Sunday, October 31, 2010

Carrie & Kris

Yesterday I had the privilege of attending the wedding of my friends Kris and Carrie. I've slowly gotten to know Carrie over the past year and have witnessed first hand what an amazing servant heart she has. I've learned bits and pieces of her journey through life and love and stand amazed at her strength. It was encouraging to hear how she waited faithfully on the Lord to bring this amazing man into her life and I sat with tears at her wedding as I watched Gods faithfulness to her play out. I am blessed by their story. The journey into one another's arms wasn't easy for either of them yet they made it and will stand side-by-side forever as man and wife. I wish them many years of love and laughter as their journey continues.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Truths about Human Nature

-I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.

-More often than not, when someone is telling me a story all I can think about is that I can't wait for them to finish so that I can tell my own story that's not only better, but also more directly involves me.

-Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

-Have you ever been walking down the street and realized that you're going in the complete opposite direction of where you are supposed to be going? But instead of just turning a 180 and walking back in the direction from which you came, you have to first do something like check your watch or phone or make a grand arm gesture and mutter to yourself to ensure that no one in the surrounding area thinks you're crazy by randomly switching directions on the sidewalk.

-I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

-Do you remember when you were a kid, playing Nintendo and it wouldn't work? You take the cartridge out, blow in it and that would magically fix the problem. Every kid in America did that, but how did we all know how to fix the problem? There was no internet or message boards or FAQ's. We just figured it out. Today's kids are soft.

-There is a great need for sarcasm font.

-Sometimes, I'll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly realize I had no idea what was going on when I first saw it.

-I think everyone has a movie that they love so much, it actually becomes stressful to watch it with other people. I'll end up wasting 90 minutes shiftily glancing around to confirm that everyone's laughing at the right parts, then making sure I laugh just a little bit harder (and a millisecond earlier) to prove that I'm still the only one who really, really gets it.

-How are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

-I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.

- I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

-The only time I look forward to a red light is when I’m trying to finish a text.

- Was learning cursive really necessary?

- Lol has gone from meaning, "laugh out loud" to "I have nothing else to say".

- I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

- Answering the same letter three times or more in a row on a Scantron test is absolutely petrifying.

- Whenever someone says "I'm not book smart, but I'm street smart", all I hear is "I'm not real smart, but I'm imaginary smart".

- How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear what they said?

- I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars teams up to prevent "that guy" from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers!

- Every time I have to spell a word over the phone using 'as in' examples, I will undoubtedly draw a blank and sound like a complete idiot. Today I had to spell my boss's last name to an attorney and said "Yes that's G as in...(10 second lapse)..ummm...Goonies"

-What would happen if I hired two private investigators to follow each other?

- While driving yesterday I saw a banana peel in the road and instinctively swerved to avoid it...thanks Mario Kart.

- MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

- Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

- I find it hard to believe there are actually people who get in the shower first and THEN turn on the water.

-Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

-I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

- Bad decisions make good stories

-Whenever I'm Facebook stalking someone and I find out that their profile is public I feel like a kid on Christmas morning who just got the Red Ryder BB gun that I always wanted. 546 pictures? Don't mind if I do!

-If Carmen San Diego and Waldo ever got together, their offspring would probably just be completely invisible.

-Why is it that during an ice-breaker, when the whole room has to go around and say their name and where they are from, I get so incredibly nervous? Like I know my name, I know where I'm from, this shouldn't be a problem....

-You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you've made up your mind that you just aren't doing anything productive for the rest of the day.

-Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after DVDs? I don't want to have to restart my collection.

-There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.

-I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.

- "Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this ever.

-I hate being the one with the remote in a room full of people watching TV. There's so much pressure. 'I love this show, but will they judge me if I keep it on? I bet everyone is wishing we weren't watching this. It's only a matter of time before they all get up and leave the room.

-I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Shoot!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What'd you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away?

- I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

-When I meet a new girl, I'm terrified of mentioning something she hasn't already told me but that I have learned from some light internet stalking.

-I like all of the music in my iTunes, except when it's on shuffle, then I like about one in every fifteen songs in my iTunes.

-Why is a school zone 20 mph? That seems like the optimal cruising speed for pedophiles...

- As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers, but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate cyclists.

-Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

-It should probably be called Unplanned Parenthood.

-I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

-Even if I knew your social security number, I wouldn't know what do to with it.

-Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I’d bet everyone can find and push the Snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time...

-My 4-year old son asked me in the car the other day "Dad what would happen if you ran over a ninja?" How do I respond to that?

-It really pisses me off when I want to read a story on and the link takes me to a video instead of text.

-I wonder if cops ever get pissed off at the fact that everyone they drive behind obeys the speed limit.

-I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

-I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lites than Kay.

-The other night I ordered takeout, and when I looked in the bag, saw they had included four sets of plastic silverware. In other words, someone at the restaurant packed my order, took a second to think about it, and then estimated that there must be at least four people eating to require such a large amount of food. Too bad I was eating by myself. There's nothing like being made to feel fat before dinner.

-The first testicular guard, the "Cup," was used in Hockey in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1974.That means it only took 100 years for men to realize that their brain is also important.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The things we do for love....

The things we do for love.......well its not quite love....but he is awfully cute! :) I got a text tonight inviting me to go to a costume party. Let me just start by saying I love getting dressed up in crazy outfits. I love picking up dumb junk we have laying around (hats, scarves, glasses, gloves, etc) and putting them on. However, I only do that junk in the comfort of my own home. Halloween or no Halloween I do NOT get all costumed up so I can go out. I've NEVER been to a costume party and I've never had the desire to go to one. Yet as I type this I'm getting ready to walk out the door to go to my very first costume party, all decked out in 80s work out gear,...all because of one little text. *sigh* It really is a bit ridiculous! :)

Thursday, October 28, 2010


"Let us not make a mistake; that the hunger is only for a piece of bread. The hunger of today is so much greater: for love-to be wanted, to be loved, to be cared for, to be somebody."

----Mother Teresa

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pumpkin Swirl Brownies

Pumpkin Swirl Brownies

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
6 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped, or 1 cup chocolate chips
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup pumpkin puree
3 Tbsp. canola oil
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 350F and spray a 9″x9″ cake pan with nonstick spray.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chocolate and remove from heat. Let sit for a few minutes, then stir until smooth.

In a large bowl beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla for 3-4 minutes, until thick and pale yellow. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and beat just until combined.

Put about a third of the batter into another bowl and stir the pumpkin, oil, cinnamon and nutmeg into it. Stir the chocolate mixture into the remaining batter and spread a little more than half of it into the prepared pan. Top with the pumpkin mixture, then drop large spoonfuls of the remaining chocolate mixture on top. Swirl a knife through both to create a swirled effect.

Bake for 40 minutes, until just set and starting to pull away from the sides of the pan. Makes 16 brownies.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Honduras Greeting Cards

This December I'm taking a team of 23 down to Honduras. As a fundraiser I'm selling Greeting Cards. The cards cost $2 a piece or 6 for $10. All proceeds go to support our trip. Let me know if you'd like to support us by buying some!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Feast

The dad of the family I live with is deploying today. The past few weeks have been moments of preparing for this day. Moments of making memories, moments of him experiencing all his favorite things one last time before he leaves, moments of saying goodbye, and moments of just togetherness. I don't know how they do this year after year. However, I can tell you this: after watching them prepare for this deployment and seeing the sacrifice of him leaving his family, I am now even more appreciative for the men and women who put on a uniform and serve our country.

Since Dave will be gone for the next 5 months and will miss the holidays we went ahead and celebrated Thanksgiving early. I'm talking the real-deal go all out HUGE Thanksgiving feast. We had homemade stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, turkey, green bean casserole, corn casserole, cranberry sauce, AND a homemade pumpkin pie FROM SCRATCH. Addy literally baked the pumpkin then scooped out its insides and made a for real Pumpkin Pie! It was delicious! :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010


24Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. 26What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? 27For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.28I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom."

------Matthew 16:24-28

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Do you have something in your life that reminds you of the realness of God? Some object, place, occurrence that makes you stand back and think "how could anyone ever doubt there is a God after seeing this?" Some undeniable proof that God does in fact exist and we are living amongst His handiwork every day?

I've had several of those moments in my life time. The Grand Canyon, a beautiful sunset, a newborn baby, etc. However, the one thing that consistently reaffirms my belief in a very real God is a giraffe. It doesn't matter how many times I've seen a giraffe it still takes my breath away every time and I hope it always does. As crazy as it sounds the giraffe, that freakishly long necked animal, is what really helped me believe in God. It's what took me from being a Christian to truly having a relationship with a very real God.

How could I not believe in God when the very sight of a giraffe reminded me that there HAD to be a God. How else do you explain a giraffe? By all rational and scientific explanations the giraffe should not be able to exist. The combination of the shaping of its body, the size of its heart, the number of bones, the weight of its head, and so much more should make it physically incapable of lifting its head let alone walk around.

By now I know way more about giraffe's than any one person should know. I want to share a few with you so that the next time you look at the giraffe you too might see the handiwork of God.

* The giraffe is able to grasp objects such as leaves with the help of its tongue.
* Giraffes sleep for no more than 5 to 30 minutes in 24 hours.
* Luckily, giraffes have elastic blood vessels in their necks, this makes it possible for them to drink water from a stream, without fainting.
* The tongue of an adult giraffe measures 27".
* A large male giraffe can eat up to 100 pounds of food in a single day.
* A giraffe's heart is 24 pounds in weight and 2 feet in length.
* A giraffe seldom lies down, it can sleep as well as give birth standing up!
* Each time a giraffe picks up its neck it picks up 550 pounds!
* A giraffes age can be calculated from its spots, as the darker the spots, the older the giraffe.
* Males and females tend to eat from different parts of a tree to ensure that the sexes do not compete for food.
* Giraffa means "one who walks swiftly"
* The giraffe is the worlds tallest animal.
* Giraffes are fast and can reach speeds of up to 35 mph.
How incredible is our God!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Best Friends

Few people have the privilege of living with their best friends. I'm not talking about college where you go away and get thrown in a room with some complete strangers and come out of the experience as friends. I'm talking deep pre-existing friendships. I'm one of those lucky people. I get to live with not only one of my best friends but both of them. We get to do day to day life together. After 2 1/2 years of living out of the country our time together is a gift.

We all grew up together and our friendship goes as far back as grade school. We've walked a lot of miles together, shouldered each others burden, dried each others tears, see good times and bad, experienced change, and so much more. Yet our friendship remains just as strong as ever....stronger really. I often wonder aloud to God why I was chosen for such a blessing. I really am the lucky one. Off and on I'll stop and try and think about what my life would be like without them. I don't know how I would ever get through life without them. They are my soul-mates. People often tease us about the weird connection we have. No one seems to understand the depth or realness of it. So today I'm taking a moment to pay tribute to our bond and the blessing that it is in my life. I hope each of you has a friend like these two.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

New kind of family

Over a year ago I got a phone call from a new mother of 4 month old twins. Her husband was deployed and she wanted me to help her with her girls. During that phone call we set up a time to meet and I soon found myself walking up to her front door. Imagine my surprise when I saw a Bengals flag hanging outside on their porch (in Virginia!)......I knew before I opened the door that I was going to like these people! :) After almost an hour of us chatting I left with a certainty that her job offer was an answer from God. Over the following months her husband returned from deployment and I watched as her girls grew from 4 months to 9 months to a year and beyond. We settled into a familiar routine and within no time at all they were considering me part of the family. Jessie and Dave are some of the most kind and generous people I have ever met. Far too often I find myself serving others out of obligation. Jessie and Dave are different. They serve out of love and kindness. They serve people because they truly care about that person. They have humbled me in so many ways.

As soon as I started working for them they learned about my work in Honduras. Not only have they been great about giving me time off so I can go back down there but they have also been great about donating towards the cause.

About 6 months ago I picked up my phone and saw Jessie's name on the caller ID. I answered the phone only to hear "We found a house. It is great! It is you guys want to move in with us?" Addy, Colby, and I had been searching for a new place for months and our lease was quickly coming to an end with no luck on finding a place. At first I thought she was kidding and it took another 15 minutes on the phone of her reassuring me that they had talked it over and were very serious. I quickly called the other girls and in no time at all the decision had been made....we were all moving in together.

I don't know who people thought were more for moving in with them or them for offering. However, we've been living together for nearly 3 months now and it has been amazing. We pay half of what we would be paying if we lived anywhere else and we feel better knowing our money is going towards the mortgage of people we care for.

In the strangest of ways we have transformed into a new kind of family. We may not share the same DNA or family tree but we are family none the less.

I continue to be humbled by Jessie and Dave on a daily basis. They never hesitate in making me a cup of tea if I feel sick, running out to the store to buy medicine if we have a headache, letting me borrow their car if mine is in the shop, allowing not only us to live with them but also for our friends/family to come stay when they visit, and so much more. The list of ways they serve us and so many others is endless. I'm lucky to have them in my life. Getting the job really was a blessing from God and is one I continually thank Him for.

We had "family" pictures taken recently and these are a few from the photo shoot. The girls are now over 18 months old!

Monday, October 18, 2010


Have you ever felt disconnected to God? Have you ever doubted He even existed or if He really cared? Have you ever been in season of doubt or spiritual desert? Have you ever been desperate for a touch from God and wondered when He was going to show up? If you answered yes to any of these questions then I assure you that you are in good company. You are probably normal and if nothing else average. God is growing you even in that season of doubt and despair. And God has a story for you that you are living out if you'll just hang on long enough for Him to reveal it.

Trust me I've been there....several times. However, it should be more reassuring for you that the bible is full of doubters just like yourself. I'm not just talking about Thomas (who always seems to be the guy we go to when talking about doubt. Poor guy.)

Job, Jeremiah, David, Sarah, Elijah, Peter, John the Baptist . . . men and women of faith who at one time or another questioned God, or the task God had called them to, or even their season of life. Heck Jonah didn't just question the role God was calling him to he RAN from it. He literally chose to throw himself into a raging sea over just answering God's call. Trust me you are in good company.

If you are in a funk and waiting for God to "show up" in your life I want to encourage you to wait, trust, and keep showing up. I don't know when or how, but I know He will. And remember in those moments when you feel ashamed of your doubt or questions that you aren't the first follower of Christ to have those feelings and you certainly aren't the last. Let Him work in you even in the midst of the doubt.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Honduras video

My mom preached an amazing sermon today on giving/serving. She tied in what she had learned and the ways she had grown on each of her 4 trips to Honduras. She had asked me to create a slide show of pictures for her to show so I did. I encourage you each to check it out on Youtube. Go to and search Honduras Movie posted by AshBash. or follow the link below.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

home in a small town

I know lots of people who claim to come from a small town but I truly did grow up in a small town! My small town defines small towns! It is so small it is considered a village! :) It has a population of maybe 600. The town itself is 9 blocks with no stop lights. We have no cell service at all and until a couple of years ago we were unable to get high speed internet. I used dial up until I got to college! When people from home tell where we are from we say Morgan County instead of referencing the town because our entire county is so small. We have one high school for our entire county. One junior high. and 3 grade schools. Even with having just one high school I still only had 180 people in my graduating class. I grew up in a small town.

The picture above is from the only gas station in our town. For my entire life that gas station has had the same pumps. While other areas were upgrading and updating their systems we remained the same. The pump in the picture is the actual one still used. Paying at the pump isn't even an option!

Oh how I love my town. I love the quaint and simple ways. I love how peaceful and calm it always is. I just love it there! :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

White Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Truffles

White Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Truffles
adapted from Baked Perfection

For the cake:
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1 14 oz. can pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature

For the frosting:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
4 ounces regular cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (plus another 2-3 cups as necessary)
2 teaspoons milk or cream
2/3 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the truffles:
16 oz. (1 bag) white chocolate (I used white chocolate chips – it’s probably best to have 2 bags on hand, just in case)
orange gel food coloring (optional for Halloween – do NOT use liquid food coloring)
8 oz. milk chocolate (for drizzling)

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Begin by browning the butter. Place the butter in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat. It will foam at first, but just keep stirring occasionally. When it is a golden amber color, remove from heat, strain, and set aside to cool a bit (see photos above for help).

2. In a medium bowl, combine your flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and allspice. Set aside. In your large mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Beat until combined, then add in the butter, mixing until combined. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and mix until combined. Gradually add in the flour mixture, finishing by hand if needed so as to not overmix.

3. Spread the batter into a greased and/or lined 9×13 cake pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until set and just slightly golden brown. Allow to cool completely before removing (I placed my cakes in the fridge to speed this up).

4. While the cakes cool, make the frosting. Beat together the butter and cream cheese until combined (at least 3 minutes), then add in the 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, the 2 teaspoons milk or cream, the cinnamon, and the vanilla extract. Beat until light and fluffy, as least another 3 minutes, then scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add in another cup of powdered sugar, beat until fluffy, then another, and beat again until fluffy. The frosting should be firm but not stiff. Add another cup of powdered sugar if you feel that the frosting is not firm enough (it should hold peaks for a moment or two).

5. When the cake has cooled, place it in a large bowl with half of your frosting and mix until combined. If the cake is not holding together in ball shapes, add half of the remaining frosting, mix, and check the consistency again. If you want, add the rest of the frosting, but you probably won’t need to. On a lined baking sheet, roll the cake into balls about the size of a tablespoon, then place on the sheet. Continue until you have used up all of the cake, then place in the fridge or freezer to firm up for 20-30 minutes.

6. To make the truffles, now you will have to melt your chocolate. Use a double boiler to do this; if you don’t have one, you can make your own (see the photos above for visual instruction). To make your own, fill up a pot with about an inch of water, then place a glass bowl over it, making sure there’s a bit of room between the water and the glass bowl on top. Heat over medium heat. Make sure that your top bowl is stable; if any water touches the chocolate, it will be completely, 100% ruined (seriously). Add the chocolate into the glass bowl, making sure there is absolutely no way that any water will ever come in contact with it, and stir gently until melted.

7. When the chocolate has melted, add in a few drops of your gel food coloring, and stir until you have the color you want. Take one cake ball at a time and roll it in the chocolate with a fork, until covered, then remove and place back on the baking sheet. Repeat until you have done all of your cake balls. Place in the fridge or freezer to firm up for 15-20 minutes.

8. Now melt your milk chocolate (or dark chocolate) to drizzle over the truffles. Melt in a microwave-safe bowl in 20-30 second intervals, stirring in between, until melted. Spoon the melted milk chocolate into a plastic bag, then cut off a tiny bit of the tip. Drizzle over the truffles. Place back in the fridge or freezer until ready to serve. Makes 30-40 truffles, depending on their size.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


We traveled all day yesterday so that we could be home in Ohio for the weekend. I'm LOVING being home for a bit of Ohio fall. This is my favorite place!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Santa Fe Soup

1 lb. ground beef/ turkey/ whatevs/ browned and drained
1 can kidney beans
2 cans Ro-tel
1 can stewed Mexican style tomatoes
1 can corn (drained)
2 Tbs. taco seasoning
16 0z. Velveeta cubed

Dump everything in your handy dandy crock pot. Stir.
Cook on high for three hours. Stir once halfway. Done.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


M. Scott Peck once said, “There can be no vulnerability without risk; there can be no community without vulnerability; there can be no peace, and ultimately no life, without community.”

I stumbled upon this quote today and I just really like it. God has been reminding me a lot lately just how important living in community truly is. I realize that more and more each day as I look at the amazing community of people He has placed around me. I am SO very blessed. However, I have realized lately just how badly I stink at the whole vulnerability part of being in a community. I tend to take the independent thing a bit too far and refuse to show my weaknesses. I've been struggling with my health a bit lately but in my own stubborn pride I've refused to truly let my community of people be there for me. Sooo, this is my way of saying THANK YOU to all of you who lift me up in prayer and surround me in love on a daily basis. And I'm sorry for not being better at letting you all in on the matters of my life. I love you all dearly.

Monday, October 11, 2010


I get to play mom to a set of 2 year old triplets today and tomorrow. Their parents went on a little get away before the dad deploys so I got the kiddos! :) Needless to say it has been a busy day. The kids are great. I adore them. I'm just praying they sleep through the night (which they rarely do). The one boy is a diabetic so we have to check his blood sugar levels and give him insulin every time he eats. The other boy has to be in physical therapy for muscle issues. And the girl....well she is all drama all the time! :) Their mother is a saint!

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Gosh how I miss this little one! I miss her every day but for whatever reason she has been on my mind a lot today. I miss her with every breath and every passing moment. I can't believe it'll be 2 1/2 months before I get to see her sweet face.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Sea Kayaking

A few months ago my friends and I went sea kayaking here in Virginia Beach. We tried going last summer. I had found a great price for a sea kayaking dolphin tour. The guide would provide the kayaks and then lead us out into the ocean to where he often finds dolphin pods. Last year when we went the weather had been bad so the water was choppy to say the least. The guide told us that the waves were an 8 on a 1 -10 scale. Needless to say we didn't see any dolphins and we weren't out in the ocean for long. I was TERRIFIED. I don't get scared of many things but for whatever reason I froze up and quite paddling every time we hit a big wave. Poor Mike (who was in my Kayak last year) had to do all the work. We did go back in the inlet area and that was WAY better for me. After last years experience I swore I'd never go again.

HOWEVER, this summer came and I found myself once again calling the same sea kayaking guide to schedule a trip. Mike was back in town and wanted to try it again....only this time he refused to be my partner! :) This year the weather was BEAUTIFUL. The water was perfectly calm and we paddled straight out and into the middle of a dolphin pod. They would seriously pop up within a paddles distance from our kayaks. It was honestly one of the most breath-taking and peaceful experiences I've ever experienced. At one point I just drifted along in the kayak watching the dolphins jump and play in the water ad the sun dipped below the shoreline behind them. Needless to say I enjoyed this experience way better than last year's trip and I would recommend EVERYONE do this! :)

Friday, October 8, 2010


‎"With every action, comment, and conversation...we have the choice to invite heaven or hell to earth." Rob Bell

Thursday, October 7, 2010


So if you are like me you are always looking for a new recipe to try. So I wanted to share two of my newfound favorites with you. They are great things to make for a party or get together! :)

Buffalo Chicken Dip
-8. oz pkg. cream cheese, softened
-1/2 cup Ranch or blue cheese dressing
-1/2 cup Franks Redhot Sauce
-2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
-3 cans (12.5 oz each) White Chunk Chicken Breast in Water, drained

Directions: Place all ingredients into a crock pot on high for 1 hour stirring occasionally. Serve with corn chips.

Black Bean and Corn Salad Recipe
-1/3 cup fresh lime juice
-1/2 cup olive oil
-1 clove garlic, minced
-1 teaspoon salt
-1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
-2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained & rinsed
-1 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
-1 avacado- peeled, pitted & diced
-1 red bell pepper, chopped
-2 tomatoes, chopped
-6 green onions, thinly sliced
-1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
Place lime juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, & cayenne pepper in a small jar. Cover with lid, and shake until ingredients are well mixed. In a salad bowl, combine beans, corn, avocado, bell pepper, tomatoes, green onions, and cilantro. Shake lime dressing, and pour it over the salad. Stire salad to coat vegetables and beans with dressing, and serve.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I'm leading another team to Honduras this December 27 - January 4. If you are interested in going let me know! I have about 20 people for sure going at this point but there is always room for more!

Also, I'm searching for a good theme verse to use for this team.....ideas?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


I have an intense love relationship with Coffee. I am what they addict. I was not born with that naturally caffeinated gene like some people. You know the type I'm referring to....those people who can get 4 hours of sleep a night and bounce out of bed in the morning ready to tackle the world. Now don't get me wrong I do better than some at getting out of bed and I can usually run on little sleep. However, on those days (or weeks) after a short night of sleep I drag myself through the day so much better when there is a caffeinated beverage in my hand! It is often my life line, my phone a friend, my anti-cranky drug....heck its my sanity in liquid form.'s like a beacon in the night for me. I'm fairly certain I could spot that mermaid (the starbucks symbol) from a mile away on real days of caffeinated desperation. Starbucks recently started this policy where if you can register a card (if you go to starbucks and haven't done this you definitely should). After you have registered that card on the website you then load money onto that card and use the card to purchase your drinks. Every time you use your card you get a gold star....not an actual gold star although who wouldn't enjoy that! The gold star just goes towards your card. Once you get 30 stars you become a "Starbucks Gold Card Member!" I'm pretty sure I qualified for my gold card within the first 30 days of this policy starting! They actually send you a gold starbucks card, with your name on it, in the mail. You can then use that card and get even more discounts and rewards!

I like it all.....really I think I do. Every last drink they have.....One of my ALL TIME favorites from there however has to be there pumpkin spice lattes. They are are seasonal drink and I practically count down the days until it is back. However, their lattes tend to run in the $4.50 or higher price range and I struggle to pay that. Recently a friend informed me that if I simply bought a black coffee and asked them to put a shot of pumpkin in it that it tastes almost the same....and saves me almost $1.50-$2.00 a drink! For those of you who like a little creamer in your coffee you can just add some milk and BAM perfection! It truly is delightful.

Now for a little known fact about me. As much as I like coffee and really all caffeinated beverages I don't really like HOT beverages. I'm more of a luke-warm beverage kind of girl. I go so far as to customize my starbucks drinks by asking them to make my drink at a lower temperature. I hate being so needy but honestly I have to let my drink cool for close to an hour if I order it at the normal temperature. I'm a wimp. But hey I know what I like! :)

So yea....caffeinated beverages = life support for me most days. What are some of YOUR favorite drinks or funny drink preferences? And for those of you who don't drink DO you do it?

Monday, October 4, 2010


"Persons may give so little that what they do give is more of a manifestation of covetousness than of bounty." -Edwards

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Being a Mom

Some days I feel like a mom. For those of you who don't know I work as a nanny. 4 days a week I work with triplets and 2 days a week I nanny for twins. I'm accustomed to baby lingo, baby talk, baby schedules, and baby play dates. I find myself saying things like tush or bottom instead of butt. I understand endless chattering, incessant pointing, and body language as clearly as if they had spoken an actual sentence. I frequently meet "other" moms at the local aquarium, zoo, park, beach, etc. for a play date so that "my kids" can play with theirs and we can get some moments of sanity from being with an actual adult. I even tend to find myself saying things like "I love the mommy hook stroller hanger" or weighing in on the best strollers (the BOB or Maclaren) or the worst car seats (Eddie Bauer). I honestly feel like some days I AM A MOM. Let's be honest I dress like a mom and I spend my weekends wanting to do nothing but relax. :) One of my "fellow moms" posted this site the other day about baby lingo and sadly enough I read it through and saw the truth in all of it!

This was by far my favorite.....

STUPIDTASTER n. [Fr. lack of intelligence + supertaster]: A supertaster is a person who is more sensitive than the average Joe to bitter, salty, sweet and sour tastes. A stupidtaster is a toddler who makes irrational, baffling choices when it comes to what he will and won’t eat. He won’t eat melon. He will eat sand. He won’t touch tomatoes. He will nibble on Crayons. And while the sight of spaghetti sauce makes him scream, that dried-up piece of old Play-Doh doesn’t taste half bad.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


I just LOVE fall. It is my favorite time of year. Fall to me means ....

Leaves changing colors
Cooler weather
Crisp morning air
Fall t.v. shows are back
Pumpkin Spice lattes
Apple picking
Pumpkin Carving
oh and did I mention FOOTBALL?

I absolutely love this time of year. I'm never happier than when I'm snuggled up with a warm beverage in my hand while sitting on my couch watching football. For the entirety of football season I'm content to sit at home all weekend watching football. I love upsets, crazy seemingly impossible stats, crazy fans, and I most definitely love to watch my teams win!

So yes fall is once again here and I'm a happy girl. What are YOUR favorite things about this time of year?

Friday, October 1, 2010


I know lots of people think they have the best family ever.....but I really do! :)