Sunday, February 28, 2010
Friday night we decided to just stay at home with dinner & a movie. It was finally fairly warm outside so Hubby volunteered to grill pork tenderloin. Oh how I have missed using the grill during these winter months. There's just nothing like a great home-grilled meal at home with the man you love. We finished off the evening with a movie and an early night to bed. Doesn't get much better than that.
Saturday morning Hubby had to work (as normal during tax season) so I managed to do a whole lot of nothing. I was seriously lacking motivation so I can't claim that I accomplished hardly anything but a few loads of laundry & transferring pictures from the computer into my Adobe Photoshop Elements program...that was quite a task in and of itself since I realized that I have over 5000 pictures on this computer. Think I might need to get a second hard-drive to back those up soon!
Saturday afternoon we relaxed for a bit and then headed out for date afternoon complete with dinner & a movie. But first, Hubby needed a new phone. Literally needed, since it frequently turned off on it's own and the back plate practically came off on it's own with the battery not far behind. We managed to get out of the AT&T store within about 30 minutes, new phone in hand. I think that might be a new record for any type of cell phone transaction.
We then headed to a matinee showing of Valentine's Day. I highly recommend it as a feel-good love story & I'm pretty sure even Hubby enjoyed it. Of course, there are always those moments in a movie that disappoint you & make you think..."Now why did they have to go and include that?" but for the most part it was a good movie and a nice way to spend my Saturday afternoon. We followed up the movie with dinner at "The Pizza House" our local pizza joint that makes cracker-thin crust pizza. So good & so delicious. We were home by 8:00 with plenty of time to catch some Olympic coverage and bring Bogey inside for a bit.
Hubby & I have decided that we love our date afternoons. Not only are the movies cheaper during the afternoon but it's so fun to spend the afternoon together & get home at a decent hour.
Today we had church and grabbed a quick sandwich for lunch. I'm so happy to be able to type these next few words...We spent the rest of the afternoon working outside. It's been such a brutal winter that it was wonderful to be able to spend the afternoon outside in the sunshine. We cleaned out our front flower beds & did some serious pruning of our shrubs. Bogey also got to go on a walk for the first time in a very long time. The night was finished off with small group, which was a blessing as always.
Oh, and I can't forget. Saturday was made even better when we checked the mailbox. Inside was a package just for me! A few weeks ago I won my first ever giveaway over at Megan of Tales of the Trees. I won the most adorable notecards with my name on them from Notably Noted. They've got some adorable stationery so check them out! Hopefully I'll be able to use these soon to send out some snail mail. I'm fairly sure that most of my readers already do, but if you don't read Megan's blog you should check her out...that girl seriously makes me laugh on a daily basis! Thanks again Megan!
Tomorrow is March 1st which means only 45 more days to go in tax season. We're over half-way through! Yippee!
Thursday, February 25, 2010
We had a great time but you have to watch yourself, since you never know who's watching you when you're down in front of everyone! Definitely no picking your nose or biting your nails! ;o) I did sneak in a small little wave to my parents who were across the court from us...I'm imagining myself looking like a kindergartener during their first school play when all you want to do is find your parents & wave real big. Man, I probably looked like a big dork! We also didn't really know what was allowed...are we allowed to stand up on the sidelines or do we have to remain seated since we're practically on the floor?
My parents have season tickets so we get to enjoy lots of games, but it's always fun to be treated like a VIP every once in awhile.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
"Happy are those who are merciful to others...Happy are those who work for
peace." ~ Matthew 5:7, 9
Jesus replied, "but seventy times seven!" ~ Matthew 18:21-22
"Be gentle & ready to forgive; never hold grudges.
Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others." ~ Colossians
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
For what seems like as long as I've known Hubby, he has had a mole in the center of his forehead right between his eyebrows. However, in the past several months I had noticed it was changing and even growing quite a bit. I encouraged him to at least have it looked at, so he made a phone call to a dermatologist only to be told that he had to have a referral to even make an appointment. Unfortunately he didn't have a local primary care physician either and it took about 4 months to get an appointment as a new patient. So...in January he saw his new primary care physician who then promptly referred him to a dermatologist.
On February 2nd he went to see Dr. Swann and came out minus the mole. At that time, the dr. immediately thought the mole was probably basal cell skin cancer which would requre more treatment at a later date. The mole was sent off for biopsy and was positively identified as basal cell. A second appointment was scheduled for Friday, February 19th during which Dr. Swann would perform a surgical procedure called Mohs Micrographical Surgery. You can read more about it with the link provided, but based on the biopsy they will remove a layer of skin cells, perform an immediate biopsy to determine if all of the cancer has been removed and then repeat until they are positive that all cancerous cells have been eliminated.
I went with Hubby to his appointment and I'm happy to say that we were out of there 2 hours later. After just one series of the procedure, Hubby walked out with 13 stitches but most importantly cancer free. I won't even begin to act like what we've been through is anywhere close to the cancer issues that face so many people, including our friends & family. However, had we not caught it when we did...the situation could be much worse & much more cosmetically damaging to Hubby's face.
Ladies & Gentlemen of the class of '99...If I could
offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long term
benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my
advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.
~ Baz Luhrmann
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Saturday morning we both had to work...but that didn't mean the rest of the day wasn't fabulous. Hubby drove home from work to basically pick up my mom & me so we could head back to Missouri State University (my college alma mater) for their ESPN Bracket Buster game...it was very exciting and even better because we won!!! After the game we ran a quick errand to pick up my wedding set from the jeweler...I've decided my fingers have gotten fat in the last 3 years. We met up again with my parents & my brother & sis-in-law for my brother's birthday dinner. He chose a sushi place, Kai & we had a great meal.
After dinner Hubby & I took advantage of my parents' season tickets to the local theater & watched STOMP! It was a great production & if you haven't seen it I highly recommend it. Some of our best friends were also at the show so we made plans to meet up for drinks & dessert after the show. We had a great dessert platter with a sampling of 8 different desserts...YUM!
Needless to say, after the extremely busy & long day we had on Saturday we were exhausted & I think Hubby probably over did himself after his procedure on Friday. So...when the alarm went off for church this morning we did something we have never done. I asked Hubby if he was getting up and he said no. We both went back to sleep for awhile and just managed to get a little bit refreshed before another busy day today. Our church has started having a live stream on the Web for sermons so with that along with our small group study from tonight I'll easily be able to continue on the Life's Healing Choice series later this week.
Around noon we headed down to my parents' house for a birthday party for my little brother. We took Bogey so he was able to burn off some energy. My brother & his wife live in KC while he attends law school and she is getting ready to start an accelerated nursing program so it's always great when they're able to come into town.
Tonight we finished off our crazy-busy weekend with small group & as always it was so refreshing to spend time with such a wonderful group of people. Whew..I'm tired just writing about all we did this weekend. I guess we start all over again tomorrow...
Thursday, February 18, 2010
I bought my car back in March 2006 and while I only had to take out a small loan, it was the first debt I ever had. I had a fairly low payment and decided from the beginning to pay about $50 extra each month. What a difference that made! We have paid off the car an entire year early. (due to some different circumstances we've also been able to pay extra on our mortgage & it's making a big difference in our equity as well)
Currently the only debt that Hubby & I have is our mortgage and I don't really consider that in the same category since we are earning equity in our home. Our plan is to keep "paying ourselves" the monthly car payment and put it directly into a savings account so we can start building up a downpayment for our next vehicle.
Hubby & I were both incredibly blessed as we came into our marriage with no debt except for car payments...no student loans, no credit card debt...and now those cars are paid in full. It's such a great feeling to know that we don't have to make those monthly payments anymore.
Financial responsibility and discipline can be a lot of work, but it sure does pay off in the end.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Our pastor focused on the story of Jacob & how manipulative he was. His manipulation lead to many, many broken relationships and a how even being successful was meaningless when his relationships were such a mess. All of us have conflicts with others and it's in these conflicts with others that we can realize something is actually out of whack in our relationship with God. Jacob was certainly struggling with God and one night it all came out...
I have never read this story and actually gotten out of it what I was supposed to. Jacob actually physically wrestled with God. He was frustrated with Him for a variety of reasons but the important issue that instead of walking away in denial of the problem, he faced God head on and fought with Him until he was satisfied with the answer. It's in the wrestling where healing comes. Consider any of your important, great relationships (your spouse, a best friend, your siblings, parents, etc.)...it's the intense discussions and communication that make those relationships strong. Those relationships never grow if we simply give in and ignore any issues that might arise.
"Jacob got them safely across the brook Jabbok along with all his
possessions. But Jacob stayed behind and was left alone in the camp, and a
Man came and wrestled with him until dawn. When the Man saw that he
couldn't win the match, he struck Jacob's hip and knocked it out of joint at the
socket. Then the Man said, 'Let me go, for it is dawn.' But Jacob panted,
'I won't let go unless you bless me.'" Genesis 32:23-26 (NLT/MSG)
The same goes with our relationship with God, the thing is...He is God. He can handle our emotions, big or small, happy or angry, He can take it and we're not going to hurt his feelings. Jacob fought with God until He promised to bless him and heal him of his problems in life. We need to have that kind of desire and commitment to having a life reflective of God's character.
Jacob's name meant deception and following his wrestling match with God, God changed his name to Israel (Prince of God). However, God didn't simply change his name...he TRANSFORMED Jacob's character and gave him a name that more resembled his new life. First we have to choose to give a name to our pain, our habits, or our struggles. Once we name it specifically, God can then give his a new life, a new name in which we can strive towards each day of our Christian walk. Because in the end, it is the struggle that becomes our strength.
We can truly be transformed into a new creation if we will CHOOSE to submit to God and accept His help in improving our character. Transformation certainly isn't an instant thing, but if we keep our focus on God & surround ourselves with thoughts and people who will help us, He will create us anew.
Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about
things that are pure...Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about.
~ Philippians 4:8 LB
Monday, February 15, 2010
Before heading out to dinner...
Sunday morning I woke up and made Monkey Muffins from PW for breakfast with a little modification. Instead of the condensed milk, I made my own homemade glaze to put on the muffins. They were so delicious and so easy! We went to church, had lunch at Chili's and then ran a few more errands before coming home to relax. We also had small group last night which was a great end to such a wonderful weekend.
Guess I should probably get out of bed about now & join the world...nah...a few more minutes won't hurt! Happy President's Day for those of your enjoying a day off!
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
I'm so ready for Spring I can't hardly stand it! With tax season in full swing combined with the previous mentioned nastiness outside, I have been lacking motivation for pretty much anything this week. I come home from work, read for a little while, fix dinner, we eat dinner & then for most of the rest of the evening we sit & watch television. Productive, not at all. In addition, some nights I end up falling asleep in our LaZBoy recliner that lends itself very well to napping. This might sound all well & good to most of you, but when Hubby wakes me up to head to bed then I just feel disgusted with myself for not being productive during the entire night. Maybe I should just get over it & get up & do something!!! Ughhh...so I'm blaming it all on the weather. It makes me unmotivated to do anything & then I'm bored with not doing anything...and then repeat! What a frustrating never-ending cycle!
Alright, so enough of my big pity party for myself! I'm definitely looking forward to the weekend. It's a holiday weekend x 2!!! Hubby & I are celebrating Valentine's Day tomorrow night since we have small group on Sunday. I also have Monday off due to President's Day so hopefully we'll be able to grab a quick lunch together! Hope you all have a great weekend!!!
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Unfortunately, cleaning the house of my life is something I dread just as much. This week our sermon focused on the Housecleaning Choice: I openly examine and confess my faults to myself, to God, & someone I trust. I don't know about you but actually looking at our faults & recognizing they are present is hard enough...let alone confessing those to God. There's something about actually verbalizing those faults in our prayers that make them more real, more awful, & more sinful. However, as I've learned in the past weeks its through those prayers of confession that God makes my heart pure & allows the healing process to continue.
Just like the dust & grime in our house, those little things in our life & our heart begin to build up to eventually make us look at our life & wonder what happened to me? Sure, we notice those big things where we fail...but those little white lies or judgmental thoughts or jealousy seem to happen without us even realizing it. If we go to God & give EVERYTHING to Him, he will most definitely forgive us and just as important...He will forget those transgressions as if they had nevre even happened.
"Happy are the pure in heart, for they will see God" Matthew 5:8 (GNB)
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful & just and will forgive us our
sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9 NIV
"Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my
guilt. I said to myself, I will confess my rebellion to the Lord. And you
forgave me! All my guilt is gone." Psalm 32:5 NLT
Monday, February 8, 2010
Saturday morning we both had to work and we spent the rest of Saturday afternoon doing random things around the house. Hubby worked in the office on filing & financial duties & I did some laundry along with some touch-up painting. It never fails, Bogey's feet & tail seem to throw small mud splatters all along our walls when he comes in for visits. Thank goodness for hardwood floors or we would have an outdoor only dog!
Saturday night we had our small group meeting. With the Super Bowl being last night we decided to reschedule so we could stay on track with the Sunday morning sermons but also enjoy the Super Bowl! It was such a fun evening--we had pizza & our regular lesson & then we finished up the evening with several rounds of Apples to Apples. We may have to plan on doing that more often because it was a blast!!!
Yesterday we had church (which was another awesome sermon--more to come tomorrow) and I had a quick meeting afterwards. As soon as I got home we loaded Bogey up and headed down to my parents' house to help out with any last minute prep before the Birthday/Super Bowl party. Plus I got to witness the artist in action...
My dad working on his masterpiece!
The finished product...I may or may not have been whining a bit that we always celebrate the Super Bowl & my birthday just gets thrown in. My parents were not about to let that happen this year! We had pink cups, plates, & napkins & notice the writing on the cake..."Super Bowl? Nope! Valentine's? No Way! It's Lauren's 27th Birthday!" Haha...I Love It!
All lit & ready for a wish!
Of course there were still a few presents to open!
Just a small part of the group resting after all the eating!
Friday, February 5, 2010
My raincheck for a pair of very Springy, very red, patent leather, peeptoe wedges. They were out of my size; however, it's currently snowing here & more snow is in the forecast for the first of next week. Guess I won't be needing my cute shoes for awhile anyway!
My stack of gifts from Hubby!
My in-laws sent me the normal huge box wrapped in birthday paper full of presents for me to open & I got a gift certificate to my local salon from the girls I work with! I am so blessed with such great family & friends around me!
I definitely had a great birthday with more to come on Sunday! Thanks for all the birthday wishes!
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Today is my 27th birthday...woohoo!!! I just love birthdays & love having a day all about me! I woke up a little early this morning so Hubby could give me his presents...I am such a lucky girl! He picked out some great stuff from Banana Republic, a new pair of sandals, & 2 new pair of dress pants that are great Spring colors. He may be colorblind but he's so good at gift-giving...the perfect combination of things I ask for plus his own little spin. Tonight, Hubby & I are having dinner out with my parents & then on Sunday we'll have my "family party." Since most all my extended family lives close by, we still celebrate everyone's birthday. Consider it lucky or unlucky, but the Super Bowl is now either on or near my birthday each year so we normally combine the event & I invite some close friends & the rest of my family to my parent's house for a big celebration. This year is no different. My mom has a fabulous menu planned & I can't wait to celebrate.
I apparently don't have any birthday pictures on my computer from when I was a little girl--and I'm not going to be scanning them in since they are all in photo boxes in my parents' basement. So...instead I thought I'd include some of my favorite "little girl" photos that I included in our wedding slideshow. Yes, I know...I was absolutely adorable!!
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
First of all, meekness is NOT weakness. It is not being timid, it is not being gullible or letting others walk all over you. Meekness is humility, it is gentleness, teachability, & letting go. Once we have recognized that we are not God & we mourn the troubles & brokenness in our life, the next step is for us to CHOOSE to commit all of our life & will to Christ's control. Thus, the commitment choice.
If we make the conscious choice to let go & let God, we are humbling ourselves at the feet of our Father & Creator. We are practicing meekness & recognizing that in order to fully experience the will of God, we must be teachable & remember that we don't know it all.
Humility is such a struggle for most everyone--we all have this desire to appear strong & able to take care of things on our own. However, we have such a distorted view of what true humility actually is. Meekness is God's deisgn for humanity, Jesus Christ was certainly not weak but he practied humility & meekness every day of his life. As we go through the healing process, recognizing our brokenness allows us to fully experience meekness. If we can strive to let go of our habits & hurts, God will wrap us in his arms & lead us down the path of righteousness that He has prepared for us.