How We Vacation

In about three hours my hubby and I will be driving out of the 116 degree temps of Tucson and hitting the road to tour Northern California! I’m so excited that I couldn’t stay asleep. So while, my husband is still sleeping, I’m going to share with you how we vacation.

My Idea of Vacation

My Idea of Vacation

My sweet husband and I vacation very differently! It’s one of those differences between us that we didn’t realize until exactly 17 months in when we were on our postponed honeymoon to the Cook Islands and New Zealand (it was awesome by the way). I am the type of vacationer that likes to sit by the ocean or on the back deck and read till my heart’s content or talk walks along the beach or hikes in the mountains. My husband loves to be doing something, seeing something because in his mind if we traveled there, don’t we want to see as much as we can?

Jason would tour this city all day!

Jason would tour this city all day!

I totally get that, but I am an introvert and an HSP (highly sensitive person…I should post about that sometime…), so having a lot of noise, people, and just stuff stimulation wears me out and makes me feel a bit crazy. My husband is a high extrovert and is amped up by all of that stimulation that makes me lose my marbles. How do we balance those two personalities and vacationing styles?

We are still learning. Last year when we went to the Cook Islands, we laid out by the beach and snorkeled in the ocean for the majority of our time (my perfect). In New Zealand we caught all the sites we could in two of the three cities and I slept through most of the other one because I was so exhausted. It was in Rotorua where we learned that we have differing vacation styles 🙂

This year as we tour Northern California, we are balancing our time. I want Jason to be able to see the sights and feel energized by the new surroundings. And I know he wants me to be able to be in the quiet and be near God’s beautiful creation.

So we devised a plan. We sat down a few nights ago and made a list of all the things we would like to see in San Francisco, Monterrey, & Sonoma. We then narrowed that list down to a more reasonable number and left the rest of our time as coffee shop time, beach time, or walking in the natural beauty time.

We are extremely happy with our google spreadsheet itinerary (we are both the first child in our family…it shows) and we are both willing to tell the other if we want to do something more or less.

We are hopeful that this vacation will meet both of our needs, but mostly we are hopeful that as we separate from this busy season of life, we will come home refreshed, reconnected and ready to take on what ever life has in store for us!

Have you found that you and your significant other have differing vacation styles? How have you managed that?

Now we only have 2.5 hours before we hit the road, so I think I’ll head out for a run to expend some of this energy. 🙂

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The One Where My Husband Hijacks My Blog to Say Happy Birthday (A Day Early)

THE HIJACKER

Hi, this is Jason, and I’m Sarah’s husband.

Insert maniacal take over laugh here. Mwahaha.

Insert maniacal take over laugh here. Mwahaha.

THE WHY

Tomorrow is Sarah’s birthday, and in honor of that, I have hijacked her blog to let all of you know what I love about her.

You may ask, why are you doing it the day before? Well, Sarah has been doing this blog thing for a bit now, and she has seen that not many people read blogs on Saturdays. And since I pay attention to what she tells me about blogging, I decided to post this today, so more of you would see it. Because I want as many people as possible to see this and know how much I love Sarah.

28 things I love about Sarah

(28 for no particular reason… 😉 )

1. She laughs at my horrendously lame jokes. If you know me, I have an ODD sense of humor, and somehow Sarah either actually finds it funny, or just indulges me.

2. She takes really, really good care of our house. Former roommates of mine will admit to moving out because of how messy I was, so the fact that the house is clean is a testament to Sarah. I mean, she makes our laundry soap.

3. Her smile. I mean seriously, have you ever seen it? How can you not love it?

She still smiles like this today. I think that means she still likes me :-)

She still smiles like this today. I think that means she still likes me 🙂

4. Her heart for people. Sarah inspires me to care more about people. Not just the people directly in my life, but people everywhere, all around the world. Her heart bursts and breaks for the injustice of the world.

5. She is smoking hot.

6. She takes care of me when I’m sick. I’m a HUGE baby when I get sick. All I want to do is lay around and do nothing. So I do. And Sarah lets me, and then on top of it, she makes me food and takes care of me.

7. She encourages my dreams. I tend to dream big. REALLY big. A lot of people would be scared off by that. Sarah instead asks questions and asks what we can do to move toward those dreams.

8. This blog. I love that she has found her creative outlet, and I love reading about what she has to say. This one about my grandpa even made me cry.

9. In addition to reading the blog, I love that she trusts me enough to be the IT manager/Editor. I have no real experience with either thing, and yet she defers to me on almost all questions related to either topic.

10. She is likely faster and stronger than you. Sarah loves working out (and sometimes puts me to shame in the gym, which I’m learning to be ok with). But I just love that she’s willing to push herself, which leads to the next one…

Look at those guns! Good thing AZ is an open carry state.

Look at those guns! Good thing AZ is an open carry state.

11. She kicks my butt when I’m lazy. Sarah is a great motivator. I am not always the first one out of bed (ok, almost never), to go to the gym. So she gently encourages me to get up, and go. Or she just pushes me out with her foot. Both seem to work well.

12. She lets me keep my beard. I love having a beard, it’s almost like I can’t exist without it. Once, when we were dating, I shaved it off at her request, and she said, “You look really handsome without, but you can grow it back.” SCORE!

13. Adventure. She’s one brave lady. She took a chance on agreeing to marry me when I had no job, and then agreed to move 2000 miles away from everything she’d ever known when the only job I could get was in Tucson, AZ. Then she let me buy a fixer-upper house that needed a lot of love. And now we are adopting internationally. We’ve been married 2.5 years, and we’ve had an awful lot of excitement.

14. Her resolve. We’ve had some tough times in the first few years, but she keeps on going.

15. Sarah is my taste tester. I like to experiment with food (I do a lot of the cooking around here), and she is always generous with her reviews. Even if I’ve really thrown a dud on the plate, she thanks me for it.

16. She encourages me to pursue my passions. I’ve long been into photography, but only recently, I’ve been getting back into it. We are going on a trip this summer, and Sarah has already given me permission to stop at random when I see things I want to photograph.

17. Watching her with our friend’s kids. She is at home with kids, they still make me a bit nervous at times…but I know that when we have ours home, she will be the greatest mom they could ever have had!

18. There is nobody I would rather drive in the car with. Some of our best conversations have been while driving somewhere.

19. She gave up bagels for me. You may have seen all her Whole30 posts recently, but she came to the Paleo side kicking and screaming when we first got married. But she did it for me (at first).

20. She doesn’t yell at me when I come shoeless because I gave them away again.

21. Sarah is patient with me as I learn how to love her. I stumble on this a lot, and sometimes our dates are less than stellar, but she always thanks me for trying.

22. Still smokin’ hot. I doubt that’s ever changing.

You got nothin' on this girl. She's got style for miles!

You got nothin’ on this girl. She’s got style for miles!

23. CAMPING! I love it, and I’m glad she does too so I don’t have to convince her and drag her along.

24. She lets me fail. I’m stubborn, and sometimes I like to do things my own way, which doesn’t always work out. But Sarah lets me take things at my pace (like remodeling the bathroom).

25. I wouldn’t love coffee like I do if it wasn’t for Sarah. She made me start, and now I can’t stop. (I was the first to start drinking it black though).

26. She tries to figure out my surprises for her. Sarah loves surprises, but I think she loves figuring them out early even more. But I bet she had no idea I was hijacking her blog!

27. She loves me with everything she has. Don’t believe me? Read these posts: Proof of Love 1Proof of Love 2Proof of Love 3Proof of Love 4.

Yup, we're in love.

Yup, we’re in love.

28. She loves Jesus even more than she loves me. And she really desires for other people to love him as well. I have seen so much growth in my personal life with Jesus, and I know a lot of that is because she prays for me, constantly.

So there you have it. Sarah Wood is the best wife ever, and you should all wish her a happy birthday (tomorrow).

Happy birthday (a day early) Sarah!

The Final Post of “So, there’s this guy…”

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Yesterday marked three years since Jason and I had our first date. I’ve been chronicling the story here and here as a way to remember and rejoice in what God did and continues to do in our lives.

This last post on our first date is a sweet one for me to write. I don’t remember all of the things we talked about, but I do remember feeling comfortable with a man who I had just met…and how odd yet familiar it was. I remember he wore a blue-plaid button-down shirt with khaki shorts and I was wearing my North Face jacket and a black Gap t-shirt (barely took the jacket off because I was so cold the entire time). I remember laughing at the numerous stories Jason had to tell and shaking my head at how crazy this guy seemed.

That first date lasted till mid-night. We closed out the coffee shop and walked up and down Main Street. We never ran out of things to talk about, but I was getting tired so we decided to call it a night. As he walked me to my car, I asked him how he actually heard of me. I had a hard time believing that he had just seen me at a coffee shop and wanted to take me out. I was right, Scott had found a way to get us connected and through a lot of  high school shenanigans we ended up together on this night. I think we were both surprised at how well the night went. Jason would tell you that he walked away from that date knowing that he had just met his wife…it took me a little longer to come to that conclusion.

I hugged him good night and we set up another coffee date for Friday morning at the same place. Then our relationship started to moved fast! I met his parents that weekend and the following weekend he met my family (including my three crazy siblings!). About 6 weeks after our first date, we knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. We were engaged August 7, 2010 and married January 1, 2011. I look back on those 8 months and my eyes fill with tears as I think about the way that God moved in our lives and how He provided.

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God gave me a beautiful gift in my husband. He once again revealed to me that His plans for my life are far better than my own. I thought  my plan was good (see part 1), but during those 8 months of dating & engagement, God continued to whisper confirmations in my ear…”Sarah, I know the plans that I have for you and they are very good. They are much better than yours, so trust me. Jason may not be where you thought you were going, but life with him will bring ME so much more glory than life without him. I will use you two together to be a light to your neighbors and to the nations. Just not the way you thought.”

Since then Jason and I have been on a wild journey that just keeps getting crazier! I think back to what life may have been like if I held onto my plans with tightly-gripped fists and I am thankful that He gave me the grace to trust and be obedient. Life without Jason would be so boring! I wouldn’t trade this life  I have with him for anything.

Are there plans that you hold on to so tightly that you may be missing the joy of walking in faith with our loving and all-knowing God?

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Thanks to Mandy Blair Photography for all of these pictures!

“So, there’s this guy…”

coffee engagement

Next Sunday will be the third anniversary of my first date with Jason. I look back onto that Wednesday night three years ago and I can’t believe all that has changed! Who knew how one blind date could change the course of one’s entire life.

I remember that night so clearly. I also recall the youthful events that led up to that coffee date at Cup of Joes with a smile. If you haven’t heard our story, lean in and be ready to roll your eyes at the high school antics. If you have heard our story, sorry…not sorry 🙂

It was mid-March of 2010 and I was working as a personal trainer and also fundraising to go on staff with a college ministry. I had no desire to pursue a relationship with anyone because I had a plan. I was going to go on staff with The Navigators at the University of Northern Iowa for two years and then head overseas. I had plans of spending the rest of my life in the Middle East. It was there, in the Middle East, where I would fall madly in love with a missionary and live happily ever after with him, serving and loving on a people group that had never heard of Jesus.

Unbeknownst to me, one personal training session would wreck those dreams… I was training one of my lovely ladies at 5 am when she approached me with an odd question…more like a statement. “There’s this new guy at Scott’s shop that wants to take you out for coffee.” I’m sorry what?? Hundreds of questions came to mind, but she wouldn’t answer any of them. She just directed me to Scott (local owner of a running shop).  I was skeptical, but still curious as to how this guy found out about me and why he would want to meet me.

The next day, I needed to buy some new shoes and I thought it would also be a good excuse to stop by Scott’s shop to see what this was all about. When I stepped in the small, quaint shop I stopped in my tracks and blood rushed to my face. There was a new guy working the shop. I knew all of the employees at The Runner’s Flat, so I instantly knew that this was “Woody” (my client only knew him by his classy nickname).

Instantly I knew that I could either be really awkward or play it cool. I chose to play it cool and repeated to myself the entire time “Don’t be weird. Just breathe. Don’t be awkward, Sarah.” Thankfully, it worked. I introduced myself to him and proceeded to buy a pair of shoes. I didn’t get a chance to chat with Scott, but I did walk out of the shop with a new pair of shoes and the thought that “Woody” wasn’t quite as weird as I first thought….

Stayed tuned next week as I share about how I was run down on the trails, had mixed messages on Facebook and ultimately had our date that changed our lives forever!

The spot of our first coffee date!

The spot of our first coffee date!

29 Reasons…

Today my handsome husband turns 29! In honor of his last birthday in his 20’s I want to list out the 29 reasons I love my husband (in no particular order):

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1) His heart for knowing and loving Jesus more each day. I’m so blessed to have a husband who honors God with his life and with his words. I’ve loved watching him grow more like Christ over the past three years of knowing him!

2) He makes me smile and laugh every day-no matter what may be going on 🙂

3) His passion to help homeless. Two weeks ago, Jason came home after a late night grocery run with no shoes. He had met a homeless lady that wanted him to take her to the dollar store to buy some shoes, but Jason decided that he was just going to give her his. And they fit! At least once a month, Jason comes home with a story about how he has prayed with a homeless man, bought a homeless man a dinner, gave a homeless lady money or bought a bus ticket. His generosity and love for all people astounds me.

4) How he takes me on a weekly date night consistently. There has not been a week that we have missed connecting over a yummy dinner, either prepared by him or at a nice restaurant. He loves to pursue me and that still gives me goosebumps.

5) His love for art. I am not an art enthusiast, but I love watching Jason’s eyes light up when we go to the art museum. I find it endearing when he tries to explain to me different aspects of photographer in a way that I could understand it. I love that we can put his art up in our house to make our home even more personable.

6) His desire to stay healthy. In the past three years of knowing Jason I have seen his determination to stay healthy and active. Knowing his determination towards this goal ensures me that our family will always make healthy food choices and stay active.

7) His love for the outdoors. I love that we both share a passion for camping (even though we’ve only done it once together!). I’m excited for the memories we will make around a campfire as we camp with our family.

8) Who doesn’t love Jason’s beard?!!!

9) Jason is a great provider. I know that where ever life takes us and what ever job/career path he goes down, Jason will always make sure that our family is provided for.

10) He’s handsome 🙂

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11) He is my own personal chef! The one thing about marriage that terrified me prior to meeting Jason was that I was going to have to cook every night. I hated cooking with a passion. God was merciful and gave me Jason as a husband. Jason loves to cook and I only cook maybe once a week. His food is so good…you should come over and try it some time!

12) I love that he wants to learn how to build and fix things around the house. When we remodeled our bathroom last month, I enjoyed watching him problem solve and figure out the plumbing!

13) Jason is the chief editor of this blog, in case you didn’t know. I run everything by him before I post it to make sure that my grammar is decent. I’m not showing him this one, so if they’re are typos you’ll understand 😉

14) Jason encourages me to pursue my passions. He is my number one encourager with my blog. He gives me resources to help hone in my skills and he also encourages me to try other creative avenues, like sewing. He often pins sewing projects on Pinterest for me so that I can try my hand at a few things (still need to do that…)

15) I love going to the gym with him. It makes it so much easier to get my butt out of bed at 5:30 AM when I know that he’s going too.

16) I love that he is an extrovert and highly relational. I love people, but if I had it my way-I would be home reading a book with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine every night, but not so with Jason. He makes social gathering easy for me and usually quite enjoyable because he is by my side and can help me meet new people. He is also my “buffer” if I don’t want to talk too much, but still want to go out.

17) Jason can meet someone for the first time and make that person feel at “home” with him. I love that about him. It was one of the first things that I admired. He had to meet A LOT of people when we first started dating and he took it all like a champ and EVERYONE of my friends adored him. I liked that 🙂

18) I love that Jason is a great leader. Over the past year, he has grown leaps and bounds as a leader. Watching him lead our Missional Community makes me one proud wife 🙂 I’m excited to see the other opportunities that will arise for him to grow and be used.

19) I have loved walking this journey of infertility and adoption WITH Jason. There’s no one else I would want by my side as we went through a year of failed pregnancies and negative tests. Outside of my relationship with Jesus, Jason was my rock through that season. Our relationship strengthened last year through that struggle, and that is grace.

20) I’m excited to see Jason as a dad. He is so good with our friends’ kids. They all love him to pieces and I know that our children will be blessed to have him as their daddy.

21) Have I mentioned that he’s hot?!

22) I love that he prays for me and that he leads me spiritually. Talking with him about theology and the way we live our lives because of it blesses my heart.

23) I’m so thankful he became a coffee drinker! I don’t know how I would have lived if he didn’t convert…

24) I love hiking the Tucson trails with him. I love biking the crazy Tucson roads with him. I just love doing things with him because he makes my life so fun!

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25) I love that he’s really smart. And I mean wicked smart. I’m so glad that he will be able to help our children with math homework, otherwise our kids would have been doomed!

26) I’m so thankful that he is a good decision maker. I’m terrible at making decisions, which I think drives him a little batty, but he’s gracious and helps me problem solve and come to decisions…even when it’s over what type of ice cream!

27)  Jason is a good friend. He’s a good friend to me and he’s a good friend to some men in our community.

28) Jason is kind, faithful, trustworthy, a hard worker, a strong believer in Jesus, loving, considerate, generous…I could go on and on-thankfully for you I only have one more reason 🙂

29) I love my husband, Jason, because he loves me. I couldn’t have imagined having a man like Jason to live the rest of my life with.

Happy Birthday, Jason! I love you!IMG_0782