January 31, 2011


Here's a little sneak peek on what I was working on this weekend - a book of places Whit and I have been together. It's a gift for Valentine's Day, which will mark 4 years of us being together! I can't wait to give it to him! But shhh...it's a surprise! :)

Our Greatest Need

I don't just need grace, I need Jesus. My prayers are finally being answered after years of asking the Holy Spirit to convict me of my sin - to really be broken over the fact that the things I do and think aren't just "not that bad," they're HORRIBLE and it's a miracle that the Lord forgives - no - already forgave me for them. It makes life harder because you realize how bad you are, but it makes experiencing Christ so much greater because you realize how much you need Him.

Here's a great exposition on that topic which reminds us that we all - even Christians - need a Savior.

"This highlights a second role of Scripture—namely, pointing our hearts to our
Savior. We tend to limit this dimension of Scripture merely to those who are
outside the Christian faith (i.e., the primary role of Scripture for the
unbeliever is pointing his or her heart toward Christ). We often fail to
recognize that our hearts constantly need to be pointed to Christ as well. As
believers, we are still tempted to make our lives work apart from Christ and
often seek life apart from him in control, influence, approval, performance, or
any number of aternatives. We, therefore, constantly need to be pointed back to
the one in whom alone life can be found. From Genesis to Revelation, Scripture
does two things: (1) it exposes our brokenness and (2) points us to our savior."
-Keith Johnson

January 30, 2011

If I Could Change...

As we were cleaning out my stuff last night, I read this list to Whit. I thought he might think they were weird or stupid, but he thought they were legit, so I decided I would share them! Over some period of time, I've written down a list of a few things I would change if I had the right influence, simply to make life easier/better.

I would:
*Move Christmas later in the winter - more chance of snow, and then more of winter would be Christmasy instead of only for one month and then the rest of winter is just dreary and cold
*Standardize stoplights - so often there are 2 lights for 1 lane, 1 light for 2 lanes, or 2 lights on one stoplight when there is only one action (ex. two green circles but you can only go straight), or 1 light when there is more than one action (one solid green for a right turn lane). So annoying. Please make them all the same!
*Standardize which side bathrooms are on - ex. men on the right, women on the left. no more wandering into the wrong one by accident!
*Standardize receipts so the date and amount paid are always found in the same spot (it's so hard when you're inputting receipts into your budget and the date is really tiny and always in a different spot)

Yay making things easier

January 29, 2011

Cooking With Wine

...should be the title of someone's blog if it isn't already. And it doesn't mean using wine to cook...it means cooking with a glass of wine in hand. ;) That's what I did tonight - as I made sloppy joe's for us. We're ridiculous. It was a nice celebration after cleaning (aka organizing all the spots that I have been putting off for so long) the house together. We were also very classy walking home from CVS with a bottle of wine, valentine's day sweettarts, and toilet paper. It was so nice we walked from our house to the thrift store down the street, the Shops at Main, and ended at CVS. (We also tried to buy something from the Wendy's drive-thru but it didn't work.) Happy Early Valentine's Day!
PS I also just learned how to add pictures from the web. MUCH easier than saving the picture to your computer each time. You can also resize it -nice!

January 28, 2011

The Endless Snack

For our staff Christmas party the first week of December, Whit and I were supposed to bring a few things, including 2 large jars of salsa. I picked out the salsa and I was planning on buying one of those standard jars of El Paso. It seemed "large" to me. I picked up the jars but then noticed an even bigger size. I'm not talking large, I mean GIANT. We were buying for Lisa's chili recipe, and I really had no idea what the salsa was going to be used for, or what other people's definitions of large are, so I erred on the large side and bought two gigante salsas. Turns out I definitely should've just gotten the regular size ones. Lisa was nice and gave Whit and I the leftover salsas to take home since we had bought them. So here we are with two huge things of salsa. The biggest worry on our mind is - "how are we going to eat all of this?" and "we have to finish the salsa!" So we started with the bag of tortilla chips we currently owned, and immediately decided to always have a bag on hand. We were already going through a chips and salsa ratio dilemma of "how can we get it so that we have no extra salsa AND no extra chips?" This only added an additional challenge. Since then, we have been eating chips and salsa at literally every meal (lunch and dinner) except maybe a few times. It is getting out of control. The morale of the story is: 1) please come over and help us finish the chips and salsa and 2) I think I am developing serious stomach problems as a result of the large salsa intake.

It just might be possible...

...that Krispy Kreme is not ALL bad. This is why:
Forever I have loved Dunkin Donuts wholeheartedly, and hated Krispy Kreme to the same extent. It all started with my Krispy Kreme donut - at church one Sunday. I looked across the table of donuts and despite there being 15 boxes of donuts, they were ALL THE SAME. Just glazed. Nothing fancy, special, exciting, or delicious. Oh but Dunkin Donuts. CAKE-based donuts. SO many varieties and options to choose from! At Krispy Kreme you can have glazed, chocolate glazed, or maybe if you're lucky chocolate glazed with sprinkles. But at Dunkin Donuts they do have glazed and chocolate glazed, but they also have cinnamon, powdered, blueberry, just plain cake, chocolate, chocolate glazed, or even creme filled (if you're gross). But I spontaneously bought a box of Krispy Kreme chocolate glazed donuts today at Wal-Mart, probably because I was in a rush and didn't have enough time to talk myself out of it. I bought them for tomorrow morning to make our 3 hour long staff meeting happier. I ate one donut tonight and was persuaded that maybe, just maybe Krispy Kreme is not all that bad.
(Note: This post is dedicated to Sarah Booth, who also pledges allegiance to the best Donut company there is)

January 27, 2011

Funny story

So there is this McDonald's gift card that has been in our (my mom's, mine, Whit's, mine again) possession for the last several years. Yes, at least two or three years. My mom had originally bought them to give out to homeless people instead of cash (mcdonald's: the anti drug). Then she gave them to Whit and I to give to homeless people one day since we were going into the city. We must not have seen anyone to give them to or maybe we just forgot about them, but many months or maybe years later we found the gift card and said "whoops." Just a few weeks ago Whit pulled out the card and said "Let's use this thing or throw it away." I checked the back and yep - it never expires. Perfect! Since we were in downtown Baltimore for Radiate, I took it and resolved to give it to a homeless person the next (our last) day. Put it in my pocket and of course forgot - well, we were rushing to get to the aquarium and trying to be back to work and then go to the new year's eve party. So much for that. When we were in Blacksburg I gave up on the whole homeless person thing and decided to just use it rather than continuing to leave it in our wallets and never end up using it. I decided to have a "Venezuela Day" and get McDonald's (a specific meal - McChicken to be exact...or as I wish it were, "McPollo") and watch Friends. At the window, the guy sloppily tried to the run the card and then gave up. Too old and scratched up. I asked him if he could just type in the number of the card and he said he couldn't. Whatever. Another lady came to help but it was no good. I was angry because it said that it never expires and it was worth a whole $5 so I could get two McChicken/fry meals FOR FREE. I asked if there was a number I could call at least to try to get another card! Good grief. So tonight I was feeling productive so I made the call. The lady mumbled something about not being able to check the balance because the card was too old and then put me on hold to this awesome (not) rock music. Whit called me while I was on hold and I answered, thinking it was urgent (since he had just texted me). It wasn't that urgent but I had lost the call. I gave up hope on the card and decided to just throw it away - it wasn't worth all this hassle!! Just then my phone rang and it was McDonald's. I expected to hear the lady but no - it was just "hold," calling me back. Weirdest thing ever to get a call from music. Anyway, I got the lady and she checked the balance and it still had money on it! ...but only sixty cents! All that for nothing.

January 23, 2011

New Year's Resolution?

I'm going to work out. It's not my new year's resolution, I just finally have the opportunity to use the Tech gym - last year there was a problem with my passport, so I couldn't go. I just hope that the gym won't be too crowded! I'm going now so we'll see!

January 18, 2011


I had the day off today and I was so looking forward to doing a bunch of fun things - watching new dvds I got for Christmas, playing our new video games, doing random stuff online like playing settlers or making shutterfly books since I have a ton of free coupons. The problem is that I don't care about ANY of those things. I don't want to do them at all. I don't want to do ANYthing. Basically I've been fairly depressed recently and just not motivated or excited about anything. The diagnosis? Easy. Not being satisfied in the Lord. The problem? Cyclical. Not wanting to seek the Lord even though He's exactly what I need. I've been dealing with it pretty complacently until tonight when it all built up and I just had to get out of the house and do something! I realize now why I haaaate the winter so much! It's freaking SO depressing! It's DARK outside most of the day and FREEZING so you are just stuck inside always. My body (like yours) really needs exercise, but since last semester it didn't work out for me to get to use the VT gym, I just never got to exercise. I can't run outdoors in the cold because it makes me sick, which isn't a great tradeoff when you're trying to be healthy. Anyways, I was so fed up with cabin fever that Whit convinced me to take a walk. It was WONDERFUL to get some fresh air and move around! It was so great talking to him about everything that's going on - though it was all negative on my part. Sorry. Anyways I realized what I need and it's not what I thought I needed. What I thought I needed is something to look forward to - a physical thing - buying a new camera soon, going to St. John in 5 years, etc. What I need is to look forward to HEAVEN. My hope should not be set on things that might not happen or that might break, but on the eternal fellowship and joy in Jesus. Sooo if you are unsatisfied these winter days too, what we need is to meet with our maker every day (like in the book You are Special by Max Lucado) and to hope in the Lord.1 Peter 1:13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

January 8, 2011

Caribbean highlights

I LOVE beautiful beaches! LOOOOOOVE! I love the beauty, the interesting things you find, the allure and mystery of islands, the warm breezes, and the soft sand. But most of all, and even if I can't be there myself, I love turquoise shades of water. I could gaze into it forever! Well maybe I'd have to jump in it or take a picture. I fell in love after my first island experience - the Bahamas. I knew caribbean islands and I were meant to be. I have been so blessed with trips to 7 beautiful caribbean shores - thank You so much Lord!! They are so refreshing and rejuvenating to my soul. Enjoy highlights from my travels!

Eagle Beach, Aruba Paradise Island, Bahamas Playa Jeremi, Curacao Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic Marathon (?), Florida Keys
Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Valencia, Venezuela

Ten years in the new millenium

To end 2010, Whit and I spent five nights in inner harbor (Baltimore) for Cru's Christmas conference, Radiate. It was totally different being there as a staff member - not as much fun at all! Not because of the job requirements, but just because all our friends weren't there. It was fun hanging out with students a little bit, but was also good to spend time with just Whit.
Exploring the Marriott.Our sweet room! We were only on the 7th floor, but still had a nice view of the harbor.Whit looked cool.Sweet bar/lounge.We got crab & artichoke dip - it was SPECTACULAR!!Packing seeds to send to Gambia to help families grow crops.Working in the office together. It was pretty chill. We mostly read and played cards!A fun concert - Reilly.Going to the aquarium!We saw some sweet fish....and our favorite animal - a sloth!!! (he's right in the middle of this picture)Worshipping in the new yearFireworks in inner harbor.Happy new year!!

January 2, 2011

It's Christmastime in the City

So my mom asked my family if we wanted to go give out a few gifts to the homeless on Christmas day. Of course we said yes. None of us had any idea that we would be standing on the streets of Baltimore for two and a half hours, but it was a great experience! The pastor leading the worship service holds a church service every Sunday morning for the homeless. They can come there to get jackets and gloves and also just warm up for the few hours they're there. We heard some people's stories, sang Christmas carols, and gave out a meal, warm gear, and boxes of presents. It was a great reminder of what Christmas is all about - Jesus! We don't really need anything besides Him, and we depend on Him to meet our basic needs. It was awesome to get to worship alongside people so different from us yet have the same savior. It definitely helped us appreciate our warm car driving home too.

The twist was that halfway through, one of the women in charge told Whit that they needed a Santa and asked him if he'd be willing to dress up. He obliged and I helped him put on the Santa suit. He hid behind a van for like 45 minutes before they needed him, and we enjoyed the ridiculousness of the situation. At least with all his gear on he kept pretty warm!
Us pre-Santa.Whit in all his santa gloryLooks like I married Santa!Santa handing out giftsWith some kids :)
It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for Whit, and although it wasn't really his "thing," he enjoyed getting a good story out of it, and my family enjoyed watching the whole ordeal!