Monday, July 23, 2007

Boy, Time Flies

It always seems that summer is the season that goes by the fastest, yet it's the season that I wished stayed around the longest. I can already tell the days are getting shorter again. Why is summer flying by for us . . .

Day at Ocean City, NJ

We always talk about going to the beach just for the day, on a Saturday. Well, we made it happen. We ate breakfast at home, packed a picnic lunch, left the house at 8am, got to the beach by 10:15am, enjoyed a great day of sunshine and beach stuff, packed up our stuff at 4pm, ate dinner at Mack & Manco's on the boardwalk, walked around a bit, got some Johnson's caramel popcorn, got some Kohr's frozen custard, and got home by 9pm. It was like a mini vacation! Mike, Jenna, and Meridith joined us too -- lots of fun . . . we hope to do it again this summer. By looking at the picture, you can probably imagine how EVERYONE comments that Brian is so dark and I'm so white -- I have to explain that it's not mere sun exposure . . . it's that he has Native American in him, and I'm mostly Irish. (By the way, I'm tan :)!

Church Worship Committee
Our church has had a contemporary service and a traditional service for years, and we are recently considering combining the worship styles -- creating 2 services with the same worship. The thought is that our church would have a unified worship style, that families could attend either service knowing that both are the same, children would learn both praise & worship songs and hymns, and we would have one large worship team to pull from. So, a committee has been meeting every Tuesday night this summer to discuss the change. And, as you can imagine -- because music and worship can be such an emotional thing for people -- this topic can be at bit heated and multi-faceted.

Lots of Birthdays

Well, there have seemed to be a plethora of birthday's lately. So, I've been using my creative juices on how to maximize the gift and minimize the cost. I've been finding some great bargains lately. And, I've made a bit more stationary -- for my sister-in-law. A homemade gift can be so rewarding.

Seeing High School Peeps
Some of the alumni from my high school class recently starting getting back in touch with each other. I can't believe it's about time for our 10-Year Reunion. (I'm getting so old :). But, anyways, one of the alumnus invited whoever was still in the area over to his house on Saturday -- including us in their annual summer Caribbean party. It was a lot of fun -- seeing some old faces, catching up on the last 10 years, and enjoying great Caribbean food. And, to top it off, this alumnus' lives in my childhood neighborhood, so I took Brian down memory lane a bit -- showing him where my school bus stops were, where I had babysat, where I went running, where I fell off my bike and just laid in the street crying, where I had my first car wreck, . . . ya know, all that fun growing up stuff :) . . . no really, it was special.

Helping Friends Move
Two of my close girl friends are moving -- one within the same county, the other to far-away Greenville, SC. On Friday night, I got to help Tamara (the one staying in the area) and her husband pack up their kitchen and attic. Their kiddos were being watched by their in-laws, so we had a great time wrapping up the details before their move on Saturday. It is so refreshing to be with close friends -- whatever you're doing together. And, I actually got a used-but-new-for-us stainless steel trashcan from them that they won't need in their new house. It's the little things . . . that trashcan has brought a smile to my face the last few days . . . as I visit it often, cooking away in the kitchen.

Senior High Girl's Bible Study
Prior to getting engaged and married, I had worked a good deal with the senior high girls at our church -- having weekly Bible studies and various activities. Even though it was hard, I knew I had to step down from it in order to plan the wedding and carry on with other activities. Well, now is the time that I'm starting back up with them. Of course all the girls I had worked with are half-way through college -- yikes. But, it's been so great to get to know the girls moving up (soon to include my little sister!). I'll be taking over some in the fall, and will officially be taking things over in January (the other woman leader is having a baby in December). So, I'm excited for this time -- time that God will hopefully use in their lives (and mine!) to grow us closer to Him. I covet your prayers. (There are about 18 girls).

This all started about 2 years ago . . . when we had a baby shower for Amy Claire. We thought it would be a great idea to email tons of ladies who couldn't make it to her shower, in order that they could send a quote or Scripture to include on a quilt we made for Brighton. We had such a great response from ladies, it took a while to simply get all the patches embroidered. It's quite a large quilt -- probably almost good timing because it could go on his big-boy bed. (It would have suffocated him in a crib). Well, 2 years later, the quilt is almost finished. I've been working on it regularly for the last month, trying to finish it before they move. Pictures will hopefully come in the near future.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Softball: Fan or Player?

Usually fans: Me, Meridith, Jenna, and Lydia

For the softball season so far, I've just been a fan at our church's softball games. And, I love watching and cheering. With having played many years of softball growing up, I'm quite familiar with little rules and strategizing.

Well, last night a few of us fans (all girls) were called on to play because the opposing team had to forfeit. So, we divided up our team's players, and with 3 additional girls, we were able to make up 2 teams. We played a game just for fun.

Let me set the stage though: Even though it was in the high 90s yesterday, prior to the game Jenna and I walked laps on a path that goes around a few ball fields while the guys had practice. That was about 2 miles, and my asthma has been bad in this weather. So, we're hot and decide to go get drinks (and, at Brian's request we run home to get rakes in order for them to loosen up the dirt). Upon arriving back to the field (with rakes, drinks, and fliers to distribute for the end-of-the-year softball picnic that we're hosting), some people ask if anyone wants to play. Well, Jenna and I are in our sneakers (and Jenna has been dying to play all season), so we end up being recruited, as well as Meridith who has her soccer cleats in her car. And, I have my glove and softball bat in my car -- with tons of other sports gear in my trunk -- and for as little as I play, it's strangely aways in my trunk.

Needless to say, it was not a stellar game for me -- already tired from the heat, headache, sweating bullets, having not played really in about 10 years, and not having practiced at all. But, all of us girls managed to make contact with the ball when we were up to bat, and we fielded well enough to make a few outs. Playing with a bunch of men is a lot different from playing with girls growing up! (Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of us girls in action last night).

I think the numerous fans got a kick out of the game. And, all in all, it was a fun time. I have a nice war-wound on my shin from the ball pelting me, but it was worth it.

Brian up to bat - with his batting face :)

Our parents: regular fans also (Kim, my Dad, Bri's Dad)

Monday, July 2, 2007

Summa', Summa', Summa'time

The Mug
We got a kick out of this mug Brian bought on vacation . . . for those of you who know Brian, you know he is serious about his morning cup of coffee, and serious about a big mug . . . so, of course the beach house we stayed in didn't have a sufficient-sized mug, . . . so the second day of vacation we were out hunting for the perfect mug . . . and here was the find.

A Sleepover
Brian and I love spending time with my little sister, Joy and try to have her over for sleepovers often. And, we usually invite her best friend Megan from church over too -- we all have a great time. This time, since Brian was working, Jenna (my soon-to-be sister-in-law) joined us. I had Joy & Megan cook dinner, which they really enjoyed . . . and of course were proud of their achievement! They made Ritz chicken fingers, honey-mustard, curly fries, and salad. Here is a picture of Jenna supervising the very delicate honey-mustard making process:

And, in sleepover-style we ate dinner on the sofas, watching a movie. The girls decided it was Disney night, we so watched Matilda and Peter Pan. Jenna headed home, and then the girls and I broke out a game, Loaded Questions. (I recommend the game, we play it with large groups of people and they have such funny questions -- it helps you get to know each other). Before you knew it, we were having a dance party. Here is a picture of the girls. It cracks me up . . .

When Brian came home from work at 11pm, he of course had to try the chicken fingers and then play a few rounds of Loaded Questions with us. We finally crashed around midnight. It was such a fun night.

The Phillies
Well, we sure watch our fare share of ESPN and sports . . . Brian is a faithful watcher . . . and this season it's the Phillies. Some people hate watching baseball, but we both actually love it. And, we like to go the games at Citizens Bank Park even more. It happens to work out that my company has season tickets to the Hall of Fame Club at the park, so we jump at tickets whenever they're available. We've already been to 4 games this season, two of which were last week. You can't pass it up with VIP parking and great seats. On Tuesday night, we went with a best friend of mine Tamara and her husband. (Tamara was in our wedding). Even though it was INCREDIBLY boiling hot at the game, we had such a fun time together. And, Saturday, we went with Mike and Jenna (Brian's bro and fiance). Since it was an afternoon game, we decided to have a picnic down behind Boat House Row before the game. It was such great weather, and we had a great time with them.

Happy 4th of July . . . coming up!