Wednesday, February 29, 2012
I promise, this will be the last of the Valentine's post. I wanted to post today because this is my first "Leap Year Day" as a blogger. However, I couldn't really think of anything to do with that and this post has been stewing around in my mind for a while. And also because I wanted another chance to post a photo of my truffles. Just kidding. Sort of.
Because of my intense love of Valentine's Day and all things related therein, I always make sure that I go shopping on February 15th. Because the kids and I give out so many Valentine's cards, and I love to do little goody bags, make candy, and generally decorate, I want to be sure to snatch up all the things I want for next year when they are 50% off and ripe for the picking. I do also love to pick things up at 70% and 90% (can you tell where I shop?) but the best selection is when things are at half off.
I had gotten all the things I "needed" and we were waiting in line (actually at Walmart-Target rarely has a line!) when I noticed the guy ahead of me had the Valentine's Day trifecta: giant stuffed animal, roses and a huge box of chocolates. Joel and I are both people watchers, and I was amused, so I poked Joel so he would notice. As soon as he saw, he said, "I bet he made a deal with her (the guy's girlfriend) that he would buy her twice as much if she would wait until the day after." To which I rolled my eyes, because I have expressed my desire to celebrate the 14th on the 15th multiple times, because, let's face it, I'm cheap! Anyway, I agreed with Joel's perception and we went on checking out.
And then I got to thinking about it. Joel had told me earlier that an obscene percentage of women send flowers to themselves on Valentine's Day! That thought is ludicrous to me! If you want to spend money sending me flowers, great, but no how, no way, am I sending them to myself! Joel said that it was because the women were worried they would be embarrassed in front of co-workers, and also it is the same old "one upping the Joneses" syndrome most of America suffers from. And I bet those women make sure those roses arrive ON the 14th.
Because we are so worried about what others think of us. And we are so unwilling to wait. It made me think about my spiritual walk. How many times have I "sent flowers to myself"? How many times has God tried to gently tell me that if I would wait until the day after that I would get twice as much? I am so insistent on demanding things on my schedule- I want to impress those around, and not be embarrassed.
I just couldn't shake the image of the guy with the flowers and chocolates. What a smart girlfriend he had! Willing to wait past everyone else's expectations so that she could have something better than what she could have had otherwise. And comparing that to all those poor women lying about flowers they didn't really need. Wouldn't I rather wise up and wait?
I am always so worried that if I am patient and trust the Lord's timing that I will end up a "day late and a dollar short" but so what? Maybe I will be, but I can guarantee you- be it the next day, the next month or in 10 years, He will bless me with more than I could have ever scrounged up on my own.
We often look at clearance sales as the "left overs"- but in reality you get more than you should have when you wait. Everyone else is really the ones that get the short end of the stick. They paid full price less than 24 hours before for the same thing! Who really comes out looking like the smart ones? The ones who wait.
"In the morning, O LORD, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait in expectation." Psalm 5:3
"We wait in hope for the LORD; He is our help and our shield." Psalm 33:20
"Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for Him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes." Psalm 37:7
The last verse is probably my favorite. David knew a thing or two about waiting. You know, the guy who was anointed king and had to wait YEARS to see that promise fulfilled? Yes, he knew that waiting on God produces success.
I always think that it is my job to tell God when, where and how. But He knows what I need and when I *really* need it. And His blessings in His timing will exceed my feeble expectations infinitely. I want to be willing to wait, because sometimes a day late will be far more to my benefit than I could have ever imagined.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
I always want to make Valentines for the kids to give their friends, but they really like handing out the store bought ones (although I am a stickler: they are ONLY allowed to give out ones that come with stuff-candy, stickers, etc. because just a silly piece of paper is a waste. Kids love junk and it is too fun to give it out!) However, Josie wanted to give Valentines to her skating instructors, also. I didn't want embarass myself by having her give the animal sticker and Tinkerbell ones she gave her friends. I usually do something for them on the last day of class anyway, and this was easy! They are "Smarty" Pants Valentines!
Cake Batter Truffles. The blogger says that out of the three that the Cake Batter is her favorite. I have tried all three (Oreo and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough are the other ones) and Oreo is still my favorite. But these ARE really good, and super simple! I heart candy making.
It was a great Valentine's Day. In my mind, there can be nothing wrong with a holiday that lets you go all out to tell the people that mean the most to you that you love them: your hubby, your kids and even your friends! I am already planning next year...
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
This year was the big 3-0 for me. Surprisingly, I was excited about turning 30. It seems to be the threshold of "real" adulthood, but not only that, I am quickly realizing that life moves fast, better not to mourn things that do not merit sadness. Turning 30 is one of those things. I am not, nor am I anywhere close. Ask me again when I am 80. But I did feel that this merited a party. Perhaps it is rude to throw oneself a party (I wouldn't know, but feel free to ask Mrs. Post on my behalf.) but I really can't say that I did it solo, I had lots of help from my Honey and some very good friends.
Joel came up with the 80's theme (I won't force you to do the math, I was born in 1982.) and at first I kind of balked. What exactly constituted the 80's? Then it hit me: tacky is truly the best descriptive phrase for that decade. And tacky, well, I can do tacky!
I always have to have a banner and this one practically put itself together. Two packages of glitter foam and roll of black grosgrain ribbon from the dollar store. A little hot glue. Wah-lah!
My best decorating cohort in crime, Sarah, designed the invites for my party. I am realizing just now that I forgot to take a photo of the invitation. Perhaps later. Anyway, they were great neon colors with zebra print, and they were the springboard for the color scheme: pink and green with zebra print. Awful, yes? The pink plastic containers are from the dollar store, and the confetti is from Party City ($3). The plates, tablecloth, napkins and favor boxes are from Hobby Lobby. Joel bought the vintage record for my cake plate. (Goodwill, $0.50) (See, Mom, I am using my crock from Goodwill that you bought me!)
One of my favorite things of the whole party was the "photo booth". So simple, but it was fantastic having a picture of everyone at the end of the night! I asked each couple to pose when they came in. I didn't miss anyone and it will make a great page when I do a photobook.
The setup could not have been simpler. I took my rolling wardrobe rack, raised it to it highest position and extended the arms. I covered it with a full size white sheet and draped the banner over it.
I made little "speech bubble" signs with neon poster board and balloon sticks. I usually throw at least 3-4 parties in a given year and balloon sticks (purchased at Hobby Lobby) have saved me countless dollars on helium filled balloons. Just pop a cheap-o balloon that you blew up yourself into the plastic collar and you have stand up balloons just the right height for table decor.
They worked perfectly taped to the back of my bubbles as handles. By the way, they said, "Rad!", "Totally Cool!" "Like Awesome, Dude!" and "Cowabunga!" I was not smart enough to open my mouth the way you are supposed to, so it looks like you are talking. Still cute, though.
The party favors. I have two party rules, well actually three, now. 1. You must have balloons. 2. You must have a banner. 3. You must have favors, no matter the age or sex of the party-goers. I think my mom did that to me.
Set up was pretty simple. My dear, gracious friend, Christy offered up her house for the shindig. Ours is way too small to have more than about 6 people. It was great! The zebra lanterns, tablecloth and scrapbook paper used as a runner are all from Hobby Lobby.
The prizes were fun, too. Bubble Tape, slinky, cheap plastic bangles, candy necklaces, a klacker- all reminded me of my childhood. We played some great games. My friend Sarah's husband put together a fantastic movie clip game that was a smash hit. She did a balloon popping trivia game, and I did a riddle game using songs from the top 100 of the 80's. There were also prizes for best costume, because you can't have an 80's party without dressing up!
And what is a birthday without an unflattering, about to blow out the candles, photo? It is really awkward to have 12 other adults sing to you while you stand there. It was worth the wait for the cakes though: red velvet and Tuxedo Cream Mousse Cheesecake by the Cheesecake Factory (both from Costco).
Someone joked that once I pulled the candles out that it looked like eyes. So I added a mouth.
It was a fabulous party. Everyone had a great time (although that could have just been because we were all so giddy without our children!) and we are already planning our next one. It could have also been the food- I am a big fan of catering. We had Rudy's Barbeque and it was wonderful! Good food, great friends and plenty of laughter. It was a marvelous way to start off my third decade!
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
My parents surprised me with a visit in the end of January. I was very excited, because this was the first time my mom would see my house. We had a wonderful time, and the visit was filled with my favorite activity: shopping! I wish I had taken more pictures, but sometimes it is nice to just enjoy the time together and not making everything a major event. My mom bought me a sewing machine for Christmas and she spent some time teaching me some tips (like how to thread the machine!) and my lack of knowledge was so hilarious that even Joel had to get in on the action. He gave some pattern-reading tips.
Jocelyn and Grammy played Grammy's favorite game: air hockey.
Dad and the boys enjoyed some video game racing time.
Taking grown men to Chuck E. Cheese is hilarious. It is hard to know who has more fun: the men or the kids. My dad looked pretty goofy playing this 3D game.
Jocelyn's favorite game was this wave rider game. It made you feel like you were in the ocean, or on a roller coaster, etc. She made everyone ride it with her and probably went on it ten times.
The boys chose glow in the dark teeth as their prize. Here they are making scary "werewolf" faces, according to Carson.
He loved his teeth so much he went to sleep with them in his mouth on the way home! It was kind of hilarious.
Grammy is always so good to read to the kids. She brought special books for each of them. Carson's was about knights and dragons, and he loves it. It was too short of a visit, but I won't complain because I am just glad we got to spend time together. Hopefully we can do it again soon!