Sunday, November 24, 2013

Annoyingly overdue vacation photos

Good thing my blog is not a library and posts aren't charged for being 4 months overdue.

Is it annoying to post pictures of a July lake house trip when it's November and snowing? (oh well). I got really behind with summer pictures so this is an attempt to catch up and remember warmer times.

My wonderful grandparents have started a tradition of renting a lake house each summer and for the first time, Jason and I got to join! It was as marvelous as the moose antler chandelier.

We stayed in a charming house in Ortonville, Minnesota, where we happened to be the only ones in town not wearing overalls. Kidding. Sort of. The house had huge windows so of course I was in love with the great lighting. 




Jason was really determined to catch a fish, so this is what he looked like whenever we were hanging at the house.

My gramps is a skilled fly fisherman so he gave us a lot of tips and pointers.


What's a lake house without an outdoor shower?

When we were out and about in town, we found a rummage sale. And these. We died laughing when we saw the "make offer" sticker on a particularly unfortunate looking plastic figurine.

My granny doing what she does best: shop. (why yes, I do believe I inherited this trait)


The other side of the lake is South Dakota so Jason and I are proud to say we kayaked all the way to South Dakota.

The moment after Jason caught a fish when my brother scooped it out. A jubilant moment.


I just...

Seriously, probably one of his happiest moments of 2013. The first fish he has ever caught. In his entire life.

It's not a McCalpin family vacation without copious amounts of card games.





This is my cute mom. We went to the local miniature golf course, and well, it was local. Each hole seemed designed to do to opposite of guide your ball into the hole, but it was a good laugh.


The town's old schoolhouse with dreamy windows.

I wanted to take this map home with me.

Jason asleep in an antique store (story of our life).




No summer post is complete without a campfire. Done.

My grandma and David each had their very first s'more, ever. It was an important night for all of us.


Just so cozy!


My hair grew 3 sizes. Thank you, lake breeze.

And of course, me and Suzy. She's my mom, in case you didn't notice the genetic resemblance.

Hey McCalpins, let's do this again in 2014! Might I suggest Hawaii? ;)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

sick day

I happen to be sick today and have found myself alone cuddled under a blanket with kitties on either side. I'm not puky sick where I have to live by the toilet but my body is all achy, in particular my stomach, and my appetite has all but disappeared. When my mind feels okay but my body does not, what is one supposed to do?  Sleep and watch a lot of 30 Rock. And blog, I suppose.

As a side note, there's this strange thing about being a female with nausea because every time I have to call in sick to work or tell anyone about said illness, I wonder if there's an underlying question raised by the other person that perhaps I am pregnant. Is anyone really thinking this when I tell them? Who knows, but I always have to swallow the urge to blurt out it's just nausea, not morning sickness. Not that it's really anyone's business whether I am or not. It's silly, I know.

Anyway, one of my couchside companions is a little pipsqueak named Harley.


Jason saw on the news that the Iowa Rescue League was in need of foster parents, and well, one thing led to another and we now have a sassy little kitten in our home. Of course we are totally attached to her but realize that she will definitely put us over the quota of cats needed to be crazy cat people so we cannot keep her. Alright, so our reasons are a little more practical than that but I would be lying if that wasn't in the back of my mind. ;)

The Rescue League found her on the street so she's our little urban princess. The first few days she was terrified of us and her ears seemed to be permanently horizontal but truly, she warmed up to us surprisingly fast. She's losing her purr now but at first she purred in constant streams for hours on end like a motorcycle engine. Thus the name.

Obviously our other cats weren't thrilled at first but they are all mostly friends now and will chase each other around the house in good fun. She is cuddly and sweet and spunky and we're surely going to miss her when we take her back. But we also know she'll make another family very, very happy.

Even though it sucks being sick today, I've enjoyed being at home to see Jason's routine. He usually studies from home unless he has a required class (The rest of his classes record the lectures so he skips class and listens to them online at double speed. Such is the life of a time-crunched med student). Jason generally sleeps in later than I do as I have to get to work on time. He rolls out of bed, gets a warm drink, and sips it while watching the morning news. He then digs into studying - listening to lectures, making study guides, and reviewing reviewing reviewing. At 11:30 he turns on PBS and watches whatever painting show is on. He can discuss with you all of the merits and weaknesses of each painter. Bob Ross was the one who first got him interested in painting, but Yarnell, with his variety and style, is what got Jason really hooked. The lady painter is just "okay", and he misses the other guy who would always paint outdoors or old, renovated cars.

Jason has somewhat the freedom of one who works freelance. What I admire about him is that yes, he studies all day, every day, but he also recognizes how nice it is to have this flexible schedule where he can go grocery shopping or work on his car at 10:00 in the morning. This is a brief piece of his life where he gets to decide what the schedule of his day is. Soon it will only be a memory when he is working endless shifts at the hospital. So when asked about his current lifestyle, he will tell you he's living the dream.

To be honest, it's been a rough week or so. Jason has a lot of intense classes this semester and lately it has taken its toll on us (mostly me). Sometimes I forget what Jason looks like without notes in his hand or headphones and a computer in his lap. Sometimes I crave a weekend where it can be just the two of us. Jason hasn't taken a weekend off in a long, long time. I'm grateful to have friends and other projects to fill the spare time, but by golly I just really want my husband sometimes.

It's so, so easy to go down that path of self-pity. I have so much good in my life and so much to be thankful for, but the human side of me starts to compare and envy and pine for something different. How do I be content with the current amount of time I get with my husband and still work to grow and improve our relationship without growing bitter or distant? How do I know when to ask for more and when to accept life as it is? Folks, I have no idea.

So, in spirit of Thanksgiving and my past week, I am thankful for my Savior who promises constant companionship. Who promises that nothing else in life will satisfy me unless I am recognizing him as King and Lord, and yet still loves me when I fail at doing this. I'm thankful for a husband who listens and learns, and I'm thankful for this hard but completely sweet life we have together.

And this is apparently my sick but therapeutic blog post. The end.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The pumpkin post (when everyone is already sick of pumpkins)

So I know pumpkin pictures are pretty much old news but I'm going to add more to the mix. At least I'm not posting this in December... right??

My friend Kristina and I went to a pumpkin patch about a month ago. We made friends with the man who ran the pumpkin canon (although sadly not enough to get him to launch a pumpkin for free), cheated our way through a corn maze, and of course, picked ourselves some pumpkins.







P.S. Pumpkin is a weird word. The end.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Movie blitz month

Guys. I hadn't been to the movie since Christmas break but that's all changing because it's November. Which means it's a book lover's dream (or nightmare depending on how you see things) because three amazing books are all premiering as movies.

Ender's Game was this weekend. CAN WE TALK ABOUT THIS???

Okay, so obviously any movie adaptation will have its shortcomings. It's the age old problem of not having enough time to fit the whole book into the movie. I so very much prefer some necessary trimming rather than turning one book into three movies. I'm still bitter about The Hobbit. Just all sorts of wrong and greedy.

So, yes, Ender's Game the movie had to cut out a lot of the complexity of the characters and their relationships. Yes, they cut out a ton of the school battles (wisely, I believe). Yes, some characters are different or not featured at all. The movie was missing some of the heart that comes with the book. But this is why books are always better.

All of that aside, I thought the movie was great. Refreshingly different and delightfully sci-fi. They did a fantastic job of bringing Ender's world to life. I loved the spaceship and the battle room (and admittedly, I couldn't have imagined anything that awesome in my head). Bravo to the actor who played Ender, considering the challenge of the role. I wanted to take Bean home with me, he was PRECIOUS. For a science fiction movie, the cinematography and sets were surprisingly beautiful. Really, really beautiful. And finally, the mood of the movie was perfect.

Ah, loved it.

Next weekend is The Book Thief. BRING THE KLEENEX BOXES. The trailer gets me every time. Tears are going to be shed in the name of beautiful storytelling.

And November 22, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. More Katniss Everdeen please. AND FINNICK!!!