Monday, June 21, 2010

Happily Ever After... Mr. and Mrs. Cox

This posting is dedicated to my high school best friend, Kathryn. Kathryn and I became best friends in high school. We both loved theatre and musicals. We were jokingly the co-presidents of the Kool Kat Kate and Kathryn Klub (taken from the original Kool Kat Kate Klub, but that's another story...). In college we roomed together for our 1st 2 years. I have happy memories of how excited we were to decorate our very first dorm room together! So many trips to the Container Store, Super Target, and Bed, Bath, and Beyond! But we're both grown up now and this past Saturday night she became Mrs. Kathryn Cox! Her wedding was so beautiful!
Walking down the aisle with her dad. What a diva!
Up at the altar
The big kiss!
Mr. and Mrs. Cox!
Walking into the reception ballroom
Gorgeous bridal portrait
With our other high school best friend, Sarah... We're all wives now!
With my own handsome husband!
I hope Kathryn and her husband Jon have happy marriage. The wedding was perfect, but that's only the beginning. You have the rest of your lives to love each other.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

To Infinity and Beyond

Last Friday on our way home from Galveston, Ryan and I stopped at NASA in Houston, TX. We took so many fun pictures that I decided to give NASA it's own blog. As you can tell from the pictures, our experience at NASA was out of this world! Above is our picture while riding on the tram that tours the NASA grounds. NASA is set up similar to a college campus with many buildings. We spent our first hour traveling around to different sites and seeing real life behind the scenes stuff.
This is a vehicle for driving on the moon. It is actually controlled using an upgraded version of an X Box controller. So the time all those astronauts spent playing video games in college has really paid off!
Rockets from the Mercury and Gemini missions.
This is the Saturn V rocket used for the Apollo missions to the moon.
Bill, our tour guide, was a real rocket scientist.
This is the Gemini capsule. It was hanging upside down, but if you look carefully you can see the man inside to picture how big (or how small it was). 2 astronauts actually stayed in here for 2 weeks to test space readiness before the Apollo missions to the moon.
The men who traveled on the Apollo 13 mission.
Men walk on the moon! That's right, I was 1 of them! Thanks, NASA.
Astronauts chasing after Ryan!
The original I-Pod for space!
Excuse us, sir! He was taking a shower in his space bag. Just kidding! It's not a real man.
Ryan doing a space simulation for landing the space shuttle. When he was 8 he did this and landed it in the Everglades. He has been practicing in his mind for the past15 years. This time he successfully landed on the runway. He's ready for space!
As you can tell, my husband will be a very attractive astronaut!
Why not try space travel?
We had a fun day and it was a good way to end our vacation time. I did not get to try on a full space suit (that is what I was secretly hoping for the whole time.) After seeing the living quarters and hearing more about daily life in space (you have to exercise 2 hours a day to maintain healthy bones and muscles!) I have decided to continue living on Earth for the time being.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Baby You Can Drive My Car

This morning I woke up with the plan to take my car to the Firestone by my house to get an oil change and to replace my broken break light. So I drove up there. They tell me it will be 1 1/2 hours at least. "That's fine," I say, "I will go to Kroger. "Then as I start to walk across the parking lot I realize that I only need 4 items and therefore will have a hard time filling my time at Kroger. Hmm, perhaps I shall walk home. It's only about 20 minutes in walking time. I start walking. I decided to call the husband and ask him to come pick me up. He agrees. I continue walking towards home to save him time before he has to leave for work. He drives by the street I am now walking on and I leap in the car as it is still slightly in motion. We return home. The husband goes to work and all is well.

Around the time my car will be ready I start preparing for my short hike. The good thing about Denton is that you actually can walk many places, though it isn't really normal to do so. Suddenly I realize that I gave the Firestone man my whole key chain, which means I have no house key! What should I do? I really want to get my car before tonight (when Ryan gets home). But I don't want my house to get robbed!

I start to think. Has my house been robbed before? No. Could it still happen in the brief time I'm gone? Possibly. Has anyone mysterious ever come to my door during the 2 years we've been here? No. Is this a safe area of town? I think so. So I decided to take a chance.

However, I'm not dumb. I know that robbers are tricky people so I decide to make it look like someone is home and to pretend to lock my door. I turned on the downstairs TV. I put it on some sports channel to make it seem more likely that a man is home. I leave lights on downstairs. As I walk out the door I shout, "Bye honey! " so that if someone was watching they would think someone was home. I used the pool key I keep on another chain to pretend to lock up. Hahaha, I think, I am so clever!

I walk briskly to Firestone. The faster I walk, the less time someone would have to break in. I probably look like one of those crazy old lady power walkers at the mall. I arrive at Firestone. As I'm about to pay I realize the amount seems a bit low. "Did you check the break light?" I ask. " I think so..... umm.... let me ask the guy," says Firestone man. Turns out they didn't. What? "Well, please hurry, my house is unlocked and I don't want bad guys getting in!" I politely reply with a smile on my face. Just be patient, I tell myself, they didn't do this on purpose. Finally everything is good to go. I pay again. And the Firestone man decides to give me the break light for free! So, patience paid off. Niceness goes a long way. I race to get home in my car. No burglars. No bad guys. All is well again. Next time I will only give Firestone my car key. And I hope my safety loving grandmother never reads this.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Let's go surfin' now, everybody's learnin' how...

Ryan and I returned home this weekend from our fun start-of- summer beach vacation. We spent 4 days down in Galveston. It was a sweet time to just relax and enjoy hanging out together. The picture above is from dinner on our first night. We got great seafood at a nice restaurant on the pier.
The beautiful sunset view from our table After dinner we were driving around and heard live music coming from an outdoor pavillion. We pulled over and this old man was telling jokes and conducting a band. He also played the trumpet with the band.
And then Ronald McDonald showed up! Seemingly out of nowhere he walked up and did a little show for the kids in the audience. After that he led the kids in a flag holding parade around the pavillion. While the band played the Mickey Mouse theme song. Hmmm....
After a long day at the beach nothing is more refreshing than a couples massage!

Here we are in front of the beautiful hotel that had the spa we went to. This was not actually our hotel. The La Quinta was too beautiful to photograph :)
Does this outfit make me look fat? Oh how I love cut out picture board photos.
Playing on the beach!
I love the ocean waves on my toes!
And I love my wonderful husband!
We almost took Cosby with us, but decided not too so we could sleep in (sorry Cosby...). And then we saw 2 Boston Terriers! One of them was staying 2 floors beneath us at our hotel and the other was playing on the beach! It sure made me miss my little dog.
This other dog loved retrieving a stick from the ocean! I'm sure Cosby would have done that too! Or maybe he would have just laid on the beach.
Ocean injury! Something bit or stung my foot! Ryan thinks it was "just a rock" but I'm pretty sure it was a jellyfish....
I love reading at the beach. I read all of Message in a Bottle by Nicholas Sparks. I've seen the movie but the book was so much better! It was a perfect book for the beach.
Out shopping on The Strand. It's like this store was made for me.
K for Kate!
Ryan made a new friend.
Enjoying an ice cream cone. I loved this store. I got a cute Happily Ever After sign and a Beach Diva martini glass (that I now enjoy milk and orange juice out of every morning!)
Our last night we ate at Salt Grass Steakhouse. The fillet mignon was delicious! Thanks to my mom for the gift card!
Trying to take a self portrait the last night.

Take 2....
And they lived happily ever after.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

I LOVE Summertime

I made it through the last few days of school and now it is summertime! Here is my list of 10 reasons I LOVE summer:

1. The pool. Notice I did not say swimming. I just want to be in the pool or by the pool. Last weekend I bought an amazing raft at Target and I already love it!

2. Reading lots of books. Thankfully the public library is just down the street. I can even walk there.

3. The sun stays out later in the evening. I feel like this makes my evening time so much sweeter.

4. I get to sleep in past 6 am. Goodbye alarm clock.

5. Eating ice cream and drinking lemonade. So refreshing!

6. Summer weddings! I love celebrating love!

7. Going on vacation!!! This year all of my family is going to Vancouver, Canada in July!

8. Having enough time to get all of the "housewife" things done (cook, clean, shop...) and still have plenty of free time for fun stuff like hanging out with the husband, friends, and family.

9. The warm weather. I love Texas.

10. Wearing summer dresses. They look cute and are so much easier to wear than an actual outfit.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Dream Deferred

I drew the picture above in 1991, when I was in the 2nd grade. On the back it says "What I want to be when I grow up." For most of my life, it was my dream to be a 2nd grade teacher. Tomorrow will be my last day of teaching. Today one of my kids said, "Yay, Mrs. Bradley, you fulfilled your dream." It was bittersweet to hear him say that.

My past 4 years at my school have been good learning experiences. I have learned how to love better. I have learned patience. I have learned how to better work along side people. Don't get me wrong, some of my teaching experiences were really hard and frustrating, but I'm not leaving teaching because I hate it or dislike my kids.

Over the summer Ryan and I will be moving to be closer to our youth group kids. And with this move, comes the beginning of a new dream. The main purpose of us moving is so that we can be completely invested in the Westlake community. We want to know our students and their families. We want to live life with them, in a way that can't happen by us just driving out their for church services and youth groups. But most importantly, we want to be able to share the gospel of Christ with them. Ryan and I have been so blessed by our years in Denton and now we're ready for God to use us in an incredible, and unpredictable way. We want our lives to reflect how knowing Jesus and having a relationship with Him can change a life. I feel like it is completely possible for teachers to live God glorifying lives. For me, however, teaching is so much of a lifestyle and I kept feeling like it was keeping me from doing what I desire to do as Ryan's wife and helper. It is also my dream to one day be a stay at home mom.

This week (and past couple of months) has been filled with a mixture of emotions. I'm excited to see what God has planned. I get nervous that I don't yet know of this plan. I feel sad to leave my kids. Sometimes I cry. I LOVE hanging out in Westlake with our youth kids. I wish I could stay in Denton forever. I can't wait to move to our new apartment in Westlake. Ha.... my husband is a saint for loving me and just nodding along whenever I talk about the many ways I feel.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

All Kinds of Fun

So I mentioned in my last post that I was going on Saturday to visit my friend Sarah who just had a baby. I got to go and Madelyn was so cute! She didn't do alot, but she's just a baby, so that's expected. She did make cute little faces and manage to pee all over the dress that I had bought her for Sarah's baby shower that Sarah had dressed her in. Oh, well. It was so amazing to hold her and imagine that this tiny little person is going to grown up into an adult one day. Wow. How does that even work? I am impressed in God's ability to create a human that can grow and develop so much.
Sarah, Shaun, and Madelyn
On Sunday afternoon Ryan and I got to play kickball with our youth kids. It was so fun! Very sweaty, but worth it. My team won. It was not due to my ability though because I got out every single time I kicked the ball. Ryan was the pitcher and I feel he may have been slightly biased against me (we played boys v. girls). Then we played a game of Ultimate Frisbee. I am not good at regular Frisbee. No need to add the word ultimate to it. I was actually on the boys' team to even out the numbers. They had to add a rule that every player had to touch the Frisbee before we could score because some boys tend to hog the Frisbee. Just kidding :) But really, when the Frisbee came towards me I would usually just laugh as it sailed right through my hands. Afterwards we celebrated all the victories with some Yogurt Story. It was a good time of just hanging out with our group. I love sitting and talking with people.

For Memorial Day we went out to Westlake again and celebrated Decoration Day. It is an event held in the Westlake cemetery that honors veterans. They had a traveling replica of the Liberty Bell with the 10 Commandments.

And they even let us ring it!

Here is the flyover that helped us celebrate!

These are our pastor's kids, Kaleb and Kyla. They ran in the parade.

And finally we honored all veterans that were in attendance. I am thankful for the sacrifices they have made for our country.