Joke of the Day

Q: What did 50 cent say when Eminem made him a sweater?

A: Gee, you knit?


If you don't get it, I'm not explaining it.

A little surprise goes a long way...

Stephen left me a sweet message to enjoy upon getting out of the shower today! It was the perfect surprise. My husband is amazing, and deserves a little public recognition :)

Don't be a hater!

You never know what hobby you might take up when you are really bored. As I mentioned earlier, scarves are vitally important in the arctic (exaggeration) winds. We never leave the house without them! When my mom was here, we found a store that had millions of scarves, but not only were they expensive, they were all more or less the same. In the back of the store were hundreds of different rolls of yarn, though, and the idea was born. Yesterday I received a package from my mom, and among other things was a knitting kit. I put the instructional DVD in (which was hilarious, sure you can imagine), and tried it out. 5 hours later, I had completed 2 scarves for Gracie (see pics) and a liner for her new carrier (a gift from Stephen). Today, I'm 75% complete with a scarf for me...of course it matches. Now that I have the hang of it, I'm going to go pick out some crazy yarn patterns and make some serious scarves, gloves, and maybe even some booties for some lovely little babies I know! Am I a nerd? I think so, but it's addicting. Don't knock it 'til you try it...and until you have nothing to do all day, keep your jokes to yourself :)

Doesn't she look adorable??

Here comes the sun....

Woo Hoo!!! January has been so depressing here...the weather has been yucky! But, today changed it all! It's gorgeous outside! I needed it. It's been a while since I've updated the blog, mostly because I didn't have fantastic things to tell you. It's been pretty ho-hum here. But, I'll do my best to fill you in. Training is going great! I've had to run in the rain and terrible winds lately, but it's not that bad. I've gotten over myself :) The half marathon is in 7 weeks, and with it comes the DOTSON'S!!! I'm very excited they are going to be here soon. We will be spending a few days in Portugal (the race is in Lisbon) and then heading to the countryside of France for a week. Stephen is REALLY looking forward to some vacation time, and I'm looking forward to fellow English speakers, and family to boot!! It will be a great time.

Gracie is getting well adjusted here as well. Every Sunday she gets a park adventure...she really loves those, as she can bark freely, roll in sick things, and people watch, race Stephen. She truly enjoys it...especially the bath afterwards (sense any sarcasm??). We hiked up to the Citadel (where the big steps are) a few Sundays ago, and she was able to pose on the overlook! She doesn't get along with our landlords dog too well...she thinks she's better, which she is. Every time Cleo is downstairs while we are going outside, she avoids her at all costs-but then again, she did that with Bella, so maybe she's just anti-social with canines...she sure loves humans :)

I'm still teaching English classes every Thursday. My class is great, so fun to watch them learn. The last two weeks we've been dealing with the "th" sound. In French, the 'h' is never they want to say Tursday, trow, tirty tree (which was the number of our lesson last time, we had fun with that.) So, we've all been spitting on each other learning to say the 'th' sound, it's really humorous. Stephen was there last night to witness kept him amused! I've been writing a children's book while over here, and I'm almost finished. I might have a contest to help with the title, cause I'm having a hard time. I'll keep you posted, and if you're lucky I might give you a preview :)Our car has lasted three weeks now (the PT Cruiser), so keep your fingers crossed we can make it three more weeks on Drama Row without any major accidents. We are nearing 6 months being over here...I can't believe it. We have our homesick moments, but there are longer spaces inbetween each one :) Thanks for your prayers and support...hope all is well with each of you!

It's a....

Andy and Natalie are having a GIRL! I'm going to be an aunt for the second time, and I'm very excited! Olivia Belle Kampen will be gracing us with her presence in early June...stay tuned!!!


We've been here over 5 months now...can you believe it? Though some of you have forgotten about us, and some of you are glad we've been away 5 months...we miss everyone. It doesn't get any easier with time. In fact, I think it gets worse. Those inside jokes are forgotten, the little texts and phone calls are lost, and we're still here. My sister has been gone a week tomorrow, and it's still painful. I miss her tremendously! We have so much fun together, laughing IS good medicine! All of this can be numbing at times, but then you wake up on a day like today, the sun is shining bright over the river, casting pink and purple shadows over the city, and you stand in awe of what God has done...not just in our lives, but in general. He wakes us up every morning with a beautiful kiss from the sun (I'm exaggerating a little, cause usually it's fog and rainy here...but work with me) and He puts you to sleep with the stars. I'm learning, of all things, perspective. I would love to sulk and in my hardships and suffering, but how can you with all of the good that surrounds us? Laugh when something strikes you as funny, breathe in deep when you're taken back, and love completely and unashamedly! Take a moment to look around you...I'm sure each of you has a pretty good view :)

"I trust in God's faithful love forever and ever. I will praise You forever for what You have done. In the presence of Your faithful people, I will put my hope in Your name, for it is good. " Psalm 52:8-9

"But I will hope continually and will praise You more and more. My mouth will tell of your righteousness and Your salvation all day long, though I cannot sum them up." Psalm 71:14-15


Ok, Paris is beautiful. I had a newbie's eyes when seeing the city (both Stephen and Hayley had already been) and I was in awe. It's gorgeous...until 1am after New Years Eve in the park, then it's pretty nasty! We arrived in our PT Cruiser around lunchtime on NYE, and found our hotel with ease, thanks to the Dotson's who bought us a GPS for Christmas! Lifesaver!! We were staying a block away from the Eiffel tower, so we headed there first. Gracie acted like a movie star during her photo shoot in the park, and we had worked up an appetite taking all of the pictures. We decided to eat a little cafe on the river. It was beautiful. The weather had gotten a little chilly, and Hayley and I were in skirts, so we cancelled the bike tour...but tackled the city on our own. We ended the day at the Notre Dame, and had dinner in the square just outside. It was a nice New Years dinner, and then we met up with Aimee and Craig. We decided to sit outside one of the cafe's for a drink and head over to the park before the tower "sprinkled." At around 11:50 we marched over to the park and caught the Eiffel in all her glory, sparkling so pretty! It was jaw dropping. We even were able to talk a guy selling champagne from 25 euro to 10...Stephen noticed the bottle was Andre, and Aimee strong armed him. He was no match for our wits...but the joke was on us in the end because it was hot and we didn't have glasses. We managed, don't worry! I was disappointed in one thing...the fireworks. They were so puny. I figured (dreamed) there would be this HUGE fireworks show and we would stand there in awe, unfortunately the only fireworks shot off were by teenagers at the front of the park...nice, but not anything special! We then walked back to the area we were staying in in hopes of finding a cool dance bar. We didn't find such bar, but were able to catch a group of metro-Italian DB's dancing and making out with each other (all dude's by the way) and one even tried to pick up Hayley. Once they started throwing rubber balls, we were out. We ended the night at the Hilton, where Aimee and Craig were staying. It was so fun to be able to hang out with them on NYE, and in PARIS!! Such a fun night...many memories made, and definitely nice to have spent it in the city of lights! The next morning we woke up and seized the day. We walked around to find a breakfast spot, and then conquered all of the touristy spots, including the Starbucks! Gracie even did some driving! It was an amazing weekend, and we had such a fun time! I hope all of you had a great NYE, and wish you all the best in 2008.

A Little Drama????

I mentioned in my last post that we had some drama on the night of my birthday. Well, let's just say it involved our car (again), a police paddywagon (again), and an extremely intoxicated man by the name of Gigi. No lie, his name is Gilbert and he goes by Gigi. My mom has a dog named Gigi...I digress. We were having dessert and heard a bang. We didn't really think of a car accident, because usually you hear the brakes screaching before the big "BANG." But if you're wasted (or pissed as the Brits say) you don't brake. Not at all. So, we look outside, and sure enough 'ole Gigi hit our car going about 40 brakes. We get downstairs lightening fast, thank goodness because he was doing his best to get away. I say this lightly because he couldn't even find his door handle to open his door. He was pissed. Both of his airbags had deployed, and he had an open beer in his door for easy access. Nice. Finally, the cops and ambulance showed up. We are starting to feel chummy with cops, but not sure if it's a good or bad thing just yet. The paramedics die laughing at their attempts to get Gigi out of his car, and then became frustrated when he refused treatment. Our landlord was doing her best to get him to go the hospital, but all he cared about was his car...which was totalled. Finally, he decided to go in the ambulance, but they were already driving off. In frustration, he decided to drunk push the cop...which did not go over well. All I heard were some very hasty "Monsieur's" and Gigi was thrown against the van, then face first on the concrete. He didn't even make a sound, didn't even feel it. It was great to be front row, I have to say. They dragged him to a police car, handcuffed, and then drove away, with Gigi standing up in the backend trying to get out. A man in his mid-forties completely defaced in front of the whole neighborhood. I have little to no sympathy! Stephen, however, was able to have round two in the paddywagon. This time, our landlord Debra helped out. I was nervous we weren't going to have a car for our trip to Paris the next morning, but we were able to get a tow truck to tow our car and give us a rental...a PT CRUISER. Hey, at least it's not a minivan. Needless to say, it was dramatic, sad, exciting, and I would venture to say better than the "Iceman vs. Tito" fight I had on my last birthday!