Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Poor Woman's Christmas Card

So my financial situation is a bit tighter this year than I had hoped for or anticipated. I have been trying to save in as many ways as I can, cutting back in areas that I never thought I could. In a way, the simplification of my life is soul cleansing and good. But sometimes it's hard. One of the things I had to say no to this year was sending Christmas cards. This made me VERY sad, because I love picking out the perfect one, addressing the envelopes to friends and family...and I absolutely love the nutcracker postage stamps this year! But it just wasn't in the budget. Sigh. Oh well.
 
So instead, I decided to design my own card and post it here. So to all of my friends and family (at least the ones who read my blog), this is a special delivery from my heart to yours.
 
Outside of card:
 
 
Inside of card:
 
 
  
Currently Watching: A Charlie Brown Christmas



Monday, December 15, 2008

One of Those Days...

Have you ever felt like you were being kicked while you were already down, bruised, and bleeding? Yeah. That was today.
 
God, I just don't understand...I am your servant and I have been obedient. I am seeking you with all that is in me, to the best of my finite ability. When will this stop being so difficult? When will you provide deliverance? I love you, Lord, but I just don't understand...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas is Near!

Christmas is only 12 days away! 

I have no idea how the days have gone by so quickly. Just a little while ago, it seemed like Christmas couldn't get here soon enough. And now, I just can't believe it's almost here! I spent the day doing some Christmas shopping, which mainly means I spent the day surrounded by crazy shoppers: fighting for parking spots, waiting in long lines, traffic...but I was in no hurry, so the crowds didn't bother me as much as they usually do. I did have to call it quits late in the afternoon because it was getting to be just a bit too much. Haha. It's what I get for waiting this late. Oh well.

Tonight, Laura and I headed out to Terrell, TX for Walk with the Wise Men. It is a live nativity performance that a local church puts on every year. It was so great! When we arrived, we were welcomed and told that we could take a seat and sing some Christmas carols or take our picture with a wise man while we waited. Of course, Laura and I opted to take our picture with the wise man! It was free, and they gave us a copy to take home with us! It wasn't until they were making announcments that we realized it was technically for the kids. Adults were welcome to take their pictures with the wise man if they wanted, but you know....

I think it turned out great! And it's a fun memory of our walk with the wise men...


After waiting for our number to be called, we finally began our journey through the Christmas production. We walked back in time to when Christ was born...Mary and Joseph, centurions and innkeepers, angels and shepherds, and (of course) wise men. The scenes and costumes were very well done! Oh, and there were definitely live animals- horses, a donkey, and a sheep. The sheep was the best part...he pretty much just bleeted the whole time, begging someone to pay attention to him. I couldn't help but laugh when he started eating the jacket of the man standing next to me. The church gave a gospel presentation and offered refreshments at the end of the walk. And we definitely received a gospel track on a million dollar bill. It was a fun and interesting night! I really enjoyed it, and it definitely made me excited about being in the Christmas season. It got me focused on the true meaning of the season.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Pine Cove Work Crew

This weekend I had the opportunity to serve at Pine Cove with the 20s group at my church. On Friday night, we loaded up the cars and headed to the camp out in East Texas for a weekend of service and hanging out! For those of you who know me best, you can understand that this was a big step for me to go on this trip. I have been attending Woodcreek for a little over 2 months now and I have loved every minute! It has been such a blessing to finally have a church home. I have loved the biblical teaching, genuine worship, and loving congregation. The best part has been the 20s group. From the moment I walked in (which was a pretty terrifying moment), everyone made me feel so welcome! And yet, despite how wonderful everyone has been, I have still been myself and struggled to put myself out there and be "social." Sigh. How can I be in my mid-twenties and still struggle with this? Blah.

Anyway, so signing up for this trip was a big deal for me. I was taking a leap and putting myself out there. And I am SO glad I did! It was such a great weekend! We were on the work crew, serving food to middle schoolers. When we weren't serving food, we were decorating the dining hall for Christmas! I spent Saturday cutting snowflakes out of coffee filters, decorating a tree, and getting to know a few more people in the 20s group. That evening, we sang Christmas carols, had some praise/prayer time, and played games. It was fun to hang out with such an amazing group of people. Being able to serve side by side, praise His name one moment and play hilarious games the next was so great!

I am so grateful for the body of believers that He has provided!


Sunday, December 7, 2008

ICE!

Last week, Laura and I had the opportunity to go to the ICE! display at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine. Laura really wanted to go, so I took her on a hot date for her birthday :) Haha. We went to dinner at Jason's Deli, then made our way over to the resort for some holiday fun!

When we arrived at the hotel, I was speechless. It was absolutely GORGEOUS. For those of you who don't know, I have wanted to work at the Gaylord Texan ever since I decided I wanted to be an event coordinator. Working for the event staff at this incredible resort would be an ultimate dream come true. To actually walk on their property made me want to work there even more. Anyway, side tracked...


When we arrived at the exhibit, they gave us these huge bright blue parkas for us to wear inside the tent. It was 9 degrees in there! When we walked through the door, we entered an icy winter wonderland!












It was SO cold, but so much fun! To top off the night, we stopped at Starbucks on the way home to warm up. I hope you had a great birthday Laura!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

On a Lighter Note

There is a lot of randomness in this world. And I am ALL about randomness. I find pleasure in the simplest of things. And I am fascinated by strange and different things. I love random!
 
That said, this post is random. But I just had to share these two things because they are my new fascination.
 
The first is courtesy of my friend Laura. She discovered a show on TLC called "This is Why You're Single." LOLOLOL. Oh my gosh. When Laura told me about this, I had to check it out. Being a single person myself, this was extremely intriguing to me. Basically, the show follows friends and family members as they hold an intervention for a "perpetually single" loved one. It's pretty much AMAZING. I watched my first episode this morning and I am already hooked. This morning I learned about Victoria, a woman who talks too much and thinks she is the total package and won't settle for anything less than perfection. Haha. I do tend to not give guys enough of a chance (or so I have been told), but luckily I do not have Victoria's problem of talking too much and being arrogant. The mere hilarity of the concept has set me on a quest to discover exactly why I am single ;) You can check it out on TLC every morning at 7am.
 
The second is the new book I have on order from Amazon. I saw an interview on the Today show with a little boy who had written a book. I wasn't really interested until I saw the tagline: Nine-Year Old Ladies Man. Basically, it had started as a school writing assignment. This 3rd grader had decided to write about girls. And it has turned into a book of him giving advice on "How to Talk to Girls." The interview was adorable, as this nine-year old was giving advice to men of all ages. He had done his research (observing other boys on the playground) and was very insightful. He offered several pieces of advice, but my favorite was that boys should comb their hair and not wear sweatpants. He won my heart and I am excited to read more of what he has to say! You can see the story and interview here.

The Weight of Disappointment

Yesterday I received some really disappointing news. I was going about my day, when I received a phone call that just turned my day upside down. For varying reasons, I can't share right now what that news was, but hopefully I can share that in the near future. (I know that is vague, and I apologize). My heart just sank. I was looking forward to something and that one phone call brought my excitement and anticipation crumbling down. I am glad I was by myself because I couldn't stop the tears. I can be such a girl sometime.

I think this hit me hard because of how circumstances seemed to be falling into place around it. I felt at peace and I felt confident...I was expectant that God was going to answer. I wasn't fully prepared for this answer. The old feelings of inadequacy and the hurt of repeated rejection were creeping back. Again, God? Is this really happening again? Am I ever going to catch a break?

I had to remind myself that God is bigger than my disappointment. I had to remind myself that God is still God and He is still working behind the scenes. I was reminded of a devotion my mom sent me:
 
"God is more interested in our character than our comfort. He desires that we produce more spiritual fruit. Therefore, He’s always at work pruning the areas of our lives that don’t match His plans. So, when God allows our world to be turned upside down, we are not experiencing a “setback” but rather a “cutback.” In God’s economy, a cutback can be a good thing because it makes room for more good stuff to come."
 
His pruning may seem like it's going to kill me sometimes. Haha. But He's not trying to kill me. He cuts us back in order to produce more...more Christ-like fruit. My dad gave me some good advice:
 
"Be sure to express your disappointment to God. He wants us to bring that stuff to Him. But then it is so important that you muster up as much as you possibly can the strength to tell Him that you are still going to trust Him, despite the disappointment. Express the fact that you are still going to trust that He has a plan, it is good, and He is going to take care of you."
 
His pruning may be painful, but I am going to trust Him. This is not a setback; it's a cutback that can help me grow in Him. I am disappointed. But I am going to trust Him anyway. I know He has a plan...a good plan. And He is going to take care of me.
 
“He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” 
- John 15:2 (NIV)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

In Defense of Thanksgiving

Ok. I am going to warn you ahead of time that this post might step on some people's toes. But I just can't keep silent anymore...
 
A couple of weeks ago, I was driving to my Bible study and decided to flip through radio stations. As I was trying to decide whether I wanted to listen to Jason Mraz or Carrie Underwood, I came across it. Christmas music. I had to stop dead in my tracks and I literally pulled out my phone to double check the date. Now, please, understand me when I say that I absolutely LOVE Christmas music. It's my favorite! But the middle of November?!?! Are you kidding me?!?! After I got over my initial shock of how early they were playing Christmas music, I made a vow not to come back to that station until the appropriate time. Doesn't everyone know that you aren't supposed to play Christmas music until the day after Thanksgiving? My vow was made and it was done. If other people wanted to listen to Christmas music that early, they could. But I am not going to.
 
I don't think I would have been as bothered by the Christmas music if I hadn't already been bothered my the Christmas decorations. It surprises me how stores carry Christmas thigns earlier and earlier every year. But I can get over that. People like to plan. I am a planner. I can handle planning for Christmas decorations early. That's not a problem. What is a problem is the fact that Christmas decorations and lights were already displayed the day after Halloween! That's right. The day after Halloween. The skeletons and ghosts came down and the tinsel and holly went up. Umm...I'm sorry, but what happended to Thanksgiving? You know, that major holiday between Halloween and Christmas?
 
Again, please don't misunderstand me. Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love Christmas. I won't lie- I will be listening to Christmas music NONSTOP starting the day after Thanksgiving. I can't wait for Christmas! But when I started thinking about it, I can wait for Christmas. I can wait until the day after Thanksgiving to start celebrating Christmas. Have we really become that impatient as a culture that we completely overlook major holidays, just to get to our favorite?
 
When I put up an inquiry about why people can't wait on my Facebook page, these are some of the responses I got:
 
"cuz Christmas is amazing! esp. the days leading up to it. but thanksgiving is pretty great too." -C
 "there are many reasons :) 1. first of all, i think Thanksgiving and christmas go hand in hand, meaning that rather than opposing holidays, i think they are best enjoyed together. who says you can't eat your turkey while cozying up by the christmas tree? 2. we only get one short month out of the year to enjoy all of our christmas decorations...and since i'm spending the last week of december in my parent's home (and not mine!), i decided to put up my decorations a tad early to enjoy them to their fullest potential 3. impatience and the need for instant gratification." -N
"i went to buy a wedding gift in the middle of October and this lady was UPSET that they didn't have Christmas wrapping at Macy's yet. She told them they need to get their act together!" - W
Thanks for your responses/honesty! This was post is not meant to say that it is wrong to celebrate Christmas before Thanksgiving and everyone should stop and do it my way. haha. Because it's not wrong. Just because I am crazy OCD  and think things should go in a certain order, doesn't mean I'm right. (Hello, I eat my meals one item at a time...I am certainly not an authority and not one to talk- lol.) But I did want this post to get people thinking because it has made me think.

As a culture, I think N's #3 pretty much sums it up: "impatience and the need for instant gratification." But that describes our culture aside from celebrating Christmas early. It's something I have been thinking a lot about in the midst of the economic situation that we are in as a nation. a lot of focus in the media has been how to fix it, who can fix it, how fast can we fix it. During the elections, there was a lot of finger pointing as to who got us into this mess (isn't it funny that it was always one person's fault? One single person to blame for all this mess...interesting), who was the best qualified to get us out. And yet, not enough finger pointing has been done toward the most basic of culprits: us. American consumers. Our impatience and need for instant gratification caused too many of us to purchase things we couldn't afford. We had to have that new "latest and greatest"...it didn't matter if it wasn't in the budget. We just put it on credit, and decided to worry about it later. Well, later has come. And now we are crying out for someone else to fix it. We are a consumer nation. We are a materialistic nation. And whether we want to admit it or not, we got ourselves into this mess because of our own greed. We got ourselves into this mess because of our perceived "need" for more.

So what does this have to do with the defense of Thanksgiving? Well, it has everything to do with how we have lost focus and need to remember how to be grateful. Our need for more, our need for having it now...it's because we have forgotten how to be grateful. We have forgotten what to be grateful for. We are a country with an overwhelming majority of the earth's wealth. And yet it's not enough. We constantly have to have more. And we live in our little American bubble and we forget. We forget that 8% of the world's population owns a car. I have a car. That means that 92% of the world's population look at me and think "rich." We forget that 800 million people won't eat today. I had a warm breakfast and am getting ready to eat lunch, and will go home tonight to look through my refrigerator and pantry to choose what I want to eat for dinner. Most of the world looks at me and things "rich." We forget that 1 billion people in teh world don't have access to clean water. The estimated cost of providing clean water to everyone is $10 billion. And yet Americans alone spend $40 billion a year...just on Christmas. The estimated cost of providing basic health and nutirition for everyone is $20 billion. That's how much Americans spend just on ice cream in one year. I am able to buy Christmas presents for my loved ones. I go out every once and awhile and enjoy ice cream. Most of the world looks at me and thinks "rich." What would life be like if we spent less on things we don't really need to give to someone the things they really do need?

So the point is perspective. And considering we will be celebrating Thanksgiving on Thursday, we need to put things in perspective because we have so much to be grateful for. As a nation, we have started viewing wants as needs, privileges as rights. We have lost perspective on how "rich" we really are. Too often we focus on what we don't have and forget how much we really do have. It's so easy to get caught up in the consumer culture. I'm guilty; I get caught up. I look at what other people have and I lose perspective. I feel I "need" new winter clothes. I "need" that perfect job. I "need" a higher salary. I forget how abundantly blessed I am, just for the mere fact that I live in America, I have a job, I have a place to live, I have clean water, and I have food to eat. That's only the beginning, the most basic of how I am blessed. It's not wrong to be rich. It's not wrong to want to better your economic situation. It's not wrong to have nice things. But when those things become "necessities" we have to take a step back and reevaluate. We have to regain our perspective. And we need to take the time to say "thank you."

My feelings on this have been building...it seems as though God has something to teach me because I have been inundated with this information a lot in recent weeks. So when people are blowing ver Thanksgiving to head straight for Christmas...yeah. My feathers are ruffled. It just seems that we lose the meaning of Thanksgiving a little more each year. In all reality, we seem to lose the meaning of Christmas a little more each year, too. But Thanksgiving comes first, so it has to be addressed first ;) Just think about it. Why is Thanksgiving one day a year, and yet Christmas gets a whole month. N made a good point in her #1 "i think thanksgiving and christmas go hand in hand, meaning that rather than opposing holidays, i think they are best enjoyed together." If the best way for you celebrate the true meaning of both holidays is to eat turkey while cozying up to a Christmas tree, by all means...go for it! Again, it's not wrong to celebrate Christmas before Thanksgiving. And just because you have already started Christmas, doesn't mean that you are going to forget about Thanksgiving. Let's just not limit Thanksgiving to one day or brush past its value.

So my challenge to you is to slow things up a bit. Take the time to reflect this week on what you are truly thankful for. Make sure you don't rush through Thanksgiving...don't rush through being grateful. Don't get so caught up in the excitement of Christmas that you forget to pause and say thank you for all God has done for you. Because He has done more than any one of us could ever know.

Have a wonderful (reflective) and safe Thanksgiving!

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Saturday, November 8, 2008

A New Guilty Pleasure

So, I have had a rough few days...a lot going on, a lot of emotionally draining stuff. I figured chocolate was in order. I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted...and then I saw them. Dark Chocolate Peanut M&Ms. I happen to LOVE peanut m&ms, and I thought heaven had come to earth when I found dark chocolate m&ms. So the 2 together?!?! It was just too good to be true. And then I tasted them...OMG. I would like to kiss many times the person who came up with this genius idea. I am an official convert and will never go back to plain peanut or plain dark chocolate again. They absolutely must be together. They were meant for each other. Pair a bag of Dark Chocolate Peanut M&Ms with a Dr Pepper...the perfect combination for a new guilty pleasure.
 
 
And just for fun, here are a few quotes about chocolate. Enjoy!
 
"I could give up chocolate, but I'm not a quitter."
 
"Among life's mysteries is how a two pound box of chocolates can make a woman gain five pounds."
 
"Stress wouldn't be so hard to take if it were chocolate covered."
 
"Chocolate is nature's way of making up for Mondays."
 
"Chocolate is cheaper than therapy and you don't need an appointment."
 
"There's more to life than chocolate, but not right now."
 
"Nine out of ten people like chocolate. The tenth person always lies."
 
"There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE."
 
"I have this theory that chocolate slows down the aging process...It may not be true, but do I dare take the chance?"
 
"If not for chocolate, there would be no need for control top pantyhose. An entire garment industry would be devastated."

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Baylor Homecoming!

"Will you not, as a loyal student of dear old Baylor, lay aside for a few days the usual cares of life, come back to your alma mater, renew former associations and friendships, and catch that Baylor spirit again?"
- Samuel Palmer Brooks, 1909
This weekend was Baylor Homecoming! I wasn't able to make it last year, but things worked out for me to head down for a portion of the weekend festivities. And I am so glad I went! It was so great to be back on campus. It made me miss Baylor so much! It was great to walk on campus, see old friends, and just reflect on my time at Baylor. I feel so blessed to have spent my college years at such an amazing school. And I feel even more blessed to be a part of such a rich history and longstanding legacy. I loved being a student, and I love being an alumn!

Homecoming is, to say the least, a big deal at Baylor. We have the largest homecoming parade in the nation, and the city of Waco is overrun by alumni and students for an entire weekend. It's fun to see the alumni on campus, hear the stories of the sweet elderly couples who met at Baylor 50 years ago, learn how Baylor has changed over the years.

Laura and I were only able to make it down for the Saturday festivities, so we were going to make the most of our time in Waco! We headed out early Saturday morning so we could make it to the parade. We were there early enough to claim our front-row seats and even spend some time visiting the bears and shopping in the bookstore. We were able to catch up with Nicki and Mathis at the parade. It was so great to be back with friends! It has been hard to have her in a different city, so it was great to see them and catch up. I was able to see a number of the girls who lived on my hall when I was a Community Leader...I can't believe that they are seniors! The floats were great and I loved seeing that the bears were still a part of the parade! Who else can say that they have live mascots (that aren't normal household pets) who walk in their parade and attend their football games? The bears even know how to do a sic 'em! I love Baylor :)





After the parade, we headed over to Bush's for sweet tea and rolls (a Waco favorite!) Then we headed back to campus to walk around and see what all had changed. We stopped off at Dr Pepper Hour for a famous Dr Pepper float! Laura had never actually been to a Dr Pepper hour, which I could hardly believe, because it was a frequent break for me on Tuesday afternoons between classes. While we walked around campus, we ran into Courtney from BSF! It was fun to see her and reminisce together about our Baylor days. And of course, we had to take a walk down Founder's Mall and take a few pictures with good ol' Judge Baylor.





We had lunch with Nicki's family before heading over to the game! I don't know what happened, but somehow I bought us tickets right in the midst of the Mizzou fans. To say the least, it was an interesting experience. Gotta love being the only Baylor fan yelling for the bears in your section. Haha. Oh well. After we were sufficiently appalled by the Mizzou fans and burnt on our left side from sitting directly in the sun, we were able to join Nicki on the other side of the stadium. Baylor put up a good fight, staying tied to Mizzou until the last 2 minutes of the game, only losing by a field goal. The bears have come a long way, and even though we lost, it was such a good game! Before heading out of town, we stopped at Katie's to enjoy another Waco favorite. It was a really great day and I loved being back for homecoming. And I definitely caught the Baylor spirit again :)


Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Battle of Epic Proportions

Today was such a beautiful day outside! The weather was perfect, so I decided to open up my windows to let the sunshine and cool breeze in. I opened up the back door to my patio so Sasha could enjoy the nice day too. I was enjoying the day, studying a little bit of Exodus, basically minding my own business. I was unaware of the battle that was brewing...[enter Jaws theme music for dramatic effect]

Sasha had already come inside and was taking a nap at my feet, when out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the first one. A wasp flew into my living room and started buzzing around. Of course, Sasha was up and on the prowl. While I was keeping an eye on where it was heading (and making sure Sasha wasn't getting stung), I started willing it to fly back outside, figuring it would eventually. And then I noticed the next one. Another wasp had flown into my living room. Now I had a situation on my hands. For those of you who don't know me, I confess I have a terrible fear of pretty much any and all insects. Large flying insects with stingers are at the top of the list. Sasha was going crazy because now she had 2 flying toys to play with! It offered a little more of a challenge for her since they weren't exactly flying in unison. And my heart started beating a little bit faster as I honestly just started praying that God would suck them back outside.

I was trying to get Sasha to leave them alone (because the last thing I needed was for her to eat one, get stung, and have some awful allergic reaction), when all of a sudden my heart stopped. I now had 3 wasps flying around my apartment. They were on the attack! I grabbed the nearest blanket to offer some sort of shield for myself, grabbed Sasha by the collar and ran to the bedroom. (And just so you know...the situation was far from funny at the time. Remember- major fear of large flying insects with stingers...now multiplied by 3). While I was hiding in my bedroom, I realized that my back door was still open. For anyone else who wouldn't have been so bothered by this situation, the wasps probably would have made their way back to the outside world and gone about their merry way. Not so in Erin-world. I peeked my head out of the bedroom door just to make sure...and you guessed it. There were now 4. I slammed the door and decided I needed to get a grip before the entire wasp population took up residence in my apartment. And so the battle began...

The first obstacle I had to overcome was the fact that I had to make it across the apartment to the kitchen, where the wasp/hornet spray resided. I grabbed my blanket/shield and ran for my life. All the time by brain is thinking a million things at once. I can't believe I have 4 wasps flying in my apartment. I really hope I am not allergic. Oh my gosh, I really hope I don't get stung. The odds don't seem to be in my favor. I really hope I have wasp/hornet spray. Remember when we had that invasion of killer bees? I wonder if killer wasps exist...Those are wasps right? Maybe the ant/roach spray will work. They're all toxic to bugs right? I can't believe I am doing this. I really wish I had a boy right now. Will I ever grow out of this fear? If people could see me now, oh my gosh. If people could know what is running through my mind, they would think I am nuts. I am officially crazy. Ok. Seriously. Suck it up. Spray the wasps. If I spray one, will the others attack? What if they don't die right away? Please just fly outside so I don't have to do this. I really feel like a sissy girl right now. I really just want to run out of the door and never come back. The wasps can have the apartment. I wasn't really attached to it anyway. Am I screaming? Ok. Seriously for real this time. I can do this. I can't do this. Grow up. Just spray the darn things.

The battle waged until there were 4 casualties, the back door was secure, and my heart stopped racing. I have to say that I happen to have excellent aim! And I highly recommend Raid Wasp and Hornet Killer Spray. It sprays up to 22 feet (which is probably the only thing that gave me courage to face the vicious beasts...the fact that I could attack from a distance), and it only takes one hit to make those suckers drop to their death. I won the battle. And lived to tell the tale...

3-day Weekend!

For the first time in a long time, I took a day off of work...just because! Crazy, I know. My parents were traveling into town, but I decided to go ahead and take the full day on Friday. So when I got off of work on Thursday, I felt like I was back in school and I had the sudden urge to burst through the office doors and run to the outside screaming "yippee!" Because I am an adult now and am told maturity is the ideal option, I refrained from this outburst, but still couldn't help but smile as I walked into my 3-day weekend!

I started the weekend off right by heading over to Laura's for dinner and The Office. For those of you who don't know, I am what you would call a "fan" of the show, so there is absolutely no better way to start off any weekend :) Friday morning, while the rest of the world was heading off to their last workday of the week, I was sleeping in. (I am sure that most of you are not interested in these details, but just let me enjoy every moment of this 3-day weekend...they don't happen often. Haha). At least, I "slept in" as late as Sasha did. Which translates to- I didn't wake up to my alarm, but to Sasha alarm (which is about a 20 minute difference). But I'll take it. I took Sasha for a run, I went to vote (don't forget that early voting ends this week!), went grocery shopping, finished laundry and cleaning, worked on my Bible study lesson, then took a nap while I waited for my parents to arrive.

Friday night we met my brother for dinner and a movie. Saturday we played the part of tourists, rode the DART downtown, then walked to the Dallas Museum of Art for the King Tut: Golden Age of the Pharaohs exhibit! We are pretty big nerds and have been anticipating this exhibit for awhile now. We were able to see some really awesome pieces from the artifacts recovered from King Tut's tomb. Since we are studying Moses at BSF, it was really cool to learn more about the culture of Egypt- it's history, religion, and age of the pharaohs. It was awesome to be able to relate what we saw in the exhibit to what we have been studying in God's Word! It really made the pages of the Bible come alive...and the mystery-lover in me enjoyed digging into the details of the ultimate cold case... [the mysterious and still unsolved death of the boy king]

We spent a lot of time in the exhibit, examining each artifact and reading all of the museum plaques. Some of the pieces had never left Egypt before now. At the end, we were a little disappointed that we didn't get to see King Tut's sarcophogus...guess I'll have to save that for my trip to Cairo ;) But overall, it was really awesome! The photographer in me was really disappointed because I wasn't able to take any photos of the exhibit. So I had to limit the pictures to outside the museum. Here are a few from the day:

The one and only picture I was able to take at the exhibit. The door to the galleries. Oh well.

Such a fine looking family...haha.

We are related. Good times.

We just couldn't resist. And as my brother said, "when in Rome...or in this case, Egypt..."

The rest of the weekend, we just hung out and ate good food. It was so great to have mom and dad here. With things being crazy the last few months, a mom and dad hug was just what the doctor ordered. I am so blessed to have such an amazing family!


Currently Listening: Go Down Moses, by Chicago a cappella

Saturday, October 18, 2008

State Fair of Texas!

Laura and I have continued on our fall adventures and today brought us to the State Fair of Texas. I had never been before, so it was a fun new experience! Here are some pictures from the day...

We started our day by test driving Chevys! It was free, so I couldn't resist. Especially when they told me I could test drive a truck on an off-road track. Heck yes! Off-roading in a Chevy?!?! Sign me up! What can I say? I'm a truck kind of girl.




We spent the day walking the fair grounds. The weather was absolutely beautiful and was perfect for a day at the fair! We saw all kinds of things...the auto show, show goats, Big Tex, the DAR museum, the bag pipe playing marines, senior citizen sqare dancers, teeth whitening (no joke!), Dancing with the Dogs show, and the pee wee stampede. There were tons of rides...but we decided a) we wanted to spend our money on food instead and b) we didn't want to be sick. We did, however, ride the Texas Star Ferris Wheel. It was definitely worth the 12 tickets! We had an awesome view of downtown Dallas and the breeze felt amazing! And it was fun to see the fair grounds from 23 stories up!








And the best part of the fair...the food! I started my marathon of junk food with a hot dog. I needed to have a base food so that my stomach could handle the rest of the junk food. Haha. For those who don't know, the State Fair of Texas is famous for its fried foods...of every kind. Fried bananas, fried s'mores, fried ice cream, fried snickers, fried oreos, fried truffles, chicken fried bacon, fried jelly beans, fried cheescake, fried pb&j's, fried grilled cheese, fried cheese on a stick, fried cookie dough, fried marshmellows, fried apple pie, fried banana split, fried green beans, fried honey buns, fried everything. With so many choices, it was a difficult decision on which ones to try. Laura and I decided on the fried cheesecake and the fried oreos. Definitely the right decision!





And I couldn't leave the fair without a funnel cake and a turkey leg. But don't worry. I took the turkey leg home for dinner tomorrow night. Despite the onslaught of junk food, my tummy is miraculously not upset with me. It's all about timing. Pace yourself and you'll be go :) All in all, it was an amzing day! I am now a huge fan of the State Fair!


Currently Listening: What Life Would Be Like, by Big Daddy Weave

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Plano Balloon Festival



Last night, Laura and I decided to go to the Plano Balloon Festival. We wanted to reminisce old days at Baylor, where we used to attend the annual Balloon Glow. We sat in traffic and watched the balloons launch from the highway...haha. It seemed like all of Plano was heading in the same direction. Since we were late, we stopped at the first parking lot we could find. We ended up at the Collin Creek Community Church and we are so glad we stopped! They had volunteers from the congregation that were driving 15-passenger vans, mini-vans, and suburbans as transportation to the festival. So we hopped on a van with a whole bunch of little kids and had the greatest ride! Listening to their excitement as they each "claimed" their own balloon, argued about being old enough to ride the balloons, etc. really made my heart happy.

When we got to the festival, we watched as the remaining balloons were filled. It was such beautiful weather, and it was fun to see all the variety of balloons. When it got dark, Laura and I were really excited to watch the Balloon Glow! Unfortunately, we were severely disappointed by the Plano Balloon Glow. Haha. I hate to say that, but last night's show left nothing to be desired. It made us really miss the Baylor Balloon Glow! Baylor knows how to do it right. They have the balloons land in Floyd Casey Stadium. Then, when it gets dark, the balloons glow in sync with music! It's choreographed and the balloons glow to the beat of the music. And it's pretty much the coolest thing ever! So here's to Baylor for putting on an awesome show! Plano needs to take some pointers...oh well. The lighted balloons were still pretty though:



After the festival, we decided to walk back to our car instead of ride the vans back. It was a nice night and we thought the exercise would be good. Aside from there being no sidewalk, and almost getting run over by cars when the grass path ran out, it was a nice 1.5 mile hike. When we got back to the car, we were able to watch the festival's fireworks to round out the evening. All in all, it was a fun night and we are glad we went. It was great to spend time together and a fun way to spend the last days of summer.