Hudson’s First Birthday

This weekend I was lucky enough to travel to Texas and celebrate Hudson’s first birthday with the family.  His actual birthday is this Wednesday, but everyone (except Andrew) was available.  Bryan and Amanda planned an all out Birthday bash Hawaiian luau.  The weather was PERFECT, 75 and sunny.  We made steak fajitas and all different “Hawaiian” fixings.  We wore leis and most people dressed in Hawaiian attire.  Amanda had purchased Hudson the cutest Hawaiian inspired outfit and as I put his outfit on he puked all over me and him, so we wore alternative outfits, but that’s the way it goes when you’re one!  The party was great and we were super stuffed by the end of evening.  It was a great party and I’m glad I got to be part of it.

Things I Will Miss and Not Miss

Yesterday we went house hunting and found a house we might be interested in.  It would take a lot of work to make it what we would want, but the asking price is low for the area and I think we could make money on it with some improvements and time.  It got me thinking about what I will miss and not miss about our current apartment.

I will miss:

Our huge rooms

Our built in radiator towel warmer

100 Year Old Charm

The Price

The massive amounts of closet space

I Will Not Miss:

Someone else being responsible to pay the bills: we were without electricity this weekend and they threaten to shut the water off every month.

The 3 flights of stairs we must climb to put the groceries away

The lack of a dishwasher

Our teeny tiny kitchen

Lack of office space

HEAT in the summer AND Winter.

Lack of a washer and dryer in our unit.

Nonfunctional Fireplace.

Hearing our neighbors…

Well that wraps it up, I have LOVED living in this apartment and have been totally blessed to be given the opportunity to make this place a home with paint and pictures.  Our Landlord is super nice and flexible.  Also this is our first home and it will be a bitter sweet move!  Can’t wait to get further into the house hunting process, when we know more we’ll post pictures of what we are interested in!  Hope you have had a relaxing weekend…now I’m off to watch some LOST 🙂

The Shirt Off Their Back

Do you have any friends that would give you the shirt off their back?  I have been wonderfully blessed by my friendship with Jenna.  Last night she surprised us and came to small group.  When she arrived I immediately noticed her earrings, they were the ones I had been eying for several weeks at F21.  I looked at them all night and after group while we were talking I said, ” I just can’t get over how much I like those earrings and how bummed I am that I never purchased them.  Without a thought she ripped them out of her ears and and handed them over.  I was super embarrassed and kept trying to give them back.  She continued to hand them over saying she wanted me to have them and I would do it for her.  She’s right I totally would do it for her, that’s what friends do.  Today I am wearing these awesome earrings and thinking about how sweet my friend Jenna is.  My challenge to you today is to make someone’s day by giving them “the shirt off your back.”

Interviewing…

I’m happy to say that I survived my first (phone) interview ever! It was intense…I freak out about my semester group meeting (which should be pretty low-stress), so naturally I was going to experience plenty of anxiety. The search committee (6 total) were about 15 minutes late when they called, but they launched right into a series of 8 questions probing my understanding, interest, and suitability for the community college environment. I had interesting, complete answers for each. There are 7 candidates that they interviewed, and they will be inviting the finalists to campus for half-day interviews including a mock teaching session. I have no idea where I stand, but the fact that I got to this stage is very encouraging. I should hear within 2 weeks about their next decisions. Thanks for your prayers and support!

Like a Teenager Again

This week I dug out my retainer.  I have always worn my bottom retainer at night since I got my braces off my Freshman year of Highschool.  I come from a family of teeth grinders and this retainer has most likely saved my teeth and my jaw.  I have not worn my top retainer since I’m guessing the day before I got married.  I thought that was a little juvenile to wear when I was married and I thought…I’ve had my braces off for 7 years how much could my teeth REALLY move?  I found out just how much my teeth have moved on Saturday and man was I bummed that I hadn’t continued my good habit of wearing the stupid retainer. I am happy to say I was able to get the retainer in, but for the past few days I have felt like I have braces all over again.  The pain this morning was so excruciating that I could not sleep.  I know it’s only a matter of a few more days before the retainer will pop in and out with ease again,  but until then I will be talking to Andrew with a horrible lisp before bed…he is some what creeped out when he kisses “a twelve year old” goodnight, but it’s worth the $3000 smile that my parents purchased for me in highschool….thanks mom and dad!

Pray Today

Please pray today for Andrew’s job interview at 2:30!  We’ll let you know how it turns out 🙂

{UPDATE: Andrew felt pretty good about how things went and we’ll know more in the next couple of weeks.  Thanks for your prayers they were felt!}

A Day of Spoilage

Tuesday night we headed up to Chicago for my brother’s birthday and had the privilege of staying with my parents at the Four Seasons in downtown Chicago.  We got in really late due to a traffic backup from an accident so we crawled in bed as soon as we arrived.  The next morning we woke up around 8:30 and leisurely got showered and dressed and then headed downstairs to have breakfast at the 4 seasons restaurant.  We all indulged in things we wouldn’t typically eat for breakfast and enjoyed excellent service and royal treatment.  I would definitely recommend doing this at least once, but I’d probably save it for a special occasion seeing as it is more money than one would typically want to spend on breakfast.  Hey it was my brother’s birthday so it was definitely justifiable.

My brother sent my mom down to the spa for a belated Christmas gift massage and we went downstairs to do a little shopping in Bloomingdales and other stores in the building.  We did a little more shopping once my mom was finished, but Andrew and I refrained from purchasing anything the whole day.  We walked A LOT then hit Rock Bottom brewery for a late lunch.  Oh I forgot to mention the weather was PERFECT!  After lunch we walked down to Navy Pier and purchased tickets for the IMAX 3D viewing of Alice in Wonderland.

The movie was pretty awesome, the story was somewhat surprising (it may have actually been the same story as the original, but I haven’t seen the original in probably over 10 years).  It was fun to watch it in 3D, and I would definitely recommend at minimum seeing it in the theater because I really don’t think it would be the same on a small screen.  We then took a cab ride back to the hotel and freshened up before dinner.

We had made reservations earlier in the day to go to Roy’s Hawaiian Steakhouse.  Let me start by saying…if you are ever in Chicago and want an exceptional meal with superb service go to Roy’s.  A couple could probably get out of there for about $100, and you will not regret splurging on this experience.  We each got what they call the Prix Fixe where you each pick an appetizer, main course and dessert.  I cannot tell you how glad I am that I was not fasting!  I had a Shrimp Tempura appetizer, Salmon on a bed of rice and fried green beans and a Chocolate Flour less Cake a la mode.  We were there for about 2 and a 1/2 hours and I could have stayed longer.  The portions were perfect (or a little on the large side) and the food was DELICIOUS!

We had almost the perfect day.  The only thing that would have made it better would have been having Bryan, Amanda, and Hudson with us!  Thanks Mom, Dad and Kevin for providing a wonderful and much needed break from real life!

A couple pictures from our day, neither of them are great, but they were taken in a dark hotel room with an  Iphone so what do you expect?

Break-fast

Today marks the last day of a 70 day sweets fast.  During the duration of our support and recovery program the leaders and some of the participants fasted to focus on praying for the program and breaking our addictive behaviors.  In the weeks leading up to the program start I felt like God highlighted that I needed to fast all sweet foods.  The exception was gum and fruit.  What I didn’t realize when I made this agreement was how much of our daily foods are sweet!

Things I have craved way more than I thought I would:

PB and J-yep Jelly was considered a sweet

Reeses PB cup miniatures

DIET COKE-this one still hasn’t gone away.

I’m sure there were other things, but really after awhile you no longer crave sweets.  I was tempted at Birthday parties, friend get togethers, etc. however from day to day I didn’t miss it all the much (with the exception of Diet Coke).  Tonight I will break my fast with a huge potluck feast with the others from the Healing Journey program.  Also a certain special someone bought me a whole bag of Reese’s PB cups to feast on over the next couple weeks.

What God taught me through this fast: throughout this session of Healing Journey I have been working through security issues.  I’ve learned that I rely WAY to much on myself and Andrew and way too little on God to give us what we need.  Through this fasting time I have specifically focused on Andrew’s job situation and asking God to provide the security I crave.  With something as silly as getting rid of sweets (which I don’t need anyway) for 70 days I felt like God continued to remind me that if he cared enough about me to take away my cravings and help me fight temptations of sweets then he DEFINITELY cares enough about me and Andrew to give us a job!  I have been able to surrender my control over things and I can finally say I truly trust God to provide and I feel secure in Him.  Also I discovered I have more self discipline than I ever thought I did, I CAN do whatever it is God asks me to and that is something I have questioned in the past.

Our church starts a 21 day fast on Sunday and I’m excited to see what breakthroughs we receive personally AND corporately.

Confused, Really Confused

A man just walked into the store that I’m working at right now and asked, “Is today Saturday or Sunday.”  I replied, “actually today is Friday.”  Instead of getting upset that he had totally lost his mind he smiled and said, “Well I guess that means I have the whole weekend ahead of me!”  Then he walked out, cheers to optimism today.