People. Do you realize that it’s almost August? I am scrambling to fit a few more summer activities in before fall hits!
We had some summer fun this past weekend with two sweet couples from our Sunday school class. We journeyed out to Tahlequah, Oklahoma and camped along and floated on the Illinois River!
This pretty view was a few feet away from our campsite.
We left early and beasted it out for all 12 miles. ;) We had been told there would be a place to get lunch at the halfway mark, and when we discovered there wasn’t, we powered through with the motivation of getting Mexican food after. Haha. (SO WORTH IT.)
And I may or may not have gotten Italian cheese bread on the almost-3-hour trip home because I was still hungry. ;)
We came home to this handsome boy who turned 2 on Saturday! We partied with extra frisbee time and extra snuggles. :)
Happy Monday! :)
I was raised in a Christian home by two extraordinary people devoted to Jesus. I find myself thanking God constantly for the family he placed me in and the effect it has made on my life. My morals and values are steady and so precious to me, but unfortunately, they are frequently tossed aside by the world.
The world. It scares me half to death. It’s full of trash, of tragedy, of filth, of despair. I sometimes look around and wonder how on earth Christ hasn’t come back yet. Can it get much worse? I’ve always been the kind of person who avoids bad news and bad things. I can’t even handle watching movies with sad endings. I shudder when a news station reveals another horrifying thing that’s happened somewhere around the globe. I’m guilty of trying to distance myself from sad news and filth – not being naive to it, but not letting it take over and torment my mind.
Yesterday, I watched a movie trailer for a movie I knew next to nothing about. By the end of it, my stomach was in pain from how much it disgusted me. I wanted to vomit directly on every person responsible for creating such a piece of trash. (I realize that’s a bit dramatic, forgive me. Lol.) It seems that every time a new movie comes out now, I cringe. I am sickened by so many things they show on TV, and my heart aches for a world that so desperately needs Jesus! I’ve often been called naive, sheltered, even a goody two-shoes for being saddened by things that are so common in the world now, but RUBBISH. Common things are not always right things.
I hold fast to Jesus Christ because he is hope in a world that is lost. The news brings me sad stories from all over the world of people hurting, and it seems there is little I can do but pray. I read verses on heaven that talk about no more violence, no more tears, no more sin…how I long for such a place! It keeps me going on days like today, when I am overwhelmed with sadness at the state of the world.
It’s easy to become apathetic. I’ve sung that song for quite some time, trying to escape the madness, but Christ calls me to remember that He that is in me is greater than he that is in the world. My small and seemingly insignificant self can still proclaim Christ in a world that’s rejecting Him. My mouth can speak wholesome and God-honoring things, my decisions can reflect wise choices, and my life can point others, even if only a few, to Jesus. I am called to speak truth, to show love and compassion, and to live a life that is pleasing to God.
There’s a fine line between living to please God and coming off as a judgmental Christian. I pray none of you would ever think the latter of me. [If you do, please come over for pancakes so I can change your mind. ;) ]
“Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” -Matthew 5:16-
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing, and perfect will.” -Romans 12:2-
“Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” -John 13:34-35
“Dear friends, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father on the day He visits us.” -1 Peter 2:11-12-
Come back soon, Lord Jesus.
Well, it’s been a while since my last post, and yet I don’t have too much to share. Another whirlwind month is quickly coming to a close, and I feel I have nothing to show for it. ;-P I’ve been glued to my computer with editing and other work the past several weeks, but with the unfriendly hot weather that has arrived, it looks like I might have a bit of a break.
Here’s a little catch up and some happy thoughts from July. :)
Surprise ice cream sundae from this handsome man. Jack was pretty sure the ice cream was for him though. ;)
Baby sister got her wisdom teeth taken out, and it was the saddest/funniest thing I have ever witnessed. I can’t show you the videos, but here’s a picture she gave me permission to post. :) I think she looks like a baby dinosaur in this one.
My boys are the cutest and snuggliest.
I learned how to make those little tassel garlands (tutorial here) and Jack was less than impressed. Or maybe he was posing.
Evening walks and talks with husband. :)
I know this picture is terrible. My apologies. We’re going camping and floating the Illinois River this weekend with some Sunday school friends, and we had to make sure our new tent worked properly! (More like, we had to make sure we knew how to put it together so we don’t look like idiots. ;) Haha.)
Happy Wednesday, loves! :)
Hello there! My name is Lexi. I’m the golden retriever that brought Caitlin through junior high and high school, and I live with her parents and sister. Last week, however, they left me with Caitlin and Andrew… and that hyper thing they call Jack.
Jack insisted on following me everywhere I went and copying whatever I did.
I’ve never been sniffed so much in my 11 years of life.
The pup tried to get me to run around like crazy and play, but my real hobbies are sleeping and mooching. My “puppy eyes” face is irresistible.
I indulged him for a few minutes outdoors though.
Most of the day, we watched Caitlin.
And the rest of the day, Jack watched me.
Cait kept taking pictures of us. She would squeal when we both looked at the camera at the same time.
And then I would get a bacon treat.
We followed her everywhere to make sure she was safe. (And just in case she had more bacon treats.)
I tried my best to make myself at home.
And I shared all my elder dog wisdom with the young pup. He has a long way to go, but I taught him all I could.
Andrew and I have a horrible problem when it comes to compulsive vacation planning. I kid you not…we booked flights and rooms for a Disney World trip just over a month ago, and we are already planning the vacation after that. We’re psychos.
I know some of you will think we’re insane and maybe slightly immature for going to Disney World and Universal Studios for our fall vacation, but hey. I’ve only got so many more years left before I have to have kids and turn into a responsible adult. I’m going to soak up the kid-at-heart adventures as I long as I can. ;) We plan to do Disney for two days, hit up Daytona Beach for one, and finish with a day at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. :D We’re counting down the days! (73 btw.)
I’ve long loved vacation planning, and I’ve picked up some good deals and tools along the way. Here are a few!
1. Google Flights. Type in your airport, type in your dates, and type in your destination. It gives you all the flights it can find and sorts them by their price and best times. It’s beautiful. I’ve long loved Expedia, but Google Flights works so much faster. There’s no “please wait while we plan your vacation” screen that takes five minutes to load. It gives you all the flights, lets you change the dates and destination super easily, and its overall user-friendliness is top notch. Go forth. Plan your trips. ;)
2. Undercover Tourist. This site sells you official theme park tickets for a discount. (And not like Craigslist does…they’re legit.) They only do certain parks and certain tickets, but it’s a great thing to check before you buy them at full price!
3. Groupon. Before you book a hotel, it’s always good to check Groupon, Living Social, and other sites like those. We didn’t use any for this specific trip because we booked a discounted room at a Disney resort, but it’s been helpful in the past and always has a plethora of deals. It’s also great to check Groupon for restaurant deals and discounts for things like concerts, mini golf, etc.
4. Trip Advisor. This website is the king of reviews. Type in your hotel or destination, and you can read reviews from people who will tell you exactly what they think. It’s a great way to find out the best hotels and restaurants, as well as all the “must see” attractions.
5. Road Trippers. I adore this website. It’s perfect if you prefer driving over flying. You can type in a destination with as many stops as you want in between, and you can search recommended things to do, places to eat, sights to see – it’s fabulous. And an added plus… the web design is beautiful.
What tricks and tools do you use for vacation planning? Share them with me! :)
Date nights are essential.
Food (particularly pizza) is a love language.
Caitlin doesn’t like to sleep in on Saturdays.
Andrew loves to sleep in on Saturdays.
Everybody Loves Raymond is a constant source of relaxation.
How to forgive.
How to put other people first.
Cable TV is not as important as the world says it is.
Cowboys football and Thunder basketball games are almost always heart-wrenching and a danger to our blood pressure.
How to not take things personally.
How to try new things.
Friendships will morph, change, and shift. It’s not weird – it’s just life.
Vacations are worth saving up for.
You can never take too many pictures. You can put too many up on Facebook.
Unless a selfie has a dog or an outrageously beautiful background in it, Caitlin doesn’t want to see it.
If Papa Angelo’s is offered under any circumstances whatsoever, Andrew will not be able to refuse.
Laundry is the devil.
Pinterest is both good and bad, but mostly good.
God is always good.
Jurassic Park and Jaws are forever favorites that we will force our children to watch repeatedly.
Going on walks is therapeutic.
Family comes first.
Not all dogs are perfect.
Almost all cheese pizzas are perfect.
Slow evenings with nothing to do are rare and beautiful and meant to be cherished.
Time flies faster than you think.
On Independence Eve, we went to Papa Angelo’s because pizza is super American. ;)
After feasting, we headed home to watch Independence Day with this handsome pooch. ;)
We kicked Friday morning off with a visit to the parade. I hadn’t been in years, and I don’t think Andrew had ever gone. It was adorable!
We may or may not have been running late, forgotten our lawn chairs, and had to stand the whole time. ;-P
The banjo band was my favorite.
We spent some quality freedom time with Jackers.
We headed to Mom’s for lunch to celebrate the 4th and to celebrate 4 birthdays!
Lexi girl wanted that Klondike bar so badly. Haha.
That night, we went to my in-laws for a festive dinner. :)
We all looked so patriotic. ;)
We ended the night with great friends and fireworks at UCO! They do an incredible job every year, although I’m pretty sure I was blind and deaf for two hours afterward.
We headed home for snuggles after the show. I can never get enough puppy snuggles.
Saturday night was spent at a friend’s house swimming and feasting and firework-ing. :)
Hey, good lookin. ;)
Please continue to pray for my Uncle Tom and the whole family as they go through the hard next few steps in dealing with the loss of my sweet aunt. My parents and grandparents made the drive out to Maryland for the funeral this week, so we are keeping Lexi girl for a few days.
Jackers is excited to have his BFF here.
Hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend!