Tuesday, August 31, 2010

In five years, we…

* bought a house
* bought a dog
* adopted two cats
* had (technically) six jobs
* bought a car
* completed one master’s degree (and one coming shortly)
* got kicked out of grad school
* got accepted into a Ph.D. program
* went to Boston, Florida and Ohio together (though separately we also went to Alaska, Hawaii, Chicago, Los Angeles, etc.)
* became members and teachers at Temple Baptist Church, where we also met people who have become very dear friends
* wrote a book (unpublished…sigh…)
* grew into a constant state to improve our relationship with Jesus Christ
* loved each other desperately
* destroyed two floors due to appliances (sigh No. 2….)
* never put Christmas lights outside
* almost burned the house down (and apartment a couple of times…)
* found out traditions, even ones that we start, can be broken, and it’s okay
* saw the Saints win the Super Bowl together
* endured swine flu, diabetes, and wisdom teeth extractions
* said “I love you” every day

Even though our anniversary is not until Friday, I thought that if I can have a birth week, who says I can’t have an anniversary week? Therefore…

Happy anniversary, love.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Conversation from about a year ago…
Dad: You know, you really should learn a foreign language, like Spanish.
Me: I took two years of Spanish in high school and a full year in college.
Dad: Yeah, but you didn’t learn anything.

Based on that conversation, I really shouldn’t have been surprised on his reaction that I was asked to be featured as a chef for our weekly newspaper. Don’t get excited; it’s not a big deal. The girl who is writing the article worked as an intern at the paper while I was there, and she needed victims, I mean, volunteers. Dang those “v” words. At any rate, I agreed to help out.

First off, while I DID clean my house (or at least the part that would be photographed), I neglected to put ANY thought or time to cleaning myself up. Yes, I bathed. But my hair looked a wreck, and my outfit was a little less homemaker-y and a little more “let’s order in.” But, alas, that is my personality.

Anyway, back to Dad. So I told Dad I got asked to do the chef article, and what does he do? BURST OUT LAUGHING.


“Wait, seriously? They asked you to be in the chef article?” he asked.

I didn’t find it quite as amusing. I’m a competent cook. I make one heck of a good gumbo (thanks for the recipe, Misti) and outstanding chili, if I do say so myself. I also have a recipe for cream tacos (ask for it; I’ll be happy to give it to you. I’ve posted it here before.) that I learned growing up that is pretty delicious. I’m a good cook. I’m just not that big of a FAN of cooking.

I like baking. Seriously, why cook when you can’t lick the bowl? I made a sopapilla cheesecake the other night that was pretty amazing, if I do say so myself. That cheesecake recipe I posted a while back? It’s pretty awesome, too. And I do good breads, if I do say so myself.

However, it’s well known in our family that while I may be the baker, my husband is the chef. While my recipes take mainly about 30 minutes or less to cook (as well as 10 ingredients or less and one to two pans), his recipes will take a full 2-4 hours, about a million ingredients, and – SERIOUSLY – every stinking pan, pot, bowl, and utensil we own. BUT the man does know how to cook. He makes an alfredo sauce that is heaven-sent. One day (before he had diabetes, but what probably helped kick the diabetes into full form) we decided simply to get French bread and eat it with the alfredo sauce. Oh, it was good. Delicious. And well-worth it. But it was painful later. He’s like Emeril but cheaper. We obviously eat well in our household.

So E comes to interview me yesterday for the article. It took a lot for me NOT to type up some quotes and just hand them to her – or just type the article myself. However, I restrained my inner journalist who doesn’t speak well in interviews and let E conduct her interview. She asked really good questions and will write a better article than I would have, lol. Husband and Rindy were around, too, to make sure I didn’t say anything really stupid. They had to stop me just a couple of times. ;)

E’s camera broke at my house. She used mine. So I get to see the photos before they go in the newspaper. YEA!!!

Oh, and remember how I said I cleaned my house? Yeah, I did. But I forgot about the Mardi Gras beads….

At any rate, we’ll see Sunday how the article turns out!

BTW, wondering what recipe I made? Thanks to Sara, I used a Cuban Pork Roast recipe -- and it is always a hit!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Beneath the surface

When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?"

"Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you."

Jesus said, "Feed my lambs."

Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?"

He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you."

Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep."

The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?"

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you."

Jesus said, "Feed my sheep. I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go."

Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, "Follow me!"
John 21:15-19

No joke, I actually read this three times in the past three days. Our pastor preached on this Sunday, it's the subject of our Sunday School lesson next week (so I read it Monday), and I read it on one of the blogs Tuesday. Does that seem a little coincidental?

So I've been thinking about it and thinking about the question, "Do you love me more than these?" Not so much in the Jesus-was-talking-to-Peter sense, but as the Jesus is talking to me sense.

These. My sleep. My running. My husband. My job. My laziness. It cuts to the core. Do I love Jesus more than these?

It's hard to write. And I'm having a hard time writing it. I do love Jesus. But He's not always first in my life.

It's something I need to work on, along with pride and selfishness. It has to all be laid down.

I've also been thinking about life. You know, the one that I have planned out. The one that includes a big house, a successful job, 2.5 kids. You know, that one. All of those are good. But they are a waste without God in the center of my life.

I don't really have a point to this, except maybe to sort out these thoughts that have been running around in my head. Maybe to serve as encouragement to someone else going through this. But I think about our city, how it needs God. I think about those in my life who need God. It breaks my heart to think time may be running out for some of them. It hurts me to watch or hear how someone has hurt another person and then I wonder how I have hurt those closest to me.

Again, I reiterate: no real point. And the reason I reiterate is because I'm trying to come to a conclusion. But do I really need a conclusion to this? After all, God's not through with me. We've barely scratched the surface. I need a major soap scrubbing, a major cleaning in my life. And it's painful. I like some of my vices (and, no, coffee is NOT a vice!). I don't really want to admit any of them, but some of them, I just think, "Really? Is it such a bad thing?" But they are. And they need to be gotten rid of.

Do I love Jesus more than these?

More than the vices?

More than my laziness?

More than my pride?

More than my comfort?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

One step at a time…

The gang is back together. Plus some!

Last night was the first training session of Team Baby Steps – a five-person team (so far) running with the goal of completing a half marathon on Feb. 13, 2011, in New Orleans. Two of us, me and Rindy, did this same halfie this past February. This next one, our husbands and our friend Brandon will join us. And we may pick up a few more along the way. =) We’ll see.

So far, finding times to run is the killer. It’s not just mine and Rindy’s schedule that I have to worry about. It’s ours plus three more. And we all have crazy schedules with evening school, work, and other complications.

However, last night, we started running. We did an easy route, and they (the boys) weren’t overly pleased by the end of it, but, God bless them, they agreed to run again today. I originally had planned for us to run 3 miles and lift weights, but, after talking to Kyle about it, I realized I might be expecting too much too soon. I remember how tired and discouraged Rindy and I were last year after our first run. It wasn’t pretty. So we’ll just run 2.5 miles. We’ll hit up some weights tomorrow (for me, Brandon, Rindy, and Dustin) and Friday (for me and Kyle). Friday evening, we’ll run two miles, and then Saturday, we’ll run three. Next week, we’ll start the Hal Higdon treatment.

Rindy was a rock star last night, though. Total. Rock. Star. She hasn’t run in a while, but she fell back into the groove so easily last night and was encouraging the boys to keep running. Total awesomeness.

So wish us luck. And…for those of you living in my area and want to join…come on!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Super Duper vacation

This week was supposed to be bad. As in 8-hour, five day statistics bad. I signed up for a minisession at Super Duper University for statistics. BLAH!!! But it's a three hour credit for five days of torture.

Turns out those five days of torture aren't so bad...

Yesterday, our professor let us out at 11 a.m. (Class was from 8-11 a.m.) Today, class went from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. What's a girl (and her wonderful hubby) supposed to do for the rest of the day?

Anything they want.

Yesterday, we drove a couple of hours to the beach. That's right!! This girl got to go to the beach...and eat fudge...and shrimp...and shop at the outlets...It was amazing. I forgot that I'm actually not supposed to be having fun on this trip!

Today, I'm getting all of my homework done for the week. I'm 2/3 done now. So, to celebrate being 2/3 done with my weekly homework, we're going to watch a movie. Then eat by the lake.

Three hours of doctoral credit never was so sweet.

Friday, August 6, 2010

What's my age again?

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then is age, as well?

‘Cause if it is, I’m a senior citizen.

I’ve come to the conclusion that this 26-year-old is really much older mentally, and I have several recent justifications to back up my case.

No. 1. If I stay up past 10 p.m., I become crankier and more obstinate. In fact, my nightly goal is usually to be in bed by 9 p.m.

No. 2. I actually referred to 18-22 year olds (students I teach) last night as “those kids.” And something else about how they just aren’t as reliable as we were. You know. Back in the days.

No. 3. My five-year plan includes moving into a house where we’ll hopefully stay for the rest of our life.

No. 4. I’ve seen 5:45 a.m. more times this summer than I had in the previous 26 years of my life combined.

No. 5. I start my morning with coffee and reading the news.

No. 6. I don't get the rap music today. What happened to Tupac and Notorious B.I.G.? Oh, wait...dang...

Granted, some of these aspects are positives, and I like to say they show my maturity. Such as the fact that I’m already trying to determine when I can retire and if I’ll have enough money to retire on. And Nos. 3 and 5, I believe, are highly positive. I’ve got a game plan.

Sometimes, I try to remember that I’m a twentysomething. Don’t other twentysomethings do something besides watch Shark Week and King of the Hill reruns? Like…I don’t know, um, party and do wild and crazy things (and I can’t even be more specific, because I don’t know what those “wild and crazy” things would be)?

Turns out for those I know…they don’t.

I heart staying home and just cuddling with my husband and dog while watching TV. I heart having a quiet evening with friends with a few “crazy” experiences thrown in. I heart the fact that my work pretty much requires me to be knowledgeable about what’s going on with the news, which allows me to sit in my office and read the news. I heart that my husband and I have a short-term game plan and a long-term one. And, most definitely, I heart that I have great friends who feel the same way.

Here’s a few other things I don’t mind missing now that I’m classified as “old” (haha):

*The requirement of dressing up. Don’t get me wrong. I like to dress up, but when I go to hear my husband play music, I don’t feel the need to put on the 4-inch heels and be overly sociable. Why, you may ask? So I can be a smart aleck and tell people when they ask, “Oh, yeah, the hot keyboardist up there? He’s mine.”

*Dorm rooms and roommates. For the most part, I had outstanding roommates. However, I hated dorm showers. I hated dorm rooms. I hated feeling like I was living out of my suitcase. I hated some of the places I lived in. Now, I have my own house. My own shower. My own refrigerator. My own cable. Yes, it’s very nice.

* Procrastinating. I was a decent college student, but I wasn’t the best. My application skills left something to be desired. 4-6 page research paper, WHAAATT?! You expect me to find three sources, too??? I have a hard time remembering how hard that seemed now when I just turned in two research papers that were 12 pages and one that was 20.

There are other things as well, and this is getting lengthy, and I think I made my point. (Wait, did I actually have a point??) I may think I’m old and I may be acting like a mature, responsible adult (those of you who know me, stop laughing!!), but at this point in my life, I wouldn’t trade a second of it for the world.

NOTE: Please continue to pray for Casey and Kate. Their first appointment did not go as well as they hoped, but they have another one next Thursday, when hopefully they will find their child. Thank you!

NOTE 2: A few of you may notice that I finally switched my name from something totally made up to something that's actually me. Since this blog is public, I'm not wholly comfortable sharing all my info, but this one is actually my nickname and something that's me. So...yea? Lol.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Vaca over (and adoption prayer request)

I'm not necessarily sad to be back at work today, but it's hard getting back into the swing of things today after waking up yesterday to the sound of water gently crashing on the shore. We had a fabulous time in Hot Springs, renting a houseboat and just taking it easy for a few days by sunning, getting facials, and relaxing in the hot tub.

In a whole new topic, please pray for our friends, Casey and Kate, who are traveling TODAY to the Ukraine to adopt a child (or children). Visit their blog by clicking HERE. They have luckily had a lot of media coverage, so you can read the stories and see the videos, too. They will be going through files of children and choosing their own at 2 p.m. CST Aug. 5. This obviously is a very nerve-wracking process, so keep them in your prayers. Casey and Kate and their daughter Chandler are such wonderful, compassionate people, and pray that God gives them peace as they welcome their new child into the family.