Tuesday, February 28, 2012

a morning breath goodbye

Last night as we drifted off to sleep I heard Andy whisper, "Jesus, keep my wife safe."

We said goodbye this morning. I had morning breath and frizzy hair and day-old mascara dried up in the corners of my eyes. He held me anyway, and I buried my nose into his neck and imagined all my love for him transferring over so he would have it with him while I'm gone.

Today I have a few last minute things to do and then I'll hit the road w/ two girls from the team. We'll stay the night at my parent's house and tomorrow we'll meet the rest of our team at Dulles to fly to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, fly from there to Kampala, Uganda and then drive from Kampala to Gulu. Total travel time will be around 30 hours.

I can't believe that 24 hours from now I will be on a plane on my way to Africa! This is a dream come true for me. I look forward to telling you all about it!

"And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together."

Sunday, February 26, 2012

weekending v.5+6

I'm back for a post or two, and then I'm off to Uganda! I can't believe the trip I've been dreaming of for so long is really happening.

Last weekend we celebrated Todd's birthday at the cabin. I read the book "Kisses From Katie" (a memoir about a girl who is ministering to people in Uganda) and received a load of incredible wisdom for my trip.

This past week was my last week at work. It didn't feel real until I cleared out my desk and went around the newsroom saying farewell to everyone. I'm grateful for the ability to not work right now and to have the time after my trip to pack up the house and then settle into our new home. Who knows what will happen next?

Speaking of homes, we drove up to Frederick yesterday morning to go house hunting. !!! 
My parents met us there to offer up advice and moral support. We had a list of 11 houses to see. Our realtor had us scheduled for viewings until 8 p.m., and I said "whoa, that can't happen... we have a dog to get home to." Little did I know how long we would take...

The first house we went to was in a rough neighborhood. We didn't even get out of the car. The next one was in a nice neighborhood and would've been a beautiful home, except that the previous owners had completely trashed it. The third was our favorite exterior we had seen online, but the interior was ancient. The fourth was one of our favorite interiors, but the price seemed suspiciously low and I didn't have a good feeling about the neighborhood. The fifth was an absolutely stunning new construction, but it was at the top of our price range and had no outdoor space. The sixth was nice on the outside and inside, but the kitchen needed some work and I wasn't "in love." The seventh was a walk in and walk right back out situation. We got back in the car and decided against going to three other houses b/c one was super old, one was in a sketchy area, and the other was a short sale. We had one left. We walked in and everyone said "Oh, wow!" My mom called my sister to tell her "we think we found the one." We went to dinner, chatted things over with the realtor, called a lender on the drive home and stayed up past midnight on the phone w/ our realtor while electronically signing a contract stating our offer.

Now we wait.

double sinks in our potential new home!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

up, and out, and on; and then

ya'll, bear with me. The days ahead are packed with furious story writing, house hunting and packing, and by the end of the day my brain is too mushy to write anything of value.

Daily dawns another day;
I must up, to make my way.
Though I dress and drink and eat,
Move my fingers and my feet,
Learn a little, here and there,
Weep and laugh and sweat and swear,
Hear a song, or watch a stage,
Leave some words upon a page,
Claim a foe, or hail a friend—
Bed awaits me at the end.

Though I go in pride and strength,
I'll come back to bed at length.
Though I walk in blinded woe,
Back to bed I'm bound to go.
High my heart, or bowed my head,
All my days but lead to bed.
Up, and out, and on; and then
Ever back to bed again,
Summer, Winter, Spring, and Fall—
I'm a fool to rise at all!
"Inscription for the Ceiling of a Bedroom" by Dorothy Parker

Thursday, February 16, 2012

the married couple's Valentine's Day

Andy didn't rush home from work on Valentine's Day to toss rose petals over our bed and place a sparkling diamond necklace against my pillow. I wasn't apron-clad, peeking into the stove to check the temperature of a perfectly crisp roasted chicken. My legs weren't even shaved. (TMI?)

No, on the evening of Valentine's Day I was parked on the couch savoring a piece of chocolate cheesecake I had bought for myself. Andy was in Maryland and had been there since Sunday night, and I was waiting for him to come home. When he called to say he was an hour away I moved to kitchen and stared at the leftover Mexican lasagna we had in the fridge, feeling guilty that I hadn't made something new. I cut out a heart-shaped piece of lasagna, tidied up the downstairs, made a handmade Valentine, put on deodorant and waited some more.

My guy was exhausted when he came in the door. He smiled at his heart-shaped dinner and then devoured it. We exchanged cards and watched "The Voice" until Andy's eyes couldn't stay open. We fell asleep, feet entwined.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

to Maryland we go

oh, friends. Is it possible to have a happy and a heavy heart at the same time? I say yes.

If you haven't seen on my facebook, we've got big news to share. We're moving to Maryland. Never thought I'd say that! (In the words of a brain-dead friend, I get to live in New England now! hehe. )

We're very sad to leave our sweet home and our wonderful community of friends. We've been in this hard place before - last November I quit my job and looked at places to live in Warrenton - but then we miraculously got to stay in Harrisonburg. For a little while, at least! I know it's been hard to keep up with all the job changes. So here's the breakdown: Andy was hired by Kellogg's in July, lived and worked in NOVA for five months, moved back home in January and worked in a new territory for the past month and a half, and is now getting ready to start a new job in Frederick on April 1st. I'm incredibly proud of Andy for getting a promotion so soon after being hired by Kelloggs. We're both blown away by how this job landed in his lap. God is good!

Neither of us know really anything about Frederick (though we've passed by it many times), but we will be an hour closer to my parents and a little less than two hours away from my family's cabin in PA. Plus, I've always wanted to explore Baltimore and Annapolis with Andy, and maybe take a weekend trip to St Michaels.

It's weird to think that a month and a half from now we'll be in a completely new home and a new city. I don't know how I feel about that! Ok, I'm mostly sad. But I'm excited, too. I'm glad that I get to share this adventure with a man I love and that we serve a God that we trust.

aaaand, if that wasn't crazy enough, I leave for Uganda TWO WEEKS from tomorrow! (If you think I'm in freak out mode, you're absolutely correct.) I went ahead and put in my two weeks notice, so when I come back from my trip I'll be able to spend the rest of March packing up the house and spending as much time with my friends as possible.

is this real life?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

weekending v.4

I am planning on moving to Wordpress, but right now it's not allowing me to upload any pictures to a new post. Grr. Might takes some time to sort that out, so for now I'll continue posting here.

On Friday my college roommies Kristen and Amy met me at my parent's house for a lil visit. Kristen is moving to Florida next week, so we had to have one last get together. On Saturday we had a fabulous lunch at Taverna Cretekou on King Street and ducked into a few shops. It took so much restraint not to snatch up this adorable vintage drawer!

loving the leg cross (and k's stink face)

I drove back to Harrisonburg this morning and was surprised with a gorgeous bouquet of Valentine's flowers and lots of hugs and kisses from my man. Andy has Bible study Tuesday night's, so we decided today would be our Valentine's Day. We met Matt and Jess at Union Station and chatted about how we met each other, what our favorite things to do together are, etc. It was fun to hear Andy's side of things. We have different stories about what happened the night we met, but we both agreed that we fell for each other fast!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

perfect scrambled eggs

I'll admit, I'm not an expert egg cooker. My scrambled eggs usually turn out decent but on the dry side, so I end up adding cheese. My fried eggs tend to have crackly edges. Ick.

So tonight, while prepping for a dinner of eggs, pancakes and sausages, I turned to the modern girl's cooking and baking resource - Google. I typed in "perfect scrambled eggs" and guess what I got? A recipe that produced the best eggs I've ever made! Actually, that's technically not true. I didn't follow the recipe.

Here's what I did: I heated a pan to medium heat with a small pat of butter already in the pan. I whisked four eggs with a little less than a quarter cup of milk and two dashes of salt and poured the mixture into the heated pan. Once the eggs began to set I scooched them around Martha Stewart style and then, when they were aaaalmost done, I turned the heat to low and covered the pan so the eggs would finish cooking and stay warm while I focused my attention on frying pancakes.

You're going to read this recipe and the instructions and think that I ignored the whole thing, but I really didn't. I know I didn't do the butter right or the milk right, but I got the gist. And those eggs were phenomenal. I didn't add more salt or any pepper or any cheese or any hot sauce, because I wanted to taste the eggs just as they were. Is it weirding you out how ecstatic I am over eggs?

"Perfect Scrambled Eggs" courtesy of Mr. Breakfast (click on the link for more scrambling tips)

6 large eggs
6 teaspoons (1 teaspoon for each egg) low-fat milk
3 dashes of salt (1 dash for every two eggs)
1 Tablespoon butter for frying

Heat a large non-stick frying pan to a setting just above medium. A 12-inch pan works well for 6 eggs. Do not add butter yet. We just want get the pan ready.

In large metal or glass mixing bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk and salt. Beat vigorously for 2 minutes.

Alternatively, you can place the eggs, milk and salt in a blender and blend for 20 to 25 seconds. Allow the mixture to set for a couple minutes to let the foam settle.

Melt the butter in the frying pan. As the very last of the butter is liquefying, add the egg mixture.

Do not stir immediately. Wait until the first hint of setting begins. Start the Martha Stewart scrambling technique ("Using a spatula or a flat wooden spoon, push eggs toward center while tilting skillet to distribute runny parts.")

Continue this motion as the eggs continue to set. Break apart large pieces as they form with your spoon or spatula. You will come to a point where the push-to-center technique is no longer cooking runny parts of the egg. Flip over all the eggs. Allow the eggs to cook 15 to 25 seconds longer. Transfer eggs to serving plates. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

weekending v.3

my weekend in a few pictures...
Urban Exchange
Holly's art wall
loving all the art in her apartment
view from Holly's apartment
someone got a bath
Sunday school showdown

Saturday, February 4, 2012

our wedding

After you get married you are instantly bombarded with questions.
when are you going to have a baby? where do you want to settle down? when do you think you'll buy a house? do you think you want to stay at your job? have I asked you when you're having a baby?

I love to remember our wedding day and the joy that radiated from our faces. Three and a half years ago we had no idea where we would be today. All we knew was that we desired some time. Time to learn each other better, to serve each other and grow together. Time to grow individually, too. Time to adjust. Time to be us.

I choose you as my best friend, my love for life. I promise you my deepest love, my fullest devotion and my tenderest care. Through the pressures of the present and the uncertainties of the future, I promise to be faithful to you. I promise to love you, to commit to you, and support you. I pledge to respect your unique talents and abilities, to lend you strength for all of your dreams. I praise God for you- for all of your love and constant friendship. As I have given you my hand to hold, I give you my life to keep.

Friday, February 3, 2012

favorite outfit

favorite outfit

favorite outfit by laurarennie featuring chain jewelry

I've been thinking about my personal style a lot lately. Some days I really think about an outfit and put effort into accessorizing, but most days (especially work days) I just throw something together and don't bother changing earrings or wearing cute shoes. 

The outfit above combines almost all of my favorite things - it's only missing stud earrings, but hey, it's pretty close to perfect. It's an outfit I would wear in a second, and honestly looks like a lot of the outfits I put together. Minus the designer brands, of course.

I like to pair a cozy sweater (dolman-sleeves!!) with dark straight leg jeans and simple accessories that are both trendy and timeless. Those oxfords are BANANAS and are way cuter than mine, but I like mine anyway. 
Add a light plum polish and call it a day!