Date Day!!!

Yesterday was Date Day with my boyfriend.  It was his turn to make plans and think of things to do and surprise me!  I was a difficult three days leading up to Saturday because of the word “surprise.”  Let’s get something straight, I love surprises and I don’t want to wait for them, but I do want to wait, but I don’t.

I LOVE SURPRISES!!!

I LOVE SURPRISES!!!

So I was badgering Jordan with 20 questions trying to guess where we were going.  Serpentarium, no, aquarium, no, zoo, no, fall festival, no, paddle boarding, no, shopping, double no; I was so far off.

Jordan combined my love of animals and art and found an art show room that was displaying some neat animal paintings!  It was so cool!  There were three rooms of different artists, there were other beautiful landscapes but I didn’t want to take too many pictures and upset the person working there.

This one was my favorite, my second favorite I sadly don’t have a picture of (it was a giant camel!)

Ram

Ram

From there we walked down the shopping center and had some fun in a dog toy store.  They had a $2.99 toy bin and I got my dogs some new duck quacking toys!

But, the most unexpected accidental surprise was… dessert!  We decided to pop in and try out a new business in town called the Shuga Shak .  It’s a cute really small building that (we guessed at the time) sold desserts.  Before that glorious day I had never tried a french macaron, before that day they were just weird desserts that look like hamburgers, before that day you get the picture.

This company is partnered with Flower & Flour, they mostly do weddings, parties and catering etc.  But Shuga Shak you can actually go into and buy their desserts separate from an event.

Anyways, french macarons are the classiest, lightest, best dessert I’ve ever had!  In my opinion, you can have your own, but I am in love with these macarons.  The owner talked with me about how difficult they are to make and now I’ve looked at some tutorials and they do look time consuming!

I wish I would’ve gotten a picture of me eating one (or all of them, I consumed all of the five that I bought, no shame here) but sadly, I was so caught up in a movie and eating them that I forgot that I had a duty to show my blog followers new things.  So here is a picture from the Shuga Shak website:

Beautiful French Macarons

However, when the time allows (this week hopefully), I will be posting my experience with a tutorial I will choose from Pinterest!!!  Take the poll to tell me what flavor to try to make first, even though you won’t get a taste:

Even though Jordan only planned the art gallery, the entire day was beautiful and wonderful.

What two animals did God mix together to create this…?

Manatees… What two animals did God mix up to get this creation.  Don’t get me wrong, God doesn’t make mistakes, so I know manatees have a reason and purpose.  But boy are they weird!!!

While I was in Florida for graduation, we were close to the Crystal River, so we spent a day with the manatees!

My brother had a cold and my mom stayed behind with him 😦 So it was just my dad and I, but this is also an excuse to go back because mom and Parker missed out!

Even though Crystal River is a spring and is always 72 degrees, it was March and the air was 52 degrees.  Wetsuits for everyone!

My dad all ready!

My dad all ready!

Just a few pictures taking with my iPhone.  The boat that took us out was awesome, it was private, just my dad and I and the captain’s wife got in the water with us to take pictures!

Taking a breath

Momma and baby!

Momma and baby!

Here are the pictures she took!

Gearing up and about to jump in!

Gearing up and about to jump in!

All goggled up!

All goggled up!

Just keep swimming

Just keep swimming

They kind of feel like underwater elephants of sorts.  It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what animal they remind me of, except that they are perfectly capable of being their own amazing creature.

They feel so awesome!

They feel so awesome!

I was glad that she got in the water with us to take pictures.  I was carrying around a small underwater disposable camera but those pictures are so awful!

Super up close!

They are really curious if they feel like coming up to you.  They’ll check out your face and clothes.  If you scratch their bellies they’ll flip upside down, which is a little terrifying, but so cute!

Slightly cold.. just slightly

Slightly cold.. just slightly

The ride back was so cold!  It was fine in water, but getting out of the water to then sit wet on a moving boat for thirty minutes.

“It is finished”

As part of my “quiet time” (time set aside for God) I read a passage from the Jesus Calling devotional and today’s entry reminded me of this past March.  This past March I graduated from school but I know that I couldn’t have done it on my own at all.

The passage from Jesus Calling said:

Sometimes the way before you appears to be blocked.  If you focus on the obstacle or search for a way around it, you will probably go off course.  Instead, focus on Me, the Shepherd who is leading you along your life-journey.  Before you know it, the “obstacle” will be behind you and you will hardly know how you passed through it.

I hardly knew how I got through on my own.  I remember praying and incorporating God’s Presence every step, every test, and all study sessions.  I know everyone says “College was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do” and I’m joining that band wagon and saying the same thing.  My major was web design and development and I joined the online fast track program.  You took one class at a time, each class was 4 weeks long and there were finals every Friday.  School was all year round, spring and summer breaks were one week and Christmas two weeks.  That’s it.  I am 21 years old and I completed a Bachelor’s degree, which should take four years, in two and a half years.  I truly don’t know how I got through it but by the grace of God and it was definitely an obstacle that I could not go around, but through.

I still have moments now when I have to do a gut check to see if I’ve actually graduated.  Sometimes I feel that this is a dream and I’m about to wake up and still have to give one-thousand percent in order to get by one more week.

Now that I’ve explained the pain that I endured for my degree.  I will now show you how spectacular my graduation week was.  My graduation week worked out to be my brother’s spring break.  The campus of my school (I attended online) is in Winter Park Florida.  So for the whole week we stayed about an hour away on a lake ranch:

Our view from the apartment (there's a main house off to the right.)

Our view from the apartment (there’s a main house off to the right.)

Me and the horses

This property had horses that I visited every morning.

Morning of Graduation

Pre-Graduation. We are getting ready to leave!!!

Can’t believe that day finally came!

It's so weird to see my name so big!

It’s so weird to see my name so big!

Post-Graduation! All done, finally!

My wonderful parents and brother were amazing support through it all and I mean ALL.

Myself, parents and my brother

Myself, parents and my brother

Check out my post tomorrow to see what I swam with during the week of my graduation…

80s skate night

Tonight my boyfriend and I are attending an 80s skate night charity event at our local skating rink.  I understand this concept from Pinterest:

True story

True story

But I can’t help it.  I’ve gone to goodwill and for $9 I purchased a gaudy hawaiian shirt for Jordan and a brightly patterned wind breaker for myself.

Jordan and I

Jordan and I getting ready to go!

Eye makeup

Some nice blue 80s eyeshadow

We arrive and meet up with friends:

All together now!

All together!

Katie and I

Katie and I

It was such a fun night!  No one fell, no one needed to go to the hospital, it was all great!  We did, however, find out that we need to practice skating more often.  Even though we didn’t fall down, it definitely wasn’t graceful skating.

 

Pumpkin NomNoms

I dont have a tutorial to go along with these because my mom made these while I was at work.  They are so yummy but kind of messy!  We have a donut maker that we bought from Bed Bath & Beyond, but she also used a miniature muffin pan.  Of course, same taste just different size, I personally like the mini muffins because I feel justified in eating more (because they’re small)

Click on the picture to go to the recipe!

Pumpkin Donut and muffins!

Pumpkin donut and muffins!

Jesus says don’t be jelly

Here are some notes on releasing yourself from being jealous and/or envious.  Wade Morris was a guest speaker at Overflow, Port City Community Church’s college ministry, and it was an awesomely convicting service.

1. Realize  you’re not God

– God is in control – you are not.

2. Realize you need God

– Come to terms that you really cannot run your life on your own; you’re still not in control.

3. Trust God

– Trust that God knows exactly what you need in life.  Also, trust that God is with you through sorrows and joys.

4. Delight in God.  

–  Sit down, set aside time to be quiet and talk to God (write in a journal, pray, etc.)  Sometimes the quietest moments is when He speaks the loudest.

5. Commit your life to God 

–  It’s one thing to talk the Christian talk but it’s another when you actually walk the Christian walk.

 

This bible passage was given to go along with these notes during the service:

Psalm 37: 1-9 :

1 Fret not yourself because of evildoers;
be not envious of wrongdoers!
2 For they will soon fade like the grass
and wither like the green herb.
 
3 Trust in the Lord, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
4 Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
 
5 Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.
6 He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday.
 
7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
over the man who carries out evil devices!
 
8 Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!
Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
9 For the evildoers shall be cut off,
but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.
Two closing notes to tie it all up:
  • Envy & Jealousy come from not being completely satisfied with what God has provided for you.
  • Stop worrying about something that is going to come to pass anyway.