Friday, October 29, 2010

Random Photo, Take 2

Answer to Take 1: Romania. November 2006. At a church where Men sit on one side and Women sit on the other.

Take 2: Who? What? Where? When? (and this one deserves a Why?)

Now, bring on the guesses!

Thankful Thursday

(Picture from seeing my sister last Thursday, in Columbia for a birthday lunch.)

I'm thankful that I had a really great birthday last week. A whole day with my husband. We went to the zoo in Columbia, just to do something different. The Ft. Worth zoo is much better, and the Thailand animal parks were definitely way more fun. But it was just nice to be together.

I'm thankful that so many friends reach out via Facebook, text, cards, or calls just to wish me a Happy Birthday. It made it so much more wonderful to be remembered.

Though I know I will occasionally miss Fiona, I'm thankful that she does not live here anymore.

I'm thankful for some papering this week: got my nails done yesterday and had a massage today. Man, these types of pampering do WONDERS for a girl who has been really uptight and emotional lately.

I'm thankful for people responding to my posts here. Really, thankful. (Especially the last one about Fiona... it was pretty raw and emotional, so it meant a lot that people took the time to respond.)

I'm thankful for having a lot of things to look forward to over the next couple of month...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Random Photo, Take 1

So, I just thought of something that could be fun for this here blog...

I have this new fun thing on my computer where the desktop changes every 15 minutes or so. It's really fun and I keep looking at pictures and thinking, 'man, I forgot about that... that was so funny!.. or that is so random...!"

So I will periodically (no time commitment, notice) be posting a random picture to see if you can figure out how/when/where it was taken.

First picture is my current (very random) desktop background:Any guesses?

(By the way, what's the best way to communicate what it is? A separate post or just comment on this one?)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sad Day. Farewell Fiona.

Well, Fiona is no longer part of our family (well, at least she won't be part of our future). I'm so sad as I write this, but I'm also feeling quite a bit relieved. And I'll probably feel a lot more relieved once the sadness wears off.For weeks now, we have been trying to find another--better--home for Fiona. Little girl just had way too much energy for this little condo, and she was pretty defiant and getting to be very dominant. Though sometimes she could be the sweetest, cuddliest dog, there were also times when she would be a little devil.A couple of months ago, this guy came to our door and seemed to get along with her really well. He asked if he could take her home... It's a long story, really, but at that point, she had only been with us a few weeks, and we were still hoping that we could turn her around. 10 days later, I called him to say that he could have her. But I never heard back. But, the moment that I started envisioning Fiona living on his farm, with another puppy, with lots of land to run in, it seemed to plant a seed. I realized that she really would be better off with a different type of family. She's not content to be a couch potato like Nala. She needs more attention than we're able to give her, and she needs more time put into her discipline than we have.

Matt jokes that she 'misrepresented herself' when we adopted her. Ironically, the reasons that we chose her were because she was calm & submissive and that she didn't bark. Boy, were we fooled!!! She ended up being a crazy monster who in fact, hardly ever stopped barking. That's not a good fit for a small condo. Especially a condo that also houses a rather large, injured dog.
Our neighbors tried to fine us for her barking (as if we could stop her if we tried!). Eventually, we got a muzzle and had to keep her muzzled a majority of the time. Still, she found a way to make an enormous amount of noise in the form of a high-pitched yelp. Ugh. So frustrating.

Then, there was the house-training. She was potty trained, for the most part, when we got her. However, she seemed to always want to make a statement in the form of some type of deposit on our floors--or on our bed. I can't even count the amount of times she peed on our bed. Mostly right after she had been fussed at. Then, there was the one time she peed on Matt's face. And the fact that she was sick for weeks, and every night, we'd come home to diarrhea/poop in her crate and have to spend a couple hours cleaning up after her. A couple hours that we really didn't have to spare. I haven't even been able to do the 'normal' laundry entirely pretty much since we got her... because we were constantly cleaning up after her messes. Washing sheets from our bed, washing blankets, washing the comforter, and also washing all the blankets and sheets from her bed. (Man, I look forward to doing normal laundry!!)All that being said, I am sad to see her go. I have struggled so much with giving her away because I don't want her to feel 'rejected' or 'not good enough' or 'unloved'. I don't want her to think that we don't love her because she was bad. I also don't want people to judge me for being a failure as a dog-owner or for being irresponsible or selfish. Man, that's some vulnerability right there, but as I verbalized all of this to my sister on the way home from work, I was balling my eyes out as all of those things cut really deep. I think I struggle so much with 'rejecting' Fiona because I can picture myself in her shoes.
I need to remember that she's a dog. She can't rationally think through any of these things. She can't logically understand the reasons we couldn't keep her or even the reasons that we struggled with giving her away. She's not a person.

Which leads me to one of my other fears: someone joked with us a couple weeks ago that when we have children, we won't be able to give them back like we can return or re-home a dog. Though I'm sure the person (and I can't even remember who it was) didn't realize it, they were actually verbalizing the very thoughts I've been afraid people would have. I don't want people to think that Matt and I are too irresponsible for children. We learned a lot of things about parenting through Fiona: about sacrificing time, about the way we work together, about discipline, and about frustrations. In the end, we sort of admitted defeat but also realized we were probably being selfish in trying to prove that we could do it. In fact, at this time, in this season, we can't handle her. Though parenting a child has it's similarities, it's also different on way more levels.

Probably more later, but this is all I can process right now...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Matt Update

Here's what Matt's up to these days:

- Working lots at Banfield. They just extended their hours for an extra 2 hours a day, and they're open on Sundays now.
- Working on his MAT through Liberty Online. He just finished his 3rd class. He's gotten all A's so far, and I'm super proud of him. This time around, he's taking 2 classes at a time, so we'll see how that goes. Pretty soon, he'll be going up there for a couple weeks at a time to complete his courses on campus.
- Still occasionally works at the Doubletree downtown. Probably 2-3 times a month.
- Helping out a lot with the housework because I'm terrible at it.
- Meeting with guys from our Community Group once a week and building relationships with them.
- Growing in his relationship with the Lord
- Continuing to be a great husband. I honestly don't know what I would do without this man.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Playing Tourist with Tiffany

A couple weeks ago we got to see a friend from Thailand. Tiffany lives in Hawaii now, but she was in Charleston for a friend's wedding.

Matt and I got to meet up with her downtown for a nice lunch. Then we walked around downtown for awhile. It was a GORGEOUS day in Charleston, and it was nice to do something a little out of the routine.But the BEST part was connecting with a friend from Thailand, such a fun stage in our lives. And one that can really only be understood by people who were there too.

By the way, we are ALWAYS up for visitors, so come to Charleston anytime... :)

Hardly Blogging

So, I received a message lately from a friend in Texas asking me to update my blog.

It made me smile and cringe at the same time. I love that she (you, T!) wrote because it shows that she cares and that there are actually people who read this thing and may be interested in what's going on with the Flaglers. That's the part that made me smile.The part that made me kind of cringe is multi-faceted:
1. I don't like to feel like I'm letting anyone down.
2. It made me feel even more behind on yet another thing.
3. I don't like writing about things that are boring/sad, so I feel that I've been limited in writing material lately.
4. I don't ever want to say things like #3 because I don't want people to get the wrong impression or to feel that I'm pining for attention. (In fact, it's the opposite. I want to glaze over the not-so-fun things and put the attention on the fun things.)

Though I've wrestled with all those thoughts this week, the smiling side won out. I'm ever-so-grateful for the many friends and family members who use this blog as a way to stay in touch.

We love you and are thankful for you and will, therefore, try to be more consistent with updates.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A first for me...

So, last week, I wrote about having an excuse to bake. I was really excited as baking is a good stress reliever for me, but I didn't have any mixes in the cabinet and didn't want to go to the grocery store.As I was rummaging through my cabinet, I found a recipe for chocolate cake (and frosting) on the Cocoa container.I made this cake ALL from scratch. It was SOO much fun and reminded me of cooking/baking in Uz, where I got to learn a lot of the basics of made-from-scratch cooking from my friend Emily.

Though it wasn't the most structurally-sound cake I've ever seen, it tasted just fine. :)

Monday, October 4, 2010

'Gift' of Compassion

We recently started sponsoring a little girl in Thailand through Compassion. Her nickname is Gift. We got a letter from her recently and are so excited for how we can be part of her life. A small sacrifice of $38/month is totally worth being part of how God is working in this little girl's life. Do any of you blogging friends sponsor a child through a similar organization? How do you keep in touch? What works well?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful for the leak under our house getting fixed rather quickly and our kitchen being torn up for only about 24 hours.

I'm thankful for a working washer & dryer.

I'm thankful for an excuse to bake (asked to bring dessert to a friend's house for dinner tonight.)

I'm thankful for being invited to a friend's house for dinner and games tonight.

I'm thankful that I'm going to be an aunt!!!!!!!!! (In May 2011. Matt's sister, Stephani, is pregnant!)