Friday, January 30, 2009

Trumped for a Whopper

This is for all of you Facebook addicts out there. Sometimes modern technology can hurt... sniff, sigh.

The NY Times recently ran an article about Burger King's latest marketing ploy. Essentially the campaign stated that if you 'defriend' 10 of your friends on Facebook that the fastfood chain would reward you with a free Whopper. Oh, but that's not all. Once a Facebook user went ahead and defriended 10 of his compadres each rejected friend would receive an email notification from Burger King stating that they had a been sacrificed for a burger. Actually only 1/10 of a burger. The company claims that 234,000 friendships were sacrificed for a taste of BK meat.

Burger King says that they decided to run this campaign because they find it interesting that there is a social change towards valuing the 'quantity' rather than the 'quality' of friends. So since Burger King is the benchmark for all things ethical and introspective they felt compelled to remind us of what is really important in life: giving into marketing gimmicks and trading people for a slab of dead cow.

I just want to clear the air out there for all my readers that are also Facebook friends. I would never defriend you for a Whopper. I would much rather have a Taco Bell Bean Burrito.

You can check out the full story here:

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Baby Personal Ad

My name is Lily. I'm two and a half feet tall. Brunette. Hazel Eyes. Toothless.Lots of Rolls.

My hobbies are eating my toes, hanging out with my cat and watching Sesame Street.I also enjoy long crawls across my living room. I like conversations in the very early morning and can appreciate a decent bottle of milk.

I am outgoing and sweet but don't even think about wearing ski goggles if we get to know each other better.

If I sound like someone you would like to get to know better please contact my Mom.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Homemade Head Warmer

Eat your heart out Suzy homemaker,there is a new girl on the block and her name is Sarah. I looked at my child the other day and decided that she needed a hat. Not just any hat either. She needed one that was crocheted by me. So I resurrected my trusty crochet hook from the craft box it had been placed in 7 years earlier and proceeded to whip up a pretty darn cute hat.

Not too sure about her new hat at first.

But then decided it kept her head nice and warm.

Monday, January 26, 2009

She's on the Move

Lily officially became mobile today. We usually lay in bed in the morning while Lily plays with toys in our room. Ben looked down for a moment and said "she's crawling!" Sure enough Lil was making a beeline for the cords connected to our bedside lamp.

Cupboards will be bolted, cleaning products/medication locked away and our cat is no longer safe in her own home. Ahh, life is good :)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Grumblings: Starbucks Counter Ettiquette

I know that there are atrocious things happening in the world right now but Counter Hoarders are really getting to me.

You know the ones. The ones that order their venti double shot Caramel Machiatto and then proceed to stand right in front of the pick-up counter. I am not talking about near the pick-up counter, I mean literally leaning their elbows on the counter and breathing down the neck of the defenseless barrista.This hording only seems to happen when there are at least 10 other people already waiting patiently for their own drinks. Meaning that when the customers behind the Hoarder hears their drink being called out they have to ask, bump and shove the offending hoarder away from the counter.

Next time you are in Starbucks, or anywhere with a pick-up counter, don't offend and hoarde. Humbly step aside and wait your turn. Otherwise I will hunt you down and it won't be pleasant....

Friday, January 23, 2009

Cabo Confession

My name is Sarah and I am a travel research addict. My favorite thing in the world is to dream up a new place to visit and to scour the Internet for the cheapest possible way to make that destination a reality. I can spend hours happily searching. I kid you not- I can spend days checking and cross-referencing sites.

So when Ben and I decided to take a little trip this spring I jumped with glee. I started searching to my little hearts delight. We wanted somewhere warm, on the beach, with great food, not too far from San Francisco. So after hours of searching it is now official... we are going to Cabo San Lucas in March sans the little bundle of Joy. That's right 5 whole days and 4 glorious nights without the babe! I wish my parent's the best of luck because we will be nowhere in sight.

Now comes the second part of my confession... I have an ulterior motive for going to Cabo. Yes, the destination meets all of our criteria but the real kicker is that there is another draw to this Mexican paradise. Celebrities. Apparently they are everywhere. In the last couple of weeks Leonardo DiCaprio and his supermodel girlfriend were spotted cavorting around this celebrity haven. This area is also a favorite of Jennifer Aniston, Jessica Alba, Jessica Simpson and Britney Spears. Not to mention pseudo-celebrities, Heidi and Spencer, from The Hills allegedly eloped in Cabo. We are obviously not going to be staying in the $1,000 + a night resorts that hide away their famous clientele. But those resorts are literally a walk down the beach from where we are staying. Needless to say, I will be packing my running shoes and doing a little investigating of my own. So Leo, if you are in town again from March 8-12 give us a ring, we hear the margaritas are fantastic that time of year.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Lil's Long Weekend

Everyone needs a little down time. Since we have been traveling and Ben has been working like a maniac, we decided to have a quiet 3 day weekend at home. OK. Maybe not exactly quiet. The following ensued...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My Life as a Groupie ( but not in a creepy way)

Lil living out of a suitcase

Ok, so maybe January 2009 does not suck as bad as I previously posted. Lils and I have been having lots of fun traveling with Ben for the past week.The children's choir from Watoto in Kampala, Uganda, arrived for their Canadian tour this past weekend. Lily and I decided to join Ben over in Vancouver while he works with the choir on their concert sales strategies. I feel like a groupie following around my husband, staying in hotels and going to concerts at night!

We traveled over on the ferry this past Saturday and that is when all the fun started... The Watoto kids' planes were delayed literally days. Some of them left Uganda on Friday and did not arrive in Canada until 1AM on Monday morning! The kids range in age from 7-11 and all had amazing attitudes considering they were dealing with major jet lag. Ben and I also encountered a slight glitch in our plans. After having a fun dinner with some of our Langley friends we headed out for Camp Stillwood (where the Watoto kids were practicing before the launch of their tour). While on a dark road, in the middle of farm country, our car decided to stop working. We felt it lurch forward and then smelled burning rubber- generally not good signs. So we pulled over on the side of the farm road at 10:30pm, pulled our our cell phone and tried to figure out what we were going to do. Poor little Lily was fast asleep and our car was definitely not going to move another inch. Thankfully Ben has a super, nice, younger brother who currently lives in Langley. He gave up his Saturday night to drive out to the middle of nowhere, pick us all up and deliver us to our camp at the top of a mountain. I think he probably made it home at 2AM. Thank you Eric. You saved our butts.

After our little car adventure we knew that things could only get better. The camp was beautiful and had amazing food. Good camp food, those words don't usually go together do they? Ben was busy sorting through loads of items brought over from Africa to be sold at the concerts. The kids practiced for a long time getting their performance down to a T. Lily practiced her crawling and I mostly read books.

We are now currently driving around in a rented Pontiac van while our car is being repaired. I am normally anti- van. It was embarrassing to drive around my parents' caravan when I was 16 and I figured it would still be embarrassing to drive one at 27. To my surprise (and demise) I actually like driving that hideous thing around. It is so much easier to put Lil in her seat and we can throw piles of stuff everywhere in this vehicle. I am not saying that I am going to trade in my SUV for a van anytime soon but I concede that once we have a few kids it won't be quite as terrible as I envisioned to drive one of those behemoths. I will just buy one with a DVD player and a plush interior.

But I digress... back to the choir. The Watoto Children's choir had a fantastic start to their Canadian tour at a little church in Fort Langley. The kids are fun to watch- they are awesome dancers, singers and story-tellers. It is strange to think that these innocent little kids have experienced difficulties in their short lives that I cannot begin comprehend. Watoto sends out a few different choirs around the world to check out when one is coming to a town near you check out their site here. The concerts are entertaining and all the money raised goes straight to the organization to help out more aids and war orphans. These kids will melt your heart and this is coming from someone who is not a sap. So check it out!

The Watoto Choir at their first Canadian Concert of 2009

Friday, January 9, 2009

January Sucks

Did that title catch your attention? I apologize if I sound abrupt but January is hands-down my least favorite month of the year. Christmas is over, the parties have come to a halt, the weather is dark and damp and it all makes me feel a little down. I am usually a cup half full kind of gal, but January drains my cup altogether.

The one positive thing about this horrific month is that it makes me dream about the future. I love change and new adventures so during this dreary time I like to think ahead. Inevitably, it also leads me to thinking about my job. In the past, even if I am completely content in my career, for some reason January puts me on the hunt for something new. Nothing has ever come out of these musings because by February I feel like a new woman again.

I thought I would share with you some of the career paths I find intriguing in the month of January.
1. Dermatologist. I know this might sound odd but I am intrigued by skin. If I had any math skills at all I would have wanted to be a skin Dr.
2. Hair Stylist. I like the idea of talking to people all day and making them feel attractive. Again this is a complete 180 from what I do now!
3. News Anchor. This is not totally off the beaten path considering I have dabbled in television before. I am just not willing to make a start in little podunk towns for the sake of trying to make it big in my career. I want the big leagues or nothing.
4. Missionary. Ben and I have talked about this one in the past. Sell all of our earthly belongings and live somewhere that God calls us to minister. I know that you can be a missionary in your own town, but there is something more dramatic about selling all you own and trekking into jungles of South America to reach indigenous tribes.
5. Aerobics Instructor. I enjoy exercising and I would enjoy people paying me to exercise with them. This is one job that I might actually try to do in the future. Not exactly the same amount of schooling required as becoming a dermatologist.
6. Real Estate Agent. Now that the market is crashing this is probably not an ideal career path. But I love the game of real estate and would like to try it out one day.

For the next few months my current employer requires bottles, diaper changes and lots of hugs. So for her sake I am going to grin and bear it and pretend that it is July.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Cry Baby

For the most part Lily Joy lives up to her name. She is a good natured girl who is happy (if not a little wild). Lil has her whiny days but she generally does not cry. Of course there are a few exceptions...

Lily freaks out over the following-

1. When I yell at her beloved cat to stop scratching our stairs.
That cat is a whole other post.
2. When people who usually do not wear eye glasses put them on in front of her.
Go figure? Not sure what this one is all about.
3. When people sneeze. This is especially true when her Father sneezes and shakes the whole house. We had some significant tears over this one.
4. Ski Goggles. This is the BIG one. I thought it would be funny to put on my ski goggles and surprise her. Not such a great idea. We had hysterics in our house for a good 10 minutes over ski goggles.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Year's on the Slopes

I am terrified of skiing. The thought of having two slippery devices strapped to my feet while sliding down a mountain makes my stomach turn. This year I sucked it up, faced my fear and enjoyed a few days up at Mount Washington with the Gulbrandsen clan. Just the 12 of us celebrated the New Year by skiing, reading books and soaking in the cabin's hot tub. The perfect way to ring in 2009!

As I mentioned previously, skiing is not the way I usually like to spend my winters. It all stems back to my first ski experience when I became stuck on a difficult run and needed to ride down the mountain on the gondola. Needless to say, it was excruciatingly embarrassing as a 13 year old-especially as my 8th grade classmates snickered and waved as I floated by. This time around, armed with the support of my ever-patient husband, I took to the slopes with only a few minor bumps and bruises. My brother in-law Eric also had some apprehension before taking the icy plunge but he proved to be a skilled, speed skier in a matter of minutes. I was jealous when he quickly surpassed my beginner status. Isn't it silly how we can let little fears and hang ups ruin what potentially can be an exhilarating ride? That is going to be my resolution for 2009-
to live without fear. "Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you." Isaiah 41:10.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Jingle Bell Rock

We're back! We have been living out of a suitcase and pack n' play for nearly two weeks but we had a blast.

We barely got out of Victoria on the 22nd due to extreme weather conditions. Like I mentioned in my previous post, the city of Victoria and piles of snow do not mix well. Half of the flights departing from Victoria International were canceled, so we considered ourselves lucky to only be one hour delayed. Lily has proven to be a seasoned traveler. She likes to sleep on planes and chat with the people around her.

This year we celebrated Christmas with all of my extended family on the 24th (about 50 people) and then had a more intimate Christmas Day gathering at my parents. One of the highlights of our holiday was volunteering on Christmas morning with City Impact in the Tenderloin district, San Francisco's poorest neighborhood. My sister Tiffany, my brother-in-law Robert and my brother Eric all work full-time for this amazing organization. In the end we estimated that 350 volunteers came out and served over 3,500 meals and distributed groceries and toys in one of America's most poverty stricken neighborhoods. Ben and I had the privilege of delivering hot meals door-to-door inside the area's low-income housing. We felt both humbled and blessed to be a part of this day with our family. You can check out City Impact's website at

We were also thrilled to be able to hang out with friends and family for the entire week! The Strong household became very busy with 9 of us under one roof. Because we had 'free' babysitting for the week, Ben and I were able to meet up with friends for lunch, check out a new bocce ball restaurant and Ben went to the last 49er's home game of the season. Of course I also managed to fit in a few hours of intense, post-Christmas shopping with my sister Lizzy the shopping extraordinaire.

When we returned to Victoria we had another mini-Christmas with Ben's family. This is the bonus of having family in two different countries. Double the Christmas celebrations!

I know that gifts are not the 'reason for the season' but I want to give props to the American Idol Karaoke Set for xbox that I received. You might not want to show up at our house for the next few weeks since you will be greeted by me belting out the tunes of Kelly Clarkson on my new microphone.

We hope that everyone had a very Merry Christmas!

This is what we were greeted with the morning we left Victoria. Our driveway had about a foot of snow.

Typical Lily pose. She looked spectacular in her gold Christmas ensemble

Three Generations with Lil

Mom & Dad



Lily loves her walker. So lame that these things are illegal in Canada. I swear I am going to smuggle one in my suitcase- just don't report me to Canadian customs.

A little freaked out by Sophie the Doberman. The Dogs love Lily, Lil is not so sure about them.

Amidst Christmas gear. Notice she is sipping on a baby Starbucks mug. She is already addicted.

With Canadian Grandma at Christmas #2.

Trying to escape while opening gifts with Mom on Christmas #2.