Thursday, April 30, 2009
Plus, it had a cool cover.
First thing I should tell you is that we aren't planning on starting our family right now. Did you forget we are moving in with our in laws, and then flying to a foreign country? We are wanting to get past this next hump in our life (you know, the unemployed, no home, no concrete idea of where we will be living part) before starting our family. Other than that, we don't have really anything holding us back. We already know that it is silly (and frankly, unBiblical,) to wait until your whole life is perfectly lined up to have kids, so I was interested to see what this book could add.
It was pretty good! Superiorly well researched, it was packed with references to other famous men and women that are worthy of our respect, and was filled with Biblical references on the matter. I feel like it was mostly addressing those who are in their late 20's to their 40's who are still believing they have a long time to "start their family."
The most enlightening was the medical chapter, explaining the medical reasons behind starting your family early, rather than later in life. I had no idea that a women's fertility rate dropped significantly around 27! I knew there was a big drop in 35, but 27 is so close! It also explained how "replacement rates" (the fact that it takes 2.1 people nowadays to replace someone who dies,) are not being met at all, which means that several European countries are going to see drastic population decline (to a point of being detrimental, despite what some yuppies might tell you, lol.)
I would recommend this book to any woman, any age, because it has useful information you can pass on to other people, even if you are not at this stage in your life! It also has several chapters at the end having to do with the family dynamic, which was a good read as well.
I was sleeping blissfully in bed, having an extremely odd dream (trust me people, I could keep this blog alive on my strange dreams alone,) and was snuggled contenedly under the covers.
A loud, wailing siren pierced the early morning, and I, like any normal human, leaped straight out of bed and ran to the kitchen.
Disoriented, but having discovered it was indeed the fire alarm in our building, but not in our individual apartment, I quickly stumbled back to the room.
But it KEPT GOING.
So, pivoting in our doorway, I was torn between acquiring my most needed glasses, or getting a coverup on before heading outside, because people, it was a FIRE alarm! And, I have to admit, I was oddly excited that I would have a real incident to blog about.
My lovely husband, all the while, has barely stirred in bed, and at this point says "is that the fire alarm?"
I'm just about to make a sprint for our bathroom to get my glasses/contacts (I'm nearly blind people!) and my wedding rings that are in my drawer (are you kidding me? If I slept with those suckers on, my fingers would be the size of a hot dog in the morning!) when, all of a sudden, the fire alarm ceased.
My husband grunted and rolled over to go back to sleep, and I was left standing in our doorway.
My heart was racing, my eyes were open, and I was ready for some action!
But, alas, nothing happened.
Everything was quiet in our building
And, I was left awake.
At least I had something to do! (blog)
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
The man was stuck by the the apparent futility of the task.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Some of you have asked me how I find such quality books, and the answer is: through recommendation! Just like you are reading my recommendation to you, these books have almost all been recommended to me by people I respect. And I believe that is the key. Sure you can see that a book is a bestseller, but are people you respect reading it? That will tell you if is the type of reading material you should be surrounding yourself with.
Person after person has recommended this book to us, and our Pastor who did our pre marital counseling said that this book was a must. I remember it being on the shelves at my house growing up, but figured it was old, outdated, and inapplicable.
Boy, was I wrong!
The book is based on Mr. Chapman's research into how each person has their own individual love language. They are Quality Time, Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation, Gifts, and Acts of Services.
The problem arises, he says, when we marry, and our spouse "speaks," a different love language. For example, if you marry a man whose love language is Acts of Service and he constantly helps around the house to show you his love, but your love language is Physical Touch, and he is so busy cleaning that he never touches you, you will feel unloved.
The book is an easy read (meaning it doesn't read like a text book- boring!) and is thoroughly researched. I like how each chapter is jam packed with real life examples of marital issues that have occured.
I knew right away that my Love Language was Gifts, but up until now, I always felt guilty that my love language involved giving more than yourself, it involves giving actual gifts! I thought Mr. Chapman did a great job soothing my fears though by explaining that one love language was no worse than the next, as long as we have realistic expectations.
My husband is set to read this book next, and to figure out his love language, because, honestly, I couldn't figure his out! He likes a little bit of Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, and Quality Time, but we want to figure out his main one.
I'd recommend this book to anyone, married or not, because it affects how you relate to everyone in your life!
Monday, April 27, 2009
I guess, specifically, a group of friends.
Sometimes, it seems like you just can't get through to them!
Have you ever had a friend like that?
Sometimes I feel like I can't give another ounce of myself to some friendships, because, well, because of several reasons.
#1 They just don't care.
#2 They take everything you say to them and throw it out the window.
#3 They don't give anything back to you in your friendship at all.
Then you go and ask yourself, "well, if that's the case, is it even a friendship?"
I've wrestled with this question for many MANY years.
There are even one or two friendships when I couldn't give any more of myself.
I was spent.
And so, those friendships have gone to the way side. Not really ending but just drifting.
There are some friendships though, that I don't want to let go of.
There is still hope.
At least, that's what I tell myself.
I was pondering all of this at the beach the other day. Laying in the hot sun, hearing the sound of children and seagulls all around me. The boys were off throwing the football, and I propped myself up as I silently chatted with God.
"Why? Why is it so hard to get through? Do they want me to talk to them? Do they want to hear my opinion? Or are they just going to say I'm being judgemental? Will they say "that's nice, but I want to keep doing it MY way!
I'm not sure which one will hurt worse.
Am I afraid to get hurt?
I'm most afraid of coming away from this friendship and not having left a mark.
Made an impact.
Then I looked around me at the beach.
10 feet in front of me was the whitest, softest, most pliable sand.
Right underneath of me though, was hard as a rock, compact sand.
I stood up.
I walked to the soft sand and sunk my toes in deeply.
I stepped out and could clearly see a foot print.
But, hmm, not really clearly. The soft sand fell back into it, leaving only an impression of a foot.
I stepped over to the hard sand.
Not even a scuff in the sand.
I started getting a little irritated.
"What is wrong with this sand?" I thought. "Why won't it let me leave my footprint?"
I stomped my foot. Nothing happend.
I rocked back and forth. Still nothing.
Finally, in utter frustration, I launched myself straight up into the air and landed on my two feet.
I felt the sand give.
I gingerly stepped out, and wouldn't you know it?
In the glee of the moment, I repeatedly leaped into the air, slamming my feet into the hardened sand.
Footprint after footprint.
A defined impression.
I had my answer.
These friendships that seem so hardened, so calloused, they are just like the hard sand. It's not easy to make a lasting impression.
You must be persistent.
You must be forceful.
You must not falter.
You must not give up.
Because, eventually, you WILL leave an impression.
I don't want to give up, I just wish it was a little easier, that's all.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
As we enter the month of May, in a few days, I wanted to give you a heads up of all of the crazy happenings that are coming up for us here.
May 2nd- Ian graduates from the University of Florida with his Masters in International Business!
May 8th- Courtney's Rehearsal and Dinner (I get my hair done on this day too! :/ )
May 9th- Courtney's Wedding!
May 10th- Visit the Portofino hotel with the inlaws and spend some time at Universal! Mother's Day!
May 11th- Fly to Richmond, Virginia, for a week of interviews and meetings about our new job! Maybe see my sister at some point?
May 16th- Fly home to Orlando, and drive back to Gainesville. Katie's Birthday!
(in these two weeks in between, the apartment must be totally packed for our FIVE *FL to FL, FL to TN, TN to VA, VA to TN, TN to overseas! * impending moves, and everything painted and deep cleaned!)
(we also have things we definitely want to do around here before we leave, like see the Natural History Museum, head out to Crescent Beach again, go to the UF owned lake for wakeboarding/kayaking, eat at some local restaurants, camp in nearby Ocala. Sheesh.)
May 31st- Must be totally moved out of our Gainesville home, and into my inlaws home for the summer
So, needless to say, though I may be VERY busy over this next month, I don't think I will be short on blogging material! Things will probably definitely slow down once we get to our hometown, but we will be surrounded by friends and family, so I am excited about that!
Please be in prayer for an easy transition, and that God will continue to give us good attitudes about moving in with the folks. Also, pray that God will bring about odd jobs (lawn care, pet and house sitting, babysitting,) for Ian and I, as we don't want to be financial burdens during this time.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
And, an Floridian will tell you, the best beach food is, Pub1ix subs! (here is my hunny stuffing his face! He's been doing south beach diet with me, and he misses bread as much as I do!)
Friday, April 24, 2009
It is a wonderful historical fiction book, that is excellently researched! I loved it! I started reading it last fall, and only got 15 pages into before putting it down. But I picked it up on Monday, and read through the whole thing in two days!
The story is based on the true story of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Strike in 1909, the first of its kind. The immigrant girls, who were working for less than a dollar a day, were being locked into the factory in a high rise in NYC. They would work the whole week, then their supervisors would make up reasons for why their pay was docked. The factory was really dangerous because of being locked in, poor circulation, and plenty of tinder laying around.
As you can guess, in 1911, a fire was started on the 8th floor of the building, and, with hardly any way to escape, over 120 people were killed in that factory, making it the worse work place disaster until 9/11/2001.
The book takes the viewpoint of 2 immigrant girls, and one wealthy American girl, and rotates between all of them, until their tales are entwined. I love how Mrs. Haddix mixes the different cultures and the historical facts into this excellently written book.
Though this book is usually not shelved in your average bookstore, when you go in, you can ask any associate to have it ordered for you, and, at least at B0rders, they would order it for free! A great book with an excellent afternote by the author, going deep into the actual facts, and recommending more resources on the subject.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
What are your middle names? Michelle and Paisley (can you tell he's Scottish? His name is Ian Paisley, lol)
How long have you been together? We started dating January of 2006, and got married June 14th, 2008.
How long did you know each other before you started dating? Hmmm, about seven years. We were in the same small gifted program together, starting in middle school- 6th grade. We became good friends around 11th grade!
Who asked who out? Ian asked me out. We were sitting in his car and he said "I really like you, and I think we should date." I said "Alright." and he said, "but I want to make sure you are okay with me going away (he was going to Jordan for a year,)" and I said, "Alright." Then I ran out of the car, into my house to tell my mom and sister! Needless to say, he was VERY confused. He called my best friend asking her to translate my reaction, haha! We straightened it out.
Whose siblings do you see the most? we used to see my sister the most, but considering we are about to move in with my in-laws and brother in law, I suppose it would be his.
Do you have any children together? No, not yet. It's a constant discussion, but we realize how young we are.
What about pets? No, and I am super sad about that. The region of the world we are moving to though, doesn't like dogs at all. And I'm not a cat person. Maybe a fish one day!
Did you go to the same school? Yes, 6th through 12th, we went to different colleges though. We will do seminary together however!
Who is the most sensitive? oh definitely me. I cry at the drop of a hat, but I'm getting better at being more emotionally in control.
Where do you eat out most as a couple? Anywhere Mexican. Hole in the wall places are usually the best.
Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple? Brazil? (predating) Jordan? (while dating.)
Who has the craziest exes? I guess me! I was Ian's first girlfriend. Though I wouldn't call my two previous things "boyfriends," more like crushes with titles, haha
Who has the worst temper? He does. Not because it's horrible, but because he shows it very easily.
Who does the cooking? I do, Ian doesn't know how to cook much besides pancakes and eggs (but that does come in handy!)
Who is more social? Ian, most definitely. I'm actually an extreme introvert, unless I know you/feel comfortable with you.
Who is the neat freak? Me, only because I like things done a certain way (darn you Dad, and your dishwasher loading lessons!!!!!!!!!!)
Who is the most stubborn? We're both pretty stubborn... but Ian's nickname while we dated was "stubborn," and the bear he gave me was named Stu (short for stubborn,) so what does that tell you?
Who hogs the bed? Hmmm, definitely. I am more of a "here is the line down the middle of the bed, don't cross it." He is more of a "oh, look! you're small and aren't using up every inch of your side so I will just invade."
Who wakes up earlier? Ian, because he, you know, Works. It's a foreign concept to me now!
Where was your first date? PaNeRaS and church (Status church,)
Who has the bigger family? Well he has a bigger immediate family, but I have a bigger extended family (hey look Lydia! We have the same answer here!)
Do you get flowers often? No :( Ian didn't grow up around that kind of thing, so it takes him alot of work to do them. He is working on it though, because he knows how important to me it is.
How long did it take to get serious? Less than 6 months. Really probably 2.5, but it's hard to tell because it was all long distance.
Who eats more? Ian
Who sings better? Probably me, just because I have more "training," ie church choir and such. But believe me, no one wants to hear us!
Who does the laundry? I do. I'd be afraid for what would happen to my clothes!
Who’s better with the computer? Ian thinks he is the guru, and I let him think so. I'm pretty computer savvy though.
Who drives when you are together? Ian, he doesn't just like to sit still
Who picks where you go to dinner? We decide together
Who is the first one to admit when they’re wrong? Am I wrong? haha, no, probably me though, just because I am wrong more often. Ian doesn't speak unless he is almost positive he is right on a matter.
Who wears the pants in the relationship? We discuss things and try to come to a compromise. If that's not possible, it's ultimately up to Ian. So he wears the pants. Pass me the skirt please!
Who has more tattoos? No tattoos in this household.
Who eats more sweets? hands down, I do!
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
More specifically, what keeps the heart in normal rhythm.
Then I thought about those hearts that were not in *perfect* or optimum rhythm, and the actions that must be done to preserve that precious life.
Sometimes, a pacemaker must be used. It makes sure the heart is keeping in harmony with itself, but if not, it is designed to get the heart back onto its correct rhythm.
I then started thinking about us.
We're walking around on God's beautiful creation, trying to strive to be in harmony and rhythm with God's direction and plan.
Sometimes however, we aren't in rhythm.
We give up.
We make wrong choices.
But just because we are human does not mean that we are supposed to be outside of that God designed harmony.
It means that we need some outside help to keep our heart beating the right way.
The God way.
Our spiritual pacemaker comes in all sorts of forms.
Mine is my personal time with God, where I dive deep into his Word, with guidance from people who know more than I do.
Sometimes it's my blog and blogs that I read that act as my pacemaker. Little reminders all through out the day of what I should be doing, and who I should be doing it for.
Sometimes, you can feel yourself being pulled out of rhythm. And sometimes you might get a little panicky. You might think "There's no way I can get back on pace. It feels like I'm drowning. Like I'm suffocating."
But if you know where and what your pacemakers are, your heart can always get back in rhythm.
And remember, that if all else fails, the best pacemaker of all is asking God directly for help, guidance, and perseverance.
What's your pacemaker?
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
My bag of books. Thanks Grandma and Aunt Dede, these Publix bags have come in handy!
Ian's bag of books.
Monday, April 20, 2009
After all, I am a storyteller, and I love hearing other people's tales.
So, when I was at the Christian bookstore, with the intention of picking up the new Jon and Kate Gosselin book, I became keenly interested in the Duggar family book. So, since the new Gosselin book wasn't really a book book, but rather a gift book/coffee table book, I decided to use the gift certificate of the month for the Duggar book!
I loved it! It really was an easy read, and you could almost hear Michelle and Jim Bob talking (well, if you have ever heard their voices that is!)
The first half of the book is mainly autobiographical, and the second half is mainly real life advice on organization, discipline, and instilling independence and values.
The entire book is thoroughly filled to the brim with Bible verses and encouragement from them.
I would recommend this book if you are in the least bit interested in hearing people's stories or if you are intersted in large family dynamics at all!
Photo #1- Get a complete stranger to give the bride a gift-
Here is random little boy on the street giving Courtney a cigarette butt. Awww, how sweet!
Photo #2- Get two team members in the picture with the famous Oviedo Chickens!!
Photo #3 Get two team members in the picture with the sign of the church that Courtney is getting married at.
Photo #4- Get a picture with the minister or one of the groomsmen.
My Uncle Chet passed away on Sunday, so I packed up and headed south to where most of my family lives, the Port Charlotte area (south of Tampa.)
First however, I stopped and picked up my momma from the Tampa airport. Then my cousin Kyle met as there to go out for lunch while we waited on my uncle's plane to arrive. My momma and I hung out in the airport for awhile, window shopping and drinking some coffee before my uncle's plane arrived.
Did I mention how horrible the weather was? It was a classic Florida downpour, where, while driving, you can't even see the front hood of your car. That's how hard it was raining. Needless to say, it was a LONG 5 hour drive.
We spent time at my Grandma's, napping and making dinner (Shepherd's Pie!) then headed over to my aunt and uncle's house to hang out and watch American Idol and eat birthday pie (it was my cousin Ryan's birthday, my aunt Kelli's birthday, and my Aunt Denise and Uncle Steve's 25th wedding anniversary! What a busy day!)
We woke up the next morning and got ready for the funeral, and went to that (more on that little adventure another time,) and it was a neat funeral, since it was a military funeral. My Great Uncle Chet was a WWII veteran who worked with the Marines in the South Pacific. They sent up a group to pay their respects and do the whole flag folding/bugle thing.
The reception was at my second cousin Michelle's farm, and we had a good time eating, hanging out, and holding my new baby cousin Sophia!
I headed out that afternoon to come home, because I have so few days left in our home and I don't want to miss them!
This is my Uncle Kenton and myself
The original family! My Aunt Denise, Uncle Kenton, my Grandma, and my Momma!
Sunday, April 19, 2009
It wasn't really a lot, but it is enough to pad the bank account and make us a little more comfortable during this time.
We are not really planning on "spending" it, like on a trip or anything (though I could really use a couple of days in the Keys!), but there are a few things we might splurge on, such as :
boxes for packing and moving!!
breakfast out to eat at The Flying Biscuit (one just opened up here Courtney!)
and a haircut for me. I haven't gotten my hair cut since I got married! I don't really want to lose any length, but I do want the layers to be put back in. It doesn't look ratty yet because I have trimmed my ends every 4-6 weeks, but it is laying really strange because all of the layers have grown out, which means all of my curls are strictly at the bottom instead of correctly layered.
I am so SO grateful to have gotten the little blessing delivered to our bank account, and I hope we are wise with how we use it!
Also, expect a lot of posts over the next couple of days, as I am trying to get all caught up on everything that has been happening!