Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Book 12 of 50: Amish Grace

The original twelfth book was Truman's War, but I just couldn't stick with it. It was very interesting and I learned a lot, but I can't even tell you where it is now. 

I didn't pick up anything to read for a long time. Well, I picked them up but put them right back down. Once I started reading something, but it became too predictable so I just read the last few pages and didn't feel the need to read the middle parts, so that doesn't really count. 

Then I found Amish Grace lying on a table at work. Apparently someone had left it there weeks before so I was given the green light to take it if I wanted it, so I did. And I'm glad I did.

Not only did I learn so much more about the Amish culture, I was truly challenged on my views of forgiveness, pardon, reconciliation, revenge, submission, and self-denial. I was challenged to question what the Bible says, what Jesus says, about forgiveness. 

Does forgiveness have a limit? Is there something that we're allowed NOT to forgive? What about the murder of a child? Because that's the basis of this book, a true story that occurred where a man murdered 5 children, then himself. Within hours, the families of those whose children were murdered, were visiting the family of the murderer and offering forgiveness.

This raises many questions. How soon is too soon to forgive? How can one forgive someone who is dead? What does my forgiveness of another person have to do with how God forgives me? What about shunning; why can't the Amish forgive their own people?

All of these questions and more are answered in this book. I highly suggest you read it and find your own answers. I did. 

Forgiveness doesn't mean you forget; it doesn't mean the consequences disappear. Forgiveness is simply not holding a grudge any longer; letting go and moving on with life. Forgiveness is hard to live out, but it must be done. Especially if one claims to believe the words of Christ. To be forgiven, we must forgive. 

Those are just a few tidbits I am still chewing on. I don't think I'll ever have all the answers, and I'm darn sure having the answers wouldn't make the act any easier, but I feel that I have a clearer understanding of the concept of forgiveness and the importance it should have in my life. 

Library Book Sale

Monday October 22, 2012

This was the last day of our local library's annual book sale. I have never gone to this particular one before, but have been to the OK state library book sale once. I had a vague memory of what to expect. 

I waited until the last day to go because it was Bag Day, meaning that you purchased a brown paper sack for $5 and whatever you could fit inside was yours. No need to pay full price for anything, in my opinion. :)

So I went with an intention to bring home some audio books or some black and white movies (I love them!) Instead I came home with several books about prayer, some old classics (including the first book that A.A. Milne wrote that includes Winnie the Pooh), and some books with awesome covers that I intend to turn into journals. How will I do that? I don't know yet. I just know it can be done. So let's just add that to my mile long list of crafts I want to do. 

I did get one audiobook by Deepak Chopra. But old black and white movies? Well, I had envisioned DVDs, but all they had for sale were VHS. I'm not all about buying stuff we can't watch easily, so I wasn't going to get anything... and then I saw it. Yours, Mine and Ours - the original, with Lucille Ball!! I was so excited!!

I checked out and decided to explore the library. Updated my library card to my married name, so I guess I'm officially a Shinn now, lol. Also checked out a few magazines (totally didn't know you could do that) and joined a book club! I've never been in one before so I'm nervous/excited to see how it turns out. I'll let you know in about a month, when they meet again. 

When I was all library-ed out, I went home, and asked TJ to hook up the VHS player so we could watch my new-to-me movie. I thought it was hilarious and enjoyed it, but he didn't so much. 

Oh, and I have to tell you how sweet he is! We had arranged for him to grab a pizza on his way home from work because I went straight to the library after work and I knew I wouldn't be home in time to make dinner. Anyway, I come home and open the pizza box...he had left the edge pieces of the cheesy bread for me (they're my favorite parts!) How sweet is he? :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Book 11 of 50: Picture Perfect by Jodi Piccoult

Ok, so I finished the book a way long time ago and just never wrote the blog. But I do oh-so-love having these posts to go back to and help me remember what I've read so far this year. So I'm going to write this one any way. It will be short, I promise. 

SPOILER ALERT: I am about to spoil some stuff, so if you ever plan on reading this and you want to figure it out as the author intended, stop reading, NOW.

Ok, so this book, like all Picoult books, addresses a serious and touchy issue: domestic violence. The main character is a woman who falls in love with a famous actor and they have a seemingly picture perfect relationship. In reality, he has untreated psychological issues from his father and the only coping mechanism he knows how to use when he is triggered is to beat up his wife. He fears becoming a father himself which is borne from a desire to stop the violence and abuse from continuing for another generation. 

She becomes pregnant and when she tells him, he beats her to the point that she blacks out, after walking to the middle of a cemetery. She wakes up not knowing who she is. She meets a man with his own issues, but who agrees to take her in until they can find someone who knows her. 

Eventually her husband finds her and acts like an angel. She can't remember the abuse, at first. Her memories slowly return and she leaves him to have her child in a safe and peaceful environment. She wrestles with what to do with her husband: stay and try to work it out while putting her child and herself in very real and serious danger OR publicly humiliate the man she truly loves and possibly ruin his entire career and most definitely end any possibility of a future reconcilation. 

Which would you choose? 

What I found most intriguing, and what pulls me back repeatedly to this author, is how I begin considering options I have never thought as even remotely logical before. She didn't just write a story about hating on men who physically abuse their significant others, but addressed the possible sources of that abuse. She never excused what he did as appropriate, healthy, or acceptable, because it isn't. Abuse isn't okay, but she did tell the story from both sides, how neither wanted to leave the other, but both realize they can't live like this any more, but it seems impossible to change. It just really wrenches your heart, and doesn't end happily ever after either way. Especially with a child involved. 

Disclaimer: I've never been in a physically abusive relationship, and I don't dare step into that realm and claim to know what is best. I'm just trying to share my simple understanding of this particular book and the specific, fictional characters it holds.

If you or someone you know is in a physically abusive relationship, please get help. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Work Day and District Event

Saturday October 20, 2012

We woke up early on Saturday to head to our church for a work day. We have never participated in one of these before and didn't know what to expect, except that there would be both indoor and outdoor work to do (I asked beforehand, because I can't do outdoor stuff with my allergies in high gear like they are). Well, we arrived and immediately dived right in: TJ began helping with building a fence and I went inside to help paint the foyer. 

All of the work went quickly and I enjoyed getting to spend time with the other women. I know TJ enjoyed working with the men and the two teens who showed up to help. Also, we got pizza at the end which was an unexpected bonus! :) 

Afterwards we went home. TJ played video games and I read a book and took a nap. I didn't set an alarm, not thinking that I would sleep long. Apparently, I was wrong. TJ woke me up at 6 pm and I really don't know when I went to sleep, but I think I slept for at least 4 hours. I must have been having a slightly scary dream because when I woke up and TJ's face was so close to mine, I backed up and told him, "You scare me!" I'm laughing as I write this just thinking about it. It took me about fifteen minutes to fully wake up and realize I wasn't dreaming any more. 

After I did finally wake up completely TJ and I played Black Ops together. This usually ends badly as I am not good at it and I get upset easily, but I stuck with it this time. I ended the night with a high kill rate of 13 (which is good considered my first few games were 4 or 5). 

We watched part of Hunger Games and fell asleep.

Sunday October 21, 2012

Sunday we woke up and went to church as normal. We went to the youth Sunday school to be extra sets of ears and eyes. We went to the regular church service and learned about God's mercies. We had expected to go on a couples lunch with a few other couples from the church, but it was cancelled due to an illness and a birthday party. 

We did end up going to lunch with some friends at TJ's favorite restaurant ... Buffalo Wild Wings!

After lunch we hung out at our friends' house for a couple of hours, although it went by much quicker. We had a youth event to attend that night, our District's Youth Event. For this particular event, we went to a local college to play games, hear the speaker (Vince Carter) and eat pizza before heading to the bowling alley to play a few games. 

It was a lot of fun, especially the bowling. The entire bowling alley was rented out for our event, which meant we could have fewer people to each lane, making each game go faster. I really enjoyed it and I got my highest score ever (that I can remember). 

I took tons of pictures for our Youth Groups FB page, but I won't put them here because I don't have permission from all of the teens' parents. But here are some of the adults and babies!

TJ and Payton

Myself, Payton, Brooklyn, and Mariah

Myself, TJ, Mariah holding Payton, Justin holding Brooklyn, and LaDawna

Mariah and myself

Myself and LaDawna

TJ and Me!! :)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Art a la Carte at Fred Jones Jr Museum

A couple of weeks ago I visited our city's website and scrolled through all the events listed for October.  I picked out the ones I thought were interesting, and free, and added them to our Cozi calendar for review at a later date. 

One of them was Art a la Carte, which is a gathering of various art forms at a local museum, and it's totally free. On this particular night, Friday October 19, 2012, the art forms were live bluegrass music, a screen printing demonstration, and several short films. 

Neither of us had ever been to this museum before. It was so much bigger than I thought it would be! The actual museum portion, with paintings and such, was mesmerizing. I must go back, because we didn't have nearly enough to time to explore it all before the music started.

The band for the night was The Dizzy Pickers of the bluegrass genre. I didn't even attempt to take a picture, because what would that do? And a video? Wouldn't do them justice. But in an attempt, I'll post this youtube video I's vicious compared to the real thing. The woman singing is Tracy Reed, and I have a total girl crush on her voice. 

Next, since we were on campus, we decided to eat at Hideaway Pizza, a delicious little treasure trove of unique pizza concoctions. My husband always gets the same pizza, and I don't like it. I finally convinced him to try something different (and I mean it was literally the first time he had ever deviated from his usual order) and he actually enjoyed it. 

We also tried their Frozen Lemonade Pie for dessert and it was delicious! We're definitely going to get it every time we go from now on. And one piece for each of us, because we're not good at sharing, as you've read before. :) And no picture, because it didn't last very long. 

Oh, here's a funny conversation we had, and I might just be embarrassing myself here, but oh well. Oh, you need to know that TJ's absolute, hands down, favorite dessert in the world is ... key lime pie. 

Ok, so we get the pie and we each take our first bite at the same time. And I say, "It's like key lime pie, but lemon." And it is. But he just starts making fun of me and just keeps saying stuff like, "It's tastes like chocolate. Yes, Kelly, because it's chocolate pie." He can be so mean sometimes, but it makes me laugh. 

Well, that was an impromptu date night (I'm not sure if I used that word correctly), that we both really enjoyed. 

And TJ just wanted to go see The Dark Knight at the dollar movies... LAME!

Friday, October 26, 2012

His and Hers

I won't speak for all marriages, but I have found that there is a fine balance between what you share in marriage and what you don't. And I find that very interesting. I didn't expect that.

We share a bathroom sink, but we don't share toothpaste.
I don't like his toothpaste.

We share a bed, but we don't share blankets. 
And not because one of us is a blanket stealer, but because we like different blankets. I want a very heavy blanket and TJ wants a light sheet.

We share a bedroom, but we don't share closets. 
That's right. We moved into a two bedroom apartment and turned one into a office. It happens to have a large closet. So that is where my clothes live.

We share a future, but we don't share a past. 
We have to learn, all the time, where the other one is coming from. Our pasts still affect us now, but we're learning. There are even things we don't want to know or we won't share. And that's okay. The TJ of the past isn't the same as the man I married. This Kelly I am now, is not the same I was before. We have no rights to the person the other used to be.

We share responsibility for the home, but we don't share chores.
There is such a thing as "too many cooks in the kitchen." Literally. Especially if it's a small kitchen.

We share our time, but we don't necessarily share every interest.
We both spend time doing something we don't really like or enjoy, because the other one does. And we don't complain. No need ruining the fun for the other one.

Well I just wanted to share this with you (HA! See what I did there? share...), whoever you may be. You may not share everything with your spouse. And maybe I have over-shared. Oh well.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Throw Up Thursday

Throw Up Thursday: I keep wanting to abbreviate this to TUT, but then I feel like I need to dance like an Egyptian.

He says exactly what I'm thinking and my response is always, "You don't know me."

But he does. He knows me. :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Halloween Mad Libs - TJ

This may become a new family tradition for us. It was just some silly fun :) I tried to type this in such a way that it shows what type of word he was suppose to come up with, so it might look kind of crazy on a mobile device. Just a warning.

So here's TJ's Halloween Mad Lib

_Lovers___ and _Fighters__ come out tonight!
 (persons)              (persons)

It's _Christmas_ and they are ready to _Jump__.
      (holiday)                                             (verb)

So watch your _Keys___ when _Pulling_ or treating,
                          (nouns)              (verb)

they want your _Watermelon_!


_Olympians_ like pumpkins and

_Fire-twirlers_ like _Green Beans__.
(persons)                  (vegetables)

While _Opening__ on doors for all your _Televisions_,
            (verb/ing)                                         (plural noun) 

watch the house down the _Mississippi__.


It's scary with _Lion___ webs and broken _Controllers__.
                         (animal)                                    (noun)

_Yay!____, it's where the _Fans___ and _Tires___ live!
(exclamation)                      (noun)              (noun)

_Count_ home and hide those _Corn___ !
(verb)                                        (vegetables)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Racer's Football

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

My husband went to elementary and middle school in a small town whose school mascot is the Racers. I make fun of him all the time for this because I think it's ridiculous that a team's mascot isn't a person or an animal. I guess they could mean the race car driver, but they don't; they mean the car.

Well this Tuesday one of our Reverb Youth Group member's, who just so happens to go to Racer's school, had a middle school football game and we went to show our support.

I was very excited to go to a football game that wasn't going to cost an arm and a leg. We hung out with youth pastor and one of his daughters and watched the game. They didn't win, but our guy did recover a fumble and had his name announced on the loud speaker. I thought that was really cool.

Oh, and my husband was acting like an old man the entire night because he just couldn't believe all the changes that had happened since he left the school. The entire athletic portion had been rebuilt: a new gym, new football field and a giant new TV to show the game on. It really was one of the nicest non-college/professional football fields that I've been to in Oklahoma. Who am I kidding? It's THE nicest one I've ever been to, but I don't go to these things much, so that might not be saying much.

And here's some pictures to prove it's true, because after all, "Shinns aren't liars; they're leg bones!"

Monday, October 22, 2012

Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze

Saturday 10/13/12

We started the morning with some exploration of our own town. There is a small store that I have passed several times and I've always wanted to visit, but haven't had the chance. It's called Foxy's Funky Art Boutique. Well, it turned out to be a house that someone has filled with all these wonderful treasures. We both found some interesting things, but didn't end up purchasing any, but I can't stop thinking about this set of cloth napkins I saw. I might have to pay Foxy another visit. 

We got back home just in time for the Red River Rivalry game between OU and Texas. I have no interest in it so I used my two promo codes for free rentals from Redbox (two because I've signed up with two e-mail addresses and free because it was my birthday). I chose the first two movies I saw that piqued my interest: 

Big Miracle was a very touching story. It was set in a time before cell phones, and I really got a kick out of seeing all of the large, bulky corded phones and lack of computers. I laughed and cheered and cried. I also really enjoyed the footage of the real people that they showed at the end of the film. 

Just like the title implies, this film was lo-o-o-ng. I did appreciate that it was not very predictable like most romantic comedies. I wish it had focused on the other couple though: Alex and Suzie played by Chris Pratt (from Parks and Recreation) and Alison Brie (from Community). They were hilarious!

TJ enjoyed the OU/TX game until it stopped. For some reason that has not been explained, the TV channel just went blank. TJ got the final score from the internet and we left to go on another adventure. We were trying to beat the storms that were predicted to hit soon and be severe. We were going to a Pumpkin Patch, my first ever! And a Corn Maze!! These were both on our Fall Fun List if you remember. :)


This is the TG Farms Pumpkin Patch in Norman, OK.

How cute is this sign? Just had to get our pictures next to it!

He's so cute!

Next we fed the animals: cows, ponies, goats, and piggies!

This is us starting the corn maze! We stayed together the entire time or I definitely would never have found my way out. Every time we came to a fork in the maze TJ would only go where I said to. I know that he knew the way out (he never seems to get lost), but when I told him he should pick, he said "But doing it your way will be so much more fun" with his sly smile. Oh, I love him. 

Here was the well stocked pumpkin patch. Looks a little slim from this angle though. 

And this is the tricycle track that is set up for the children. The tricycles are John Deere! How cute is that1? We headed to the car just as the first drops fell, perfect timing!

On our way home we stopped at the local Blockbuster (remember those?) and rented scary movies! Another thing on the list! I wanted to rent movies that wouldn't actually scare me like The Nightmare Before Christmas (who am I kidding? The boogey man totally scares me!) or Hocus Pocus (SJP pre-SATC...terrifying!). We ended up with TJ's choices: Paranormal Activity 1 and 2. Tj watched them and I merely sat in the same room and played on the computer. We both ended up horrified, of course. So then we watched the Pebble and the Penguin to alleviate the fear. 

So that was our weekend! 

Our anniversary revealed to us that we needed to be more intentional and purposeful in making memories, and we've started immediately! So excited for our life together!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Fall Fun List - 2012

Ok, time to move on to a new topic other than our One Year Anniversary.

BUT, this is sort of inspired by everything that happened during our celebration weekend, specifically how we hadn't intentionally made memories. So I did a Google search for some Fall activities and narrowed it down to these. 

I wanted to make it a little more interesting so I decided to try my hand at creating a digital representation of our plans for this Fall. It's my first try so be kind. :) 

Some of these we have already done, like yesterday's post about our One Year Anniversary (Outdoor) Photoshoot!

And we went to a Pumpkin Patch and did a Corn Maze. I'll tell you all about it tomorrow! And by tomorrow, I mean Monday, because I don't post on Sundays. :)

Friday, October 19, 2012

One Year Anniversary Pictures

On October 6, 2012 my husband and I met our photographer, JB Photography on campus at the University of Oklahoma. It was such an enjoyable experience, and I hope we get to take pictures with her again! :) You should definitely check her out if you live in the Moore/Norman/OKC area.

My husband didn't even realize we had been out there so long, which is saying something, because that man hates having his picture taken. 

Also, we had great communication through Pinterest. I created a Pinterest board dedicated to anniversary picture ideas and she followed it. She knew what style I liked and basically everything I wanted. Love it!

Well here are some of my favorites, and it was so hard to pick so few. 

We had taken a few pictures of us holding the letters in our laps, and I couldn't help but put them on my head. I love how the pictures turned out! It's so us!

The picture above took so much work to get, because the balloon kept blowing every where, but it meant so much to me that our photographer never gave up and kept working with us to get it. My plan is to use red, heart shaped balloons in every Anniversary shoot we do. The number of balloons will match the number of years we've been married. I have this vision of us all old and wrinkly surrounded by fifty red, heart shaped balloons. :)

Our photographer was a GENIUS and had us hold an empty chalkboard so she could write whatever we wanted with her photo editing software. I asked her to use the word Always, because it references Harry Potter. TJ, I love you like Snape loved Lily! :)

The end of our pictures, but the beginning of year two! :)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Throw Up Thursday

Throw Up Thursday: Sometimes you just read the post for this snappy, sassy line, don't you? Be honest.

Sometimes we don't talk at all.  We're just together, silently.

Sometimes no words have to be said to someone who knows your heart so well.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Marriage as a Ministry

TJ and I recently had our views on ministry challenged by our lead pastor. This is one of the many reasons I love our church. Our lead pastor cares enough to get to know us personally and help us grow. He also isn't dictating how we should live our lives, but he has asked us questions that led to some really practical and beneficial conversations at home.

Our vows are from Ruth 1:16-17, "Where you go, I will go..." and so we had both always assumed that we would be in ministry together. Now we are thinking outside of that particular box. What if TJ serves in one place and I serve in another? What if we don't serve at every opportunity? What if one of us is serving in one place and the other isn't serving, but rather intentionally setting aside a specific amount of time to be fed spiritually?

We also were asked to discuss if we were involved in too many ministries. Should we choose one and focus our efforts there? Or is it possible, when investing in people, to ever be involved in just one?

What is our primary ministry? Is our marriage a ministry? We minister to each other in so many ways, through prayer, support, comfort, companionship, and more ways than can be listed, but is our marriage to each other in any way a ministry to others? What about when we're volunteering with the youth group and teens see us together, joking, laughing, disagreeing, but never tearing each other down, never joking at the other's expense, discussing our disagreements instead of fighting about them?

I would say, and TJ agreed when we discussed it, that our marriage is a ministry, both to each other and to others. It is our primary ministry. We both believe that church begins at home. Not that it should begin at home, but it does, whether you intentionally participate and direct it or not. All relationships at home are a ministry: wife to husband, husband to wife, parent to child, child to parent, sibling to sibling.

We choose to acknowledge the importance of these facts and to actively and intentionally participate in moving our family in a direction of our (that includes God) choosing. I say that includes God and our choice, because regardless of God's desire for our lives, it is ultimately our choice to follow His will or not.

Now to put these beliefs into action, that is the true challenge, but we're in this together, to face all of the challenges that life contains.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Expectations: One Year Later

So when you decide you want to get married, it is recommended that you participate in pre-marital counseling. I fully support this recommendation and believe it is a powerful tool to help both parties prepare for life together. I also believe that the conversation must be continued and the couple must always be willing to discuss life as it changes and as you change, and change will happen.

So during pre-marital counseling we were asked to share our expectations of marriage. Our study was very detailed and gave us a list of common tasks and we had to tell who we expected to complete them.  We discussed what we envisioned for our finances, home, children, work, etc. I believe that we were very open and honest with each other and it helped our first year of marriage be less confusing and frustrating than it could have been. Of course, confusion and frustration cannot be avoided completely when dealing with two people living in a broken world. People fail, things are out of our control and expectations grow and change. And neither of us ever having been married before, a bit of it was just a guessing game.

So a year later, we asked ourselves, what has changed? What have I learned about you, myself, and us in the past year that can help us create a smoother transition into our second year? So we each made a list of three things we expect of the other person that we feel is different or new since we first began (one of the items had to be related to our faith, as that is very important to us) and three things we've grown to expect of ourselves in the past year.

I'm not going to share everything, but I will share some.

I'll start with an expectation I now have of myself, because (1) honestly I'm the only person in the whole wide world that I can control and (2) I've first got to take responsibility for the role I play in this marriage before looking outside of myself to fix something.

So I've learned that I need to be more flexible with my expectations. I can't go through life expecting TJ to do things the way I would, because he's not me. There's a saying that goes, "If you want it done right, you've got to do it yourself" and I say that's a bunch of baloney! Only do it yourself if you insist on having it done your way. And if you insist on doing it your way, don't be annoyed if other people stop doing things all together. So, I'm loosening up a little bit and it's making everyone happier and more things are being accomplished, and, GASP, my way may not have been the absolute only way in the entire world to do things.

What really surprised me during this exercise in expectations is how much I didn't know about myself last year.  For example, I learned that I came into this marriage with an expectation for TJ and I to do everything together, and that is just plain unrealistic and just setting both of us and our marriage up for struggle and failure. So that went out the window.

I learned that I am responsible for my own well-being, physically, spiritually, emotionally, mentally, in all ways. If something is missing or needs to be corrected, my husband is there to help me and push me, but he can't solve the issue himself. I must be willing to do the work and put in the effort and accept that what I need (like shopping - yeah, yeah, not a need itself, but it fulfills a need to be creative and do new things) aren't necessarily things my husband will jump for joy and do excitedly. And that's OK, because I certainly don't jump for joy over Black Ops or sports.

Now onto an expectation I have of TJ. I'd like to point out that once again, this is really a lesson I learned about myself. I didn't realize before how much I enjoy getting little, surprise gifts (like FLOWERS) because I've never considered myself to be a gifts person. I'm more of a quality time gal (and TJ is so absolutely amazing at spending time with me in quality ways), so this was very surprising to me. So one of my expectations for TJ is to be even more romantic than he already is (which is a ton) and in a new way by surprising me with small gifts.

I wanted to record this brief glimpse into our discussions about our marriage for multiple reasons:
(1) I hope that it may help someone else to realize how important expectations are when living your life with another person,
(2) I want to remember this a year from now when we do it again, and five and ten years from now and see just how different we are then,
(3) I hope someone sees that its okay to change your mind, it doesn't mean you have to change your spouse.

So there ya go.

P.S. Not all of our expectations changed. It was also interesting to recognize how well we knew ourselves and each other a year ago.

Monday, October 15, 2012

One Year Anniversary: What I Would Do Differently and What I Wouldn't Change

What I would do differently: I want to write this out because we had some great ideas that just fell by the wayside and were forgotten.  I really want to do them next time, but I just know I'll forget about them by next year.

1) TAKE MORE PICTURES!! The lack of pictures we have from our One Year Anniversary Celebration is absolutely pathetic.

2) Wear my wedding jewelry (and shoes). I had intended to wear my wedding jewelry (and shoes) to our dinner, but forgot. :(

3) Drink from our wedding flutes. I had also intended to drink all weekend from our wedding flutes, but forgot. I don't really care what is in the flutes, because everything tastes better out of wedding flutes.  And I think it would make for some very cute pictures for us to be drinking soda or water from them.

4) Take pictures at the Harbor. It's where TJ proposed. :)

5) Listen to the song TJ proposed with. We need to get that recorded.

What I hope to do again: I so enjoyed our weekend, I don't want to forget those thing either.

1) Watch our wedding videos.

2) Be flexible and don't schedule every minute. We had nothing planned for Sunday and it worked out very well.

3) Plan ahead and use Groupons. We did have a couple of things we wanted to do (like visit the museums) and got to do them at great prices, which meant we got to do more of other things.

4) Eat at some favorite places and some new places.

5) Spend the time together and focus on each other. Leave other obligations and worries behind.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Anniversary Celebration: Day 5

Monday 10/1/2012

Our actual anniversary was the day we spent the least time devoted to it.  

We checked out of our hotel after watching some more HGTV, which we watched a lot of that weekend. I blame my brother for recommending it while we were there.  We discovered that we both love the Property Brothers. 

We arrived at our clean apartment. I have this thing about cleaning the house before we go on a trip so that we don't have to deal with a messy home and unpacking, which is always disorganized.

We spent the rest of the day preparing for the upcoming week including normal adult activities, like budgeting and meal planning. 

I guess we can't stay in our own little world of happy celebration forever. 

Looking forward to what this next year has in store for us. :)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Anniversary Celebration: Day 4

Sunday 9/30/2012

We had already decided to skip church this Sunday, so we slept in, which is something we rarely get to do.  And I should say that I slept in, because TJ just can't. 

Well, we ate breakfast at Waffle House, which is delicious, and totally not nutritious, but we enjoy it. We didn't have much planned for the day so we just sort of winged it.  We went to the nearby dollar movies (total lies, it costs $2 per person, per movie) and saw Ice Age: Continental Drift. I love to watch animated movies,  but I was very confused during this one. It took me a little while to realize I had never seen the second one, so I had no idea why these two female mammoths were swinging from trees, but overall it was good. 

We then used one of our groupons to go to the Museum of Osteology.  Neither of us were expecting much, and we were both pleasantly surprised. Once again, I would love to show you, and future me, the pictures we took, but I can't find my camera cord!! Might have to buy a new one. :(

I never knew bones could be so interesting, but I was really intrigued by all of the skeletons they had. You just have to see it for yourself. Oh, and they had a penny machine! And next to it was a change machine that gave you four quarters and one bright, shiny new penny for your dollar. Of course I got all the pressed pennies they offered. :)

We then went to dinner at Qdoba with a birthday coupon I had been emailed. We both love their chicken quesadillas! 

We then went back to the (Two) dollar movies to see The Avengers for the third time. Definitely a movie you should see at least once!

Afterwards we went back to our hotel and each took a bite of our one year old wedding cake.  Let's just say that I'm glad to have my freezer space back. :)

Tomorrow I'll tell you all about our actual anniversary day! :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Anniversary Celebration: Day 3

Saturday 9/29/2012

We woke up to a dreary day and big chance for rain.  Ultimately we all decided (photographer included) that we would have to re-schedule. I was sad, but it was the best decision to make at the time.  Luckily, I had been able to print off two free tickets to the Science Museum for Smithsonian's Day.  TJ was way more excited than I anticipated.

We had a lot of fun there.  I wish I could show you the few pictures we took, but sadly they're on my camera, and I can't find the cord! 

If you ever have a chance to visit there, with or with out children, I highly suggest it. 

We went back to our apartment, packed (we had booked a local hotel for two nights) and got ready to go to dinner at Charleston's. I vaguely remember having gone there twice before; one time included very cheesy potato soup. I was not impressed this time. I'll probably forget this visit as well. Their menu was just so limited and, in my opinion, over priced. Oh well.

Then we headed to our hotel. It was the same hotel we had used for our honeymoon, and we had a great experience then.  Also, it has an indoor pool and hot tub, which I was really looking forward to using. 

So we check in to the hotel and head up to our room.  I'm the first one through the door and I started laughing because there were TWO BEDS!! I'm not sure where the error was made, but we some how booked two beds for our anniversary celebration! Oh my, we had a good laugh about that. 

Well, we started reminiscing about our first year of marriage, and odd or sad as this may be, neither of us remember much. I don't think its for a lack of things happening, but because so much has happened that we can't remember them all. This only served to remind me that we should be more intentional about recording our second and following years of marriage somewhere.  And here it shall be! :)

After we settled in an unpacked, we watched our wedding video for the VERY FIRST TIME! I'm so glad we waited a year because it almost seemed new. I also loved getting to see my brother-in-law John dance down the aisle as our ring bearer for the first time! :) Our video was edited beautifully, and I loved hearing our vows again and just re-experiencing this whole thing. I loved that what our pastor told us at the altar was true a year later. I plan on watching it every year for our anniversary to remind us what we promised to each other.

And then, we watched our reception video. We had no idea TJ's friends were going to do this, but they set up an area in our reception venue where our guests could leave us video messages. And they were completely UNEDITED! This just made it much more fun to watch. We teared up and laughed and enjoyed being reminded how much we are loved and supported in this marriage. Just such a blessing to us.

We went to sleep that night knowing we are blessed beyond what we deserve.

Tomorrow I'll tell you all about Day 4!!

Throw Up Thursday

Throw Up Thursday: A weekly reminder to be thankful for the loved ones in your life.

I'm just thankful that we're in this life together. 

We're willing and ready to fight for eachother, even if it means fighting with eachother.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Anniversary Celebration: Day 2

Friday 9/28/2012

Friday morning we woke up to our two nephews singing us a beautiful song (see: crying). We spent time with them and their sissy.  TJ and I attempted to put a onesie on Noah.  It was absolutely pathetic how long that took us.

My brother went and got us breakfast from Chiloso's, which is the most delicious place to get breakfast burritos! Yummy!!

My dad came by and visited with us for a little bit.  Miss him so much!

Then, TJ and I decided to visit IKEA.  We hadn't gone down there with any particular plans, but it was much closer than I expected.  As soon as we reached the top of the escalator we saw some friends from church.  They were in Texas for the D6 Conference and were stopping at IKEA on their way back to OK.

We had fun walking around IKEA and playing with all of their set ups.  My favorite was the kitchen section and their interior organizers for corner cabinets.


This Cabinet Carousel (excuse me while I wipe the drool from my face)

We ended up purchasing a kitchen trash can (ours was much too small and didn't have a lid) and an egg slicer (it's used to slice boiled eggs and I eat them on toast for breakfast most mornings). 

We ate lunch at IKEA, which I would never suggest to anyone. The reason it is so cheap is because they don't give you plates or plasticware of any sort!! We ate our pizza off of wax paper, and it tasted like a Totino's frozen pizza.  Oh, and the cinnamon roll was not that good either. Oh well, now we know.

We made the short trip back to my brother's and spent more time with babies.  We ate Popeye's for dinner, which is one of my husband's favorites and there are none in our area, so I was happy for him.  I loved that they gave large portions, but let's just say I don't necessarily miss it here.  

My dad and step-mom came to visit and took us to Braum's for dessert.  It was so nice to visit with them and just share some time together. 

We had been discussing off and on all day whether we wanted to wait until morning or leave that night.  We ultimately decided to leave that evening.  You see, we had anniversary pictures scheduled the following day and didn't want to be too rushed.  I know we should have re-scheduled, but I just didn't think of it at that time.

So we headed back the very next day after we arrived, at about the same time.  It was a much too short trip, but I'm so glad we were able to see everyone again.  Next time we will stay longer and take many more pictures!

Stay tuned for Day 3!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Anniversary Celebration: Day 1

Thursday 9/27/2012

We both worked a full day and met at four o'clock to head to Texas.  We finally arrived at my brother's and sister-in-law's home around 9 pm.  One baby was still awake... little Jonah.  Well, not so little anymore.

He was very cuddly with his Uncle TJ :)

We stayed up a short while chatting with Richard and Anna and cuddling Jonah and quickly went to sleep in preparation for the next day.

Also, I found my camera! I had left it at their house the last time I visited in June, but I could've sworn I left it at the hospital after visiting Jennifer and baby Blair.  Oh, memory, you liar! Now, I just need to find the cord that goes with it.  Wish me luck!

Tune in tomorrow for Day 2!!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Throw Up Thursday

Throw Up Thursday: An amazing tool for a happy marriage and a happy blog.  And by that, I mean focusing on the positive, not throwing up. 

We celebrated our 1 year anniversary this past weekend.

Happiest year of. my. life.
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