Friday, August 27, 2010

Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. ~Gandhi

"Benica the Tool Men" Thompsons
I have been on the verge of "going ape on our house" for awhile now in the form of home improvement projects. I've held off using everything from the weather to being addicted to HGTV where I watch OTHER people do home improvement projects as excuses. Today I took a big step and started the prep work for fixing the giant crack in our living room ceiling (of course while watching HGTV steps!). Ben has joked for awhile that when it's time to sell our house that we'll be able to sell it as a duplex, so I thought this was a good place to start.

Friends are Friends Forever
This week was probably one of the most emotional weeks of my life! We said goodbye to two of our bestest friends in this world, Craig and Merschon. As Ben said, they have been some major players in our lives and have been a part of our story ever since we arrived in Memphis almost exactly 6 yrs. ago. We were able to spend a lot of time with them last week reminiscing and telling each other all the things we love about each other.

This was not just a goodbye, but also a huge blow to my heart that we are not going to Dublin to be missionaries on the team with them. We are super excited to see how God works through them in Ireland!
Happy Anniversary to b and m
We also celebrated our (drum role please) ...7 year anniversary! Not too much to report. There were surprise flowers, a nice lunch and dinner and two Hallmark cards purchased that were never filled out because we got into our traditional "big days are too much pressure and we eventually argue" moods.

We have a trip planned to Portland in September that was supposed to be a belated anniversary trip, but now I'm going to say that it has nothing to do with our anniversary so it won't suck. Thankfully, the day after our anniversary we were back to normal and liked each other again. One thing that has kept us smiling in our marriage is Ben's humor. The pic below shows what happened when I dragged Ben to Michaels one day - gotta love that guy!
Anyone have any big fall home improvement projects planned? How do you stay motivated to accomplish said projects? Are there any other couples out there that suffer from "anniversary paralysis" when it comes to making that day perfect? We'd love to hear your feedback!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

"And may my love travel with you everywhere Yeah may my love travel with you always." TP

Workaholics Anonymous 
I sit here at Panera alone this Saturday morning while Ben entertains 4 ladies at our house. You heard that right, the past several weeks I've lost Ben to these women because they have had meeting after meeting after meeting. They are the other therapists that Ben is partnering with to share office space for his private practice. Of course, this may be nothing compared to the night and weekend hours he will spend apart from me when he starts seeing clients.

We have somehow managed throughout the course of our marriage not to become workaholics. Unfortunately, it seems inevitable that, to take that leap of faith we've both committed to in pursuing careers out of who we are, this may have to be a chapter in our story. Ben will soon be balancing working a full-time job with starting a private practice. Someday, I will be balancing having a home staging business with being a full-time mom.

Ultimately, our goal is to both be working part-time with full-time incomes because we are so awesome at what we do. Then we will both be able to play a big part in raising our future children (ScreamFree, of course).

My New Goal
This may sound silly, but I've been thinking a lot lately about how much I admire people who seem truly happy and content about where they are. It seems that in life we are constantly looking forward to the next step... kindergarten, junior high, high school, turning 16, college, turning 21, finishing school, starting a career, getting married, buying a house, getting a puppy, having kids, getting those kids out of the house, becoming a grandparent, retiring, traveling.

I think I tend to miss out on the good stuff because I'm so anxious about the next step. I want to love the city and house I live in, the number in my bank account, the things I have, the mistakes I'm making and learning from, the point I'm at in my faith, and the people I share life with right now.

That would be an accurate description of the early anniversary present I gave Ben yesterday. I had this brilliant idea when looking for a gift for Ben on the internet last week that I would give him a piece of art and that could become a tradition (I heart traditions by the way!). The problem was that I may have chosen a piece of art that was a lot more me than him. He likes it, but you could see in his eyes that he saw this as an "excuse" for me to get something that I really wanted. Back to the drawing board I suppose...

I can honestly say that this past year of marriage with Ben has been the toughest yet. We both grew and challenged ourselves, and in doing so our marriage, more than ever before! We stopped being content in life and took leaps of faith.

I can also say with absolute certainty that Monday when we celebrate 7 yrs. together that I love and want this man on a level I never thought possible. Every single day he challenges me with his thoughts, his actions, and of course his humor. When I said "I do" I had no idea the adventures in life we would share. I love where we are right now and where we're going. I love you, Ben. Happy Anniversary, baby!

Monday, August 16, 2010

A Funny Story and Quick Update...

Ben-1, Monica-0
This Memphis summer has been sweltering to say the least! Several nights right before bed, Ben and I have debated about whether the ceiling fan in our bedroom was rotating the right way because we could hardly feel any air blowing. A couple of those times Ben suggested that these ceiling fan air filters I put on the top of the fan blades may be causing the problem. I, being the self confident wife that I am, scoffed at this idea - I mean why would they even be allowed to sell such a thing if that were the case?!

Last week, as I was about to enter my usual hot sleep coma and was too tired to protest, Ben took off the air filters and WALA! Magically the fan became like Ooook-lahoma, where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain! We have enjoyed sleeping in much cooler conditions and Ben has enjoyed rubbing it in my face that he was right. I have to give him one every now and then.

What have we been up to you may ask? What HAVEN'T we been up to is the more appropriate question. I have been on road trips to Hot Springs, Springfield and Nashville within a 2 week span. I celebrated my big birthday with friends and family and Tom Petty was very excited to see us at his concert in Nashville! I will leave you with a couple of pics from the concert and with the anticipation of the return of my regularly scheduled Friday blog this Friday...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Epic 3-Day Battle with the Lawn Mower

I don't have the greatest history with yard equipment. The fight is usually not pretty and does not usually end well. At some point there is a comical scene where I end up hurting myself trying to show the yard equipment who's boss.

So, when the lawn mower quit starting on Monday, I knew it would be another battle in the war on lawn equipment...

Monday, I pulled and pulled on the rope with the handle that is just a little too small for an average human hand. After pushing the primer bubble 10x more than needed, the thing still wouldn't start. In my frustration I put the mower back in the shed and proceeded to slam the door shut. <SNAP> ...the force broke the handle off the shed door. Lawn equipment 1, Ben 0.

Tuesday, I let all the excess gas drain from the over priming on Monday and proceeded to try to start it again. No luck. Beat the learning curve, Ben, you can do it! I stopped trying to start it and took the air filter off the mower and it was caked in 6 years of oily, gassy gunk. I cleaned it and tried to start the mower again...nothing. Moving up on the evolutionary scale exponentially at this point, I went to Home Depot and bought a new air filter and read on the package, "Replace this every 3 months or every 25 hours of operation." Whoops! Hoping this would be the salvation, the turning point of the war, my Saratoga, I installed it. Victory! The mower started for 30 seconds and then died, even with an oil change. Mower 2, Ben .5 points for not hurting myself or breaking anything.

Wednesday: Thinking back to Home Depot, I knew I had to go back like Jack Shephard knew he had to go back to the island. I had to get a spark plug, especially after seeing how burned up the one was that I pulled off the mower. Spark plug replaced, engine primed, cord pulled...BLAST OFF! Battle won! This thing purred like a cat that just figured out how to receive love without having to give any back.

On another note I must admit that this mower has not been running well for 4 years. Rather than doing anything about it, I just figured each mow might be its last. Like a good American consumer, I thought, "I'll just buy a new one when this piece of junk dies" (albeit, due to my neglect of oil changes, spark plugs, and air filters). I was not motivated to do anything to take care of it until it didn't work anymore, but I had plenty of motivation to complain about its quality along the way. Isn't that life for so many of us? It's not much of one, that's for sure!