November 30, 2011

thanksvember: week four...

i am thankful for...

day 22: friends to live life with...when it's good and when it's hard

day 23: a night of side splitting laughter with the ladies from nawlins (and a couple of husbands)

day 24: a family i enjoy...especially my uncle, who will be thrilled to get a special mention on the blog

day 25: always having a place to call home

day 26: spending the day with my mom and having one less closet to paint

day 27: calvary church...where friends really do become family

day 28: getting in on the tradition of picking out trees and eating ted drewes with my mom and the taylors

day 29: getting to work at a school i love with people i enjoy

day 30: the twinkling lights on our christmas tree

"every legitimate pleasure in the world becomes a blood-bought
evidence of Christ's love, and an occasion of boasting in the cross."
john piper

November 24, 2011

black wednesday...

i've never been a black friday shopper. the turnoff for me is that no matter how good the deals may be, you still have to fork over some cold hard cash to get the goods. not so at cvs. they will hand you oodles of treasure for next to nothing. case in point: i went to cvs at midnight and gave them this...


and i took home this...


plus i came into the store with $7.67 of magical cvs money, and i left with $14.55. it's almost criminal. i did encounter a bit of a line, which was a new development. and i had to circle around and stand in line again for every one of my five transactions. inconvenient? yes. worth it? yes again.

November 22, 2011

thanksvember: week three...

i am thankful for...

day 15: a new sidewalk to walk and bike on...and a lovely afternoon to enjoy it


day 16: the privilege of praying for the via's adoption...and sharing their unwavering faith in the midst of seemingly insurmountable circumstances

day 17: apple-passion-mango juice and chocolate pudding from a box

day 18: sleepovers with sophie

day 19: taking a stroll in the park with a friend

day 20: a surprise visitor at church this morning

day 21: the first of many free meals at chick-fil-a

"...every legitimate pleasure in the world becomes a blood-bought
evidence of Christ's love, and an occasion of boasting in the cross."
john piper

November 15, 2011

thanksvember: week two...

i am thankful for...

day 8: my friend dia...and the hilarious memories of our life in a nursing home

day 9: having my number called at the chick-fil-a first 100

day 10: sleep...which i forget to appreciate until i have to go without

day 11: the freedom and opportunities that come with being an american

day 12: friends that let me show up to their house in my pajamas and lay on their couch while they make me dinner

day 13: the good word at church this morning

day 14: a roommate to go to the movies with

"...every legitimate pleasure in the world becomes a blood-bought
evidence of Christ's love, and an occasion of boasting in the cross."
john piper

November 10, 2011

eat mor chikin...

last night i slept in a parking lot. with 99 other people.

i love chick-fil-a. really, who doesn't? they not only make an excellent chicken sandwich, this company does everything well and with integrity. they have stellar customer service and it's always their pleasure to serve. one of the fun things they do for their loyal fans is the first 100 event. i've wanted to be a part of one of these for years but it hasn't ever worked out...until now.

here's what went down. i showed up in the parking lot of the new blue springs store about 5:45 on wednesday morning. at 6am there were over 100 people (105 to be exact) so a raffle was required. they counted us into lines and handed each of us a ticket. numbers were drawn one at a time to give participants a guaranteed spot in the first 100. the 77th number called was my lucky number. i was given a wrist band, officially registered and then it was camping time!


the rule is that you must remain on the parking lot for the entire 24 hour period until the store officially opens on thursday morning. there's a short grace period where you can unload your stuff from the car and then you're locked in. (figuratively...not literally) as a first timer i was in the minority, but i did my research and came prepared. parking spots were claimed, tents went up and a small city was born, complete with all the necessities like tables, chairs, sleeping bags, air mattresses, computers and games. it wasn't exactly the warmest day of the year, so i packed a healthy amount of foot warmers and extra layers. the whole thing is kind of hilarious...like an overnight tailgate. go team cow.


our periodic line checks throughout the day usually came with free food. they fed us breakfast, lunch, dinner and an evening snack. i was a little worried about being bored all day, since i was camping on my own, but it wasn't a problem at all. i made friends with some fellow sbu-ers in the tent next door and we played tripoley on and off all day long. (incidentally sbu was well represented...even the store owner was a bearcat) plus i ended up having some fun visitors which helped as well. (thanks for coming marilyn, donald, jake, mitch and rylee!) the staff also offered some entertainment in the form of games and some great tunes for a parking lot dance party.

after the last line check of the night i burrowed into my sleeping bag and stayed toasty warm until the 5am wake up call forced me into the frigid morning. during our final line check we were given 'i heart chick-fil-a' t-shirts and paper hats to wear for our grand entrance. the owner, the mayor and a cow cut the ribbon and we were in. team members serenaded us with cheers, cow bells and the banging of pots and pans as we filed past the counter and picked up our nugget boxes of goodness. free chick-fil-a for a year.


cold and all, i would do it again in a heartbeat. i love chick-fil-a!

November 8, 2011

thanksvember: week one...

i have so many things to be thankful for. really, i feel like i've gotten more than my fair share. most days i remember this, but every now and then i get all self absorbed and forget to be grateful. so every month i write in my 'good things book' and remind myself of all the good things i've been blessed with.

in honor of thanksgiving, (and due to the inspiration of facebook) i am declaring this month to be 'thanksvember' and i'm going to pick one thing to be thankful for each day. this might even be a new tradition. so this month, in november of 2011, i am thankful for...

day 1: the kind lady at the car place who not only pointed out the dings on my windshield, but offered to contact my insurance and get them fixed for free

day 2: a drizzly, rainy day


day 3: new friends

day 4: not needing a full time job, but always having enough work

day 5: that feeling of total relaxation just after a hot bath

day 6: the unique and creative celebration of all saints day at church

day 7: my zumba instructor...because the good ones are hard to find!

"...every legitimate pleasure in the world becomes a blood-bought
evidence of Christ's love, and an occasion of boasting in the cross."
john piper

November 5, 2011

tara in kc...

last weekend, one of my dreams came true...one of my very best friends came to visit.

tara and i are like two peas in a pod. we have the same organizational tendencies, we think alike and we just 'get' each other. which is part of the reason i often seek her advice. we met my freshman year of college on a mission trip to croatia. our friendship started with an adventure and we've been having them ever since.

i've been able to make quite a few visits to the arden family over the years, but this was the first time tara's been able to come visit me. matt graciously offered to take on the role of single dad for five whole days to give his wife some time away and make my dream come true.

the preparations



the first couple of days of our visit were pretty relaxing. tara's only request was that she could stay in her bed as late as she wanted. and she took that pretty seriously. we went out to eat with the birthday coupons i scored for her, walked around the neighborhood, had a girls night out with missy and kim. it also just so happened that there were some very important baseball games being played on those days and she graciously spent the evenings cheering on the cardinals with me.

missy, tara and shelly @ mccormick and schmick's for the end of
game six...note my white rally napkin on the left side of the photo


saturday we ignored the staying in bed rule and woke up bright and early for a road trip down to bolivar to relive the glory days. it just so happened to be homecoming weekend at sbu so we got in on some of the festivities. we watched the parade and strolled around campus, telling stories and reminiscing before heading over to jackie and clint's for a mini reunion of sorts. we ate dinner, had a bonfire and proceeded to play mafia until 3:30 in the morning. it was just like college...except for the little kids sleeping all over the house.

@ the sbu alumni soccer game



we managed to squeeze in lunch with tara's family in springfield before heading back to kc for our last night. along with some good conversation, our evening consisted of tara helping me light the ear candles she brought me...during which time we may or may not have accidentally lit the carpet on fire just a little.

it was a fabulous weekend. i can't even explain how thankful i am for her visit and for our friendship. i really don't know what i'd do without her!