July 31, 2011

A Morning Picnic

Its been about two weeks since I've spent some quality time with Steve. He's been on the east coast for his family's vacation while I've been here, spending time with my grandpa (he is making a slow recovery, but we are thankful, and especially thankful for your prayers!).

The last time that Steve and I shared a meal at home was this breakfast picnic. I was inspired by Rebekah's monthly project, Dinner at Eight, and thought I'd try a breakfast date (my favorite meal). The menu was very simple: whole wheat pancakes with strawberries and honey, grapes, and some good coffee. These pancakes are pretty plain, but with strawberries and honey (I also added some vanilla to the mix) they are just sweet enough. I don't know why, but they also taste better when they are mini pancakes, made in a silver dollar pancake pan. ;)

While Steve was on a run, I set up a little picnic on our living room floor. I spread out our wedding quilt, (beautifully made by Katie and Jenny), a few pillows and a picnic basket and crate for tables.

I had been looking forward to using my chalkboard coasters for a long time--I'm on a real chalkboard kick these days. Also on the breakfast tray were a few mason jars with napkins and wooden silverware as well as some flowers (leftover from a baby shower).

When Steve returned from his run, he was pretty shocked to see everything set up on the living room floor. And to be honest, I was pretty shocked that he cared so much! I think he could sense that I had taken the time to make this a special morning. So, we sat down together on the blanket and enjoyed our breakfast before Steve had to get ready for work. It felt like such a treat to make time together before starting the day.

Although we don't have kids yet, we definitely find ourselves immersed in our computers way too often. On this morning we made sure to put those babies away.

I can't wait until our next date night, or morning, or maybe a lunch. This project is full of my favorite things: creativity, food, and some quality time with the guy I love.


July 24, 2011

Everywhere, and in all things...

There are times when God seems to shake you awake out of your daily life and say, "Stop what you're doing! It's time to pay attention to what is important!" My grandpa is still fighting to regain consciousness after his heart suffered cardiac arrest, last Tuesday. I've been feeling God reminding me to slow down, pay attention, and depend on Him through this hard time of waiting.

When I received the phone call last Tuesday, I was in a dressing room, hoping to find a dress to wear to a close friend's wedding. "Don't you already have some dresses you could wear?" Steve had asked that day. But I didn't want to wear an old dress. I wanted a new one. I tried to convince him that paying some crazy amount at Anthropologie wasn't a big deal, and in the back of my mind, secretly wondered if I would have time to find a new pair of shoes too. But when I got the phone call about my grandpa, it was as if God took me by the shoulders and gave me a firm shake. For a split second I glanced at the dresses on the hangers. You need to go! Now! I piled them quickly into a heap over my arm, dropped them on the counter, and ran out of the store.

Over these past few days, I've spent most hours of the day at the hospital with my grandpa. I watched in hope as he started to open his eyes and seemed to recognize us, and then felt my heart drop when he had to be placed on a strong sedative again. I've been struck by how closely I'm paying attention to everything, and how quickly the moments of joy, fear, and disappointment come and go. I've tried to depend on the one thing that I know is constant--the encouragement and hope of turning to God, reading scripture, and lifting up my fears and doubts in prayer.

Since Tuesday, so much has changed. Last night, my sister, Robin came back to the states for good, and will be staying with us until she gets married. We've already started working on some last-few-months-before-the-wedding tasks. I can't believe her wedding day is exactly 2 months from today.

On Wednesday, Steve left for Rhode Island to watch his best friend, Chris, marry the love of his life, Hope. I've gotten glimpses of their wedding day (today) via text messages and photos, and just heard that Steve "nailed" his groomsman speech.

And a just few hours ago, our good friends Susan and Stephen announced the birth of their daughter (born today), Abigail Olivia-Jeanne. Reunions, marriages, birth--these are life's greatest moments. It's amazing how, during a slow difficult time, God inserts moments that you wish would never end.

Today's contrasts of joy and pain remind me that in all circumstances, God is teaching me. He's teaching me to remember what is important, because inevitably there will be hard times. God sustains us in the difficult times, and the same God also gives us our happiest moments in life. I am thankful that in all of these times, God is there too.

I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. Everywhere, and in all things, I have learned to endure both fullness and hunger, both to have plenty and to be in need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:12-13

July 22, 2011


Isaiah 40: 31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint

On Tuesday, my grandpa Jack collapsed while playing tennis, and suffered cardiac arrest. Witnesses say he received CPR right away and was shocked in order to get his heart beating again. When I found out, I rushed to the emergency room at Overlake Hospital, while prayer after prayer raced through my head. My grandpa is nearing 87 years old, but he is active, otherwise healthy, and he is the patriarch of the Erlandson family.

While I crossed the 520 bridge, my eye caught sight of a large bald eagle, perched on a post, watching traffic go by. I breathed deep, and prayed that this was some kind of sign. Bald eagle sightings are rare.

I arrived at the hospital to learn that my grandpa would be treated with a protocol called induced hypothermia. This treatment increases the odds that a patient will wake up after a cardiac arrest, but it also can take days to fully see changes. Often, patients just won't ever wake up.

I decided to go home that evening to rest. As I walked up the stairs to my front door, I saw something large fly across the sky. A bald eagle was soaring above, with two friends--two smaller birds--following close behind. I kind of couldn't believe it. Two bald eagles in one day? I suppose it could have been the same bird I saw earlier on the bridge, but something in my heart leaped. What are the odds?

As I got ready for bed, I was drawn to the book of Isaiah, and especially the verses at the end of chapter 40. "...Those that hope in the LORD will renew their strength" encouraged me. Right now, we need God's hope. We need His healing. I kept reading, and suddenly felt a lump in my throat: "They will soar on wings like eagles." When I opened up my Bible, I had completely forgotten about this verse, but there they were--the eagles.

I don't really know what all of this means--the tests, the medications, the ups and downs. Hospitals can be scary and confusing. But I do know that there is a God that is involved completely in my grandpa's treatment. I believe that God can heal, and that anything is possible.

July 11, 2011

10 on 10: July

Plus one more for my groom on our one-year anniversary:

July 7, 2011

One Year Ago Today...

I was riding the Ducks! Yes, it's true, I accomplished one of my goals one year ago at my bachelorette party. The weather was much nicer (hot actually!) when my mom, sister, family-to-be, and best friends showed up to celebrate one of my last days as a single lady.

We met up at a hotel in lower Queen Anne, and then walked down to the Ducks. I remember feeling a little bit like I was in a daze (although it could have been the margaritas). I couldn't believe that I was actually getting married in just two days.

Parts of the Ducks adventure were pretty darn warm, but when we hit the water, there was a nice breeze, and the ride and the view were perfect.

I remember my friend Erin insisting that I have this photo, so she bought it for me. Thanks Erin! After the ride, we headed to Via Tribunali where Robin had rented out the loft upstairs. I remember feeling like we were in a cafe in Italy. Although the night ended early (had to get beauty sleep for the rehearsal the next day), I am so thankful to have had the chance to celebrate with so many great women.

Early that day I had also gone to my third wedding hair trial. It's kind of funny to think about the stress that went in to doing my hair for my wedding (especially since my vision was something I had already done many times myself). A few weeks before I had met with my stylist to try out a do, but she never really got it right. Then, days before, I had gone in to get highlights at my salon (and try the style again), but the foils had slipped, my stylist hadn't noticed, and I ended up with bleach tiger stripes across the back of my head. She spent hours trying to fix it. I remember thinking "this is not supposed to be happening a few days before my wedding!," and came home bawling, and vowing to never see the stylist again. The problem was, she was supposed to do my hair for the wedding, and appointments had already been made for my bridesmaids at the same salon. Luckily, Robin jumped into action, booked 7 last minute appointments at Habitude in Ballard, and saved the day. My mom also called her own stylist, who fit me into a last minute appointment to fix the stripes.

This style wasn't even the look I ended up going for (I swear I'm not that picky), so my final hairstyle was determined on the morning of the big day. I ended up thinking that my hair turned out ok, but I'm mostly just glad that I won't have to worry about something like this again. It's just hair, but it sure caused a lot of stress.

I can't believe Steve and I will be celebrating our one year anniversary this weekend! I've definitely been reminiscing, and have more one-year thoughts and photos to come. :)

July 1, 2011

Summer Music Videos

After a few weeks off from work, I can say that I'm indeed rested and relaxed. Things were a bit bumpy this week after I cut myself with a sharp knife (it's already almost healed) and was the first person on the scene of a bicycle motorcycle crash (they're ok too). There's been a lot of "me time," a few projects, and a few experiments in the kitchen. I've been listening to a lot of music too, and these three songs have been on a loop on my playlist.

Brooke Fraser's "CS Lewis song" has been a part of my new morning routine, which is an effort to "have coffee with God." The lyrics are perfect for beginning a new day.

the Head and the Heart is a Seattle band that I've heard a lot of on the radio. I love this song, but the video is a bit chilly. Thank goodness it's July.

Finally, I came across Rabbit! and have been listening to their fun album Connect the Dots, all week. To me, this is a perfect summer-time tune.
How did I miss this video too? So 90s. :)