Cocoa Beach

Sunday, August 29, 2010

After our day at Harry Potter Land, we had about 6 more hours to spend together before I had to fly home. We decided to head east and see the ocean! Cocoa Beach was only about an hour away from Orlando. This excursion was a great idea.

Somehow Russ even convinced me to get in the water. Here's a little tidbit about Camille you may not know -- the ocean and all of it's mysteries scares me to death. I like the beach, but the ocean... well I'm working on it. I think THIS STORY might be the cause of my ocean fear. Anyway, I got in, just because I was feeling nice and I knew that Russ and I only had a day and a half before I had to leave him for another week. It was actually pretty fun, especially since the waves were weak and barely came to our shoulders. I have now conquered Cocoa Beach.

Look at Russ's pure happiness. Unlike me, Russ loooooooooooves the ocean. He has that exact perma-grin on his face in every one of our pictures from this day. After the beach I literally hopped on a plane to San Antonio (sorry to the kind woman I sat by on the plane!). It was kind of sad to come home by myself, but at least we had a fun day and a half in Orlando together. He only has one more week in Florida before I get to keep him in Texas with me! Hallelujah!

Oh, Joy

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I saw this quote on one of my favorite blogs I follow, Ashley Anne - Under the Sycamore. Her blog is filled with beautiful pictures, inspiring ideas, and uplifting thoughts. Every post is a treat. But this particular quote really hit home for me.

It is human nature to compare. It's amazing how quickly we can go from being so proud and satisfied at something we have accomplished, the state of being we have found, or the joy we have reached to feeling completely... Inept. Inadequate. Falling short. Unhappy. That joy was stolen.

Unfortunately, I find myself doing this on a regular basis. Say I just finish a great run, and feel so proud that I reached that goal distance, or improved my time. Then I hear about someone else that did the same amount just a smidge faster, or went considerably longer... and suddenly my run was not enough. I'm not good enough. I have to be better. Why can't I hold on to the original self-satisfaction I once obtained?

Today's modern world of blogs, TV, movies, you name it, sets up a stage where we can ALWAYS compare ourselves to someone elses life... even though the view we see is not the whole picture. Ever since I read this quote, I have been thinking about joy. Joy is happiness. Felicity. Contentedness. I want to strive to stop comparing. I want to embrace and hold on to the joy I feel from what I achieve, what I do, and most of all, for who I am. I am Camille Elise Lewis, and knowing that brings me joy.

My Weekend at Hogsmeade

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I went to Orlando this last weekend to meet up with Russ who is working out there for 3 weeks. 3 weeks is a really long time. We decided to make the most of it, and we spent the weekend with Harry Potter at Hogsmeade and Hogwarts. I have three words to sum it all up -- IT. WAS. MAGICAL.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios is everything I was hoping it to be. They did such a good job by including so many little details from the books and movies. There were even some details I couldn't remember (gasp!) without some serious contemplation. I felt a little bit like a kid in a candy shop. There are 3 rides. Two outside roller coasters and one that takes you through Hogwarts. These pictures are from the first ride, "the Dueling Dragons." Seriously awesome roller coaster. We rode the Chinese Fireball dragon, and battled the Hungarian Horntail. I think we won.

We were able to shop at/browse through a lot of the stores on Hogsmeade, such as Honeydukes, the Owl Post, the Three Broomsticks, and Olivander's Wand Shop (except we didn't go in this one, because there was a winding line to even get in). I love this picture of Russ staring longingly at the many types of wands.

All the people in the signs actually moved, just like in the movies. Oh, Sirius Black. So misunderstood. Also, please notice the "Comb-a-chameleon" I found at Zonko's Joke Shop. It's like my name. Comb-a-Camille-eon. Get it?

The Three Broomsticks was an actual restaurant. We didn't eat there, but it looked truly authentic.

So my favorite part was definitely Hogwarts. It was incredible. It brought everything together. Even walking through the castle while in line tied in so many of the story lines. Did I mention that my parents were randomly in Orlando at the same time? My dad had a conference he had to be at, so my mom tagged along as well. It was so fun being in Harry Potter land together. Here they are with Russ before entering the castle.

 The hall of moving pictures and the pensieve. Sooooooooooooooo cool.

I snapped this picture during the Hogwarts castle ride.  It makes me laugh every time I see it. You guys, a true-to-size Aragog and his family made an appearance. And if you know anything about the book and my phobia of spiders, you will know it was rather disturbing. Don't worry, the ride was still awesome.

In the end, our day with Harry was fantastic. Russ loved it so much he even gave his phone to Harry Potter (aka, he lost it in the park). That was another fun addition to the day. In the end, we left due to some intense rain showers and tired feet, finishing the day with some good ol' fashioned California Pizza Kitchen. It's the simple things in life that matter.

Seriously crazy.

Monday, August 23, 2010

You guys, it's been a seriously crazy morning. It's not even lunch and I have already:
  • Prepared a few returns (yes, I do work at work... occasionally)
  • Been yelled at, hung up on, and brought to tears uncontrollable sobbing by a psycho property manager of a potential rental house we have thought we were going to move into for the last month. Ok, so mabye the uncontrollable sob was just a release of emotions that have been escalating over the last few days/weeks. They've gotta come out sometime.
  • Filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.
  • Drank a can of Diet Coke. Don't judge... it's necessary this morning.
  • Set up an appointment to walk through another house. We're banking on the whole "when one door closes a window opens up" thing. I'll let you know how it goes.

I get the "Real Simple Daily Thoughts," and they must have known that today was going to be one of those days. I was greeted by this in my inbox:

“Look at life through the windshield, not the rear-view mirror.”

Byrd Baggett

So here's to getting over what happened in the past, moving on to the future, and having a better Monday afternoon.

the quilt debut

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Brittney and I made a quilt for my Mom's 50th Birthday this summer. We just gave it to her this last weekend in Spokane, hence the reason I am just now showin' it to ya. It was a really fun project!! I made the quilt top which was a chevron (zig-zag) print that came together after hours of measuring, cutting, ironing, and sewing.

  So then I sent it to Brittney, who made the backing and then hand-stitched it together! Pretty impressive, eh? We got a few of our favorite family pictures printed on fabric and used it on the backing. Look how cute my mom is all bundled in the quilt... I think she likes it!


And that, my friends, is the quilt! Not bad for the first that Brittney and I have ever done (Just don't look too closely). Definitely made a few mistakes, had to re-do a few parts here and there, but learned a lot. And in the end, I can't wait till I get to work on quilt #2.

The Lake Has My Heart

Monday, August 16, 2010

We just got in last night from a long weekend in Washington. Oh, Washington. Every time I go back home to Spokane, I end up in disbelief that I GREW UP THERE! I feel so lucky to call such a naturally beautiful place home. My parents rented a lake house on Long Lake. I grew up boating on this lake, and it was so good to go home.

Oh trees. How I miss you.

Gearin' up for the early morning ski run. There's nothing like skiing on glass.

Even though my Dad has a strict rule that we can't tube until all have water-skiied, we broke the tubes out. Skiing on Long Lake has made our family a little picky about the water, where any level of choppiness makes us hesitant to break out the ski. Hence, the occasional tubing. In the picture above, Stu is trying to stand while tubing. The other picture is all of us watching him take the first jump on the tree swing.

Look at Russ's form!

 "Flat Jace" made some appearances at the lake this weekend.

Russ and my Dad tricking out the stereo system

Look at that face. Look at that water. Complete happiness.

Happy Birthday to Brittney! We celebrated her birthday at the lake house. Sheri (my second mom) came by the house one night along with my favorite dessert--that lovely raspberry tart on the right side of the picture. yummmmmmmmmmm.

If I water ski, he gives me a kiss! Pretty great deal on my end.

Look at that spray. Yeah pops!

Look at that picture closely. See anything anyone that shouldn't be there?

My Mom is the best boat mom ever. She's always there with a towel, she always cheers you on, and she always looks this happy.

We also went mountain biking on Saturday. It doesn't take a genius to see Russell was very excited.

We were sad to come home from this "relaxing" weekend. I say relaxing because it was a good break from the daily routine, but it wasn't really because we came home more sore than I've been in a really, really long time. But as Stuart says, it's not a McLaws vacation unless you come home sore.

Lost in Translation

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I love getting letters.

I love getting letters from my brother in Japan.

I love the stationary from Japan. The Japanese--English translation cracks me up. I hope you think they are as funny as Russell and I do. (In case you can't read the writing in the picture, I re-wrote it underneath).

"You will surely come to want to take the photograph if you are walking in this town."

"Lovely duck: I'm now in a cheerful state of mind. I feel more refreshed than anyone."

"When you have someone you can communicate with without words, that's when you know she's a friend."

"The bear is looking for something. It is Acacia honey."

"How do you feel today? She diverts herself by singing."