Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Something to make you smile.

While driving down to Christiansburg today for my little "time out" I found myself stopped behind a vehicle at a stoplight bearing this phrase on a bumper sticker:

"If God isn't a HOKIE, then why do the leaves turn orange and maroon in the fall?"

Found this to be completely hilarious and definitely added a wonderful sparkle to my day. Go Hokies!!!

A little time out does a body good.

Rob came home after class this afternoon and told me that I could have some time to myself--to just up and leave. Well...I couldn't just up and leave right away (I hadn't even fixed my hair and make-up yet. Was looking a bit scary since it's rainy outside and my hair was starting to resemble a frizzy brown mess), I had a few Christmas presents taking up room in my bedroom that I needed to wrap and get under the tree. Maybe if I get some things cleaned out of this clutter mess called my bedroom/office, I'll be able to find the actual gun part to my glue gun as the base that it plugs into is the only thing that I have been able to locate over the past couple of days. My room is currently like a black hole. A vacuum that eats whatever it can find and leaves me feeling crazy at my not being able to find what I'm looking for. Think it's time to go through some things. Maybe downsize. Put my paper boxes from IKEA together so I can get rid of the packing box that holds all my mailing envelopes, printer paper, etc.

Okay, okay...enough rambling about my messy room. After I finally left the house, I drove down to Christiansburg not knowing exactly what I wanted to do. The original plans I had before departing from my home had me doing my Bible study to be prepared for Thursday morning while sitting at a table in Starbuck's. Well...since I forgot to grab my book while trying to escape without Aidan trying to come with me, those plans were a bit ruined. So, I decided to go to Barnes and Noble first to see if I could find a book that I have been wanting to read again and to look over anything else there that might be of interest. Came home with Beauty : A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast and a National Geographic Kids magazine for David since he asked me yesterday if he could have a magazine to read. I read through Lisa Welchel's book, The ADVENTure of Christmas and perused through a couple of Rachel Ray Cookbooks before deciding that I really needed a dose of caffeine in my system. :) to Starbucks I went where I had a peppermint mocha (my absolute fave) and a slice of their gingerbread loaf with the cream cheese icing--to die for.

This little excursion, and the ability to get lost in my book tonight (yes, I read the WHOLE thing!) really lifted my spirits. Also, my conversations with my friend, Natascha and my mom helped this morning too--wonderful women and great conversations had with both! Looking forward to an even better day tomorrow (with improved health too--this cold is getting really old!).

Monday, November 28, 2005

A blue kind of day.

Today has definitely been a bit of a blue day for me. I am not completely sure what started the downward emotional spiral. All I know is that my not-quite-finished turkey (the thermometer read one temperature, but when I started to carve the bird, it was pink and definitely not finished roasting) and then the fact that I lost 3 games in a row of Carcassonne to Rob did not help matters any. Maybe the dreary weather is affecting my mood. Possibly my sore throat? Aidan was kind of grumpy today. David was a bit on the obnoxious side, and I nearly tripped over him 3 or 4 times while working in the kitchen earlier--yikes!

To top it off, my thoughts keep lingering to my dad's wedding. The fact that he had nobody there standing up for him. The fact that my grandparents weren't invited. The fact that Dustin and I really were not invited either. The fact that Darleen, in her e-mails, kept mentioning how cute her son Kyle was going to look in his tuxedo--a constant applying of salt to an open wound. Almost rubbing it in that my brother and I were not asked to be a part of the wedding. Our presence wasn't solicited...not wanted...not valued. It's going to be like ripping open a healing wound when we go back to Eugene in January and will have the pictures shown to us. Openly flaunting my absence from this big event. Truly, if one partner's children weren't invited, should the other's children be there either? I don't really think so. If it was going to be a *private* ceremony, shouldn't it have just been the pastor, the bride and the groom? Did anyone use good judgment or common sense here? (I'll just leave this as a rhetorical question...)

I know, I know...I keep mentally/emotionally rehashing the whole thing. I keep trying to let it go, but it keeps coming back to haunt me. I keep trying to take these thoughts captive--to only think on pure, lovely, holy and just things, to make my thoughts obedient to Christ; however, I'm really having difficulty seeing past my heart feeling like it keeps being broken over and over and over again. A part of me just wants to shut it not allow myself to think or feel about it anymore...anesthetizing the hurt. Then again, that's not a healthy road to take. Guess that one of the things that really gets me is that no one really seems to genuinely care (well, none of the involved parties anyways...I know that there are some people who care).

Guess that the positive of all of this though is the fact that tomorrow is another day. The day is a clean slate--unmarred by anything that has happened today. One of my favorite quotes is: Life is 10% what happens to you, 90% how you react to it. I know that God is going to help me through this. Only he knows what the overall outcome is going to be. My whole being just needs to be in tune to what he is wanting me to do and to walk in obedience to him.

LORD...I'm crying out to you now--please heal my pain. I lay down everything before you. Mold me into the woman you desire for me to be. I'm here Lord. Speak to me, your child, who is listening and waiting on you. Amen.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

I can hardly believe that Thanksgiving is today. The snow melted overnight, so we aren't able to go out and play in it today; however, the sky is blue, and the wind is blowing--tis the day the LORD has made! And since it is Thanksgiving, I will take a moment to reflect on a few things that I am thankful for.

  • I am thankful for my heavenly Father--the one true God whom I serve. He has taught me so much in spite of the resistence I have given him over time. The closer I draw to him, the more mature I am growing in my faith. I'm learning more every day that I can lean on and depend on him. He will never leave me nor forsake me (a promise from Hebrews 13:5). He is always faithful to his promises. He's a father to the father-less, hope for those who have not. Utterly wonderful, powerful, awe-inspiring, amazing, faithful, merciful, full of grace, he is love. Oh, and did I mention that he is wonderful? :)
  • Rob. David. Aidan. My family. Each one is such a blessing from God and enriches my life in a very special and very unique way.
  • Friends. I am so thankful for the friends that I have made over time, and for the new friends God has been bringing into my life since we have moved to Blacksburg. Relationships to cherish. Laughter. Tears. Fun times.
  • I am thankful for having a roof over my head and for food to eat and for clothing to wear. The place we live really isn't much. Frankly, there are many things about it that I do not like at all! But, it protects us from the weather. We are making memories here. God will bless us with a house that will have a yard next year when the time is right.
  • Our church. I love the church we are attending here in the New River Valley. I feel so blessed to have such wonderful pastors as Nick and Robin Gough, Kim Weitkamp, Gary and Julia Costello...they are truly wonderful people and spirit-filled individuals.

Those are just a few of the blessings I am thankful for this year. I hope that each one who reads this entry will reflect over the many blessings that are in each of your lives. We all have many things to be thankful for.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Let it snow!

Today was the first true snowfall of the season. So beautiful. So breathtaking. So fun! The boys, Sydney and I piled into the Tahoe and drove up to the neighborhood park (I wasn't going to walk about 4 blocks having to keep track of the 3 of them without a stroller!) and played in the snow for awhile before I had to come home to make dinner. We had so much fun--me taking pictures, throwing tennis balls for Sydney; David playing in the snow and climbing on the playground equipment; Aidan going down the slide and trying to run away from me through the snow; and Sydney running sprints around us, just excited to be in a place where she could run and be free.

The snow stopped falling sometime while I was making dinner, but it started up again when I was rocking Aidan to sleep. He noticed the falling flakes reflecting in the streetlamp outside his window and started pointing to them and chattering away. Watching his smile of awe and wonder was something to behold. I'm so glad that we were able to share that moment together tonight. Hopefully it will snow much more through the night so we can go sledding before we go to our pastors' house for Thanksgiving tomorrow afternoon.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Washington DC Day 2

We're enjoying our weekend trip to our nation's capital. Yesterday (Saturday) we drove into Pentagon City and took the Metro to The National Mall area. We went to the Air and Space Museum for awhile and looked around before walking around. The inital plan was to go to the Air and Space Museum then go to the Natural History Museum so David could see the dinosaur bones; however, I think his patience was waning before we even left the Air and Space museum, so we opted to go for a walk along the mall instead. It was really surreal seeing the Pentagon from the car and the Metro, going across the Potomac River, seeing the White House (although from a fair distance since we were between the Washington Monument and the WWII Memorial). Our cousin, Jay Crossler, told David that the Washington Monument was a dinosaur toothpick, so when we saw it today on our way into Pentagon City, that is what he called it.

David loves Jay and Jackie and all their Guinea pigs and dog. I tend to think that Jay, Timber and Fanny (the 2 female Guinea pigs) are his favorites since he talks about them all fairly constantly. :) Today, he couldn't wait to get back to their apartment so he could make sure that Timber and Fanny were still doing OK. Jay thinks that I'll end up getting a Guinea pig for David...I don't think so. :)

Today Jay and Jackie had to work, so Rob, the boys and myself were on our own to go to the zoo and do whatever our hearts desired. We felt pretty proud that we were able to figure out the Metro on our own, we made it to the zoo (which was actually pretty disappointing--we liked Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle much better!). David was happy to see the Pandas. Aidan was tired and just wanted to eat his popcorn and do what he wanted to do (e.g., sit down on the ground instead of walk while trying to leave the Giant Panda exhibit. He was happy to look through the Panda activity book we picked up while he was riding in the backpack.

After leaving the zoo, we ate lunch at the Starbucks across the street before taking the Metro back to Pentagon City to get our car. Since we got back to our car early enough, we ventured down to IKEA in Woodbridge, VA to get a couple of things that have been on our list. Unfortunately they had sold out of their painting easels, so we weren't able to get that. Aidan woke up right when we got there after taking a short, but much needed nap in the car, and he screamed until after we got him some ice cream to help keep him occupied. David played in the kids' area there, so we only had one rugrat to worry about while we were shopping. Yeah, we were in and out of there in less than one hour--an amazing feat!

OK, David needs to get to bed, and I need to relax a bit more. We played Carcassonne with Jay and Jackie last night and were up until almost 2 this morning! Tomorrow we head home and I will be able to post pictures from our adventures then. Might have to scan in a copy of our Metro pass (aka David's ticket) too.

Friday, November 18, 2005

What a busy week!

Truly, it feels like when it rains, it pours as far as when busy-ness strikes on the homefront. Meetings, appointments, an awesome Mexican fiesta night with the girls (well, a couple of hubbies were there too, but for the most part it was a girls' night out). Thankfully, after I pack suitcases for our weekend trip, the business will subside.

Tonight's Mexican fiesta was a much needed escape for me. Elyn Thomas, a friend of mine that I met through my Hokie Spouses (now renamed to be the Graduate Families Network) group, and I planned tonight's event. We kind of demonstrated how to make a few different food items, talked about others, cooked, visited, drank home made margaritas...visited some more. It was awesome! My MOPS discussion group leader and her husband (and 3 boys too) came--Dan and the boys left before dinner was actually ready, but the dynamic tonight was so awesome! It was so free. So nice to be among friends. To eat great food. To make memories together.

Tomorrow after Rob's meeting on campus, we are heading for Washington DC. I have never been there before, and the last time Rob went was when he was 15 for the Boy Scout National Jamboree. All of us are very excited. David wants to go to the National Zoo and to see the dinosaur bones in the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. I, of course, will take many pictures and will get some posted after we get back home Monday--probably won't have much time to post them on the road.