Friday, April 25, 2014

It's The Little Things - Pictures of My Week

Just a few things that made me smile this past week :)

We spent last Saturday with Bill's parent's and went to a restaurant that Bill grew up going to and, as a family, they love.  I have to admit, I have heard of it quite a few times so the expectations were very high.  Well, my carnitas nachos did not dissapoint in the least!  I definitely had to take some home as leftovers for the next day and Celinda's was absolutely everything they said it would be :)  If you are ever in the area, it is a really great family friendly place!

We also went beer tasting right around the corner and, while the beer wasn't as cold as possible, it is always fun to try a bunch of new beers while you sit and chat in the sunshine :)  The tasting room was very laid back, which I liked a lot, and the table next to us ordered Thai food from next door and enjoyed it with their beers… that's my kind of place.  Plus they had a Belgian Apple Pie beer, it was great.

 My dad ALWAYS sends his girls lambs on Easter and a card telling us how much he loves us, and this year was no exception.  I am spoiled with a wonderful father.  Both of my parents really make an effort to show each of us love across the distance, and it is felt.  I really do have a collection of lambs in our guest room and everytime I see them I smile and remember how much my daddy loves me.

 After some dear friend's got married a couple weeks ago (blog to come soon), I took home some of the leftover flowers.  Everyday I walked out into our dining room and smiled thinking about what a lovely day it was.  Sunshine and love abounding. 

It's the little things :)

Have a lovely weekend friends.

Monday, April 21, 2014

A Season of Reading - The Art of Racing in the Rain

I haven't done a book review in awhile, because I have read a few duds recently.  I invest time into them and half way through I don't care what happens in the end, and life is too short to force yourself to read something that isn't pulling you back for more. 

This book was worth the time I gave it :)  

It was an easy read, and all from Enzo, the dog's, perspective.  While I definitely have puppy fever, that is not the only thing that attracted me to this story line.  It was just unique.  Enzo is observing things the people are missing or can't sense, and then he cannot communicate what he knows.  You  really get a sense of the frustration a dog must experience when they are trying to tell you something.

It is really the story of a man and his dog and navigating through what life throws at you.  His dog is a constant source of love and it is really sweet to hear the ways the dog tries to comfort him and the people around him when they need it.  I can't really give you much of the story line without ruining the book, but just know I would recommend it if you have a free Saturday and time to sink into it.

A friend recently told me she was going to put together a summer reading list and it got me thinking I would love to do the same!  Any suggestions on good books you have read recently?  Let me know.  Once I get 6-10 I will post the final list on here with promises of reviews on some of them!

Keep reading my friends :)  

Friday, April 18, 2014

Life Lessons - Celebrating my Parents 30th Wedding Anniversary

30 years together.  

I literally can't imagine how that feels, because I have not even been alive that long.  

These two though, they love each other more every day.  Honestly.  

I know it sounds crazy... and I think part of that is our broken society and that marriage has become something created only to make us happy, so when it gets tough or challenging, which any relationship should, people just let it go like it doesn't matter.  They never quit.  In fact, the rough times seem to pull them even closer.

They defend each other.  They really and truly never speak ill of each other.  They always have the other person's back.  They celebrate the good times and mourn sad things, and always try to respect where the other person is coming from.  They love well.

Everyone who meets my parents wants them to be their own.  They have an open door policy, and once you have spent an evening with them, you are a part of their family.  How amazing is that?  They mean it.  They are so generous and view life as an opportunity to be a blessing to others.  And they are!  It's really incredible.

I feel proud to be a part of their legacy.  
I can only hope my marriage is as strong as theirs.  

Cheers Mom and Dad :)  
Here's to 30 more!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Dress Shopping For My Little Sister

This was such a lovely afternoon. 

My parents were in town about 6 weeks ago (I know I am way behind on this post) for a visit, and to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary (another post coming soon!), and while they were here we took a trip up to Los Angeles to go to this sweet little bridal boutique for my beautiful, engaged sister to try on some wedding dresses.  While the entire experience was a bit surreal, it was beyond lovely to see her so excited. 

The shop itself was adorable, and just what you picture when you go dress shopping.  The dresses were absolutely incredible - All designer, hand stiched masterpieces.  I do not normally talk about clothes like that, but they genuinely were so amazing!  But the most lovely part of the day was seeing my sister glow.  She really just looked incredible and thinking of her walking down the aisle makes me well up with tears.   Dress after dress looked amazing, but when the curtain was pulled back for the final dress, we all knew it was the one. 

She did end up buying that dress that day, and it is absolutely breath taking, however that is not what is going to make her a beautiful bride, it will only add to the beauty she already posesses.  What makes her beautiful is her sweet spirit, her love for others and her love for the Lord.  Josh is such a lucky man to be getting her, and my family is only going to get better when we add Josh to the mix permanently.  

Wedding plans are definitely underway, and this will be one for the record books!  I am looking forward to celebrating their union and to toasting to their future success.  

I just can't believe my baby sister is getting married!  
Life is such a wonderful adventure isn't it?!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Be Encouraged - The General Confession

Bill and I have been going to a new church for about 6 months now, and when we first started I was struck most by the incredible language that is used in the liturgy.  I mean, it really floored me.  I kept finding myself thinking about how rich every word was, and how much truth each one held as well.  I want to share pieces of the service with you in the coming months and I hope that in these excerpts you can also find the peace that washed over me. 

Prior to this particular passage, we always read a passage of God's Law directly from the Bible, and I will share what comes after this with you soon (which is the prayer after the silent confession time).  As a church body, we read this out loud, in unison.  PLEASE concentrate on every word and drink it in.  The first time we read through it I thought the language was a little harsh, but what I am realizing is that that is my defensive nature.  It is truth and we need to wrap our heads around it. I actually do find this encouraging because it reminds me that I am not alone in this life of struggle unless I place myself in an unattainable position which leaves too much room for denial of my weak heart and mind.

General Confession: Our Father, we are sinful and you are holy.  We recognize that we have heard in your Law difficult words, knowing how often we have offended you in thought, word and deed, not only by obvious violation, but by failing to conform to its perfect commands, by what we have left done and by what we have left undone.  There is nothing in us that gives us reason for hope, for where we thought we were well, we are sick in soul.  Where we thought we were holy, we are in truth unholy and ungrateful.  Our hearts are filled with the love of the world; our minds are dark and are assailed by doubts; our wills are too often given to selfishness and our bodies to laziness and unrighteousness.  By sinning against our neighbors, we have also sinned against you, in whose image they were created.  In this time of silent confession we bring you our particular sins.

There is nothing I would love more than some feedback on this.  

Share your hearts with me friends!