Thursday, December 17, 2009

Roomie Reunion 2009!

Every year my college roommates get together. Well, it's really my roommate (who happens to also be my best friend) and her roommates that she had after I ran off and got married. We've had varying levels of success getting the roommates together, and this year it included myself, Leanna, and Karen (who happens to be my sis-in-law), and then my nephew Ian, and of course, Caleb!

I got to host this year. I was so excited, because I love Fort Worth and have always wanted to spend an evening downtown with my favorite roomies. And that's exactly what we did!

We got all gussied up, because what is getting together with girls without a makeover?

We were silly....

We took lots of pictures....

ate ice cream....

and to top it all off, went to a comedy club and got to participate on stage!

It was a great night. Jon, who was home with Caleb (Ian's grandparents were watching him that night), predicted that we would be home by ten. Well, we did leave downtown by ten, but only because it was the middle of the week and nothing stayed open later than that! I, for one, really enjoyed my girl time with no baby. It was a blast to hang out and have fun.

As for the rest of the reunion, it was spent with Caleb and Ian, so I'll put those posts up on Caleb's blog. Eventually.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What to Blog About

My husband, who has not blogged in 7 months, tells me I need to post more often.


I have been reading The Birth Order Book by Dr. Kevin Leman, and it has been quite eye-opening. Though not normally attributed to a last-born like myself, I have found that I am a "frustrated perfectionist." I have in my mind the perfect way to do something, which is generally such a lofty goal that it is impossible to obtain. I therefore procrastinate on it (because I don't want to start when I know I can't finish), then other things pile up behind it, but I can't start those until I've done my first task justice, which I now realize I will never be able to do. So my life comes to a standstill and I get more and more overwhelmed about my growing list of tasks. Anybody relate to this?

Evidently the answer is to lower my goals to more realistic measures, and then GET IT DONE. Mark it off my list so I can move on! So fine. The next few posts may not be thoughtfully written or picture-laden, but they will catch you up on the things going on in our lives. Which, believe me, is enough to handle in itself without trying to put pictures to it.

I am resisting the urge to re-read this post before publishing, or even finding an image of the book I'm reading, or at least linking to it on Amazon. Let me just say it really bothers me, but you are getting a post, and that is all. The end.


Monday, November 23, 2009

I Will Rise

There's a peace I've come to know
Though my heart and flesh may fail
There's an anchor for my soul
I can say "It is well"

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

There's a day that's drawing near
When this darkness breaks to light
And the shadows disappear
And my faith shall be my eyes

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

And I hear the voice of many angels sing,
"Worthy is the Lamb"
And I hear the cry of every longing heart,
"Worthy is the Lamb"

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Brought to you by the letters I-K-E-A

Yesterday I met up with Margie to shop the day away! It was so much fun! Margie introduced me to Sam Moon. Crazy place! I found some great buys, but it was pretty overwhelming. From here on out I think I'll stick to the smaller Compass here in my own town. Which Margie also introduced me to, now that I think about it. That girl loves jewelry.

After Sam Moon we ventured over to IKEA. What a great place! I decided to add accents of orange to my house, and had a small budget to spend that day, so it made for a really fun shopping trip. We'd scan all that we could see, and if we spotted orange, we'd go over and check it out. If it was pretty and cheap, we'd toss it in the basket. If we liked it but it took too much of my budget, I put it on a wish list to get sometime in the future. We came away with some really fun things! I haven't put them up in the house yet, because if things go the way I think they're going, we won't be living here much longer. So my new orange purchases will stay in their packages until we get where we're going.

I had such a great day with Margie. I could never have made it through IKEA by myself, and she was a good person to help me stay on my budget (mostly...) and pick fun things. Plus it was a great time for she and I to hang out, which we don't get to do enough of these days! I came home pooped, encouraged, and excited about my new orange IKEA purchases.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What to do...

I need help. As you know, I am not an organized person. At the moment, I have several things on my mind. LOTS of things. Hosting Thanksgiving, Caleb's birthday party, Christmas presents, possible move and new home decorating, birthdays, photography, designing stuff for church.....

So, how does one keep it all organized? Let's go ahead and note that I cannot keep it straight in my head, so I need another solution. How do you organized people do it??

Friday, November 13, 2009

Roadtrip to Arkansas

Just a quick note to say that we're headed to Arkansas this afternoon! There's a church there interested in Jon for a youth/education position. We've met with the committee once, and now they want us to come see the town, visit with the pastor, etc. It's not the official "in view of a call" visit, but I think it's the step before that. So, we'll see! Please pray that Jon and I (and the search committee) will get a very clear word from the Lord about His will for us.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Power to the People

If you've been to Wal-Mart lately, you've probably noticed their new branding for all their grocery items. And if you're like me, it's caused you to lose your appetite. Seriously, what focus group told them this was appealing??

You know what I think when I look in my cabinet?

"All I've got to eat is chili and refried beans, and that just sounds gross."

I can't just look on the shelves and see green, yellow and orange and think, "Oh good, I've got green beans, corn and carrots...yum!" (Not that I would ever say that about carrots, but that's beside the point.) The point is that these cans have sat untouched in my cabinet for two weeks because their contents are not easily recognizable by their can design. What does that mean? Boring meals for me, and less money for Wal-Mart. Someone was not thinking when they came up with these designs.

What do you think? I'm putting up a poll, so vote and let your voice be heard! I may not buy name-brand, but that doesn't mean I deserve bad design!

Friday, September 25, 2009

The end is near!

This was the sky overhead the other day, right before a rain. I love Texas skies and their sometimes apocalyptic panoramas.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It's all cool

I'm loving my new deep freeze. We bought it on Craig's list for $50. When it came to us, it was black (someone had painted over the original white), it was dirty, and it was very very stinky.

So, I took the water hose to it and washed it three times with as many disinfecting products as I could. I also scrubbed off as much black paint as I could; some of it just peeled right up. Then onto painting it white again. I used Rustoleum Appliance Paint, and it took me almost 4 cans, 2 per coat (an additional $20). It was easy to apply, and the result is great! And I'm really enjoying all the room we have!
Caleb had mostly moved on to table food by the time we got the freezer in, but it would have been so nice with his frozen baby food that I made. Even now, I make up batches of cooked chicken and veggies and freeze those laid out flat. Once they're frozen, I break up the pieces and store them in a Ziploc, and I know I have a healthy meal on hand any time Jon and I are eating pizza or Chinese or something else that's hard to give to a baby.

Tonight I made up a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough and froze the preformed cookies on a cookie sheet. When they're frozen, I'll put them in a Ziploc and we'll have a sweet snack ready in no time! I prefer the cookie dough just as it is, but Jon might pull out a couple and bake them.

How much fun to have freezer room!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Taking the plunge??

So our car has pretty much died on us. We've debated for the past week or two over what to do. It's still driveable (at low speeds), but not guaranteed to last much longer. And the cost of repairs and maintenance will most definitely be more than the value of the car, if not twice the value of the car. So...on to a new car! Woohoo!

That brings us to many questions. This next car will probably last us 5 years or so like the last one did, so what are our car needs for the next 5 years? Right now, we have one child with a honkin' big car seat. We could potentially have another child in a year or so (don't worry, no big announcements forthcoming!), so that means a four-door sedan would fit our needs, as long as it has plenty of room in the back. BUT...let's say we go crazy and opt for Baby #3 two years after #2. That means that in 3 years we'll need a new car again. Plus, even just two kids with honkin' big carseats means not much room for anything else. Think Christmas. Long trip, lots of luggage, and lots of loot coming home with us! :) Or think, "Sure, I can pick you up at the airport! Just let me find a babysitter for my kiddos so there's enough room in the car...." So...that leads us to the SUV/van category of vehicles.

We have pretty tight parameters for the mileage we'd like, the age of the car, and most importantly, the price. This is good and bad. Good because it narrows down my search to about 50 vehicles in a 50-mile radius, which is a pretty short list considering where I live. Bad because those 50 vehicles are eerily like the car sitting in my driveway right now--they do their job, but I can expect some scoffing at the mechanic any time I go. In short, they're cheap cars. But, in short, that's what we can afford. And our Hyundai has worked very well for us the last 5 years.

So we've got a list that can easily be culled through--cut the manual transmission, no cars with really bad ratings, ixnay the one with a "salvage title".... That leaves us with a couple Kia Sedonas, a Dodge Caravan, a few Chrysler Town & Countries.... Are you seeing a pattern here? They're all vans! Hm....

I've been thinking long and hard about The Van. Vans get better gas mileage than SUVs, they're generally less expensive, they drive smoother, they have family-friendly features like power sliding doors (which I completely see the usefulness of now), and they have third-row seating, which SUVs don't offer until you look at the larger ones, which are outside of my price parameter. So yes, a van is a good thing. But it's a van, and every normal person in my generation shudders at the thought of being That Mom with The Van. I think it reminds us too much of our own mothers, whom we love dearly but don't want to relate to quite that much. We don't want to admit that we are going down That Road. We didn't choose the romantic path that led us to hostels in Italy and running with the bulls in Spain. We chose the minivan path.

So, as it is now past midnight and I have cars and prices and dealerships and miles per gallon jumbling up in my head, I'll sleep on it, pray about it, and see how I feel tomorrow. I remind myself that we're looking for a 5-year car, not a 25-year car. As much as we rely on our vehicles, it's not like buying a house. It might be a chance to find something fun and unexpected (which, I agree, is most certainly not a van)! We'll see what happens, and I just might get to show you what we picked by this time next week!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

New post

Well, it seems that my blogging has gotten boring and depressing lately. I've wanted to put something new up, but don't have anything but more boring and/or depressing stuff to report. Hm...

So we'll make it quick, get it over with, and maybe I'll have something better to report next time!

House hunting is on hold while we figure out exactly if/when Jon gets a raise. Which turns out to be good, because 1) our income has not worked out as expected for the moment, and 2) our transmission went out on our car, so we'll find out tomorrow from the mechanic if we're fixing it (cha-ching) or replacing the car (mucho cha-ching). So it's a good thing we didn't use our money yet for a down payment or house repairs!

We're at a loss about what we're supposed to be doing. I've gotta admit my attitude hasn't been that great lately (as evidenced by these posts). I'm tired of not knowing what we're doing, I'm tired of seeing my husband beat down. I'm tired of guessing, "Did x happen to prevent us from doing y, which then allows us to do z? Or is x just another hurdle, but really we should push through and try to accomplish y?" Did the car break to prevent us from putting an offer on a house, which would have rooted us here in the city for a period of time? Or is it just a setback, and we should continue to house hunt when our income allows? Maybe we're supposed to keep looking for ministry positions--something we've been doing for a year now?

My mother-in-law reminded me of the story of Jonah. Despite his efforts, God orchestrated events so that Jonah made it to Ninevah. Where is our Ninevah, Lord? Because I feel like I'm getting swallowed, and all I really want is to be where You want me. I don't want to run!

We are sending Jon's resume to a church in West Texas. It certainly would not be our first choice for where God should lead us, but perhaps it's our Ninevah. And if it is, I pray for a revival such as the one Jonah witnessed!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Date night!

Jon and I had a great date night tonight! Freebirds and Julie & Julia. Uncle Dave and Aunt Karen used their aunt/uncle magic and kept Caleb happy, fed and bathed him, and got him off to bed with barely a tear! Let me tell you, that makes me quite the happy mom to come home to a good report like that. We were so grateful for the night out! And Momma, you've GOT to find a theater near you that's playing Julie & Julia. You would LOVE it!

Off to bed for now, but tomorrow I just might have to peruse some recipe books....too bad I packed most of them away in an effort to free up room in my kitchen!

Monday, August 10, 2009

More random thoughts!

Jon and I have gone house hunting with a realtor yesterday and today! We talked to the financial people today, and they're supposed to get back with us with an estimate of how much we qualify for. I have a feeling we won't qualify for much. We mentioned to our realtor that we had a nice down payment saved up and that we didn't have any debt or credit card bills and she seemed to think we'd qualify for all kinds of money. However, we're down to one income, and that one doesn't really pay that great--it's sufficient, but not great--so I'm not expecting the number to be very high. It's a little disappointing that we would work so hard on the down payment and financial responsibility and still not get the "house of our dreams." But oh, well. It's a first home, and who knows how long we'd even live there. And who knows if we'll even get a house! Mostly we were just wanting to do some fact-finding, since we don't know how the process works. And it seems to be a really good time to buy.

We'd like to get a place with enough land for Caleb to run and play. That puts us looking at houses outside of Fort Worth, and probably more expensive than we can afford. We'll just see what the financial lady says tomorrow and what our budget will allow! It would be exciting to have a house, and to know that we're actually going to stay for awhile. I gotta admit, as much as I've loved Fort Worth, I'm kind of ready to move on--just because we've been planning to move on for the last year, so mentally I've been prepared to say goodbye and go. But I wouldn't mind staying if I knew we could be settled for a little while.

Jon took a higher-paying position at his security job. He starts training soon. It's a month-long training, and he has to 1) get tazed, 2) endure some kind of pepper spray, and 3) fend off 3 people (in a controlled environment with lots of padding). I'm not looking forward to it at all! But I gotta say I think Jon is! Maybe it's the male/female difference, but I just can't see enjoying that! Once he's trained he'll start new hours at a new post. He's already worked there 4 years, so there have been hints that he'll move up in the company fairly quickly now that he's finally committed to this new position. (His boss has been wanting him to do this for months; they love him there!) So, maybe this is the stability we need for awhile. It would give Jon a chance to continue his studies; he's working on a masters in military history right now, and hoping to get his doctorate.

On a completely unrelated note, some of you know that I finally took my cartilage piercing out last month. 16 months of trying to get that thing to heal and stop hurting, and I just didn't want to deal with it any more. So out it came! It took awhile for it to finally heal. What a relief to lay down at night and not have to protect my ear from my pillow! Two nights ago, though, I tried putting an earring in the hole on a whim, and it went through! Hole's still there, and completely healed! It felt just like my earlobe piercing. How awesome is that? So I kept the earring in for a day and a half, and it started hurting again. Poop. I remember when I got my earlobes pierced that I had to wear gold earrings for years; otherwise the holes would get infected. Maybe I'm dealing with something similar here? So, the earring is back out, and I'm giving it a little bit to heal up again, and then I'll try a gold earring instead of the silver I've been wearing.

Jon taught Sunday School yesterday, and did an awesome job as always. Our class has a teacher rotation, and I always look forward to Jon's teaching more than any other! (Maybe I'm biased, but I don't think so!) He planned a time of purification and worship, coordinated with the guy who leads music for our class. It was a very neat time. Husbands and wives washed each other's feet and prayed for each other, and then we worshiped with very good songs of dedication and sacrifice to our Lord. I'm thankful for a husband who will put so much time and effort into his teaching, not because he's getting paid for it or because he wants to look good in front of class, but because God has something to teach each one of us, and Jon wants to facilitate that in any way he can. Yeah, I know...he's awesome. :)

How do you like our family portrait that Karen took for us? Aren't we a handsome family? Jon and I are in constant awe that God would bless us with Caleb. He's such a great kid; we can't get over how much we love him!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Random Thoughts for the Day

  1. My kitties are snuggled among the neatly folded stacks of laundry on my bed. They're so cute.
  2. Today I scrubbed, sanded and painted a freezer we bought for $50 on Craig's list. I had to wait 'til evening when it was cool enough to paint. I got the first coat on before it was dark. It will definitely need another coat. Now I have a freezer with wet paint in my front yard. Didn't really think ahead on that one. I need to figure out a way to get it back in the garage before I go to bed, or someone else will have a freshly painted white freezer! Maybe everyone will realize it's wet paint and they won't touch it. The june bugs didn't get the memo, though. I had to pick two of them out of the paint already!
  3. I've also been working on a ghetto cat scratcher. It's a revamp of the ghetto cat tree. Pictures to come!
  4. Full-time-mom-hood has been a transition for sure, especially given the crazy last month. I'm hoping August is much calmer!
  5. The beach was great. Definitely ended July on a high note.
  6. Jon finally accepted the higher-pay position at his current job. He'll start a month of training in a couple of weeks. It's been kind of a disappointment for us; we were sure he would have found a job by now, and are confused about God's timing of things. However, we recognize the blessing of a job, and thank God for it.
  7. Jon got pulled over on Saturday...and got off with a warning! The police officer asked him what he did for a job; Jon told him he was a security officer. The policeman told him he needed to be on the police force and even wrote down a web site for him to check out. As we drove off, we mused that perhaps this was the clear direction we'd been praying for. We'll ask God someday, "Why were You silent when we asked for Your will?" And He'll tell us, "I sent a cop and pulled you over to tell you what to do in life. What more did you need?" Despite that, we don't think the police force is in our future.
  8. You cannot make chocolate milk by mixing hot chocolate mix with cold milk. The chocolate powder stays mysteriously on top of the milk, no matter how hard you stir.
  9. When I was a kid I loved reading Nancy Drew books, but couldn't read them at night because they gave me bad dreams. I've been reading a mystery series lately, and found that I am still a weenie. Even my fairly docile mystery books are giving me bad dreams.
  10. Nothing else to say, but couldn't leave it with just 9. Good night all!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

July: Cut or Keep??

Let's do a little running tally of the goings on this month.....

4th of July visit with Grandma & Grandpa: +4
One very bitter wasp: -1
Check engine light on the trip: -1
$600 mechanic bill: -3
5-day trip to visit Nana & Granddad: +4
Check engine light on the trip: -1
Mosquito making a buffet of my ankles the whole trip home: -1
Started working out: +1
Strep throat for 4 days: -4
Cancel plans to see Leanna and Mawmaw: -2
Mom comes to help out: +2
Worst rash I've ever had: -3 (potential to lose 2 more points if it's not gone before the beach on Saturday)
5 days no air conditioner: -5
Caleb gets to play with his friend Noah for 3 days: +1
Stomach bug bites Jon: -3
Stomach bug bites Caleb: -1 (so far not bad, but potential to lose more points if the bug makes it to me, and even MORE points if we're not healthy by aforementioned beach vacation)
Finally celebrate KarenN's birthday: +2
Brand new air conditioner installed: +4 (potential to gain more if it's more powerful/efficient than the last one)
Beach vacation: remains to be seen, but I'm gonna give it a +6

So how do we end up? Let's see.... Well, we're at a -1 right now. But you just never know what good things could come. :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A not so random blip

Okay, so remember not too long ago when I got bronchitis and then had an allergic reaction to the antibiotic? Well, this past week I got strep throat. And had an allergic reaction to the new antibiotic! Only this time it's ten times worse, and I'm miserably itchy. I stopped the medicine yesterday morning, but the rash has gotten worse today and just about become one huge red mark, so I'm thinking it might be something other than the antibiotic. I've been keeping plenty of Benadryl in me, but so far it's only good for making me sleepy, which is fine, because I don't notice the itchiness when I'm sleeping.

So I'm not taking any antibiotic now, and I still have strep. My fever is still down, so that's good, but my throat still hurts. I wish there were some way I could flush whatever stuff is in me out...maybe I need a sauna to sweat it out. Or even leaches. Hm....

On the brighter side of things, our A/C went out. Yeah, okay, that's not so bright. BUT the landlord is finally biting the bullet and getting a new air conditioner! Hooray! The A/C goes out every summer, so I'll be glad to have some more reliability--and hopefully more efficiency, too!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy Fourth!

Today we've enjoyed an excellent 4th of July at my parents' house. Barbecued chicken for lunch, grill bratwurst for dinner...Caleb swam in a pool just his size on Grandma's back we're watching our third fireworks show of the evening on TV. They're pulling out old favorites to perform--Aretha Franklin, Barry Manilow and Neil Diamond. Sadly, Barry Manilow is the only one of the three who can still sing! That was a bit of a shocker. Other than that small disappointment it's been a great day!

Oh, except for the wasp who attacked me. I got my first wasp sting ever. And then two more, just to make up for lost time I suppose. Jon tells me that if I weren't jumping up and down and screaming like a banshee then maybe the wasp wouldn't have kept stinging, but I'm not sure about that! We tried a few home remedies: ice first, then an onion slice, then back to the ice, then some pennies taped on the stings. Add some Benadryl spray, Neosporin and an antihistamine and voila! I'm in pretty good shape. :) Don't ask me what helped the most!

Hope everyone had a great 4th as well! We don't realize how blessed we are to live in this free country!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


We made it! Two weeks of finalizing everything at work and pushing off unnecessary tasks at home to get it all done. Throw in volunteering at VBS and Jon working on his two new classes he's started toward his second masters, and it's been a crazy time! But we made it.

I've gotten to do two things lately that I haven't done in a long time. I joined a Tuesday morning ladies Bible study at church, and we attended Wednesday evening prayer meeting tonight.

I've also attempted a couple naps, though Caleb hasn't cooperated very well with that. And I visited with a new friend today, ran errands, and tomorrow Leanna's coming over!

I'm so grateful that God has provided for us and allowed me to stay home. I know it won't be the panacea to every stress in our lives, but it is still a relief.

And look! I'm even putting up a blog post! Hopefully more to come!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The time has come

When I was a freshman in college, I sat across from the career counselor in her office, hoping she could somehow see the promise I held and guide me down the professional career path of my dreams. She asked me where I saw myself in 10 years. I stuttered and stalled for time.

Ten years? Didn't she know how much could happen in ten years? How would I know where I would be? I tried to think of what was really important in life. Where did I see myself...?

"A mom. I see myself as a mom."

I'm sure the career counselor wanted to sigh and ask me why the heck I was in her office...or in college, for that matter. She instead let me know that I was suited for a career in audiology and sent me on my way.

Almost 10 years later, I have enjoyed a 5-year career (if you can call it that after only 5 years) as a graphic designer and am now leaving it to be the thing I desired so long ago. A mom.

I've had the blessing and privilege of working at home with Caleb these past 6 months, but the time has come for me to focus on being the best mom I can be, and to enjoy these moments of babyhood that I know will be so fleeting.

Moving from full-time employee to full-time mom is going to be quite a shift, and I'm sure I have learning and frustrations ahead, but I'm so excited! I can't believe I'm going to be able to fulfill what I saw so many years ago.

Friday, May 08, 2009

A Random Blip in Life

There are things that happen in life that are just blips. They flash across the screen and then they're gone. Yesterday one of those blips occurred to me. About 10am my head started itching. Within a couple of hours I had a rash all over my stomach, legs, everywhere, and I was itching like crazy. Went to the dr. at 2pm and he determined that I had developed an allergy to the antibiotic I was taking for my bronchitis. I stopped taking the medicine (my bronchitis was gone, anyway), took Benadryl the rest of the day, and I woke up this morning with no more itching and just faint signs of the rash. And *blip!* Like that it's done.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Long Hair

Look, I got my hair in a ponytail!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

It's been one of those weeks

It all started two Saturdays ago. In the church parking lot, leaving the weekend marriage conference, we found out that the driver side door handle was broken on our car, so we couldn't get in from the outside. Our already interesting car arrangement got more interesting. Here's what it looked like:

Go to driver's side to unlock the door (which automatically unlocks all the other doors). Open back seat door to put Caleb in. Close door and open front passenger side, lean across and open driver's door. Close passenger door and go to driver's side. Close door and drive. At destination, lean back and pop open Caleb's door, open driver's door and lock it (thereby locking all the other doors). Close driver's door and go to Caleb's open door. Get him out and close door.


Saturday night, Caleb starts coughing.

Sunday morning, I keep Caleb home from worship, but take him into Sunday School with me so I can hear Jon teach. Caleb coughs a little, but is a trooper and plays quietly on my lap. By the afternoon, I also start coughing. Jon does some research and orders a new handle for the car.

Tuesday and Wednesday, Jon is home all day, off work because he has to work the next weekend. He stays home with Caleb while I go into the office on Wednesday. The door handle comes in.

Thursday: Jon starts a few days of working nights. He spends the morning working on the car. By the afternoon, it's all put back together, and now we can get in the car from the outside! Bad news: we can't get out from the inside. Jon calls the mechanic who will take it in the next morning. He goes to work. I stay home and try to be productive.

Friday: Drop car off. Jon works nights (til 3 the next morning). Worst day of sickness for me. I have to cancel my lovely weekend plans with Joe and Leanna. What were those plans? Oh, we had so many....

First, we were going to go camping that weekend, Friday and Saturday night. But Jon couldn't get off Friday. So....maybe Joe and Lea could go on Friday, and we'd join them on Saturday. Then Jon got assigned to work nights all weekend. Well, maybe we could do something fun on Saturday during the day. Considering the little sleep Jon would be getting, we decided that just Caleb and I would join Joe and Leanna at the Dallas Farmers Market! What fun! But alas, sick with no car, I had to cancel.

Saturday: I wake Jon up to watch Caleb for a couple hours while I spend my gift cards at Old Navy. I had 30% off my entire purchase! The highlight of my week! I get home in time for lunch and for Jon to grab groceries and head to work (home again at 3 in the morning). The third night of taking care of Caleb by myself. I spend the evening making cake and salad for our Sunday School potluck.

Sunday: Still too sick to go to church, I send the yummy food off with Jon. He goes to church, comes home for lunch, then heads to work. Caleb is his sweet self and gives me a good evening. We visit with Holly and Sophie.

Monday: Jon does a quick turnaround to work the day shift. We call mechanic to check on progress. The car should be ready after lunch. We look forward to our plans to eat dinner with Joe and Lea the next night. We get another call in the afternoon: they ordered the wrong part and have to reorder. We ask that they put the car back together so we can use it Tues and Wed, and we'll bring it back on Thursday. They say they can't do that, but they'll get us a loaner car by Tuesday afternoon. I worry that they use the term "loaner" instead of "rental." Jon is home by 4:30. Dinner and a little playtime with Caleb, then he's asleep by 7pm. I visit with Holly at her house, then back home to get Caleb bathed and to bed. Both boys asleep, I take advantage of the truck being home to go to the grocery store.

Tuesday (today): Caleb and I are both still coughing. I finally admit that my cold has turned into a full-blown sinus infection. It takes three tries to find a doctor who is taking new patients and can see me today. Appt. at 3:00. Wait, still no car! Jon calls the mechanic about the loaner car. They'll loan out a Buick Park Avenue to me. "The check engine light is on, but it's fine." Nice. I arrange with a friend to pick me up and take me to the mechanic. We have to coordinate our baby's naps, but we finally do and make it to the mechanic. I joke that the old Gold Buick in the parking lot is probably mine. And it is. On my way back to the house, I appreciate the power seats, the temp-controlled air conditioner, the cushy leather may be old, but oh so nice. I miss my Buick. I also appreciate that someone left me a powdered donut stuffed into the seat. What thoughtfulness. I get home and realize I've left Caleb in a poopy diaper for who knows how long, and he's been a happy little boy, quietly adjusting to each change with a smile and his parrot stuck in his mouth. Though when I change his diaper, it's not poopy. It's not even wet. I think back on the day and try to remember when I changed his diaper and honestly have no idea. I make lunch, try to get a little work done, and call the pediatrician. The nurse says I don't need to come in, that a cough is fine. Just keep the humidifier on, which I'm doing. If he's not better in a couple of days, come in.

And the good news? We DO get to go see Joe and Leanna, and they're grilling yummy things, and we're making homemade ice cream, and we all get to visit and laugh and forget about the crazy last week! And I'll have antibiotics and a cushy Buick to drive to work in tomorrow.

Today as I sat down to my lunch of leftover Sloppy Joes, I thanked God for leftovers, for a husband who works hard, for a baby who is so easy going, for a mechanic who will loan me a car at no extra cost, for insurance to cover my dr. appointment, and for all the good and seemingly not-so-good things that go on in life. Because all these little things that have added up to a not-so-great week are really minor. And I am blessed that this week only seems so bad because I have it so good the rest of the time!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Selfie Tag

I took this picture as soon as I read KarenN's post. It just took me a week to get it on the blog! Though it was a Saturday--which normally means no makeup, let my hair do what it wants, and grubby clothes--I was in luck that we had been to our church's marriage conference that day, so I actually looked decent!

I tag:
Anyone else who wants to play along

The rules: Take a picture of yourself at this very primping allowed...stay true to the game!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Happy Belated!

Bonnie & Clyde turned one year old at the end of March! We celebrated by giving them canned food, letting them sleep in our bed that night (yeah, won't happen for another year), and finally putting food in the bird feeders so all the birds would come to the window for the cats to see. Oh, and I made cupcakes and took them up to the vet's office as a thank you for giving us our great kitties. They're stinkers, but they're great.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Make it to the top!

Have you noticed my new sidebar o' links? Now all my blogging buddies are listed in order of who posted last! See yourself at the bottom of the list? Get a free ride to the top just by posting! Want a pretty picture to show up by your name? Then take a pretty picture and post it!

See you at the top!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Easter Lunch

Orange-Dijon Pork Loin
Crunchy Onion Potato Bake
Broccoli Casserole
Homemade bread
Lemonade with Strawberries
Chocolate Mousse

Anyone want to join us?

Since I linked to everything but a couple, here are the recipes for those. The bread is just a box mix thrown into the bread machine. And the Broccoli Casserole....
1 package chopped broccoli, cooked and drained
2 tubes Ritz Crackers, crushed
1 pound Velveeta
1 stick butter

Layer half of the broccoli, half of the cheese (thinly sliced), crackers, and butter (sliced). Then layer with the rest of the broccoli, cheese, crackers and butter. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
My mom was the first to make the pork loin. I've made it once, too, and it's delicious. My sister-in-law made the potato bake at Thanksgiving last year (Jon and I enjoyed it at the hospital!). The broccoli is my mother-in-law's recipe, the strawberry lemonade is really Red Robin speckled lemonade, and the mousse is courtesy of Jason's Deli.

My brother-in-law is joining us for lunch, so it's just three so far, if you want to come by!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Hypothetically speaking....

Let's say you've worked hard and finally made your millions. However, you'd always told yourself you wouldn't live an extravagant life, but instead keep the same standard of living as when you started out. What ONE indulgence would you give yourself? A nice car? A housekeeper? An 80-day trip around the world in a hot air balloon? Starbucks every morning? A 12-bedroom house? Land? What would it be? Let me know in the comments!

Friday, April 03, 2009

No claims of wisdom, but....

...about the same time as my friend Cliff, I've discovered my first gray hair! It's not there any more, because it was hard to see on my head, so I pulled it out to get a closer look and make sure it was a real, honest-to-goodness gray hair instead of a blond one from the last highlights I put in. But there it was! A gray hair. Based on my inspection, I'd say I just might inherit the beautiful silver hair my mom and her parents have.

Am I distraught over my newfound wisdom? Nah... Will I rush out and find a hair dye that covers grays? Nah... Gray hair happens to everybody, and fighting it usually just makes people look older. I may not even find another one for a few years! But if I do, that's fine with me.

I've always thought I'd like to have long hair when it goes gray. Or short, spikey hair like my mom's. Of course, those are the two extremes I like with my brown hair, too!

Friday, March 27, 2009

These newfangled cameras

There are several of you who have recently upgraded to digital SLRs, so I thought I'd pass on an article I ran across yesterday. It's got a lot of good, basic information about SLRs.

Friday, March 20, 2009

What are you doing to lose it?

We've been doing Move It and Lose It for about a month now, and everyone participating has lost weight! I'm so proud! And let me tell you, it's quite a motivator to know I have to put my weight up for everyone on Fridays. I've already lost 6 pounds!

Because I work at home, I manage to stay VERY sedentary. I sit at the computer, get up for lunch, eat at the computer, and now I get up to get Caleb. But mostly I'm sitting at my computer all day, without even the walk from my house to the car, or the walk from the parking lot to the building. VERY sedentary. So for the weight loss challenge, I have committed to being outside any time it's over 60 degrees. Which will probably be most every day from here on out. Caleb and I go to the park after work, and it's a lot of fun. And ANYthing is more activity than I've been doing, and my body appreciates it!

What are YOU doing for Move It and Lose It? Even if you're not participating, what do you do to stay active?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Beautiful Sleep

Can I just say that I have a wonderful husband? Yesterday was a very long day. I had only slept a few hours the night before, and then it poured down rain all day. And it was my day to spend 3 hours round trip on the highway. It was awful. White-knuckle the whole way there and the whole way home. And because of the time change, the morning drive was dark for awhile. Thankfully Caleb slept most of the time, but having him in the car just made me more tense. For awhile I even moved to the access road to get away from awful semis and just to slow down for a bit.

The last 10 miles or so home, Caleb had been fussy for awhile, and I'd sung The Wheels on the Bus and The Ants Go Marching Two-by-two more times than I could count. I was so tired, and I couldn't keep coming up with new verses any more. I called Jon to keep me awake and let him know I was almost home. Normally, Jon's not a talker on the phone. He'd prefer I let him know the facts, then I can hang up and call someone else to chit-chat. But yesterday he listened and chatted with me, and I could tell he was starting supper, too!

When I pulled into the driveway, Jon was there to meet me in the pouring rain to help me bring in Caleb and all my work stuff. When we got in, Jon sent me to take a short nap. When I woke up, dinner was ready, Caleb was happy with a clean diaper, and my day was 100% brighter.

After dinner, Jon suggested I feed Caleb, then spend no more than 10 minutes on the computer, then off to bed with me! And I did! I was in bed by 9:30, and it was awesome.

Jon made a nerve-wracking day so much better!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Photog Fun

A couple weeks back, Leanna and I went on a photogging adventure downtown. She's the proud new owner of a Canon Rebel Xsi (the upgrade from my Xti), so we were going out together to try it out. I'm part of a photography Meetup group here in the area--we post stuff online and get together for stuff every month--and our meetup was to shoot architecture downtown, so Lea and I decided to do just that. We had a blast!

Lea working on her skillz

I'm jealous of how cute she looked that day!

We found a great spot for photos!
This was my favorite photo of the day

I think this would be a perfect spot for couples portraits! We tried out a few poses....

We headed to another spot downtown where I got this shot.
The photos with the black borders are the ones I submitted to the Meetup group for comments and critique. Overall I got a good response. I got a few suggestions that would help them out. I, myself, was very happy with the photos. When I look at them, they look like something I'd like and wish I could do...and I did!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Move It and Lose It!

After much discussion with friends and family, it seems that there's a general discontent with our health and weight. Jon and I decided to start tracking our weight and making more efforts to lose it. We set up a cool little chart to show our weight loss. But, to engender a bit more accountability and competition, we'd like to open up the challenge to everyone!

So here's the deal. If you'd like to lose weight (more than 5 pounds, please) and be involved in our little Move It and Lose It challenge, let me know in a comment! I'll set up a chart with the participants' names, and you can do a personal "weigh-in" every Friday and log it on the chart for all the participants to see. (It won't be up here on the blog.) AND, if everyone who participates will send me $5, then whoever loses the most weight (or gets closest to their goal weight, or something like that) will win the money collected in the form of a gift card to his/her favorite clothing store, since we'll all need new clothes to fit our new selves! (Or, if you're like me, your closet full of clothes will fit again.)

Our first weigh-in will be tomorrow, but you can sign up through next Friday, February 27. The challenge will last 6 months, to the end of August. The more the merrier! (And the better the prize will be in the end!)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Yummy chocolatey-ness

So the other day I got a hankering for Jason's Deli chocolate mousse. You know, the one on the salad bar. Anyway, not only did I end up going to Jason's Deli, I also found a recipe for something similar. Then I got the wrong sizes of ingredients and a little bit extra and came up with my own recipe, purely by accident. That being said, it's pretty dang good!

So here it is, Chocolate Mousse:

1 lg. pkg (5.85oz, I believe) instant chocolate pudding
2 1/4C milk (I had skim)
8 oz. extra creamy cool whip, thawed
1/2C semi-sweet mini chocolate chips

Mix the pudding and milk. Fold in cool whip. Add chocolate chips. Chill in fridge (I waited overnight, but I bet it'd be good in an hour or so). Stir and serve! Garnish with chocolate chips, if desired.

The second time I made this, I used 16oz cool whip, which is what the original recipe calls for. It's not as thick or rich, but still good, and goes further at parties. I'd still go with 8oz, but Jon recommends 16, hence this paragraph.

And um...yes, I did have seconds just so I could take the photo.

Sunday, February 08, 2009


To my husband,
Twenty-nine things I love about you:
  1. You make silly faces at the camera.
  2. You encourage my photography.
  3. You talk to our cats.
  4. You are always learning.
  5. You change dirty diapers.
  6. You ask forgiveness if you're wrong.
  7. You come up with recipes to make for dinner...and make them!
  8. You make conversations count.
  9. You make sure my gas tank is full before I go to the office every week.
  10. You make sacrifices for the sake of relationships.
  11. You are generous to those in need.
  12. You can always answer questions about the Bible.
  13. You save money.
  14. You are all bark and no bite.
  15. You call me every day from work.
  16. You understand my need to get out of the house at the end of the day, and will get out with me even though you just want to be at home.
  17. You wash diapers every night.
  18. You think my postpartum self is beautiful.
  19. You always have good advice.
  20. You make me feel safe.
  21. You appreciate a good musical.
  22. You get groceries, and always come back with a surprise.
  23. You can have a good conversation with anyone.
  24. You are my news reporter/interpreter.
  25. You tolerate my meddling in your routine.
  26. You came to every prenatal appointment.
  27. You are romantic.
  28. You balance the check book.
  29. You love me!!
Happy Birthday!! I love you.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Recipe for Wellness

In line this morning at the grocery store:
Both in front of and behind me, people whose only purchases were boxes of Nyquil. My purchases? Zinc, Vitamin C, and orange juice.

Looks like shorts yesterday and coats today wasn't kind to anybody!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


We're all iced up here! I love interesting weather because it means that all that's on tv is weather. NBC's cameras have happened upon one of the ramps of the Mix Master, and they've kept the cameras there for the last 30 minutes...and I've been glued to it! It started with about 6 cars sloooowwwwly sliding along, and even the news anchors are sucking in their breaths with the expection of an accident. However, no accidents! Now, a few cars have made it past the ramps, but the others are at a standstill. Someone in a Jetta is waving at the camera. He's really the one holding things up. But wait...if you look closely, you'll find that all these cars have traveled about 10 feet in the last 30 minutes.

Ooh, here comes a daring El Camino trying to pass some of these sitting ducks. A large van trails him, and a black mustang in the back. Will they make it?

The El Camino is successful! Other people have started out of their cars and are walking around.

Ha! The El Camino stalled out at the bottom, got out and waved at the camera. It seems that the camera might be a distraction.

Oh my gosh. The 18-wheeler is trying to push past another sitting duck, the Thunderbird.

The news anchor has started to give a running commentary with a little humor. It's got me laughing, at least. I'm sure the guy in the Jetta--he's waving again--is not laughing. Ooh, what's happening now? The sand truck has arrived! He confidently maneuvers around the 18-wheeler...can he make it? Yes! Past the Thunderbird...and the Jetta!...The Jetta's making a move! No...he's stopped. The news anchors have started cheering him on.

Here comes the 18-wheeler, others are gaining courage. The Thunderbird is now headed in the right direction. last! 40 minutes later and everything is clearing up.

But what's this? After all the drama, all the cars that just got free are now stuck only 100 yards away. And the cameras keep rolling! Ah...I love weather.

And where am I? No, I did not go into the office like a normal car is right where it's supposed to be!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Kitten Surprise!! (how to break up a cat fight) THE ORIGINAL

The element of surprise just cracks me up. This will be all-too-familiar for you cat owners.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Why I like cats

Cats are just so random. They have as many quirks as we humans do. And I think the guy's voice sounds like Wilson on House.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Check out this dish!

For our anniversary, our parents gave us a new set of dishes! I love them! My first meal was a breakfast of champions.

Friday, January 09, 2009


If you didn't know, I'm now married to a master! Master of Divinity, that is! Jon has officially finished his seminary education. I'm so proud of him! Every semester there were hard classes, useless classes, inspiring professors, challenging reading, and grueling papers. I was so impressed to watch Jon pace himself throughout the semesters, starting his research for papers well before the due date, and working daily on his languages. Tests never (okay, rarely) took him by surprise. For a procrastinator like me, all of these things were an inspiration.

And, to top it all off, Jon was honored at the end of his last semester regarding a paper he'd written. His history professor submitted Jon's paper discussing the British East India Trading Company and it's effect on missions during the Enlightenment period to the Baptist Historical Society, and it was one of five chosen to be presented at a symposium! It was Caleb's first official outing, and we got to see Jon read his paper before a panel of society members, and then answer questions from that panel as well as from the audience. I was so proud of him!

Jon, your quest for knowledge is inspiring. I know that this degree is not the end of your pursuit, and I look forward to watching you continue to grow and learn. I love you!

I didn't get to take many pictures of the event, but here is what I have....

Four generations

Grandad with Caleb

Travis Avenue

All the professors wore cowboy hats in honor of the seminary's 100th anniversary!

How to find Jon? The tallest one in line, of course!

Jon after receiving his degree

Great Aunt and Uncle with Caleb

A great celebration lunch

Great Grandpa with Ian

Great Uncle George holds Caleb

Grandpa and Caleb at the end of a busy day