Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Bowling Good Time

Every Tuesday night, we have Bible study with one of the coolest groups of people we've ever met! ;)  No, seriously, they are really great and it's been awesome getting to know them. It's a good group for Brad and I, because we are one of four newly married couples. Three of us got married this year, in fact! It's been really good to discuss our faith (and the impact marriage has on it) with people who are going through it too! Anyways, since it's close to Christmas, our group decided take a night off and just hang out. We went to Old Chicago and ate dinner and then headed to Sempeck's Bowling Alley in Elkhorn, which is by far the cleanest, non-smokiest, coolest bowling alley atmosphere I've experienced. (Note: I do understand that "non-smokiest" is not a word.)   Man, I didn't realize until we got there, but Brad and I needed to get out of our house! And thank God we did. Woohoo! We had so much fun! Our bible study group made it more fun by having a guys-against-girls competition and although I am disappointed that the guys won overall, I can still say that I killed my husband in both games. He's good at many things - bowling isn't one of them. :) Also, Brad and I came straight from work to the bowling alley, so yes, that top left pictures is a dress....and tights....and bowling shoes.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Why yes, my husband is a dork.

Brad is by far the most interesting person I've ever met. He is weird and has lots of funny quirks. For example, on any given day when Brad takes off his shoes, there's about a 99% chance that his socks don't match. Admittedly, it's one of the most endearing thing about him. :)

Anyways, one of his other quirks is the obsessive care taking of his leather boots - seriously, he polishes them about once a week and gets slightly grumpy if he scuffs them. He had 2 pairs (brown and black) that he wore to work pretty much daily. Last year during the snowy/icy season, his black pair got pretty banged up. I think it was a mixture of the moisture, salt, chemicals, etc. from winter. When Brad and I got engaged, he told me that he needed a new pair of black boots to wear with his suit. After much persuasion, I obliged and he got a new pair of black Kenneth Cole boots. The price tag made me want to throw up, but I have to admit that they really were very nice. He didn't wear them until the day of our wedding (that was our deal). But, now that said wedding is over, he wears them to work.

As winter set in with snow, rain, etc., Brad insisted that he would take better care of these boots and ensure that winter didn't ruin them. Enter the plastic bags. If Brad forgets to bring tennis shoes with him to wear to and from work, he wraps plastic bags around his shoes. It's quite a sight and if you're anything like me, you'll laugh hysterically if you ever get to see it in real life. :) I love him.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My Birthday

My birthday happened to be on Thanksgiving this year - it does that from time to time. Unfortunately, it just wasn't a good day. Birthdays get less and less fun as I get older - not because I'm actually getting older, but because no one has fun with me anymore! I love birthdays! That said, I did walk away with some pretty nice gifts from my hubby and family! Here are the gifts Brad got me - the rest of the pics will be up later.

Brad got me a BEAUTIFUL sweater - that I love. He also got me a necklace I've been wanting and a very unique cookbook. It's all about WHOOPIE PIES! Just about every variation you can think of can be found in this book - so yummy. I hate to say it, but do you think Brad could've been trying to tell me something??? Ha!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Welcome to the ER!

My husband is very sick! He has had a horrible fever for about 4 days now and it got so bad on Monday night (104 degrees), that I ended up taking him to urgent care. They ended up telling us that Brad's fever was too high and he was very dehydrated. Bottom line: he needed to go to the Emergency Room. Obviously, that's never an exciting thing to hear for anyone, but this time, it was different for me. I was so sad that he was that sick. I didn't show it at the time (trying to not freak Brad out), but I was nervous and worried. Luckily, we got there and they took VERY good care of him. He ended up getting 2 bags of fluid through IV and a HUMONGOUS prescription Motrin. He got well enough that they sent him home about 4 hours later. The picture clearly shows that he wasn't very happy about it, but I insisted that I document the moment! :)
Unfortunately, Brad hasn't gotten a whole lot better since then. His fever is still hanging around 101-102 degrees and he has really bad chills. The doctor said she thinks it may be something called the "narovirus" (sp?). Basically it's just a very nasty stomach virus that causes similar symptoms. Include him in your prayers - he needs them!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Breath Right's May Save My Marriage...

Okay, so my marriage was never really in trouble, but it is probably safe to say that Breath Right's may save my sanity. Adjusting to living with someone is never easy - obviously we do things differently. In fact, we cannot cook in the same kitchen at the same time. Mainly because Brad doesn't do anything right - of course, in Brad's eyes, it's me that doesn't do anything right.

Anyways, I often have a little trouble adjusting to new sleeping arrangements. In college it took me a couple months to get a good night's sleep because I was in a new place, with a new bed. Well now that I'm married, I'm in a new place, with a new bed, AND I have to share the bed with someone else (which has been difficult, as I am a self-proclaimed bed hog). To make matters worse, Brad happens to be in the 44% of men that snore. And, the fact that he smokes apparently makes it worse...well, so I've read on some online articles. (Click here to find out some interesting stuff about snoring!)

About a week into sleeping in the same bed, I decided to approach Brad about "Breath Right" Strips.
Yes, I know what you're thinking - "C'mon Stacie! You only gave it a week! This is mean to make Brad wear these dorky things!"  BUT! I'll have you know that I am incredibly mean and a horrible person when I don't get a good amount of sleep, so I decided for the good of my marriage and all of my interactions with people outside of my home, it'd be smart to nip this problem in the bud. AND THEY WORK! I've had great sleep for several weeks now!  Unfortunately, Brad isn't the biggest fan. Usually he'll try to go to bed without one, and I kindly remind him that he forgot his breath right strip. He usually gives me this look....

                                                    Poor Brad....but....YAY ME!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cheesy, but I don't care...

Okay, so this is cheesy, but I was looking at my wedding pictures and two pictures stood out to me. Mainly because the people in them are people that I LOVE.  Below each picture, I'll describe why I love them.
                                                                Bradley Allen Salinas
1. Brad is one of the most loving people I've ever met. He's honest about his love - never cheesy or unbelievable. He loves hard and even when you frustrate him, he's almost always the first to call and make things right.
2. Brad has a hilarious sense of humor. Sometimes he's crass and sometimes you just can't believe what comes out of his mouth, but he never fails to make me laugh. Most people love his laugh (it's infectious) and his facial expressions. I laugh everyday.
3. Look at him. Hot. Enough said.
4. Brad is very giving - he'll go without anyday so that someone else will have something they need or want. This isn't my strength, so sometimes he has to sort of shove me, but very rarely will Brad turn down someone who calls for help. His heart is HUGE!
5. Brad seems to always be growing - over the time I've known him, he's become a more mature, loving, patient, and understanding man. He's continuing his growth spiritually and puts me to shame when it comes to loving people the way Christ would.

                                                           Stephanie, Amanda, & Kait
(I really don't think I could've been happy on my wedding day if these girls weren't there! They're my "cry-on-your-shoulder, laugh-til-it-hurts, say-anything, be-crazy" friends and I wouldn't trade them for the world. So glad they could be a part of my day!)
1. Stephanie is one of the most hilarious, honest, genuine people I know. She has become a very independent girl who is passionate about her convictions, but quick to accept others for who they are. Her impressions of Mary Katherine Gallagher are spot on and can appreciate my "weirdness," because we're both "quirky." :) She was such a HUGE supporter and cheerleader on my wedding day. Some things didn't go as planned and she was there to remind me to just keep moving and have fun!
2. Amanda...oh, Amanda. I've always had a hard time describing her - not because she's weird or boring, but because she's just an interesting person. I want to say "she's changed so much over the years!" But the truth is, she hasn't. She is just always trying new things and introducing us to new ways of thinking. She's still so loving and spunky and "our chameleon" (always adapting to new situations). She's realistic - which I appreciate as a fellow realist, and she doesn't let you stay negative. She's always pushing you to THINK and question everything. Wedding day stress was nearly eliminated because of Amanda.
3. My maid of honor, Kait. Anyone who meets Kait understands immediately that Kait is the sweetest person ever! She is one of the most compassionate people I've ever met and is consistently one of the shoulders I cry on and the first number I dial when I need to vent. Kait has a good head on her shoulders and refuses to let me be a jerk. She holds me accountable to be the kind of woman I want to be and supports me in all I do. I had the honor of living with Kait and some of my fondest memories were of the times we were busting our guts laughing over the dumbest things. :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Be Bold!

So, long story short, I am hosting the annual Harvest Party for Wildewood on the 30th. We are doing it at Bellevue Berry Farm this year and I'm really excited about it. It's one of our biggest events and we usually see an influx of visiting families. I find this to be an incredible opportunity to make connections in our community and it lets those who don't know Christ, hear about him in a new way. Anyways, usually every Monday morning there is a stack of "Sign In-Sign Up" cards on my desk. They are small sheets of paper where families can "sign in" and show us their attendance and also a quick way for them to sign up for any events or volunteer opportunities.  This morning I just had one. There was nothing on the front - no name - no other information. The back looked like this...

(In case you can't read it, it says, "It is a real shame we are spending money on a Harvest Party when so many people in the church are struggling to put food on the table.")

At first, I was a little put off. HOW DARE YOU SAY ANYTHING BAD ABOUT MY HARVEST PARTY! But then, I settled down and realized that indeed they were right. We're going to spend about $2,000 on a Harvest party and we have so many families that are in need. I thank God for this paper, because it really did remind me where to put our money, time, etc. But also, because it gave me a lot of new ideas for future events - externally focused events. Anyways, I found myself still bothered - not by the note itself, but by the lack of name on the front. (Note: this isn't the first time "negative" notes have come in without a name.) Why are adults so afraid to speak their mind and own their opinions? I would LOVE to sit down with whomever wrote this and figure out just what families they feel need our help - I would help them! I am consistently frustrated with adults who can't just be honest - be bold! There's nothing wrong with disagreeing or feeling like we're headed in the wrong direction, but writing notes on a sign in-sign up sheet and not being willing to take ownership of your opinions is cowardly. I am in children's ministry, but I find more often than not that the children I deal with are actually adults. My vent is done. Thank you.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New Face of American Evangelicalism

Random video that my boss sent me today about "New Christianity" (which really is old or original Christianity, rediscovered). Not the most amazing video of all time, but definitely impressed with the panel's answer to some of the questions. I love that they picked people who are making an active difference in the world - not just consumed with politics, etc. They are about redefining what being a Christian means - because we have certainly distorted it. Click here to watch it on ABC News!


I'm writing my first blog post and realizing that I am a dork. I made fun of bloggers for years - I was like "how lame are you guys that you sit around and write down your thoughts all day??? Ha! Losers!" 

Serves me right...

Thanks to one of my best friends, Amanda, I am here today having officially started a blog. This blog is MY blog. I'm not on it to promote an idea or lobby for a politician. I'm not on it because I think anyone particularly cares about what I have to say or thinks my opinions and ideas can change the world. I'm blogging because millions of thoughts (some brilliant and funny; others dumb and driven by negative emotion) run through my head everyday. I want the people I love to have a way of knowing what I'm thinking and what's going on in my life - if they so choose. :)

So, although Amanda will probably be my only follower, I'll have a semi-permanent, hard to destroy diary of sorts for my friends, family, and future children. (Note: I'm not pregnant, just planning ahead.) AND if something I put on here inspires someone else, makes someone laugh, or simply helps them to know me more, then I would be okay with that too.

P.S. You may have noticed the title of my blog is "Officially Different" and I have owls on my site. Why? No big reason that takes lots of explaining - simple, actually. I'm weird - not creepy, just quirky. Enjoy.