Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

Our Anniversary dinner on Sunday

6 years, honey. The best 6 years of my life. I look at you and am reminded of God's are so precious to me. And you're stinkin' hot, too! Thanks for taking me to dinner Sunday on our anniversary, and for always knowing how to comfort my heart. That's just like you--to take me out after a long work day even though you are exhausted.

The last two years have not been exactly what we pictured or even prayed for, but still, they have been perfectly ordained by our sovereign God...the God we serve, we love, we live your life in complete surrender to Him, and I am challenged to do the same, even when we suffer from things that are out of our control.  I am so thankful we can go through the rough times together, on the same team.  You make the trials--this trial--bearable, even beautiful, and the victories all the more wonderful. To live is Christ, to die is gain. I love you, and I can't wait to see what God is going to do in our life together!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day...I'll Always Be Your Baby :)

Today I did something I have never done before and will probably never have the chance to do again; I sang a song to my dad on Father's Day in church.  During the song (I'll Always Be Your Baby, by Natalie Grant) a slideshow played with pictures of us together for the last 27 years, including baby pics and wedding pics.  I was so excited to sing this song for my dad; I had never heard it before, and it really expressed so much of what he means to me.  He did so great on stage...if you know my dad, then you know he is NOT one who loves to be "center stage."  But he went up there this morning--completely calm--in front of a few thousand people!  It was so special to thank him and all of the dads in our church for being a godly influence in our lives.
Dad, I will forever cherish this morning... as I held your hand during the song, I was reminded of God's goodness and grace in giving me such a sweet daddy.  I am humbled to be your daughter, and I love you.
Whew!  After the service, knowing we had made it through the song without me completely breaking down into a blubbering mess!  Thank you, Lord!

My beautiful Mom, she's pretty cool too!
After church we went to our house for lunch and pie.  It has become a tradition that every year for Father's Day I make my dad his favorite, Lemon Meringue.  Last year I was so excited that the filling wasn't runny; this year I am pumped about the meringue!  I have never made a meringue this high before--I used a "stabilizer" recipe for meringue from my Joy of Cooking cookbook (the best cookbook ever, in my opinion) and it worked!  Woo-hoo! (Yeah, That's right, about 2 1/2 inches tall in the middle)
Words to the song from this morning:
(Tip: if you are not yet married, this would be a great song for a daddy/daughter dance!)

Always Be Your Baby

You were my first love, always there for me
you taught me how to walk and how to dream
God gave me your eyes, but it was you who showed me how to see
Now I can stand on my own, but I know you'll never let go

I'll always be your baby
no matter how the years fly by
the way you loved me made me who I am in this world
I'm a woman now, not a little girl
Wherever this life takes me
I'll always be your baby

You are my hero, and that will never change
you still can dry my tears with just your smile
The one I've leaned on, from my first steps to walking down the aisle
Now there's another man in my life
but I know by the look in your eyes...(chorus)

Your faith, your love, and all that you believe
have come to be the strongest part of me,
and I will always be....(chorus)

--Natalie Grant

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

San Francisco/Monterey

We were blessed to have more time with my brother as we toured San Francisco.  We walked around Pier 39, grabbed some great clam chowder, stared at Alcatraz and laughed at the seals (which were a bit stinky).
After lunch we made our way to the Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory and indulged in a giant sundae...Adam wanted caramel, and I wanted a banana split, so we settled on hot fudge.  :)
My sweet-aholic...less than 5 minutes after our gigantic sundae, my sweetie had to have a cupcake from Kara's Cupcakes, a bakery specializing in cupcakes made from organic ingredients.  Can we say kid in a candy store?
We spent a little bit of time walking around the stores downtown...I had to get a pic of the three-story Williams Sonoma!  Amanda, my dear cook-of-a-friend, this one is for you!  How I wished you were there to look around with me...I only stayed a minute or two because the boys weren't nearly as interested.  I could hear beautiful voices singing as I walked into this wonderland!  Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah!  (Hallelujah chorus, Handel's Messiah, written 1741, am I making you music history buff's proud?!?!)
Our last day we drove around Monterey.  We started with a trip to the aquarium, which was incredible.  My brother used to read about this aquarium as a child, and now he has a student pass that allows him to visit whenever he wants.  We had a blast looking at the huge fish.
Then it was off to drive on Highway 1 and see the beach!  Did I mention Adam was sick?  The last day of our trip he woke up with a sore that night he had a fever and chills.  Poor baby.  He was such a trooper, standing on the cold beach with me!  You are the best! 
Last week we had a wonderful visit with our nephews and Adam's side of the family--I will post about that soon.  Right now we are in Chicago for a music conference at Willowcreek.  We are having a good time, but I am ready to get back to my little four-legged snuggle-muffin!  I miss her so and am ready to not leave her again for a long time!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

The Valley

After spending a few days with my brother, we drove into Napa/Sonoma for a romantic retreat.  I was amazed at the beauty of the hills and vineyards!  It seemed every acre was covered with either flowers or vines.

We spent our first afternoon touring and ate lunch outside at Etoile restaurant. The food was incredible and we loved sitting outside in the cool, DRY weather.  

The next day we drove to St. Helena, where we saw this statue on one of the estates.  Adam said this guy was clearly wearing fruit-of-the-loom...I had to take a picture. :)
We drove around in this green Bug all week long.  It was so much fun!  I kept trying to figure out why the light green exterior and black interior seemed so familiar, and then I realized they are the colors of my guest bathroom.  Ha!  We called the car Granny, Smitty, or Granny Smith, depending on the mood of the moment...Adam and Smitty got along quite well.  :)
While in St. Helena we dined at the restaurant connected to the Culinary Institute of America (CIA).  The food was delicious, and it was fun watching the chefs cook as we ate.
I had a plate of "small bites," and the cauliflower soup in this little cup was one of the best things I have ever tasted.  When something is really good, and I mean REALLY good, I tend to stop and praise the Lord for it.  This was definitely one of those times 
where some praise was necessary...
Our final day we stayed at a bed and breakfast in Healdsburg.  The breakfast was made with herbs and fruits from their own garden!  I was really excited about the popovers they served--my grandma from Canada has made popovers before and I had to take this pic for her.
We also drove to Muir Woods and hiked around a bit...the trees were HUGE!  I was taken aback by the beauty of the trees and loved the way they grow in "families," with different trunks using the same root system.
This is a tree stump that fell in the woods years dates back to 900 A.D!
I have one more post about our trip to San Francisco.  As far as the fitness challenge goes, we made it!  With all the walking in Berkeley, San Francisco and Muir Woods, we finished the challenge with 55 miles.  Woo-hoo!