Monday, January 31, 2011

Crazy Mondays

After the weekend, Mondays are always super hectic. Today I have done 4 loads of laundry (with at least 3 left to do), taken the recycling, and gone to the grocery store--all with both kids in tow. ( I generally bribe them with yummy food or cartoons to make them behave :). The rest of the afternoon will be spent tackling Payment Systems and reviewing notes for tomorrow's classes. Luckily I bought myself some incentives to motivate performance--new slippers and the book L and I are reading together for our "book club." Sooo if I am very productive, I can soak in a bubble bath, drink a glass of wine and start reading some non-law loveliness!!

Going to the grocery store requires a lot of prep work. I am really trying to be better about meal planning, so I have to get all the ingredients I need for the menu. On the menu this week:
  • Mexi Pizza (thanks to Pioneer Woman)
  • Spicy BBQ Meatballs with corn muffins
  • Oven fried chicken salads
  • Potato Soup with BLTs
Those are the planned meals. In general, some kind of pasta dish appears on the menu and take-out/dinner out happens occasionally.

I also have to make sure that we have things for snacks, lunches, kids snacks, kids lunches etc. My essentials being
  • Cheese--I love it, kids love it, it is loved
  • crackers
  • pretzels
  • almonds and mixed dry fruit (my go to snack)
  • yogurt
  • fruit (this week we bought plums and Libby was very excited)
Mondays are generally also the day that I try to reflect on the message given at church. Yesterday was the first 5 verses of Romans 5, and Kirk highlighted the fact that we have 3 things because of God's justification--access to grace, hope of glory and the ability to rejoice even in our suffering. I want to continue to think about those concepts and read more before I blog my thoughts. I will end with the lyrics from a song that we sang yesterday--it is one of my favorites

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea
A great high Priest whose name is love
who ever lives and pleads for me

My name is graven on His hands
my name is written on His heart
I know that while in heaven He stands
no tongue can bid me thence depart

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Quick and Easy Pork BBQ sandwiches

In an effort to make delicious food in a small amount of time, I have been utilizing my slow cooker. So that said...

1 onion sliced
1 pork loin
1 cup apple juice (beer, chicken, beef or veg stock or water would also work)
a healthy dose of whatever bbq rub floats your boat
Any kind on bbq sauce

Put onion in first, rub the spices on the loin and put on top, pour the liquid all around. Turn slow cooker on low for 8 hours. Take the loin out and put in a large bowl. Use two forks to pull apart. take as much of the onion as you like. Add a little of the liquid left and mix. Add as much bbq sauce as you like. Serve on a bun.

This is DELICIOUS and very easy.

Quick Trip

My mom and I packed up the kids on Friday and made a quick trip to Charleston. My grandpa recently had a triple bypass and ended up having some complications (one of which was a stroke that has left him unable to speak very well). He has been in the hospital for 10 days now, and I haven't been able to go down. I love my grandpa. He was one of the first people that instilled in me a love of photography. He has given me several of his antique cameras for my collection. He is patient and kind. He taught me to fish, to shoot and to put applesauce on a biscuit. When I was growing up, I spent 2 weeks of every summer at their house in Summersville. He and I always did the dishes together (no dishwasher at the camp). He is a hard worker and a good husband (they have been married for 60 years in March). He has always called me "babe"-in an endearing way.

Finding a photo was almost impossible - he is always behind the camera

So taking some time away from studying and home and friends was worth it. I held his hand and told him how much Joe looks like him. I told him how smart and funny Libby is. I told him how much I love him. And hopefully in a few weeks, after he is done with rehab, he can tell me more stories about my Dad growing up or about his brothers. I hate that it took an emergency for me to realize how much I would miss him if he were gone, but I'm grateful this wasn't the end of his story. He is a remarkable man.

Friday, January 28, 2011

My Essentials for Combating Winter Blues

French Pressed Coffee (ok so really any coffee will do, but I LOVE it pressed) Today's flavor is Harry & David's Peanut Butter Cup--YUM!)
Happy Music. Today I am enjoying Fun. You can't help but smile.

Shower and get dressed. Feeling clean and pretty always makes me feel better. Today I was particularly happy with how my hair turned out.

Warm food. Lunch today will likely be leftovers from our delicious dinner last night. Soup warms me to the core.

Lots of love from little people and maybe a phone call to my best friend.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

snow and such

Outside the law school this morning

Yesterday we got dumped on. The roads were frightening, cars were all over the place. In the abstract, I find snow beautiful. I think the blanket of white is lovely--but only when I do not need to do anything. Only when I can observe from safe within the confines of my home, sipping coffee and wearing comfy fleece garments. Instead I am at the school (for 1 more hour--YAY for cancelled class this afternoon), wearing TOMS with socks (don't judge me :), and counting down the days until Spring.

PS I am also daydreaming about dinner tonight--Homemade Italian White Bean Soup with Paninis (turkey, capicola, and provolone). A perfect warm and comforting meal for a snowy day.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

so much to do...

Computer and Book?




Pretty Quilt?


Little things make the 68ish pages I have to read tonight a little better.

I'm in good company

I have realized this year what great people I am surrounded by. When I logged on this morning to pass some time before I receive assignments, I read Lauren's (LUXLUCY) blog about the book club that we are going to form-which could end up being just L and I eating yummy snacks and drinking wine. I love having friends in law school that help me achieve goals, commiserate when things are hard, and generally make this hellacious three years bearable. L does that for me. It also helps that she loves my kids and makes delicious food.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

thoughts on exercise...

I created my schedule to only have class two days a week--but that means that I live at the law school from 8:30 am - 7:20 pm on Tuesdays. By my last class, I am basically just warming a seat. Today I used one of my breaks to go to the Rec and run. While this adds to the exhaustion, it also relieves a lot of the stress.

Me: pre-kiddos--pre exercise
Me: post-kiddos (in Punta Cana with Corey) after exercising for 6 months

I am not an exerciser by nature. I had to will myself to get off the couch after Joe was born. And I hated it. I hated it everyday until I loved it. Many factors contributed to my overall success in getting healthy post-babies. One HUGE one was my support system. Corey was great about letting me workout and my best friend Ellen pushed me to do things I would never do before. She went to the gym with me for 8 months, helped me discover a love of running, and just encouraged me to keep going.
Ellen and I at a "street food" festival in Austin

So slowly I got healthy. Slowly my body started enjoying the way it felt to run, to elliptical, to do yoga. Then I went to law school. It is exhausting. It is mentally, physically and emotionally exhausting the first couple of semesters. And I became much more stagnant. I was sedentary. And as I became less active, I became more self-critical. The last 6 months or so have been the worst. This blog and this year are all a part of the healing.

With that said, I am excited to be running again. I am excited to be concentrating on being healthy and not being a weight or a size. I am excited to run the half marathon with Ellen (PS she wants to get inked after, so if you have any ideas for tattoos feel free to share your thoughts). I am excited to enjoy all the different aspects of my life and share them with you. :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Back to Romans 4

I spent some time this morning re-reading the passage that Mark looked at yesterday at church. I have lingered on vs 20-21: "No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised." (Romans 4:20-21 ESV). Paul is writing about Abraham here. The promise: that Abraham would be the father of many nations. Why would Abraham distrust? Well for one thing he was 100 years old and for another his wife Sarah was barren. How could he be the father of many nations if he couldn't have kids?

Mark spent a lot of time talking about how circumstances just don't add up to what we believe that God has promised us. For some of my friends, they believe that God wants them to be missionaries, but their circumstances have kept them in Morgantown. Others believe that God wants them to do a certain job, but doors keep closing. So what is our response supposed to be when these things happen? FAITH. Abraham believed that God was able to do what he promised. And our faith is not ill-founded. Earlier in Romans 4, Paul describes God as the one "who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist." (Romans 4:17 ESV). God is able to do so much more than we ask or imagine.

What is my response to this? I am always in awe of a great God. But I want to believe bigger things. Believe that he is able to make things happen even when everything seems against it.

(P.S. pic is thanks to Danielle-a pretty drive through TN)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Yesterday was crazy...

Most weekends are mellow at our house. We hang out with the kids and watch TV. I study-Corey drums. But since Friday was so chill, I was itching to get out. So yesterday, we packed our parka-ed kids in the car and did some shopping. I got some cute PJ pants and new shoes.

The flats are red (and were $5) the heels are brown. The picture is deceiving.

While the kids were napping, Corey and I did yoga together for the first time. We tried not to laugh to hard at one another. I think it could become part of our weekly routine!
After the kids took a nap, we tagged along to the women's basketball game with my parents. Joe was not a HUGE fan. mainly he wanted to be on the floor playing too. Libby clapped and cheered. She especially loved that my mom bought her a hot dog and a box of popcorn.
When I got home, Corey had fixed a nice big pot of lasagna soup (which was delicious). He and I played Wii Resort for a while and then hit the hay.
This morning was church. I am sure I will blog more about cityCHURCH in the weeks to come. But I snapped this photo of communion. It was a great service this morning-focusing on Romans 4, and the idea of faith. I will have to meditate on it more before I share thoughts and feelings.

Now all that studying I didn't do yesterday needs to get done today. So I am hitting the books until the football game is on. (I am making chicken nachos and peanut butter pie for game time).

Friday, January 21, 2011


I am listening to Tallest Man on Earth, Lost in the Trees, The Killers, and Mumford and Sons Pandora station. (obviously not all at once, but in my life currently, this is what I am listening to the most.)

I am reading The Thorn Birds.
I am watching The West Wing. (and about 10 other shows including Modern Family, Grey's Anatomy, and Chuck).

I am obsessed with making soup-probably because my mom got me this awesome soup pot for Christmas. This weekend I am making lasagna soup -thanks Danielle for the recipe. (also obsessed with making muffins and granola-current favs are peanut butter banana muffins and Janice's pistachio granola).

I am training for a half-marathon. My best friend Ellen is *hopefully* visiting in June to run it with me. I have been running on the treadmill at the rec - highest is 6 miles so far this semester. I got up to 11 last semester.
I am enjoying having dance parties with cute little people.

I am drinking yummy French pressed vanilla creme brule coffee in my favorite mug.

Happy Friday Everyone!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Hebrews 10:14 and Fashion

So what do a bible verse and fashion have to do with one another?

Well this verse has been on my mind lately. It says "By one sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy." The second half is what gets me. He is continuously making me holy and I don't get what that means. So I was trying to look at other aspects of my life to aid in my understanding. And I landed on fashion.

I am not a fashionista. I am not even close to one. I do not set trends--I generally do not even know what is trendy. Before law school I wore jeans and T-shirts everyday. I would buy Gap's My Favorite T in every color available. The only other clothing I owned was usually a present from one of my sisters in an effort to make me look more presentable. And for some people, jeans and a T-shirt is all that they need. But I was fearful of fashion. I also am slightly insecure about my body and lacked the confidence to try new things.

BUT I have some very fashion savvy friends. The last year I have seen how I have evolved into a more trendy dresser because of them. I am not saying that I have changed myself to fit in or that I have compromised my comfort to be a trendier person. RATHER I have become more comfortable with fashion and experimentation. Ultimately, I have become more comfortable with myself and the clothes that I wear.

Lauren (aka LUXLUCY) is my go to person. On a daily basis I ask her what looks good. She is brutally honest with me about clothing. I have learned to never say never -- a year ago I made fun of people that wore boots over their jeans and I am currently writing this wearing slim fit jeans and boots over them...oh and a fashion scarf). I also have a lovely friend Danielle who dresses me when we are together. She is patient with me and lets me try to put outfits together and then we tweak it to make it look good.

Spending time with these people has helped me find who I am in the world of clothing. So over the last year I have learned the following: I do not like heels much. I love flats-pretty flats, boots, TOMS. I prefer skinny jeans to boot cut (huge revelation in my world). I still love T-shirts, but I accessorize more freely. I wear scarves and earrings. I dislike necklaces, but I try them out every month or so. I even bought booties.

(BOOTIES, horizontal stripes and big hoop earrings. All things I never would have worn before. I sent this to both Lauren and Danielle to have them celebrate my fashion success!)

So what does this have to do with holiness? Well I think that is what it looks like. Being with people who love clothes and are comfortable with trying new things. Being with people that I feel comfortable asking questions, and who are patient enough to answer them has made me a more confident dresser. So spending time with God-reading my bible, meditating, praying, being in community with other believers-all of that is the process of being made holy. It isn't that I will be a different person. I will be more myself. I will be more confident about the perfect person He created.

All in all I am enjoying the process. And I love that it is a process... a stretching of the borders of what I thought was possible.

PS--I love photos, and will include more of them as we go on :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

a bit of a bio

Some things about me that will aid in understanding future posts...

I got married when I was 19 (celebrated 7 years last month). He is one of the greatest people I know. Marriage is work though, and we have both learned alot in our journey together.

Kiddos will be 5 and 3 this summer. Libby is our miracle. You can read more of her story at our family blog ( Joe is our tank. He is one of the sweetest kids I have ever met.

I LOVE math. I know this is dorky. I was a math major. I love numbers and algorithms and theories that produce answers. I love math.

I really like school in general. But have been extremely surprised and excited to like law school so much. This is what I want to do with my life. I love my job, I love the material-it suits me.

I love Jesus. I became a Christian when I was 13. It is not a religion thing for me. It is a relationship. I mentioned that marriage was tough, Christianity is tough too. We get a bad rap. But it's worth it. I am sure you will see my heart in the weeks that follow.

That is a snippet of me. I think knowing the above will help explain some of my thought processes-my views-my frustrations.

PS I also really like coffee. I mean alot. I like finals because it gives me the excuse to drink 2 pots of coffee a day instead of just 1.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

trying again

I have started blogs before. I generally quit them after a month or so-rationalizing that people don't generally care what I have to say. But I've realized in the last year how important it is for ME to have a space of my own. I am the mother of two rambunctious kids. I am the wife of a man who not only works as a nurse but has recently joined two bands (as the drummer). I am a second year law student. I have few moments that are my own. This blog is my thoughts on paper. My hopes and dreams and questions and frustrations. No one has to read it for it to be meaningful. It is my process.

Goals for 2011: (you can call them resolutions if you want)
Read more NON-law related books. I cannot tell you how much I adore books. I love being transported into different worlds and embracing characters. I also love TV for the same reason.

Get a handle on self-image. I have struggled long and hard with how I view my body. In 2011, I want to enjoy food, enjoy exercise, enjoy feeling healthy. Not a number-not a calorie count.

Pour my life out into other people-family, friends, church, community.

I'm excited about this journey. Excited to document a year of my life. Here we go...