Christmas and birthday happenings

January 2, 2012 § 3 Comments

Now, to be completely honest, I just don’t like Christmas that much. It feels full of hype, materialism, and obligations (some of which I enjoy, some of which I don’t). In the Christian community it’s considered sacrilegious to say such things. I’m supposed to enjoy the “magic of the season” and celebrate Jesus’ birthday. The Bible never mandates that we celebrate Jesus birth at Christmas or any other time. In fact, it was originally a pagan feast that the Christians took over (see THIS ARTICLE from Mark Driscoll). In addition to this my birthday is 2 days after Christmas and so it sometimes feels lost in the celebration. Growing up, my friends were often away for the holidays and so we couldn’t celebrate with them. My family, however, always tried to be conscientious of the day (thanks, fam!).

All that to say, I was glad that we could escape for Christmas and my birthday this year. All I wanted was to spend my birthday on a beach.

Beach at Siavonga, Zambia

So we borrowed Ben’s boss’ camping gear and headed 3 hours south to Siavonga town on Lake Kariba. It was a perfect locale for us and full of adventure. Each day was something like this: eat, read, play scrabble, swim, read, eat, sleep. We even swam in the water for the first 3 days until we saw a crocodile. Then we stuck to the pool at the lodge.


The first 3 days we camped on the beach and cooked over a small charcoal stove. I felt like such a big girl being the one to plan our meals and cook our food while we camped. Mama, I missed your famous spaghetti and thai lettuce wraps!

Cooking dinner

Sunset shot

On my birthday, we ventured outside the camp and went to visit a local crocodile farm. There was literally thousands of crocodiles from eggs in the incubator all the way up to 80-year-old males.


Baby crocs eating their dinner

We also traveled to the border to view the Kariba Dam at the Zimbabwean border. We got the dam tour, we read plenty of dam facts, and saw a lot of dam sites. Ok, I’ll stop now.


Welcome to Zimbabwe!

Kariba Dam

Zambezi river

There are no safety features (like, at all) on the dam except for this small sign. We took note and didn’t lean over the wall.

Warning for all

When we came back to the camp and had to move into the lodge for the night as a huge windstorm blew our tent over. Now we know why Jesus said not to build your house on the sand. Case in point. I had a dinner of chicken and chips and the lodge surprised me with a birthday cake and birthday gift! We missed our families but were thankful for some good holiday and birthday celebrations.

Surprise Birthday Cake




Long-Weekend Happenings at Lake Chelan

August 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

It seems that this year we’ve made it over to Lake Chelan at least once a month for the past few months. With our coming move to Africa in September, we’ve had about 3 “last trips” to Chelan. In case you haven’t picked up on it through my frequent pictures east of the mountains, I LOVE it over here! Something about the mountain air, blue water, sun, and the sleepy little tourist towns that brings comfort to my soul.

When my husband asked for a long weekend vacation in Chelan in conjunction with the celebration of my mom’s birthday, I jumped at the chance! Here are some highlights:

The birthday girl

Dessert celebration at Campbell's Restaurant

Saturday Morning Manson Farmers Market

Barn Owl awareness at the market

The barn owls make their nests under the hay stacks and are being killed when the stacks are sold. The owls eat mice and then regurgitate the bones and fur. This lady was trying to raise awareness of what the owls do – fascinating creatures!

Lakeside picnic

The view (Kamei Campground, Wapato Lake, WA)

Mini-Golf in Chelan

Happy birthday, Mama!!

August 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

My dear mother is turning 29 (again)!! I’m so thankful she was born.

Me and my Mama

Here are 29 things I like about my Mama:

1) She’s fun

2) She’s pretty

3) She cooks a mean chocolate chip cookie

Notice the ever-present cookies in the right corner -->

4) She would never call it a “mean” cookie because she’s too nice!

5) She is the best shopping buddy

6) She’s a good secret keeper

7) I can usually tell when she’s trying to hide a secret (or at least I tease her that she is). But she never tells.

8 ) She has a lot of interesting thoughts and ideas

9) She is a great person to watch movies with

10) She loves to be with people

11) She’s spontaneous

12) She’s a great listener

13) She overcomes her fears

14) Did I ever mention our family went skydiving together a few years ago?!?

In the plane

Sky diving!

15) She cooks good food!

16) She loves people for who they are

17) She serves people to show them love and care

18) She’s a great doula

19) She’s always learning something new

20) She’s a great quilter

21) She’s a great teacher

22) She knows how to copilot my dad’s plane


23) She enjoys listening to music with me

24) She will just be with me and not talk

25) She knows when something is wrong

26) She’s the best nurse when I’m not feeling well

27) She loves me

28) She loves my dad

Dad and Mama

29) She loves Jesus

I love you, Mama!!!

Happy birthday!!

Happy birthday to ME!

December 28, 2010 § 1 Comment


Faithful blog readers, if you’re looking for {Movie Monday} you can find it here. Otherwise, read on for a celebration of the day of my birth!

Meeting Grandpa Ray 7 hours after I was born!

25 years ago, my mom was recovering from the birth of yours truly. She had a home birth with a midwife (FraNa Ready, CNM, to be precise) which by all accounts was the most beautiful birth I’ve been a part of, to date. You can read more of her story on her blog here.


Me with my wonderful parents

Today, we celebrated with lunch at Panera, then shopping. All day long, I kept getting messages from friends and family on my phone. It was very, very sweet and I felt loved.

Gifts that are SEW great

For years, I swore off sewing, cursing it with all other crafts and arts, stating that I was not “creative.” Rigghhht…if you’ve been following my blog for anytime at all, you’ve seen that I have acknowledged and embraced my creative side. My love for knitting, photography, and all things beautiful and handmade have led me to a desire to learn to sew. SEW, for my birthday gift, I received my Mama’s old Singer sewing machine and a whole lot of sewing doo-dads. I am ecstatic! More to come on the adventure of learning to sew. ­čÖé



A night out with my love

This evening, Ben took me out for an evening in Bellevue at John Howie Steak House. It was probably THE best steak dinner I’ve eaten out in a long time. We got a little adventurous and had ahi tartare for an appeteizer, Wagyu (“Kobe”) beef for dinner, and dessert of bananas foster. My tummy was thrilled and so was our wallet because we had a gift card from last Christmas. Thanks, Jody!

It was a fabulous birthday and I’m blessed to have such a wonderful community of family and friends to share it with. Here’s to another wonderful 25 years!

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