Friday, May 25, 2012

goin’ to the chapel …

ever since exchanging vows with my hot hunk of a husband, weddings have made me a total kind of a sap.  maybe it’s silly, but I see so much significance in proclaiming your love and promising to work on that love in front of all the important people in your life.  and in front of God.  because, whoever takes a vow with God lightly … well, I just wouldn’t suggest it.

it’s huge!  it’s a huge commitment.  it’s a huge proclamation.  it’s just pretty much HUGE.

and spectacular.

what makes weddings even more fun … is when it’s two of your bestest friends.  it just doesn’t get much better.

last weekend, erik and I had the honor of standing beside Becky & Zach as they said “I do”.  not only did this mark off a pre-baby bucket list item {numero 7 … check},photo

probably the only picture we have of the two of us at the wedding, and most of the picture of of someone else’s head.  fail.

but it entered The Leighton’s into the incredible club of the marrieds. congrats guys!

this was the kind of wedding where we knew both sides … we knew almost everyone.  and that just makes for one fun party if you ask me!

short story:

julie’s family has known the Leightons {Zach’s fam} since both julie & zach were too little to remember. as they grew up, they didn’t really hang out much because julie was older and well, he was one of those athletic boys that julie couldn’t have kept up with if she tried.

many years later.  erik moves to california and meets zach through the dude he worked for.  before erik ever met julie.

a few years later.  erik meets julie.  they fall in love.  all while zach was away at school.

erik & julie get married.  julie meets becky through her sister, stacey.  julie and becky sit at a pizza place for 5 hours. and the friendship continues from there, with weekly dates.

many people tell erik & julie that zach and becky should meet.  erik & julie agree.

finally, zach comes to a bible study we invite him to.  becky is there.  their eyes meet.  and BOOM.  sparks explode.

{or something like that}

1.5 years later. they are hitched.

check out the spectacularness of the event that united these two phenomenal people together:


me & jenna {zach’s little sis}

if you can’t tell, they choreographed their wedding dance … and it was pretty much, awesome.

best wedding. ever.  except for ours. although ours was chaos and a total mess … it did make me mrs. benson, so, it stands as the best wedding ever in my book.

now if only they’d come home from their honeymoon so we can hang out.  come on guys.

my thumb is turning colors

and by colors, I mean, it’s slowly returning to it’s green nature, once again.

yes, I’m planting again.  I may not have the gigantic garden that I had when we lived on the acreage of my grandpa’s ranch, but I do have a front door and pots.  thus, the front door is covered with pots.

I have petunias, hydrangeas, 3 different kinds of tomatoes {we clearly love tomatoes}, and hot peppers.  we have an extra pot and plenty of soil left over for one more veggie … but the selection was just too much to handle and we couldn’t decide.  erik reminded me that we don’t have to choose right away.  I mean, we could go home and think about it.  we could decide to get yet another tomato plant.  {although I’m thinking 3 plants for 2 people is more than enough tomatoes}.  or we could get more peppers {we are thinking copious amounts of salsa}. or a fruit maybe?  who knows?!

there is just too much to choose from.  too many possibilities.  and too little space. 

until we decide … we will tenderly care for the plants we do have growing.  we will “parent” them in a way.  every morning, tending to their needs {via water & sun}.  protecting them from the forces of nature that could harm them.  praising them when they produce beautiful flowers and yummy food.  {ok, my plant-parenting much stops there}.




sorry for the lack of uber cool pictures.  these were snapped on my way out of the door the morning after I planted them … I just couldn’t help myself!

oh, and were you wondering where I got those cute blue & white miniature pots? $2 … garage sale.  for real.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

some unsolicited advice for the single ladies …

I promise.  if you just wait, as long as it takes, you will never regret it.  it may seem like it will take forever or like it will never happen at all, but it will be worth it.  so, incredibly worth it.  don’t rush into something, thinking it will turn into your fairy tale.  chances are, if it doesn’t start that way, it won’t stay that way.

wait for that man that stares at you with his lips curled up ever so slightly while you are talking to him about something as silly as where to put the bananas.  wait for the man, that when asked why he has that smile on his face {thinking you said something funny or have something stuck in your teeth}, he just looks at you and says “you’re just so cute”, then graces your cheek with a sweet kiss from his lips.

wait for that man, ladies.  because he will melt you heart, every.single.time. 

{if you can’t tell, mine melted last night, for the bazillionth time}

it’s worth it.

because who doesn’t want a man to look at them like this:


wait for it.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Benson’s are going to Mexico!

Yup … you heard me right! We are taking a week off of work {which makes me a little nervous} to help grow and build a church in Mexico!  We’ve been wanting to do this for years and finally feel like we are in a place where it just might work out.  I’m nervous {I know … If it’s God’s will, then He will provide!} about raising the funds and justifying a week off of work for the both of us, but I also feel like after years of serving with the youth and young adults, it’s time we stand beside them in their step of faith!

Just for your info, here is our letter with the details of our trip.  I’m not posting this letter as a request for money from those that read this little blog, but rather as a plea for prayers!  It’s also part of my attempt to keep you updated on the life of the Benson’s, as is the original purpose of this blog.  Since the letter filled with all the details pertaining to the trip was already written, I thought I’d just save a few key-strokes and cut & paste.  Call me lazy.  Or busy.  Either one would work right about now!


Dear Family and Friends:clip_image002

As you may remember, Erik and I worked together with the youth ministry at our church for about 4 years, starting in 2006. In all honesty, ministering together was how we became friends, and later fell in love. It was a blessing to us to be a part of a ministry that we both cared for in such a real and intense way. Shortly after we got married, and after our students graduated, we moved from working with the high school to the college/young adult ministry. We have been working with young adults at "Impact" and now a Monday night Bible study we like to call "Abiding" for the past 3 years. Ministering together alongside the leadership of Pastor Danny Basham has become a very important part of our lives as a couple and as Christ's ambassadors.

Over the past few years, Pastor Danny has asked the two of us to join him and the high school youth on a missions trip to Mexico. Up until now, we couldn't figure out how to make it work. However, after a year of prayer (since last year's trip left for Mexico), we feel God is calling us to join the youth on this trip to the Jehovah Jireh Church and village of Lomas Bonitas, located about 10 miles southeast of Ensenada, Mexico, during the week of July 7th to 13th.


We will be working closely with the Pastor Juan Ambrocio and his wife, Karrie, to minister to the people in the struggling village. Jehovah Jireh Church functions as a central “hub” in the community. A breakfast program feeds 50-60 children and their mothers three times a week, English classes are given to high school students as well as interested adults, and church services are held weekly on Sunday morning.

This year our main service projects will be painting the outside as well as some inside areas of the church, insalling new flooring in the 2nd floor of the church, the Breakfast Ministry, and Sports Tournaments & Testimonies

We are so excited for this opportunity to serve God and the people of Lomas Bonitas this summer. We are confident the Lord has great things planned for our team while we are training and during our trip. We feel very passionate about the opportunity this trip will provide to touch many lives in Mexico, as well as to work alongside the youth as they take this step of faith.

A trip like this cannot happen without the support of our family and friends, so we want to invite you to take a part in this trip with us. The most important thing you can do is pray. Pray specifically for our team, safe travels, and those to which we will be ministering. Another way you can consider is providing support financially. Our trip will cost $400.00 per person. Thus, we need to raise $800 for the both of us. If it is possible for you to send financial support, we would be very grateful. If you cannot, please know how much we appreciate your prayers and encouragement as we continue to prepare for this trip. This trip and ministry will most definitely be a life-changing experience for everyone involved!

In His Love,

Erik & Julie Bensonclip_image007


Friday, May 11, 2012

I jumped on

I'm usually the kind of person that decides to avoid band wagons. You know, the kind that everyone obsesses over & that consumes the current trends of all things from conversation, to clothes & styles, to even baby names. In fact, I usually get so tired with them, I turn into that annoying person that makes a point to not jump on the wagon, even if, in a secret part of my head, I think I would actually like whats on the wagon.

Example: The Twilight Series. I watched the movies, yes. But I waited until they came out to rent instead of paying major dollars to see it on the big screen. I used to love the name "Bella" ... Ever since I was a little girl, actually. But now, with the rise in popularity of the name thanks to the blood-sucking obsessor, I wouldn't dare name my daughter after a vampire movie. Bummer for me ... Since its such a pretty name!

Anyways, all that to say ... It's not very common that I jump on board a wagon occupied by the rest of the world.
However, this time, I did it. I jumped on board. Maybe a little later than the rest of the clan, but I'm on the train nonetheless.

So good. As in, read it in 2 days so that I could see the movie before it left the theaters, good.

My sister (Mrs. PhD, herself) recommended it to me. I was surprised that she would take the time to read something so frivolous, to be honest. But she guaranteed me that her non-book-loving sister (that's me) would love it. So, after another encouraging friend bought me the book (accompanied by Starbucks & the sweetest note ever), I decided to crack it open.

Even though I've never been a big reader (I was such a slow reader when I was little, not to mention my poor scores in reading comprehension, that I filled my time in the great outdoors instead of buried in a book), the feel of a brand new book, with crisp pages and what seemed to be fresh ink, intrigued me on its own.

And then, the words themselves. They are gripping. The story, the characters, the adventure. I fell in love.

Officially obsessed and fully on board that gigantic bandwagon, well worthy of its full status.

Being a "non-reader", I never understood why movies were not as good as the books. I mean, why not sit down & watch a story come to life in a fraction of the time? Well, now I get it. At 27 years old ... It finally makes sense. I've read a few other books that were digitally depicted onto the silver screen & never thought much of it. But this time, I get it. The movie was great ... Definitely entertaining ... But not the same. So, if you haven't jumped on board, take my advice. GO FOR IT!

I can't wait to get the next 2 books in the series ... But am trying to give my husband & house some more attention before I nearly obsess over yet another book!