My Blog

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Sweet Kitten

Auntie Heather, I have been trying to get this on video for WEEKS. It just wasn't possible because every time I turned on the camera she would get too curious about the camera and stop. But it's SO so cute, and you need to see it because you were the one to provide her with this plush kitty bed. If you turn your volume way up you can hear the person you can hear it all the way across the room. She'll do this for like 10 minutes straight and then fall into a deep sleep. For the first part, she's distracted by the camera, but 30 seconds into the video she starts doing what I'm talking about.

Our kitten has figured out how to open our door. When I caught this on video I had never seen her do it, because the only time she finds it necessary to open the door is in the middle of the night when Brent and I have "locked" her out of our bedroom. (We've had to resort to putting a chair underneath the handle so she can't get in. Sure it's only a matter of time before she figures out how to get around that obstacle.) To get her to open the door I put an almost empty can of tuna on the other side of it.

I just had to see her do it again, so after letting her lick the tuna can for 5 minutes or so, I let PDub have at it and closed the door on Penny again. The noises of PDub chowing down drove Penny crazy...she just had to have that tuna!

Thursday, April 28, 2011


This is what has been on my mind for the past 48 hours.

My work at QAI is going wonderfully. I'm so thankful for the people I work with, they are all so encouraging and welcoming.

I've been working 1-2 days a week for the past two months or so, waiting to be hired on full time. Yesterday my boss called me into his office to inform me that they would love to have me start working 4 days a week: 2 days working in the physical testing arena (my "focus") and 2 days working on a special administrative project. He further committed to me that when they meet their sales goals, I WILL be hired full time, 5 days a week.

I'm so blessed. I'm so thankful for what God has taught me about hard work in the last 2 years, since I first stepped foot out into the work world. 2 years ago I had an exceptionally shaky start, suffered the consequences of it, discovered where I needed to grow, and then God started growing me. In His perfect timing He has now placed me in this company where the people believe that I can contribute much. I am humbled by the wisdom of the more experienced persons in the company and am grateful that though they know SO MUCH MORE than me about what we do and how we do it, they patiently and slowly teach me, never expecting me to know more than I do, and praising me for what I learn.

Ok, I promised myself this post would only take me 5 minutes and I've already spent 10 minutes diverging from my originally intended topic.

Priorities. Though I feel blessed beyond words by this opportunity God has given me, I have this anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach. Starting next week I will be working Monday through Thursday, 8-5, leaving my house before 7 to get home almost 12 hours later. I feel the type of fear you would expect if you were being slowly lowered feet first onto a rapidly running treadmill. I'm concerned that the things that I treasure in my mind as priorities will fall by the wayside...I fear I'm gonna crash and burn.

God. My relationship with Him is should be my number one priority. Communing with Him by dwelling on His Word, praying to Him, praising Him. Taking time out of my day to focus on Him, never letting a day go by where the most attention I give to Him is a quick "Lord, help me," when I feel desperate.

Practically, I've always believed that for me this means opening the Bible every morning. Discouragingly, this is not yet a habit for me, and I know that as soon as my life gets crazier with work it will be even more difficult to make this a habit.

Brent. My relationship with him is should be my number two priority. Thankfully, for the most part, this comes pretty easy to me. :) Spending time with him is my favoritest thing ever, so even if we're both dog tired at the end of a day, our time together is sweet, encouraging and refreshing. I still have many ways I can grow in making Brent one of my foremost priorities, but God's made this priority of mine the easiest one of all. :)

Work. My commitment to work is should be my number three priority. Many of you may disagree with the way that Brent and I have ordered my last three priorities, but after prayer and scripture reading, I believe that for this phase of life work comes before meal preparation and house cleaning. Thankfully, my job so far has been one that I can completely leave "at work," I don't need to take any of it home with me, mentally or otherwise. That means that when I am home I am HOME and can focus on my other priorities.

Meal Preparation. My commitment to meal preparation is should be my number four priority. Brent and I DO NOT want to become a family that eats take out every night of the week. Though I get home close to 7 every night, I can muster up what energy I have left and whip up a meal, because a homecooked anything is almost always better than any cheap meal you can buy. Now that I'll be working close to full time Brent and I are discussing how I can make weeknight meal-making more weekends may need to be full of cooking.

Housecleaning. Housecleaning is should be my number five priority. I am a clean freak. Oh my goodness, I am a clean freak. This doesn't mean that my house is always clean. It just means that when it isn't, I freak. I have to keep up a rigorous schedule of chores to keep my home up to my standard....many weeks I fall short of my own standard, but when I hit it, man, those weeks I feel light as a feather. I feel like hiding under a cave when I think about what working full time will do to my cleaning schedule.

Now that I've listed my priorities, I'll let you in on a secret. Those are only priorities in my head. I have not taken those priorities to heart. You want to know what my actions and words reveal what my priority list is? Housecleaning, Meals, Brent, Work, God.

I discovered that secret about my heart the other day when I started mentally planning ahead for the coming monsoon. I'm realizing that the areas of my life that I am most anxious about losing control of are the ones that should be my lowest priorities (for this phase of our marriage, at least).

So in addition to all that I have on my plate right now, I have some serious heart issues to deal with! Praise be to God, I am not abandoned to deal with my heart on my own. He is faithful to guide, to break and to mold. Over the past 48 hours I've found myself praying the same things over and over again: Guide me as to what my priorities should be, and let my priorities sink into my heart.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Hollywood Studios

So I didn't mention that after we got all cleaned up from our day at the water park, we headed to Hollywood Studios for dinner. We went to the 50's Prime Time Cafe where we had the most FUN food experience of our whole trip. The whole diner is themed like "mom's" kitchen from the 50's, and every table has a view of a television that continuously plays clips from classic sitcoms such as the Donna Reed Show, Dick Van Dyke Show, and Leave it to Beaver.

Also, the servers are hired to be rather rude and snotty to you, which just adds to the fun. You can talk smack back at them too.

When our waiter served us our coca-cola drinks we had ordered, he shoved them on our table and left while muttering, "One's vanilla and one's cherry, don't remember which is which." Brent and I were giggling throughout our meal as we interacted with our server and watched other servers interact with other customers. The servers were fantastically entertaining.

Oh, and we just had to order a Boston cream parfait for dessert.

We had an evening flight home on the day after we went to Islands of Adventure, so we spent our half day before heading to the airport at Hollywood Studios again. We seated ourselves in an auditorium to watch a live Indiana Jones stunt show, and before it started they selected six or seven people from the audience to be a part of the cast.

Guess who was chosen to be one of those six or seven?

Brent got a video of the whole thing...they dressed us up in costume and everything. It was literally my 20 minutes of fame. Haha.

On display in one of the ride queues was the very carousel horse that Julie Andrews rode in Mary Poppins. I just HAD to have my picture taken with it.

We stayed as LONG as we could on Disney World property that day, and literally we barely made our flight. Thankfully our flight was delayed 45 minutes, but still, we ran up to the gate just as they were boarding. It was a close one.

And in the midst of the hurry we accidentally left one of our souvenirs in the rental car. :(

So there you go! Our wonderful vacation to Florida!

Universal's Islands of Adventure

We got to the entrance of the theme park a half hour before opening time, and when they opened the gates, we headed straight to the back of the park to the Harry Potter land. Still, by the time we got to the main ride, it was a 45 minute wait.

The ride was fantastic, an impressive mixture of CG simulation, animatronics and authentic roller coaster thrills.

The rest of the Harry Potter world was themed to the max, and would have been extremely enjoyable if you were not literally standing shoulder to shoulder with strangers throughout the whole of it. It was fun but would have been much more so if it were more spread out and if they didn't allow so many people into the land at the same time. I got grumpy really quickly....I hate bumping into people right and left and I detest grumpy strangers shouting through my ears at their children on the other side of me. My overall experience in the land wasn't a good one, but that wasn't the theme park's fault. There is just too much hype surrounding that section of the theme park right five years I would love to go explore it again.

The butterbeer was tasty. The foam was so buttery and delicious.

The line for the main ride crept through Hogwarts itself. It was the best line I have ever waited got to meander through school rooms, the herbology greenhouse, Dumbledore's office, etc.

One of the students at Hogwarts.

The second half of our day was much more pleasant. We enjoyed a show or two and a few roller coasters, and by 5 o'clock felt that we had done everything we wanted to do in the theme park.

It was our last full day in Orlando. :(

Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom was great, but unfortunately by this time in our trip we were too tired to enjoy it to the fullest extent. I would love to go again someday when I'm well rested.

In the background of this picture you see the site of the best Disney coaster I have ever been on: Expedition Everest.

This guy was hanging out and grazing while we waited in line for our African Safari Tour.

So was this guy.

The first animal sighting our our tour: Big ol' rhinoceros.

Happy hippo.

Storks not intimidated by their proximity to the hippos.

Underwater hippo.

Momma duck and ducklings.

Cackling Nile crocodiles. Something was REALLY funny.

Ah, we come to the start of the safari part of our safari.

This fellow was huge, and he was walking right toward our vehicle.

I'm not sure this girl was cool with how close his horns came to her.

"Wild" zebras and a giraffe.


No, I didn't get a picture of his colorful butt.

This guy came and said hi. He got VERY close to our car.

VERY hard worker.

Poor fellow. I wonder if that nose of his hurts?

Ballerina move. I giggled a lot at this.

So cozy.

I'm looking at something very interesting, apparently.

Oh, ew. Shudder shudder shudder.

I need to warn you...if you scroll down any farther it is quite possible that you will suffer from nightmares for the next fifty years and feel the urge to cover your head any time you walk out of doors.

I warned you.

There were dozens of them, and they were hideous. Amazing creatures, but hideous. And get this, there was no plexi-glass, no mesh, no NOTHING separating them from their human visitors. They could have flown at us at any time. SO freaky.

Gearing up for a big cat fight?

This could be good.

Oh, she's standing up...ready to strike.

And - the moment's over.

You really handled that well.

On to the bird showcase:

Curious thing.

When left for our resort in the mid-afternoon so that we could rest up for the next day's adventure: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!