Thursday, August 28, 2014

what i want my girls to know about marriage...

Right as I'm falling asleep at night the perfect words come for my posts.  I close my eyes tight, too groggy to get up and write them down, and pray that they'll still be there in the morning.  Doesn't happen. They usually vanish.  So this is me trying to remember what was on my heart right before sleep came for me.

First of all I cannot believe summer is over or that we managed to squeeze in all these trips.  Let me assure you when we booked our Hawaii trip we had no idea that two very special family weddings were on the horizon, in two different distant cities, exactly one week apart.  Feeling majorly blessed it worked out that we could attend them both.

They were so anxiously anticipated.  One was our sweet young niece Brittany (in Colorado Springs) and her honey Justin of six years...they started dating at 15!  Oh young love...that one struck a cord;)  And then there was my nephew Derek (in Central Illinois)...who I've had on my prayer list for years to find a good women and settle down. God is good!  And He definitely hears and answers prayer.

 For us this was much more than a chance to be a part of a new covenant...a fun ceremony.  It was our girls very first wedding and it was teachable moment after teachable moment.  Emotions were high. There were mountain top experiences, and glimpses of a dark valley.  Life is like that...the good all jumbled together with the bad.  And sometimes the boundaries are so very blurry, but in the midst of it all God is there and you see His hand, and let's just say we were right where we were supposed to be.

Even the girls...  It's necessary for them to see the messy.  We cannot protect our children from pain. We want to, but life isn't always sunshine, cheesy Disney shows, unicorns and rainbows.  When we witness hurt and brokenness we can teach compassion, tenderness, and God's beautiful restoration and healing.  It's a tangible reminder that we need to pray daily, encourage and strengthen each other with LOVE!  That's what this big story is all about.  Love!

So what do I want my girls to know about marriage...
Who you marry is the number one most important decision you'll ever make outside of your faith walk.
He needs to love the Lord...with all his heart!
It's never too early to start praying for your future spouse.  
Sexual intimacy is worth the wait.


When the years pass on and the honeymoon phase is over... it can get even better.
Sex is important. Don't deny your husband.  It brings you closer together.
Keep your mouth shut when you get tired, hungry, cold, hot, hormonal etc... Words are weapons.
Fight for and remember often what brought you together in the first place.
Pray together.

 Marriage is beautiful, and sometimes hard, but so worth the work.
It takes two to make it good or bad.
Not talking at dinner doesn't mean you don't still have love...
Mundane happens. 
Go on regular date nights.
Remember to have fun and laugh.

Satan will try to attack you.  He will come at you from all sides and you can't let him steal, kill or destroy your family.  Take it back!
God at the center will keep everything in focus.  With Christ ALL things are possible!
Honor your husband as head of the household.

Don't compare!
Remember everyone has struggles.
You don't have to be perfect, but don't expect it either.  Extend forgiveness. 
Choose to focus on the good. 
Cling to each other and be careful what you tell your family and friends.  They will have a harder time forgiving and forgetting.
Set healthy boundaries with your momma.  
Your family comes first.  
This is your mission field.  This is your ministry.

 Always kiss and make up!  

Congrats to our newest family members.  
May God richly bless you in the days, months and years to come:))

Please feel free to share any marriage advice with us... 

Be a blessing.

remembering this feeling!
 reunion with one of my oldest and dearest friends, natalie and big chick's first playmate...maddie:)
a rare photo op of my immediate peeps
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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Kauai...the great unknown

This is my last Hawaii installment:( Oh how I loved looking back through these pictures.  Such good memories and talk about feeling out of your comfort zone in so many areas!  When I planned our trip to Kauai I knew I wanted adventure.  We usually do a horseback ride or something, but that didn't seem good enough this time.  We wanted to really see the island, so my honey took the reigns and booked us a helicopter ride.  This kinda shocked me because he's very afraid of heights...very!!

Before we went to our helicopter ride we stopped for breakfast in the town of Kapaa.  Kasey had posted on her IG pics of the quiche and I knew I needed to try it out for myself.  Hemingways Art Cafe definitely lived up to the rave reviews and the croissant with strawberry good!!!  The upstairs was this charming little spot where you could look out in the distance and see the ocean.  They had art supplies so you could make your own little tags.  The question and motivator for your tag design was "what is a reason you get up in the morning?".  Don't you just love that!!  I could have made a ton of tags, but we were in a hurry to catch our ride, so mine was a simple "to live this one glorious life":))

Not really sure if eating a rich breakfast with a stomach full of nerves was the best idea.  Immediately big chick and I started having stomach issues...which remedied themselves once we got there.

We did it!!!  I looked back at my honey and he was doing great.  This is quite the miracle I have to say, but he was also safely tucked in the middle of the helicopter.  I was in the front right by the door.  Yikes!  I loved every minute, but I was also more than ready to be done at the end.  It's just a little disconcerting.  The pilot kept making fun of me with all my feet pics.  But I wanted to be IN the picture.  I think it makes it feel even more real:)

In addition to the helicopter ride we took a little field trip one day and drove to the Waimea Canyon to see it up close and personal.  We didn't stay long.  You could really make a day of it and hike etc...  But we'd had enough hiking for a while.

And by hiking I mean THE grueling 8 mile...8 hour hike we made along the Napali Coast.  When Kasey invited us I was like yeah sure...that sounds fun.  And then my "cycle" started that morning, and it had rained all night etc...  I definitely had my second thoughts.  Add to that bad mix, a honey that isn't overly adventurous and you get the general vibe of our morning.  BUT I did NOT want to wimp out and be the sissy friends that couldn't do we sucked it up, put on our shoes, packed our lunches and headed out into the great unknown.

When I looked up this hike online afterwards it said it was one of the most demanding hikes in the world.  UH YES validation!!!!  It was seriously THE hardest physical thing I've ever done outside of childbirth.  I mentioned that we did the hike to the helicopter pilot and some people around town and they downplayed it and couldn't believe it took us that long.  I wanted to smack them.  SERIOUSLY IT WAS HARD!  No joke!!!!!

We saw older people and middle aged (heavier set) women alone on the hike, so apparently anyone can do it, but let me warn you first the path was steep, muddy and treacherous.  You have to wade through a stream several times.  The first time we crossed it we actually took off our shoes and socks;)  Which makes me giggle now, because by the end we didn't even bother to hop across the rocks...we just walked right in and didn't care how wet we got.

It was extremely muddy.  We had mud all over our legs and hands and rears...from bracing ourselves as we tried to navigate down the rocks.  Did I say ROCKS...cause there were miles of those.  Again by the end nothing mattered.  We walked forever and a day and not knowing how much further we had to go.  One time we got off the path and ended up in the middle of the jungle with no path.  It was a tad frightening.  And when we finally got there (to the falls) was beautiful and all...but you knew you had to turn back around and do it ALL over again!!  Another 4 mile...4 hour torturous hike.  There were many times we could have injured ourselves or possibly died.  I'm sure people have died.  I'm not joking.  It was HARD people!  But I've got to say I felt such a sense of accomplishment.  We did that hard thing.  We made it to the falls.  A place most will not see.  And we lived to tell about it.  And we will never ever ever see it again!!!  So there... Bucket list check mark;)  You definitely can do more than you think you can:))

So Kauai in a nutshell was THE most beautiful place I've ever been in my life.  We loved exploring it's land and leaving our mark so to speak.  Nothing beats looking at these pics and seeing us IN them.  After dreaming of a vacation there for years, having these memories...these little bank deposits of goodness in my's priceless.  If I could do it all over again though I'd definitely book a nice condo in Princeville with AIR CONDITIONING and a pool.  I'd spend one whole day napping, reading a book and sunbathing.  Then it would have been almost perfect;)  

Be a blessing.

His beauty that brings me to my knees!!

kalua pork, macaroni salad, sticky rice, some wonderful tao dessert and watermelon/cucumber juice...a little tear just popped out
the best...coconut water icy cold!
shaved ice with macademia nut ice cream:))
that we didn't die from fear over this thing
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Friday, July 25, 2014

Kauai...Queen's Bath...sort of;)

There are some places you can go and you don't have to research much.  You can just arrive, drive around, and figure it out as you go.  Honestly I think that would be disastrous in Kauai.  The few times we ate without a recommendation or went somewhere without a clue where we just fell flat.  So before we went I bought two guide books and I printed out Kasey's favorite places list.  These were life savers.

I think one of my very favorite things we did in Kauai was Queen's Bath.  It was talked about in the books, but in my opinion not enough.  I almost skipped it because it wasn't highlighted or raved about very much.  But if you go it's a must see in my opinion.  It was a magical hike.  Magical.

Right behind some residential homes was this Tarzan scene.  It looked authentically jungle, because IT WAS authentically jungle.  It was picturesque.  Packed red dirt.  Cool vines and fern leaves...a gorgeous waterfall....volcanic rocks to skip across.  I had to restrain myself not to let out a big Tarzan 

You hike down a really cool packed path, cross a waterfall, continue down a steep decline and then voila...the ocean appears and it's all hard black rock and pounding blue waves and it was breathtaking.  Now the funny part about all this is apparently we didn't actually SEE Queen's Bath.  Thank you Kasey for pointing that out:/  It was further on our left.  But it was late and the sun was setting and we didn't want to get trapped down there at night and we didn't have our guidebook memorized enough to know that what we saw wasn't what we saw.  Oh well, but that's not a hike you want to risk after dark.  You have to jump from rock to rock.  Some of them are slippery and if you fall...

Even though we didn't see the giant nature built "bath tub" that the queen supposedly bathed in I wasn't disappointed...  This view was worth it.  That fun hike made me feel empowered.  Now given, this felt impressive BEFORE we hiked another hike which I'll tell you more about another day...but still.  I had moments of revelation where I felt SO privileged...SO honored to have seen a sight like this with my own eyes.  My parents at their age probably wouldn't have been able to get down there.  But I was still young enough.  Still able bodied enough.  I was able to share it with my honey and my girls.  It was what I envisioned when I booked the trip in the dead of winter during my busiest season:))  It was Kauai in a nutshell!

Thank you Lord for opportunities to take in your glory.  Thank you for the occasional trip that takes me so far from my every day that it reminds me once again of your Majesty...of your title Master...Creator.  I stand in awe of YOU!

Be a blessing.

this man...who wearily tags along with me on all my many crazy ideas. love him SO very much!
for creatures great and small
for legs to carry me to far off lands and sights worth seeing with your own eyes
for the opportunity to bless my girls
for beauty...deep blue and vibrant green
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