July 31, 2008

The One with all the Afghans

My thoughts for the day:

  • It's so exciting to finish a book, but so sad when you realize you've finished.
  • I love that one of my best friends can just stop in on her way to and from Canada and the US. Even if it's just for 20 minutes.
  • I love finding common bonds with new friends.
  • We got a package in the mail yesterday. It was from our good friend, Faith. She crocheted us a beautiful ivory afghan with brown edging as our wedding gift. I was almost moved to tears. She said, "I couldn't bring myself to sen an 'ordinary' present to two people who are so special--so I made one instead." How cool is that?
  • Is it weird that I'm so excited to be going to the town that I grew up in, then I grew to dislike, but now find comfort in? Maybe it's because I still call it "home." Is that bad? (I mean, I have moved on, I've left my parents to cleave unto my husband and all that. But that place is just know as "home" in my mind.)
  • I actually pulled out one of my textbooks today to read. Well, actually I wanted to use it as a study guide alongside my Bible. It's funny how much I loved my classes and now I'm learning to love the textbooks too. Granted I had awesome textbooks. This one is a guide to the Prophets. I was reading Obadiah.
  • What should we have for dinner?
  • I wish I had money to spare on items found at an extremely oversized rummage sale.
  • I can't think of anything else. If I do, I'll let you know.

July 30, 2008

The One with the Humidity

I am ashamed slash proud of the fact that I used the pinesol, mop and mop bucket for the first time this morning (very nice supplies thanks to Elizabeth). I sweep (especially our bathroom) about twice a week, I vacuum about that much, I clean the sinks when they get dirty and the same goes for the toilet, counters, and the mirrors. I don't know why in the world I put off the mopping. I guess it just seems like a lot of preparation for two very tiny squares of linoleum. Nonetheless, it's done. Floors are clean. I'm sweating (because it's 80 degrees and insanely humid). And our home now smells like Pinesol. (Not a bad thing, just to clarify.)

The chocolate chip cookies are made are STILL soft. I can't believe it. I don't think I've ever had a recipe that keeps the cookies soft. I'm crazy excited about it. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I cut the recipe in half (except for the vanilla...I love vanilla) but I just put the whole egg in...I figured it was too much hastle to cut an egg in half. Hee, hee.

My bike tire was pierced yesterday morning as I rode into the parking lot. A little tiny piece of brown glass had imbedded itself in the rubber and air was leaking rather quickly for such a small hole. Anyways, I didn't think (or rather Kevin advised against it) it would be a good idea to ride the bike to the bike shop (wow...), so I dropped Kevin off at work this morning and will load my bike in the car this afternoon to pick up him and get the tire fixed. (For hopefully as little money as necessary.)

That said, I decided to try my hand (or rather my legs) at running. I figured I would feel much safer if I ran while Kevin was still at home. So off I went. It was certainly muggy, and the route I took wasn't too bad, but I just don't think my heart is in it like it used to be. I'm not just a city runner. I'm jealous of those who are, but I much prefer calm suburbs and rolling country hills. And maybe one day (if and when we return to the Arbs.) I will find another married woman to be a running partner. Cause that would just be fun. Someone who's about the same fitness and speed as I am, but who will keep my challenged. (As well as good huffing and puffing conversation.) I realized this morning how much I took the little fitness center for granted. I hope to be back there one day and get to use it once again. And maybe by then, they will have taken my advice and expanded the room and the equipment. :)
[....wow....can anyone say "soapbox"]

July 29, 2008

The One with the Clouds

I've had the urge to whip up a batch of good ol' fashion chocolate chip cookies. Our "snack" selection is running a little bland, so I thought this homemade goodness would be just the remedy. I decided to make only half a batch since we're leaving for my hometown on Friday. That said, despite the humid heat that was already penetrating our walls at 11am, I went to work. The result was quite delectable. [Though I only had one, thank you very much.]

I've had a message screaming to me from every book, every thought. It's finally sinking in I believe. God is in control. He's got an awesome plan for me, for my employment, for our future. Sure, I may have applied at every restaurant, office, and shopping center in the area...and sure, it may seem that any old someone can get a job like these...but I'm not. And there's a reason for that. God, you have my full and undivided attention. I will just wait for that mind-blowing opportunity, that perfect provision, the proof of your intimate care to reveal itself when you chose to bring it to my attention.

This is what I read yesterday concerning marriage during life's clouds and storms. "And true strength is found, not by drawing by some inner personal reserve nor by leaning too heavily on each other, but by sinking roots deeper and deeper into your trust in the promises of God, and together relying on Him to come through for you. A marriage thus secured will never be broken apart or uprooted."

Then, this morning I found the words from O. Chambers to be convicting in the same vein. "clouds are those sorrows or sufferings or providences which seem to dispute the rule of God. It is by those very clouds that the Spirit of God is teaching us how to walk by faith. If there were no clouds, we should have no faith...Unless we can look the darkest, blackest fact full in the face without damaging God's character, we do not yet know Him...You must get to the place where there is 'no one any more save Jesus only'."

July 27, 2008

The One with the Potluck

We were pleasantly surprised when we got to church today. Being gone for two weeks keeps pertinent information from you. There was an all-church potluck following the morning service. Three cheers for that! [side note: what on earth is the origin of the term "pot. luck."? You bring a pot of something and you get lucky cause everyone else brought pots too? or what?] After a great time of fellowship in Sunday School and a good study of Philippians 1 in the service, we were all herded back to the lunch. Boy was it delicious! There were more drink options than I can remember, and the dessert tableS...don't even get me started on the dessert tableS! :) There was an amazing Italian sausage chili among other great casseroles and salads, and Kevin and I were able to get to know a couple from our Sunday School class a little better.

After a hot ride home, I decided to make use of the apartment complex pool. (I'm pretty sure I'm the only person to have been in that pool yet this summer!) I was kinda freaked out about using it and having people watch me from there windows, but the community was fairly quiet this Sunday afternoon, so I took the risk. :) I spent about a half hour cooling off and pacing the width of the pool while memorizing 3 Bible verses for church (January's - March's). It was a really good time actually. (I hate to admit that I must be a sort of a "pacer"-memorizer. It works.)

Have I told you lately that I love strawberry jam?

July 26, 2008

The One with the Bookshelves

Isn't it funny how on the days you can sleep in, you still manage to wake up at the same time your dreadful alarm normally sounds? Maybe you don't know what I'm talking about (and if you don't count yourself blessed), but that's what happens to me every weekend. But you know what, even though I could be bitter about it, I'm not. Yeah, that's right. I'm not. Sure, I go back to sleep for about an hour (still getting up at 8am for "no reason" on a Saturday), but I don't mind living in a routine. I think it's the healthiest pattern after all. And as long as you don't have to hear an alarm beeping telling you you have to get up, then it's really not that big of a deal. [*whew* Now that I got that off my chest.]

Our Comcast cable and internet went out this morning so we were without the "essentials" of life. But no fear, we made the best of it. :) Yup, you guessed it. We popped in a disc or two of Friends (a la Sara Luke). It was a good time. We decided when we watch Friends together we're going to work our way through the seasons chronologically...but if I'm home alone or whatever, I'll just pop in whatever I grab first. (Glad you know that now, aren't you?)

Kevin's folks arrived around 11:30 with Brian and Gpa & Gma in tow. They delivered our lovely set of bookshelves...which look just marvelous under the oversized wall-clock in our living room. (I spent the hour or so after they left toting crates of books from our upstairs closet to fill our shelves. And they look wonderful if I don't say so myself...so full of literature of all sorts [classics, childhood fiction, marriage topics, theology texts, and chemistry resources of course.]) Around noon we hopped back in the van and headed for Xochimilco...the best restaurant in Mexican Town. mmmmmm, mmmmm. I had the chicken chimichangas with rice and beans. (Well, I had one chimi...one's in the fridge for later. *smile*) We got quite the "tour" of Detroit trying to follow the GPS directions. ha, ha!

After stuffing ourselves, we rode into Eastern Market where I immediately spotted a great deal on strawberries=1lb. for $1.00! We bought 4 lbs. and his parents bought 8 for $7 and brought them home to make strawberry jam! (wow, I can't tell you how much I love homemade strawberry jam...and now we have 10 pints in our freezer!) Kevin and I also found 10lbs of potatoes for ONE dollar.

Oh, and we finally made our way into the Rocky Peanut Company right there beside the market. I was expecting barrels and barrels of peanuts everywhere and nothing else...but I was mistaken. This was a great bulk foods store...pasta, rice, chocolate, spices, baking products, candy, coffee, etc, etc...oh and Peanuts of course! We bought 2 lbs of long grain brown rice.

I'm hoping we might venture over to Comerica park tonight around 10pm after the baseball game to catch a close up of the fireworks. That would be fun, don't you think?

July 25, 2008

on nerf guns & coffee mugs

Can I just say how excited I was yesterday when I realized what geniuses we were for getting married Memorial Day weekend!? It occurred to me that for the rest of our lives, our anniversary will fall on a holiday that happens to give us a three day weekend. How sweet is that?! (oh, and p.s., this picture was taken at Paul & Jacqueline's wedding.)

Last night after multiple phone calls and consultations with Google Earth, Stella and her mom made it into our apartment for an evening of great conversation, banana bread, tea, and coffee. (Have I mentioned how much I love hosting??) After they left, Kevin proceeded to pour the leftover coffee into an enormous root beer mug so we could refrigerate it. Pretty soon I heard, "Oh no!" The hot coffee had managed to crack the glass up one side, through the inch thick base, and up the other side, spilling the coffee out almost as fast as it was being poured. It was a sad day. Especially for Kevin who adored his oversized mug.

Speaking of Nerf guns, I have a love/hate relationship with this toys. I love to shoot them. I hate being shot. Seriously though, I get scared (or maybe just a little nervous) when the gun's barrel is aiming my way. Orrrrr if it's aimed at the ceiling. This became Kevin's favorite pastime yesterday evening as I was laying on the couch. He would shoot the nerf darts at our high vaulted ceilings and wait for the unknown moment when they would fall from their perch and land on me. Every time I managed to look up at the wrong moment finding a dart an inch from my face. *sigh* Boys....gotta love 'em.

I'm onto my fourth Rocky Mtn. Lori Wick book. Loving them.

So tonight is the apartment complex party--resident appreciation or something of the sort. There's going to be food, prizes, and of course the meeting of neighbors, so I'm looking forward to it being a good time. (And with free food alone...how could you go wrong??)

Tomorrow afternoon is exciting as well. Kevin's parents and grandparents are coming up around noon for a lunch in Mexican town. (Wayyyyy excited about that!) Then we're going to peruse Eastern Market and probably spend a bit of time back at our place...arranging our new bookshelves my mom found for us. It should be another blessed afternoon.

Still no word from the job market (or lack thereof.) Though today marks 2 weeks since I turned in my app to Old Navy...and I made a call into the store inquiring about the status of my application and they told me that the headquarters in New Mexico handles all of their hiring and contacts applicants no sooner than two weeks after receiving their information. So this is me praying. Oh, and I also turned in two applications to a local charter school system recommended to me by a good friend. I applied for a paraprofessional position as well as an office manager. We'll see if anything comes of that.

In closing I would like to share the words of Malachi 3:10 (which I discovered on my church memory verse cards.)

"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the Lord Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it."

July 24, 2008

me:::a to z

ok, before I start the second post of the day, I must admit that the "a to z" portion of this title reminded me of the Friends episode where Chandler, Rachel, and Phoebe are trying to find their Christmas gifts from Monica. Instead they come across their gifts from Chandler...one of which is a set of book ends in the form of the letters A and Z. Subsequently, the girls make ridiculous fun of his "az." Now on to me.

A. Attached or single ? Attached and loving it!

B. Best friend ? My lover (& more girls than I can list...)

C. Cake or Pie ? Pie...especially of the berry sort.

D. Day of Choice ? Friday or Sunday. Can't decide.

E. Essential Item ? Water Bottle

F. Favorite Color ? Blue

G. Gummy bears or worms ? Worms...the sour neon ones to be specific.

H. Hometown ? Ashtabula (sound it out...."ash-tah-beula"...not "ash-tah-boola")

I. Favorite indulgence ? Books. Or Chocolate. or Both.

J. January or July ? January. Yay snow!

K. Kids ? Ummm, some day...in the distant future...for sure.

L. Life isn't complete without ? Relationships:::with Jesus, husband, family, friends, etc.

M. Marriage date ? May 24th, 2008 (oh, hey...it's been 2 months today!)

N. Number of brothers & sisters ? One gorgeous sister (and one awesome brother-in-law.)

O. Oranges or apples ? Apple girl all the way (anything except red delicious. BORING.)

P. Phobias ? Pillows (or anything) covering my face. Bridges.

Q. Quotes ? "The glory of God is a man fully alive." (Irenaeus)

R. Reasons to smile ? This is a ridiculous question for someone like me who smiles all the live long day (except when I'm stressed, or ticked, or cranky)

S. Season of choice ? Winter (again I say, "Yay, snow!")

T. Tag 5 peeps ! Britt, Magan, Ash, Angie, Maria

U. Unknown fact about me ? *thinking, thinking...* I know more about golf and it's players then any other sport.

V. Vegetable ? Broccoli.

W. Worst habits ? Biting my fingernails. Worrying. (they're kinda tied together I think...)

X. X-ray or ultrasound ? Umm, what???

Y. Your favorite food ? FRUIT.

Z. Zodiac sign ? Scorpio (and so is my husband...makes life interesting don't you think? *wink*)

On dating

A date is what you make of it. That's what I say. That's what I'm learning. Yesterday around 2pm, Kevin sent me a message from work saying there was a staff vs. organic lab soccer game at 3pm (apparently there was this big tunry all summer and this was the "finals".) He asked me if I wanted to join him. I wasn't necessarily in the mood to change out of my jeans and sweater (yes...it was about 70 in our house all afternoon...glorious!), but when he said it could be a "cheap date" I thought I'd oblige. That said, around 2:40 I grabbed my bike and was off to Wayne's chem bldg. Kevin met me at the corner of Mack and Cass and we rode the rest of the way together. We stayed until half time and rather enjoyed our bikeride home. Kevin took me home on a different, more exciting route then we usually take. We rode all the way through downtown on Woodward, past Comerica Park, many high class restaurants, and of course the sky scraping buildings. It was a ride I wouldn't have wanted to take alone, but following my love made it quite fun!

Stella is coming for a visit tonight around 9pm on her way to pick up a friend at the Detroit Metro Airport. I'm really excited to visit with her before she leaves for grad. school in Florida...especially since her car broke down on her way to our wedding. I think I shall whip up some banana bread and maybe have Kevin make some coffee (since I'm really not that great at it...)

This weather is my most favorite! The last three days have been cool, sunny, and breezy. Awww...basking in the glory of it!

And in closing, I'd like to share a prayer that a friend prayed over me a few days ago.

LORD we know that you are a provider. You have proved that time and time again in your word and in our lives as well. Remind Melanie and Kevin that You would not have made them, created them, and brought them together if You were not planning to and able to take care of them and give them what they need. Teach them what is a necessity and what is a want. I pray in this time they would draw nearer to You and nearer to each other. LORD I pray that you would provide a job for Melanie. God I just feel like you have something bigger than she might even be thinking of right now. I ask that you would open some doors that they might be able to continue forward in this time. LORD we ask for supernatural provision. I pray that when they need something it would arrive. LORD you are our shepherd and we lack for nothing. We claim that promise today. Amen.

July 23, 2008

The things that make you go "awwwww"

Kevin's parents' outdoor cat, Twiggy, had four kittens about five weeks ago. Kevin and I stopped by the house the first weekend of family camp and I was dying to see the little guys. I had never seen kittens so tiny and so adorable. They fit right in the palm of Kevin's had. We both fell in love with them--especially the only yellow one. It's not exactly the right time to take on the expenses of a pet, but man oh man is it ever hard to leave them behind. We lovingly named "our" kitten Frisbee (gender neutral...since you can't really tell yet.)

The second weekend of camp, we stopped by for a visit yet again, and were pleasantly surprised to see how much the kittens had grown...and how they were actually learning to use their legs. :)

Aren't they just irresistable?

July 21, 2008

Our Tent

Back to the drawing board

Kevin and I never would have dreamed how wonderful it would feel to be back home again. It's a different feeling then either of us has experienced in the last 4 years of college life...where you feel comfortable many places but not quite "home" anywhere.

After a hot but very beautiful week, the weekend brought lots of rain and miserable humidity. I hated the feeling of sleeping in sheets that felt damp and yucky...but I loved having Kevin beside me once again (even if it was too hot to be near one another...). On Saturday we ventured into Jackson to spend some of our remaining gift cards. We had $100 for Best Buy which we put toward a new printer, ink, and paper--very exciting. And with our Kohl's money we found Kevin 4 great new shirts, and a skirt and 3 shirts for me. I'm trying to plan ahead for the job I might get at some point in the (prayerfully) VERY near future. Speaking of which, I still have not heard a peep from any of the places to which I've applied. I'm hoping to hear from Old Navy or Target because they both had "hiring" signs up, and it's nearing "back to school" shopping and college kids are going to be on their way out. So PLEASE pick me!

During the week at camp I was actually able to get to know some of my new church family better. Many of them were camping and would spend the afternoons on the beach just like I would so conversations and new introductions were many. Emily's mom brought up a great idea for a job opportunity for me...a paraprofessional position she knows of in one of the area schools. The prospect of being a teacher's assistant, working part time and having weekends and holidays off would be perfect for me I think. But really, Kevin and I are praying harder each day that God will provide...it's so hard to trust sometimes.

We have been so blessed by our families. Remembering how difficult is was just "starting out" our parents have all been more than willing to help us financially, take us out to a dinner treat, or even just send us home with lots of food leftovers. It's quite amazing. Thanks.

I can't stop talking about the great church services, missions updates, and bible studies that I attended this week at camp. I think I've been in church enough times to "cover me" for the next few months. Ha,ha! (just kidding...) But seriously, all the messages were so challenging, such a blessing, full of conviction, and overflowing with encouragements to go into all the world and preach the Gospel. Though I don't believe I have a call to full time missions, my heart has been pricked many times for many years to get involved in international ministry in some way...whether it be going for a short term trip, connecting with established missionaries, or one day supporting them financially. Hearing the need for any form of assistance down in Haiti where the Snyders are ministering really sprung up a hope to one day fill a need in that corner of the world. I love the way my heart has been moved to dream for as Kevin's grandma said yesterday, without dreams nothing would ever be accomplished.

July 17, 2008

On Tired Apples

So I would have loved to be journaling about my restful week out at family camp, but unfortunately my computer chose this week to die. Yes, it's been acting very tired lately, but the other day it refused to restart correctly. I'm hoping I have everything backed up elsewhere cause we'll probably have to wipe the harddrive. poo.

Anyways, in a nutshell (that I will probably expand on later) the days have been great. I run each morning at 7am (it's been tough getting my muscles to cooperate like they did only a few weeks ago...), I eat breakfast, read, go to the morning missionary sharing and Bible teaching from 9:45-11:45, eat lunch, then spend the afternoons sunning myself on the beach with my new interest in literature...Lori Wick's Rocky Mtn. Memory Series. After dinner we go to the evening worship service, and in between everything I have great fellowship with my new family and so many friends...both old and new. :)

The beach is calling my name.

July 10, 2008

10 year old classic films

I love the Parent Trap (the "new" one...as in from 1998.)  It brings back such amazing memories.  It was my favorite movie for the first few years it was out, and I believe I still have 90% of the lines memorized.  (My knowledge of this script is surpassed only by Remember the Titans at 95%.)  Anyways, it's been on tv like 3 times in the past few weeks, and though I haven't actually sat down and watched it straight through, the times of slumber parties, sleeping bags, and giggling over ice cream came flooding back every time.  [wait a sec...times haven't changed that much. :)]

Today was quite productive for me, actually.  After the typical morning routine, I made my way out to the car and up I75 (with no bumpy/shaky car when accelerating past 65mph...thanks to that new tire!)  I first stopped in at Target and spent about 30 minutes filling out the online in-store application for employment.  After deciding that I was no longer restricting my "hours of availability" to the day shift, I believe I have a much better chance at getting a job.  I am now claiming 6am-9pm Mon-Sat and 2pm-9pm Sun. as times available for work.  The slight inconvenience in my typical lifestyle will be made up for with financial stability.

Continuing on down the lane of stores, I stopped into Borders and filled out an app though they aren't officially hiring.  Then I went into Bed, Bath & Beyond for two reasons--purchasing a gift for our friends' wedding on Saturday and turning in another application.  With bag in hand I headed out the door and into Pier 1 Imports.  The manager (I believe) met me at the door and handed me an application.  They are hiring part-time employees and after conversing with her for a bit I believe I made a good impression.  Getting exhausted and slightly famished by this point (2 and 1/2 hours from when I left home), I stopped in Michael's (who isn't hiring) and then went into Old Navy.  They had signs posted claiming one could "inquire within" to apply for employment.  I spoke with a really great girl (around 28...seemed to be a manager of some sort...) who pointed me to the online application process and then proceeded to ask me to leave my name and number with her so when my app shows up in the system she'll remember me!  woot!  I would really like working there I think...and they have insurance and other benefits and probably some sort of employee in-store discount. =D   (Not that I love shopping at Old Navy or anything...)

Feeling good about my productivity, I went quickly through Meijer doing some grocery shopping before making it home for a late lunch.  

Tomorrow will be a day for finalizing the packing for our "family" camping trip out to Somerset.  I'm getting quite excited for this outing--both for the time Kevin and I will spend with friends and family and [bon]fires, but also for the Mon-Fri I'll be staying out there by "myself" enjoying time for relaxation, worship, and fellowship.  mmm, mmm.

July 9, 2008

The Five Dollar Tomato

It's a true story.  You see, Kevin and I thought it would be a very wise investment when we paid $5.00 for two tomato plants.  However, we only got one tomato to ripen. So it better be GOOD.  darn good.  

I've spent two afternoons with the lovely gentleman at the automotive shop.  Yeah, good times.  I took the car in yesterday for a loooooooong overdue oil change as well as a tire rotation.  But that's when they discovered our front left tire was dead and needed to be changed.  He said we'd be wasting our money if we rotated them, because we really just need a new tire. So.  Instead of $20 for a rotation, we paid $85 for the tire to be changed.  Oh well.

Good News!!!  I've decided to spend the entire week out at family camp!  Kevin will spend Mon-Fri back in Detroit, and I'll be enjoying the festivities, the relaxation, and the fellowship out at SBC.  It'll be interesting not having to work at Family Camp for the first time. :)  Also, in case any of you didn't know, my mom and dad-in-law are great! for real.  I'm really looking forward to this change of pace.

Now, I shall bake cookies and listen to tunes on our sweet iHome.

July 8, 2008

Why pay salon prices...

...when Aldi's sells shampoo that I'm pretty sure is Pantene in a different bottle?

Is it illegal to break a lily off the plant outside our apartment building?

Why do the dark red Starburst tropical jellybeans taste horrible when all the rest are wonderful? (except for maybe green.)  And no, I don't think it's because this bag is from Easter.

What should I fix for dinner?

Is it ok that I was thrilled to see the UPS guy...because he had our new iHome in tow (so really I was just excited about the package)?

Why is it that 3 out of 4 of my friends spell "ridiculous" "rediculous"?

Where on earth did my Relient K tshirt disappear to?

In conclusion:  I wish Starbucks wasn't so overpriced.  or so overfattening. 

I heart Sara Luke.

If you're wondering why, read her comments on my last two posts.  First) she wants me at family camp and I feel loved.  Second) she's going to lend me her 10 seasons of Friends for as long as I need a fix. Just for that, this picture --> for old times sake (3 years ago!)


July 7, 2008

this just in.

First of all, you have to help me get famous.  Click on these links and vote for the pictures I uploaded to the Jones Soda website.  Eventually, one day, one of these photos might possibly make it onto a bottle of this pure cane sugar soda.  If you have any other questions about the company, ask my friend Magan. 

Ok, moving on.  Actually, no I'm not.  I think I'm going to upload a couple of my favorite pics that are being reviewed at this very moment by the Jones Soda staff.  (or not).  [10 minutes later:  it's official.  I hate the blogger photo uploader.  The pictures never go to the right spot on the page and they do bizarre and irritating things.  I quit with that for today.]

Last night, I had the worst time falling asleep.  It happens about once every 6 months or so.  You see, typically, I fall asleep within 10 minutes of climbing under the covers, but last night my mind was racing as it does biannually and it took probably 2 hours for me to get completely to sleep.  Apparently my restlessness kept Kevin up a bit as well, but he wasn't as annoyed as I was about the whole ordeal.

So this morning, equipped with the list I had formatted during the hours in which I should have been sleeping, I began packing supplies for our first ever camping trip.  Sheesh.  Our poor little car is going to be filled and just for the weekend???  Maybe that should be reason enough for me to stay the whole week.  (oh, ps, Sara... thanks for the opinion...you're helping...) :)

Oh, and I was this close (imagine the spread of my fingers) to bidding on the Friends 10 season collection on eBay.  But we decided we just can't.  Not now, not for a while.

pray, pray, pray. 

July 6, 2008


I haven't felt this lousy in a long time.  [at this point, I began to share the details because I'm not ashamed...but I figured some of you might be weirded out by that. so you're welcome.] Basically everything between my legs and my neck is not happy.  

Today was a wonderful Sabbath (despite the maladies).  Sunday school was once again a great time of fellowship and I was so thankful for my Sacred Grounds mug full of french vanilla flavored coffee.  We're feeling more and more at home with each week.  After a blessed service of communion and worship, we talked with a college-aged couple sitting in front of us and learned about a great Christian ministry group on Wayne State's campus that often gathers with the "Crew" from U of Michigan, Michigan State, and many other big local schools.  It'd be great to be connected to something like that!

Another gentleman talked with Kevin for a long time while I was talking the Pam (the college girl).  As we were on our way out of the sanctuary another woman introduced herself and found out we had just graduated from Spring Arbor.  Immediately she called her slightly-annoyed teenaged daughter who plans on attending SAU in the fall.  We chatted with the Millard women for a while, I got myself hooked up with the memory verse cards all the way back from January (that should keep my afternoons productive), and I grabbed the latest copy of the FM magazine Light and Life.  Pastor Scott caught us right before we were about to make our exit and told us he and his wife had been hoping to ask us to join them for lunch this afternoon.  But because planned changed for them, we're looking forward to hearing from them sometime this week and getting to spending some quality time together.  

We had a delicious lunch of lasagna (thanks to the Eccles and Somerset frozen leftovers), fresh garlic biscuits and Italian salad.  I did some laundry and some decoration brainstorming [and have come to the conclusion that having one of those TLC or HGTV room makeovers would be the perfect solution] and the two of us enjoyed a "pop ice" while watching the second Matrix film.

ooh, I just remembered!  We did some on-line shopping yesterday!  Kohl's was offering free shipping with an order of $75 dollars or more and we still have a stack of gift cards...soooooo...we have an iHome [a sound system for our iPODs, just so you know what your money went to, Grams], a marble rolling pin, and a bath scale coming our way!  woot!

Closing a relaxing Sunday with Extreme Makeover:  Home Edition and a bowl of cereal was just right.  

for the application I put in for "Central receptionist" to the Office of the President at WSU.
for these physical ailments.
for the upcoming time we'll spend at family camp & whether I should stay the week.

July 5, 2008

mmm, mmm good

Thanks to the July 4th celebration honoring our country's freedom, Kevin had the day off.  (Three cheers for our first holiday together!)  We had made plans the night before to return the few duplicate wedding gifts we had received.  I was finally able to pack away the stack of decorations into the closet and I came across the "to be returned" box. 

After a relaxing Friday morning of pilates and video games, we were off.  Here are some of the highlights of the day.

1.  Taking the wrong exit and driving a few miles around in the white ghetto is not being lost as long as you know the general direction you're going.

2.  The potholes in Detroit desire to devour your car whole.

3.  Finding a two year old Target gift card that still works is the best!  A big thanks to Kevin's uncle for fulfilling my dream of owning a pilates mat.  

4. Spending returned gift money is amazing when you haven't spent any money on anything except groceries in over a month...even when you spend that money in part on groceries. :)

5.  Best Buy is a man's second home. I truly believe that.

6.  It was extremely tempting to buy the full 10 season dvd collection of Friends for $189 at Target (it was $225 at Best Buy), but we couldn't rationalize that amount of money at this point.  (Blast you, joblessness!) We're definitely thinking we need to start building this collection--season by season (or the boxed set would be fine too.  *hint hint*)

7.  The first ever date and eating out since our honeymoon was more enjoyable and delicious than you could imagine!

8.  Panera's bread bowls are a little taste of heaven.

9.  We visited the most racially diverse Walmart that exists.  Seriously there were at least 5 different ethnicities seen with every turn of the head.  way cool.

10.  Getting a Wii would be a.m.a.z.i.n.g.

11.  I can't wait to start a wedding scrapbook.  As soon as I come across a stack of beautiful background paper and whenever my mom and I get around to ordering pictures...

12.  Kevin took me to Salvation Army today!  We were on the hunt for wall decor for the loft, but we came away with a purse (ON SALE).  I used to be a purse fiend, but haven't been able to convince myself to spend money so frivolously...but $2.42 is worth it for a Relic purse.  

13.  If anyone comes across a comfy couch or chair...let us know.  Or a wealth of sweet posters. :)

July 3, 2008

in eager expectation

Only Grace by Matthew West 

There is no guilt here.  There is no shame. No pointing fingers. There is no blame. What happened yesterday, has disappeared.  The dirt has washed away and now it's clear.  

There's only grace.  There's only love.  There's only mercy and believe me it's enough.  Your sins are gone without a trace.  There's nothing left now.  There's only grace.  

You're starting over now under the sun.  You're stepping forward now, a new life has begun.  

And if you should fall again, get back up, get back up.  Reach out and take my hand.  Get back up, get back up again.  

There's only grace.  There's only love.  There's only mercy and believe me it's enough, it's enough.  Your sins are gone without a trace.  There's nothing left now, there's only grace. 

God has been drawing me into his arms in a new and unashamed way recently.  I've been trying hard to keep my times with him from becoming annoying routines.  That's just not the way my God works.  He is free of any schedule and bounds and longs for me to join him in that freedom.  This world tries hard to reject such "chaos," disregarding it because it doesn't fit into our moment-by-moment plans.  And maybe, just maybe that's why I'm here.  Here and not at work, not with people, not busy.  Just here with Him.  Learning how beautiful a relationship of intimacy can unfold when it is not locked down.  

I love singing and worshipping, but I have rarely experienced the power of a private worship service.  These last two mornings have been so wonderfully different, though.  I felt completely vulnerable, yet ashamedly entering the throne room of Grace.   Tears streamed down my cheeks, the smile was uncontainable, the singing was exuberant, the experience was one to be longed for again and again.  

I now see how worshipping the King of kings for eternity will not be a boring chore, but the constant outpouring of the heart.  

July 1, 2008

On Tastes and Tears

So there's this thing...that I can't figure out.  Every morning after I watch Regis and Kelly (love them!) the Martha Stewart Show comes on.  I do not like Martha in the least.  She annoys me.  And yet, I watch the show almost all the time.  I can't understand.  It's like I'm torturing myself.  huh.  

Last night Kevin and I ate some of the most divine pieces of bread!  I made a loaf of Honey Whole Wheat bread all from scratch--kneaded and all.  It was (and is) delicious!

In other news...the bike rides have continued.  I love the extra time the two of us can spend together and I love getting that extra exercise every morning.  It's quite an interesting journey each day though. There are two or three homeless people who are "regulars" on a certain park bench or church step.  Puddles can be the death of you.  Walkers and drivers alike consistently pay no attention to a person on a bike.  One's life is truly on the line.  There's some shady business going on behind this deserted old hotel building.  The architecture in Detroit continues to amaze me.  Some structures are in decent new shape and others are phenomenally built but in a state of disheartening disrepair.  Men call out nasty things.  I try not to look.  My heart goes out to all the people I pass who don't even seem to have the will to smile back at me.  

Rent is due today.  I'm not looking forward to that.  It scares me, I'm not gonna lie.  My stomach is a little queasy knowing I still don't have a job and probably won't be getting one before the end of the summer.  I'm trying to see it as somewhat of a blessing...time to rest, rejuvenate, and learn to be a wife without being distracted by work.  Please pray.  I'm not sure for what...I would say, "Pray that teaching/subbing positions open up in the Christian schools"...but then I am convicted that I am praying God will follow my plan.  Nope, that's not what I want.  I want whatever He wants.  Truly.  

In closing, I'd like to share two excerpts from The Shack that seem applicable to the day ahead of me.  

"All I want from you is to trust me with what little you can, and grow in loving people around you with the same love I share with you.  It's not your job to change them, or to convince them.  You are free to love without an agenda" (p. 181).

"Oh child," spoke Papa tenderly.  "Don't ever discount the wonder of your tears.  They can be healing waters and a stream of joy.  Sometimes they are the best words the heart can speak" (p. 228)