Sunday, October 31, 2010

winnipeg: day one

today we drove to winnipeg.  in a sweet rented routan.  (thank you, silmara!)  one of my girls was sick ... we had a gross moment on a bridge - where we couldn't pull over - and she puked in an empty tim's cup.  i had to drive with my knees and cover my ears with my hands so i wouldn't puke too.  all the other times, we got pulled over before the ickiness.

i killed my first roadkill.  the cutest little squirrel tried to kamikaze the van.  sadly, we won, and the last we saw of it was its little corpse spinning in circles from our deadly force.  agh.  i don't know how soldiers do it.

also, we saw llamas.

and cows.  lots of cows, yeah yeah.

and we only stopped for gas once - the routan has amazing mileage.

anyway, we arrived in winnipeg and i suddenly started to get excited for the week.  up til then, i'd mostly been bummed about being away from patrick.  (i still am.  but it's fun chatting with him online.  he's hot.)

so we checked into our hotel, and went upstairs ... and the girls were sharing rooms, but i got one all to myself ... and when i walked in ... !!!!!  it's huge - a suite, really, with a living room and kitchen and bathroom and massive bedroom.  and it's beautiful.  and the solitude is the most precious part.

being alone is awesome because: tonight i'm chatting with patrick, blogging, listening to music.  i'm going to hop into the tub for a warm bath and read my book.  and them i'm going to pray and fall asleep.  and i love it. 

(oh.  i don't know if i mentioned it, but i got another promotion.  crazily.  i'm the office manager now. it feels so sudden and unexpected.  but i'm glad.  and that explains the king suite ... hooray for perks!)

surprising, sweet gifts from God.  He takes care of us.  and while i always feel tenderly cared for, and know His provision for me is constant, this week i feel especially lavished in a love language i can touch and see and feel.

thanks, God, for taking such good care of me!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

road trip: winnipeg

i'm going to winnipeg next week, for training with work.  i've never been there.  i was hoping someone from our store would be taking us, but they're not, and i'm the supervisor, so ... i'll be driving my girls!  our bosses have rented us a van, and we'll get the keys sunday morning. crazy. 

i plan to make food for patrick to eat while i'm gone.  the real problem, though, is to get him to remember to eat ... he doesn't get hungry (just cranky).  we're both really really bummed at being apart for seven days.  no cuddles.  no morning coffee & conversation.  no whiskery kisses.

however, while i'm not looking forward to being away from patrick for so ridiculously long, i am looking forward to seeing a live store in action, and getting some practice serving customers and managing records.  and, i've saved some money to buy some cute clothes before i go - since i'll be working in a real store, not a construction zone - so three cheers for shopping!

the weather network predicts that winnipeg's weather next week will be above 6 degrees and sunny.  hooray!  then snowy for our ride home.  icksville.

here's hoping we have fun times and a safe trip.  pray for us!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

three wheel kiss bloggies

to deep down things i award the prestigious spelunk award.  jen from deep down things takes us below the surface of everyday events and refocuses our attention on things that really matter.   thanks, jen, for sharing your treasures with us.

to patrick's blob, i award the nerdie.  patrick reviews books, musical artists, and occasionally shares stories from his life.  his academic style and choice of topics are geeky chic like your favorite suspenders.  cheers to you, patrick.

to polkadotsoup, i award the bearhug.  katie's cute posts - from her multitude mondays to frequent sweet peeks into her life - feel like a real-live hug, no matter how far away i am.  thanks for your daily updates and adorableness, k-dizzle!  i love you.

to my small tornado, i award the diaper genie.  danielle makes mommyhood seem like a run in the park.  her little macattack is already lighting up the blogosphere - thanks for sharing him (and yourself) with us, dan.

to the journey inside, i award the honest abe.  carrie is open and transparent in her writing, and is brave enough to tackle really personal, private topics.  she also shares absolutely adorable stories of her kids, whom i love, even though i have never met them.

to idlehide, i award the linklove.  heidi's posts are always like little peeks into her fun and busy life, and one of my favorite things about her blog is her link list to wonderful blogs.  she's one of my first stops before i start surfing.  thanks, heidi, for keeping me linked!    *honorable mention goes to heidi's hubby, kennyo, for posting weird and wonderful clips before they show up on msn.com.   

to rise before dawn, i award the vuvuzela.  gwen's descriptions of life & work in south africa are beautiful, funny, and heartbreaking.  i love getting my africa fix by popping on over to her blog.  thanks, cousin!

*      *      *

honorable mentions to those whose blogs have been somewhat sparse of late: i'm still a fan.  keep posting because i love to read your stuff.
joey at a day in the life has sweet stories and adorable kids. i love them so much it hurts.  i need more stories!
kelly at life [revealed] has some of the world's most hilarious stories and vulnerable writing, usually all in the same post.

thanks to all of you.  i love peeking in to your lives, and seeing your world through your eyes.  

comfort

when i'm upset, i usually turn to food.  or hugs.  the best comfort is some yummy food (maybe pork dumplings with spicy tangy sauce) and a cuddle.

but if i don't have patrick, and i'm not hungry, or don't have what i'm craving, the next best comfort is ink.

clearly, not for cuddling.  or eating.

but for writing.  when i'm stressing, i reach for my pen and notebook.  i used to write about whatever was upsetting ... but then i would blow it all out of proportion, and make a mountain out of a molehill.

so i like to resort to making lists.  i make lists of things to do.  things to buy.  nice things.  bad things.  things i love.  things i hate.  things i wish i'd said.  things i want to do.  and sometimes i draw - lame, inconsequential sketches, like flowers or stars or birds.

ink is no small comfort.

Monday, October 18, 2010

this day

psalm 118:24. 
this is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

this day.  with its cold, starry morning and its long training session and free pizza for lunch.  with its sweet husband and turkey soup and a freshly-cleaned apartment.  with its smoky smoke smoking neighbours and satisfying bubble bath.  with its full complement of texting and facebook messages, with its youtube videos and comfortable couch.  with its longing heart and red-rimmed eyes.  with its cares.

this day.  this is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

thank you, Lord, for one more day.

Friday, October 15, 2010

just another way to be like Jesus.

alrighty.  today i'm responding to a post my friend Carrie wrote about Christian marriages and sex.  you can check out her post here.
if that sort of thing isn't the type of topic you want to read, please stop now. :).  i'll still love you.
on the other hand, if you do want to read, agree, disagree, comment, or interrupt ... the comment box is below and i'd love to hear from you.

a long time ago, i wrote a post about a coworker, who found joy in washing dishes.  he said that making dirty things clean all day was just another way he could be like Jesus. 
and that phrase stuck in my head.
and i think that God is always working on making us more like Jesus.  and He uses all sorts of things to do that.
and i think that one of those things is sex.

God is a giver.
and being givers is one of the sweetest ways to be like Him.  Jesus gave everything for us.  and He gives us every good & perfect gift.
and virginity is one of the good & perfect gifts He gives us.
He gives it to us because He knows that giving is awesome.  and when we come to marriage as virgins, we come as givers - not seekers, not takers, but givers - we get to be like Him in the sweetest, most vulnerable way possible.

in my experience (getting personal here, beware), being in this kind of marriage is spectacularly awesome.  it's exciting, it's fun, it's always new, and it's beautiful.  it's not boring, stale, or selfish.  it's honest.  it's incredibly secure-ifying.  (i mean, it helps me be secure.  i struggle with this in every area of my life, except with patrick.)

i think i was blessed (?) to be raised in a church that didn't talk about sex at all.  what i mean is, i didn't hear "sex is bad" from the pulpit, at youth events, etc.  i didn't hear anything about that.  so instead of having a lot of creepy baggage to wade through, i feel like i absorbed most of my opinions, thoughts, ideas about sex from my parents indirectly, through my upbringing.  and i am grateful for that.
let me explain.

my parents lived out their faith.  as i grew up, i watched them make sacrifices to care for others.  i watched them trust God when things were really hard.  i felt loved and wanted ... even though we were a big family, i always felt like my parents were glad for every one of us kids.  sure they weren't perfect, but i always knew their motivation, in everything they did, was to honor God and care for their family.  and that permeated their relationship too.

so Christianity was never a separate category in their lives.  everything they did sprang from loving Jesus and wanting to obey and live out His word.  and when I became a Christian too, they were really good examples.  i wanted to be like them.  and they wanted to be like Jesus.  so i learned from them to let Him be my deepest motivation.  to let Him lead.  to put Him first.

in every area of my life, i feel blessed by this.  clearly, i'm no saint, and can be labeled honestly as a work in progress.  but like my parents, i really want to love Jesus in every area of my life.

and so why would sex be any different?  loving Jesus makes me better. (okay, right now every single person i know is probably snorting and remembering something awful i've done.  i don't mean perfect.  i just mean, better than i would be without Him.  and happier, more complete.  not that i love Him in order to be happy ... but He's awesome, and when i love Him, i'm transformed to be like Him in tiny ways.)  and if it makes me more generous, kind, free, selfless ... that translates into a really happy lover.  and that translates into good great (!) sex.

does this make sense at all?  am i totally rambling?  i just think the recipe for having great sex starts with the same recipe for anything great ... Jesus on the throne of your heart.

purity and love spring from Him.  it's not something you can manufacture.  i can't imagine trying to be a good lover apart from having Him in my heart.  when i'm feeling angry or selfish or sullen or just cranky ... He reminds me that patrick is my husband, and i love him.  i love him!  even cranky angry selfish me loves him. and Jesus rocks. because He even cares about that.

i can't imagine anyone having a sweeter, awesomer, crazier, more fun marriage than ours.  in every way, i am honored, loved, cherished, adored, and satisfied.  and sex is divine.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

tryptophan does me in

so i came home from work tonight all excited to go to Bible study. i even had it on my list of things to do (and i ADORE crossing things off my list).
then we had turkey for supper.
and it was great. delicious. amazing. (there was even leftover gravy, so you know it had to be good.)
and then after supper i couldn't seem to open my eyes.
patrick snuggled me up on the couch and told me to stay home. it was a long (happy! but busy) weekend, and after a day of work i guess i just need a night where i don't go much further than the bubble bath.
so sweet dreams, world ... i'm out.

Monday, October 4, 2010

potato skins

this week, patrick and i rediscovered the amazing delicious versatile potato!
here is our step-by-step recipe for making potato skins. enjoy.

first, peel the skins off the potato. (we like them pretty thin, so we only left a little bit of potato on the skin.)


then, melt some butter (1 1/2 tablespoons), stir in 1/2 teaspoon each of garlic powder, and paprika, and a dash of salt. (you can always add more salt later if it's not flavorful enough.)

stir the potatoes so they're all coated in the buttery spice mixture.


lay the potatoes in a single layer on a cookie sheet. (or more layers, you'll just need to cook them longer.) you will have lots of time to do this if you, like me, forgot to preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

cook at 400 for 10 mins.

remove from oven, taste-test. add more salt if you want to. (we did). broil for 5 minutes ... or until crispy. then remove from oven, add cheese, bacon bits, and green onion. (we were out of green onion for this photo shoot).

broil for four or five more minutes and enjoy! mmmm.
(we were planning to eat them with these condiments, but they were so delicious on their own that we didn't even bother. they're that good.)