In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. ~ Proverbs 3:6

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Day after the Elections


       
          My blog…it’s my little corner of the internet where I express myself.  Usually, it’s my creativity that gets expressed through one kind of a project or another.  That is also the reason why most of you read my blog, or at least that’s what my blog stats seem to prove.  My blog has also become my online scrapbook, a place where I can share thoughts and pictures of the happenings of my home and marriage.  That part of my blog is like a treasure to me.  I hope that someday my future children can look back at this blog and really get a sense of the love that Matt and I share in these early years of our marriage.  I don’t get paid to write my blog and impress my readers, so once in a while, my blog also becomes a place where I can just journal my ideas, thoughts, feelings and opinions on the everyday events of my life.  Today is one of those days…..

            Like many of you, my thoughts today have been all about the elections that took place in our country yesterday.  It’s hard to escape it really.  I mean, it’s all around us.  We live in a world of CNN, Facebook and Twitter.  Even while I was in Target this morning, the conversations of the elections were all around me. In a nation that is divided so clearly as ours is, I still think that there a few things that we can all agree on when it comes to politics.  And so that’s where my thoughts lead me today.  What are some things that we can all agree on? Is it even possible?  I think it is. 

            We may not all agree on political agendas, but I think that we can all agree on the following things:  1) Americans should educate themselves about political matters and vote.  Yesterday, I posted about Election Day, and hoped that all eligible voters hit the polls no matter which side of the ballot they were voting for.  I still stand by that.  I wholeheartedly believe that as an American, the right to vote is a freedom that should not be taken for granted.  I do, however, think that political matters should be taken seriously, and that voters should educate themselves before voting. People should know why they are voting for who they are voting for and have some conviction about it.  2) Agree to disagree.  Not everyone is going to agree with everyone….or there would be no need for elections.  I might see things one way, you might see things another way, and that’s ok.  I might even be really passionate about why I believe what I believe.   That doesn’t mean that it’s not ok for you to be passionate about what you believe.  At the end of the day, the beauty of living in a free country is that we have the right to our own opinions, political or not, and we have the right to express those opinions.  We certainly don’t have to argue and debate with everyone who doesn’t see eye to eye with us….unless of course you are a politician and that is your job.  3) Show some self control.  I think in our world of social media, this one can often become difficult.  At the end of the day, the bashing and name calling doesn’t do anyone any good.  In fact, it’s more than likely just causing unnecessary strife.  If you’re like me, you saw far too much of this on Facebook this year and were probably a little sick of it as the election neared.  For that reason, I didn’t really express myself too much politically on social media, but that doesn’t mean that you were wrong if you did.  Let me make it clear that I’m not saying that we shouldn’t express our beliefs and be proud of which ever political party we choose to side with.  It’s a free country….let’s express….let’s be proud.  I’m just saying, that perhaps we should have a little bit more grace about our expressions, and maybe go back to  point number two by agreeing to disagree a little more often.  And perhaps we should consider the appropriate time and place to express our political views.  Just a side note.....Thanksgiving dinner is probably not the time to express those views...lol.  Unless you happen to be part of a politically passionate family who sees eye to eye about everything.  I guess, then it would be ok..lol.  In my mind, I am seeing the typical American family throwing turkey legs across the table at this year's Thanksgiving dinner, and I'm thinkin' that's probably not a good thing.  Yep, that should definitely be avoided.  4) There’s no need to be hyper-sensitive. Again, social media has made this one a little more difficult.  It’s really hard to read someone’s post on Facebook and Twitter and not be offended by it….if we take it personally.  So I say, don’t take other people’s political point of views personally.   I think that sometimes all of us can read too much into other people’s comments, whether that be in casual conversation or in social media feeds.  At the end of the day, a person’s political views are not a reason to rid them of your life.  Ok, maybe that sentence was a little bit of an exaggeration, but you get the idea.  So to sum it up, where are some issues that we can we all agree about politics?  Educate yourself about political views.  Be passionate about those views.  Feel free to express those views, while being courteous of other’s views.  And lastly, don’t take other’s views too personally. 

            So now what?  November 6, has come and gone….what now? Well, what’s done is done.  Not everyone is going to be happy with the outcome.  It’s quite natural to be sad if your candidate didn’t win.  I’ll be quite honest with you….I’m one of the sad ones.  I woke up to the results this morning and was really sad….maybe even a little mad if I’m honest.  Hey, I’m human, and my first reaction was, “Really, how did that happen?”   On an election that was likely to be determined by economic views, I was a little stunned with the results this morning.  Certainly, there were some moral issues on the line that more than concerned me, and as I have been open about my Christianity on my blog, it shouldn’t shock anyone that I would have those concerns.   Regardless of moral or religious issues, I really thought that the outcome would have been different based upon economics.   It is my opinion that the outcome of this election is not a good direction for the economy.  It is my opinion that it is one more step towards a socialist society.   Now, now…before that thought runs through your head, remember that this is my opinion, and that it is ok for me to politely express that opinion here on my blog.   I know that when I heard the results of the elections I also expressed my opinion, in a much more detailed and lengthy way, on my Facebook status this morning.  I't s a given that opinions are gonna be flying left and right the morning after an election.  What I didn't do was name call or bash others for not believing like me. You don’t have to agree with my opinion.  Perhaps you are someone who would be really sad if the other candidate would have won, and I say that’s ok.  If we really believe in what we say we believe in, then I think it’s quite natural to be sad that our candidate didn’t win….especially when this Presidential race, I think both sides would agree, was a turning point for our nation.  Having said all of that, the reality is that it’s November 7 now, and the people have spoken.  So now what?  Well, he’s still my President.  I may not agree with him, but I believe that it is my duty as a citizen and a Christian to respect him and pray for him as he takes on the enormous responsibility of leading a nation.

            That pretty much sums up my thoughts today.  I debated in my mind, as I usually do when writing posts this personal, whether to even blog about this topic.  The last thing that I wanted was to have my blog be some sort of political platform, which is why I haven’t written any political posts as the election neared. But when it came down to it, I decided that this was my blog…my corner of the internet….my place to express my views.  And when I really thought about it, I do desire to have my future children someday look back at my blog, come across this journal entry and see that I am not afraid to be proud to have conviction and passion about issues that I think really matter in our country.  Now that doesn’t mean that I am looking for all of your comments and opinions on this post.  Please, I’m not looking for a debate….this is my place to express myself, so be respectful of that.  The debates have come and gone.  What’s done is done.  The elections are over, and let’s leave it that.  In fact, I’d be thrilled if no one commented on this journal entry.   The last thing I want is for an anonymous commenter to pipe in and be rude…because let’s face it, most of the time it’s the anonymous commenters who are rude.  I think my fellow bloggers would agree with that. This has nothing to do with politics, but every time I get an anonymous comment on my blog I know that it’s going to be a critical comment.  Back to the issue though….at the end of the day, it’s all about learning to be civil while still having convictions, and that’s what I hope readers take away from this post.  

 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day

 
     
            What a day!  As an American, I believe voting is a freedom that should not be taken for granted.  No matter who you voted for, I hope you expressed your freedom and VOTED today! We woke up at 4:30 to get out and vote before work this morning.  At the polls by 5:30, we waited  out in the cold thirty minutes before the doors opened. We did all that, so we could avoid a two hour wait later on in the day.  By 6:30, we rewarded ourselves with donuts from our town bakery, and then we were off to work.  I was out an about all morning and was very impressed with voter turnout.  Lines were clear out the door almost everywhere I looked.  The polls are now closed, and we are just now getting home from our workday.  What better way to spend the evening than watching the election in bed and eating…..Chinese takeout….yes, I know, it sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s our go-to takeout food.  It's the same way spent our evening when the dabates were broadcasted....lol.   Most Americans order pizza, but we tend to order Chinese;)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Few Halloween Pics......



It’s November 1…. Halloween is over…… Thanksgiving is just three weeks away…… A month after that is Christmas….. And then soon after, another year will begin to do it all over again…..  Ugh, I don’t even want to think about that right now.  Where does time go?  In all seriousness, I hope you all had a great Halloween. Thought I’d post a few pics of the girls that I nanny for all dressed up in their Halloween costumes :)
 





Friday, October 26, 2012

Autumn in the Park......

 

         Over night…..that’s how fast it happens.  The warmth of the yesterday’s upper seventy degree temps have been overtaken by today’s lower forty degree temps.  Autumn is my favorite season, and yet it always seems short-lived.  Just two weekends ago, there was still quite a bit of green on the trees, and today as I look out my window, most of the leaves have fallen from the trees leaving behind branches that will be barren for the next six months.   I do love the colors of fall, but oh how I wish the colors would stay longer than they do!  I love nothing more than being outside in perfect weather with the beautiful colors of fall all around me.

         The weather has been perfect this week, and the forecast was letting us know to enjoy it while we could.  Wanting to enjoy what looked to be the last nice day for awhile, I sent my husband a text yesterday letting him know to meet me in the park after work.  As soon as I got off of work, I went home to grab the picnic basket, a blanket and a change of clothes for my love.  I had just enough time to make a quick stop to good ol’ Trader Joes to grab some items for our picnic dinner before the hubs met me for our date.   Surrounded by trees that still had a few autumn leaves left on their branches, we ate our dinner and enjoyed one another’s company in the comfortable temps of the autumn air.  Today those leaves have probably fallen, as a cold front blew in over night.  Today looks and feels more like winter.  With daylight savings time coming up soon, our evenings will be getting shorter too, so I’m really glad that yesterday we made time to have one last autumn night in the park.  There was no better way for us to spend the evening than being outside in God’s beauty and in one another’s company.

 

 

 




Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Covered Bridge Festival

 

           This past Saturday, we traveled two hours west to Park County to visit the Covered BridgeFestival.  The Covered Bridge Festival is one of the largest festivals in Indiana where several towns in Park County celebrate the longevity of the thirty-one covered bridges in the area.  I’ve been an Indiana resident my whole life, but this was my first time attending the festival.  About an hour into our drive, we began our stretch of a two lane highway that passed through several small towns, all of which were having yard sales as the festival traffic made its way through.  I’ve never seen so many yard sales off of a small highway.  We didn’t stop at any, but note to self: remember to allow more time for the yard sales next time.  Once we arrived in Park County, we visited three town festivals: Rockville, Bridgeton and Mansfield.  Each town is full of food and different vendors selling all sorts of items.  Most of the food is like fair food, but there’s some good home cookin’ here and there if you look for it.  As we journeyed to and from towns, we stopped at the covered bridges along the way.  The county makes it easy to get from town to town by using signs and arrows to get you everywhere.  Just follow the arrows and you won’t get lost.  On the plus, parking for each town was only $2-4.  On the down side, we weren’t expecting the traffic that came with the large crowds that were out and about seeing what each town had to offer.  Overall, we had a good time and would definitely do it again:)  If you every visit Indiana in mid October, I’d recommend the Covered Bridge Festival.

 












Friday, October 19, 2012

Painting Pumpkins


 
            In the past, Matt and I have traditionally carved our pumpkins.  And in the past, he has traditionally complained about such a tradition EVERY SINGLE year.  He hates all things pumpkin, and the only reason why he ever carves them with me is because I gave him such grief about it during our first year of marriage. 
         Starting family traditions was a big deal to me when we first got married, especially during the holidays.  The first year we were married, I bought two pumpkins, a pumpkin carving kit, and some yummy fall food in hopes of having a date night carving pumpkins with my love.  Being newly weds, Matt must have not gotten the clue that pumpkin carving was my idea of a date, because he ended up taking a nap while I sat out on the porch carving both pumpkins all by myself.  My feelings were a little hurt that year, so the next year he brought home pumpkins for us to carve together.  He still hates pumpkin carving, but he’s done it with me every year since then. 
           This year, I decided that we would paint pumpkins, so he didn’t have to touch any of the pumpkin guts.  I was a little OCD about the placement of the polka dots though, so what ended up happening is that I painted all of the pumpkins, while Matt sat in the rocking chair eating caramel apples.  I think this new plan worked for us though. As a result, pumpkin painting may end up becoming our new tradition.  I got to express my creative side, which I love doing.   Matt got to eat, which he loves doing. At the end of the night, we still enjoyed one another’s company.  Yep, I’m definitely sensing a new tradition for us;)
 

 
 
 
 






 
 









Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fall Foliage




        Brown County is always a local tourist attraction, but this time of year, everyone seems to flock there to see the beautiful colors of fall foliage!  Matt and I are among the many who visit the area this time of year.  We made our annual day trip over the weekend.  Here’s a tip, if you’re trying to beat the crowds……get there early.  We didn’t hit any traffic on the way down, but we arrived by 10:00 a.m.  We left around 2:00, and passed what seemed to be endless traffic trying to get into the park around that time. 

            Typically peak season for the leaves is the second or third week of October.  I find it helpful that the park updates its “leafcam” daily this time of year to help visitors get an idea of what the foliage is looking like.  Although we saw a lot of color on Saturday, there was still a good amount of green.  The reason why we didn’t wait until the third weekend of gthe month though, is because we were due for some fall rain and winds this week.  Combine that with this past summer's drought, and I was afraid that many of the leaves would fall early this year, whether they reached peak color or not. 

            We debated going down to see the leaves at all this year, because we were both really tired on Saturday.  Tempted by a day in bed, we managed to wake up and do something profitable with our day, and I’m really glad we did.  We enjoyed driving through the park and walking a few of the smaller hikes.  Our picnic lunch was tasty, even though everything in the basket was store-bought.  I told Matt that I think it’s the first time that I didn’t make everything myself, but as I was grocery shopping at 9:00 the night before, store-bought, ready-to-eat food seemed much easier this year.  Bottom line is that we had a great day enjoying one another’s company while taking in God’s beauty all around us.  Usually we visit the shops while we are down there, but we skipped the shops this year.  A late afternoon nap sounded far better to me than shopping.  Overall, it was good time, although we did leave a few things at home like the battery to our camera, our picnic blanket and a bottle opener for our sparkling cider.  Our phone fixed the camera issue.  The downside is that natural light wasn’t on our side as it looked like it was about to rain the entire day.  Picnic tables are throughout the entire park, so the blanket issue was solved.  However, a blanket is helpful if you want to eat near a great view, seeing as how the tables by the views get taken by other visitors first.  And the bottle opener….well, I couldn’t really fix that one.  Thankfully, I had a bottle of tea in the car that quenched our thirst during lunch.  In spite of all of that, one my favorite things to do is to spend time with my hubby by getting out the house and having quality time together.  I’d say we accomplished what we set out to do with our time on Saturday:)