Saturday, July 30, 2011

farewell granny creeps

you buttered toast better than anyone else. your carpet was so soft. i loved sliding across it in my socks. there were so many cool compartments to explore in your vanity, but your collection of powders and crusty lipsticks kind of freaked me out. seatbelts were never your thing - but I didn't stand for that. your glove compartment always had gum in it, and when I FINALLY got your car there were still a few sticks of stale juicy fruit hanging out in there. your apartment was the best - the trash chute, the freight elevator, the cheese balls, duck hunt, card games, the pool... there were so many fun things for us to do. you had the hook-up with the Porto Vecchio's limousine, and I was the envy of my school when you picked me up in it to go to explore DC with me. you made the worst scrambled eggs. you weren't the kind of grandma that let her grandkids win games, but I liked that about you. you thought it was hilarious when I introduced you to my sixth grade class and they all looked shocked and said, "Your grandmother is Marilyn Manson?!?!" (it's Hansen-not Manson). you were the funniest, most sarcastic, witty grandma there ever was. even when you started losing your mind, you held on to your humor. you started this thing where if anyone asked you how you were doing you would say "Oh, just terrible." you were a piece of work, mee-maw. it was awful - awful doesn't even describe it - to see your mind and body decline. you weren't the same person you were before - and yet, you were. when I saw you last Saturday after getting word that your end was near, you were so heavily medicated that you kept mumbling the most ridiculous things. when you woke up for a few minutes you teased me that you were going to steal Andy away from me. you knew that would make us laugh - even though you were hurting, you were glad to hear us all laugh. I'm going to miss hearing you laugh. I told you I loved you and you told me you loved me back. I'm going to hold on to that memory forever.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

they called each other "babe"

I saw my brother John-Michael last night for the first time in a year and finally got to meet his fiance, Sky. John-Michael towers 14 inches over her (though she was wearing some impressive heels, so it wasn't quite as noticeable). He fixed her a plate at dinner. They held hands. They called each other "babe."

It was weird.
And wonderful.
And I'm so excited that she's going to be my sister.

Monday, July 25, 2011

they are my favorites

thomas bagel thin everything bagel (sure - it's not a real bagel. but it's still great.)
pacific brand roasted red pepper and tomato soup topped w/ a handful of hot and spicy cheez-its.
chocolate covered raisins

covergirl lipslicks in "daring." covergirl sales were probably through the roof this weekend thanks to this.

realizing yesterday morning that I was wearing denim flats with a pair of jeans AND uniquely shaped hoop earrings, both of which are featured as trends to try in August's Real Simple magazine

Essie polish- toes are currently painted in "watermelon"

I walked into CVS with no coupons, yet still saved $33.65 total on two purchases - I spent $36.13 total. mwahaha. it felt good. Most everything was already on sale or gave you ExtraCare bucks (ECB), so I split my items into two purchases and used all the ECB on my second purchase and not only spent only $3.26 on Crest toothpaste, Skintimate shaving cream, the covergirl lipslicks and 3 sponges -- I ALSO got another $2 ECB.

(the other $32.87 was spent on 5 boxes of Kleenex, 3 Brita filters, a twin pack of Optifree contact solution and more Crest. I'm a ECB ninja.)

OH, by the way- if you have an CVS card and don't use the in-store coupon center for coupons, you are missing out. you can scan your card as many times as you want and sometimes you get more coupons -- I always get two printouts of coupons. it's like Christmas. Depending on who your cashier is, you might get money off a purchase even if you didn't buy the exact product specified on the coupon.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Andy got a new job!

My awesome husband interviewed for a job with Kelloggs on the 13th and was offered the position later that day. I was at Dan and Simone's and had baby Nathaniel on my lap when Andy called. Babe, I got the job. I wish everyone could have heard that phone call... there was so much happiness in his voice. After months and months of coming home frustrated, applying for jobs, praying for patience and contentment.... a job! God's timing is perfect.

Andy will start his new job on August 8th as a territory manager in the Gainesville/Warrenton/Culpeper area. There is a chance that a job in the Staunton/Waynesboro/C-ville area will open up at the end of August and that Andy could transfer to that position. If that works out, we could stay in Harrisonburg. The plan for now, though, is for Andy to move in with my parents (who live in NOVA) for the month of August and for me to stay here and continue working at the DN-R. We would love to be able to keep our home and stay in the area, but if the job closer to here doesn't work out, then I'll quit my job and we'll start looking for a place to live around Warrenton. It's going to be hard to be away from each other, but I have great friends to help keep me busy and my mom already bought some almond M&Ms for Andy.  :)

We are SUPER excited about this new chapter in our lives. I couldn't be prouder of my guy. I didn't get him flowers like he did for me when I got my job, but he did get a goofy "congratulations" card. I still can't quite believe I'm going to get WEEEKENDS with my husband now! We can actually go places together!

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." - Romans 8:28

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

probably more than you wanted to know

- I haven't eaten an Altoid in years and I had one today. Ohhh yea...I don't like Altoids.

- the mini cupcakes at Shanks Bakery are OUT OF CONTROL and I had one yesterday and one today.

- working downtown is awesome because I'm so close to the restaurants and shops and the farmers market, but working downtown can be a big problem because I'm so close to the restaurants and shops and the farmers market. for example:: I'm only allowed to buy a roll from my favorite roll...maker? on Thursdays nights. he rotates the flavors and they're all delish but tomorrow they are going to have my favorite - it has pecorino cheese in it and it's diviiiine.

- I talk about eating a lot.

- I realized today that whenever I think or say the word "correction," in my head I'm saying it like Rafiki in Lion King when Simba says, "You knew my father?" and Rafiki says, "Correction - I know your father."

- the best part of my day was when I started walking past the guest room after talking to Andy in his office, doing a double take, and seeing that the guest bed was clear of piles of empty suitcases and piles of clean laundry that got wrinkly from being folded too long and needed to be fluffed. OMG. The room was immaculate. I cautiously asked, "where did you put all the stuff?" and he said he put away the suitcases and then did all of the laundry AND put it away! THAT is romance, ladies. ;)

- we're about to head to kent and kelly's for dinner and we're pretty pumped because we haven't hung out with both of them since the beach. the reason I'm not 100% pumped is because I'm supposed to bring a salad and instead of putting together something creative and delicious, I'm bringing the bag of iceberg lettuce that was leftover from Bible study last night. At least it has shredded carrots in it. Still. I'm sorry.

- ohmygosh I almost forgot-- the second best thing that happened today was when I put on my treasured Seven For All Mankind jeans and THEY FIT. I got them freshman year of college and haven't worn them since 2008. They are soooo comfortable and I may just live in them for the rest of summer. I literally leapt around the room singing "I Feel Pretty" from West Side Story. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I'm smelling farts. That's marriage, folks.
I'm hearing Andy tell me "babe, it was the dog." (it wasn't the dog)
I'm seeing...not very well. Which means it's time to take out my contacts and
I'm touching the keyboard, obviously, but also the tiny mosquito bite that's on the base of my thumb.
I'm tasting bad breath. Gross.

I'm smelling coffee, hearing Andy sing to me, seeing NO MORE laundry, touching crisp, clean sheets and tasting cold pizza.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

chicken and zucchini casserole

(not my picture)
This recipe is mmm good. Easy, too. The original recipe is here, but I modified it based on other people's suggestions, which I explain more in the directions. If you cook the chicken ahead of time, prep is only 15 minutes.

*note - I forgot to put the sour cream in the first time, and then when Andy made it he put the sour cream in and used cream of mushroom instead of cream of chicken. The sour cream made no difference - and the cream of mushroom soup only changed the flavor slightly - but not in bad way. So you don't HAVE to use the sour cream.

1 (6 ounce) package stuffing mix (don't prepare the stuffing)
1/2 stick butter, melted
3 cups diced zucchini
2 cups cubed cooked chicken breast (I used six thinly cut chicken breasts -so two or three regular breasts would work- that I seasoned w/ salt, pepper, garlic powder and basil and then cooked and cut into pieces a few hours before making the casserole)
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 can of corn
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup sour cream

Heat a little oil in a pan. While it's heating, chop your veggies. Sauté zucchini and onion w/ salt and pepper until both veggies are not raw crunchy but not quite soft either. In a large bowl, combine stuffing mix and butter. Set aside 1/2 of the mixture. Add the zucchini, chicken, soup, corn, onion and sour cream to the remaining stuffing mixture. Transfer to a greased 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle with reserved stuffing mixture. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.

This was AMAZING- super flavorful and much less heavy than your typical casserole. I think it really helped that I had seasoned the chicken breast and veggies. Some of the complaints mentioned that the stuffing overpowered the dish but we didn't feel that was the case. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I need me some advice

I'm thinking about asking for this camera for Christmas. Do any of ya'll have digital SLR cams? What do you have, and how do you like it?

I also want to take a trip w/ Andy sometime in this lifetime. :) We've had great vacations as a married couple, but we haven't gotten away just the two of us since December 2008. Yikes. I need ideas, friends. Budget-friendly ideas that would take us somewhere out of state (I'm dreamin' of Hawaii or northern CA). It'd probably be a while before we could get outta town, but I want to start planning something soon.

Lastly, are any of the movies out on Redbox now any good? just curious.

Monday, July 11, 2011

not by works, but according to His mercy

I'm wrapping up the lesson I put together for the Bible study girls that I've been blessed to fellowship with each Tuesday night. Both of the regular teachers have other things going on this week, so I get the awesome opportunity to put into action all of the things I've been learning from God's Word. This is the first time in years that I've taught a lesson to people over the age of 10, so I'm super excited. I'm going to be discussing salvation -- here's a little taste.

"We ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,  whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior." 
Titus 3:3-6

Friday, July 8, 2011

clavicle fracture

Andy walks into the bedroom and says, "babe, I need you to take me to the hospital."

I'm fast asleep - or at least, I was. My body propels upward at the word "hospital" and my blurry vision is imagining blood everywhere. My eyes slowly adjust and I see him clenching his jaw in pain. He thinks he dislocated his shoulder. His Under Armour is drenched with sweat from playing soccer, so I suggest we take it off. You're going to have to take it off eventually, I say. Getting his left arm out of the shirt is a delicate maneuver that I'm not trained on. He cries out, and I feel like I'm going to throw up - seeing him hurt and not being able to help is miserable. I take a deep breath and pull on clothes, grabbing a long sleeved shirt and a book on our way out the door. I'm no stranger to the emergency room. Still, I manage to forget a bottle of water, gum and Andy's ipod. My breath is hot and stale, and the only thing that distracts me from Andy's pain is thinking about how bad my breath smells. He tells me how he got hurt - colliding with a teammate - and he asks about my day. We make each other laugh, trying not to think about the fact that we're going to the hospital.

The hospital is just down the road. We don't wait long for triage, but even a few minutes in the ER waiting room feels like hours. A girl across from us is in a wheelchair, crying. Her boyfriend (I'm guessing) stares at the wall looking helpless. In triage Andy is asked to rate his pain on a scale from 1 to 10, 10 being the worst pain imaginable. He says "4" and I laugh out loud. "Really, babe? A 4?" I ask him. At least say over a 5... I've described mine as a 6 or 7 - once as an 8. I guess I don't have as good of an imagination as I thought I did.

We get a nice room at the end of a hallway. I don't feel too bad about leaving the ipod at home once I see the flat screen above Andy's bed. He watches "Man versus Food" and I read my book. He doesn't feel any pain when the doctor pinches different parts of his shoulder, but his whole face changes the second he lifts his arm out. The x-rays don't take long, but they cause Andy a great deal of pain. He comes back in the room white as a sheet. He accepts the barf bucket, but doesn't use it. The color in his face has just come back when the doctor arrives with the results and immediately puts pressure on Andy's clavicle. "Now, what about here? Does that hurt?" "YES. OW." "You've got a fractured clavicle."

4-6 weeks of recovery. Peachy.

Drying him off, dressing him, getting his sling on, anticipating his needs -- having coffee made, having cereal already poured in the bowl and having toothpaste on the toothbrush -- this is all new to me. He waits patiently while I struggle to button up his shirt, and kisses me when I bring him snacks. He's a model patient, but for his sake, I'm praying for a speedy recovery. Will you pray, too?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Ephesians 2

1And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body  and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. 11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


I had the wildiest work day yesterday. I had three interviews all over town, didn't have time to eat, had a headache, was super stressed... but, at the first interview I had a family insist I ride their zip-line before I left (it was legit- and awesome), at the second I received the most stunning flower I've ever seen (from the woman's garden), and at the third I was told by a twelve year old that he was a crack baby, and that the hardest part about having foster siblings was worrying about how he could potentially say or do something that would "mess up their life." THEN, right before I left, I was telling his mom that I was about to have a date with my husband and that we were going to talk about my job situation and whether or not I should go full time. She hugged me and out of the blue asked if she could pray over me. She prayed for the date and for easy conversation. She prayed we would have wisdom and peace. Mind you, I had never met this woman before.

I wept the entire way home. Who am I that You are mindful of me? (Psalm 8:4)
Forget the fact I was dead tired. Forget that my stomach had been growling for hours and that I was completely dehydrated and headachy. Forget that I worked a 9 hour day and was on the road for almost 2 of those hours.

God cares enough about little old me to put these kind of people into my life. He knew that riding that zip-line would put a smile on my face. He knew that an unexpected gift would touch my heart. He knew that a child's honesty would tug on my heartstrings, and that the powerful prayer of a stranger would be yet another confirmation that despite all of the evil and sadness in the world, there is GOOD at work.

Andy and I had a wonderful date. We did a wine tasting at Wine on Water, browsed the new toy shop downtown and had a blast flirting and teasing each other over dinner at Dave's. We decided that I should take on the temporary full-time hours (temporary as in I'll be working 40 hours through December, but not receiving any benefits). We'll see what happens. Life is only going to get crazier, it seems, but we have an incredible God looking out for us.