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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Pictures (be fair warned... there's over 700)

Costa Rica 2008

Costa Rica 2008 part 2

Costa Rica in a nutshell...

Last Friday, we left with 10 others from our church and headed to San Jose, Costa Rica. Our flight left at 6 something. Somehow, Chris and I ended up in first class. We've never flown first class before, but I could definitely get used to it. 21 was the movie playing on the way there. I was excited because I've wanted to see it for a while. We arrived four hours (or so) later in San Jose, only to discover that we were going to be staying in a hostel for the night. So... all 12 of us stayed in one room at this hostel. There was only 1 bathroom and there were about 20 others staying there too. It was a sleepless night, as many of the men snore very loudly.

Saturday morning, we packed up again and headed to our home for the week. We stayed at the Presbytery offices in San Pedro (a suburb of San Jose). The offices were located in an old house. There were 3 bedrooms (with bunk beds) and 4 bathrooms. Each bathroom had a toilet, sink and shower. HOWEVER... only 2 of the showers really worked. We unloaded our luggage (the group before us was still there), ate breakfast and headed out to Earth University. Earth teaches young people from mainly Central America how to farm in their communities. They grow organic foods (which are sold at Whole Foods). We toured the organic farm and the medicinal farm. For dinner, we were invited to Guido and Sarah's house. Guido was our liaison (so to speak) last year. We had a lovely visit with them and enjoyed pizza and time together.

Sunday, we headed to church at La Fatima. This was the church that we would be working with all week. The service was nice and they were happy to have us. They even let Tim (one of the guys with us) play the guitar with their band. We passed out goodies to the children after the service. They were all so thankful and friendly! Sunday afternoon, we headed to the open air market for some shopping, then we went to Stacey's church. Stacey was our guide/liaison this year. He is the pastor at an English speaking church. It was wonderful to worship in English and Stacey preached a good sermon.

Monday morning we headed to La Fatima. We worked there for 2 and half days. We finished earlier than we anticipated. We scraped the concrete walls (the paint was peeling from the humidity), then sanded the walls... then primed/sealed the walls... and finally painted. We painted the inside of the sanctuary, the walls of the courtyard, the bathroom and the doors of the sanctuary. The gutter was replaced and a step was poured (concrete) out of the kitchen. The bathroom door was fixed so that it would swing out rather than in and a new lock was placed on another bathroom. (I think that's all the work that was done, but I'm not sure).

Wednesday morning half of the team headed back to La Fatima to finish the work there. The other half (my half) stayed at the Presbytery to do some gardening in the courtyard there. Mainly I helped dig the flower beds, pulled some weeds and "tilled" the soil in the flower beds. I discovered grubs (not a gardener) and that they're icky! :P That afternoon, we headed to La Gaucima to visit the church we worked at last year. It was a wonderful visit with our old friends and amazing to see the work they have done over the last year. They raised the roof on their second building, and added rooms and rebuilt their kitchen. When we left there, we headed to the conference that the Presbytery was having... mainly to eat dinner but we also attended a lecture (which was in espanol... difficult to understand). At the lecture we were able to visit with the pastor from La Gaucima. She was overjoyed to see us. Such a wonderful and happy woman! It definitely brightened my day. This day was hard for me and I was ready to head home. I was extremely frustrated with some people in the group and had enough. In fact, I was so upset about it that I left my camera on the bus that we had used in the afternoon (only to find out it wasn't coming back to pick us up). Adella (our cook for the week) called immediately and helped to get my camera back. (I got it the next morning when the driver came to take us to the volcano). Needless to say, Wednesday was a rough day.

Thursday we headed to the volcano Irazu. On the way there, the bus had trouble (the radiator overheated) and we got out to walk a while. THEN, we waited at a school for a new one. The director was very kind and took us around the school (yes, the children were in school). They were getting ready for a holiday/festival on Friday which celebrated the annexation of a province from Nicaragua. Two classes shared their presentations. It was very cute. We went to Irazu (it was COLD). We had a YUMMY lunch at Sanchiri. Then we toured the oldest Catholic church in Costa Rica. Then headed to the Basilica. There's a pilgrimage to the Basilica every year around August 2 to celebrate a miracle of the stone. Basically (the short version), there was a statue of a woman that was found on a stone. The people would remove the statue but it would keep reappearing there. So, the people built a church around it. (Did I get a picture of the stone? no... long story).

Friday we headed to the canopy. Most of the people did the zipline. I chose to take the tram through the canopy and go on a hike. I wanted to get some pictures and new I wouldn't be able to on the zipline. Plus, I needed to get away from the individuals that were frustrating me. It was a beautiful tour and I actually learned quite a bit about the different plants and animals.

We arrived home last night around 11:30, after a 2 hour delay... and a fiasco in customs (ATL needs to come up with a better system... and some nicer people). I'm definitely thankful to get home!!!

That's the trip in a nutshell. Pictures are uploading now!

I'm Ba-ack!!!

I am home from Costa Rica. I have spent about an hour catching up on everyone's blogs (while doing laundry). I will definitely have pics and stories to post later tonight or tomorrow..

Friday, July 18, 2008

Adios Atlanta, Hola Costa Rica

We leave today for Costa Rica. Am I packed yet? No... I do however have a packing list. I haven't made an actual packing list since I was in high school (Dad's influence... he makes packing lists all the time). Anyway, I have been getting ready for the trip all week. I have been to Target twice (and might actually make another stop today), Walmart once, and REI twice. We should have everything we need, just need to organize it and actually pack it.

Thanks for all the suggested reading. I was at Target so they didn't have the O'Malley series that Lonebutterfly mentioned. I did read a few synopses on them and they sound really good. I'll have to check them out when I return. As for Jodi Picoult, I have a question for you fans out there. All the books of hers, that I read the summary of, sound pretty depressing. Are the books actually depressing? The stories sound good, don't get me wrong... but I was hesitant to get any for that depressing kind of feeling I had when I read the summary. I have a hard time reading depressing stories... I've had enough sadness in my life with my mom's lost battle against cancer. Instead, I like to read the comedies (like British chic books) and murder mysteries that keep me up at night. Why I read those, I have no idea... but I still love them.

Anyway, this is the last post for me for about a week. I'm not sure if I'll have internet access or not, last year... we did... this year, we're staying somewhere different. Be prepared for lots of pictures! Last year, I took about 475 pictures. This year, I have a MUCH nicer camera so be prepared for a LOT more! :) Hope everyone has a good week!!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Another busy day...

It's summer... I'm not supposed to be busy but it sure felt busy yesterday. It started off with lunch with Rebecca. It's become a bit of a tradition that I meet her for lunch a few times over the summer, once over Spring Break and once over Christmas. So, we met yesterday for lunch. I look forward to our lunches and always have a good time. :) After lunch, I headed over to Target where I spent an hour (I could seriously spend all day in there) shopping for things for our trip next week (more to come on that). Then I headed over to REI, to do some more shopping for the trip. My main goal there was to get some things for our First Aid kit and I wanted some capris that are made of that material that dries quickly (not work out kind... but like camping kind). I ended up with a pair of capris, 2 pairs of pants and 1 pair of shorts... WAHOO! I had also intended to go to Performance Bicycle and Walmart... but when I saw the time I realized I didn't have enough time...I was meeting my friend Lonebutterfly for another walk at Stone Mountain. Thankfully there was no scary lightening or thunder. It was blazing hot, but we still enjoyed walk. We went a little further this time and I think we walked a faster pace too... not completely sure though. After my walk, I ran home to shower... only to turn around and meet some more friends for Trivia. I used to love to play Trivia and haven't in quite a while. This was our second week. We pretty much stink but still have fun. We ended up with the same amount of points as last week (which is sad because 2 more people joined us this week). Still... it was fun! AND... I was completely exhausted by the time I arrived home. Talk about a busy day!

I mentioned a trip... Chris and I are headed to Costa Rica this Friday. We are going on a mission trip with our church. We went last year and completely fell in love with Costa Rica and everything about it. Please pray however... we both have concerns about the trip this year. I can't really say I'm that excited about it. I mean, don't get me wrong... completely excited about going back... just not excited about some of the things about this particular trip. Long story (don't want to get into it...)...

Does anyone have any suggestions on books to take to read in spare time? (on plane, etc...)???

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


So I'm trying to keep ya'll updated of my physical activity (in order for me to feel accountable to someone else)... so yesterday I went swimming. I'm actually in the process of signing up for lessons. I know how to swim but want to learn to swim the strokes correctly and efficiently. Anyway, I swam for 30 minutes or so (until they took away all the lanes but 1 and there were about 7 people trying to swim laps)... I also started a food journal. I hope to keep this up so that I can make better choices.

Monday, July 14, 2008


Don't like them!... hills that is...

So, last weekend we went to visit Chris's family in southwest Ga. We took our bikes with us, as Chris needed to ride for 2 hours or so. (he's training for a half Iron man). Anyway, I decided to ride with Chris for a little while. I wasn't sure I could make it for the whole 2 hours, plus I knew that I would slow him down. Anyway... You never really notice how hilly a road is until you actually ride your bike on it. We rode on the road that his parents live on... we rode about 11 miles or so... and it was kinda rolling hilly... I don't like hills! I had a hard time at first but started to figure out the best way to ride on hills when we were almost back. (chris did continue on without me after he dropped me off). It was my first time riding on the actual road (with cars passing by) and my first time with hills.

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Secret...

I have a secret... it's really rather silly but it's a secret none the less.

I absolutely LOVE Mamma Mia! I try to go see it every time it comes to Atlanta. Chris will no longer go with me because the songs get stuck in his head and it drives him crazy. Anyway, that's not the secret... My secret is that I LOVE to blare the music while I clean the house. It gets me in a really good mood and I end up dancing around and singing at the top of my lungs. :) Kinda silly huh?

Two reasons I share this secret... 1. It just made cleaning the house way more fun (I wasn't looking forward to it today). and 2. the movie is coming out. If you haven't seen previews (Do you live under a rock?), it comes out next Friday. It's starring Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, and Colin Firth among others. When I first heard about the movie, I got really excited. When I found out that Meryl Streep was playing Donna, I was really sad. (not a huge fan of her) BUT then... then... I discovered that Colin Firth is in it... and it completely made me super happy. Needless to say, I'm looking forward to catching it on the big screen.

And now, my secret... is no longer a secret.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Busy day

My morning started off with my internet not working. I FINALLY got it to work like 2 seconds and then it topped. UGH! (talk about things that frustrate me.. Meghan). Anyway, it worked out okay because I cooked for my friend who just had a baby. Tonight was my turn to provide dinner for her and her husband. So, I made baked ziti and a pie. Then I met my friend, Lonebutterfly at Stone Mountain for a lovely, but a bit of a scary walk. It was very nice, until the thunder and lightening grew closer together... making it a little scary. In all seriousness, I truly enjoyed our walk and talk. We didn't make it all the way around the mountain (due to the approaching storm) but we did walk for an hour. After I returned home, I showered and took the food to my friend. I had a nice visit with her and her very cute baby girl!

So now... I'm tired and wondering what happened to my day?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


So, I just finished Definitely Maybe which is now one of my new favorite movies. If you haven't seen it (and you like most chick flicks), you MUST see it. It is soooo cute! Not to mention that it has Ryan Reynolds in it and I <3 him! :)

Here's a brief synopsis... William Hayes (Ryan Reynolds) has a daughter and is getting a divorce. The daughter wants him to tell her the story of how he met her mother. He doesn't want to tell her, saying it's complicated. So, she finally convinces him to tell her BUT he changes the names of the girls that he dates and doesn't tell her which one her mother is.

Anyway, definitely a must see!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Plugs and updates...

Okay, for those of you that liked 7th Heaven, you MUST check out the Secret Life of the American Teenager on ABC family. I'm really diggin the show. It has Molly Ringwald in it (Who doesn't love her?) and is about her daughter... who's a freshman in high school, and she just found out she is pregnant. I'm definitely not in favor of teenage pregnancy, but so far, the show is pretty good.

Guess what came in the mail today??? My Hello! Cupcake book! YAY! I'm ready to start baking cute cupcakes like Carrie.

Update.. went for another bike ride today. I took yesterday off because I pulled something in my lower back. Today was still sore, but went anyway. We did the same distance as Sunday. My blood sugar bombed out though and I thought I wasn't going to make it to the car... I did... and am feeling pretty good, just really tired.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Another ride

Ya'll are going to be so proud of me... I went for another ride yesterday. I'm really starting to feel more and more confident and comfortable on my bike. It definitely helps that my pedals are different. I had cages on them before and now I have some that are flat on one side and have a clip (so that one day I can clip in) on the other. I think the cages made me nervous because I had a hard time getting my feet in and out.

ANYWAY... Saturday we rode about 11.3 miles. and for those of you that are familiar with the Silver Comet Trail, you know where it crosses roads? Well, every time we came to a crossing... I would stop, get off... walk my bike across and then get back on. I felt more comfortable doing that. Well, yesterday we rode about 12.3 miles (in the same amount of time that we rode the 11.3 on Saturday) and I actually rode across the crossings like 3 times. I was pretty excited. However I was going to ride across one time and got wobbly and almost crashed into the middle post thingy (that keeps cars from driving down the path).

YAY me!

Thanks ladies for all the encouragement. It is definite help! It's also helping me to feel accountable to ya'll. :)

Saturday, July 5, 2008


Thank you for all the encouragement so far on yesterday's post. I actually went for a bike ride today with my brother, friend Karen and Chris (well, he had his own workout and did his own thing).

I had a lot of fun and we rode almost 11.3 miles. We went out to the Silver Comet Trail, which is nice and flat. It wasn't too crowded so I didn't have to worry about running over anyone. I did NOT fall off my bike and am starting to feel more and more comfortable on it. I have new pedals, which helped. They have clips on one side and are flat on the other (kinda like pedals on my bike that I had when I was a kid). Before I had cages and I think having my feet in them, made me nervous.

Anyway... we're already talking about going again tomorrow! WAHOO!

OH... and after my hard workout... I ate a salad! Which for those of you that know me really well, you know it's a rarity! :) YAY... off to a good start so far!

4th of July and the Braves

What could be better than that? Last night, my family went to the Braves game to celebrate the 4th. It's actually become a little tradition that we try to attend the game. The Braves have good fireworks on the 4th and what better way to celebrate our country than to attend America's favorite pastime.

We had the luxury of seats in a suite. (very nice! Thank you Sue!) and a good time was had by all. We missed Lindsay (Zach's girlfriend) but everyone else was there with bells on. Hope you enjoy the pictures!

July 4, 2008 Braves v. Astros

Friday, July 4, 2008

Freedom, Dreams, Wishes and a little Motivation?

Isn't it great that we live in a country where we are free to do so many things- free to speak, free to worship, free to be..

Dreams and wishes-
On this day where we celebrate our freedom, I've been pondering my dreams and wishes for my life. I know it's normally a New Years Thing, but... hey... it still fits, right? Anyway I thought I would share my thoughts on this day, which is where the motivation fits in.

Most of you know that there is not an athletic bone in my body. Very few of you know that I used to dance (all through school)... well, I struggle (like many people) with actually being active. I get bored on the treadmill, elliptical, stationary bikes, etc. I get bored walking outside by myself. I can't run (it physically hurts and I don't know how to breathe correctly). I recently bought a bicycle so I could ride with Chris while he trains but I have this huge fear of falling off. I know it's inevitable that I will fall... but I am still scared to death (I haven't ridden a bike since I was like 10). I really want to get in shape, but am lacking the motivation to actual "DO." I'm a member of the Y, it's hard to get involved in classes (especially when school is in session). Any words of advice? thoughts? comments? ideas?

I also really need and want to lose weight. Again, this is where the motivation comes in. I am having a hard time losing the weight. It seems like I can't stick to a "diet" and I'm lacking a little motivation. I know that hopefully in the near future I will get pregnant. It's hard to really eat properly knowing that I will eventually put it back on. I have a hard time passing on Mexican, good beer and making good choices when eating out, not to mention how picky I am... A few years ago, I easily lost weight before my wedding but of course have put it all back on (and more). It doesn't help much that Chris has an incredibly high metabolism and pretty much eats whatever he wants. Any advice? thoughts? comments? ideas?

I really want to develop these healthy habits so that I can pass them on to my children. It's the one thing that I wish my parents had instilled in me...

A frivolous dream... I'd love to own my own bakery. I'd love to bake and decorate fashionable cakes and cupcakes. :) I'm a good baker... just need to learn to decorate!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Movie and Book Reviews

So as I said earlier in the summer, I've been reading a lot and catching up on a few flicks. Here's my thoughts on the movies I have watched. Chris and I watched "The Ex" with Zach Braff and Jason Bateman. It wasn't as funny as it looked in the previews, but it was still entertaining (have I mentioned I <3 Zach Braff?). I also watched "Wimbledon," starring Kirsten Dunst and Paul Bettany. It was also entertaining. I had started watching it on tv when we were in Austin and wanted to see the end. It's bit predictable, but entertaining. I like Paul Bettany, so it was enjoyable.

Now for books- I finished Sushi for Beginners. It was okay. Not a "can't put it down" kind of book, but enjoyable. I also read Double Cross. I love James Patterson books, particularly the Alex Cross and Women's Murder Club series. Double Cross was good, it's one that I read in about 2 days. I've also finished Full House and Full Tilt, both by Janet Evanovich. They were both easy reads and quite entertaining. They were not as entertaining as Evanovich's Stephanie Plum novels, but still enjoyable. I'm currently waiting for the new Stephanie Plum novel (Fearless Fourteen) from the library (last I checked, I was 15 on the list). I will probably start 7th Heaven, of Patterson's Women's Murder Club series today.

More updates to come.