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Saturday, October 12, 2013

absence makes the heart grow fonder

My sweet husband is out of town this weekend.  He is on an Emmaus walk, which is basically a weekend of church camp for grown ups.  It is a weekend that changes lives and brings new perspectives.  Or so I'm told.  The whole thing is super top secret, you know.

I am so proud and excited for him this weekend; I know he will have a great time and be refreshed.  All the day-to-day hassles are taken off his plate, and he is unplugged from all the information and social media that bombard us every day.  He will spend quality time with God and with the other men on the trip.  He will learn and grow.  I know he will have lots to say when he gets home, and I am so excited to hear about his weekend!  (Except for the super-top-secret stuff, of course.)

You know what I was not expecting, though?  How much I would miss him.

The retreat is only three days, and, frankly, I was looking forward to some me-time - watching girly movies, dancing around in my socks to Broadway hits and Katy Perry, sleeping diagonally on the bed...

Full disclosure: I did all those things and it was fabulous.

I am thankful for the chance to spend some quiet time alone.  It is a good exercise to be totally independent for a while and take care of all the chores and errands on my own.  I found my own strength again and was able to recenter.  It is healthy to remember that we are two whole people, travelling in the same direction, rather than two halves that make a whole.

 photo running

But I miss my best friend.  He is my favorite person, and I miss talking to him.  I miss our inside jokes, I miss his smile, I miss the way he encourages me, I miss holding his hand - I miss the rhythm of our life together.

This weekend was a unique and healthy opportunity for both of us, but I am so excited for Sean to get home!

T - 20.75 hours...

Thursday, September 26, 2013

busy season

We are in the throes of busy season.  I am a tax accountant by trade, so this time of year can get rough.  We made it through one deadline and are pushing through the next.  Overtime weeks have plenty of long and stressful days, with short tempers and tired eyes.  Oh but I can see the light!  Three more weeks - I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...

Working in a profession that is run by deadlines forces me to prioritize.  Projects are in different stages of review, but they all have to be out the door on one fateful day.  On a larger scale, I have to prioritize my life to get everything done.  So what stays?  And what goes?

Well, first goes exercise.  Usually I exercise when I get home from work, so working late sucks that time right up.  For a week I tried getting up early to exercise before work.  Yeah, no.  Not this girl.

Next goes those home cooked meals.
Try a new recipe?  Those tried and true recipes are way faster.
Use a new gadget?  I don't even have time to open the box.
Make something from Pinterest?  Ain't nobody got time for that.

So the dinner menu begins to rotate between mac 'n' cheese, Chipotle, and sushi.  Bon appetit.  This is on top of the fact that my firm brings in lunch, so basically I am eating out, twice a day, for months.  Don't get me wrong - it is fantastic to have food provided (no time for grocery shopping!), but add this to the no-way-I'm-exercising-before-the-sun-is-up situation, and things are getting ugly.  I start having cravings for leafy greens and oranges.  The produce section seems a mystical place that I remember from another time.

Dog park days are traded for a few quick tosses of the tennis ball in the courtyard.  Puzzles and crafts are packed away in the closet.  Books gather dust.  The vacuum hibernates.

I learn what I can do without.
And what I can't.

I find that I can't do without purposeful time with Sean.  Even if our menu gets a little repetitive, we can have fresh conversation.  As the quantity of free time shrinks, we focus on the quality of the time we spend together.

I can't do without my precious friends and family.  While we may not see each other as often or as long, their sweet texts and prayers raise my spirits.  An hour over coffee can make the whole week feel manageable.

And as I look at those moments and relationships that my soul craves, I find God.  He already knows that my only need, my only priority, is Him.  His love shines through the encouragement of my dear friends and family.  He is strong in my weakness.

Sometimes, it's good to be reminded.

Friday, August 30, 2013


The city is revamping the highway right next to our apartment complex.  The project started before we moved in, and will probably still be in process when we move out.  The construction was definitely a factor to consider when we were apartment shopping, but the location was just too perfect.  Our windows are quadruple-paned and basically sound-proof, and we haven't had any major problems with the noise.  The progress however, has moved closer to our apartment, and we discovered a problem that we did not originally count on having:


Poor Jbug can't handle the construction so close to our apartment.  They are currently ripping up a large portion of the highway by lifting a huge, heavy stone into the air and dropping it onto the highway.  This method breaks up maybe a 4x4 area of concrete each drop.

Doesn't seem like the most efficient way to break up an eight-lane highway to me, but hey, I'm not the professional.

Each time they drop the wrecking ball, there's a sonic boom that shakes our apartment.  Jessie tries to hide from the sound and the shaking - under the bed, in the closet, under our chairs, in our laps, behind the couch, outside the front door.  Now that could be cute, and would probably work, if she were a yorkie or a poodle.  But she's not.  She's a 50-lb ball of energy with a tail that can clear the table and take out your knees.  She has no concept of her size but is determined to fit her wiggly self under all the furniture.

Poor pup just isn't cut out for this city living.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

dinner detour

So after our crazy 48-hour Oklahoma adventure, the hubs and I were pretty pooped and ready to just kick back and stare at the wall.  A bottle of wine, pj pants, and a movie were just the ticket.  One small hiccup in our relaxing-night-in plan - we had no food and no wine.  We decide to grab sandwiches and bring them home and run by Central Market for a bottle of wine on the way.  Well, I can't help myself in Central Market.  Next to Disney World, it may be the happiest place on earth.  The produce section alone makes me want to move in and start my own co-op.  Hey, a girl can dream.

Sean steers me away from the produce (I'll be back soon! I'll miss you!) and we head to the wine.  Y'all, Central Market has a South African section!  The only South African restaurant in Texas is located in Cypress, my old stomping grounds.  Sean and I went there for a special occasion and had the most amazing meal I have ever eaten.  Really.  You need to go.  We also had a wine that about changed my life it was so delicious.  Guess what we found at Central Market?  Score.

We've got the wine, so let's go get some sandwiches!  As I happy-dance my way to the registers, I go down the Italian aisle.  There before me is a lovely little pizza crust begging for toppings.  And a fascinating assortment of pestos and sauces that all sound delicious.  Sandwiches?  Let's be chefs instead.

We may have had to prepare dinner, but the meal was more delicious.
We may have stayed up later, but it was time we spent together.
We may have doubled the cost of dinner, but we made an event out of it.

The adventure is always worth it.

Monday, August 26, 2013

the waving wheat can sure smell sweet

This weekend was chock-full of family celebrations.  We flew up to Oklahoma for a whirlwind weekend including two baby showers and my Granny's 75th birthday celebration.

Here's my beautiful Granny.  75 and going strong.

This is baby Daniel.  How cute is he?

I have another baby boy cousin coming in October.  I can hardly wait to meet baby Luke!

I am certainly worn out, but my heart is full.  It was so wonderful to see everyone and meet our newest family member.  We spend a lot of time tripping over each other and running into each other when the whole family is together, and I love every minute of it.  We talk, we play, we laugh, we pray, we eat, and we celebrate.  God is good.

Oh and the best news of all - with two babies in the next generation, the pressure's off for me and Sean.  Whew!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I am not Wonder Woman

Sunday night goes the same way for me almost every week: "This is the week!  I will clean the whole apartment!  I will do all the laundry!  I will cook a delicious and healthy dinner every night!  I will get up early to work out!  I will exceed expectations at work!  I will walk the dog!  I will end world hunger!  I will repair the ozone layer!  I will accomplish ALL THE THINGS!"

Well, it's Tuesday.
Last night we had mac n cheese for dinner.  From a box.

I want to be able to do it all, but the reality is that I can't.  And that is ok.  It has to be ok.  And it should be ok.  First of all, Sean is an unbelievably generous person and always willing to help.  I tend to be the one running around declaring war on the dust bunnies and dirty dishes, while Sean is the one who jumps in the trenches.  He cares for Jbug while I get ready in the morning, and again in the evening when I get home late.  When I haven't worked out or done the laundry or ended world hunger, he tells me I'm pretty and special and valuable.  He cooks when I don't have time, and calms me down when I'm stressing out.  Most impressively, he never complains.  That's love, y'all.  The way Jesus does.

Secondly, I have a terrible habit of attaching my value to my to-do list.  Which means that when I don't get everything done, I feel like I failed.  I get frustrated and irritable and down on myself.  And that is not ok.  Because I believe that I am intrinsically valuable.  I believe that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  I believe that loving people is more important than finishing to-do lists.  I just need practice.

Sean lives like that every day.

He's basically Superman.

Monday, August 19, 2013

sunshine and slides

Saturday we had beautiful weather.  The sun was shining, a breeze was blowing, and the high was only 95 degrees!  Which is basically a cold front.  Because it's August.  In Houston.

So in celebration of the sunshine, we loaded Jbug in the car, rolled the windows down, and went exploring.  We ended up at a playground because we're grown ups.

Jessie had a great time.

The hubs?  He had some trouble instead.

It's a sad day when we outgrow the playground equipment.  Guess we'll just have to build our own someday.  Maybe something like this:

We'll dream it bigger.

Friday, August 16, 2013

let the blog begin!

Hello there.

Allow me to begin with a confession:    I am not a writer.

I've never written a blog before.  Sure, I've had my share of pretty pink diaries, I've pumped out plenty of essays, I've composed a few speeches, I've tweeted on occasion, but generally, no.  I don't write.  Honestly, I don't particularly like writing.

Sounds like a great blog, right?

Don't worry.  It will get better. I hope promise.

The thing is, too often I get caught up in the hustle of life.  I fill my time, but not necessarily my soul.  But I don't want to live distracted.  I don't want to get complacent.  I don't want my life to become mindless routine.  I don't want to stop learning.  I don't want to stop moving forward.  I want a life that is colorful and vibrant and full of adventure!

So my hope is that blogging will keep me accountable.  To look around at my life and notice all the beautiful moments.  To focus on the positives.  To take notice of what matters.  

Life is beautiful.
Let's live it.