October 24, 2008

"Come On, Everybody....Here We Goooo!"

....that's a quote from Peter Pan, in case you are seriously uneducated in Disney movies.

I can't believe it's here! I've been packing all day and getting things ready. I called and put in our room request (I asked for the Main Building....good Monorail access, less walking and better environment). I'm the kind of person that won't be able to fully breathe and take it in until we are on the road tomorrow and if I've forgotten something, too bad. So I'm looking forward to just getting the trip started. Thanks to everyone who is excited for me---you know I'm getting to go to my favorite place in the world! Be looking for lots of pictures and posts when I get back :o)

Have a Magical week!

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October 22, 2008

Trip Preparations and Crossing Off Goals

Well, we encountered our first curveball with the trip today. Being the OCD, Type-A person that I am, I had printed out mapquest directions and had figured on stopping half-way to Orlando in Tallahassee for the night (on Saturday, arriving in Orlando on Sunday). I did a search for hotel rooms in Tallahassee, knowing I'd find something easily because that's where my family split our driving time to Disney back in 2004. Almost every hotel had no availability or the prices were sky-high. I was so confused. Is Tallahassee seriously a popular destination in October? Then my friend Roseann reminded me that it could be a Florida State University home game. Bingo. Sure enough, we searched the FSU schedule and it is indeed a home game.

Plan B: Drive the whole way to Orlando. It's 11 hours total, and I actually think I'll like it this way better. We'll gain the whole day on Sunday to browse the Downtown Disney area that has shops and places to eat, and then we'll be able to check into the Grand Floridian at 3:00 that afternoon. I went to Mousesavers and found a discount code for the Best Western Lake Buena Vista. It's in the Downtown Disney area, but not operated by Disney (read: lower prices). Since it's just for one night, it's perfect.

Of course, I'll be the most excited when I'm able to check in here:
As I mentioned before, I ordered some books for the trip. I've also set aside the last few magazines I've gotten in mail so I can read them in the car (that took willpower!). Here are the new books:
This is the third installment in the "Abram's Daughters" series by Beverly Lewis. I love Amish fiction, and this is a really good series. There are 5 or 6 books in this storyline, so I'm working my way through.

I saw this book featured on Lindsey's blog (Langhans Family) and made a mental note to read it. It's about the calling of being a "housewife" for lack of a better phrase. I'm looking forward to it!

Yay! The Gosselin's new book finally came out. I'm excited to read more about their story, even though I've seen every special and watched every episode on TV. I think it might give more spiritual insight than is featured on the show, so I'm excited to read this!
This book was recommended to me by a girl I knew way back when in Missouri. I knew her and her now husband when my dad pastored Lynwood. They now have 4 boys, and she homeschools. She encouraged me to read this book about raising children to love the Lord. I'm so interested in what this book has to say. Thanks, Joni!
I just noticed that out of all of the books that I'm about to delve into, only one is fiction! That's kind of rare for me, but it will help me accomplish some goals on my 101 list. Speaking of, I completed a goal today by watching the documentary The Business of Being Born. I must say, it was really interesting, and surprisingly not offensive. I have never felt led to have a home- or drug-free birth, but I like to learn more about topics that I'm not familiar with. This documentary basically confirmed what I've always felt:
It seems that in having a child there are two basic options: If you want a personalized, caring, and sensitive experience, you have to use a midwife/doula and go drug-free. If you want pain relief, you have to go through the typical healthcare system and experience the hustle and bustle of a hopsital.
I, for one, would like some middle ground. I'd love a personal, loving, and caring experience where I'm not just a number and the doctor acts like having a baby is no big deal because they see it all the time. However, I'd also like to have pain relief. I told Kurt that my ideal scenario is to have a doctor that cares like a midwife, and have my children in an environment where pain relief is available but I'm not "herded" through it. Sigh. Overall, I really think I'll have a positive experience in the hospital where I'm delivering, and I don't want to go in with negative thinking. But if there are any people reading who are OB/GYN's in training, work on your bedside manner, open a calm, soothing birth center, and then call me :o)
I think I've covered just about the most random topics....but that's how my brain works, especially when I'm up late! Have a great day :o)

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October 20, 2008

Wonderful Weekend

I had a wonderful time in Cape Girardeau! I arrived Thursday afternoon and went to see my little sister's basketball game. She is point guard, and is an excellent player (she got the athletic gene). I spent Friday with my parents. We had lunch and browsed some wonderful shops downtown, right on the river. It was a beautiful day. We ran into Hobby Lobby to run an errand, and I saw the perfect chandelier for the baby's room. However, for some reason we decided not to get it right away. That night Mom and I decided that we needed to go back and get the chandelier the next chance we got (I'll get back to that story later).

Saturday was an absolute blast. Mom, two of her friends and I went shopping in St. Louis for a girl's day (which none of us ever treat ourselves to). It was so terrific to spend time together and just have a leisurely day. We actually didn't make it into too many shops, but here's what I found:

For Evy: 6 or so outfits that are in impeccable condition. I got them at an upscale consignment shop, and the total was $24!!! They were having a great sale, and I got so many adorable things. Also pictured: my first official container of Dreft detergent. Let the baby washing begin!

I treated myself to a shirt from Anthropologie. I have always adored that store, but have never been able to afford anything on a whim. While in St. Louis, I went into the sale room and picked up this adorable shirt and tried it on. Not only did it look good on me (a shock), I know it's the kind of style that will fit once I'm not pregnant anymore. And it was on sale---perfect! I also got 3 pairs of shoes. Two are clog-style, which is my go-to shoe this season it seems. They're just really comfy with jeans, and I can't do a high heel right now. I also found a good pair of walking shoes (the white pair) for Disney and other miscellaneous outings with Evy that will require a cute comfy shoe. Good finds!

Sunday was great. I snapped some pictures with the new star attraction, Penny. She's my family's new black lab, and we all love her. She's just adorable.

The weather was spectacular all weekend. I was trying to catch the color of the leaves, but I don't think it came out. But I'll include this picture of the view from my parent's house. It's just gorgeous.

I also can't forget to include the star basketball player and wonderful little sister. Here's Punky (she stole my rocking chair for awhile):

Today I had to leave to come home, but I had a great morning with my parents at home. Daddy had a lunch meeting, so Mom and I went to grab a bite to eat and then returned to Hobby Lobby to get my chandelier. Guess what? It had been marked 50% off!!!!!! It was meant to be. I love when the Lord hands you a little present like that. This isn't the best picture, but here it is:

Being in Cape definitely made me excited to live there. Everytime I visit I always feel 100% at home (well, except for missing Kurt!). I always feel spoiled when I visit my family, mainly because I love the time we get to spend together. Thankfully I'll see them again not too long from now for the Branson trip.

Speaking of trips, we're gearing up for Disney! I ordered some new books from Amazon to pass time in the car. I also ordered filtered water bottles so we can just use the Disney water fountains for water but it still taste good----way cheaper than buying drinks everytime we need them! Next on the list is a neck pillow for Kurt.....I was told that I need to share at least a little of the driving so he can take a nap :o) I can't believe it's nearly here.

Have a great week---love to my family!

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October 15, 2008

Sensational Swaps

I am so excited! Tiffany told me about a swap that she's joining, and I decided to try it as well. I actually joined two:

A Very Vintage Christmas Swap at Foxgloves, Fabric, and Folly......and......

Snowflakes and Sparkles Christmas Swap at Mommy Holly.

To those not familiar with a swap (I wasn't), you basically join a swap and the host/creator of the swap assigns you a person (that you don't know!) to send a little box of Christmas happies to. Each person fills out a questionnaire to kind of tell their tastes, etc. and then you send off a box to someone and receive a box from someone. It's like "secret sister"---worldwide! I think this sounds like so much fun, and since I'm hardly ever surprised, I'd love to get a box of surprises in mail. It's not too late to join either of these swaps, so go have a look and join---you really don't have anything to lose.

Here's to Holiday Cheer!

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To the Midwest I Go....

Hi everyone!

Thank you to those of you who encouraged me after my last post. God is good!

I will be going to Cape tomorrow and will come back on Monday. I hate to leave Kurt behind, but he encouraged me to go and see my family. It's been too long! Not too much has been going on around here, just keeping the house (kind of) clean and seeing friends. I had a long lovely lunch with Carrie and baby Aubrey on Tuesday. I rediscovered my love for Beagle Bagel chicken salad, and am subsequently craving it now. Yes, I am craving it even after having Little Tokyo with Liv today. My appetite is definitely getting stronger! I always enjoy catching up with friends. It was especially nice to see Liv, because she lives oh so far away in Memphis.

Maybe I'll find time to blog while I'm away, but if not---Happy Weekend!

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October 12, 2008

My Most Important Post

Yes, the title is true. This really is the most important post I will put on this blog. Don't panic, this is not bad news! It's quite the opposite.

I have recently gone through what I expect every person does at some point in their life: I really examined my spiritual life. I accepted Christ when I was 6 years old, and I remember being as "broken" and understanding as a child can be. I grew up in an incredible Christian environment, and so this was a natural process for me. When I was about 12, I started to question my salvation, because I couldn't specifically remember every minute detail. I remember praying about it, but never told anyone; I kept it private, because there wasn't truly a significant change in my walk.

Fast forward 11 years. Over those years, I truly loved the Lord. I never resented church or Christianity. But in my personal life, I found it difficult to have a committed prayer life, and struggled to maintain a consistent quiet time. Being a people-pleaser and extremely hard on myself, I just constantly felt inadequate. This was a very private battle for me, though. I continued to give godly counsel to people, encourage them, worship, and I tried to grow deeper. I believe that when you're truly saved, the "kindling fire" or "small flame" of desire for Him should always be there. The strength of our "fire" may come and go, but the flame should always consistently be there. I felt like my flame would light for awhile and then go completely out. When my circumstances in life were good (which they really always have been), I'd feel fine about my life and go about my business, with the Lord on the side. I never realized that I was doing this until recently.

A lot of things started to happen to make me think. I heard about a few people that I know that re-committed their lives, or got re-baptized, however you want to word it. I contemplated the difference in "re-committing" my life to Christ and never having been saved in the first place. I started my Beth Moore Bible study, which challenged me so much in the first day I was blown away. And then I became overwhelmed with the concept of parenting and how it will be my responsibility (with Kurt) to lead our children in the faith and teach them to have a passionate walk with Christ. How could I teach them to be truly passionate when I was just managing "so-so?"

All of these things contributed to a very unsettled feeling on my part. And then today, of all things, the sermon was about confirming your salvation and evaluating your experience to make sure that you are truly saved. Because of pride, I actually got nervous at first, but then it was like the Lord said to me "Just calm down and listen." So I did. Sometimes we hear things over and over, but only when our hearts are ready does it take effect. During the invitation, I quietly prayed to secure my salvation and to claim it for myself. I believe that my heart was "good" for all of these years, but my faith was carried moreso by my family and several spiritual high's. And I do believe that my heart was in the right place when I was a child. But every person's salvation experience is different, and it took me until I was 23 to get serious and claim it, not just sail along and hope that I had really been saved. Life is too short to not be fully right with the Lord.

If this had happened earlier, I think I might've been too prideful to even share this or be transparent about my spiritual life not being where it needed to be. Like I said; when your heart is ready and right, pride goes out of the way and you're proud and excited to share. My main reason in writing this is not to say "Look how spiritually developed I am"---that is NOT the case! I am sharing this because if anyone doesn't feel settled with the Lord, on any issue, confront it and deal with it. You will feel lifted and secure in your relationship with Him.

I am so thankful that God put so many situations in my path in the last months to bring me to this point. I am also thankful that my family didn't shove this under the rug and say "Oh you're fine, you don't have anything to worry about." They are understanding, supportive, and grateful that my walk is now my own. Some people that read this may be shocked, surprised, or even feel like I've been dishonest about my walk with the Lord. Please know that this is not the case. I'm on a journey like everyone else, and sometimes God gets your attention enough that you have big changes to make. Thank you for understanding this, and I hope I've encouraged you in some small way. :o)

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October 11, 2008

A Weekend of Dates

This weekend Kurt and I have had so many fun dates! It's been wonderful to have weekend where he isn't working and we're both home.

Friday we went to dinner at Fratesi's, a kind of hole-in-the-wall Italian place minutes from our house. We had never been, and it was delicious! We were a bit rushed, because we were going to see:

This movie was INCREDIBLE! There is literally something in it that applies to every marriage. I was just really impressed with the storyline and how well it was done. I am praying that more films like this are made; Christians are craving it! Go see it and support this film!

Today we were supposed to have our pictures taken, but we changed our time to tomorrow. We ended up sleeping in and then decided to take a field trip to the pumpkin patch! At first I wondered if we would feel out of place because we were the only ones there without kids, but we definitely had the most stress-free time of anyone! Next year Evy will be 8 months old (wow), so this was our pre-baby trip :o) We loved it!

It's been a fabulous weekend....dating shouldn't stop just because you're married! :o)

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October 9, 2008

Today's Events and Cinematic Genius

The first important thing to state in this post is that I got up at 9:00 am today. This might make me sound lazy to some, so I won't mention that that's about an hour and a half earlier than I've been able to get up for a long time now. EMBARRASSING.

Well, not really embarrassing. I have a reason. On average, I've been going to bed around 11:30-12:00 each night (give or take). However, I literally can't get comfortable/fall asleep. I want to sleep. I want to get comfortable. But it seems like I've had more tummy-awareness lately. I do sleep with a body pillow (a Snoogle, to be exact) which helps somewhat.

Anyway, my best sleep apparently happens from about 4:00 a.m. on. I just can't seem to get out of bed in the mornings. It's like having mono....always tired.

As I said earlier, I got up this morning around 9 and was definitely proud of myself. I ended up touching base with Roseann and I ended up going to the Canton Flea Market to check it out for the first time. My observations:

1. Parking is a nightmare. I was overwhelmed, and I do not do well in unknown vehicular situations.

2. The crowd was like Disney on steroids. Thick and almost un-navigable. I was floored.

3. The heat was terrible. I'll leave it at that.

So, had all of those things been a tad different, maybe I would've had a better experience. It was frustrating, because I think I probably could've found a few good things, but today it just wasn't happening. But I got exercise! (Did I ever....I had to hike at least 2 miles to my car, twice.)

I then went to see Rivers and her Disney pictures. Adorable. It made me so excited.

I came home and made homemade clam chowder. It was rather good, if I do say so myself. Kurt and I watched "My Fair Lady." He had never seen it (!!) and it's one of my absolute favorites. Please allow me to elaborate:

Audrey Hepburn is superb in this movie. From the time I was little, my grandfather and I would watch it (yes, I would sit through all 3 hours). It exposed me to British humor very early, and it becomes more and more funny as I get older. The role of Eliza is my dream role. If I could play Eliza Doolittle, I could die happy.

Rex Harrison: Genius. This is the most witty and clever musical, both in lyrics and speech, that has ever been written (in my humble opinion). He delivers every line with perfect British snobbery and humor. And he's my newest crush, now watching it as a 23 year old. Dreamy.

The costuming and sets are to die for. If I were on Project Runway and made it to Bryant Park for Fashion Week, my line would be based on the Ascot scene in this movie. Unbelievable. It was actually very edgy fashion for that scene if you look closely. Obsessed.

One of my favorite lines (of the millions I have): "The difference between a flower girl and a lady is not how she behaves; it's how she's treated." That's one of the more serious lines, and I won't even get into the humorous ones. I've always loved well-written pieces that you have to listen closely to in order to get it. I love the use of language in this film, and the vocabulary is enormous. Americans just don't understand how English should be spoken. I'm such a snob.

So, your homework is to watch this movie and report back to me how lush it is. Well, I already know that, but you need to see it. It's mandatory if you read this blog.

Have a "loverly" evening :o)

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October 8, 2008

More Things I Like...

I thought of more things that I've been liking lately. Here they are!

1. Radio City Rockettes

I saw them on Dancing with the Stars last night, and I remembered why I've always liked them. They're classy, elegant girls and they aren't stick-thin (you know, Hollywood anorexic looking).

2. That Girl

Way before my time, but this TV show once played on TV Land all the time, and I loved it when I was younger. So I Netflixed the first few seasons and will begin watching them this afternoon. It was a wholesome show about a young actress in New York City---fun!

3. The Andy Williams Christmas Show

This November, my mom's side of the family is going to Branson, MO for a few days. We did this every year for the longest time, but then traveling became an issue when my family moved to Mississippi. Now that they're back in Missouri, we're going again! We will see the Andy Williams Christmas Show (a tradition) and.....

4. Noah, presented by "Sight and Sound."

If you watch Jon and Kate Plus 8, on a recent episode they went to the Strasburg, Pennsylvania theatre and saw the story of Creation. Well, Sight and Sound opened a Branson theatre as well, and they are presenting the story of Noah, which we are so excited about seeing!

5. The men in Phantom of the Opera.

Yes, I am a Gerard Butler and Patrick Wilson fan. I watched some of this movie today while folding clothes, and I just love that movie. I saw it 4 times in the theatre when it came out. Love it.

6. Hosting.

We had Drew and Erin over last night to watch the debate. I made brisket, baked potatos, green beans, and rolls. It was yummy and fun! I don't know if you can tell in the last picture, but I added miniature pumpkins on my mantle. Very festive :o)

Have a great day!

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