Thursday, February 25, 2010

Our Big Trip

We are back from our visit to see Andrew's family in Iowa. It was such a BIG deal for me push thru and actually make it, but I did....and believe it or not, I THRIVED! Yes, there was lots of back pain to deal with , but it was all worth it. I know people were praying and I actually think God was up there rooting for me too! Because it ended up being just wonderful. A sweet time with family. Just chilling out, watching movies, eating large amounts of food, and chatting about nothing imparticular. And with all I've been thru recently, I recognize the awesome beauty in the "nothing imparticular" moments. I think those are really what it's about and I don't want to take even one for granted. I felt blessed beyond measure just to be there sipping coffee, watching the snow fall, hearing little toddlers play in their footsy pajamas, and feeling the warmth and happiness of a family all together.

And, of course there was the experimenting with my snazzy new camera that added even more joy to the occasion! Here are some of the pictures I took~

I'll start with my favorite from the whole weekend. Just look at these two cousins (in those footsy pj's I mentioned, no less)~ The cozy mornings were the best (and lasted til about 11:00 most days!)~The view out my in-laws back window is so gorgeous all seasons of the year. It makes drinking coffee at the dining room table into something extra special.

Here's the view (and is an example of me gettin fancy with my sepia setting!):

SaraRose was introduced to snow for the first time! She couldn't have loved it more. She would have stayed out there all day if we'd let her.Check out our tiny little snowman. Raisins for eyes and a baby carrot for his nose: And best of all was family. SaraRose got to meet her cousins.We celebrated Andrew's dad's 65th Birthday and RetirementAnd we were just silly!The last day we rode a Carousel in the mall. No kidding, it was the fastest funnest one ever! I told Andrew if I lived near by I'd take a whirl on that thing any time I was feeling down. What a great way to lift your spirits!And then there were the flights to and from. SaraRose got a certificate signed by the Captian himself. Look at that face and how proud she is!

And Andrew and I learned that toddler + airplane + DVD player = the way to go!And before we knew it we were back home in sunny Florida!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Required love day

I love being in love. It's true; I'm kind of a sap. So, of course a sap like me would love Valentines Day. It makes us stop and actually say and show love to those most important in our lives. And let's face it, sometimes life is so mundane and overwhelming we need a required "let's show love" day.

I've come across a few love themed items this past week that have made me smile. Thought I'd share.

The first is a blog post. I don't know this very witty, creative mom personally, but we went to the same college and I came across her writings thru another friend's blog. She very simply chronicles her families coming and goings, but the way she sees things is so clever, sweet, and many times encouraging. And she posts lots of creative, fun ideas. Here's a post about her family's "Love Bundt."

Next, is a song. Last Saturday as I drove over Tampa Bay, I played it again and again. I so enjoy it's catchy melody and fun, love-inspired words. Take time to listen. It's a good one!

Last, is a food item. Not as love-themed as the last two, but it does at least have a Valentine's Day color to it: Pink.

Pink grapefruit. 'Tis the season for citrus and I've just recently been reminded how crazy I am about it. It's long been one of my favorite foods of all time (I've always said I'll be eating it at my banqueting table feast in Heaven someday), but somehow I got out of the habit of enjoying them. Just this past month I've started again. I love the perfectly sized spoonfuls of juicy sweet/sour goodness. And when they are cold? Don't even get me started. AND they are good for you. I once heard that they actually help your body burn calories by jump starting your metabolism and that it takes more calories to digest them than are actually in them. Now, I don't know if that's true. But it sounds good to me! mmmm, I think I'll go have one now.

Have a Happy Valentines Day!

Don't forget to tell those you love the most just how much you do.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Looking forward to

Days with a whole lot of nothing to look forward to are beyond tough. In fact, having something to do in your day is crucial to a happy life. The days I've had where one just rolls silently into the other has made me sure of that. You lose track of the weeks, months....just watching others in their normal worlds go by. There is something about being able to get up, get ready, and even run errands most people take for granted or even complain about. I don't think I'll be impatient with things like that ever again. Because I've have had months and months of longing to DO something. Anything. Even take a little walk outside. Yes, being able to DO something, anything, is easily taken for granted. And not being able to feel the sun, turn up radio in the car, decide to swing by and see a friend, or just sensing a little hustle and the bustle quickly sucks a lot of the life out of living.

But I'm excited! For the first time in a long time there are some things coming down the pipeline, for me to look forward to! Here they are:

The biggest venture: Andrew, SaraRose and I are packin it up and going to Iowa! Now, I do understand that going to Iowa in freezing cold FEBRUARY isn't exactly the perfect mix for this Florida family, but it's going to be really great to see family (my brother-in-law's 15 month old twins we've never met) and just be out of town. Like really out of town, like on a plane out of town. I've been stuck in this house for close to two years now, and it's amazing how much energy is infused into my days just thinking about what to pack!

The most helpful: Andrew sold his motorcycle, so we have a little more cash flow every month. He will miss riding it, and I'll miss his little-boy excitement as he tells me about his rides. But having a little more (or, who am I kidding, ANY!) cushion in our bank account has us breathing a sigh of relief.

The most waited/longed for: I got the new camera! Yes, it arrived in the mail yesterday. I am pumped and a little intimidated to learn all it's features and start snapping. But what a great outlet! It is beautiful, sleek and full of endless possibilities! I'll post some pictures I take with it soon.

The most tapping into the inner Kristen: I'm going to see Wicked on Broadway. *dramatic pause* Oh my, I could stand in the middle of my bed and loudly burst out rendition of "Broadway Baby" I'm so excited! Oh the getting dressed up, the first sight of inside the massive theater, the sound of the orchestra warming up, the stage, the glamorous curtain opening, and the lights dimming as the show begins. I get chills every time, and I can't wait!

The most anticipated: Tax return! Oh yea, baby. We wait all year and whenever there's a purchase we need we say,"well, maybe when we get our tax return..." knowing that's a long way away, and there's no guarantee how much we'll actually get. But this year did not disappoint. Nothing crazy, but just enough to be able to pay off some bills and have a little left over if we need it. Good stuff.

I hope you have something to look forward to coming up as well. Even if it's not huge, try to enjoy it as a gift any way!

Monday, February 1, 2010

I'm gettin a camera, folks! I've wanted one like this for a REALLY long time. Years and years. I've talked about it alot, but knew it was never even close to happening. Kinda like talking about owning a really nice car someday. So, I'm very surprised and happy to announce that it's becoming a reality! A blessing for sure. Getting better at photography and owning a camera like this is represented on my Faith Poster and I am excited to actually hold it soon and test out all it's features! (It'll be arriving any day)

A friend of mine mentioned that it'll be nice for me to be able to capture happiness and beauty in the midst of a difficult time of life.

I hadn't thought of it like that before, but that is very true. And another unexpected blessing in this gift.

Can't wait to post some of the joy I am able to see through the lens of my fun new camera.