Friday, July 25, 2008

Dalai Lama

Ok, so here's a funny story. A few nights ago, I was at the front desk trying to get some towels. The clerk was talking on the phone, obviously to another guest, about a smoking room & how to get the odor out. When she hung up, she said "this dalai lama guy is more trouble than he's worth." I had seen some Asian people around the hotel and thought "what a racial remark that woman just made."

Then, at lunchtime today, a different desk clerk was there helping another woman check in. This clerk said "by the way, you just missed the dalai lama." I thought to myself again, "wow, I can't believe these hotel staff with all their racial slurs."

So I get in the car headed to lunch with some of the women I'm working with and I mention it to them. Come to find out, the actual Dalai Lama was really in Madison this past week. So, hotel staff are off the hook, no racial slurs intended.

And, seriously, the Dalai Lama stayed on my floor, right across from the elevator. I saw him and his family more than once and had no idea it was him. Of course, I don't worship the man or anything, but just thought it was cool that a person of such influence was sleeping 5 doors down from us.

Check it out here! It's really true--I'm not making it up!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What's up from Wisconsin!

So...last Tuesday afternoon I was sitting on my couch thinking how boring the next few weeks was going to be now that I didn't have any company scheduled to come....wishing that I had something really exciting planned to help me pass the time these next few weeks.

10 minutes later, my old boss called to ask me if I wanted to work for her for a few weeks up in Madison, WI. A few hours and lots of phone calls later, it was all arranged! Talk about a lot of answers to prayer all wrapped up into one! See, I've been wanting to go back up north before the baby came to see some friends & just hang out, but haven't had the gas $$. We could always use some extra $$ as well (from me working), and this, well--this took care of all my problems including my boredom.

Now I get to work a little, make a little money, enjoy being with adults and using the other side of my brain, as well as this company is paying for my travel expenses, so I get to see my friends for free. Doesn't get much cooler than that. It looks like we'll be up north til the 1st of August or so.

The job part is going well...I have lots going on in my brain about my current situation. Definitely prefer stay at home mommy to this--I am missing my boy! Plus I remember again what it was like to feel so exhausted you didn't want to cook dinner...didn't have time to clip coupons or pinch pennies...just wanting to get home, eat, and get everyone to bed to start the day over again. I am super thankful for my sister who is taking care of Z while I am working. They are having a blast! She has taken lots of pictures, most of which I haven't seen yet, because I'm too tired at the end of the day to look.

I had brought some work back to the hotel tonight to work on, but my brain is just too tired. I'm done. Headed to bed. Hopefully soon I will have lots of pics to post....until then.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Links to love

I am blessed in my time on the web to find those whose blogs truly speak about what is important in life. I hope you enjoy some of these:

The ugly-beautiful A great reminder to see as Christ sees.

Waiting & praying for love Be sure you click on the link at the bottom to watch the video of this couple's first kiss (which didn't happen until the wedding ceremony). It is so innocent & pure & full of joy--I love it!

Learning true Rest in this crazy mom-life

And, because I'm all about food...a new pancake recipe I plan to try soon: Good Enough to Eat Pancakes. I'll let you know how it goes...

Getting deeper...

This Sunday our pastor preached about hope in Christ and how it relates not only to those who have never heard the gospel but to us who have already experienced that Hope.

I have to be honest when I say that we have been hearing a lot about the Gospel of Christ the last few weeks, and that day I found myself daydreaming a bit, feeling like the message just wasn't for me. After all, I already have experienced hope in Christ, the truth of the Gospel, right? Then as I focused my thoughts again on Pastor Rick, he said something that the Spirit used to get my attention. He dared to say that there might be things in our lives that we are holding back from the Gospel, from hope in Christ. Places in our lives that we don't let His truth illuminate...because we're either focusing on how "great" we are in other areas of our Christian walk, or just because we don't want to or aren't ready to deal with the yucky stuff.

Well, that's not what I wanted to hear, either. Sigh. So the last few days I have been thinking & just praying that the Lord would reveal to me some areas of my life that I have either intentionally or unintentionally been holding back from Him--to allow His Hope to rescue me from my messes. Seriously, don't pray this unless you really mean it. I'm learning the hard way...but, oh Lord, do this work in me, though it may be hard. "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me...a broken and contrite heart You will not despise..."

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind and all your strength."


Friday night I had some women over for a Girls Night, plus we said our goodbyes to April who is moving to NC on Friday. We had such an awesome time talking, and eating, of course! Here's April with her cake, Emily, & me. April, we'll miss you so much and we'll be praying for your safe journey to NC this weekend.

This weekend, Z woke up from his nap a little early & found his dad playing his new Playstation Game--some kind of car racing thing. Z was absolutely enthralled with it and insisted that he play. Here he is trying to push the button to make the car drive, but he wasn't too sure & the car was only going 40 mph...not too fast when you're supposed to be racing! He had a good time, though, and most of his fun came from picking out the color of the car he wanted to race. Z and his colors...he's obsessed.

Yesterday, we spent some time with Christy, Michael, and baby Joshua. The older boys played out in the pool & sprinkler while we snapped pics and Joshua slept (lucky him!). This plastic rake was the toy of the morning--they kept taking turns playing with it. I didn't get any great shots of the 2 boys together, but they had so much fun!

Here's Michael getting brave with the sprinkler...not too long after this, he decided he wanted a drink & stuck his whole face in--too funny! I think Christy got a good pic of the 2 boys getting a drink at the same time.

My favorite son:

Thursday, July 10, 2008


So apparently my friends at The Cutest Blog on the Block finally figured out I was frustrated & fixed things. Just kidding, I know they didn't do it just for me...but it sure was nice to change my background. To pink in honor of my little girl who kicks the crap out of me every day.

We spent the day relaxing since I was having a few contractions today. Poor was raining most of the day & then I wasn't really doing much. We read LOTS of books (thank goodness we visited the library yesterday) and watched a few movies. I introduced him to An American Tail--he liked it I think! I think those mice are so funny!

Z has been extra snuggly with me the last week. I wonder if he senses that changes are coming? We've talked to him lots about his baby sister coming. Actually, Marc told him last week that we would be going to the hospital & bringing his sister home, and told him all about what having a newborn would be like (the crying, giving hugs, etc). The funny thing is, Marc forgot to tell him that it was still a few months away. So every time we got ready to go somewhere for a few days he said "we're going to the hospital!" He is so excited to see his sister!

I read this blog today & was really struck by it. Marc's sister just recently went through her husband's deployment, and my sister's boyfriend is also currently deployed, and one of my closest childhood friends--her hubby has been overseas since Dec & not returning til next year sometime. They have an 18 month old right now, I just couldn't imagine. I have often said that God did not mean for me to be a military wife. Reading from this woman's point of view really helped me understand a few things...maybe you will learn something too. Visit the blog at Rocks in my Dryer.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Okay. Enough already.

I am frustrated with this website that hosts my backgrounds. One minute it is working, then next the server is down & my background is boring white. I keep checking it every now & then, still nothing. Arghh! :)

Nothing too too exciting to bore you with tonight! Shout out to my sisters at youth camp in AL (one attending, one chaperoning) youth camp days are long gone, thank goodness!

Monday, July 7, 2008

You know how...

what you say sometimes comes back to bite you?

Last week I said "well, I need more exercise anyway, right?" Turns out RIGHT. Time to lay off the sweets & eat more veggies. :)

Little girl is growing great and weighing in at 2 lb 9 oz today. We got to see her little mouth opening & closing, and she was practicing her breathing already, too! She is moving and kicking so much and I am enjoying it!

We had a great time this weekend with Marc's parents & sister Shauna...I was horrible at taking pictures (once again) but did manage to grab a few here & there.

Z & Marc enjoying the splash playground at Powell Station Park. Nana & I are enjoying the shade under the pavilion!

Kind of a far away picture, but Marc, Z, & Papa sunning on a rock at the "Y" in Townsend, TN. Once again, Nana, Shauna, & I are enjoying the shade. :) We just love going to the Smoky Mountains and it was an awesome day. We followed the trip to the Y with a trip to the most awesome fudge shop in the entire world (seriously), Rocky Top Country Store in Wears Valley. Then the Apple Barn, Z's most favorite, where I ate too many apple cinnamon donuts. And finally, a trip to the Amish Specialty store, where I bought 6 lbs of awesome popcorn seeds for $5.99.

Z enjoying some corn on the cob--he ate 2 of these faster than I ever thought he could! Marc's mom spoiled me this weekend by cooking and it was wonderful!

So, clearly I didn't get any awesome pictures. None of any of the family who came to see us, which is really stupid. I have got to get better at this! But we have lots & lots of memories, which I guess in the end is all that matters.

My serious note for the evening: one day this weekend, I found myself alone in the living room watching this golf training show. Don't ask. Anyway, what struck me was the theme of the show: Finish well. The men on the show went on to show you how a great golf swing was all about how you end the swing & not how you start it. Basically everything in golf hangs on the end of the swing. (not really a golf fan, but after some repetition I started to get it).

So what was cool to me was comparing this to my Christian walk: Finish well. It's not about how you start, but about how you finish. It made me think of Paul's message to the Corinthians: "You've all been to the stadium and seen the atheletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You're after one that's gold eternally. I don't know about you, but I'm running hard for the finish line. I'm giving it everything I've got. No sloppy living for me! I'm staying alert and in top condition. I'm not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself." (1 Cor 9:24-27, The Message)

It's so easy to get lazy spiritually and then never snap out of it, thinking "well, I didn't do very well this far, there's no point in really trying to do better." What a great reminder to me that EVERY DAY COUNTS! Even the hard days of "training" and pain lead to a great finish.

Finish well, my friends!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

My brain is tired.

I can't for the life of me think of a title for this blog. In fact, now I'm wondering why I even started it. :)

Yesterday was a cool day. We spent the morning hanging out with my friend Kim & her girls and had a blast! The Lord blessed me through her by her letting me borrow her bassinet, which we needed for our upcoming little girl--something I had just prayed about needing and was hoping we could borrow instead of buy...God is so good!

Then, a nap. Joy of joys! I love my naps at this stage in the pregnancy since I'm starting to get tired again. I checked my email after my nap & discovered that I had won a contest at Debt Proof Living. I won an entire case of Soilove, a laundry soap that I have always wanted but it's only sold online or out West. The shipping was expensive so I never tried it--now I have my very own case! The coolest thing was that the day before yesterday I thought to myself how cool it would be to have that soap since Marc gets his UPS clothes so dirty (this soap is supposed to be awesome at removing all kinds of stains--I'll keep you posted!).

Today, also a good day, but for different reasons. We got paid a day early due to tomorrow's holiday, always cool. I paid the bills using my new Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover budget guidelines, which made paying the bills super easy since every penny had been accounted for ahead of time. Then, Z & I got ready, went to the ATM & withdrew our $100 grocery-&-everything-else money for the next 2 weeks & went shopping.

Z did SO good today and I was so blessed by this, since I usually undertake a shopping marathon once every 2 wks. We went to Sav-a-lot, Walgreens, post office, bread outlet store, Walmart, & Kroger. We did have a slight detour at I'm checking out, I realize I have no idea where my keys are (thought I put them in my pocket). They're not in my purse, not at customer service, no one dropped them off at the front door. Begin freaking out over lost keys at lunchtime with a full cart of groceries, including Z's favorite popsicles. Push buggy out to car to discover my keys lying on the front seat--no idea how that happened.

Call super awesome husband, who rushes over from work on his lunch break to unlock my car so we can finish shopping & go home. I mean, it was awesome how fast he got there! I went back into Walmart to wait for him & Z & I shared a popsicle, so all was good. A stressful situation turned calm instantly. Z said when we finally got in the car..."I had fun at Walmart today, Mommy." He's such a goofball!

Got home & unloaded a ridiculous amount of food & diapers & stuff...this is the hardest part of the experience, bringing the stuff up my hill of death, making 15 trips by myself with this huge belly & no one to help me. I figure I need exercise anyway, right?

The coolest part of the day & what I am most proud of (although I can't take credit as I prayed for help planning & shopping) was that I *almost* stayed within the $100 I withdrew. I had a little math error at the last store so I was $2.10 over but I'm pretty proud of this. This $100 includes all meals & snacks for the next 2 wks, plus diapers, mousse, conditioner, razors, and a few fun treats. I have to tell you, I really didn't think I could do it. Next trip I'm going to try to be under the $100 so we'll see how I do...planning my meals ahead of time makes a big difference and has helped us save so much money.

When I think of the fact that until we moved here I had absolutely no idea what I spent on groceries & everything else at Walmart, Target, blows my mind. We sure do wish we would have been more frugal on 2 incomes so that maybe we wouldn't have to be quite as frugal with 1 income. Lesson learned, the hard way. As lessons are often learned.

I'm reading an "end of the world" Christian based novel this week, and reflecting on the freedoms that the Americans in my book lost and what freedoms I still enjoy (although it sure seems like some of them may not be around forever)....I am so thankful for the forefathers of our country & their focus on God. They set the stage for the freedoms we enjoy today.

Happy 4th of July, everyone!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Crystal Light Pie

Shannon at Rocks in my Dryer is hosting a "5 ingredient or less" "works for me wednesday." I often view her blog but usually don't participate. Here is my contribution and it's a great summer dessert!

Crystal Light Pie

1 premade graham cracker crust
1 large box instant vanilla pudding
1 8 oz container Cool Whip, thawed
1 small carton of Crystal Light Pink Lemonade drink mix (enough to make 2 qts of lemonade)
milk (as called for on pudding box)

Make vanilla pudding as directed on box. Mix in Crystal Light drink mix, fold in Cool Whip. Pour all into graham cracker crust, replace lid to pie pan, and freeze for several hours. Serve either frozen or thawed (I like it better frozen, a bit more refreshing.)

You can use any flavor of Crystal Light drink mix, but I've found that the pink lemonade gives the best tart/sweet flavor. I've also used Tang & it turned out pretty good. Visit Shannon's blog for more 5 ingred or less ideas!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Shh...I'm supposed to be sleeping. Don't tell my husband!

Apparently my really cute new background is down due to a server error on the free website where I got it. Talk about a bummer.

Things I love:

Family coming into town.
A clean house.
Hanging out with friends.
Feeling my little girl get the hiccups for the first time.
Lots and lots of fans to keep this pregnant girl cool.
Text messaging.
Ultrasound appointments (yeah for Monday!)
Baby Orajel.
A good book.
My sweet soft bed.

Oh and for those of you who are unfamiliar with this blogging format, anyone can leave a don't have to have a Google ID. Under "choose your identity" pick "name/url" & type your name & then a comment. I didn't think I clarified that, so for my fam & friends, if you want to leave a comment, feel free. (not that I'm begging for comments, just want to be sure those who do know how).

As my little guy would say, "Peace out" and "stay groovy." I'm headed to dreamland.