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I Have No Words (But here are a few anyways.)

June 3, 2020

I wasn’t sure about blogging this week.  I’m way behind on lots of things that I want to post about – to share with you & also just so I can remember.  Most of it doesn’t seem all that important right now.

I don’t even know the right words to say about the things going on in our country.  I have Black friends that I love (and honestly, would normally not ever even type the words “Black friends” – they’re just friends.  And they happen to have darker skin than mine.  Something I’m not sure we’ve ever even discussed because it’s never been an issue.).  My heart aches for the things they’re feeling right now.  I’ll never fully understand.  But I appreciate their honestly in the things they’re posting on their own social media accounts this week.  I may never understand, but I can learn from them.

I saw this posted on several social media platforms yesterday and can’t stop thinking about it…

#blm

If you’re part of the 99 – you’re fine.  Yes, you matter.  Let’s show some love to the one in danger.  Let’s embrace them.  Let’s learn from them.  Let’s make sure they know that their lives matter.

 

Heard Around the House

April 17, 2020

A week or so ago, it was National No Housework Day…

Me:  I was going to do some work around the house today but today is National No Housework Day.

Tay:  Have you done any housework since the quarantine started?

(She’s not wrong.)

Tay:  Dad and I are still going to work.  I still have school.  This is like one long vacation for you.IMG_7783

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Earlier this week (I don’t even remember what I was doing)….

Brian:  I didn’t know you were this weird when I married you.  Have you always been this weird?

Me:  Maybe I’m just embracing my weirdness.

Brian:  It’s like you’re channeling your inner Grandma Taus and you just get weirder and weirder the older you get.

stayweird

FYI…my grandma was the most amazing kind of weird.  I’ll take that as a compliment. :)

#ilikeweird

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And tonight.  It was raining as I headed out to walk the dog (he INSISTS on a walk every night).  I decided to wear a bright yellow poncho instead of trying to juggle and umbrella, the dog, and poop bags.  As I’m heading out the door…

Me:  How weird do I look in this?

Tay:  You look like the man from Curious George.  But in a good way.

yellowhatman

But in a good way?  (What does that even mean?)

These people keep me laughing.  Even if it’s at my own expense!

laughmickey

February Date Nights: Cheap Eats

April 6, 2020

Earlier today, a friend asked me if we were still doing themed date nights (with carry-out) during the quarantine.  We’re not.  Remember back in January when I told you about our favorite new pizza place?  We’ve been ordering carry-out from them once a week during this time to help support their business (and because we really like it!).  It’s Raymond’s Pizza in Liberty Twp. if you’re local and looking to support local business. :)

I realized when chatting with my friend that I never told you about February – “Cheap Eats” month!  Brian had wanted the theme to be “Steak”, but I reminded him that we were going to Disney World the beginning of March.  “Cheap Eats” won and I put a plea out on Facebook for favorite cheap places to eat.  Y’all had no idea how cheap I was planning to eat when you gave your suggestions.  My goal?  $10 or less – for both of us!  We didn’t do too bad.  Note:  The goal was CHEAP, not HEALTHY (as you’ll soon see).

Week #1 – Jack in the Box

We hadn’t eaten at Jack in the Box in years.  Our first and only experience there when they first opened wasn’t great.  When I saw that they had a “Triple Bonus Jack” meal for $4.99 we decided to give it another try.  The place was clean and the food was good (something we didn’t experience when they first opened).  We each got a triple cheeseburger, fries, and a drink – HUGE meals.

jackinbox

Our grand total was $10.63.  How’s that for cheap?

Week #2 – Wendy’s

I got the 4 for $4 (small cheeseburger, 4 nuggets, small fries, and a drink) and Brian got the 4 for $5 (bacon cheeseburger, 4 nuggets, small fries, and a drink).  Plenty of food (I could have done without the nuggets) and a bill totaling $9.54.  Can’t beat it!

Week #3 – White Castle

Brian loves White Castle.  He got a slider meal.  I got a chicken ring meal.  Grand total: $12.31 (clearly not the bargain the other places were).  :)

Taylor had an eye emergency the last week of the month (she’s fine), so we skipped the final week of “Cheap Eats”.  (We were going to try Dairy Queen for their $6 meals – yes, that’s over my $10 goal, but it included ice cream!)

So, there ya go.  You CAN eat out for cheap!  What’s the cheapest meal you’ve gotten at a restaurant?

The first week of March was spent at Disney World (recap coming soon!).  We had one normal week at home before life got crazy.  Regular date nights (and some great themes!) will be back as soon as we’re out & about again. For now, we’re having lunch time dates – taking a walk around the neighborhood and eating lunch together in the sunroom.  Do we know how to have fun or what?

Quarantine Joy Bombs

April 1, 2020

Two years ago, I did a Bible study called “Fight Back With Joy”.  I was thinking about that study this morning and found this quote:

joybombblog

Life sure isn’t “perfect” right now, is it?

(Is it ever really perfect?)

Is there still joy to be found?  I think there is!

One of my favorite things about that study was the “Joy Bomb Journal” in the back of the book.  We were supposed to write down things each day that brought us joy.  A “Joy Bomb” can be anything – something that pops up in the midst of whatever is going on in life and brings you joy.  Last week I challenged my small group to find joy in their day-to-day life – this crazy life we’re living right now.  There is joy to be found (some days you may have to look a little harder to find it, but it’s there!).

Here are a few things that have brought me joy the past couple of weeks.

  • Funny texts from friends.
  • Skype call with my parents (I should have taken a picture).
  • Zoom Bible Studyqblogsmallgroup
  • Zoom chats with a friend.
  • Finally watching Frozen & Frozen 2 (I know, I know…why did I wait so long?)
  • Iced Coffee (Tay & I developed a really bad “Daily Iced Coffee” addiction when we were in Disney World).  Corbin enjoys an occasional trip to the coffee shop as well.
  • Funny Facebook posts (thanks for the laughs, FB friends).
  • This picture my mom shared of my first Disney trip.

qblogdisney

  • Tik Tok Time with Tay – she loves sharing funny things she’s found on there.  People are so creative.
  • All the free online resources for those home with kids – art classes, story time, tutoring, Lego challenges….so many great things.
  • I love all the creative ways people are finding to serve & help others in need – all while making wise choices for their own health and the health of others.
  • Online church – people are getting pretty creative with that as well.  Love it!  Tay’s church had a “cell phone worship team” this week.  So fun!

What brought you joy the past couple of weeks?  Be sure to share it with someone.  They might need to hear it & you might brighten their day!

choosejoy

 

 

Some Good Stuff

March 19, 2020

Life sure has changed since I last posted.  Wow!

I don’t need to fill you in on all the do’s and don’ts.  We all know what we should be doing (and not doing) during this crazy time.

Instead, I just wanted to share a few good things that I’ve seen online recently.

Like this video that came this morning from our pastor.

Walk in wisdom!  I love it.

And how about this blog from one of my favorite bloggers…

Church, Wash Your Hands

Worth reading.  I KNOW it’s a tough call for churches to make.  Closing is hard.

Just a reminder to my church-going friends – continue to support your local church financially during this time.  They still have staff to pay and bills to pay when they’re closed.

I got an email this morning with a link to a free download: 20 Promises for Fighting Fear.  You can find it here: rebekahlyons.com/fear

I had a text conversation a couple of days ago with some friends about how they were feeling during this time.  You know, it’s okay to feel all the feelings.  It’s okay to be sad, angry, disappointed, lonely, confused, etc.  It’s okay.  Just don’t get stuck there.  We will get through this.  And hopefully we’ll come out the other side better.  Feeling stuck?  Here are some things that might help shift your focus…

Look for things each day that bring you joy. (1)

Taylor finds great joy in Tik Tok videos (some people are SO creative & funny!).  This morning, a new pair of yoga pants brought me joy (it’s the little things).  What brought you joy today?  Be sure to share it with a friend or on social media – let’s fill up social media with good stuff!

Hang in there, friends.  Let me know if you need anything or if there’s anything I can pray about for you.  You are loved.

 

January Date Nights: Pizza Trail

February 5, 2020

Brian & I have a “date night” once a week.  We haven’t always done this but now that our kids are adults & busy, we try to make it happen.  MANY times, our “dates” involve a quick dinner and an errand (hello, Home Depot).  I decided we were gonna mix things up this year and have a “theme” for each month.  He thinks it’s crazy.  Tay thinks it’s weird.  I think it’s fun!  And it’ll get us to try some new places.  January’s theme was “Pizza” and we had fun visiting 4 local pizza places that we hadn’t tried before.

Week 1 was Big Dog’s Pizza.

bigdogpizza

(I forgot to snap a picture so I found this online.  If it’s your picture and you don’t want it on a blog read by 3 people, let me know and I’ll take it down.)

I was immediately turned off by the grumpy man working the register.  #grumpydog

He didn’t greet us – just stared at us and then gave a snarky reply to a question Brian had about the menu.  Brian had eaten lunch there with a friend a week or so before and had a wonderful experience with the staff.  I watched this man’s interaction with customers as we waited for our pizza and it was awful!  #sorude

The place itself is very cute and we liked the pizza.  Brian had the Hawaiian and I had pepperoni.

Week #2 found us at Fratelli’s.

IMG_3490

This place gets mixed reviews among my friends.  We know people that LOVE it and people that HATE it.  For us, it was just okay.  Nice kid working.  Decent pizza (we tried The New Yorker).  Didn’t LOVE or HATE it.

I had put together quite a list of places to visit based on Facebook recommendations and Week #3 found us here…

IMG_3502

Raymond’s Pizza in Liberty Twp.  Friendliest worker we’d had so far.  She filled us in on the history (family business that branched off of Chester’s Pizza in Hamilton) and loved our pizza date nights (I didn’t share this info with the grumpy guy or the young kid at the previous places).  We had pepperoni, green olives, mushroom, and banana pepper.  Brian also had a salad which he said was really good.  If you haven’t been to Raymond’s, you need to go.  Now.  It’s SO good.  Brian’s favorite pizza of all time has been Cassano’s.  He may have found a new favorite!  The lady working (the owner’s sister) was THRILLED to hear how much we loved it – and announced it to the whole dining room!  :)

The last week of January was our final stop.  I had heard that this pizza was “life changing”.  Their website says it’s voted #1 in Butler County.  Will it be our #1 pick?

richardspizza

Richards Pizza in Hamilton (again, I forgot to take a picture).

They have a huge dining room (would be great for groups).  Brian got a Hawaiian pizza (I think) and I had pepperoni.  We loved it (and should have gotten larger than the personal size – it was small and we were hungry!).

What a fun & yummy month of dates.  Here are our final Pizza Tour Standings…

#4 Fratelli’s

#3 Big Dog’s (ALMOST got the bottom spot due to the service, but the pizza was good)

#2 Richards Pizza (a VERY close #2)

#1 RAYMOND’S  PIZZA – we can’t wait to go back!  (We tried to go on Friday night and it was CRAZY BUSY!)  I think we’ll go soon and try their lunch special (pizza, salad, and drink).

So, there ya go!  Stay tuned…this month’s theme: Cheap Eats!

Have ideas for themes or places we should try?  Let me know!

 

Heard Around the House: Coffee Edition

January 22, 2020

Before our walk last night…

Me:  Do you want me to put on a pot of coffee before we go?

Brian:  That’s a great idea.

Me:  Did it taste okay last time?

Brian:  Yes, it was good.

Me (to Tay):  Dad’s been criticizing my coffee.

Brian:  I haven’t been criticizing it.

Me:  You said it tasted like tar.  Was that a compliment?

In his defense, I had gotten a bit carried away with my measurements.  I put cream & flavoring in mine so I hadn’t really noticed that it was extra strong.  Oops!

Be-strong-I-whisper-to-my-coffee