Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Day 4 of the YOU Challenge

Day 4: Books.
Since I already have an ongoing list in an earlier post on which books I've been reading each month, I will give four recommendations that I think you have to read.

a. A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka

b. The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan

c. You Gotta Keep Dancin' by Tim Hansel

d. Hundred Dollar Holiday: The Case for a More Joyful Christmas by Bill McKibben

Monday, March 26, 2012


I decided to put our ever-growing wishlist from the fridge onto here so everyone can get ideas of what we would still like/need for our home. This could give you ideas for birthdays, anniversaries, holidays etc. I hope to update/cross-off things as we get them, but no promises.

Pizza stone
Knife set (yes, we still don't have one)
Knife Sharpener
Cliplights for under cabinets.
coupon box
large glass baking/mixing bowl

Lamp for living room (one for the corner)
Corresponding loveseat/chair to couch.
Small lamp for the guest room
Snow shovel with a steel edge
Corner desk with comfy chair
Paper shredder
Another set of queen sheets
Curtains for the living room/kitchen/dining room/guest room.
Family Tree Frame set
small freezer (not sure about this one)
Large storage tubs for basement/seasonal items

Caitlin's wishlist:
New glasses - will be getting some within the next few months.
A North Face jacket
A down jacket.
Point and shoot camera
Two more sport bras/New workout gear and sneakers.
Pair of leather dress sandals.

A quiet Sunday evening at home.

I was going to watch The End of The Spear tonight (it came in the mail via Netflix), but then I decided to have a quiet t.v. - off evening. Instead I am listening to K-Love online, watching Chip chase after a dryer ball and doing some email cleanup, blogging (as you can see) and general reflecting.

This weekend (really today) was productive. Yesterday I brought Chip to the vet to get his exam and two shots he needed, took a nap in the afternoon, cleaned the bathroom and dusted upstairs, folded laundry, changed the bed, made dinner then went to see The Hunger Games with some ladies before heading to bed (10 pm). Today was the more productive day (at least I think so). I talked with Grandma Falcetti this morning before doing the Insanity workout from Friday. I went to church and re-connected with Christine Field and Craig (I don't know his last name but Andrew and I met him sometime around Christmas) before signing up to serve in the nursery at the 11:30 service during Easter. I took a tour of the nursery so I would be familiar with it. The woman who gave me the tour said that they haven't been able to offer nursery care during the 1:30 service because there isn't any volunteers to staff it (you need two per room in order to open the room). This is sad because many of the parents who go to the afternoon service are single parents and they are the ones who need it the most.

I will be praying about this.

I bought a book today called Plains Thunder: The Invitation from Jesus to Real Worship by Lee Hudson. Lee is a pastor at Changepoint and in addition to publishing this book, he also professionally recorded a four-song CD of songs he wrote (and we frequently sing in church) and included it in the book purchase. I am pretty excited to read it. Lee is a phenomenal speaker and I'm sure that reading his book will be just like hearing him preach.

One thing I had written about back during the new year celebrations was about tithing and where God might want me to tithe. I prayed very hard for the first couple of months, feeling torn between giving to a friend doing ministry in Boston MA and the Hospitality House ministry up here. The monies for the HH ministry would consist of giving donations to the house like paper towels, toilet paper, coffee mate, coffee bags, napkins etc. I thought I had come to a conclusion of giving to HH. But I haven't spoken to Andrew about it. And now he's away on training. And I'm fearful of bringing this up with him. From what I am aware, he has never felt the need/call/passion/biblical foundation to tithe back to God because of his background. (Granted, I could be completely wrong but as far as I know, he doesn't really see the point/care because he never had to do it before).

And now I am unsure of what to do. Easter Sunday's offering will be going directly to the Benevolence fund at Changepoint. This is partially why I feel torn and have the need to bring it up again. Currently, my 10% is going into my savings account with my actual designated 10% savings. I want to give to the offering on Easter. I want to support Syndal monthly. I want to give to HH. Should I commit to all three? We do attend the services. I am wanting to get involved. I am trying to get involved/have more activities for the women in HH. Should my monies be going to helping out this ministry? Or should I be donating toilet paper to HH, because, after all, I do use the bathroom when I am there. I know of the good works that Syndal is doing in Boston. I have seen how it has impacted both her life and those around her. She is an astounding woman of faith.

I will be praying about this.

Day 5 of the YOU Challenge

Five Foods I Love:

a. Lobster

b. Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia frozen yogurt

c. Cad-bury sugar-coated chocolate eggs.

d. Grilled cheese with tomato soup

e. Steak.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Day 6 of the YOU Challenge

Six places in my life that have had some influence on me as an individual:

a. Grammie's house. Grammie (and at one time Grampy) lived in a house right up the street from where I grew up. Grammie still lives there - my dad and brother live there now as well. I have many fond memories of the house and the backyard. We used to hold our Fourth of July Birthday/Anniversary party, Christmas Eve, Easter, etc up there.

b. Houghton, NY, or more specifically Houghton College. I spent four years of my life here, learning and exploring life, love, spiritual relationship. After four years, I have come away with two of my closest girlfriends and a few others whom I know I can count on.

c. Iringa Tanzania. I spent a semester living outside of the town of Iringa in the heart of Tanzania during my sophomore year. It may be hard for some to imagine, but this semester was probably the hardest relationship-wise in my life. I remember being in some challenging places with the students on the trip, the Tanzanians (think: homestay/language barrier) and being away from family. I learned I could be happy living out of a suitcase in a tent with a sleeping bag and an outhouse and limited electricity/running water for three months and hey, maybe even more.

d. Fes, Morocco. I went on a student travel tour of the country over the course of three weeks, learning about economy, travel & tourism and language. We spent most of our time in Fes, doing observations within the medina with shopkeepers, meeting with language teachers etc. But my best memory of the trip was our camel ride into the Sahara Desert. A group of us woke up in the early morning to hike up the nearest dune. We watched the sunrise and sang before tumbling down the sand.

e. The base of Mt. Elbert within the Colorado Rockies. This is the place of the pivotal moment in my faith. I was in such physical, emotional, spiritual pain as everything I had been hiding under the surface came to a head and exploded in my face. It is pretty amazing what happens in exhaustion. You can read about it  - actually, I don't think I've ever written about it. Well, you can ask me about it sometime.

f. Litchfield Connecticut. I lived with my grandparents for a year while I went to school in New Haven. I really enjoyed living with them and cherish the memories made. Growing up I never really got to see them  so when I asked if I could live with them, I know they were thrilled. I am so glad I was able to do that because now I live four time zones behind and 3,000 miles away.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Day 7 or the YOU Challenge

Day 7: Wants
What do I want?

I would like...
a. to get back into tennis. go back to Morocco.

c. to be able to hike a mountain and not be in pain/have to take pain medication (blame the tendonitis!)

d. a really nice dress watch (I found one I really like: Bulova ).

e. to not have to be so squeamish.

f.  to have all my school loans payed off in less than the ten-year allowance.

g. to love life to the fullest extent.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Iditarod, the Coastal Trail and a Wedding Officiant

We went to the Ceremonial finish of the Iditarod on March 3rd. The start began in downtown Anchorage on 4th street at 10 am and since we went to the finish, the first team didn't actually get to the Campbell Airstrip until 11:20-ish. So instead of waiting around in the cold, we walked the length of the airstrip until almost reaching the Campbell Creek Science Center. We watched about 6 teams come through before heading to the center to see the displays set up and get some hot chocolate. There was a representative from the State Lab in Fairbanks with a table set up with information on diphtheria - including a microscope with a slide prepared. It was really neat to look at.
The first musher to come in. Does anyone know how to re-flip these? I did in another program and saved it, but for whatever reason, they aren't loading right-side up here.

You can pay money to put your name into an auction to ride in one of the sleds. Minimum bid is $500, and most who 'win' a ride pay upwards of $7500. Jeff King (with his sponsor Cabela's) works with Make A Wish Foundation to have kids ride in his sled.

Second Musher.

Third Musher.

I wanted to capture the dogs.

The list of mushers who will be competing.

 For a complete listing and updates on everything Iditarod 2012, visit here.

Later on, before Andrew left for his training, we went down to our favorite section of the Coastal Trail and took a bunch of pictures. Here are a few. Again, I apologize for any non-righted one.

Looking across the lake to the mountains.

We saw a moose chompin' on some branches in someone's yard along the trail.

One of the many tunnels under the roads/railroad tracks along the trail.

Being silly. This is my new FB cover photo.

I really like this photo of Andrew.

We were able to make it to the island in the center of the lake. There is supposedly a geocache hidden here - maybe in the summer we will be able to kayak out here to find it.
Also, a few weekends ago (March 10th actually), Andrew served as officiant for a wedding of one of his coworkers. It was a potluck wedding held in one of the chalets on base. I took my camera as a backup and here are some of the pictures I took:

Andrew and I after the ceremony.
Just kidding. I am only uploading one because the other ones aren't co-operating right now.

Since Andrew has been away, it has been a little lonely. Yes, I like to be able to sleep until 7 instead of 6 and get to work a few minutes before rather than an hour before. Yes, I am liking having the car all to myself. But this is truly a double-edged sword. Our bed is cold & lonely. Yesterday after a morning appointment, making the grocery list and actually shopping, I talked to both my mom, Grammie and Erin before making dinner and watching Season 1 of Bones on Netflix until I basically went to bed. I did write some letters though too.

Today I went to the 9:30 am service before stopping at Carrs to pick up some eggplant since the commissary was out yesterday and Carrs was on the way home. Then I went to Sarah's and hung out for a little while, going to Palmer to visit the Three Bears - a bulk store like Costco or BJs but without the membership. I got some whole bean coffee from Raven's Brew (roasted here in Anchorage), a new hairbrush and hair elastics, and something for Andrew's Easter basket. I can't tell you what it is here because he might read this! Then I came home, made dinner and banana bread which I promptly forgot about in the oven...for an hour longer than it was supposed to be I am hoping it is still edible! And now I am blogging.

If Andrew was here?

Yesterday we probably would have gone to see a movie, been outside on the coastal trail (maybe I would have been able to convince him to go ice skating...I've been trying all winter but he just doesn't want to go :(. ) Life is a lot more interesting and fun when he is here to share it with me.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Day 8 of the YOU Challenge - Finished

So, I obviously haven't been doing this every single day, but every couple of days is good enough to me. It gives me enough time to really think about what I want to write and not just come up with things from atop my head. So here are my Eight Fears:

a. That Andrew will be taken away from me in some form or another and I will be left alone before we are able to raise a family and buy a house and live life together.

b. Death and dying. Every time I read or talk about (even in the Bible) it or participate in funerals, I get this tightness in my chest and I feel as though I can't breathe. I basically have an anxiety attack. This is probably my number 1 fear.

c. Or this one could be: violence towards women. I am actually not going to say what it is, but I am sure you can use your imagination to figure it out.

 Man this is hard. I might need a couple more days to think about these fears. So please excuse the blankness!

d. Not being supportive enough as a wife.


f. That I might do something at work (in the classroom) that would cause me to be terminated from my job.

g. I worry a lot about money and our financial situation. I owe a bit of money in student loans and I want to pay them off as soon as possible - but then I think that if I didn't have these then Andrew and I would be able to be more adventurous and do more things (like going out to eat) a little more often. Regardless, I worry a lot about finances.

h. That I am not living life to the fullest I am able and not being compassionate/passionate enough about living it.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Day 9 of the You Challenge

Nine loves (in no particular order except letter a):

a. Andrew - he is my closest friend and I am sad he is leaving today!
b. Cheesecake
c. My family (I am really close to them)/Spending time with them/being silly
d. The ocean
e. Sitting around a campfire eating extra burnt marshmallows
f. Snuggling up on the couch with a good book

g. Walking around trails in the woods
h. Laughing until I cry (or it seems like I am)
i. Being a part of something bigger

and just for kicks:
j. My job. I absolutely love being able to go to work every day and change a few dozen diapers and interact with the kids.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Ten Day You Challenge

I got this idea from another Blog I've been reading (who I am somehow related to by marriage from Andrew's side).

And since I wanted to upload a bunch of pictures I've taken in the past two weeks and write about them, but cannot because Andrew is currently transferring files from this computer to the PS3, I will write on this instead and maybe this next weekend I can get around to editing and posting and writing. 

Ten Secrets - or maybe just some quirks about me you may not have known before.

a. I have a tattoo of a bird with a rose within its beak. It is inked over my heart and is in memory of my Grampie who died of colon (that spread of the rest of his body) cancer back in 1999.

b. I really like to shop in discount stores - or in the clearance section of most stores. BUT, I also like high quality items so I am willing to pay for something that is going to last 10+ years. For example, over Christmas break of 2008, I bought a $200 pair of hiking boots. I still have them and they are in great shape. 

c. A few years ago (and a couple of months before I got married) I impulse-bought a Coach wallet at a Coach Outlet store. Even then I felt it was a lot of money for something so small. Was I really buying something that expensive? (even though it was 70% off, it was still over $100)...but now I secretly want a Coach purse.

d. My two favorite Easter candies are the Cadbury Mini Eggs with the crisp sugar coating - but they only come out during March/April - and peeps. Stale peeps (that's the best way!)

e. I am an emotional worshiper of Christ. There is not a Sunday/song on the radio etc that goes by without some sort of waterworks from me when I am truly in awe or know the impact of the words.

f. I think my new favorite song is 'Somebody That I Used to Know' by Goyte.

g. I really wish I could update my glasses. I've had the same pair since ninth or tenth grade and it is time for a change. It would be nice not to have to wear my contacts all the time.

h. I absolutely love my job. I never thought that working with 6-12 month olds would be so satisfying and rewarding. It almost makes me want to get a Master's degree in Early Childhood Education...

i.  When it comes time for Andrew and I to start a family, I want to skip over the whole birthing stage. I do want to experience pregnancy, but I don't want to experience birth. I've heard and read accounts of people who say watching the birth of their child is a miracle and so hello?! It's gross. Yes, the miracle is in the child and the making of the child...but seriously? Giving birth is messy and gross and bloody and I would rather not have to experience that. No thank you. Give me the belly, then give me the baby without the belly. Without the blood and pain.

j. Sometimes - okay, many times -  I feel as though I am inadequate in the position I've been given (in this marriage) as a wife, lover, confidant, servant, best friend. It is a lot harder than I imagined trying to juggle many hats. I try hard to be the best I can be in all areas, but many times I just fall short. It's frustrating.

k. (This is just one for good measure). It would be absolutely incredible to be able to ride in the bucket of a musher's sled during the ceremonial start/end of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race that happens in Anchorage every year.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Oh how I loathe exercising!

So while in exercise class yesterday evening, I focused on my posture in the mirror while doing the arm pulses with the bar and I noticed something... I have a pudge! Where did that come from? After discussing it with Andrew, we decided to do a couple of things:
1. I won't be making any cookies/brownies for the next couple of months
2. I will be buying more veggies that I like to eat...and make them!
3. Find another exercise class to try and try to commit to exercising (ugh) four times a week.
4. Stop getting fancy Starbucks coffee every day of every weekend.

I really think it's the fancy drinks that are getting to me.