The ramblings of a woman,
wife, & mother, who loves:
Jesus / my man / the three,
learning about parenting /
mamahood / childbirth,
cooking foods healthy /
international / yummy,
pretending to garden /
write / design,
attempting to run /
exercise / lift weights,
enjoying traveling /
camping / adventures,
finding ways to love /
serve / sacrifice for others.

It is not to say she does these things
with style or grace, or even skill.


One of a kind (not just one in a million or more!)

November 27, 2008 - 6:00 AM

It's amazing when 9 years feels like hardly 1...

9 years BABY!

... though technically, when you do start taking into account the little cuties on our heels, 9 seems like a good number.

Speaking of numbers, this year in celebration of our marriage I wanted to write about numbers, or specifically numbers with dollar signs and decimal places.  They say love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.  They say you cannot serve both God and money.  They say 1 in 2 marriages end in divorce and most marriages end because of money.  They say the odds of lasting 9 years in your marriage is... yeah, I looked for a stat on that one and didn't find it (though we all know 42.7% of all stats are made up).

Josh and I didn't marry for money, we married "negative money" when we married each other - dragging along the bags of school loans and high interest college sanctioned credit cards.  (Oh, if we would have been told 5 years earlier not to do such things!)  Negative money, starting a business from scratch, medical bills, ugh!  BUT even though in lack, we never fought about money.

That is until almost 2 years ago.

Josh wanted to take this financial class and he wanted me to go with him.  Personally, my first response was, "What a dumb name for a class."  My second response was a combination of anger, angst, frustration, etc, etc, etc and sadly I took our those emotions on Josh.  The only obvious reason being my pride.  (Ex. I don't need to go to a financial class, I know it all and I have everything under control.)

It saddens me to admit it, but I need to be honest - I let "money" cause a rift in our marriage.  And once again, it proved that having God at the center of my life was the most important thing to keeping our marriage together.  Though my heart was not in it fully and I couldn't smile, dragging my feet even, I choose to love God more than myself and loving God helped me to love my husband and... I went.

Now, I could go on and on about the class itself and what a blessing it has been to our finances and how subsequently being on the same page with our finances has made our marriage that much stronger, but the class isn't my main point* - us choosing to love God first is.

This year, the most important number to me is 1 - one God who united Josh and I as one for the last 9 years... Hooray!  Happy Anniversary Honey!  I love adding one every year with you!


*Though I would make it my second point and if you haven't been to this class before you should go!

We're going on a Sea Star Hunt...

November 18, 2008 - 4:44 PM

We're gonna catch a big one!  Oh no, we're not scared!

Ummm... remember this guy?  The one in the scuba suit?

scuba max at school

Max, I am currently convinced, will be a cross between Jacques Cousteau and Christo, blending his art and his love of God's creation of marine biology into a perfect combination.*  It came as no shock to me during the summer, when he started researching the sea, that he would want to go to the sea to see it for himself someday.  Sadly, I had to explain to him the location and logistics and the cost and that with gas prices so high ($4 then) going anytime soon would be near impossible for our family.   (Though I said it in much gentler words.)

Then gas prices started lowering and they were sitting around $3 when I made some comment about how gas was "cheaper."  To which Max replied, "Cheap enough to get us to the sea?"  To which I replied, "It'd have to get WAY cheaper to get us to the sea."  "How cheap?  If it is $2 can you take me to the sea?"  "I don't think so."  "How cheap?" I considered the possibility for a moment and said, "Max, if gas prices get to a buck fifty, I'll drive you to the sea."  A triumphant, "YES!"

For me, I like saying the words "buck fifty" over and over again... kind of like the person who sits and watches the drinking bird for hours on end and never grows weary... buck-fifty... buck-fitee... buck-fit-ee...

Did I think gas prices would get down to a buck fifty?  Nope.  Did I think I would have to pony up and drive Max to the sea anytime in the near future?  Nope.  Was this around the time when McCain had said, "The fundamentals of our economy are strong?"  Probably.  Has Max told me the price of gas every day since I made this agreement?  Yep.  Am I nearing the point of eating my words?  Yep.

Currently the national gas average is $2.14.  The People's Republic of C I C currently sits at $1.89, which stats say is one of the more expensive places to buy gas in IA.  Josh found that Kansas City has gas for $1.47... Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas all have good cheap gas... all the way to the sea.

Needless-to-say, I now have to start doing some real logistical research.  I have no idea if we can even pull this off in our budget but now that I have a real possibility it may hit a buck fifty, I need to get the facts - stat.

Lessons learned? "'Never get involved in a land war in Asia' - you'll wish you were at the sea" and "Don't make flippant, goofy, outlandishes promises with your kids based on word sounds - they won't get your joke and they will hold you to your promise" and "Make sure you always prepare a way of escape - as in an escape clause" because I don't know yet how we are going to get our way out of this one if the budget doesn't allow (Seeing how our dishwasher broke today, OY!  It's gonna be tough!).  I trust if we can't do it, Max will be understanding - but OH how I curse the day I heard those words...


*Of course we desire him to be pressing hard after the Lord as an adult, don't worry, we're on it.

As Seen On TV - Country Mice and City Mice

November 11, 2008 - 10:17 PM

Generally I prefer staying off the beaten path, but sometimes you just have to do something IF you happen to find yourself a block away...

While in NYC I remembered that there was an Indian restaurant that had been featured on FOX's Kitchen Nightmares.  Now I know what you are thinking, "Why go to a once dump that could still be or have turned back into a dump?"  Welp, sometimes the risk is worth the story.

To note: Josh and I love Indian food, we have recently found this Indian food joint in town that we have fallen in love with the food / owner, and when it comes to food, we love to try out new places.

The latest Revisited episode from KN showed that the restaurant ( was still doing great and had kept their cleaned up act, even inviting diners to tour their kitchen and storage.  I was confident on the food quality but it was definitely the sanitary quality that scared me the most. 

As seen on TV?  The place looked like on TV (though the wide angle lens used during filming definitely made the place look 3 times as large).  TV made the decorative elements shine like an actor's face through cheese cloth (meaning, though beautiful - in person you could tell the decor was built in a day).  Thankfully too, the place looked clean and tidy.

What about the food?

One thing I like to do is ask the waitstaff what is their favorite dish (generally, this bites me in the behind as they will just tell me what they think I want to hear or what most people order) and our waitress played along.  We got the Channa Chat, per her suggestion, to start and Josh got his favorite Korma and I tried her "favorite" Tikka Masala.

Waiting for our food Josh was quizzing me on the episode and I am filling in all the details about Chef Ramsay, the restaurant, the new chef... when who should come out and deliver our starter than THE chef himself.  He was as smily as ever and we were the only ones he personally delivered a dish to the whole evening. (The first photo below was taken as fast as possible but it was so delicious we started eating and messed up the presentation before we got the shot off.)

To note: I actually had the thought that the waitstaff was trained that if someone OBVIOUSLY looks like an out-of-towner they are to tell the chef and he will show his face... hmmmm...

In any event, the food was delicious.  One thing Chef Ramsay always stresses is fresh food, nothing canned or frozen and the food here was definitely fresh and crisp.  Another amazing treat was how you could taste each spice - it wasn't a blend / mush of flavor.  Have you ever heard a food columnist say a dish has very delicate tastes or distinguished flavors?  Honest, when you would take a bite you could taste each sliver of spice in different places throughout your mouth... it was unbelieveable. 

channa chat korma and tikka masala mango dessert

To top if off (a favorite of ours), the waitress brought out extra things we did not order - raita for my tikka masala and the most delicious dessert, an iced mango treat of some sort (no idea on the name).  Our entire visit was an absolute treat and it doesn't bother me they played us like country bumpkins.  For me, it is more about the company than the location and any date with my husband is deliciously entertaining and wonderfully memorable. 

To note: Our waitress asked how we liked it and we said very much and commented how we love Indian food to which she asked, "Oh, so you eat it once a year?"  To which we said, "No, once every week or so."  You could tell by her expression, she did NOT believe us.

Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful... Beautiful Miriam.

November 10, 2008 - 11:18 PM

she's 4!

What a beautiful little girl!  (With her beautiful cake she and Max decorated!)

Oh so, early this morning, she squeezed in between Josh and I, made herself at home and fell back to sleep.  We were both looking at her and commented that she is now 4... 4... really?  That old? 

Over the last year she truly has started to become her own little person... her own little person who loves to make new friends, loves to compliment people's puppies, who loves to play with ponies, who loves to constantly make up her own songs for any occassion and about anything...

Looking at her this morning, I was reminded again how I take it for granted.  Not the "it" of spending the day with our kids, loving them, teaching them, guiding them... yes, those all are true and wonderful, but it is more than that.  The "it" is the actual gift of having them with me - today, here, now, right now, their gift of life.

Having lost a friend this year and having watched many friends lose their little ones over the years, I am continually grabbing all our cuties and holding them tight in my arms and I, honestly, never want to let go.  It's cliche, people say it all the time, but darn it, it is so true... each day is a gift and oh, how I could take advantage of it more.

Happy Birthday Miss Miriam!  We can't imagine life without you!  I can't imagine my life without you.


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About Me and This Blog...

Begin Our Adventures of Fall/Winter 2012 to CA, MN, CO
   Ladies Trip to Napa Valley
   My Parents Rode in a Plane!

Begin Our Adventures of Summer 2012 to MN and CO
   Vacation to the North Shore and Cabin
   Boulder for the Summer
   Life in Boulder

Begin Our Adventures of Winter/Spring 2012 to UT
   The Drive to CO/UT Begins
   Vacation in Moab
   Living in Moab / Denver

Begin Our Adventures of Fall/Winter 2011 to CA
   The Drive to CA Begins
   Living in the SF
   Living in the Suburbs
   Coming Home to IC

Begin Our Adventures of Summer 2010 to Eastern Europe
   Life at Czech English Camp
   Travels in Germany & Austria
   Travels in Czech & Poland


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