Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Top That Tuesday: Worst Vacation

Today's topic: worst vacation experience. This one was actually a mini-vacation tucked inside an amazing 3 week trip to France to visit my in-laws. While there, my mother and father-in-law very graciously agreed to keep our two kids so the husband and I could go away on a two night couple's trip. For a few months, I'd been looking into it, and I came upon the lovely city of Avignon. In my mind, we were going to go there, sleep in all morning, and then spend our time lazily wandering the city and eating amazing food. But for whatever reason, as I was about to pay for the hotel, we had a change of heart and decided to do something adventurous instead. We decided to drive over to the Alps three hours away and go camping. I've never been "real" camping, so I was super excited.

Day one started out. We were about five hours late in leaving, so by the time we got there, we had to really hurry to get to our first camp spot before nightfall. I thought I was in shape and good to go, but boy was I wrong. By the time we got to our camp site, my legs were shaking like a leaf, we were freezing & starving, and I had awful blisters.

But, we made it, and the views were spectacular.
(that little yellow speck in the distance is our tent!)

Day Two was glorious. We only had about two hours to walk, and it was much easier going. Day Two made the trip worth it. We spent the entire day like this:


Then. There was Day Three. Day 3 we were supposed to get up, hike down to the car, drive to a nearby mountain town, have an amazing lunch and wander the streets for a few hours before going back home.

Well. Day Three we both woke up with a stomach bug. A really nasty one. There's really no way to put this delicately, but let me tell you-there is nothing fun about hiking several miles with nausea, diarrhea, limited toilet paper, and not a bathroom in sight. Lol, NOTHING. But, we really had no choice, so we made it down the mountain, got to our car, and I decided to take this victory photo:
This was when we were still blissfully unaware that  the car will not start. The battery was completely dead. Thankfully there was one house and one car (and only one within many, many miles):

Less thankfully, they were out taking care of their cattle:
(Both the cows and the house so charming!!)

But eventually, they were able to get our car jump started, and we stopped at our little mountain town for bathrooms and gas. We were too sick to eat, and even though the town was beautiful, we just wanted to get home. While we were doing that, the car died again, so we had to run around trying to find a French person willing to help us out.

A few towns later, we stopped and bought a new battery, discovered it was the wrong one, bought a second battery and spent an hour or two like this:

So that was my worst vacation experience, anyone got one of their own to share? (Also, I know you're probably not feeling very sorry for me since I got to spend a month in France, but I still regret our choice to be adventurous. :)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Top That Tuesday: the stupidest thing I've ever done

A few months back, a pastor was talking about "one-uppers" people who always have a better/worse/funnier/sadder/whatever story than the one you're trying to tell. His moral is that we shouldn't be that person. The thing is, sometimes you really want to be that person cause you just have a great story to tell. Here's a safe place to be that person. I'm starting a little segment called "Top That Tuesday." I'm gonna tell you my "most" story on a certain subject, and you all feel free to leave me with yours.

Today's is The Most Stupid Thing I've Ever Done. Let me tell you, I'm lucky to be alive, my husband's lucky, and other people are too.

Picture this...The husband and I are 20 & living in Colorado, it's the middle of the winter. We have a  job where we go to Walmart and hand out samples. The pay is awesome for us ($20 an hour), but it includes a lot of travel. We're driving the car my parents bought me in high school, my lovely Chevy Corsica. The windshield wipers work sporadically, but we're poor and it hardly ever rains in Colorado, so we haven't had the problem fixed.
We get a call to go hand out samples at a Walmart about 3 hours away in the middle of the Rocky Mountains.  We set out, and about an hour into the drive it starts snowing. This is the point where we should have called to say we couldn't make it, and gone home. But it's not snowing that bad, so we keep going. After awhile we realize it's getting harder to see out the window. Here's the doozy. We stop at a gas station, and...buy a package of dental floss.
I wish I could tell you it's because our mouths felt dirty. I wish. What we did was tie floss around the wipers, and then proceeded to drive through the mountains, in a snowstorm, with the windows rolled down so we could each pull our floss rope and make the windshield wipers move across the window. I don't know if you can even picture that in your mind, it's such madness.

Somehow we made it to our destination, me a little shell-shocked but otherwise unscathed. After about five hours of handing out pre-cooked chicken breast it was time to head back home. Thankfully, it had stopped snowing by this point. Less thankfully, we were driving home at night after a full day of snowstorms, so our drive back ended up being about 5-6 hours long.  Part of that time included us slipping on ice and winding up stuck in a snow bank for half an hour.
Two things happened after that night. First, we took our car to the repair shop and paid the $110 to get our wipers fixed. Second, we quit the sample-handing-out business, and went back to a regular day job.
Looking back on the events, I kind of wonder how humanity has survived. My husband is one of the smartest people I know, and I think it's pretty fair to say that he and I were pretty mature for our age. Nuthin' but the grace of God. ;)
So. That's the stupidest thing I've ever done. What's yours?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Lean not

I thank God that He can take an ugly moment in our lives and use it to make us stronger, to make us more like Him, to comfort us. Last week was a rough one for me. I was ugly crying for days. I mentioned in my last post that I was grieving over the plans that I had made, because I could no longer see them clearly. I'm going to stay a little vague on details, but even though my plans were big and uncertain, I thought I trusted in God to take care of the problems and make it happen. I've come to realize that the reason I was so upset is because deep down I was trusting myself to take care of the details. Yes, there was trust that God would help out, but the only reason I would be so upset is because I was leaning on my own understanding. I thank the Lord for this realization. Since that moment, my grief has left. If I'm going to trust God's will, then I have to really truly place my trust in Him.

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