What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Celebrating with Selfies (20th anniversary)

We've been married 20 years.  TWENTY!

To celebrate, we planned an anniversary overnight trip to Watkin's Glen, NY.  

Matt declared it our "Selfie Trip", challenging us to take as many selfies as possible.

(I never thought I would hear those words come out of that man.)

Turns out, 20 years later, Matt still surprises me sometimes. 


I don't take phone selfies often so I am unpracticed in the art of not making myself look like a giant compared to my husband.

Truth be told, I am kind of a giant compared to my husband.  
But one needn't dwell on that fact.

Also- I never know where to look.

I told him if he wanted selfies, he'd have to take them.  ;-)

We headed off on our trip after church on Sunday and arrived in time for a nice dinner out and these funky lighted palm trees making us feel like our trip was a bit more exotic than it really was.

Believe it or not, this was the CHEAP hotel.  

Sunrise with my love. 


He is a long suffering man in many ways and here is one such way...He lets my legs sprawl all over him on a daily basis.  For 20 years he has.

I remember the first year we were married, he said exasperatingly "Do you have to be touching me all the time?"

My answer?  "Why yes!  Yes, I do!"

He has since come to accept it.


The next afternoon we went to a Mexican restaurant...a nod to our honeymoon in Mexico.  

A much fancier nod, though, as our honeymoon in Mexico mostly consisted of buying mission tortillas, cans of beans and blocks of colby jack cheese in the nearest grocery store and eating that trash in the hotel room.

(We were young.  And broke.  And stupid.)



I got the "Tacos al Pastor" and it rocked my world.  Marinated pork, grilled pineapple, onions, cilantro, heaven.

A couple weeks later, I looked up the recipe and made the GRANDE version so the kids could taste it too. 

Even without the super cool taco holders it tasted pretty great!


(And guess what Matt got me for Christmas?!)

If you guessed super cool taco holders, you'd be right!


The highlight of the trip was to be a sunset river cruise aboard the schooner True Love.  



We spent a beautiful day lolling about at the park and headed to the boat to blue skies and cool breezes.  

It was going to be perfect.

Then, mere minutes upon arrival the captain cancelled the trip due to unexpected weather.  I couldn't believe it!!!  The sky was blue!  But then he pointed to this:

These are the beautiful clouds harboring ominous wind/hail/sheets of rain/cats and dogs.




The kind captain invited us to snap a quick picture on the boat while he cancelled and refunded everyone's money.

So here we are, not quite Bing and Grace, but just where they sat themselves!



 There was *just* enough time to get to our vehicle before the skies opened up and made our return trip home daunting and miserable.

It turns out, the boat trip was not the highlight of the trip after all.   But it was never supposed to be.

The highlight of our anniversary trip was and is my loving Matt and him loving me... through the pink hued sunrises and the bright blue days and on through the ominously dark storm clouds that inevitably pass over.

Marriage can be hard.  SO HARD.  But God has been SO GOOD to us in ours.

Monday, January 30, 2023

The Canal Campout

We don't take vacations.  We do not leave home.  Pretty much.... ever.

When Matt suggested we go on a vacation, I felt like I had won the lottery!

And THEN, a few months later, Matt's family suggested we all take a boat/camping trip together.

I couldn't believe my ears.  I didn't actually believe Matt would agree to it.  After all, we had already had an amazing vacation.  But he didn't even flinch.  (It happens they are some of his favorite people.)

So... the Newman Canal Campout was organized and planned.  We got to experience the locks on the canal.  Nathan and Gary both have pontoon boats.  Each of the daughters-in-law took care of one dinner.  Grandma and Grandpa took care of each breakfast.  And the rest of the time we snacked.  (And snacked.  And snacked.)

It is ridiculous how much we Newmans like to eat.

This would have been a relatively inexpensive vacation had it not been for the speeding ticket Matt got when we first arrived.  

While driving our van... following traffic... in the slow lane... sandwiched between the two pontoon-hauling trucks who did not get tickets?!?



You can tell which was the FUN boat... every kid wanted to be with Funcle Nathan and Aunt Leia.








From the looks of it, Moses knows full well he was stuck on the "boring boat".
But WE had the good snacks!






 While everyone else was helping everyone else set up camp... Andrew was helping ME.  He is always looking to meet a need, and he honored and loved me well that day by looking to my needs first before helping everyone else.  He does that often and I am pretty sure he has no idea how much that means to me.    Man, do I love this guy.


Leaky glowsticks can be even more fun that regular ones



I packed a few supplies for minute-to-win-it games...




Exhaustion sets in

Grandma and Grandpa treat us all to icecream sandwiches- and the Byrne Dairy didn't know what was coming!

There was a local military museum/barracks that we were able to check out too.

And somebody discovered a special photo feature on Papa's phone...

The weather was gorgeous for this family trip too- hot and sunny- right up until the morning we had to leave.  We packed up our things early because the forecast looked like there was rain coming and we got our things in the van just in the nick of time.  By the time we were getting the boats back onto trailers, there was torrential downpours and we all were wetter than otters when we drove home again.  

 We squeaked every ounce of sun out of that weekend.

Plymouth Rock and the Beach (BFV#5)

Within eyesight of the Mayflower 2 was Plymouth Rock.  

THE Plymouth Rock.

THE Plymouth Rock that was far less impressive in real life than in my mind.  

We couldn't even STAND on it for goodness sake.






And before we headed for home, I planned an afternoon cooling off in the ocean.  Shell collecting.  Shark teeth finding.  Picnicing on the beach.  

My children had never been to an ocean before.

But since it was positively FREEZING, there would be no swimming.  Only the bravest among us tore off our shoes so we could blue our toes with ocean frostbite.  

I think Matt stayed in the car for the beach experience.  Moses slept in the car with him, oblivious to the fact that this may be the only time he sees the ocean!  




Before we headed homeward, we picnicked on a grassy knoll.  

Ineke took this picture:


 I find it super funny to see that we were sure to bring some whipped cream with us on this trip.

One should never be without whipped cream.  ;-)

And that was our BIG FANCY VACATION!  It was three nights and four days of pure bliss.

But did you know...we took TWO?!?

You'll seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee....................................