Saturday, January 28, 2012


(Dark webcam shot sorry!)

"Today is never too late to be brand new." --the great T.S.

Remember this post?  Anyone?  I wanted to update on this process.  It was my dad's 29th ;) birthday this past week and we went out to dinner as a family.  It was bueno Mexican food, good laughs, and good time with people I care so much about.  I decided that instead of a present this year I would write my dad a letter (I know I'm cheap.  Being a college student/newlywed will do that to you).  In that letter I spelled out my testimony.  By that I just mean a snapshot of the spiritual journey I've been going on with God. You can read a modified version here.  One of the themes of my story is me feeling worthless, seeking God and finding my value in Him.  I first started feeling worthless when my dad left and my parents got a divorce.  So it was hard to share that with him.  At the end of the letter I told him that I forgive him and love him and that I wouldn't take back what happened between him and my mom because it's what drew me to God on my knees and I have no idea where I'd be without that.  He responded so well!  He told me that leaving me was the hardest thing he's ever done.  The crazy thing is, you guys, I truly forgive my dad!  For the first time I don't feel bitter about my family background!  I know those feelings might crop up again at times, but I know how to combat them.  I can't take away from what my dad did or try to minimilize it like, "it really wasn't that bad."  It was that bad--but Jesus died to take away his sins so I forgive him.  He stands blameless before God and before me.  Like me, his sinful soul was redeemed by the blood of a sinless King.  So sweet how God up and makes things new!

Speaking of new.  My dear friend (and bridesmaid) Katie Anthony paid a visit.  And we put her to work.  She taught me how to cut my husband's hair and gave my bangs a makeover. If you feel like you've seen them before, it's because I stole them from Taylor Swift. (I'm a little bit obsessed) Our whole family is looking a little less disgruntled and a little more fresh and new!  Thoughts? 


Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Sweet Marriage Moment

Marriage is such a unique privilege.  Savory moments help me to keep that taste in my mouth, even through the sour spots.  We had created one of those last Sunday night.  Philip had the idea to have a dinner date at home.  On the menu was STEAK (the first time it’s ever been featured in this little apartment) mashed potatoes, corn, and for dessert brownies with vanilla ice cream and hot fudge.  We even upgraded our usual sparkling cider to some big boy champagne.  I’m pretty sure that half bottle of bubbly is the most alcohol I’ve ever had in one sitting.  For the record, we didn’t really like it.  We each finished off two glasses with great discipline.  
What I love about Philip’s romantics is that he pays attention to the detes.  I think it’s the little things that really make something special.  Look at this lovely table set-up complete with the pink roses he surprised me with: 

We dressed up. (you can’t tell but I’m wearing a pretty dress.  And yes those are Christmas decorations behind me...)

For him, this is dressed up J



Champagne.  Cheers!

    I would highly recommend the candle-light dinner date at home.  It’s so calm and peaceful (mind you, we don’t have kids yet).  It’s a great way to spend quality time together on a budget.  And your bedroom’s nearby just in case you want to take a nap because you’re so full from all those good eats.  P.S. sorry about the lame photography.  I had to snap these quick so we could get our date on.

What fun dates have you been on?  I would love to hear any creative dating ideas you think we should try. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Semester Goals

Did you make any New Years’ resolutions? I didn’t. This is mostly because I think you should plan, and make goals, and resolve all year long. Also, in part, I am in touch with the reality that, for me, the start of the year has no magical effect on my motivation to follow through with the resolutions I make. The last NYR that I can remember making is to “gain 3 pounds.” I’m pretty sure that was just poking fun at the stereotypical weight loss resolution my peers tended to have. I’m a whopping 110 pounds and I think I would actually look and feel better if I were closer to 120. My fast metabolism is both a blessing and a curse. I can have that third piece of pie on Thanksgiving and my figure is unaffected. Still maintaining a healthier weight is so difficult. Gaining weight takes some real discipline. It’s not all fun and games and cake and ice cream. Anyways I’m getting off topic. I have survived my first week back to school (school dictates my real sense of time) and since it is the start of a new semester I want to set some goals.

1. Take better care of my body. This past semester I sometimes skipped meals. I don’t prioritize basic needs. My thinking is along these lines, “Talking to this person is so much more important than using the restroom. I can hold it.” I am committed to not skipping any meals. This includes having a glass of milk with instant breakfast (a protein/vitamin supplement that happens to make the milk taste chocolatey) mixed in. I also want to make my snacks count. I’m not saying I’m giving up Cheetos, Mountain Dew or Oreos, but I do want to make sure that I get good protein and fruits and veggies and whole grains into my system throughout the day. That could look like having apples dipped in peanut butter, or popcorn, or wheat thins with cheese on top.

2. Take relational faith steps. This school year I have had to be an initiator. People trying to respect our boundaries as a new married couple often don’t pursue spending time with us. I want to step out and show that I’m interested in hanging: both with Phil in group settings, and flying solo with other girlfriends. I’m guessing this will usually look like me asking people to go to coffee or lunch with me, hosting friends/couples in our little apartment, and responding to as many group invites as we can.

3. Be more disciplined with my times with the Lord. I love spending time praying, journaling and reading my bible. But if I’m honest with myself last semester this happened an average of 2-4 times a week—and usually on the lower end of that. I don’t think anything has impacted my life more than getting to know God through these one-on-one times together. Each time that I take time to get away with God my whole day is just so much better. I’m able to tap into peace, joy, patience, and self-control so much more easily. I can’t let this priority get swept under the rug. Practically, it’s helpful for me when I look at my schedule and find a time each day where I have 15-30 minutes and designate that as what I’d call “Quiet time.” It sounds strange but it just means a time for me to be alone and interact with God.

4. Work on conflict resolution in my marriage. Oh boy. Neither of our families really took the time to talk out issues of conflict in a healthy way. I’m not saying our parents were awful or they did everything wrong. They actually did a ton really well. We have been reading books and trying to put into practice healthy conflict resolution. This is something that we really want to focus on in our marriage. And model to our potential children.

5. Rest. My tendency is to skip rest. Last semester, though, I think I over-rested. I became addicted to, you guessed it, PINTREST. I think this website is a great way to search for ideas and keep your ideas organized without eating up space on your hard drive. It is not a great place to create an imaginary world complete with an imaginary wedding, house, and body that you’ll probably never live up to. I want to keep rest in its rightful place. I try to follow the 1/7th rule. God rested on the 7th day in the bible. The Sabbath was traditionally one day a week when everyone took a break. Nowadays, Sabbath gets trumped by our desire for progress and efficiency. But the truth is that I’m more efficient when I’m taking breaks, when I’m zoning out, when I grab a 27 minute nap. I try to think about resting 1/7th of the time. This doesn’t take into account sleeping through the night because I think that falls into a different category of rest. It’s kind of a given. Maybe moms of young kids would disagree with me. I also want to rest in a variety of ways. I think a little time on facebook or pintrest or the blogosphere is not unhealthy. At the same time, I want to spend more time writing, and reading. I want to rest alone and with Philip.

What are your goals for this year, or this semester?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Zoo in Review

Movie theater dates are kind of rare for us poor newlywed college students.  But we had to see We Bought a Zoo.  I laughed, I cried, I snuggled my husband close.  Some of my favorite quotes include:

Benjamin: "You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it."

Kelly: "The key to talking is listening." 

Benjamin: "Hey Rosie, am I doing anything right?"
Rosie: "You're handsomer than the other dads. Lots of them don't have hair. So that's good."

Duncan: "I like the animals, but I love the humans."

Kelly: "Why did you buy this place?"
Benjamin: "Why not?"

The take away?  I thought it was a beautiful expression of real pain and suffering that everyone faces at some level.  It reminded me that risking it big, for the right reasons, can have a big pay off.  Phil's response was, "I hope it doesn't take you dying to motivate me to do something that crazy."  Seen any good movies lately?
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