To My Husbuddy


Thank you for celebrating Valentines with me because you know I love it! There are so many reasons I love you. I thought this Valentines I would list 100 reasons why I love you. That way you never have to ask me "why?"!

Happy 5th Valentines to my love!!

I love your smile.

I love your disciplined nature, where would I be without it?

I love snuggling with you.

I love your ethic of hard work.

I love that you provide so well for us.

I love how silly you can be.

I love that you are compassionate.

I love the way you surprise me with little gifts that show you pay attention to me.

I love the way you respect me.

I love how you protect me.

I love your intelligent mind.

I love that you always keep your cool.

I love spending time with just you.

I love how you encourage me.

I love how you challenge me to be a better person.

I love your sense of humor.

I love that I get to grow old with you.

I love our nicknames for each other.

I love when you tell me how much you love me.

I love you because you never use words to hurt or tear down.

I love that you’re my best friend.

I love your heart for God and your desire to grow in your Faith.

I love how patient you are with me.

I love snuggling with you.

I love holding your hand.

I love that you are a prayer warrior.

I love that you celebrate Valentines Day with me because you know I like it.

I love your desire to travel.

I love that you have taken me to Paris! My dream!

I love that you forgive me.

I love that you’re always willing to try harder.

I love your body.

I love falling asleep with you at night.

I love that you are dependable.

I love how you make me a priority.

I love your generosity.

I love that all of your clothes come from tech conferences.

I love the sound of your deep voice.

I love your steadfastness.

I love the sweet notes/emails you write me.

I love that I am still learning new things about you.

I love how you make up your own words to songs. Jazz Sundays are my favorite.

I love your dimples.

I love your corny, old man jokes.

I love that you worry about me.

I love how you take control in stressful situations.

I love your Faith in the Lord, it is strong and beautiful.

I love how you remind me to be hopeful during tough times.

I love when you speak Persian to me.

I love how I can trust you completely.

I love taking walks with you and talking about our future.

I love how you’re just as weird as me.

I love your good ideas.

I love how you get excited about getting new t-shirts at work conferences.

I love when you beat box.

I love how sweet and patient you are with the kiddos in our life. I look forward to you being a father one day.

I love how unbelievably patient you are with me.

I love how when you’re focused on reading a book you’ll start to mouth the words as you read.

I love how you pray over me.

I love that you’re such a softy.

I love traveling with you.

I love how you love me unconditionally.

I love that we argue about who loves the other the most (I do).

I love how you buy me the sappiest cards because you know I’ll tear up.

I love how you use analogies to make things make sense!

I love that you’re an open book with me.

I love when you play the guitar for me. Or just sing songs you’ve made up for me.

I love that you love to learn. How does electricity work again?

I love your grey hairs. They make you look so distinguished.

I love how excited you get (we get) about seeing cute dogs.

I love that you introduce me to music I probably wouldn’t have found or that I thought I would enjoy.

I love that you write reminders on your hand.

I love that you tell me you love me every chance that you get.

I love how you let me experiment in the kitchen. You never mind trying my creations.

I love that you handle the finances. You’re so good at it J

I love that when we’re walking you offer me a wing. I do love chicken!

I love when you paint.

I love that you always tell the truth. Even if it isn’t always easy to hear.

I love that you still think deep down you’re a teenager.

I love visiting you at work. You’re so serious!

I love that we’re both honest about the difficulties and the joys of marriage.

I love that you are my personal space heater.

I love how excited you get about treats.

I love when you kiss my forehead.

I love being your wife.

I love that we’re both so stubborn. It makes life interesting.

I love that you were my first boyfriend.

I love how occasionally you let me stare into your eyes.

I love that you still have the certificate of appreciation I gave to you ages ago.

I love that you’re willing to train me at the gym, even though I probably swear at you several times a week.

I love listening to you sing at church.

I love your willingness to love me spontaneously (in a very planned way).

I love how affectionate you are with me.

I love watching you dance.

I love dreaming about our next adventures together.

I love when we hear the “Ho Hey” Lumineers song you grab my hand and sing the chorus to me.

I love your willingness to try new things.

I love when we accomplish things together. Team O!

I love how you hold me and comfort me when I’m sad.

I Love that I get to spend the rest of my life with YOU!




On The Road


In just over two months we will be on the road (err in the sky) to Europe. We have narrowed down the numerous possibilities to: Amsterdam, Rome, Venice, and Barcelona. Have you been? Any suggestions?

I have only been to Europe once now and it was magical! My dream in life was go to Paris and when we did, I fell in love. So once we started talking about talking about this next trip, all I could think was "Let's go back to Paris!". Paul had to shake some reality into me. He assures me that I will love the rest of Europe just as much as Paris. As I  started reading up and looking at pictures of the four cities - I think he is right.

On our first trip together we explored places (London & Paris) that neither of us had been to. This time it is a mix. Paul has been to Amsterdam and Rome.

So now it is time to start thinking of the ever growing To Do list, like learn Italian or learn Catalan. No big deal right?

I've also been inspired by a college friend's recent blog post about must haves when traveling internationally. Paul and are going minimalist for this trip and I am actually excited for the challenge!

Send your suggestions for places to see while we're abroad!

Family Mission Statement


Paul and I learned early on in our relationship that we do best when we're working together towards the same goal or end. We found that we make a pretty good team! We see this whenever we go traveling. We have the same goals of having fun, staying safe, seeing the sites, and ensuring that our needs are met. We do not do as well when we don't know what we're working towards, or when we each think we know what the end goal is. When we are not communicating we get lost. Lost = arguing, bickering, hurt feelings and crankiness.

I would like to say that the above paragraph was the motivation for writing a family mission statement - but technically it wasn't. The motivator was actually identifying our life board of directors or BOD. I'll dedicate another post to our BOD because it deserves it's own post. 

When a company or an organization has a Board of Directors, they typically have a mission statement or some agreed upon idea of what the goal of the company is. So that everyone is on the same page and when decisions need to be made they can be made in light of the direction the organization wants to move.

If we are going to have people hold us accountable individually and as a family, we needed to be on the same page with the direction of our family.

Last week, Paul and sat down at our favorite spot, and worked through these questions. The time was worth it and we love the mission statement that we created out of it. This mission statement will help us guide what we value and how we spend our time, money, and resources.

Drum roll please.....

We, Team O, believe that our purpose as a family is to reflect Christ's love for the church through our marriage and service to one another.  To raise our children to know God and to walk in his ways. To provide for those that are less fortunate. To forgive others for their trespasses and debts against us, to consistently ask for forgiveness for trespassing against others, to steward our finances well, and to honor our commitments to one another. We will accomplish this by:

• Valuing the knowledge that God has a plan for our lives, is actively working in our lives, and that our current situation, whether blessing or curse, us being used and redeemed.

• Making our home a place of generosity, warmth and invitation, and safety.

• Prioritizing time with God, building strong familial and community relationships, service to others, and stewardship of our time, talents, money, and resources above lesser values.

• Interacting with each other in a spirit of joy, humility, empathy, and compassion.

Day 2


I don't plan to write everyday about this experiment without Facebook. But I must say I have realized in just over 24 hours away, I think in terms of Facebook. 

When I was at the Seattle Public Library yesterday, I was thinking I should take a picture from floor 9 and post it to Facebook. When I brought home a gaggle of travel books, I thought I should post about it on Facebook. And my favorite was when I was walking home from the bus stop at 5pm. It was light out!! I wanted to let everyone on Facebook know how glorious that is.

I think in terms of a clever (to me) post. I'll have to spend this month deciding if there is any more depth to me. At least Facebook allows me more words that Twitter.

Meanwhile, I have already read more in my current read (Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card) than I have in days!

29 Days - No Facebook


I must be crazy!! 29 days without Facebook?  I would like to think that I'm not addicted to Facebook. I mean, am I really on it that much? Sure I check it in the morning, then again on my bus ride, during a break at work, at lunch, afternoon break, bus ride home, while at home making dinner, during dinner, after dinner, again while watching an evening show, and then finally before bed. But really, isn't each time on Facebook just minutes or seconds? Is that big of a deal?

Well, Paul gets annoyed by my Facebook-ing. He'd actually LOVE it if we both either got off Facebook completely or shared an account. I can't imagine not being on Facebook, but I also don't like the idea of sharing an account. I'm not really interested in what some random person from Paul's middle school is doing.

Anyways, I think I can feel Paul's frustration building around Facebook. He doesn't mention it as often, but I sense it. So for Christmas I gave Paul a voucher for one month 'Free of Facebook' redeemable at anytime. Bless his heart, he picked February so that I would only have a 29 challenge. I love that guy.

I feel like this isn't just a 29 day challenge, but also an experiment. I wonder what life would be like again without Facebook. I mean I am going to miss knowing what people are up to. But at the same time, isn't annoying that people (myself included) generally only put the best stuff out there. So everyday people are living these amazingly interesting lives and if you're sitting at home not feeling amazing you can easily start feeling bitter. Or sometimes I feel like I should be doing more because so and so is doing more with their life. Does anyone else feel like that? Maybe it's just me. I just feel that Facebook creates a big illusion and little authenticity.

My goal during the next 29 days is to read more and enjoy people more, especially my husbuddy!