Monday, April 20, 2015

Life got busy and I have less to type

I got a notification today that I had 3 comments awaiting moderation.  Honestly, I had kind of forgot about my blog.  Not in a "oh, what's a blog?" kind of way.  More like a "life got so busy, any thoughts I have are usually immediately needed, not stored up for writing" kind of way.  So, maybe not forgot, and more of just "used up".

I've been following this doula group on Facebook lately, and one of their big pushes is to publish blog posts for your business.  I've sort of flittered around with the idea for a few days now.  But, then I would have to start a new blog account and come up with content. Content that I feel confident enough about to put on my business page! (that is the real problem there!)  I would also like to include some of my old posts from this blog, but not all (I don't think prospective clients really need to read about all of the deep, dark, loss stuff that we went through unless they NEED to read it.  Know what I mean?)

Then, there's the time.  I have no idea where to find the time.  Or create the time.  O has two nights of ballet, little E has one night, A has 5 baseball games this week from tuesday to friday!  Plus, I have to get to the gym to stay, you know, healthy and stuff.  We have small group, and I have doula meetings three days this week.  Plus, waiting on two mammas to birth.  I know every one has their "busy", and this is a list of mine.  But, I have been feeling the pull to start doing a little more in the business area of my business. 

Any of you have business blogs?  Any tips?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

5 things

5 things:

1. We are just a few short weeks away from a trip to Disney World.  I would say we are excited, but lately, only some of us have shown interest.  E and I have decided it would be best to have some "practice" walks around the neighborhood, the local trails, and walking to and from school.  That way, when the big week comes, the little legs and bodies are a tiny bit more used to walking and standing for longer periods.  Of course, a few of the children seem to think its a form of torture.  The same children who run down the street with their friends or ride their bikes for hours.  Clearly they have aversions to physical activity. We are missing school, so there's prep work for the older kids.  Requiring that they turn in some work early and do homework that's due that week while doing homework for this week.  I'm sure you can guess how that's going.  But, hey, Disney is the most magical place on earth.  Or, as Jim Gaffigan says, "imagine you're standing in line at the DMV".   Seriously, though, I'm excited!

2.  I used to follow a blog, that was in my reader.  The last time I checked my blog list (which it, admittedly, had been an eternity since I had last checked it.) this particular blog had changed from what it was (a fun, give away blog with etsy listings) to a porno blog.  Here's the thing, I cannot get that blog off my reader!  When I go to my blog lists, its no longer listed there!  Yet, its feed shows up every.dang.time.  What?!?  No, I'm not really interested in that. Thank-you-very-much.

3.  Eliza is a crazy girl when she's tired.  Like, certifiably cray-cray.  She is incredibly naughty and gets into trouble.  My gym's personal trainer hosts a free boot camp three days a week.  The trainer convinced me last week to try it.  Its at an awkward time (8:30) so I always have my little kids.  Last week went great.  The kids played on the other side of the tennis courts on their respective scooters.  Eliza on the three wheeled one and Isaac on the razor.  I didn't go back last week because I had a birth I was at.  Isaac has been asking me every day since then, so I decided to give it a go again today.  I have to throw in here that, in the last week, Eliza has learned how to ride the razor scooter and wants nothing to do with the three wheeled one.  Of course we currently only have one razor.  Today's boot camp, my children fought over who got to ride the razor scooter.  Or, rather, Eliza screamed at Isaac every time it was his turn.  I had to keep taking breaks to deal with them.  On top of that, at one point Eliza lost control of her scooter and ran into the man next to me while he was doing push-ups!  So, not only did I get all sweaty for what amounted to be a 10 minute work out in between children chasing, I also was humiliated and felt terrible for the man next to me.  I think its safe to say that I'm finished with boot camp.  At least until Eliza gets her own razor scooter...

4.  Its been a year since I felt my first super bad knee pains during a run.  A year ago I thought it was a shoe and over-use issue.  Maybe am IT band issue.  Not so much.  A year later, and I'm mostly better pain-wise, but still unable to run.  Its been so emotionally draining.  But, I am enjoying other things more, like boot camp. (Well, until today.)

5.  I always thought that as the children got older, things would get easier around the house.  Things would calm down.  Clearly, I had no idea how older children want to be in activities and how activities are time eaters.  Especially when multiple kids are doing activities, even if its only one each.  Y'all, I thought I used to be tired.  I

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

I love Thailand like a love song, baby

Ever since we came back from Thailand, I've been missing it.  Like, in a super strong, unexplained way.

I'm not a global world trotter, so at first I thought it was normal.  Go on an amazing vacation, dream about it for weeks/months after.  Seems normal.

Except, it turns out, it isn't.  The more people I talked to that went on trips to amazing places had a great time, wished they could go back, but not in the same miss-it-so-much-i-might-cry way I do.

I started to wonder why it was different for me.  What is it about me or about Thailand that has grasped me in such a way that the country is never far from my thoughts?

A few months ago, I had this tiny feeling that maybe a missions trip might be in order.  Maybe that's what my heart is feeling.  A tug to serve?  Shortly after I put a prayer request in ink in my mother's bible study at our old church (I still go for bible study.  I love those ladies and couldn't leave all together.)  Two weeks after that, our church had two back-to-back messages on missions.  On how our pastor felt like it was a vision to send one family for short term missions (3 months to a year) from each missional community (small group) completely funded BY our missional community in the next 2-4 years.  The entire service, I was thinking- that may be us.  It could be us.  I want it to be us.

I wrote down my gut feelings in my prayer journal, and continued to pray about it.  Then, a few days later, a lovely friend in our small group tugged me aside and said, "when I was listening to the message on Sunday, I felt like our group would send you.  I've never seen someone so moved by a vacation to a country like you."

But... how?  When?  HOW?

My husband is feeling zero calling to do this right now.  ME?  I could go tomorrow (isn't that the way it always works?? )  I have no idea on logistics of any of this.  Now is really not the best time to go to Thailand, but that doesn't mean we won't.  It also doesn't mean that it isn't 5 years from now.  Or, maybe, this preparation of my heart is strictly to lead me to something else.  Maybe it isn't even to go to Thailand or another country, but to soften my heart to missions in general?

It reminds me of a friend who was quickly building an addition to their house so they can foster larger sibling groups.  They thought they were preparing for a specific sibling set that needed to be placed quickly.  So, they got it done!  They didn't end up getting the siblings they thought they would, but instead got a sweet little girl that desperately needs their home as a safe place.  Their preparation was not for what they thought, but the preparation was not in vain.

Maybe this is my addition.  Maybe its just a tugging on my heart to get me to lean my ear in, to listen more carefully to God's heart for his children.  But, honestly, part of me hopes it involves Thailand.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Oonlee Bungalows

I'm fairly certain we could not have picked a better place to stay for the island portion of our trip to Thailand.  We found Oonlee Bungalows (on Koh Jum) on Trip Advisor and fell in love.  Once we got there, however, we REALLY fell in love.  It was amazing.  Beautiful, quiet, private, intimate.  The owners were so friendly, and had our first names down the day we arrived.  

You may think this post is picture overload, but I'm of the thought that there is no such thing when it comes to beautiful images. :)

The water front during low tide.

When you come to the resort, you take a ferry from the mainland, and then take a long tail boat from the fairy to the bungalow.  It was a crazy system. 

This is what you see when you come in. 
 The stonework was beautiful. 

 The stairs were a little hard on my knees, but it certainly got our excersise in daily. 

 This is the restaurant.  The food here was ah-maz-ing.  I didn't have anything I didn't like.  Most things were the best I've ever had.  
 Even the coffee was divine. 

Every morning we'd go to breakfast, linger over coffee, and read a book.  I can't tell you the last time I did that before this trip.  Maybe our honey moon? 

  Who doesn't want to see this amazing sunset view over phi phi every evening?  

 The bungalows were small, but perfect for our needs.  A bed, a bathroom, a balcony.  Who needs more when you're living on an island?
 View from our bed.
Jungle view from our room
Ocean view from our room

 Dear Hammock, 
I love you.
Please have me back soon.
 To be honest, I was slightly nervous about the whole "no hot water thing".  But, it wasn't a big deal.  The water wasn't "cold".  It was hanging out in a basin outside in the heat.  We also took showers after a hot day at the beach, so the cooler water felt wonderful. 

 On valentine's day, they gave me a rose.  Sweet, huh? 

 Eric and I had a wonderful time getting to know the owners.  Valerie was an amazing hostess.  We can't wait to go back.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Canal tour in Bangkok

On the second day of our trip in Bangkok, E and I took a canal tour in Bangkok.  It was through Pandan Tour Co. It was amazing.  It was a full day tour, but definitely not too long or too short.  We had, essentially, a private tour.  E and I had a guide, and the other woman who joined our tour had her own guide.  The guides spoke excellent English, so we actually were laughing/joking around with them, which made the experience even more fun.

So, this was the first real "bathroom" experience for me.  The temples we had visited the day prior had beautiful bathrooms.  Unfortunately, as the trip went on, this bathroom actually started to look "nice". :)  This was in a school that was near our loading station for the boat.  

The first part of our tour was visiting more temples.  This particular temple was filled with teak wood.  It was beautiful.  
This is our guide, Marissa, explaining the murals on the wall.

I wish I could remember the names of these temples.  But, this was another temple we visited, very near the teak temple.  It took 11 years to build.  Each of the doors leading into the building cost over $16,000,000.  Yes.  Million.

Crazy expensive door.

This temple was amazing in a completely different way than the teak temple.  The floors are made from marble, each of the pillars was hand carved wood and were all different.  

 The stairs were marble, too.  Four flights of them. 

 You have to take your shoes off everywhere.  It took some getting used to.
 This Buddha was life size and solid gold.
 E and I with our fellow tourist, Lynette.  She was fun to get to know.  She definitely added to our trip experience.

Marissa, our guide, and our boat driver.

It was heart breaking to see how some of the people were living.  Their houses literally collapsing into the river.  But, at the same time, they were so happy and content.  It made me reevaluate what's important.

 The colors were so vibrant everywhere.  

 We got off the boat again and walked to a temple in the forest, aptly named, "the forest temple."  On our way there, we saw this house boat.
 Walking along the canal to the forest temple. 
 This is part of the forest temple.  I think this was my favorite temple we visited, simply because of its innate beauty from nature, versus the man made beauty. 
The canals were so dirty.  Its hard to really describe how dirty they were.  Our driver had to stop several times to pull trash off the propeller.  

One of our favorite parts of the tour was the floating market.  We were the only tourists in the entire market (which was massive!)  It was neat to see how locals shop/eat/sell on the canal. 

 Our guides helped us order several things and we all shared.  Everything we had was delicious!

This was at the orchid farm.  Marissa was teasing me after I told her I struggle with keeping my one orchid alive, much less thousands. 

The last stop was at a place called the "artist house".  It featured different artists, plays, puppet shows, etc.  Likely my least favorite part of our tour, simply because we couldn't understand the puppet show enough to get the "jokes". :)  But, the snacks we had were tasty (I had my first Thai iced coffee here and fell in love.)