fun in the sun, pt. 3

When we last left off, our protagonists were enjoying the sunshine at Kelly Park on a glorious Thursday afternoon, drifting down a lazy river in inner tubes...

Afterward, we cleaned up, took some pictures, and then headed to downtown Disney.

Downtown Disney. Bannister Babes: brains, brawn & beauty.
You doubted the brawn aspect??

Friday - our last full day in Florida - started off a little less warm than usual, and slightly cloudy...

The boys got their surf on... sort of.

As the day wore on, the temperatures rose quickly & it was yet another delightful day at the beach!

That night, the boys surprised Victoria & me with a romantic little dinner on the beach.

I adore this picture.

Appropriately for our last night, there was a gorgeous sunset.

And this concludes our trip to Florida!

imprint: connect. impact. change.

More vacation pics will be coming, but first I wanted to mention something I'm really pumped about:

This is the new young adults group at our church... but it's more than a "young adult group". Our goal is to simply build relationships with other people in our community and provide people with outlets for helping others... sort of a ripple effect. Our aim is not to preach at people, but rather, to live alongside them and get to know them. Doug & I have been attending some meetings as part of the "brainstorming core" for the group. Along with our fellow brainstormers, we've been reading a really thought-provoking book called UnChristian. But this isn't a book report, so I'll let you click on the link & discover for yourself.

Our first project is working with a new development in Detroit called "Peaches & Greens". I've been looking for information online about this, but haven't really come across anything that I think is related. Basically, it's going to be a market for residents of Detroit to purchase fresh produce & healthy food at affordable prices. Our church has been taking volunteers to assist in the construction, and Imprint is going to tag-team those efforts.

Check out the website. Much of the fodder there was composed by yours truly.

Our first real meeting is this Friday. If you live in metro-Detroit and are reading this, stop by the website for directions & come for a good time!


fun in the sun, pt. 2

So, you go from chilly Michigan/New York to Florida - what's the first thing you do?


You soak up the sun.

What do you do the following days?
Wash, rinse, repeat.

Still more to come later...
Be sure to check out Victoria's blog & Jeremy's too!


fun in the sun, pt. 1

We're back! Florida was nothing short of amazing. It was a perfect time of relaxation, fun, friendship, more relaxation, beach lounging, sunshine, excitement... and did I mention relaxation?! There are so many great pictures that I want to put up - I'll try to keep it brief! Be sure to check out Victoria's blog for more pics & tales.

Getting ready to take off!

The boys watching a movie...

Good morning - we're finally in Florida!

First stop - visiting Gram & Gramps. Love this pic of Gram & V.
After we set up our tents & campsite, we watched the sun set over the inlet.
More to come later!


out of office response

I found this scrawled on one of my legal pads at work. I wrote it during one of our meetings about a month ago.

Meeting Minutes
sweet candy scents
wafting through the room,
useless employee laments
indicate such gloom.
lunch is creeping nearer
with each tick of the clock.
now i can scarcely hear her
over my stomach's knock.
all day i dream of leaving -
i can't wait until it's five.
so excited, heart heaving
i hit the door alive,
ready to escape the drone
of my computer screen,
fleeing from my phone
onto the next scene.
i can't do this every day -
desk, computer, chair.
i've got to get away
before i pull out all my hair.

That being said, I am outta here!

Sunshine, warm sand, blue skies, flip flops, bare legs, painted toenails, ocean waves - Florida, here I come!


how will my garden grow?

Tonight I planted the first seeds in what will hopefully be a mini garden. I don't have great ambitions for this garden, as we don't have much space, and I'm not even sure our landlady would smile on this endeavor. But she can't complain about a few chives, right?

Any suggestions for other easy things to plant & care for?
Don't even suggest tomatoes - I hate them.

I'm also growing some chives inside. I bought an adorable little planter at Target in the $1 section! It will need to be replanted when it gets bigger, but for now it works. I've been wanting to grow some cooking plants indoors for quite some time, so I figured, no better time than now!


loving literature

On Sunday, Doug & I went to the mall. I used up the rest of my GAP gift card (which was a birthday present! This may be the longest a gift card given to me has ever lasted!). I got an awesome outfit I'm pretty sure I'll wear to the Jack Johnson concert Doug & I are attending in June.

Oh, did I forget to mention before that DOUG AND I ARE GOING TO A JACK JOHNSON CONCERT IN JUNE?!

Because we are.

Anyway, while we were at the mall, we stumbled across what may have been the best used book sale in the world. I know I've talked about this before, but I am obsessed with books. The way they smell (especially old, musty books...), the way they look, the way the pages crinkle... when I saw the mountains of previously loved literature at bargain prices, I made the following remark to my amused husband: "I'm having trouble breathing."

We purchased the following:

-The Land of Oz, by L. Frank Baum
-Jurassic Park, by Michael Crichton (guess who picked out this one?)
-100 Selected Poems, by e.e. cummings
-The Brothers Karamazov, by Dostoyevsky
-Crime & Punishment, by Dostoyevsky
-Notes from the Underground, Poor People, and The Friend of the family, by Dostoyevsky
-A Great Books Primer, ed. by Robert Hemenway
-The Sun Also Rises, by Hemingway
-Absalom, Absalom!, by Faulkner
-Tender is the Night, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
-Robert Frost's Poems, by Robert Frost
-The Borrowers Afloat, by Mary Norton
-A Good Man is Hard to Find & Other Stories, by Flannery O'Connor
-1984, by George Orwell (I swear I have this somewhere, but apparently Doug wanted his own copy.)
-We the Living, by Ayn Rand
-Nine Stories, by J.D. Salinger
-The Elements of Style, William Strunk & E.B. White (awesome 1959 edition!)
-Virgil and Other Latin Poets, by Virgil... and other Latin poets
-The Testament, by Elie Wiesel
-By the Shoes of Silver Lake, by Laura Ingalls Wilder
All of that came to a grand total of $5.83. And Doug graciously donated an extra $2, at which point I thought the cute old lady cashing us out was either going to have a heart attack or attempt to steal my husband.


5 days...


random is the spice of life

It's been a pretty busy week, with nothing terribly blog-worthy to write about. I mean, awesome things happened, but nothing that provided substantial material for an entertaining blog.

Highlights of the Week:
-Our much anticipated reunion with the Castles last evening!
-Being asked to take several breaks (which I utilized to go to Starbucks) at work this week because of all the construction in our office.
-The Office returning (& going to the Townleys to watch it) - even though I was disappointed by the episode.

So, since I don't really have too much to write about (other than going to Florida in ONE week!!), I'm copying my new blog friend:

What was I doing ten years ago (1998):
*Practicing for the 8th grade musical - Li'l Abner
*Trying to grow out my bangs
*Being an awkward new teenager - trying to figure out what was "in style"
*Still loving on MxPx and wanting to marry Michael Herrera
*Putting sun-in in my hair and getting in trouble for it.

5 things on my to-do list today:
*update my educational portfolio
*set up the guest bedroom for Mom & Emily
*mop the kitchen floor? If I feel like it...
*sewing :)
*dinner with the Englands!

5 snacks I enjoy:
*chocolate chip cookies
*cheese slices & apple slices
*fruit of all varieties
*chips and salsa

5 things I would do if I were a billionaire:
*pay off all our loans & pay for my siblings' college educations
*travel all over the place with Doug
*quit working & pursue a business with Victoria
*donate to various organizations & charities
*buy a new vehicle finally

5 bad habits:
*reading blogs
*rubbing my lips when they're chapped
*not being consistent in my devotions
*not working out enough
*procrastinating (see first bad habit)

5 places I have lived:
*Kent, NY - Excelsior Farms! (1985-2003, spring 2007)
*Spring Arbor, MI - Spring Arbor University (2003-2006)
*Oxford, England (fall 2006)
*Plymouth, MI (July 2007 - current)

I've only lived 4 places, which is fine by me!

5 jobs I have had:
*growing up on a farm - this totally counts.
*insurance office - doing various office work
*SAU - School of Education (shout out to Marci Stanley!) and Student Development (both as an RA and a student worker)
*Last Chance Academy (yes, that is actually the name they gave this school) - English teacher
*documentation writer at foster care agency

Okay, this was a relatively boring entry. Time to go be productive. Maybe.


seeing the fruits of my labor

Mom & Dad - be so proud. All those years of piano (what's it been... 17-18 years?!) have finally paid off.

113 words



the squirrel chronicles

Doug & I enjoyed a sunny afternoon sitting out on our deck, reading/napping.

We had a little friend, whose company we enjoyed the entire time we were out there. He was quite photogenic:

These next two pictures, he sat up and looked right at me!

After which, he was promptly sick of my paparazzi-like photography...

moses, moses...

Charlton Heston died last night.

Prepare yourselves for all the jokes about Charlton finally surrendering his guns.

I used to love watching The Ten Commandments around Easter time with my family. Let's be honest - I had such a crush on the hot, young Moses. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any pictures of hot, young Moses - just old, bearded Moses.

Rest in peace, Charlton.


warm weather!

This morning, while Doug was at baseball (did I mention that he's the assistant coach for his old high school?!), I did some spring cleaning & organizing. It's not done, so our office/guest room is a mess right now, but I've got great ambitions...

Then, when Doug got back, we took advantage of this beautiful day and went for a walk to downtown Plymouth... our first stop was a local hair salon:

BEFORE ..................... AFTER

Then we just meandered through downtown...

I hope this weather is here to stay!