Friday, June 6, 2014

Top 10 Games

We moved to Indiana 6 years ago. At that point if you had asked me what board games I knew how to play I'd say the typical Monopoly, Life, Scrabble, or Candy Land. Fortunately, I met one of my now best friends who changed everything.

Our best 'couple' friends Adam and Krista introduced us to the expansive world of board games that we were missing out on! So since I've been 'gaming' for about 5 years now, I think it's finally time I created my own Top 10 list.

10. Guildhall - I first played Guildhall at IndyCon I think two years ago. I thoroughly enjoyed it the first time I played. With the addition of the expansion this game can change each time you play. Basically you are trying to collect different professions to score victory points, but certain professions allow other players to steal from you, so beware :). 

9. 7 Wonders - This was one of the first games I was introduced to. It is an easy game to learn and a fun one to play! This game is played over 3 rounds and you are drafting cards with other players to build resources, construct your ancient wonder, and explore the sciences of the world!

8. Mission Red Planet - This was my very first game to play at my first IndyCon. This is a quick, easy game to learn. Exploring Mars by sending your crew on spaceships with different characters that might allow you destroy your opponents crew members! Unfortunately it's out of print and super hard to find!

 7. King of Tokyo - Oh man, it's Yahtzee meets King Kong! You each have individual monsters and you are trying to conquer Tokyo by either destroying the other monsters or getting the most points! So easy!

6. Jaipur - This is a great 'travel' 2-player game! Krista introduced this game to me a while ago and Jeremy and I finally bought it last year! You are trading good to win 'Seals of Excellence' to be invited to he Maharajah's Court! It's a short easy game to take on the go if you have some time to kill!

5. Dungeon Lords - This is not a game for beginners! It's easily a 2 to 2 and a half hour game with 4 people. But it's so in-depth and fun! I've only played it a handful of times (and won once!)! The pieces of this game are what make the game! You are building a dungeon to try to keep the heroes out! Can you dungeon and monsters defeat the heroes?!

4. Tokaido - Take a journey in Japan! The legendary Tokaido Road connected Kyoto to Edo (Tokyo). Along the way you are stopping for encounters with the locals, collecting souvenirs, visiting the hot springs and collecting the beautiful scenes! You will also visit 4 inns to rest and enjoy the Japanese cuisine! This game is really fun 2-5 players and is a good family game!

3. Lords of Waterdeep - I will admit, I had no desire to play this game, none whatsoever. I had this notion in my head that this would be a 3-4 hour game with lots of weird stuff. I was dead wrong! This is a great game! You are vying to become the Lord of Waterdeep by going on quests! The learning curve for this one is fairly simple! Jeremy and I really enjoy playing this one 2-player!

2. Bruges - this was a 'spur of moment' purchase at GenCon last year and a great one! We knew it was going fast at the Z-Man booth and if we wanted it we needed to just grab it and go! We hadn't even played it before we bought it! This is another that is fairly easy to learn and easy to teach! You are building houses and recruiting people to gain wealth and influence city!

1. Ticket to Ride - This could very well have been the first game I was introduced to! It's so simple to learn and it's the one I most often teach to 'newbies' :) Take a cross-country adventure by placing your trains from city to city across the US! This game has blown up and there are so many versions available! Nordic countries, Europe, Africa, Marklin, Asia, the list goes on! This is such a great family game and is great for the younger kids!

Honorable Mentions: There are a few more that were close to making the list, but I just couldn't get them into the top 10!
Omen: A Reign of War - another game I was hesitant to play, but really enjoy this quick 2-player game!
Carcassonne - a great beginner game!
Agricola - as much as I hate to say it, I do enjoy this game, just need to get better at it! A very in-depth but great game!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

In a blink

This past Sunday at church was the Graduation Celebration for the graduating seniors in the youth group. I hope in 16 years I remember how I felt sitting there watching those seniors receive messages from their loving parents and youth pastor.

Everyone says it. "Don't blink." "It goes by so fast." "Where did the time go."

I know in 16 years I will say the same thing. I think I had met one of those seniors, but each one got me a little teary-eyed. Their parents expressing their love for them and how amazing it has been to watch them grow into the wonderful person they are today. The youth pastor giving examples of the fun they had in the youth group and the impact they've made in the church and on the lives of others through missions.

In 16 years I want to say the same things to my daughter and have those things said of her. It made me excited to be in the church we are in right now. While I haven't had much involvement with the youth group yet, I really enjoy the youth pastor's sermons. You can hear the love and passion he has in his voice for those kids. I am excited for her to experience that.

Yes, it will happen in a blink, but I will be there every step of the way for her. To encourage her to do the things she scared to do, to love her when she succeeds, to be her rock when she may fail, to be proud of her through every wise decision she makes. And most of all to show her the love of Jesus and pray for her that, instead of chasing bubbles (Pastor Scott's sermon on 5/18), she chases Jesus.

Monday, May 12, 2014

A heart like mom's

I didn't get around to actually posting Happy Mother's Day yesterday. I was busy hanging out with my mom :)

I love my momma so much. She has a heart like I've never seen. She cares so much about others around her and always has just a little bit more to give.

About a month ago she had asked me to come up to Huntington to help out with a Ladies Build Day with Habitat for Humanity. The house that is being built is for some friends of ours that we've known for a very long time. Their house was completely destroyed in a fire a few months ago (praise God none of their family was in the house when it happened!). I couldn't be more thankful that I said yes.

Getting to work side-by-side with my mom on such an important project is something I will never forget. She was so awesome and it inspired me to want to do something like this with Paige someday.

I love this woman and I'm so thankful I get to call her mom! I hope that I have enough room in my heart for others around me as she does!

Thanks for showing me how to love and care for others!

Here are a few pictures of the build day and a few of Mother's Day as well!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

13.1 - Half Crazy

Today I ran my first Mini-Marathon, well, mostly ran. I did walk three times, but overall probably only walked less than a mile! I was overall very satisfied with my total time and pace! I had two goals, either finish in 2:30 or keep a 12 min/mi pace. We'll my overall time was 2:31:33, so I did get under my 12 min/mi pace and just barely missed my goal time!

It was definitely an awesome experience! I think everyone should try it at least once. For the mini I would actually suggest running your first one with a buddy. You should both have similar goals in kind, but be willing to have fun too! I wish I would have stopped to take pictures along the way a few times, but felt weird doing that by myself. I think if I did it again I would want to run with a friend.

A few other things I learned:
- the pack never thins out
- you are always either getting passed or passing someone
- always go to the back of the 'pit areas' they are less congested
- it's really really hard to run and drink out of the paper cups
- the pain does go away

This was a fantastic experience and so well run! Seriously the 500 Festival staff and volunteers were awesome! I think I would love to do this again and hopefully with Jeremy or a friend! Although next time I will definitely invest in one of those belts that hold water... Those pit stops and paper cups are no fun!

Monday, April 7, 2014

This kid...

 Let me tell you a little bit about this kid:

Between Feb 2012 and May 2012 she had 4 (or 5, can't remember now) ear infections and then got tubes.

Between May 2012-November 2013 she hardly went to the doc, maybe a viral thing here or there, nothing major.

December 2013 - went to the doc to discover she'd gotten some pneumonia. The doc heard some wheezing/crackling. Took some medicine and cleared it up

February 2014 - now - She's been to the doctor 6 times since February 27th. She's been on every antibiotic available, had 2 x-rays, and has had pneumonia in her left lung and now in her right. She's taken steroids and breathing treatments and she's had the flu during that time as well. 

Today's appointment - at the last appointment the doc told us if she heard wheezing again she would be going on a daily asthma medicine. I was convinced going in to the office today it was an ear infection. I was wrong. She heard the wheezing again and this evening we start a daily asthma medicine, for how long? I don't know. Doc said she should grow out of it by the time she turns 5. She's hoping that is the underlying cause for all the wheezing, but if it doesn't help we will have to go see a pulmonary specialist. But in addition to that we also have to add 2 more antibiotics, a steroid, and breathing treatments 3x/day to knock out the pneumonia/wheezing. 

But let me tell you one more thing about this kid : She's the bravest, coolest, and best 2 year old I know. No crying today. at.all. Not during the breathing treatment and not during the x-ray. I'm so proud of her. I love her to pieces and am just praying for her to get better. 

Saturday, April 5, 2014


So today I ran a 15K, that's 9.3 miles. Going into it my personal goal was going to be to finish in 1 hour & 45 minutes

Here's the breakdown of what happened:

Mile 0-1 - hey, this isn't so bad... But it's a little chilly outside. Oh man, 12/min mile pace, that's not good, oh yea I didn't start at 0 at the start line so I should probably take off 1 minute.

Mile 1-2 - maybe I should've listened to some music! starting to warm up a bit, except I can't feel my chin!

Mile 2-3 - okay, getting into a good pace... Almost finished with the first 5K

Mile 3-4 - oh how I hate this mile, I just have to get past this mile and it will be okay

Mile 4-5 - whew, almost 1/2 there. Okay, mile 5-6 will be a 'run hard' mile! Just pick up the pace for one mile!

Mile 5-6 - okay, time to kick it up a notch for one mile! Ouch, this hurts a little

Mile 6-7 - glad, that's over. Only one more 5K to go, I think I can actually feel my chin again

Mile 7-8 - oy, this is a tough mile to get through too, fatigue is setting in. And do I have to pee... Oh no, I am not using one of those port-a-potty's! I'll just not think about it... Do you wanna build a snowman...

Mile 8-9 - oh crap I think my feet have a mind of their own! My feet just keep moving and my legs are trying to keep up! Almost there!!! I'm getting hungry

Mile 9-9.3 - I see the finish line!!! Kick it into gear!! Oh... Cookies

Official Time: 1:40:31 :)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

If I Had a Nickel

I'll get to it tomorrow...

To use the old phrase, "if I had a nickel" for every time I said I'll get to this tomorrow, well our student loans would probably be paid off.

One of my best friends has a favorite band. Skillet. Two years she made strong-armed me into going to Winter Jam with her to see them. I've never been a huge concert fan, but it was only $10 and there were lots of bands, so I thought it would be fun. I've been a fan of Skillet since. Last year I had some money on a gift card for Lifeway Christian and they had Skillet's CD Awake on sale, so I bought it. Since then I have found one of my favorite songs. One Day Too Late.

I recently hung this sign in my cubicle:

For the first day it was super motivating. I kicked butt and got everything crossed off my to-do list. However, since then I can't say it's done me a lot of good. I try, I want to do the things I'll say I'll do today rather than wait until tomorrow. I think it's something we all struggle with. There are days where we just don't feel like doing anything and sometimes that's okay. For me, I have been in this place for weeks now. Laziness has taken it's toll on me. It really got to me this afternoon, I was ignoring work, ignoring my bible reading, and ignoring my training for the Mini. This afternoon, I had enough. So what came next?

I did one thing for work that I was waiting until tomorrow to do.
I caught up on my Read-Through-Bible plan that I was 3 days behind on.
I did my 4 mile run that I didn't want to do.

So, if Today is your Tomorrow, what's one thing you can do today instead of tomorrow?

Thursday, January 2, 2014


I've had friends in the past share with me that instead of doing a bunch of resolutions they have a Word for the year. Last year I tried to do my own thing and do monthly pledges... well if you look through my old posts you'll see that didn't last :). I made it through about two months before I gave up on those, oops! So this year I have decided to adopt a word for 2014: PURPOSE.

Last week Paige's daycare was closed which forced me to take almost a whole week of vacation to stay home with her because Jeremy was out of vacation time for the year. I cannot be more grateful for last week. It was an amazing refresher for me, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. The main goal I had last week was to go through a Goal Planning Workbook that was created by one of my best friends Victoria over at Creative Home Keeper. (All you have to do is sign up for her for her monthly newsletter and updates and she'll send it to you free!). As I started going through the workbook one of the first things mentioned is to make sure you have your Mission Statement handy. I had never done a mission statement before, I've had many friends do one, but to be honest I always thought it was weird, until I made one. After going through a short e-book (Victoria's Goal Planning Workbook will direct you there) which helps you name and prioritize your roles it became evident that I wasn't living with a purpose. Sure, I know my purpose is to love God, my family, and do what the Bible tells me to do, but am I really living that way?

So as I developed my Mission Statement by identifying my roles and prioritizing them I realized that things need to change. I'm tired of waking up each day doing the same thing because it's routine. I want to have a purpose every day. I want to find God's purpose for my life. I want to work for a purpose. With that said here is my new Mission Statement:

My mission is to:

Love God wholeheartedly and glorify him daily. To spend time with him daily through prayer, devotion, stillness, and worship.

Love, respect, and serve Jeremy unconditionally. To be his best friend and help-mate.

Be an inspiration and role-model to Paige. To be Jesus to her by showing and teaching her Love, Grace, and Discipline.

Work at whatever I am doing with all my heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. To make a difference where a difference can be made. To make my workplace my mission-field.