pins, that's totally cool, but does anyone understand what the whole trading stations are there... I just don't get it.. like you buy a pin and then return it for something else?).
My fav part was watching wild man have fun with awesome people in a really fun place. ...




Maybe if I start saving my pennies now, we'll be able to do it again before wild man turns 3 and we have to pay for him to get in!

Thanks for a great vacay. It was much needed and great to come back to a fresh start on life ready to tackle needed areas of growth!

miscellany monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

1. I never. I mean never, ever fill my Jeep's gas tank completely full of gas. I usually just put what I want to spend on gas that week and try to minimize my driving to fit. Doesn't really work a ton, but whatev. Oh SUV gas mileage..ugh. So I did yesterday, and guess what we found out. My gas tank is leaking gas. I am trying to see that actually God was protecting us from a potentially dangerous situation (fire hazard), but just waiting to see how much the fix with new brakes is not exactly the cherry on top I was hoping for!

2. The other day TItus was messing with a "no, no" and I told him to walk away. The shock came when he did and clapped for himself. He then proceeded to get close, walk away and clap again. He must have forgotten about that moment of victory yesterday at his grandma's house for dinner!

3. I have a climber on my hands. A cute one, but yeah....he keeps me hopping!

4, My husband has a fav dessert recipe and he begs me to make it a lot. I don't make it all the time, but I might if It was fat free! It's awful for you, but super easy and a crowd pleaser. Thanks Pioneer Woman for your Molten Chocolate Lava cake from Tasty Kitchen recommendation.


4 pieces (squares) Semi-sweet Baking Chocolate
½ cups Butter
1 cup Powdered Sugar
2 whole Eggs
2 whole Egg Yolks
6 Tablespoons Flour


Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Spray 4 custard cups with Pam and place on cookie sheet.
Microwave chocolate and butter in large bowl on high for about 1 minute, until butter is melted. whisk until chocolate is also melted.
Stir in sugar until well blended. Whisk in eggs and egg yolks. Stir in flour.
Divide between cups.
Bake 13-14 minutes until sides are firm and center is soft. Let stand 1 minute.

Invert cakes on dishes and top with whipped cream. (or icecream)


Monday, May 17, 2010

miscellany monday


Finally, Nap has arrived and it's time to update.. what better way than with MM @ lowercase letters.

1. Titus has been a piece.of.work lately. The little man has some o-p-i-n-i-o-n-s which is great, but whew... the hitting, grunting, and fussing has gotta go! Grace has been extended since he is fighting a cold.

2. I had a slight case of baby fever, which is safe to say..is GONE. Thankfully, my friends have(having soon) little ones I can love on (and at work). We are in a season of overall seeking so it's a good time to wait..as we seek!

3. I bought this total body cleanse from GNC (thanks to my husband as part of my mother's day gift) and well... I'm not sure it's even working. I mean.. how can I tell "i'm cleansed" besides the obvious. Geezzzz..

4. I'm thinking about starting graduate work in pastoral care to woman. I'm trying to be vvveeery sensitive to God's leading. Who knows. The thought of writing papers and possibly sitting in classes that are boring causes the struggle..as in if I'm away from my child this better be worth it. Actually, I think it would just require a few hrs a week away from wild man and the rest could be done online.

That's all! Have a great one!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

contentment

They say time makes things easier. I haven't really found that to be the case. The days before I leave to go back to OR I feel physically sick and paralyzed with sadness. I don't know what my deal is, but I feel doom each time it's time to go back. It's strange because we have some amazing friends and family there. It has nothing to do with not loving and being grateful for them. If I could transplant them here and stay, I would in a second. I would never want anyone to feel like I don't love them and it's why I don't like it there. Please hear me when I say, it has nothing to do with that...not for one second. I love my job and am sooo soo thankful for the house we get to rent. I even love the shopping there. Trader Joe's, Nordstrom Rack, and Ikea are there and not here.

I've prayed for contentment there and I can get by, but there is this longing that won't go away. I long to be closer to my family and in a place that I don't feel depressed 9 months out of the year. Is it the weather? Yes. Is it the distance? Yes. Is it that maybe God will be moving us elsewhere in a time frame I'm unsure of? Yes.

Is it just that Charleston is perfect and want to move to that exact spot? No it's not.

Something has to change though. I've prayed that either God moves us or move my heart. I often wonder if this is what God's will is. It's been 2 years and I'm still in the same boat. God HAS taken care of us.. provided jobs etc. Even just last week, God came through again and provided work for Ryan. I mean, the Israelites were in the wilderness and mighty long time, and I'm not sure they were exactly lovin' it. So here Ryan and I both are.. ready to seek hard, unsure of what this might require of us, but knowing something needs to change. Can you long hard for something and be content, or are we just missing God's best for us altogether? The answers we both don't have.

The plan of action?? I'm headed back and we are both ready to seek...


But godliness with contentment is great gain.
1 Timothy 6:6

Monday, May 10, 2010

Disney 411


You know those journals you start.. write two entries..and eventually get rid of because you feel like a failure. Oh you don't do that?? I guess it's just me. So in an effort to not lose some things that worked at Disney...it's coming on the blog! I'm hopefully we'll be taking regular trips there with our kiddos! A girl can dream right?! Here are the things that worked out really well...


1. Be organized and pack your bag the night before with everything, but perishable food..leave that in the fridge until the night before. Organization will prevent meltdowns and overwelmed parents. Do the extra work before to ensure less work in the moment.


2. Use Ziploc bags to stay organized at the park.. a bag for sunscreen, extra outfits, snack, diapers so you aren't digging through a million things with tons of strollers swirling by.


3. If your kids are young.. use your own stroller instead of renting one. It's $15 a day for a single and $30 a day for a double. They don't recline at all and are all plastic so def not comfy. This could be worth it if you have a 3-5 yr. old.


4. If your worried your awesome personal stroller will get stolen when you leave it in the stroller area when going to a show or ride.. bring a bike lock to lock it. It's simple and def worth it. Take your valuables with you in a back pack.


5. Use fast passes asap. We would get a fast pass immediately upon entering the park, hit shorter lines and show prior to it expiring. Once we could get another, we would. We didn't wait in line for more than 20 minutes and it was wonderful.


6. We adults rode at least one awesome roller coaster a day. They have ride share tickets. One parent will ride while the other waits with the kids, then you switch without waiting in line. It was fun to be able to do the big rides like Everest, Rock-n-roll roller coaster etc.


7. Shows are a great way to cool down and rest your legs. The Lion King show at Animal Kingdom is Broadway quality. The Playhouse Disney show is great for kids at Hollywood studios. There are so many wonderful shows...


8. If you have younger kids, get to the park as early as possible and go until early afternoon. Then, come back after naps and baths. Eat dinner and hit the park again until close. This way you don't have to re-sunscreen and your kids will be ready for bed upon walking into the hotel.


9. Stay on Disney at a resort there. Fortunately, there is a budget friendly resort for military families that is awesome, so we didn't feel the discouragement to our budget, but still stay either way. It's worth the convenience. Also, if you do stay at one (non-military) stay at one where the monorail runs through. The Polynesian looked AWESOME complete with luaus and character breakfast!


10. Enjoy the details amidst the hot and sweat. I am continually amazed at the details of Disney....and friendliness.


11. My sister learned this, but use the Babycare centers to nurse. They are wonderful and complete with AC. Who wants to nurse a baby under a cover in the heat? Not me! If you forget anything for your baby, you can buy it there.. diapers..wipes.. baby food, meds... whatever!


12. Expect your kids to get overtired and off schedule. Roll with the punches and adjust.


13. When taking a bus anywhere, bring a bag you can put all your under stroller stuff in. This will ensure marital bliss. Your stroller will have to be folded up when riding the bus.


14. If you're on a budget, eat breakfast in the room, pack lunches (lunchables worked really well for Titus) and then eat dinner out. All in all we were able to eat for around $30 a day (minus eating in Epcot's Germany) On Mainstreet at Magic Kingdom there was an awesome ice cream shop called the Plaza. Get the Plaza there.... it's delish and great to eat and watch the parade with a huge ice cream sundae you didn't break the bank on!
Also.. food wise.. pack lots of good snacks, water all in a cooler that fits under your stroller. Minimize what will be in your hands or on your back asap.


15. Bring a fan that can clip on your stroller if you have a young child. This will help in the hot seasons.


16. If you have a nice camera.. bring a small camera bag you can keep on you and get to at all times!


17. Get a small hot tips for Disney to keep on you. This will help you know where to avoid crowds, long lines etc.


18. If you have an ipod, you can get a Disney app to tell you where characters are and short lines.


19. Bring a Disney Fairy with you for your well behaved children each night. Park stores are so expensive, it's a great idea my sis used to reward her little girl. Ella got fun Disney things each night that were bought on sale not at Disney!


20. Take lots of pictures and gather up photopass cards from photographers all around Disney. They take your pics in awesome spots, give you a card, and you can buy the picture up to 30 days after your visit. How fun to have a great picture of your entire crew in front of the castle without asking a stranger to take your pic!


Well that's all.. for now!!! Gotta love me some Disney!!


oh wait.. one more...


lose your pride and if you have a wild toddler.. bring a leash. It's not worth the fight in the middle of Disney. There is a reason Disney has lost children stations...


ok, one more... if you have a baby or toddler... BRING AN ERGO CARRIER (or other awesome carrier). It was WONDERFUL.


The END of my really long..future reminder to an awesome Disney trip! Do you have any extra advice?? I'm totally welcome for future trips! :)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Titus

Last day at Disney and Mommy is getting a break while the child who doesn't want to nap plays with Daddy on the resort's playground. I knew he should not have fallen asleep on the bus! oh well... he will just have to hang and be grumpy at Epcot tonight bc we are going to have a great night...sleepy child and all! :)

That sleepy child means the world to me though. We got his name Titus from the Bible. We really wanted a different name and it was fitting that after a move we were reading through the book of Titus together. We zeroed in on who Titus was.. how much Paul trusted him to build the church, appoint elders etc. We also loved what the book said to older and younger men. Some of our hopes for our son. Titus means "defender" and his middle name is after Daddy. Ryan means "king" so when you put it together "defender of the king" is what we got.

As for future kids... we're not totally set, but I have some in the works! I love family names and hope to use those in each child's middle name. Gotta run.. playground time is over!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

love-hate relationship at Disney

So we are about to have our last day at Disney. Sad. I could stay here forever! The little kiddies have been champs minus my extremely overtired child. He really has done pretty well. The concept of "I can run off, get down, wait my turn for the slide, eat what mommy gives me" sometimes lacks. Oh well.. we are on vacation right!? We have hit multiple parks a day complete with a trip to Blizzard Beach. As much as I am sometimes discouraged with military world (see below) I enjoy the perks. Hence this vacation... at a military resort on Disney with one time military/veterans prices= 56% off. If you are military... do this.. it's soooo worth it!

Upon returning home Ryan was suppose to start a 6 month stint of orders..right away. Everything looked good and he officially turned in his notice at his last job. The military has somehow not gotten the orders in correctly (thank you paper pushers not pushing) and it's not starting until June 7th. Not what you want to hear on vacation. A month and a half with no pay is so not cool. Sorry Dave Ramsey.. we haven't made it quite there yet! Thankfully, his unit loves him and his commander is doing everything he can to get the time filled and ok-ed on paper (supposedly). Prayers are greatly appreciated. Oh the twist and turns are great. Yes.. sarcasm. We are so blessed and it's been an awesome week so I am very thankful!! In my weakness I want to beg for us to jump boat and move back home. Yes, it's always a struggle. Every day, but the vunerability with being away from family is hard.

In good news.. I will be extending my time here bc of order changes for a few more years.. I mean days. Ryan and I both thought it was a good idea for me to have more time with my family after vacation. It will be awesome to get to spend Mother's Day with my own mom this year! Happy Friday!