Monday, March 23, 2009

Look out world - Here I come!

I left Best Buy in tears on Saturday. Twice. The first was a slightly embarrassing breakdown while trying to chose a refrigerator for our new house. Too many decisions, too many options - no further details needed. The second, however, was entirely unexpected.

When we arrived at the appliance department, a man in his 70's with a slight limp and a crooked name tag that said "Alton" walked over to help us with our refrigerator decisions. I have to admit, I was a little frustrated that we didn't get the energetic, seemingly very- knowledgeable, quick-moving younger salesman, but God has a way of proving me wrong quite frequently, which is exactly what He did on Saturday.

Alton may have been slower than the other salesmen, and he might not have known quite the same amount about the technology in the refrigerators, but I can guarantee you no one in that store has as big of a heart as he does. Now, I realize that it sounds a little silly to write a blog post about how much a Best Buy salesman cares, and I would have agreed with you prior to Saturday, but after hearing Alton's story, I think you'd change your mind.

As we were checking out, Alton noticed my necklace (which was a Christian fish charm from James Avery). He commented on it to my parents, and that was all it took to open up. Alton printed our receipts, set our delivery date, and cracked a few jokes with my dad. At the end of this, he turned to all of us and began to share his story. He had spinal meningitis as a baby, and ended up with a limp because of it. On top of that, he grew up during WWII and with German heritage, experienced a lot of hatred from other kids (he said they used to jump on him and tickle him until he cried and then draw swastikas on him). His aunt (I think) stepped in and moved him to west Texas, and it was from her that he learned about true faith and hard work. He shared his battle with cancer, and how he survived, but that his aunt had recently lost the same battle. As he fought back tears, he continued to grab my hand and looking between Matt and I, said "I hope and pray you have what my wife and I had; I lost her last year, but for the 37 years, three months and one week that I had her, I didn't take her for granted" At this point, he caught himself, as tears ran down his cheeks, and said "oh my, I don't mean to get so emotional - but you know what I say when I get up every morning from saying my prayers? 'Look out world - here I come!'"

By this point, my mom, grandma, and myself were all in tears (mind you - we're still in the middle of the best buy appliance section) - and after giving Alton a hug goodbye (and signing our receipt, as we did buy a refrigerator from him), we finally left Best Buy. I think it's amazing how God can use one person's story to touch other lives - even through such a simple interaction. Who knows how many other stories like this I'd have if I didn't rush through life so much.

So - if you ever need an appliance - go see Alton at Best Buy! You won't regret it!
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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What happens in Vegas

I should be cleaning our apartment, catching up on the laundry we have from Vegas, and starting to pack things for our big move next week. Instead, I've decided to write a quick post about Vegas!

This was my first time there, so Matt was pretty excited to show me around the strip. I have to say that, as much as everyone told me "there's SO much to see", I was still surprised at how much "sight-seeing" (read: walking until my feet wanted to fall off) we did.

We arrived on Saturday afternoon - met up with some friends of mine from college and headed to the Flamingo to check-in. There was apparently a lack of communication on the check-in time, and we had a couple hours to kill, so we headed over to Margaritaville (which was attached to our hotel) for a late lunch and some drinks. The wait for our room did not disappoint - they were recently re-done and we would definitely recommend this hotel!

Saturday night we walked over to Planet Hollywood to gamble a little and caught a variety show - where Randall got pulled up on stage during one of the funniest bits I have ever seen! The comedian Russ Merlin gets 4 "volunteers" and puts a different mask on each one and makes them do the funniest things. We were all crying - we were laughing so hard.

These are two of the masks (we weren't allowed to take pictures during the show, so I just found this on google)

Sunday we walked all along the strip to go into the different hotels/casinos to check them out. We saw the Bellagio, Caesar's Palace, NYNY, The Luxor, MGM Grand, Planet Hollywood, Paris, and Harrah's. Sunday night, we reserved a table at PURE inside of Caesar's Palace. It was fun to be VIP for a night - but we were definitely exhausted the next day! Monday we walked down to the other side of the strip and saw the Mirage, the Venetian, Palazzo, and the Wynn. It was also Shauna's birthday, so we went out to a nice italian dinner at Canaletto in The Venetian to celebrate :) We ended the trip with a buffet lunch inside Planet Hollywood - and as much fun as it was - I was glad to be heading home after day 3. I am STILL exhausted!
The 4 of us overlooking the fountains at Bellagio

Oh - and thanks to the Wheel of Fortune slots and a few select blackjack tables, we came home up $150!

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Under Construction

No, this is not another house post. You may have noticed (or you may not have) that the blog is looking a little messy lately. I am not very skilled at html/blog code, so I have been using good old fashioned trial-and-error to try and get it redesigned. If you happen to come by when it looks crazy, please excuse my mess! Hopefully I'll get it all worked out soon!
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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

In lieu of making dinner

I've decided to do the first blog entry for the month of March. Sorry I've been slacking lately - I just haven't been motivated to keep up my promise to blog more. That said, this is an exciting month for us! We just got back from Houston last weekend where we ran, er, jogged , casually strolled through the ConocoPhillips 5k Fun Run with some friends on Saturday morning. My favorite part of the weekend, however, was finally getting to meet baby Kate! At the risk of being a weirdo who posts pictures of other people's children, here's a quick one few taken on Saturday night when we hung out with Josh and Becky before dinner. I just fell in love with Kate and am so sad that I'm not in the same city as them to spend more time with her!
I love how her chubby little cheek is squished against the floor here
She was not impressed by Matt's pinky finger

In addition to the fun kick-off of the month of March, we are also heading to Vegas on the 14th for a couple days, and top top it all off, are scheduled to close on our house on March 24th! I've never been to Vegas, and since graduating college have had a difficult time staying awake past 11pm, so we'll see how my body reacts to this city. That said, I'm really excited about seeing a new city, eating good food and having a good time! Feel free to post any suggestions you might have - we don't have the whole trip planned yet!

I'll leave you with some recent pictures of the house -- all of the big things are done now! They are just doing touch-ups on the paint, adding the final touches of trim work, etc... We can't wait!
master bath

Dining room
stain on the cedar posts and shutters - but not on the door yet
Okay, seeing as how Matt will be home soon, I guess I can't put off making dinner any longer. Maybe this gorgeous spring weather will put me in the mood to blog more!

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