Saturday, December 27, 2008

1st Annual Ridgeway German Gingerbread House Buildoff

Earlier in the week, Blake and I realized that we had nothing going on the evening of Christmas. So we decided to come up with something to do (because heaven forbid we actually just rest and do nothing). I was talking about the fact that I had not made a gingerbread house since I was in kindergarten. Problem solved. And of course, we had to make it a competition. So we drug my parents into it. We went to Trader Joes earlier in the week, bought us and my parents a gingerbread kit.
Christmas evening, we built our houses. And since we made it a competition, we need somebody to judge. Below are pictures of the 2 houses. Cast your vote as to which house you like best!

House #1

House #2

The houses side by side....

Christmas Eve Eve

Last year we started a new tradition...Christmas Eve Eve: Dinner and Bowling. All of my family always complains about bowling, but once we are there, they have a blast. My dad has to bowl with his left hand since his right shoulder is shot, my mom just doesn't know how to bowl (I have to explain each time), Blake was really bad the first time we went bowling, so of course he doesn't want to bowl again, and my sister, well, she was just complaining.

Needless to say, we had a blast. Blake did really good. Stacey had fun. My dad didn't fall over when bowling. My mom actually knocked some pins over!

I'll let you know if I can convince them to go bowling again next year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Disneyland in December

This past weekend, Blake and I went down to Disneyland for our birthdays/Christmas (although i still got him presents and he still got me presents, even though we weren't suppose to).

On Friday night, I got to see my best friend. It was so good to see Ashley. I have really missed her. It has sucked planning a wedding when both my sister and best friend live out of town.
On Saturday, Blake and I went to Disneyland. My sister Stacey and her boyfriend Jared came with us. We had a blast. I wasn't so sure about Jared, he seemed too quiet, not really funny...well, I was wrong. I haven't spent much time with him, only a little bit at Thanksgiving and when I first met him in August. He is pretty funny, and Jared and Stacey get along great.

I love Disneyland, especially in the winter time. The way it is decorated brings such joy. Disneyland was not was nice not to be squished when walking down mainstreet. Not only did we go to Disneyland, we went to California Adventures too. Blake has never been to CA was so much fun to see him exploring everything... :)
Besides the Haunted Masnion, which is awesome at Christmas time, we got to go on a couple of kiddie rides. The lines for those rides are usually so long, but not on Saturday! We went on Mr Toads Wild Ride (which has hell at the end of it....any of you notice it?) and the Peter Pan ride. It brought back so many memories!

Looking forward to the many more trips to Disneyland with Blake!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Blake's 26th Birthday Week

Blake turned the big 2-6 yesterday.
It is pretty funny to think back over the past couple of years. When Blake turned 24 and I turned 23, we had a joint birthday party. It was a redneck themed party...we had hay bales in the house and everything. We weren't even dating then. I don't think it had crossed either of our minds (well, I know it hadn't crossed mine...Blake?)

I am extremely blessed to be marrying such a wonderful, godly man. We have so much fun together. He is extremely funny, he is romantic, he is thoughtful, and he is manly. He is pretty much everything a girl could ask for. :)

To celebrate his birthday, I gave Blake a gift a day for the past week, ending on his birthday. I had a blast getting all the gifts (or having them delivered). I wanted Blake to know how special he is to me (and it was a lot of fun...I LOVE to give gifts) After day number 2, I think he began to expect something every day though...I'll have to come up with something new next year!
I am looking forward to spending year number 26 of Blake's life with him...I have no doubt that it will be full of many adventures!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

One of those days....

Today was one of those days...

You know what I mean.

The one where it seems to start out really bad.

And you aren't sure what to do.

Because what you just heard doesn't quite make sense.

Hopes had been established, and they were crushed. Expectations set high, and they were met exceedingly low. And not only you were crushed, but the one you love was crushed.

So I sat in bed for about 10 minutes. Asking God what the deal was. Something that seemed so sure, didn't happen.

And in an instant, I heard God saying "Aren't I enough? I love you, and will always provide for you. But do you really believe I am sovereign?"

And I had to stop, and think about it. And that is when I called Blake back and we prayed about it.

Confessed doubt in the situation. Confessed confusion. Confessed that we wanted to believe that all was going to be ok. Praised God for all that He had already given to us. And were affirmed that all value and worth is in Jesus alone.

And what started out as a really bad day actually turned into one of the best days Blake and I have had together (although, we weren't physically together at all today, until tonight). Together, we leaned on the Lord to sustain us. The focus of the day was not on the situation, but on God. And today was a day of praying. Today was a day of trusting my Savior in a whole new way.

And I am always amazed at how He meets me right where I am at, right where Blake is at. How He touches me in the deepest parts of my soul when I invite Him in.

And although certain situations can be tough, it is so true that God comes through for those who love him. It may not look the way we want it to, but all works for the good for those who love Him.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A Quarter Century Year Old...My Birthday!

Today, I turned 25 years old. When most people turn 25, they freak out, they feel old, etc etc. I however, feel the complete opposite. I feel so young and am excited for the life that is ahead for me, the life that God has planned out. This past year has been full of many new adventures and many lessons learned. I'll post my annual year in review blog in the very near future .

I had the best birthday weekend, spending time with my friends on Friday night, spending time with My Love on Saturday night, and spending time with my family today. Along with a great time being with people, I was showered with love and birthday wishes through phone calls, texts, and facebook (oh, and I got some really awesome presents!).

I love celebrating my birthday, and this year is no exception. I usually celebrate my birthday week, but this year I am taking the whole month due to turning a quarter century year old (minus Thursday the 11th for Berger's bday, Saturday night the 13th since we are celebrating Blake's birthday, Blake's actual birthday on the 21st, and Jesus gets all the credit on the 25th, and I'll give him the 24th too). On the 10th I am celebrating my birthday with Blake's parents. On the 12th I am going out to dinner with 2 of my very good friends for my birthday. On the 15th we are celebrating mine and Blake's birthdays with my extended family. On the 18th I am going out to lunch with a friend for my birthday. On the 20th Blake and I are going to Disneyland for our birthdays. And on the 28th I am going to brunch with some of my close girlfriends.

A month long of celebrations where I get to spend time with the people that I love most in this world, people who are a part of my community.

So here is to being a quarter century year old and loving every minute of it!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My Trip to the US Immigration Office

Last night when I was going to bed, I was thinking to myself how busy and crazy and hectic life can be. And how hard it is to hear God in the midst of all the noise. I told God that I would love if He would provide a time for me to just sit, and be, and contemplate, and pray.

And the Lord answered that prayer in the most unlikely of places....the US Immigration office in Downtown Fresno.

I had to go to the office to petition for some Visas for 5 Haitians that are coming to the US for the month of February for Missions Madness Month (also known as Missions Festival Month) at The Bridge. When I first arrived, the lady told me I was in the wrong place, yet proceeded to give me number and told me to go wait in the waiting room.

My cell phone was off, I was A10, and they were on A5, and calling E's in the midst of the A's. I thought to myself "I am going to be here all day. I have so much to do, and I am stuck here, with nothing, except me." (and there were only 2 windows open, out of 11, which reminds me of how inefficient our government really is, but that is another post). After a few minutes of pouting, it was as if I heard this laughter, but there was nobody directly around me.

I heard the Lord speak to me, saying "You asked for some time to just be, to sit, to contemplate, to pray, well, I am giving you the chance. Here you are in a huge waiting room, nobody is around you. Talk to me. Let me talk to you."

And in that instance, time stopped, and I was renewed. I was no longer annoyed at the fact I had to wait, but excited for the chance to have a moment with the creator of the universe.

And I was reminded of this passage....the Lord is in the whisper.

1 Kings 19:11-13
11 “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Engagement Pics by Ken Kienow

On October 18th, Blake and I took our engagement pictures. We had heard about this great photographer, but we just weren't sure if we could get him (well, not really, it just depended on a free schedule) ;). Ken Kienow and my sister were good friends in high school. And who would have though that Luke and Sarah Mundy would be in Ken's parents LifeGroup?

We had a great time with Ken. It was easy to be ourselves and our personalities came out in some of the pictures most of you will never see.

Here are some of our favorite pictures! Enjoy!

We have over 100 more pictures, if you are really interested in seeing them, let me know and I'll show them to you! And if you need pictures taken, make sure you contact Ken!