Life's great journey is made up of day by day delights.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Quick Recap

The past few days have been jam packed with activities for me! Here's a quick re-cap of events with a hopefully more interesting blog to follow on Tuesday or Wednesday.
*The past week I have been averaging about 3 hours of sleep a night. I am not sure why but I must admit....IT'S ANNOYING. I don't know about you but this girl needs her beauty sleep! Lack of zzzz's was not a good way to start off the holiday season....
*Thanksgiving was wonderful! Started off at Eric's dad's house. We ate some AMAZING food and then spudded out on the couch. Following that, we went to my cousin's house and enjoyed a wonderful meal with some aunts, uncles, and cousins. Some were missing this year but for good reason. I am so excited to see EVERYONE for Christmas. It was all in all a great Thanksgiving full of thanks, love, and memories.
*Black Friday I worked. And worked. Aaaand worked. Total clocked hours = 12+. I was soooo exhausted when I got home but Eric was such a sweet heart! He knows I am a tad o.c.d. about the cleanliness of our home so he took the initiative and did laundry, swept, did dishes, made the bed, and took care of the lawn. Then when I got home, he went out and brought dinner to us which was so nice! I would have gladly made dinner but he didn't even want me to try. He just wanted me to rest. After some of the fantastic tlc, we decorated the Christmas tree. We were going to wait until Sunday but there is something about decorating for Christmas that just makes me not want to wait if I don't have to. After that, I crashed and burned.
*Saturday I worked and we were so busy. Almost busier than on Black Friday! My friends (Jill, Juan, and Karen) surprised me which was just what I needed that day! With the work day behind me and I freshened up a bit, Eric & I met up with those three + 1 for dinner then everyone came over to our place for a little bit more socializing. Jill and Juan came up from Alabama so it was such a treat to see them! I miss them so much. And yes. Jill and I cried like babies when she left.
*On Sunday I woke up in a major funk! I was so cranky but I was also just out and out depressed. I was really sad Jill and Juan were leaving. Eric was again such a sweetie and comforted me. That helped and we headed off to church. We enjoyed a really good sermon then had some yummy Panera Bread for lunch. They make the best comfort food! We ran some errands, came back to the house, took care of some chores then I had a successful tutoring lessong with my sister-in-law. At 8 p.m. I called my mom and fell asleep while on the phone. At that point I knew I was done and got some shut eye.
*Today, Eric has been SIIIIIICK. He never gets sick so this was a shock to both he and I. Poor Baby! I think he actually thought he was dying. Since he never falls ill he doesn't really know that some of his symptoms are normal for a virus and that he will soon be well. He came home from work, I took care of him but then had to head off to work. A few hours into the work day, Eric called me saying he needed me to take him to the dr. After the dr. visit and a few visits to the pharmacy, Love is resting on the couch, happily watching "The Simpsons."
WHAT A WEEK!!! Now that the bland recap is done and over with, expect some great posts about the upcoming holidays, yummy recipes, plenty of pics, and even more! STAY TUNED! :-)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankful for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is almost here and I could not be more excited! I have such amazing memories of Thanksgiving through the years. Growing up, we usually hosted Thanksgiving at our house. Preparation would start at least a week before. We would practically turn our whole house upside down making sure everything was spotless...or as close to spotless as possible. haha It was such a crazy place to be. We all had our jobs to do and even though it was "work" it was fun because we would all be together, listening to Christmas music, talking and laughing. Food would be prepped making the refrigerator stuffed to the max!The night before Thanksgiving we always ate ginger snaps and milk and watched old movies. I actually hate ginger snaps but I tell you what! I ate them anyway. It was tradition!
 Waking up on Thanksgiving day meant waking up early and turning on the Macy's Day Parade. We would stop in between the madness to watch people singing and dancing and of course SANTA! Decorations that had accumulated through the years would be pulled out of the barn, box by box. Going through them would get me so excited and once everything was clean and tables/chairs were set up Mom would let me be the one to decorate the house. It was always amazing to see how our home would be transformed into such a peaceful, warm, entertainment hub!
We'd kick into high gear the last hour or so and soon enough *KNOCK* *KNOCK* on the door then relatives would pour into the house. Sometimes it would get a little cramped but it didn't matter....we were together and that was all that mattered. Appetizers would be munched on, conversations (and usually hysterical laughing) would begin and memories would be made. Mom always attempted a perfect gravy but usually asked for my Aunt Judy to help while Uncle Curt and Dad would start carving the turkey. My cousin Jacqueline usually joined in for that sort the meat or sneak some pieces? The world may never know. :-)
Soon enough, the food was ready and Dad would ask us to join hands for prayer. No matter where we were in the house, Jacqueline and I would find one another so we could hold hands. I know this is wrong but we did it so we could squeeze the other's hand and see who would quietly giggle first.....we may still do that....I will not confirm or deny that. :-) Dad recites off a prayer he wrote before hand. His prayers are always so sweet and so filled with thanks and praise. "Amen" is spoken  and the "elders" would go in line first while the spring chickens followed behind. We'd find our seats, chow down, and cozy up for great conversations. Trivial Pursuit or Catch Phrase would usually be played while desserts were consumed even though we were all too full to eat and coffee would be inhaled to stay awake! You know what turkey does to a person! Zzzz. A fun night was always had by all but sadly it would have to come to an end. Everyone would say they were heading out but it would actually be 10 minutes before they left because people had to be hugged and recipes had to be shared. The house that was just booming with activity would become almost silent while Dad, Mom, Alex, and I would crash and talk fondly about the evening.
Maybe your traditions are different but those are what are familiar to me and I wouldn't change them for anything! Now in a new phase of my life, I will be visiting the in-laws then going to the house that I used ot help decorate. Yes, it's different but it's just as exciting! I can't wait to start building memories with my husband and families. I wonder what traditions will be started? :-)
Just a few pics from Thanksgiving '09.....
One of the centerpieces

My precious Mom who always works so hard to make a nice night for all!

Hannah and Maison-cousins

My cousin Hannah and I making crazy faces!

Cousins Melissa, Deb, Aunt-Kathy, cousin-Jen with her son Von

The traditional turkey fest!

Food galore! YUM!

Piling up of plates!

Cousins! LOVE her! :-)

How does your Thanksgiving typically go? What kind of traditions do you have? What's a favorite dish? :-)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Coupons make me smell good!

I'm a girly girl. Always have been, always will be. I take pride in that. I like looking (and smelling) nice. I don't know how well I actually accomplish the "looking nice" thing but hey! I TRY. :-) I love shoes, purses, jewelry, clothes, and all the smelly good stuff that is out there! I also love trying new products but when I find certain ones that I really like then I buy that brand and only that brand. Partly because I have sensitive skin plus why mess with success? They are working so why change?
Before marriage I took that love to what some might call an "obsession". I would spend ridiculous amounts of money on one bottle of shampoo or one container of eye-liner. After marriage those tendencies changed. I was more concerned about saving money but in turn that made me suffer a bit. I say "suffer" like I actually mean it.haha I wasn't buying products that made me look or feel good. After a while, that takes its toll on a girly girl like me!
Thank goodness for coupons! Now I can do three things I truly enjoy: 1. Try new products! 2. Smell pretty. 3. SAVE MONEY! This past week I got a mailer with tons of coupons and with those coupons I got:

Ashley from toogoodtobetrue recommended these and I LOVE them!

I know, I know. Suave products are already priced low with coupons they are amazingly low! And their products really do smell wonderful! With the coupon I had, I got $1 off 2 Suave Body Wash products!

I also bought some Loreal active daily moisture. Normally I used Dove or Neutrogena but this coupon was for $2.00 off!!! I could not beat that and I actually really like this product better than the others!
Loreal also treated me well with a $1.00 off coupon for the GO 360 Clean face wash. Ya' know. The one with the little scrubber built into the bottle! A-MAZING. It smells great, my skin gets exfoliated, and looks great!
 I've saved money and boosted my self confidence a bit (my new 'do helps a little too)! So, get out there Girls! Try some new products! Save some money! You'll never know what you find until you try!  
What great deals on beauty products have you found lately? :-)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bookworm Wednesday...j/k j/k

Yeah so guess who didn't follow through with Bookwork Wednesday? This girl. Honestly, I want to get back into reading but have not found enough time to concentrate on a book. Any tips for a girl in need of some serious literary indulgence?? Do you read often? How do you fit a good book into your busy schedule? HELP A SISTER OUT. :-)
On an unrelated note: Thanksgiving is almost here! And do you know what that means??? CHRISTMAS IS ALMOST HERE!!! Yay!!! I have just purchased our ornaments and our tree. I have a lot that I got last year (after Christmas) as well so I can hardly wait to put it to use. It will be so fun sharing Christmas with Eric! That is one of the things I am most excited about. :-) I am not going to talk more about the upcoming holiday season because otherwise I won't be able to stop and believe me! THERE. WILL. BE. MORE. HOLIDAY. POSTS. haha But to not leave you hanging, please enjoy this holiday favorite of mine (both movie and song)!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"I love us!"

"I love 'us'!" My husband actually said this one morning while we were laughing hysterically. And when he said that I loved him even more! One of our favorite things to do is to simply be in bed and just talking (which usually turns into laughing.)We always act so silly and laugh so hard that we end up in tears! It is a sweet time where we can just be ourselves with no distractions. No tv. No music. No phones. No computer. Just us. We talk about our day, our dreams, our future, our pasts, and everything in between. We bond, we grow, and we cherish one another. Yes, I love a fun date night or spending an afternoon with family & friends but there is something about this time we share that makes it supreme above the rest. It's in those moments that I look at him and know I really did marry my best friend. :-)
What are some special times you share with your other half?

Friday, November 12, 2010

We Are Not Alone

I constantly am going through stages of mini-obsessions. Anything from learning Italian to playing the SIMS to various songs, so on and so forth. What can I say? I have a lot of interests but may also be a little a.d.d. A perfect spazzy combination. :-)

My current obsession is this song, "We Are Not Alone." I stumbled upon it while exploring on youtube a few weeks ago. You can search it and find a variety of versions sung by choirs from all over the world. It's simple. It's beautiful. It's true. I hope you enjoy and I encourage you to find more versions of this song on the web. If you find one that is super great, send it my way! :-)

Psalm 46:11

"The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah."

Thursday, November 11, 2010

So they think I'm crazy....

So they think I'm crazy...
Who are "they" you ask? "They" is a broad term for anyone in the medical/dental field. Nurses, doctors, dental assistants, dentists, the people who draw blood, the people that take my blood pressure, the people at the front get the point. I am like the epitome of the patient that is crazy and that they make fun of. Granted, I've not heard the snickers but nevertheless I am SURE the giggles and mockery are there. I don't know what my problem is. Why panic? Why pass out? Why cry....hysterically?

This morning was no exception. Some backtracking is necessary so let's take this story in rewind. <<<<<< to about 7 years ago. I had a regular dentist visit. I didn't love going to the dentist but I also didn't hate it, like most people. I was informed I had a cavity or two due to the shape of my teeth and not my hygiene. I have to throw that out there because I am a bit obsessed with flossing, brushing, mouth wash, etc. and don't want people to think otherwise. Moving on, soon enough I had an appt to get some fillings. I was nervous, sure, but thought, "I can soooo do this." I couldn't do it. The dentist's drill was literally hovering in my open mouth when I suddenly said, "AH! NO! I CAN'T" and simultaneously rolled out of the chair army style. WOOSH! I ran out of the office. After a few minutes of calming down I was coaxed back in and my dentist piped up, "Maybe this isn't for you...."  Fast forward to present day. I found myself sitting in a dentist chair. For the same reason. Again I told myself, "I can soooo do this." Well....I'm sure you can figure out where I'm going with this. I tried so hard. I let them put the numbing gel and the bib on me. That was bad enough. The taste and smell of the gel was like poison! I began getting nervous and at one point my dentist says, "Are you cold?" I was baffled by this question and responded as if he were the crazy one. "Noooo." I said. "Well I just asked because your hands are clasped together so tightly as if to keep warm." Embarassment instantly set in as I realized that I had in fact clasped my hands together really tightly. But not because I was cold....because I was TERRIFIED! The dentist and his assistant left the room for a few minutes while I tried to calm down then the tears came. And they wouldn't stop. When they came back I asked if I could use the restroom quickly while I apologized profusely in between sobs. I was like a chicken with my head cut off...seriously. It was as if I had never been there before. I couldn't find the bathroom that was a mere 5 ft. away. After I left the restroom I asked my mom to come in from the waiting room......oh wait. Did I leave that part out? Yeah....I had my mommy come with me. :-) She looks a little more than irritated and like this seemed a little too familiar to her(i.e.Filling Fiasco circa 2003). With my mom behind me I felt a little more at ease but then....then she started quoting scripture. OUT LOUD. Now, don't get me wrong. I love my mom. And I love THE WORD but at that point in the appointment I was definitely and quickly becoming "the weird girl." Like my mom might as well have sprinkled me with holy water and sang "Swing Low Sweet Chariot." Noticing my embarassment, she thought she'd make it better by "toning it down." And by "toning it down" I mean she leaned down closer to me but left her volume the same turning me into the "REALLY weird girl with the equally weird mother." Once again, the wicked gel was applied and once again, nausea and panic set in. That was it. I was DONE. The dentist finally gave up and recommended a dentist that would put me to sleep. Maybe that's all I needed? A little R&R. ;-)
Have you ever had a freak out moment at the dentist or doctor's office? TELL ME ALL ABOUT IT! :-)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bookworm Wednesday

I love reading but am also a procrastinator when it comes to cracking open a book and finishing it. To help myself stay consistent, I am starting "BookWorm Wednesday" where I divulge over whatever book I am reading at the time (i.e. Did I love it? Did I hate it? etc.) AND get your feedback. But I have a dilemma (cue the dramatic music)....I am indecisive and have no idea where I want to start! SO. MANY. OPTIONS. I go on ambitious overload when I step into Barnes and Noble. I want to read everything. I am taking suggestions so please feel free to pass some recommendations along my way! AND HEY! How about joining me on this literary journey??? :-)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My Man

This is the face of the man I love.
He doesn't just make my heart go pitter-patter, it goes deeper than that.He makes me so happy that I could burst! He makes my heart smile. He makes me laugh so hard that I cry. He makes me think and gain new perspectives on what matters most. He encourages and uplifts. HE GETS ME!! I make sense to him. He is my perfect fit. He is like that missing piece to my puzzle. I could live off of his hugs alone....don't even get me started on his kisses. ;-) He takes care of me in a way that I can't even understand. He works hard so that we don't have to go without. He is everything I ever wanted and more. He is literally my dream come true! He is my day to day delight!
But there was a day that I never thought I'd meet my dream come true. As each year passed and I remained alone, I suffered. I cried out to God, not understanding why He would have me wait. I know I'm not old and that many marry later in life than I did but boy! Did it feel like an eternity! I didn't want to but I began to feel like I was losing hope. I occupied myself with family, friends, church, and work but all the while I would be thinking that it would be nice to share this with someone. I used to cry to my friend, Amber, all the time. I confided that the loneliness hurt so bad I could feel it and that I thought no one would come along. She constantly encouraged me and let me know that God had a plan for me. She was right (as usual! ;-) )The day I met Eric changed my life! And my life is still changing because of him. He edifies and I feel like I become a better person because I know him. I call him my super hero because he saved my happily ever after! God knows His children, their wants and needs. I'm no exception. I just had to wait on HIM and His timing because it truly is perfect! I look back now and realize that although I wanted to be in a relationship years ago, I wasn't where God wanted me to be yet. If I had tried to make my timing work it would have failed and I would have had more heartache than before! GOD IS GOOD and I am so grateful for my man that He has given me. I love him so much and could not imagine a day without him. <3

Monday, November 8, 2010

Where is my thankfulness? Where is yours?

I am not posting this because we are getting closer to Thanksgiving but rather because it was simply on my heart.
I work in retail. I deal with the public. Every. Single. Day. Enough said. :-) Yesterday at work, as I was making myself try to think positively and be grateful, I thought, "Why shouldn't I be grateful? I have a job which is more than a lot of Americans right now. I have clothes, I have food, shelter, a car that runs, shoes on my feet, a husband that loves and respects me, a family that is amazing, friends that are beyond this world, a wonderful church, and even better than all of those things: God. Who loved me enough to send His only Son to pay for MY sins on the cross! He supplies all of my needs and satisfies my heart far beyond what I ever deserve. All of what I have comes from HIM!"
Ah, peace and joy started pouring in. Once again, God was knocking on my heart, showing me where I needed to change, and blessing me through the process. Think of it! Even when we can be wrong, He still blesses us!!! AMAZING. He helped bring the attention off of myself and back to Him. Where it belongs. Before that leading of the Holy Spirit, I was frowning and grumpy. After that, I was smiling. Happy. THANKFUL. It led me to think of why so many people I encounter seem so unhappy, unsatisfied, and ungrateful. Remember, I deal with people all day long. All types of people. I am not trying to be negative about the general public. Just telling you what I see daily. And more times than not what I observe is unthankful hearts. I think people (me included) can pull too much attention onto themselves. Everything is about them including, in their minds, what they have. Because of that attitude they have no one to be grateful to. I mean, if they did it all themselves then why would they say, "Thank you!" ???? People need to redirect their focus to God instead of themselves. Imagine if they look to God, instead of their own works, they have someone to give thanks to. I am not trying to be "preachy" or to discredit that people work hard and in turn \ have nice things but to me, any way I look at it, that still goes all back to God. He gave the abilities, the opportunities, and the resources. I have found and observed that when thanks is given to Him, He gives back 10 fold. The material things are appreciated but not the focus. It's like the old hymn that says, :
"Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.

PSALM 9:1-2
1. "I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works.
2." I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High."

Again, that was just on my heart and I had to share. What are you thankful for? Would you like to share what God has done in your life recently? Please do! I've love to know! :-)

****Stay tuned because I have some fun posts coming up this week!****

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Money, money, money!!

1 Timothy 6:10
"For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."

Luke 12:42
"And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?"

$$$ Money, money, money!! $$$ It seems to be talked about all the time on the news, radio, in church, in regular day to day converstations, and in the work place. Money has been a steady topic in our household for a few months now. Eric has a deep respect for finanacial guru, Dave Ramsey. He listens to his radio show and checks out his website at Recently, we decided to take his classes called Financial Peace University. Eric and I have found this class to be incredibly insightful, encouraging, edifying, and educational. We have a plan for tomorrow and for a few years from now and that feels...well...GREAT! Dave Ramsey sets up everything so clearly and from a biblical standpoint. One of the things I have learned to implement into my shopping is coupon clipping! I always wanted to be a coupon clipper and now, slowly but surely, I am becoming one. I still have a lot to learn in regards to how to combine my coupons with the best deals, etc. but I LOVE seeing money come off my grocery bill almost instantly as each coupon is scanned. It's like money magic!! :-) I just like saving the money plus it makes me feel good about myself. I may not pull in the same money that Eric does but this makes me feel like I do my part beyond my  regular job. Again, I'm not a pro by any means but I'm no dummy either so I am going to share with you some of the sites I use that help me cut back on our spending and how I don't just cut coupons but how I make myself use them as well. Keep in mind....I am still learning! :-)

1. I use this site weekly or bi-weekly. It is soooo easy! Now that I know it's there I have no excuse not to use it. All I have to do is go to the site, browse through the coupons, click on the ones that I want and at the end I click "Print Coupons." How simple is that?!?
2. I have said it before and I will say it again, I love this site. For the cost and ease of use, this is a great online source. It's a double threat: tells where you to shop and what items to buy that are on sale AND it helps you plan meals!!
3. I have not tried this yet but am very tempted to. The lady who created this site says that using coupons is like playing just have to know how to play your hand. Many items, combined with coupons, end up being FREE!! She was featured on the Food Network and they followed her on a shopping trip. Her original receipt was over $200 but after the amazing combo of coupons + store sales she only spent around $80!!!!! Sounds pretty sweet to me!
4. Some people have hangups about using generics. I won't say I'm not a label snob. I like to have nice things but I'm also willing to try the "no-name" brands which works well because Aldi Grocery Store is full of them! I do the majority of my food shopping there. Their prices can be anywhere from $.50 to $1.50 cheaper than the name brands at other grocery stores which my wallet and I <3! When it comes to household cleaners, toilitries, I frequent Wal-Mart and {sometimes} Dollar General armed with coupons!
5. How do I get myself to use my coupons? I bought a little plastic divider folder from Dollar General for $1 and I labeled it with the categories that I shop in the most. Mine has 12 tabs which gave me some room to play with when it came to making labels. I cut my coupons (which is the longest process out of all of this but totally worth it), sort them and head off to the store. I then go aisle by aisle with my shopping list and coupon folder out. As I find the items I need that have a coupon available, I take the coupon from the designated area and put it up in the front of my sorter. By doing that I don't have to be the annoying person in line at checkout trying to find my coupons. You know what I'm talking about. Have you ever seen those people still cutting the coupons as they are trying to pay?? Ridiculousness. So to avoid being that person I have them ready and hand them to the cashier at the end. Then BAM! BAM! BAM! Money gets knocked off my bill. I always do a little happy dance internally! :-)
6. What else makes this effective? Per the Dave Ramsey system we are instructed to budget our money at the beginning of each month. It's like an actual meeting and we discuss what expenses we have coming up plus calculate what we regularly spend. Eric and I actually really enjoy this process because we know we are on the same page and we can see what money we are ultimately saving! We then designate cash for certain areas (i.e. groceries, gas, entertainment, etc.) get the cash, put them in the nifty cash envelopes from the Financial Peace class and then we don't have to spend anything else (beyond bills paid online.) We don't have to pull out the debit card at all and {kind of} blindly spend our money. If we need or want something, we have cash exactly for that purpose. This works wonders in our mula saving efforts! And you would never believe the compliments I receive on the envelopes when I use them. Check out the pics and you will see what I mean!
I'll be sharing more tips on saving money! What are some money saving tips you can share with me?

Snazzy cash envelope holder!

Cash envelopes!

I use these to save that!

My lifesaver at the grocery store!

Monday, November 1, 2010

I'm BACK!!!

 Hello Blogging World! I'm back! Now I will not say I will be back every day or even every week but I am here per the gentle nudging of friends and family. I really enjoy the blogging experience (both reading and writing) but sometimes I feel too much pressure to blog when I have nothing to say. I'll admit, I've got nothin'! haha But today I feel I've got something, nothing big. Nothing fancy. Just a story that I hope you all enjoy. (P.S. I am listening to Christmas music while I write this. Yeah, I'm that girl.)

Nearly a month ago Eric and I decided we needed a break. A BIG ONE. We were worn out and needing to get away from it all. Now, no matter how well you know me this should be surprising....we went....wait for it....camping. GASP! I may not seem like the outdoorsey type but I really do enjoy it. Being outdoors in God's creation without disturbance from humanity's design can be quite refreshing. We did toy with the idea of a city trip to Chicago but after considering what we really wanted (and what we wanted to spend) we opted for pitching a tent! So for a few weeks we collected supplies. Some we had, some we borrowed (thanks parents!), and some we purchased. Eric already had a tent so we put it up in our backyard to air out because he had rolled it up wet last time he used it....and so we could sit in it because we are cool like that. :-) We left it out or a few days then we went back to it to box it up we odor. Apparently we had a little critter (most likely racoon since we had seen one in the yard just days before) come visit the tent and he left a little puddle for us. YUCK!!!!!!! Off to Wal-Mart we went. We bought a new tent and some water repellent for the tent (lesson learned). Despite the tent incident our excitement was builiding. That Friday, I rushed home from work and arrived home to everything packed and ready to go thanks to the hubby. We set off merrily to our destination. The ride down was really beautiful and pleasant! We sang, held hands, talked about all the fun we would have, and enjoyed the beautiful leaves that were changing colors. After about an hour and a half trip we get to the campsite. Everything was pitch black when we got there so instinctively we go for the lantern. Now.....whoever at Coleman decided it was a great idea to store a lantern like this is a moron. I'm sorry but it was truly such a poor design. We had to yank the base and lid apart that was housing the GLASS lantern (do you see where I am going with this?) No luck, still no luck, then out went the lantern!.....onto the hard ground. Shattered into a thousand pieces. After a brief meltdown from myself and Eric, we pulled ourselves together. Seriously! We could not survive on an island if we fell apart at just the lantern breaking. What were we thinking?!? haha We used our pitiful flashlight to pitch our tent and set up camp the best we could. After feeling a little settled we headed off the camp store on the campgrounds. By the end of the trip we were their best customers! haha We bought a nice new lantern, mantles for the lantern, and a bundle of wood (the first of many.) Back to our campsite we went, freezing, tired, grumpy. We sat around the fire making smores. And get this--that was Hubby's first time eating a smore! That still boggles my mind! Off to bed....which was slightly down hill....because the tent was pitched slightly down hill. Throughout the night I would wake up and crawl back up to my pillow army style! The next morning we woke up still a little wounded from the experiences from the evening before but still surprisingly optimistic for what the day held for us. I went straight to work making a big breakfast: bacon, eggs, hash get the idea. Bacon cooked up surprisingly well considering it was being cooked on a little camping stove covered in foil to serve as an impromptu griddle....that was also on a slight decline....yeah, the table was leaning. haha While I'm cooking Eric is putting a new mantle on the lantern. He decides to change the other side, even though it didn't necessarily need it, just in case. In the process the thread to the mantle broke and the mantle blew away in the morning wind! FAIL. Another trip was made to the camping store for more mantels, MORE firewood, and some coffee. After the bacon was done, it was time for the hash browns and scrambled eggs. We used the lids and handles from the mess kits as our skillets (really worked well) and the food went in. And it sat there. For a long time. Not cooking. As soon as the food heated up it was instantly cooled down by the aforementioned "morning wind." Thankfully Eric decided to put a lid over the food and it cooked right up. Despite taking longer than we thought, the breakfast was delicious! We cleaned up then headed off to Brookville Lake to go boating. We found a deal where we could rent a pontoon for 4 hours for $100. Score! We were so excited. Even though it was really cold and storm clouds seemed to be rolling in. Our trip hadn't gone well so far so by George! WE WERE GOING TO BOAT! And attempt fishing. Key word: attempt. For the first hour it was really cold but quite fun especially when we got past the no wake zone. We treated that huge pontoon like a sports car, going full speed and doing doughnuts on the lake. Then....the rain came. And it didn't stop. We were pelted with the hard rain drops and soaked through to the bone. BRRRRRWINKLES! So we headed back to the dock even though we had about 2 1/2 hours left. Eric and I didn't care anymore. $100 or no $100 we were going to be warm and dry. Of course when we got to the dock it stopped raining. We didn't care anymore! We practically cried, "SAVE US!!!!" when we got to the dock and the owner pulled the boat in. Again, what made us think that we could handle this?? Opting for warmth and comfort, we went to the local Pizza King and ate subpar pizza. After consuming what one could only assume is thousands of calories and a pound of grease, we explored the town close by the camping site. An antique store was visited as was an outdoorsman's shop. We used the time in the truck to warm up so more. Back to the campsite! AH!!! We left the canvas chairs out and they were soaked. I piled them into the back of the pickup and headed towards the ladies room armed with my hair dryer. I set them down under the hand dryers, pressing the buttons every time they stopped and blow drying at the same time. An hour passed and they were sorta, kinda dry. They would have to do. In the meantime, Eric visited the camp store....ahem....again...and purchased more firewood. Ya' know, the forecast said it would be 65 and sunny. {SIGH} Sitting in our damp, cold chairs we debated for about an hour or so if we were hungry again. Instead of roasting hot dogs over the fire we chose the smores again. Why we ate like 13 year old kids on this trip I have no idea. We inhaled entirely too much camp fire smoke so after our lungs couldn't take it anymore we headed off to bed. Not exactly a comforting thought for myself considering it was like an aerobic exercise just to not slide downhill but off to bed I went! Morning came and were more than ready to head out! After having one lousy experience after another, seeing our home has never seemed so sweet! We had one day left of vacation and what do you think we did? Stayed in our pj's, watched movies, and breathed a unanimous sigh of relief.


Eric "fishing"...                      

                                                         View from our tent...note the angle.

                                                         Trying out a sleeping bag before the trip.