Sunday, July 15, 2012

feliz aniversário

This weekend, meu amor turned 35. 
His was last of the birthdays for awhile. Definitely not the least. 
{birthday call from Saudi}
With us leaving soon, he wanted to keep it low-key...
Low-key, as in build a fence,
swim in the pool, eat some cheesecake, laugh with friends. 
Friends who love them some photoshop.
my face swapped out for Paula Deen :)
 hiking with his look-alike, Jason Sudekis
 meeting Yoda (sorry, Rabi Maharaj)
 with Mr. T in Africa
 that used to be Jude he was holding
 lunch with the Queen (formally Jerry Bridges)
Justin Beiber on the bongos

We are still laughing about it all! (thanks B&B :)
Not sure how to follow that. Thought I'd write thirty-five things we love about him. But it got too personal, so it went in a card. I am so blessed by all the ways he loves and serves and loves and serves. 
Sometimes you get to be 35 and life looks different than what you thought it would be, you wonder if you are where you're supposed to be, if the difference you're wanting to make is the amount you meant it to be, if it's enough. 
When I look at this man - who he is and what he says and does in a day, I am honored to be by his side, to watch him succeed at this life before him.

To laugh often and love much; 
to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; 
to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; 
to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one's self; 
to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, 
a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; 
to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; 
to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived - this is to have succeeded.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Love you, b! You make this world a better place. Happy 35...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

new {free!} deck

We love our outdoor spaces.
In the past 2 years, we moved from this,

{This tree-less treehouse was designed and crafted by Andy and the boys, made from salvaged barn wood.}

to this,

to this.
Ever since, we have been throwing around ideas of how to turn that into a pleasant sitting area. We priced out pouring concrete, laying patio blocks or bricks and were ready to make our purchase...when we heard that someone wanted to get rid of their pergola. They were replacing their old wooden pergola with a new vinyl one. Didn't need to make sense to us, all we heard was "free wood." So, Andy drove up and helped them by tearing it down and taking some wood off their hands. And, they helped us by providing the wood for our new {free} deck! 

Yet another project in which I take no credit, other than bringing out lots of gatorade, iced tea and popsicles to hydrate handy-andy, as he made this... 

We are out here alot now. 
There's just something about being outside. 
About leaving dinner dishes behind and taking our dessert outside. 
Drinking coffee and watching kids play tennis. 
Sitting down in the morning light, to open the Word and read this:

Such timely truth.
In a few days, we board a plane to Ireland. The trip will be quick, for the purpose of meeting a dear sister there who is serving in a very dark corner of North Africa. And, it involves leaving our little loves behind. In conversations with them about this, Miles asks with quivering lip "but what if something happens to you?" I want to assure him we'll be fine, not to worry. That 50,000 people are flying above the U.S. right now. Or, it's safer to fly than drive...yadayada...
But the "what ifs" linger, and I would never want them to be left not knowing what to think...if. We tell them that if something does happen, then it's the Lord's time to call us home. That we have done our best to make sure they will be cared for. They have so many people who love them. That we want them to follow after Jesus - He will lead them home to be with us when it is their time. None of us are guaranteed another day, so we must make each day count. That our hope is not in this world, for what it has to offer will not last. Our hope is in Christ, our Savior! My mind is confident of this. 
And I continue to ask the Lord to do His gracious work in our hearts.

Have no fear...
For the LORD will be your confidence.
~ proverbs 3.26

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

.:make do:. more old doors

The end of this month will mark 1 year that we have called this house our home. It also marks another year of finishing up all the projects that have come with redoing this ol' house. When we bought this house, we became the owners of a pile of old doors - charming and unique, but all different sizes that would have been too much to custom-build new door jams. If you've been reading long, you know I'm not one to throw something like that away. So, we gave lots away, made a headboard and a day bed. (By "we," I mean my better half made them while I threw together the late-night guacamole necessary for working on such projects.) 

One project we've had in our minds since we moved in was how to separate the laundry apart from the rest of our bathroom. My dad gave us some old french doors, probably from the early 1900s. We wanted to utilize those, and thought this would be the perfect place. 
Part 1 was building shelves between our shower and our washer/dryer. 
Part 2 completed last night, and I can't wait to share his creative craftsmanship. He's pretty swell, this man I call husband.

In a gist, here's what he did:
(a.k.a.: a bunch of words I have never typed)
1. Scrub mold off old doors.
2. Prime and paint.
3. Put fixed casters on the bottoms of the doors.
4. Screw 2 large eyelets into the top of each door.
5. String eyelets onto a pole (which sounds a whole lot easier that it was!)
The pole is an electrical conduit.
6. Position the pole so that the doors roll on the floor and clear any obstacles (such as the washer door at its widest part) as they are guided along by the pole. 
7. Fasten the pole into the walls with a floor flange (found in the plumbing section) on either side.
Total cost = $25.

More old doors. Another new use!

Next up: our new {free} deck!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

and then there was juboo

You may be all birthday-posted out. I'm a little bit cake-decorated out. 
But we celebrated the last of the peas in our pod this week. 
Oh man, he had us long before he could say hello.

What a joy he is to watch grow, this child who...
...has chosen to sleep with a framed HS senior picture of me.
...loves singing Take me out to the Ballgame, Hallelujah! All I have is Christ, and Paradise by Coldplay.
...sings "Am I a muppet or am I a man?" at the top of his lungs, and it cracks me up every time!
...likes to play pet store, where he's a lizard and I come choose him and bring him home.
...says his favorite (of many nicknames) is JuBu. 
...refers to his brothers as "the Royuh boys."
...loves his "Bucket-filler book," and tells us when we're being bucket-fillers or bucket-dippers.
...wanted swim lessons for his birthday.
...also wanted to go to the dentist for his birthday "weally bad" (after Jack had gotten some cavities filled and got a prize from the dentist).
...started jumping off the diving board this week! (and was so excited to get his "very own can of coca-cola" for trying it!)
...woke up early on his birthday to help me decorate his Jay Ninjago cake. 

...and after it was all done, he said Jay needed a smile :)
What do you do when you finish decorating the cake and are leaving it behind to spend the day at the beach? You eat it for breakfast, that's what!
A few weeks ago, I realized I didn't have a single picture printed of Jude. No photo albums, no scrapbooks, nothing! So for his birthday, I put together a baby book of pictures and stories for him to read. Sometimes you don't realize what a whirlwind the last 4 years have been until you sit down and try to think about all that's happened in the last 4 years... 

I had forgotten that when we shared with Miles and Jack the news that we were going to have a baby, Miles asked me if I would have a man. Then Jack asked me if I could have a farmer and if he could drive a combine. And that the next day, Jack wondered if I could have a puppy instead of a baby. I also had forgotten that Miles wanted to name him "Ralphy" and Jack wanted to name him "Doodle." But I remembered wondering how a third would ever fit with the personalities of the other two. But, he fits. Oh, so perfectly. 
So, we named him Jude, which means "praise God." 
We praise and thank Him for such a precious gift.
To Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before 
His glorious presence without fault and with great joy--to the only God 
our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ 
our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.
~ Jude 1.24-25

Monday, July 2, 2012

quesadillas {gluten-free!}

Since you all now know I've been slacking on our laundry, I feel no shame admitting another. Add cooking to my list of summer-slacking, or as I prefer to call it: summer-simplifying. It's just too hot to turn on the stove, and there's other fun to be had outside of that kitchen. 
So, this has become our summertime staple. 
Corn tortillas. Cheese. Meat. Veggies. Herbs. 
Lunch in 5 minutes. Olé!
Corn tortillas grilled with cheddar cheese, ham and jalapeño
{We literally elbow each other out of the way of that crispy cheese on the edges - so good!}
My fave tortillas from Trader Joe's made into cheese quesadillas with fresh salsa and guacamole.
We also sometimes add leftover grilled chicken, black beans, you name it... 
Or, pair it with tomato soup for a grilled cheese-alternative.
So many variations.
They are easy and fast.
And with a panini maker, you don't even have to turn on the stove!

Celebrating the last of the peas in our pod tomorrow!
Can't believe it's been 4 years since I met this little guy.
His hooks have sunk deep into my heart and I'm not sure what we ever did without him...
Happy 4th birthday, Jude!
Happy 4th of July, all!
Enjoy your days :)