October 18, 2010

Lessons at a Gas Station

I live in Oregon now and have obtained a driver's license from this state; does that make me an Oregonian? I just bought my first pair of rainboots (and they're super cute). Does that make me an Oregonian? I don't pump my own gas... Oregonian much?  Well, I have a story for you...

Last week, I was driving home from a business trip in the Seattle area.  My gas tank was in need of replenishment so I stopped at a gas station.

 Note: One of my largest frustrations since moving to Forest Grove is the fact that I have to let someone else pump my gas.  I am fully capable of doing so, and it takes far more time to wait for the attendant to help me.  I'm too efficient to be burdened with those additional seconds while I wait to be served.  Often, for me, the scene at the gas station looks like this: I pull in, wait, and wait, and wait. I am finally served. My gas finishes pumping but the attendant has moved on to help someone else.  SO now I must wait longer for them to return to remove the gas pump.  Impatience and frustration ensues.

Back to the story at hand... I pulled in and there was only one other car there... being in a hurry to get home, I was relieved in seeing the solitary car in hopes that my service would be quick and efficient. I waited. I cleaned up some stray garbage in my car. And waited. Five minutes later (which is a long time), the other car had left and I had yet to be served.  So I sat there stewing about how inefficient the state of Oregon is, how annoying it is that I can't pump my own gas, how the world would be better if I were at the helm, etc...

Then it hit me.  I was still in Washington.

Who's the fool now?  So I humbly got out of my car and pumped my gas and was on my way - struck by what had just happened.

The situation is comical, but many times in my life, I find that I am driven by my desire for efficiency and my all-too-present impatience rather than love & compassion.  As a result, I find myself being driven by my own selfish agenda... and I don't see others.  I'm reading a phenomenal book at the suggestion of my good friend, Loraena Tuttle, about Jesus and the way in which He loved.  It has brought to my attention the way in which efficiency drives my life as opposed to love.  Jesus' life was driven by love rather than efficiency.  The fact is, love is not efficient.

Granted, while I was seething in my car, the only person I was hurting was myself... but that was just a reminder of the many times that I assume the worst about a person or a situation before I examine my own fault in the matter.  I am blinded by the proverbial log in my own eye, and all I can see is the speck in someone else's.   I am so frustrated at the attendant for not serving me, when - all along - I was the one who was wrong.

So now that I expect others to pump my own gas, perhaps that does indeed make me an Oregonian.  But the fact that I don't always choose love in a situation shows that I am really a sinner in need of a Savior.

-Laura

October 16, 2010

Dancing

Dancing is not an uncommon occurrence in the Boboth house. We can often be caught keeping step in the kitchen, living room, or wherever there's a large enough space for my husband to grab me by the waist and pull me close and swing me around. It's great and I love it. (And somewhat reminiscent of the not-too-long-ago dance sessions with my dad in our kitchen :)

Well, I came across this great song that uses dancing as part of a metaphor for marriage. So check out this sweet song by Andrew Peterson:



Or listen to it here.

So, Cole, thank you for dancing with me through the minefields of life and the minefields that will come; thank you for leading me so faithfully even when the music isn't playing; and thank you, oh thank you, for choosing me to be your dance partner for the rest of our days.



-Laura

October 12, 2010

20 Signs of Fall at the Boboth House

1. I get to break out my wool coats. Yes.
2. And sweatshirts, sweats, and cozy blankets.
3.  Molasses cookies are baking in the oven.
4.  We turned the heat on.
5. The tree across the street looks like it is on fire.  Not really, it’s just turning red and it looks awesome.
6.  There is frost on my windshield in the morning before work.
7. Candy. Corns.
8. I’ve started Christmas shopping. (This is a friendly reminder to my family to update your Amazon wishlists!)
9. Our table is now decorated with a fall-ish centerpiece… complete with mini pumpkins and gourds (that Carrie is convinced have cancer).
10. Cole thinks I’m crazy for even thinking about Christmas already.
11. I’m resisting the urge to make an apple pie.
12. When Cole and I go for a walk, we actually spend more time jumping erratically in attempts to step on the crunchiest leaves than walking normally.
13. It smells like fall.
14. The football announcer is the soundtrack to our Monday nights.
15. I kinda just want to stay inside, curled up on the couch and read.
16. Girls are now wearing boots with their mini-skirts. (as if that makes a difference?!)
17. Gnats. Does this happen where you live? Cloud upon clouds of gnats descend around 3pm, and it’s impossible to walk anywhere without getting a mouthful, hairful, or whatever-ful of them. Yuck.
18. I’m craving a trip to Greenbluff back home to pick out pumpkins and apples.
19. We have started eating a lot of food to prepare for hibernation.
20. Monopoly has come to McDonald’s and Breast Cancer Awareness has taken over the NFL. (Two pieces of information that I probably would never have been aware of if I had not married my wonderful hubby. J)


On a side note, I have a confession.  It may be this fall air, but I think football might just be growing on me.  Don’t tell anyone though.
And, as my mom said in one of her seasonally-appropriate phone message machine recordings (that actually DID follow the seasons/holidays), “Happy Fall, Y’all!”

-Laura

October 11, 2010

Weekend Recap: Friends & Food!

This weekend, though extraordinarily busy, was absolutely brimming with excitement and people that we love!  Friday night, my wonderful husband gave me a break from the kitchen and took me out to a cute Mexican restaurant in "downtown" Forest Grove.  It's good, cheap food.  Come visit us, we'll take you there.  But the MORE exciting event of the evening was the arrival of Cole's former roommate (before Cole upgraded to me), Tyler and his lovely girlfriend, Carly.  It is always such a welcome, refreshing time to spend time with friends from home... it eases the homesickness a bit. So come visit us.


So we spent all Friday evening and most of Saturday with Tyler, Carly, Everett and Carrie... Now, I know that travel has often been the subject of this blog, but have we mentioned how wonderful the people in our lives are?  We enjoyed a wonderful day on Saturday of breakfast eating, boardgame playing, football watching, and Pacific University Campus touring. We had a great time with these wonderful people.  Then Cole and I ended the night with a cozy bowl of popcorn and Shrek. (This was after I spent 20 minutes reading about the origin and evolution of the word "fun" from a noun to an adjective.  It really was fascinating.  You can read about it here.)

Sunday morning, we had to say goodbye to our guests. And it was sad.  But I had the chance to go to coffee with my aunt from Minnesota (who was in town briefly to visit my cousin)... and it was GREAT!  She is such a blessing, encouragement, and inspiration to me for so many reasons. I cherish that hour and a half that we shared over Americanos.

Sunday also happened to be our 3 month wedding anniversary... (which is actually called a mensiversary... but I think I'll stick with anniversary, thank you very much.)  So to celebrate the momentous occasion (oh, to have a font for sarcasm right now!), I had our vows framed and they are now hanging on our wall.  It's spiffy. We also enjoyed dinner out at a local hole-in-the-wall pizza restaurant.  Come visit us, we'll take you there.

So now we're off to another week full of travel for me and tests for Cole! Needless to say, we're looking forward to the reprieve that the holiday season will bring! Stay tuned for next weekend... MY PARENTS ARE COMING!

On a random, boring sidenote - A.) We got a new coffee table.  Thank you, oversized Swedish superstore. B.) It was the Portland marathon this weekend.  I would really like to run a marathon before I die.  Even if the marathon induces said death. C.) Diet Shasta Cola is gross.

Oh, and here is a picture of my handsome man and me on our date. (Yes, it is proper grammar to use the word "me" here.)

Aaaaand this is our pizza.




Have a happy week!

-Laura

October 10, 2010

Sneak Peak: A Work in Progress...

I am not a seamstress, nor do I claim to be.  However, once in awhile, when I have some spare time, I do enjoy sewing.  My latest "project" (though it's almost too simple even to be considered that) is a result of such a rare occasion of spare time. Lest anyone get all excited, this blanket is not for us, it is for a dear friend.  My friend had a baby girl a few months ago, and this blanket is headed her way soon - and you get a sneak peak of the unfinished product.




-Laura

October 7, 2010

The Beauty of It All

As promised here, I present some of the beautiful parts of my job!

Good Morning, Kalispell, MT!


The Beautiful Flathead Lake - Kalispell


Early Morning Hermiston, Wa...


6am - Columbia River Valley


Mt. Adams


Stonehenge Memorial - after a wonderful lunch with my Mother-in-Law!


Columbia River Valley and vineyards


And THIS is what I came home to :)


I am blessed.

-Laura

October 6, 2010

Lessons Learned

If you’ve hung around this blog much, I’m sure it’s quite evident that business trips are not my favorite thing in the world.  When I was younger, my dad travelled from time to time, and I used to think it must be the most FUN adventure ever!  I mean, he got to fly in airplanes and stay in hotels! If that was not thrilling, then I didn’t know what was!  Now that I am travelling for business, I understand how wrong I was!

 It is easy to look at the negative side of travelling: being away from my wonderful husband, sleeping in strange places, not getting much sleep… etc.  But I decided that, in order to pass some time while I travel, I’d come up with a list of fun, quirky, positive things that happen on these trips:

1.   I get to meet some fun people. At college fairs, we are usually arranged in similar patterns, so you get to know your alphabetically arranged table partner quite well.  Sometimes it’s a gamble and you never know who you’ll get stuck with!

2.  I get to see pretty places. I know many people fail to see the beauty in Central Montana or Eastern Oregon, but it’s there.  You just have to look. I’ll post some pictures  to prove it.

3. #1 Challenge of Travelling: Trying to remember what my hotel room number is from night to night.  It is harder than you would think! 

4. I have now mastered the art of the airport security line.

5.  #2 Challenge of Travelling: Now, which car did I rent this week? There have been times that I have reverted to pushing the unlock button while wandering around the parking lot… I think the car was silver…. 

6. I am making significant process in actually being able to fall asleep on the airplane.

7. I am also figuring out how to make the most of my business travel to try to “run in” to family… Today I got to have lunch with my mother-in-law!

8. Distance does make the heart grow fonder.  Reuniting with Cole is the sweetest thing in the world.  God has blessed me so richly with a wonderful man, (He leaves me love notes in my suitcase to make me smile while I’m on the road…) and I cannot wait to be home with him!

9. Travelling gives me time to blog. Yay.

10. Oh, and to read.  I read through a whole book last week!  It has been awhile since I have had that luxury.

11.   I am thankful to have a job.

That’s it for today… I’m off to another college fair, and then I am headed back home! I will keep thinking of the good parts of travel and I’ll let you know!  Happy Wednesday!

-Laura

October 2, 2010

Best Surprise EVER!

Oh yeah, and I just HAD to share… I received the BEST surprise ever on my last business trip… I had just landed in Seattle on my way home (finally) and had about 45 minutes to kill in the Sea-Tac airport.  I deplaned and had just entered the airport intent on finding my next gate. 

A tall gentleman soon strode up beside me, and – though initially unnerved by this stranger invading my personal space – I turned to see him. IT WAS MY DAD!!!!  The guy that had been the most important man to me for 22 ½ years of my life! I dropped my bags and hugged him so tightly – right in the middle of the terminal.  We were both crying – though I didn’t realize how hard until I pulled away and realized my sweater was damp.  It had been over a 1½ months since I had seen him, so this was the sweetest surprise ever. 

As it turns out, he had business meetings in Seattle and was headed back to Spokane at around 3pm (the time that I left Kalispell) when he found out that I was headed his way.  He got off the plane, asked to switch his flight to a later one, and waited for me.  I had NO idea he was there. It was so good to see him.  This gesture is so typical of my dad.  He is thoughtful, and lovingly devises awesome plans like this. The truest gentleman and a man who has never given his children reason to doubt his love for us.

While I AM having a blast down here in Forest Grove with my wonderful husband, I DO get a little homesick sometimes.  His dad-hug could not have come at a better time. And we got to spend an all-too-short 45 minutes together.  I have the best dad in the world.  That’s pretty much all there is to it!

-Laura

A Tribute to My Grandmothers

This week found me, once again, on the road in Montana.  I really do enjoy travelling… I always have.  However, I have also discovered that it loses its excitement and funness when you do it alone. Regardless, one of my favorite things about travelling is observing the people around me – especially at airports.  When I’m stuck in an airport during a layover, I love watching families reunited, soldiers welcomed home, and college students attempt to appear as though they really haven’t missed mom and dad as much as they really have.

Well, this trip was not different in that it offered a plethora of people-watching opportunities.  There was one family that I was drawn to in particular… it was a grandmother and her two grandkids (more like grand-teenagers, but you get it).  I could not figure out why I had such a hard time tearing my eyes away from this woman as she interacted with her grandkids… then it hit me.  She had to be one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen.  She may not be what society deems “beautiful” due to our societal obsession with youth and wrinkle-free faces, but I thought she was stunning.

Her face was kind and she just looked so huggable! She just looked like the embodiment of love. And she completely reminded me of my two wonderful grandmothers; and it sure made me even more thankful for them and it made me miss them a lot.

Neither one of my grandmothers has had an “easy” life.  They have each been through their own trials and challenges… and yet, you would not know that today.  There are women who have been dealt challenging hands and have met their trials with bitterness and anger… and years later, it shows. Those women allow their trials and hard times to take a toll on them.  My grandmothers are not those women.  Their faces are lined with love, grace, and hospitality; not bitterness or frustration.  The years have only served to transform them into even more beautiful women than when they were my age. (I’ve seen pictures, and let me tell you – they were STUNNING then…) They both have a steadfast faith and they each have the love of incredible men. (My grandfathers are pretty amazing!)

I am so thankful that God has blessed me with two such wonderful women to model love in such a real way.  They both have instilled in me a legacy of love that will be passed on to my children. I have learned about hospitality, loving my family, the beauty of music, and even how to warm up dinner plates. J  I am thankful for the joy and the laughter that they bring.  My life is far richer because they are a part of it!

I love you, Grandma Joanie & Grandma Kate!

-Laura

Just Us

We will also remind you that this is just a BLOG…just the highlights. We don’t sit around happily smiling for pictures all day long. Our life is far from perfect: we are imperfect people serving a perfect God. We do strive to glorify God, but we fail miserably and find comfort in knowing that our debts have been paid and we have been set free.

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