Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Life of the Party

My happy, leaf-eating daughter.

My favorite (and only) brother Michael and his sweet girlfriend Lauren.

And my best friends (Luc, Dan, Eric, Lexi) who basically make my world go 'round.

Friday, October 29, 2010

BLESARCB (Scrabble)

Eric and I have many hobbies. Some of them we even do together. Such as playing Scrabble. During our dating faze, I bought Scrabble for Eric as a birthday present so that we would have something fun and brain-worthy to do together instead of studying. Since Eric is a genius at everything, naturally I lost every game (and we're talking like by 200 points). Eric was nice to me though (I mean, he was trying to woo me into marrying him), and kept encouraging me to play and would give me helpful hints now and then. I think he even went so far as to allow me to play words that I made up sometimes (probably since I was already so behind...)!

And then it happened. Two weeks ago, Eric and I got new phones. He immediately started downloading free apps that would provide him with hours of brain bending exercises (such as the shark game, where you navigate a shark through the ocean to eat other fish and people, if you're lucky). Another app, (and not quite so gory) Wordfeud, is his new best friend. And the best part about it is that he can play online with people other than me (you will realize why this is a good thing in a minute).

So because Eric is playing with people he doesn't know and can't see, he cheats a little bit - ok a LOT a bit, and uses the Scrabble dictionary while he plays. Anyone who is an avid Scrabble player knows that this is a BIG no no. You study the dictionary in your free time. NOT while you are playing. So here is Eric, scoring massively high scoring words such as QUAT, ZA, ZERK, BRITZKA (and I could go on, but then I won't want to ever play with you either). And these poor people! Many of them resign halfway through the game because they are so far behind it's pointless to continue spelling silly words like HIT, BAT, FUN, and PIN.

Ok, I admit it. I thought is was a little funny. I did play a Wordfued game with Eric over the course of several days in which I was winning until the very end (when he spelled a 40+ point word and I could never recover afterwards). Since I am his wife, he promised to not use the dictionary while playing with me. The problem was, once he learned these crazy words existed while cheating on everyone else, they now exist in every game he plays.

So the other night, Eric suggests we play a game of real Scrabble after dinner. No dictionary allowed. Wooden tiles. All good. By the second turn, he is already to 80 points. You get the picture. I was 100+ points behind the entire game because of his newfound crazy vocabulary.

This is a problem. I still want to play Scrabble, but my husband is a genius, made even more genius by his cheating abilities. The only thing I could come up with to match his skill is to either study the scrabble dictionary (not gonna lie, sounds boring and hard) or start getting into shape so I can have stronger muscles and thereby be able to beat him up when I get angry that he just scored 75 points with two letters (just kidding).

(Not really)

Behold, Jillian Michaels, my new personal trainer!

Don't be deceived. It isn't as corny as it looks. This is a HARD CORE 20 minute workout! I mean, just look at that smirk on her face! And no, I don't have 30 lbs. to lose (I would probably die if I lost that much, but the chubby belly can go), but I CAN use a good cardio-strength-abs workout! I can do it while Lexi takes her early morning nap and then be energized (and sore) for the rest of the day. I have completed day 2 and am immensely proud of myself for stooping so low as to have purchased a workout DVD (since I am now admitting to everyone that I am in no way disciplined to do this on my own). I have almost died both times while doing this workout (trust me, it is HARD). In fact, as Eric watched me working out this morning, he became slightly intimidated, realizing that if I do, in fact, stick with this for 30 days, I will be very strong....
In conclusion, I already know I'm a dork, thank you. Also, Scrabble may or may not take on a new look in the future. Either that or maybe we should just find a new game.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Truth of Reality

That last post was never supposed to happen (which is why I deleted it mid sentence). I had started writing what was going to be a witty little story about my recent trip to the Aldi grocery store (where we bought broccoli, a Dr. Seuss book, ice cream sandwiches, and saw a bearded lady buying a frozen peach strawberry pie). But then I got a text message from my best friend from college saying that her and her husband of 3 years are getting divorced. So that kind of killed the Aldi humor.

I am having a hard time processing what is going on right now. The only thought that keeps coming to mind is how important it is as a Christian to be actively involved in a loving, growing community that loves the Lord, is striving to love and serve Him more, and holds each other accountable for how we live that out. It is impossible for a live coal to stay warm without the heat of other coals around it. If a live coal becomes isolated from the group, it will quickly grow cold, and forget the purpose of why it was created. When you take your eyes off of Jesus, as Peter did in Matthew 14, you will quickly become self consumed and ultimately drown. This is what happened to my dear friends, causing their marriage crumble and eventually to self-destruct.

This news is incredibly sobering to me and Eric as well as to our community of friends here in Chicago who are also in relationship with this couple. Our friends here are becoming cynical of marriage and discouraged in our relationships. After all, if it happened to them, it could happen to any of us, right?

Being in a marriage relationship is an incredibly beautiful, sacred, and difficult lifestyle. It is a daily choice to love, serve, and honor the person that you said your vows to. There is no place for selfishness.
So keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, we are slowly walking forward, choosing to learn from this couple's mistakes and grow in spite of it.

I am so thankful to be married to my best friend.
If you think of us, please pray that we would continue to grow in our marriage and in our love for the Lord and for each other.
And don't worry. I'm sure my humor will show up again soon.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Purple Starfish Meets Pumpkins

Or: The things that parents do to their children.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Behold... excuses for not blogging.

1. Lexi stopped sleeping through the night.
2. I got a purple fall fleece zip up thingy for Lexi to wear outside in the chilly air (50 cents of wonderfulness). Sometimes it's easy to forget she is a baby when she looks and feels like a big purple plushy toy.
3. I am currently reading a very interesting book. Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. It's been on my list for years and I finally bought it in the airport on my way home from Mexico. Interesting, to say the least, and I will not be going to an Ashram anytime in the near future.
4. Made lots of pumpkin things which all turned out not so great. And when I cook un-delicious things, my world kind of crumbles...
5. There are always people in my apartment. Not counting the three that pay rent.
6. I am constantly cleaning up after all the people in my apartment.
7. I love all the people in my apartment too much to wish they weren't here.
8. Lexi and I went to a pumpkin patch that had giraffes in the petting zoo. (And if that's not weird, I don't know what is!)
9. One dozen fresh bagels, one dozen apple cider doughnuts, fresh apple butter, pumpkin butter, and too much pumpkin pie.
10. And let's just face it: although every day is great, my life is a little too boring to write something interesting about every day. But I'm working on it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

La musica del corazon

Do you know how when you hear a piece of music that really moves you? It moves you so much that it reaches into the core of your very being and wraps its gentle tendrils around your heart. When it is over, the scent of it still lingers, filling you with its presence and certainty. It's often almost impossible to describe to anyone what that particular music sounded like or why it moved you. You know how felt, though. And you know you were changed because of it.

That's how I feel about my trip to Mexico to visit my parents and sisters. I could tell you what we did, but that would feel empty and probably boring, since we spent more time just being with each other than doing things. So I will simply say that it was beautiful. It moved me. And we are going back for more.

These pictures pretty much sum up why Lexi and I went to visit my family. They also are very telling in how the sweet hours were spent.