The One with the Laundry Faux Pas

I have a confession to make–I don’t do laundry “right.” I know all the rules. My mom taught me well. But somewhere along the road (actually, I know exactly “where” it happened) I threw it out the window. (The window, the second story window. High, low. Low, high. Threw it out the window.)
I was doing laundry alongside my mother from the time I could toddle. Year after year, I separated my whites from my colors. (Although I was forever confusing which side of the hamper was which.) I knew heavy fabrics like jeans and towels should be separate from permanent press items. 
But then I went off to college. And all of my training went *splat.* Now, before you go assuming I was going through some kind of rebellious stage, let me assure you I was not. No, friends, this was all about the money. Yep, the money. You see, doing laundry in a coin operated laundry room is REALLY EXPENSIVE (especially when you’re 19), and saving up all of those quarters was a pain (even though my mom did it for me for four years straight. thanks, mom!
[side note: if you do need to save quarters for any reason and you happen to have old film canisters laying around the house *ahem,* they hold exactly seven dollars in a very convenient fashion. You’re welcome.]
Even though the quarters weren’t really mine, I just couldn’t bear to put quarter after quarter into those little slots in order to do multiple loads of laundry the “right” way. AND besides the money, I just didn’t have enough clothes to make properly-separated loads of laundry without running out of every last item of clothing in order to make a full load. 
And so (hold on to your hats, people), I combined EVERYTHING INTO ONE BIG LOAD. Yep, that’s right. OH, THE HORROR!! And load after load, year after year, everything’s turned out all right. I’ve never had white-turned-pink-items-because-of-that-darn-red-sock. I keep those likely-to-bleed-fabrics separate a time or two and have no problems. 
So here I am, 8 years later, and still having the audacity to throw everything into one load. 

Yes, it’s awesome that my husband and I only make 1 (or maybe 2) loads of laundry of week. But you know what, I actually enjoy laundry. And if I didn’t have to pay the water and electric bills and if we had enough laundry to fill up more than two baskets (future-me will probably want to punch present-day-me in the face right now), then I totally would do all of those extra loads. 
But for now, I’m just enjoying dropped jaws of classically (laundry) trained women everywhere. 


The One with a Bit of Confusion

Sometimes life is a whirlwind. I’m sure you can relate.
Sometimes you can’t remember what month it is and you tell people a May coupon “expired months ago” and it’s still April.
Sometimes you leave for the day and it’s 70 and sunny, and you’re too hot in jeans. But by 8pm you’re wondering why you didn’t bring your winter coat
Sometimes you love running so much you head out into the freezing temperatures with your shorts (because you thought it would be 70) and fly up and over those hills until you feel pretty awesome about yourself. 
Sometimes you feel like your lungs have stopped functioning and you’ll never remember what real, good running is like. 
Sometimes you remember that you love spending every waking moment with your husband so much that you can’t believe you chose to spend the weekend away from him. 
Sometimes you’re ok with the fact that people get annoyed with your googly-eyed love for your husband and that say his name every other sentence, expecting him to be there, but he’s 3 states away. 
Sometimes kids run up to you, screaming your name, and knocking you to the ground with their hugs, and you love every minute. 
Sometimes your church sends you to a ministers’ conference and you get to stay in a hotel room so nice you feel like you’re queen for the day.

The One with Florida in {10}

My husband and I just got back from the most blessed week of vacation. We still have yet to vacation to a “far off” land, just the two of us, since our honeymoon, but this was awesome-awesome. Kevin’s grandparents invited us to spend a week with them. They wanted to spend some time with us and basically spoil us to death. They succeeded–and we had a great time. 

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This trip–the driving to and fro, the sitting around and doing nothing, the eating out all the time, the sunning ourselves–took up all of my time, and I subsequently found myself “unplugged” from the internet. It was simultaneously hard to stay away and deliciously relaxing to not feel that tug of responsibility. 
Here are Ten Memorable Tidbits from our week-long vacay:
1. We got incredible gas mileage on the first leg of the trip, hills and all. 42 miles per gallon totally excites me. You go, little ’98 manual Civic. 
2. That trusty car of ours surpassed it’s 200,000 miles mark on the odometer–a milestone we eagerly anticipated with this most thrilling footage. (It’s sideways for some sad reason. bummer.)
3. We spoiled ourselves (or rather, the grandparents’ gift of spending money enabled us) with multiple Starbucks coffee runs. This was an exciting treat, given that we haven’t had a Starbucks to visit since we moved to our tiny town. Sorry, friends, Tim Horton’s just does’t cut it for us. 

4. A switch finally flipped in my brain and I magically understood how to successfully order my own cup of coffee at Starbucks. Kevin has been teaching and teaching all these years. He’s proud. (In case you’re interested, my favorite was the grande iced coffee with non-fat milk and caramel. Heavenly.)
5. In all 40+ hours of car-time we had, I didn’t accomplish half of the things in my travel bag. I brought 5 books, multiple crochet patterns, and some games, but occupied almost all of my time with my audio book. Man, oh man, was that the best invention ever. I finished The Friday Night Knitting Clubwithin 5 minutes of pulling in our driveway. Perfect. 
(I totally recommend reading (or listening) to that book. Fascinating character(s) development. Plus, the narrator is great. However, there are numerous swear words dropped. So be forewarned.) 
6. Speaking of travel time, I became a little driving machine on this trip. Normally I’m all of turning the keys over to Kevin and sitting in the passenger seat for the majority of any trip. But with my audio in my ear, I just wanted to keep driving. I realized it was much more enjoyable than anxiously sitting in the passenger’s seat, alternating between reading, napping, snacking, talking, and complaining about the heat (in our ac-free car). Kevin loves just reading and reading and reading for hours, so it’s a perfect match. Win.

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7. One of my first (and favorite) shopping trips in Florida always has to be Goodwill. The stores are almost always more impressive than any up north, and the selection is completely unique. My husband surprised me by being willing to tag along to BOTH (yes I both–as in two trips) to Goodwill. He helped me decide on a beautiful selection of summer tops plus easy-to-wear/everyday dresses and skirts. I plan on wearing a lot more dresses this summer. yay! 
I won’t tell you how many items I got for $50 because it’ll just make you jealous. ;) 
8. Old Navy flip flops=2 pairs for $5.00. Enough said. 
9. On Wednesday, Kevin and I spent the most glorious day together at the beach. It was surrounded by a couple successfully shopping trips, a Starbucks stop, and dinner at Texas Roadhouse, but our hours in the sun were perfect. It took me far too long to finish the last few chapters of Mockingjay, and we had fun snacking and alternating between dips in the cool water and sunning our pasty skin on our beach towels
10. The best attraction we visited was the Florida Aquarium in Tampa. Oh. My. Word. That was an incredible afternoon for all four of us. The beautifully colored tropical fish, the penguin show, petting the sting rays, the otter show, and the frightening sharks or crocodiles kept things interesting.

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Oh! And did I mention that one of the fish in the “Aquarimania” portion of the place JUMPED OUT of the tank onto the floor right next to me. Oh my gosh, totally freaky experience. But the poor little guy! Luckily a worker was nearby to save him. (There was a crack at the top portion of the tank. YIPES!)

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check out these cute little mini seahorses
(there’s a tiny guy by my fingertip)

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Aren’t those incredible aquarium pictures?! Our trip was amazing, blessed, and relaxing. We ate too much, tanned too much, and bought too many DQ Blizzards. We spent quality time with the grandparents and had some great husband-wife conversations on our long drive. Yep, it was a great vacation.




linked up with Many Little Blessings “Top Ten Tuesday”

The One with Toddler Thoughts

Easter is my all-time favorite holiday. Not because it’s the best family traditions (although I loved my Easter baskets and my Easter dresses), but because it is the crowning jewel–the pinnacle–of my faith in Christ Jesus. Without the death and resurrection of Jesus, my beliefs are worth nothing
For that reason, I have recently become a tad bitter about the Easter bunny and the fact that the only thing kids think about when they hear the term “Easter” is CANDY! *grumbles* A year ago, Kevin was in front of our youth group sharing the importance facts of Easter. Before he began, he asked the students “What makes Easter so special?” Immediately the responses (whether in jest or not) ranged the gamut of “Easter Bunny” comments. In what can only be described as righteous anger, I exclaimed, “The Easter Bunny pisses me off!” Yes, that’s right. I said the p-word. The word I despise. The word I never use. All because of my deep remorse for the secular focus of this sacred holiday. 
It was a sacred use of the profane (if I can quote Dr. Patton of SAU.) 
That brings us to today. This morning I was working with the preschoolers in the nursery during Morning Moms Bible study at our church. I had the rapt attention of three young children and I was using the opportunity to talk about the deep worth and the rich meaning of the Easter holiday
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At the end of our story book explanation, a few questions, and a “He is Risen!” coloring sheet, the four of us were continuing our discussion about Jesus dying for our sins. 

M: “Did it hurt Jesus [when he died on the cross]?”
Me: “Yes, it did. It hurt very badly. But he did that for you so he could take your sins away. Isn’t that awesome?”
M: thoughtfully “But wasn’t there any other way?”

Wow. the same question Christ himself asked–from the mouth of a 5 year old. I can’t even think of another word to add.

The One with the Sound of Music

After 3 months of practicing, 30 hours of dress rehearsals, and 13 live-show hours The Sound of Music production weekend is over. And honestly, I’m kinda sad to see it go. The show was phenomenal! You would not believe the quality of student actors and musicians–tremendous!
Being in the pit meant a front row seat to the action, the sounds, the expressions, the hilarity, the night-by-night variations in dialogue that kept us on our toes. Each night was just a *little* bit different from the others as the cast members came into their roles and felt the energy from the audience.
My husband sat in the balcony and took some fantastic pictures of the action. The costumes, the set, and the action are all beautiful. Enjoy!
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The Nuns Choir sounded beautiful and looked authentic
(and check out those mountains and the pit down below.)

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The “kids” were adorable as they met Maria and sang “Do Re Mi”

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Liesl VonTrapp (one of my students/teens, Lydia) & Rolph
in their secret gazebo dance to “I am 16, Going on 17”

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The Von Trapp Kids warmly welcome Maria’s return

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Caught in the action: Maria & Captain Von Trapp dance the Landler at the Gala 

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The children perform “So Long, Farewell” for the Gala Guests

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“Goodbye…Goodbye….GOODBYE!”
The Children say goodnight at the top of the steps (awesome set, huh?)

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The Family Von Trapp Performing at the National Festival
on the same night the Captain is commissioned by the Nazi forces

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And a quick shot of the keyboardist (Look at that posture, will ya!? LOL)

There were moments in some musical numbers that I wanted to shout “NAILED IT!” You know those parts that you practice over and over AND OVER again and you still struggle to get right? Well all three shows in a row, I played those parts perfectly. I was thrilled! Hours of practicing pays off (You hear that, students?! :D)
I have seen and heard great responses about the show and I’m so pleased to have been a part of it. One gentleman posted on the orchestra director’s Facebook and said, “I have to say, Mike…. I’ve been to every High School musical since 1997 (not kidding), and that was the best pit orchestra I’ve heard. Great work from everyone.” Wow! So cool, right?

And today I’m not quite sure what to do with myself. I’ve erased all of the pencil marks in my 140 pages of music and will return the book tomorrow. The show has come and gone, and I have accomplished something I honestly doubted possible back in January. Thank you, Jesus, for the opportunity to participate in the community like this, to use my gifts for your glory, to minister in whatever ways you allowed.