Nov 11, 2014

Ohhhh Canada....

Yesterday Matt and I had a 9 hour date.
I kept track of how many hours it was because it was simply awesome to spend the whole evening on a date with my awesome hubby.....and because I had to pay a babysitter at the end of the night.
The date was quintessentially "us".
We spent an hour in traffic talking about what we hope for in the next chapter of our life (life after the army), grabbed tacos at a taco truck in SoDo (and I didn't get food poisoning) and then headed to a local pub to hang out with a few hundred other fans getting ready to go to the Sounders match.
We decided to grab a beer before heading in to the stadium.  Since I'm so youthful, upon ordering a beer, the bartender asked to see my ID (ok so she was asking for everyone's).  I handed her my Military ID card.  On one side is my picture and all sorts of information about Matt's branch of service, rank, and my relationship to him, and on the back is my date of birth, fake weight and other description information.
The bartender studied the card, looked up at me, looked back at my ID and then asked me "are you Canadian?"
Holy cow!  How in the world did she guess that?  I mean, my dad was born in Canada and his dad was born, raised and died in Canada but I never imagined that my very thin Canadian blood line would be so obvious.  I barely spoke to her but surely I didn't have a French or Northern accent and never once did I say "eh?"  I was shocked.
So I answered "yes I am part Canadian.  How did you know?"
She replied "well your ID says you have a sponsor I figured you must be Canadian"

Oh dear........

I started to try to explain to her that Matt is in the Army and therefore the "sponsor" of my benefits but it seemed a little too confusing for her and a line was forming behind me so I decided to just let this one go.  As long as sponsored Canadians were allowed to get beer, I suppose it doesn't really matter what it means.
I suppose "sponsor" has a very different meaning in the lives of a military family eh?

Nov 9, 2014

Prayer Changes a Nation?

I read this article today and thought it was simply awesome and inspiring.

There are often times that I look at our country and simply shake my head.  I wonder what will become of this Nation? What will America be when my kids are my age?
It is easy to be disheartened, it is easy to give up and say "well there she goes".  But that may not be God's plan for our country.
Germany marked the 25th anniversary of the Wall coming down this weekend.  What a huge event in the lives of so many Germans and a major turning point in our world!
On June 12, 1987 then President Ronald Reagan called out Mikhail Gorbachev, the Deputy Secretary of the Communist Party of the USSR, in his famous speech in Berlin.  Reagan emfatically commanded Gorbachev to "tear down this wall!"  While the speech may have had some impact, it wasn't until two years later on November 9, 1989 that the wall fell.  I have seen a 30 second clip of Reagan's speech numerous times and I often associate the fall falling with Reagan's bold demands.  While I realize much more was going on than a well delivered speech by a famous American, I never knew this little piece of history:

How prayers helped end the Cold War

I was lucky enough to visit Berlin twice while we were stationed in Germany and also a few towns located in the former German Democratic Republic (East Germany).  I visited many of the infamous sites related to WW2 and the Cold War, I walked along the lines where the Wall formerly stood and tried to envision life on the Eastern side of Berlin.  I wish I would have learned a little about the St Nicholas church in Leipzig earlier ....that would have been I would have loved to visit!

If prayer can bring down the Wall, the Soviet Union, put an end to the Cold War and eventually reunite Germany..... do not lose hope in what prayer can do here in America.

Daniel's prayer (Daniel 2:20-22) 

Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;
wisdom and power are his.
He changes times and seasons;
he deposes kings and raises up others.
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to the discerning.
He reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what lies in darkness,
and light dwells with him.

Nov 8, 2014

I share a birth month with a very dear friend of mine.  In honor of her birthday in a few days, I feel compelled to write about her here.


When I first met her, I absolutely didn't "get" her.  While she didn't rub me wrong, I also didn't get an overwhelming vibe that I had just met someone who needed to be in my life for the long haul.  She was mysterious and my friend-radar was confused.  I remember talking to another friend about not really knowing how to read Allison.  My friend claimed that the most likely explanation for my first impressions of Allison was that "she is from Texas."  Seriously, one of the funniest behavioral explanations that I have heard.  Anyway, I assumed we would be friendly neighbors, but probably not friends.

Years have gone by since I first met her while we were walking home to our apartments on Jackson Street following a bible study.  We are no longer neighbors, but most definitely friends.  We were divinely placed into a bible study group together and that set the stage for me to get to know this amazing woman and for her to add so much wisdom, inspiration, encouragement, laughter, and adventure to my life.

Allison is genuine.  She doesn't hide how she feels, she listens, she has something really important to say when she speaks, she laughs, she lives minimally, loves deeply, and prays faithfully.  She is probably the most flexible, easygoing person I have ever met it my life.  She is one of those Army wives who hits the ground running....she doesn't have a "getting settled" period she just goes, embraces, finds her place and brings others along with her.

Al does it all.  She wakes up early, has her coffee and and spends some time on a devotion, she makes some gourmet, healthy, breakfast for her three little girls, then sews a friend a skirt, runs 10 or so miles, meets friends in the park so the kids can play, home-schools the kids, prepares dinner and makes a few extra meals to give to those in need, and makes sure that is all taken care of in time to whip up lunch.  All the while she is smiling.  The kids argue or lose a shoe or require a princess wand to fix a boo-boo and Allison takes it all in stride.  If she is frustrated, nobody would know it.  She keeps her cool, her voice is calm, she does not unravel easily.

Maybe that isn't her everyday routine, somedays she may skip making the skirt and go straight to the run or a few hours doing yoga on a SUP.

She is fashionable and frugal, she has fine taste but also enjoys simplicity.
She is wise, so very wise.
She is up for adventure.
Allison is talented and beautiful and joy flows from her.
Those who know Allison, love her, and are blessed to have her in their life.
I am blessed to call her friend.

Sometimes the people who come to mean the most to you, the ones who you learn the most from, and laugh the hardest with are the ones that are the most unexpected.  I mean really, a chic from Texas?  Who would have thought?  God did.  I love that each of my friends are so unique in their personalities, talents and passions and they each bring a new twist to my life.

Allison Happy Birthday.  Praying that your day, and this coming year are blessed, filled with joy and love and adventure!

Nov 3, 2014

A Photo Essay of My Birthday

This year my birthday fell on a Saturday.  Which is awesome!  Birthday's should always fall on the weekend.  Who needs work to get in the way of your celebration?  Not me.  

Even though I wasn't at work on my actual birthday, my co-workers went crazy overboard and threw me quite the shin-dig.  When I arrived at work, my space was decorated, desk covered with flowers, balloons and gifts, and there was a smorgasbord of delicious breakfast items and a fresh cup of joe all waiting for me.  They chose "princess" plates and decor....not because of my attitude (or maybe it was) but because of a silly comment one of my students made a few weeks ago about me living in a castle.  The lovely ladies I work with spoiled me rotten!

And when I got home from work, I was greeted by this:

Mom and dad painting!  Well they were still taping off stripes at this point but by afternoon of my birthday this is the magic that happened:

I slept in on the morning of my birthday and upon making my way downstairs I ran into this kid:

Matt went out for a run earlier in the morning and Eli decided to join him on his bike.  He grabbed his wallet and purchased these beautiful flowers for me with his own money, and then rode home on his bike with them.  Not only am I impressed that he spent his own money for flowers for me, I'm in awe that anyone can ride a bike with flowers.

After a yummy brunch, we headed to downtown Tacoma where these guys and my parents followed me around a bunch of antique/junk shops....and they didn't complain once!  I definitely need to return to those shops...very cool stuff up there.

After perusing dusty old gems we drove along the beautiful Ruston Way in N. Tacoma and settled in at Anthony's at Point Defiance for a great view and tasty dinner compliments of these two:

And attempted a family photo.....

then ditched the kids for a selfie...

We came back to the house for cupcakes and I opened more gifts.
Turns out I'm kind of a least I feel spoiled like one!

Good news for my future travel ventures, this girl got a waterproof camera!  Let's hope that I have another encounter with dolphins so I can capture it!

It was a happy birthday!