Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Lone Star State

After I push through this work day, I'm heading to Spartanburg -- with a detour in Columbia to grab Cameron.  Tomorrow morning, Courtney, Cameron, and I are heading to the great state of Texas, Dallas to be exact.  We're celebrating Festa & Austin; I'm so excited!  I'm looking forward to time with good friends that I don't get to see very often, being in Dallas for the first time, hopefully working in a meal at this place, and whatever else seems like a good time.

This wedding has been in the making for nearly a decade.  Yes, a decade.  I wouldn't miss it for the world!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Beth Moore recap

Mom and I drove to Charlotte last Friday and met up with Aunt Dean. It was fun catching up for a while before the craziness began.  Of course we were late so finding seats for 5 was quite the challenge.  But, Beth brought it.  The theme was HOLD FAST.*  After Beth, we went to supper uptown at The King's Kitchen.  The food was amazing and some of the proceeds benefit homeless shelters.  I got blackened cat fish over cheesy, bacon grits and stewed tomatoes.  Yum!

We ate pretty late and some dudes walked in, sat down near us, and ordered beers.  I noticed a few minutes later they'd left and asked if they just walked out.  Aunt Dean: why, did you want to finish their beer?  A resounding, "no, Aunt Dean."  Hahaha.  I love my family; never a dull moment!

Courtney and I ended up staying up until 2 am that night which made getting up at 6 the next morning a real treat.  But if you have to suffer, Beth is a good reason.  We headed back uptown and were there in good time to scope out great seats.  Mom got a bit ancy throughout the whole thing, but yet again, I loved it.  I love how Beth shares so much scripture, coupled with real life situations/ways to relate to her.  It was cool to see 9,400 people learning aside you.

We parted ways with Courtney and her mom and headed back to Aunt Deans for a yummy lunch.  Then mom and I made a pit stop at Trader Joe's!  and headed home.  I was exhausted...and glad to have Sunday to recuperate 

* If you'd like my notes, feel free to email me; I have them typed up.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Beth Moore

I'm leaving work early today! and mom and I are heading to Charlotte to stay with my Aunt Dean.  We're going to the Beth Moore conference.  I've seen Beth once before and am excited to hear what she has to say this weekend.  Regardless, I'm sure more about the Lord -- all in the company of family.  This is a first for mom and I and I'm really excited.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Light at the end of the tunnel

Today I made it to page 1,000 in Atlas Shrugged!  Only a little bit more to go!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Waiting for Superman

Last week I watched this documentary on public school in America.  It was scary.  I went to public school K-12 and think I received a good education.  Turns out, that is a huge rarity.  It was sad to see how poor our education system is overall, especially considering how strong we are as country overall, and how much bureaucracy is involved.  

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Just pulled the trigger

and bought a plane ticket to Honduras.  Thanksgiving weekend.  To visit Shannon and see what life is like there. So excited!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Ugandan Beer Bottle Openers

Several years ago First Pres, my church in Columbia, started taking a short term medical mission trip to Uganda.  Since then, I've had several good friends go and love it; the Lord has taught them much from being there.  Interestingly, several of my girls have brought me Ugandan beer bottle openers.  Now I've got quite the collection of cool and interesting ways to crack open a Sam Adams.

Mary Glenn:



Thursday, July 14, 2011

Best Date

Here's the thing, when you've had a best friend for a decade, you're both single, and you attend many events, namely weddings, together, you're bound to be perfect dates.  This past weekend further proved that Courtney and I are friend soul mates.  We know how to work the receptions for optimal food better than anyone else I know.  We tag team the beverage stations -- including snagging a pitcher of water at the end of an evening.  And we are able to successfully get the adults dancing.  Sure the first half of a reception may only have the 10 and under crowd dancing, but by the end, we changed that.

Some people search a lifetime for the right person to snag optimal food off the buffet; I'm thankful I didn't have to.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Interestingly Enough

I saw this truck in my neighborhood when I was walking tonight.

Recipe for Love

Mary Glenn and Jule had chocolate bars wrapped in this at the rehearsal dinner (the wrapper is actually pink).

Monday, July 11, 2011

One month later...

I can't believe it's been a month since that plane landed back in the US of A.  I won't soon forget the joy of seeing Maggie's face at the airport and the delight of eating Wendy's late night.  Yet more than that, I still can't forget my week in La Plain.

So many thoughts have run through my little head over the past month.  I'd love to say that I have it all figured out, but I don't.  Far from it, in fact.  Things I do know:
  • Looking at a friends recently posted Haiti pictures makes my heart a good way.
  • I don't want to say no to anything God presents to me and want to be open to possibilities He may have planned.
  • I want to be forever changed: in how I look at the world, the Lord, money, helping others, etc.
A month later, I'm still so thankful for my time in Haiti and can't wait to see how the Lord continues to use it in my life.

Friday, July 8, 2011

One day; two excitements!

First off, it is Chick fil A's cow appreciation day!  Also known as one of the funnest days of the year!  I try to get two meals a day and am usually successful.  I swung by this morning and was their first cow!  They rang a bell in my honor and were pretty jazzed to see me.  I ordered a spicy chicken biscuit and a worker came by, "would you like hash browns as well?  You're really dressed up and can get a free meal, not just the biscuit!"  Who could say no to that?!

Secondly, I'm leaving work early today, picking up a friend, heading for round two of CFA cow appreciation day, and then heading to Florence to celebrate Mary Glenn and Jule!  Can't wait!  Looking forward to a fun weekend with the bride.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


I read this article on adoption a few weeks ago; the author co-authored a book that I thought looked interesting.  An Amazon purchase was made and I took a reading de-tour from Atlas Shrugged.

Veneer: Living Deeply in a Surface Society

It's great.  It's a fast read with a lot of heart and lots of questions that made me consider my life and my heart before the Lord.

As Christians, the idea of veneer goes against our core beliefs.  One of our foundational beliefs is that we are broken, that we don't have it all together and that we need Christ; he gives us our identity.  If this is true, and if the acceptance of this compelled us to follow Christ, then why do we try so hard to live as if we aren't broken (26)?

Life's realities make following along this narrow path difficult.  It can be lonely.  We'd rather be friends with God and fall into a nonchalant faith of church attendance and worship events than seek him in the brilliant silence (124).

Our quest for purpose should not be focused on figuring out what we're doing in this life with regard to schooling, career, or vocation.  It should be focused on the assurance that God knows us, has a task for us, and will empower us to do it for his glory.  Ask yourself, How can I best glorify God?  And then go and do it (231).


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Born into Brothels

I can't imagine being in the line.  Or growing up around it.  But so many children are growing up in and around prostitution.  Courtney had this documentary on Netflix and I watched it last night.

Calcutta, India.  A photographer lives there off and on to take pictures of the women and learn their stories.  She inevitably got close to the children.  She started teaching them how to take photos and about the photography process.  She also tries to get them into boarding schools in order to get them out of the brothels.  The red tape is nothing short of a nightmare; the stigmas add a layer of frustration as many schools refuse to take kids from the red light district.  But the children's pictures were beautiful and rich and telling of their lives. Watching this made me think that being born in America is like winning a lottery I never bought a ticket for.  These quotes were chilling.

Photographer:  Of course as soon as I entered the brothels, I met the children...they are filled with children.  They are everywhere.

Kid: One has to accept life as sad and painful.

Kid: I live with my grandmother.  My mom can't take care of me.  My dad tried to sell me.  My sister came and got me...or else I would have been sold.

Photographer:  Her grandmother was a prostitute, her mom is a prostitute.  They are Brahmin; they are like royalty.  They eat well and are not poor.  But she's (daughter) headed for prostitution.

Kid: There is nothing called "hope" in my future.

New Pasta Salad recipe

I saw this recipe mentioned on some blog I was reading.  I decided to give a try, but make a few changes.

  • 1 medium sized ripe Avocado, pitted
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced + lemon zest to garnish (I used a whole lemon)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, to taste (I used 3)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
  • ~1/4 cup Fresh Basil, (probably optional)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 servings/6 oz of your choice of pasta (I used a box of whole wheat pene)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • I also blended a jalepeno in the sauce
  • I added 2 tbsp chicken stock to the sauce to thin it out a bit, but it was still really creamy
  • I also added shredded chicken, tomato, and cucumber to the pasta once cooked and sauce was added
1. Bring several cups of water to a boil in a medium sized pot. Add in your pasta, reduce heat to medium, and cook until Al Dente, about 8-10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, make the sauce by placing the garlic cloves, lemon juice, and olive oil into a food processor. Process until smooth. Now add in the pitted avocado, basil, and salt. Process until smooth and creamy.
3. When pasta is done cooking, drain and rinse in a strainer and place pasta into a large bowl. Pour on sauce and toss until fully combined. Garnish with lemon zest and black pepper. Serve immediately. 
The recipe calls to eat it right away, while its still warm (says it does NOT reheat well).  However, I ate it as a cold pasta salad and really enjoyed it.  Its creamy and versatile based on what you add to the pasta.

Friday, July 1, 2011

So Jazzed

for the 3 day weekend.  I need a break from the daily routine.  Love it when holidays come just when you need them most.