Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Graduation & Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti

Bet you thought I was gone for good! Nope, just a slacker. Haven't been around the place for the past two weekends, and not home much during the week, and when I am, I'm either catching up on chores, or enjoying important TV shows like Little People Big World, or Law & Order SVU. I still don't really feel like writing, but want to share the pics, so without further ado, here they are...

HUME LAKE COUPLES RETREAT

So, so, so glad that we were able to go to this. It looked a little sketchy for a stretch there, but God is good. He knew we really needed this piece of rejuvenation and focusing on us and Him. Hard to believe that a week ago at this time Erin, Kiyoko and I were in our swimsuits laying out in front of the lake, gearing up to do the GPS Treasure hunt. *Sigh* Very fun. There's no place else quite like Hume Lake. Think of the biggest and best summer camp you've ever been to, multiply it by 100, and you get Hume. They have quality facilities, quality location, quality worship, and get awesome speakers. You get the gist. We were fortunate to tag along with the Lankford's church, so we met a lot of new people, and they were all really nice. The scandal of the weekend was they thought Joe's identical brother Josh (whom they all know because he interns with Chris at their church) was there with a mystery woman (me). I lost count of the people who tentitively came up to Joe and said "Err, are you Josh, or Joe? And who are you with?". It was pretty funny.
Joe and I committed that we would always try and do things to benefit our marriage and relationship; we've just seen too many people focus on other things within their marriage like kids, work, etc., and we just want the foundation of "us" and where we are with the Lord to be rock solid, with the idea that everything else will be stronger and better off for it. That's why we're so for premarital counseling with a real counselor vs a pastor who definitely has the best of intentions, but not the same training. Ours was invaluable; in fact, we went back to her for about 1 session a month for 4 months right before Joe started the academy because we knew it was going to be a tough stressful situation. It really helped, and I firmly believe that working on yourself or relationship in that capacity is a good thing. More people should do it. OK, I'll get off my soap box now...
So, we took full advantage of all Hume had to offer like renting bikes and riding around the lake, the high ropes course for the guys, paddling out into the lake on a boat, the pool, the GPS treasure hunt (which was fun but really exhausting), the snack shack, hanging out at the coffee shop Hume n' Beans talking and laughing...really just playing. It was great. They took care of everything. But the real "meat" of the retreat was the speakers, Bill & Pam Farrel, who wrote the book Men Are Like Waffles & Women Are Like Spaghetti . We had all read the book, and actually, we had done it together as a small group with the Lankfords a few years ago. The whole point of the book in a nutshell, is that men compartmentalize things, while women connect everything together, and how to work through and with those differences in a loving relationship, rather than have them grow into really big problems. Communication, people!! That is what a lot of it boils down to...and Lord knows, I'm not perfect at it by any means, so it was really good to hear positive ways to work on it.

What was also really cool about the weekend, was not only being with the Lankfords (of course), but with our other friends who mean so much to us. Very rarely do all our schedules mesh together; so this was great. Hopefully, we can make it an annual thing where no matter where we are, or what we're up to, we can make it to this together. Friends are so important, aren't they? The older I get, the more I see just how much they do for us in our lives, and what purpose they have in them; especially for me, my girlfriends. Erin, well, I would have to sum it up that she is definitely my "kindred spirit" (you'll only get that reference if you read the Anne of Green Gables books, and if you didn't, I feel really sorry for you - its like you missed a piece of childhood). We are two peas in a pod. No matter how long it has been, we always start right back from where we left off - and we've never had a fight. No stupid girl drama with us. She was my maid of honor, she'll be my kids' aunt, and we'll be fun crazy old ladies together. 'Nuff said. And Kiyoko, she is the most generous person I know, coupled with fantastic advice. I love the frankness of our talks, how we can be creative and crafty together, and that time spent with her is time well spent. How did I get so lucky?



Me and my favorite guy. Jeez, I'm white. You can't tell where I start and where my tank top ends...



Biking around the lake with the Sorgels (Chase & Erin).



Contrary to what you might think, very yummy food - not camp-y at all. And check out the view from the dining hall...not too shabby, right?



Thank you Alder (especially room 201) - you were good to us...hope to see you next year!


GRADUATION

It was really fun, and I'm really glad that we were all able to be there, except, it really pointed out to me that my grandparents have really aged, and this was probably the last trip we'll make with them. I've been fortunate to have traveled quite a bit with all my grandparents, but this time was a very big contrast to all the previous times. It was stressful on them not remembering where they were, all the security precautions now, etc. Not too fun to watch. But on the flip side, my brother's graduated, we had an awesome dinner (no, didn't make it to the premiere), and really great memories. Luckily, we were blessed with a foggy morning for the graduation, otherwise I would've burned to a crisp despite the fact that I lathered on the sunscreen. We were seated out on the football field and there was not one spec of shade. I really hate being so fair, and I hope that our kids inherit Joe's tanning abilities. Anyway, the speakers were good, but there were A LOT of names we had to sit thru till they got to Blaine's. When they did, we all jumped up and screamed like maniacs. It was fun. Tip: If you are ever in the vicinity of the Napa Rose, go eat there. Even if its just for an appetizer or dessert. The whole time I was eating, I kept thinking that our friends Chris & Kiyoko should've been there, because they're the real foodies. Each dish looks like a work of art, and tastes amazingly good. You know how sometimes you go to a really classy or gourmet place, and nothing tastes good, because its all a little too fancy & weird? Not so here. Truly one of the best meals I've ever had. And if you don't want to eat, just go there to look, because it is gorgeous. Its a combo is Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, and the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite (we stayed there for a portion of our honeymoon), all beautiful timber, big boulders/river rock and stained glass, huge fireplaces, classy piano music playing - love it! I keep telling Blaine to please, please keep working at Disney when we have kids so we can use his sweet discount there at the park and hotels. He just rolls his eyes. I'm only half joking.


So, now you're caught up. Jeez, I didn't feel like writing, but man, I got on a roll. What's up next? Well, I just finished the first onsie, now onto another. We got our tax refund, so I'm hoping that this weekend we can go to a store and at least peruse if not buy a new camera (exciting!). We went and saw Pirates last night, and I'm still not sure what I think. I could watch Johnny Depp play that character forever - he was definitely the best part of the movie. I'm still trying to figure the plot out...I'm half convinced there wasn't really one. Not too sure. Anyway, have a great first weekend of June people!! (June - can you believe it?!?)


1 comments:

Kelly said...

I didn't know I would need a cup a coffee and half an afternoon to catch up! Wow, so much has happened. Your retreat sounds like a slice of heaven and I give three cheers for anything that focuses on keeping a marriage on the same page, I think that is awesome. The view is incredible at the camp.