Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Hello From Paradise

Punta Cana is amazing. I am not going to take the time tonight to expound upon the amazingness (I know that is not really a word) that this place is. It is just breathtakingly beautiful, perfectly warm (at all hours of the day), and altogether wonderful. We are truly having the most wonderful time.

As of yesterday I am officially a certified open water scuba diver. It has been quite an experience. I will have to post later about all of our adventures... both underwater and above.

For now a few beautiful pictures will have to suffice to give you a little glimpse into this paradise we are enjoying.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

5 Things I Love About Flying

1.Snacks. I don’t even mean the snacks they give you. I mean… whenever you are going on a plane you make a stop at Trader Joes and load up on all of your favorite snacks. I am sure the subconscious logic goes something like this, “hey, you are going to need something to do in case Les Miserables is enumerating yet again on the history of the cloister… EAT!” Am I alone in my principles here?
2.The excited feeling you get in the pit of your tummy that you are going on an adventure. You could be heading to Europe, the tropics, a wedding, or even home…. But for me, wherever I am going, it is somewhere I want to be and therefore relish the anticipation.

3.Activities. It may seem funny, but ever since I was little I have thought it was so much fun to pack all of the fun activities I was going to do on the plane. Cards, soduku, movies, books… it is just fun to have that chunk of time set aside to doing any of those things you want. And I am sure rummy is all the more fun when accompanied by the aforementioned feeling of adventure.

4.Being with someone you care about. Whether you are sitting next to each other or one in front of the other. It is fun to pop your head over the seat and catch each other’s eyes full of excitement, or squeeze the knee next to you fifteen times because you are overflowing with anticipation. Sharing the experience. All of the little things.

5.The people you see. Now I am not one who is going to enter into a lengthy conversation with a stranger. However, I do like watching people. Observing where they are going, where they are coming from, the walks of life they are in. Cory and I like to try to figure out what people’s story is. The airport is one of the best places to do that (especially when you are flying internationally).

How do you feel about flying?

Friday, April 25, 2014

Thoughts From the Airport Floor

For days I have had a weight on me. A silly one, one that I could intellectualize my way through… but a weight nonetheless.

I have problems…. I know. The other week when Cory and I were reminiscing about Europe I said, “why do we even make memories anyway?” I wasn’t really serious. And I know it sounds ridiculous. But I just sometimes feel like we plan these amazing experiences, make these great memories, and then what do we have but a memory? A feeling that a time which you loved so much has passed. A feeling of panic that the poignancy of the grand memory will fade.

It’s silly, I know. Because what would life be if we didn’t go from memory to memory?

Today I had kind of a weird feeling of deja vu. Cory and I packed up our bags, closed up the house, printed off our boarding passes, checked fifteen times for our passports, said goodbye to the family, and headed off on an adventure.

Next week marks one year since we did all of those same things in preparation for our European tour. And today we went through the same motions. We parked our car at the same place, got on a bus, sat at the airport, and, feeling giddy with excitement, talked about all of the fun things we were going to do.

Oh life. What a crazy and wonderful thing it is. These are just the ramblings of a girl from the floor of an airport in the middle of the night. Really.... its a happy place to be.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

He is Risen

It is a few days late, but I must do a little Easter Recap. It was just one of those wonderfully blessed days in which one is overwhelmed with thankfulness.

It started out just right with an awesomely anointed church service. I was sweating by the end of worship. On a side note, awesome way to get a little bonus work out in – in church!

And then the family gathered over at my parent’s house.

It was very special this year because my grandparents made up some of the party. We sat in the lovely spring sun and chatted while watching the kids play. I tried and tried to get a cute grandkids photo…. But they just did not want to cooperate.

Yes, with six kids ranging from nineteen to thirty something, my parents STILL give us Easter baskets – God bless them. Us kids look forward to it every year, because we have always done something very special. My parents write clues and hide them throughout the house so that we each have to solve various problems and mysteries prior to discovering our baskets. The older we get, the more complex the clues have become. It is such fun.

And then we all sat down to a great Easter feast complete with turkey and stuffing.

It was a perfect day. A wonderful way to celebrate the resurrection of our Savior. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

A Testament to Marriage

Well over forty years ago a couple had the idea to set a few of their friends up on a date. Those two were just teenagers, carefree, enjoying life. It turns out setting them up was a brilliant idea. It was one awesome individual destined for another awesome individual.

And thirty nine years ago today those two most wonderful people in the world pledged their lives to one another.

I may be a little biased. After all, they created me. But they created so much more than me. They created all of us: (we don't always look so freaky, but that is our signature look titled "the face")

Who created these little guys: (with two more on the way and who knows how many in the future!)

They founded a church. And by church I mean a thriving, awesome, blessed church family.

And they have touched countless…. Literally countless, lives in the process. 

Plus they are just stinkin' hilarious. (man, I love those guys)

And that is only a small part of what they have accomplished in their 39 years together. How is that for a legacy?

It is a testament to marriage and to serving God. I am so honored and blessed to be the product of such an amazing union.

Friday, April 18, 2014

8 Reasons Why This Rocks My Kitchen

I am almost ashamed to admit what my first reaction was when I opened my birthday gift and discovered that my husband got me a Vitamix. I thought, “oh my, our marriage has already reached the point where appliances are acceptable gifts.”

What a naïve girl I was.

I very quickly discovered that my Vitamix is much more than an "appliance." It rocks. It rocks every appliance in my kitchen. It rocks most gifts anyone will get or give. A friend of mine at church laughed when I got a little mouthy after she referred to it as merely “a blender.” Oh. no. it. is. not.

I do not mean to incite envy in those who do not own a Vitamix. It just required a little intro before I go into the top reasons why I am loving my Vitamix these days.

This is just a short list of my favorite things. I will usually do at least two or three of these every day.

I am going to have to start with a string of awesome milk substitutes. I always have at least one of these in my fridge (usually all three) and if not, I have the ingredients in my cupboard and can whip it up in less than three minutes.

1. Fresh coconut milk. No preservatives or additives. Just coconut (straight out of the shell) and water. HEAVENLY. And so good for you.

2. Fresh almond milk. Pretty much the same deal as the coconut but with raw almonds. Delicious and packed with protein.

3. Fresh rice milk. Throw some cooked brown rice and water and there you have it. And an abundance of healthy options for milk substitutes.

4. Hummus. Cory is really into hummus and vegetables. Our farmers market has some amazing humus, but it goes for five dollars for a tiny container. I decided that I can make some that is just as amazing. And it is so easy!

5. Freshly ground wheat. This is just my favorite. My mom always had a wheat grinder when I was growing up. My Vitamix does the same thing. It will grind the whole wheat as fine as I want. I have been able to make all sorts of delicious homemade bread that never rose well with whole wheat flour.

6. Those who have never seen a Vitamix will be astounded by this one. TEN minute HOT soup!! Plus, the nutrients stay within all of your ingredients since you are not cooking them through, just heating them up. Broccoli cheddar, tomato bisque. Tasty and most of all, quick!

7.  Now, as for using this merely as a blender… I do this every day and I am so thankful for it! I didn’t realize how accustomed I was to having this awesome machine blend up my protein shake every morning in a minute until I was away from home. While staying at one of our resorts a few weeks ago I used their blender to make my usual protein shake. It was such a bad experience it literally almost put me in a bad mood! It took ten minutes and I was still chewing large clumps of banana and honey while drinking my smoothie. Not a pleasant experience. God bless the Vitamix.

8.  One of the reasons why this is truly the most convenient tool is because it is so insanely easy to clean. It doesn’t matter what was in there, stick some hot water and some soap and it becomes its own dishwasher.

So there is a little Vitamix love for you. I could go on about all of the wonderful things that it is useful for, such as pureeing and chopping, or perhaps some of my homemade Vitamix recipes, but I will stop here for now. The moral  to the story is, my husband knew better than I did. I love this thing. 
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