Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween

I can't emphasize enough how much I love this time of year. The smell of pumpkin and spice, the colors or oranges, deep red, browns, and yellows, sipping hot apple cider, the football games, having a nice chill in the mornings, but it feeling great in the afternoons...the list goes on and on. I also feel that it allows me to anticipate the holidays coming up! One of my favorite things is Justin and my tradition of carving pumpkins. Since we started dating in October of 2006, we have carved a pumpkin every year. This year, we were able to enjoy this tradition with Brittany, Karibi, Katie, the Busbins, the Freemans. The pumpkin turned out really cute and it looks great on our front step! Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Wow, I turned 24 today! I woke up to a sweet husband cuddling me and giving me my first birthday wishes then to my sweet puppy giving me birthday kisses. My day followed with Boof calling first, then Momma, then Coach Jan and the texts, emails, cards and calls continued. My wonderful co-workers and students had cupcakes, brownies, and gifts and Rebecca brought me a pumpkin filled with Jelly Bellys! What a wonderful day to have a field trip! We went to the pumpkin patch, which we all LOVED! I feel so special and am excited to celebrate with dinner and a movie tonight with Justin!

Justin surprised me early with my 2nd wedding band to finalize my set! It looks beautiful! Thank you to everyone who sent me birthday wishes and made me feel so special today!!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Mason's Vet Visit

So, yesterday Mason and I had an adventure trying to get to the vet. I got home from work and poor Mason was really hot from being in his pin all day. I thought I would be sweet and go ahead and turn the car on to get the air going nice and cool. I get Mason into the car, close the door, and realize I LOCKED THE KEYS IN THE CAR, RUNNING, WITH MASON IN THE CAR! Oh goodness! I was frantic. I ran to our neighbors' house, who happens to be a mechanic. His wife called him and he came home from work and luckily got into the car in less than 2 minutes. I was so relieved and sweet Mason was just chillin' in front of the air. However, on the way home from the vet, Mason must have decided he was mad at me because he puked in my front seat on my new sunglasses! Sweet, sweet puppy!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Cheesy Chicken Noodle Soup

So, I was brain storming about some of our favorite things to eat and I put some things together and here's what I got. Justin and I both LOVE Velveeta cheese and he loves Rotel. I love noodles and soup, so we put these together, plus some chicken and veggies and we got Cheesy Chicken Noodle Soup. It is SOOOO yummy! I think it's one of our new fall favorites! ENJOY!

-1 lb cooked chicken, cut into bite size pieces
-1 can Rotel with chilis
-1 can corn
-2 cans cream of chicken soup (98% fat free)
-1 1/2 cup chicken broth
-1 small package of Velveeta cheese, cubed (I use the one with 2% milk)
-1 package of whole wheat egg noodles, cooked and drained

Add all ingredients to a crockpot. Cook on low heat for 4-5 hours, stirring occasionally. Don't cook on 2-3 hours on high. The high heat will burn the cheese.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Sweet Surrender

"And I'll stand, with arms high and heart abandoned, in awe, of the one who made it all. I'll stand, my heart Lord, to You surrendered, all I have is You!"

This song is truly my prayer right now. As many of you know, I am "Type A" personality through and through and I have things planned perfectly. I love to make lists and to check things off. I have my Christmas list by September and our summer plans are finalized by March. Though this can be looked at as a good thing, when it comes to letting go of my own control and let God have HIS way, I sometimes have a death grib on my plans.

I am learning that His way is certainly better than mine. My plan, once Justin and I got married, was for Justin and I to live in Auburn for 3 years, move back to NC for Justin to attend NC State or Duke for his Ph. D., begin "trying" to get pregnant, and to continue toward settling down. Well, God has really been revealing that I have to let go. My soul is in turmoil as I think about not being close to home when starting a family, but I think of the many women who have followed their husbands to the foreign mission field to have families and for Justin to go to Virginia Tech or Colorado State certainly is not that big of a deal. God has also been showing me the importance of my family's personal mission field. Justin, being in conservation science, is often the only lone Christian on a team of researchers. He has been able to share his faith in unbelievable ways. I often discount this as Justin's mission field because he has not gone to seminary and not had an official "call into the ministry". However, God has greatly blessed him with a powerful mind and a love for the environment and animals (in a healthy way) and he uses that to bring glory to our Father.

There is the question about children??? With my Mom and grandmother's history of cancer and womanly infections, both were no longer to bear children after the young age of 34. (My grandmother was 27.) I have "my plan" saying this is when I want children, but could it be when I get to "my time" God would say, "if only you had trusted me. I told you to trust me, that I would provide daycare and diapers, but you said it wasn't your time, and now you can't have children. Why did you wait child?" There is always wisdom needed in all decisions. I believe that "If you walk in the Spirit, you will not fulfill the desires of your heart." (Galations 5:16). God is also not the author of confusion and He will show Justin and I when we need children, if at all, but I have to be willing to say, ok, maybe will be sooner or later than what I thought. God is so much bigger than my plan!

I often say "I know my own plans, thanks God" rather than resting on the truth that "I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to protect and preserve you." Would it be better for me to live where I want, but in misery because it's not what God wanted, or to go willingly to somewhere I never imagined and God use us as a family in ways I never thought could be? Jonah didn't want to go to Ninevah and God certainly got his attention. God had his plan far long before I came to be and He created me to fulfill a certain purpose in His plan. Am I willing to go? I hope so...I am learning about sweet surrender.

Lord, please help me to come to you with open hands and a willing heart. You have a plan for our family. Please help me to be still long enough to listen to your quiet voice and go wherever You would lead. I want to rest in the shadow of your wings. Glorious One, You are God, worthy of praise, and I am nothing without You. May Your will be done...