Tag Archives: husband

Our 3rd Anniversary

Three years ago today, I married my best friend.  It was the greatest day of my life, and everything I hoped for.

We decided to see each other before the wedding, and our special time of praying and communion together is one of my favorite wedding day memories.  Our wedding was beautiful, with poinsettias from the church all over the stage, and the greatest thing was seeing all of our friends and family who drove to Oklahoma in the freezing cold to show their love and support.  I know I’m biased, but our reception was a blast!  So many people danced (from 1 year olds to grandparents), and it was just a great big party.  Since we were so busy  at the reception, we didn’t have a chance to eat, so we went to Subway on our way out of town.

So many great memories!  It was wonderful.  Here are some of our favorite pictures from that day (and from my bridal portraits before the wedding).

Happy Anniversary, Michael!  It’s been the most wonderful 3 years I could have asked for.

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–Staci

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Our Compassion Kids

In March 2010, Ryan Detzel, one of the bloggers I follow, went to Kenya on a Compassion International trip.  He blogged about the whole experience while he was there, and to say I was moved is an understatement.  You can check out his experiences/posts HERE.

Picture taken by Ryan Detzel.

My eyes were opened up to a whole new world outside my American upper-middle-class bubble.  And I was faced with the truth that since I was no longer blind, I had to do something about it.

I would just sit and cry while I read his updates.  Tears would be streaming down my face, and every once in a while I would have to stop reading until I could see again.  I was definitely moved by what I was seeing.

The fact that there are precious little boys and girls living in such filth, without any of the things that we think of as necessities–food, shelter, clothes, and education–just blew me away.

One night, Michael was at band practice for the BSU, and I was at home reading and crying my eyes out.  That night, we sang “Hosanna”, and I lost it again.  The bridge is what got me the most:

Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like You have loved me
Break my heart for what breaks Yours
Everything I am for Your Kingdom’s cause
As I walk from earth into eternity

God had opened my eyes to things I’d never seen.  And He’d broken my heart for these children.  And as a result, I wanted to sponsor a child more than I’d wanted anything in a long, long time.

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That night, Michael and I went home, and I showed him Ryan’s blog with all of the different pictures.  I’d been talking about the Compassion Blogging Trip for a while, but I don’t think I’d showed him Ryan’s posts yet.

We both knew, without a doubt, that we wanted to sponsor a Compassion child.

Then Michael said that we should sponsor two–a boy and a girl.  Things like this make me love my husband even more, by the way.

We prayed that God would show us a little boy and girl to sponsor, and we began looking through all of the different pictures and profiles.  We finally decided to sponsor a little boy named Mwaro from Kenya and a little girl named Enjelica from Indonesia. They were both 4 years old when we became their sponsors.

This may sound crazy, but sponsoring Mwaro and Enjelica has been one of the biggest joys over the past few years. When we decided to sponsor them, I remember both of us starting to cry.  We were just so happy and blessed to know that we were being used to make a difference in these precious kids’ lives.

Their pictures are framed in our living room and office, and we pray for them every night.  I think my favorite thing, though, is writing letters back and forth.  Every time we see a letter from Compassion, we get SO excited.

Last year, we were a lot better about writing to our Compassion kids, but this year, we haven’t been as good.  On Saturday, we finally sat down and wrote to them.  I always write to Enjelica, and Michael writes to Mwaro.  We also colored pictures for them and put some stickers in their envelopes.

It has been such a wonderful thing to be a part of, and I thank God for Compassion International.  We believe wholeheartedly in their mission and in what they are doing to “release children from poverty in Jesus’ name.”  Someday, we hope to be able to visit our Compassion Kids.  Until then, we’ll keep on praying for them and sending letters back and forth.

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Please prayerfully consider sponsoring a child today.  You have the opportunity to change a child’s life for the better.

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–Staci

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Tears, Dreams, and This Time Last Year

Tears

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Well…last night it finally hit me.  We’re moving VERY FAR AWAY.

As in EIGHT HOURS from my family.

If you know me, you know how tough this is going to be for me.  My family is SUPER close.  Apart from Michael, they’re who I’d want to spend time with out of anyone in the world.  I’m not saying this to brag or anything, but we’re easily the closest family I’ve ever known.  And it’s going to be really hard to move so far away.

I’ve lived away from my family before (Dallas — 2.5 hrs, and Tyler — 5 hrs), and they live about 1.25 hrs away from us now, but it’s always been a “doable distance”.  8 hrs is a long, long way.

Last night, Michael and I were watching Mrs. Doubtfire and I think the end is what really got me.  You know:  the part where “she” talks about families and how some don’t get to see each other for weeks or months or even years, but if they have love, that’s what being a family is all about.  Well, the credits started rolling, and I started bawling.

We’re not talking a few tears here — it was the whole sobbing to the point where I could hardly breathe thing.  I’m so thankful for my sweet husband, though.  He just held me and let me cry.  And he didn’t even get upset when he saw that his entire sleeve was black from my mascara.  I don’t know what I’d do without him.

I finally regained composure, and I was even able to talk on the phone with my mom later on.  I’m so thankful for technology because it’s going to make all of this a lot easier.  I can’t imagine what it would be like back in the old days…

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Dreams

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Last night, I had another dream about Disney World (I’ve been having them a lot lately).  It’s not a secret that I absolutely love Disney, and I’m dead serious that I want to work at WDW when we retire.

Well, my dream was pretty weird.  At one point we were all on this boat, and we were trying to not get rained on, so we hid behind a house.  Then at some point, I was playing this game or watching a movie or something that let me fly over Walt Disney World.  I would zoom down on different parts of the parks to see the attractions up close.  While I was flying, some of my favorite Disney movie songs were playing.

Then we were going to Universal Studios with my family (I’ve never been there, btw).  It was around 4:00 and my mom was asking if we wanted to go into one of the parks and use our ride tickets.  I kept trying to explain to her that we’d be wasting a whole day’s pass.  Then I told everyone to be sure to bring their swimming suits because there were tons of water rides since it was on the ocean.  Before I woke up, I started doing the whole flying over Disney thing, and some songs from Beauty and the Beast were playing.

So needless to say, it made me want to go back to Disney World REALLY badly!

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Which brings me to my third topic:  This time last year.

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On September 20 last year, Michael and I were flying to Florida for an incredible week at Walt Disney World!  It really was the trip of a lifetime — we had SO much fun together.  Since I’m missing Disney a lot, I thought I’d go back and look at all of our pictures.  Here’s a little re-cap of our trip:

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Day 0:  Travel to Dallas

We drove to my Aunt L’s house in Dallas since we were leaving really, really early the next morning.  We had a great time hanging out with Aunt L and my cousin’s little girl, A.

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Day 1:  Arrival at Animal Kingdom Lodge, Downtown Disney

We had a really early flight to Orlando.  We were beyond excited to get to WDW (I’d been planning for 11 months…), and Animal Kingdom Lodge was absolutely INCREDIBLE!  We hung out at the resort for a while, and then went to Downtown Disney to spend the rest of the evening.

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Day 2:  Epcot and Magic Kingdom Nighttime

For our first full day in the parks, we went to Epcot.  We were there until mid-afternoon when we took a break and went to explore the Grand Floridian Resort.  We  went back to Epcot for our dinner reservations at Coral Reef, and then finished up some more attractions.  We loved all of the hands-on, interactive stuff.  Michael was even chosen as a contestant for a Velcro game show!  That night, we went over to the Magic Kingdom for SpectroMagic and Wishes.  It was a GREAT first full day!

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Day 3:  Disney’s Hollywood Studios (formerly MGM Studios)

We were both really excited about this day (well, we were excited about every day…but extra-excited about this day) because we were going to our favorite park:  Hollywood Studios!  We arrived in time for “rope drop” and stayed until the park closed.  We saw great shows and enjoyed all of the attractions.  Michael was even picked to be an “extra” in Indiana Jones.  We had dinner at the Sci-Fi Drive-In, and it was just a fantastic day.

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Day 4:  Magic Kingdom

We made it to the Magic Kingdom well before the rope drop show (which was great).  We stayed until early afternoon and then took a break to rent Sea Raycers and enjoy our resort and the pool.  We had dinner at Kona Cafe in the Polynesian Resort, and then went back to the Magic Kingdom for some more fun.

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Day 5:  Tour, Magic Kingdom, and Epcot

Michael and I went on the Keys to the Kingdom Tour at the Magic Kingdom and loved every minute of it!  We highly recommend it to anyone.  It was so great to see behind the scenes and learn so many interesting facts about Walt Disney and about the Magic Kingdom.  Afterwards, we did a little more at the MK, and then went to Epcot for dinner at Teppan Edu.  We tried on hats in all of the countries and then watched Illuminations.

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Day 6:  Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios

We went to Animal Kingdom and had a great time watching the shows and riding the different rides.  We went back for a break in the late afternoon, ate dinner at Boma (in our resort), and then went to Hollywood Studios for the evening.  We watched Fantasmic, and then went to the Boardwalk.

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Day 7:  Disney’s Hollywood Studios and flying Home

We went back to Hollywood Studios for our last day since it’s both of our favorites.  We saw each of our favorite shows again, and enjoyed all of the things we missed on our other days and/or wanted to do again.  Late afternoon, we went back to our resort to catch the bus to the airport.  We arrived home safe and sound, with TONS of amazing memories of our trip.

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Sigh.  We miss Disney.  We were talking about it yesterday, and I think we’re going to try to go to Disneyland in California in two summers!!  We’d love to go back to WDW again, but we want to see new places, and I’ve never been to Cali.  I REALLY hope it works out!  I absolutely love vacations of any kind, but there’s just something special about a Disney Vacation.

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So that’s a little about where my mind has been over the past 18 hours or so:  Tears, Dreams, and This Time Last Year.

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–Staci

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Michael + Wal-Mart = Hate

Michael absolutely hates Wal-Mart.  In fact, he hates it so much that he’s said multiple times that hell will be an endless Wal-Mart check out line.

We try to only go once a month because 1) it saves money; and 2) Michael hates it.

Well, we’re officially out of EVERYTHING at our house.  We have no toilet paper, dish soap, regular soap, shampoo, bread, milk, or any of our staple meal items.  It’s no longer an option — we HAVE TO go to Wal-Mart.

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Now that you know how much Michael loathes Wal-Mart, you can better appreciate what I’m about to tell you:

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Michael is at Wal-Mart right now — by himself — to buy groceries and everything else we need — for the whole month!

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And what makes it even more incredible is that he volunteered to do so.  In fact, even when I told him that we could wait and go tonight, he refused and said that he was going by himself so that I didn’t have to strain my back anymore.

If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.  I’ve got an amazing husband.

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–Staci

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Funfetti Cake and Rainbow Chip Icing

Yesterday I had to stay home from work because I’ve messed my back up again.  I injured my upper back in the Forge (a leadership training program) in January of 2008, and then that summer I injured my lower back at Pine Cove Camp.  It’s never been the same since.

Even though it usually doesn’t hurt me to the point where I can’t do anything, there are times it gets bad again.  The past few days have been one of those times.

While I was sleeping for 3 hours (painkillers will do that to ya…), Michael left to run some errands.  When I woke up, I saw a surprise on the counter!  He said that he’d tried to buy my popcorn that we can’t find anywhere (Orville Redenbacher Pour Over Butter Popcorn), and Wal-Mart still didn’t have it, so he bought me something else instead:

Funfetti Cake and Rainbow Chip Icing!  This is our favorite!  We’ve both loved it since we were kids.  We made one round cake and 12 cupcakes.

It was VERY yummy, and it cheered me up to know that my husband was thinking about me and wanted to do something special for me.  It’s little things like this that make me love him even more.

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–Staci

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23!

Happy Birthday, Michael!

Yesterday, Michael and I drove down to San Antonio for a 10-day vacation.  We’re so excited to spend time with family and friends and just have time off.

And what makes it even better is that Michael gets to be back “home” for his 23rd birthday!

Since we got in so late last night, we were able to just sleep in and relax this morning.  We decided to see Toy Story 3 again since Michael’s parents haven’t seen it.  Once again, we LOVED it!  It’s so crazy that it’s a “third” and it’s every bit as good (if not better) than the first two.  I teared up even more this time than I did last time.  SO good.

Then we went to the mall for Michael to pick out his new shoes (my present) and get his new watch re-fitted (his parents’ present).

We ran home to change clothes and headed downtown for his birthday dinner.  I’d found Azuca Nuevo Latino Restaurant on a San Antonio tourist website, and we were excited to try it.  As soon as we walked inside, we knew it was going to be good, because it smelled amazing!  They had food from all over Central and South America.  It was also decorated SO neat!  They had blown glass decorations all over the restaurant, and there were funky portraits on one of the walls.

Our waitress was wonderful, and she suggested Tostones with Mojo (plantains with amazing garlic mojo) as an appetizer.  INCREDIBLE!

They also brought out cornbread, and it was great as well.

Everything looked SO good–it was hard to decide what to order.  In the end, Michael chose Beef Steak Churrasco, and said it was the best food he’s eaten in months.

Michael’s dad had Chicken Breast Azteca (with Chipotle sauce) and said it was incredible as well.

His mom had Brazilian Feijoada (pork) and it was some of the best meat any of us have tasted.

And I had the Rasta Jerk Chicken (with rice).  It was WONDERFUL.  I don’t even really know how to describe all of the flavors.  All of our meals were fantastic.

We couldn’t quit talking about how amazing the food was.  To say we were satisfied with the meal would have been an understatement.  It was SO good!

We decided to get dessert, and Michael and I went with our waitress’ suggestion.  We ordered the Tropical Fruit Gratin.  Oh. My. Word.  Fresh fruit on top of vanilla cream sauce…then they put sugar on top of the fruit and fire glazed all of it.  YUM.

Michael’s parents ordered Berry Chocolate Crepes and it was outstanding as well!

We LOVED Azuca!!  I highly recommend it to anyone in the San Antonio area.  We had a really great time with his parents, and it was a great way to celebrate!

I’m so thankful for my husband, and I’m glad we were able to spend his 23rd birthday together!

Happy birthday, Honey!

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–Staci