Sunday, July 25, 2010

Middle Class Moment

"They" say that different characteristics are generally true of the different socio-economic classes represented in the United States. For example, most Americans who would consider themselves "middle class" take great pride in finding good deals and bargains, so much so that a compliment on an outfit, furniture piece, etc. is often followed by "And it only cost me ___ because...". The inherent "cheapness" for which said object was acquired generally boosts the value of the item in the owner's mind.

So, if you would spare me this vice...

Yesterday, I went to the local ARC thrift store to find this:

(I want it for my classroom to teach color words.)

And I came home with this:

Before you, you can see my two good as new pairs of Lucky and Ann Taylor jeans, a NY & Co. pair of black capris, and two pairs of pants from Target and once again Ann Taylor. Now lest you think I paid full thrift store price for these beauties, let me clarify that all of these pants were 1/2 off due to the Saturday tag sale for a grand total of about $20.

Now you know my secret, and I value these five pants all the more. The only additional cost I should mention is that while I was waiting to try on my finds, I saw a kid walk by carrying... you guessed it... Candy Land. Lesson learned: Hit up the game section first before moving on to deal diving.

Friday, July 23, 2010

You Can Only Drink Fake Coffee With True Friends

Eric and I were so blessed by a visit from some of our dearest and best friends, Julie and Chase, early last week. We got lucky and got 2 days of their short time home visiting from Nicaragua where they serve in a ministry called One-by-One.

Not to worry, though, we maximized our time! In less than 48 hours, we managed to play Settlers, Bang, and Puerto Rico almost to our hearts' content; cook a meal together; watch hilarious You Tube videos; stay up ridiculously late*; and even hit up some Denver establishments.

The only unfortunate part of this experience was that it was way.too.short. I am looking up the cost of plane tickets, and Eric is looking into teleporting devices.

*This tradition was happily started long ago by Julie and Nicole. For years, Chase and Eric have attempted to scoff at this practice, but secretly, they like it too.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Today Began at 3:45 a.m.

But it was worth it. Thanks Mt. Bierstadt for making us really tired and really happy, and giving us a top of the mountain view.

Also of note, our not pictured friend/man behind the camera, aka Aaron, also joined us and climbed his first 14er today. He also well documented it. So maybe you can see more of my Colorado 14er travel guide tomorrow!

3,000 feet below

3, 000 feet higher

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Mixing Family with Vacation

In addition to taking a work break and enjoying the ocean, we also got to see some family! Two uncles, one grandma, and one new aunt later ... we had seen some lovely sights with some lovely people!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

There's Always Money in the Banana Stand

So check it off for year number four. While we were actually together on our anniversary this year, we waited a few weeks and took the July 4th weekend to go celebrate. This celebrating our anniversary a month late thing has become a staple for us, so much so that I actually forgot our anniversary was in June and not July.

With our swimsuist packed, we headed out to Laguna Beach, CA and did some exploring.

In addition to the beach, we explored a farmer's market ...

Downtown Disney ...

A red phone booth ...

Balboa Island ...

and while we managed not to grab one good picture of just the two of us, we did get a lovely picture of our two frozen bananas from competing banana stands. Don't worry, both of them are actually from the Original one. And sadly, neither are a Bluth.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Jeremiah 17:9

Eric always gets on to me because I am a people watcher... okay maybe people starer. I never mean to- I just find people so interesting. Today though, I promise, I was not staring. I simply had a conversation shoved down my ears.

I was eating my lunch at Chick-fil-a, while watching the little girl I nanny play in the playhouse, when some teenage girls sat down behind me. After discussing Twilight and how Harry Potter should not have named - spoiler alert- one of his sons Albus Severus because that name "is just awful," the following conversation took place.

Girl 1: I really love the feeling of new socks. Yep you read right- new socks.
Girl 2: Yeah, new socks are nice.
Girl 1: So, I have a question for you. If there was a machine that would give you nice, new fluffy socks every day, and the only thing was every time you got a pair a kid in Africa got punched... would you take them? Yes, still reading correctly.
Girl 2: Uhh, I don't know.
Girl 1: Yeah, I think I would. I mean at first, I thought no way, but then, I really like new socks a lot.
Girl 2: Well, would you have to punch the kid?
Girl 1: Oh no, you wouldn't even know the person who did it.
Girl 2: Would it be the same kid every time?
Girl 1: No, probably not. That would suck. I mean, there's lots of kids there. And we wouldn't even know them anyways.
Girl 2: Yeah, I'd probably take the socks.

As I choked down an expletive and resisted the urge to say something in my best teacher voice complete with stare, I was suddenly struck by how I am the same as those girls. I like convenience, and I like nice things. Now I may be able to take or leave new socks, but there are a lot of other ridiculous, petty things that I enjoy. And quite frankly, while I feel there is nothing wrong in wanting good coffee or nice clothes or a wedding ring or whatever, I also don't really go out of my way to see how what I buy or do affects those around the world. I just let the machine punch the African kid and turn a blind eye. I think that may be one of our common sins as Americans. Greed aside, in accumulating life, liberty, and happiness, we feel that ignorance is our moral get-out-of-jail-free card.

, you will not see me tomorrow wearing only my bare feet with my GAP (RED) t-shirt and a skirt I sewed from blades of grass in my front yard (frankly I'm not doing enough watering to procure that kind of crop). But living honestly with my heart as I go about my day to day actions is a direction in which I want to walk. Today was also a reminder that I want to raise children who care deeply for others, who are empathetic, and who value all persons as of worth in God's eyes (and no, this is not a pregnancy announcement). And most importantly, it calls me to my knees to thank the GOD who searches my heart for his grace and mercy upon my life and to ask HIM to help me live in HIS direction.