Thursday, December 20, 2012

What's His Age Again?

Props if you know what song I was referring to. Phil turned 23 this weekend, and don't worry, I still like him.  To celebrate, I took him to eat at Red Lobster.  It was his first time!  Then we went to the Coeur d'alene Resort and went on a short Christmas cruise.  Hubs is a huge Christmas enthusiast, so I'm pretty sure he was more excited than most of the small children on the cruise.

He ordered a whole lobster.

You know, the kind they keep live in a tank and then kill when you order it?  He said his favorite part was that he got to see it alive before he annihilated it.  Must be his hunter instincts.

He may have been a little over-zealous cracking that guy open because a little piece went flying straight into his beer.

Our next stop was this beautiful Christmas cruise ship.

Some of the lights we got to see from the ship.

Apparently this is the tallest Christmas tree in America.  Take that Rockefeller Center!

Sadly, we didn't make the nice list this year.  Santa reads off the names of all the kids on the cruise as "The Nice List."

I sure love hanging out with this gent.

I baked him a cake topped with Funfetti Frosting and Neon Crazy candles.

The best part was that it had neon colors inside!  I got the idea from my super smart sister, based loosely off rainbow cupcakes that I found on Pinterest.  She definitely got all the baking genes in the family, so I texted her last minute for something fun and sort of easy.  All this takes is cake mix and food coloring!  When I found Neon food coloring I knew I had to get it.  Phil is all about bright colors, which works well since he's going to be an elementary school teacher.  

Happy Birthday Husband!  I love you more than a chubby first grader would love that cake!  :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

That Time Jesus + Husband Kicked Satan's Butt

So, remember that one time at band camp?  Phil and I spent the weekend hanging out with a bunch of Middle Schoolers at one of my favorite places.  Ross Point Camp was hosting a Youth Retreat and Phil and I served as counselors for the weekend.  The theme was, "Made in the Image of God," and it dealt with identity issues.  Which, if you've been here for awhile you may know that I have a lot of them.  My life story has to do with Jesus teaching me that I am not worthless but that in his eyes I have infinite value.  The speaker talked about tools Satan uses to try to steal, kill, and destroy us.  One of those tools was big fat lies.

When I got home I began to cry without really understanding why.  Crying is kind of like sneezing for me (p.s. I sneeze a lot more than the average human) so I didn't think much of it.  But Phil was digging in trying to figure out what was going on with me.  He asked me more and more questions trying to get to the heart of the issue.  Many of the things that I was saying to Phil were simply not true.  I was just spitting out lies about myself to him.  He would quickly replace them with biblical truth then move on to another question.

I realized that I was hearing these lies as nagging little thoughts in my head.  They sounded so convincing, so appetizing.   "Yeah you have friends but you could easily lose them.  Jesus doesn't really want to spend time with you, he's just obligated to.  You look stupid.  You don't even know how to put outfits together.  She probably said that/did that because she doesn't like you.  None of them like you.  They're talking about you, laughing at you behind your back because you really are annoying and awkward.  You are such a bad wife.  Phil doesn't even love you,"  and on and on and on. I began to realize that these nagging little thoughts pop into my head almost all day long.

Phil caught on to this and told me that he thought that Satan/the enemy (his followers) were telling me lies.  The next thought that I became convinced of was, "Satan wouldn't waste his time with me.  I'm not so good or important that he feels like he needs to lie to me.  He knows I'm already a lost cause."  I was verbalizing these things to Phil because they seemed so true to me.

Finally, Phil started chanting, "I'm stronger than you.  I'm louder than you.  I'm more persistent than you.  And I will crush you."  He wasn't talking to me.  He was directly addressing Satan.  He was fighting for me!  I felt like Jesus was talking directly through Philip.  And it was awesome!  I felt so loved in that moment.  It was kind of like some guy had been disrespectfully cat-calling me and my man punched him in the face and knocked him out, only in this scenario my man was Jesus through my husband and the disrespectful dude was straight up the devil.  And you know what?  Pretty soon, those nagging voices ceased.

Since that moment I have been striving to take every thought captive  and present it to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:4-6).  I want to surrender my thoughts to him so that slowly even what's going on in my head will be pleasing to God.  He can help me to sort out the truth and dismiss the lies so that I don't internalize anything that is not of him.  The truth is that there is an enemy that is out to devour us.  But there is a hero who will ride in and rescue us.  The good news is that this hero--Jesus--is stronger. He is louder. He is more persistent and he will crush Satan beneath our feet (where?  underneath yo' feet stomp stomp).


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Lookbook Copycat Part 1

 When I saw Ruche's fall lookbook, my first instinct was to buy everything in sight.  Unfortunately, they don’t pay you much to be a student teacher—okay, they don’t pay you anything, in fact, they charge you.  So that was out of the question.  So then I had another idea:  copycat these looks using pieces already in my wardrobe!  I often need help putting things together.  I love being creative but I get insecure about what goes with what.  Or I just run out of inspiration!  With some of these looks I went for pieces in my wardrobe that shared similar colors, patterns, or simply mimicked the feel of the outfit.  Here are the four I've tried so far:

I didn't have a llama to pose with.  But I figured a flower would do.

I found it funny that the first day I wore this outfit, I too held a chicken.  Only I didn't make it look as sexy as she did.  Because chickens have large talons--they're kind of scary!
Next stop, Ruche's Winter Lookbook?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Who I Think Is Going to Be in Heaven

It's a bold statement, I know, but bear with me.

The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

I always read this as:  don’t be prideful yo!  We dug into this passage a little bit at the bible study that Phil and I have been attending.  Our church in our old town is hosting a bible study in our new town for local college students.  It’s totally God’s provision for us.  Even though we didn't know the other members at all before this group, when we’re together for bible study or Sunday night dinners at our place there is so much transparency, laughter, and shared desire to walk more closely with God.  It’s awesome!  

After hearing the verse from a few people’s perspectives something that I’d never thought of occurred to me.  (That’s what I love about studying the bible with friends.  People with different personalities and life experiences can read the same passage so differently.  There is so much to be gleaned).  Jesus was, essentially, sharing the gospel here.  The greatest message known to man is tucked away in this passage!  

Think about it.  The Pharisee was a top notch religious person of the time.  He lived a pretty good, neat and tidy life.  Here he tries to get to God through good works:  tithing, fasting, being holier than schmucks like this tax collector here.  Yet Jesus says he goes away unjustified.  

Then there’s the tax collector.  He would've been marked as one of the worst sinners of his time.  Tax collectors were notorious for ripping people off, behaving greedily, and not getting invited to the cool parties.  This guy comes before God completely broken and asks for forgiveness.  He acknowledges how great God is and how his life pales in comparison to the Creator’s perfection.  Jesus says that this man goes away justified.  

So who does God accept?  Not people who make enough good choices.  Otherwise, the Pharisee would've made the cut.  But people who humbly acknowledge who God is, fess up to the mess they've made, and ask God to take over and give them life and love because they can't possibly make it without him.  I believe that this is who will fill heaven one day.  There is a place for everyone from Hitler to Mother Teresa but those who fall on their knees before God and enter a sacred relationship with him are those that will remain with him forever.  How desperately he wants that for you and I.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Birthweek: Play Cubed

Husband is so great at celebrating me!  Seriously, he loves surprising me and pretty much always does something over-the-top amazing for my birthday.  When we got married we both decided that we would each plan something fun to do for the other person's birthday (each year) and that we would keep it a surprise.  Usually, the surpriser is almost more excited than the surprisee.  It's one fun way that we love and honor one another.  On my actual birthday, which was on a lame Tuesday, Phil surprised me by having an ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins specially made for me.  Then, on the weekend after my birthday we stayed in a hotel and went to...dun, dun, dun...Triple Play!  If you haven't heard of Triple Play, it is this magical land where you get to spend time mini-golfing (indoor/outdoor), bowling, going on indoor waterslides, playing laser tag, riding go-carts, and playing arcade games.  We bought passes that allowed us to do everything as many times as we wanted and we definitely got our money's worth.  The only drawback was that if you go there and you're over age 20 you just look a little creepy without a kid.  This is why we need children.  That way we could blame doing all the things we like to do for fun on them.  "Yeah, I'm just here for my kid."  Anywho, I only took a few pictures because I was too busy living it but here are the ones I got!  Enjoy!

Like my friend Amanda once said, "Some people like camping, I like staying in hotels."

It was so cold that I fashioned myself a headscarf.

His ball got stuck.

There it is!

Cross "Swim with dolphins," off your bucket list!

Our favorite slide which we call, "The toilet slide."

We used our Spanish names.  

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Birthweek: Family, Friends, and Fruit

No, my mother wasn't in labor for seven days straight (thank goodness!).  This year, my birthday was on a Tuesday--how boring!  So, in true college-student spirit, I decided to celebrate all week!

The fun started on the Saturday before my birthday when I guilted bribed persuaded convinced invited friends to come out to a U-Pick Orchard with me.  We got to pick apples and make freshly mulled apple cider.  My mom, dad, brother and new brother (our foreign exchange student from Spain) even made the long drive over to come and see me!  And of course my husband came, he's contractually obligated ;)

My husband and little bro get along so well, sometimes I feel like the third wheel!

The best way to get the ones at the top.

My friend Brittany from my Master's program.

Hannah, Caitlyn, Jamie, and I!

What a good brother!    He did mention that it would be fun to let me go rolling down the hill on more than one occasion.

Phil had to jump to reach that one.

They said we could sample them for free.  Naturally, the college students ate like 15 a piece.  Free is our favorite number!

Ma needed a stiff drink after all the walking around.

Me and my new brother, Gonzalo.  Of course, mom was documenting with her video camera.

Cheering Gonzalo on.

Uh, this was a lot harder than it looked.

I didn't want to waste the leftovers.

The fruits of our labor!
If you haven't done this, leave my blog and go right now before the season's over!  We had a blast!  Afterwards, my family took Phil and I out for some sexy pizza.  (I'm not a huge fan of pepperoni but I love eating pizza with fancy cheeses and toppings).  Then my mom let me pick out several items from the smelly store aka Bath and Body Works.  We parted ways and when husband and I got home I had a package waiting for me:  the Hunger Games DVD!  We finished the night off watching one of my faves, hot apple cider in hand.  I told Phil that I would be satisfied if that was all the birthday I got, but it was just the beginning :)
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