Monday, May 31, 2010

2 weddings

Within the past couple of weeks we attended 2 weddings. My younger brother Andrew, and Tony's older brother Javier. They were very different, and we had a great time at both. Andrew and Krista got married at our church in Gainesville; it was big, fun, and lots of family and friends were there. We had a great time hanging out with family and relaxing in Gainesville. The ceremony and reception were beautiful, and the Palmer family did a great job with everything. I did not take any pictures while I was there, though.... so no pics of that here.

Javy and Angel had a destination wedding in the Florida Keys, and we had a great mini vacation down there. Their wedding was on the beach, and we stayed at the coconut cove resort.

This is the actual "cove" at the resort.
It was a lovely little place with a great view of the ocean and an awesome pool. We spent the two days were there playing in the pool and hanging out at the beach. Leah absolutely loves playing in the water, and she had a blast the whole time.

I could never get her to look at the camera, so most of the pictures I have are of her hat or the top of her head.

This was taken right before the wedding.

The beautiful beach ceremony at almost sunset.
The day after the wedding we went to a little outdoor aquarium. We saw a parrot, dolphin, and Sea Otter show, took a tour on a bottomless boat, and saw all sorts of other marine animals.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Thoughts on LOST

I think there are two types of people in this world. Those who loved the finale to LOST, and those who hated it. I am one of the former. I thought it was great. It was funny, emotional, and in my opinion offered great closure. It took me a while to get it, but the more and more I think about it, the more I love how it ended.

Everything that happened on the island happened. It was all real. The flash sideways was when they were all dead. They all died at different times, some before Jack, some after him, like Christian said but in the afterlife there is no timeline so they were all there together. The flash sideways was like a resolving of all their conflicts and inward strife. Jack became a better father, and was able to make peace with his father. Claire decided to keep her baby, and was reunited with her family. Kate was finally able to help someone else, Sawyer was a cop, not a con, Sun and Jin were together and happy, Sayid found Shannon again, Charlie was alive, Locke reunited with Helen and regained use of his legs, etc etc. To paraphrase words of C.S Lewis from the wonderful book The Last Battle, "all things sad became untrue." In my opinion, the flash sideways was a picture of redemption for all these sad, broken, and flawed characters that we were introduced to 6 years ago.

They were in this flash sideways together until each one of them was ready to let go and move on. One major theme of Jack's character that we saw over and over again through these 6 seasons is that he had a hard time letting go (remember the episode with Boone?). That's why he was the last to arrive. It's also why Ben's character didn't go in. He wasn't ready yet. He still had things he had to work out. Very fitting, in my opinion. I think they were all in the church to move on to the next stage of afterlife, ie, heaven, together. As my brother Andrew put it, very much like Frodo and Gandalf setting off to the Grey Havens. Maybe it's not theologically correct, but I think it's beautiful. Again, it's also very Last Battleish; all of the characters walked through the barn door at different times, and died at different times, but they ended up together(dead) in that limbo land waiting for Aslan to arrive.

No, all our questions were not answered, and it may have even left us with more questions.... but isn't that part of the beauty of the show? Some things we just have to accept as being part of the island's mystery (like why women can't carry to term).

I think every religion can probably take something from the show, but I definitely see a lot of Christian and Gospel parallels in the season, and especially in the finale. The most obvious, of course, is Jack's sacrificial death in order to save the lives of his friends. As my dad put it, "the good shepherd laid down his life for his people." I have no idea if the writers meant for it to be interpreted this way. They probably didn't, but even Hollywood can't help but reflect the power of the gospel. It is embedded into every great story, because there is nothing more moving or more powerful than someone's sacrificial death to save others.

Another thing to ponder: Jacob is like Adam. The one thing his "mother" forbade him to do was to go into that light, but he screwed that up. Through one man darkness (black smoke) entered the island, and through one man, darkness was defeated and light was restored.

Man, I love this show and I'm so gonna miss it!

New Bookshelf

Okay, this post may seem a little bit braggy, but that's because I am extremely proud of myself; I made this bookshelf all on my own! And when I say make, I actually mean make, not assemble. Like out of real wood, that I measured, cut, screwed together using an actual drill, sanded, and stained.

Okay, well Tony technically sawed the boards for me, but that's just because the skill saw is really loud, and I don't want to cut my arm off. But everything else I did on my own! I followed the plans from a fabulous blog called "knock-off wood", which my sister in law Sarah told me about. This blog has ridiculously cute furniture and she details how to make it. I think this may be my new hobby. I want to make an end table and a coffee table to match the bookshelf, and maybe even a farmhouse style dining room table.

Here is the view from the back. This is actually a "room dividing bookshelf" that separates our living room from what is currently the playroom, so this is the side that we see from the playroom. I sanded the back, painted it with magic magnet paint from Lowe's, then added a top coat of magic chalkboard paint to it. So now it's a magnetic chalkboard that Leah loves to draw on. Pretty cool, huh? So far she can only draw lines, but I see a bright artistic future for her.

Here is how this project began; I was looking at this blog, and was trying to convince Tony to build me a bookshelf:

Me: "Why don't you build this one?"
TOny: "I don't want to build one. It will just come out lopsided and I will have wasted time and money"
Me: "Fine. I'll build it"
Tony: "You can't build a bookshelf"
Me: "Um, well, I'm going to build it!"
Tony: "There's no way you are building that."
Me: "Oh, I'm so doing it. "

The next day when Tony got home from work I had written out all the supplies we needed.
Tony: "I thought you were kidding about this"
Me: "Nope, we're going to Lowe's!"

Two days later my lovely bookshelf was finished, and I discovered that I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. What started out as an attempt to prove myself may become a huge hobby of mine. Maybe not, though.

Monday, May 3, 2010

strawberry patch

This past saturday we went to Lane Packaging to pick some strawberries. Lane's is quickly becoming one of my favorite places in the Warner Robins area. They have fresh produce, the best strawberry and peach ice cream ever, a great lunch buffet, a nice playground, and other awesome stuff such as dressings, wines, pecans, fudge, and jams.

This is the beginning of our day. Leah just wanted to play with the big peach.
Tony had to restrain her at first from destroying everything in her path, but she eventually got the hang of it.
She finally understood that she needed to pick the red berries, not the green ones, and she would put them in the basket like a good little helper. She did squeeze a couple of them and rub them on her dress, but that's okay.

This is one of the big John Deere tractors on the playground.

She is making an interesting face here, that's for sure.
These are all the strawberries we picked. It's not a ton, but it's enough for now. I froze some of them for smoothies because I think they would have gone bad by the time we ate them.