Monday, March 26, 2012

Family Weekend in Asheville

     This past weekend, my dad's whole side of the family (minus McKendree who was in Vegas) connected in Asheville to celebrate my grandmother's 85th birthday. It was an amazing time - full of coffee, porch sitting, wild turkey chasing, hiking, cooking, talking, reading, and beer. Here are some shots (some iPhone and some dslr) from the weekend!

Jamie, Baby Ruth, Sloan, Patrick and I on our 7 mile hike
We did a lot of this in Asheville.

Our house that we stayed in.
Watching UK play

The reason for the weekend - Annie's 85th birthday celebration. LG helped bake the cupcakes.
Joe loves to bring nice cigars to family gatherings. Or send his nieces and nephews to buy them for him. 

Hard to tell but thats a piece of a bright rainbow at sunset
I got some new iPhone apps that I'm kind of obsessed with

Monday, March 19, 2012

Weddings and Recipes

This past weekend I had the blessing of being the Matron of Honor in my dear friend Lauren's wedding. She's truly my best friend and the sister I never had. We have been friends for about 8 years now, and surprisingly enough we've stayed just as close as we were the summer we first met. Which is amazing considering we've only lived in the same state for 2 months out of those 8 years. I think we do friendships the same way, value the same things, have similar life perspectives, and generally just love to be around each other 24/7 - so she and I go really well together.  :)

The wedding was one-of-a-kind, and at some point in the next week I hope to write a post on how much I learned and gleaned from the experience. But if that doesn't happen, then here are a few pictures from the event:


1 yellow or red pepper chopped
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/2 c Balsamic vinaigrette 
1 package cheese tortellini (I used whole wheat)
A handful of chopped spinach
1 pound of chicken (I used tenderloins)
Balsamic vinegar

1. Marinate chicken tenderloins in balsamic vinegar (10-15 minutes).
2. Use a grill pan to grill chicken. Once cooked through, chop into small pieces and add peppers.
3. Cook tortellini on a separate burner.
4. Mix 1/2 c vinaigrette with 1 tbsp dijon mustard in a small bowl
5. Put spinach in bowl.
6. Add chicken/peppers to the spinach.
7. After tortellini is drained, add that to the mixture as well.
8. Mix in the vinaigrette and dijon mustard and toss.
Serve hot or cold. 

5 tomatoes
2 cans diced tomatoes (1 rotel, 1 regular)
1/2 onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
lime juice from one lime
1 teaspoon honey
1 handful cilantro

Blend it all. Add any other flavors you might want (cumin, hot sauce, vinegar, lemon, etc.)

Thursday, March 15, 2012



I've only been twice, but I would pay double for what I am getting at this point. And some of it feels to deep to even try to articulate, but just the shift in perspective is refreshing. And having someone be gut-level honest with you in a way that hurts, but is unconditionally loving at the same time is truly priceless. And surprisingly not offensive.

And I love Marcy because she makes no excuses for why I am where I am. And in some ways she has also deterred me from focusing on what is coming. Because I'm not there, I'm here.

And it's okay to have a season where I'm being pulled away from the crowds. Because there is intentionality and purpose in that. And sometimes noise makes it hard to hear.

But it is so hard when I'm in a season of separation, and others are not.

I thrive on connecting with friends. I thrive on spending hours and hours with people, running errands, talking on the phone, working out, watching TV shows and movies, going out to dinner, and just 'being' together. So being called to a different season than those around me, and also realizing that they may never be in this season that I'm in, is probably the hardest adjustment. And unfortunately, if they are not in this season, nor have they been in this season, their advice and thoughts on how to manage it may or may not be helpful. And that's not a bad thing. It just means that it is all the important for me to focus on my heart-to-heart connect with God. And not let other people and their experience shade what this season is supposed to look like for me.

So I leave you with this picture:

Even the tallest of the redwoods had to start as a seed within the earth. And when the seed was ready, it could move out of the soil and into the light. But not before the incubation period where it soaked in nutrients and developed its roots. So here's to soaking in nutrients and learning to dig deeply into the soil.

Thanks for all of your encouragement and patience with me. I hope that there are pieces of my journey that you can take with you and apply to your own life. Love love.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Fun-Day Friday

Y'all. That exercise circuit I did yesterday is KILLING me. My legs and butt hurt so freakin' much, I feel like I wince in pain every time I even THINK about moving. Guess I'll be saving this baby for my next work-out in case I want to remember what death feels like.

In other news, I just tasted one of these:

Funfetti Oreos. How is this even fair? And at 70 calories a pop, you could have... well, 1. Don't worry, I've self-reprimanded in a Bob Harper voice because I know he would have been devastated by this decision to consume one of these.  

And since it's Friday, I leave you with a hilarious conversation my friend Talie had with her ob/gyn at her 24 week appointment:

1. I'm concerned because I really want to sleep on my back (which every nurse and doctor thus far has said will keep oxygen from the baby). 
Do it.  The baby'll be fine. 

2. I'm getting ligament cramping when I walk. 
Ignore it and keep walking.  

3. I'm still throwing up. 
Eat less.

4. I'm not sure I want to get the whooping cough vaccine. 
Having your baby end up in the NICU sucks.
(I got the vaccine.)

You're welcome.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Butt-Kicking Work-out

1. Skaters. Do 30 on each side.

 2. Single arm hang snatch. Do 20 on each side.

3. Burpees. Do 50. You'll be weeping at 25, trust me.

4. Prisoner squats. Do 50.

5. Mountain climbers. Do 25 on each leg.
 6. Turkish weighted get-ups. Do 15 on each side. This is the hardest on this list. Prepare thyself.

 7. Lunge jumps. 25 on each side.
8. T push-up. 15 on each side.

Ginny and I started doing different circuits/interval training exercises in the gym each week, and THEY. ARE. HARD. We sweat and cry and moan and complain, all while busting our butts to make these moves happen. Unfortunately this Bob Harper interval work-out created for Women's Health magazine got the best of us. We could hardly meet half of all the required reps, but we did everything we could manage. I did feel a little bit better when a co-worker who runs marathons lasted about as long as we did. Which is proof that Bob Harper is TOUGH. No wonder those Biggest Loser contestants lose 15 pounds in a week. Holy smokes.

Hopefully we'll see more dynamic results on our bodies as we trudge through all of these work-outs that we've saved up. We definitely have a love/hate relationship with them. But mostly love. 

Oh, and by the way - you're supposed to do this circuit three times. 

Yes, I'm serious.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Wilderness

I had my first counseling appointment last week, and it was awesome. Having a Spirit-filled believer who has gotten her Doctorate in counseling proved to be the most refreshing thing ever. 

I was so terrified to be so vulnerable with someone. But I'm so glad that I got over that, because I would have missed out on a lot.

Our appointment took us all over the place, and I'm sure I shed a year's worth of tears. But they were tears well spent. Because they were tears of healing. Of recognizing the Lord's goodness and presence. Of coming to terms with the fruit in the wilderness that is at my fingertips. 

Throughout the Bible, some of the most major figures are given long seasons of time where they are pulled away from the public eye. David in caves. Moses on Mt. Sinai. Jesus in the wilderness. God uses those times to train, to equip, to re-connect, and to speak to His people. Moses had a big job in leading people into the Promised Land, but he first had to hear from the Lord. And see Him for truly He really was, and to hear the promises that were laid out for him. He couldn't lead people into freedom until He saw the face of the Father. 

But the hard part is continuing to pursue the words and promises spoken over their lives while they were alone in the "wilderness."

So that's where I am. Alone in the wilderness, but passionately declaring and pursuing the sweet promises that the Lord has spoken over me. 

And all the while plucking fruit from the trees.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Arab Richness

This weekend was a rich weekend.

Friday was spent celebrating Natalie for her Bachelorette, and then Saturday we had a very dear friend that we met in the Middle East come stay with us. He's originally from Arkansas, but spent some time in Egypt and Lebanon going to school and learning Arabic. 

Russ is one of those people that radiates the love of God with every word he speaks. And not only is he a man who truly dwells in the presence of God, but he always has his finger on the pulse of the nations. Re-connecting with him means hearing testimonies from all over the Arab world. Hearing about prayer movements, gatherings of Believers, and trends in revelation and visions.

Patrick and I could have listened to him for hours. He makes us feel like family, even though we’ve only spent a few weeks with him over the last 3 years. Russ has spent endless hours with Muslims learning their hearts, learning who God is to them, and learning how to love them well. He’s studied their history, the Qu’ran, their languages and dialects. He’s visited their camps and their homes and spent holidays with them. So he is intimately connected to every part of the Arab culture. Patrick and I felt like we had read hundreds of books by the time our time with Russ was over. And hearing stories from someone like him who has lived among them daily, helped put news stories and our own textbooks into a more real and personal perspective.

The only downside to the weekend was the short bout of food poisoning I had on Saturday night. Which was absolutely terrible, but allowed me to rest all day Sunday and catch up on Harry Potter. Which I think it is way better to read a hundred pages at a time so you can keep all the details straight.