Monday, August 31, 2009

our weekend, in too many words

from the outside looking in, our weekend didn't look much like a rollercoaster at all.  but somewhere in between our date night, saturday afternoon run, pool time, an 8 hour saturday shift, church & a marathon of the west wing, this weekend was a pretty touch and go.

friday was very nice.  after ross woke me up from a lazy afternoon nap with three beautiful roses, we had another sweet date night which included a homemade version of our favorite sandwhich from a much missed waco restaurant: the george's southside chicken sandwhich. whole-wheat buns, grilled chicken, & homemade guacamole made this meal cheap, easy, healthy and good (even better than the real-deal!).  not to mention pretty. 

afterwards we saw julie & julia. ummmm a movie about blogging, france, food & love...pure joy. {ross even laughed out loud on more than one occasion} the true story showcases that hard work & determination necessary to pursuing your dreams and basically saving your own life, all the while putting your love and marriage first. and the question kept persisting in my head: what is my calling? why aren't i working towards it? what am i doing with my life?

so, saturday afternoon ross & i took advantage of the less hot weather and went for a run around the a&m campus...until i broke down crying. after complaining about nonsense ("i hate this campus! it's the ugliest thing i've ever seen! [which for the record- it really is) i finally opened up with ross & shared some of the pain i've been dealing with.  mostly, missing baylor & my amazing community there in conjunction with feeling lost & lonely.  so he held me & listened, and then prayed for me.  

once again, God answered our prayers and comforted us.  sunday we went back to grace bible church, and at one point in the message the preacher proclaimed: "i am my own worst enemy. everyday i wake up and all i think is me me me." how comforting to know i'm not the only one.

he later went on to talk about the importance of serving God's kingdom.  i was reminded of the fact that always seems to escape me when i'm swimming in self-pity: our purpose here on earth is to love and serve God and our neighbors, and to expand the kingdom here on earth. what else matters outside of that? no matter what job i have in whatever city, this one true calling will remain the same. 

when gratitude dissolves for the job He provided, i quickly become unhappy in my work.  but in many ways, it doesn't matter what our job is or where we live.  when i am intentional through His grace, i can see the impact He can have on people through the silly job of a not yet skilled barista.  the best part of work happens when a connection forms, fosters conversation, and produces a smile...a brief linking of souls in a ugly world, sharing for a small moment much needed joy and contact, all over a cup of coffee.  because it's not the coffee, it's Him.  

anyway, my main desire to write this post came from a poem that will not get out of my head for weeks.  robert frost's "mending wall," in which the neighbor keeps repeating the phrase, "good fences make good neighbors."  throughout this poem, frosts ironically depicts that relationships cannot be formed when the boundaries are the main focus.  

in a new city (filled with aggies, no less) i'm appreciating more and more the glimpses of vulnerability i see in others.  it's the only way for us to connect, to be neighbors, to be the body of Christ.  it's so comforting to know that we're all struggling, hurting, lost.  but were also persevering, comforting and seeking.  and we can't do it alone.  and we can't do it with fences. 

"rejoice alwasys; pray without ceasing; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of Christ Jesus for you." 1 thessalonians 5:16-18 

Friday, August 28, 2009

b&a no. 1

i've been feeling pretty crafty lately.  before & afters on designsponge are my absolute favorites and they've inspired me for sometime now. 
mine generally involve finding something tired or not-too-pretty and 
sprucing it up with fun colors.  
so, here goes before & after number one:



i found the little table at a resale shop and haggled (!!!) the price down to $10.  
then i used left over sandpaper, primer, light green paint, and & chalkboard paint.
next, i lined the shelves with scrapbook paper via mod podge. 
finally, i filled the shelves with books and favorite finds from 
antique stores in waco & kingwood...
plus the tiny deer my sister mailed me from california, just to be silly.

grand total: about $13 

now we just need a little lamp, to help with
that freakishly bad lighting in there. 
guess well just have to go to target...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

is it october yet?

ummmm i'm getting a little ahead of myself
and already dreaming of having a halloween party. 
but considering hobby lobby is already
50% christmas decorations, 
i seem to be moving into the fall at a pretty reasonable pace.

also, pumpkin spice is back at sbucks next week- 
soooo yummy! 

p.s. the little girl is the cutest thing i've ever seen. 
makes me excited for when ross & i have our very own tiny collection...
but hopefully not for a loooooong (kinda long) time. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

little sister

yesterday i received the most rockin' california care package from my little sister, emily.  it completely brightened my day!  two moleskin journals, a pen, three disks of wedding photo's taken my emily's extremely talented friend lindsey, candy, a dress from anthro, a tiny dear, a pretty blue dish from world market, a realsimple grocery shopping list, etc.  thank you sooooo much again!!

and speaking of emily, today is her first day of high school school in california.  she got to drive to school in her own new car, and i'm sure she picked out the cutest outfit.  maybe some pinkberry tonight to celebrate?  i'm thinking yes. 

starting at a new high school your junior year is scary, no doubt, and not easy.  but you are the coolest girl & i know there are incredible adventures ahead of you in san jose.  not to mention, you are beautiful, smart, funny, and brave.  can't wait to hear all about it & i'll get there as soon as i can! 

Monday, August 24, 2009


it started raining a few minutes ago, so ross & i came out to our porch.  though there isn't much of 'a view,' there is a thick cluster of trees on the other side of the fence which guards our complex.  there's nothing like the breeze and smell that comes with the rain.  so natural, so refreshing.  the wind wisps hairs across my face & lighting tries to make us jump. there it goes again.

yesterday ross & i listened to a matt chandler sermon. he related the helplessness of babies to our present dependence on God.  a dependence he thoughtfully crafted and we try to ignore.  we fill ourselves up with clothes, hobbies, satisfaction from relationships or our jobs, but they all leave us empty.  if a newborn is left alone for just a couple of days, he will surely die.  he cannot survive on his own.  likewise, we are completely helpless and whether we acknowledge it or not, our souls scream out for His protection, teachings, comfort, love.

it's nice sitting out here while the raindrops clomp and splash all around us; the roof, the pavement, and the guardrail of our tiny porch.  books to read and chardonnay to melt on our tongues. especially with the view of the trees.  i love the way joyce kilmer so poetically expresses that "only God can make a tree."  but what i'm realizing now is not only is He alone the Creator, but He alone is the sustain-er of life: all life.  A fiercely beautiful and strong oak tree, crafted by Him, will wither away without the gift of life-giving rain.   there is no way for a tree to live without water.  

now maybe it's time to go run around in it. 


I THINK that I shall never see
A poem so lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest 
Against the sweet earth's flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray; 

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain; 
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree." 

{Joyce Kilman, "Trees"}

Sunday, August 23, 2009

bears in college station

i've always had a pretty strict "no goodbyes" policy.  i generally 'shade out' of a situation before a goodbye is necessary.  this is done by simply saying, "i'm sure i'll see you tomorrow before you leave!" or with other skillful moves, some i'm not too proud of (and some i am...).  for example, when i left my dorm room to go home for the summer at the end of freshman year, i simply packed up my car and left.... while my roommate was in the shower. i knew we would talk and then be reunited within a matter of a couple of months, so in my mind a potentially tearful/emotional moment was unnecessary.  however, she truly did not appreciate this champion shade-ster move.  though i've continued to pursue my goal of never saying goodbye, i've given in to situations over the years.

especially this past week.  not that i'm complaining.  this past week was completely wonderful.  over the course of five days, ross & i had the joy of welcoming nine baylor friends into our little home.  we went around the city, ate yummy food at local restaurants, browsed antiques, enjoyed the pool with sonic drinks, drank wine, saw a movie, spent quality time on our porch, had our first successful house party (complete with a party fowl) and most importantly, had good talks & a lot of laughs. 

but one by one, they all left.  

i got that feeling you get when christmas is over and you have to pack up all the pretty lights and cheerful trees with shiny ornaments and sentimental decorations.  all of a sudden, our home seemed still and empty.  how quickly my overflowing heart seems to regain thirst.  but how can we be sad when we are blessed in the first place with friends to miss? friends who are moving to kenya & spain to pursue their dreams. 

one (maybe the only) sweet change that comes with moving away from the blissful baylor community: there is a heightened and irreplaceable appreciation for the time spent together.  i'm even grateful to have people to miss, to visit, and to plan futures with.  future trips, vacations, and ultimately, dream of the great big cul-de-sac where we can all raise our kids together.  no goodbyes, just see you later. we'll be back together soon. come back soon!

also, one more benefit of marriage: when everyone else drives away, you still have your best friend to cuddle with on the couch.  not to mention, someone to make the long trips with to be once again joyfully reunited with your friends. 

Sunday, August 16, 2009

day tripin, austin style

ross has his first med school test on thursday. his studies will be in full force.  

so yesterday we enjoyed a whole day & night of adventures 
in one of the coolest cities around.  
kerby lane burgers, a {sweaty} stroll through campus, 
a cupcake from delish, swimming at barton springs,
happy hour at 219 west, drives up and down the hills, 
then dinner and drinks on the town with friends. 

tip #1 for surviving first year of marriage & med school:
take a day to yourselves before free time gets scarce. 

Friday, August 14, 2009

guess what

a certain handsome husband of mine just started a blog.  
he's the coolest. 

august 07

this time, two years ago, i was about to hop on a plane for a semester abroad. 

the months that followed that nine hour flight were filled with 
belgian waffles, runs down cobblestone streets, 
speechlessness at the hills of ireland, enjoying the wine of france, 
the food of italy, the sunset of santorini, hiking the swiss alps, 
taking in the hustle and bustle of london, 
lounging on the beaches of nice, marveling the lights of paris, 
eating as much gelato & stroopwaffles as possible,
sipping beer at oktoberfest, dancing in prague, reading on trains,  
and the magic that is a college girl trapesing across europe. 

i can never thank my parents enough. 
o, to go back in time...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

this post is too long

i'd been a little insecure lately about two questions that seem to be inseparable when i meet people now:
"so you're married? congratulations! old are you?"
and then they silently judge me. 

i get it, i look young.  i am young. btw, my new plan is to answer the second question by saying "17" just to see how people react. but ross encouraged me by saying that there will come a time when people wont ask about my age anymore, and it's cool to be a young married couple.  

whether or not it's cool, it's really fun. more importantly, we know that getting married when we did was God's will for us. marriage is a sacred covenant God gave us through which to enjoy strong, committed community that cannot function without full dedication from both people to love each other & Christ.  we obviously fail and will fail greatly, but it is good to try. 

on this blog i like to highlight little glimpses into sweet, fun, and silly moments.  of course, these are not all that marriage is.  we've only been in it for a little over a month and it's already obvious that 'work' and 'sacrifice' are key.  but keeping a little blog like this is great because when times do get tough, we can look back and remember the millions of great moments that came between each post that far outweigh the harder times.  we can focus on the positive, and remember to place great importance on the little celebrations that bring joy into this harsh world.  maybe we can even encourage other couples to have silly date nights with pizza (or, as ross says, 'za) or enjoy chocolate covered strawberries with champagne on a monday. we love learning from other couples, and therefore like sharing anything that others may glean from. 

the other day i had to be at work at 5:45 in the morning, and ross didn't have class until 9. i hopped into the shower while he remained quietly dozing in bed.  by the time i got out, he was already preparing our favorite peanut butter, honey & banana toast.  he said, "i knew you didn't mind that i kept sleeping, but i said to myself, 'ross, you don't lay in bed while your wife gets ready for work.' so he ate with me, then came to starbucks to study that morning so that we could have the evening to spend time together. i feel like the luckiest girl in the world. 

to be married is to have someone to fight your sinful nature for. it's to be filled with love so that you make decisions that do not fully revolve around you.  sometimes, it's someone to fight with, so long as you come together again. 

plus, it's just fun.  i finally watched the godfather & even started to read his football magazines, and almost everyday he impatiently asks when the anthro drawer pulls we ordered are going to come in the mail.  best of all, you have someone to brave new frontier with.  last night we went on a cookie run to deliver cookies (aka joy) to our studying friends.  alone, ross never would have made cookies or thought to share them.  i would have been too scared to go out, and my lack of directional sense would have left me eating a batch of cookies alone...

in the words of one of my college roommates favorite relient k songs, "we should get jerseys, 'cause we make a good team." i'm proud of our team. and i'm cheering for yours, too. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

easy, cheap, healthy & good

i'm reeeeally a sucker for cookbooks.  the kinds with pretty covers, hip fonts, and fabulous photographs.  the truth is, i rarely try a recipe, and that's for a couple reasons:
1. Super complex recipes scare me... and i have a pretty broad definition of complex
2. Can't really afford to buy a million different ingredients... maybe someday! but not on this budget.

but, it is a fun challenge to find inexpensive meals that are easy to make.  more importantly, we want healthy, nutritious foods that taste great... 

tonight we got creative with a weight watcher's recipe for a roasted red pepper dip {and it's zero calories}

2 large red peppers, roasted
2 teaspoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/8 teaspoon cayenne

In a food processor, puree the ingredients until smooth. 

tip for roasting the red peppers: preheat broiler. line baking sheet with foil.  broil 3 inches from heat, turning frequently, until charred on all sides, about 10 minutes.  let stand until cool. discard cores & seeds.  

the book suggests enjoying the dip with cut up veggies or baked potatoes.  so tonight we baked a couple in the microwave (about 15 min together).  next, we grilled up a couple frozen chicken breasts, then chopped them up into bite size pieces. the final product: two baked potatoes (2 for $1),  with spray butter, cheese, filled with chicken, & covered in the roasted red pepper dip. the meal was made better, as usual, with tony chachere's. veeeery good & we have dip left to snack on. would be even better with some chives and grilled corn thrown in. 
anyway, we liked it :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

the sweet life

A little while ago, 
the beautiful & talented Mrs. Frazier 
posted on her blog that, through trials & taste tests, 
she actually invented her own cookie recipe. 
Naturally I was both very impressed and intrigued, 
and I am excited to say that last night 
the Frazier Dump Cookie came to life in our kitchen...
and we loved it! 
Actually, we loved 2, 3, 3 1/2, 4 {etc.} of them...

thank you so much 
for making the world a little sweeter
with your cookies, mrs. frazier!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

photos from the 4th!

"some people are so much sunshine to the square inch."
{walt whitman}

it's hard to believe that it all really happened

Saturday, August 8, 2009

date night no.1

our first official date night consisted of 
pizza from antonio's (the best
and sixteen candles.  
oddly enough, the movie arrived in our mailbox from netflix 
on the same day John Hughes passed away. 
we may have to continue on with our commemoration of him
 via pretty in pink, vacation, the breakfast club, etc.  

{ross' 'artsy' pic of our evening}

warning: friends, when you come to visit, 
there is a very real possibility that ross and i will be 
forced to take you to eat this pizza. 
it's just too darn good. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

month one

"come, grow old with me-
  the best is yet to be."
  {robert browning}

yesterday we celebrated our one month anniversary.  a baseball game, free hot dogs & beer, and a yummy chocolate torte from a little local bakery.  it was perfect  :)

this past month i've been trying to best describe what it feels like to be married. to me, marriage feels like a firm & warm hug; that great feeling that rushes over you when someone you haven't seen in a while hugs you. and i mean really hugs you.  your heart is happy, you feel safe, and you're just glad to be there. 

similarly, the greek orthodox church explains the mystery of the Trinity with an image of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit locked dancing in a circle, holding hands.  the church holds that the three are in fact one through their fierce, joyful love for one another.  perfect community. 

which is exactly what God wants for us here on earth.  firstly, He created us with a need to hold his hand.  we are not whole without Him.  secondly, we are called to live in community with those around us.  family, roommates, neighbors, coworkers, etc. we all need each other.  

in marriage, you know he will always be there for you.  his hearts desire is to love, please, protect, and provide for you... for the rest of his life.  he's not letting go of your hand.  so, you get locked into your own three-part dancing circle with the Creator.  we get a glimpse of who He is and what he wants for us.

all that to say, it's been an incredible month, and i hope it's in God's plan that we will have many more anniversaries to celebrate.  i've found that marriage is a powerful way God reminds us of his perfect love & challenges us to die to ourselves daily.  in the words of one of my favorite college professors, blair browning, "marriage is great. i highly recommend it." 

{p.s. ross also just convinced me that we had to order some drawer pulls from anthropologie. yessss. my husband rocks!}


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