Friday, August 31, 2012

Thank Him for All He Has Done

1. some pretty dahlias I picked up the other day.
2. and 3. somebody really knows how to relax. she pulled that blanket down to the floor herself.
4. taking care of business. :)

This week has brought us some extreme heat. We've had fans blowing 24/7 around here. It's been so difficult to bring myself to cook when the last thing I want to do is stand over a flame for any length of time (can we just have cereal every night?). Forget about turning the oven on! I don't plan on doing that for at least a month more.

The most difficult part about the heat has been not whining to myself (or to Michael!) so much about how uncomfortable I am. I find myself dreading dinner time because I just don't want to spend 20-30 minutes sweating my eyebrows off in the kitchen!

And then I walk to my fridge and pour myself a cold glass of water and it hits me as I stare at a fridge stocked full of food: I have plenty of food to feed myself and my husband. We have the luxury of electricity so that we can keep our refrigerator stocked with fresh foods. I have the ability to stand by the stove and cook a good and nutritious meal.

Thinking about all this reminds me about the last time I did laundry. I was complaining about having to fold the hot clothes straight out of the drier. Instead I should see it as a blessing that we have clothes and that we can afford to buy nice clothes. I know there are some people on this earth who may own only one shirt and one pair of pants, perhaps not even a pair of shoes. How fortunate, or rather, how blessed we are that I never worry whether or not I will be warm in the winter or if I will have a swimsuit to wear in the summer.

It is difficult sometimes living without an air conditioner while this heat wave continues on, but I'm so thankful that I have walls around me and a roof over my head. How many poor souls have I passed in the streets probably wishing they just had some shade to sit under and cool down? Or a warm place to sleep without fear of being forced to get up and move?

It hurts my heart to think about the disadvantages so many people face (whether they brought it upon themselves or not), but it hurts in a good way. It is a good reminder that God is a faithful and gentle teacher. This weekend while I enjoy good food and fun times with friends and family, I will thank God for all that he has provided. I may not have every material thing my heart desires, but I have so much more and I know how often I forget it.

Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Philippians 4:6 NLT

Have a great weekend everybody! I will see you soon with a brand new post!

Monday, August 27, 2012

An Easy Weekend

i'm always grabbing molly like this and kissing her on the face. i love how she reacts when her whiskers get tickled!

This weekend was a lazy weekend. Michael worked on Saturday so I spent the day watching chick-flicks, eating candy, and just being lazy! Sometimes I have such a difficult time relaxing, I'll often feel like there's something I should be doing. I'm sure that says a lot about me but I'm only human, right? :)

Sunday we spent time with one of Michael's oldest friends. It was a blast. His friends area always such crack ups and they are some of the kindest and most sincere people I've ever met. We went down to the beach and grabbed some lunch. I had a delicious bison burger and amazing curly fries. Yum!

While we were with Michael's friend I really got a bit of a wake-up call. He kept marveling at what a beautiful day it was and how great it is that we live so close to the beach. He couldn't stop admiring the day.

It got me thinking about how fortunate we really are to live here. I'm always saying that I'm not much of a beach person, I'd much rather live in the desert or the mountains. That beach town atmosphere just isn't my thing. But it is nice that we get to enjoy such lovely weather and just such a nice area. I mean, we are less than ten minutes away from a great area to watch the sunset, every night if we wanted to.

I know there are so many other people living in worse conditions or just in really unsafe neighborhoods. We are so blessed to live where we do.

This week don't have a whole lot coming up, just work and more work (and some more posts)! Thankfully this weekend we'll get to spend some time with Michael's family as we celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Hike to the Grotto

Yesterday, Michael and I woke up really early to hike out to a little spot in the Santa Monica Mountains, called the Grotto. It started out as a pretty easy hike down to the small grotto at the end of the trail. There were some beautiful views of the mountains and we were in a pretty secluded area, save for the occasional cliff top mansion (it is the city of Malibu after all).

Since the trail was all down hill from the beginning, we quickly realized the hike back to the car was going to be pretty exhausting. It definitely was! Once we got to the actual grotto area we had to do quite a bit of bouldering to get down to the water. I was a little shaky at first but it ended up being a lot of fun, and not too difficult.

Even though we got pretty winded coming back up (it also started to get very hot), it just made us realize how much we want to get back into shape for even tougher and longer hikes. We've been slowly accumulating the right gear for longer backpacking trips (it's expensive!), and we're pretty excited to go out on some amazing adventures soon.

I love hiking and backpacking to exercise so much more than running (or any other type of exercise, really). I guess swimming would be my next favorite, but I've never really enjoyed running. If we lived in the mountains somewhere, I would want to go hiking just about every morning. It's so much fun that I don't even realize I'm exercising until I get home and I want to fall asleep forever!

The only part of hiking or backpacking that I have a difficult time with is the sleeping in the tent part. Seriously! I never get good sleep when I'm in a tent. Not to mention, the tents that are made specifically for backpacking (they're smaller and really lightweight) are so tiny, it feels like you're sleeping under a homemade fort. I end up spending the whole night listening for bears, mountain lions, coyotes, snakes, spiders, the bogey man, etc!

Luckily, Michael's always there to calm me down and remind me we're safe. :)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Our Trip to Illinois

a few weeks ago Michael and I took a trip out to Illinois to visit his family. it was my first time to the midwest and I really enjoyed it. it was definitely nice to escape to a slower pace of life, few buildings, more cornfields. :)

while we were in Illinois, we got to visit Springfield. for those of you who aren't history buffs, Springfield is the town where Abraham Lincoln lived with his family as an adult. he practiced law at the court building there and ran for a number of governmental positions while living there.

the picture of me standing in front of the house with the green shutters (looking really awkward, lol)was his home! it was so great to see where a president who was so admired, lived. we even got the opportunity to walk through the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. it was just so amazing to see what a tragic and yet successful, life he led.

my favorite part of the whole experience was learning how many times Lincoln ran for government office and lost, but ran again during the next election. he tried and tried until he won. Michael's grandpa put it perfectly, "He never let failure define him". and neither should I.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Life Lately Through Instagram

a day at the beach

a trip to palm springs

visiting family in Illinois and Abraham Lincoln's home.

some very friendly pet goats!

the sky on fire.

sun-bathing in the afternoon.

our cute bathroom. 

watching the sun disappear.

enjoying a weekend away.

A few Instagram photos to hold you over while I make a few improvements to the site. I've got some updates and a few changes coming! I'll also be back to posting more regularly after a nice little summer vacation. 

*follow me on Instagram @thelavenderfield