Tuesday 10

I made up the topic today. :)

Ten of My Favorite Things About Mae
(Today, anyway…there are a lot more. :))

10. She plays hide and seek…and it adds so much laughter to our days.
9. Her imagination is exploding. You know she’s soaking up things when her Care Bears get put in time out. :)
8. She loves everyone and is always happy to give hugs.
7. She gives me the biggest smile every morning when I get her up.
6. She loves all things girly…pink, sparkles, princesses, purses. (Proud mama moment!)
5. She has the cutest poofy pigtails ever.
4. Her smile always lights up the room.
3. She’s learning to pray and has the faith of a child…as evidenced by the fact that last night she prayed for her family and friends and for the Disney Princesses. :)
2. She has the most tender, compassionate heart.
1. She says, “I love you, Mommy,” every night.


10 Things That Make Me Smile

Writer’s block.

Really, this is happening again


First, I’m not even sure what happened to my day.

After church, I came home, made lunch, and

took a nap. Then Tobin and I had a meeting for an hour or so. We came home, got Mae ready for bed, talked awhile, and now it’s 10:15?

I think someone’ s playing a trick on me.

When I told my hubby I was going to blog seven days a week for a year, he basically thought I was crazy. And for six weeks, I’ve been able to keep up.

Today was the first time I let the thought enter my mind that

maybe I should take Sundays off.

I mean, God did…so why shouldn’t I? :)

I don’t want to, though. I like a challenge…and when I set a goal, I don’t like to give up on it, especially so soon.

But I don’t just want to type garbage either.

(I’ll get to some actual content soon, I promise!)

I looked up a few survey options for blogs and thought they were all stupid. I thought about talking about all the airplanes I’ve been on instead of the airports I’ve been to. :) I even thought about blogging all about my dogs, which I will do eventually.

But all of those require too much brain power…and I’m not sure I could even compile a list of all the airplanes I’ ve flown on if I tried.

( The airports took long enough!


So, I bring you another top 10 list…yes, two in a week.

Sorry about that.

10 Things That Make Me Smile

10. Watching my dogs, Andre and Sammy, wrestle outside.
9. Coffee and a long chat with a friend.

8. (Somewhat) green grass in my yard and the promise that (maybe?) spring is on its way?
7. Really good music.

I loved worship this morning at church. :)
6. Hoodie weather.
5. Doggie kisses.
4. A house cluttered with baby toys and clothes and gear.

3. My hubby’s silly sense of humor.
2. My daughter’s laugh.
1. A group hug with my family.


10 Indonesian Adventures

Time for another top 10 post.


So, I bring you…10 Indonesian adventures

I will never forget. (Pardon me in advance if some of these are TMI. I had some solicited help from a certain someone in my house. :)) Oh, and I didn’t even attempt to number these in any particular order. Tobin said it best…they were all adventures for their own reasons.

And even though some of them weren’t fun at the time, I smile now. :)

10. Using a Squatty Potty. Some would argue that this

is an actual adventure.

I beg to differ…seeing as the first time made me cry. I will spare you the details, only to tell

you that I eventually figured it out and came to the point where I preferred them over regular toilets.

9. Surfing at Kuta Beach. Surfing was always on my Bucket List but kind of one of those things I was afraid to try. But in April 2007, I took a trip to Bali with some friends…and somehow I found the guts to go out, find a surf instructor, and rent a board. Not only did I stand up on the board and actually ride it to shore, I was hooked immediately. I still love to surf…I just need an ocean now. :)

8. Bukit Lawang. In 2007 I took a trip with some friends to Bukit Lawang in the jungles of Sumatra.

We went on an eight hour hike to see the orangutans in the preserve there and went white water “rafting”…in a raft made of a bunch of rubber inner tubes. It was fun…not necessarily something I’d do again but something everyone should do once if they get a chance. And the orangutans were pretty cool. :)

7. Being Jane. And while I was on the above trip

? I. just. had. to. be. Jane. Just once. I had always w anted to swing on

a vine, and our guide, though he thought I was crazy, very nicely went out and found me the perfect swinging apparatus.

6. Eating Octopus. While we were in Indonesia, Tobin and I loved eating sushi. (Because there, we could afford it!) We went with some friends to celebrate Tobin’s 30th birthday, and one of them pulled a plate of baby octopuses (octopi?) from the conveyer belt that went by the tables. I have to admit that I was really grossed out but eventually ate it. But really, only for bragging rights. :) Not something I’d eat again. (I can’t believe how long my hair is in this pic, either!)

5. Taking the Ferry to Singapore. This was an adventure in the worst way possible. Now, I can look back on this particular day and smile. Then? I thought I might die. Anyway, in an effort to save some money, we decided to take the ferry from Batam to Singapore before flying on to Thailand for our Christmas break.

No one warned me about what happens to people on a ferry who get extremely motion sick. Imagine…the most excruciating 60 minutes of your life spent heaving into a garbage can. While the boat goes up and down. And up and down. And up…and down. While all 200+ people in the room watched the extremely sick white girl, wondering if they should take pictures. (Some probably did.) Yeah. I was so sick that once I got off the boat? I laid down on the floor until the line for immigration was shorter. Worst morning EVER. (Oh, and quite obviously, this picture was taken BEFORE the ferry left.)

4. Climbing the Steps of Borobudur.

This was another item on my Bucket List. I couldn’t wait to see Borobudur, and it didn’t disappoint. I loved it…loved it…loved it. I want to go back again.

Anyone for a trip to Indonesi


3. Driving to the Beach. I did not take pictures of this. It is not worth remembering although I am extremely unlikely to forget it. I still have images of the many bus cepat…fast buses…speeding toward us. Each time I was sure we would be crushed…thankfully, each time I was wrong.

In general, drives to the beach were long and slow. One beach was 200 km from where we lived.

(I just made up that number, but I think it’s about right.) That equals about 124 miles…which took us anywhere from 6-8 hours.

Yeah, it was that slow. And full of dodging buses, trucks, motorbikes, carts, and pedestrians. Bonus points to my hubby for keeping us all alive on such trips.

2. Motorbike + Tidal Wave. You can read the full account here. It’s a good one. Let’s just say that for the three years we drove in Indonesia, we had a knack for getting caught in the rain more times than we can possibly count. And one time during our first year, we met a bus. Bus + two bules on motorbike + monstrous puddle = two very wet people + bus full of laughing passengers. Oh, memories.

1. Hiking Tangkuban Parahu in Flip Flops. One time when a friend was visiting, we decided to take her to the volcano about 45 minutes from our house. It was kind of a rainy, cold day there and we figured we’d just go, look around, take some pictures, and then head to the hot springs, which was the real reason we went up there in the first place. :) However, once we got there, we decided that we should hire a guide to show us around. We thought? That he would take us around the rim, point out a few things, and we’d be done.

Oh, no. Not at all. He took us on a “hike” down to the bottom of the volcano. We were all wearing flip flops. It was wet and muddy. And cold…well, cold for Indonesia. And the best part? We had to hike back up to the top…which re ally is

a story for another day. Now I can say I’ve hiked a volcano in flip flops. More bragging rights. :)

I heart adventures.

So thankful for the memories.


What I Miss

I had an interesting conversation today with a few people about Indonesia. The question, “What do you miss?” came up, and I almost wasn’t sure how to answer it. If you asked me that question every day for a week, you’d probably get a different answer every time.

I listed a few things…and then I thought about it for the rest of the day.

What exactly do I miss?

So here’s my top 10 11…enjoy. :)

11. The climate. That’ s a given on a day a

s frigid as this one is. I don’t just mean the weather, though…because truthfully, it was always a little on the hot side for me there. I miss the mountains I saw every single day when I looked out the upstairs window. I miss the palm trees in our yard. I miss the smell of rain and the fun of riding a motorbike when it was so completely pouring. I miss the beaches and the many vacation nights that Tobin and I would sit out on the sand in the dark, stargazing and listening to the waves crash.

10. Starbucks. There is something about Starbucks in a country such as Indonesia. To me it represented more than coffee…it was my little slice of America in a place so different from my “home”. It was there that I often found my sanity, there that I spent hours with friends as we laughed, poured our hearts out to each other, and bonded over similar circumstances that no one else quite understood.

9. Outlet Shopping. It would be so very wrong if I wrote this post and didn’t include outlet shopping on the list. It isn’t because I am was a shopaholic. (I’m getting A LOT better, I promise. :)) Outlet shopping to me was therapy. It was a chance to go look for a bargain and take a friend and just explore. And while I almost always found a good deal, we had far more fun laughing at some of the crazy T-shirts we found made by someone who didn’t have his/her English quite right. If you ever get a chance, ask Tobin to tell

you about the T-shirt we found all about meatballs. :) Dude, really?! Yep, we bought it and gave it to a friend.

8. Tempe Goreng & Pisang Goreng. Easily my two favorite Indonesian foods.

Tempe goreng is fried soybean cakes and p

isang goreng is fried banana. I loved eating tempe goreng and craved it a lot when I was pregnant…it’s best with lots of kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) and rice. Pisang goreng…so yummy. I actually loved it the Indonesian way, with brown sugar and shredded cheese…but throw a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top and I’m just as happy. :)

7. Crazy Adventures. Whether riding a motorbike in a downpour, getting completely lost for hours, swinging from a vine, or tromping through a jungle, I miss the adventures from our time in Indo.

One of my favorite quotes is “Attitude is the difference between ordeal and adventure.” So although our Indonesian adventures are over, I’ m looking forward to

many, many more of them, wherever we are!

6. My Pembantu (Housekeeper). I don’t just miss the fact that Ibu Sari did all of those things that I despise… cleaning bathrooms and the floors, laundry, dusting.

We so appreciated everything she did for us.

But I miss her…my friend. I miss laughing with her and practicing my Bahasa Indonesia with her. I miss our daily conversations. I really, really just miss her.


5. Students. I could say I miss the school we taught at, but really, the students are what made BAIS. I spent a LOT of time with some of those students, and they know far more about me than most people.

(Scary, I know.) Really, teaching them changed my life…I gained so much appreciation for different cultures and ideas because of the students I taught. I could list individuals and what I miss about each of them, but that’s for a different day…I so look forward to Heaven and the absolutely incredible reunion that will happen there. :)

4. Friends. Friends come and go in a place as transitory as BAIS…and so we made a lot of friends and lost a lot. Some of those friendships are/were strong enough to make it through living on separate continents, but a lot are/were not. I say that to point out that God gives us people in each phase of life to bless us, to teach us, to encourage us, to help us grow. So I appreciate the relationships we had there even if not all of them were close…and even if not all of them lasted forever. But I can honestly say that each person I knew impacted me in some way, and for that reason, I am thankful.

3. Appreciating the Small Things. Not that I don’t do it now…but I realized not too long ago how much Tobin and I found joy in small things. Like the day Setiabudi (the expat grocery store) had orange cheddar cheese for the first time in about a year. Or the day we spent $8 on a package of frozen bagels and a (very small) block of Philly Cream Cheese. Or the day smack dab in the middle of rainy season that we drove up to Lembang on the bike…and it didn’t rain. Or when someone was visiting from the States and would bring us American chocolate. :)

2. The Indonesian People. I didn’t have as many relationships with the local people as a lot of teachers/ friends I knew did.

But the ones I did meet and know… they were wonderful.

I am so thankful that I was able to live among people from a different religion…because it changed the way I viewed that religion.

I still don’t see it as Truth, but I did come to respect their way of life and tradition. Most of what you hear in the media…well, I just think most people could benefit from living in Indonesia for awhile.

I’m thankful for how much bigger my world became through the opportunity to live among the people of Indonesia. They’re amazing.

1. Maelie experiencing Indonesia. I so wish my daughter could have lived in Indonesia for awhile. (Well, other than in my belly :)) She will hear us talking about it her whole life but never really know what it was like. Of course, we plan on taking her there to visit someday…and that will be fun. :) No matter what she does with her life, though, I hope Mae has the opportunity to spend some time in another culture. It’s life-changing.

This list could have been a lot longer…but here you go.

Maybe there will be a Part 2 later.


I’m glad I miss it…because it means I loved it.