Sunday, December 30, 2007

life is a blur...

These past few weeks really have been a blur for Justin and I. Personally, I would not suggest that anyone move during the Christmas season. Not that any other time is any less crazy for a move, but we seemed to keep accumulating so much stuff during the weeks leading up to Christmas (and I am thankful for those gifts!) that made it even more difficult to get packed.

We packed up in Roxboro on Thursday with such amazing help from many Westwood people. THANK YOU ALL!! We had no idea how much stuff we really did have. It's mostly all unpacked right now except our many books and I'm going to work on those tomorrow. It was not hard for us to leave our house. It was not hard for us to leave Roxboro. It was hard to leave our Westwood friends that have become our family. I realized that so much more today when we worshipped with our new church in Elkin. It's so different worshipping with people you have yet to really know. I am thankful, though, that we worship the same God and I know He will provide great friendships here and new opportunities for us to serve in Elkin.

I absolutely love our new house in Elkin and can't wait for everyone to come visit! (This is your official invitation). We're still waiting on our new sofa and loveseat to come and then we'll be ready to host some get-to-gethers! We have so much space to really spread out and enjoy all of the things we've had stored. For instance, we're now able to keep our keyboard up all the time so I enjoyed a nice relaxing hour of playing through some old music tonight. And...we have two bathrooms! Luxury. Unfortunately, we are sharing our house with a gazillion ladybugs. Better them than roaches or rats, I know, but any extermination or prevention advice is welcome.

Today was a little weird because we walked to church - a new, but welcome, experience. We literally just have to walk around a fence and we are there. We also spent the rest of the day in Winston-Salem looking for pots to accomodate our new house plants and a few other items- yes, it took all day for some reason. It's fun to actually have space to decorate with some new stuff. Anyway...just a glimpse into our life in Elkin...still in a blur.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

fa la la la la

Sheila tagged me for a Holiday Hoopla! The Random Christmas Hoopla! Here goes:

1. List 12 random things about yourself that have to do with Christmas
2. Please refer to it as a 'hoopla' and not the dreaded 'm'-word (which, for you bloggy newbies, is meme)
3. You have to specifically tag people when you're done. None of this "if you're reading this, consider yourself tagged" stuff is allowed...then nobody ends up actually doing it. The number of people who you tag is really up to you -- but the more, the merrier to get this 'hoopla' circulating through the blogosphere.
4. Please try and do it as quickly as possible. The Christmas season will be over before we know it and I'd like to get as many people involved as possible.

1. I am not a fan of colored Christmas lights...I am definitely on board with the clear lights and I think that's how it's always going to be.

2. In more decorating love for silver jewelry also translates to the tree. I'll always pick ornaments that incorporate silver, not gold accents...I can be so picky.

3. So, I love the fact that my dad literally looks like Santa Clause (see picture below). All year, but especially around Christmas, you can be anywhere with my dad and kids are staring at him and whispering to their parents. I love to watch kids come up to my dad and talk to him. He's always been great with children, so it's so fun to watch.

4. This year, my house probably has the saddest decorating "on the block" and I hate that. I love decorating the house...not just for Christmas, but at the change of the seasons. This year my decorations consist of Christmas cards we've received on the mantle, the stockings I finally bought us this year, and presents I've wrapped stuffed on the shelf since we've already packed our books. Boo. As sad as that's probably good...Jazz would have way too much "fun" with a Christmas tree!

5. I really shop for Christmas all year. Anytime I find a great sale gift for someone, I pick it up. Lots of times, this means I forget what I have bought and end up buying more than I probably should. This early shopping really lowered my stress level this year...I had almost everyone bought for before December even rolled around!

6. I'm a big fan of gifts...I don't really know's even one of my highest love languages (fortunate and unfortunate for Justin!) I have never been given the opportunity to give my parents or anyone else a Christmas list of what I would like, however, so it cracks me up when I hear people doing that. If my mom had let us do a Christmas list, though, it would have saved her a lot of time not buying clothes for me that I have never liked. We have very different tastes! (Don't be appalled...she already knows!)

7. I'll always remember a Christmas that fell on Sunday when my sister and I were little. We, of course, went to church that day, but our parents wouldn't let us open our gifts before church. They had a children's sermon at church that day and whoever was leading it asked all the kids if anyone had not opened their gifts yet. My sister and I were the only ones! But...I'm glad I have parents have their priorities in embarrassing as it may have been that day.

8. I can't wait till we start having children and can really begin to define what we want our Christmas traditions to be for them. Right now, it's just great that we can travel and see our families whenever it works best.

9. I love one tradition that we seem to have at my parent's house. On Christmas day, after we've opened gifts, my sister will usually make monkey of her specialties...which is oh so delicious!

10. When I think of Christmas, I can't help remember how many years my sister and I would sleep in the same bed...eagerly anticipating Christmas morning. I don't know why, but we could never get to sleep...when we would finally doze off we would still wake up so early in the morning to run downstairs to open presents.

11. I really was not wise in my packing...I totally packed up "White Christmas," which I love to watch every year. I'm sure Justin is not quite as upset as I am.

12. I love driving around looking at Christmas lights. I must admit, I'm not a fan of a lot of them, but as I was listening to the radio last night, my perspective changed a bit. One of the short commercial segments reminded me that everyone's different tastes in Christmas lights truly reflect the different personalities God has given us. Instead of defining decorations as tacky or ridiculous or gaudy (which I have been guilty of), I hope I will remember to thank God and celebrate the unique ways he has made all of His creation, reflected in the ways we choose to decorate and express our personalities.

Merry Christmas!

I tag Rebecca...cause she needs to blog anyway :)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

my day

I needed to get my car checked out because the "check engine" light came on a little while ago. So, I finally broke down (no pun intended) and got my car checked out and treated her to an oil change as well. One of the guys working at the car place came to the waiting room and asked me to come out to the work area and look at my car. He proceeded to tell me that the reason my "check engine" light had been on was because I had not completely closed my gas cap the last time I got gas, which triggered it to come on. I was so relieved to know it was nothing bad! But then...seriously...he demonstrated for me how to close the gas cap properly (making sure that it makes a clicking noise, of course). I really had to keep myself from laughing. I could just imagine him doing the same for a man!! It always cracks me up to go to the mechanic and listen to them explain car things to women. Anyway...I thought it was funny, and I guess I was in a good mood because I didn't even feel insulted.

Another part of our day has consisted of watching our poor little puppy walk around so helplessly. We had her fixed today and we picked her up about 5:30. She is so pitiful! It's killing us. Anyone who's been around Jazz knows that she is anything but slow and quiet. It's so hard to watch her in pain. Hopefully she will heal well.

My friend Jen is on her way home from India now! I'm going to meet her flight at 8:00 Friday morning. I can't wait to see her! Pray for her safety!

Monday, December 10, 2007


These last few weeks have been a little overwhelming, to say the least. I can't believe this is our last full week living in Roxboro. I've never actually been through a huge move like this since my family moved in 5th grade. And then, I wasn't exactly "in charge" of the move. I'm sure I just did what my parents said to do. (Now, here I am all grown up!) Our house is just full of boxes...there's hardly any room to move in our already small house and as crazy as it feels for me, I think that it's driving Jazz even crazier. Poor dog!

The other weekend we spent some time cleaning up and painting the house we will be living in in Elkin. We are so blessed to be able to live in one of the parsonages that the church has and we won't have to search for a place of our own.

Here are a few before and after pictures of the house:

The Living Room - we had to get rid of the border!

Our new green paint color (that looks blue)
The Dining room

Our kitchen - bold red color for Justin

Our house...the church is literally right beside it. I'm surprised it's not in the picture!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

the in between

Its been hard to blog over this last month. So much has been going on in our lives, but its hard to know when and what to share. Some things I can't even explain. God's ways are truly above ours, and some times that is more obvious than at other times - at least for me (Isaiah 55:8). Without a doubt, these last few weeks have been some of the hardest, yet at the same time, the most relieving. It is more difficult than I could ever have imagined to tell a congregation whom you love that God is calling you away from them. There have been some people who are obviously hurt by this change in our lives, and for that, I am completely humbled. 2 1/2 years in Roxboro has proved to be interesting, challenging, and thrilling, as Justin and I began our relationship with one another when he was first called to Westwood. We are so thankful for every person in our church family whom God has used to mold us, grow us, and prepare us for what He has for the next chapter of our lives. God has blessed us more than we could ever have imagined in a town that we had never even heard of before and we know that He has great plans for our next area of ministry, even though we have yet to know how.

I think that being married to Justin has prepared me for change...he certainly is a fan of it. I feel completely at peace about moving to Elkin, but that does not mean a piece of us won't be left in Roxboro. There are several young women I have worked with at the Pregnancy Support Center who I just don't understand how God could ask me to leave behind. But I know He has others who can lead them closer to Himself...hopefully I have laid a good foundation. It has been eye-opening for me to be reminded over these last weeks that I am replaceable. Maybe not "replaceable." I know there is no one else just like me! the since that God uses us where He can be most glorified and we can grow for a season, and then moves us to where He can continue to change us for His glory as He brings someone else in to lead His people closer to Him (as in Justin's position) and brings someone in to administrate vision (as in my position). I so look forward to how God continues the work He has allowed us to be a part of in Roxboro while at the same time being excited about the new opportunities that await us.

I hope to share more of our preparations for this move over the next weeks. Thank you for your prayers for us! Sorry, there will be no new recipes for awhile...I'm trying to clean out what we've already got!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Food Friday

Quick Beef Stroganoff

We had this for the first time the other night and loved it! I didn't include the sherry because I didn't have any, and it still turned out great. Hope you enjoy!

hands-on time: 30 min. total time: 30 min. makes 4 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 lb New York or sirloing steak, thinly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 lb button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 c dry sherry
1/4 c low-sodium chicken broth
1/3 c sour cream
2 cups cooked white rice
1/2 c fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the steak with 1 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Cook the steak until browned on all sides, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Wipe out skillet. Add the remaining oil and place over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until their juices evaporate, about 5 minutes. Add the sherry and broth. Bring to a boil and cook until the liquid reduces to 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Add the sherry and broth. Bring to a boil and cook until the liquid reduces to 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, add the sour cream, and heat until the mixture thickens. Transfer the steak and any juics that have collected on the plate to the skillet, and add the remaining salt ad pepper. Heat until warmed through. Spoon the steak strips and mushroom sauce over the rice and sprinkle with the parsley.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

top ten tuesday

Top 10 Reasons to Watch the Office

10. You don't want to miss out on Jim's ridiculous looks at the camera
9. You'll get great ideas for office pranks (calculator in jello, cell phone in the ceiling, etc.)
8. You can watch the most politically incorrect and awkward moments occur every Thursday night in your own living room
7. You can see the "most drawn out, overly-dramatic love story ever" (in the words of Justin)
6. You can have fun pointing out the people in your own life that act just like the matter how ridiculous
5. You'll be thankful for your own boss...unless of course you'd rather have Michael Scott, a rude, politically incorrect, lazy, ignorant manager
4. You could begin saying "that's what she said" as a comeback for everything like my wonderful husband so maturely does
3. You will be educated on diversity, men and women, ethics, and relationships through various skits, videos, and seminars
2. You can finish watching each episode feeling like you are pretty normal in the scheme of things
1. You can have conversations with my husband, since that's the majority of what he talks about more (sorry)'s real life...Justin heard this quote today at his office: "Putting all your information on computers is just a fad." Unbelievable.
...this is what Michael Scott would say about that: "I know computer are good for some games and forwarding funny emails, but real business is done on paper."

Monday, October 29, 2007

food friday

Grilled Bruschetta Chicken

We tried this one last week and thought it was pretty good and easy. We used the George Foreman grill since we don't have a "real" one. It worked just as good!

Prep: 5 min Total: 30 min. (includes marinating)

1/4 cup (Kraft) Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette Dressing, divided
4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb)
1 tomato, finely chopped
1/2 cup Shredded Low-Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp. dried basil leaves

Place large sheet of heavy-duty foil over half of grill grate; preheat grill to medium heat.

Pour 2 Tbsp. of the dressing over chicken in resealable plastic bag; seal bag. Turn bag over several times to evenly coat chicken with the dressing. Refrigerate 10 min. to marinate. Remove chicken from marinade; discard bag and marinade.

Grill chicken on uncovered side of grill 6 min. Meanwhile, combine tomatoes, cheese, basil, and remaining 2 Tbsp. dressing.

Turn chicken over; place, cooked-side up, on foil on grill. Top evenly with tomato mixture. Close lid. Grill an additional 8 min. or until chicken is cooked through.

Makes 4 servings.

Serving suggestion: Enjoy with cooked spaghetti and grilled or steamed vegetables.

top ten tuesday

Top 10 things Jazz would rather play with than the cute toys she has!

10. anyone's toes she can sink her teeth into
9. the top of my shaving cream can...she'll chase it around all day
8. a piece of ice...she comes running when I go to the fridge
7. a Pepsi (not coke) bottle...any size works
6. any color sock...clean or dirty
5. dryer sheets...maybe they will help her breath
4. a plastic bathroom cup
3. straws keep her occupied for hours
2. our books...she now reads more than Justin
1. the new Dance Dance mat...she's no better at dancing than we are

Sunday, October 28, 2007

we refuse to grow up

I'm fighting through the recent Blogger's block (as my friend Sheila says) to give you a huge glimpse into our lives. It's really a good thing we live on a farm. I would love to live in a nice little "neighborhood" one day, but I know our neighbors will think we're crazy.

For instance... we finally got a lot of rain the last few days, something that Jazz has not really seen much of, so we were really having to get creative in getting her to go outside. My strangely creative husband (love you babe!) decided to take Jazz out while wearing a wet suit (spring suit to be exact) so that he wouldn't get his own clothes completely soaked! I really think he looks for any excuse to put that ridiculous thing on. Thankfully, it was at night and maybe the few neighbors we do have didn't notice anything weird.

Jazz's new raincoat!
#2 - We went to Rose's the other day for the first time (and probably the last - oddly enough, we're loyal to wal-mart). We hung out a while in the toy section and ultimately left with a $5 remote control car to introduce to our puppy. She, however, was not as excited about it. She takes to the car about as much as she takes to the broom (!?) and the vacumn! I know our neighbors must think we play more than their kids do!

Ok, our final quirky decision of the week...We are now owners of Dance Dance Revolution. I have actually wanted this for a while, so I'm so excited! (It actually seems like the one fun workout I can think of). So we got it yesterday and had too much fun and laughs trying it out!! I've done some of those dance things at the arcades before, and I always joke about Justin trying them out, but I can't believe we actually own it now! We may be hosting some dance parties (!?) in the near be ready! Believe it or not, Justin and I are pretty close dance competitors. Who knew! I learn something new about him all the time!

Anyways...I'm going to have to come up with a strategic plan for blogging regularly. Any ideas??All of my entries just seem to be embarrassing for me and Justin!

Here are some pictures of our weekend at home for my sister's birthday!

Just a cool picture of the family that Justin took! Unbelievable sunrays!

Jazz patiently waiting until Justin gives her permission to get her treat.

(And the vet said our dog is disobedient! ha!)
Our dog is advanced.
Jeni finally met Jazz!

A picture of my mom's flowers for her to see. She's finally taking a computer class and now gets on the internet to read my blog. I guess pigs are flying somewhere, too!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

fishers of men

And he said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Matthew 4:19

Justin, Jazz, and I took a day trip to the beach on Friday and had such a great time. You can tell that we just wanted to get away and do something different because the wind and the drizzling rain all day did not really phase us. We had a lot of fun watching our puppy in the water and enjoying God's beautiful creation. Mostly, we fished all day - hoping to catch something good. Justin had a lot of good catches and we brought home a fair amount of fish to eat!

I did not have the best of luck fishing, however. So I had a lot of time to think as I baited and rebaited my line. This trip came after another week of sharing with young women about a God that I want so desperately for them to worship as their Savior and seeing them walk away without a making a decision that I know about. I haven't gotten frustrated or burned out at my job. Maybe just overwhelmed. There are a lot of lost women and men who are walking around in search of something that I have as a foundation for my life. I am so thankful for my God who has saved me, rescued me, and is daily changing me. I am thankful that people cared enough to tell me again and again about a loving, forgiving Savior who is Jesus Christ. I never want to tire of doing the same.

While we were fishing, the monotony of putting the bait on the hook was not something I enjoyed, but the potential of what I could catch kept me going. God began to teach me a lesson as I continually threw the bait and continued to catch nothing. Not only was I not catching anything, but the fish were taking my bait again and again. This was only teasing me and causing me to think that I had actually caught something. That is truly how it works when sharing our faith. In order to see people saved, there has to be a continual commitment to share again and again about the Savior that has so graciously saved us. We may get glimpses of hope as they listen and ask questions. But even if they walk away, seemingly unchanged, we can know that we must not be discouraged. The potential of what God can do through our faithfulness to repeatedly share the Gospel far outweighs the struggle of sharing truth without obvious results along the way. God knows each and every one of the people that we are sharing with and loves them with a matchless love. We must be faithful to not grow weary in the task to which he has called each of us.

Maybe an obvious analogy, but one I needed to be reminded of in order to have the strength to complete the task God has called me to. What a blessing to be his instrument of change in someone else's life - if only I put my faith in him to fulfill his plans in his timing.

Jazz checking thing out in the Wal-mart parking lot on the way to the beach

She's not too sure about the ocean.

But she loved digging in the sand!

One of Justin's fish!

Thursday, October 4, 2007


I must have thought that word atleast 50 times when I was standing in line at Wal-mart today. I don't ever go to Wal-mart not expecting to wait in line, but today topped the charts in terms of ridiculous things I have encountered at Wal-mart. Prepare for my venting....

Today, after I had a cart full of groceries, I got in a line behind one person after I had passed up lines with 4 or 5 people in them. No brainer, right? Apparently not...the other people seemed to know what I didn't. And that was - the lady I was behind was taking full advantage of the fact that Wal-mart will match any other competitor's price. Translation: she had 3 or 4 ads with her from various grocery stores and expected the cashier to change every Wal-mart price to match the sale price at every other store for the items she had. I must say - I was dumbfounded. And this is why I thought "unbelievable" over and over again for the next 10 (yes, atleast 10) minutes that I waited for 3 (yes, 3) cashiers to go through her items and correct the prices at the register against the prices in the ads.

I wasn't angry...I was just amazed that this was happening. It does baffle me that people do not think about how their actions affect those around them. (I couldn't change lines because there were also several people behind me at this point). In fact...I think I would have stayed in line anyway, just to make sure what I was seeing was actually what was going on. It was truly unbelievable.

I wish I could say the story stops there, but it doesn't! After the cashier had (very patiently) rung up each of the ladies' items, the customer handed over about 20 coupons to be scanned as well. At that point, the cashier informed the customer that she would be unable to use the coupons because she had used the sell prices from other stores (many were BOGO free items). The lady was furious! And again, I was dumbfounded (that's the best word for my disbelief at this point). She refused to pay for her items without being able to use the coupons, and after yelling at the cashier, she asked to speak with the manager. All I know is...I had already finished checking out (and I had a lot of stuff) and the lady was still there complaining. I can't help but tell you that the words "I wouldn't have wasted an hour here - I would have gone to Food Lion if I knew this was going to happen" actually came out of her mouth. UNBELIEVABLE. I must say...everyone around her wished that she would have gone to Food Lion. And I must just would have made sense (seeing as their items were already on sale). I mean, I like to get good deals...but the whole scene I witnessed today seemed very selfish. I'm a huge fan of coupons. In fact, I'm usually at Lowe's Foods with my many coupons each week because they double them and if I'm lucky the things I have coupons for are even on sale. But this....this was a whole other level.

Ok...I think I'm through venting. I wish I was ready with a spiritual application, but the majority of things that have run through my head today have been more about how ridiculous that lady was. Maybe there will be something to come. We'll see. Until then...I'm waiting to see what will happen on my next Wal-mart trip.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

cool things happen when you don't have your camera

Wouldn't you know...I forgot the camera last night when we went to the lake again. Don't worry, I know no one needs to see anymore pictures of our cute little dog at the lake. (I know I'm competing with the adorable babies that are being blogged about!) haha...But, the one night I forget the camera I catch the biggest fish I've ever caught! I couldn't believe it.

Justin and I took a canoe out on the lake - prepared to enjoy a nice relaxing time of fishing. I could really care less if I caught anything because we weren't going to keep any fish this time to bring home. Too bad we hadn't brought the cooler, because if we had, the large bass I caught would have been our dinner tonight! I'm usually pretty good at reeling the fish in and taking it off the hook, but last night I literally screamed when I saw the fish jump out of the water! It echoed all around the lake and freaked Justin out. So...thankfully my wonderful husband saved the day and finished reeling the fish in and taking it off. We considered keeping it for a few seconds, but thought better of it. Plus...Jazz was freaked out, too. The fish was bigger than her! was a fun night of fishing...something Justin and I love to do. Our dog is fitting right in with us. She still loves the water. She jumped right out of the boat last night and swam around for a little while. She's fearless. She's funny-looking now, though, 'cause Justin and I gave her her first haircut! We haven't done her head, yet, so she's got a tiny body with a big head! She looks hilarious, but still adorable. We're contemplating a trip to the beach, just so we can see her in the waves. We'll see how the weather is the weekend!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

our little swimmer

We took Jazz to the lake the other night and we had so much fun watching her swim. Thought you might like to see some pictures!

She's fearless!

Jazz kept kicking her little legs even when she was out of the water.

She was such a good swimmer! Justin was so proud.

Also, I've decided that Jazz is so easy to please. We've bought (way to many) toys for her to play with and without a doubt, the things that keep her entertained the most are...straws, a coke bottle she's been playing with for days, and the top to one of my shaving cream cans. I hope this means our children (one day) will be thrilled with a cardboard box!

Friday, September 21, 2007

is it just me??

So...this is going to be ridiculous and hardly worth posting, but I think about blogging about it everytime it happens, so here goes. Everytime I go in a store that offers carts to use for shopping (mostly Wal-mart, since that seems to be where I live half the time!) it never fails that I get the cart that seems to make the most awkward and annoying noises!! Please tell me that this happens to someone else! I really think it could just be me. I never seem to notice anyone else's cart making ridiculous sounds that annoy me. Today, for example, I went in Bed, Bath, & Beyond (yea!)...usually a place that I don't bother getting a cart. But, today I needed one - something I realized after I went in and shopped for a while. :) So...I had to walk back outside to get a cart and about the time I got it past the main entrance it started making the most ridiculous sounds - I mean, even ridiculous for the carts I get!! I couldn't imagine what could make such awful noises....I looked down and one of the wheels was basically falling off! So...I just thought..."that figures! It's definitely the cart that was meant for me!" Thankfully, things like this don't really bother me. I don't get mad or anything...I'm just flaberghasted (!) that this happens to me every time I shop! calmed down as I kept going through the store. But don't worry - every once in a while it would make a horrible noise - as if to say, "Ha! Gotcha!"

And...other than was a glorious day of shopping - something I haven't done in a while! I am, however, ashamed to say that I did come home with a halloween outfit for Jazz!! Something you'll have to wait and see! :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

brain vacation

Allright, it's officially been 1 month since I have posted a blog. I didn't mean for it to be this way. I promise. Honestly, I can't believe its been a month. I must apologize because I know that some of you check my site everyday for the update on my exciting life. (Insert sarcasm here).'s the update....our lives are boring! Jazz has definitely added some excitement to each of our pretty "normal" days, but other than that I'm at a loss for what to share on here. Hopefully, in a few days I will quit being lazy and write about some of the things that are going on in my brain lately. Yes...I tend to let my brain be lazy quite often, but I'll try to kick it into gear soon! I guess after graduating from school I consider any sort of typing in paragraphs a form of work that I do not want to needlessly subject myself to. So stay tuned...

Saturday, August 18, 2007

My sister sent Justin a gift in the mail - actually it was more for our dog and the entertainment of others! I laughed so hard when I saw it. I keep telling Justin that I have done a good job so far walking out of the stores without purchasing any *cute* clothes for little Jazz, so it was great that Jeni sent us a cute shirt for her. Unfortunately, Jeni keeps forgetting our dog is actually a girl, so the shirt is not very girlie! I love it, though! Jazz had a different opinion about the shirt as you will see!

Justin is trying so hard to get this shirt on her!

We've been getting Jazz acquainted with Dwight since Justin's brother got us The Office for graduation!!
This is JAzz rolling all around in her shirt...trying to get it off!

So cute!! Yet we're torturing her!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

more pictures of our baby!

Playing with her toys!


In her bed!

Always getting our shoes :)

This song has been in my head all day so I thought I would share doubt a reminder from God that I need to replay over and over again in my forgetful brain...
My love is not my own.
It all belongs to You;
And after all Youve done,
the least that I can do
Is live my life in every part
Only to please my Fathers heart.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Justin just got deleted from "blogs i read" because I felt like I was living a lie the whole time he was on there. It just felt necessary that my husband be at the top of my he's my husband. But I can't justify it anymore. You just can't start a blog and never blog...unacceptable. Oh, shoot! I just realized...I probably should have waited to do that tomorrow since today's his birthday! Happy Birthday, Honey! :) I live your (fictitious) blog in real life!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

a day in the life of jazz

It turns out that the puppy we named Jazz (I guess having a lot to do with our love of music) actually does not seem to like music. It will be our mission to change that, that's for sure. Justin has been playing guitar a lot lately and getting really good, but everytime he has played in the house since we got Jazz last Friday she all of the sudden starts having accidents all over the house. So...Justin has put down the guitar more than he has wanted so that we don't go crazy cleaning up more messes than we already are! Today...we decided that has to stop. But, just to start out slowly, Justin took her outside while he played guitar so she could have an endless bathroom! Of course we sing around the house and someday I hope to have a piano, so we definitely cannot have a dog that poops at the sound of music.

If Jazz is any indication of children to come...we will simply be letting our children play with cardboard boxes. Jazz plays with every cord, every remote, our feet and every basket rather than playing with the cute toys we got her! It's hilarious.

My other mission is to train a dog who actually likes to curl up in my lap. So far, Justin has gotten the playful puppy, but I want the cuddly puppy. Hopefully this will be something that comes with age. Right now, she will actually get off of my lap to go purposefully sleep on the base of a floor lamp we have in our living room. Go figure!

I believe I may have been mistaken...other than the labor, a human life, and the crying...I believe a child may be easier! Our puppy sure is fun, though!

Friday, August 10, 2007

trip to the lake!

Today was a big day for little Jazz (who by the way weights 2.1 lbs!!). We decided to try taking her to the lake for the first time. Justin's main wish for our dog was that it would be playful and I'm telling you - we couldn't have gotten a more playful puppy! First thing...Justin gets in the shallow part and our fearless girl is right in after him. Justin was loving it! I'll get the pictures up as soon as we can figure out how to actually use a camera phone. (I forgot the camera, so that's what we had to resort to.) She's a cutie!

And...I have a confession. I definitely dropped Jazz today and it was all I could do not to cry. We were standing out on our front (concrete) porch today and I was holding her while Justin was leaving. She freaked out (because Justin is definitely her favorite!) and wriggled out of my arms before I knew what was happening. She fell flat on her back with several accompanying wails. I have never felt more terrible. She seems to be doing ok, so I'm thankful for that. I hope she doesn't have a concussion or anything. She's so tiny! I know I'm going to end up spoiling her now.

Sunday, August 5, 2007


Yes! It has finally happened! We have a new addition to our family! Friday we went and picked out our "first major purchase" as a couple that will be with us for many years to come! Jazz is a female Cockapoo who is about 7 weeks old now. Justin has been wanting a playful puppy and he sure got his wish! We have loved having her around so far. She really is precious...and tiny! She can barely get down our front steps and its great entertainment to watch her try. I have had fun buying her some cute toys (no hairbows or clothes yet!), but she would prefer to just play with our toes. Yesterday, we thought we had a perfect pet....I don't think we had any "accidents," but today, that has not been the case. Justin has already been heard saying, "this is going to hurt you more than its going to hurt me," followed by a quick reprimand and spanking. Jazzy's learning quick, I think we're ok parents! I'm sure there will be some stories to come...

Thursday, July 26, 2007

and Justin thinks he's ready for a dog...

The great part about Justin not keeping up with his own blog is that I get to write about the funny things that happen to him. We're house-sitting/pet-sitting for a family with a poodle this week, which has been an experience. So far, the count is....Justin - 0, Cody (the poodle) - 2. It's not looking good. The first defeat was Sunday night when I found Justin on the couch. Yes....he got kicked out of the bed by the dog. The dog is slowly wearing him down. (I promise I didn't tell Cody to do it). His next encounter with the "practice dog before we actually find one" was this morning. Apparently the 3 times we let Cody outside last night were 1 less than he needed. When Justin got to work this morning, his computer bag was surprisingly wet...and smelly. Needless to say...we've been sleeping upstairs away from the dog and the computer bag is history. I really am missing my little house :) ... but I've been spoiled with a dishwasher....catch 22.

In other news...Justin is getting really good at the guitar...and I'm actually getting close to having the title of Director at the PSC. God is so good to us...we really are blessed in Roxboro.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

the desires of our heart

"Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act." Psalm 37: 3-5
Our God is such a good God. As it was said in Sunday School today..."who are we to even think that we could ever impress God." The same God who created the universe, put the stars in the sky, and "told the ocean it could only come so far" (as Nicole C. Mullen so eloquently puts it!) cares enough to be intimately involved in our lives. Our God is amazing, and yet, we can still think that we know what is best for someone, or best for ourselves. I love this verse of Scripture. How amazing that this same, awesome God actually wants to give me the desires of my heart!
I can't always say that I have "delighted myself in the Lord" so that he would "give me the desire of my heart," but our God is a gracious God. Growing up, one of my true desires was to marry a music minister - honestly!! God truly granted this desire - one that I didn't go in search of, but God gave me a husband who loves the Lord and loves to lead His people in worship. I believe that God not only wants to answer our desires with good things, but so often he goes above and beyond what we could even begin to desire! What a great God!
Today, Justin and I had the awesome opportunity and privilege to pray with a lady to receive Christ after church. Lately, God has awakened a true desire in us to be used by Him in Roxboro and to be more intentional about leading others to Him. I have been praying for specific women at work and seeking opportunities with them (that have not turned out as I would have planned), so today it was so amazing to see God show up in an unexpected way and allow us to lead this woman to Christ. I am so thankful for the opportunities God gives us, for the fact that He uses weak vessels like us to convey His truth.
I know God wants to use us to bring others closer to Him. I pray that I will delight myself in the Lord and that God would work through my desire to see others come to Him.

Monday, July 9, 2007

a relationship with God

I am so sad that I can so often talk about my relationship with God in such a casual, taking-it-for-granted manner. I know that I will never be able to fully comprehend this awesome privilege I have to come to my Father, my Heavenly Father, unable to hide my flaws and failures because He knows me so intricately. But...I don't want to take it for granted. I spoke with a girl today at the PSC who wants to have a "better relationship with God" but I do not think she is a believer. It was difficult to say to her, "without trusting Christ as your Savior, you don't have a relationship with God" but it had to be said. I know it has her thinking, but it also has me thinking of how grateful I am. I am thankful, so thankful to be a child of God - having the only answer to share with this girl about what is truely missing in her life. There are many girls that come to our center, but there are some that just grip my heart more than others. I pray that I will have a heart for the lost and a boldness to tell them how it really is. I know God is at work and I pray He will use my imperfect attempt to share His truth with her. Praise God for this awesome opportunity today!

Saturday, July 7, 2007


As I write this I am actually (prepare to laugh) watching a rock, paper, scissors championship on tv. Honestly...this is a first for me. I saw the channel when I was looking for something to watch and I just couldn't believe such a thing actually existed. I also just heard the statement..."for these two young men (in the tournament), this is the most important moment in their lives." How sad...God has really been pricking my heart lately about what we actually believe to be important in this life....and this just baffles me. I wish I could say that I make good use of all of the 24 hours I have each day, but I know there are many opportunities I am missing out on. I have one friend in India right now, other friends who just returned from Afghanistan, my sister's about to go to Romania and Justin's parents just got back from Canada....where they almost got arrested! My life is so easy here in Roxboro. I really do look around our town and see so many lost people, but I pray that God will give me such a boldness. Justin and I were talking the other night about how different our lives would be if we were in another country serving the Lord. He has yet to call us overseas, but I pray I will live my life here as if I believe I really am a missionary. Justin said he has heard someone say that we put missionaries on a pedestal, as if they are above us, allowing ourselves to justify our lack of intentionality in sharing the Gospel with everyone we meet. That's so true...most "career missionaries" are in other countries, doing a job, and being faithful to serve the Lord...exactly what we should be doing here. I am thankful to have a job where women are constantly coming to me for help, not knowing that I know the One who can eternally help them. I still act as if I have lots of time to share the Truth with them. I pray that God will give me a renewed boldness and a sense of urgency that I have prayed for so many times in my life. As I watch the new paper, rock, scissors champ totally erupt in excitement over such a ridiculous win, I hope that I will have such fervor and commitment to seeing others around me come to know my Savior and truly fall in love with Him.

Monday, July 2, 2007

no puppy yet

I promise I have good intentions on this blogging thing...I like reading about other people's lives...I just can't conjure up any good stories about mine right now. I had hoped to have news of a new puppy soon...but I found out last night that our biggest lead fell through. While my friends are waiting on babies to be born..yes..I am waiting on a puppy to adopt. The latest lead was a yorkie poo. That's just fun to say...and to hear Justin say. I'm so excited about a little dog. I really got my hopes up about this last one, which is so weird because a month ago I didn't even really want a dog. I've never sat around this much instead of wanting to go back to school I decided I would put my hopes toward getting a dog. Meanwhile...Justin and I are playing endless games of poker - and I'm kicking his butt everytime!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

oh, to be 20/20

I've definitely had contacts now for 14 years and I am very close to throwing them in the toilet somedays (although I'm practically blind without them), but this morning I accidentally dropped one in the toilet! I have probably dropped my contacts hundreds of times in the last fourteen years, but I must say - this was a first. It was all I could do to put it back in my eye this morning. I thought I was going to throw up (at least the toilet was clean - as much as a toilet can be clean). But, needless to say, this was the final straw. My parents gave me the gift of Lasik eye surgery for graduation this year (awesome!), I just had yet to do the research on doctors and such. So, you'd better believe that was one of the first things I did when I got home from church today....20/20 here I come!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

blogging bum

So...I am officially a blogging bum. I am terrible with coming up with things to say. So, for those of you who have given up on reading this, I figured I would at least let you know I am alive. Since graduation I have realized that I really do not have a life. Justin and I have both said several times, "We have got to find a hobby." And it's true. Hmmm...I'm still trying to figure out what exactly there really is to do in Roxboro. So far this week I have just been addicted to Craig's list...not exactly what I would hope to be my hobby. Also...we've become obsessed with finding a dog. We got to hold a yorkshire terrier at the pet store yesterday and that is definitely what I want! One step at a time...I have got to trust Justin with a dog before I can trust him with a human. :) Speaking of...Sheila...Olivia had better be here soon! We are excited for you and Andrew! Another realization I have come to this week - the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is amazing. I finally used one the other day and I seriously went around my whole house (ok, this didn't take long) looking for every neglected spot on these old walls. I really did feel like a magician or something. Spots have never come off so easily! (Told you my life is boring!) Pray for a hobby so next time I won't just be an infomercial!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

what graduation means to me...

So... :) I don't have much to say tonight, but I thought I would share a little about how my life has changed in just the last few weeks since graduation....
  • I haven't read one book...and I'm ok with that
  • All of my paycheck isn't going toward gas anymore....and I'm definitely ok with that!
  • Justin and I have been on two dates :)
  • I've made dinner 4 nights already this week (2 more than a normal week before)
  • I've been able to keep my house clean enough so that its ok if people just drop by (this was NOT the case before graduation)
  • We've watched as many movies in one week as we probably watched all semester
  • I have been able to actually have time to brainstorm about things at the Pregnancy Support Center
  • We have had friends over twice this week...probably equal to all semester...what a blessing!

That's all I can think of for now, but, bottom line is...I'm so thankful to be done with school. I do feel weird, like there's something I should be doing, but I get over that quickly and sit down and catch up on all the HGTV I have been missing!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

count down on the clapper

For those of you who haven't been in our house...yes...we are the (proud?) owners of "The Clappper." I can't say that I saw this coming in my life, but I guess I can't totally complain. I bought it probably 8 months ago for Justin because he has always wanted it and it just happened to be on sale at Eckerd. What was I thinking? Now, every time I walk into our living room I have to...stop what I'm doing....clap three times (crap, that was too fast)....clap three times again....(crap, I sneezed and threw it off)...yes, clap three times again (thank goodness, it worked -if I'm lucky)...and then I can go on with my life. Yes, this has gone on for 8 months now. I think it's time to pull the plug. Meanwhile...I'll keep dreaming of a house where all light switches work and I am not mocked multiple times a day by the lighting in my own house. (I'm not afraid to dream big!)

Monday, June 11, 2007

God is good....even on Mondays...

Blogger moment of the day....I went to the grocery store for three things today and from the time I went in to the time I left it began POURING. I headed out of the store...with no umbrella of course...and it was a lost cause...I didn't even run. The rain was coming at me horizontally because of the crazy wind and by the time I got to my car (a mere 20 seconds later) the whole left side of my body was drenched....but the right side faired well...not even damp. Unbelievable. I'm just glad I was on the way home...I may not have handled that experience so well if I was just starting out my day. However...since that 20 seconds I spent in the rain I have probably sneezed 100 times and gone through 40 kleenex. Who knew! Next time I'll run.

But, God has just blessed me tremendously today. One thing I have learned over and over again since working at the Pregnancy Support Center is to come to God with even the smallest of my problems and to truly be thankful for the small things that He does as well. I woke up so discouraged about my job this morning....I let a silly e-mail from someone really get me down....and God quickly reminded me this morning that He is so good.

Psalm 8 quickly pierced my heart as I read, "What is man that you are mindful or him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet." I am so thankful that God gripped me with the reality of how privileged I am just to be able to serve the women at our center. I am truly amazed each day that He has given me such an amazing opportunity to help meet a great need in our community. Praise God that He is mindful of us....even when we fail to recognize Him. What a great, majestic God who is not just mindful of us but truly knows the best for us and blesses us beyond what we can even imagine!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

I realized that I have got to be more creative with my writing - 4 out of 5 of my posts have started with "So...." and that was exactly how I was going to start this one! I'm so predictable....its pathetic! :) One thing that's not predictable is that Justin and I are actually contemplating a road trip, so I'll keep you posted. I am very excited about the thought of getting away with my husband! He loves Washington, DC so I think we are going to head up there and then on to New York. I could go tomorrow!...can you tell there's not much to do in Roxboro?? We've only been here full time for a week and I'm already ready for a get away. I was spoiled getting to go to the "big city" of Wake Forest each week! Imagine that!! :)

My piano students had their recital today and I was so proud! Everything went surprisingly well. I made some goodies for the reception and I thought I would share the recipes since they're simple. Enjoy!

Cherry Jell-o Apples

I learned about this from a lady at work. It's so simple and great for snacks, especially for kids.

Just slice some apples, place in a ziploc bag or container and shake with some (dry) cherry jello. (Just enough to lightly coat the apples). They're messy, but surprisingly good.

Pepperoni Pinwheels

This is another easy appetizer or snack!

1 (8oz.) can of crescent dinner rolls
1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 (3.5 oz) pkg. sliced pepperoni
1 c. pizza sauce or spaghetti sauce

Heat oven to 350. Separate dough into 4 rectangles; firmly press perforations to seal. Place 8 pepperoni slices on each rectangle. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cheese. Starting at shortest side, tightly roll up each rectangle; pinch to seal. Slice each roll into 4 equal slices. Pinch dough together on one side of each slice to seal. Place sealed side down on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Serve with warm pizza sauce if desired. Makes 16 pinwheels. (I've never used pizza sauce - they're good enough by themselves!)

I hope you enjoy these recipes....let me know if you like them! Now that I've got time to actually cook dinner I hope to share some more recipes. Stayed tuned!

Friday, June 8, 2007

So...funniest moment of the day....our waitress (atleast 40 years old) comes up to us at lunch today at Golden Corral and says, "Is this your boyfriend?" and I said, "Well, he's my husband." Then she says, "Well, he's cute! Y'all are too young to be married." I about was hilarious. Good move on her part, though, because that comment alone got her an extra dollar from Justin!

Anyways...I am terrible at this blogging thing...(good thing no one actually reads these!)...we were gone last week to the beach, which was wonderful and this week has been equally wonderful as I am beginning to realize what life without school looks like. We have been on two dates in one week! (Thanks to some recently acquired gift cards!) I think that's about the same number of dates we've been on since we got married. Praise the Lord for graduation! I am so thankful to begin this new chapter of our lives. But, since we did not have lives before graduation I have got to get my butt up and get a life so I actually have something to write about!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

loving life was a great day...starting out with graduation rehearsal...then ending up hanging out with two great friends over dinner. I just love to have people over. Today was mostly so good because I had time to get things done without having things that had to be done. I think for a while I am going to really enjoy simple things that I get to do cooking a great dinner for friends and watching a complete movie with my husband. Whew....what a relief to be done with school. But at the same time...I know my life will never be the same. I have loved school, especially Southeastern. Some of the greatest people I have ever met are there. I know I will really miss it. But for now...graduation and the beach are calling my name!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


We are finally done with school....unbelievable....7 long years! Graduation is Friday, but I'm not even sure it will sink in that we are actually done with school. This is all Justin and I have known so I'm sure our lives will be very different. So far it's meant time for video games and cleaning house :) That's good enough for me right now! I praise God for bringing us through this time in our lives and blessing us so much. If it weren't for Southeastern I wouldn't even know Justin! God is so good. Bring on pomp and cirmumstance....

Monday, May 21, 2007

changing things thing that I have noticed since I have been married to Justin is that I have actually grown to like change. He is definitely the king of change, but somehow that has transferred to me as well. He likes to change things up at the church a lot, but I really view that as challenging those of us who have gotten in a rut in our worship. Also, we have changed our house around a lot since we've been married. For those of you who have seen our house, you can tell how this could be a big deal. Honestly, there's not much room for change here, but at the same time, it's kind of the only thing that keeps me sane in such a small space.

Since being with Justin I have thought a lot about change. I think that change is so important for a Christian, especially. God calls us to change - we are not to be the same today as the day He first saved us. I pray that for my life. I really do want to be an ever-changing, ever-progressing Christian. We believe fully in the phrase "People don't know what they like, they like what they know." I have found this to be so true. Not only in others' lives, but in my life as well. Even though I like changing certain things around me, I really don't like the uncomfortableness that comes from changing my way of doing things. I could just as easily be lazy and let things be. So often I have let this be characteristic of my life. I know God calls us to so much more, though, and I get excited about the changes He wants to make in me. Just as I get uncomfortable now with the way my house is arranged, I pray that I will allow God to make the changes necessary in my life so that He can arrange me to best serve and glorify Him.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

New to this

So... I really have no clue about blogging, but I really enjoy reading others' blogs and I think it's a neat way to see what everyone is up to. I'm actually starting this because I have recently run across some major free time. Justin and I are completely amazed at how much our lives have changed in even the last week. We are done with exams in two days - I can hardly believe it. We joke that this is our third time having senioritis, and I really do think it is worse this time. God has blessed us so much since we have known one another, but it is obvious that the school season of our life is ready to end. I really believe our second year of marriage is going to be even better for us because I think we may get to actually enjoy the time we're spending together now, instead of sitting beside each other writing papers or studying for tests (not my idea of a romantic evening). And...can you all just pray that this second year of marriage works out better for me in terms of taking care of our house and keeping things clean?? That has reached an all-time ridiculous low in these last few weeks. I am praying for some discipline and renewal in that department for sure. That's another thing, I hope that this blog will be an example of how Justin and I are continuing to grow in our relationship and in our relationships to God. Our newly-found free time definitely needs to go towards some positive improvements in our lives. I certainly don't promise this blog to be at all exciting...but we'll see what the next months have in store!