update

I’ve been meaning to sit down and write for months now. Seriously, months. As I’ve pondered this whole blogging thing, I’ve asked myself why I want to blog. People have different reasons, but for me, it comes down to chronicling my life. There are so many funny, crazy, overwhelming things that happen that I want to remember.

So I’m back.

Since we last met, quite a bit has happened. But I’ll just give you the highlights. (That’s not a promise to be short, just that I’m leaving out lots.)

We moved to a new apartment. Not stressful at all. :/ Who knew it could be 85* at the end of October?

We moved to a new apartment. Not stressful at all. :/ Who knew it could be 85* at the end of October?

We did the Color Run 5K in Charlotte! It was SO fun. Everyone needs to do it at some point.

We did the Color Run 5K in Charlotte! It was SO fun. Everyone needs to do it at some point.

My brother and sister were there along with a bunch of our friends.

My brother and sister were there along with a bunch of our friends.

Seriously, so fun.

Seriously, so fun.

I did a photo shoot for my cute nephews. They already look bigger.

I did a photo shoot for my cute nephews. They already look bigger.

cox

And I did a photo shoot for this cute family.

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I got to hang out with some cool kids when my bff came into town for a week.

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We celebrated Christmas with lots of these dark chocolate covered peppermint jo jo’s. I loved them so much that I wanted to document them. Don’t judge.

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We also celebrated Christmas in style.

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I had a merry birthday with a wee party in our new place.

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Even my photos got in the spirit of things!

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We rang in the New Year with games and friends. 5 hours can fly by when you have Mexican Train.

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We finally got some snow. This snow bunny loved it. Don’t let her face fool you.

I got bangs! Maybe you're unaware, but this is a monumental occasion in a woman's life. And apparently they are butt holes when it comes time to grow them out. There's your PSA.

I got bangs! Maybe you’re unaware, but this is a monumental occasion in a woman’s life. And apparently they are butt holes when it comes time to grow them out. There’s your PSA.

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We celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary in Boone and Blowing Rock. We got to play in some snow there, too.

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You can never really get the mountains out of your blood. They’re always calling.

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We had an AMAZING dinner at the same restaurant, in the same table (!) where we had our first date 9 years ago. I would’ve taken a picture of my ahi tuna steak, creamed kale, and jasmine rice and Brian’s meat loaf with Cheerwine barbecue sauce, creamed potatoes, and asparagus but the lights were too dim. Besides, some memories are best left tucked away in your heart. (I’m talking about the meal. Seriously, so good.)

So there you have it. Thanks for reading, if you made it this far. 🙂

Feeling Like a Grown Up

Do you know what makes me feel like a grown up? Controlling my own thermostat. I’ve never ever been in charge of that before. Growing up in the Churches’ residence (may I help you, please?), you didn’t dare touch the dial. If it moved even a fraction of a millimeter, somehow my dad would know. And fix it. So it’s kind of a big deal that I now have to decide how to wield this super power.

(This clip from Family Guy always makes me laugh.)

We haven’t turned on our heat yet… It’s bearable once the sun has been up for a few hours, but I don’t know what will happen after the temps dip below the freezing mark tonight. I’ll let you know tomorrow after I’ve defrosted my lappy.

Do you know what else makes me feel like a grown up? Eating Brussels sprouts. And learning that it’s spelled Brussels. Sprouts. Add bacon to anything and it’s edible.

Do you know what else makes me feel like a grown up? Needing to buy furniture. There’s a lot in my life that I say I ‘need.’ But furniture is a legit item in that long list. Well, we were blessed today with some free, American-made, solid wood bedroom furniture. You wouldn’t find it in the latest Pottery Barn catalog, but it’ll do. You know how, for some unknown reason (let’s blame the French), styles from decades past come back? I think this style of furniture has come and gone twice now. So hopefully if we hang on to it for a while longer, it’ll be back again. 😉 Also, how long do you think it will be before the 90’s grunge, Kurt Cobain style and “the Rachel” come back?

Video Updates

Here are some videos from our cross-country trip. 🙂

 

We had a good time in the national parks… in spite of how it may sound.

http://vimeo.com/28460452

 

We tried to give Lola a break from the car so whenever we stopped for lunch, we would let her run around. She’s so cute. 🙂

http://vimeo.com/28461334

 

Aaaaand then she fell asleep on me one night. 🙂

http://vimeo.com/28462208

happy tuesday

Good morning. I feel like there is so much to share, mostly in pictures, of the last month. But I’m still sorting through all of them. We’ve established our “home office” of sorts. I like our set-up. I can see Brian and Lola and get lots of sunshine (weather permitting). But this morning I am feeling a little out of place and a little blue. I dreamed about our office in Langley. I dreamed about our friends and co-workers there who we were used to seeing everyday. Or at least several times per week. It’s just different. And change takes time to get used to. So in honour of my Vancouverites, I’m sipping from my Vancouver mug today. 🙂

what up mug shot.

WA, ID, MT

This has to be a quick one because we’re getting up early to hit up Glacier National Park, but I just wanted to say how cool I think it is that Mumford and Sons wrote this song for us.

Ok, they didn’t write it for us but it’s fun to pretend. 🙂 And in case you don’t have the patience/bandwidth to watch the video, here are the lyrics:

Headed down south to the land of the pines
And I’m thumbin’ my way into North Caroline
Starin’ up the road
Pray to God I see headlights

I made it down the coast in seventeen hours
Pickin’ me a bouquet of dogwood flowers
And I’m a-hopin’ for Raleigh
I can see my baby tonight

So rock me, mama, like a wagon wheel
Rock me, mama, any way you feel
Hey, mama rock me
Rock me, mama, like the wind and the rain
Rock me, mama, like a south-bound train
Hey, mama rock me

Runnin’ from the cold up in New England
I was born to be a fiddler in an old-time string band
My baby plays the guitar
I pick a banjo now

Oh, the North country winters keep a-gettin’ me now
Lost my money playin’ poker so I had to up and leave
But I ain’t a-turnin’ back
To livin’ that old life no more

So rock me, mama, like a wagon wheel
Rock me, mama, any way you feel
Hey, mama rock me
Rock me, mama, like the wind and the rain
Rock me, mama, like a south-bound train
Hey, mama rock me

Walkin’ to the south out of Roanoke
I caught a trucker out of Philly
Had a nice long toke
But he’s a-headed west from the Cumberland Gap
To Johnson City, Tennessee

And I got to get a move on before the sun
I hear my baby callin’ my name
And I know that she’s the only one
And if I die in Raleigh
At least I will die free

So rock me, mama, like a wagon wheel
Rock me, mama, any way you feel
Hey, mama rock me
Rock me, mama, like the wind and the rain
Rock me, mama, like a south-bound train
Hey, mama rock me

brain break

Packing update. What else is new. We were gone for a few days this week to Harrison Hot Springs for a conference. LONG days and zero free time. I only went outside because I thought I saw sunshine and we had a few minutes between session and dinner. It was quite difficult to be sitting in the conference room knowing how much we had to do here. But I actually really enjoyed a couple of the sessions and getting to see some of our friends (and saying “See you later” to said friends).

 

Since we’ve gotten back we’ve flat packed the corner hutch (big job) and I’ve cleaned out the kitchen cabinets and drawers. I hate having an empty kitchen. But my in-laws get here tomorrow night and it’s all down hill from there. Our goal is to be ready to load the truck (happening Monday) tomorrow evening before they get here. And to somehow make room in the spare bedroom for an air mattress for the in-laws to sleep on.

 

Today we cleaned out our offices and said good-bye to our good friends. We’re really going to miss being around those guys. 😦 We needed a new bunny bag so after the office we spent about 40 minutes trying to find a carrier that is a good size and that will hold Loles’ litter box. (Yes, I meant to write that. It’s a nickname I gave her. I spelled it phonetically for you.) I’ve also cleaned out underneath the bathroom counter. I don’t know how but I always manage to collect loads of lotion, cotton balls, and sundry girly items (not just talking about tampons).

 

I’m taking a quick brain break while Bribri watches the end of his show. It’s called Flashpoint. It’s a Canadian show filmed in Toronto that is actually really well done. There’s no room on the coffee table (one of the few horizontal areas left standing) so I’m lying on the ground next to the TV. So I won’t be typing much longer as my elbow bones do not have enough padding.

Me and Stevie. And Lola behind us.

Here you can see the Alve and other bookcases flat packed by the one window that gets any light.

I got distracted by the end of show. The big strong men were rescuing the helpless teenage girl.

 If you had to move across the country, how would you pack baskets?

On a side note, we have fallen in love with The Big Bang Theory. You should check it out. It’s some of the funniest stuff I’ve seen on TV.

Well, packing is coming along at a good pace I’d say. I’m taking a brain-break from it now. Everything is down off of the walls. The only structure left to dismantle is our corner hutch unit. Oh, and the table that my computer is sitting on. And the bed frame. Gah. Never mind. But I feel like we’ve gotten a lot packed up. Our closets are empty except for what we are planning to wear for the next month. My kitchen cupboards are quite bare. (I originally spelled it ‘cubbords’ and smirked when firefox told me it was misspelled… I’ve definitely been spelling it that way in my head forever. It’s kind of like the day I learned that those things ninjas use aren’t num chucks, but nun chucks. Num chucks just sounds way cooler.)

Good news, we haven’t gotten into any major fights while having to work together! I don’t know if other couples face “challenges” when having to do big projects together. I’ve already established how differently Broman and I think… now translate that into building things together (or in our case, taking them apart). But I think we’ve done quite well so far. (Have I just jinxed us?) Especially when we double-team the flat-packing of the larger items. We bought some shrink wrap from Uhaul, probably the best (and cheapest) purchase for packing and moving that we’ve made. B-muscle holds the boards together while I wrap them tightly and securely. Now I probably don’t do it the way that he would. But he doesn’t say anything, he just lets me wrap away. I do get the occasional look of “oh boy” when I have trouble tearing it. It’s hard to do without a corner or something to tear against! That junk will stretch like 5 feet before breaking. And I did get the under-the-breath chuckle/head shake when I some how managed to punch myself in the solar plexus. But that was appropriate.

This weekend was filled with good-byes. We had a bon voyage party and said good-bye to quite a few people. It was also our last Sunday at church. 😦 I think I’m going to miss our church most of all. I know that I’ll be back and will get to see people again. And I know that while I will miss my farmer’s market and such, I’ll get to know a new, cheaper market. But our church is awesome. It’s a perfect blend of ages, cultures, and socioeconomic status. It’s been growing like crazy (and not just from babies). There are really cool people there. Our pastor is amazing. He doesn’t just get up and talk, he teaches God’s Word in a way that leaves me feeling like I understood it and am a little bit smarter. He also uses art and photographs and other such things that right-brained people like myself can really relate to. But best of all, no matter what passage he is teaching from, he always answers the question, “Where is the Gospel in all of this?” Yeah, we’re definitely going to miss our church. I teared up when they prayed for us yesterday. They just mentioned us during the weekly congregational prayer, but I felt loved and cared for.

Thanks for listening while I spout out stuff. I am still wondering how I will be doing one week from today. And a few days after that. I think I’ll be distracted (and STOKED to get my iPhone!) but pondering all these things in my heart. (That’s a Luke 2 shout-out to my peeps who were classically trained with me and forced to memorize it every December.) Kind of like right now. I somehow managed to spill my drink from my mouth as I was sipping it. But some of it got on my forehead… Idk. Seriously, I need cameras to follow me around.

For now, it’s back to packing and watching my favorite episode of Gilmore Girls, Season 4 Episode 15: Scene in a Mall. Rory and Lorelai play hookie and go window shopping at the mall where they run into Emily who is storming her way through the stores buying everything in and out of sight.

Packing Update and Yarn Mystery Solved

I mentioned the other day that the yarn I had sealed in some Space Bags had lost their seal and had re-inflated. When I went to suck the air out again, I discovered the reason. Some of the yarn had been sucked up underneath the rubber stopper preventing it from creating a seal. So I rearranged and re-sucked and everything is working well. My bad.

 

We’re down to crunch time for packing. We have less than one week before we want to be 95% packed. I have no way of estimating what percentage we’re at right now. And I haven’t packed much since I finished packing up the books. But we did make some progress last night as B-Money spent some time and muscle breaking down our corner desk and organizing the back room. It is now moving HQ. Here’s everything we’ve packed so far. Doesn’t look like much.

There are two rows of boxes stacked almost to the ceiling, neatly labeled and color-coded. Side note, that box on the bottom that says FRAGILE! is leftover from our move into this suite 3 years ago, including the contents. I’m actually enjoying packing. I really like organizing and labeling and being in uber-control of everything. I thought about taking photos of each box’s contents but someone said that was too much. Plus I’ve written the contents on the boxes so it shouldn’t be necessary. We’ll see

 

I think part of the reason we didn’t get a lot of packing done yesterday was because we both hit a wall. I think we are emotionally and mentally spent. Our summers are usually busier than most. To add a cross-continent move at the end of it was the basketball-sized cherry on top. But I have been learning so much about my husband and myself with each hurdle we’ve jumped this summer. I’m learning that I’m a deny-er and he’s a process-er. When it comes to good-byes, I just want to hurry up and get them over with. Rather than thinking about the major life changes coming up, I change the subject. Even if it’s in my own mind. I’ll start singing or turn on the t.v. or some times I’ll physically turn myself away from whatever it was that stirred up those emotions in me. But this morning as I got up for my 3:45am pee (sorry if that’s TMI), I was hit with a feeling. I can’t quite put a finger on it, but I didn’t like it. It wasn’t sadness or being scared. I think it was more akin to ominous stress. So as I’ve thought about it and asked God to show me what to do with it, I’ve decided that I think I need to make myself talk about it. I don’t like talking about stuff. But as I’ve learned in the past it’s going to make its way to the surface eventually.

 

So here it is. I’m so excited to live close to family and old friends again. But I’m overwhelmed by all that moving entails. Packing up our memories is going to be hard work. Starting over even though it’s our mother land is going to be hard work. It’s easier to pretend like people here don’t mean that much to me so I don’t have to care about leaving them.

 

It’s going to be okay. I know. I just want it to hurry up and be okay. 😉 There is a passage from the Bible that I have been looking to as the truth (as opposed to the crazy thoughts that run through my head like ugly streakers at a baseball game). It’s a few verses from Psalm 16, but the rest of the chapter is just as encouraging.

The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.

 

 

P.S. Do you know where we could get cheap moving boxes? I’m okay with the free produce boxes I’ve gotten from the market but I’m also wary of them because I don’t want them to rot or make my stuff stink…

 

Packing Update

Quick update on those Space Bags that I packed my yarn in yesterday. They’re back to normal. As in, they lost their seal. When I walked by them this morning I noticed they looked fatter. Perhaps I put too much yarn in. Perhaps I over-sucked the bags. Or maybe I didn’t do the zipper up all the way. Deep sighs ensue.

Today I’m packing up bookshelves. I even thought ahead and saved smaller boxes to pack heavy books in. Emptying the bookshelves and taking things off the walls are always the sad parts of moving to me. It’s like you’re undressing the space, leaving it naked, and then someone else comes in and puts up their stylish new hangings and twinkle lights.

Among the gewgaws packed up from my bookshelves were my recipe books. Some were familiar and frequently used. And then there were these gems:

I'm pretty sure I bought this at the height of the no carbs/Atkin's diets of the early 2000's. I remember the cashier looking longingly at the cover while tellin me that potatoes were his enemies.

B-Money is probably wondering why I don't bring this sucker out more often.

Saving the best for last…

Clever cover art.

Like any true Southern Baptist Church there are no fewer than 3 services per week.

The intro page for each section actually has helpful information.

Homemade brownies!

I thought you might enjoy those last 2 recipes. 🙂

I also thought you might enjoy hearing some of the names of the lovely ladies who contributed to this book. Peggy, Pansy, Fran, Nan, Diane, Ethel, Myrtle, Lila, Ella, Glenda, and Delphine.

space bag

That sounds like a good comeback… you’re a space bag. Your mom’s a space bag.

 

Anyway. This afternoon was relaxing (except for the last 30 minutes of the women’s world cup!). B-Money has been sitting around doing stuff, taking it easy trying to get over his cold (that I gave him). I’ve been cleaning and packing. I actually packed a bunch of boxes before we left for tour over a month ago. I’m feeling quite organized, using labels and highliters and making lists on the boxes so I know what’s inside. We even decided to invest in vacuum sealed bags for our clothes and linens. When I checked on the ones I had packed and sealed about a month and a half ago, two of the six had already lost their seal… We bought a set of Space Bags and a set of Mainstays vacuum bags, both purchased at WalMart. I am usually hesitant to buy non-namebrand items. But I must say the Mainstays bags are my favorite. I find their zippers and their seal-to-vacuum nozzles easier to use than the Space Bags and they seem to be holding their seals better.

 

Today I packed up my yarn. Here are some before and afters:

It’s not as impressive as it looks on tv. But my clothes and yarn should stay dry and bug-free.

 

Also, yesterday I somehow broke the head off of the pepper grinder… and spilled black peppercorns all over my pasta. And the kitchen. It’s moments like that that make me wish I had a camera crew following me around… a slo-mo replay would’ve been nice. I honestly don’t know how it happened! When Brian asked what/why/how, I just replied that I thought our life could use a little spice. He smiled as he vacuumed up my mess. At least they’re easy to spot, right? The most unfortunate part is that they look like Lola’s poop. And some of them wound up on the carpet in the den (3 feet from the kitchen counter). I tasted them to make sure it was just pepper. jk.