Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Annual Christmas Celebration

Sorry for the lag in posts. I just, quite frankly, haven't felt like it lately. As awesome as it would be to do a daily or even weekly post, I don't like to write unless I feel inspired or have something to write about.

That being said, I have a little catching up to do!

Every year, Mitch and I host an annual Christmas Celebration party. This was our third or fourth year doing it. I can't remember. Pathetic. Anyways, life gets so ridiculously busy that I truly enjoy hosting this party because it is one time a year that we can try to have all of our friends over to catch up and enjoy each others company.

Many of our friends are having kids or, like us, are just so crazy busy that it makes it very difficult to plan get-togethers. We were so appreciative of all of our friends/family that were able to come and hang out for a bit!

Stay tuned for a recap of our first Christmas day that we've hosted!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Be Careful What You Pray For

My prayer practices are definitely not always the best. I'm ashamed to admit that life gets in the way at times and with all the hustle and bustle, I am not diligent with praying.

That being said, I've been struggling for a long time with my husband's business paperwork. He absolutely LOVES what he does, but on the paperwork end of it, he'd rather run away screaming (at least that's the impression I get at times).

I do nothing but paperwork day in and day out at work and I LOVE it. I have my desk extremely organized (borderline OCD status) and I have an entire system implemented into my daily activities that keeps me organized. I like to think of it as a domino effect. I cannot do something without doing the step that comes before that and so on. I love structure in this regard.

Well, when it comes to the business paperwork, I don't know what it is, but I have never been super motivated to do it and I would almost go as far as saying I loathe it (this is going on like a year). We got Quickbooks a year or two ago to help, but even then, I would rather run away screaming than do it. Part of the problem is, there is just not a functional system in place (functional in my mind anyway) and I have not had any motivation to put real effort into implementing one.

Well, yesterday was different. For whatever reason, all day yesterday, my brain was going crazy thinking of systems we could put in place that would actually make me enjoy the paperwork, similar to how I enjoy it at work. Then, when I got home, I was actually super motivated to clean up our Quickbooks accounts and record payments and clean up the invoices. I could not fathom why I had this sudden change of attitude and motivation.

Then I remembered late last night....

Last week, my college (Azusa Pacific University) called me to ask for donations for scholarships, as they do yearly. After that conversation, the student I was speaking with asked if I had any prayer requests (as they usually do). I threw our business out there. I told the student that we were trying to still streamline our internal systems for my husbands business and that it has been a stuggle every step of the way. I specifically asked her to pray for God's peace and guidance for us through this whole process.

Such a simple, split second request.

It truly still amazes me so much when a prayer (that I didn't even pray!) is so obviously and so quickly answered. I'm telling you, my attitude toward the paperwork was COMPLETE night and day yesterday from previous endeavors. I was not frustrated. I was motivated and had complete peace about it. There was nothing holding me back. I actually am looking forward to trying to get a system in place and organized everything completely.

I am so grateful and blessed by this. It is a humbling reminder to me of the power of prayer and that I need to make it a part of my life in every aspect.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Beautiful Treat

I received a beautiful treat this morning when I arrived at work! My view as I parked:

Isn't the beauty that God creates so amazing?

Stay tuned...... I will be doing my first-ever giveaway tomorrow!!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

And She's Out!

Last Thursday and Friday were rather tramatic for me.

If you've read read my blog at all, you may be familiar with how strongly adverse I am to needles. Well, it has been six years since I've last had labwork done because I always pass out or come close to passing out and I just don't like that feeling. (It's been even longer since I've had a full blown physcial). Well, Mitch and I would eventually like to start a family, and I know needles are a fact of life with that. Therefore, I forced myself to get a headstart and force myself to go get a physical.

I had high hopes that after six years, things would be different. I now think that it made things that much worse. I had built it up in my mind over that time period and from the point I received my labwork order on Thursday, all the way until Friday morning, I was a complete basket case. Major anxiety.

I wanted with every fiber of my being to just disregard the lab order or to put it off indefinitely.
But I made myself go. Mitch went with me. This was his first experience with me getting labwork done.

We got up at 6:30 a.m. on Friday and went in right away. If I stalled to took time to shower and get ready, my anxiety would just worsen. As it is, I was up every hour that previous night because of how anxious I was. When we got there, I was already crying. Mitch was really good about trying to help me regulate my breathing. When I was trying to explain my situation to the receptionist, I just was too emotional so Mitch took over. They took me in right away even though I didn't have an appointment. There was an appointment before me, but she wasn't a basket case, so they took me first.

I was completely fine when the lab technician initially started. I had my headphones in and plugged into Jeremy Camp on my iPhone. I had my water bottle. I had Mitch trying to distract me and reminding me to breath. However, about 30 seconds in, thats when my mind started to think about what was going on. I felt myself start to go. I tried to lean my head back against the wall. I started to take a drink out of my water bottle to prevent myself from going. And then I went. Passed out cold.

When I come to, the lab technician is done and I am soaking wet. Mitch informed me that when I went, I had my water bottle in my hand and squeezed it, dumping it all over myself. Also, I was clammy and had obviously broken out in a sweat right before passing out. As I was coming to, I thought I still had my headphones on because my hearing was only at 50%, but Mitch had removed them.

In the end, they got their blood. I just hate the feeling of passing out and the way that it makes me feel the rest of the day. This happened at 7:15 a.m. I didn't start to feel "normal" again until around 2:00 p.m. I get so disappointed in myself because I should be over this. Maybe if I don't wait six years again, things will be better next time. It didn't even really hurt! It's just my stupid mind that chooses to think of what it happening.....

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Ultimate in Relaxation

That's what this past weekend was. Mitch and I took off in our trailer and went to Pismo. It was this trailer's maiden sand voyage! In all honestly, this weekend was the first one that I can remember in a very long time that was stress-free. We've taken other recent vacations or weekend trips, but there were obligations or we were on some sort of a schedule. None of that this time. What made it so much more fun was that we had a bunch of friends we went and had a group of about 8 trailers. Mitch and I LOVE doing that so much. We haven't gone camping in the sand like that in about 3 1/2 years and truly realized how much we missed it. Here are some photos from the trip!

We got there super late and were pulling into pretty deep sand. We got stuck. Had to dig ourselves out.

Right after we pulled in, our friend Rocky pulled in and  got stuck so Mitch had to tow him a little bit.

Lots of tension on that tow strap and the sands flyin'!
Picture one morning right outside our door.
Thanks to the lousy quality control at Giant RV in Pomona, we sprung a major leak. They didn't connect a tube correctly. Thanks for that extra fun on our vacation!

When our friend Rocky left, he got so stuck that Mitch and our friend Brad both had to hook up their trucks to yank him out. That is a lot of power right there! I LOVE to watch when they all have to hook up to each other to get each other out. I love big, powerful trucks! :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

My 100th Post!

This is my 100th post since I started my blog 4 years ago. Thats kind of sad if you think about it. That averages about 25 posts per year. I have been posting a lot more this year that I have in the past though. Anywho, in honor of my 100th post I was cleaning out my camera and I found a pretty picture for you all to enjoy. This is one of the reasons I love Merced (my hometown). You are just minutes from beautiful scenery like this!

Also, if you feel like reading it, I've decided to tell you 100 things about me:

  1. I love God.
  2. I love my husband.
  3. I'm terrified of needles. Like, deathly, blood pressure through the roof, hyperventilate, terrified.
  4. I've been to 37 states.
  5. I really enjoy playing golf, although I haven't done it in a while. In highschool, I was on the Varsity golf team all 4 years.
  6. I love to camp.
  7. I can play the piano.
  8. When I'm really, really tired and something is funny, I laugh and cry at the same time.
  9. I went to school to be a teacher and I'm not one.
  10. My husband was my first boyfriend.
  11. I love reading. If I have a good book, I could easily sit and read for 8 hours straight. This baffles my husband.
  12. I have a huge scar on my head the size and shape of a horseshoe from surgery when I was little.
  13. If I had been a boy, my parents would have named me Steven.
  14. I really like to bake. Pretty much all my baking includes chocolate in some form or shape.
  15. I really like chocolate.
  16. I don't really tan. I'm either white or a lobster.
  17. I love to drive by myself. When I was single in college, after church on Sunday, I would go on mini road trips to explore the area.
  18. When I'm really, really, super tired, I snore when I'm sleeping. My husband will testify to this.
  19. My husband and I met on a blind date through mutual friends.
  20. If a pair of high heels are cute and affordable, I will buy them and where them even if they kill my feet.
  21. All of my high heels have heels 4 inches and higher.
  22. My nickname in junior high (thanks to some friends) was Step On Me All Over (my maiden name was Stephanie Oliver).
  23. I've only been stung by a bee twice.
  24. I was a bit of a tomboy growing up.
  25. I typically walk very fast.
  26. When singing along to the radio, if I don't know the words, I make them up. My sister will testify to this.
  27. I have a younger sister.
  28. I've only ever had one piece of uncooked sushi. I ate it because I was on my second date (group date) with my now husband and I choked it down to try to impress him. I about gagged. Literally.
  29. I tried to learn to drive a stick-shift once. I about ruined my friends car. That was the end of that.
  30. When I was younger, I had a family of 5 Big Birds that were my favorite. I took one of them everywhere with me. It was pretty much as tall as I was.
  31. When I was little I made up this dance called the "Hotdog Dance".
  32. I don't like hotdogs.
  33. I always threatened to get a tattoo. My mom never believed me. See #3.
  34. I don't like driving without music.
  35. I was in plays/musical when I was in Junior High. My biggest role was Mrs. Hannigan in "Annie".
  36. I like ketchup but I don't like tomatoes.
  37. When I would go over to one of my childhood friends house, we would jump from his dresser to his bed and back to try to avoid the shark (his little sister) on the carpet.
  38. I did not dance at my Senior prom. I still had lots of fun though!
  39. I love the rain. It would be wonderful if it was raining and gloomy with thunder and lightening, but only if I am home with a sweatshirt and yoga pants on cuddled on the couch with a blanket.
  40. I've only ever had one ticket in my life thus far. Illegal left turn.
  41. I've blown a front tire on my truck while driving by myself. Super scary experience.
  42. I flew in a plane by myself for the first time this year.
  43. When swimming, I don't like my head to be below my feet. Needless to say, diving was never my forte.
  44. When I got my current truck, it took me a while to get used to the speedometer. My previous Toyota Cressida had a digital number reading speedometer.
  45. I always volunteered to help my teachers with side projects in elementary school.
  46. I broke my foot in Junior High by walking.
  47. I can be pretty crafty if I want to be.
  48. I have a habit of asking my husband super sweetly to make me something if I don't like the rental or purchase price elsewhere.
  49. My husband is a General Contractor.
  50. We've been remodeling our house for 32 months. That stuff takes money! Also, if you're married to a contractor, he doesn't always want to come home and do the same stuff he's been doing all day.
  51. My sister and I had a pet goldfish that committed suicide. He jumped out of his bowl on the dresser into the trash can below.
  52. At one point in college, I had every country in the world memorized.
  53. I LOVE Monopoly and all of its 8-12 hour playing time glory.
  54. I tried playing the flute. That lasted 6 months. The instructor would always get mad at me because I couldn't get the air flow right.
  55. I really wanted to take French in highschool. My dad wouldn't let me and wanted me to take Spanish. Much better decision. Knowing Spanish has come in handy several times in the past.
  56. I collect playing cards.
  57. I never use store-bought bows for gifts. I make my own with ribbon.
  58. I never use gift bags for gifts either.
  59. I blacked out once when intertubing down a snowy hill as a camp counselor. I flew off my tub when we hit the bottom and I came to while lying in the snow several yards away.
  60. When growing up, I wanted to be either a teacher or a librarian.
  61. I own the entire Nancy Drew series.
  62. I could watch "Friends" every day and never tire of it.
  63. I enjoy doing things for others.
  64. My first concert was dcTalk. Love them still!
  65. I handwash dishes. I didn't grow up with a dishwasher. My college roommates always were in awe that I preferred to handwash dishes. When we redo our kitchen, I told my husband that I don't even want a dishwasher. I think they are a waste of space (for me anyway).
  66. I've always been slightly overweight. My mom has to actually focus when she wants to GAIN weight. I did not inherit this gene.
  67. I want children, but it is a mental struggle for me. See #3. Many people don't or won't understand this.
  68. I LOVE Disneyland.
  69. I like my ankles and feet.
  70. I am extremely hot blooded. My husand is too.
  71. I have expanded my spice usage and my trying of new foods since knowing my husband.
  72. I had the sweetest apartment before we got married. 650sqft, bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, family room, dining area, my own laundry room, a huge walk-in closet, fantastic view of the San Gabriel Valley, $500/month, utilities included, in a million dollar neighborhood. I didn't want to move.
  73. I never moved houses growing up. My parents moved when I was in college.
  74. I grew up with the Oliver (maiden name) luck. I didn't marry out of it. I now have the Maertens luck. It's comical. If something is going to happen, it will usually happen to us.
  75. I have a hard time keeping plants alive.
  76. I own a BB gun.
  77. I love listening to music when I cook and clean.
  78. I shuffle cards funny. It's like an inverted shuffle.
  79. I love to play worship songs on the piano and sing along to them.
  80. I do not have a very good memory when it comes to remembering places and things.
  81. I usually pay bills as soon as I receive them.
  82. I don't like clutter. I used to clean my entire bedroom before I could go to bed.
  83. I don't like donuts and pastries.
  84. I used Proactive for years and then one day, my skin decided it was allergic to it and broke out in a painful, red, stinging rash.
  85. I can't stand smoking.
  86. I'm a bit of a procrastinator if it's something I don't really want to do.
  87. I'm a very stubborn person.
  88. I find that I have a much higher work ethic than many people my age. It's kind of sad how lazy people have become.
  89. My main origins of my heritage are Portugese and French.
  90. I used to have the biggest crush on Jonathan Taylor Thomas.
  91. If I get a great deal on something, I have to tell people about it (whether they care or not). I find satisfaction in saving a ridiculous amount of money or getting a killer deal.
  92. I don't care about astrology or signs or any of that.
  93. There are alot of birthday buddies in my husbands family: Mitch's dad and Mitch's brother's girlfriend - January 9th. Mitch and Mitch's sister in law - July 24th. My birthday and Mitch's brothers birthday - March 26th and March 25th.
  94. I have never dyed, colored or highlighted my hair in any way.
  95. I have no desire to ride in a helicopter. Too much of an enclosed space.
  96. I like Shakespeare.
  97. I have super curly hair that I typically straighten daily.
  98. I hate when people are rude.
  99. My parents have been married for 29 years.
  100. I don't mind speaking in front of groups of people
Well, if you made it this far, congratulations! Here's to my 100th post!

Monday, August 27, 2012

SpongeBob Cake

As I mentioned a couple days ago, I was asked by a friend to make a special Spongebob cake for her son for his 4th birthday this past weekend. Since it was a smaller cake, I was able to work the fondant all by myself and didn't need Mitch's muscles. Total time for baking and decorating this cake:  about 5 hours.
The base of the cake.

The pineapple lump before the fondant was placed over it. This is not solid frosting although it looks like it. It DOES have cake hidden in there somewhere.

Shaping the leaves for the top of the pineapple with pencils.

The finished product!

Looking back, I would have done this a bit differently (but I'm not sure how) because I had some support issues. I had to use more cardboard and dowels than I would have preferred. Overall, the 4-year-old seemed to like to though, so that's all that really mattered.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

...Gone Tomorrow


So much lighter in weight! It takes less time to do in the morning too so I'm lovin' it :)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Hair Today....

Gone tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Wedding in Paradise

As you may remember, I mentioned that we were headed to Kauai soon (for the 3rd year in a complaints!) for my brother-in-law, Logan and his fiance, Manisha's wedding. We just got back yesterday after a fun-filled trip and a long day of traveling. It's nice to be home, but I'm sad to go back to work tomorrow.

For any past trips that I've taken or that we've taken together, we've never really had any issues with flights or delays. Unfortunately, our trip this time was much different. The inbound flight out to Los Angeles was delayed by 2 1/2 hours so they switched our flights around as soon as we got the airport. Anyway, it all ended up working out and we were upgraded (for free!) to bulkhead seats both ways for our long flight.
This trip was different than our previous two because we had a lot of friends and family on the island to hang out with. Here are some photos from the trip!


A crane on our balcony.

Our 4-wheeling group on our way to our first adventure!

Our friends Rocky and Nikki's Jeep after the first part of our trip.

We had SO much fun in our Jeep that we popped a tire! Rocky and Mitch had to replace it right there.

The ginormous house and property that my brother-in-law and his fiance rented for the wedding.

On this property, there were tons of coconut trees. Mitch and his older brother Nathan developed an obsession with getting the coconuts down and cracking them open. Due to this obsession, this happened:

He would have had a black eye if he hadn't been wearing sunglasses. But the sunglasses left a nice impression beneath his eye. Our friend Rocky was helpful enough to Google this type of accident and inform us that 150 people die per year from a coconut falling on them.

Nathan taking a turn trying to crack open a coconut.

The reception site.

A violinist played music before the ceremony started.

Mitch's parents walking down the aisle.

Mitch's older brother Nathan and Manisha's sister, Melisha.

Mitch and Manisha's friend, Diana.
Waiting for the bride.

The kiss!
The new Mr. & Mrs!
Making it official and signing the Marriage License.
One of the tables for the reception.
Me and the hubs at the reception.
The first dance. Sorry for the blurriness; my camera is horrible if anyone/anything is moving.
As a suprise to everyone, the bride and groom had a fire dancer come to entertain the guests.
The wedding was so beautiful and in such a gorgeous setting. Everything turned out really pretty.

Awkward transition....

The next day we were having dinner in our condo and I had a fight with the oven. The oven won.

We headed back out the next day to have some more fun in our rentals.

Airin' down the tires.

The Grand Canyon of Kauai.

One of the ridges on the Na Pali coastline.
One of the beaches we took the Jeeps on.
The dirty rentals after all the fun.
All 16 of us went Ziplining together.
The sunset on one of the final days we were there.
It was so sad to come back. We were having such a relaxing time. It's even sadder to think that I have to go to work tomorrow. I'm glad I took today off though to have a "transition" day. Off to go change the laundry load!

Blog Template by