Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I had a girly day today with my sister, Kelly and Caitlin, Alicia, and Cassandra! We enjoyed tea at the Secret Garden Tea House in Sumner. We all had different kinds of tea, and swapped around the table to try each flavor, and scones with Devonshire cream and lemon curd, a tiny salmon cake with red pepper sauce, mushroom tart, quiche, fruit, cheesecake, a mini chocolate cupcake, three kinds of tea sandwiches, mango sorbet, and chai mousse. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

4 Year Engagement Anniversary

Tom and I got engaged 4 years ago, wow! That sounds like a longish amount of time. Sometimes it seems like we've always been together, and then we remember things about our lives before we knew each other and have to tell one another catch-up stories! I thought I'd share a few pics from that day and share "our story." 

Tom had asked me a few weeks prior if I could get the day off. It would be the day after my national EMT exam, and the beginning of his spring break. It was also tax season, and I wasn't sure if I'd manage to get out of a whole day of work, but I did! It also turned out that I had an interview that morning in Redmond, which Tom met me to give me a quick hug before and after. Then we drove up to my parents' house, I swapped clothes, and we headed for Mt. Vernon's tulip fields. Tom had asked me a few days before if there was anything particular I'd like to do that day, and I had mentioned going to see the tulips, however they weren't yet blooming! It turned out they bloomed on the morning of the 24th! 

We walked around the tulip fields, saw some daffodils as well, and headed on to Bowman Bay for lunch and some easy hiking around Deception Pass. I had packed tuna sandwiches which we ate in the car facing the bay. We then walked around to see the pass, taking a few pictures along the way. 

We came around one to one point and Tom said he'd like to take a picture. I continued to enjoy the view while he dug his camera out of his backpack. It seemed to be taking a LOT of time just to pull a camera out, so I turned around and Tom was on his knee with a ring, asking me to marry him! I was sooooooo excited, but super shocked! We had talked about wanting to get married, but with no real time frame. I also knew he wouldn't ask without first talking to my dad, which I didn't think he'd yet done. (It turned out he'd talked with my parents a few weeks earlier!) I was so stunned it took me a moment to answer... YES!

We then continued to enjoy the beautiful day, and eventually headed back into Mt. Vernon for Red Robin dinner. We called our parents and headed back to my house to get hugs and show my Mom and Dad my new ring! We had a full evening ahead still. We went to a worship night at Rodrigo and Tina's house, then to dessert after Thursday night college group at Shari's. We surprised some of our friends and upset a few. Oh well, their loss! We were soooo happy (and still are!)! 3 months later we got married! 

Monday, March 23, 2009

New Couches!

When we got married, we lived in a semi-furnished mobile home. A few months later, we were given a set of used couches from a friend I worked with who was moving and didn't want to take them with her. We've been using them now for almost 4 years. They were great, but really starting to fall apart! Also, our silly carpet, the main wall color, the couches, and our Orangey kitty are all the same color! I've lost Orangey several times on the couch. Every time you moved a cushion or tried to vacuum the couches, disintegrating stuff (it turned out to be latex) would fall out and dust everything around. Couches have been on our craigslist radar for a while. We knew we wanted the Ikea Ektop style, but weren't sure about which lengths we wanted or the colors. On Saturday Tom found several people trying to sell them, and started emailing and calling through the list. 

We ended up getting a love seat with white cover (they are super easy to change and replace) that is less than a year old, and has only been used for house sale staging, plus they delivered it to us! We also went and picked up a sofa bed sized couch in Kirkland that is a few years old, and has a creamy corduroy cover. We hauled it home hanging out the back of the Jeep, and our neighbor helped us carry it in. 

Then we had a problem... we still had our old couches in the living room. They were old enough and used enough that we couldn't sell them or donate them to a thrift store. Tom decided we should tear the large one apart to stuff in our dumpster to start with. That was fun, but then as I was picking up couch fragments all over the living room, my hands started breaking out and burning. That's when we realized it was latex! Tom finished pulling it apart and I started hauling it to the garbage and recycle dumpsters. That finished, we had to figure out something for the love seat sized old couch hanging out in the back of the Jeep. Tom's going to drop it off today at the transfer station.

Orangey immediately claimed the love seat and curled up. Missy was a little more hesitant, but eventually decided she could accept the change. Now we have a full water squirt bottle out, and are making sure the kitties learn that these couches are not for claws. Tom's thinking about making another small scratching post for the living room. 

We're loving the new couches! They've got much more back support, and we don't feel like we're sitting on the floor. They also help make the room seem more open and bright! Come enjoy them with us sometime soon!

The old...

and the new!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Another Old Classic Bites the Dust

I've been trying to watch a few older movies lately as I work on projects at home. Some of them I've really enjoyed some (Sabrina, Funny Face, Roman Holiday, Arsenic and Old Lace, Angel and the Badman, It Happened One Night), and others have frustrated me. While it is true that in general a few more scruples are observed, there still seems to be a lack of logic! 

Thursday, while I was finishing up my quilt binding, I decided to watch The Palm Beach Story. At first I thought it had potential, but as it moved on I realized that it was glorifying several things I find foolish; a husband who is not providing for his family's needs, a wife who does not submit to her husband, and both of them gratifying lying about their married relationship for money. It is so interesting that things like this coincide with what our pastor taught about at church last Sunday. He's currently going through 1 Peter, and preached on women's roles in marriage from chapater 3, verses 1-6. Pastor Mark was reminding us that Sarah is given as an example of of a Godly wife, even though she along with Abraham messed up a lot. We'll mess up too, no one is perfect! Sarah was wrong to submit to Abraham's leadership when he told her to pretend she was his sister on a couple occasions, and Abraham was wrong to sleep with Hagaar when Sarah told him to so they could have a son. This movie echoed, and to an extent glorified, the same sins Sarah and Abraham struggled with. The husband wasn't leading the marriage, and when he took a stab at it, the wife wouldn't submit! 

I disliked the classic Audrey Hepburn Breakfast at Tiffany's, which surprised me because so many people seem to like it! It bothered me that the main character, Holly Golightly, is portrayed as such a feather brain! She like expensive things, but doesn't appear to have a job, and has such awkward social connections. 

Arsenic and Old Lace is still one of the funniest movies I've watched to date. (Although Lucille Ball's Yours Mine and Ours and The Long Long Trailer are close!) It is obviously a comedy, with some pretty mixed up characters. It's on the Netflix instant cue right now so I won't spoil the story! I think what sets it apart to me is that it's supposed to be silly and unrealistic. 

Anyway, those are just some random thought I've had about movies that are thought of as more wholesome than newer ones. The same problem is still there; sin is glorified. Even if it's a different kind of sin, it's still wrong to mimick. 

Friday, March 13, 2009

Information Overload... in a Good Way!

This week Tom took Monday and Tuesday off to attend the Acts29 church planting network church planter boot camp that our church hosted. The conference actually started on Sunday after the morning services. Tom went to that session while I hung out with Kelly and walked around Ballard. I found out at the end of that day that I could actually go to the whole thing! For some reason I thought it wasn't open to wives. I'm so glad it was! 

We arrived back in Ballard, after an endocrinologist appointment to help me pick an insulin pump, at 10AM. We, along with 800 or so other people, spent the day listening to so many speakers! Pastor Mark opened, talking about the call of a church planter. We then had a lunch session that specifically addressed potential Mars Hill campus pastors. (For those unfamiliar with Mars Hill Church, it currently has 7 campuses in the general Seattle area. Ballard is the largest and central campus, and the others are in neighborhood areas. We attend the one in Lake City, about 15 minutes from where we live. It's set up this way so people are actually in a church community with people who also live close to them.) 

We then broke into elective workshops. I went to the one specifically for wives. We had a couple more speakers including Matt Chandler (I would highly recommend listening to his sermons), went to the Ballard Market for salad bar dinner, then headed back for the Total Church conference that the Resurgence brought. Pastor Steve Timmis from the UK's Crowded House spoke for 3 hours! His lectures were focused on us reflecting Jesus in local community groups and in our community involvement. It was so practical for us as community group leaders. We headed for home at about 10PM that night, totally tired, but out minds were buzzing! 

On Tuesday we headed back and started off with a lecture from PJ Smyth. He is the pastor of God First Church in South Africa. We then went through the same lunch routine, wives' breakout for me, and back to a session by Pastor David Bruskas from City on a Hill Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He spoke on the difficulties and insecurities of planting a church, especially in a tough city. He talked about overcoming racial diversity, and about not making a church plant your little-g-god, but making Jesus the reason for being there. Pastor Mark then closed the conference, Pastor Tim's band moved into a musical worship time, and we headed home to continue processing and get ready for Community Group that would be at our home in less than an hour. 

I learned so much from the women's session, and it was neat to hear what I'd just heard from some wives of pastors teach, echoed in the following sessions taught by other pastors. One of the biggest things that stood out to me was that a pastor's wife's first obligation is to Jesus, second to her husband, third to her kids, and then to the church and community around her. I've seen this fall out of order in so many different women's lives, and thinking about it makes me sad. Grace Driscoll said that a pastor so frequently come home totally drained and critiqued that they need their wife to minister to their needs and their kids, before running around to fill all the children's ministry and women's ministry and all the other needs that a church has. It's not wrong for a wife to serve, as long as her priorities are in order and she's not killing herself in the process, neglecting her family. I also learned practical ways for interacting with people in groups or church with you. I won't share them now, but will indeed put them into practice! 

I also came a away with a list of books and resources to check out!
While we don't know what God's plan is for our future, we're open to the possibility of planing a Mars Hill campus somewhere. It was refreshing to see a Biblical approach to the process. Both husband and wife are interviewed, and children if they have any. As with a wife, the pastor's priorities are Jesus first, wife, children, and church and community last. I've heard even pastors and their wives say that spouse and family come after their formal ministry. We are both very glad that we were able to be part of this conference. Both of us were reminded of the need to bring Jesus with us into our conversations with people we live around, to make our community group centered on our responses to Jesus, and just being lovers of Jesus, unashamed of who we are. 

(Please note, my conjugating abilities were severely tested in this blog!)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A Kirkland Kind of Day

Yesterday after I dropped Tom off at work, I stopped in Kirkland on my way back home. It was so pretty out, I wanted to walk around the waterfront. It was still really cold (38 degrees) but very worth it! 

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Bargain Day

Today has been a fun day for me! Here are some of the bargains I've experienced, or will experience today! 
  • Rebecca invited me to go to the Seattle Asian Art Museum with her, and I got in at the student price! (At least the lady at the desk didn't think I was Rebecca's mother! Yes, that has happened, although normally people think we're sisters.) It was actually a fun place! I liked looking at all the Chinese art. I love the way they draw trees and blossoms. I think my favorite piece was a giant scene of blossoming trees with monkeys in them, and people climbing up higher into the mountains and waterfalls. We also saw an urn that was more than 4000 years old! 
  • I saw a bald eagle without trying to find one. He was sitting regally on a street light observing the morning traffic on 520 just before it passes over the Arboretum! 
  • Parking was free for the museum in Volunteer Park! I'd never been to this park before, but it was beautiful! I'm excited to take Tom there sometime soon! There are some beautiful old buildings, including a round brick tower, and a huge glass conservatory!
  • I found affordable yet still cute and thick oven mitts at Anthropologie in University Village! They cost less in the store than they do online! The 2 red ones I was given at a bridal shower have been used so much that they've got holes worn in them, and are not preventing heat from reaching my hands like they used to.
  • I didn't buy any house plants at Ravenna Gardens. It's such a cute shop, but apparently none of their house plants are happy with very little sunlight while living on top of our bookcases! I asked one of the ladies working there today if she had anything that might like this environment, but the 2 plants she showed me were far to tall to even sit on the top of our bookcases, out of kitty reach. 
  • I found a fun 4 dollar ring at H&M, a newer clothing store in the northwest. I'm still not a big fan of their clothing, but their accessories can be kind of fun. 
  • Tom is bringing home free pizza for dinner tonight! Last time he ordered pizza, he asked them to leave the oil spray off and they forgot. They said they'd credit the money to our account for the next time we get pizza!