Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Unplanned Surprise = MY TATTOO!!!

Chris, Breanne and John asked me what else I wanted to do while in California, they said I could do whatever I wanted since it was my b-day weekend. I asked, "Can I get a tattoo?" And they said, "Really??? If that's what you want to do then YES!" John called and made an appt with Energy Tattoo in Santa Barbara. So here is the story of the unplanned surprise and some pictures of the process. :)

I have wanted a tattoo for the last couple of years, but always said I was too chicken to get one (and plus didn't know what I wanted to permanently mark my body with). Anyway, Breanne has a beautiful tattoo on her right foot of a swallow and flowers that I fell in love with and I told her that if I ever got a tatto I would go to the place she went to in CA. And so of course that's where we went!
This is a before picture while the artist was setting up her station. I was a nervous wreck and really I hate the picture, but it shows how worried I was so I am including it!

Here is the story behind the "why" of my tattoo:

Last July, Chris and I went in for a 20 week ultrasound and found out our 3rd baby no longer had a heartbeat. We were heartbroken. I delivered on a Wednesday (hardest thing I have ever gone through) and we found out our baby was a boy. We named him Isaiah, it fit, for some reason it felt right (Isaiah was actually the boy name we had picked out for Gavyn if she had been a boy and my mom was the one who reminded us of the name).

I didn't want to go to church the following weekend, I would have much rather sat at home and cried. But everyone encouraged us to go and I'm so glad we did. The worship set that weekend (Trent Austin did/does an amazing job) felt like it was put together just for us and then the sermon comforted, impacted and helped Chris and I through our grief.

Our pastor Craig Groeschel was in the middle of our "At The Movies" series and he had PRE-PRODUCED a message on the movie We Are Marshall, which dealt with loss. (Side note: Chris' sister actually graduated from Marshall University in May 2008.) He quoted the following verses from Isaiah 61:1-3

1 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.

2 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn.

3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.

It blows me away how everything seemed like a coincidence at the time, but in actuality it was God orchestrating everything for His purpose and glory.

Back around Oct/Nov last year a thought popped into my head, I know what tattoo I would get if I ever get one. I wanted a bird, flowers and the Isaiah scripture reference. The only thing was when was I ever going to be in CA???

And so here I was in CA, and I wasn't going to let this chance slip away.

I told Nic what I wanted and she drew it up.

All outlined and ready for some color!

This is what my face looked like while she was doing the outside of my foot, it hurt and tickled at the same time. Weirdest feeling in the world. Chris got a kick out of taking pictures of all my wacky faces, this is the only one that will be making an appearance for others to see.

Most of the color has been added, almost done.

I had to hold my leg to keep it from going crazy, it was periodically spazzing out and jerking. Thankfully Nic has a steady hand and I don't have any random lines sticking out anywhere.

The finished project, a little bloody, red and swollen!

It took 2 hours and yes it hurt! I love how it turned out. The colors, design, meaning, everything. Every time I look down at my foot, it's a reminder that Isaiah is with Jesus and that God has carried us through and will continue no matter what happens.

Friday, March 13, 2009

California (part 2)

John and Breanne meet us at the airport, I started crying as soon as I saw them walking towards us. It was so good to see them in person and hug their necks, we said goodbye to them last July when they moved back to CA. I can't believe Breanne was able to keep the secret but she did, we mainly texted back and forth for a few weeks prior (which was weird since we talked on the phone quite a bit), and I found out she was scared she would accidentally tell me something if we were talking on the phone. Makes total sense now! :)

We got our suitcase and headed to their car, where I got to open my b-day present from them. They got me a giftcard to Sephora (so excited and already knew what I was going to purchase) and then underneath the giftcard was two tickets to none other than DISNEYLAND (surprise #2), because where else do you go for your birthday when they are letting you in for FREE ON YOUR BIRTHDAY! So we decided to get something to eat and head to the Happiest Place on Earth. Of course we stopped at In-n-Out, we are big fans and are sad there isn't any here in OK or anywhere close for that matter!

Here's me wearing my "Happy Birthday Lisa" button, it's really strange when complete strangers (Disney Cast Members and other guest) say Happy Birthday to you at first, but by the end of the day it's not a big deal at all, you get used to it. Chris, John and Breanne all had buttons on that said "We are Celebrating" It was so fun!

We went to Ruth's Chris Steakhouse for my birthday dinner. OH MY WORD I had the best steak of my life! It was so good, everything from the salad, to the mashed potatoes, to the FREE birthday Cheesecake (they put sour cream on the top and man oh man was it DELICIOUS).

Okay so here is surprise #3! Chris made reservations for us to stay at the DisneyLand Hotel, with an amazing view of Downtown Disney! I could have bursted I was so filled with happiness.

Day 2 was at Disney's California Adventure where we found Sorcerer Mickey, and somehow this was the only picture of the 4 of us we took, yes, lame, I know. At least we got one! Chris and I realized when we got home that we (or rather he since he is the picture taker) barely even pulled out the camera! The best ride there was the new Toy Story Mania, so so fun!

After 2 days of playing at DisneyLand we headed for some dinner to Pink's in Hollywood. Chris likes to watch the Travel Channel when we travel (we only have basic cable at home) and gets all sorts of ideas of places to go eat. Well we saw Pink's on a show about the History of Hot Dogs or something like that and have wanted to go ever since. The line was long, which helped us decide what to get because who knew there were so many different ways to dress a hot dog! Chris and John got the Bacon Chili Cheese Dog, for Breanne a plain hot dog (I know, right? Who gets a plain hot dog at Pink's? JK) and I got the Nacho Cheese Chili Dog. The hot dogs were okay, nothing too exciting. But fun to eat there since it's famous and all and famous people eat there!

After Pink's we headed to John and Breanne's apartment and Malachi, their 18 month old son entertained us. He would fall of his 4-wheeler, say uh-oh, laugh and then roll over and over across the floor. He is pretty darn cute!

To be continued again...

Santa Barbara day is next and the surprise that was actually an unplanned surprise! :)

30th Birthday Celebration

So my WONDERFUL husband planned a HUGE surprise for my 30th birthday. I knew he had something up his sleeve, but I never imagined what he was up to! Come to find out he had been saving for months and also our families chipped in for the surprise too!

On the Wednesday night before my birthday (Feb. 26th) I got home from working at HHBC and he had some candles lit, sparkling Pear Juice and OH MY WORD Godiva Chocolate Covered Strawberries. I loved it and was a happy woman with just that, but OH MY WORD there's so much more!

Chris was standing outside our bedroom in the hallway, staring at me. Totally weirded me out, but I asked if he wanted me to come over there. He said yes and so I walked towards our room and when I walked into the room, there was our suitcase on the bed. Chris said, "Pack for the next 4 days, here is the weather forcast". "WHAT?!?" Did I just hear that? "Where are we going?" "What about the kids?" He said, "The kids are at my parents, everything's taken care of".

The only thing he would tell me was that we had to leave the house at 5:30 AM as in 5:30 in the MORNING! So we packed our suitcase, now the weather forcast he printed out had the weather in the 70's, which was the weather in OK, so I was all confused and jokingly said, "Are we going to Dallas (only other place I knew of that would have similar weather to us)?" We had always talked about heading to Dallas for a weekend getaway, so I just figured we were going there.

So at 4:30 am on my birthday I got out of bed and got ready for the best weekend of my life! We got to the airport, Chris made me sit on a bench while he checked our bag (which we paid $15.00 for - can you say RIDICULOUS?) and got our boarding passes. As we walked to security, he said, "Do you want to know where we are going?" Of course, I said, "YES!" and he handed me my boarding pass. And guess where it said we were going? Dallas/Ft. Worth! I asked if there was a connecting flight from there and he said, "You will have to wait and see." I kind of knew that there had to be a connecting flight, cause I doubted that we would fly to Dallas when we are only 3 hours away if driving.

On the plane towards the end of our flight the attendant, hostess (whatever they are called now) was announcing the connecting gates. The only gate I heard that I thought could be our destination was Las Vegas. So I was kind of thinking that might be it. We got off the plane and headed to our gate. When we walked up to our gate I saw the words, Ontario, CA! WHAT? I turned to Chris and said, "Are we going to CA?" He said, "Yes" and then I said as I start crying, "You are taking me to see John and Breanne?"

OH. MY. WORD!!! I can't tell you how excited and happy and ecstatic I was. My husband scored some major points with this surprise! Chris said this was one of many surprises that awaited me on my Birthday Celebration Weekend.

To be continued (only because this is already an extremely long post and my fingers are getting tired of typing!)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Character's Galore, cont.

Lightning McQueen! Mator was there too, but the kids stayed right next to McQeen.

Gavyn was so cute, she lifted the side of her dress almost looked like she was going to curtsey and then dropped her dress and put her arm up right before the picture (which is why it's pulled up on the side) and was smiling from ear to ear.

Mikah and Naomi found Mulan during their Kim Possible Mission. They and Chris had such a fun time searching for the next clues. Those people who work at Disney think of everything!

We found Sleeping Beauty again! Here's a pic with Gavyn and her cousins Hannah and Grace.

Pluto is always so much fun! The kids got a kick out of him signing their autograph book because he put the book right on top of his nose, so he could see where to sign.

Character's Galore

We saw and met so many Disney Character's. It was so fun to see Mikah and Gavyn's faces light up everytime they went to hug or high-five one of them. Here are some of our favorites! Minnie Mouse

Mickey Mouse

Gavyn and Sleeping Beauty (Mikah for some reason didn't want to stand in line to see the Princesses)!


Cinderella - Gavyn loved EVERY minute of meeting the Princesses that she told us she wanted to have a Princess party for her b-day in March.


Here are some pics from our family vacation to DisneyWorld. My parents bought a vacation rental in late 2007, knowing that we wouldn't be using it until late 2008/early 2009 (we all definitely needed to save money for this trip). It turns out we went the last week in January. We drove with my parents from Dallas to Orlando (very long car ride, but the kids did GREAT). Jackie (my oldest sister) and Nate flew from Utah with all 5 of their kids (no, they are not mormon) and Fran and Ernesto flew in from Chicago. We had a great time with all the family together and my dad says in 5 years we will do it all again! Can't wait! Better start saving now!

Mikah outside the resort we stayed in, ready for his first visit to Disney World!
Gavyn's all ready too!

Most of the cousins: Abe and Gavyn didn't want to have their picture taken, but after looking at all the squinting going on, I now know why.

Mikah and Josiah, our kids talked about their cousins for weeks after we got home. I love it when they get to play together.

Mikah got to drive the car with Opa riding shotgun (I'm surprised Mikah isn't scarred for life - my dad is from the Bronx and my mom taught us how to drive)! :)
More pictures to come tomorrow - Characters galore!