To read the story of our precious Harlynn Renae, start here and follow the "next" links at the end of each post. Thank you for coming and sharing with us in this journey.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Best Week Ever Wind Down

Winding up the best week ever, and what a ride it has been! Thursday Brent and I joined up with some friends, M & D, and headed downtown for Corks and Canvas. We enjoyed galleries, eateries, and shops that had featured artists and refreshments. I saw some fabulous decorating ideas, that I just might share with you here in a bit. We had such a great time and fell in love with our downtown all over again. I sampled some absolutely divine cheese, juicy sweet grapes, and crispy crackers. I saw art I really appreciated and some I didn't quite understand. I also had a fabulous decaf latte from Atomic Coffee. Mmmmm. (It was 8:00 p.m. ~ decaf was in order.)

Yesterday I ended the work week and headed to the ballpark to get my game on. My friend H accompanied me and we had a BLAST! The game was fantastic - the Redhawks won in an intense high-scoring game. H and I laughed and cheered and had a fantastic, relaxing time. Then, to top it all off, there was a great fireworks show after the game! The best part was watching the fireworks, while there was a lightning show a few miles directly behind them. It was amazing.

Today I've been doing some cleaning here and there but am really enjoying the super-warm temperature outside, and even squeezed in some reading and knitting today. Fabulous! Brent and I are going to another baseball game tonight and are going to enjoy some side-by-side sports-watching quality time!

Back to the ideas I saw at Corks and Canvas! These ideas are well worth implementing - trust me. I thought of so many people that night thinking, "Oh this would work great in so-and-so's house." Here are a couple of the ideas I loved!

What a fantastic idea to create a seascape ambiance, no matter how near or far you are from the coast!

Stamped fabric flags, threaded with ribbon - can't you see this as a great wall decor, or window treatment accent?

And finally, a home-grown implementation I didn't need to see downtown - a little bit of tranquility from my yard to my table. It's made eating so much more pleasant!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

2sday & Wednesday of the Greatest Week Ever

So this is the week I decided would be the greatest week ever, starting with the Best Monday Ever! Let me tell you, now, about the Greatest Tuesday ever, followed by the Greatest Wednesday ever.

Yesterday, Tuesday, the sun shone for the first time in a while. It was warm - breezy - but warm. I had a great morning at work and was accomplishing more work than I originally thought I would. I also received a voicemail from a new friend, D, asking if she could crash at our house for Tuesday and Wednesday night as she would be in town. (D is moving here the end of the month, but has to work here intermittently in the mean time.) I asked my boss if I could take a little longer lunch so I could prepare the guest room (currently occupied by our baseball player who is on the road for some games this week) in order for D's stay.

I started the lunch hour driving home. About four blocks from work, I was just coming to the top of the overpass. My car died. Quit. No sputter, no warning, just death. As I tried to reconcile in my mind what was going on, I decided to let it coast as far as possible before stopping. Hazards on. I finally stopped a few hundred feet past where the car had died. I called Jess and asked if he could come push me. Without hesitation, he agreed, and was on his way. No sooner had I gotten off the phone, a stranger walking by offered to push me to the nearby gas station. I steered, called Jess to tell him never mind, got settled in the parking lot, and called my husband at work. Calling him at work is always a challenge. Scrap that - calling him is easy, it's getting a hold of him that proves difficult. I was able to get him and ask him to come to my rescue. A while later he pulled up and we diagnosed the situation. I still had power, so that meant it wasn't my battery or alternator. A few days before, my gas light had come on. I stopped on the way home and put in about $10 worth of gas. Apparently when you don't fill the tank, the gas light/meter don't reset, and fail to warn you when you once again are about to run dry. Brent pushed the car up to a pump and we put almost 17 gallons of fuel in a 15 gallon tank. Yeah - I was bone dry.

I was able to go on about my day, but it turns out I had to use my "extended" lunch hour for car issues rather than housecleaning. Ah well. Here are the really awesome parts of the car issue story.

1. I was at the top of the overpass when the car died and was able to coast forward rather than roll backward.
2. The light at the end of the overpass "hill" was green - I was able to coast through the intersection without imposing any danger to other vehicles.
3. I was about 250 yards from a gas station when the car came to a stop.
4. There was a gentleman out for a walk, who when he saw me stopped with hazards on, offered without hesitation to push me to the gas station.
5. Jess was available and willing to come help a gal out! (Even though it turned out I didn't need him.)
6. I was able to get a hold of my husband, which is harder than it sounds during the work day.
7. It was only a $40 tank of gas, rather than a $400+ alternator issue, or worse.
8. I learned a valuable lesson - when it comes to my car, it's all (full tank) or nothing (dead car).

After work I went to the chiropractor and he snap, crack, popped me - felt amazing as usual. I hurried home and rushed around getting the guest room ready. While I was changing the sheets on the guest bed, I kicked the bed frame with my right foot. It hurt so badly, it dropped me to my knees. I was pretty sure I had broken my toe. Upon further inspection, I had seriously made my toe a gnarly sight, but it wasn't broken. I didn't even cry - but I came close. It hurt! The good news was, I only stubbed my toe.

D showed up with pizza and veggies, and we had a fantastic dinner and visit. After some hockey and basketball watching, it was time to call it a night. After the Best Tuesday Ever!

Today was the Best Wednesday ever. This morning started all too early, but I woke up to another gorgeous sunshiny sky. Brent made me another berry smoothie and we headed to the gym to work out together. Once again, I loved it. I have a new found respect for my husband and his physical stamina. I also felt like I could do a lot more than I originally thought myself capable of - I kicked butt with the weights today! Soon enough I will have the best butt ever, and that will indeed be the best day ever! :o)

I was early to work, which is always nice. I had the office entirely to myself for most of the day, and was able to totally haul butt through most of my work. (Along with rocking out in my office to some tunes, and being able to stretch and swing my elbows a bit!) I had a fabulous day, and did I mention I had the office entirely to myself for most of the day? Heavenly!

I came home from work to find my husband folding clothes - FABULOUS! I made beef and cabbage wraps (one of our favorite meals) for dinner. D and I again had some fabulous visiting, and there was only one bill in the mail!

Seriously, the best Tuesday and Wednesday ever, making for the greatest week ever! Attitude really is everything, and my prayer is that I can maintain this attitude. Today when I shared with a coworker that I was determined to make this the best week ever, her response was, "Good Luck." "Luck? I don't need luck, I have Jesus!" I replied. And that reason - that hope - is why every week, every day, can be the best ever. Regardless of setbacks, trials, or stubbed (painful!) toes, Jesus is constant. He is hope. And he will sustain the best ever - in everything!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Best Monday Ever.

I don't like Mondays. At all. It means my weekend is over, my work-week has begun, and I have to get up early. Phooey. I resolved, though, to make today the Best Monday Ever! Lately I've been feeling pretty drab about my days in general. "I do what I do not want to do, and I do not do what I want to do." Sound familiar? It should. That was what Paul said to the Romans when he talked about struggling with sin. And friends, let me tell you, it's a struggle.

I decided I was going to do what I know I should, and what I want, and attempt to make every day the best day ever. If I can't stand to be around me by the end of the day, how can I expect anyone else to?? It's time for a change. I prayed for some help with my attitude. The answer was clear. It's time to praise God for His constant goodness. It's time to enjoy the best Monday ever.

Yesterday I told my husband I wanted to go to the gym with him this morning. I told him specifically, "Make me go, even if I tell you in the morning I don't want to go." I was so anxious - I kept waking up during the night thinking I had overslept. I don't like those mini-anxiety-attacks from a dead sleep. Also, I had this bizarre dream that Edie from Desperate Housewives was giving me a tour of her home and at one point she lightly shook me and said, "Valerie, wake up." I woke up to find Brent looming over me and I groaned my grumpy-bear-groan. He just loomed and stared. I reached up to lovingly pat (aka Smack - in Christian love) his face out of view. I didn't touch anything. It turns out, Brent wasn't looming over me and I was staring at the overhead light fixture. Great. I had just tried to shove a light fixture that was a good six feet above my head. It was going to be a fantastic morning. (insert sarcastic tone here)

All too soon my husband's alarm went off. I slithered out of bed and forced myself to put my "work out clothes" on (clean sweats and a freshly folded tee shirt). Brent made us fruit smoothies and off to the gym we went. We worked out - together - and I loved it. Side by side, as he was teaching me how to use the machines and equipment....don't let him know this but I actually had a lot of fun! Granted, I will be sore for months to come, but it was really fun! And there's something about seeing my hubs drenched in sweat and lifting weights....well....*ahem*. That was the epitome of quality time with my husband, though, and on a Monday morning no less! Best Monday ever.

I came home, showered, got ready for work, and headed out. It was raining, but considering the fact other parts of the west have gotten snow, I wasn't about to complain about a few sprinkles. And I'm pretty sure no complaining is allowed on the best Monday ever.

Work was work - though I'll admit I got a few good belly laughs in today. I struggled at one point to stay awake, but after I powered through it, I was good to go. I didn't feel like poking my eye with a sharp stick, which was a tremendous turn around from the usual. As it was time to go, my boss went to double check a file that I assured her was missing a document. She told me if she found it, I had to do three cartwheels. I was fine with that bet, because I had already checked the file and knew it wasn't there. Had she been in something other than a skirt, I would have forced the bet back on her. I didn't want to embarrass her, though.

I heard her laugh. She started moving chairs. The document was mislabeled and it was in the file. Unfair!! She moved the furniture, and I had to do three cartwheels. There sat Jess and Stacey, waiting for me to put on a gymnastics show. One - two - dear gracious I just pulled something - three. Three cartwheels in the office. Might I add, Stacey even complimented my form.

When I could walk again, I headed to the grocery store that neighbors the building where I work. I was going to pick up some ground turkey and a few more ingredients so we could have our favorite taco salad. I called Brent to run over a list of things we may be missing from our cupboard, whipped in to a parking spot, and hurried inside. I did my shopping, paid for my groceries, and headed out to the car. Wait....I saw I had parked in front of a sign. A very big sign I had not noticed before. The sign read, "RESERVED PARKING FOR MOM'S TO BE!" Hoping no one would recognize me as I sheepishly got in to my car, I made a mental note to look for signs in said parking lot. I totally stole a parking spot from expectant mothers! And if anyone saw me, how much time do you think until the rumor begins around town I'm expecting? Parking took on a much more important role today than I ever intended. Oh yes, the best Monday ever!

I came home, talked to my sister on the phone telling her about my parking faux pas, and cooked us up some turkey taco salad. It was delicious. And me, full of energy and humility, truly did have the best Monday ever.

"I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us." (emphasis mine) 1 John 5:14, 15. When my will was to seek the will of God - I had the best Monday ever. I can't wait to see what Tuesday will bring.