Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Golden Birthday

When I was about ten I discovered what a "golden birthday" was and thought I would never get to mine, since I'd have to wait til I was 27. When one is ten, twenty-seven is old. But my husband just celebrated his golden birthday on the 26th of August, and it has made me think - I must be getting older too!

Birthdays are so much fun. Especially when your twenty-six-year-old treats his birthday like he's still six. He basked in his glory all day long. I loved it. :)

He started his day opening his birthday package from his mom. Low and behold, the highlight of the package, the un-buyable CM Punk t-shirt! He was like a kid in a candy shop, and had it on within five minutes.

I snuck out after breakfast to "do some errands" and a friend of ours, Carolyn, met me at the church to organize and clean Daniel's office for a birthday present. I knew it was something he wanted done, but had yet to find time to do it - plus, that kind of things is exactly what I love! Carolyn came to help, since I knew my pregnant body would run out of steam fast. We got a little carried away though, when Car suggested we get a life-sized picture of Tim Keller for Daniel's desk....

Life-sized was hardly an option, so we opted for 8 1/2 x 11 and decided to print all of the most influential pastor/teachers in Daniel's life today. (We missed a few... Daniel informed us later, so if the collection gets bigger, we'll update.)

Top: Paul Patrick, his campus minister, and one of the pastors who married us. Shaped his theology and strengthened his faith. Taught him how to preach.
 Middle: John Wingard, his college philosophy prof whose "counsel is second to God." Tim Keller,  taught him about Christ-centered preaching and living, and gave him a love for cities. Nathan Frazier, his current boss, teaching him how to deal graciously with (very) difficult people.
Bottom: Mark Driscoll - no, he's not trying to choke anyone - Daniel loves him for his practical ministry advice and go-getter attitude.
After work, we celebrated the evening. Daniel opened a pair of new jeans, and we enjoyed an appetizer of Oreo Mint Ice Cream Cake from Dairy Queen. Only the best!

two candles, six candles, and a golden candle for future blessings

Before heading to Daniel's favorite restaurant for dinner we swung by the church so I could reveal his other present to the very confused birthday boy. :)

The reaction was worth it! His first gasp of, "O!" meant he was pleased by his clean office, but the peal of laughter and groaning that followed were obvious indicators that the photos on his desk completely shocked him. He was speechless for several moments... unsure if he was pleased or embarrassed. He just kept rubbing his head and laughing, and then groaning and laughing again.

His final conclusion, "You definitely need to put a picture on Facebook, and tag all those guys in it... I am such a weirdo. Evan and Will are going to tease me forever because of this..." :-P

The desk was the highlight, but we also organized his bookshelves, bought some space savers and basic office supplies to make his office more usable, as well as a couple of pictures, to make it more homey.

By time we got downtown to Wild Wings Cafe we were both starving, despite the ice cream cake. Buffalo wings and potato skins did the trick. Why be healthy on your birthday, right?

Finally, Daniel opened his last present, from an unexpected giver. ;)

Charlotte was beautiful last night. The sky was a panorama of clouds, and the light from a setting sun and the city glare made a breath-taking drive into downtown.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

bygones of summer

Well it's over. Of course not technically until September 23rd, or whatever; and if you're south of the Mason Dixon line you may just have another two full months of warm weather ahead of you... but anyone else with me: when school starts, summer ends?

My mind and emotions play tricks on me these days. Pregnancy hormones. I am extremely reminiscent. I'm also extremely expectant. 

I feel as if God holds so much for us at this moment, and here we are with our hands open, waiting for him to pour it all out.

Can I be honest for a moment? More honest than I've probably ever been on this blog. As much as I may talk about trials and suffering, I personally struggle with wondering why our life is so good, when others lives are so hard. 

There were several months where I felt like I was waiting for some tragedy to befall us. Surely, life couldn't continue to be so good! I hate(d) the gap our "ideal" life put(s) between us and those who struggle. I hate(d) that our marriage is so strong, while others try to piece back together what they've lost, or watch in tears as their greatest hopes and dreams fall apart. Why would God give us so much goodness? We want the hard life - give us the trials! - and leave all our friends alone. Remember, we're in the ministry! 

(The unanswered cry of the universe, why so much pain?) 

Then I started doubting our faithfulness - surely, if we were really living for the Lord, we would have trials. He would test our faith.

I was reminded, through my husband, friends, Scripture, and the Holy Spirit, that God gives and takes away, and that there is a time for every season under heaven.

I don't know why my life is the way that it is. But I do know, that just as much as I would be amiss not to praise God through the storm, I would be amiss not to praise Him in the sunshine

His plan is perfect and He is preparing us for a future we do not know. There's a bend in the road yet and we haven't a clue what's around it... but it's nice to be here, working, living, waiting, with our palms up and open, ready for whatever God will pour down. 

So here I am, summer changing to autumn, learning once again "in whatever state I am in to be content."

Monday, August 22, 2011

One Little Yellow Finch

Sitting on the street...

I rescued this creepy/cute little guy from certain doom one morning last week. Though I waited several minutes for him to fly away, he seemed too stunned to want to do anything but sit. I check on him about an hour later and he was no where to be found, so I'm sure he's flown off into the wild blue yonder where he's growing real feathers, and catching tasty worms.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


With a new baby on the way, and plans beginning to form on how to make our home a little more welcoming for this little one, Daniel and I headed out to IKEA a couple of weekends ago to see what options we had - specifically, how to house all 6,000 books and Baby comfortably.

Very soon though, my mind went from book shelves to a whole house renovation! There is just SO much to see at this place... When we saw this quote, Daniel couldn't help but suggest I take the hint.

We finally found wall to wall shelving that was tasteful and affordable.

When we finally got down to the warehouse we found adorable dolls! I wanted to whole collection. ;)

We're hoping to make our purchases sometime next month - of course I'll post the results. :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Have you heard of it? O, my. Well, you need to check it out.

How would you like to buy this...

... for less than 2 bucks?

Do you want natural, organic products but hate paying such high prices in stores?

Do you want to clean your house without nasty chemicals?

Do you want to find every day items for a fraction of the cost?

Vitacost, vitacost, vitacost!!!

It's my favorite place for online shopping. I get my prenatal vitamins, our shampoo, conditioner, body wash, facial cleanser/toner/moisturizer,  treats for Zoe, and so many other things.

You can get anything from room fresheners to gluten-free baking mixes.

All your favorite brands are bound to be on there too - Seventh Generation, Burts Bees, Alba, Luna, Clif, Drs. Brown, Bronner and Wood, even Kashi.

Best part: spend $50 and get free shipping!

I find it as a perfect excuse to spend an extra $5 on non-necessary things 
(like Burt's Bees Pomegrante Lip Balm)

So enjoy! :)

Saturday, August 13, 2011