January 20, 2011

Rejoicing

re·joice

 verb \ri-ˈjȯis\
re·joicedre·joic·ing

Definition of REJOICE

intransitive verb
: to feel joy or great delight
I started to write I'm a happy girl. It's true. I am happy, but I really don't think that describes it. It's so much more. I'm blessed. My heart feels full like it's going to burst. My God has been so good to me.

I rejoice in his goodness. I rejoice in his faithfulness and provision. I rejoice.

January 18, 2011

No time to write.

I adore my puppy. He's cute. He's taking up all of my time. No room for blog writing this week, but here are some pictures:

Ike makes a friend.
In the kitchen, everybody helps?

Brothers all tuckered out.
Even I can't keep my eyes open.

January 15, 2011

Love Affair


Have I told you already about my love affair with Brussels Sprouts? That's right, Brussels Sprouts. Maybe it's because a certain gentleman roasted them for me the first time he cooked me dinner at his house. Maybe it's because of their fabulous taste. Who knows? All I know, is that I love them. I crave them. And, I firmly believe, that every vegetable craving is one that you should give in to - every time.

To Do

January 14, 2011

Browsing...the new window shopping

I rarely actually window shop these days. Driving to the mall. Parking. Bleh. No thank you. But, I do still love the idea of window shopping. I love creating beautiful spaces for life to happen but, let's face it, I don't live on a rock star's salary. So, window shopping it is for me, picturing the life to be lived in that sweater, on that sofa, at that kitchen table or in front of these beautiful prints from Row Boat Press.

Today I found myself browser shopping for some fun art work and here's what I found:



Also, pretty stinking cute (and it works with a dry erase marker so that you can leave sweet little messages to your honey).

I'd like to hang this in the bathroom. Strange, I know. But, I would.

January 13, 2011

Cilantro Lime Rice

Sometimes a girl just needs a Chipotle fix, but, sometimes, that same girl, needs to eat in more than she eats out. Dilemma, dilemma.

Solution: Make fancy-dancy burritos at home. It's really not that hard.

Step 1: Buy stuff for burritos.
Step 2: Make some Cilantro Lime Rice
Step 3: Stuff all those yummy ingredients you bought into a warm flour tortilla with a generous spoonful of fabulous rice.
Step 4: Eat and Enjoy



Cilantro Lime Rice


1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup rice
1 1/2 cups water
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
zest from one lime
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 tsp. kosher salt


Sauté the garlic and rice in the olive oil over low heat for about two minutes. Add water, lime juice and salt. Bring everything to a boil. Cover until rice is cooked. Add zest and cilantro.

Fluff and serve immediately.

January 11, 2011

Coming soon...

The pitter-patter of puppy feet!

Yay!

I had a wonderful puppy growing up. When I was in 7th grade I convinced my mom that I would be safer at home after school if I had a dog to guard me. It was a sucker-move. And, she fell for it. We went to the pound and a tiny 5 pound ball of fur fell asleep on my shoulder. She came home a week later. We named her Tabitha (Tabi for short) after a very long family debate and she was with us for 14 years. She was the best.

Tabi
I've been debating bringing a new four-legged friend home for quite some time. I love puppies. They are warm and snugly. The sleep on your feet. They are, after-all, (wo)man's best friend. I've been visiting the local animal shelter off and on for a while, but just haven't met the right one yet. Then, last week, it came to my attention that the breeder that the boyfriend's dog is from had some puppies that were looking for a good home.

I've held strong for a few days, but I think I've finally caved. Just look at these faces! On Saturday I'll be going to meet some puppy candidates and, hopefully, bringing home Eisenhower ("Ike") or Ruby.

Eisenhower "Ike"

Ruby

January 10, 2011

Marshmallows!

This weekend I got to hang out with Natalie from TheSweetsLife.com. She's a pretty big deal. Do you read her food blog? You should. She makes fun and sometimes fancy-feeling food but with things you can mostly buy at the regular grocery store. I have a feeling that my hope of becoming more adventurous in the kitchen this year will be highly influenced by her recipes.



She also happens to be my boyfriend's sister-in-law. So, it was extra fun to hang out in the kitchen with her. Cooking. Talking. Getting to know each other a little better. We made marshmallows (yes! homemade marshmallows! Who knew?!?) and I even got to witness the creation of a super yummy galette that we ate with the guys for dinner. Overall a big win. Homemade marshmallows. Hot chocolate. Galette. Great company. The way a Saturday should be.

PS - The marshmallows were not as hard to make as I thought they would be. They were tons of fun and I already have some really great ideas about what else I could do with them - different colors, filled cookies, cake decorating. I have a feeling I'll try to make these again sometime (soon).

PPS - The marshmallow recipe was adapted from a recipe on Smitten Kitchen. I'll leave Natalie to post the kitchen details.

January 6, 2011

Batteries not included.

I'm in love with my electric blanket. It's a match made in heaven. I'm cold, it's warm. It's a dream. Except for one tiny detail - I must stay close to an outlet. I cannot wrap it around me and wonder around my house. I've tried plugging it in to the most central outlet so that I can freely move, wrapped in warmth, from kitchen to sofa, but all that's gotten me is a bruised knee. I need batteries for this thing or another way to stay toasty.

Solution? SNUGGIE! That's right. I'm about a year behind the times, but I'm now apart of the Snuggie fan club. I mean, not really. Do they have a fan club? Probably. That's kind of weird. Anyway, turns out the Snuggie was a brilliant idea. Now, it's not heated, which is a bummer, but it's still very cozy and portable. I may or may not walk around my house in my Snuggie, worn backwards, like a robe-blanket. I've been tempted to wear it to the office. Don't judge.

January 5, 2011

Every Last One

My favorite Christmas gift this year was an eReader from a very handsome gentleman and, as a result, I spent almost an entire day over the holiday break holed up in my boyfriend's Papaw's study crying my eyes out. No we did not have a fight. He picked the eReader because it syncs with our local library and I can check out a bazillion different titles very easily. So, the day after Christmas I grabbed the first three interesting looking books I could get my mouse on (yes, I judge all books by their cover) and started reading.



The first book was just so-so, but the second was a gem. Every Last One by Anna Quindlen gripped me from the start. I'll try not to give too much away because really you should just go read it, but arm yourself with a box of kleenex because you will need it. I didn't know anything about the story when I started. I hadn't read the flaps or back cover (I haven't figured out how to do that on the eReader) and I spent more time downloading and less time researching on the library website, but I'm glad that the story was able to unfold to me from start to finish just as Anna wrote it.

The story about a woman named Mary Beth is heartbreakingly beautiful. Her husband and children and mundane everydayness of life, the things that went unsaid between her and her husband, her understated and sheepish longing for a life more exotic made me wonder. Will my life always be boring compared to another's adventure?  Even in the best of marriages and relationships - will there always be things left unsaid? Dreams left undiscovered?

Then just as I was settling into the narrative of Mary Beth's life, everything changes for her. I won't tell you what happens, I'll just say that I was left heartbroken for her and full of longing for the mundane ordinariness of married life and the complexities of children for me. I sat with tears in my eyes and promised my future self that I won't take the beauty of the everyday for granted but savour every moment for the joy that it will be. I remembered that even now I am living life. This is it. So, to the me that is now and to the me that will be, I hope that I won't leave the important things left unsaid. That I will be bold when I need to be bold and patient when I should wait and be silent. That I will celebrate the beauty that is the everyday life - library books to return and stolen moments reading in coffee shops, grocery shopping to be done and meals shared with my love, hands to hold, desires to speak, carpools and vacations. All of it together. I can't wait.

January 3, 2011

2011

I'm a task oriented gal by profession and I enjoy having goals to reach for at the beginning of the New Year. I think it helps keep me focused on what matters and trim the excess from my life. These goals aren't terribly specific, but they do represent some of the things I hope for in the new year.


Write a monthly Psalm I'm setting out on this adventure with some girlfriends. We are going to practice the art of psalm writing together. We already gather for lunch monthly and are hoping that sharing our poems, prayers, psalms with each other will help us to cultivate deeper friendships with each other and share our lives honestly and well.

@EngageScripture 2011 Engage Scripture is a bible reading plan developed by some guys at my church. I made an attempt to follow through last year, but life got busy and I dropped off over the summer. I hope to stick it out this year. If you're interested in joining us you can follow @EngageScripture for daily readings from the plan.

Be adventurous in the kitchen I am excited about this. Paté. Grilled lamb chops. Hosting a fancy dinner party. Cooking creatively on a budget.

Sabbath weekly I'm not sure what this will look like, but I hope to do a better job of sabbathing and establishing better rhythms in my daily, weekly life. Time to rest. Time to play. Time to work. Quality time with a certain gentleman and dear friends. Time away to pray.

Date well Speaking of a certain gentleman. 2010 brought a most welcome addition to my life - a pretty wonderful guy. I hope that we continue to date each other well. To set and follow good boundaries. To discover new things to appreciate about each other. To allow ourselves to be known by each other and our community of friends. To be bold when we need to be bold and patient when we should be patient. To have fun and glorify God in it all.

Take a vacation Yep. I want to go to the beach. That is all. I could find a way to fit Paris into my schedule if the opportunity arose. Just sayin'.

Think and speak I hope to be thoughtful in what I say and what I leave unsaid. To be courageous in who I am and who God has made me to be. To be authentic in my relationships.

January 2, 2011

I Carry Your Heart With Me

I stumbled across this poem over the holiday break. I haven't read it in quite some time 
and I had forgotten just how much I love it. Enjoy!

i carry your heart with me
- e.e. cummings

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)