Friday, June 27, 2008

Fantastic Fridays - is there a calm AFTER the storm?

1. Car accident - check

2. Bridal showers - check

3. Bachelorette party - check

4. Campbell Wedding - check

5. Family departs - check

6. Sheila (from Wisconsin) comes to DC - check

7. Dad in town - check

8. Dad out of town - check

9. Appointment for car estimate - check

10. FRIDAY - C-H-E-C-K!!!!

That is why today is fantastic. I feel like I've been running around like a chicken with my head cut off for the last 10 days! I actually will be on the go again tomorrow because one of my roommates from Annapolis (kelly) is moving and they're throwing her a going away party. But as for tonight... I am relaxing. I'm not making any plans unless I feel like it and I may just sit at home, watch a movie and do laundry. I never thought that would be an ideal Friday night for me, but this Friday night, it is. I've had a blast the past two weeks with everything going on and people coming in and out of town. But this girl needs a second to breathe. I need a calm AFTER the storm... does that happen? Here's to hoping it does.

Pics from the past two weeks (I'll get some up of my car when I get a chance to download them)

One of a couple Bridal showers

Rehearsal Dinner - Kickball game (Swanson clan w/ a couple Scotts)

KICKBALL!!!!!! (we crushed them, by the way.)

Wedding preparations


The aftermath!!

United game with Sheila (old friend from AIA camp)

Romping around DC

....doing the tourist thing

And b/c she's from Green Bay, she wanted Seafood :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Goin' to tha Chapel....

As most of you know, Amy (oldest sister), got married this weekend!! It was such a special time not only because we got to see God's faithfulness to two of His children by bringing them together, but also because our whole family was there. It's not everyday that you can get us all together in the same place and time. It was a special time for us as a family and especially Amy.

Since graduating from college, moving to Maryland and moving back to Northern VA, Amy and I have grown closer than I ever imagined we would. Obviously, I have always loved her and wanted the best for her as her sister. But as we've grown closer and developed a friendship, it has allowed us to share in joys and sorrows in a way that goes so much deeper than just friendship or just sisterhood. She's not just my sister and not just my friend, she's both! Sometimes we would sit and talk about life and boys and families, and it didn't seem fair that God had not yet brought Amy to her husband. There was definitely a lot of trial and error (dates with different guys). But these trial and errors have produced some HILARIOUS stories that could make you laugh so hard you'd cry (SCORE!!!). Like all things in life, with the laughs, came the tears. My heart would ache for her sometimes and I wondered why God was letting it take so long for this desire of hers to be filled... It all seemed so unfair. Here was a girl who had laid down her life to serve God (have I mentioned that Amy is about as loyal a person as I've met), to further His Kingdom, and He wouldn't fulfill just this one little desire. Sometimes I just wanted to throw one of those 2-year-old-tantrums to God pleading her case for her... because she sure as heck wouldn't do it. I mean hello, here's this beautiful Godly woman.... God must have just missed her on accident? Okay, not likely. But I can't say that I never wondered what in the world God was waiting for! But Amy allowed her unfulfilled desire to be the thorn in her side that would undoubtedly lead her back to Christ as the devil tried to convince her that God had forgotten her. She prayed for a man that would love and serve Christ with her and for many other characteristics that Christ has honored, not because she's been so faithful but because HE is so faithful and loves His children. I'm still not sure what took so long, but I know that David and Amy were made for each other! I think she'd tell you a million times over, David was worth waiting for! She's been glowing since they began dating. Love looks good on her (and David too)!!

I'm so thankful that Amy and I have grown so close and I've been able to walk through some of this part of life with her. It has been such a tangible reminder to me that God is working behind the scenes even though it may not always seem like it. And that we are called to trust and delight ourselves in Him, then He will take care of the rest! Congrats to Amy and David!

Here are some pictures of God's faithfulness this weekend! ENJOY

The happy couple

Getting to see loved ones and new additions b/c of the wedding!

Siblings all together

Swanson girls and their dapper men!

The whole clan :)

Some lovin' at the Rehearsal

The NEWLYWEDS!!!! Great is Thy faithfulness!!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Rolling with the punches....

I was on my way home last night, on Leesburg Pike, and all of the sudden, BAM!! A shiney, red Cadilac tags the passenger side of the back end of my car. Wonderful. Tell me how it's possible to not have been in an accident in 8 years with my old car and then I get a new car and in 3 months I get tagged! Ah well, such is life. The guy and his girlfriend were from out of town and repeatedly admitted it was his fault, so insurance should take care of it, Lord willing. One of my friends said to me, "aww your poor baby. I bet your dying to see her all banged up." I had to laugh because I honestly never thought of those scraps of metal personified as "my baby." It's just a car for goodness sakes! And it gets me from point A to point B.... in a jiffy. and yes, it looks cool. BUT IT'S JUST A CAR! I guess that's the difference between boys and girls. Well, one of them. I was more annoyed that I couldn't go work out before I had to meet up with Wendy (pianist) about wedding music. oh bladie oh blada life goes on, yeah! :)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Parent's Day....

Before I go into all of the reasons I didn't write a Father's Day blog yesterday, I would be remiss if I didn't add that I never wrote a Mother's Day blog either. You see, I got off track with this whole blogging thing... so, instead of blogging about how wonderful my dad is, I'm going to blog about how special both of my parents are. After all, they make each other stronger and sharper, so it's hard to talk about one with out mentioning the other.
Mom and Dad really are a force to be reckoned with... The majority of the adult world can not say they have raised 5 children that are in some manner of speaking, a positive influence to today's society and have loving relationships with each of them to this day. If you ask either of them about how they think they did as parents they would give you a laundry list of things that they should've done better. But if you ask me, or any of my siblings for that matter, I think we'd all say the same thing. Mom and Dad gave us everything they had, supported and loved us always. Even through the times when we acted in ways that to some people would be considered very unlovable.... and trust me, I know there were plenty of times that I was a very unlovable teenager! Mom and Dad cultivated a home that was safe, encouraging, challenging, fun, loving and most of all Christ centered.
I'm not really sure words can personify the ways Mom and Dad shaped our lives. They were never too tired to help us with a project or some homework (Dad, do you remember trying to teach me that the holes on loose leaf paper were supposed to go on the left?? There were a lot of tears and flipping of the paper but you finally got it through my stubborn skull...). Mom and Dad were the parent's that everyone could depend on to show up. Whether it was to a sporting event, band concert, PTA meeting, church gathering or being a field trip chaperone, they were always there. I seldom remember a time that something was needed and they weren't around to help fulfill the need.

Sure, Mom and Dad may not have been perfect. But in their own right, they were Super-Mom and Super-Dad to us. I couldn't begin to count the many sacrifices and ways that they showed their "super humanness" through parenting to us, but I can tell you that I'm thankful God chose me to be their child. I got to grow up in a home that my mom and dad were a team and they made it a priority to make sure we felt and knew that we were loved. It may not have been perfect and I'm sure there were times that they felt like they weren't getting through to us. But we knew. We knew they loved us with everything they had. They loved us in different ways at different times but they always loved us and wanted nothing but the best for us.
So Happy Parent's Day, Mom and Dad! I can't thank you enough for the unconditional love you gave to me from day #1. I know that there are times I don't tell you enough but I love you and am so thankful I am yours and you are mine!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Fantastic Fridays.... a doosie of a week is finally over

It's been one of those weeks that I'm just thanking God it's Friday. You know the type of week that you find out your A/C is going to take a couple thousand dollars to actually fix and not just bandage up the problem, or you know, the type of week when you're trying to get to an appointment to pick up your bridesmaid dress before the shop closes (which of course you had to get something done at work so you're already running late) and your car won't start because the battery is dead. Only to find out that your NEW (to you) car's battery is the very same one that was installed when making the car... which means you need a completely new battery. Drat. As if that's not enough, an old romance of yours and you decide it's too hard to be friends....again, and you're back on the roller coaster of remembering what it feels like to lose someone special to you... all over again, even if it is just as a friend. Or even better, the type of week that you find out on Friday that one of your favorite artists is playing in your city, but you didn't realize it was THIS Friday, so you will undoubtedly not be in attendance unless you can figure out a way to get a ticket, get home after work, change, get back out to DC and figure out a way to conjure up some energy so to actually enjoy the concert and not sit there like a zombie. Yes, one of those kind of weeks.
Needless to say, it's been a rough week... BUT, Mom and Meggo are making their way up here from SC in the hot box (Durango with no a/c) and will be here all week! And that is pretty Fantastic in my book, especially after the week I've had. I'm looking fwd to hanging out with both of them, doing the bridal shower thing with Amy and maybe hitting the pool and relaxing while catching some rays.
Now I have to get back to work (lunch break in my cube, how dreadfully exciting) and call the help line for AKO because I can't seem to log on and take my No Fear Training class online. Oh joy. The week just keeps getting better. Someone get me out of here. Thank goodness it's Fantastic Friday.... lol.

I just realized something... today is Friday, the 13th. Now this is all making sense. ;)

Friday, June 6, 2008

A balanced life...for now. (and pics)

There are seasons in our lives when it seems like whatever it is we're involved in, whether it's a job, commitment, or the everyday chores of living life and getting by seem to swarm around us and suffocate any type of freedom we may have once had. I remember being in high school and even college for that matter and people saying "don't be in such a rush to grow up." I thought they were crazy. I couldn't wait to be on my own, doing my own thing. My question is, why didn't they hold up caution signs and wear bandages around all the scars that they've accumulated throughout this journey called "being on my own." Then maybe I would've heard what they said and slowed down to savor the "I have no real responsibility" journey. I would've seen that driving an hour to work and home after a 10 hour work day is really not what most people would call fun. Most sane people anyways. Or those silly things called bills that seem to never stop coming no matter what, aren't really that cool. Kind of annoying actually. It's like they never die. Persistent little creatures that seem to grow every year.

In saying all that, I have realized that although some of this "on my own" thing is more work and less play, some how I have found a sort of balance... for now. The Lord has blessed me with a fairly secure job (keeps the bills satisfied) that at times can actually be fun and allows for me to travel and visit, as well as meet a lot of people. It also allows for me to take vacations, for the most part, when I feel the urge. And just this week I was offered the Head Coaching position at a Episcopal High School. Needless to say, there will be less balance when I start that in November on top of my job with the Army. But it will be fun working with the girls and I think it will be fulfilling.

Speaking of living a balanced, grown up life, I figured I'd post some pictures from my different escapades over the past month. I was in FL (for work), NC (for fun) and Cali (for work). This being "on my own" thing isn't really that bad once you get the hang of it and figure out how to enjoy the ride. Sometimes you gotta roll with the punches but for now the blows have been minimal and I have to say the last month has been refreshing. I definately have tons to be thankful for. The Lord has kept me in His care and provided me with more than I deserve. He's an awesome God and I'm thankful for this season of my life, even if it's not quite what I expected. So here are a few pics from my trips.

Jamar and I on Country Western Night in the Outer Banks

Being silly

Majestic... Point Magu, CA

The sunset was amazing....

see what I mean?!

ps- I love my camera... look what
cool things you can do with it

Shoreline in Malibu

Off the Pacific Coast Hwy in Cali

Did I tell you I met the Bachelor?! :)
Just another day in the office!! lol.

Posted by Picasa

Fantastic Fridays

Well I must admit today has not seemed like a "fantastic friday" so far. I was exhausted by the time I finally went to bed last night. My small group combined with a guys small group in the area and we had a little summer bbq in Alexandria. Then we went to "The Dairy Godmother" for some frozen custard.... a little bit of Heaven right here in Alexandria!! mmm, mmm good! One of my good friends, Jordan was there and he let me ride on his motorcycle throughout the cute little neighborhood and that was my excitement for the night. I came home to an 82 degree house, did I mention my a/c is not working. lovely. Most of you who read my blog know how miserable it can be here in nova during the summer with no a/c. ugh.

But I just thought of why today IS fantastic.... the a/c man is coming to my house and hopefully my home will be a comfortable 68 degrees when I get home! yahooo! Yep, there's my answer. I will have a/c (Lord willing) soon and that is very fantastic. Oh, and I have another bbq tonight, which in my mind, is fantastic too!