Monday, January 31, 2011

don't shoot- it's my first day at work!

A super sketchy dude walked into the newsroom today with one of his hands in his pocket. He had tattered clothes, a disheveled beard and shifty eyes. I instantly put my guard up. He asked to speak with one of the editors who was out sick, so one of the male news reporters asked him what he needed. The man asked, "What's your name?" The reporter said, "Can you please take your hand out of your pocket?" The man said, "I have something to show you, but I don't want everyone to see it."

By this point I was freaking out. I wondered how long before he would take his gun out and how quickly I would have time to react and what it would take to convince him not to shoot.

The reporter told the man he would speak to him downstairs and quickly called over the managing editor to let him in on what had happened. Both of them went to meet the man downstairs. I listened carefully for screams and gunshots.

A few minutes later both the reporter and the editor came upstairs. They were fine, though the reporter was shaking. Apparently the man wanted to show them two articles that I'm guessing he had an issue with.

Isn't it sad how suspicious we are of strangers? Scratch that-- isn't it sad that we NEED to be suspicious of strangers? 

Sunday, January 30, 2011


dress pants bought.

outfit ready.

early morning routine practiced.

soup + salad + peppermint patty packed.

prayers prayed (and prayers answered).

new job, here I come!

Friday, January 28, 2011

flashback friday: sarah

I wrote this when I was fifteen. I was introduced to some people in high school who had experienced death and abuse at a young age. This piece was not based on any singular story, but a combination of stories.


little Sarah so scared and crying
doesn’t know that her momma is dying
her daddy won’t hold her he just sits there and stares
she can’t tell him she loves him, can’t tell him she cares
she’s only a baby, not born but yesterday
maybe her mom wouldn’t be so sick if she’d thrown her baby away
poor Sarah’s all alone, but she’s still glad she’s living
she just hopes that when she’s older her family is forgiving
her daddy had said if it was his choice they’d abort
now her mommy is gone and so is her support
who will protect her from the constant pain ahead
will anyone still love her once her mommy is dead?
what if her daddy still wanted his baby girl killed?
then perhaps his raging pain would be stilled
sarah lays there and listens to the screams
there goes her mommy with her hopes and her dreams
she was stupid to have fallen for sarah’s dad
unaware that having Sarah would make him so mad
he wouldn’t listen to her constant begging “no”
said that if she loved him that her feelings would show
how could she have been so foolish and believing
she never thought that his words might be deceiving
now look where she is, she was too young to give birth
gave all she had to her baby and now she’s leaving this earth
all Sarah can hear is her momma’s streaming tears
as she tries to be strong and forget all her fears
it just isn’t working, she’s too frail to go on
her last thoughts taken away with the dawn
Sarah knows that something is wrong
the only sound in the room is that sorrowful song
her daddy plays with the radio, no tears in his eyes
turns it off as people come in the room to say their goodbyes
they bend over the teenager who just lost her life
her only dream never came true- the dream to be a wife
why is this world so cruel to the innocent youth
maybe they’d stop doing what they’re doing if they were told the truth
so many of them never learn to have morality
they just say that their life is reality
what about Sarah, does anyone care about this child
they would if they had been watching when her mama smiled

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

new job!

I took this picture last week before my interview with the Daily News-Record. I was hoping I would get a chance to attach it to a HOORAY! I GOT THE JOB! post and here it is!

I start next week as an editorial assistant. I will be manning the front desk, writing stories for the Features section and covering obituaries on Thursday evenings.

I am still video editing from home. The project is almost finished and then I will have about 14-15 hours of edited material to review before the final version is published. It will be nice for me to have two incomes for a couple of weeks. Gotta pay off that van of ours!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

cheesy epidermis

I was shredding a block of white cheddar cheese yesterday and shredded a good chunk of skin from my knuckle. The skin blended in with the cheese, but thankfully it stuck to the grater a bit so I was able to quickly separate it, put on a band-aid and resume my domestic task.

Mmmm. Tasty.

Monday, January 24, 2011

notes from a college graduate

There I was, ready to dive into all that is college. I had spent the summer pouring over JMU's student life handbook, sketching floor plans for my dorm room (true story- just ask my freshman year roommate) and wondering who I would meet and what I would learn.

I knew college would mean freedom. I didn't realize it would be an every-day type of freedom. Freedom to choose when to wake up, whether or not to go to class, what to eat, who to spend time with, where to go, how to spend my time.

I didn't know the people I would meet would challenge me and mold me into a better version of myself.

It's funny, I still refer to time in semesters. I wonder when that will change.

Friday, January 21, 2011

flashback friday: untitled

I'm guessing I wrote this after being forbidden to talk to my crush from camp. I was fifteen and absolutely heartbroken.

I’m on the outside 
I was anywhere but here
Inside and seeing
That keeps me from you
It is the worst feeling
What I am
out on

living each day with purpose

Last week I noticed that my brain had turned to mud. I was having a million thoughts at once but none of them were coherent or stood out from the rest. I was sluggish, cranky, sleepy and I couldn't stand myself. I wasn't able to enjoy time to myself because I felt lazy. My friend Jenny suggested I give myself more of a schedule. She said it's easy to fall apart when you go from having a purpose to your day to flouting around aimlessly.

Ding ding ding! Isn't it funny how the most obvious solutions are almost always never the ones we think of right away? It made so much sense. Last fall and up until the holidays I had very busy weeks. I had coffee dates, I was volunteering at church, I was running around town like a mad woman. I had to make time to work. Last week the only thing going on each day was work.

All of a sudden things turned around. After my meeting with Jenny I scheduled a coffee date. Andy and I went out to a movie. I had three more "dates" with friends. I had a meeting and a job interview. I started exercising again.

I have relished every lazy moment I've had this week. I don't feel guilty about watching television or reading for an hour when I know I had a packed day and it's okay to unwind. Today I'm taking my unwind-time now, because all of my activities planned for the day are happening in the afternoon and evening. I feel myself again. It feels great.

"Until thought is linked with purpose there is no intelligent accomplishment." - James Allen

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Huset pouf

I won this small coral Huset pouf from HGTV's blog Design Happens.

If given the option to choose, I would have picked the large gray pouf on the right side of the pic. But hey, I'll take (almost) anything for free! 

Sooo the website says you can use the poufs as ottomans. Except the coral pouf is about the size of a shoebox (except it's round, of course). What on earth should I use it for?

Monday, January 17, 2011

first proust, then famous people, now me.

"country lane with trees" by van gogh

  • What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
      separation from God
  • Where would you like to live?
      before kids: a big city. during my children's upbringing: a suburb. retirement: English countryside. but really, anywhere with my man and near family. 
  • What is your idea of earthly happiness?
      an accepting family. intimate friendships. affection. an immense library. the smell of bread, the smell of coffee brewing. waking up next to the man I love. mountains, lakes, sunshine, snow, the ocean, leaves changing color...
  • To what faults do you feel most indulgent?
  • Who are your favorite heroes of fiction?
      I adore historical fiction. Real people, real events...portrayed by an outsider, or maybe someone who was there but still must call their book fiction.
  • Who are your favorite characters in history?
      Abraham, Esther, Ruth, Jesus, Paul, Queen Elizabeth, Washington, Adams, Lincoln, Grant, Lee, Roosevelt, Kennedy family, Paul Rusesabagina, my ancestors
  • Who are your favorite heroines in real life?
      My mother. my sister. my best friends
  • Who are your favorite heroines of fiction?
      real women- Alexandra Fuller, Jeannette Walls, Lauren Winner
  • Your favorite painter?
       Van Gogh. 
  • Your favorite musician?
      Yann Tiersen (ooo but I adore George Winston too)
  • The quality you most admire in a man?
  • The quality you most admire in a woman?
      generosity (a servant heart)
  • Your favorite virtue?
  • Your favorite occupation?
      reading (well, let's be honest- it's probably snuggling)
  • Who would you have liked to be?  
  •         "I could have been a great many things." - Little Women
(I can't get rid of that annoying last bullet)
I didn't let myself read Proust's answers b/c I did not want them to affect what I wrote. His idea of happiness is so similar to mine!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

"What a Savior" by Laura Story

we sang this at church this morning. blew me away.
listen to the song here

"What a Savior" by Laura Story

Atoning sacrifice
Keeper of this life
Hallelujah You are savior
Beginning and the end
Forgiver of my sin
By Your mercy You have saved us

Jesus You are stronger
More than any other
Hallelujah what a savior
Jesus You are higher
My soul´s deepest desire
Hallelujah what a savior 

You are the shepherd king
You lead us by still waters
Hallelujah You are savior
You are my only hope
Your kindness is my friend
In Your presence You restore us

You are the way the truth and the life
You are my joy and salvation
Stood in my place taking my shame 

Upon your shoulders

Friday, January 14, 2011

excuse me, I think I blacked out

(the other night)

Me: Want to watch an episode of 24?
Andy: Can we sit and read together instead?

BOOM! the universe just exploded.
I think I glimpsed heaven for a second.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

the latest edition to our household

I fell in love with this guy from Kohls a week and a half ago, but didn't buy him because I had set a goal for myself to not buy anything other than groceries for a week. I also didn't think I should spend $18 on a whim, so I decided to mull it over.

I thought about this hippopotamus rhinoceros EVERY DAY all week long. I noticed that Kohls marked it down to $14.99 on the website last Saturday because they were having some special. It was the end of the week and I had accomplished by goal. I set off to Kohls, picked up my rhino and took it to the cash register. They agreed to give me the online price and all of these women flocked around and commented on how cute the rhino was and what an interesting piece and blah blah blah. The cashier put it in a bag and handed it to me and I leaned over to sign the receipt. My bag slowly swung forward and barely touched the counter in front of me. CRACK! Everyone gasped. The nose had snapped off! Another customer saw where the broken piece had fallen and I awkwardly laughed it off and said I would superglue it and walked away while everyone gave me sad faces.

I'm not exaggerating, by the way, about these other was so incredibly awkward.

So I called my mom and she suggested I ask Kohls to replace the hippo rhino. I put it off for a few days because I was still recovering from the awkwardness of the situation.

Today I went to Kohls and hoorah! They replaced the hippo rhino (I don't think I'll ever get it right) and the cashier very carefully wrapped it in paper for me.

He is now home and displayed on our new bookcase.

Monday, January 10, 2011

afternoon in charlottesville

I met my friend Rebecca for lunch in Charlottesville today. After reading online about the sandwiches at Bellair Market, I knew that was where I wanted to eat. The sandwich shop is attached to an Exxon station, so it's one of those diamond in the rough types that you wouldn't expect to be as fresh and delicious as it is. I ordered the Farmington:: turkey, bacon, havarti, coleslaw, lettuce and herb mayo on french bread. OUT OF CONTROL.
I am definitely going back.

We took our time eating lunch and then went to Shenandoah Joe's for vanilla lattes and Anthro for some retail therapy. I'm always on the lookout for quirky home accents and instantly fell for this comical candle. It has such a personality!

It's not available online anymore, but it was on sale for $7.98 in the store. 

Friday, January 7, 2011

chicken tenders with green beans and cauliflower

Tonight I made chicken tenders with cauliflower and green beans.
I dipped the chicken in olive oil and then a mixture of seasoned bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. Easy peasy. Marriage 101.
I did something new with the sides. I thought of what we had on hand and came up with green beans with walnuts and feta cheese and cauliflower with onions and heavy cream. Everything turned out perfectly and the flavors were amazing.

I tossed the beans with olive oil and salt while they were still in the strainer. I added the feta and walnuts after I plated the beans.

I cooked the cauliflower in water while sautéing onions. Once the veggies were cooked I strained the cauliflower and added them to the skillet, tossing them with the onions and adding salt, pepper, garlic and about a quarter cup of heavy cream.

I used a slotted spoon to serve the cauliflower and onions to save a few calories and because nobody likes a liquid-y plate.

Total time:: 20 minutes. Can't get much better than that!

flashback friday : sometimes

flashback fridays are a weekly post where I reveal some angst-y teenage writings of mine from high school
not sure when I wrote this...

Sometimes space isn’t what I need
Sometimes taking a break isn’t the right thing to do
Sometimes letting go can be a bad choice
Sometimes I wish I didn’t have to say this to you
Sometimes it seems like the world is spinning around me
Sometimes I feel caught in a spell and I can’t get out
Sometimes I can tell what you’re doing to my heart
Sometimes I know it’s something I can’t live without

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

a belated 2010 year in review

2010 was a lesson in patience, trust and contentment. It was a hard year, but I'm better for it. Here are a couple posts from each month--

January: I got a "big change" haircut and started working for Katie Stoops Photography and received an interesting job assignment

February: I established a list of things I love and things I hate and awkwardly quit a nannying job.

March: We found our current house, I introduced our pup Casey to the WWW and I made Faaaab-ulouuus (Oprah style) chicken enchiladas.

April: I shared a few things you should know and said goodbye to our first house.

May: I fell hard for the precious twins I nannied for and reflected on life since high school.

June: I told a muffin tale, compiled my first "little pleasures" list and went fishing with Andy and my sister+brother-in-law

July: I gave relationship advice inspired by Jake and Vienna from The Bachelor, wrote the most talked about post on my blog and gave the recipe for an easy salmon dinner.

August: I wrote a letter to Becca, showed off two of my favorite decorations and reviewed the movie Eat, Pray, Love.  

September: I learned the beauty of contentment and spent time by my Grandma's side before she passed away.

October: I posted pics of the lovely furniture I received from my grandma as well as my first furniture makeover and addressed one of Andy's concerns about having children.

November: What I consider the best parts of being married, an Amélie inspired description of Andy and of myself and the front of our house.

December: I turned 24, hosted my first Christmas Party,  had a grown-up Christmas and listed all of the books I read in 2010.

click here to read Dave Barry's Year in Review. 

Monday, January 3, 2011

sweet solitude

I cherish the mornings when I believe I can conquer anything today. Even if conquering anything means conquering dog hair, dust, dirty footprints on the tile floor, wet nose marks on the patio door, grocery shopping, a new recipe, working at least two hours and somehow looking fresh as a daisy by the time our guests arrive for dinner.

Even though we have many months before we begin starting a family (please don't jump all over that), my brain is wired to think enjoy every day you sleep in, every uninterrupted time with Andy, every coffee/lunch date, every book and magazine you can lazily read, every inch of the house that may be covered in dog hair but is not covered in blocks and little plastic army men and toy cars and Barbie accessories. Breathe in your freedom. Delight in sweet solitude.

So I'm vowing to make this afternoon a cheerful, joyful one. I may have chores to do, but I can blast music and dance around the house and find accomplishment in preparing our home for fellowship. It is a choice, after all, and I am done with choosing to be lazy.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2011 resolutions

Do you know anyone that accomplishes all of their New Year's resolutions? I'm certainly not one of them. I only had five last year *read about them here* and the only one I kept involved reading at least 26 books *check out my book list here.*

So here goes for 2011::

1. Read 26 books, including 5 classics and 1 biography
2. Take a vacation with just Andy (last in 2010...we bought a van instead of Six Flags was our vacation)
3. Get my body bathing-suit ready for our beach trip in June
4. Become more involved in the community
5. Memorize a verse or passage each month

If you have any advice on where we should take our vacation or how to save money for it, send it my way!