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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye 2009

Oh New Years Eve...you are the cause of much stress and are sometimes quite the let down and sometimes super fun. Tonight you will be laid back and filled with good food and a glass of wine.  But you are always a good time to reflect on the past year.

Some of my highlights from 2009:
  • Threw a successful dinner/birthday party in my tiny apartment.
  • Went to Boston (with Cameron and Jonathan!) for the first time and loved it.
  • Took an unusual trip to DC.
  • Really shared the gospel with a friend...something that is not one of my stregnths.
  • Started cooking in a Tangine -- yum!
  • Finished my masters degree.
  • Made some new friends, most notably in Spartanburg.
  • Made my first good furry friend!
  • Decided I really do enjoy hanging out with certain tiny tots!
  • Fell in love with Pat Conroy.
  • Gave someone a Wii -- it was so fun and felt like I was Oprah giving things away.
  • Got a job in the midst of a terrible economy.
  • Moved back to my hometown of Charleston.
  • Started a blog!
  • Became obsessed with Twitter.
  • Decided I do actually like skinny jeans (sorry for making fun of you years ago, Festa).
  • Discovered I actually love red wine. Who knew?
  • Am constantly reminded that the Lord is faithful and good even when I don't feel that way...and I must trust Him...


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Hump Day Horrors

When I wake up in the morning
And the alarm gives out a warning
And I don't think I ever make it on time
By the time I grab my books
And I give myself a look
I'm at the corner just in time to see the bus fly by...


Ok, no, I didn't join the cast of Saved by the Bell, but I felt like I had this morning.
I was running late due to the fact that I ininadvertently set my alarm to go off at 5:30 PM, I woke up and heard stirring around my house. It was 6:21..that meant no time for a quiet time and no time for a shower. I ran the blow dryer through my hair and put on a cute outfit and off to work I went.

Upon arriving to my office, I got up to set my coat on a chair and noticed something in the corner...ugh...please don't be what I think it is. Yes, in fact it was a mouse! Thank the Lord it was dead. I went downstairs and told a masculine male co-worker that he'd need to get it for me. He shook his head and said he couldn't...he'd do anything for me but mess with mice. We bonded over our common fear. They literally make my heart stop! So I called the work maintenance department and they promptly sent someone over to dispose it. Thank goodness!

No more surprises today...but the day is still young.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas, etc.

So I woke up at 4 this morning and couldn't go back to sleep. What a wonderful way to be welcomed back to the daily grind. Haha. I'm feeling ok for now, but I will crash sometime soon. I hope my boss doesn't mind. :)


Overall, Christmas was good. Here are some highlights:
  • Hanging out with my brother and his fiance that live in Chicago.
  • Lots of downtime with the family.
  • Time off from work.
  • Watching movies - including Four Christmases (one of my new favorites) and Christmas Vacation - arguably the best movie ever made.
  • Serving Chimmi Changas at my dad's Christmas Eve gathering.  They were the hit of the party.  Again!
  • Hanging out with an old friend.
  • Eating lots of yummy food. Too much yummy food.
  • Leftovers.
I do have to say though, that it was hard for me to remember Christ this season. Maybe it is because I've been feeling distant from the Lord, or maybe it is because I get caught up in the people and business of the season. I am, once again, reminded of my sinful nature and how much I do need a savior...even if I don't always feel connected to Him.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Family Funnies

My brother and his fiance arrived in Charleston Monday night.

I had lunch with them yesterday afternoon.

Nathan: What's on your face?
Me: Acne. Thanks.

Last night I went over to mom and dad's to have supper with Nathan, Shannon, and 8 of their friends. Before supper, I changed out of my work clothes and went for a walk. Of course I was wearing my infamous "silly pants." They are royal blue spandex and I LOVE them. Just before the friends arrived:

Mom: Are you going to put real clothes on?
Me: Are you?
Mom: No. I'm cooking.

For some reason my mom thought her old as the hills green sweatsuit, lovingly referred to as her "fry suit" was more acceptable/appropriate then my running pants.

It's not.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Stolen Post

While Blog Stalking working hard and getting things done at work yesterday, I found this post. I love it.

The Never-Ending Semester

Most days I have no idea what I want out of life, and it is surprisingly scary. I was voted Most Likely to Succeed in 9th grade (oh the pressure!), but no one ever told me how vague the idea of success is. No life looks the same, at least I'm hoping, because the minute I try to follow the pattern of my friends' lives, I fail.

I tend theorize about why we love college so much-yes, it's the friends we make and the freedom, and learning something new each day about life and about ourselves. But lately, I think we like it so much because it has set beginnings and ends over and over again. A new semester brings fresh subjects, teachers, a clean slate, new friends, and the strange comfort that it will end. There will be finals; you'll be evaluated as good, bad, or mediocre, but really it's just nice to be evaluated. In this post-college life, I find my silly self waiting for finals...

...how precious is the Ultimate Hope we have in Christ, otherwise I would be utterly lost and a total failure.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Cook-Off

So one of my roommates hosts a Christmas Cook-Off party every year. I wasn't exactly sure what this would look like and was on the fence about attending since my two best friends were going to be in town that weekend. Due to a dreadful illness called Mono, one friend wasn't able to join in our weekend festivities. Sad! But my HLP and I were able to carry on. I wasn't too concerned about what we took to the party, yet Courtney wanted to win. So we tossed out a few ideas and decided between Redneck burger sliders (pimento cheese burgers) or chimichangas. Mini Mexican eggrolls won out!

We made the filling and the dipping sauce. Now this dipping sauce is A-MAZING. It will be wondful on chicken, pork, mashed potatoes (I've tried it already) or chips. Basically, anything you eat will be better with this sauce. We rolled dozens of tiny chimichangas. Mine looked terrible, but who cares?!? We had the perfect two bite appetizer.

A special shout out must go to Jacqueline! First, she saved us by bringing an extra package of wonton wrappers so we could use all the filling. Second, she labored along side us in the frying process. Outside in the cold no less. Way to go! We couldn't have done it without you.

The party was fun, the house was filled, the other food was good, but most importantly: our chimis won the overall best food category!!! Such excitement in the air!

(I'm sure the shameless request for votes didn't hurt us either! Seriously, I hounded one girl a little too much. When we won she found out I was the one that made them...of course I'm sitting next to her at this point. She told me I was so humble for not telling her I made them. Humble wasn't exactly the word I would have used, but I'll take it anyday.)

Tex-Mex Egg Rolls With Creamy Cilantro Dipping Sauce

Ingredients
1 (5-ounce) package yellow rice
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound ground hot pork sausage
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5-ounce) can Mexican-style diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
6 green onions, finely chopped
1 (1.25-ounce) package taco seasoning mix
28 egg roll wrappers
1 large egg, lightly beaten
4 cups peanut oil
Creamy Cilantro Dipping Sauce, recipe follows
Garnish: fresh cilantro sprigs

Directions
Cook rice according to package directions, using 1 teaspoon salt. Cool completely.

Cook sausage in a skillet over medium heat, stirring until it crumbles and is no longer pink; drain well. Let cool.

Stir together rice, sausage, black beans, and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Spoon about 1/3 cup rice mixture in center of each egg roll wrapper. Fold top corner of wrapper over filling, tucking tip of corner under filling; fold left and right corners over filling. Lightly brush remaining corner with egg; tightly roll filled end toward the remaining corner, and gently press to seal.

Pour oil into heavy Dutch oven; heat to 375 degrees F. Fry egg rolls, in batches, 2 to 3 minutes or until golden. Drain on wire rack over paper towels. Serve with Creamy Cilantro Dipping Sauce. Garnish, if desired.

"The recipes for this program, which were provided by contributors and guests who may not be professional chefs, have not been tested in the Food Network's kitchens. They have been tested in the Southern Living Test Kitchens. All brand names have been removed from these recipes, which originally appeared on southernlivingcookoff.com."

Creamy Cilantro Dipping Sauce:

2 (10-ounce) cans Mexican-style diced tomatoes

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

2 cups loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves (about 1 bunch)

1 cup sour cream

3 garlic cloves, minced

Garnish: finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Process first 5 ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Garnish, if desired.

Note: For a beautiful presentation, cut top from 1 large red bell pepper, reserving top; remove and discard seeds and membrane, leaving pepper intact. Arrange bell pepper on a serving plate, and fill with sauce.

Yield: 3 cups

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Friday, December 18, 2009

FlashForward

So let's be honest, I spent many hours watching TV online this week after work. Ryan Molony mentioned this show to me the other day and I decided to give it a whirl. ABC has all ten episodes online and I have now seen them all. I am hooked. Of course, it doesn't come back on until March and I can't wait!


Thursday, December 17, 2009

It's official!

I have a master's degree! Even though I completed my graduate school program in August, the day I defended and passed (praise the Lord!) my thesis, today is the day of my official graduation. I won't be attending, but Clemson will be mailing my diploma to me. Yay!
I had no idea what to expect as I made my way to Clemson in August 2008. I was excited to go back to school and to see what the Lord had in store for me there as I studied economics.


It was a year of really having to trust the Lord with new and unexpected things: moving to a new place where I didn't know anyone, not making very many friends when I was there, being around people that are really different from me, feeling stupid every day, living alone, etc. But I loved being back in school -- the environment, what I was learning, using my brain. Overall, it was a really positive experience and I'm so thankful the Lord had it in store for me!


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dessert in a bottle?!?

Yesterday our office had a white elephant gift exchange. I drew number 1 and made the first selection. I was excited to open a bottle of Chocolate Wine. Of course number 2 stole it from me. So I then opened a Turvis Tumbler with 2 mini bottles in it. (No, this wasn't a booze only gift exchange! It just turned out that way.) Well, number 3 stole the Chocolate Wine from 2 and 2 stole the Turvis from me. My turn again. I took the Chocolate Wine from 3 and it was then retired.

I tried a bit last night and I must say its quite good. A bit strong, but nice. It doesn't taste like wine, but kinda like an alcoholic Yohoo. The perfect after dinner dessert drink. Drink really cold. I think picking up a bottle for the holidays would be a wise decision.



Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Fat Pants

Are what I'll be needing after eating after this week...and the big meals haven't even begun yet.

So the last company I worked for was known for loving food, having food around, and we jokingly called it the "Cason 15" the first year you work there because you feel like you are eating all the time. (Yet somehow almost all the employees are slim and attractive and stylish. Go figure.) I didn't think I would find another foodie company again. Boy was I wrong. Last week we had a homemade breakfast quiche on Thursday and homemade hot chocolate on Friday. Apparently that was just the beginning. This is our office menu for the week.

Monday
-- Homemade chili.
-- Homemade chocolate cake.

Tuesday
-- Breakfast casserole.
-- Homemade tomato basil soup.
-- Grilled cheeses.

Wednesday
-- Breakfast casserole.

Thursday
-- Breakfast pastry.

Friday
-- Breakfast casserole.
-- Our Christmas party -- more to come on this later.

Potpouri Items
-- Homemade cider.
-- Homemade chocolate chip cookies.
-- Another chocolate cake.
-- Pumpkin roll.

So far everything I have put in my mouth has been absolutely delicious. And I'm expecting more things to appear...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Verdict

Well the office ate the cake after lunch -- delicious homemade chili. It was actually quite yummy. Fell apart on the fork, but tasted great. Especially the icing! And the office enjoyed my story...

Kitchen Explicatives

I have to say that my expectations for the weekend were not only met, but exceeded. I had a blast with Mary Alice and Steven. The bonfire at the Thain's turned out to be an indoor party, due to rain and freezing temperatures. We had such a good time that I didn't leave until 11:30 and ended up staying with friends in Columbia. And then I went to First Pres the next morning (all in the same outfit, mind you). The sermon was awesome! And the Mt. Pleasant Christmas parade was super fun -- good food, good beer, good floats, and watching my mom act as stilly as a 4 year old.

That brings us to last night. I needed to make a dessert for work today. I tossed around a few ideas in my head of recipes that I'd made before. But I decided to try something new. It sounds like the easiest cake in the world to make so I gave it a whirl. It's called "Diet Coke cake" and all you do is mix a box of cake mix with a can of diet coke, and bake as directed. Who could screw that up?

My game plan was to bake 2 round cakes and make some sort of icing. The batter tasted good and the cakes looked good as they came out of the oven. While they were baking, I started making homemade chocolate buttercream frosting. I flipped one cake out on to the cake carrying thing. Disaster. Most of the bottom of the cake was stuck to the pan and then it all just crumbled to several pieces. Ugh. There was cussing. I was on the phone with Mary Glenn, who is the most incredible baker. We had to get off the phone so I could call Mrs. Shelton because I knew she could relate to my kitchen troubles. (I've heard numerous stories of her things not turning out right, burning, etc. and her cussing in the kitchen.) Her suggestion: turn it into a trifoil. That would be great, but I wanted to use the buttercream frosting.



After I calmed down a bit, I tried to turn out the second cake. Now, this will be a small, single layer cake. Result: same thing, but not quite as bad. And, yes, I did grease the pans. So it was cracked and will fall apart as soon as you try to cut it, but I slapped some frosting on there anyway and brought it to work this morning. It doesn't look pretty, but it should taste good. We shall see.

Friday, December 11, 2009

TGIF

I'm so excited about the weekend! Friday night my good friend Mary Alice is coming to stay with me! I can't wait to eat good food, catch up, and enjoy her company. Also...she's bringing her man friend and I'm super excited to get to know him better.

Saturday afternoon I'm heading to Lexington, SC for the second annual bonfire at the Thain's house. Good times are to be had by all.

And Sunday is the Mt. Pleasant Christmas Parade! I briefly saw some of the Downtown Christmas Parade this past Sunday, and I must say, Mt. Pleasant's is ten times better. Real floats. Better bands. Candy. It's at night, rather than during the day. My parents and their friends have a parade party, so I'll be tagging along for the festivities.


In other news, yesterday and today, I sat in on depositions for work. So cool. I really enjoyed it. I mean, its no real life John Grisham or Law & Order SVU, but it is definitely interesting and a nice change of pace. Last night I did some light cooking. I haven't cooked too much lately, so this was fun for me.

  • Fried some bacon for the weekend. Only a few pieces were burned in the process. While no one's bacon is as good as my mom's, it smelled awesome and I had to resist eating it right then.
  • Made a flour-less chocolate cake. I really had to resist cutting a piece last night. The batter tasted awesome and it was super easy to make! I hope its delicious.
  • Concocted supper that will also be lunch for today and then some. Can of chopped tomatoes with garlic and onion, green peas, shrimp, more garlic, and some spices. Turned out to be pretty good. Would also be good over rice.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Great Morning

As I've mentioned before, mornings are not my best friend. Yet, this morning was surprisingly awesome. I woke up a bit earlier and showered this morning so I could straighten my hair. (Yes, I did bring my straightener to work again in case I need to touch up, but hoping I don't have to.) My time in the Word was short, but I had some really good time in prayer which was great and a nice change for me. Prayer is something I really struggle with, so when it is honest and conversational with my Lord, I love it. And I had time to order my parents Christmas present online this morning!

In addition, I look really cute and professional for work today. I'm loving my new winter coat. Go Old Navy!

There were awesome songs on the radio on my way to work, starting with "Jitterbug." This song is peppy and fun and always makes me think of Zoolander. And Zoolander always makes me think of Krissie and Ryan Molony. AND when I got to work a co-worker brought in homemade ham and cheese quiche. It was delicious...I seriously could have eaten the entire thing.
So, all in all, a great morning. I'm sure I'll crash sometime soon. Hoping the rest of the day is equally as fantastic!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tales of the Townies

So I went over to mom's for supper tonight. Dad's out of town, it was the anniversary of one of mom's best friends (Judy) passing away, and I was in need of a meal that I didn't have to think about -- all in all, a good night to hang out with mom. After a nice home cooked meal, mom and I start debating if we want to go to a friend's daughter's (Lydia) jewelry show. It is part of her high school senior thesis and she dedicated the show to our friend, Judy. While we wanted to support Lydia, we didn't want to drive to North Charleston.

My mother doesn't like to venture outside of her bubble AKA Mt. Pleasant. She'll go to West Ashley, North Charleston, or Downtown for Krispy Kreme or shopping adventures. But most of the time my dad or one of her friends is doing the driving. It's just not her thing. Also note that I did not mention James Island in that least. I'm pretty sure that my mom will have made it to Columbia more than she'll make to where I live now. And I'm 20 minutes away. I digress...

Mom asks me to drive and I kindly decline. We pile in the old Suburban and I ask if we have her GPS. No. We don't because she doesn't like it telling her what to do or punching things in...her typing skills are for another post. 20 minutes later we're on 26 heading down the road. Mom wonders if we're heading in the right direction. Since dad is out of town, we call one of her friends: clearly, we are not heading in the right direction. We turn around at the busiest intersection in North Charleston and get back going the right way.

We continue to get lost and lost and lost. We end up at the tale end of King Street, at which point mom says we are in BFE -- only she says it explicitly. Ha! We are both frightened to ask anyone for directions and are hoping that we don't run out of gas, because of course we are low on gas and lost in the middle of the ghetto at night. After many twists and turns we finally stumble upon the old Navy base where we were headed. Sigh of relief? Not quite. We then get lost on the base and drive around it for a while. Finally, 45 minutes later, we find our destination.

But Lydia's jewelry was beautiful, it was good to see them, and they had wine. Lucky for me, I started enjoying red wine the other day. So I certainly helped myself to a glass.

Lesson learned: Mt. Pleasant townies shouldn't venture outside of their limits. Especially at night. Also, mom should keep the GPS in the car. Just in case.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Serving Others

I read this article last week on CNN.com and thought it was pretty cool. Meeting physical AND spiritual needs -- way to go Salvation Army. I didn't know too much about their organization, but did some research, and think it's solid.

Salvation Army red kettles now accepting prayer requests
McKay Allen KXLY4 Reporter

AAASPOKANE -- The Salvation Army bell ringers bring out the red kettles each Christmas typically to raise money but this year they’ve taken on a new role. They’re also accepting prayer requests now.

They say the Salvation Army has seen an unprecedented need in the community this year and they've had a lot people ask them to pray for them.

It started earlier this fall when the Salvation Army put a prayer request box in their building and received hundreds of requests.

“I was shocked by the need and the intensity of the prayer requests,” Captain Kyle Smith with the Salvation Army said.

The Salvation Army bell ringers bring out the red kettles each Christmas typically to raise money but this year they» More KXLY.com VideoNow the Salvation Army wants people to put their prayer requests in here.

“We're accepting donations from the public to help people, but also helping the public if they want someone to pray for them,” Smith said.

There are simple prayers from a kid requesting “a baby brother” to a parent’s request to “pray for my 15 year old son that he gets some sense.” Then there are the prayers with more serious tones.

“Please pray for my family to find a place to live,” Smith says as he reads one of the requests request. In another, a request for a husband to come home while another is from a woman with breast cancer asking for a prayer as she goes through chemotherapy. Some ask for financial miracles, for their spouse to keep a job, others want a brother at war to come home safe.
“I'm the pastor and director of the Salvation Army and I forgot how much need is really out there and how much people just wanna reach out to God,” Smith said.


So every night Kyle Smith and his special prayer team goes through the stacks of requests and they pray.

“If 1,000 people put in prayers or two, we're gonna pray for them ... its as simple as that,” Smith said.

“They just need his help right now and I believe I can give it ... that's why I'm willing to pray.”

Monday, December 7, 2009

It's the little things in life.

Like Aveeno Positively Radiant that make me smile.

At our past B5 Reunion, last summer, I borrowed Mary Anne's moisturizer. It. Was. Fabulous. I don't even like to use moisturizers, let alone get excited about them, but it made my skin feel fantastic. Now seeing as how (1) I liked this product, but (2) Mary Anne has gorgeous, flawless skin, I should have rushed right out and purchased this bottle of goodness. But I waited until my current moisturizer was almost out and made the purchase over Thanksgiving break.

It's a bit more than I'd typically spend on face lotion, but you can still get it at Wal Mart. Honestly, that has become a must for me these days...getting as many things as I can at one store. Call it efficiency or laziness...

And so far, I have LOVED using it every day. It's light, yet hydrates well. And maybe it's just wishful thinking, but I really do think my skin looks better because of it. (I hope I didn't just jinx myself with that!)



Friday, December 4, 2009

Something to Ponder

My dear friend Cameron sent me this the other day and I loved it. First, let me share a bit about Cameron. I was friends with her older sister, Courtney, at Presbyterian College. Naturally, I was hoping to be friends with the youngest Thain, too. (With humor, style, and honesty, they make quite the dynamic sister duo.) We were in the same sorority, spent a summer together in Myrtle Beach, and had many mutual friends. But the Lord really drew us together in our time studying and learning the Bible together...especially in our season together in Columbia. Even though we no longer live near one another, we email just about every day to keep one another accountable for spending time in the word and to pray for one another. Cameron walks beside me through so many things -- big and small -- in this way. I'm so thankful for her in my life and love seeing how the Lord uses her in my life and watching her grow in the Lord to become the godly lady she was created to be.

Quiet Down

But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness to pray.Luke 5:16
Did you know there are cultures in the world that don't have a word for "minute" or "hour"? They simply have no need or desire to measure time in such short increments. Nor do they attempt to maximize every second of every day. Filling their lives to the brink would be unthinkable.

Sound too third-worldish to you? Isn't it easy to see how such words are not necessary in places where people grow their own food and rarely venture beyond their own village?
I'm not suggesting that we all move into the woods and live off the land. But I am encouraging you to consider the benefits of pulling the throttle back just a notch and embracing a more contemplative lifestyle. When you allow yourself time for creative solitude, you can see God at work and begin to rediscover life in all its richness. When you give yourself the necessary time and space to seek clarity, gain perspective and ponder decisions, you find more to savor, enjoy and appreciate.

As I reflect on these two different approaches to life--the rushed and the restful--I force myself to ask, How did Jesus live? Was He frantic or steady? Was He checking the sundial every few minutes, wishing He could cut some time off His commute to the next city? Or was He able to stop and tend to the needs around Him?

Jesus had more pressure on Him than any of us can fathom. His own disciples were always peppering Him with questions. The Pharisees wanted Him dead. The crowds wanted Him king. Many pressed against Him, wanting to be healed.

Yet He got alone to pray. To think. To be strengthened. He sought His Father and enjoyed Him in the quiet moments of life.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

ART

No, not the activity you went to in middle school, it's the bus I ride from my parking lot to my office. At first I thought this was going to be a real bummer, but I've come up with the top 5 reasons I enjoy ART:

5. I save over $600 a year by not paying to park. Riding the bus is FREE.
4. I don't have to fight traffic once I get into downtown.
3. It doesn't add any time to my mornings.
2. I don't have to think about what I'm doing, but instead can sit, relax, people watch, and sip my Diet Coke...hoping the caffine kicks in ASAP.
1. Toni. She is hands-down the greatest bus driver ever. Just a cool person. Always friendly in the morning and the afternoons. Huge smile on her face. Really makes my day when I see her.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Great Flood


Noah would have been better off than me this morning. I wish I had an ark, a canoe, a something other than my compact car this morning. It rained all night last night (and is supposed to start up again soon), thus causing massive traffic issues and most of Downtown to flood. High tide was at 7:20 and thus there was some serious flooding. I mean flooding with white caps. One of my co-workers was literally stranded and pulled into a random MUSC parking lot, where our boss had to go pick her up because she couldn't make it to the office with all of the flooding.

How bad was the traffic? Well, as for the traffic, it took me an over and hour and a half to get to my training meeting. You read correctly. I left at 8:00, became adgitated by 8:35 in the bumper to bumper traffic, and made it to the foot of the James Island connector at 9:00. That's an hour travel time for about 4 miles. I could have walked faster. It was more frustrating, ahem, enjoyable due to the fact that the person in front of me let EVERY car in...and when we FINALLY made it to the connector, he didn't even get on. Really?!? But my boss was chill about it and I made it to my meeting. They hadn't started yet because they didn't think anyone else would show up. We even got off early today in order to beat the next traffic jam/flood situation.

Hump Day Joy

Since I have a training session to attend from 9 to 12 today, and it's on the other side of campus, my boss told me not to come in the office before the meeting. Wa-hoo. That gave me an extra hour in my morning! I was able to sleep in a bit longer, spend a bit more time with the Lord, and just move at a more leisurely pace. It was lovely!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Today

Other than having purchased a product(RED) shirt from the Gap and iPod nano, I cannot claim to be an AIDS activist in any way. However, it is both terribly sad and scary to me how quickly this disease has spread globally in a 30 or so year time span. While many medical advances have taken place and many people are able to live healthy lives with the proper medicines, these medicines are not available to all -- mainly due to cost. And so an estimated 3,8o0 people die each day due to AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa.

So, in honor of World AIDS day, I give you this article:

http://www.cnn.com/2009/OPINION/12/01/koska.syringe.prevent.infection/index.html

One man's quest to make a global change. In summary: this guy created the K1 Auto-Disable (AD) syringe, can only be used once and thereby helps stop the spread of blood-borne diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis. Fourteen licensees now distribute syringes to more than 70 countries, and from sales figures, it is estimated that 9 million lives have been saved. AND these syringes are not any more expensive than an ordinary syringe.

I guess one person really can impact the world...


Better than...anything

A while ago the Lord called me to fast from something in my life...something I enjoy very much. The Lord says all things are permissable, but not all things are beneficial (1 Cor. 6:12,10:23). Sin is the perversion of a good thing. But the best thing is the Lord...and sometimes the way to remember that is by removing some of the good things in our life to focus on the Lord.

I heard this song the other day and it made me think of my time of fasting...can I really say that the Lord is my love? That He is better than anything else this world has to offer? My time of fasting recently ended...now the harder part begins: how do I incorporate trust and reliance on the Lord all the time?


Derek Webb
Better Than Wine

You ravished me with one look of your eyes
You, you are fair, you’re so fair, oh my love
Better than wine is your love
If you can’t find me it’s alright, oh my love
Stay with your friends, I will come speak to you
‘Cause you are mine, oh my love
And better than wine is your love

[Chorus]
Better than wine is your love, is your love
Better than wine is your love, is your love

You are beautiful, eyes like doves, oh my love
You have lips like jewels, hair of gold, oh my love
Wild as a vine is your love
But better than wine is your love

[Chorus]

[Bridge]
I tell you, my beloved
You cannot be replaced
With my left hand beneath your head
And my right arm around your waist
So take a deep breath
Because I feel a little drunk
But I’m in right mind babe
And I know your love is so much …

[Chorus]

Monday, November 30, 2009

Big Bowl 'o Greens

Let the suppers of salad for the week begin today. All in all, not too bad. However, I accidentally got turnip greens instead of spinach and a zucchini instead of a cucumber*. What can I say, a "quick trip" to the grocery store is super stressful at 5:00 on the way home. I added carrots, craisins, sunflower seeds, beef (I love red meat!), pepper, and balsamic vinegar.

* Yes, I am aware this may be a pattern for me. Did everyone else know that hominy is not the same thing as corn?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Turkey Day, etc.

Thanksgiving Day consisted of an early morning drive to Savannah to see Grammy in her assisted living home. Recently, she's been down-sized in her home, from an apartment to a room. She's still quite unhappy about it, mainly because they have an eye on her at all times. Even in her mid 80's and with a failing body, she's still a spit fire. We ate lunch there with one of her friends, and I must say that the food was infinitely better this year than last year. Thanks for kicking it up a notch!

After lunch and a bit of visiting, we headed back to Charleston. Thankfully I packed a book: Mary Higgins Clark's I Heard that Song Before. A good, quick read. In non Thanksgiving tradition, mom, dad, and I enjoyed a frozen pizza for supper that night.

Friday morning, the rents and I headed to Wilmington to spend time with Granddaddy. It was a nice visit to see him -- he's such a hoot. We headed home Sunday after lunch...it is nice to be home!

Some highlights:
  • I bought a pair of skinny jeans!
  • I (finally) got paid after my month of working. In the words of Courtney: Those dirty pirate federal hookers took a lot of my money. I agree, Court; I agree!
  • Chick-fil-A peppermint chocolate milkshake. SOOO good! Go get one!
  • Finding out that Granddaddy has a pair of fuggs. So funny.
  • Watching Granddaddy in his new Rascal scooter -- complete with an orange flag on the back. And I have to say, it's surprisingly quiet...he can really sneak up on you!
  • Seeing a store called "Big Gals Boutique" ... really?!?
  • Mom and I ran lots of errands and only got lost once!
All in all, I have a lot to be thankful for! My lord and savior -- and being able to have a full life through Jesus Christ, my family, good friends, a job, (too much) food, a place to rest my head at night, and so much more!

I am sad for vacation to end and to return to 5:30 wake up calls... Also, the "salad diet" may start up this week in order for my pants to fit.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Mornings.

I will preface this post by saying I have NEVER been a morning person. A little fact about me that my mom still can't fully grasp, and so at her house I am still woken up to a high-pitched, "Good Morning Sissy!" Ugh. Due to my disdain for mornings, having curly hair is a huge blessing and allows me to shower at night, wake up with dry hair, and cut down on some of the morning routine.

Currently, my ideal morning goes like this: alarm starts going off at 5:30, get up at 6:00 (thanks, Courtney, for turning me into a snoozer), spend some time in prayer and in the Word, get ready for work at 6:30 (wash face, make up, get dressed, make lunch, etc.), and out of the door BY 7:05.

This is a short work week -- 3 days -- wahoo!

Monday: I continued snoozing until 6:45 just because I didn't want to get out of the bed. I was able to spend time with the Lord that afternoon. And Monday night I set my alarm early and went to bed earlier than I had been, so I would get up on time Tuesday morning.

Tuesday: I woke up feeling very refreshed. This is a rare occasion and I thoroughly enjoy it. Until I look at the clock and see that it is 6:30! Apparently my alarm didn't go off?!?

Wednesday: My alarm started going off at 5:30. I snoozed as usual. Then I woke up and somehow it was already 6:24. Really? So I decided to shut my eyes just for a minute more until 6:30. I opened them and it was 7:05!! I yelled, "are you kidding me?" My roommate asked if I was ok. I tossed on jeans (praise the Lord we could wear jeans today!), washed my face, and was out the door and in the car by 7:10.

No make up this morning. For someone with AA this is quite an issue of pride. But life shall go on. I am dreading Harborview Road -- some mornings it so busy that it is the bane of my existence. Yet because public school is out it is virtually traffic less. Yay! Who knew there were so many school kids on the Island?

All in all, it has been a rough week morning-wise. But it's a short week and I am super thankful. And ready to spend time with some of my family for Thanksgiving. And ready to eat lots of yummy things.

Hopefully next week will go more according to schedule...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Food for Thought

I saw a buddy of mine the other day and we were briefly catching up on things. We have both made some life changes recently, and at some point I asked him if he liked his new job. He replied, "I'm not as stressed out as I was at my old job...I didn't need to be stressed out over things that don't matter all that much to me. So the new job is fine...honestly, it's a means to an end. Really."

Hmmm... Those specific words (means to an end) made me think...

I, too, feel less stressed at my new job and mainly think it's because I am able to completely leave work at work. Over the years, I have trained myself to separate work life from personal life as much as possible...practically by going on a walk when I get home from work. Not only is it my form of exercise, but it also helps me clear my head and help me put the work day behind me. It's also beneficial for me (currently) that I'm not friends with my co-workers outside of the office...so work isn't much of my after work conversations.

But I often times think that I still haven't found my dream job...and I want one! Perhaps I have, but haven't been doing this job long enough to know. :) Yet assuming this isn't it, how much effort should I put into finding the best job for me? When job hunting, I heard and thought the gamut of thoughts from "God is big enough to give you a job that you actually enjoy and are made for" to "A job is a job, especially in these economic times." At the end of the day, I think I believe both. Knowing God is in control of all things and is certainly powerful to do anything at anytime, I do trust that I could have my dream job in an instant if that was the Lord's will. Yet in the meantime, I want to be grateful for the job I have been blessed with. So is my job a means to an end (eating) or is it more than that? Should it be more than that?

When looking at the doctrine of the humanity of Jesus in Christian Doctrine senior year at Presbyterian, Dr. Hobbie (wonderful, fabulous, spunky man!) asked the class if we though Jesus ever had an erection. That's another topic completely and a discussion for another day. (However, for what it's worth, I think He did.) But that train of thought leads me to ask: Did Jesus enjoy His job?

Not His job as a full time minister (ministry vs. vocation vs. job still confuses me some and I'm not up for that right now), but did Jesus enjoy being a carpenter? Was that a passion of His? Was He simply following in His father's footsteps? Was He buying time until He turned water into wine at a wedding and then changed the world forever by teaching and healing and giving Himself for us?

Any thoughts out there?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Good Times and Great Oldies

This weekend I was in Columbia/Lexington for an engagement party, weekend with my PC girls, church and hanging out with old roommates that I love. Here are a few highlights:

  • Sex in the City -- season 4
  • Lots of yummy cheese products -- So much cheese, in fact, that you craved a salad to help it go down. But so good!
  • New Moon!
  • White elephant gift exchange -- I'm the proud owner of a 24 pack of double roll toilet paper. Charmin no less -- the good stuff.
  • Taking pictures with a timer. (Thanks, Margaret!)
  • Good sermon at First Pres -- on asking the Lord not to lead us into temptation.
  • Moe's. On Main Street -- the best Moe's ever.
  • Great friends.
  • Lots of laughter.
  • Designing tattoos. Don't ask. :)
PS -- The brownie pudding was fabulous. As if one would expect anything less from the Contessa.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Goodies

So last night I was baking up a storm. We're having our office Thanksgiving lunch today -- I'm already hungry. Apparently the entire office smells delightful from the turkey cooking in the oven. I made a cheesecake. Another one. I felt more confident in it doing it since the last one turned out really well, but it takes a really long time to bake! Hopefully the office will enjoy it.

AND I made a brownie pudding...what is that you ask? Well my gameplan was to take step-by-step pictures to show you. Unfortunately, I forgot about it until 1/2 way through. I'm hoping the final version tastes as good as the batter because the batter was unbelievable. It's a Barefoot Contessa recipe. She is absolutely my favorite person to watch cook...I'm still trying to think of ways to become her friend so that I can eat her food and be on her show. Let me know if you have any ideas. Here's the recipe:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/brownie-pudding-recipe/index.html

Changes I made:

  • I didn't add the framboise -- just because I didn't have it.
  • I used some vanillla extract rather than a vanilla bean. Again, because it was easier.
  • I made 1.5 times the recipe. It's for my PC girls weekend, and let's be honest, 1 recipe just wouldn't be enough!

Also: Remember when I checked the humidity level last night and it seemed like today would be a fine day to straighten my hair. So I did. And of course it is misty and humid this morning...I could already feel my hair curling up a bit. I may or may not have brought my straightener to work with me. And it may or may not be plugged in, on my desk, and ready for a touch up at a moment's notice.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Who is my God?

For the past few weeks, I've been doing a self-guided study of the characteristics of the Lord. A friend recommended it to me (thanks, Shannon!) and I loved the idea. It's been so good for me to get to know more about who my God is. Warning: this "study" is not fancy or polished. So far, I've looked at the Lord being gracious and being powerful. Last night I started looking at the Lord being just. I loved this verse more than before and thought I'd share.

Deuteronomy 32:4

The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is He.

This short verse has so much to offer. The Lord, our God, our maker and redeemer, is a rock. And not just a rock, but He is THE rock. He is the firm foundation for us to stand on. We can go to Him with anything and everything. We can rely on Him and depend on Him and trust that He will be strong and won’t move. I think of a large boulder and how sturdy it is – how it withstands the elements and surroundings to remain still and strong. And the Lord is the biggest bounder there is. And that is just from the first two words of this verse! The Lord is my rock and all of his works are perfect…even the works I don’t like or agree with…they are perfect. It is my misunderstanding or pride or selfishness that is so imperfect. But I can praise the Lord, my Lord for ALL of His works. I can praise the Lord that I feel unsettled, that there is pain in the world, that money is a challenge, that I am unsure of my life or what lies ahead, that people suffer, that I long for more. I can only praise Him for these things because the hard things are the things that draw us to the Lord as we see more and more of His character, in all of its perfection and glory. When the world disappoints, He is there.

And I don’t have to doubt His choices, His ways, His works because they are all justice. My God is just. Webster’s defines justice (as an adverb): having a basis in or conforming to fact or reason; faithful to an original; conforming to a standard of correctness; legally correct. The Lord is and/or upholds each of these things. He is the basis of all fact and reason and thereby conforms to Himself; He is faithful to His ways and truths – as He is the original – the alpha (and the omega!); He is correct in all of His ways; and His ways are legally binding (I especially think of the old testament here). There are no grounds for me to doubt Him and because His ways are correct (and also good!), I can rest in His decisions. They are not arbitrary; rather, they have been well thought out and well purposed. These things are giving me all the more reason to trust His ways. So often I am ungrateful – a nasty heart. I want so much to be pure in heart and lovely in being content with the Lord and what He has given me, and how He deals with me bountifully. Come quickly, Jesus, and change my heart. Unlike me, my God is upright and is without sin. He is just and upright. I have been called to follow Him – and a part of that is being just and upright in my doings as well. What are the areas that I have not been correct and godly? Job 34:10 explains these qualities of my Lord in other words, “Therefore, hear me, you men of understanding: far be it from God that He should do wickedness, and from the Almighty that He should do wrong.” Next time I am frustrated or confused by my life or surroundings or cards that others have been dealt, I hope that I remember this. I can be (and am, at times) wicked; God cannot be and has never been and will never be wicked. I do wrong; God can do no wrong. It is his nature to be perfect and just in all things…it is who He is.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Beautiful

The scenery is definitely one of the best parts of living in Charleston. I love water. The smell of marsh makes me feel like I'm home. Even when the traffic is miserable on Harborview in the mornings and afternoons, I'm thankful for the surroundings. I was super excited to find out that my house isn't too far from the water. I took these pictures just a few short blocks from where I reside.

Enjoy!











Welcome to Moe's?!?!

I was a bit more than disheartened to find out that there is not a Moe's on James Island. (Wouldn't you be?) Craving a good buritto, I spent much time searching for the nearest Tex-Mex joint. Sunday night I tried out Barberitos. So, how did it compare? All in all, it was quite delicious and had some major perks:
  • They use thickly shredded white Mexican cheese.

  • They have an option for spicy chicken. I had it and it was awesome.

  • Really good salsa verde.

  • Super thin chips...think Chili's thin.

They didn't call anything out as I walked in the door, and I don't know the employees well enough (yet) for them to remember my order like Lance at Moe's on Main in Columbia does.



Overall summary: I'll be back.


http://www.barberitos.com/

Monday, November 16, 2009

New Friend?

I sure hope not!

For those of you that know me well, you know that I am not too keen on animals. I didn't grow up with any pets, so Freud would probably blame my parents, but whatever the reason, I like my friends to be of the human persuasion.*

So this morning, I got quite a surprise in my office. My co-worker came in to talk to me and after a few minutes said, "Don't move. Be calm." Naturally, my biggest fear was that it was a mouse or a rat...they make me want to run and hide. So I was relieved that it was tiny, green, and furless...yet still not super happy about the situation. After chasing the little guy around for several minutes, it was caught in a cup and properly disposed of...let outside. Not by me. Ugh.


* I make one giant exception. Sullivan. Courtney's dog...she is a good friend, adorable, and an awesome walking partner. All in all, I think she is the greatest dog in the world.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Weekend Update

This weekend was my first weekend in Charleston that I didn't go out of town and had no set plans. Honestly, I was a bit nervous about it, but it turned out to be quite nice and very relaxing. And the weather was gorgeous. I hung out with one of my roommates Friday night and awoke Saturday morning to find this note in the kitchen: EA, I know you think I'm crazy, but I flew to Kansas. I'll be back Monday; call my cell. Love, Frasier. She went to see a friend; I had the house to myself.
  • Took the best bath ever. It had all the things a perfect bath should have:
    • Warm water with lovely pomegranate bath salts (courtesy of Rachel). The water smelled delightful and was silky smooth.
    • Good music = Patty Griffin.
    • Nice, tall, cold beverage. Typically, I'd prefer an ice cold beer or cocktail. But this time I had a tall glass of sweet tea.
    • Several lit candles.
  • Laid out on the beach. Saturday and Sunday. In November. It. Was. Fantastic. Beautiful weather, lovely sound of the ocean, people watching. Glorious. (Picture taken Sunday.) I didn't stay out too long because I didn't want to burn...seeing as how it's been a while since I've been in the sun in a bathing suit. But, I am happy to say that I officially have some (faint) tan lines.

  • Cooked a good meal: my version of chicken cordon bleu. I used Swiss cheese and pepperoni, instead of ham. And seasoned the outside of the chicken breast with salt, red pepper, and cilantro, instead of bread crumbs. Seared in a pat of butter and baked. Really tasty.
  • Read a book, an easy-reading mystery: Loitering with Intent.
  • Tried a new church. Redeemer Presbyterian, downtown. I forgot how strange it was to try a new church. It took me 6 months in Columbia to find the one that was right for me...and since then, that church has been my benchmark for all other churches. I'll be going to back to this one again, and probably trying a few more in the area.
  • Took a few nice, long walks in my 'hood.
All in all, not too shabby!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Family Funny

I had supper at mom and dad's house last week...it was delicious and I got parting gifts: leftovers and assorted food items.

As I was loading up the car, the following conversation took place:
Dad: Call us when you get home.
Me: No, I'm not going to do that.
Mom: Ok...she's not going to call us when she gets home.
Me: It's a twenty minute drive...and you've haven't known where I was or what I was doing the past eight years...so, no, I'm not calling you when I get home.
Mom: Ok...[Imagine mom disappointed, yet trying to grasp reality.]

Fast forward a few days to Sunday. I'm in Columbia (see post) And see that I've missed a call from my dad. Being the wonderful daughter I am, I call him back.

Dad: Hey. Two questions. One. I was going to tell you that if you're near the house, I have some fresh red fish and you could join me for supper. But I already ate it. Two. How was the oyster roast?
Me: Roast was a lot of fun. Glad you enjoyed your fish already. Besides, I'm not near the house...I'm eating supper in Columbia and then driving home. I'll get home late so I'll call you when I get there.
Dad: Oh, no. You don't have to call me when you get home.

Again, being the wonderful daughter I am, I called when I was back in Charleston. So this week I was eating with my parents again, and again parting with leftovers and goodies.

Mom: Randy (family friend) was in town the other day. He stopped by the house on his way to Edisto (about an hour away). We had a nice long visit; he didn't leave til around 10 o'clock. Your dad asked Randy to call him when he got to Edisto that night. And Randy called us! [Imagine mom smirking.]

Maybe Randy's the best child?!?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

AA


Hi. My name is Elizabeth Ann. I'm 26 and I've been wrestling with Adult Acne since I graduated from college. Highschool presented few problems for me in this area. College gave me nothing to complain about. But I find it is a daily battle for me these days...and gets worse with stress. I've been to dermatologists (some better than others!), been on oral meds, and several expensive lotions. But who wants to be on oral medicine for the rest of their lives for bad skin? Grrrrrrr.

The best thing for me as of the past year has been Pro Active's Refining Mask. Basically, it is some kind of sulfur treatment that Krissie (thanks, KB!) gave me. And my friends love it when I douse my face wit before bed...large white blobs. Last night I showered before Top Chef so I could stay awake for it. Then put on my medicine...as you can imagine, I looked super hot. Then I realized that my roomate would be coming home with her out of town boyfriend...that I don't yet know too well. Cool.

Me: Hey, Rob. I didn't know you were spending the night tonight, or else I wouldn't have gone ahead and put my face medicine on.
Rob: Nah, its cool. (I'm hoping he means it, but I'm sure he thinks I'm a bizarre looking nut.)

Another notch in this awesome single girl's belt.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Modern Family


Have you seen it? It makes me laugh out loud every time! I'm posting a few clips that I've found especially funny.

Enjoy!



Veteran's Day

So I've never celebrated Veteran's day before, but this year I'm happy to celebrate. Not only am I appreciative of all the Veteran's who have fought for our freedom and more, but also for the state of SC for celebrating the Vets by giving us the day off! I've never had this day off before, and I like it.
I know I've only worked seven days, but I was already ready for a day off! If that's wrong, I don't want to be right. Unlike the other days when I wake up too early, run around getting ready, and then enjoy a 40 or so minute commute to my office, today was fabulous. No alarm, no running around, and no commute.
So far today, I've been able to:
  • Sleep in several hours later than usual. I got a full 8 hours! That's what I'm talking about!
  • Have a nice quiet time with the Lord.
  • Eat breakfast at a leisurely pace, not in the car, that may or may not have included a chocolate chip cookie. :)
Things I'm hoping to accomplish:
  • File papers that keep piling up.
  • Watch lots of TV
  • Go for a nice walk...if the rain ever lets up...it's supposed to after lunch time, which would be perfect.
  • Supper at Mom and Dad's house (and hopefully some leftovers!)
  • Trivia at Kickin' Chicken with Ben and AV...hoping I'm able to stay awake that late!
Go Vets!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Humble Abode

I thought I'd post a few pics of my room. My roommate (and owner of our home), Marifrasier, selected the wall color and I really love it. It's Sherwin Williams' Meadowlands, 1414. It's and old color, but they still sell it...and I'm so glad. It's very fresh and clean...a bit more mature then something I'd naturally select, or maybe I'm growing up? Ha! And I LOVE my pillows. I purchased the solid green ones last year (and am glad I can still use them!), Courtney found the shams for me at West Elm online, and I fell in love with the paisley printed one at Target. On a shopping excursion with Frances, I almost jumped for joy when I saw it!




My bed is on risers and I'm proud to say that I put it up on rises all by myself! I felt like quite the hoss. Ha! I needed to use the space under my bed as storage and it filled up quickly! Courtesy of a very generous gift from the Lightcaps, I was able to purchase this lovely bed skirt (and a few new bath towels!). It hides the clutter and has a bit of a tailored look.




My dear friend Marshall gave me this this print as a gift when I left Columbia. It's a print of her father's, Guy Lipscomb; he is an extraordinary watercolorist and does beautiful work -- he's the reason I like abstract art. The print is of a stairway outside a home in Charleston, which is all the more fitting for me since I'm back in Charleston. I was thrilled with how well it complemented my room.


And, yes, Jacqueline, that is the cross from Windy Gap women's weekend out and about in my room. I never thought I'd use it, but alas, I did!

The furniture had been my Grammy's and was promised to me. She's still alive and kickin' but was recently moved to an even more assisted living portion of her old folks home and so I got the goods. There's a lot of storage and I'm really thankful to have all the pieces! I really like the dark wood against the fresh color of the paint and white bedding.





And, yes, that is me taking the picture with my MacBook. I don't have a digi cam, so I use Photo Booth...why not?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Make new friends, but keep the old...

Some of you remember this old school Girl Scouts song. I was a proud scout for a few years...and this song is the thing I most remember, "Make new friends, but keep the old...one is silver, and the other gold."

For some reason I thought of this song on my drive home from Spartanburg last night. As I got in the car to drive back to Charleston, I got really sad. I was so thankful for my time in the Burg that I didn't want to leave. The Lord had really given me some good friends and good times there...that season of my life was one of great contentment. I enjoyed being able to spend time at home, hanging out with Sullivan, cooking, etc. I think the challenge of leaving yesterday was three-fold. One. I spent time with my favorite Spartanburg friends (the Hansens, the Lightcaps, the Wests, the Palmers, the Shelton) at the oyster roast. Two. I was so busy with moving and family things that I never really had time to process leaving Spartanburg. Three. While Charleston has not been bad at all so far, I fear that it will be. My first year in Columbia was rough to say the least and I fear that this transition period might be the same.

I've been studying God's graciousness the past few days and He definitely showed me grace upon grace upon grace last night. As soon as I got in the car, I called a dear friend that listened and loved me AND invited me to supper in Columbia. I took her up on her offer and stopped by my beloved First Pres in time to hear the last half of the sermon. It was on my favorite verse in Romans. Romans 8:15, "For you did not receive a spirit of slaver to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption by whom we cry, 'Abba! Father.'"

I love listening to Sinclair Ferguson preach. The thing that stuck out to me most was: This cry should not be, "Abba. Father." For the Christian, this cry should be, "ABBA! FATHER!" This is a loud cry, a cry of distress, a cry of need. You need this when life is hard, a mess, dark, in time of crisis. In these times, ask the Lord to come to your aid. And He will!" I just needed to hear it and the Lord knew it. Then I saw two of my dear friends, Margaret and Marshall, from Columbia and was able to cry on their shoulders and be myself and listen to them tell me truth. So good! These two older ladies have so much wisdom and love.

THEN I got to eat a delicious meal at Jenn and Nicole's. The food was excellent and the company delightful...the two of them and a newer buddy, Jonathan. Overall, it was just good for my heart to be with them. I forced myself to leave around 9:10 and listened to a Beth Moore talk on Esther in the car. Courtney gave me the talk before I left, and again, the Lord knew what I needed to hear. It was all about being courageous and strong and taking chances for the Lord -- saying NO to the things we fear and instead trusting where the Lord will lead us. When hard things happen to us...if the worst thing in the world happened to us, so what? We'd be drawn closer to the Lord because we would be utterly dependent on Him.

And it is exciting to see where the Lord will lead me and how He will use me and what He will teach me here in Charleston. There is much to be excited about! In time, finding a new church, making new friends, learning new things about the Lord and myself. Once again, and as always, He took care of me in very real and tangible ways last night and I'm so grateful. I made it home just after 11. Needless to say, I'm pretty tired this morning. But it was well worth it!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Cheesecake

I made a cheesecake last night for the first time. I must say, it was quite the labor of love. I hope that it (1) survives the car ride from Charleston to Spartanburg and (2) tastes good. My BFF and HLP* recently celebrated her 27th birthday and the cake of cheese is in her honor.



I know that I've only been away from Spartanburg for a week, but I must say that I'm quite excited about my return visit. It really became home to me for the time I was there. I learned my way around -- for the most part and made some really good friends. You know who you are (all 4 of you!). Courtney's having an oyster roast at her house and I'm pretty stoked. Can't wait to eat myself silly and hang out with good friends!

* In case you don't know what an HLP is, let me share with you. Heterosexual Life Partner. I know, I know...it's a bit silly sounding. But if you don't have one, you might want to consider getting one. My HETEROSEXUAL life partner and I lived together for 3 years in college, recently for a six-month stint that ended a week ago, and talk every day in some capacity. Basically, you do life together...but that's it...if you know what i mean. :)


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sleep Deprived

I forgot how working full time makes me so tired! I know I'll get back into the swing of things, but having been out of the working world for 15 months (grad school and then some), it's taking me a while...certainly more than a few days! It was amazing to me when I wasn't working how (in Columbia) I used to cook and grocery shop, exercise, entertain and have social things to do, do my laundry, etc...all while working 40 hours a week. Whilst writing my thesis or job hunting I could plan my entire day around one or two things that I needed to do. Those days are over!

Last night I had to pick some things up from Mom & Dad's house and had a nice home cooked meal over there. It's always a treat when you don't have to cook for yourself. Thanks mom! But I was ready for bed at 7:30. Whoa. I was determined to watch Top Chef though and forced myself to stay up until 10. Turns out it was a reunion episode...so I went to bed.

This morning I left 8 minutes later than yesterday and made it to the office around 7:55...perfect timing I suppose. When I went to grab my diet coke this morning, I realized that I didn't put any more in the fridge last night like I meant to. Oops! I grabbed a huge tervis tumbler. Of course I spilled a couple of sips worth in my lap on the way to work. Haha. Thank goodness for the napkins in my glove box!

Early bird gets the worm?

Well in order to not be late for the second day in a row, I left my house at 7 this morning. That is quite the feat for a non-morning person such as myself. That means the alarm starts going off at 5:30 and I snooze until 6. Drank my diet coke and ate breakfast in the car. Made it to BFE parking lot by 7:15 and to my office at 7:30.

Yesterday 5 minutes late; today 30 minutes early! Maybe one day I'll get it right? I hope that day is SOON. :)

So far the highlight of my day has been getting not one, but two complements on my new shoes (at the bus stop no less!). Courtney found these shoes for me at TJ Maxx -- super fun and funky. Cole Haan's. $40. Enough said.
Also, I think I'm going to lunch with some co-workers today...another first! (I hope I am because I didn't pack a lunch!)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

PS

As bad as my day started off, I was glad to be looking good in a cute outfit! A new shirt and some old favorites -- perfect combination. As vain as it is, sometimes looking good really does make life more merry!

It's been a while...

Since my last post, a lot of changes have taken place.

One. I moved to James Island. I'm learning my way around with a little help from my friend Garmin. However, last night I was walking and I got very lost. Didn't help that it was completely black outside and sans my glasses I had a hard time reading street signs.

Two. My brother got engaged. Congrats Nathan and Shannon! Not sure when the wedding will be or where -- Michigan or Mt. Pleasant?!? I'll keep you posted.

Three. I started working. Monday consisted of orientation, parking pass office, parking in the parking garage only to realize I wasn't allowed to park there, so I ran up to the car before I got a ticket and moved to my designated lot. The Hagood lot. Its location: BFE. Near the Citadel. I'm sure I'll have more to come on this. Apparently, I'll need to be leaving my home around 7 to get there around 7:30 to make it to the office around 8. Oh yeah. Such a treat for a delightful morning person like myself. Then I hit up the office for a bit and was home by 2:30 for a nap! Yay!

Today was my first day in the office all day. It started off terrible! At some point I realized that I left my portfolio on the bus yesterday afternoon. Now this portfolio included my special one day parking pass, my important MUSC password, my dental insurance, and a plethora of other important goodies. Praise the Lord Marcia was available to help me and give me numbers to call! I found it and was able to get it back later in the day! Thanks, God! Then I realized I was going to be late...by about 5 minutes because traffic is ridiculous. Apparently Charleston is the new New York (paying for parking, crazy traffic, expensive housing, etc.) But my boss was gracious and we all had a good laugh at the portfolio situation. The rest of the day was pretty chill...

And it will start all over again bright and early in the morning!