Monday, December 20, 2010

this year’s rhyme

In lieu of a letter, I wrote a bit of a poem. It’s just a simple compilation of words that might happen to rhyme. It sums up the year that has been 2010 for the Bensons:


A decade ends in busy haste,

No moment have we left to waste,

Here we are in snowy days,

Looking at life’s charming maze,

In the days of twenty-ten,

So much do we have to pen,

But in the light of “short and sweet”,

We’ll cut it down to just one sheet,

Our first of many did celebrate,

Married love and fun to date,

We picnicked, laughed, and rode around,

Where his knee knelt to the ground,

Then bid farewell to city lights,

Up the hill to greater heights,

So now we live right where we met,

And said “I do” while skies were wet,

The building dream pursuit is bold,

Constructing things of new and old,

Jobs are booked so hammers fly,

True provision from Him up high!

With power tools he works and plays,

She markets and she tries to raise,

Money for her job of new,

To help preserve Amendment Two,

Friends and fun and family too,

Our weeks are full with much to do,

For 20-somethings, there’s still more time

A ministry God is making climb,

Then there came the time to thank,

Packed our car and filled the tank,

Drove across the country wide,

To South Dakota for a ride,

Loved and laughed in Benson light,

Ate and sang all through the night,

Thanksgiving was a blessed day,

Though colder than the west coast way,

So that’s the story of our year,

Forget we’ve not of why we’re here,

A babe was born so long ago,

He grew to live on earth so low,

But then He gave all he had,

On a cross for hearts so sad,

So here we stand in twenty-ten,

Thanking Him for all again,

He is the reason that we love,

We pray He brings gifts from above,

As the year turns to eleven,

May you be blessed from Him in heaven.


Friday, December 17, 2010

special delivery

I have been tracking it since the moment I received my confirmation email. As soon as they gave me a tracking number, I began clicking the refresh button on my browser to see if my little package had been checked in to a new location on it’s pathway to my hands. I checked too often. I just couldn’t help myself. The FedEx website told me it would arrive by the 16th … and I believed it. I was just hoping that maybe it would arrive early. Nope. It wasn’t early. But it was right on time. The gentleman from FedEx knocked on our office door yesterday morning. The moment he walked in, I just knew that little cardboard box had my name written on it. I gave the man my autograph and pronounced my difficult-to-pronounce-last-name {it’s not really … or at least, it shouldn't be}. Then, I ripped it open. The scissors couldn’t cut through the tape fast enough! I was trying not to be too excited … I kept my excitement contained. It stayed between me and that little box. I didn’t want my co-workers to think I was weird or anything.

Once I opened my highly anticipated package, I investigated the contents within the package. I was very pleased. I was elated, to say the least. It was just as I had hoped. No. It was better.

NOW, to contain my excitement for another week. I have to wrap it all up again and put it under the tree. It is for HIM. It is for us. But it is a gift for him. Secrets. Surprises. And hopes that he will think it is as wonderful as I do. Knowing him, he will. For him to see it, I cannot wait! Oh, the anticipation, all over again.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

out-smarting the system

They may not be the cutest things you’ve ever seen and you may not want to keep it on your refrigerator all-year-round. You may not even care to display it through January. BUT, I got a better deal than 95% of the Christmas card sending population. Guaranteed. {Ok, I don’t really know the statistics on this one, but I have a pretty good hunch-of-a-feeling that this is true.}

Think about it. The Christmas card industry is huge. Everywhere you go, you can get cute templates for that simple Christmas message, perfectly placed right next to that adorable family picture you’ve been dying to debut. Christmas cards are like that statement-piece that simply wraps up your year, while wishing your friends and family a Merry Christmas {the message I prefer over “Happy Holidays”}, as long as the message fits in a space of approximately 35 characters {give or take a few}. I love those cards. In fact, I enjoy browsing the new designs as soon as Shutterfly announces their sale for early-Christmas card purchasers … in October. {Who has their Christmas pictures ready by then?? Oh, ya, the people who get that really good deal}.

Anyways, in an attempt to out-smart the system in order to avoid the average forty cents to a whopping buck-fifty PER card, I made my own. Thanks to Picasa’s collage making skills and picnik’s cool fonts, I made our cards and promptly sent them to good-ol’ Wal-mart for printing as a 4x6 picture. I ordered a few 5x7’s, which cost me a good 30 cents more per pic, but the majority of my cards/pictures cost me …. drumroll puh-lease … 9 {nine} cents each. That means, I spent about $3.45 on my Christmas cards. Total. {not including the few 5x7’s I got … they cost about $5 total, which is still a pretty good deal if you ask me!}

AND, when Wal-Mart saw that I turned my picture into a card, they even threw in a stack of envelopes, for exactly zero {0} cents. I am quite proud of myself {if you can’t tell}.

Here is a sneak peak {for the lucky people that tune-in to my little blog}:

Christmas Card 2010

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

a thankful thanksgiving

View album

Yet another adventure has made it’s way onto the pages of the Benson Book of Life … Road Trip 2011: South Dakota was a success. We made it safely through a lot of snow, ice, flat land, mountain land, barren land, and so much in between {or rather, nothing in between}. We were so stocked full of energy drinks after the 30 hour drive, that everything was … well … let’s just say it was the same color ALL THE WAY THROUGH. Did you want to know that little fact? Maybe not, but oh well. {my apologies}

Down every last ice covered road, we laughed, slept, talked, sang, and loved every second. Ok, we might have complained and whined a little bit too … those seats are only contoured to form your body in ONE position, regardless of the degrees to which you can change the angle in which you are bent.

Now, I have to give extra thanks to my rock star of a husband … drumroll please … for driving through all the weather conditions I was too chicken to brave {aka MOST of the trip}. He is pretty much the most spectacular man in the world, if I’m not too bold to say. Basically, to sum it all up, we made it to Watertown, South Dakota at roughly 3am on Sunday morning {after leaving at 6pm the Friday before} with many miles passed and only one speeding ticket to mention. Who was driving when that dreaded scrap of paper was passed from the hands of the officer into our car, you ask? Certainly not the more patient of the Benson’s. {Haha!} Yup, it was that same cute rock star of a husband … the poor guy. When cops are disguised as regular, every day drivers, it’s hard to tell when you are speeding by, that they do in fact have the words “Wyoming Sheriff” printed on the side of that pick-up truck {or maybe it was the fact that you were speeding by that you didn’t see the big bold lettering? but we won’t go there right now!}. All in all, it was a great adventure!

The BEST part being: the longest period of time ever spent with the Benson Family {at least by me, the new comer}. We got to see the bro-in-law play guitar in worship, eat LOTS of ridiculously good food {homemade alfredo and spinach pizza being one of my favs}, family melodies, laughter, and of course: the cutest little niece ever. I even got to spend some time with Erik’s Grandpa Benson … who is quite possibly one of the most multi-faceted men I have ever met! {artist, baker, pastor, wood carver, musician, singer … you name it … he can probably do it!}. He was a joy to get to know … as was everyone we got to see! Although, I’m sorry to all the fully grown family members, Shalom beats you all when it comes to the cuteness factor. I must give a special thanks to her parents, grandparents, aunt, and uncle for letting me hog her {I really appreciate it!}


Anyways, without giving you a play by play of the entire week, we were truly blessed by the music, the stories, the old home videos {Erik was definitely the cutest little boy ever born}, the Starbucks, the drives through town, the 2 degree weather, and everything else we got to enjoy.

Thank you to Mom and Dad Benson for a truly wonderful Thanksgiving. And thank you to Sarah for feeding us, cleaning up after us, and then relaxing with us … you are a phenomenal woman!

Now, to sum up our Thanksgiving Trip with a few things I learned:


Nevada has rules about your livestock … even in the snow


The Blue Plate Café in Salt Lake City {from Diners Drive-Ins & Dives is GOOD!


There is a LOT of flat land {although pretty} on the way to SD


Ulla {the name of our German vehicle} does NOT like the cold


My husband is also multi-faceted {I already knew that} – but he can play the mellophone!


Good hair runs in the Benson genes


Westbrook, Minnesota is near the home of LAURA INGALLS WILDER {I love her}


This family LOVES music {I already knew that too, but it was so much fun to be around!}


No offense Mom, but stuffing is phenomenal when it is crunchy, crumbly, and flavored with sausage … MMMMM!!!


South Dakota has beautiful barns {as does Ann & Alvin’s backyard}


Erik is a ladies man {ok, already knew that one too}


The FREEZING cold doesn’t get in the way of a little Benson/Esh Adventure! Family pics in the snow!

Friday, November 19, 2010



photo via

Tonight, at approximately 7:00pm pacific time, we will be in our car, crammed full of luggage, snacks, highly caffeinated beverages, music, and pillows.  It will be the beginning of the First Benson Road Trip {well, road trip over 7 hours long at least}.  While most people think we are crazy, we like to consider ourselves adventurers who actually look forward to spending 27 hours alone, together, in a car.  You may think it’s odd, but it doesn’t really matter what you think, now does it?  No offense or anything.  What matters is that Erik and I are excited to have some solid time and confident we will be saving mucho dollars by avoiding the overpriced airfare {and the full body pat-down, mind you}.  We are pretty much packed and ready to go, but there are still a few last minute things to do before we can officially embark on our trip … you know … like take out the trash so it doesn’t sit in the house rotting for 9 days straight.  Yup, you heard me {or read me} right.  9 days.  Friday night to the next Sunday.  My husband is in serious need of a break.  I’ve never seen him so ready.  Even when he was working 14 hour days for 3 weeks before our wedding, though he was experiencing physical stress, he wasn’t under the mental stress he is currently finding himself beneath.  This little {or rather, big} trip will be a well deserved break for my hard-working-hottie-of-a-husband.  So, here’s praying for no ice, little snow, lot's of energy, beautiful sunsets, dramatic sunrises, and a blessed time  Please pray for our safety {my parents would appreciate it, thank you very much} and a blessed Thanksgiving!

May you all be blessed this Thanksgiving with LOVE from the LORD.  The end of our 27 hour road trip will bring good memories with our family in South Dakota.  I can’t wait to meet our little niece and to spend some much over-due quality time with the Bensons.  Our Thanksgiving will surely be blessed!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sparkles for $2 or less

The event to be celebrated on the 25th of December is much anticipated in the Benson household … or maybe, a little bit more so by the wife within the Benson household. Yes, that would be me. To put it simply, I love this season. I love the peppermint, the carols, the holly leaves, the ornaments, the smell of pine, the excuse for glitter, and the freezing weather that makes everyone want to squeeze in closer. I love how the frost makes the earth sparkle in the rising sun just before it begins to melt {I know it's surprising, but out here in California, it melts … usually}. Everything and everyone seems to have an extra glow that undeniably resembles love ... which then reminds me of His grace and salvation. Praise the Lord.

Last year, we Benson’s had few decorations and a tree that could fit on top of our table.


See exhibit a: tree on top of table

While we made our little home feel warm and cozy, sans the smell of a real life Christmas tree, we are excited to celebrate this season with a little bit more glitter and lights. This year, we will have real stockings to put on the mantle, as opposed to the hand-sewn scraps of fabric I made last year {my hope was that from a certain angle, they just might resemble a stocking. No such luck.}


See exhibit b: handmade fabric bags

But shortly after Christmas, I made my way to the ridiculously-marked-down-Christmas-section at Target, and purchased some beautiful, machine-sewed stockings, that would otherwise have been much too overpriced to fit into my shopping cart. Nearly 340 days later, they will grace the old brick mantle we now get to take advantage of.

We are also going to welcome into our home a beautiful mess of pine needles and sap, all for the smell of a real life Christmas Tree. Well worth the mess, in my humble opinion.

{Although Christmas trees have no biblical meaning or real purpose other than to drip it’s sappy sent onto the beautifully decorated gifts, I will gladly take advantage of the only opportunity I have to bring a real tree into my house, without people thinking it’s crazy … because in reality, whether you put a real tree or a fake tree in your house at Christmas, it’s all the same sort of crazy if you really think about it.}

Also, in addition to the sap filled tree we will place in our living room, I have recently accumulated some pretty sparkly decorations which will soon adorn my mantle, and every other corner of the room. Thanks to the flee market and Target’s dollar rack, this year’s decorations cost a grand total of $6. Bring on the mess that will certainly ensue from these glittery eye-catchers!


Ornaments: Target for $1 each & Everything else: Flee Market for $2 Total

Great deals are even happier when they are on pretty Christmas decorations!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

back to the 80’s

Nowadays, the 80’s seem to be everywhere.  Not only has the decade of feathered bangs and leggings made its way into the new/10-years old millennium {while some may think that a good thing, I beg to differ}, they have also made it into our favorite fall forecast; making it not-so-favorite-anymore.  I know that I have already dedicated at least one prior post to my dreams of cool, crisp, fall … and here I go again.  I mean, come on!  It’s November 4th and the little weather icon in the corner of my laptop keeps announcing to me that it is 81 degrees.  That is TOO hot for November.  Now I am about to make a statement that some may consider controversial or even politically incorrect, but you know what?  I’m already over it (no offense) … I do not believe in global warming … or even the more propagandistic term, climate change.  I believe, if the climate is in fact changing, then it has little to do with the little ants {people} that are crawling on the planet, and more to do the fact that God has decided to make a change.  He does have the right {and ability} to do that ,you know.  {Now I’m not saying we shouldn’t do our part to take care of the gift He has given us … etc, etc, etc …. we could go on for hours about this subject.  Why did I even venture into pandora’s box?} Anyway, back to my point/rant.  While I know I may be very well writing the same thing about winter turning into spring come March, I would like to take this time to wish/pray one more time for bonfire season to make it’s way back to us in little ol’ northern California.  I am not complaining, because let’s be serious, the current weather outside my window is gorgeous.  Sunlight beaming through bright red and yellow trees … b.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l.  Another reason why I love California {I am racking up reasons why I love it since last Tuesday was a very definite reminder as to why I hate it, but that’s another box that I would rather not open … at least entirely just yet.} 

Is there a point to the above collage of words that seems to make little to no sense when I re-read it?  Well, if any, it is this:  the moment I begin to complain/whine/wish-for-something-I-don’t-have, I am reminded at how spectacular God is, as He shows me His beauty through the warm breeze as it moves through the colorful leaves.  Yes … He knows what He is doing with this 80 degree weather.  I don’t, but he does.  And I guess, that is the point.

Friday, October 22, 2010

sweet pumpkin deliciousness.

Even though I am not quite a culinary artist, I thoroughly enjoy reading food blogs {when I have the precious time to do so}.  I barely have the time to dabble with the not-so-commonly-used cooking utensils that I would love to play with, but when I do, I truly enjoy the feeling of true domesticity {did I make that up?} … even if I do have to research how to use that not-so-commonly-used contraption. 

As usual, I feel like fall summons my cooking/baking/creating desires and the cooler weather often allows a little more time inside where my domestic creativity can thrive {by “thrive”, I mean, take a small step into the world of “does this look good/taste good/do I really know what I’m doing?”}  I am not a super creative do-it-yourselfer – not yet at least – but I hope to someday have the time to really let creativity fly.  My cute husband has more natural creativity in his ultimate world of do-it-yourself.  I mean, when you can see something in a store and actually build it yourself with your own added touch of personality, that is a whole new level of cutting/pasting/sewing do-it-yourself.

Anyways, while I like to play with all things cute and artsy, I also like eating sweet treats {especially this time of year!}.  While the consistency of the fall fruit of fame often deters people from enjoying the masterpiece that is the pumpkin, I have found a treat that does away with the mushiness.  It is pure pumpkin deliciousness.  And so, I will share:

Sweet Pumpkin Dip

1 - 15oz can of pure pumpkin

2 - 8oz packages of cream cheese (you can use reduced fat if desired)

2 cups of powdered sugar (I know it’s a lot and it’s not healthy, but please forego your healthy diet for this one fabulous treat)

Cinnamon and Ginger to taste

Blend pumpkin and softened cream cheese until smooth.  Slowly add powdered sugar, then spices.

apple and pumpkin dip

please forgive the sloppy picture.  it was taken with my phone while at work … I just couldn’t resist!

Seeeeee, easy, easy, easy.  Yum, yum, yum.  I like it with apples but it is fabulous with cookies, wafers, crackers, etc.

There, I have officially entered into the world of food blogging, but I promise, it won’t go much further than this.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

counting the reasons.

Yet another reason why a trip to Rome is necessary {or rather, extremely desired and dreamt of}:

Colosseum's dungeons opening to visitors

Underground chambers once held gladiators, caged animals


Yes, it’s true … they are opening the dungeons up for tourism.  Erik will be so excited to know that someday, who knows when, but someday, hopefully-sooner-than-later-but-still-not-soon, he will be able to walk where to gladiators walked, where they sweat, where they fought. 

{I love his interest in history … I find it deeply romantic, intellectual, and mysterious.  Much like Rome.}


As I threw a coin into the Trevi Fountain years ago, one day I will return with Erik.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I clean. I scrub. I dust. I sweep. I vacuum. I wipe. I spray. I clean.

Nearly every form of “cleaning” that there is … I do. At some point. Every week.

This is something I was raised with {thanks mom} and something my husband says he appreciates about me. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not a neurotic kind of cleaner/scrubber. I can let it slide a little longer, as long as the thing needing to be cleaned isn’t in my direct line of regular passage {which otherwise screams at me to clean it}. I wouldn’t even consider myself a neat-freak. I just find a clean house to be … refreshing and relaxing.

Living on a ranch requires many {excuse me, extra emphasis is needed: MANY} extra hours of cleaning. More space means more dirt means more dust means more pledge-dusting-spray.

All this to say, some things are just unavoidable, I guess:


Like a dead mouse in the middle of the living room, or …


The frog that got squished in the door jam.

Oh, ranch-life.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


In light of the new season and the fresh beginning of fall {almost fresh … the weather channel claims we still have another few days of 80 degrees ahead of us, but until then, I will thoroughly enjoy the foggy mornings}, I am changing my blog design.  I have noticed that many popular bloggers avoid the flashy patterns and designs, and lean towards clean lines and basic {solid} backgrounds {no offense to those who like it that way!}.  I am not trying to get published, nor do I desire to get famous from my blog … thus, I like the cool colors and graphic designs.  And let’s face it, my whit cannot stand alone in this world of talented writers … I need some fun colors to back it up.  So, until November 26th, enjoy the leaves. 


Monday, October 4, 2010

I am feeling unproductive right now and I hate that feeling.  I cannot do what I need to do until I get a response from the person/people I need get a response from … thus, I am momentarily and currently stuck in a stagnate state of {borderline} boredom.  While I am VERY excited about some possibilities that may be just around the corner {all in terms of my job}, as the contacts I have been reaching out to are slowly but surely expressing interest, I still feel stuck.  Tick tock, Tick tock … I wait.  Check the e-mail.  Get some other things done that don’t need to be done for another week or so.  Wait.  Get the mail.  Check the e-mail again.  Wait.  Tick tock. {maybe, possibly, a little bit of an exaggeration. maybe}


The opportunities and contacts I am waiting for are from Reno, Nevada and Greenville, South Carolina.  I am attempting to plan fundraisers in each city and am on the brink of some great contacts/movers who want to get the ball rolling!  So, come on!  Let’s get it rolling already! 

As for true productivity, that word perfectly describes this last Saturday: up early, kiss husband good-bye {he had to work}, make a burrito, feed the dogs, clean out their kennels, rake the weeds from the orchard, water the plants/trees, weed the flower beds and rose bushes, weed the garden, pick some zucchini and tomatoes, check on the pumpkins, hose off the porch, prune the roses, pick some flowers, deep clean the kitchen, and probably some other things that I can’t remember right now.  I’m exhausted just typing that out … it may not seem like a lot, but my hands are stained black to prove the depth of my labor.


something pretty came out of my sweaty, dirty, and tiring day

P.S.  I promise to always include an “I-come-from-a-family-of-over-exaggerators-hence-I-know-I’m-over-exaggerating-right-now” Disclaimer in times when it is obvious {or even not so obvious} that I am over-exaggerating.  After all, it’s good that I realize my innate tendency, right????

Happy Monday.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

guest appearances

Fall came for a day … and then it was gone.  We cried for an encore but it did not tend to our requests.  In fact, fall fled the building and left us with little hope of it’s return.  I understand that I am currently in a {slightly} over-dramatic state and that fall will most likely return, but the 100 degree weather I am currently experiencing is getting to me.  This summer has proven to be the most mild {and lovely} I have ever experienced in the great, usually scorching, city of Sacramento.  We have experienced only a few {by few I mean 5-ish} days of boiling-well-above-100-degree-sweat-causing-heat {as opposed to the usual e.n.t.i.r.e. month of August}.  And we thought we were in the clear.  Thanks for the late arrival summer.  No can you please vacate the premises and make room for fall?

IMG_0350 IMG_0349

The heat provides the NEED for Ghirardelli chocolate milk shakes … duh.  {why did we decide we could mix them with a spoon instead of getting out the blender?  I guess it was just that hot}

Also to make a brief guest appearance this past week: mi familia.  Although, this appearance left hope of another reunion in the not-to-distant future {fingers crossed}.  The reason for this showing was the marriage ceremony of my eldest cousin, Erik {yes, he spells it just like my husband} Beauchamp.  He is the son of my Dad’s older sister, whom I affectionately refer to as Tia Violet.  Erik and his beautiful new bride were so kind as to stand in the freezing rain at our wedding {just over a year and a half ago}, thus, we couldn’t deny the opportunity to watch them exchange vows … don’t worry, with summer’s late arrival, rain was no where to be found at their ceremony {which was in an extraordinary church in the heart of Los Angeles with a rather warm outside reception in an exquisite garden}.  Spectacular. 

Seeing family once a year {or two or three} is just NOT often enough.


siblings and mis primos {Ashley and her husband, Ronald}

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

falling for fall

It’s barely the middle of September and I’m already dreaming of fall. Best.time.of.the.year. {in my humble opinion} Last week, we had a day that felt JUST like fall. So what did we do? We celebrated the occasion with the very first fire of the season.

{and it wasn’t even my idea … luckily I have a man who loves the fall too!!}

Here we are, fully documenting the season. This is the plan and the commitment. We have been without a camera (other than the relatively unreliable camera phones) for too long … but thanks to Benson Birthday month, my parents and sister and brother-in-law got us a camera. Perfect timing for fall documentation.

Bring on the crisp air, the colorful trees, the morning fog, the evening bonfires, and the smells of spiced apples and pumpkins. This is my season. {although I love love love summer dress season … flowy fabrics with skirts that twirl in a princess-like fashion … bring me back to my childhood.}

Inspiration for my “fall” post: my kindred spirit

Thursday, September 2, 2010

surprises are good for the soul

Have you ever had something BIG happen, something you are so excited about … but you can’t tell the ONE person you want to tell the most? Well, that is pretty much the definition of a surprise in my book … and as wonderful as it is, it is so hard to keep your mouth shut! Frankly, I’m glad the men do the proposing, because I don’t know if I could contain my excitement. I would probably blurt out {accidentally}, “I can’t wait to show you the ring I bought for you!! ... uhhhh, whoopsies” Ya, that might just ruin the surprise.

Over the last 4 months, I have been keeping a secret {lying} to Erik. Uhhhh, it was so hard! But it all paid off!

The mission was this:

Surprise Erik with his best friend, Davey, who was also being surprised with Erik.

My accomplice: Jess Anderson {Davey’s wife} We are master minds.

Excuse for the surprise: Birthday Boys {Davey: August 27th; Erik: September 1st}.

When both guys had responded to the question “what do you want for your birthday” from their respective wives, they both {unknowingly} said “I just want Erik/Davey”. Clearly, it was just too cute to deny ... so we started to plan!

Jess blindfolded Davey as she drove him to the airport to board a plane to San Francisco. I told Erik I had purchased a coupon for a restaurant in San Francisco for his birthday but the only reservation I could get was on the 27th. {I can be clever if I really try}. So, I packed his bags, loaded the car, and drove my gullible husband to the city. As we walked to the “restaurant” I had told him about, we strolled by another place that I KNEW would catch his eye. I told him we had just enough time to check it out and maybe grab a drink before we had to head over to our reservation. {Coincidentally}, Davey and Jess walked in just as Erik’s drink was served. {Insert shouts of disbelief and laughter HERE} Perfecto.

We then surprised the guys with a 2 night stay in the city and a Giants game. {I had received an extremely generous gift from my old office as a going away present, so I saved it – without telling Erik – for this weekend … perfect timing}. It turned out to be a fabulous weekend filled with Ghirardelli chocolate, Fisherman’s Wharf, Clam Chowder in bread bowls, “cute” breakfast cafes, losing Giants, and wonderful friends! {Check #10 & #18 off the Summer Bucket List}

Breakfast at Dotty's True Blue Cafe
{recommended by our taxi driver: two hour long wait: incredible food: worth every minute}

Gotta love the nosebleeds ... but there isn't a bad seat in the stadium! Although I must admit, it was difficult for me to cheer for the Giants {Dodger Blue Baby!}

Watch the guys’ reunion here.

Clam Chowder in a Bread Bowl at Fisherman's Wharf {my first one ever!}

Erik kept saying he couldn’t believe I would do something like that for him and that I surprised him so well … to that, I just showed him my engagement ring and reminded him that I have a lifetime of surprises to make up for the most incredible surprise he gave me almost 2 years ago exactly!

The Birthday Boys with Alcatraz in the background

I believe God loves surprises … after all, He gave us that feeling of disbelief, the loss of words, and the ability to laugh uncontrollably. I believe He gets great joy when He sees us experience moments of joyful surprise … hence, I give Him all the credit.

Happy Birthday Erik!!

29 is going to be an incredible year! {I know it}

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

eat your vegetables.

You are just dying to see the fruits {and veggies} of my labor, are you not???? Yes, I am so proud, I take pictures of my potatoes ... and my tomatoes. Why?, You ask ... because I worked my booty off to take care of them. Kind of like parenting, I assume. While parents give up their sleep, their strength, and a great portion of their lives for their children, I give up those few extra hours in bed with my hubs, much of my strength {and my once soft hands}, and most of my Saturday mornings to these vegetables. THEREFORE, since parents take pictures of their pride and joys {being their children}, I take pictures of my zucchini. Make sense?? I thought so.

SO, you are more than welcome to enjoy this simple image of the food I get to eat. :)

This is about a sixteenth of the potatoes I have dug up from the dirt. My grandpa says this is the family lifeline ... therefore, I am not allowed to share.

I say T-O-M-A-Y-T-O, you say T-O-M-O-T-O
and i also say FREE!!

The larger the zucchini, the less flavor ... yes, I get that. HOWEVER, this rather large piece of
v-e-g-e-t-a-b-l-e was quite marvelous.

Fresh fruit salad, home-grown, 100% YUM.
Peaches, Blackberries, and Balsamic (ok, I lied, I didn't grow the balsamic)

no you are not crazy. this is not a picture of a fruit or vegetable. THIS is a picture of hundreds of young adults worshiping the ONE AND ONLY Lord in a parking lot in the heart of downtown Sacramento. It was an incredible thing to be a part of ... the streets were echoing with voices proclaiming the Almighty One's LOVE. EPIC EXPERIENCE, hence, I had to share.

Monday, July 26, 2010

the little things in life.

The flowers from my {grandpa's} garden make beautiful arrangements for the house ... and they make me smile

What makes me smile about these?
1) perfect color coordination
2) multi-colored flowers
3) quaint mason jars
4) that they are from my own backyard

Every morning when my cute husband has time {which is impressively most mornings}, he makes me this DELICIOUS coffee beverage. I have tried to duplicate this masterpiece for myself, and it does not work. Better than Starbucks.

I'd easily pay $4.35 for this fantastic cup of yumminess.

What makes me smile about this?
1) the chocolatey surprise he often puts at the bottom of the cup
2) that he puts it in a "pretty" mug, instead of a big, old, clunky mug
3) the sugar boost I get, more than the caffeine boost ... it may not be better for me, but it tastes better
4) that it is usually waiting for me on the bathroom counter, after my shower
5) that he brings it to me

I am blessed, by flowers and sugar coated caffeine ... and LOVE. That last one isn't one of the "little things", it's the BIG thing.

Friday, July 16, 2010

one new message.

I have come to view the relatively new phenomenon known as “TEXT MESSAGING” as a way for boys/men to send brief, informal love notes to each other under the guise of a joke, sarcastic wit, or true sincerity, which might not otherwise be sent. {does that make sense? i thought so. just checking.} So often, I find my husband looking at his phone with anything from an undercover grin to a robust laugh … to which I attempt to ask “what” or “who” was the cause of such a reaction. Often times it’s a picture or a quote or even a simple “I love you man". He even gets an occasional picture from a friend participating in an activity that made him think of Erik - like snowboarding, mountain biking, etc ... and while I think the world is breaching a point of overtechnologydrivenmadness {yes, I made that up myself, thank you very much}, I think the ability men have to briefly share their affection in a fast and simple way is quite touching, really.

I have come to realize that my sweet manly husband is far more advanced in his relational intuitiveness and more regularly connected to his “boys” than I have yet to become with my “girls”. He regularly sends and receives verses and devotionals and notes of witty encouragement {along with lots of jokes and gross pictures} from his bromantic friends {I’m borderline jealous … not really. but a little. maybe.}

All this to say, I am learning a lot from my text-message savvy husband …

… and thank you text messaging world …