Friday, November 20, 2009

Who's your God?, Relaxation, ...Body Parts...

Live: What do you live for? What is you kick in the pants every morning that convinces you not to press the 'snooze' one more time? I WANT it to be unconditionally for Jesus. But, I can't be truthful with myself and say that my drive for everything is Jesus. That's horrible, I hate that about myself. Today I pray for a revelation of His Spirit, a new day, and a new opportunity to wake up for Him.

Love: Today, I'm especially in love with the prospect of Thanksgiving break. EVEN though I have to write a paper this weekend, and have to go to school Mon and Tues, a break sounds heavenly. Thank you Jesus for a chance to just hangout with my husband and celebrate Thanksgiving.

Laugh: Today my teacher made me laugh really hard. As we were talking about the biological factors of development, she clicked to the next slide and screamed, "UTERUS! 9am, and you're seeing a uterus. That's right, it doens't get much better than that!" Maybe I'm immature... but that's pretty awesome.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Chicken Fried, Short List, Zumba

Live: This song is me today... just because. And if you don't prefer a beer (I know I'd much rather have a girly drink... pretend it's kool-aid!) To be visually stimulated by some good country music go here!
You know I like my chicken fried
Cold beer on a Friday night
A pair of jeans that fit just right
And the radio up....

Well I was raised up beneath the shade of a Georgia pine
And that`s home you know
Sweet tea pecan pie and homemade wine
Where the peaches grow
And my house it`s not much to talk about
But it`s filled with love that`s grown in southern ground
And a little bit of chicken fried

Cold beer on a Friday night
A pair of jeans that fit just right
And the radio up
Well I`ve seen the sunrise
See the love in my woman`s eyes
Feel the touch of a precious child
And know a mother`s love
And its funny how it`s the simple things in life that mean the most
Not where you live or what you drive or the price tag on your clothes
There`s no dollar sign on a piece of mind this I`ve come to know
So if you agree have a drink with me
Raise you glasses for a toast
To a little bit of chicken fried

Cold beer on a Friday night
A pair of jeans that fit just right
And the radio up
Well I`ve seen the sunrise
See the love in my woman`s eyes
Feel the touch of a precious child
And know a mother`s love

I thank God for my life
And for the stars and stripes
May freedom forever fly, let it ring.
Salute the ones who died
The ones that give their lives so we don`t have to sacrifice
All the things we love
Like our chicken fried

Cold beer on a Friday night
A pair of jeans that fit just right
And the radio up
Well I`ve seen the sunrise
See the love in my woman`s eyes
Feel the touch of a precious child
And know a mother`s love

Book of Esther.Daniel.Blueberries.Homemade Chili. Irene Jaw.School.Zumba.Sleep.

Today Rachael Brown and I decided to try out a Zumba place together. We both Zumba on our own at different times, but doing anything with her is WAY more fun. So, we went to the Senior Center and Zumba"ed".... hold it.... yes, the Senior Center. I was pretty pessimistic, thinking that older ladies probably didn't shake their "ta-tas" like other Zumba places. I was right. BUT, that didn't make it any less fun. It would have made a lovely scene in a movie where two girls find themselves in the mists of old people dancing... at first they laugh a lot at what they are experiencing... and then they just don't care. We vamped it up a lot. I'm sore... really sore. Like I just ran my arms through a meat tenderizer sore.
So here were our friends...

And this was Rachael and I....

That's right... we rock.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Intentionality, School, Liberation

Live: Have you stopped and breathed lately? My life is more than chaotic with school (and my new found love... Grey’s Anatomy). But, as I've been walking through the fall struck campus, I've been intentional of just thanking God for this opportunity. I have the freedom to love today, the freedom to learn, and the freedom to smile. Yeah, I have a lot of papers and random busy work, but in the long run they won't matter. You don't have to have intentionally thankful thoughts only around Thanksgiving.

Love: I loooooooove school. Especially now that everything is really stressful. I love learning, trying to stay awake in class, trying to retain as much information as I can, and picking the brains of my favorite professors. I love learning about all the complexities of Special Education, the psychology and development of young children, and how our brain works. I love that my professor quotes Avenue Q and South Park on a regular basis, and that my other professor calls us his children. I love school. I'm weird. And I love that too.

Laugh: So this morning I was driving to school, and of course I was late. I'm always in a hurry. That is a life lesson that I haven't mastered... time management. Sometime I work better when I'm super stressed out. My husband may hate me, but things get done. Anyways, I was driving quickly (not speeding... just quicker than suggested) to school and just because Terre Haute and God have a sense of humor I was railroaded. Railroaded is a common term in Terre Haute. (Railroaded: Stopped inconveniently by one of the 18 million trains that come through town on a daily basis. May be the best excuse when running late.) So the railroad bars came down... and I was officially going to be late. I waited... and waited... but no train was coming. Then, some redneck (but Jesus loves him too) behind me revved his engine and drove his Ford F-14658739473-50 around me, and through the railroad bars. Whaaaaat?!?! You can't do that mister! Then, I looked at the clock... looked at the bars... and did it. I dashed the train bars, pulled a completely illegal maneuver. It was liberating. Not only did I get to school on-time, but I also rocked a sweet S-turn avoiding death. (This is the point where I should mention, but don't want to, that a train never came and there was a mere glitch in the system.)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Coming of Age

This morning Daniel and I went on a cleaning rampage. Well, I went on a cleaning rampage and Daniel knew to jump on the bandwagon. I was picking up the tipped Tupperware off the pantry floor shelf and there it was... dead as could be... a caught mouse in the sticky trap. Yep, gross... I know. With this old house, and the weather turning chilly, mice love to find their way between the walls of our apartment. Luckily last year we figured out where they would enter through and we planted their death traps accordingly. But, that just meant that we would have to deal with dead mice. So I gasped and turned away as quickly as possibly (while maintaining my composer) and told Daniel that there was a mouse in the trap. I completely removed myself from the situation but going into another room so I wouldn't have to watch. And after a lot of "eeeaaaawww," "this is sssoooo gross," and "uuuggghhhh," Daniel said, "You know when we were younger and when things like this would happen you'd call you Dad and he'd take car of it, well, it sucks that it's my job now."
Apparently no one mentioned that before he signed up for this marriage gig.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Eric & Brandi

So I'm completely and totally excited about this. Special thanks to Miss Lyndi Long for allowing me to shoot along side her.
It is about time for those Christmas card pictures, and I know weddings are just around the corner! If you know of anyone who would be interested in some family, engagement, senior, or wedding pictures, have them contact me for prices and a look at my contract.
Now for the feature presentation: Mr. and Mrs. Eric Avila

Monday, August 31, 2009

Dirty Little Secrets

It is Fall here in the grand ol city of Terre Haute, and it is very welcome. School is officially in full swing, and Daniel isn't too far behind me. I'm going to try really hard to remember this beautiful weather when it is brutally cold and January/February/March. The encouragement that it won't always be hell on ice will get me through those harsh mornings.

Because we are college students and money doesn't grow on trees, I've been searching more and more for place with free samples, great deals, and frugal ideas.
This place is my new favorite. I've got free designer perfume samples (who doesn't like to smell different every once in a while?), cereals, home products, hair products... most everything. And, it is neatly categorized so you aren't spending unnecessary time looking through crap you don't want. Also, check out for wonderful deals such as $65 off a $100 purchase (yeah... I know!). They are all over the place, but has great updates daily.

There you go. It is because I enjoy seeing others use their money wisely that I share my dirty little secrets.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Completeness by Oswald Chambers

This is an essay part of the daily devotional "My Upmost for His Highest" by Oswald Chambers.
It was convicting to me... and I know in this day it is SO incredibly easy to lose sight of God. Allow this to encourage you to receive rest from the One who can give it best.


"And I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

Whenever anything begins to disintegrate your life with Jesus Christ, turn to Him at once and ask Him to establish rest. Never allow anything to remain which is making the dis-peace. Take every element of disintegration as something to wrestle against, and not to suffer. Say - Lord, prove Thy consciousness in me, and self-consciousness will go and He will be all in all. Beware of allowing self-consciousness to continue because by slow degrees it will awaken self-pity, and self-pity is Satanic. Well, I am not understood; this is a thing they ought to apologize for; that is a point I really must have cleared up. Leave others alone and ask the Lord to give you Christ-consciousness, and He will poise you until the completeness is absolute.

The complete life is the life of a child. When I am consciously conscious, there is something wrong. It is the sick man who knows what health is. The child of God is not conscious of the will of God because he is the will of God. When there has been the slightest deviation from the will of God, we begin to ask - What is Thy will? A child of God never prays to be conscious that God answers prayer, he is so restfully certain that God always does answer prayer.

If we try to overcome self-consciousness by any common-sense method, we will develop it tremendously. Jesus says, "Come unto Me and I will give you rest," i.e., Christ-consciousness will take the place of self-consciousness. Wherever Jesus comes He establishes rest, the rest of the perfection of activity that is never conscious of itself.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Random Rants (May I have your attention please?)

Last full week in the Nati. I can't believe how time has flown by! I also can't believe that I'm starting school again in a week and a half. That is NUTS! I am feeling a weird mixture of emotions about jumping back into school. I mostly want to get it all over with, but I also love learning... so I'm trying to savor every part of the school experience. Though I'm currently not openly saying this in conversation, I sorta like Cincinnati. It is not Colorado by any means, but it has a lot to offer. Ohio is a pretty cool state to be in. There is a lot of outdoor activities, the people are friendly if you're friendly first, and if you live in the outskirts of town the crime decreases significantly. I suppose if GE Aviation gave us a deal we couldn't refuse, I wouldn't mind residing here for a little while after college.

College is another situation. I'm praying really hard that everything works out smoothly with trying to graduate in two years, and getting all the classes I need in. It would royally suck if Daniel moved to Cincinnati and I had to stay another summer in Terre Haute to finish my classes. Yeah, royally suck. Long distance dating was really hard, I can't imagine long distant marriage.

I really liked the 'not working' part of my summer. It sounds lazy and slightly ridiculous... but it was glorious! I had loads of time to think, play, recover, and read! Even though I really want to get a teaching job after school, I could definitely see myself staying home and being a housewife someday. I could have a huge garden, be thrifty, manage my household, and clean with green products. Oh yeah, I'm totally into cleaning green now. I wish I had discovered being environment friendly soon in my summer, because I would have had more time to explore the loveliness of making your own ways to be green. There are books beyond books on how to simplify your life, and be a good steward with your resources. I see lots of baking soda, tonic water, lemons (OH, I want a LEMON TREE!!!), and white vinegar in my future. I've also come to love fresh veggies from the markets. It makes me super excited to be making my own salsa, hummus (though I haven't tried it yet), pickles, jam, and granola. All I need is some jars and those sucky machines that vacuum all the jars air tight. Some would wonder why I finish school then not be enslaved in the workforce all the days of my life... School is my selfish ambition in life. It is for me because I told myself that I would finish college and get a four year degree. I couldn't let myself down, and it something that I won't compromise (this is the part where I add the bit about God perhaps changing my heart down the road or whatever... just sayin' for now, school beckons me). What life after graduation holds, only God knows. I've tossed around the idea of graduate school if the market is really bad still, but I might be happy writing blogs and nothing, being a housewife, and being involved in the community. I'm reminded by Proverbs 16:9 In his heart (mind) man plans his way (journey,course), but the Lord determines his steps.

Mom came to Ohio last week. It was amazing. She taught me all sorts of cooking things, and I was SO grateful to have a buddy in town to explore with. She is ridiculously funny too and Daniel and I can't get enough of her. There were multiple nights where we would say goodnight to her and shut our door... only to hear 5 minutes later her cracking up in the other room. It was hilarious.

She taught me how to make red chili sauce from dried chili's! We made chicken fajitas one night, and smothered burritos the other... and those meals kept on giving long after she left. I made carne asadas, a breakfast fritatta, an international dinner frittata, AND more burritos with the leftovers. Whew. It was awesome.

And now... I need some suggestions. As school oh-so-quickly approaches, I need some quick dinner ideas from EVERYONE! They can be anything, I'm just making a personal cookbook that I can go through (or Daniel.... right, honey?) and pick out a meal that I have most everything for on a fly. So give me some options people!!

I love you all, you beautiful people you.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Mom in OH: pt. 1

These are pictures of Mom and I prancing around OH. There is never a dull moment. More stories and pictures to come, but we have some outlet shopping to do!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Camping Pictures

>>Campfire Food<<

>>We were on a HUGE lake. It was awesome<<

>>Feeding The Coons<<

>>The Fire Starter<<

>>Daniel showing off The Palace<<

Sunday, July 19, 2009

In The Life Of: The Meswards Go Camping

Daniel and I took the free weekend as an opportunity to be "at one" (in a very non Thoreau way) with nature and go camping for the first time by ourselves. It was one of those all-grown-up moments as we planned meals, picked a place, and got all of our camping gear together. I couldn't help but think of the countless times that my mom planned camping trips for our family and I would try any excuse to bow out of the event kindly. What changed? Nature certainly hasn't, but maybe my yearning to be away from life has. I've learned to value and want the quiet moments in life, and camping give me a few days of just that. We hiked, biked, talked, ate until we popped, and enjoyed silence.

Nature has the strangest way to drawing you close to God. I don't know if it is the simplicity or the complexity of nature that connects you, but I'm always able to talk, listen, and enjoy God more while surrounded by nature. I suppose that Jesus went into the garden to pray, so maybe something is to be said for that. I'm thankful for the opportunity to meet God this weekend in His creation. I'm especially thankful that he didn't put all the beauty of creation in Colorado, I was worried for a little while that God was unfair to the rest of the world and spent more time in the Rocky Mountains. Good job on Ohio God, I'm impressed.

Now lets talk nitty-gritty. Some might ask, " how does one go camping with a gluten intolerance?" My answer, "simple, just think practical!" Here is what Daniel and I decided to cook up over the fire, and it is sure to leave no trace of gluten (and it won't even taste gluten free!!)
Camper Pies
- You can find these little handy camping tools in the camping section, but basically you can grill a sandwich in the flames of your campfire! Sweet, I know. So Daniel doesn't like good sandwiches, so he had PB&J. I (with more evolved taste buds) had a Reuben. It was fantastic. And that night for dessert, we put blueberry pie filling in between our slices of bread, with one marshmallow, and had ourselves one heck of a blueberry camper pie. You're jealous, I know.
Cheesy Campfire Potatoes
Pre-baked potatoes sliced into bite sized pieces. Put them in a foil pan, chop up some butter, simmer over the fire on a grate. Once they are nice and toasty, add some spices of your choice, some Velveeta (oooohhhhh yeeeah), a smidgen of sour cream, and TA-DA... the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. True statement.

Here is the list of Animals we saw on our trip:
Blue Jay
Freaking huge Daddy Long Leg(s) - They were seriously freaking huge
6 raccoons feasting on our neighbors food
Skunk (also feasting)
House cat (who now apparently lives in the wooded areas of the campground)
Tick (attached to Daniel's leg)
Field Mouse (who burried his head in some leaves after he knew I spotted him. Apparently he didn't realize that I just laughed at his hairy booty and tail sticking up at me)
Yellow Beetle
Water Bugs that did not like to swim alone
Various bugs in our tent which I leaped after to kill

I'll upload pictures later of our journey, our internet is way slow right now. So... although no transcending occurred, and I didn't pop into an all-seeing eyeball, camping with my husband was incredible. We are totally excited for all the camping adventures to come.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Is it weird to talk about detox and martinis in one blog?!?!

I never really updated since the ending of our detox diet.. sorry about that. Unfortunately, I don't think there are too many people waiting anxiously ;o)

So the detox was suppose to end officially Sunday, but Daniel and I decided to end it on Friday because (I know, I know, big cheaters) we made a spontaneous trip to Terre Haute for a friend's weddings and a good-bye party. Here are a few observations from the whole experience:
1. My stomach became very used to eating only fruits and veggies/ taking herbal supplements. My appetite changed and I was less bloated after the week was over. That was really nice. I felt pretty good, my skin cleared up, and my jean fit a little better (probably from losing water weight... but we drank SO MUCH fluids.)
2. Our tastes were way different afterward. We went Chipotle one night and I couldn't believe all the flavors bursting in my mouth! There was so much salt that I was actually twitching my face... I love salt... that has never happened before! Foods the used to be not so sweet were extremely sweet... like strawberries, blueberries, bananas. I like that. Instead of forcing my self to eat fruit because it is good for me, I was eating fruit because it satisfied my sweet tooth (not my chocolate tooth, though).
3. My body processes food a lot faster.

I would consider this detox a success even though we cheated out of it early. We didn't starve ourselves, we pounded our bodies with loads of nutritious foods, and we gave our bodies the opportunity to cleanse itself.

My little (taller) sister is out for the week. She flew in yesterday and the fun hasn't stopped since. We walked along the Newport, KY levee, and ate at a really swanky bar on the river. Oh story time:
The bar (Bar Louise) was having a $1 burger night. Even though I wasn't feeling a burger then, being the frugal woman I am I decided to go for it for the sake of saving money. Since I did that, I thought I could get a martini too because I'm 21 now... and I do what I want ;o) Mostly I figured that since we were saving by getting a burger, I could get a drink and it would be like getting a regular plate with water... but I get a martini instead. Yea no. I didn't think to ask how much this 8 oz drink cost... and it was 9 freaking dollars once the ticket came. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?! It was a fantastic martini... but I would have equally enjoyed the water knowing that I was saving 9 dollar by not getting a drink. Sigh, live and learn. You got me this time Bar Louise, but next time I'm coming during 1/2 drink night... and only getting a drink.

We are headed to the Cincinnati Zoo today :o) It's time to visit the ancestors ;o)

That was a joke.... btw.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Detox - Halfway There

"I think I can, I think I can"

We are half way through this week long detox journey, and I'd say it is working (Daniel would say he's hungry). It's true, only eating fruits, veggies, and white meat is a little harder than people think. First of all its expensive, and second of all it is a huge drop in calories which puts a toll on you. With that said, I know I'm being cleansed... I won't give you details but.... yeeeah.

Yesterday we went to Newport, KY to the Barnes & Noble right on the Ohio River. It was awesome. We walked across the river on the Purple People Bridge and walked along the river boardwalk. It was nice to see people jogging, exercising, and enjoying the sunset. The boardwalk is massive!! I can't wait to spend more time there. They have restaurants on both sides (OH and KY), parks, trails, shops. I loved it. It made me feel like I was on the Brooklyn Pier in NY. It was hard not to try some yummy ice cream from a famous parlor... but we'll just have to go back after we're detoxified.

Tonight Daniel and I are going canoeing with his work. GE plans a lot for it's employees, I like that :) Hopefully we are able to interact with people and just have a good time hanging out!

I'm totally missing Colorado right now... *sigh*

Monday, June 22, 2009

Detox Week

It is detox week here at the Mesward household, and I love new adventures with Daniel. I have been thinking and researching the idea of a detox diet for a few months now. There are a lot of strange ways to go about cleansing your body, but I feel like we took a humane approach.

Some diets require you to only have green tea, honey, and some strange concoction for ten days... psh, we wouldn't last three hours. Others just make you take this magical pill and all of a sudden your cleansed (I'm dubious, and it's super expensive). I just did a combination and made up my own little diet. Luckily I have a wonderful husband who will humor me by doing it too.

What we do is basically take out most of the man-made foods in our diet and take an herbal cleansing supplement with our meals. It makes it easier since Daniel has to be gluten-free because we don't have to remove too much except for sugars. I didn't stock up on flavored yogart, ice cream, and milk this week. Instead we went to a farmers market to get some farm fresh veggies, and picked up a bunch of fruits from Sams. We got a lot of tea, some raw almonds and trail mix, and ta-da!! you have yourself a perfectly good detox diet.

News on other fronts:

Monday, June 15, 2009

Online Coupons

Hi Fellow Frugal-ites,

I found some extremely valuable things on the world-wide-web this past week that any penny pincher will love! Love saving money? Love using coupons? Love your shoppers cards (even though they take up entirely too much space on your key chain and make it almost impossible to find your house key in a hurry)? Then explore and love these sites:

You can put coupons directly on your shoppers card and the coupon appears when you buy that item! Amazing? Yes.

I was true to my grocery list last week and saved myself time and money at Wal-Mart. Because I made a weekly meal outline, I felt more organized throughout the week and did not have to throw together meals on the fly. It was lovely.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday, Nate and Rachael, Yachts

Yay for Friday!!! My first work week without Daniel is coming to a close, and I'm proud to say that I survived. I made many discoveries in Cincinnati, and I hope to dig a little deep and really get to know the city more. I found out that all my favorite grocery stores (the ones I can't find in Indiana) are only as far as 15 minutes away, and there are coffee shops and shopping galore.

Just before I left Terre Huate, I had the privilege to do a photo shoot with a couple that Daniel and I love. Nate and Rachael are not only our landlords, but they have been absolutely amazing friends. We always enjoy spending time with them and their little dog Sofi. So I asked them to be my guinea pigs because I was dieing to try out my new camera. We took to the Indiana country scene and they made wonderful models. Here are a few of my favorites ;0)

We look forward to hopefully seeing them here in Cincy soon (hint,hint Browns).

And another side note, Daniel and I are rubbing elbows with the rich tonight at a yacht cocktail party. I'm a little nervous... what am I going to wear?!?!?!

And another side note, I'm sitting across the street from a former beautiful church turn to Urban Outfitters. Awesome. I love it.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tampons, Meals, and Blogs

Who doesn't like samples? Seriously. The only reason my Dad would go to Sam's Club on a Friday afternoon with my Mom would be for the free samples. Well ladies, here you go! A free sample for you!

Click on the link below for your free Tampax sample.

And here is my tip of the day for being frugal:

Planning your meals. There are a lot of bloggers out there that post a "Monday Meal Plan." I haven't decided that anyone who reads this blog would like a weekly play by play, but there are a few benefits to planning out your meals.

1. You have a schedule for yourself. You don't have to think last minute and stress yourself out over dinner. If you can take the time to plan it, dinner isn't a burden and husbands/families around the world will be closely knit (If momma ain't happy, nobody is.)

2. You stick to your list. I know that when I go shopping, I usually buy more than I need. Don't get me wrong, I'm really good at convincing myself that I really will eat 10 lbs of veggies in one week. Limit your waste, stick to your budget... life is goooood.

3. Husbands/families can mentally prepare themselves for meals the don't like. Sorry sweetheart, I make the meals so I get to choose them.

Here are a couple of my favorite bloggers that meal plan:
Learning The Frugal Life
Organized Junkie

Happy Tuesday!!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Cincinnati Impressions, Motion Sickness, Po-po

Lots and lots of changes have come into our lives these last few weeks. It is rather overwhelming, and at the same time interesting, for Daniel and I to pack up our things and move to Cincinnati. I’d never heard much about Cincy (okay really fast, why the “y”? It only makes it really confusing to everyone. However, only the people in the “know” (the locals) use the “y.” There is your how-to-fake-your-residency-in-Cincinnati fact). I remember a childhood movie, Babes in Toyland (1986), where the bad guy (Barnaby) was trying to gas his prisoners but they were immune because they were from Cincinnati. What a great movie feel free to watch and laugh at the 80’s here But, otherwise, Cincinnati was way foreign to me. Here are some of my very first impressions:

  1. HILLY!!! Yay for hills. These aren’t baby hills either. Thank God, I need to get away from the flat land.
  2. Home Depot. Made me think of Colorado and how much I miss it. I always wanted a Home Depot apron.
  3. Biggs Hyperstore - a cross between Whole Foods and Kroger (King Soopers). Awesome.

We spent a lot of time around various part of Cincy. We took 3 different walking tours of downtown. It was so nice. Thought rainy, we saw most of downtown. I can’t wait to spend a lot of time down there getting to know it. I love culture and city people. Also, we have been to King’s Island twice. Woot! It rocks my socks off. And I have been testing out some advice on motion sickness, here is what I’ve experienced.

Test #1 – I took nothing. I had a pretty empty stomach, and was rather thirsty. I was so stinking sick by the third ride. I had a headache after the first, and almost puked on some roller coaster while being launched upwards (would gravity have punished me or the person behind?).

Test # 2 – Took Dramamine, 2 pills about an hour before we went. I was completely knocked out about 10 minutes after we started driving. After I stopped at a gas station and got some coffee, I was good to go. I ate a little popcorn that I brought just before going inside. Also, I started chewing some mint gum and made Daniel carry some crystallized ginger into the park with him (along with some headache meds… I was really prepared). Between all those things, I had a blast. I didn’t feel sick at all! I kept myself hydrated, my tummy wasn’t hungry, and I took all the meds. So Rach, in Guatamela… Dramamine, ginger, gum, water, and food. Remember J

This summer I’m really changing the focus on what I blog about. We are making a larger effort to being frugal and healthy. Those usually can’t be in the same sentence because healthy food is SO expensive. But, I’ll let you know the deals I’ve got, some tips I’ve discovered, and other people who are in the same boat. There is absolutely no reason you shouldn’t be stretching your dollar to the max.

Daniel has been making some fun at me, but I’ve been really pushing the light and summery foods. Foods that don’t bog you down and foods that keep you energized. We both want to be healthier than we have this past year, and though we may not be able to be more active due to time constraints, we certainly have plenty of room to grow in the healthy area. Hopefully I’ll be able to show you what we do to be healthy and how we balance that with spending.

I know that at least one person like my laugh section, so here it is:

Laugh: I got pulled over by police on the drive to Cincy. I surprised myself. I knew exactly where my registration, insurance, and license were, and I didn’t freak out and start crying. Now, let’s talk about why I got pulled over. Daniel. With the bikes on top of his car and our frugality in mind, he wanted to stay at a speed that was getting great mileage. So being the awesome and submissive wife that I am, I followed him. So we pass the po-po, and I’m like, “Oh look, at least we aren’t speeding!” Soon enough both of them are next to us, one pulls behind me and the lights go on. Shoot. Watch Daniel keep going and the other officer pulls behind Daniel, the lights go on. Double shoot. He walks up and asks for all my information. He then asks if I was with the guy in the red car. I told him I was and that we were married in fact. He asked me why I was going so slowly and following so close, and I told him it was because my husband insisted on going slow to get good mileage. Then he told me that usually why people drive so slow is because they are either drunk, drugged and dealing drugs, or old. Thanks Daniel (p.s. I love you and don’t kill me for telling the story my way). It was at that point that I looked at him eyeing my strawberry, cilantro, and jalapeno plants in my front seat (they were my co-pilots). “Ummm yeah, those are strawberry plants.” He chuckled and said he was a farm boy and just didn’t recognize the cilantro. Phew. He asked if we were moving or on vacation and I told him Daniel had an internship in Cincy but that we’ve been in Terre Haute for Rose Hulman (which he was like, “oh wow, you have a smart one”) but we were originally from Colorado. He told me that my tags were expired (which they are in route… common people, mail sucks these days) and that he’ll just give me a warning. He said I should probably speed up and not follow so closely. After he went back to his car I was slightly upset that only time I got pulled over was because my husband was going TOO SLOW! It wasn’t for something thrilling and exciting, but that he thought I was drunk, old, and/or drugged. When the officer came back he said that he was talking to his buddy up with Daniel and that he said he was ways smarted out because this kid went to Rose, was interning for GE, and really tall. Laugh-out-loud. At least we didn’t have dull start to our summer. It’s always an adventure with my lanky, smart boy.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Starbucks Experience, Sunshine, Summertime Passtime/ Relaxation

Live: Well, it is pretty darn official. My life at Starbucks, my "Starbucks Experience," is drawing near to the finish. It was bittersweet to submit my two-weeks notice. I've built my Terre Haute, Indiana life around Starbucks. It has had its way with me, jerking me around and treating my internal clock like a rag doll. My partners (a fancy bux way of saying coworkers) have become some of my closest friends; spending 30+ hours with the same people will pull you together with no mercy. I love them, I can't stand them, I can't imagine my life without them.
The hardest part of this whole experience is the fact that for the past eight years, I have lived a life of change and uncertainty. I transferred high schools after my freshman year (best decision of my life). I moved to New York City three years later, moved to Northern Colorado a year after that, and now moved to Indiana... only to be once again be going through the college acceptance process again. Thankfully I'm a pro at this college transfer process madness. No college really has it all together, and brings stress upon those transferring, but I have this down. Starbucks, however, was suppose to be my baseline. The thing that I would be involved in for the next three years. I would master it, breathe it, love it. Once again, as I was just getting off my feet and becoming somewhat confident in where God had me, I fell. My knees caved in and gravity pulled me down. Once again, God reminded me that in him and him alone can I place my feet, all other ground is sinking sand. In him I should find my belonging, my pride, my assurance, my face, my person. Once again, I have surrendered and though I do not walk alone, my future is unclear. Apparently, God likes me to see it that way. Maybe I should become okay with that.

Love: The sun made it's full appearance today in T-Town. Welcome Buddy!!! The rain has been off and on the past few day, and today I was reminded how much I love the sun to kiss my face without a cloud in the sky to be seen. It must be liberating for the sun. You know, to show all its beauty without the hindrance of clouds. Fighting for attention is no fun. Especially when you're the sun.

Laugh: Nothing has really come to mind that is lol-able. So, this leaves room for a little business. I need some opinions and suggestions on movies and shows. I have the whole summer to explore, GIVE ME SOME IDEAS!! What are your favorite movies? Favorite TV shows?

One more thing.... There is a blog in my blog reel that comes up with Cradle Robbing in China. This is an AWESOME blog by one of my former professors in NYC. I'd think everyone would like following it. However, the blog reel doesn't update his current blogs... don't know why, but check it daily. He is pretty consistent.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Psalms, Milestone, Miscommunications

Live: I love Psalms. When my own words fail me and I'm searching for prayers, the book of Psalm is where I turn. Lately, they have been such a reminder of a steadfast God. A God that does not ignore my words, and who knows my every feeling and emotion. Nothing is hidden to Him, and I want to take full advantage of the refuge I can find in Him. Passages like, "I cry aloud to the Lord; I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy. I pour out my complaint before him, before him I tell my trouble" and, "You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living," " [...] in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief." It's powerful to me. I have the creator of the universe on my side. He covets the time I invest, and His favor is for me. Beautiful. Though I may be worried about how life will pan out in the next few years, there is a God who longs for me to lay it all down at His throne; to be still and know that He will take care of all. I am continuously reminded of His faithfulness.

Love: It occured to me that Daniel and I are almost two months away from being married a year. That, I love.

Laugh: Looking back on this past weekend and my food fiasco, I laugh. Recalling the emotions and thoughts I had over this past weekend and my food fiasco, I didn't laugh. As I was trudging through the week, I knew that I had to make a side dish for a potluck-type lunch we were going to attending Sunday. It's a side dish, no big deal. Well, I couldn't figure out what to bring, so I got this recipe from a book at the library that looked promising. There were a few strange ingredient mixtures, but I guess I overlooked them initially. As I started mixing everything, I was grossed out. I hate cayenne pepper and cumin... and there was a lot of it. There was sugar and celery salt, lemon juice and onions, I thought I was going to puke. Daniel says to leave it alone and just bring it. I just couldn't get over the fact of how gross it was. I had a sleepless Saturday night fretting over this stupid dish. "I know, I'll just bring it and make something else in the morning before I have to leave at 7am!" Obviously I was over thinking this whole situation. I was resting assured that at least my jello-jigglers which I had also prepared would be jiggly and flawless. They were my remedy. Back up a few moments, I had mentioned to Daniel that if we wanted he could put a second layer of jello on Sunday morning before he went to church (I had to be there early), but I also mentioned that if I had time, I could as well. Flawless, remember? Sunday morning comes and I put another layer of jello on (yum, strawberry and blue jello layer perfectly). My morning conitnues and I warn those to be a lunch that my dip sucks, but the jello will be okay. As Daniel and I are listening to the teaching, I lean over and say, "Were you happy that I did the jello this morning?" And he looked at me and said, "I did the jello this morning!" I almost died. WHAT?!?!?! Needless-to-say, my perfect jello was tainted with watermelon jello (I didn't even know we had waltermelon jello), and both of my dishes.... sucked. Well, people eneded up liking both... but thus proves the point that if you think you have communicated enough, you haven't.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Work, Soy Milk, Retainers

Live: Today I was working all day. I know, most of America works all day... but today it really got to me. The sun was shining (which, it hasn't done in a week or more) and everything outside looked so peaceful and happy. I wanted to be anywhere but at work. Blah. This got me to thinking, "self, make sure when you grow up that you get a job you absolutely love, never settle for less." Thanks, self. Sometimes I find myself searching for my life's path only in a way to better the perception others have of me. It looks a lot more impressive to go to grad school and continue on to your doctorate while balancing a home life with a husband and three chitlins. But seriously? That really isn't me. I guess, maybe it is, and I just don't know about it now. I suppose I should just make my decisions very carefully. You really only have one life to live, and you might as well do something you love everyday. May I be so in touch with my Jesus that His will for my life will naturally flow and blossom, so that I can live a life of fullness in His glory.

Love: Do you ever have something in your life that you don't love but you wish with every fiber within you did? Something that you tell yourself over and over again that you love, just in case you'll believe yourself? For me, it's soy milk. Man I love soy pods SO much, and I love milk SO much. WHY CAN'T I LIKE SOY MILK? It's frustrating!! It's healthy, classy, AND is a free upgrade with a registered Starbucks card. Please body, love soy milk. For me?

Laugh: When I was younger I wore braces, just like every other American child (at least it seems). And now, as a grown girl, I have nightly retainers. Now, I may not wear them religiously, but my smile changes if I don't wear them for a while so I try real hard to wear them as much as possible. TMI? It gets worse. As I lay there in bed, with my subconscious running free, my retainers are usually removed from my mouth (no, not from some alien abduction) by my hands and put in random places. Sometimes under my pillow, in the sheets, or on the nightstand. But once, I couldn't find my retainers for the life of me. With my bed stripped of the sheets, and pillows thrown about, I couldn't believe they weren't there. Did I eat them? It utter dispare, I meandered into the bathroom and took my hair out, only to find them nesting in what I thought was a huge knot... but was merely my retainer all screwed into my hair. Gross. The End.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Thinking, Money, Muumuus

Live: Bah, good-byes suck. The family left today, but fortunately the memories will last. I've been thinking lately about the grand scheme of life. As in, when I come to the end of the road, what will I think to be the most important things I could have, should have, done. Obviously this is complex because to my knowledge I'll be here a while. And, who knows what I will think then. So with my best judgment I've been thinking about it.

Love: If there is anyone that can show a generous love, it is my Nana. I continuously feel at a loss for words when I think about how generous she loves those around her, and those she does not know. Since my Grandpa passed away in 2001, she has been more than gracious with the money that God has given her. Yes, the money is excessive, but I don't think I'd be so willing to give so much. She supports missionaries, charities, churches, and her family. Would you be so generous? She always says, "It can't go with you, why keep it around?" Ha. My mom usually replies, "Whatever, before I die, stick some in my pocket... I'm takin' it with me!" Haha. It is such a good lesson to learn to be generous with the things (maybe gifts) God gives you.

Laugh: Muu-muu-"the loose fitting unbelted dress designed for women of all sizes, originated in Hawaii." Or in my family, a dress only worn when you want to "let your belly out". They are SO unflattering. I bought my mom and her friend one when I was in Nicaragua as a joke, and now, it's a holiday staple item. This Easter my mom and aunt, adorned in their muumuus, took to the porch to let the holiday food settle in their stomachs and to watch the neighbors. I think I might be shot for putting this photo up... but... it'll make you laugh. For more information on muumuus, please see this.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Death, Family, and Pants

Live: Sometimes, life gets to me. Not in the sense that life is rough and tough, but that life is passing; life never stops. You keep getting older, you are experiencing. It is not that you will experience (but you will), or that you did experience (because you did), but that at every moment of every day you experience. That is life.
Along those same lines, the process, idea, and fact of death scares me. I don't know if I'm merely more aware of life in general, but I feel like death happens so much and it never gets easier. I have so many instances in my life where death is so near, that I do my best not to think about it. I have friends at war, and it scares me to know that each and every day they put their lives out there. I have relatives that, lets just face it, are drawing near the end (we could all be a lot closer than we think). And the part that brings me to tears every time I think about it is that I have people in my life that are so close to me, such a part of my life, that I can't imagine living without them. Honestly, I couldn't. Gah! I hate it. Not the closeness, but the vulnerability. I hate that I have to let life happen, and to know and trust that God is sovereign over all. I don't think that God puts pain in our lives to show us about Him, but that God puts pain in our lives so that we can have complete Faith and Hope in Him alone.
What brought this "Debbie Downer" of me? Well, the pastor at the church we are currently attending went to speak at a memorial service for this lady that he knew; read about it here. And, so I was facebook stalking and reading through his blog about this lady, and then I read through her blog (yeah, the one about her cancer and how she was fighting), then I read through her husbands blog. Oh man. I bawled my eyes out. It made me think. Read it for yourself, it is really powerful. This is also a tribute to her (if you haven't checked out anything else, then this you must read!)

Love: I love the fact that my Mom, and Aunt, and Grandma are coming out see us this week. Period. I don't want them to ever leave.

Laugh: This one has been a long time coming.... and I'm way too worn out to tell the whole story.... but basically I took a dog out to poop that we were watching, completely unaware that the back to my yoga pants had been chewed off by that very dog. My derriere was exposed to anyone and everyone. Wonderful. I didn't feel a breeze (was there one?), and the dog did not notify me that the crotchel area of my pants was delicious. If you don't laugh at that... I'm at a totaly loss.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Live, Love, Laugh (Numero Uno)

I suck at blogging. I never have anything wonderful to blog about... Maybe if I give myself categories to this about, it will be a little easier. I got this idea from Grey Street Girl, and I like it. It makes you this about your day/life experiences in a meaningful way. Here we go:

Live: This morning I went to the International House of Prayer for their Friday morning "harp and bowl" service. They ended up not having the service this morning because the director was out of town, but instead I was able to witness these other women pray. I didn't do much praying myself because I'm slightly embarrassed, but listening was so rewarding. It was like breathing in a whole new breath of life. It wasn't your normal "me,me,me" prayers, it was hardcore praying for leaders in the Wabash Valley, praying against natural disasters, praying for revelation, restoration, healing, visions, gifts. It was intense. I was so blessed to be able to listen to these prayer warriors. They livened my faith, and stretched me to look at God in ways I haven't seen Him before. They talked to Him with humbled hearts and they spoke knowing that our God is Lord and Savior over all. Jeeze. What a way to live.

Love: I love when life gives you these unexpected gifts, and you really did nothing to deserve them. It sounds like I'm gearing up to talk about Daniel... but no... Subway made me love life more today. They didn't charge me for Daniel's extra meat, or extra cheese. AND, I told them a 6" sub, and they gave me a footer... for the 6" price. Score. Then, I got to take it to Daniel's work and share a reduced price meal together. Love.

Laugh: Today I had the day off. Huzzah. This is the way to live. I woke up this morning and the first thing I thought and talked to Daniel about was work. He stopped me and told me that it was my day off, so I shouldn't think about work (it kinda stresses me out, frustrates me, and gets me all worked up). So I didn't. To symbolize this, (get ready to laugh) I didn't wash my hair. Ha. No but seriously. I only wash my hair in the mornings because it drives me crazy at work when my hair is a living monster. I didn't work, therefore, I let the monster run wild. It was liberating. This was me being a hippie wild child, and it made me laugh.