life of faith

taking baby steps & leaps & everything in between


February Recap.

It’s time to do some catch-up!

February has been a momentous month so far because Dayne turned 27. If you rounded his age up to the nearest ten, he would be 30. We are so. stinking. old. Want to know what I got him?

First of all, this:

It's a Tempurpedic mattress protector. You can tell we're old because we consider items like these birthday gifts.

You might ask why I got Dayne a Tempurpedic mattress protector. Or you may think he pees the bed. Either way. Tempurpedic mattresses are expensive, and we invested in the Tempurpedic Cloud Supreme queen-size mattress when we were almost married. They like, refuse to sell you a mattress of this exquisiteness without a mattress protector. Because if you ever spill anything on it, ever, it is ruined. And you can’t jump on the bed with a glass of red wine on it like the old commercials, although I guess we can now because we have a mattress protector. Anywhoo, when we bought this $X,XXX.00 mattress, Mattress Giant/Mattress King/Mattress Closeout/Mattress Extreme (I can’t remember where we got it) threw in their cheapest (read: $10) mattress protector. That thing ruined our lives. You couldn’t feel the Cloud anymore because it was covered by this cheap-o plastic sheet. We really couldn’t get any of the benefits of our Tempurpedic – we woke up with backaches, the thing totally generated and then retained heat, and Dayne claimed it shifted all over the place and that’s what was waking both of us up throughout the night.

Dayne made me wash the new Tempurpedic mattress protector as soon as he opened it, and we stripped the bed that night and put it on and then put on fresh sheets. Let me tell you, our bed is now a complete dream. It feels totally and completely different  – we can actually feel the Cloud underneath, we sleep cooler because it doesn’t trap heat, and it hardly shifts like the old one did. Totally worth the money. We’re happy campers.

Besides the mattress protector, I also got him these:

which are his favorites, and this:

Dayne is really into board games, and this board game (really more of a card game) was highly recommended by guys who love board games and want their wives to love them, too 😉 It turns out it is a great game! Fast-paced and lots of strategy involved, so I think it’s fun.

Dayne’s birthday was on the 6th, and we went out to dinner to celebrate it belatedly last night. Dayne’s choice was Pietro’s Prime, a delicious steak & seafood place in West Chester. Our steaks were awesome. Then we came home, Dayne chose a movie to watch (Real Steel) and I fell asleep on the couch by 9:30. See? We’re old.

We’ve been househunting, working, and getting our tax documents together. I just got through the book of Leviticus in the Daily Walk Bible, which I consider an accomplishment. Oh, and we booked our first weekend getaway for President’s Day weekend. I can’t wait to actually relax and get away from househunting, working, and getting our tax documents together 😉

Soon we’ll start planning our first anniversary trip, which we want to be a big one (since we are still without kids)… any suggestions?


My Strange Love for Hanson, Explained.

Alright, so I was doing a little figuring this morning, and I realized that last night was my 33rd Hanson show. Rather than being embarrassed of that fact, as I’m sure the general public would be, I am quite proud of my 14-year-long devotion to a band — seeing them show after show, buying album after album and T-shirt after T-shirt, hanging poster after poster…

(Disclaimer: I am married now, so I am not allowed to have any posters. I didn’t even venture to the merch booth last night. I’m an adult. … )

I mean, that is commitment. I should at least be able to make it through 14 years with Dayne. Year 13 might be a little iffy, but year 14 will remind me of how cute and loveable and skilled he is.

I started liking Hanson when I was just barely 13 years old, hearing “MMMBop” and then buying Middle of Nowhere and listening to it over and over, catching every TV and radio appearance I could, plastering my walls with Tiger Beat centerfolds, and then being excited out of my barely-hanging-on mental stability to see the three brothers live the summer of ’98. Three times. That’s what started it all. And the shows are what keeps it going.

Hanson is a fantastic live act. If they weren’t, I would have been done with them approximately a decade ago.

But they are, and I’m not:

3 shows in ’98
1 show in ’00
1 show in ’03
3 shows in ’04
3 shows in ’05
5 shows in ’07
6 shows in ’08
7 shows in ’09
3 shows in ’10
1 show in ’11

Hanson is nothing if not consistent, energetic, musically talented, and fun. And to top if all off: they’re nice guys. Very down-to-earth and approachable. One of the best days of my life was being selected to interview them privately backstage in ’08; Isaac chatted with me like I was an old friend, Taylor gave me some great insight into leadership and serving, and Zac was very kind, responsive, and thorough when answering my questions.

The Hanson thing isn’t all about them, though. I have met some of my closest friends through Hanson, and we have a lot of fun meeting up at these shows to sing, clap, and dance to great music. From Philadelphia to Baltimore to Atlantic City to Sayreville to Lancaster to Tulsa to California to a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean — we’ve traveled and had the time of our lives at these shows and with each other.

^^dancing to “Give A Little” at my wedding 🙂

My 13-year-old self probably didn’t imagine that my 26-year-old self would still be going to Hanson shows, and may even think that it’s a little weird since the whole thing was just supposed to be a phase, but I hope that my Hanson fandom continues for as long as possible. It has been one hell of a fun ride, and I have some great memories.

Now it’s time to get Dayne to a show.


My Favorite Places in the World.

I’m getting the travel itch again.  So I thought I’d take it out on this blog instead of making a grossly irresponsible (at the moment) travel reservation.  Getting the full-fledged travel bug is probably in the works, but in the meantime (as I only have the itch), I have just started daydreaming about vacations of old.

So now, I present to you, my favorite places I’ve visited! (Where I tend to go again, and again, and…)

  • Rome, Italy
    I looooooove Rome.  I want to write a book about Rome, gift-wrap it, and give it to Rome as an engagement gift.  I think it is one of the most interesting places on the face of the earth.  I first visited in May of 2004 for a summer session abroad, and couldn’t let go.  I went back in 2006, and again in 2008.  I’ve visited other cities in Italy, but none of them fascinate me as much as the Eternal City.  It’s beautiful, it’s historically jaw-dropping, the culture is endlessly intriguing, and the food is -wow-.  I also feel quite at home in la bella cittá and know how to get around pretty much by heart.  I want to drag everyone there.  And learn fluent Italian, but that’s another blog entry.
  • Boston, Massachusetts
    I’ve shipped up to Boston more than a handful of times over the past several years.  I’ve had friends living in this city consistently, so it’s been convenient.  I like Boston for a couple of the same reasons I like Rome – it’s a manageable walking city, it’s beautiful (hello, Commons and Public Gardens), and its well-preserved history permeates the center.  I’m kind of a history nerd.  Not that I know a ton of history trivia, but I love standing in old places or buildings and imagining what life and people must have been like.  I particularly like old stairs (don’t know why) and houses.  I also like Boston because it’s on the water; there are plenty of places to go, feel the salty breeze cross your face, and watch sailboats drift by.  Near the water, Boston has a GREAT Little Italy with my favorite pastry shop – Mike’s Pastry (if I were you, I’d get the macaroons w/ the cherries in the middle).
  • Miami Beach, Florida
    I’ve been to Miami just twice, but I will say this: when I go to Miami, I like to just plant.  I don’t go to Miami to party, or to get dressed up, or to even drink all that much… in fact, I’m going to sound like a lame-o, but I like to go to the Courtyard Miami Beach Oceanfront, get a room with a balcony facing the ocean, and go lay on the beach (and occasionally drift through the waves… I also don’t work out in Miami).  And then I ABSOLUTELY like to go to Happy Hour at the Tiki Bar (which is in the picture below amidst the palm trees if you squint… basically between the pool and the beach!).  They usually have 2-for-1 drink specials (which includes white wine, my favorite) and appetizer specials.  AND they tend to have live music (last year, it was a guy from Jamaica playing reggae – I loved it).  And get this – the Tiki Bar is served through Carrabba’s, one of my favorite Italian restaurants.  Ding ding ding!  We have a happy camper!  Miami Beach is just gorgeous, and the Courtyard is really an exceptional hotel.  They have friendly staff, and they also have a great buffet breakfast (where you can choose to sit inside or al fresco), so in case you were worried about losing weight during your vacation, problem solved! 😛