Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Doggy competition is Ruff

Naturally, I have always thought Chester to be the greatest dog in the world. I mean, just look at him...

However, my feelings may have recently changed. Even though he's talented enough to ring a bell to tell me when he needs to go outside, he still rudely leaves the door wide open after he charges back into the house. Furthermore, he expects me to open and close the blinds all by myself every day; and he never ever helps load the dishwasher. Honestly, he calls himself a dog...

But Jesse sure has upped the ante for all pups everywhere. Behold:

Seriously, Jesse may as well be Wishbone, himself. That dog can do everything!! Looks like Chester's got some 'splainin to do!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Family visit

A couple of weekends ago, my brother's family came to visit Aunt Mindy and Uncle Brad. (Actually, Clinton calls him Aunt Brad. Ha!) I absolutely loved getting to spend time with TJ and Jennie, and especially their children, Rachel and Clinton. But since Aunt Mindy's house isn't necessarily kid-friendly (except for the random toys I hurriedly bought in the dollar aisle at Target before they arrived), we spent most of the rainy Saturday at the Discovery Center.

Because his dad is a firefighter, Clinton is completely obsessed with all things fire department. Before we had even finished acquiring admission, he had noticed a fire engine and sprinted right to it. We had to pry him away from the driver's seat to get him to explore anything else. And if, at any time, he got bored with something or we looked away, he'd beeline it straight back to the truck. Like father, like son, I suppose.

Rachel and Aunt Uncle Brad spent a lot of time looking at all of the turtles. She loved them so much that she even named one of them Rachel. She's nice enough to share her name like that.

Then they spent some time "working on the car." Clinton loves to "fix" things, so he was in heaven replacing that velcro muffler and refilling the engine fluids. Rachel felt right at home, too, changing those tires like a pro.

There was seriously so much to do at this place. They played in water making waves and dams, mined for toy coal, shopped at a pretty believable toy grocery store, climbed into a treehouse, engineered a train, constructed working gears, played instruments, and made crafts in the art department, among other awesome things.

They each manned separate construction machines while we were waiting for the main event...

The Discovery Center has an entire toy train room, but they only run them a couple times a day for twenty minute periods. Everything the kids did up to this point was just a time filler as they waited for the trains to go. Once they started, the kids were both enthralled. Rachel chased them around the room, and every time one went into a tunnel, Clint would ask where it went, only to get really excited, point, and exclaim, "There it is!!" when it reemerged.

We only get to visit with them a few times a year, but every time we do, I love them even more. I'm so grateful for a great family with wonderful siblings and an awesome niece and nephew. And I'm also glad for a super cool place so close that we can go to in order to entertain kids for a whole day!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Parks & Rec

[pic via]
Brad and I have recently started watching reruns of Parks and Recreation, which is to say that Brad and I have recently fallen in love with Parks and Recreation. Seriously, we laugh at every single episode. These characters are awesome, and it really is generally an innocent show with an overall positive outlook on life...

If you love the show, too, then you'll totally love these clips from NBC. If you've never watched it before, then consider these clips introductions to a couple of the best characters currently on TV. Period.

I can't wait for new episodes to restart, next month!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Damsel in Distress

Seriously, does this ever really happen?
{Taken with my cell phone as soon as it happened}
I thought it only happened in the movies or in commercials, but I legitimately broke the heel of my shoes the other day! And I wasn't even doing anything awesome! Just boringly walking through the building of my lobby to my car after work. What a lame story. I wish I had been running in the rain after a moving train containing my long lost love or something. Anything more dramatic, romantic, or climactic than going home. Womp, womp. Oh well, it is what it is.

[pic via]
They were a Christmas gift from my husband this past year, and I basically wore them every single day, either to work or to church. I guess eight solid months of weight on the same quarter inch of heel will finally take its toll on a shoe.

RIP perfect, comfy, cute, stylish, just-right-size-5, wear-with-anything, black heels. You meant a lot to me during your heydey, and you will be greatly missed.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sparks Fly

Taylor just released the video for her most recent single, Sparks Fly. Get ready for a prime seat to her show!

Sparks Fly from Taylor Swift on Vimeo.

Am I lame to admit that I legitimately got goosebumps as the fireworks went off as well as when she was playing in the rain. (That really happened, people. Love her!)

Oh, this makes me even more excited for the concert next month! EEEE!!!! ♥

Friday, August 5, 2011

kisses blown from Heaven

[pic via]
I feel like God blows me kisses sometimes; various little reminders of His love for me that He sneakily plants right in plain sight throughout nature.

Every morning, on my way to work, I pass multiple locations with vines of Morning Glory welcoming me to the new day. At first, I didn't realize what they were, and I was so disappointed in the evenings when I couldn't show Brad the beautiful flowers God had given me. My first explanation was that these specific gifts must be intended for only me. Upon some further research, I learned that morning glories only last the few hours of the morning, why is why I can only spot them during my morning commute. (However, I still like to believe they're for only me, regardless.)

[pic via]
Brad did finally witness this particular display of His glory on our way to church this past Sunday Morning. How cool of God to bless us with some beauty to make the start of each day even better!? He totally knows that I need some pick-me-ups in the mornings.

Another random gift that He sends my way on a regular basis is turkeys. Now, I know this is really weird, but there is this rafter (that's actually what you call them) of turkeys that seem to live in the back yard of a house located along my route to and from work. They aren't visible every day, but it has become a sort of treasure hunt for me to find them, making my daily commute much more exciting.

[pic via]
Some days I only see one or two, and some days I see the entire rafter! (Seriously, such a weird word.) I've even seen the big Toms spreading out their big feathers to impress the ladies, I've enjoyd observing the babies getting bigger. I know this seems silly, but every time I see one, a couple, or a whole lot of them, I always thank God for sending little treasures into my path.

Butterflies are something that are very specific to my personal relationship with God. I don't get them (technically, see them, but I feel like they're a gift, so I consider it receiving them) very often, but the times that I do are precisely when I need them the most. God sends a butterfly my way when I'm especially sad or lonely or scared or distracted with worldly things. They are kisses that He blows my direction in order to let me know He's here with me and He loves me and everything will be fine. To me, they serve as the most obvious physical reminder of God's presence in my life.

[pic via]
For my husband, that Brad-specific nudge from God comes in the form of a deer. He has some awesome stories of spending time in prayer during hikes and having a deer walk right up to him and stay there for a long time, just staring at him and then just hanging out right around him. There are so many times when God has sent Brad a deer when he most needs a heavenly reminder.

[pic via]

The other day, Brad and I were heading to a nearby state park to go for a walk/jog on the paved, shaded, 2-mile trail around the lake. This is one of our favorite places to exercise together. This particular evening, on the way there, we saw a whole field of deer, followed by a ton of turkeys, then a bunch of ducks on the water's edge. I took all of those gifts as blessings upon our time spent together and upon our work out. (For some reason, Satan really attacks me in this area, and I genuinely pray for protection from his lies when I'm about to enter into a time of exercise.)

Brad and I enjoyed wonderful, meaningful conversation during the first mile, but as soon as we passed the half-way point, a siren sounded signalling that the park would close soon. In order to make it out in time, we had to jog the remainder of the distance. It was an entire mile either way we went, and up to this point, I had never ran that far of a distance but once or twice on a treadmill. However, I absolutely did not want to get locked into the park. So I did the only thing I coudl do; I ran alongside my husband; and alongside my Creator.

I finally understood why He gave me so many bold signals of His presence in the beginning of the evening, and I used that awareness to motivate me to run. It was as we crossed over the bridge about a half-mile in that I thought I couldn't go anymore, and He sent a crane to swoop over the water at that exact minute. As I was jogging into the final quarter mile, I sang children's Bible songs in my head to keep pace as well as distract me from the pain in my lungs and the nasty sweat dripping down my face. (We had just taught 2-year-olds at Bible class the night before, so they were fresh in my mind.)

We finally made it back to the entrance, and do you know what God gave me?? Right there, in the middle of the walkway was a little doe just sauntering around. Through my huffs and puffs, I panted to Brad, "That's for me! Most deer He sends are for you, but that baby one right there is for me! He knew I'd need one after that!" (By the way, we made it back to the car with only three minutes to spare!)

[pic via]
God definitely knows me. Afterall, He created me. I truly believe that He speaks to all of us in our own personal ways. We just have to allow ourselves to be receptive to His unique form of communication in our lives.

What form do the kisses that He blows your way take?
Related Posts with Thumbnails