Friday, December 2, 2011


She is such a cuddly, loving kitty. Everyone should have a Gilly in their life!

Cuddling and Curled Up with Grampy on Thanksgiving Day:

Cuddling and Couching with Uncle Kris tonight:

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Extracurriculars: Kickball

This season, J. and I joined a kickball league for one of our city parks. Normally we aren't able to commit to such activities because my work schedule fluctuates so much, but this semester I am taking an on-campus class which requires me to keep Tuesday and Thursday free during the week. The scheduling is actually kind of a pain, but from it we have been blessed, not only with our kickball night but also with our Tuesday night Bible study group.

So, in September we started off with a team made up of random strangers from our church. There were actually five or six teams from our church (out of the twelve or so total teams from the league) and they all previously knew each other -- some of them had even played with one another -- and signed up for a team together. We were all of the "leftovers" without a place to go.

Our first game was sad.

J. and I showed up at the park and realized we were positioned against another church team, Stack Attack, that was mostly comprised of friends that we first got to know while in the Singles group at church. Aside from the team name (which is a play of words on the Singles Group leader, Lance Stack, and a pile of pancakes), they also sported bright pink shirts with a screen print of a large stack of pancakes. J. and I knew they had been practicing together before the season started so we felt doomed. I can't remember the score, but there was no "team" yet in our team. We did end up knowing one couple (Jamie & Jordan) from our Engaged Couples Sunday School and then later our Newlywed Sunday School, so we weren't all strangers, but by the end of that night most of still didn't even remember the others' names.

As the season progressed, so did our playing. By the third game we finally had a certain rhythm. We looked forward to games, seeing our team, and having good ole' elementary school fun our one night a week (but it's much more serious than that). Boy were we surprised to find out at the end of the season that even with 3 losses (one of them being a forfeit for not enough players) we still came in at second! The following week was the tournament, in which all teams played. I wasn't able to be at the game because of work, but I heard from all it was intense and we barely made it to the championship game by just one run over the other team.

Tonight we played our championship game against Balls and Dolls, a group of teachers from a local high school. They were the other team we lost against during the regular season aside from Stack Attack. I literally had a stomach ache as we were driving to the game (still not sure if it was anxiety or hunger), we both were really bundled up as it was supposed to be in the 30s during our game.

Well, if you are friends with me on Facebook, you will already have found out that we won against Balls and Dolls, 11-10 (the most runs we've ever had in a game, by the way). What a game! We are the champions!

By the way, our team name was Shandon Team #1 since we never did name ourselves. I thought it was appropriate since we ended up being #1! Here are some [albeit, blurry] photos from our night:

Jonathan is so excited after our win!

Championship Photo (before being presented with the shirts & trophy)

Terry and Jonathan showin' off our new championship winner t-shirts!

Jay and Lauren

Competitive/Angry Faces (I need to work on mine...)

Jamie and her mother-in-law, Darlene (who helped us out in a pinch during several games and always cheered us on with her husband, Chuck!) holding a shirt in spirit of Jordan (Jamie's husband), who had to work tonight and couldn't make it to the game. Jordan was such a hard worker and asset to our team, it's a shame he didn't get to be with us during our win! In front is his sister, Lacey, who joined our team a little later in the season and helped us to victory many times. This family is one talented bunch!

yeahhhh Catcher and First Base represent!

Liz, center fielder and her husband, Troy, our pitcher (Please note his Gator shoes. He doesn't like when we point that out.)

Afterward, we celebrated by sharing a Peppermint Shake from Chick-Fil-A (:

Yes, we already have plans to play again together next season!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Multitude Mondays, Week XXXII

351. family
352. a happy kitty
353. quality time
354. mid-day naps
355. Bocce ball
356. endless leftovers
357. dominoes
358. a warm home
359. planning Bible Studies
360. movies on DVD from the library

Our Thanksgiving

This year was really special in our celebration of Thanksgiving for several reasons. First off, I'm not normally very enthused about these winter holidays. This is most-likely due to my growing up without any solid family traditions, but this go around was awesome: J.'s parents planned to come up, my mom was coming up, and at last minute, my grandparents drove down from Virginia! In addition to all of the guests we were to host, my in-laws have been recently eaten mostly-vegan meals so I challenged myself to a full-on vegan dinner. (Not everything turned out 100% without animal product, but most were, and overall everything was absolutely delicious. I will probably make some of these dishes for future years!) It was such a blessing to have our family here and to be able to host them comfortably in our new home. Their stay even motivated us to complete some decorating/painting projects! On top of all that, I had a wonderful and restful five days off in a row (after working Thanksgiving Eve night shift and celebrating with my coworkers!). Let me just say, some serious naps were had.

Main Entree
Butternut Squash with Cornbread-Cranberry Stuffing [Vegan]

Creamy Mashed Potatoes [Vegan]
Green Bean Casserole [Vegan]
Butternut Squash Macaroni & Cheese [Vegetarian]
Corn on the cob
Sweet Potato Casserole [Vegan]
Fresh Sugar-free Cranberry Sauce


Monday, November 21, 2011

Multitude Mondays, Week XXXI

339. lovely people to work with
340. cuddling up with my husband on a Saturday night
341. field day
342. checking off lists
343. planning for holidays
344. vegan/vegetarian Thanksgiving meal!
345. health
346. my mom
347. new recipes
348. a helpful and willing husband (groceries, dishes, laundry, back scratchin'...need I ask for more?)
349. crackling wood in the fireplace
350. the book of Ecclesiastes

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Multitude Mondays, Week XXX

331. everyday miracles
332. our special group of friends
333. Gilly the Explorer
334. date nights with Jonathan
335. friends helping friends pick out glasses
336. foreign films
337. the color grey
338. celebrating an upcoming birth!

P.S. Should this feature be renamed Terrific Tuesdays?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

House Update: Kitchen

Okay so I have showed you the new bathroom and dining room, but let me tell you, the kitchen, by far, has been the biggest improvement. At first we thought we might like the pea-green color, I mean our old bathroom was a greyish green version of it. But no, it's not true, and I hated it. Whenever I would wash dishes, instead of happily gazing out the window at our beautiful tree-lined backyard, I would just grumble angry thoughts to myself about how much I despised the color and make a mental list of all the thing I would change. It was quite a negative process, and I am so happy that we have fixed a huge part of it! As always, the before and after shorts:


As with our dining room, we had a few unexpected issues along the way, like multiple coats of primer, the tedious job of painting brick, and incorrect colors. The time with the color, though, it was mostly my fault. I envisioned super soft mint green walls, so chose Valspar Belle Grove Sorbet. Almost immediately after putting it on the walls, though, I knew it was on the extreme end of super soft and would not provide the contrast to the white brick/crown molding/white ceiling that I wanted. I stomped my feet and pouted, succumbing to this barely-noticeable green color...until my ever-patient and loving husband reminded me that we can easily choose a different color. Isn't he wise? (: We ventured back to Lowes, and after scouring over all of the super soft mint green colors they had to offer, we settled on Valspar Pillow Mint, which sounded just delectable. And it is. I love our new kitchen! We painted the wall of the stove Valspar Du Jour white (that looks pinkish on my screen?), because we plan to put some white tile backsplash behind the counters.


Other things on the to-do list for this room include:
- removing that awful blue hanging light over the sink
- installing a pot rack to the left of the stove
- attaching a magnetic knife holder to the wall (place to be determined)
- hanging a shelf to the breakfast nook area to place our iHome, along with cookbooks
- attaching plant-hanging hooks to breakfast nook wall
- creating a chalk board for the wall

Multitude Monday, Week XXIX

321. verse memorization
322. safe travels
323. a Gator victory!
324. catching up with old friends
325. reminiscing
326. beautiful Florida
327. windy weather
328. wonderful friends
329. celebrating and enjoying my best friends' birthdays
330. a finally-fixed plumbing situation

House Update: Dining Room

We've been busy little bees and the past few months have just flown by!  After tackling the downstairs bathroom on very little sleep, our next painting project was the dining room.  If you remember from our introductory photos the dining room was a very bold reddish orange (more on the red side than the photos show):

While my in-laws declared they love the color (and I did too at one point -- my bedroom at the age of 16 was a very similar color), I've realized that my personality as-of-late has been leaning toward the "colder" colors: blues, greys, whites. This, of course, has started many-a-hot debate in our household, as my husband still enjoys yellows and browns. Anyway, I digress.  One Saturday afternoon a little over a month ago, J. primed (three coats!) and started painting our red dining room a deep blue color. Naturally, not much comes easy to us, and after several runs to Lowes (a certain paint-mixer incorrectly mixed our lovely Valspar Belle Grove Victory Blue in the wrong base which produced a peachy orange, resemblant of our new bathroom color), along with arm aches, stained clothing, and much complaining, we have our new dining room color:

Isn't it wonderful? Please ignore the strange shadows on the walls; rest assured that we do, indeed, have even paint strokes (after two or three coats...).  Aside from the paint, we also purchased a new craftsman dining room table from World Market (and we love it!).  Our families will be in town for Thanksgiving and I'm excited to serve the meal on a proper piece of wood.  You might also notice that the electrical outlet covers are no longer the garish gold plates of yesteryear; I used a textured brass-hammered spray paint (that I purchased last December in hopes of recovering some old ornaments..with no luck).  We both like the look so much that I will probably spray paint the rest of the covers from the hallway and bathroom with the same color.  And today I removed those lampshades off of the chandelier. I have a few ideas for it, but this was my first step toward a more stylistically-pleasing piece.  What do you think?  We still have a curtain to hang on that window -- just haven't had the time yet -- so I will be sure to update with that.  We've been scouring the internet for possible and appropriate prints for our dining room (again, my husband and I can't come to an agreement on what is appropriate...), but we haven't found anything yet to suit us. And lastly, on our long list of "wants"/projects is a breakfast hutch for the corner, where we can store our mix-matched plates that we have from our wedding!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Multitude Monday, Week XXVIII

311. seeing friends happy
312. catching up with Kathleen, if even only shortly
313. good-news doctor appointments
314. working with the best coworkers ever over the weekend
315. learning
316. developing relationships
317. being taken care of, forever, no matter what, by the Lord
318. challenging myself
319. cooking for others
320. creative writers that produce quality television shows (those with humanity)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Video: Honeymoon Memories

I've been organizing files today and came across this video. I need to start uploading more of these...

Multitude Monday, Week XXVII

301. a week of fun (and failed) trivia with friends!
302. Ashley's wonderful visit
303. mountain air
304. successful (new) recipes
305. baking
306. walks through the park
307. chest bumps
308. we made it through the corn maze
309. recognizing the splendor of God's creation (again and again and again....)
310. movie marathons

Table Rock SP, South Carolina | 1-3 October 2010

This weekend we spent some time in Pisgah NF with Ashley, our friends Sara and Rob, and their friend Justin. Unfortunately, I didn't have the camera battery charged before leaving and our site (which was supposed to be in Table Rock SP but ended up at Davidson River Campground in Pisgah NF) was without electricity, which resulted in just a few camera-phone photographs. In honor of October camping, though, I decided to share some photos of another trip we went on last year with our friends Jessie & Daron and Jamie & Jordan (plus Kota). This was a special trip because all of us were newly married (less than six months each). These photos are of Table Rock SP and some light hiking (about 2.3 miles) we did in DuPont State Forest to High and Triple Falls. Hope you enjoy!