Life's Sweet Journey

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Things for Thursday

Thankful Things

1. I am thankful for much needed breaks from reality.  And for swings (I am a total "swinger")! You know the whole Peter Pan, never grow up, adventure thing?! The second picture there would be that part that lives on in me.  I stop for all tree swings; it is a must (even ones like this that hurt my feet and reveal my lack of strength by the inability to hold myself up)! And the first picture? That would be the lazy, old soul in me that enjoys basking in sunshiny glory with a book in my hand.

2. I am thankful for strength (even small doses of it) because I needed it was to get through Friday. At least I was rewarded with the above day on Saturday, despite the rain that Orlando newscasters had called for.  Strength was then needed again for those on Monday.  The events of which also make me thankful for the faith that can be found in humanity and the restoration that can be seen through the stories that come out revealing the best of people in the worst of situations.

3.  I am thankful for sunshine on Saturdays! My burnt back may disagree but the rest of my slightly tanned body and the vitamin D infused cells within it are very, very thankful!

4.  I am thankful for evenings spent like this...
a great friend to split the meal with and yummy tea! I am always thankful for yummy tea (and great friends of course)! 

Things I am loving right now
1. This book!  

It is a beautiful story.  Typically, I am not one for reading time period pieces but I am really captured by this story right now.  It mirrors the book of Hosea and although a fictional recounting, the selfless love of the main character, Michael Hosea, for the main female character is so tender, forgiving and true.  I read it and can't help but think of how blessed I am to be loved not only despite all the flawed and bruised parts of my heart but sometimes because of them.

2.  I am loving that the little girl I nanny for is reading Harry Potter! It is so much fun to enjoy them with her.  Our Wednesday afternoons can often be spent partaking in dramatic readings.  The kid is only 8 but she speed reads those things like it is nobodies business! And when she reads out loud to me she does the voices (we are working on our accents) and has perfect intonation.  She is genius I tell ya! I am loving that she will be is a read-a-holic and that the joy of a quiet afternoon spent with a book in hand is still very much alive in the next generation.

3. I am loving that because of her new love affair with Harry Potter I shall probably reread them again as soon as I am done with Redeeming Love.  She can only read through the fourth for now and I know I will just want to keep going.  So I think I have that to look forward to in my near future!

Which is perfect because I just got this pretty thing in the mail a couple weeks ago. I couldn't
find my original copy (so sad) so I ordered this one for her to read and then to  have one
to put in its spot of glory on the shelf! It's looking a little too "unloved" though so read it I shall! 

Any good things for your Thursday? What are you loving lately? 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Hope, Heros and Help

I hadn't planned for this to be today's post.  I guess I never thought of what it would be like to have a blog and a place to share how I felt when events like yesterday happen.  I also don't feel like I really have words for what happened or that even if I did, don't know if I have the right ones.  What do you even say to something like that?!

I read through some of my quotes last night and the following was one that stood out to me and somewhat reminds me of Mr. Rogers' words, which are so very true.

"Great occasions do not make heros or cowards; they simply unveil them to the eyes of men.  At last some crisis shows what we have become." -Brooke Foss Westcott

We know who the cowards of this story are and of any event in history such as this one.  They are ones who feel that by igniting terror in the lives of others they will win some kind of battle that no one even knows they are fighting. What they don't seem to realize is the open range they give to make heros out of "the least of these".  

I was watching a short video that had been posted to Facebook of the events after the initial explosion (the person taking the video had been filming those crossing the finish line).   In the background of the video you hear a voice say "there are people hurt" and see a man run into view.  You see others running from all directions to help those around the bomb site.  They have no idea if there are other explosives (if anything, due to the second explosion, they know there very well could be), yet they chose to run towards those needing help.  They stepped in to help not realizing that they have a made a choice as to what this event will reveal about them.  And the other's? The runners and spectators and those who were terrified and trying to seek shelter.  The courage that they found to simply have been present and witness to something so tragic and yet pick up to go on again the next day, to say "I will cross another finish line" and "I will not let the evil actions of another define me"; that in itself is its own type of heroic.  I choose to focus on those actions; the ones that bring communities closer and show strength in times when strength seems far from reach.  

My thoughts and prayers are with all of those who lost someone yesterday and for those who are healing both externally and internally.  I also pray for hope.  I will continue to believe that there is always hope, even in moments such as this when it may seem so hard to find.  

Monday, April 15, 2013

Words: The Host

I hadn't planned to start my first words post with quotes from The Host, mainly because I had wanted to start with one of my favorite books (though this is one I have now read twice).  However, Babe and I went to see the movie last night so I thought in honor of that I would begin the week with my favorite quotes from the book.

Movie rendition review: As books go I liked The Host.  I thought Stephenie Meyer did a much better job with writing this one then she did with Twilight (though I do probably enjoy that story line a little better).  As movies go though (just as with all books made into movies), I found it dismal.  In comparison to other book-movies I thought they did a decent job of leaving out the right parts and changing and condensing where needed.  If you haven't already seen it and were wanting to then I would recommend waiting until it comes out on DVD (though I know if someone had said the same thing to me I doubt I could have resisted seeing it in theaters).  It is worth seeing if you have read the book (I always have to watch movies of books I have read) though not worth seeing in theaters.  A lot of things are hard to convey as so much goes on inside Wanda's/ Melanie's head.  One bonus though, she has my name! And I would like to believe that if anything of the likes ever did happen to us I would be just as strong as the Melanie in this story.

Words (from Stephenie Meyer, The Host):

"This love was tricky; it had no hard-and-fast rules- it might be given freely, or earned through time and hard work, or completely and heartbreakingly unattainable."
- Love? I am not really sure if I like that word.  This description of it though is fitting.  Love takes on so many forms.  It is never and has never been what they lead us to believe when they read us fairy tales as children.  There are so many examples of people that I can think of who fit each category.  Sometimes those thoughts are bittersweet and sometimes they just are the way they are no matter how much we think we might be able to do to change them.  Where do the people you love fit in? 

"Perhaps there could be no joy on this planet without an equal weight of pain to balance it out on some unknown scale." 
- I have often felt this way but I like to think of the pain of certain situations as instances that help to make us stronger.  If anything I think pain helps us appreciate joy just a bit more than we would if we didn't have the memory of pain to remind us of what is good.

"There was no bond greater than one that required your life for anothers."
- I think this takes on a different meaning for everyone.  It strikes me now to think of the amount of people that I feel like I would give my life for.  I would like to think that I could give my life for anyone but I also know that is probably not true either.  I don't think I am selfless enough for that.  So what makes someones life more important than our own and how do we fully understand the distinction between a relationship that would mean giving all and one that doesn't?

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Mr. beside the Mrs. aka BABE!

This is Babe (or Andrew if you would so prefer).  He is the boy beside the girl behind this blog.  I thought it may be notable for him to have a post but he would probably disagree.   While I am loving this little space of mine and am happy to share my thoughts with the world he would prefer to not have his life displayed all over the internet.  He is truly the yin to my yang. I have told him that I will try to blog about him as little as possible, but I make no promises*.  I mean I kinda like him a bit so it is only natural that he find his way on here from time to time.  I thought a little intro on him, as it relates to me, would suffice for now.

Babe is not like me-   I am a talker, he is a man of few words.  I am not neat and tidy, Babe likes things in just the right place (thank heaven for a husband who cleans).  I love to read, he would prefer not too (though he did read the last three Harry Potter books which melted my little soul).  I do not work out, Babe works out daily (I tried to join a gym when we first got together, I lasted about a month).  Again, I love to read, Babe loves numbers (if math was a deciding factor to my fate I could give you 2+2=4 and then I'm a dead woman).

Babe is like me-  I love these babies, I think he may love them more (OK, debatable but at least close to a tie).  I like movie night with popcorn, he is the popper of the corn and I am the salter.  I like to think I am a decent enough person and, well, he married me so I am thinking he may agree?!

Perfect rendition! Even though he would usually be smiling in pictures such as this (someone distracted
him from pure niece-and-nephew-fun-and-bliss).
While we definitely have far less in common than we have in common, it works for us.  He completes me and compliments me in a way that makes me constantly strive to be a better version of myself.  He has never tried to change me (though he would like it if I were just a tad bit tidier I am sure).  He accepts my faults and loves me with a grace that teaches me all the time how blessed I am to have him.

Babe has taught me- He has taught me how to do laundry (many a years ago), the importance of self-control, how to be a "grown-up", and the happiness that comes from contentment in a life lived together.

Words- This hung amongst other quotes on the stairwell as people walked in to be seated for our wedding.  It has always struck me as completely fitting for my thoughts on Babe.

God truly knew what He was doing when He picked this man out for me.  I would never have thought to ask for anyone like him but he is just right.  He shows me all the time how abundantly more God can give us then we could have imagined.  As I type this Babe is staying the night with my brother (who has some demons to face).  When I told him I would stay with John Wayne so he could work on homework, his response to me was "You shouldn't have to worry about this." As blood goes JW is my brother, but Babe took on loving someone who struggles with addiction as if it were his own flesh and blood.  Really?! How I deserve him still ceases to astonish me.

7 Dwarf Status- Some friends and I nicknamed ourselves after one the seven dwarfs when we were in middle school.  I was Happy.  On a recent cruise Babe and I participate in a marriage game show.  When asked which 7 dwarf our husbands would be the other two blissful wives answered "happy".  My answer needed no thought, Babe would be... Grumpy! Fitting, Happy and Grumpy together.  So while I may gush over him in the above paragraph (which he deserves) life is not always sunshine and daisies.  Babe is prone to grumpy demeanor and a need for solitude.  We are the poster 'young-old-married-couple'.  It may have something to do with the fact that he is working full time and finishing his masters all the while being a person who despises school. Still, facts are facts and the man can be grump city!

Alright well, enough of that for now.  You have a little insight into one of the main back characters in my life.  I am excited for next week and to get into more of the heart of what I started this blog for.

* The big house rule!! If you promise something in this house and you don't follow through well then "see you on the other side my friend".  It can be something as simple as "Hey Babe did you happen to grab me some 'Nera (Panera) this morning?!" And he would reply "Nope, I sure didn't." To which I would make him then go back and forth as to if this was a lie or not.  Finally when I was done putting up with our marital communication I would ask "Promise you didn't?" If he says promise then I know I am just plum out of luck.  This came about due to the face that we joke around (or he does) A LOT and I would have the darnedest time telling if something was for real or not (I am highly gullible).  Finally frustration impatience won out and resulted in the 'P' word. Which is why if I make you a promise, it will be adhered too.

Have a wonderful, glorious, weekend!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Got Quirks?!

You wanted the inside scoop on some of my "crazy" right?! Sure you did.  Hope you enjoy these random get to know me quirks.
  • Movie night is a fave!  Probably my top date night choice. I love movie night at home, feet curled under on the couch.  Popcorn is always a must (it is my favorite food).  We have a whole movie night regiment process.  Popcorn is cooked via stove in the Whirley Pop (it is the best present I think I may have gotten from Babe, it has definitely gotten its use) and he is the popper, I am the salter, and he is the 'salt-to-popcorn-ratio-checker'! I always start with the popcorn dance! That's how I make my way into the kitchen on such nights.  It often leaves me winded (again probably should run to strengthen that lung capacity but, nah!!)  I will just stick using the popcorn dance (the taco dance helps some too, I have a dance for taco night also.  It's just like the popcorn dance but instead of singing "po'corn, po'corn, po'corn" I sing "tacos, tacos, tacos".  A little too much info? Sorry, just thought I would paint you a pretty picture)
  • I have somewhat of an old soul but I am also a humongous kid at heart.  Disney World is truly one of my favorite places in the entire world. Got engaged there, been there probably hundreds upon thousands of times and yet it never gets old! There is so much magic there! Even with the lines, the sunburned tourists, and tired babies it leaves me with a feeling of innocence and wonder. 

  • I love road trips! Traveling excites me! International travel freaks me the heck out! I don't know why.  I think it goes along with my fear of the unexpected and unknown.  After going to Greece on our honeymoon I decided I probably wouldn't be making many trips abroad in my lifetime (even though it was a gorgeous trip).  I have since ratified that decision but I am still terrified.  Before boarding a recent flight to Costa Rica I had a "minor" freak attack and I don't have those often.  I mean unstoppable tears mixed with uncontrollable bouts of laughter, it was one strange moment.  I've got to get that business under control!
  • I often contradict myself.  This will be one of those times.  I LOVE to cruise! It is always international.  For some reason traveling internationally on a big ole' boat doesn't terrify me; it thrills me.  This may be due to the fact that I pretty much think I know what to expect from cruising (though I probably shouldn't because, good gracious, have you seen what is happening on some of those ships recently?!).  I know where I will be sleeping each night.  I know that I will most likely see the same friendly serving staff at dinner and that sometimes they will break out into random dancing (love it).  I know that if I have a scary, anxiety ridden experience in a specific port I can haul my behind back to the boat where I can find a lone spot on deck while everyone else is out exploring and read to my hearts content while basking in sunshiny glory and sipping a pretty drink! I know that each night I can find a towel friend waiting happily for my arrival, just waiting for me to name him (for some reason they always seem to be dudes). 
    Meet some of my said towel dudes.  Their names are Syd, Ernie, Cardito, and Sal respectively.  Each picture taken
    with said towel friend requires imitation; it's a must.  
    Short version of the last however many sentences = take me cruising now please!

  • I have recently been suffering from random bouts of insomnia.  My eyes have been seeing 3 am and then 4 am roll around on my clock far too often.  I like to be asleep by 11! So either this new drive of motivation and passion pursuit is keeping my brain spinning all night or the following find is true.  

If the above is the case then I am not real sure whose dream it is that I am awake in, but can you please find another one?! No fairytale here I can assure you!  If you are some long-lost girlfriend pinning after Babe, well sorry he's taken.  Though I never mind a little healthy competition, it takes a good bit to turn his head (God love him).  And if you are pinning after me...  Hello?! Did you read the what not to expects?! I do not make superb housewife status.  So, now that we have determined this is probably not your dream can you please send a note directly to my brain to let it know that at night, when the lights are off, it is time "shush up"!