Saturday, December 31, 2011

ah yes, the blog.

i haven't forgotten you, blog! but i have been extremely busy! since my last post several big things have happened, the biggest being that i actually finished my internship. after an extension or so i had a pretty strong goal to finish before our 5th anniversary/going home for christmas and i did! yipee! one last little unit to go and i am completely done with grad school! finally! four and a half years later! but more about that later.

since finishing my internship on the 21st we celebrated our 5th anniversary on the 22nd, and left for home on the 23rd. we had a great time with both of our families, and then yesterday i departed with my parents, sister, and brother-in-law to arkansas. josh has stayed behind in kentucky to spend a few extra days with his family and then drive back to north carolina. why am i in arkansas?! well, that long awaited (or dreaded?) time has arrived: my sister is leaving for south asia on the 1st. just typing that makes me stop and think. my only sister. south asia. three and a half to four years away.


how am i handling it? well, as good as expected? better than you might hope? probably not. i don't really know. how am i supposed to handle this? i'm not sure. i'm not going to lie, i've shed a lot of tears, and i know more will come. my sister wants to have all serious goodbyes take place tomorrow night and have quick, happy goodbyes sunday at the airport. that's a great idea, but i'm really not sure how i'm supposed to make that happen. i don't know how to really say goodbye saturday night when i know i'm going to eat brunch with her sunday morning. i will probably be able to manage a few tears in the airport and then save the real sobbing for once i get in the car. with my parents. to drive to nashville. what a fun trip that will be! three depressed people. driving five hours. lord help us. i'm praying that i will say the right words and act the right way. i'm praying for a less selfish perspective and a more godly one. i'm working on it. promise. but when it comes down to it, i'm really going to miss my sister.

Monday, September 19, 2011

sewing with bri

my friend briana and i implemented weekly (or that's the hope anyway) craft/sewing nights to (ideally) make christmas presents! fun fun! our first couple weeks were devoted to a collaborative project to make our friend sarah's bridal shower gifts. we finally got to give them to her saturday and i think they were a hit!

reversible placemats and napkins! i think we did pretty good, because sarah definitely thought she registered for them at first! 

and a super cute apron! (modeled by bri here)

sarah sported it for the rest of the shower. is she a cute bride or what!?

me, sarah, and briana

tutorials here and here

Friday, September 16, 2011

don't hate


i love christmas. 

but today i'm also enjoying the first day of cool weather. yay!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


i was super excited when i turned on the today show earlier and saw a brazilian chef making brigadeiros - little fudge-y truffles that are the national candy of brazil. i had these delightful babies when i was in brazil back in late 2003/early 2004 and they are yummy! it looks like the recipe makes a lot so i probably won't make them until around christmas time, but i'm saving the recipe here.

2, 14-oz. cans sweetened condensed milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
3 ounces, or 90 grams, semi-sweet chocolate with about around 60 percent cocoa solids, chopped
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup chocolate sprinkles from real chocolate

In a medium-heavy bottomed saucepan, place the condensed milk, butter, heavy cream and corn syrup. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
When the mixture starts to bubble, add the chocolate and 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder. Whisk well, making sure there are no pockets of cocoa powder.
Reduce the heat to low and cook, whisking constantly until it reaches the consistency of a dense fudgy batter. This takes about eight to 10 minutes. You want the mixture to bubble like lava toward the end so it’s important to use low heat or the sides of the pan will burn. If you undercook it, the brigadeiro will be too soft; if you overcook it, it will be chewy. You know it is done when you swirl the pan around and the mixture leaves a thick burnt residue on the bottom of the pan.
Slide the mixture into a bowl. Don’t scrape the pan — you don’t want to integrate any of the burned bottom. Let the mixture cool at room temperature. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap
and chill in the refrigerator for at least four hours, preferably overnight.
Scoop the mixture by the teaspoonful — or you can use a mini ice cream scoop — and, using your hands, roll each into a little ball about 3/4-inch in diameter, about the size of a chocolate truffle.
Place the sprinkles in a large roasting pan. Roll four to six brigadeiros at a time through the sprinkles, making sure it covers the entire surface.
Store in a plastic container at room temperature for one to two days or up to two weeks in the refrigerator.

Serving Size
Makes about 50 brigadeiros

a big day i'm not a part of...

today is a big day for my family, particularly my sister and brother-in-law. unfortunately it's in orlando and i'm not in orlando, i'm at home in north carolina. but my parents and grandparents and brad's parents and grandparents and his sister are all there, so i feel like a crappy sister. remember that missing out post? yeah, i'm really feeling that today.

you see, today is a big step in the process of my sister and brother-in-law leaving for south asia. i am not handling this well. my only sister... across the world... missing out on christmases... and our children being born and growing up... i could go on but i'll stop for now. but let's be honest here: i had "south asian" cuisine a couple of weekends ago with josh on a date (it was really yummy!) and i balled in the restaurant before we had even got our meal. i am an awesome date!

but regardless of how i feel, i'm excited for my sister and brother-in-law and the new life they are embarking on. i'm in awe of their fearlessness with this new adventure, and i know that no matter where we are in the world or how long we go without seeing each other, we will still be family.

krystal, i'm sorry i couldn't be there today, but i also can't wait to see you in a few weeks!

Monday, September 12, 2011

never satisfied

i was staring at the broken clock on the wall earlier. it's broke in two ways: it needs new batteries and the time is off (except for twice a day, of course), and the glass (or plastic?) cover is missing, it was broken several years ago. that actually happened when we first moved to columbus (right about 4 years ago now) and my parents came to help us unpack and settle in. i had the clock sitting on the mantle resting up against the wall. my dad accidentally knocked it off or slammed the door a little too hard, and it fell, breaking the cover. for quite a while we had the clock in the closet, it was broken, after all. then when moving to greensboro we decided to put it on the wall in josh's office. a cover is not necessary for a clock to work, right? this got me to thinking about my dad and him accidentally breaking the clock cover. he felt really bad about it, and he even left money for us to go buy a new one. i've spent a good portion of my life questioning my dad's love for me, but i'm realizing now that he has just showed me love in different ways. he was there to help us unpack, and he felt bad about breaking something so trivial. he's a hard worker, and he primarily shows love through work. if you need something fixed, he's your man. as a young girl i wanted a hug and someone who would listen, but that just wasn't really him. and now i'm a woman and i have a wonderful husband who will always give me a hug and listen, but i want him to go take out the trash. why is that?

i think i'll go put new batteries in the clock.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


today i went to zumba and sweat like an obese woman running a marathon along the equator. it was a good time. my pass ends wednesday ($20 for 20 visits living social deal) so i need to start scoping out where to go to next. i could buy a pass at the place i've been going to, but it's kinda expensive and the drive is a pain. we'll see... if you haven't tried, i highly recommend zumba (even for uncoordinated people like myself!)

today i'm excited about this rainbow fabric swap that i signed up for! i love all things rainbow, and the jewel tones just makes it even better. as a kid i had rainbow suspenders that i LOVED. i'm excited to make a quilt with the squares i get back. this one i plan to keep!

today my husband is studying very diligently, because he has started online classes to get his MBA! i'm super proud of him, but i'm also not used to him being so focused on school work either! ha! if you're curious, he's attending Louisiana Tech through a promotion with Murphy USA (his employer), so we are getting quite a deal!

today my sister and brother-in-law are flying to orlando for a very important week in the process of them leaving for south asia. (of course they're also going to hit up disney next weekend, and i'm pretty jealous!) i'm praying for safe travels and an awesome week for them. you can read more about their journey here.

today i'm also doing laundry and writing session notes. blah. i'm really not interested in doing either. i have lots of session notes to write (as always) because i'm now leading three groups every thursday at my internship! three groups + one session note for each kid in the group = tons of work for me! i might sew later. we'll see.

i hope you're enjoying your day!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

missing out

i stumbled upon this blog post last night, and it really spoke to me about something I struggle with daily: missing out. i hate it. i've always felt this way. like i needed to be a part of everything.

example: when i was younger i remember begging to be a part of my sister's slumber parties. i just had to listen in on their conversations and know what was going on. with my mom's involvement, i was usually able to join the festivities for part of the time, before being sent to my room so that the older girls could be left alone. once i devised a brilliant plan: i pretended to fall asleep, just so i could listen in a little longer! it worked, and i felt so proud of myself. (sorry krystal!)

yes, part of that is just being a younger sister, but it also goes back to my fundamental dislike for all things missing out. i want to read all of the books that come out that everyone talks about (like the help and water for elephants and the girl with the dragon tattoo and the hunger games, all right now) but blame my inability to do so on grad school. this is partially true, but it's also ridiculous to want to read every book just to be in the know. and i feel lame because i haven't traveled all over the world and visited cool places. and i like to know what's going on in the world. and i absolutely hate it when i feel left out of social circles. this has been the biggest struggle for me over the past few years, with moving away from friends multiple times. i still feel a twinge (or more than a twinge really) of jealousy and sadness when i think about my friends in columbus hanging out after church on sunday nights, or hear about a roommate reunion in northern kentucky i can't attend. just these past few weeks my sister and brother-in-law have been at home visiting my parents, and it has been so hard for me to hear about my mom and sister hanging out and doing fun things together.

why all this concern? it sounds like i fear that i will be forgotten if i'm not there. i know this isn't true. and what does this tell me? it tells me i'm finding my identity in other people, their wanting me around and their approval of me, as opposed to in christ. i hate that. i can't be everywhere. i can't do everything. and that's how god designed things. maybe he did that so we'd have no choice BUT to find out identity in him and him alone. finding our approval and identity in others will always fail. people will end up disappointing us, and we will disappoint them. and we can't be everywhere, only god can. and he knows where we are in each moment and he ordained it way ahead of time. i'm sure he wants us to live in that moment and embrace it as a gift from him. writing this doesn't change the fact that i struggle with this, but it does help to get it out. maybe i'm not the only one who feels this way...

surprisingly, i have many more thoughts on this topic, but i'll save them for another post. :)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

why me?

today i'm having one of those "why me!?" sort of days - the long ones where all you want to do is go back to sleep but you have to just keep trudging along, pitying yourself randomly throughout the day. i worked from 5-ll this morning. getting up at 4:30 is never fun, especially after a long day at your internship and evening at small group the day before, and the fact that your body can only fall asleep so early. then i came home briefly and then headed to the mitsubishi dealership in highpoint, about a 30 minute drive. this is becoming quite the regular occurrence because, since paying off the montero in the spring, pretty much everything (okay, that's an exaggeration) has decided to go out at the same time - breaks (expensive), O2 sensors (very expensive), air conditioning (very expensive - still not fixed), etc. i'm tired of spending my afternoons at a car dealership! and did you know that north carolina requires inspections before you can re-register your car after moving from out of state? they do! and boy are they a pain! our registration was due in august, and you can't pass an inspection with a check engine light on, hence the large amounts of money and afternoons in a waiting room... so, i am PRAYING that the other O2 sensors hold out long enough for me to pass an inspection (we've had 2 of 4 replaced) and i am PRAYING that cops are nice if/when they pull me over within the next day or so. AND, while waiting at the dealership, i found out that someone had gotten my debit card and used it on "adult" websites! ugh! luckily wachovia is on top of things and i should be getting a new card soon, but it's still a pain to not have a debit card (especially when you and your spouse have been totally slacking on all things dave ramsey and not carrying cash!). fortunately josh was not 2 hours away and could bring me some cash to the dealership so i could pay them. i've also had a stomach ache and generally felt pretty crappy throughout the day. and i thought my best friend was pregnant and i found out on fb. (luckily that wasn't true but i did cry over it.) and i had one of those, "i'm-horrible-at-this-i-can't-follow-anything!" nights at zumba. (i had never been to that instructor). and so on and so on.

but throughout the day, i have thought, "why on earth am i pitying myself over such trivial things!?!" i am so blessed to have a car (that despite its issues has always gotten me from A to B). and i have a job. and i have money to pay for car repairs, even though it's getting tight around here! so many people would love to have the things i am complaining about! and all around me i know people with serious health problems, serious, big issues going on. my exhaustion and complaints are nothing in comparison to that. so, i guess i just needed to have a little confession to God, and to my blog, apparently! on that note, please say a prayer for my cousins who lost their dad in a horrible car accident over the weekend. the funeral was today.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


since i haven't posted a real blog entry in months, here's a little update about what's going on with me...

this weekend has been a little lonely, with josh leaving for the coast early yesterday morning. he's supposed to get back late tonight. (why did he drive towards the hurricane, you ask? to help with the murphy gas stations that were effected by the storm. fun fun.) irene actually ruined our original plans for the weekend, we were actually going to head home to northern kentucky to surprise my sister for her birthday saturday night and go to josh's grandma's (nonna's) 80th birthday party on sunday. darn you, irene.

so what did i do with a free weekend? (especially since i didn't have to work saturday (which i always do, i traded since we were planning on leaving.) unfortunately i was up pretty early helping josh finish packing and i couldn't get back to sleep. i went to zumba, colored my hair (my grays were out of control!), had yummy frozen yogurt covered in fruit with a friend, mexican food for dinner with another friend, and hung out at home with my cat a lot. today i went to church by myself, zumba again, laundry. wild, i know. i've also done that really boring cleaning up the house, paying bills, grown-up stuff that i have to do every so often. we still need groceries in a serious way, so hopefully i will force myself to do that tomorrow. i've been horrible at cooking lately since i'm so busy (not that you would believe me by the way my weekend sounds), so maybe some yummy ingredients in the refrigerator will motivate me to get in the kitchen! now i'm watching julie and julia on t.v. (even though we have the DVD - i hate when i do that!) and holding my cat. he's good company.

anyway, i'm looking forward to having my husband back. it's funny, because i certainly enjoy having the  alone time every now and then, but then i also miss him like crazy when he's gone. i guess that's what happens when you marry your best friend!

okay so that was pretty boring but oh well! i hope you had a good weekend!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

if you're curious...

you can check out my old blog here!

yes, i've moved!

not to a different state, thank God, just my blog has moved.

why, you ask? well, i feel like i needed a revamp for one thing. i hadn't been posting much lately. of course part of that was just because i was busy, but i also just wasn't feeling the old blog. wordpress also got on my nerves (sorry wordpress). i was done with the layouts, and uploading photos and getting my page to look nice always seemed to be a pain! so here i am at blogger!

as for the new name, if you know me, you know that i am (or was) a perfectionist. it's something i've been struggling with since day one. i do like to think of myself as a RECOVERING perfectionist though, meaning that i'm working on seeking balance and experience more that perfection these days. it's a process. :)

my sister just started a blog, as she is making some big changes in life and i'm insisting that i stay in the know. after months of bugging her she finally started one, so i figure i need to hold up my end of the bargain and blog as well. i hope this will be a way for me to stay in touch with my sister, my family, and my friends all over the country. welcome!