Friday, September 30, 2011

Still of the Morning

This morning, I was sitting at my kitchen* table about to start work when I found myself struck by the morning light coming in through the drawn blinds. Warm light bathing the table, my computer, my skin, the candlesticks left out from dinner.

Small wonder.

I remember coming back to UVA after seven months in Argentina and seeing everything with such wonder. I had a renewed spirit inside of me and new eyes through which I could see the world. Nowadays, I do still try to see the goodness in small things, and often succeed, but sometimes the worries and seemingly mundane things of life keep me from always keeping this awestruck mindset.

Patrick Lafferty is a pastor at PCPC in Dallas, my home church where I grew up. He writes weekly devotionals called "Every Thought Captive" and they are SO GOOD. Talk about someone who is a seriously gifted communicator and knows his vocabulary. Well today, I got the weekly email (you can sign up to receive them) and was blown away. He basically wrote my thoughts way better than I ever could.

"...The righteous life, the full life, and the joyful life are but synonyms for each other... Common to them all is how each is dependent on and evidenced by gratitude. Gratitude for the enduring realities that ground us, and the fleeting incursions of laughter and wonder that buoy us—for things seen with our eyes, and things seen only with the heart illumined by the grace of the Lord. Abiding joy—itself a mark of real righteousness and true fullness—depends mightily upon abundant thanks... [Let us] widen our gaze to gain eternal perspective and slow our pace that we might not miss the unexpected graces in our very midst."

Unexpected graces in our very midst. Even coffee in matching mugs from Eastern Market is an unexpected grace and a true delight to me.

What a reminder this daily devo is for me today. To have an attitude of gratitude is one step closer to taking hold of the life that is truly life.

*"Kitchen" is a stretch. We have a kitchen, breakfast room, study, and den. Add the laundry room, bedroom, and bathroom and we have a seven room casa! Yet somehow all these rooms fit in our two-room, basement apartment. Will wonders never cease.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Flowers + Love

I LOVED the bouquets at my wedding. Seriously. Loved. Them. Hence why they are now the header photo to this blog. My friend Tilly said that if there were ever a bundle of flowers to describe Carey Beth, it would be the ones I had. Well hey! That worked out well. The bouquets were designed by Jacquelyn Collmus in Charlottesville. She is the The flowers were the one wedding detail that I was picky about -- I wanted every color under the rainbow except for blues or purples. I didn't see the flowers before the wedding (or anything for that matter... for example, the cake... I loved the cake!) and I didn't even know that my bouquet wasn't made with all white flowers. I loved these big balls of color. Oh happy day.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

What time is it?


Da-dum, da-dum

Da-dum, da-dum, da-dum, da-dum

(This is supposed to sound like the Jaws theme. Yea yea yeaaa - just roll with it.)

What time is it? It's Libby's pumpkin puree time!! I have had 4, yes FOUR, cans of this orange love in my cabinet since last November. They have moved homes with me. Twice. Libby's pumpkin puree and I do not part ways lightly. These cans have even been used as hand weights by my old roomies while we did Jillian Michaels workouts during my pre-wedding "holy cow I'm getting married, I gotta look good" phase.

I do not lie.

The reason I never part ways with these little barrels of joy is because Libby's pumpkin puree is nearly impossible to find when you really want it. Tis (nearly) the season of fall and that means everyone goes crazy for boots, broomstick skirts (hah just kidding), and fall flavors like cinnamon, cranberry and pumpkin. I've heard that pumpkin spice lattes are back at Starbucks. Ew. Not my thang. But I do like the idea of it.

I had been talking for weeks about making pumpkin smoothies - you heard me - and finally, today was the day. Michael was seriously skeptical, but like most of my kitchen endeavors, he usually likes what I make. Except when you don't steam the green beans. I didn't realize that you can't just grill them on the stove with some olive oil. They were....crunchy. Anyhoo, last night before bed I whipped the smoothies up and put them in the fridge over night. BTW, this smoothie has bananas. The trick is that you need to make sure your bananas are cut in pieces and frozen. Soft bananas don't work as well in smoothies. They turn into fuzzy mush whereas frozen bananas keep their firmness. Ole!

Yum. Pumpkin Smoothie Delight.

Michael's report: "It's not what I'm used to....but I think that's ok. You keep me abreast of all these new foods, and I think I need these new flavors in my life." Ah! What an open mind that boy has. But really, I think that is code for "my wife is crazy, but I love her anyway."

Here is the recipe. Make it for yourself, for your love, for your roomie, for no reason at all except for the love of fall! Which hasn't exactly hit DC yet. It is sticky and 70s and humid out. Whaaa? I'm ready for crispy and 60s and apple picking. Oh and go stock up on Libby's pumpkin puree! It will be out when you need it, I promise. You may as well kiss those chocolate-chip pumpkin squares down the drain in mid-October unless you rush out now to the store. GO!

Friday, September 9, 2011

As You Wish

Michael's texts are in the blue background. Mine are in the white background.

Yes, he rented The Princess Bride. Yes, he is one of the most manly men I know. Yes, he knows me well and loves me even better.