Saturday, 28 May 2011

When I Think About Heaven

This evening at church, a majority of the worship songs we sang were about Heaven and eternity.

Since October 18, 2010, I have not been able to think about Heaven without thinking about Gwendolyn Hope.  And since April 2, 2011 (when I was connected with Kelly), I have not been able to think about Heaven without thinking about Noah.

Such sweet, precious babies who went to be with Jesus.

It breaks my heart that they are gone.  That their mothers carry such heavy burdens.  I wonder what they would look like here on Earth, and what they look like now in Heaven.  The mention of Heaven and seeing Jesus face-to-face brings tears to my eyes and chokes me up, thinking that Gwen and Noah are there now instead of with their families on Earth.  Families that miss them and ache for them.

And yet, what better place could they be?  No pain, no sorrow, no sickness.  All they've ever known is their sweet Savior's face, and the bliss of eternal paradise.

But still.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Dental Drama

A few of you might recall that in December I received news of my first ever cavity (you can read about that here).  Because my mother is my dental hygienist, she is the one who broke the news to me, and her choice words were, "Lauren, I have some bad news."  So you would think that when my mom sat down next to me last night and said, "I have some bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad news," I might have picked up on the similarities and guessed what her bad news was.  But I didn't (it's been a while) so she just told me.  I have another cavity.

(o_0)  <---You see that?  That's how my eye twitched when I heard the word "cavity".

Guys, I take really good care of my teeth.  I brush my teeth thoroughly, I floss meticulously, and I even use mouthwash every evening.  So I am a tad unsure as to how I acquired a second cavity.  Apparently it's really small and likely was ten years (roughly) in the making.

Later I admitted that I was a little bummed about the whole thing.  I mean, my mom is a dental hygienist for crying out loud!  My brother and I were raised with outstanding dental standards.  To not take care of your teeth is a sin worthy of punishments reserved for the worst of transgressors.

In my apparent need to make things dramatic* (because it's more interesting that way), I may or may not have compared getting another cavity to adultery.  Because it's like my teeth are no longer pure and pristine.  When the dentist filled my first cavity, she kept commenting as she worked.  "What a shame.  You had such beautiful teeth."  With how I felt after that, it's no wonder I likened cavities to adultery.

And now I'm less inclined to believe the subject of this post is dental hygiene, but rather my flair for the dramatic.  Meh.  Either way.

*Exhibit A: Paragraph 4, Line 3 of this post

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Wanderlust

While we're on the topic of things that I've done that I can no longer afford but really want to do again...I miss Paris.  Four years ago today I was at the Louvre in Paris, quickly falling under the spell of France and the City of Light.  (or Love.  Whatever floats your boat.)

How I wish that I could return again soon, and this time with Matt!  He would love it.

Some of the places I wish I could revisit:

I was completely fascinated by this sculpture.  The expression on his face is so intense.


From one end of the Louvre you can see the other end and the Eiffel Tower.  It's really quite striking in person.


We stumbled upon this small wine museum in a random alleyway.


Sacre Coeur.  Great view of the city.


Moulin Rouge.  We never went inside but you have to at least see it.


I believe this was not too far from the Eiffel Tower.


Tour Eiffel

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

I Have a Problem

A serious, serious problem.

The Carnival Conquest - our honeymoon ship, docked in the Grand Cayman Islands.

All I can think about is going on another cruise.

It doesn't help that Carnival is seemingly spending all their money on advertising to me and only me.  They pop up everywhere.  I can't get away.

I am currently one step away from booking a five day cruise to Mexico in December.  I have the tab open in my browser, patiently waiting for husband to come home and tell me I can click submit.  That probably won't happen.

OR...

Carnival can decide that they love me and feel sorry for me and want to give Matt and I a free cruise.  That probably won't happen, either, but a girl can dream, right?

Because I'm clearly dreaming big dreams over here.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Toxic

I went to the doctor for a routine checkup about 2 weeks ago, and brought up the fact that I am thirsty.  I can see your forehead wrinkling in confusion.  Is my doctor one of those strange boutique, spa, serve-you-water-and-wine doctors?  Do those even exist??  Because why else would I mention to her that, "Hey!  I'm thirsty"?

Well, I mentioned it because sometimes I get so ridiculously desperate for water that I get panicky and nauseous.  I was concerned she would tell me I needed to be tested for Diabetes, but it's better to know and take care of something than ignore it and let the situation get worse, right?

The thing is, I'm not ridiculously desperately panicky nauseous thirsty all the time.  I don't wake up in the middle of the night to drink water.  When I'm teaching or at home (see: climate controlled, or air conditioned) I'm fine.  I notice it the most when I am outside and/or I get hot.  Then it's like an all-out drink or die feeling.  I mentioned this to her, and I learned that my problem is really quite simple and much easier to remedy than Diabetes.

You see, my all time favorite thing to drink ever is water.  I love the way it tastes, I love how it's so refreshing, and it's the most natural, pure substance (theoretically) that we put into our bodies.  I don't drink much soda, milk, alcohol, or juice.  I just drink a ton of water.  Apparently, though, I wasn't really doing myself any favors.  Because I can border on "water toxicity".  I drink a lot of water, go outside where it's hot (or workout) and I get sweaty, drink more water, and more water, and more water.  But that's apparently bad.  Because I'm losing electrolytes and I'm not replenishing them.

So my doctor's orders?  Drink Gatorade.  I don't really like Gatorade, and it's expensive (albeit much cheaper than treating Diabetes).  But alas, it's either that or nausea and desperation.  I don't really know where else to find electrolytes (other than Clif Shot Bloks, which are like tasty electrolyte gummy candies but also very expensive.  But I also haven't looked it up).

So this is the reason why I don't regret that crazy expensive souvenir bottle at Six Flags the other day: they have POWERADE.  99 cents for a huge thing of Powerade is not a bad deal, especially since I'm not allowed to take outside drinks into the park and I apparently need it.  We drank three whole giant souvenir bottle-fulls of blue Powerade on Sunday.  And not once did I feel nauseous, desperate, or panicky.  Score.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Not So Bulletproof

  • This past Friday I taught a 4th grade class.  That's the oldest class I've taught in a while, and I LOVED it.  The classroom had a fantastic in-class library (read: amazing book collection filling a wall and a half) and it even SMELLED the way school is supposed to.  You know, the good school smell.
  • Saturday Matt and I went to a park a short drive away from the house and hiked around for an hour or so.  We really miss that kind of thing, and it was a great morning to go.
  • Yesterday we went to Six Flags again.  We really like that place.  Good thing we bought season passes!  Anyway, Matt spun himself sick on the 8 Ball ride and so we took it pretty easy the rest of the day.  We also dished out $15 for one of those giant collector's cups and got free refills all day.  Never in my life have I ever drank so much Mr. Pibb and blue Powerade.  I don't regret that ridiculously overpriced purchase one bit.
  • I found a bone in my tamale at dinner last night.
  • I taught first grade again today...my second cousin was in the class.  So, that was fun.  She wasn't quite sure what to call me (as it would be improper to call me by my first name in front of all her classmates), so she just didn't call me anything.
  • I think I hurt my back at Zumba last week.  Guess we'll see how it does tonight.
  • Matt and I are eating up this free trial of Netflix.  Our favorites: The Office, 30 Rock, Futurama, and the Cosby Show.
  • I'm exhausted.  And running late for Zumba.  More later.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Happy Birthday, Matt!

Yesterday was Matt's birthday!  For at least a week I had been eagerly anticipating his birthday because I had a few things planned in an attempt to make his day as special as possible.

First, I went to the Longhorn Cafe and picked up some burgers to take to Matt at work.  Those burgers are fantastically delicious and huge and cheap.  And excellent for a surprise birthday lunch together.

That evening we went to Outback Steakhouse for his birthday dinner.  Little did he know, I had arranged for some special guests to join us:



We walked in to find Josh and Meredith, our dear friends from camp, sitting just like this.  Napkins over their heads and everything.


Thankfully, they took the napkins off their heads so we could see their lovely faces.  Matt was definitely surprised and I think them coming was what made his birthday really special.


It was Matt's first time to Outback, so he was pretty excited (clearly).  We all shared a Bloomin' Onion before thoroughly stuffing ourselves with excellent foods that we didn't have to prepare, cook, or clean up.

Also, it was happy hour.  So that was nice - otherwise I wouldn't have gotten a drink.  That Sangria was the strongest I've ever had.  And our waiter was the most talkative waiter I've ever had.  Here's what we looked like after drinks:




The food was so good and we ate until we were uncomfortably full.  Nevertheless, we headed back to the house for some cheesecake, because what would his birthday be without homemade cheesecake?

Last year I made cheesecake for his birthday, and it was my first ever try.  I had contacted the woman who used to be his boss (and whose cheesecakes he fantasized about) and got her recipe.  Like I said, it was my first ever attempt at making a cheesecake, and though it was good enough, it wasn't great.  Also, I didn't have a springform pan, so I used a pie pan and a casserole dish.  Those don't work so well.

This year I did it right, though.  I took the basic cheesecake recipe and made it my own.  Instead of a graham cracker crust, I made the crust out of crushed Oreos.  On top of the crust, I placed a whole bag of these (they perfectly coated the crust - not too many, not too few).  I melted some peanut butter and mixed it into the cheesecake batter and poured it over the mini Reese's-topped crust.  For the finishing touch, I melted down some chocolate chips, poured it over the top, and swirled it with a spatula for a marble effect.

I was a little nervous about how it would turn out since I had pretty much made up my own recipe.  It turned out fantastic, though, and Matt loved it.  So it was a definite success!  Unfortunately, I didn't write down how much peanut butter and chocolate I used, so it may be hard to replicate exactly.  I also forgot to take a photo of it before we cut into it.  So here's what's left of it:



To finish up the evening, we watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and went to bed way too late for a weeknight, because we are old (okay, I know we're really not that old.  But we like our sleep.  A lot).

Happy birthday to my husband, my biggest supporter and best friend.  I love you more than air and can't imagine life without you.  I look forward to many more birthdays and cheesecakes with you.



Friday, 6 May 2011

Forgive Me Blog World, For I Have Sinned

It has been eleven days since my last blog post.

A class of second graders took over my life.  They were great.  Really, they were.  Though I still believe I am meant to teach older kiddos (aka: middle schoolers), this was by far the best class I have subbed for.  I had a good time.  And here are some other things that happened during the hiatus:

Will and Kate got married.  Yay for them!  I watched the wedding Saturday morning with my mom, eating beignets and hitting fast forward when I got bored.  Supposedly, though, their first dance song was "Make You Feel My Love" by Adele.  This, my friends, happens to be the very song Matt and I danced to when we got married last year.  I have a special place in my heart for Adele.  It seems as if the world is just now figuring out just how enchanting her voice is.

Nutella and Chili Cheese Fritos made an appearance in the house this week.  I don't buy junk food, but when someone brings it home, I sure as heck eat it.  And when those things materialized, I rediscovered my love for Chili Cheese Fritos.  Delish.

The water park at Six Flags opened last weekend and Matt and I celebrated the occasion by paying $12 for the smallest locker they had.  Seriously, how ridiculous is that?  But I love me some water park, especially on days that hot.  And the next day?  Highs were in the 50s.  Whaaa..???

For most of the week, my dog saw to it that I slept horribly.  Always looking out for me, that little dog.  Oh, and two nights in a row, I woke up due to a ripping, agonizing pain in my lower right abdomen.  I thought for sure I was dying of appendicitis.  But I'm not.  So that's good.

Matt and I have a free month of Netflix on our Wii, and we are definitely taking advantage of it.  This is probably the second greatest reason that I have not blogged in almost 2 weeks*.

The public library and Netflix are enabling my Tina Fey and 30 Rock addiction.

We made a delicious pasta dish with fresh Mozzarella cheese and fresh basil cut from our basil plant in the back yard.

We celebrated Cinco de Mayo with these enchiladas, Mexican Brownies, dulce de leche ice cream, margaritas, and American Idol.

And that pretty much brings us up to now.

*Except we've only had it for 5ish days.  Minor technicality.
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