Monday, October 6, 2014

Today I Choose Joy

It's been a long year friends, and I'm talking about my school year-- all whoppin' 7 weeks of it. Hah!

It's like not feeling your legs kick in at the beginning of a marathon, when your body is kind of dragging. When you're asking yourself "What is this race going to be like if I'm already hurtin'?"

... boy do I hope I start gaining some momentum, or finding some hidden energies soon! Maybe one of those gel packs will do the trick.

But my post is not about complaining, though it's easy to slip into all the woes. It's about choosing a kingdom perspective. It's about choosing to pray instead of bicker, or maybe choosing to savor the laughter of your students--after you say look at the "fart" instead of "chart".

So in honor of this choice. 
Here are some things I'm taking great joy in recently:
1. Babies! (not mine, don't worry, or rejoice)
~The wedding annoucements have peetered out and now it's baby annoucements and showers and gender reveal parties galore! This is a fun and amazing season as we watch many of our friends begin the joy (and the challenge) of raising children. We get to watch and learn and snuggle with all the cuties. 
This is little Elsie, Megan and John's bundle of joy.  

 2. I'm loving being in a little bit of shape. 
I failed last year at keeping a good work-out schedule but so far so good this year. 

 3. My family brings me so much joy!
I can't tell you how happy I am that they're nearby this year.What a blessing.

4. Yummy food. 
Always brings a smile to my face. 

5. ...and of course my roomies. 

Lord help me to be a bearer of joy. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Chiang Rai

So,I'm back into the swing of things, with a pile of prep already building, a room full of shanana-munchkins, and life back at full-speed. 
It was a sad goodbye to summer, but a dose of perspective always reminds me how blessed I am to have the job I do and how amazing this season of life is. 

So, I couldn't just ditch all my Thailand posts without at least giving you a little tid-bit on some of our journies, so here is a little peek into our trip up North to a place called Chiang Rai. 

This trip was inspired by a desire to connect with an old, childhood friend named Nate. Ryan and his brother, Kyle, were neighbors with Nate back in the good ol' BBgun-war-days and since Nate's family just built two new houses up North along with a hydroponic farm we thought-- heck why not visit?

Since this region of Thailand was new territory to us, we were actually "tourists" which felt a little strange-- but we went ahead and jumped in our 15-seater van and bounced around from site to site.

The White Temple: 
 ~ A temple constructed by a famous Thai artist, who now paints for royalty but was orginally from this region of Thailand.

 The Tea Plantation

This was probably one of my favorite stops just because it was so beautiful (and the food was delicious, but of course food wouldn't be a deciding factor, right?)

Yes, we are these types of tourists, that the locals roll their eyes at. Shame on us and our silly, vain ways. 

 The food even had tea leaves in it. Delicious!

Though I've done the "elephant thing" before, I was still game to do a little mini-trek while we were there. I love how amazing they are~ so massive, with their kind eyes, and wrinkly skin. If they only had little mini elephants that were pet-sized. 

Lunch. Enough Said. 

The Queen's Garden
(also enough said.)

Final Destination: The Golden Triangle

Since we were pretty far up North, we decided to visit the Golden Triangle, where Laos and Myanmar meet with Thailand. Back in the day, this area was known for opium traffic. We went to a little opium museum near the river to learn more about its history, then those who had Thai citizenship (or duel citizenship)crossed over to Myanmar to do some shopping, while us 'mericans stayed and did our own more low-key shopping. The prices across the border were much more impressive. Kyle was even using Nate to shop for him, sending pictures back and forth.

So there, in a rather large nutshell, is a recap of our few days in Chiang Rai. Definitely a different vibe that Bangkok, that's for sure. I don't know if it's lured me yet though. We'll see where one day we'll end up. For now, Chico suits us fine and we're thankful, even if we don't have cute, wrinkly elephants or a history of opium trade (just kidding!). We have our own hidden gems. :)

Love to you--wherever you may be. Thanks for reading, 


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Layover=short blog post

Hi From Japan, 
So we're on our way home- Michelle and I. We flew out of Japan about 4 hours ago, and after nestling down and watching a movie, we found out we were turning the plane around and heading back due to engine malfunctions. :S 
Though we're tired and hoping we won't miss our next flight, we are thankful we're safe and that ANA gave us free McDonald's at the gate. 
It doesn't take much to please us. 

So people are lining up already to board, but I thought I'd do a little snap shot of one of our expeditions in Bangkok since I have a moment. 

My dear roommate from college, Alyssa, and her friend and co-worker, Katie, were on their own adventures in Thailand and so I got to meet up with them in little blips here and there. (There are more blips to come)

In their one day stop over in Bangkok on their way up North we decided to head down to the backpacker's "capital" of the world. A place called Khao San. 

We decided to take the sky train to a place where we could catch a river taxi... but then it started to pour! It was a wet ride...

We munched on bugs...

and now I have to go.
Hahaha. Peace,


~best blog post ever.