Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 in a nutshell

Well, I missed the opportunity this year for a traditional Thanksgiving post, and a traditional Christmas post. However, I am going to try to make it a not too cheesy, not too sentimental, not too dorky New Year's Eve Post.

I will be honest - this year was blury. It seems to have passed so quickly. ::smiling in a 'I know this is dorky' manner:: "It just seems like yesterday Ronnie and I were on the couch celebrating our first New Year's together!"


anyway - it was full of great stuff. So, here ya go, things I wanna hang on to from 2008.

10. Learning to have a giving heart.

9. Loss is hard. Death hurts. But God is faithful. (Turns out she did NOT have the disease that we thought she had.... I never updated that - sorry). Being miles away makes for an interesting response in me to the pain of my friends and family.

8. Men shop easier than Women

7. Trips with Ronnie - Cabin, the Anniversary Cruise, Skyline Drive, the Lake, the beach, New York, Philly and Baltimore.

6. Jonathan came home! And got married!

5. Some times in life get tough. But God provides peace.

4. Someone thought I was a man. (Is it wierd that this was one of the more "impacting" things of 2008 for me??? As an update - I gave those clothes to goodwill... Just couldn't bring myself to wear them any more!!

3. I started teaching a college course... Who knew?? and Ronnie started a new job.

2. I got back in touch with some old friends - - and got some pics too.

1. I started to link to all the wierd things that have happened in the last year - but it was taking too long... and a lot of them are intertwined with other major events already linked. Just read through the blog :) I also started to link to the political stuff that was really cool - but honestly, I am running out of "linking" time - It takes too long... again... just read the blog (particularly the last couple months... since I only blogged 2-4 times a month, its not that hard to do.

so... instead... my number 1 is... We still didn't move - but are finding ways to make it fun anyway.

Anyway - Here's to a New Year. May 2009 bring more excitement, more love, more peace, and more answers to everyone.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Vacation Day 2

So, on Sunday morning - Ronnie and I slept in as much as we could - got up, ate the free breakfast in the hotel and got on the road.

In an effort to avoid at least a COUPLE of the toll roads surrounding NY, we chose to skip the NJTurnPike and took Hwy 1. We got to see more scenery this way, and also, it took us right to the heart of Philadelphia.

We stopped there because I had never seen this before:
One more step in actually seeing the historical pieces of our country. History is so much cooler when you see the memorials and stuff in person!

But more importantly, while in Philly, we stopped and had these!

REAL PHILLY CHEESESTEAK... with cheezewhiz and everything!

Then we were back on the road again.... it was just a short stop.

Until we arrived in Baltimore - when Ronnie took us to the harbor to see some boats, and a submarine.

a lighthouse,

some old warehouses that they are using as new places now,

and we ate crab cakes. I don't have pics of that because we had both had our hats on while walking outside, but inside we took them off... so the bad hair that resulted did not need to be rememered forever. That is why I tell stories on a blog! So here are random other pics taken at the Harbor.

Crab Cakes are some of my favorite things to eat.... having them in Baltimore... WOW...

Ronnie says he travels by food - - where there is good food to eat, we will stop for it.

The weekend was amazing and DEFINATELY something we needed after the political season that pushed us all to the end!

Thank you to my wonderful man for taking care of me... and having such a wonderful time together!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Interrupted schedule - flashback photo

I have to interrupt this Vacation story line to share with you something sent to me by a good friend of mine....


my BFF - from when I was 3-9 years old

and one of those girls that I am so thankful for!

THIS... is pre-glasses Julia and 'BFF' Jessica

I am not sure exactly the age here - only that it had to be before 3rd grade (also known as the beginning of bad glasses years.... that lasted, well, till today)

When I look at that picture so many things cross my mind.

1st - how wonderful it was then to have a good friend - we had no clue what the next few years would hold for us. I would move, we would write letters back and forth... and when we got tired of writing, we would record our letters to each other on cassette tapes. I am sure our parents thought we had lost our minds... but that in itself is an example of how awesome our parents were! (and still are... )

2nd - This friend got married about 10 years before me.... I was at her wedding... I am sure there are incriminating pictures of that - she came to mine in 2007. When we were 7 years old, we believed that we would be "BFFs" forever. It seems that even through times where we didnt have contact for years - we are still living in -forever-

3rd - that little brown eyed, brown haired girl had so much in front of her. If I had a clue then what all would happen in this lifetime - I don't think I would have believed it!

How wonderful to have memories. While at times they can haunt us - remind us of painful things... this time - it is so wonderful to remember amazing times - full summers - spending the night - staying awake till wee hours of the morning - imaginary games - a ride in a jet airplane - VBS every summer - 'cool-ots' (not sure how to spell that tragic piece of clothing required by Jessica's elementary school) - cassette tapes - the Monkeys TV - The Chipmunks great race - and SOO many other wonderful times.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

To Infinity and Beyond!

First – please go to my mom’s blog and look at her Christmas Decorations… she is SO creative!

Second – I am finishing my political work on this campaign this week! YEA!

Third – This past weekend my husband showed that he is the MOST amazing man ever. And no – I don’t think he has even read the blog previous… I haven’t told him about it. :)

Friday we went to his office party in Fairfax VA. (In the D.C. area for those of you outside of VA.) It ended fairly early. I was under the impression that we were just gonna stay in Fairfax that night, maybe go see some of D.C. on Saturday, and have a good weekend… I was PUMPED about the notion.

Late in the week (at packing time.) He said that he had a surprise for me, and that he needed to tell me about it so that I would pack appropriately.

We were going to leave the party in Fairfax and travel the next 4 hours to New York City! We were also going to go ice skating in Rockefeller center. For those that do not know me very well, I have a list of 33 things I want to accomplish before I die. Ice skating with a date in Rockefeller center is one of those things! We had not accomplished one in a while.

So…. Here I am – on skates –

On the ice rink

Under THE Christmas tree

In Rockefeller center.

Ronnie skated too….

He had never ice skated before.

Neither of us fell down.

Even with all these people watching!

We also made it for part of the Today show.

Went to see the Empire State building – I didn’t want to wait in the line to go to the top… maybe next time :)

And yes - - those skies ARE blue in NYC...

Saw Times Square
and THIS made me laugh out loud... as well as the LONG lines waiting outside!

Went to Macys at Herald Square…. Recession??? I think not. Haha

Then after the insanity of that area of town, we relaxed in Central Park for a while.

At first I thought I wanted to take a horse and carriage ride – but they were really stinky – I changed my mind.

Later, we were able to eat at Serendipity - you know, the restaurant from this movie...

There was a 3 hour wait. We put our name on the list and then went to see Grand Central Station... Where we just happened to walk in as they were doing a light/sound show on the walls.

We sat here.....

and watched the show.
We thought about shopping here -

but decided it was probably just due to the recession that the store existed.

We then went back to Serendipity... It was so cool!!!

AND the Frrrrozen Hot chocolate...

yeah - it was as good as the advertised... wow.
We ended by going back through the insane crowds to see this.
Sunday morning Ronnie drove through Manhattan in order to avoid some of the tolls.

We were glad to see this sign - Maybe now we can get some of the stree resolved!

I will do another post maybe tomorrow to discuss the Philadelphia stop as well as Baltimore.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Gotta be Grateful

Lately, I have been very “me” focused on my blog… so, today – I thought I would share what little thoughts go through my head on my way home from work every day.

Just so you know, I am currently working about 40 miles from our house… the middle 20 miles are through a group of mountains in which I receive no radio signal and no cell phone coverage… During that time, I have made it a habit in the mornings to pray… about whatever there is to pray about…. In the evenings – I think of reasons to be excited to be going home to my husband.

The reason for this should be self-explanatory - - but just to elaborate. Early in this campaign – on a particularly stressed out day – I spent the time driving home mulling over the events of the day, mean calls, mean people, punk reporters, whatever – and in the middle of that, I came up with random reasons to be mad at life in general…. Ronnie specifically.

Of course, when I got home – my mood was even WORSE than if I had just gotten off of work. And honestly, it was ALL my fault. I was creating reasons to be mad at the world…. And my husband.

After that evening, during which I think he asked me 8,714 times “what is wrong?” And every time my response was “nothing.” Which was, in fact, true. He had done NOTHING wrong. I had. I decided that my drive time, where it is just me and God in the car – needs to be spent building things up… not tearing them down.

Have I been perfect at this? No. Have I given it a valiant effort? You betcha! ;)

The result has been that I have been happier to see my wonderful husband every night when I got home! Even in stressful days – where I think this job may just go on forever – by the time I get home, I am THRILLED to see his smiling face!

So – here they are - - a few of the reasons I remind myself of everyday – to be thankful for such a wonderful husband.

Reasons I am thankful for My Husband

-He was not only a godly man when I married him, but he is constantly growing in Christ.
-He is open to discuss with me what he is learning.
-He works so hard to provide for me – even when sometimes it isn’t exactly what he would prefer to be doing.
-He pushes me to be better at everything I do.
-He is open to discussion when we disagree on things.
-He gets up with me in the mornings that I have to be up earlier than him to be sure we have breakfast together.
-He makes my coffee for me on those mornings as well
-He washes the dishes all the time
-He helps me keep the house clean while I am working.
-He fixes things around the house.
-He changes the oil in my car.
-He rubs my feet before I go to sleep at night
-He rubs my feet before I get out of bed in the morning
-Even though I don’t rub his feet…. I know, I know.. moving on.
-He brings me whatever I want to drink when we are watching TV – even if he was not already getting up to get it.
-He cares about helping me reach my dreams-goals.

Now – these are not all of the reasons that I am thankful for Ronnie…. Some are of course just between us – and some I will save for another day. These are the ones that I am thinking about today.

Please also realize that I know that I am spoiled… and proud of it.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Gingerbread men, snow mountains, etc.

UPDATED TO BE INCLUDED ON BOOMAMAS tour of Homes - - Christmas Edition... Please go by there and see all the wonderful homes that are decorated for Christmas!!!


As previously noted – we were supposed to move – on Nov. 15.

We didn’t.

We have boxes stacked everywhere! This was causing a problem when I tried to create my Christmas decoration mental image because one set of those boxes, the ones in the living room, were just in the way!

I refuse to unpack the boxes though.... So, now they are magically transformed to a snow mountain - - decorated with ribbons, glitter, stuffed animals, and a nativity scene..

Why yes - - it is a bit junky looking... but much more festive than a bunch of brown boxes!!

We call it “making the best of a less-than-perfect situation.” One more reminder that we REALLY want a new house - - and I just am praying that I don’t have to unpack one more box until I am in a new house.

We also did our own Gingerbread house this year – My first one!

The last picture is the back of the house... looking amazingly like the front of the house. Its the pattern that came in the Walmart box - I don't know of many houses that have the same print on the front as the back... but these ginger people, I think they get in ruts too easily. They make up for it in their candy coated decorations though.
Ronnie was mostly in charge of decorations – his creativity amazes me. We had to buy extra icing in multiple colors so that there would be enough variety in color options. I wondered if that was the smartest thing to do, seeing as how this house has a history of ant problems. But, so far, so good - - and it made the house so much cuter!

He also roasted his own marshmallows.

And here is the mantle – looking majorly like it did last year.

Here is the tree - -

And one of the FOUR “first Christmas together 2007” ornaments that we have. Not that I am indecisive (well.. maybe) but more because we bought ours and then received three as gifts! Its great to have back-ups for when we break them… it always happens.

Anyway – it helped to get me more in the Christmas spirit – something that has not really happened to this point. Its usually my favorite time of year – this year it seems to be missing something. Not sure why – but just praying that the “wonder” of the season and the amazement at the birth of my Savior will come to be more than just a list of things to do as we go through this season.