Sunday, October 31, 2010

Europe.

Well friends and family, I love it here!  Right now, Josh and I are relaxing in the apartment we are staying in and getting ready to call it a night soon.  The first legs of our traveling experience have gone quite well!  We had a great flight over from Chicago to Sweden... I watched "Eclipse", "Titanic", my first episode of "Glee", and listened to Taylor swift and the next thing I knew, we were almost there!

Initially, we wanted to get out and see a small bit of Sweden during our eight hour layover, however, exhaustion and the fact that it was rainy, foggy, dark, and a 30 minute drive from the city, lead us to the decision to stay in the airport and sleep.  Beautiful, welcome, sleep.  Basically, we traveled forward in time and about the time our bodies wanted to go to bed, we were arriving in the early morning in Sweden.  So, after a few hours of rest in the airport and on the flight to Paris, we were ready to see the city!  It worked out fabulously.

The airport in Paris was really unique and the airport in Sweden was really, really fancy. I've never been in such a nice airport.  Also, I have never seen so many well dressed people.  My sister Lindsay and her boyfriend Damien were waiting for us with the prettiest, sparkliest, loveliest sign I've ever seen!  The girls she nanny's for helped her make it :-)

We made our way to the apartment we are going to be staying in, caught up a bit, and then decided to go meet up with friends of theirs in the city.  We ate in the outside area of a restaurant and had a nice meal.  The best part of the restaurant was the view... we could see the Notre Dame cathedral from where we were sitting!  It was so beautiful.

Later, Josh and I took the metro back to our apartment all by ourselves :-)  Josh is an amazing navigator aaaand I do ok.  One of our favorite things is being in places and situations where no one else knows we are.  Riding a random subway in Paris with just each other definitely qualified for one of those moments.  What a wonderful adventure this has been for us so far!  Be sure to keep scrolling down and check out the post Josh shared just before mine.  Pictures!

-Leslie

The 36 hour day!

The view from our Parisian apartment window!
Leslie crashing in Stockholm!
The best airline service ever! Go Vikings!


Friday, October 29, 2010

Stirrings of an Adventure

1:49am.

There is a little bit of nervousness nestled deep down inside me tonight. In fact, it is so far down that I barely even noticed it. I was plugging away packing and taking care of some last minute things around the house when I felt it and ignored it, but then I did a double take of my own feelings and sure enough, there it was. Like a little shy ball of creatured fur that would hide as you tried to get a glance at it. I've traveled before...a lot. I've been on planes. I've had problems and times when things didn't go as planned and it never bothered me before and never was this furry skittish animal present within me, nonetheless, I identified him. Now I just need to classify him. ...

...

...

...(me thinking)

...

...

I never traveled on such an adventure with someone. Someone that I care about so deeply. Not that anything will be different about the trip, but now I get to adventurize (my word which means to make adventures) with the love of my life. What a joy! Chicago here we come! But first maybe my bed...


-joshua

Monday, October 25, 2010

Balloons and Little Surprises.

Josh and I recently switched our house around a bit.  Our home has three bedrooms: a master bedroom with connecting bathroom, a normal size room, and a very small room.  We decided to make the very small room our bedroom and we love it!  Our master bedroom is now a big open area with desks and dressers and it's a lovely change.  

Last week, while Josh was away for a few hours, I decided to surprise him when he got home with something fun in our new little room!  I got the idea from a blog I read a long time ago (I'm pretty sure it was somewhere on this one) and it stuck with me.  The picture I saw that stuck with me was of balloons hanging from the ceiling.  So, I decided to buy some balloons and string and hang them from the ceiling above our bed.  I also decided to write something that I love about Josh on each one.  Something special about him or us that means a lot to me.  It was really fun and he LOVED the surprise!  As I type, we're both laying under the balloons, and they are gently swaying back and forth with the subtle shifts in the air created by the fan that we sleep with at night.  It's quite magical.

It was so easy to think of things I love about him.  I ran out of string before I ran out of balloons!  Here are a few pictures Josh took the next day... 








Clearly, balloons are becoming an important part of our relationship!


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dabbling in Photography.


I took these first few on a walk the other day...









My "Love" mug on the glass table with Kenny and Nicole kissing in the reflection.


Josh raising Buddy in a "Simba-like" manner at dusk.


Our sister Julie, reading in the summer time. (Editing Credit: Joshua)


A Storying Dinner in the summer.  Circling around sharing a story from the Bible
(Editing Credit: Joshua, of course!)



The next few pictures are from our summer trip to Gettysburg.








Monday, October 18, 2010

We were Scarecrows.

Every year in Lowell, Main Street is lined with scarecrows to celebrate the harvest season.  And every year in Lowell, I loathe them.  Seriously, since I was in high school I have always thought they were awful.  They made me feel like scary people were about to walk right out in the street in front of me as I drove.  Some things, though, must be accepted, and I suppose the Lowell scarecrows are one of them.

This year, however, my sister Katie and I decided to make the best of them.  How, you ask?  Well let me tell you!  We dressed up like scarecrows today, and stood in front of light poles in downtown Lowell in hopes that someone would notice that we were real :-)

Fortunately for us, there were two adjacent, scarecrow-free light poles outside of my parents business, so we planted ourselves right outside of their storefront.  At first, no one was really noticing us.  So we decided to make slight movements with our arms.  To go from the typical arms horizontal of a scarecrow, to straight down at our sides.  It was just enough movement to catch the eyes of a few passers by.  Then, we decided to do shift switches, and when traffic was coming, we would cross (in a timely manner of course) as vehicles were approaching.  Then we would resume our pose.  This resulted in honks!  My Mom went to the bank across the street while we were outside and she heard a patron say, "There are two real life scarecrows outside right now!"  Honestly, it was SO fun and I truly feel that we have redeemed the scarecrows for me.  I will no longer loathe them, but appreciate them as the source of a very fun memory with my brother and sister!




My brother Brad took the pictures!  Initially, he drove by and didn't see us, but stopped at my parents business and noticed us when he got out of the truck :-) I was excited to share the memory with him, too!


Double effort.



The guy riding by on his bike said "Hullo!" and chuckled at us hahaha


When we felt satisfied with our efforts on the street, we decided to take a stroll through downtown and take pictures with a few of the other scarecrows.  This guy in particular makes the blog because of my good friend Emily.  Like Emily, he's a University of Michigan fan!


Oh gosh... this is the new troll statue in Lowell.  Don't even get me started on this.  He's ridiculous.  Brad had it right today when he said, "I can't wait 'til someone puts a bra on it" (Brad always has the best ideas!)  But Lindsay wanted me to post a picture of him so, here he is, Sis!



It was a really fun memory to make with Brad and Katie!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Two Year Anniversary.


Well, as of today I have been married to the love of my life for two whole years!  It's such an interesting paradox... how I can feel like the time has flown by while at the same time trying to wrap my mind around how I haven't been Josh's wife forever.

We had a usual Sunday full of church and youth group.  The big trip we are taking in three weeks is going to cover the Anniversary celebration sufficiently, I should think!  

An interesting thought on marriage that has been re-occuring in my daily musings is what a marriage can build.  A few weeks back, we were at an event in youth group and I just paused for a minute to look around at who and what surrounded us.  I could see that our marriage was a pillar, in a way, for the teens and the leaders to stand on.  At the very base of our ministry is us and our marriage.  How we fare, how we love each other, has a direct effect on a lot of people.  Mostly because we live a life that allows other people to be a part of our story.  

I've seen other marriages that are the pillars of beautiful families and communities.  I just think it's interesting what can be built on a strong marriage.  When the foundation is in Jesus Christ, it can hold a lot of weight.  Sometimes it feels like ours does hold a lot of weight.  Sometimes it feels like more than we can handle.  But when those times comes, we just lean in closer to each other and dig deep into the cement of our faith, and stand firm.

So anyway, if you would be so kind as to say a little prayer for our marriage today (or every day, if you want!), I would appreciate that so very much.  That we would learn new ways to love each other, that we would stay in love, that we would always try to put each other ahead of ourselves.  That we grow closer and that we grow deeper into each others hearts every day.  For continued love and passion for only each other... and whatever else you can think of!

Here are some pictures from our wedding day- and thanks for being a part of our story!



One of the best moments of my life!






This picture was taken about 5 minutes before I walked down the aisle.  It was the worst game of foosball I have ever played.  I was so nervous I could hardly think!


I love this picture.  Josh is smashing cake in my face, but that's not what I love.  I love all of the people in the background.  From the very beginning our marriage was surrounded with love and support.  

Thursday, October 7, 2010

What we've been up to with the teens lately....

The school year kick off with the band "Atlantic".  It was an awesome night of worship and a great start to the school year!


Saturday night game night/slide as far as you can in your socks on the new floor/ play on the "exercise" ball... night


Nick Warren singing at the 5th Quarter After Football Game event


A much bigger and better sounding, teen-populated worship band.  Multiple kids on multiple instruments this year! So awesome!


The junior high girls being silly before youth group :-)


An eating game.  The mix they are supposed to eat included both pigs feet and lard and a few other "edible" ingredients. (For the record, we didn't come up with this game.  Only one kid really ate any of it.  He also kind of threw up... oy.)


Learning to trust each other....


REALLY trust each other....


Really, REALLY trust each other...  
(Yay Kate!  She is one of our leaders and she was brave enough to participate!)


Eating bananas through pantyhose....


and, most importantly, teaching the teens about God.