Friday, April 30, 2010

Grad School Update

So, we've come to a decision. Well, two actually.

Matt will be starting his Master of Arts in Teaching through Liberty University Online on May 16th, and he's all registered. He'll take 2 classes this summer.

I really did want to pursue teaching (and still may some day), but when it came down to registering for classes and paying for them, i just couldn't do it.

So, I will be starting my Master of Business Administration on June 28th through Strayer University in Charleston. At my work building, actually. And it's paid for. Well, 4 MBA classes a year will be totally paid for. If I want to do more than 4 classes a year, it would be out-of-pocket (no other financial aid available). I will most likely be doing one class at a time, 4 per year.

There ya have it. Here goes...

Sunday, April 25, 2010


At the suggestion of my most fabulous best friend, Ginger, I have started a more personal, intimate, uncensored blog for a closer circle of readers. If you're interested in that one, comment here or send me an email...

This one will continue to be a 'happenings'/family blog while the other one is more introspective and blabbings of the heart.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Life Since Thailand

Well, as my Facebook post stated earlier, we've now been back in the States for an entire year. Wow. Hard to believe; as cliche' as it sounds, in some ways it seems like yesterday. Other times, it feels like an eternity.

Matt misses Thailand a lot more than I do. I miss it, but I still miss Uzbek more. Must have something to do with the first place that you live overseas...Though there is a temptation to be kinda down and focus on the things we really miss about Thailand (mostly friends like these, and our kids, and other friends, and the animals, and just the adventure of living somewhere so different), I'm going to focus instead of the Highlights of Life Since Thailand:
-being in our third year of marriage
-seeing our families so much (though probably not as much as we thought we would)-being here for some life-changing family situations (good and bad)
-getting to hang out with long-time friends

-making new friends-having decent jobs that we like most days
-doing Financial Peace University and paying off debt slowly but surely

-life with Nala Bean
-thinking we finally know what we want to be when we grow up

-(just recently) finding a church we're really excited to be part of

So now we're excited to see what the next year will bring!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Baby Girl Nala

Our Nala Bean is lame. About 3 weeks ago, Matt took her to the dog park where she had a grand ol' time as usual. But leaving, Matt noticed she was limping a little bit. That night, when I was getting in bed (which requires her getting out of my space), she couldn't jump down on her own. And when I tried to lift her down, she yelped out in pain and peed the bed (I'm guessing fear from not being in control while hurt). Poor baby girl. It broke my heart, and her shaking for the rest of the night did not help.
Her first visit to the vet, he didn't really see anything wrong, just said she needed to take it easy since she was still limping. And she got some meds for the pain. Well, I took her to my Mom's house the next weekend so she could have a change of scenery, but apparently, all the running around the house with her cousins that day made it worse. Her next visit to the vet (this past Thursday) produced more evidence to the vet, and he noticed she has a stretched ligament. He also said that 75% of the time, this type of injury results in a torn ligament, which leads to a costly surgery. Matt's discount at the vet would help a little, but it would still be around $900. Boo.So, we are trying to take it easy with her, but it's hard. It's sad because she truly loves running and bounding around. That's probably when she's the happiest, and it makes us super happy to see her that way.Today, I was putting on 'exercising' clothes because Matt and I went to the county park for a picnic and walk. She knows what that normally means and was spinning around with anticipation. I almost cried because of how excited she was, and we were going to have to leave her behind. So... we ended up taking her. And we had a blast (all three of us), and she didn't start limping until the end of the afternoon. Unfortunately, now she's not walking on it at all. Past limping.
I need to start thinking more long-term for our baby girl instead of just in-the-moment. Matt's better at this than me, but I think I learned a lesson today. As Matt said, it is better for her to have to do nothing for a couple of months than nothing forever...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Catching Up: Matt's Birthday Present

I meant to write about this while ago, but I kept forgetting.

This year for Matt's birthday, I made him a t-shirt quilt. We both had tons of old t-shirts we were hanging onto mostly for sentimental reasons rather than to really wear them. Ever since seeing the one our friends the Morrows have in Texas, I've wanted to make one. I made myself a quilt last Fall, and it was good practice for Matt's. They were pretty much the same, but the mistakes I made on mine were learning points to not make on his. And I made his a lot thicker.
I recruited a friend of mine from work to help as she is a more accomplished seamstress than I (which almost anyone is), and projects like this are always more fun to do with someone else. She honestly ended up doing most of mine in the Fall, but I wanted to do Matt's. To start off, we googled how to do one and found some helpful websites, but we pretty much just figured it out as we went along, didn't use a pattern or anything... thus, they are both pretty simplistic. We basically had squares of all the same size, but the squares were sometimes either the whole front or whole back, or front and back halves put together, or 4 or 5 small pieces from different shirts made into one square.
Cutting the shirts really takes the longest as you have to lay them all out and figure out the biggest pattern and base the rest of them off of that. For Matt's I spread this out over several days, as he kept finding more t-shirts (and made special trips to his Grandma's and Dad's attics to find even more t-shirts) that he wanted to be part of this quilt. I got my Mom to help with this one day, as he had some really random shapes I had to work with. The sewing camps I did one summer seemed like a long time ago. I pretty much had to re-learn how to use my machine, so Mom was helpful in that process. :) Then, once everything was cut and ready to be pieced together, I took my friend from work and her daughter up to Saluda for the weekend to finish the quilt. Mom came up to work on some projects too, and my friend Jacqueline ended up stopping by for a few hours, so it turned out to be a really fun weekend (back in January!). Kim and I put the quilt together in a matter of about 10 hours, which I was pretty impressed with. We also worked on a few projects for another work friend, Cristen's, wedding. Sadly, I don't have pictures from the weekend, but it was fun.
Matt seems happy with it, which makes me happy. :) While cutting the squares, I dressed Nala up in the scraps. I think she ended up having parts of about 10 shirts on before I put her out of her misery. :)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter 2010

We made it to church this morning for worship and celebration of the Resurrection.
After church, we did lunch/dinner at Grandma's. (This is pretty much an every Sunday thing but more special today.) There was also the addition of fabulous Easter baskets courtesy of the Easter Bunny via Steph.

After lunch/dinner and sitting around talking, we took Easter naps and the rest of the day has been a pretty normal Sunday. Grocery store, laundry, and Sunday night tv (Amazing Race!) then watched Alice in Wonderland (the Disney cartoon) with Steven.

However, it has not been a normal Easter for me. The past few years, Easter has been full of emotions for me as it was Easter weekend in 2006 that my team and I were forced to leave the city we were living in and doing ministry in. We knew it was coming, but it all came to a fruition and rush out of the city the day before Easter... leaving behind lots of very special people we never really got to say goodbye to. And also leaving behind about 100 students who were in the process of gathering to watch a film that portrayed the meaning of Easter in their own language. It happened very fast.

This year, it definitely crossed my mind and I felt sadness, though it wasn't as painful as it has been the previous years. I'm hopeful in this. As much as I loved that place and those people and that season of life, that's not where I am now. And I should definitely not let the sadness of leaving Uz overshadow the power of Easter. I mean, it doesn't. But, in some ways, emotionally, I have allowed it to.

I fought against that this year, and I'm thankful. Thankful that God is the author of my life story, as ever-changing as it is. Thankful that God used coming home that Spring 'prematurely' to intertwine mine and Matt's lives that eventually led to our marriage. Thankful that the power and impact of Easter hasn't been affected at all by my emotions the last few years. Jesus is beyond emotions. Jesus's death and Resurrection was not and cannot and will not be overshadowed by anything!

He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!