Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Oh boy...

I walk around the corner from the kitchen to the hallway and see T.J. squatted down...

T.J.: I goin' poop.
Me: I can see that.
T.J.: Go in the kitchen.
Me: Why?
T.J.: 'Cause I poopin'.

Life with a boy.


Here is T.J. cheesin' it with a mouth full of raisins... but it kind of looks like he is pooping, so it applies to this post.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Maintaining Your Home (While Maintaining Your Sanity)


Let’s begin with what the Word has to say about being a wife.  Keep all of these Biblical qualities in mind and let the Spirit speak to you while you read so you can test and discern my words according to God’s Word.  Please remember, I am imperfect.  He is perfect.:

10 [d] An excellent wife who can find?
    She is far more precious than jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
    and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
    all the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
    and works with willing hands.
14 She is like the ships of the merchant;
    she brings her food from afar.
15 She rises while it is yet night
    and provides food for her household
    and portions for her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
    with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She dresses herself[e] with strength
    and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
    Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She puts her hands to the distaff,
    and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She opens her hand to the poor
    and reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
    for all her household are clothed in scarlet.[
f]
22 She makes bed coverings for herself;
    her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates
    when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them;
    she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
    and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
    and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women have done excellently,
    but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
    and let her works praise her in the gates.”

Proverbs 31:10-31 (ESV)

As a stay-at-home mother, I find distraction slipping into my everyday life like a dense fog setting me off-balance and causing me to lose focus on my goals and God-given duties.

·      Overabundance of screen time.
·      Not enough time with my child.
·      Not enough time to maintain our home.

Unfortunately, these are always going to be a struggle. Mommy-hood can transform into a lifelong battle between that precious, fleeting time with our kids, distractedness/laziness, and other important responsibilities such as maintaining our homes and schedules.  Many times, if I keep these five tips and few general principles in mind for maintaining my home, I can keep myself from completely submitting to anxiety and that distracting fog of daily elements playing tug-o-war for my attention.

1. Cleanse Your Spirit

30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”

            If you take away anything from this, please let this be it.  Starting the day with your Heavenly Father is the most important thing you can do.  It puts your whole day in perspective.  How are you going to deal with others?  Are you going to do all things (including that pesky laundry) unto God’s glory?  It places the priority of your day where it should be- God and complete submission to Him and His will for you, even in the tedious tasks that many times seem unimportant to us.  How many minutes a day do you spend checking facebook, writing e-mails, blogging, watching TV, etc.?  Shouldn’t you allot a portion of your day to the one who created you and gave you all of those gifts?  Get into the Word and pray.  Every day.  Commit.

2. Move

17 She dresses herself[e] with strength
    and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
    Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She puts her hands to the distaff,
    and her hands hold the spindle.

            Regardless of the redundant nature of this point, considering we definitely move around to get things done, I think it is important to mention that in this day and age, we have a lot of conveniences that can give us unforeseen “down time”.  You may be thinking, “The absurdity!  I am a mother!  Of course I do not have down time!”  I encourage you to monitor yourself throughout the day… you may find you have more sporadic “relaxation” time than you think (AKA checking e-mails, pinning recipes for the most delicious treats you may never create, browsing Instagram, etc.).  If you don’t have any time where you are taking a moment and a breath, you need to set aside time specifically for that.  Nothing rejuvenates me and makes me feel ready to take on the world like a soothing bath and a good book.  However, realize that setting aside time to relax isn’t what I am referring to in this case.  I am encouraging you to abolish unscheduled lazy time that sweeps your off your feet and like a thief, swiftly steals a precious hour or two from your day before you even realize what has happened.  Just as there must be purposeful relaxation time, there must be purposeful exercise time.  Exercising makes you feel wonderful in the short term as well as the long term (endorphins, anyone?).  Do it- even if it is something seemingly small. You will not regret it.  It will make the rest of your day more productive.

3. Make Your Bed

She makes bed coverings for herself;
    her clothing is fine linen and purple.”

            I don’t know about you, but when my bed is made, the whole house feels cleaner to me.  Is that strange?  I know someone out there is nodding her head to this point.  When my bed is made, I have space to fold my laundry.  When my bed is made, I can walk into my room and sigh with relief that something is crisp and orderly.  When my bed is made, I feel like it is fresher when I slip into it at night, and that puts my mind more at ease so I can drift to sleep without the heaviness of the day bearing down on me.  For me, that is my “if I can do one thing today” cleaning duty.  Even if yours is something else like wiping down the kitchen counters daily, just make sure you accomplish that cleaning task first.  If there is something that you for sure want to complete that is a small job, write it on your to-do list; finish it; check it off; and feel accomplished.  Sometimes just knowing you’ve started your day off with a productive “bang” can set the stage for more productivity throughout the remainder of your day.

4. Leave

She looks well to the ways of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:”

I have heard it said that cleaning while living with a child is like shoveling while it is still snowing outside.  You don’t want to let the house get out of control, but you don’t want to be so “in control” that you miss time watching your child grow up.  These are the precious times.  The Lord encourages us to live abundantly for His glory.  So leave.  Go to the park.  Go to a friend’s house.  Go kick the ball around outside.  Go on a walk.  The more time you spend away from your house, the less wreckage happens inside of your house.  Plus, it is great for kids to get outside and fellowship with their friends in boisterous playtime!  It is a guilt-free way of preventing the tornado that becomes of our home before naptime hits.

5. Make Use of Your “Robot Minions”

She puts her hands to the distaff,
    and her hands hold the spindle.”

            Keep your robot minions working for you at all times.  If you have a washer, dryer, and/or dishwasher, congratulations, you have robot minions!  Remember, if they are working, YOU are working, without actually breaking a sweat (although you should never underestimate the soothing, therapeutic power of washing your dishes by hand).  Technology can cripple our productivity, but I happily place my stamp of approval on technology that helps me clean.  I will take all the help I can get! 

General Principles:

·      God comes first. “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33 (ESV)

·      It won’t all get done.  The reason you try to keep up with it is because you won’t always be able to keep up with it.  On those days where you get home from an evening night outing with your hubby and are just too sleepy to sweep, go to bed.  It will get accomplished tomorrow, don’t sweat it.  Nothing destroys a lovely evening of romance with your spouse more than forcing yourself to labor over chores instead of snuggling up under a billowy duvet until peacefully drifting into sleep.  Remember that your main purpose doesn’t lie here on Earth, but in Heaven. “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust[a] destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  Matthew 6:19-21 (ESV)

·      Give yourself a break (remember that bath and book combo?).  As long as you are doing all things unto God’s glory, you’re doing great!   So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” I Corinthians 10:31 (ESV)


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Average Turned Adventure


The heavens are yours; the earth also is yours; the world and all that is in it, you have founded them.” (Psalm 89:11, ESV)

 “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1, ESV)

A couple of weekends ago, my husband and I spent the majority of the day outside because it was just gorgeous- warm and sunny with a crisp breeze.  It was that kind of day that continuously beckoned us outside, even if we tried to avoid it!  Most days like that we would decide to take a walk together as a family.  However, on this particularly inviting Saturday, I decided to do an idea I created inspired by a previous article in Deeply Rooted Issue 1: Four Ways to Raise Creative Children (p. 83, 2014, Rogers).  I decided that on this day, my son who lives in a cookie cutter home in suburbia would get a chance to explore nature around him.  Living in a suburban home shouldn’t be an excuse for me to not have my child discover and explore on a regular basis.  We grabbed a Mason jar, headed out the door, and began an activity that we will frequently enjoy from here on out.  We walked along the sidewalk in our neighborhood, the same walk we have taken many a time with my son relaxing lazily in his stroller, me walking briskly to escape the heat and “get our walk in”.   This time it was different.  This time my son walked with us, and this walk was filled with treasures.  It was no longer, “Oh see the pink flowers over there?”, while breezing past, it was instead, “See that?!  Wow!  What is that?  What color is it?  Go pick one of those and put it in our jar so we can look at it more closely later!”  A simple rock became a treasure.  A stick?  Oh, forget about it!  If you have boys, you know that a stick is the BOMB!  We collected different colored leaves, flower buds, etc.  On our walk we met a neighbor who allowed us to pick one of his petite, purple flowers.  We didn’t log a lot of miles, but we sure logged a lot of memories.  I hope that you, too, will experience (no matter where you live) an adventure of your own with your children- no matter the setting, treasure is there to be found!

One of the greatest parts of this activity is when you get home and pour all the goodies onto your table for observation!  This easily becomes at-home science, mathematics, and Bible projects:


Science:  You should ask your child questions about the characteristics of each of his or her findings (i.e. color, shape, weight, amount).  He or she is using much needed skills to observe and discuss with you the different qualities of each item.  You should also have him or her compare items (i.e. “Which do you have more of, rocks or leaves?”  “Which is heavier, the little flower or the mulch?”)

Mathematics: Ask your child to categorize his or her findings (categories could be as simple as rocks, leaves, flowers, etc. to as complicated as red leaves, green leaves, small rocks, large rocks, etc.).  If your child seems developmentally ready, have him or her create a graph of his or her findings.

Bible: Emphasize the importance of knowing that God created all things for our enjoyment and His glory.  With your child, look through a concordance for verses about earth and creation.  Take this time to read the story of Creation in Genesis- reiterating how and when all of your child’s findings were created by the Lord.

Have your kiddo take pictures of his or her findings or show a friend!  Get excited and he or she will, too!  The most important thing to remember is to make it fun and focus on the fact that you are viewing God’s creation. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James 1:17, ESV)

What You Need:

1. A Mason jar (Or some other sturdy container for the different things you gather with your child)

2. Comfy shoes (Remember that you may be trekking over grass, rocks, etc.- though it might be nice to whip those shoes off to feel the grass between your toes!)

3. Time (This is the hardest to acquire, yet the most important.  You don’t want your child to feel rushed.  You want to be able to meander along enjoying discussing all of your beautiful findings.)

4. A journal to draw and write down observations (optional dependent on child’s age)

5. Graph paper and crayons for a mathematics graphing project (optional dependent on child’s age)

6. Bible and concordance


As your children collect their treasures, you will soon find that the treasure you receive is time spent with them.  Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” (Psalm 127, ESV)



Saturday, September 27, 2014

Appreciating Art Together

Today, Trav, T.J., and I all headed to Vero Beach for an art festival.  We had so much fun, and it was a splendid day!  Here are some pictures and videos from our fun time.  Enjoy!

 It was a warm, gorgeous day...

 This is the Brazilian martial art, Capoeira.  It has a interesting, rich history and was entertaining to watch!

video


We explored the area of the museum where people take lessons, and this wonderful woman allowed T.J. to experiment with her potter's wheel!  An amazing, one-of-a-kind experience for a two and a half year old!  We were overwhelmingly grateful!


video

 If you have ever owned an "Eye Spy" book, you know this artist.  He is a skilled artist who designs, creates, builds, sculpts, and photographs.  He is skilled in a plethora of different artistic skills, and his art was super fun and colorful to experience!  The perfect kind of art to show to T.J.!


 On the right is the sculpted, created model Wick designed in order to take the photograph on the left.  When we were standing in front of the photographs, it was hard to believe that they were, indeed, photographs of his sculptures and not paintings.  So incredible!



Some of the artwork outside the museum.

  My love and I


Sweet baby kisses and nibbles!

We did our job!

Sweet Savannah Travels

This past week, T.J. and I drove 6 hours to Savannah, Georgia where we met up with my parents who are from Tennessee for a quick, four-day visit.  They drove down, we drove up.  We met in the middle.  My dad was actually traveling on business, so they just invited us to tag along. 

Let me tell you something: Savannah is gorgeous!  From the rich, green squares to the quaint, eclectic coffee shops, I am excited to visit again as soon as possible.  We came at the perfect time of year, too.  Granted, the first day it was freezing to the point of borderline misery, but the next two days were great.  Even when it was overcast, there was a cool breeze and the beauty of the town shone through the gray sky.  Doesn't sound like the perfect time of year, does it?  Well, please remember that I am from Florida where the low 80s means AUTUMN IS HERE- HOORAY!  So I welcomed the low 70s weather Savannah had to offer, misty gray and all. 

The first day was cold, but we rode the trolley around and racked up some serious cuddle time with my son.  A success?  I think so!  The next day was blissful.  We walked through the lush squares with trees overhanging statues and benches.  Nothing seemed better than curling up with a good book on one of those benches and relaxing in that beautiful setting- next time we visit, we will have to set aside time for that. 

I am no photographer, but I have to say that if you live anywhere near Savannah and get engaged, want a family photo shoot, need senior portraits, or require a photo shoot of any kind, head to downtown Savannah as it is (in my very unprofessional opinion) one of the most beautiful shooting locations you can find.

Make sure when you get a chance, you visit Savannah, Georgia.  I am sure once it gets deeper into autumn, it is going to be even more alluring.  Hopefully you will find it as charming as I did!










Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Dear Baby...

Dear Enge 2.0,

     First things first- God is good.  I knew you for but 4 days, and I already miss you.  I had great plans for you.  We already referred to you as T.J.'s sibling.  And you still are.  I ordered the chalkboard paint for what was to be your room.  I took a picture of you and me to keep track of your growth inside me.  At church this past Sunday, when we were praying, I placed my hand on my tummy, feeling a little silly and dramatic- after all, you were so tiny.  Yet still, you were my baby.  Why not hold you during prayer?

I know you are with Jesus now, and I am not going to mourn you for months.  I am not going to get a tattoo in your honor.  But I do love you.  And I do miss you.  I wish you were with us, but God knows best.  Maybe you would have had a difficult time on this earth.  Maybe things wouldn't have developed right and you would have suffered grievously for your whole life or a small portion before passing in my arms.  Maybe God saved you from that.  Or maybe you were so perfect, God Himself wanted to meet you right away. 

Whatever the reason, I am sorry you are gone.  I wish I could have spent more time with you- heard your heartbeat, felt you kick, held you in my arms, helped you take your first steps, applauded as you received your college degree.  No amount of time with a child is enough.  I guess I just wanted you to be the one who had to say goodbye to us rather than us saying goodbye to you.

There is a time to mourn.  This is my time to mourn you.  It won't last forever.  I won't always cry when I think of you.  I already feel the healing process beginning.  The tears have slowed (for the most part, even stopped).  As a Christian, I feel more pain through this process but also more relief.  The pain?  You were a human.  Fully.  A baby, not a cluster of cells or a "fetus"... a baby.  My baby.  My second child.  That is the pain.  I cannot grieve you with the mindset that you were just 5 weeks along.  You were alive.  You were mine (lent to me for short time by the Lord).  That is the extra pain.  But where is the relief?  You are feasting with my Heavenly Father at his beautiful, heavenly table.  No fair!  I was supposed to beat you to that dinner, you little stinker!  That is the relief.  We know we will see you again and that you are currently having an AWESOME time with God.

I know Jesus is enjoying you.  I bet you look beautiful.

I cannot promise this will be the last I have to post about miscarriage, but I can say that writing helps me let go.  I have to let go, Enge 2.0.  The pain is deep, but I will be seeing you again.  Life is but a vapor... yours just happened to be a much smaller vapor than I would have preferred.  Just know that I love you and will always love you.  I will always have another baby waiting for me in Heaven. 

God is good.  He heals all wounds.  God is good.

We love you and miss you,
Mommy, Daddy, and Big Brother T.J.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Amazing Almonds


Well, most of you may not know that I have been doing Whole30 – I’m not big on posting a ton on Facebook.  Many times I just update with pictures and cute videos of T.J. – might as well leave the boring stuff about me out!  Anyway, I just finished Whole30 yesterday, and I wanted to share with you some of the best recipes I have discovered during the program that use such simple ingredients, there is really no excuse not to try them at home!

Coconut Almond Butter

Don’t worry; this doesn’t have a strong coconut taste by any means. 

Start with simple ingredients:

- 2 cups raw almonds

- 1- 1 ½ tablespoons unrefined, organic, cold-pressed coconut oil (Good quality ingredients are expensive but worth it- plus, you can use coconut oil for many other things, including moisturizer.  I use it for T.J. and myself)

- (Optional) ½ - 1 tablespoon salt (depending on how much salt you prefer- I am a salt-loving person and I have adored this recipe without any salt)

Seriously, that is it.  3 ingredients. 

Now, how to make it:

- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
 
- Spread your almonds out in one layer on a large, glass baking dish.  Roast the almonds for 20-25 minutes.  Open the oven, take a peek at and smell the almonds- when there is a rich aroma and they look nice and dark brown, they are finished.

- Scoop the almonds into a food processor. (I do it when they are hot/warm)

- Add your coconut oil and salt.

- Process until that baby creams up into a delicious butter scraping the sides occasionally.

- Enjoy!

Alternate method: If you are a raw foodie, you can do the same process, just skip the roasting part.  It will, however, take a significantly longer time to cream than the roasted almonds.

Better-Than-Popcorn Roasted Almonds

Ingredients:

- 2 cups raw almonds

- Extra Virgin Olive Oil

- Salt

Notice I didn’t give any measurements?  It is a visual/tactile process- gotta make it the way YOU like it!

Let’s get started:

- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

- Spread your almonds out in one layer on a large, glass baking dish.

- Drizzle EVOO generously on your almonds.

- Use your hands to mix/coat the almonds with the EVOO.

- Salt according to taste (I have found that I love these with a LOT of salt- like popcorn!).

- Pop those babies in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Open the oven, take a peek at and smell the almonds- when there is a rich aroma and they look nice and dark brown, they are finished.

- Allow them to cool, and THEN enjoy.  The hubby and I don’t follow this rule, and we end up repeatedly burning our tongues… but lemme tell ya something… it hurts so good.  Sometimes almonds don’t feel like they should… they hurt so good.

Alternate method: Try coconut oil for an “Almond Joy” kind of taste- YUM!


I hope you try these at home, but beware, they get super addicting!  Once you realize how little work goes into creating a whole lot of “YUM”, you won’t be able to hold yourself back.  Remember, almonds pack some awesome health benefits, but they also pack a LOT of calories and fat!  Eat responsibly… and oh yeah, try to be nice and share.  I know it is difficult, but try.  ;]



Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy 25th Birthday, Brittany!


This is Travis by the way. Just a little post to Brittany for her birthday. 

It has been a few years since I have posted on here, so I thought this might be a good time to tell everyone about 25 of my favorite memories with you. Here they are, in no particular order:

1.    Closing on our first home
This was definitely a big milestone in our family, and it was exciting (despite the cramps in our hands from signing 45,683,968 documents) (yes, that is a code).
2.    Painting the bathroom of our new home
You did all the prep work and made it easy and fun for us to paint the bathroom together (and it looks great!). It always takes effort to get started, but once we start working together on any project it always ends up being enjoyable.
3.    TJ’s birth
This was the most amazing experience I have ever had. Thank you so much for bringing our son into this world. I can’t even imagine what you went through, but I am so proud of you.
4.    My 25th Birthday
You are really great at giving gifts (way better than me). The surprise trip you gave me last year was a blast, and was made even better since we had those extended hours just for Disney resort guests.
5.    Our wedding
Everything just worked out so perfectly. You were gorgeous, Steve Camp sang at our wedding, the weather was beautiful, we got great pictures, and the reception was awesome (and the cake was great, too!). There isn’t one thing I would change about that day.
6.    Our honeymoon
We should have known it would be a great cruise when the cruise people saw our wedding cake and moved us to the front of the line to board the ship. We had a wonderful Christmas together and even got to do our stockings.
7.    Attending Financial Peace University
Of course I would like going to any financial class, but it really made it special that you wanted to go and we were able to work through the class together.
8.    The Summer of Activity
I don’t know what else to call it, but there was that summer when we were dating that we got together and were either playing tennis, going to the beach, or having picnics almost everyday. We just had a great time hanging out and melting in the Florida heat.
9.    Singing As Long As You're Mine
Even though I doubled your melody at the end, this was the event that started it all. We had a lot of fun getting to know each other and performing this song a few times.
10.  Any time we sing together at the piano
Or in general, but I especially like when we get a chance to play and sing together, even if I am trying to play a song while you sing beautifully. I think we sound great together.
11.  Mission Trip to Mexico        
Our actual trip, not the song. One of the two mission trips we did together while dating, I’ll never forget the view from the top of the mountain we climbed, and the billions of stars we could see since we were out in the middle of nowhere.
12.  Losing in Scrabble
  … and sometimes winning. I love when we play board games and card games together, regardless of the game and who wins (though I’m always the winner when I get to spend time with you (cue Full House music)).
13.  Watching you play with TJ
Not any particular time, but just in general. You have the ability to get down to his level and get him totally engaged in whatever you two are doing. TJ laughs the most when the two of you are playing.
14.  The Moody Blues cruise
Apparently I love cruises, but this one was exceptional. Multiple great bands were playing every day, and this was the first time I got to see the Moody Blues live. Watching The Zombies was great and really opened both of our eyes to how great they are.
15.  Christmas in NYC
Despite the flagrant violation of personal space by the masses of massivious humans at Rockefeller Center leading up to Christmas, we had a great time experiencing New York in the winter when we lived there. We went to Radio City Music Hall and got to walk around the city and see all of the lights and decorations together.
16.  1984 and reading books together
That year were both weren't alive yet was great... either that or I enjoyed listening to the audiobook of 1984 with you and being able to discuss the book and what we thought. We have also read many other books, either reading aloud to each other or reading independently and being able to talk about them. I love the fact that we can share in the education and entertainment of reading.
17.  Walking around our community
While sometimes I complain because I am lazy, I do enjoy taking walks with you and TJ around our community. It is typically very relaxing (unless we are competing to count all the rabbits we see).
18.  Walking for charity
Apparently I love walking, too. No, I just love walking with you, especially since we get away from other distractions and really have time to spend with each other. The past few years we have raised money for Alzheimer’s and Care Net pregnancy centers, and I think it is great to support these causes with you.
19.  Road Trips!
I think we have had one too many road trips in our lives already. We have probably pushing nearly 1,000 hours together just on road trips of 6 hours or longer. Most of that used to be us singing together, but now we just listen to TJ sing.
20.  Watching FSU football
Specifically this past season since we won the National Championship. I am so glad that you wanted to go to FSU (and that I went as well), and now as alumni we can share the victories together! (especially after so many struggling seasons when we were actually on campus)
21.  That restaurant in NY where the guy played Beatles songs
Sorry I couldn’t be more specific, I forget the name of that restaurant. I just remember us having a great dinner there as we were starting off our lives together in a new place, and the guy playing the guitar that happened to be playing great music. Also, Stage Deli -- no music, but awesome chocolate cake!
22.  Playing tennis in 45 degree weather
Obviously, this was not during the “Summer of Activity” in Florida. It was great having a tennis court 30 seconds away from our condo in New York, and it was actually fun to play when it was really cold out because we stayed cool and it was invigorating.
23.  Doing Insanity together
 I know I have talked about walking, tennis, etc, but I really enjoyed the fact that we (mostly you) did Insanity together. I am still really impressed with how well you did and how you pushed yourself. Especially after I quit and you kept going.
24.  Seeing Phantom in New York
During our other mission trip together, we got to see Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. I just remember how excited you were, and it was an amazing show and I am glad to have shared your favorite show with you.
25.  Opening our wedding gifts
There were a lot of reasons this was fun (obviously, we were getting gifts!). One great thing is that I was able to see you open gifts without worrying if you were going to like them or not (like I am right now) since they weren’t from me. That, and me almost crushing poor Darlin’ (and then accidentally tossing an empty box on her head).


So these are 25 of the best memories I have of some of our time spent together. The past 9 years of knowing you have been the best years of my life, and I am looking forward to many, many more (where is that music coming from??). 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Little Trash Can Who Could

Last week, we had an absolutely lovely visit with my best friend, Alyssa, from Georgia and her husband, Andrew.  It was filled with a walk, movies, board games, a cookout, time in the pool, pedicures,  etc., etc.  It was one of those perfect, long weekend visits where we had time to do fun activities but also time to relax.  It was splendid.

One of the great moments of the weekend was a lovely short story I will tell you entitled, "The Little Trash Can Who Could"... enjoy:

To begin with, I should have you know that the trash days in our neighborhood are Wednesday and Saturday.  Now that you have that background information, you will understand better when I begin with, "On Saturday morning..."

On Saturday morning, Alyssa and I were headed out to get coffee and pedicures.  In that order.  Not that it matters.  ...Anyway... the way the cars were configured was in a way such as two cars were pulled close toward the garage door while one car was parallel parked in the driveway behind them.  (Think: 2 cars perpendicular to the garage door- one car behind those, parallel to the garage door.)  The parallel parked car had its nose toward the mailbox and the trash can.  Yes, yes... you can probably see where this is going.

We headed out for our nail appointment, and as I pulled the car out (probably chattering away as usual), I heard and felt a slight bump... at the time I thought, "Gee, I hope I didn't run over the large rocks surrounding the mailbox..."  Nope, you didn't, honey.  Keep driving, Champ.

As I was driving along my neighborhood (thank goodness in the morning when not too many people were out and about), I noticed the car sounded awfully loud for a car.  In fact, I asked Alyssa, "Does this car sound loud to you?"  She said she didn't really know... hmmm maybe...

As I continued driving, I had to make a decision: make the left turn to leave the community, or keep moving forward and bring the car back to Travis for evaluation.  As I listened, I (for the love, thank goodness) decided it was best to bring the car back around... after all, could you imagine if I was dragging one of those mailbox rocks around?!?! 

We passed the exit of the community, and as a car passed us coming the opposite way, I decided to look into the car to see the reactions of the people in the car.  Maybe they would try to flag us down because something bad was happening to the car.  Maybe they would at least look alarmed.  I looked.  Hmmm... nope... they actually seemed to be smiling and pointing at something.  Clearly, they weren't looking at my car, but rather past it instead.  Oh well, it was worth looking.  Clearly.

As I turned down a street to make the loop back to my house, the sound grew more "bumpy" sounding... and I decided it was time to stop the car and take a look (YA THINK?!!?!?!?!).  As I rounded the car, I heard it... the slight, "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can..."  Then I saw it.  The Little Trash Can Who Could... and did... around my neighborhood... where I have to live... with people who witnessed me taking my trash can for a walk.

Excellent.

Needless to say, I called Trav up immediately:

Travis: "Hello?"

Brittany: (Laughing) "Hi!"

Travis: "Did you take the trash can with you?"

My husband has a hysterical way of putting things bluntly that just add to the humor of it all.  I mean seriously... what a CASUAL way to ask if I bulldozed into our garbage can like an idiot driving a Barbie Jeep for the first time blindfolded!

Why yes, honey, I did, in fact, take our garbage can with me.  Good golly, at least I didn't decide to just figure it out once we got back from the nail salon!!!  It is one thing to be that chick who took her trash can for a stroll around her neighborhood.  It is another thing to be that psycho who went barrelin' down St. Lucie West Blvd. with her garbage can attached to the front of her C-RV.

Thankfully, Travis came and picked up the embarrassing, now distressed receptacle, and we continued on to get our coffees and pedicures, laughing the whole way.

So there you have it, children.  The beloved story of the Little Trash Can Who Could.  He thought he could, he did, and we all have a little more funny in our lives because of it.  

Pictures or it didn't happen:

It was a long, hard road.

Just because you CAN, doesn't mean you SHOULD, Little Trash Can...



The face of a friend who loves me despite me being a complete moron who will henceforth be known around my neighborhood as "The Trash Can Girl".
Our hero coming to rescue the poor garbage can...



Still got our pedicures!  =]

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