Thursday, April 28, 2011

Things I thought about while getting my wisdom teeth pulled.

Today I got two of my three wisdom teeth pulled.  The only thing I was really looking forward to was getting the "laughing gas" that the dentist so generously offers during the most lovely of appointments.  Honestly, I hadn't been offered the "good stuff" since I was about... 11.  As I went into my appointment, my only prerogative was to accept the assistance of the laughing gas if it was offered.  

To my delight, it was!

Now, I hadn't remembered the effects it has on me.  I only remember thinking it was really fun. Needless to say, I don't remember it making me feel as crazy as I felt today.  So I have decided to share with all of you the things that I thought about while under the influence:

"Is it ok if I take really deep breaths?  I really want to feel it"
"Ok, I feel it."
"What is happening to me?"
"Is he scraping my gums?"
"He must be.  He told the assistant he needed a rinse.  I bet it's my blood."
"I can't feel my feet."
"or my hands."
"Oh gosh, don't laugh."
"I'm serious, don't even smile."
"How is it possible that I feel like smiling while someone is doing this to me? This stuff is amazing!"
"I wonder if it's legal to get on my own."
"If this is what drugs are like, I can see why people do drugs."
"The roof of my mouth feels like it's caving in on my esophagus"
"I... CAN'T...BREATH..."
((inhale through mouth'))
"Wait yes I can"
"ok ok ok he's saying something.  Focus."
"Ok Leslie, your only job is to focus on what he is saying, it's the only way you won't look like an idiot and he won't know how high you are feeling."
"Dentist's must feel awkward after seeing people in a situation like this.  High and numb and mouth gaping and bleeding as he digs away at my jaw..."
"Must be the root of my tooth ripping out.  People weren't joking about that."
"Is he seriously standing up to get leverage to pull my tooth out?"
"Close your eyes, self, you don't want to watch this."
"ah..ah..ah....AH that must have been it"
"Holy crap"
::eye roll::
"Here we go with the other tooth..."
"This is really awkward"

(Repeat inner dialogue for tooth #2)

Oh and is it really weird that I kept my teeth?  When I asked if I wanted to see them I said yes. (Duh!)  However, I didn't expect him to wrap them in gauze, put them in a tiny blue box, and give them to me to take home.  I really don't know what I'm supposed to do with two ugly wisdom teeth, but I think I might have to give the tooth fairy one last chance to prove her existence, and then close that chapter of my life until we have some kiddo's of our own.  Oh and your welcome for not posting a picture of them.  They're kind of gross.

All things considered, it went pretty well!  Now I get to eat ice cream and and watch movies and taste blood all night!  Huzzah!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Camping Adventure.

To celebrate Josh's birthday, I came up with the idea to go on a camping adventure!  With the help of my dear friend Emily, we decided to head up to Ludington State Park.  It was a quick two hour drive, and when we arrived we realized we were the ONLY people camping there that night.  Which isn't surprising, when I really stop to think about it.   Considering it was April 11.  In Michigan.  and it got down to the 30's that night. (I'm pausing my typing right now to pat myself on the back for being such a rockstar wife :-P)

But seriously, it was such a fun experience for us.  Josh grew up going camping and spending a lot of time outside.  I, on the other hand, grew up in the city (a small city, yes, but a city no less!) and vacationing in bigger cities in hotels.  So I was a little anxious about the whole thing but quite excited.  It ended up being a really relaxing adventure for us.  We went to bed early because there isn't a whole lot to do outside, in the dark, in near freezing temperatures.  We woke up early, too, because of the early sunrise.  We felt rested (a little tense from sleeping on the ground) and ready for a hiking adventure.

This first picture is amazing.  After hiking a mile into the park, we arrived at our rustic camping spot, set up our tent, and rushed to the beach to see the sunset!  Isn't Josh just an incredible photographer?  He continually amazes me.

Josh has been trying out different editing tricks.  This is a unique shot of our campsite.

The Ludington Lighthouse

This picture reminds me of my favorite children's book, "The Giving Tree".  It was what was left of a huuuuge tree that for 127 years stood just outside the lighthouse.

When we hiked to the lighthouse, we were surprised to see people there!  This man's name is Phil.  He took us on a tour of the lighthouse.  Every spring he volunteers two weeks of his life to help restore it and get it ready for tourist season.  I loved hearing his heart for preserving these landmarks and learning about the actual purposes and logistics of lighthouses.  Josh is pretty sneaky with his camera, so Mr. Phil had no idea this picture was even being taken.

The view from the top looking down.  Turns out I'm a little afraid of heights.  (Can you find Buddy in this picture?  'cause I can!)  

Josh cooking eggs in the morning.  So rustic. So handsome!

Here I am trying to stay warm in the early morning hours.  
(The women in my family always tease me on the rare occasion that I wear these sweatpants. They say they're ugly but I would just like to remind Mom and Lindsay everyone, that THEY'RE SWEATPANTS.  They aren't meant to be cute.  The literal name of them is gross.  Sweat. Pants.  Lets get past this as a family, ok? ok)


I'm excited to say that I love camping!  Our hearts and our souls were so refreshed after this little excursion.  We vowed to make it a point to camp and be outside more this summer.  

Happy Birthday, Love!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Mondo Bongo.

This past weekend was a little bit crazy in our world.  It felt like we were fighting desperately against an unseen darkness (oh wait, we probably were). Sometimes the battle is raging and other times the battle is nonexistent.  However, Saturday night til Monday night ministry and life got a little rugged and desperate and I found myself imagining a scene from "Mr and Mrs Smith" and connecting our life with it. 

The scene I was imagining is at the end of the film. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie realize that they can't win, but decide to "go out" fighting anyway.  They are in a small shed, with enemies surrounding and outnumbering them.  They look at each other to affirm that they're in agreement, and bust out of the shed and fight.  They fight with each other and for each other.  At one point he pushes her head down to protect her from a shot and a few seconds later they stand face to face in an odd embrace; still shooting and still fighting.

 The background music is a beautiful song I've loved ever since I first saw this movie called "Mondo Bongo".  I love that this is the song the producers chose for the background music for this scene, because it's also the song the characters dance to when the they first met.  I feel like it represents how far relationships can grow. Life can be all roses and you're dancing and falling in love someone, but as time goes on you're going to be tested and challenged and that's a part of love too.  That song makes the viewer remember their romantic beginning and reminds us that the difficult parts of life are all a part of the bigger story.  It's all tied together.

All that to say, images of this scene kept coming to my mind last weekend.  I felt like I was on a team with Josh and we were fighting for people and for each other and we were saving each other from blows of the enemy and relying on each other for strength and partnership. 

In the end, Brad and Angelina come out on top.  Victory.  When I got home Sunday night I finally watched the clip that had been replaying itself in my mind and I almost started crying.  I've posted a video of it below. It might seem kind of silly to you and I actually feel kind of embarrassed for even posting it.  Heck, you might even laugh at me for taking myself too seriously and call me ridiculous, but this is the way my mind chose to interpret the weekend that we had. 
Maybe it sounds odd, but this is what I want our marriage to be.  Fighting for each other and fighting for others, but relying completely on the knowledge that we have each other's backs. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Moments of Joy.

I love moments of pure joy.  They are rare, and when they occur they are so blissful and rich that I try as hard as I can to relish them.  Lately, I've been doing a little mental inventory of these times.  What better way to document them than here on my blog?

The first moment of completely pure joy that I would like to share occurred last summer.  We took some of our teens swing dancing in downtown Grand Rapids.  Josh and I enjoy dancing and we've learned a few different dances together.  A dance that we've never formally learned, however, is the Polka.  Well, on this night during swing dancing, they played a polka song.  Suddenly, everyone started polka-ing.  and by everyone I mean, there were AT LEAST 500 people on the dance floor.  I'm not exaggerating.   Josh and I happened to be on the sidelines at this point when he suddenly grabbed my hand and said, "Come on! Lets go polka!"

Needless to say, we just dove straight into the crowd and hopped and spun the song away.  Everyone was going at a very fast pace in one circular direction and I was just laughing so hard being twirled and spun around by the love of my life.  We were completely lost in a crowd that was completely lost in each other and no one really knew what they were doing but everyone spun and danced like a giant whirlpool of dancers in the middle of downtown Grand Rapids.

and I had a sense of complete joy.  Everything was right in the world in that single moment.

Do you notice moments like this in your life?  I hope you do.  I hope to fill a journal some day with stories and pictures of joy-filled moments like this one, where I fully experienced the richness that life offers, and relished in each second of it.

Smiling at my polka-partner/personal paparazzi :)

I told you I wasn't exaggerating about the 500 people!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


There are going to be a lot of things that I will miss when we move next year, and one of them will be sending and receiving letters.  I think there are few things more powerful than a handwritten letter or card from someone who loves you.  
(I'm pretty sure I learned this from my Mom.)

This particular letter is from my sweet friend, Nicole.  She left it in my car on my last day of work.  Finding it made my day!

Monday, April 4, 2011


Today was my last day of work as a massage therapist!  It's kind of bittersweet, actually, because although I'm not crazy about massage therapy anymore I will miss a lot of the patients I have worked on for the last 3 years.

The other girls in the office took me out for appetizers after work though,  and bought me this orchid.  We laughed a lot and talked a lot and it felt really good to be so enjoyed by others and to enjoy them back.

and today, oh guess what I did today!  I stood up to a man who was wrong.  Who treats people wrong and who shares Jesus wrong and who jokes wrong and who is, general, wrong about a lot of things. In most cases, people like this don't take correction well and can only see the wrong-ness in others, not themselves. Knowing this, I often keep my mouth shut and patiently endure their poor people skills and lack of self awareness, but for once, I opened my mouth and took a stand. I confronted him on three big issues, and in the process I stood up myself and for the other girls in the office. and I am so stinkin' proud of myself for doing it.  For not just biting my tongue and waiting until later to replay the conversations back in my head with all of the witty things I should have said, but for speaking the truth in love in the moment.  It was an incredible feeling.  He took it well (we even ended the conversation with a high five!) and I hope my words spoke to him.  I was praying for wisdom because I know myself well enough to know that emotionally charged Leslie can say some pretty untrue and hurtful things.  Which is how I know the words that came out of my mouth came from Him (Notice the big "H") because they were covered in grace and truth (when they would have been covered in unforgiveness and anger if they had come from me.)  Praise Jesus!

The best part of the whole day was coming home to an excited husband who joined me in jumping around in circles and chanting "I'm done with work forever! I'm done with work forever!"