Sunday, October 31, 2010

Week in Review: Carving Pumpkins, Coloring, and a Cavs Game!

Sunday 10/24 - After church, Luke and I went out with his family for lunch to Jalisco's for some Mexican food. Usually I feel like dying after I eat there, but it wasn't so bad on Sunday. Luke and I then headed to Giant Eagle for some groceries, and straight home so he could watch the Browns game. It was an absolutely gorgeous day, and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. Luke especially liked this day, because the Browns beat the Saints! I don't think ANYONE saw that coming!
This is just a random picture I took at church of the band that Luke plays in on Sunday mornings. I just thought the way they were sitting was perfect for a picture.

Monday 10/25 - Unfortunately, my cough from last week still wasn't gone, and it came back with a vengeance at 4:20AM on Monday. I was unable to fall back asleep, and that threw me off all day at work. Once I got home I was still feeling sick, so tired, and just honestly fed up! So I tried to rest for most of the evening and simply ordered pizza for dinner, thinking that maybe taking it easy would finally make me get better!

Tuesday 10/26 -After work I headed into town to buy some groceries. While I was there, I received a text from Luke telling me to get home ASAP because there was a terrible storm coming our way! This freaked me out, so I was throwing groceries in my cart left and right, trying to finish quickly. And as I was driving home, I of course got behind the slowest line of traffic EVER. Which tested my patience. But luckily I made it home and brought all of my groceries into the house about two minutes before all you-know-what broke loose from the sky. Talk about good timing! Anyway, later that evening, we had our connect group which was probably the best week yet!

Wednesday 10/27 - This was my date night with Luke. First we went and picked out our pumpkins after work. Then we had fun carving them! I made us chicken pot pie for dinner, and we ate that while watching the beginning of the Cavs game. When Luke left for band practice, I visited with my grandma. Unfortunately, I had the coughing fit to end all coughing fits while I was there (hopefully the last one!), and had to head home. It was so bad I'm afraid that I made my grandma really worry. Luckily 2 tablespoons of cough syrup later, I was back to normal and sleeping like the dead.
Thursday 10/28 - I spent my evening buying candy and school supplies and putting together treat bags for my students. And then I spent my evening taking a hot bubble bath, getting into my pajamas early, and watching the Halloween episode of The Office with Luke. Which was FUNNY. Watch it now. Anyway, I did all of that while I should have been cleaning and doing laundry. And then I fell asleep early. I do not regret my decision to be lazy this night.

Friday 10/29 - I made potato soup for dinner and then FREAKED OUT because my house was in such disorder (homemade potato soup is a messy thing to make). Sarah came over and graciously helped me clean the kitchen without even being asked! And then we went to town to get ready for our fun night. We MAY have come home and drank some hot chocolate. And then we might have possibly spent the evening coloring pages from Disney Princess coloring books. Aaaand possibly watching Anastasia while coloring. What? We do what we want! Haha...We thought doing child-like things would help us de-stress. And we were right!Saturday 10/30 - I spent the day at home, and then headed out for another date night with Luke in the evening. This time it was his turn to pick the activity, so we went to dinner at Steak and Shake, and then spent the rest of the evening at the Cavs game! It was fun! It was a really exciting and close game, but unfortunately, the Cavs lost by only a few points in the end. It was still a fun night, and I'm sure I will be writing a whole recap post soon!
Milestones this Week: Started my own private blog so I could really start journaling again. It has been very therapeutic!

Movies I watched this week: Anastasia (B+)

Books I'm reading this week: Ugh, back to being too tired to read. The only thing I read this week was my daily Bible reading, still in I Samuel.

Songs I'm loving this week: Winter - Joshua Radin, Only You - Joshua Radin. (I'm on a Josh Radin kick this week. My sister would be surprised and proud) and Just a Dream - Nellie. Who would have ever thought a Nellie song would be listed here? Haha...But Luke has been loving the song and listening to it a lot lately, and what can I say? It's catchy and has a great beat and sound!

Things I'm looking forward to next week: Taking care of my husband after his surgery on Tuesday, and my 26th birthday next Saturday!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Semi-Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

(Semi-homemade because I used pre-made pie crust)

I am going to share the recipe I used for my chicken pot pie today as the next installment of my fall recipe series. I made it for dinner last night, and it was pretty good!

You can use whatever vegetables you want to mix with the chicken. I used carrots, celery, and potatoes. The actual recipe called for peas, but Luke hates peas. So I substituted the potatoes for peas, and I'm glad I did!The recipe I used can be found here, but I'm going to re-type it with some changes I made:

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken
breast halves - cubed
1 cup sliced carrots
2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup milk
2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C.)
2. In a saucepan, combine chicken, carrots, potatoes, and celery. Add water [or chicken broth] to cover and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.
3. In the saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, celery seed, and garlic powder. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat and set aside.
4. Place the chicken mixture in bottom pie crust [I had brushed the bottom pie crust with egg white and baked it for 5 minutes by itself before doing this]. Pour hot liquid mixture over. Cover with top crust, seal edges, brush with egg white, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape.
5. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

This meal was absolutely PERFECT for a cold day. It is one of those foods that really "sticks to your bones," as my mom would say. I felt so warm, full, and content after eating this for dinner last night...just writing about it, my mouth is watering for more. Try it!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Date Night 1: Pumpkin-Carving and dinner

This afternoon, Luke and I had our first official date night since we made our new plan. (The plan is to have one date night every week, planned ahead of time. One person gets to plan the date, and the other MUST go along with it. We alternate weeks).

Luke let me plan the date for our first week, and I decided to do pumpkin-carving! It was such a gorgeous, fall day, and as soon as we both got home, we headed to a little pumpkin stand down the road from our house, and picked out the perfect ones.

Then we came home and snacked on some apples, caramel-peanut butter apple dip, and apple cider. We are festive!

{All pictures taken from my cell phone, so sorry for the poor quality}
Then we meticulously cut out and traced our stencils onto our pumpkins
And spent a long time carving them. It was probably the quietest date we've ever had, because we were concentrating all of our energy on the task at hand. But I think our end products were worth all the concentration:

Luke made a Darth Vader pumpkin.

And mine was just a cute picture I found on this website:

Funny story: When we finished our pumpkins, it was still light outside. We wanted to see what they looked like all lit up, so we went in Luke's closet in our bedroom, set our pumpkins on the shelf, lit some candles inside the pumpkins, and then shut the closet door. It's virtually the only dark place in the house. We were just standing there, ooohing and ahhing over our pumpkins, when the shelf pulled the plaster right off of the wall! Luckily we somehow caught everything, so nothing caught on fire. Haha! I guess we didn't consider how heavy our pumpkins were when we placed them on the shelf.

After we cleaned everything up (including the shelf!) Luke headed upstairs to watch the Cavs pregame while I made dinner. I made semi-homemade chicken pot pie for the first time in my life. I say it is semi-homemade, because I used pre-made pie crust, but made the rest myself. I have to say, I think it was one of the best things I've ever made! Which may not be saying much because cooking isn't my strong suit. But I really loved it, and it was the perfect fall meal! I will be sharing the recipe tomorrow.

I would have loved to spend the rest of the evening chilling with Luke, watching the Cavs game (and probably falling asleep, too!) But unfortunately, Luke had to leave for band practice. So I'm about to head downstairs to visit my grandma while he is at practice, which is a nice way to spend my evening, too :-)

I had so much fun with our date night! And I had almost as much fun planning it and looking forward to it as I did on the date itself :-) I'm looking forward to next week, and whatever date Luke plans for us. It will probably involve laying around and watching a movie or sporting event, because as I mentioned the other day, he will be pretty much bed-ridden next week because he is having minor surgery on Tuesday.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Something Beautiful

Today it has been rainy and disgusting, almost all day. Yesterday was much the same.

Yet sometime during the ugliness, I witness this. It broke through the greyness, and took my breath away.
Even in the midst of bad times and storms in our lives, God can bring us something beautiful. Maybe it's not even something we saw coming, or something that we necessarily wanted before. But if we have faith, He will bring us through it, and blow us away with something so much better than what we had planned for ourselves.

Today, those pictures are a metaphor for my life. And I couldn't be more thankful.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Brilliant Date Night Idea!

Luke and I are in a Bible Study right now about God's Dream for Your Marriage. It's a video series by Chip Ingram. The content is great, and we are really loving the fellowship with our group as well.

A big theme of the study is, naturally, communication. It has been a wake-up call, because I think it made Luke and I realize that we could use some help in that department (and really, who couldn't?) It has also made us examine our differences, and we realized that I like to spend our time together out going new places and trying things. Luke, on the other hand, would rather spend our time together just chilling at home and being with one another. I guess it was maybe causing us a little frustration, and we didn't even realize it.

Anyway, yesterday I had a brilliant idea about how to make things better! I like to think it was brilliant anyway. It's actually a pretty simple idea.

My idea is that we have at least one date, every single week. This is time set aside for the two of us to be together, no distractions. And the best part is that we alternate weeks, taking turns picking out the date. And the other person MUST go along with it. How fun, right?? That way, if I really want to take Luke to Andreas Garden one week (a restaurant with all natural and organic foods), then he must come with me. And the next week, if Luke wants our date to be us sitting in the living room with a pizza watching the Ohio State game, then I have to go along with that.

I think this will be a great way to experience new things with each other. Not only that, but it makes us intentionally plan a time each week that is set aside just for us. Our dates usually consist of us spontaneously going out to the movie theater. This new plan will not only make us think of other places to go, but it will also be something that is planned ahead of time, so we can be looking forward to it. I think it's going to be great.

Luke was nice enough to let me have the first week. haha...I decided that on Wednesday night we will go out and pick out pumpkins, carve them while we drink cider, and then I'll cook chicken pot pie (or attempt to. ha! ) for dinner, and we will eat at the table. We don't eat at the table often enough. I'm really looking forward to it! Then next week it will be Luke's turn to choose, and he will be bed-ridden next week, so we'll probably end up getting some take-out and watching a movie. If I had to guess, that is. haha (Luke has a minor surgery on Tuesday, so he'll be out of commission for about a week).

I think it will be fun to maybe keep our destination a surprise some weeks, too, if I have something really fun planned.

While I seem to be a little more excited about this plan than Luke, I really think he'll enjoy it once we get it going. And if nothing else, it will give me something to blog about each week. Haha...always thinking about blogging :-P

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Week in Review

Sunday 10/17 - Luke and I headed to his parents' house after church because it was his sister's 19th birthday. We all had a big steak dinner, and then watched the Browns/Steelers game. It was not a fun game to watch. Us girls fell asleep so we didn't have to watch. Haha! Later, I went out to see Life as we Know it with my mom. It was a really great movie, but made me super emotional, and I wasn't expecting that. So I'm not sure if I'd recommend it or not. Later, I came home and unfortunately was feeling extremely sick with a terrible cough. So I made some hot tea and took a scalding, steamy bubble bath and that seemed to help a lot. It was a great way to unwind before the new work-week.

Monday 10/18 - Still feeling under the weather with my cough, I stayed at home all evening. I read for hours, finally finishing This Present Darkness, and beginning Jurassic Park (which is so good I can't bear to put it down when I have to!) I drank lots of hot tea again, which helped my cough so much!

Tuesday 10/19 - I went grocery shopping after work, made dinner, and rushed over to Connect Group with Luke. This is what every Tuesday has looked like for the past 4 or 5 weeks!

Wednesday 10/20 - My cough reached it's absolute worst this day, and I ended up taking not one, but two scalding baths throughout the day, because the steam seemed to help a lot. In the evening I went to my grandparents' house to celebrate my grandpa's 76th birthday. We stayed there for the majority of the evening, talking with family and watching MLB playoff games. It was lovely. Luke and I came home and watched our Wednesday night shows (The Middle, Modern Family) and that was also lovely, because it meant I could just lie on our over-sized bean bag chair with a blanket and a cup of tea. Being sick this week, I've been taking it easy and I have to admit that it's secretly been a nice excuse to veg out a little bit. Haha! After that I took some nighttime cough medicine (at the pleading of my husband :-P) And had the deepest night's sleep of my life. I had the hardest time waking up the next morning, and THAT is why I resist taking that kind of medicine.

Thursday 10/21 - Thursday I had plans to hang out with Sarah, but unfortunately, she has been battling some horrible abdominal pains, so we were not able to hang out. I wish I could say that I did something useful with my evening instead, but I did not. I spent it watching The Office with Luke, and falling in and out of sleep on the couch. At least being sick is a good excuse. Luke did give me an early birthday present this day though: a new, PINK, phone! It's so me :-)
Luke snapped this picture with his phone on Thursday. Ellie was cuddling with me on the couch, and we were both asleep. I feel like this is how I spent a lot of time last week. But isn't Ellie so cute? She just climbed up on me and fell asleep right there. She is such a cuddlebug :-)

Friday 10/22 - Friday was not a fun day at work, simply because my cough somehow seemed to be even worse this day, I had a splitting headache, and my eyes were burning like crazy all day! I felt like I was falling apart at the seams! But I came home and just laid down for about an hour, and that seemed to do wonders. By that time I was feeling much better, and Sarah was able to come over for awhile, because she was feeling much better, too! The sun was shining, the leaves were falling, and the air was crisp, so we decided to take a walk. My little town has a sidwalk on the main street that ends randomly, in both directions. So we walked from one end of that sidewalk to the other, and then back again to my house. We then chatted for a little while longer, and by this time, I was feeling so much better! Laughter is the best medicine. After Sarah left, Luke also had to leave. So I spent the evening alone, and I watched reality TV re-runs on Instant Netflix (like Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team, and King of the Crown). I couldn't believe that I was STILL SICK, and had no energy. The cough was just hanging on forever, and completely exhausting me!

Where the sidewalk ends

Saturday 10/23 - I chilled at home and did some laundry during the day, and then watched a little bit of football with Luke and his friend Stan. In the afternoon, Luke and I went to a wedding for a couple of friends from church. It was an outdoor wedding, out by a lake, and it was very pretty! We went to the reception afterwards, and it was in a place called "The Barn" so that tells you a little about it. I thought it was absolutely gorgeous, and I wish I had had my reception there! My mom helped decorate and do the flowers, so I took lots of pictures of everything. The wedding had a country theme, and I loved it! Afterwards, Luke and I came home and relaxed for the rest of the evening again!
{Cell phone pics}
We drank iced tea and lemonade out of cute!

Milestones this Week: I got a new phone that actually works from my wonderful husband!

Movies I watched this week: Life as we Know it (B)

Books I'm reading this week
The Bible (I Samuel), This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti (Finally finished it!!!), Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

Songs I'm loving this week: Time in Between - Francesca Battistelli, At the Cross - Hillsong

Things I'm Looking Forward to Next Week: Hopefully finally carving pumpkins with Luke, since this has fallen through twice now! And making my first ever apple pie.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Early Birthday Present

Yesterday I got to open an early birthday present from my wonderful husband! My birthday is not until November 6, but I got to open it early for two reasons: 1.) It is something that I can use now, and 2) Luke is an eager giver, and doesn't like waiting when he has a good present to give!

A package came in the mail yesterday for Luke. He saw it right away when he got home from work, and ran upstairs to wrap it, ran back downstairs, and placed it right in front of me, telling me he'd give me the card in two weeks. He is adorable. Err, I mean, manly and.... strong. Haha. :-P

I slowly unwrapped the paper, and saw an orange box inside. Right away, I knew it was something from AT&T due to the color...

It was a Sony Ericsson! And it's pink! I love it.

It does not have a full keypad, which is something I'll have to get used to again, but it will be the perfect phone to hold me over until my plan is up this May. Why did I need a new phone, you may ask? Well, I was particularly hard on the old one. I dropped it one too many times, and it was to the point where it would shut off every time I would so much as bump it. And apparently it made an annoying buzzing sound that only the person on the other end of the line could hear. I was having to constantly repeat everything I said, because it was so difficult to hear me, I guess!

I am so lucky to have such a sweet husband! One of my {very observant} students saw the pink corner sticking out of my pocket during class today and asked if I got a new phone. I told her that, yes, my husband had given me the phone as an early birthday present. She seemed very surprised, and told me to give Luke props for picking out such a pretty, girly phone for me.

You may be wondering why I was walking around the school with the phone in my pocket. I don't normally do this, but this phone has a step counter! Not only does it count my steps, but it also keeps track of how many calories I've burned during the day while walking. It counts my steps every day and then gives me an average. Sarah came over and we went for a walk after work today, just because I wanted to make the number go higher. Ha! There is also a running feature on the phone which will tell me my distance, time, and average speed. This will come in handy if I ever decide to become a runner ;-)

Overall, I am very happy with my new phone! My husband knows me well!


I have not blogged much this week, so here are some other noteable things going on in my life:
  • I have the worst cough of all time. It is a dry cough that just racks my whole body. I've had it since Sunday, and super hot baths and hot tea are about the only things that make it feel better. What can I say, it's a good excuse to indulge in those things!
  • I finally finished reading This Present Darkness after about 5 years of reading it (okay, more like 2 months). It took me forever to read it, but was definitely worth it. Such a good book!
  • I am now reading Jurassic Park. I read it for my honors English class my freshman year of high school, but I do not remember it being so utterly addicting and completely impossible to put down! I'm glad I'm reading it again, 10 years later. (wow, 10 years?! I'm getting old)
  • I have lots of apples just waiting to be baked into something glorious. I wanted to bake something tonight: apple pie, apple dumplings, or apple crisp. But I realized I'm missing at least one ingredient for all three of those desserts, so I guess I will have to spend my Friday night doing something else. Like watching hours of Netflix movies. Sounds good to me!
  • Two of my friends from work announced that they are pregnant this week, due 10 days apart. Randomly today, a couple of ladies asked me if I am pregnant too. Apparently they thought it was contagious or something. That is a dangerous question to ask. It was awkward telling them "no" and also awkward when they told me I was about due for one. A pregnancy, that is. Umm, okay, I will decide that, thank you. Someone needs to tell the world that not only is it bad manners to flat out ask someone if they're pregnant, but it can also cause hurt feelings. It did for me, at least. I hope they were asking just because they were curious, and not because of my non-flat stomach.
  • Luke and I have a fall wedding to attend tomorrow. It is going to be outdoors, and the reception is at a barn. Well, a reception hall called "The Barn," anyway. I can't wait! If I was not a teacher, and I could have taken a honeymoon during the fall, this is the kind of wedding that I would have wanted.
That is all for tonight. TGIF!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Time in Between

"Don't take much for this crazy world to rob me of my peace.
And the enemy of my soul says you're holding out on me.

So I stand here lifting empty hands
For you to fill me up again.

But it's the time in between
That I fall down to my knees waiting on what you'll bring,
And the things that I can't see.
I know my song's incomplete;
Still I sing in the time in between."

Today it feels like Francesca Battistelli wrote those lyrics just for me (from the song "The Time in Between.") I love it when that happens: when a song speaks to us right where we are in a situation. Even though I have heard that song at least 100 times, it hit me with new meaning today.

I have thought those very words many times in the past 7 months: "Why is God holding out on me?" But the truth is, He's not. I have felt broken and empty many times recently. But God wants to take my broken, empty, shell, and fill it with His love, peace, hope, direction, guidance, His will, and His glory. If I let Him do that, I am surrendering.

Lately I have learned that surrender is a daily thing. Maybe not even daily...maybe more like hourly, or more often than that, depending on the day. A few weeks ago, I gave everything over to God and was feeling so hopeful! I thought I had figured everything out, at least in one specific situation. HAHAHA! That's all I can say to that. A few days later, I was wondering why I was feeling empty and broken again. I re-surrendered thinking that would take care of it. Then today happened, and I am back where I started again.

It's finally hitting me that surrender is not something that happens once and it's over and done with and everything will be easy after that. It is something I need to be constantly doing. Satan and this world are going to bring me down. Every day. I am going to find myself on my knees and emptied soon, rather than later. But what I'm realizing today is that I need to daily bring this situation that I'm struggling with to God. Every day I need to let go of my expectations and let God fill me with what He has for me. This is Surrender.

"So I stand here lifting empty hands
For You to fill me up again."

Monday, October 18, 2010

Apple Dumplings

Here is another installment of the fall recipe series.

On Saturday, I made apple dumplings with my mom and sister. We had never made them before.

First we made pie crust. We used the recipe in my mom's Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, which she's had forever.
We used 1.5 cups of flour...
And cut in a cup of Crisco
Until it looked like this:

Then we gradually stirred in 4-6 tablespoons of ice water.

After that, we put it in a ball and rolled it out into a big square

And cut that into fourths.

Next it was time to take care of the apples. We cored them and peeled them..
{Julie needed a lesson on which knives were okay for peeling, and which knives WEREN'T :-P}

Then we cut them into pieces. Although there was much debate over how to do this part. Cutting them into small pieces was easier for us, because our apples were huge.

The next part we just kind of eye-balled and estimated. Which almost killed me, because I am a follow-the-recipe type of girl. Anyway, we threw a few apple slices in the middle, the put a few pats of butter in the middle of the apples, and some cinnamon sugar. Then we folded the corners in. I found that pie crust is not easy to work with, and it was hard to make my apple dumplings look pretty:

...Oh well

Anyway, we put them in the oven at 425 degrees F for 45 minutes. When they were about halway done, we poured the sauce on top. My mom just improvised and heated some water, butter, sugar, and cinnamon on the stove for the sauce.

And although they weren't the best looking apple dumplings ever made, they were probably some of the most delicious.
{...with a scoop of ice cream, of course.}

We had a lot of fun making them together

And snacking on this

And drinking this
{hot apple cider}

As I mentioned in my week in review post, I think we all ate our weight in apples that day. Autumn is so delicious!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Week in Review: Fall Fun and Lots of Apples!

Sunday 10/10 - After church, Luke and I rushed into town to buy a few things we needed and to get some Hot Dog Shoppe burgers and fries to-go. Luke had to get home in time for the Browns Game, and that is why we were in such a hurry! While Luke and his friend Stan watched football all day, I decided to make myself scarce (I'm learning to like Ohio State football, but NFL football still just does not interest me). My mom and I went to a fall open-house of sorts. A lady in the area has a barn which she fills with fall, Halloween, and Christmas decorations (mostly primitive stuff), and a few weekends there is an open house upstairs with all kinds of crafts made by people in the community. It was really fun looking at everything, but primitive is just not our style, so we ended up leaving empty-handed. I enjoyed looking at everything, though, and it was such a gorgeous day! On our way home, mom and I stopped at the old school house and Delzell Barn which are pretty much right across the street from my house. They are opened once a year for tours, and it was fun to go through and see all of the antiques and learn some more history about our little town. Most of my relatives on one side of the family came from this town (although, mind you, it is hardly big enough to be called a town), and I feel especially connected to it. My great-great-great- (okay so I'm not sure how many greats, but it's a lot) grandfather was George Fox, who founded the Quaker religion. And this town was founded by Quakers. So that is another reason I feel connected to it. Anyway, I am finally old enough to find those little tours interesting. Ha! After that, I headed over to visit Sarah. It was a gorgeous night, and we spent it walking around the brick streets, looking at beautiful, old, interesting houses in a quaint little section of her town, and talking. I enjoyed looking at the houses so much! We saw one that looked like a clone from the house in England in the movie The Holiday. Anyway, that was my Sunday. And that is the longest paragraph I have probably ever written on this blog :-P

We thought these people were super creepy...
Here's the old schoolhouse right across the road from my house, basically. Isn't it beautiful during the fall?

Monday 10/11 - After dinner, Luke and I headed to his parents' house to celebrate my father-in-law's birthday. We had cake and ice cream and watched Dancing With the was a good night.

Tuesday 10/12 - After work I booked it over to the church to work on the next edition of the campaign newsletter. I was there until the office closed, and then I headed over to the new building with some people to take a little tour. it is really coming along, and it's so exciting to see the progress! I came home and had just enough time to make and eat dinner, and head to our connect group. Which, as always, was very good, and we really enjoyed the fellowship afterward! I came home just in time to watch the season finale of Teen Mom, and cried through every scene with Tyler+Catelynn, Brandon+Teresa, and Carly. Too sweet.
Wednesday 10/13 - After feeling completely burned out all day, I came home and let myself be lazy for an hour or so. It felt great! But all too soon I had to make dinner, and head over to my parents' house to finish up the campaign newsletter (I don't have Microsoft Publisher on my computer, which is why I always have to work on the newsletter at the church or at my parents' house. It's super annoying :-P). After that, I cleaned the house and loved the fact that I only had one more day of work this week!

Thursday 10/14 - After work I headed to the church to finish up some last minute things for the newsletter. Then I headed out grocery shopping and to help my grandma with some things. After that, I was officially in weekend-mode! I ordered pizza for dinner and spent my evening watching movies and relaxing. I stayed up until 2AM! I haven't done that in months or maybe even years!

Friday 10/15 - I slept in until 9:30 and it was glorious. I spent my day being somewhat lazy, and then sometime in the afternoon I got a burst of energy and cleaned the house {partially} despite my earlier vow that I was going to do nothing all day. Ha! After dinner, Luke had basketball, and I enjoyed my evening alone. I watched two movies and read.

Saturday 10/16 - I spent a good chunk of the day learning how to make pie crust, and making apple dumplings with my mom and sister. Although my mom has made plenty of pie crusts, neither of us had ever made apple dumplings, so it was a new experience. We had fun making them while we sipped our hot apple cider. And we snacked on the extra granny smith apples and dipped them in peanut butter/caramel apple dip. Sooo good. I think I ate my weight in apples that day. Anyway, the apple dumplings turned out to be absolutely delicious. They weren't great to look at, but that really didn't matter because they tasted sooo good! After that, I had two campaign meetings at the church, one right after the other. And after that, I headed over to my friend Kristin's. We watched part of Price and Prejudice, the 6-hour A&E version with Colin Firth. We made it through about the first 2.5 hours. We ordered a pizza sometime in there too. Yes, I ate a lot of food on Saturday :-P It was a fun girl's night while Luke was out watching football :-P

Milestones this week: Finished my second campaign newsletter and made my first apple dumplings.

Movies I watched this week: Mr. Mom (B-), When Harry Met Sally (A+), Funny Farm (B+) {Apparently I was in the mood for 80s movies this week}

Books I'm reading this week: The Bible (I Samuel), This Present Darkness - Frank Perretti...just about finished. Seriously, I'm within 50 pages now :-P And I'm starting Jurassic Park next week!

Songs I'm loving this week: Happy - Leona Lewis, Your Hands - JJ Heller, Last Train Home - Ryan Star

Things I'm looking forward to next week: My sister-in-law's birthday, a beautiful, outdoor, FALL wedding for friends from church. It should be beautiful.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Another Round of Google Analytics Searches...

With Google Analytics, I can see what keywords people searched for that brought them to my blog. And sometimes they are really funny.

I decided to share some of the funnier ones with you this morning. Here we go:

1. "'experiencing god's dream for your marriage' and study guide answers" ... Looks like someone didn't do their homework!

2. "braces rubberbands" ... I'm confused by this one. Was this person looking for a blog about rubber bands for braces? And what could they have possibly found on my blog pertaining to that? For the record, I did have to wear rubber bands on my braces for about 3 months. Worst 3 months of my life. So gross and painful! Haha...

3. "decorating pumpkins relieves my monday stress from work" ... Does it? Good for you!

4. "Julie og Julia" ... Perhaps "og" means "and" in some foreign language..?

5. "movie reviews of you've got serve." ... I think this person means You Got Served. Imagine this person's disappointment when they clicked on my blog, looking for a review from that movie, and they only found gobs of information on the movie You've Got Mail, instead.

6. "called to serve guessing." ... This confuses me. You are called to serve guessing? Maybe guessing is also the word for some kind of dessert or something. Hmmm. Or maybe you are GUESSING that you are CALLED TO SERVE. That makes more sense ;-)

Teehee....these always make me giggle.

Here are some other words that brought people to my little corner of cyberspace

Friday, October 15, 2010

Mini Bedroom Makeover

I've been wanting to do something different with our bedroom lately. It is just getting old and blah. Since It is my day off, I thought I'd work on a plan and an inspiration board.

Here is the bedroom now:
(The book shelf is now in the dining room, but everything else is pretty much the same)

The first thing I want to do, is get a new comforter. A WHITE one. Which is a little out of my comfort zone, because it means we will have to be super careful with it to keep it clean. In other words, I will not be able to bring the occasional cup of tea or mug of hot chocolate into bed with me at night while I am reading or watching Grey's Anatomy or The Bachelor. But I think it's a sacrifice I am willing to make.

I love a comforter I found at my favorite store, TJ Maxx, the other day. It looked something like this:
Found Here

It was basically the same, except the flowers embroidered on it were completely white, too.

I want to make a few ruffle pillows (in different sizes) like this for the bed:
Using the tutorial I found here, on my absolute favorite design/crafting blog. It will be my first official sewing project with my new {vintage} machine.

The ruffle pillow and other accents in the room will be the same color as the pillow above. In a nutshell, this is my inspiration for the room:
I've been so into Tiffany's blue lately.

I would also like to incorporate some gold and bronze tones, since I already have a gold pillow and the bed frame is bronze-ish.

We also need a new rug. I'm thinking about something like this

Found Here

We would like to get rid of our separate dressers, and buy a big one that we could share. Something like this (with different, unique knobs. I have a thing for knobs. And probably painted. I guess I just like the shape!):
Found Here...

But wouldn't it be awesome if I found an old dresser and painted it like this??
I'm not sure if I have the guts or if Luke would go for that idea. But I love it. I would probably choose a shade that wasn't quite so bright. But I love the way it would pop against all those neutral colors.

I would decorate with white candles. In lots of eclectic, white candle holders of different sizes
Image found here

And birds. Along with funky knobs, I also have a thing for birds. Some artwork or decals like this would be amazing.
Found here

And here are some inspiration photos. I like different elements in each of these rooms:
All three images found here

And my favorite...I don't feel like painting again, or else I would make my walls this color:
Found here

And here is the inspiration board I created!

Mini Bedroom Makeover
Mini Bedroom Makeover by jwallace1106 on

I can't wait to get started!