Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Wedding, a Picnic, and a Thought on Blogging.

On May 22, our friends James and Becky got married. 'Twas a lovely wedding.  Especially because my Joshua officiated it!  He did so well!  I was so very proud to be his wife.  One woman even told him that it was the most beautiful wedding she had ever been to.  Many things contribute to a compliment like that, but I know that a huge factor was what Josh shared with them as they committed themselves to each other for a lifetime.

James, the groom, is just finishing up school to be a missionary pilot.  He and his new bride flew from the little airport in Lowell (where they were married) to the little airport in Ionia (where they held their reception in an airport hangar).

I got to wear my new dress!

Oh, I just love him!

A phone picture from the dance floor!

The next day, we had an End of Year Picnic with our teens.  Everything was going quite well until the kickball game when Jesse caught a fly ball in the bottom of the first inning and landed badly on his ankle... and... it... broke.  Scary!  He's doing okay now, but we never finished the game. 

Finally, it is a tradition for Josh to read "Oh, the Places You'll Go" by Dr. Seuss to our seniors.  I love it! 

Can I share with you one of the reasons why I like blogging?  I like it because whoever you are, you just chose to read this.  I feel like facebook, in a way, forces who you are and what you do and think and believe into everyone else's life.  I don't post many pictures and personal thoughts on status' because I don't want to share my life with all 800 of my "friends".   I don't know the reasons why someone would come to my blog... maybe it's because they just happened upon it or maybe they are genuinely interested in my life/heart/well being (Hi Mom! Hi Grandma!) If either of those are the case (especially the latter), then I don't mind sharing bits of our life :-)

Don't get me wrong, I like facebook just as much as everyone else.  It's absolutely AMAZING to have as a tool to stay connected with the teens in youth group,  but I don't share my heart or much of life on it.

....The end.

Monday, May 24, 2010


"For what it's worth, it's never too late to be whoever you want to be.
There is no time limit, stop whenever you want.
You can change or stay the same.
There are no rules to this thing.
We can make the best or the worst of it, I hope you make the best of it.
I hope you see things that startle you.
I hope you feel things you've never felt before.
I hope you meet people with a different point of view.
I hope you live a life your proud of.
If you find that you're not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again."

-Benjamin Button
(From the movie "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button")

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Few Little Things I'm Lovin' Right Now.

1. My violin

2. Trying vintage hairstyles (Watched this video for some major help!)

3. Sweet Potato Fries! I honestly can't get enough of them. I have only found them at Costco, which means I have to tag along with Nicole and use her Costco membership.... and I just remembered I owe her $12 from that trip.  Um, don't let me forget, Nicole!

4. The Kittens. So much cuteness. Words can't do them justice.  Perhaps pictures can?

5.  This song. "You and Me" by Dave Matthews Band.  I think that if we got married again, this would be our first dance. 

6. This man.  I love everything about the way he looks today.  Especially his hat.  (It's a GIFT I got him this week!)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I play the Violin.

Well, sort of.  I've been taking lessons.  So, imagine what someone who has taken violin lessons for 3 weeks would sound like and that's where I'm at.  Maybe a little bit better than someone who has been playing for 3 weeks because my instructor said I'm doing really well.

I began taking lessons because I've always felt like I never had a "thing".  Now that I'm adult, I guess you could accurately call it a "hobby".  I don't like to say that I don't have a hobby though because that makes me sound pretty lame, even if it is the truth.  So I shall continue to call it a "thing" (repeatedly) for the rest of this blog. Really though, I don't/didn't have one.  Sure, I like to read, see movies, hang out with friends, chat over coffee.... but who doesn't?  I have never had anything that is mine.  That I alone excel at or admire or am in love with.  This really isn't a new revelation, either.  I have felt this way pretty much my whole life. (Middle child thing?  Maybe?  Underdeveloped personality thing?  Perhaps?)

Growing up, my sister Lindsay had all sorts of "things" that were hers.  The movie Titanic.  The Backstreet Boys.  A back brace.  (Ok that was a joke, hopefully you laughed Lindsay!  I did as I wrote it!) Those might not be hobbies to some people, but they were to my sister.  I also liked these "things" but not as much as Lindsay so when people picked up BSB or Titanic paraphernalia it was for her, not me.  Or when people said, "Hey Lindsay, can I stand on your stomach?" or "Hey Lindsay, show us how you can stick a pencil straight out from your belly button" they never asked me too!  (I'm cracking up over here...)  I also like France and the French language but guess what, now she lives in Paris!  Boom.  Her thing. And rightly so!  She is doing exceedingly well there, by the way.  I am so incredibly happy for her and proud of her for taking a leap into the adventure of living abroad.  (Check out her blog if you would like to know HOW well.) My brother Brian, he had things too! Dirt biking with Dad.  X-files/alien stuff... which is really quite odd now that I think about it.  He turned out normal though, promise.  Actually, he didn't turn out normal he has turned out to be quite the extraordinary man.  Still, he had things.  I didn't have things.

I still don't have things.  I remember one time, I went on a date with this guy who had lots of things and he asked me, in typical first date fashion, "So Leslie, what are some interesting things that you like to do?"  After several moments of pondering, I again realized that I didn't have anything interesting to say.  Inwardly panicking over my lameness I said, AND I QUOTE: 

"um... I really like nice windshield wipers.  Like... when you first turn them on after a hard rain and the whole windshield gets clean.. I LOVE that."  

Um... really?  I actually just started laughing out loud (again) as I wrote that.  I still do love that (and love my husband for sometimes waiting until I'm paying attention in the car to turn the windshield wipers on. it's so wonderful to be known, isn't it?) but that is NOT the answer mister first date was looking for or one I should have given. 

ANYWAY, the moral of the story is that now I'm taking violin lessons.  I don't know if I've played long enough to call it my "thing" yet but I sure do love it so far.  It's been awesome to have something to practice.  Something to strive for, to look forward to.  To have a goal set.  To dream about playing in the subways in a big city for passersby (not any time soon) but maybe someday, right?  It's been awesome.

Oh and yesterday, I volunteered at my first ever W.A.R. International party.  Remember the post I wrote about it a few weeks ago?  Yeah, they called me!  I went and helped sell the products, set up, and share information about the organization and the movement to end sexual trafficking.  It was awesome.  Maybe that can be mine too. 

So I'm learning.  I'm searching my heart for the things that make me come alive and I'm finding them.  It's been a fun journey.   What makes your heart come alive?  What are your "things"?  It's been awesome to figure out what mine are. 

Oh and just to make up for saying that Lindsay had a back brace I will confess that I had headgear.  It looked just like this: 

...except mine came in brown.  That was definitely one of my things. Ha!  I wore it to youth group overnighters and everything.  I even considered writing a book about "how to still look cute in headgear" because I figured out a way to pull pigtails through the top holes on each side of my head which was, in my opinion, super cute.

Ohhhh man.  Am I actually going to post this?  Yes, yes I am.... 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Thoughts On Marriage: Trial and Error and The Five Love Languages.

So as it  turns out, I'm not the perfect wife.  Shocking, I know (ha), but every once in a while it becomes glaringly obvious.  One of those moments happened a couple of weeks ago.  Care to hear about it? 'Cause if you don't want to, you know, I totally understand if you don't read the rest of this blog.... ok fine... here goes nothing.

Well, a long time ago I read the book "The Five Love Languages".  It's an awesome book about learning to speak your spouse/boyfriend/significant others/family members "love language".  A love language is the way that someone feels loved.  As the title of the book explains there are five:

1. Physical Touch (Holding hands, hugging, sex, any form of touching)
2. Words of affirmation (Being encouraged, cards, notes, verbally admired)
3. Receiving Gifts (Being given a gift, big or small)
4. Quality Time (Uninterupted time together)
5. Acts of service (Having useful things done for you-this is commonly #1 for moms of young children)

It's really an important thing to figure out because lets say, your love language is acts of service.  So because this is your love language, you feel the most loved when other people do useful things for you... clean the house, wash the car, take out the garbage..etc etc.  That is how you feel the most loved.  Now, lets say your spouse is actually a person who loves to Receive Gifts.  So you are doing all of these Acts of Service to make your spouse feel loved, when really she is just wanting a little gift from time to time.  She feels unloved, and you feel unappreciated and confused because you have been showing her so much love all the time.  All the while, you can't figure out why she is always picking up little trinkets for you when she goes anywhere... even the grocery store.  See the confusion?  Couples can spend their whole lives never truly understanding what the other person needs to feel loved. 

So, like I was saying, Josh and I took the test a long time ago.  Before we we were married.  At that time, my primary love language was Words of Affirmation (which is why I like to affirm people and encourage them) and Josh's was physical touch.  Probably because he is a MAN and he was waiting to have sex til he was married.  Probably.

Until a few weeks ago, I hadn't given it much thought.  I was SURE that his love language was still physical touch.  The day after his birthday, April 12, I asked him what his love language was and if it was still physical touch.  To my dismay, he wasn't 100% sure anymore, so we decided to take a little online test about it.  The results were shocking!  His love language had completely changed and so had mine.  In fact, what we both had thought were each others primary love languages had dropped to 3rd and 4th place. 

My primary way of feeling loved was now Quality Time.
His was.... Receiving Gifts.

Receiving Gifts? Can you imagine my surprise?  I was shocked!  In part because when I took the test receiving gifts scored a big ZERO PERCENT in my results. Apparently, it is not how I feel loved.  Yeah, I enjoy getting gifts, but they don't make me feel loved.  They're just nice!  Suddenly it all made sense. He is always picking up little things for me that he thinks I might like.  I, on the other hand, never ever get him anything ever.  Here's the horrible embarassing thing, the day before this was Josh's birthday.  We had been really, ridiculously busy the few days before that and Josh openly prefers to not make a big deal out of birthdays so.... I didn't get him anything for his birthday.

I didn't get my husband, who feels the most love when he receives gifts, a stinkin' gift on his BIRTHDAY.

Just go ahead and pin the "wife of the year" pin on my lapel!  (I hope you can note the sarcasm)

You might be thinking, "well, why didn't he tell you? It's his fault!"  Not true.  It's not up to your spouse or your significant other to inform you of the ways that they feel the most loved.  It is up to you to figure it out.  To ask.  To seek their heart.  I (finally) did that and am so glad that I did.  I know now.  I get him little gifts now.  He is focusing on spending more Quality Time with me.  (We spend a lot of time together, but it' the "quality" part that is important... dates, deep conversation, shared experiences)

So anyway, just thought I'd share that.  I'm not the perfect wife but I want to be the best wife that I can be.  If you haven't taken the test (or haven't taken it in a while) take it right here.  It's not comprehensive so you might consider actually reading the book.  It's already made a difference in our marriage.

It's also good to know for your family members and such.  For example, I'm positive that my Dads love language is Receiving Gifts, too.  So I'm going to try to show him love the way he feels it best and give him more "gifts" from now on. 

What's your love language?