Saturday, December 3, 2016

20 weeks

We are halfway through this pregnancy!  I can't believe it!  We found out this week that we are expecting a boy!  I can't believe it!  I finally understand why people say things like, "I can't believe my kid is 5!  I can't believe they are in kindergarten!"  Every stage of parenthood has been met with denial thus far.    

I was super convinced that we were having a girl, so Ian and I have only been discussing girl names.  Guess we will have to shelve those.  We both would have picked a boy, so we are pretty excited!  

I think it is finally starting to sink in that I am pregnant. I feel huge and people have started patting my stomach.  I pat their stomachs back (unless it is Ian).  Yup, I am glad that we are not having a little girl to take after her Momma's sassy ways.

18 weeks 3 days - good thing my phone remembers when I take pictures.  

It is definitely December in our household - lots of Christmas music and lots of looming deadlines for school for both of us (I still have 2 finals to write...yikes!).  The good news is it will all be over in 2 weeks.

Unfortunately, I have given up a bit on exercising.  I got out for a couple of walks this week.  I try to motivate myself to go, but it is getting colder here and it has snowed a couple of times.  I like running so much more - I actually feel like some stress is relieved and running generates way more body heat.  If I run these days my hips hurt quite a bit the next day so I stick to walking.

Pumpkin Pie 5k - we walked it together.  It was FREEZING and walking a 5k makes me feel lame.  Ian is a good encourager.  And he gave me half of his piece of pumpkin pie afterwards "for the baby".
However, I do dream of days when I can run again which has lead to an obsession of looking at strollers. I read a blog post the other day that said something along the lines of, "You will never find the perfect jogging stroller."  That was a bit defeating!  I would love a jogger that can accommodate an infant through a 75 lb kiddo and is not crazy expensive and is height adjustable and could maybe convert to a double jogger without being bulky.  I am super torn between getting a carseat/stroller combo or just not worrying about it and getting a good carseat and a completely different stroller.  Yes I have wasted time too much time on the internet researching options and I don't feel like I have found anything I like.  At least we have a few more months to figure it out.

December 1st!  20 weeks 3 days.  Ignore my hair - I was not really planning on showing this picture to people.
Speaking having a few more months, we have yet to pick a hospital (well we have picked one, but we should probably take a tour and see the place before we actually decide) or found out about any type of birthing class or anything really.  The only reason I stay on top of doctor visits is they do not let me leave until I schedule the next few appointments (smart people).  I also keep saying that I need to find some maternity workout clothes and maternity work clothes (I have been wearing clothes given to me by friends and family - all super generous) but then I remember how much I don't actually like shopping (I think I do until I am in the store) and so many stores have gone to "we only carry maternity clothes online" - ugh! I just want to try on a couple of different pairs of pants to see how they fit - that's all!

I slept awesome over Thanksgiving break and then I was back to hit or miss this past week.  I can usually fall asleep pretty easily, it is just a matter staying asleep between 1-5am.  I know it is only going to get worse so I am trying to be okay with it.  Whenever I feel tired I go to bed so I can a get a good 4-5 hours in - which means I go to bed at 7pm or 8pm (more common) some nights and then get up at 4am to finish whatever I did not get done the night before.  

Did I mention that I am excited that we are having a boy? I am so ready for some kicks or jabs.  I think I have gained too much weight to feel anything right now.  I do feel little things that are similar to an air bubble popping but who knows if that is the baby or not.  I am trying to keep things fairly simple on our baby registry, but I can't resist the baby boy clothes!  They are just so cute.  I have heard that we might get a lot of clothes and so we don't need to register for much, but I since I am not trying to not buy any, I am registering for as much as I want!  

I love one sentence prayers. I like longer prayers too, but there is something about a one sentence prayer that can almost instantly calm my heart.  One thing that I pray often is, "Lord, prepare our hearts for what you have for us."

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thankfuls 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!  Ever since I have been little I have been making a list of 100 things I am thankful for each year on (or close to) Thanksgiving Day.  The tradition was started by my mom on a car ride out to Iowa to visit family for Thanksgiving and has continued.

Thankfuls for 2016 (in no particular order):
1. God - merciful, just, creator, faithful, good
2. Jesus - for allowing his Bigness to become human
3. Ian - my best friend, wooer of my heart, pointer to Jesus, and my love
4. Family - they celebrate us and encourage us as only people who have known us forever can
5. Friends who love us like family
6. Christmas music
7. Rest
8. Sleep
9. cozy fires in fireplaces
10. the one who He has blessed us with - next year at this time, we will know you Wee One
11. the blessed 2nd trimester
12. my babies at school - I have the best this year (do I say that every year?)
13. Hadley Rose and the Donkey - our reliable and safe vehicles 
14. a school that is warm in the winter and cool in the summer
15. decaf coffee
16. snuggle blankets
17. Grandpa and Kathryn - they never miss a holiday card
18. traditions that bring joy and not burden or stress
19. a washer and dryer that is in our apartment
20. Target and all its first world white girlness and its dollar section
21. my first world white girl problems
22.  God's faithfulness throughout Ian's grad school
23. The light at the end of the long adventure of grad school
24. my love - Ian
25. coffee - Ian
26.  my love's job - Ian
27. Irish coffees - Ian
28. eggnog - Ian - I second that!
29. books - Ian
30.  Riley (our friends' golden retriever) - Ian
31. our balcony - Ian
32. board games - Ian
33. our skylight -  Ian
34. Logos Software - hebrew and greek translation software - Ian
35. my professors - Ian
36. Ben Shapiro -  Ian
37. coffee creamer -  Ian
38. free panera bagels -  Ian
at this point Ian had said coffee about three times - we love our coffee
39. Matt and Cathleen -  Ian - some of the most generous people we know and teachers of how to love the "least of these"
40. Cary and Brandy -  Ian - and the blessing of having family here in Denver
41. the Bible -  Ian 
42. the Baby -  Ian
43. the Wooleys -  Ian - the best mentors ever!
44. my work family - they took such good care of me in August and September (and always!)
45. earplugs - Ian
46. gas grills - Ian - especially the free gas grills in our apartment complex
Coffee again from Ian - this time it was McDonalds coffee, which he claimed is different from free panera coffee, coffee that goes in Irish Coffees, and coffee from home...
47. Polish Pottery - Ian
48. Avocados and Gauc - Ian
49. Cinnamon Rolls
50. my fitbit
51. White Noise Makers
52. Korea - Ian - my heart is so full when I think about Korea
53. Kimchi
54. Chinese Korean Food - Ian
55. Comfortable maternity clothes that friends have allowed me to borrow
56. the ability to exercise
57. a friend who understand Calculus, teaching as a mission field, and running
58. My Bubba - a ginomorous water bottle that I have:)
59. Ian's willingness to fill up Bubba ALL the time
60. slippers
61. Christmas lights
62. road trips
63. completing goals
64. dreaming about what the future could look like
65. post-it notes and reminders
66. space heaters
67. My parents - it is so fun to watch them become grandparents
68. Jared and Katrina - we have so much fun with them
69. sunshine
70. it snowed twice in the last week - all the holiday feels
71. helpful Calculus websites - Khan Academy and MIT opencourseware
72. pedicures
73. that Ian and I agree on what to cut from our budget and what we prioritize
74. God's provisions
75. America
76. Turkey, cranberry, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower casserole, fruit salad, green bean casserole, corn casserole, beer bread, and pumpkin pie
77. Our American oven
78. paper snowflakes
79. libraries
80. friends who are just as willing to run 6 miles with you as walk for 20 minutes
81. a clean kitchen
82. answered prayers
83. pregnancy apps
84. smartphones
85. GPS (ours is named Gemma)
86. when Ian and I have a break from school at the same time
87. Penny Su - our dog niece
88. peanut butter + chocolate
89. schools that do not run out of tp
90. schools that have western style toilets in heated bathrooms (the more often I go pee, the more I am thankful for not Korean bathrooms at school)
91. Yoga & Yoga Mats
92. Ultrasounds - Ian 
93. Leftovers - Ian
94. Catch Phrase
95. Prenatal Vitamins
96. pandora
97. Cashews
98. Dan, Sara, Gracie, Sean, and Lauren - people who have changed our lives forever
99. Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins - they are the best!
100. math - Ian

Here are my 2015 Thankfuls, 2014 Thankfuls, 2013 (I think we made a list but did not post it?), 2012 Thankfuls, 2011 Thankfuls, 2010 Thankfuls, and 2009 Thankfuls.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

16 weeks

16 weeks = 4 months.  It is crazy to me that we are 4 months pregnant!  I am in a strange combination of physically knowing I am pregnant (my clothes don't fit) but mentally not realizing it.  I was in Target the other day and I walked past the baby section and found myself thinking, "Maybe some day we might have kids..." And then I was like,"Oh shoot!  We ARE having a APRIL."  I forget that I am pregnant pretty often and then I remember and I think, "I have been pregnant fooorreeevvveeerrr!" - such a weird combination.

The second trimester has definitely been better for me than the first.  I have not be nauseous since the end of week 13 (and week 13 was quite the week for nausea...I think I used all of my strong will to literally will myself to not throw up in the car several times.)

I am exhausted.  I don't know if I am exhausted due to pregnancy or if it is everything I do in a day, but it seems nice to blame it on growing a human.  The lovely internet tells me that exercising while pregnant will actually help me feel more energetic.  I am sure that is the case for some women, but not this one.  I have started exercising again, but I do not think it is making me feel any more energetic.  If anything, I go to bed closer to 7pm on the days I exercise.  I typically take a two hour nap during the afternoons on Saturday and Sundays (and still sleep 9ish hours at night).

Anytime I complain about low energy or being tired all the time, Ian reminds, "You are growing a human!  This is what a miracle feels like." I wish miracles felt more like rainbows, unicorns, and pumpkin cinnamon rolls.  It is a good reminder and hopefully Ian will keep reminding me.  

I feel like the biggest challenge of this pregnancy is to not wish away the next 6 months.  I so badly want to close my eyes and wake up when its (this school year) is over.  I want Ian to be done with grad school.  I want to know who is going to cover my classes and what I have to prep for them.  I want to know what is going to happen next - are we staying in Denver?  Are we moving?  Where are we moving?  When are we moving?  I would probably feel this exact same way if I was not pregnant, but I think knowing that we are responsible for another human (who will be helpless and needs health insurance) makes it worse.  Ian and I have a great life.  I would not want to trade lives or problems with anyone.  So in the moments when I feel a whisper of, "Wake me up when its all over..."  I whisper back, "Dig deep and believe that God has good things for us in the next 6 months and we do not want to miss them."

2 Timothy 1:7, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self control."  This is not an exact translation, but it is what I have memorized - a mix of NLT and ESV.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Pregnancy Q & A

This is such an exciting and heart breaking post to write!  We are so excited that God has blessed us with a wee one on the way.  And, at the same time, our hearts break for our friends that desire for this and it is not going (or has not gone) as planned.  You are not far from our hearts and thoughts.  We are learning how to walk the path of deep deep joy and at the exact time deep grief.

Because we have friends all of the world we wanted to take a moment and let you know how life is looking for us as we experience pregnancy (and then I can look back some day and remember...see Answer #1).

Q: Has the baby eaten your brain?
A: Yes, yes it has.  There are days when I know that my students think I am stupid.  I can't remember things that should be so easy to think of.  I did mention to Ian the other night that I should maybe give myself some grace - I don't know how many women try to reteach themselves (and then teach students) Calculus II and Multivariable Calculus while pregnant.

Q: So far does everything look good?
A: Yup!  I had a small moment of panic during the 12 week check up when the doctor could not find the heartbeat.  She assured us that everything is okay and our child is just so active that they could not get a good reading.  (Of course, my child is going to be active and have ants in his or her pants.)  I have been lectured at both my doctor's appointments about weight gain.  People!  I can't exercise, I can't drink alcohol, the only stress relief available is ice cream and pumpkin cinnamon rolls (thank you sweet and amazing husband for making a ridiculous amount!). So our kid might be born obese...sorrynotsorry.

Q: When are you due?
A: April 17th, 2017 - I am not putting too much hope on that exact day.  I keep thinking late April.  If we end up in Denver long term, I really really hope that our kid's birthday is not 4/20.
I am really holding out that we may have a May Day (May 1st) baby. I want to make it as far through the school year as possible. Will I eat my words come April? Yup. But I really want to be there for my other babies (who are so cute and adorable this year!)

Q: How are you feeling?
A: Shocked and disbelief.  I can't really believe that there is a human inside of me.

Q: Have you experienced any morning sickness or symptoms?
A: Yes.  I was pretty nauseous weeks 6 through 12.  I threw up during weeks 7, 8, and 9.  Between marathon training earlier this year and morning sickness, I am ready to not throw up again for a long time.  I tried all the remedies I could find online - none of them really helped.  At this point (14 weeks) I am exhausted, apathetic towards life, and the nausea comes and goes.

Q: Will you find out the gender?
A: Most likely.  If we are going to have a girl, I need to start telling Ian to NOT spoil the kid rotten (I think the grandparents/relatives will do enough spoiling).  In Korea, he was such a softie for little girls.  And he spoils me like there is no tomorrow, so I can only imagine how many ponies he would buy for our daughter.

Q: Do you think you want a girl or a boy?
A: I have an older brother and I absolutely LOVED growing up with an older brother.  Ian has a twin brother that was super fun to grow up with as well.  I would say that Ian and I both would pick a boy if we got to pick, but we don't.  Also, I hate the cliche, "I don't care if it is a girl or a boy as long it is healthy." Unhealthy babies are awesome too!  Ian and I will love and adore our baby regardless if he or she is healthy or not (I could go on, but I will get off my soapbox now).

Q: Are your parents excited?
A: Excited is an understatement for both of our parents.

Q: How is running?
A: Nonexistent.  I realized that if I run, the next day I threw up every 30 minutes.  Same thing would happen if I went for a walk.  So I am not exercising right now.  I have been encouraged to give it a try now that I am in my second trimester.  I have gone for a couple of 10 minute strolls (leisurely walking pace) just to get outside for a bit.

That are all the common questions I can think of right now.  Let me know if there is anything I forgot.

Something that I pray often is, "Lord, prepare our hearts for what you have for us."  I started praying this last May when I thought about Ian graduating and our future was unknown.  Now there is a baby thrown into the mix and worry can creep in quite often.  So if there is a prayer to cover this pregnancy and the next year of our life, it is this one.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Napa Valley Marathon

I ran the Napa Valley Marathon this past March and wanted to blog about it before I forgot too many of the details.  In some ways, I have so many memories of our time in Napa and in other ways, it is just a big blur.

Saturday, March 5th
I flew from Denver to San Francisco.  Ian flew from Santa Ana (where he had been at a conference for grad school) up to San Francisco.  We rented the cheapest car we could at the airport.  BUT they were out of them?  So we got a new Dodge Charger to drive around California.  It was fun and super nice!  The three main things I remember from Saturday is #1) The weather was not great - it was rainy sideways.  and #2.) I kept telling Ian, "I can't believe that I am going to run a marathon tomorrow.  Have I even trained for this?"  Considering that I had spent the last 6 months of my life doing little else, I am not sure why my brain had such a hard time processing that I was really going to run a marathon again. #3.) We stopped on our drive from San Franscisco up to Napa for some Vaseline/aquaphor.  I had read on a blog earlier that week to slather yourself in it if you are going to run a marathon in the rain to prevent chafing - I took the advice and did not chafe at all.

We checked out the race expo and found our hotel.  I went for a quick 2 mile run on the dreadmill (in the most ghetto 24 hour fitness ever) and we went out for dinner at the Olive Garden (while it continued to rain sideways).  We tried to get to bed early.

Sunday, March 6th.
RACE DAY!  From the moment I woke up (which was really early) I tried to manage my nervousness by telling myself that I was wasting energy to have my heart rate up and "the hay was already in the barn".  I covered myself with vaseline as I was anxious about chafing. IT STOPPED RAINING (later on the bus, I heard some people say it stopped around 3:30am).  Huge Shoutout to Ian - he woke up super early to drive me to the dropoff point and did a great job of listening to me ramble about running stuff.  I don't know if I could run races without Ian.

I got to the finish line and found a bus to jump on.  We were driven 26.2 miles out to the start line.  26.2 miles is a long, long way when you are riding on a bus with strangers in the dark at five o'clock in the morning.  An older guy sat next to me on the bus.  We chatted a bit, but I think he was just as nervous as I was.
This was right behind the port-a-pots.  Prettiest Starting Line Ever!
Once we got to the start line, people were piling off the bus.  I stayed on with about 5 other people.  It was chilly outside and we were in the middle of nowhere and still had an hour before race started.  Eventually, I got off, found the restroom and warmed up a bit.  I was thankful that I had layered up because it was cold.  It felt like time had stopped and 7am would never come. The announcer/starter was hilarious!  He carried on conversations with people over the microphone (we could only hear his side).

Finally it was time to start!  They sang the national anthem and said a benediction.  I threw my throw away pants to the side, took a selfie, and we were off.
Ready to roll
Miles 1-6 - weather: sunny
I had a hard time settling into a good pace.  I started out too slow and then I was running way too fast.  There weren't any pace groups and I did not want to spend the entire race staring at my watch.  I will say that I felt SO LOVED during those first six miles - my phone was going off like crazy with texts of well wishes from people in Colorado (and Illinois).  I read each one.  It made me realize how strong of a community we have here.

I also was texting my girls, Emily and Allie.  Although they did not physically train with me each day, they were my support from the get go.  They listened to me talk about training and long runs and fueling on long runs and played, "this is the better than..." and never once made me feel like I talked about marathon training too much.

For the most part, I was running about 10 seconds per mile faster than I wanted.  I kept telling myself, "save it for mile it for mile it for mile 20".  I finally got into a good rhythm of running off of feel for the first half mile of each mile and then slowing myself down and really focusing on my watch for the second half of each mile.

I ate a couple bites of a clif bar at mile 6 and congratulated myself for getting close to be 25% of the way done.

Mile 7-12 weather: cloudy
There was someone around my pace named Amy.  Amy had the BEST friends.  Her friends made a sign that Amy's name on it.  Spectators were only allowed at certain points on the course.  Amy's friends were at every single spectator spot.  So I started cheering for them.  "Yeah, Amy's friends!  You guys ROCK!  What great friends!!"  There were also people sitting in lawn chairs in their driveways drinking their coffee cheering us on - it was so cute.  I was feeling good about my rhythm of half a mile off of feel, half a mile off of the watch.  I think I was coming through mile markers about a minute (overall) faster than I wanted to.  I did a lot of math during miles 6-20.  I had another snack around mile 12/13.

Miles 13-20 weather: mix of clouds and sun, some sections were crazy windy.
I can not remember anything too specific about these miles.  I think I did a lot of math about my pace and I played, "this is the better than..." and texted Emily and Allie a couple of times.  I really tried to focus in and just take it a mile as it came.  I settled into running near someone else (Amy perhaps?!?) for about 5 miles.  It was nice to pace off someone and not worry so much about my timing.

Mile 20 - I remember two things as I passed the 20 Mile Marker: #1.) I wanted to be done.  I was exhausted, but I just wanted to stop running at that point and #2.) My stomach did not feel great.  I decided to skip my snack.  I convinced myself to try to keep drinking water. (My water had Nuun in it.)

Getting from mile 20-21 felt like the lllooonnngggeeesssttt mile of my life.  I think I checked my watch about 200 times during that mile.  My pace was okay, but my brain was having a hard time doing the math.  Mile 20 feels like such a great accomplishment.  I started counting down at mile one: 1 mile down, 25 to go.  So by the time 20 rolls around, it feels like you are almost done.  Except you still have 55 minutes of running to go.

Mile 21-23 weather: cloudy
I remember getting really scared because my brain was having a hard time thinking.  I kept trying to figure out my pace and where I should be but I just could hold all the numbers in my mind.  I am not sure how I stayed on pace at this point (running at sea level? the bajillon squats and lunges I did during training?) but I am so glad my legs kept rolling.

Mile 23 & 24
The sky opened up and poured - which was awesome.  It felt so good that have the rain cool us off.  I am a salty sweater, so salt was getting in my eyes, but I did not care too much. Some people I was running by were saying things like, "Thank you Jesus!  Thank you Jesus for this rain!"  I tried to play "this is better than ___" but I could not think past a few words.  My pace was okay.  My stomach hurt.  My legs were fatigued.  I started to realize that as long as I did not 100% tank I was going to make it under 4 hours.

Mile 24.5-26.2
At mile 24.5 I hit the wall.  I think I had hit the wall mentally back around mile 20 but my body was done at 24.5.  I wanted to stop.  I knew my form was not great.  I knew my pace was not great.  I just wanted to stop.  The finish line felt miles and miles away.  Thankfully I texted Emily at some point and she texted back, "BREATHE!" which was actually really helpful.  I could focus on breathing.  Also, I was with it enough to know that as long as I did not quit, I would PR.  My garmin had me at 26.2 in 3 hours 56 minutes and 47 seconds.  The race was a bit longer (26.5?) and I finished in 3:58 on their time.  I cried as I came down the shoot and finished.  I was so happy to have finally finished a marathon in under 4 hours.  Glory, glory, hallelujah!

Once I crossed the finish line, an older volunteer man thought I was going to pass out.  He grabbed my arm and made me walk around.  I did not have warm or happy feelings towards him.  I just wanted to sit down.  I had convinced myself the last 6 miles if I could just sit down my stomach would feel better.  Ian came and rescued me from the old man.  I made Ian promise me that if I ever talk about running another marathon that he would break both my legs.  He just looked at me and said, "Wait ten years - you will run another one."  Example #908839473 of Ian knows me better than I know myself.

We hung out quite a while after the race.  I got a free massage.  Ian walked all the way to the car in a downpour to grab my bag.  The finish line was at a high school so they had (hot!) showers available.  It may have been the best shower of my life.  The person who won the marathon won their weight in wine.  They actually put them on a two balance scale with the person one side and wine on the other side.

Our San Francisco (and Friday night) Tradition
Eventually we started to head back towards San Francisco.  We had not gotten far when I told Ian that we needed to stop at a grocery store.  Thank the Lord that I was aware enough to tell him.  He pulled into the parking lot.  I asked him to go in and buy some Sprite.  He parked.  I jumped out and started puking next to a tree, barefooted.  It was not the best moment of my life.  Ian came out with the Sprite.  I sent him back in for napkins or paper towels or something.  He came back out.  I think I asked him to go back in for something else, but I can't remember.  Thankfully I felt much better after I threw up (unlike my previous marathon).

Headed Home!
We found a great Korean restaurant on our way back to San Francisco.  We also stopped by Buena Vista for an Irish Coffee (for Ian).  We stayed in a hotel near the airport so we returned the rental car and went to bed.  I think we woke up at 2:30 the next morning for an early flight.  Ian had his Hebrew midterm when we got back to Denver.  I was excited to go to school the next day and tell my students that I had done well.  They were so sweet and supportive (or just knew how to get me to not talk about math...)

Whew!  That was a long post.  I am so proud of the work I put in to accomplish a goal that I had set for myself 5 years ago.  I am thankful for the community that celebrates us and with us.  I am in awe of the One who is Emmanuel - He was with me every moment of my training and racing.

Bucket List:
run a marathon under 4 hours

Sunday, December 20, 2015

2015 Thankfuls

To say that I am late on this post it quite the understatement, but the tradition must continue!

Usually when asked, people share people and things that they are thankful for.  I have had the nagging thought for a long time, "What if I was a starving, homeless, physically disabled, unclothed, orphaned child?"  "What does that child have to be thankful for?"

I realize that this is a sad and graphic picture to paint, but it gets to the heart of the questions, "what can I be thankful for regardless of my circumstances?" and "can I truly give thanks in any situation?"

Past Years: 2014 and 2012 (there are others under the Thankfuls tab)

According to my worldview, the resounding answer is, "YES!"  So I tried to take it on for this year's thankful list:

1.) God is Sovereign - He has supreme authority
2.) God is Faithful - He does not leave me nor forsake me
3.) God is Good - regardless
4.) God has a plan
5.) God's plan includes saving me FROM sin and evil and saving me TO a community of believers
6.) God offers believers Peace that passes all understanding
7.) God is Wise - Because God is Wise and Good, I can trust His Sovereignty
8.) God offers us Rest - not veg out and do nothing, but rest for our souls
9.) God's Word
10.) God is Eternal - I do not need to worry about a time when He will not Be
11.) God is All-Knowing
12.) God is Big - bigger than _________ (let's not create false dichotomies)
13.) God Creates - He created and continues to Create
14.) God can and does Redeem
15.) God is accessible - I can pray and be heard
16.) God Blesses - this may be repetitive of 6 and 8, He has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. (Eph. 1:3)
17.) We have the Holy Spirit
18.) We are not alone
19.) God is my Provider
20.) God is my Friend
21.) God is Light and in Him there is no darkness (1 John 1:5)
22.) God is our Hope - and offers us hope in all circumstances
23.) God is our Father - this
24.) God is LOVE - God defines what love looks like
25.) God is our Refuge
26.) and Strength
27.) An Ever Present Help in times of trouble (Psalms 41:6)
28.) God is Joy and offers us His Joy
29.) God is the Performer of Miracles
30.) God sent Jesus so that we may have life and life to the full
31.) God is Just - even when I do not see it
32.) God is Healer - physically, emotionally, relationally
33.) God does not fit into the box I try to make for Him, after all he is wild
34.) God Forgives
35.) God does not give us a spirit of Fear, but of power, love, and self control (2 Timothy 1:7)
36.) God Rescues (maybe I already said that in #4 and #5?)
37.) God is Passionate about His Glory
38.) God has shown us community within Himself - Trinitarian
39.) God has made a helper suitable for man
40.) God remembers and keeps his Covenants
41.) God has Built his Church and the gates of Hell can not prevail against it
42.) Jesus scorned the shame - so we do not have to
43.) God is the Deliverer from Fear
44.) God has proven himself trustworthy
45.) God has given each believer Spiritual Gifts
46.) The Holy Spirit is our deposit,
47.) guarantee
48.) and Seal (2 Corinthians 1:22 and Ephesians 1:13)
49.) God disciplines us
50.) We have an Example in Jesus
51.) Our Identity is in Christ
52.) God is my Joy - not a temporary emotion based on circumstances, but a permanent attitude of my Heart (because of Who HE is and What HE has done)

What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

First Full Day in Dublin (2015 Summer Adventure Part 6)

Disclaimer: The main reason for these posts is to remember our trip in the summer of 2015. There will probably be too many details and lots of parenthetic statements. Feel free to scroll through and just look at pictures. Also, I teach math - not writing.

Our first full 24 hour day in Dublin was FULL!  Ian woke up around 5am and took a shower.  He hung out in the community room until 7am - planning our day and researching fun things to do.  I woke up around 5:30am and went for a 4 mile run along the river.  When I got done, we ate the free breakfast provided by the hostel - bread, cereal, juice, and coffee.  After breakfast, I took a shower and we got organized for the day.

We set off to Starbucks and had a real cup of coffee.  We decided what we wanted to do for the day.  We walked to Guiness factory and bought our ticket for the day.  (If I remember correctly, they only sell so many tickets per day.  Once you have the admission ticket, you can enter at any time.)  I filled my water bottle in their restroom. (This happened constantly on our trip - find a place for Alissa to get some water.)  Once we had our tickets (that cost 36 euros) we headed back across town to Trinity College.  On our way there, we stopped in a grocery store and bought some cheese, a smoothie, and a scone.  The small shop had a lot of carbs - crackers, bread, etc and dairy.

We were only interested in part of Trinity College and that was the Long Room and Book of Kells.  The intro exhibits to the Book of Kells were interesting and informative.  The viewing room of the Book of Kells was unfortunate.  (The Book of Kells is an (overly?) illustrated book of the Gospels in Latin from around 800 - if this trip was anything, it was a history lesson).  People stood around the display and looked and did NOT move.  I thought some assertive pace-setters would have been helpful.  We got a couple of glances at it (no pictures allowed).  I got frustrated so we headed upstairs to the Long Room.
The Long Room looked like a Harry Potter Room
The coolest thing on display was a harp.  It is the oldest harp in Ireland and the design for Ireland's seal/symbol was based on the shape of the harp.  The second coolest thing was a parchment calling the citizens of Ireland to freedom in 1916.
Oldest Harp in Ireland 
The Long Room housed 200,000 of the oldest books of Trinity College.  They had busts of famous figures such Plato and Irish statesmen in front of each bookshelf.  They also had displays down the middle of the room.  The Hobbit was on display and categorized under Norse Myth.  We finished exploring the Long Room and headed to the Dublin Castle.
Dublin Castle - bust (for us).  We used the restroom, looked around, and headed out.  We decided to grab some lunch and went to Bobo's.  I had a full Irish breakfast - YUM! Ian had The Dubliner burger - it had a special sauce and good fries.  I will forever be a fan of Irish and English breakfasts!  They usually include bacon and ham, eggs, tomato, baked beans, and bread.  Bobo's was my childhood dream come true - there were murals of cows on the wall and cowhide on the back of the benches.  It was a fun restaurant.  We were both a bit tired at the end of the lunch (jet lag?).
We walked to St. Patrick's (THEE Saint Patrick's Cathedral).  We did not want to pay to go inside, so we sat outside in the park and took pictures.  The park was nice, the church was pretty.  We saw the well where Saint Patrick used to baptize people in the 5th Century.
We started to meander towards the Guinness Factory.  We stopped in several thrift store on our way, but did not find any gems.  One thing I learned while living in Korea - don't just do the tourist-y things.  Walk into small shops, look into the barber's, peruse the post office - try to take in the ordinary along with the extraordinary.  It reinforces the idea that the way they do things in other countries and cultures is not necessarily good or bad, just different.
The Guinness Storehouse is a seven story building where we learned about the brewing process.  It was a really well done museum (I don't know if museum is the right word to use, but it is the best I can come up with).  It is a self-guided tour of each stage of the brewing process - which is scientific and has changed over the years.  It was interactive and engaging.  We skipped the Tasting Room where you learn how to pour (from a tap) the perfect pint.  The tour ends on the seventh floor with a free pint and a 360 degree view of the city.
On our way back towards the hostel, we stopped in St. Augustine and St. John the Baptist Cathedral (the longest name ever?).  We voted (lit an electric candle) and prayed to Jesus.  We hope Jesus wins.  In our experience, Mary usually does.  We ate dinner at Apache Pizza for dinner - Hawaiian pizza.  It was odd to us that a restaurant in Ireland is named after a Native American Tribe.  The pizza was only 10 euros - we felt like it was a good deal.  We headed to the hostel, checked our email, and went to bed between 7-8pm.  We were exhausted.

What a full day! Looking back, I am impressed with how much we did in a day.  I made a note that the weather was windy and chilly.  If the sun was out, it was comfortable.  I also made a note about how good the coffee shop music is in Ireland.  It is from 10-15 years ago, but far superior to American coffee shop music.