Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Year's Goal prompting some thinking...beware!

As the new year approaches Andrew and I have been evaluating our spending, planning our spending/ setting goals for the new year. This is makes you see how married to the world you really are. 

Martin Luther,"The last part of a man to be converted is his wallet."

I hope in this new year we do better...I hope that we grow spiritually and out of that we realize that we have everything in Christ and thus are free to decrease our spending because we are less dependent on those things for satisfaction. Honestly, that's probably my resolution for each year the rest of my life. That I would continually refocus on how much I've been given instead of how much I want. I've read some great articles today on finances and of course debt always comes up with that issue.  They talk about the debt that most young Americans carry and it's devastating! I'm an American = I'm materialistic (period) I pray for myself and the rest of this country that Jesus would grow in our hearts and help us say no to consumerism/materialism. On occasion, if you read this blog you will have to deal with my advice, however flawed it may be. (Sorry)

Dave Ramsey is the Christian financial goo-roo of our day and I just love this motto "Act Your Wage"!  Here is the article/blog I stumbled upon that started this rant.  Also, if you are looking for a book on finances I still recommend The Complete Financial Guide for Young Couples by Larry Burkett.  This book IS intended for couples; however, I think it has great advice for anyone young, old, single, married.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all! Enjoy your family! We are and of course enjoy the gifts while remembering that Christ is the great gift of the season.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Butternut Squash Soup

I actually have been cooking...just haven't told you about it yet.  Ok so I went to Atlanta Bread Company for lunch one day and had their B-nut Squash soup...I though I loved it, but they made it so sweet that I grew tired of it.  I decided I wanted to make my own.  I used this recipe but tweaked it. Below you will find my alterations in orange or marked through.


2 tablespoons butter EVOO

1 small onion, chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 medium carrot, chopped

2 medium potatoes, cubed sliced

1 medium butternut squash - peeled, seeded, and cubed

1 (32 fluid ounce) container chicken stock

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 tsp ginger powder (maybe more - to taste)

2 tsp Zatarains (maybe more - to taste)

1/3-3/4 c half and half


1. Cut B-nut squash in half, seed. Rub with EVOO and salt and pepper. Place in baking dish and add small amount of water to cover the bottom.  Bake for 45 minutes to an hour.

2.Melt the EVOO in a large pot, and cook the onion, celery, potatoes, and squash 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Pour in chicken stock to cover vegetables. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover pot, and simmer while squash is roasting, or until all vegetables are tender.

3.Transfer the soup to a blender adding the squash, and blend until smooth. Return to pot, and mix in any remaining stock to attain desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper add half and half.
This soup reminds me of fancy potato soup and was delicious. Sorry no picture, but it's a beautiful yellow/ golden orange color!

A few more pics of the new floor!

Also, you may not have noticed, but since it took probably as long as it took to lay the floors you should know that I painted the base boards and chair molding....we hope to paint the windows too, but might hire that out!

New birthday present ever!

Andrew slaved over the floors the weekend of December 3-5th.  There were some pretty tough cuts that we weren't sure if he would lose his sanity over, but we, make that he, prevailed and have been enjoying our new floors for two weeks now! Thanks babe; you're the best!


Need a break!

Isn't that sweet, baby Gage is his pillow!

RIP 1990s white will not be missed!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


My birthday is coming up, and because I am me I wanted new kitchen floors. My husband loves me (and peace, just kidding) so he has granted my wish! Haha now Andrew's a genie...I digress...we started moving the funiture out of the kitchen and pulling up the shoemolding so that we can actually put down the floors. Andrew pulled up shoemolding and I went behind him and scrubbed the dirty dirt line it left behind...yuck! So these pictures are so you can see our ugly WHITE floor that never looks clean one last time...good bye WHITE floor you will not be missed! I'm never dramatic, am I?
This one is a little messy, but that's life...messy!

My cleaning supplies! Man I'm weird.
 Ok, these next pics are the end of a journey.  A journey through what color hardware goes with golden oak cabinets.  The answer: none really, but this is the best option.  Our hardware was gold/brass when we moved in...I immediately spray painted all of it "brushed nickel" and the hinges too. I decided this was not the best color scheme. Then I found "oiled bronze" and that seemed to be a much better match. However, when Andrew took the hinges off for the first paint job, he told me they wouldn't make it through coming off and on about 6-8 months after painting the hardware we finally broke down and bought matching hinges.
See they don't match!

Yay! They match!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sweet Baby Gage

Well we had a great Thanksgiving, a rough Saturday...not a great day to be in Clemson :( which was followed by a horrible Sunday. We woke up Sunday morning I took Gage outside for a potty break and came back inside. An hour and a half later, Gage was not able to stand up. It was honestly very dramatic. Andrew and I tried to figure out what was going on; it took about 20 minutes to realize we couldn't fix it and she needed help.  We took her to the SC Emergency Vet, wonderful people, they told us that an infection from a tick or an autoimmune problem like, Rheumatoid Arthritis or Lupus in people, could be causing this joint pain and weakness.  They wanted to keep her to observe her for the afternoon, so we nervously went home. We came back several hours later to find no real answers. They know that two things cause these sorts of events either infections or auto-immune inflammatory responses.  So we are proceding with the idea it's an infection, because that is the most likely scenario since Gage is a mere 16 months. 

Since Sunday she has regained a significant amount of her strength, energy, and playful spirit.  She is now able to jump up on the couch and is running in the yard.  So much for "strict rest and limited activity" we've tried she doesn't know how. So here's a picture to make you think about her and pray for her full recovery...If our God cares about the birds in the air he cares about our sweet baby Gage too!

Here's what Andrew and I marveled at on Sunday...we love this dog like crazy and that we have an Amazing God who loves us enough to save us and even cares about things like our pets.  We know that he loves us and cares for his creation no matter what would have happened to Gage, but we are thankful she's healing. Thank you Great Physician.
Routinely known as Sweet Baby Gage!

Our First Turkey!

I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving. We sure did...a nice relaxing day and our first turkey.

Honestly it was fabulous!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Captivate-"to attract or delight as if by magic" (Merriam-Webster)

I think I am going to start a post series about things that captivate my attention. This will be the first.  We all know how inconsistent I am, so I'll give this the college try with no promises for a specific day of the week or time table on appearances.  When trying to figure out a name for this post series...I thought I would name it Captured, but then I looked at a thesaurus. I saw captivated's definition and realized it fits perfectly. The aim of this series will be to remind myself that their are many beautiful things that I need to take the time to reflect on and share.

So, here's the first! Yesterday, I noticed the that the clouds were beautiful. They were stunning on the drive to work and all through out the day as I drove. I snapped these with my phone...they turned out pretty, but I hope you actually noticed it too. As always, God's creation is best experienced in person! Or maybe clouds aren't your thing? I just know I enjoyed them!

Friday, November 19, 2010


I have many fond memories from my childhood.  Many of you probably enjoyed this same activity...TGIF. Every Friday evening my sister and I would rush into the living room and turn on the tv.  My favorite show probably was Boy Meets World! Well, recently I realized that they air the old episodes every morning on ABC Family and basically I haven't grown up at all. I walk into the kitchen turn on the tv and change the channel from where my husband has been watching the news (he leaves before me) to Boy Meets World. I've been really enjoying this.  I usually catch about 1/2 an episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch too! Also, my sister and I used to watch The Wonder Years and this is just a random fact but did you know Paul from the Wonder Years and Corey from Boy Meets World are Fred and Ben Savage, brothers. Ok so this isn't shocking b/c they look so much alike, but I'm a little surprised I didn't know this before now!
This is how I will always remember Tapanga...what a name and look at that hair!
And did anyone know Shawn went emo?
I feel better now that I've gotten this off of my chest! If you are home in the morning
 and have time to watch a little tv from 7-8....enjoy my childhood!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Beauty of Fall or should I say Beauti-FALL

Yes I want you to experience my cheese growing. I shared with you my favorite fall photos from my own yard, but here is a fall photo contest someone shared with me. I thought it would be selfish to keep this to myself...seriously some stunning photos.  Just so you will actually click on the link; I am going to tease you with a couple of my favorites!

For real...amazing! love me!

Go into Starbucks the 18th-21st and enjoy buy one get one holiday drinks.
Enjoy! I'll be trying the Eggnog Latte!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pumpkin Carving!

Here's to posting things that are really outdated! We did actually enjoy the Halloween spirit,
but no worries, no evil ones! Haha...I'm becoming so cheezy!
Working hard to clean out pumpkin guts!
Sorry to cut your face off Andrew!

Cassie's kitty cat that Andrew carved for her!

Appropriately named Hoot! I am proud of this guy!

Andrew's pumpkin is the one on the looked like this until our
neighbor's dog decided it would be fun to take a chunk out of his eyebrow...
RIP Jackolantern 2010.

Happy Halloween...oh only 2 1/2 weeks late...hope everyone enjoyed their festivities!

Left Handed People

You may or may not know that I am left my life this equates to a couple of things: the most important being, I am terrible at my left and right...yes at 24 I still struggle with this!

Did anybody else out there drive with their hands like this
<---- so they could see that their left hand makes and true "L" and their right hand does not? And even worse, on occasion, still get confused! True story!

Also, to seal the deal, below you will find I was talking about Stool Mtn. in the post "Table Rock..." and Stool Mtn is really on the right, not the left.  Sorry if anyone read that and said, "hey there's no mountain to the left"...oops!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Table Rock kicked our...

So Andrew and I decided it would be fun and beautiful to hike Table Rock this past Saturday...Saturday evening when we were home we were not sure it was such a good idea.  We were quite sore! Here are some of our pics...Gage did great...quite the Table Rock celebrity!

I think the clouds look amazing...
Still a lot of pretty color...we thought it might all be on the ground!
Yay...we made it...even Gage was pooped after this day!
She slept the entire way home.
This little mountain to the left is known as Stool Mtn.  the
Native Americans named it that because they believed it was
the stool the gods sat on and well we are standing on the table...
pretty cool Andrew and I had never heard that before
View from the top! seriously the wind started blowing
and it took my breath away it was so cold!

Dominican Photos...yeah it's been 3 weeks :/

No, actually I did not tell Andrew I was pregnant, b/c I'm not!
He thought this to be the appropriate place to rest his hand :)

Good idea Andrew...I think this one turned out fun!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Our beautiful Maple tree in the backyard is making it's annual transformation....and I'm loving it!

Monday, October 18, 2010

2 Years!

Today, Andrew and I celebrate being married for 2 years.  Here is an excerpt by C.S. Lewis:

"Being in love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing.  There are many things below it, but there are also things above it. You cannot make it the basis of a whole life. It is a noble feeling, but it is still a feeling...Knowledge can last, principles can last, habits can last; but feelings come and go...But, of course, ceasing to be "in love" need not mean ceasing to love. Love in this second sense--love is distinct from "being in love"--is not merely a feeling.  It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by (in Christian marriage) the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God..."Being in love" first moved them to promise fidelity: this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it."              C.S. Lewis

Sunday, October 17, 2010

We're Home!

Well, we got home at around 2 am this morning. We crashed for a while and then I went to church and let Andrew catch up on some needed sleep.  My friend Miriam does a Monday Multitude blog...she is linked lower on the page, and I just felt like I had a lot to be thankful for.

I'm thankful for...
an incredibly restful and beautiful vacation shared with great friends,
coming home,
my comfy bed,
seeing Sweet Baby Gage,
Gage licking Andrew like crazy...he didn't even need to bathe today,
our beautiful Maple tree starting to change colors,
the mums on our front porch,
David Gentino's last sermon before heading to the mission field.

Pictures of the trip to come soon!

Monday, October 4, 2010

New daydreams!

So I've found a new product, for my home, to obsess about....Cork flooring....ok so I've found this product in a magazine that is sent to our home and here are my findings.

Cork naturally repels insects, has anti mildew, mold, and bacterial components. It's warm, or at least not cold to the touch. It insulates, is a sound dampener, and has more give than wood floors.  I think I want to put this in our bedrooms.  My only negative thing about it is you can't wet can damp mop, but that's it.  I prefer, with my obsessive cleaning gene, to be able to scrub and soak a floor!

I forgot to tell you one of the best parts, as if the germs part isn't good enough, you don't have to cut down the tree. Cork comes from the bark of the tree and you can safely harvest it every 10-15 years! Phenominal really!

I'm contemplating it for the kitchen be decided. Being a home owner is fun!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Yes, again!

I realize I've been a little obsessed in my postings (and real life) about baby Cai being born, but here are few cute pics that I took this week.  Sorry Vanessa and Hart this is what happens when you have a baby, the parents become invisible, but in a good way b/c people are so fascinated by your gorgeous baby.  Well this may just be true for me because I've always LOVED babies and y'all just happened (with God of course) to make an exceptionally stunning child! I have a hard time taking my eyes off of him, but I love you guys and I am praying you get all the rest and sustaining from God you need.
His first day here in this world, happy birthday sweet Micaiah!
This is pretty much bliss!
I think I'm basically family, right? Congrats Grandma Nelle!
What is there to say?
This is day 3, look how good that Mama looks! Do you see how big Cai's feet are?
Beautiful Mommy!
I know it's the cutest baby nose ever!
How's your heart, is he breaking it with how cute he is?