I've seen lots of blogs that post random things on a specific day of the week, and that sounded like fun, so here we go! I've seen mainly lists of five, but I couldn't think of five, so here are three! They aren't really related to each other but that's what makes them random :)
1. Have you heard of Bottle of Tears? I hadn't. Emily and Jillian were together in Arkansas last month and got this for me. It's a company that sends a unique glass bottle with an encouraging message inside to people who are struggling (click the link to find out more). My sweet friends thought of me as we wait to understand what God has next for our family. I so appreciated this gesture, the pretty bottle, and the print they had sent to me for Mother's Day.
2. We've decided to stay put in our apartment for another year. I must confess that I'm really excited not to move, but maybe a little sad that we won't have a place with natural light for another 13 months. Even though we aren't moving, I still want to get a handle on the clutter and extra stuff we have sitting around our home. We have boxes of books that have remained untouched since our arrival, and just STUFF that we don't need or use. I've bagged up lots of clothing that I didn't love or use anymore, and this weekend we're beginning the process of going through the guest room closet. I made a long list of organization things and maybe I'll post about that process soon! For now, I've been motivated by this blog's approach to getting rid of clutter.
3. Still on the hunt for a project to do for our anniversary. Carson's sick this weekend so we DID go to a thrift store looking for something to revamp, but didn't give it our all because we knew we wouldn't actually start or finish a project this week. If we can't find something to re-do, there are some fun projects I'd like to do ourselves: Make an entryway table. We have a bookshelf there now and I am really tired of all the clutter! Or a coffee table. We have a trunk we use as a coffee table now and it's great but it's also good for storage and it's not the worst thing ever but a little inconvenient to take everything off the top of it to get a blanket out. Not end-of-the-world stuff, but we've toyed with the idea of finding a different place for the chest. Another project idea I had? A headboard. I like this tutorial.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
When I think of anniversary celebrations I think of lazy mornings, no alarm clocks and breakfast in bed... but ours didn't begin that way. We were up before 3:30am, dressed and on the road before 4. All because of Disney World.
Remember how we went just a few weeks ago to the happiest place on earth? Well we bought three-day Florida resident tickets that didn't have to be used together, but that expired on June 5th. As we thought about it while we were there, we realized we wanted to spend more time with family than in the parks -- plus three full long days in a hot park walking around is super draining. So since we'd used the money from our anniversary fund (leftover Christmas and birthday money) for the tickets in the first place, we thought that returning for our third day on our anniversary was a great idea.
Getting there when the parks opened was a terrific plan too. We didn't arrive until 6 minutes after 8, which was perfectly fine, but we wanted to get there as early as possible because of lines.
We'd heard about the lines for the Toy Story Midway Mania game, so we headed there first. It was a 40 minute wait time (but I think it was less than 30 in reality) but the wait time shortly after went to 2 hours.
Disney gives you lots to see in the lines, and this ride's lines had lots of life-sized board game and kids' toys as the eye candy. There was even a Mr. Potato head that was HUGE (8 or 9 feet maybe) that talked and blinked and moved as you inched past in line.
It's a 3-D ride where you sit in a little bench that swivels around and you shoot at targets on a screen. My gun felt a little defective because I was going just as fast as Carson but nothing was happening. Likely operator error.
Our final scores. I'm the green. At least my accuracy was a little better? I was aiming and Carson was just shooting, which is apparently the way to win this thing.
I loved the barrel of monkeys above the sign for Pixar Place.
We went during the second weekend of "Star Wars Weekends". I wish I'd taken pictures of the families (we're talking huge groups of people) in long brown hooded Jedi robes, or the grown men in full costume or the thousands of people in all kinds of Star Wars themed shirts, dresses, and other kinds of clothing. It was equal parts impressive and weird.
There were meet-and-greets with people who've done voices or acting in the Star Wars movies, and while we didn't go to any of those, we did enjoy the people watching and thought the Star Wars things were funny.
We had a Fast Pass for Star Tours, which we got to wear 3D glasses for again.
Next, we rode Tower of Terror. The line was spooky and purposely steamy, and it made my hair really poofy.
We rode this one twice. First, without a FastPass, then we saw a show and rode it again with a pass. The ride changes depending on which elevator you're on so we made sure to get a different one. It makes your stomach drop in a way that's a little scary, like you miiiight lose your lunch, but we liked it anyway. Carson hummed the theme from The Twilight Zone all day after this.
(we're in the back middle)
We saw the Beauty and the Beast show in between Tower of Terror rides and thought it was cute.
And since we had a bit of time before our next Fast Pass, we decided to have a snack. I'd wanted a Mickey Pretzel the last time we were here and didn't get one, so we made that happen. I was also tempted by the very refreshing raspberry lemonade as we stood in line, so we shared that. Carson got a big pickle to eat.
I'd heard good things about the Rock 'N Roller Coaster, and it didn't disappoint. This was my favorite ride all day and I think I liked it even better than Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom.
Carson was a little surprised. It goes upside down, which I didn't expect because they didn't seem super worried about us making sure all bags were shut. Thankfully no keys or chapsticks or cell phones went flying... but I'm guessing that happens fairly often.
We saw the Indiana Jones stunt show next. It was fun and the host of the show was great.
Hydrating... it was 97 degrees.
Cinderella's Carriage from the new version of Cinderella. Isn't it pretty?
Next, we went to the car stunt show where drivers acted out a variety of chase scenes, jumps and escapes. They even had one guy on fire in a fireproof suit. It was really entertaining but I wondered if anything ever goes wrong with these shows?
We walked around after that, since we'd pretty much seen everything we wanted to see. There were a few things that were closed that day, and several things that had lines that we just didn't want to wait in, so our day was pretty much over at about 2:30.
This Storm Trooper didn't have a line of people waiting for a picture (the line for Darth Vader was over an hour, or Carson would have jumped at that) so Carson got a picture with him. He pointed at Carson's "Happy Anniversary" pin, then pointed at me. Carson nodded that it was our anniversary, and the guy pushed Carson away and put his arm around me as if to walk away. Ha.
"Oh I loved these guys in the movie!" (as I look at them now, they look a little too much like the Klan)
We had a Disney photographer take a picture of us together with her camera and one with my phone. The phone ones look pretty bad, so I screen-shotted these, which really aren't so great either. And I just have to say although I'm probably the only one thinking about this... I'm not balding... that's just what happens when you have a very high forehead and very light hair around your hairline.
We left at about 4 and got to Caleb and Morgan's house in Ocala at 5:30 after stopping for a quick bite. We went to my aunt and uncle's house for dinner and Marlin got to ride shotgun with Carson.
Some baby prep was done, and we enjoyed pizza and salad for dinner, with strawberry shortcake as a delicious dessert.
Our stay in Ocala was short; we left at 9 the next morning and were back in Tallahassee at noon. We both napped I did laundry while Carson watched the X-Files before we decided to do something active at around 5. We went to nearby Lake Ella to walk around. It's fairly shady which is key in temperatures over 90 degrees. It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed the sunshine.
We also enjoyed a snowball. We had these with my parents once before and they are most definitely better enjoyed when it's warm outside.
We watched the ducks as we enjoyed our snowball. Lots of people were there feeding them and there were lots of duck and goose families out in the water and gobbling up bread.
We made our last stop of the evening a trip to Movies 8, which is our budget theater. We paid $3 each for us to watch the new Cinderella movie (I thought the name of it was behind us in this picture but it was on the other side). Cinderella is my favorite classic Disney movie, mostly because of the mice, and I loved this one. Spoiler: the mice are in it too (although with fewer lines...). We got to see Cinderella's carriage on the big screen after we saw the real one the day before!
And just like that, our anniversary was over. We didn't exchange gifts because the traditional gift this year was wood and we couldn't think of anything fitting for each other. That said, we do plan on working with that theme and either building something out of wood or refinishing something. We haven't entirely decided, but plan to work on it in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned!
Monday, May 25, 2015
So I was on Pinterest looking at Disney things as we prepared for our trip. I came across a Cinderella tank top that was cute, but also mostly easy to recreate. My sister in law Erin made an iron-on shape of Cinderella for me and I just put it on when we got to the hotel the night before we went to the Magic Kingdom.
Then I thought... what will Carson wear? Now, I'm not really the kind of person who wants to wear all out Disney when I'm in Disney World, but since I was, and I knew Erin was and the girls were, I asked Carson if he'd be okay with me making him a Mickey Mouse shirt to wear. We picked up a plain coraly orange t-shirt on sale at Old Navy (he picked the color, much to my surprise) and headed home. I already had textile medium, white acrylic paint and freezer paper at home.
I traced the shape of Mickey's head onto the dull side of the freezer paper, cut it out with scissors, ironed it on the shirt, stuck a flexible cutting board inside the shirt to reduce the paint seeping through the front, and began to paint. I used 2 parts paint to 1 part medium and painted away. I had to do a ton of coats since the material soaked up the paint. Since I did this the night before we left, I used a hair dryer to help speed up the process. And then while it was still tacky but not dry, I took the freezer paper off. I didn't want to wait until it was totally dry because I was afraid of the paper pulling paint off. Some paint seeped out of the sides because of the material, but I kind of liked the way it looked.
In retrospect, I'd probably have made the Mickey head a little bigger, but I didn't measure it on him first. Carson loved his shirt though!
Friday, May 22, 2015
Well, we turned five today.
Five years ago, we were hoping the rain would hold off (it rained an hour before the ceremony, delaying it... but then the sun came out). We were saying our vows and nervously standing in front of a crowd of people. We were laughing, dancing, stuffing cake in each other's faces. We were promising things we knew we didn't understand, talking about a life we knew nothing about.
As you say the words "in good health and bad" you don't know if that's going to mean colds or cancer. "For better or for worse" might mean long years of grief, or great happiness and blessing. You don't know if "for richer or poorer" means penthouse or poorhouse. What might "loving and cherishing" look like if something happens to one of you? You don't even know if "as long as we both shall live" will be 75 years or if something will happen to one of you much sooner.
When you get married, or really when you do anything new, it's sort of like signing on to jump out of an airplane. You sign the wavers, make the promises, get in the plane, and then just sort of go for it. I know that's probably a horrible comparison, but my point is that when you get married, you can't predict the future. You know the person you're marrying, know enough about them to decide that it's a good idea, but there's a lot of "leap of faith" involved.
If five years ago I had been given a glimpse of my life today, I think I would be surprised.
We've had four different addresses, have changed time zones three times, have a total of three degrees between us, with two more in the works, have had two cars (both Civics). We've changed in our opinions about TV, about the Church, about education, about grief, about activity. We have friends on every continent, in every US time zone, have church families that we love and miss and wish could maybe all move wherever we go. We have moved to new places together just the two of us three times (Spokane doesn't count), and learned that it is good to have people in our lives more than just the two of us (guess we won't be moving to an isolated cabin in the mountains anytime soon).
We have agreed to disagree about cats, licorice flavored ice cream, toppings on pizza, the idea of playing board games, and which is the correct way to install toilet paper. We have discovered that grocery shopping together is much better than not (accountability), that a walk in the evening is a great way to unwind, that we don't have to go out on "date night", that we can complete projects together without anyone committing murder, that cleaning the house together is more efficient, and that having a day off each week as "our day" is pretty important.
It really does seem that five years is both much longer than it seems while also feeling like we just got married a month ago. We've both changed and grown, and naturally our relationship has too. At just five more years down the road, I'm sure we'll have morphed into different people again, and I can't imagine what 50 years from now will look like.
Here's to many decades more!
Thursday, May 21, 2015
My dad had a week off work so while I was talking to him on the phone one day he suggested that we meet up with him and mom somewhere and do something over the weekend (he actually said Tuesday but we did have work so we changed it to the weekend).
We decided to meet in Jacksonville. It's almost equidistant between Beaufort and Tallahassee and 2.5 hours in a car isn't bad for just a couple of days. We arrived at around 12:30, checked into the hotel (Carson and I got the pull-out couch), and went off to explore. We stopped at some thrift stores on our drive, to Carson's delight, and ran by a couple other stores for various things before we finally made it to the beach. We just wanted to see it, put our feet in the water, but not actually stay. Fair to say, it's a bit larger and more crowded than any beaches we've seen in Florida so far.
Right after we took this picture, Carson and I were standing in the water, about ankle deep when I realized that something non-human was swimming nearby... a shark! I think it was a little over three feet and Carson said five, but either way it was only a few feet away, so he quickly warned the family that it was swimming toward. Nothing exciting happened, thankfully, but I'm glad we weren't intending to spend the day in the water there. I love the beach but hate water at the beach because of whatever might be lurking.
Carson and I hadn't eaten, and by the time we decided to eat, it was 4:30, so we stopped at a Rita's. I was happy to spot it, because there used to be one in Beaufort (it's now a Jimmy Johns) and I think I kept them in business the summer of 2008 when I'd come there with my girls all the time.
That actually held us over until dinner. Carson, Dad and I sat in the hot tub at the hotel pool after that and chatted with an interesting man who was there for a kickball tournament! At around 7, we showered and got ready for dinner. We drove around for some time looking for something local and different, but ended up at Longhorn (Carson was PUMPED because he'd never been but loved the "you can't fake steak" line in their commercials) because the local place looked sub-par.
Speaking of par, we went mini-golfing after dinner. I think some of us were more excited about this adventure than others (Dad was excited, the rest of us were tired) but it was a lot of fun. I'm not great at putt-putt, and my Dad more than holds his own in real golf, so I wasn't looking forward to the game so much. I ended up getting the first hole in one, and I definitely didn't win but was better than I'd expected. Carson and Dad tied.
While waiting on us, Dad sat here... then we noticed the sign.
In the morning, we got sunscreened up and headed to the water park. There was a Groupon for four people and so we went for it. The sunscreen Dad put on didn't soak in so well and he sort of looked like a corpse or a blueberry.
Mom and I relaxed while Carson and Dad enjoyed the slides first, then went on the lazy river (the whole reason Mom suggested the water park) for awhile.
While Mom was in the river, the three of us took advantage of the "free attraction" the Groupon offered us.
We chose to play another round of putt-putt, this time on the second course the park offered.
I wasn't so good this day. Not sure of my score, but I know Carson kept writing a much lower number on the card than I deserved, just to be nice.
I wore Mom's hat on the ride home. Very shady, but I'm not really a hat person.
We got Sam's Club pizza on the way back and ate it in the hotel room. Then what else, but get in the water again? I didn't venture into the very cold pool once, but stayed in the nice hot tub.
Carson and I left right after, and Mom and Dad stayed another night. It was so much fun! We all ended up with some sunburn and I think Carson had it worse than anyone. My back was really red but next to him, I look pale. With his permission, here are his poor little lobster legs. Reapplying sunscreen didn't work for us!
I'm hoping we'll be able to do something like this again with my parents. It was fun and relaxing to meet up and visit a new place and I love spending time with them!