Thursday, March 31, 2011

how to charm me

these posts, along with future "how to annoy me" posts, are not an original blogging concept. I stole the idea from the one and only Heather Armstrong over at, who used to do these posts waaay back in the day before she became rich and famous.

so, how to charm me:

share your food with me.
BUT, don't be all, "my meal is so much better than yours," which is what Andy says pretty much every time we eat out. Now I wait to order until I know what Andy's ordering in case I want to last minute order the same thing so that he doesn't lord his food over me.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

a pig with a nose ring

"Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion."
Proverbs 11:22

This verse cracks me up. Basically, God is saying, "your beauty is completely worthless and pointless if you have bad judgement." Really, what's the point of an earring on a pig's snout? There isn't one. Even if the earring is expensive and beautiful, there's no denying that the thing that's wearing it is a pig. So, even if a girl is absolutely gorgeous, her lack of discretion will be obvious to others.

The comparison makes me think of women on The Bachelorette. Most of the girls have perfect hair, perfect skin and a perfect body (at least by our culture's standard). Some of these women have great personalities. Others, not so much. Many of them will do anything to get ahead in "the game." They flaunt their bodies, steal the Bachelor away whenever possible and say mean things about the other girls. Their willingness to do whatever it takes to land their man overshadows their beauty in the eyes of the audience, and usually in the eyes of the Bachelor too (except for Jake and Vienna... what a train wreck).

While I know Andy is attracted to me physically, I also know he is more happy having a wife who is faithful and who considers him (and/or consults him) before making decisions. 

It's so much more valuable to have virtue than to have beauty.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

kickin' it old school- 90's hits

Standalone player

click on "pop-out player" to view the whole playlist. I can't get the formatting to work the way I want it to... also, I wasn't always able to get the version of the song I wanted. For example, "Lightning Crashes" clearly didn't have the audio about 9-11 when it was released.

These are songs from the nineties that I remember hearing on the radio growing up. They do not necessarily represent my favorite song by an artist or my current music tastes, but
I will say that I loved all of these songs as a little girl and they are still fun to sing along to! They are not in any specific order, either.

Did any of you sing "kissing the night away"  when you heard "I Get Knocked Down?" 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

"beer me," Casey said. so we did.

disclaimer: we love our dog so much it's stupid.
if the bottle had cracked, we would have taken it away.

wish list

This weekend the following things on my to-do list need to be accomplished for sanity's sake:

- complete short and long promo for video editing project + design menu
- laundry
- clean upstairs bathroom
- vacuum basement
- clean master bedroom
- eat my vegetables (yes, this is on my to-do list)
- continue p90x

my wish list, however, reads:

- paint toenails
- get haircut
- clean out + organize master closet
- sit and read at Barnes and Noble
- bake banana nut muffins
- watch a movie

I'm sooo close to being done with my video editing project. I should have been done with it at least a month ago and the longer it takes the more frustrated I am at myself for not tackling it sooner. My plan is to knock out the rest of my work as soon as possible and then I will be back to working one job and I'll have LOTS more time to dedicate to housework and to me-time. Ahhh.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

dinner in 10 minutes

shrimp over pasta with a light cream sauce

1 package cooked unpeeled shrimp
box of angel hair pasta
philadelphia cooking creme in Italian Cheese & Herb
salt, pepper, Italian seasoning

boil water while you unpeel the shrimp. chop into pieces if desired. cook the angel hair pasta for 2-3 minutes, until tender, drain and return to pot. keep the pot of pasta on a burner of medium-low heat. toss a tablespoon or two of cooking creme with pasta until coated, add salt, pepper and Italian seasoning to taste, then add shrimp and stir until shrimp is no longer cold. serve with salad or steamed vegetables.

the cooking creme was really good! I thought the dish tasted better with added seasoning, but I was still pleasantly surprised with the flavor.

Monday, March 21, 2011

"all around"

When my world is caving in
when my hopes are wearing thin
when I'm choking in my sin
Lord, you meet me here. 

When all around is crashing down, I find myself alive in you. Holy one, renew. When all around is crashing down, I find my spirit crying out. Holy one, consume. 

When I listen to the fear
when I feel my end is near
when all hope has disappeared
Lord, you meet me here. 

When all around is crashing down, I find myself alive in you. Holy one, renew. When all around is crashing down, I find my spirit crying out. Holy one, consume. 

Will you pour out again? God of mercy, here I am reaching out to you - reaching out for a breakthrough. Father, hear my cry of desperation once again. I look into your eyes - and know a love that has no end.

When all around is crashing down, I find myself alive in you. Holy one, renew. When all around is crashing down, I find my spirit crying out. Holy one, consume. 

"all around" by the glorious unseen

Saturday, March 19, 2011

If I had $20...oh wait, I do

I would buy (and did) this laundry bag from Crate&Barrel.

I've been eyeing this bag for at least two months and finally ordered it yesterday. Right now I use a big plastic basket that works fine, but I hate sorting whites and darks on the floor. No matter how often we vacuum, dog hair inevitably gets on the dirty clothes and doesn't always disappear into the lint trap. Plus, the bag got fab reviews and I love the playful design. Reviewers said the front pocket held plenty, so I plan to use it for tops that require special care (I usually only have one or two of those per load, so they should fit). Anything to make laundry a little more fun is welcome in my house!

Friday, March 18, 2011

starting pics...awwwkward

I look SO super freaky when I don't smile in a picture

freaky face again!! 

andy and I took the pics of ourselves before learning exactly what poses to do...
that last pic was of me flexing my other arm, but it didn't exactly get in the shot.

they should call it p9OWx

Yes, we have bought into the p90x craze. And yes, we are in pain. A lot of pain. Today is only day 3... so we will be in pain until the third week in June. Barf.

Why p90x? I gained 28 pounds after college. Wow, that was hard to write. I mentioned my weight struggle here, but didn't go into detail about how much I had actually gained. Weight is an extremely personal thing, and in the past year and a half I have often felt ashamed, defeated and ugly due to the changes in my body. I had hoped to lose all 28 pounds by last Dec. 11 (my birthday), but that did not happen. That's OK, though, because I HAVE lost 18 pounds and I am so super proud of myself!

The next ten are going to be tough to lose. Enter p90x. Andy had been wanting to gain muscle and get in shape to play in sports leagues. I had always wanted to work out together. Several of our friends have done the program and seen success, so we decided to "invest" in the DVDs. As exhausting as the workouts are, it's nice having each other for support. 

Here's how I lost 18 pounds-- 
The first twelve were lost after I joined and stuck to around 1250 calories a day. I jogged 2-3 miles six times a week on the elliptical and an additional mile or two walking on the treadmill. If I was jogging, I aimed for a 5 to 8 minute mile. If I was walking, I aimed for a 15-16 minute mile. I probably stuck to sparkpeople and the gym for a month and a half. Then my mom advised me to simply eat when I was hungry and stop when I was full. I blogged about this here. My gym membership ran out in early November and I haven't exercised a whole lot since then. So, six pounds were lost solely due to eating habits. 

I plan to share more about my weight and my experience w/ p90x, and I'll be filing them under the label "pd0x." I am reeeally unsure about putting up my "before" pics that we took on Wednesday when we started the program, but I'm thinking about it...  :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

weekend at Snowshoe

We are back from our incredible vacation at Snowshoe and we are exhausted. And sore.

What a trip. My parents and my sister (Katie) and her husband (Todd) met us on Sunday afternoon at our condo in the Village. Wow... what a VIEW. Our windows and deck looked out over an incredible mountain range and right below us was the Skidder (bunny slope). We jumped in our snow gear and headed outside for some snowmobiling. It was absolutely unreal. We've done some incredible things as a family, but this was a new one for all of us! We drove those babies alllll over the mountain.

On Monday we rented our equipment and tested out our skills on the Skidder slope. The trail map is an incredible maze of slope after slope... thank goodness my sister had skied at Snowshoe before and knew where to go. My husband, who had never been skiing before, completely took off. I hadn't skied since high school and was uncharacteristically nervous and shaky. I didn't remember having to try so hard to not topple over, but then again, the places I've skied have much wider and shorter slopes than Snowshoe. I lost my husband on the slopes and received one-on-one help from my sister, who coached me (and coaxed me) down several slopes. By the time I was reunited with Andy (who had walked down the mountain in his ski boots after a big tumble and no one knew where he was), I was feeling more confident. Apparently Andy was feeling more confident too. Despite being completely destroyed on his first run, he decided he wasn't going to be intimidated and ended up tearing up the slopes and advancing to blue on his first day out. GAH. Brat.

I took it easy. I don't know what has changed... I used to be so fearless. Blues on other mountains were a cinch! Psh... you couldn't have paid me to do a blue this trip. I was definitely more cautious this go around. I had a blast, though, and my confidence increased after every successful slope. After falling three times while skiing with my sister yesterday morning, it felt good to not fall once the rest of the day.

This morning my dad and I skied the greens again while Katie, Todd and Andy raced (and fell) down the blues. I'm so glad I didn't watch Andy ski. I'd probably throw up. I prayed so hard that no one would get hurt! Even though I was sore, I was able to relax more and test my limits. We skied through heavy rain and got completely soaked, but we had a blast. 

We enjoyed discussing the slopes (Hootenanny, Whistlepunk, Whiffle Tree, Powder Monkey, etc) and giggling at how ridiculous we sounded. We also enjoyed incredible food, incredible views and the incredible experience of skiing as a family!

I am so proud of my husband and hope we have more ski trips together in our future.
Now, sore and sleepy, we are wondering how on earth we are going to start P90x together. More to come on THAT decision...!!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

If I had $25-40

I would buy a necklace from Imani, a line of jewelry made by women in northern Uganda who left prostitution and are seeking healing and help from Zion Project, a non-profit for women in children in northern Uganda.

I wrote a story about Sarita Hartz Hendricksen, the founder of Zion Project, for Rocktown Weekly. Read it here.

I really like the Maisha necklace, but they're all stunning. Maybe I'll put up a pic of me wearing an Imani necklace once it comes in! (yup, I do plan on buying one)

Friday, March 11, 2011

children's books

Children's books are magical. I get just as captivated and content in the children's section as any other section of a bookstore. When I nannied, I always tried to be in control of what I read the kids. I had strong opinions about which books were best! (Don't worry, I was a nice nanny.)
Here are some of the ones I read over and over as a child.

"Eloise" by Kay Thompson
This is a book every little girl should own. Eloise is an imaginative six-year-old who lives
in the Plaza Hotel in NYC. There's an entire "Eloise" series, but the first book is my favorite.
 It's a LONG children's book and kept me
occupied for long lengths of time. Eloise is strange and fascinating. Really, who else
would think to braid a turtle's ears? 
My Grandma Jean took me to the Plaza when I was in middle school and gave me
her copy of Eloise to keep for my own. It is red and tattered like the one in the picture above,
and I treasure it much more than my own (newer) Eloise book.

"Noisy Nora" by Rosemary Wells
Wells is known for her "Max and Ruby" series (which I also love), but this book
was the most popular Wells book in our house. It's about a middle child who
desperately seeks the attention of her mom and dad. The happy ending last line,
"But I'm back again! cried Nora, with a monumental crash" was often recited
at our house when I was growing up.

"Madeline" by Ludwig Bemelmans
 "In an old house in Paris that was covered in vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines ..."
I had the pop-up Madeline, and I looooved the page where Madeline was
in the hospital with appendicitis. What young reader doesn't enjoy a deliciously
naughty character?

"The Berenstain Bears No Girls Allowed" by Stan and Jan Berenstain
This is one book on my list of favorite Berenstain's... really, they're all amazing.
I was fascinated by the inner workings of the forts and got hungry
every time I read about the snacks Mama and Papa Bear made for Sister and her friends.

"Where the Sidewalk Ends" by Shel Silverstein
This book will turn any child's frown upside down. Silverstein makes bedtime
a delight for both the reader and the one being read to.

"I Was So Mad" by Mercer Mayer
Poor Little Critter. You can't put frogs in the bathtub.

"Corduroy" by Don Freeman
I thought the little girl in this book was the prettiest little girl

"Frog and Toad Are Friends" by Arnold Lobel
What a wonderful book. I think my favorite short story was
the one where they were looking for a missing button.
I want to read it again. 

I want to read all of these again!!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

31 x 3

My friend over at RamblingRachel is doing 31 blog posts (for the month of March) where she writes about 3 things each day (because March is the 3rd month, n00b). Rachel is one of two best friends that I cannot remember not knowing because we've been friends since birth! She has a huge heart and is insanely talented. Love you, Rachie Roon!

I loved her 31 post challenge and asked if I could use the idea. Instead of posting daily, I'm going to knock out all 31 right here, right now. Booya.

  • Three names you go by.  other than Laura... Louie Dew (by my sis), Moosh (by my mom) and Moot (by my best friend Laurel)

  • Three facts about yourself.  I love Jeopardy. I make myself laugh. I have an incredibly strong sense of smell.

  • Three things that happened today. I interviewed a chef who has cooked for several presidents, I ate half of a Charlie's Cheeseburger for lunch and two minutes ago I cleaned up a shocking amount of dog poo, which was shocking in itself because Casey has messed in the house probably 4 times total since we brought her home from the SPCA

  • Three favorite songs right now.  "Blindsided" by Bon Iver, "All Around" by The Glorious Unseen and "Something in the Water" by Brooke Fraser (none of these are new songs, but they're what I'm listening to)

  • Three breakfast foods you enjoy. Cereal, bacon, hash browns

  • Three things on your current to-do list. Clean out and organize all closets in the house, finish my video editing job and figure out what we're going to eat for dinner since I forgot to go to the store

  • Three colors you like. Olive green, plum, navy

  • Three words you think others would use to describe you. Friendly, generous, funny (that was an awkward one to answer)

  • Three objects you can’t be without.  cell phone, lip balm, something to read

  • Three ways to win your heart. Ask me to spend time with you. Compliment me. Pray for me.

  • Three favorite movies. You've Got Mail, Little Women and the newer Sabrina are ones I watch at least once a year, but in general I prefer drama and war movies to chick flicks

  • Three appetizers you enjoy. CALAMARI. bloomin' onion. eggrolls.

  • Three places you’ve lived. with family in northern VA, with 11 other girls in a house near JMU, with my husband and pooch in Harrisonburg 

  • Three important people in your life. OK, other than my family, because there are 6 of them and that's not fair-- Laurel, who believes the best in me; Jenny, who has fostered my relationship with God; Kristen, who despite the stress and busy-ness of her life overseas, makes me feel special whenever we talk

  • Three things you want to say to three different people Andy- I think it's a grilled cheese and soup night. Amy- I miss you, can we please talk for hours soon? Kelly- thank you for reminding me that I'm not the only one who makes mistakes.

  • Three things that made you happy today. Being complimented on my story by my boss. Being told I was the best reporter my source has ever spoken with. Eating my leftover cheeseburger.

  • Three things you want to do before you die. Go on a missions trip. Become a mother. Travel overseas with Andy for a long vacation.

  • Three favorite TV shows. Top Chef. The Office. 30 Rock.

  • Three home-cooked meals you enjoy.  Cornflake chicken with whipped cream potatoes. Enchilada casserole. Chili.

  • Three things the world would be better without. OK, I'm going with a lighthearted answer on this one-- dust, semi-trucks, High Fructose Corn Syrup

  • Three of your guilty pleasures. stationary, mochas WITH whipped cream, fashion magazines

  • Three things you are afraid of. not being able to breathe. scorpions (thanks a lot, "Hook"). losing someone I love.

  • Three places you want to visit. South Africa, New Zealand, Greece 

  • Three things you do before you go to bed. use the bathroom. read. use the bathroom again.

  • Three favorite books. the Bible (I mean that), Coming Home, Don't Let's Go to the Dog's Tonight

  • Three types of deserts you enjoy. Cannoli, triple chocolate cheesecake (the one at Barnes and Noble), ice cream

  • Three crazy things you wouldn’t mind doing. Sky-diving (I don't think it's crazy, some people do), P90x (okay, this is crazy, but I am doing it starting next week), eating something freaky

  • Three things you like about yourself. I make people laugh. I like that I like to read (I'm sad that so many people don't). I'm compassionate.

  • Three things that you look for in a partner. Humor, integrity, intelligence

  • Three life lessons you’ve learned so far. God's plan is better than my plan. It's more important to think of others than to think of yourself. A little love goes a long way.

  • Three ways you bid farewell. Cya :)  Good talking to you!  Love you!
  • Sunday, March 6, 2011


    In January I took my friend Jess to The Cottage in Dayton and was planning on purchasing an old window that I'd had my eye on for some time. I wanted to really think about where I would put it and decided that it would look neat above our bed. Then I spotted this wall hanging (also at The Cottage) and was immediately torn between the two. It's obviously nothing like an old window. The window was weathered and would've made our room look more country-chic. The wall hanging (I don't know what else to call it) is more European-looking. I could NOT decide which to buy. The owners sweetly suggested that I take both home and bring back whichever one I didn't want (along with the price tag of the one I wanted to keep). 

    Both looked good above the bed, but the window was too small to really make a statement. Andy and I both agreed we liked the wall hanging better.

    While the wall hanging doesn't exactly "go" with our furniture (okay, it doesn't go at ALL with the furniture), it doesn't look bad, either. The huge blank wall behind our bed is now occupied and the room as a whole feels more complete. Plus, it does complement other pieces in our room:: our bedspread, a large piece of art and the mirror over my vanity.

    We love it.

    Friday, March 4, 2011

    where you go, I will go

    “Look,” said Naomi, “your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her.” But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” 
    Ruth 1:15-17

    Ruth may have been talking to her mother-in-law, but don't her words translate into something beautifully romantic? They remind me of wedding vows. The commitment she makes to Naomi was life-changing. She had the opportunity to return to her family and her homeland and re-marry someone from her own tribe. Instead, she chose to go to Bethlehem with Naomi because she was intrigued by Naomi's faith. Surely she had heard of the God of Israel. Ruth adopted Naomi's faith and converted to Judaism. She re-married in Bethlehem and gave birth to a son, and through her second marriage became a part of the lineage of Jesus Christ.

    I'm so inspired by Ruth's faith and humble attitude. 

    Check out Pastor Paul's sermons on how we can learn about identity through the book of Ruth.

    Wednesday, March 2, 2011

    garden-inspired decor

    I'm writing a story on garden-inspired decor and have been thinking a lot about what I would buy if I were wanting to bring the outdoors in this spring. All of these are items that I would actually consider purchasing myself.

    I'm not including a rug because I already own several botanical rugs and would hopefully have the restraint not to buy more, and I'm not including a shower curtain because, once again, I don't need one.

    I'm loving these ceramic birdhouses from West Elm.

    Probably the most obvious place to go for garden-inspired decor is Pottery Barn. I've browsed their catalogues for years and I would say stripes and florals make up at least 80 percent of their stock. These bath towels are a steal and are so lovely.

    These dessert plates catch my eye every time I'm in a Crate&Barrel store and I've owned them for two and a half years. They're so darn pretty! I own eight and will most likely only buy more if I choose to give a set as a gift.

    So, my Crate&Barrel garden-inspired buy would have to be these herb planters. The one pictured is for basil, but they also carry a rosemary planter and a thyme planter.

    Not sure I would ever use the reverse side of these botanical place mats, but for $1.99 each I wouldn't care!
    I would also consider only buying one and putting it in the center of my table with a glass pitcher on top, making sure the pitcher was full of icy cold water and a sprig of rosemary. Mmm.

    still here

    I haven't gone anywhere, there's just too much mucus in my nose/ears/chest/throat too really focus on blogging.

    I'll be back soon.