Monday, August 31, 2009

Weekend Rewind

Friday night we enjoyed a relaxing night at home with burgers on the grill & homemade french fries!! YUM!!! We ran a few errands and then enjoyed the night at home with Bogey.

Saturday we got up bright and early for a very full day. As I've mentioned previously, my brother recently moved to KC to start law school. He & his wife had moved last weekend with the help of both sets of parents; however, early in the week they realized that the location they had chosen was less than desirable! So...Saturday my parents & Hubby & I headed back up to KC for a full day of moving from the scary, ghetto townhome to the lovely, country club like apartment! The new place is quite a bit smaller but so much better & it's super close to a really nice area of shopping & restaurants. We were actually finished moving about 2:00 so we grabbed a late lunch and then relaxed in their apartment for a little while. We had planned on eating a nice dinner in KC so we went shopping for a bit to kill some time and then grabbed a great dinner at Abuelo's--this was my first Abuelo's experience and it was sooo good! We were definitely ready to head home & my parents dropped us off about 10:15--it was definitely time for bed!

Yesterday we went to church, grabbed a quick lunch and then I spent the afternoon at home doing a little bit of laundry, cleaning & mainly just relaxing. The weather was absolutely beautiful & very fall-like so Hubby took advantage of the nice afternoon and was able to get in a quick 18 holes of golf. We started back up with small group last night & just spent the evening catching up on the happenings of the summer & getting to know a couple of new people who are joining our group! I can't wait to dive into the study--it's about parenting & while Hubby & I dont' have kids (& probably won't for awhile), I know the study will be tons of fun & hopefully we'll learn a lot!

This week promises to be a crazy one--Hubby & I have plans tonight & tomorrow night, Wed. is a night for laundry & other household chores, & Thurs. is packing night for our big trip. More details to come on that later in the week...let's just say that lots and lots of driving is going to be involved!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Unanswered Prayers

So for all you country music lovers (or haters) I'm sure that Garth Brooks' old classic "Unanswered Prayers" is now running through your head. As I've mentioned in at least one previous post, we have been studying prayer & how to effectively pray on Wednesday nights at church. It was just a 3 week study, but I think it's changed my life and my prayer life forever. We've learned lots of things, from finding that one place at that one time to focus on prayer, to proclaiming God's glory--submitting to his will--then asking for our needs and wants, to praying with such persistence that God finds it honorable.

This week has been an eye-opening week for us...I can't reveal a whole lot on here, but let's just say that this week my husband & I had a huge burden lifted from our shoulders in a way that we never thought it would happen. In many ways, it was an unanswered prayer because God certainly didn't answer our prayers in the way we initially desired. God has revealed so many things to us and brought us to the place he wants us to be...and not the other way around.

We realized this week that that one big thing we were praying for so diligently would in all reality actually bring us more frustration, boredom, & disgust than true joy, peace or happiness. As we've all learned in our Sunday school classes from the time we could walk, unanswered prayers aren't unanswered at all--God just takes us in a different direction than the one that our simple human mind can comprehend.

Even though you've heard it all your life, pray diligently and God just might give you all the desires of your heart--even if it's not the answer you might have asked for in the first place.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Weekend Rewind!

Whew! What a fabulously, busy weekend! Friday night we stayed at home so Hubby could mow the yard & we enjoyed the beautiful weather outside! I actually cooked dinner for us at home all 5 nights last week! I was very proud of us as we normally always have something going on to cause us to grab something out or by Friday I'm sick and tired of cooking so I'm begging to go out! But not last week!

Saturday morning we got up bright and early and met our friends' to head to STL. We grabbed a quick lunch at Panera Bread (which is still called St. Louis Bread Company in the city) and then the boys dropped us off at the Fox Theater for the 2:00 production of Mary Poppins. The show was phenomenal! The actress who played Mary Poppins had an incredible vocal range & the show was just so fun! I would have to say that Wicked is still my favorite but simply because it is much more dramatic and the musical numbers are more powerful than they are in Mary Poppins. It was still definitely worth seeing & I would highly recommend it!

While we were at the show, the boys headed to Busch Stadium for a stadium tour. Hubby thoroughly enjoyed himself and learned a lot of history about his favorite team! He was much better at taking pictures than I was!

The St. Louis Cardinals dugout!

View from on the field, right behind homeplate--Hubby was in Cardinals Heaven!

On Sunday we went to church and then headed to the lake with some friends from church. We had a great time & the weather was absolutely beautiful. We practically had the lake to ourselves! Dana & I spent our time in the boat but the boys enjoyed some tubing and I even managed to get quite a bit of sun. Here's the blue sky & sunshine we got to experience all afternoon!

In one other bit of exciting news, we got a new piece of furniture on Friday! Hubby's dad works for a furniture company so we have a good connection. We ordered it as an accent piece and to have another chair when we have lots of company! I absolutely love it! I still have some work to do to make it all tie in with the room decor but that will have to wait a bit!

Our beautiful, comfy new chair!

Here's how it looks with the room--excuse the lighting as I was in a hurry this morning!

I have plans to at least change the area rug since the patterns definitely clash...everything else should still work with just a few minor adjustments!
This week is another fairly normal week--we've got some personal office drama going on so that always tends to make things a lot more stressful. Of course in some situations all you can do is pray that God's will be done.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Spoon Full of Sugar

Tomorrow Hubby & I are hopping in the car with another couple and roadtripping up to St. Louis. The girls are headed to a matinee showing of Mary Poppins at the unbelieveably gorgeous Fox theater & I think the boys are headed to the casinos for a little bit of gambling. Then we'll head out for a nice dinner before driving back home.

I'm super excited to see Mary Poppins as I've never seen this production on stage and it's been YEARS since I've watched the show at all! I just love all the songs in the musical! I'm just sure it's going to be Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!!! (sorry, couldn't help myself)

Sunday after church we are also headed down to the lake with some friends! It's not supposed to be super warm, but it will be a great afternoon for a boat ride & good company!

Have a great weekend!!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Dog Commercials

Being a dog owner & dog lover, I am obviously quite partial to all commercials starring dogs. I would have to say that in the recent past my 2 favorite series of commercials have been the K-9 Advantix commercials and the Cottonelle commercials. This is most likely due to the fact that the STAR dog of these commercials looks exactly like my Bogey did when he just a little guy.

I might be biased but I think he totally could have been in commercials when he was younger--if only he was a little bit more well behaved!

Ok so back to the original point of my post...Travelers Insurance has recently released a new commercial and while I'm definitely partial to labs and even though I don't represent Travlers professionally, this is one of the cutest commercials I've seen in a long time! Kudos to the ad team for whoever came up with this!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Shut the door behind you...

Tonight is our second night of small group meeting for the new fall session. As I've mentioned before, we are meeting as a large group for the first 3 weeks to focus our energies and minds on prayer and how powerful it can be. We have 30 min. of a DVD series and then 30 min. to break out with our small groups for discussion. Let me just say, last week was amazing and I'm so excited to see what God has in store for tonight.

The passage that we focused on last week was the passage right before Jesus tells us how to pray the Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6.

5"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Andy Stanley is the speaker on the DVD series...and wow!! God is using him in incredible ways. He broke down these 4 short verses in a way I'd never even thought of before. The main idea I took away was that while praying consistently throughout the day is certainly a good thing...Jesus tells us that when we pray, go into our room, and shut the door. Now I'm sure that we can either take this literally or figuratively but the main point is that when we are really wanting to get close to God we need to strive to find a place without any distractions so that we can truly focus on communicating with God.

In the past week I have really been striving to have a quick time with God before I head to work in the mornings and I can tell you that he is already revealing teachings to me that I've never really considered before. Now I don't spend the time in our bedroom but I go to our living room to our nice comfy oversized chair and sit there with the sun shining in and spend time in God's word. It's not a long period of time, but it's enough for me to feel a peace about the day and to be reaffirmed that God is going to be with me through any trials I might face during the day!

I can't wait for tonight, I know that even more amazing truths are going to be revealed this week!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Weekend Rewind

This weekend Hubby & I had a wonderful weekend with the right mix of relaxation, time as a couple, & time with family. Friday night we used our coupon at Ruby Tuesday for BOGO free entree'..gotta love those coupons. We took Bogey on a long walk around our subdivision and just enjoyed a nice relaxing night at home.

Saturday we were actually both home and we had no plans. Hubby mowed the yard (it now looks like a golf course again!) and I made my weekly trip to the grocery store, cleaned the kitchen, & worked on laundry. We spent the afternoon doing absolutely nothing!!! I took a nap while Hubby watched the PGA Championship golf tourney on television--this almost always results in at least one or both of us sleeping! We decided we were tired of being inside so we made ourselves beautiful & headed out for an impromptu date night...a 4:30 showing of The Time Traveler's Wife & dinner at the Pizza House. It was such a great time! I enjoyed the movie (haven't read the book but will probably have to now) and the Pizza House has great food. It's just a local pizza joint that has been in business for about 50 years & they cut their pizza into bite size yummy, but bad since you have no idea how much you eat!

We got home fairly early but had time to take Bogey on his nightly walk. We try to take him a walk every night so he gets plenty of exercise (plus his owners' need the exercise as well!) A normal nightly walk is normally 2 1/2 rounds around our subdivision which is about 1.5 miles--lately we've been trying to take him 3 full rounds since it's been cooler at night so that is getting is to 1.8 miles each night. We walk at a pretty brisk pace & Bogey keeps the pace very well by pulling us along so it's a fairly good workout!

This morning we went to church and heard a great message about being ready for Christ's second coming--our pastor even used a couple of clips from Runaway Bride--trust me, it tied in very well! We grabbed a quick lunch at Qdoba.......YUMM!!! and now I'm at home sitting in a chair trying to keep myself from taking a nap for the second day in a row (in other words, Hubby is watchign golf again)!
Tonight we're headed to Branson for dinner at Cantina Laredo with my parents & my brother & his wife. My little brother recently found out that he was accepted into law school at UMKC in Kansas City, MO. Orientation starts on Thursday so this is kind of a going away dinner for both of them. It will certainly be an adjustment as my brother & I both never lived more than an hour from home all through college and even now I'm only 15 min. away and he's 30 min. away. I guess the big bonus of him being in KC is a free place to crash if I need a fix at the Country Club Plaza! I'm so super proud of my brother & all that he's accomplished and I'm sure this experience will be no different. Good luck Nick & Millie...I'll miss you both and I'll certainly be praying for you guys!
(Sorry no pictures this weekend--I didn't have much that was actually picture worthy--but it was definitely an amazing weekend!!)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Favorite Vacation Spot!

Show Us Your Life: Favorite Vacation Spot

This week at Kelly's Korner she is highlighting everyone's favorite vacation spot. This was so hard for me! St. Lucia will always hold a very special place in my heart since this is where we went on our honeymoon. It was absolutely breathtaking and I trip I will never, ever forget! You can see some pictures from St. Lucia here from last weeks' Blog Hop.

Growing up my parents took my brother & I on a family vacation every summer right after school got out for the year. I am 26 now & I would guess that for at least 15 of those 26 years my parents took us to the Florida Panhandle. We would occasionally take a trip to somewhere else, but we always seemed to return to the beautiful, soft, white, sandy beaches of the Gulf Coast. We started out going to Panama City Beach, but more recently we've switched to Destin because it seems much cleaner, has better shopping, and is less of a Spring Break crowd year around. You can see some photos of this year's trip here. I can't wait until Hubby & I can take our own children to the ocean & watch them play in the sun & sand! I have such great memories from here.

In addition to our honeymoon in St. Lucia & our annual family vacations to the Florida Panhandle, I also have to include a couple of other favorites. One of our non-Florida summer vacations was a 10-day trip to Maui. All I can say is Wow!!! It was absolutely beautiful!! We flew into Honolulu & visited Pearl Harbor before taking an inter-island flight to Maui. It was an unbelievable vacation. Hawaii was definitely on the short list for honeymoon locations; however, we quickly decided that we wanted to go somewhere that neither one of us had been! I'll definitely be taking Hubby there sometime--maybe even as soon as a pre-baby vacation! Sorry, but I don't have any photos---they are all on on the computer at my parents' house!

Finally, I would have to add Mackinac Island in Michigan to the final list. Hubby's parents live in SE Michigan & 2 summers ago we traveled farther north to visit this fantastic location. Mackinac is completely free of motorized vehicles so we rented bikes & rode around the island, had some homemade fudge, & enjoyed the beautiful day! I would totally recommend this part of Michigan if you're wanting a relaxing getaway and something totally different from a day at the beach!

Don't you just love Hubby's cute basket on his bike?!?

Hope you enjoyed my travels...I know I sure have & I can't wait to make many more memories on our trips in the future! I have a huge mental list of where I would like to go...some we can probably afford in the near future--others will have to wait a few (or 30) years!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wednesday Ramblings

Not much going on in the Layman household this week, just a bunch of random happenings.

1. Last night I babysat for some friends of ours. I kept their little girl for about 2 hours. She's 2 and is absolutely adorable. We had lots of fun & she was definitely glad to see me. I can honestly say that might be the first time that I've ever babysat someone who I wasn't related you can tell babysitting was not on my list of odd jobs in high school or college. We painted, played with her American dolls, played on the swingset, watched Veggie Tales, read books, etc., etc., etc. all in the matter of 2 hours. Oh how innocent little minds can be!

2. Tonight is the launch date for the new fall season of small groups at our church! YEAH!!! We are starting as one big church group for 3 weeks of a quick study on prayer and then in a few weeks we are breaking out into our individual groups. Hubby & I are super excited to get started again...our small group is such a blessing to us. We are discussing doing a women's study only and a men's study only for the first few weeks. I would love this!

3. Work has been incredibly slow this week--nice in some ways, but not so much in others. I much prefer a crazy week/day where the time just flies by...otherwise I'm tempted to spend way too much time in the Blog World. However, I have got caught up on several tasks which is always a nice feeling!

4. This is the dress I bought for my cousin's wedding. The wedding is at 4 in the afternoon but is rumored to be quite formal. I thought this fit the bill just perfectly with my new navy peep toes & some fun jewelry (which has yet to be purchased). It has pockets & while it's not very flattering if I put my hands in them--they are certainly nice to have if I choose to want them! The dress is BCBG and I bought it at Dillard's over the weekend...I just love their clothes too bad I can't afford them most of the time (unless they're on sale!)Hubby is wearing a navy suit with one of his new awesome shirt/tie combos so we will look super sharp together!

5. We have ZERO plans for the weekend...I mean ZERO....who knows what we'll end up getting into! I love spontaneous weekends!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Weekend Rewind

Hubby & I had a pretty laid back weekend and I was very thankful for that because it was super hot outside. Friday night we had dinner at Old Chicago with another couple and their little girl Makenna. At 1 1/2, she is just a doll and was incredibly well behaved while we ate dinner. After dinner we stopped at Sam's to pick a few things & then came home to relax. We spent some time playing with Bogey and he certainly enjoyed playing in the water like always.

Bogey certainly loves his kiddie pool!

He also loves milk jugs or any large plastic container!

I had to work on Saturday morning until noon (but I left early thanks to it being slow) and I headed back home to pick up Bogey & Hubby. We headed down to my parents' house for the afternoon and had some great pool time. My brother & his wife also came down later and we had a wonderful family dinner of steaks, potatoes, spinach salad, and homemade peach pie (YUMMM!!!). It had been a long time since just the 6 of us had a meal together. After dinner we took all 6 dogs & headed up to my grandparents' pond for a little swim time for the pups. We had a blast & it was hilarious to watch them all get incredibly muddy!
Josie really loves the water -- this was the perfect spot for her to keep cool!
Bogey & Dallas retrieving sticks from the pond
Nick & Millie with Romo who was incredibly muddy--but had a great time!
We went to church this morning, grabbed a quick lunch at a new little spot in town & then headed to do some quick shopping. Hubby & I both wanted something new for my cousin's wedding that's in Tennessee in a few weeks. It was tax free weekend here in Missouri and I was afraid that the mall would be really busy but it was actually not too bad. I found a new dress (possibly more than 1) & Hubby found 2 new shirts & 2 new ties--so he'll have some options...It was definitely a successful trip. We've finished up the day relaxing (aka napping while Hubby watches golf). Just another week of work ahead for both of's supposed to be hot here again all this week...I think we're now paying for the unseasonably cool July that we had!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Show Us Your Life--Reception & Honeymoon

This week at Kelly's Korner the theme is Wedding Reception & Honeymoon. I was lucky enough to be able to have our wedding reception at my parents' house (also the house I lived in my entire life). We set up a huge white tent & the weather could not have been more perfect.

Arriving at the reception in our Vintage Rolls Royce (it was a surprise from my parents!)

Making our way into the tent!

Hubby's cake--a golf cart of course!

My cake

Our favors...Personalized golf tees & mints

A good view of the inside of our tent!

The bouquet toss...notice my face, I was scare of hitting the top of the tent!

Preparing for the garter toss--I absolutely loved how our head table ended up looking!

Little back brother & my Hubby went to the same small Baptist university and also had the same major so they had several mutual became a joke to make up personalized words to a popular song at the time. We got a version of The Angry American, by Toby Keith that was personalized to the experiences of our was a riot!

Honeymoon: We left the next morning on a flight at 6:30 am to go to St. Lucia. It was absolutely breathtaking and we would go back in a heartbeat (if we had the funds!) One story I might add is that we walk into our room on the first night to find 2 twin beds...our bellhop looks at us and says in his Island accent..."I guess this probably isn't going to work", since we're on our honeymoon. At that point we had been traveling for a little over 12 hours and didn't care about anything but sleeping. The next morning we went to the front desk & asked if we could be moved...never in our dreams did we expect to be moved to a villa with a view like this! It was beautiful & the rest of the trip went off without a hitch!

At one of of the beautiful beaches
In front of the Pitons (Gros & Petit aka Big & Small)...these are St. Lucia's claim to fame and they are pretty spectacular!
In front of one of the many waterfalls

Candlelight dinner on the balcony of our villa...all for us!
I can honestly say that from the start of the wedding day to the end of the honeymoon we had nothing drastically go wrong. We had such an amazing time & I will certainly cherish the memories we made as a couple for the rest of my life!

Monday, August 3, 2009

How Big is Your Giant?

And David said, “The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and may the LORD be with you.” 1 Samuel 17:37

As a Christian, most all of us have had those times in life when you are sitting at church listening to a pastor teach from the Word of God and it hits you...Is he talking directly to me? Is the pastor really talking to anyone else but me? that you?

Yesterday was one of those moments for me. The pastor was preaching about being Fearless & was preaching from the story of David & Goliath. I know we've all heard this story before: A small boy kills a giant man with a slingshot. End of Story. Well, not yesterday and maybe not ever again in my life. Our preacher went on and discussed some of the background of the story & while most of the sermon was at least slightly familiar to me--the last thing he said was not. Althought it might seem like such an obvious realization, it hit me yesterday like a slap in the face. David didn't defeat Goliath with a stone...he defeated him with the power of the Almighty God. David didn't compare the size of Goliath to himself because that wasn't what mattered. He compared Goliath to the size of his God and in that comparison Goliath was no giant at all.

I don't know about you, but there are plenty of giants in my life both big and small. Yesterday was such an amazing realization for me. Who am I to try and fight those giants on my own & why do I think they are so big? I need to stop comparing my giants to the size of myself and my weak human abilities and start looking at them compared to my Heavenly Father who is " to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. " Ephesians 3:20

I need to remember just like David did those times when God pulled me through & has helped me fight the lions & the bears...this is the same God who will help me defeat the giants in my life.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Weekend Rewind

Hubby played in a golf tournament this weekend benefiting the golf team at his alma mater. He didn't tee off until 1:30 both days so this meant I got to spend most all of Saturday & Sunday at home doing whatever I wanted. I was very productive this weekend doing lots of things around the house that I had either been putting off or hadn't had time to accomplish.

Friday night Hubby & I actually just hung out around the house. He grilled filet mignon (Mmmm...our favorited) for dinner & then we made a quick trip to Dairy Queen for some ice cream. (Side note: the 30 Day shred took a brief hiatus this week due to Hubby being out of town early in the week...needless to say our so-called "watching what we eat" went out the window with the Shred.) We also watched Slumdog Millionaire...good movie, but not really what I expected. I'm not sure what I was expecting...just not that. Oh and if you're keeping count, that is movie #1 for me this weekend.
Saturday we had no plans for the morning so we had the wonderful pleasure of not setting an alarm. I woke up, glanced at the clock & it was 9:30! 9:30...we never sleep in past 8:30 and that's normally only on Sunday mornings. It was definitely quite nice! We did a few things around the house & then Hubby left for the first round of his golf tournament. The golf course is an hour away, because of the tournament it was going to be a 5 hour round, & then an hour drive home meant that I had time from 12:00 noon to about 7:30 to myself. Here's where my lady of the house duties began. First, I tackled the lovely chore of cleaning out the cabinet underneath my bathroom sink. I managed to throw away about 1/2 a trashbag full of old makeup, half-used bottles of lotion that I'll never use again, a self-pedicure set that I received as a gift about 3 years ago, freebie makeup from those gift sets at Clinique & Estee Lauder...I'm sure by now you get the idea. My goal in doing this was to create room in this cabinet to put all of the products I use each day instead of them cluttering up & dirtying my countertop. Next task...Walmart. I took my weekly trip for groceries & snagged up some cute little baskets to put all of my bathroom stuff in!

Next, I did something I knew Hubby would be very excited about. I baked an apple pie from scratch, including the pie crust. I actually love to bake apple pies but they take a while so this was the perfect opportunity! We had apple pie a la mode when Hubby got home and it was soooo yummy!!!
Gala apples...all ready to be made into a pie!


Hot & ready out of the oven with sprinkle of sugar on top!

The rest of yesterday afternoon included some laundry, movie #2 Confessions of a Shopaholic (it was certainly entertaining but I'm glad I didn't spend money on it at a theater), some dishes, and movie #3 27 Dresses (on TV while I waited on Hubby). Hubby brought home Pizza Hut pizza for dinner & we just relaxed the rest of the evening.

Today Hubby & I went to church together & then we went our separate ways. He headed back to the golf course & I grabbed a quick lunch in the car & headed to Michaels. Remember how I wanted all my bathroom stuff off the countertop...well now I had room & a reason to put something pretty there. I grabbed up a few new candles & a tray from Michaels and...VOILA!!! A nice little accent piece for the bathroom counter!
It looks so much nicer & not so cluttered!

The rest of my afternoon has included baking lasagna (for a quick dinner one night this week), more laundry, cleaning off the back patio of Bogey prints, refilling Bogey's pool, movie #4 Bride Wars, and vacuuming the house Whew....what a weekend!

My wonderful companion for the weekend!