Friday, July 31, 2009

In Love...

With these little bad boys, right here:

Have you tried these ice cream candy bars yet? No? Well you should, because they're a little slice of heaven. 

Now this is the part where I tell you that I was NEVER a sweets eater until I met my husband (see here for more details on that). Give me an olive, a pickle, a bag of salty chips any day.


Although my sodium levels are much lower, my sugar levels are probably off the chart. Have I mentioned that diabetes runs in my family? Yeah, so I have to be REALLY careful about the sweets (mostly because I'm already filled up on the sugar from all the COKE I drink...I know, I know). Anyway, these little beauties are just perfect for my prone-to-diabetes health. 

Unless, of course, I eat the whole box...which I didn't. But I'm not saying it couldn't happen.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Patience of Job

I know I haven't posted in a while, and I'm sorry for that (especially to you precious few who actually READ my blog!). I've had kind of a heavy heart lately. Nothing in particular has been going wrong in my own life, but there are so many people around me suffering - and the weight of it all has inundated me, in a way. I've not felt very creative (or lighthearted for that matter), and it seems that all I've wanted to do is sit around and NOT DO. It's like a case of the Monday's that has lasted a week!  

I met with my women's small group on Monday night, and we're reading the book The Bible Jesus Read, by Philip Yancey. If you're looking for a small group study, this one is already becoming a favorite of mine. We just finished a study on the book of Job, and it blew my mind.

When you think of Job, you probably think of his suffering; God's "testing" of Job's faith. What Yancey enlightened me to, is the fact that we are allowed to feel pain, to be upset, to be in agony, to feel despair. Just because we know that God is in control, doesn't always make it better, does it? He gives evidence of this by pointing to the fact that Job essentially "let God have it" (see Job 7:17-19, 10:20-21, 14:18-22, 16:7-9) Yancey observes that "Job did not take his pain meekly; he cried out in protest to God."

We don't have to "fake it" and plaster a smile to our face, like we Christians so often do (or are even told to do). It's alright to be hurt, angry, confused, long as it's HONEST. Yes, bad things happen, and yes, we are given license to feel the weight of our frustration.  What really matters to God, is our FAITH; what choice we will make. Will we choose to keep our faith in the Lord? Or will we curse him? 

Yancey says, "Job presents the astounding truth that our choices of faith matter not just to us and our own destiny but, amazingly, to God himself....How we respond matters. By hanging onto the thinnest thread of faith, Job won a crucial victory in God's grand plan to redeem the earth. In his grace, God has given ordinary men and women the dignity of participating in the redemption of the cosmos."

 Job kept the faith (but let God have it in the process!), and God rewarded him double for his faithfulness.

A final thought from Yancey: "When a Job-like circumstance happens to you, I guarantee that someone has been there before you. And that's the old man Job. Because he was honest, because he was so eloquent, he's like a pioneer. He has gone ahead of us. So if you wonder, Should I really feel that? Should I really say that to God? you can relax and say, "Well, yeah, that's okay because Job already did."

I hope in some way this resonates with you, like it did with me. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Making Up For Lost Time Part 2

Commence Part 2: Orlando

So today I can actually look at the computer screen without my eyeballs screaming in protest. I'd like to take this opportunity to say, this cold WILL NOT go away. Mike and I keep saying to each other, "We'll feel better tomorrow, right?" "Riiiight. You just keep telling yourselves that," say the nasty little germs that have wreaked havoc on our bodies. 


Except, we didn't go there. We went to Sea World instead. 

That's right folks...I was in the vicinity of THE MOUSE and did not step ONE FOOT into The Magic Kingdom. I know...I was shocked too. This was a first for me. I've never visited Orlando without going to Disney World. We shopped around Downtown Disney, but if you're a Disney addict like me, you know that's like giving me a Diet Coke when I SPECIFICALLY SAID I WANTED A REGULAR COKE.

Cody had been to Sea World when he was about 4 months old, so he was too young to remember any of it. This time around, he absolutely LOVED it. Both he and Tyler fed stingrays, touched dolphins, saw Shamu (a favorite for sure), and plenty of other sea creatures. Here's a smattering of photos of our trip - Mike took mostly video, and until I can figure out a good way to upload it here, the pictures will just have to do.

This is Cody, with all of his bounty from playing the booth games. Actually, Mike and my dad won half of it for him. Funny story, my dad was intent on winning Cody an enormous stuffed animal, so he finds the one game he KNOWS he can win. Apparently those "pound the groundhog/frog/whatever animal it might be in the hole" games are NO MATCH for my father. So in his superior fashion, he won, and made the 5 year old kid who was playing against him cry. To top it off he gave a big fist pump in the air. If you've ever seen Billy Madison, all I could think of was the big bully kid that goes, "O'Doyle RULES". Way to go, Dad...hee hee.

Cody and Tyler at The World of Disney Store in Downtown Disney (which was the closest they got to anything Mickey Mouse related this trip) with a Dalmatian.

Cody (center), with his buddies Logan Taylor (left) and Reed Chandley (right) at Sea World.

Cody, Tyler, and Mike feeding the stingrays at Sea World. 

My parents, the boys, and myself at Downtown Disney (Mike was the photographer - and didn't he do a great job!;p).

The trip was a lot of fun...which is good, because it gave us something awesome to remember when we all came home and became deathly ill :P

Monday, July 20, 2009

Pass the Screwdriver Please...

I'd like to drill a hole in my head with it. 

So the funk has returned to this household, and no one - NO NOT ONE - made it out unscathed. The kids started with fevers on our way back from Orlando last Wednesday. I thought maybe they just picked up a little virus from Disney World, a.k.a. Germ World, that would pass in a day or two. 

No such luck.

First the kids had the sneezing, itchy eyes, sore throat, pounding headache, body aches, etc. Now we - the parents - have it. As of yesterday, I was pretty sure neither myself, nor my husband would survive the day (either succumbing to the sickness or killing each other), but here I am! Hooray! Watch, I'll do a cartwheel! Oh crap, I just got snot on my shirt. Oh well, we'll just toss that into the pile of dirty laundry that's been sitting in the corner of the room sneering at me for almost a week. 

The poor hubby is - at this very moment - laying in bed and trying to recover. I felt that way yesterday, so I'm not surprised in the least. At least today I'm coherent and able to get a few things done (dishes, pick up a few toys, feed the dog, the bare minimum to survive). However, the Part 2 edition of our vacation will have to wait until I'm able to look at the computer for longer than 5 minutes without my head spinning. Oh, and successfully resist the urge to cry inconsolably at how badly I miss my parents and how much I wish they hadn't gone back to Florida.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Making Up For Lost Time Part 1

I'm finally back, and (somewhat) recovered from vacation(s)...if only I had a vacation to FULLY recover from my vacation(s). Okay, I sound like a completely spoiled brat.

So here's Part 1: CALIFORNIA

Like I said before, California was a-mazing! My adorable, tech-geek husband - as evidenced by the photo below at the Mecca of all geekdom - had a training conference in Anaheim. 

Being the opportunistic wife that I am (ahem), I saw my chance to get a kid-free vacation out of it. I called in the reinforcements (a.k.a. Grammy Carol and Pop-Pop Stan) to watch the kiddos for the week, and away we went. 

Mike obviously had conference responsibilities, so in those moments I took the chance to soak up some sun (every day was PERFECT WEATHER!) and read a few books. When he wasn't in training sessions, we explored California, and I have to say again, I LOVED IT ALL. Well, all but the traffic.

We were staying in Anaheim, so we thought we ought to pay homage to the one and only, Mickey Mouse. We visited Disneyland and California Adventureland. You must know, dear reader, that I adore all things Disney, so it would have been sacrilege NOT to go to Disneyland. Although, it was totally weird without the kids, and I found myself teary-eyed on more than one occasion at how badly it made me miss them. Despite that, we had SO. MUCH. FUN.

I got to meet Handy Manny (Cody's favorite) ,

and Mike took a picture with Lightning McQueen (Tyler's favorite) .


What made it even more fun was that my precious cousin, David, and his even more precious girlfriend, Julie, were able to join us one day for the fun. 

Couldn't you just eat them up?!

We were also able to visit Venice Beach and the Santa Monica Pier. I've never seen a beach where there are mountains in the backdrop! And I've never been on a beach where I've actually said, "Gosh, I wish I'd brought a jacket. I'm cold!" What the ???

My favorite day, had to be when we got in our little rental car and drove to Beverly Hills (Rodeo Drive, baby! Any Pretty Woman fans out there?!), Hollywood Boulevard, and the Sunset Strip. 

Who's a crazy tourist? Um, that'd be me.

Who's a celebrity junkie? Uh, that'd be me again (touching Mr. Brad Pitt's hands, thank you very much).

That sign actually says Via Rodeo, but we were taking our own pictures, so it got cut off.

On a sadder note, we were actually there just after Michael Jackson's death, so we were able to see his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame piled high with flowers and memorial tributes.

Our last night in California we stayed with my sweet cousin Susi (and her awesome hubby Jona), who God bless her, is newly pregnant and has been SO SICK. Nonetheless, she mustered up the strength to get dinner with us AND hang out that night. She's a trouper. Love you, Sus! xoxo

So that about wraps up the California trip. I said it before, and I'll say it again...PEOPLE WITH CHILDREN: If you have ANY chance to get away without your kids for a couple of nights...DO IT. My hubby and I had so much fun (LOVE YOU BABE), and I'm so grateful to my parents for watching my babies, which in turn allowed me to have a STRESS FREE vacation.

Part 2: Orlando....COMING SOON

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

Hi Blog,

It's me again. You know, the one who promised not to ignore you ever again. Well, I lied. I'm actually going to leave you again...for 5 days. And you have to know that I would only do this for one particular being on the entire planet, and that being is this guy right here.

That's right. We're off to see Mickey Mouse. Have I mentioned I love being married to a teacher? Summer is SO MUCH FUN. This trip totally fell off my radar, so when Mike reminded me that we were leaving, um, tomorrow! I thought I better get to packing for my whole family. Needless to say, all of my plans to post all the pictures from my amazing trip to California will just have to wait until after I've gotten back from The Happiest Place on Earth. I'm thinking it will only remain The Happiest Place on Earth until one of us realizes we forgot to put batteries in the camera, or the wheel on the stroller breaks, or we witness more than one overtired parent screaming at their overtired child to "HAVE FUN OR WE ARE GOING HOME". :)

I'm not sure if I will be able to post while I'm gone (for all 3 of you lovely readers ~ have I mentioned I love you? Because I TOTALLY DO), but here's hoping. 

Goodnight for now!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sweet Little Blog... I've missed you so! Have you missed me?

So the last week and a half has consisted of CALIFORNIA. 

Oh. My. Goodness.

How is it that I had never visited that place before??? Mike (the hubby) and I had SUCH an amazing time there. We were able to totally recharge our batteries and rediscover all the reasons we fell in love with each other in the first place. And when I tell you I love him, I mean that I FREAKING LOVE THAT MAN SO MUCH IT HURTS. 

People with children, let me tell you...if there is ANY WAY you can get away without your kids (and I'm talking for more than a night) whatever you have to do, DO IT. It is SO WORTH IT!

I'm hoping to post pictures sometime tomorrow with full details of the trip, but right now I'm tired and the glare from this computer screen is aggravating my already terrible headache. But what can I say, when you need to write, YOU NEED TO WRITE.

I've missed you sweet blog ~ I promise I won't stay away so long next time.