Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Legitimate Update on Life

I have the best family ever.

So, let's recap the past few days! I had the weekend off work! Saturday evening/Sunday morning the jr. and sr. high students from the church participated in Box City. Apparently there is no website designated specifically for the event {which takes place every year in youth groups all across the country}, but this article gives you a good run down on it all. The rules weren't quite a rigid for our kids, though. They got dinner and late-night chili. I guess Brian and the gang are softies. But get ready for this...they raised over $900! All the proceeds are going to Streetlight, a ridiculously worthy cause. I'm so proud of all the kids!
Then, I went to church on Sunday!!! You have no idea how happy it made me. I've only gone to a handful of main services for all of 2011. Sunday was the last message from a serious on "How To Be Rich". When my parents were here we were able to hear the first sermon of the series, and this final one really stuck with me. I took notes (nerd alert!). It's wild how easily we forget how truly blessed we are. This final week was entitled "Protecting Your Wealth". 

Sermon Highlights For Ya:
1 Timothy 6:19
*There is a relationship between your EXTRA & your ETERNITY
*When giving of your earthly wealth, you are laying a foundation for life beyond this one
*We need to start viewing wealth through a lens of eternity
*There is SO MUCH MORE beyond the here and now!

Luke 12:16-21, 30, 33-34
*Listen, you are going to run out of time before you run out of money; Don't waste it!
*We know we are rich, {at least those who went through the series know, but, trust me, we all are rich} so now let's be rich & live rich
"What we do in life echoes in eternity"--Gladiator {yup, the movie with what's his face}

I have a pretty rocking church, huh? So, on to the relatively sucky news: We're going to move in June. 3 moves in as many years of marriage. This was so not the plan. We signed a 12 month lease when we first moved here in June and, the other day, we got a letter from our complex saying that after our lease is through, if we continue to live here, our monthly rent will increase over $100. Seriously. So...that's not happening. We're not going to shell out THAT much more money to continue to live in the same exact apartment. So, it looks like we're going to move to the complex that we originally loved most when we visited here last March. It's owned by the same company as our current complex so we don't have to shell out all the deposit fees that come with the initial move-in ordeal! That's a super awesome part. Also, they have a unit that is perfect. Near the back pool, grass all around, and a bigger patio than some of the other units. The ceilings are higher, too, so it all around feels roomier. Yes, that is a word. Seriously, it is. 

Also, I hate to brag for all you Midwesterners, but today was basically summer. Yes, summer has arrived in Phoenix. I was wearing a tank top & skirt {but still felt warm}, returned to a sweltering car after it was sitting in the parking lot for some time, I blasted A/C, and I listened to country music happily while driving down the road. Put it all together and you've basically got summer, right? Right. We'll be in the 90's this weekend!

Alrighty. I have typed a load. I'm off to college group!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Ready for a Little Home Tour? OK!

After Christmas I began a mission. The mission: Redecorate. So what happened? I gathered loads of picture frames, fabric, and odds & ends that accumulated around our tiny apartment for the next 2 months. However, with the arrival of my family looming earlier this month, I got my act together and began a crash course in project redecoration! I really love the end result {even though Phillip might think I'm a little nutso}.

Pretty vintage sheet music and vinyl

A little mint paint to spruce up these little shelves and now I can show off my little chotchkies. I kinda adore my little pink owl. Thus far, the picture frame is remaining empty. Let's be honest, it'll probably remain that way.

I actually painted the TV stand a while ago, but never showed the little dear off! Here she is: a pretty aqua TV stand :-)

My marriage/vintage wall art montage

These ladies are my favorite ever. It makes me really miss my closest gal pals. Also, check out the retro swimsuit club to the far left. Hehe.

Oh hello there :-)

I'm proud I actually took the mountain picture. I'm also proud to be a nurse now that I've found the sexy nurse poses. Aww yeeeah.

Some of my brother's fabulous photo skills highlighted in the entryway. He's pretty awesome.

Pretty, pretty mirror serving tray.

I also painted the end table a pretty mint color. The poor dear is constantly covered with all our junk.

Some sweet vintage Miller, Kraft hot cocoa, & Easy Bake Oven ads in the kitchen.

I was ssssssoooooooooooo excited when I found this set! AND, I was even MORE excited when I found a matching sugar canister just today!

My corner of the bathroom. Do you think I have enough scarves and bandannas?
You like? I do =) Well, I'm off to resume girl's night {alone, but I kinda love it} which thus far has included: baking Jalapeno &  Pepper Jack scones, mucho laundry, sorting through my clothes and getting rid of what doesn't fit anymore {yay!} or definitely won't be worn again, and {of course} watching a ton of Gilmore Girls. I'm nearing the end of season 6. There are 7 seasons. The end is fast approaching! Yikes!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, folks!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My Favorite Things With Wheels...& Margot

I realized today that I never once posted anything online about my snazzy blue bicycle. My mom and dad in-law basically let me choose a new bike for my birthday in November. It's lovely. I adore it. I've finally started putting my pretty bicycle to good use this week. The sun is shining, the air is crisp, & there are tons of parks and bike trails all around.

I had a hard time finding one that was super pretty but free from a ridiculously excessive amount of flowers and other crazy designs. But here she is! I still need to get a basket, though!

The Amsterdam Collection from Electra Bicycle Co.

Ahh she's a beauty  :-)
 Ok, don't get your hopes up with these next pictures. I was at Goodwill the other day shopping around, doing my thing when I saw this:

No, there is no baby news or anything, but how could I leave the store when this was there for $9.99?!? I had to pick it up. It's in great condition, save for a few little scratches here and there. I gave it a good scrub down and the end result is spectacular! Aaahhhhh I love it!

And then there's Margot.  :-)  What a freakin' sweetheart. Sarah and I took Henry and Margot to a dog park today. Margot & I had never been there before, but we had some great fun with a bunch of crazy pups! Unfortunately, I left Margot's one and only toy at the park, so I biked on over to Petsmart and picked up a new one! She loves it to pieces...literally. The thing is made of tire tread, but she's still managed to pick it apart.

Now, my friends, I will leave you with this hilarious video of Phillip playing with Margot :-)

Happy Friday Everyone!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Before Midnight?!

That's right, folks. I'm blogging before 12AM.

Phill is out of town til Tuesday evening with the Creative Arts group for the youth ministry. Not sure exactly what that entails, but I do know it means I'm watching Henry, Brian and Sarah's dog, until they return!

This is Henry and Margot playing:

This is my reaction when I think Henry is getting a bit too frisky with my precious baby Margot:

Anywhoo...I worked this weekend and it was all around not too shabby. I absolutely hate the situation one of my poor patients is going through. Without breaking any HIPAA laws let me give you a run-down of this poopy circumstance: female 10 days post-partum with MRSA infected epidural site to lumbar spine. Nasty infection with purulent drainage, a newborn at home that she now can't be around due to hospitalization and later can't be around due to MRSA, and she is being transferred to a different facility so a neurosurgeon can evaluate her. It's making me even more sad just thinking about it all.

Friday was a treat because Fridays are Phill's regularly scheduled days off and I actually had the day off with him! We went with our friends Justin and Heather to a spring training game, Dbacks (hehe, that will never NOT be funny) vs. Mariners. 

I waited in line for the first 3 innings just for this damn drink. It was hot out. I needed refreshment. Fountain pop (not soda) reigns supreme. I chose THE WORST concession line of all time. The drink was heavenly, though :-)

The cutest couple there (maybe I'm biased). PS--I swear I was not naked at the ballpark.

PS--I swear these drunken ladies were hysterical during the 7th inning stretch


2nd cutest couple there? Haha this just makes me laugh seeing Justin laying out like that. To be fair, I totally snuck this photo in. Neither of them know this was taken...poor souls.
You see? If you all would just move out here with Phillip and I you could live in a vacation spot year round! The housing market here is beyond ideal right now. For reals. Just ask Mom and Dad. They know. Basically, I want everyone to move out here because it's pretty and we're here and the climate is really sucking me in and making it so I don't want to leave!

So, who likes coffee? Who likes cake? Who likes toffee? Who likes sugar? Who likes all these things combined?

(PS--you do)

I made this:
Brown Sugar Toffee Cake!
(Obviously, not my picture, however, it really did look exactly like this)

Oh, so you want to make it for yourself, hmm? Well, you're in luck! I'll share the recipe. Seriously, it was a big hit and super yummy...don't you worry about the "sugar" and "calories".

Brown Sugar Toffee Cake
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
6 Tbs. butter, softened
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup cold strong coffee
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup fat-free plain yogurt, at room temperature
3 milk chocolate–toffee bars, such as Heath

Preheat oven to 325°F. Coat 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray.

Combine together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and then set it aside.

Beat butter, brown sugar, and sugar together in a separate bowl with electric mixer until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time, and then beat in coffee and vanilla extract. Add 1/4 cup yogurt, and beat until smooth. Add half of flour mixture, and beat until smooth. Beat in remaining 1/4 cup yogurt, then remaining flour mixture. Beat 2 to 3 minutes, or until batter is smooth and creamy.

Spread batter in prepared cake pan, and bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, pulse milk chocolate-toffee bars in food processor 8 times, or until crushed into bits. {Or, if you're cool like me and can't get the food processor to agree with you, you can stick the candy bars in zip top bags (must double or triple bag) and take a hammer to 'em!} Sprinkle chocolate-toffee bits on top of cake while hot. Cool completely before serving. 

Have a great start to your week!

Praise be to God

Last night I opened my Bible in search of peace and contentment for my anxious little ol' self. Lately, I'm always feeling this way the night before work in the morning and it's so frustrating. But, (go figure!) the Lord answered. My prayers must have been heard beacuse today has been completely tolerable. I know there will still be sucky days ahead, but I'm feeling pretty dang grateful right now.

Praise be to God

Thursday, March 17, 2011

It's Here! The Long Awaited Vacation Blog! Be Warned...Many Pictures!!!

I didn't do a very good job taking pictures while the fam was here. I'm actually kinda upset about it the more I think of it. We did get some good ones, though. I think the main reason I didn't get all camera happy is because Trey took a lot of pictures. So where are they bro? Huh? HUH?! Whoa. 
There was a lot of baseball last week. Phoenix is spring training heaven. Dad and Trey went to a total of 4 games in 1 week! This is the Reds/Indians spring training field. We had so much fun when all 4 of us (sorry, Phill) went.

Dad & I at the summit of South Mountain. He was a bit timid, but the beauty drew him in eventually :-)

The bro-ster and The Valley

Of course we made sure to get some nice poolside time in. We even hit up the jacuzzi family style one night!

Then Friday was...GRAND CANYON DAY! Get ready for some beauty.


(He had just peed...outside...in a national campground. He did this once more.)

Sibling Love :-) Also, since when did my upper thigh and butt decide to join forces and become one?! There is no separation!

The bird was so close! It flew right onto the tree near Phillip and I.

Educational Materials for Purchase at The Grand Canyon. 

 Well, I wish I had more pictures, but I'll just have to wait until Trey uploads his on Facebook so I can steal them and share. Mwahahaha. Ugh, I just annoyed myself. Whatever. I'm delirious from lack of sleep. Seriously. On my drive INTO work this morning I was seriously questioning my safety because I was falling asleep at the wheel. I never have the opportunity to get tired once I'm actually at work, though (good thing? bad thing?).  Anywhoo, that disk of Gilmore Girls is over, so I promised myself I would go to bed. Damn it's after midnight. I was hoping to do better than that. I want to rise at a somewhat decent time tomorrow so I won't feel like I've wasted my day. I have a short list of things to accomplish and then I plan on laying out more. Maybe. I did eat a lot of ice cream just now...yikes! But seriously...who's surprised? No one.


I can't believe I thought I would end the post like that. I forgot all about the vacation round-up: THE WEDDING! I already posted some photos here, but here are the ones I actually got to take before my camera crapped out, and the ones after the reception ended and I was able to resuscitate the camera...there aren't many :-(

I want bodacious retro bouffant hair like this every day

This is what girls do. We sit and watch the bride getting her hair done...and take pictures.

I'm sweaty and full of cupcakes (lemon! chocolate bavarian creme! red velvet!), but I still love the dress and I'm impressed that I can actually take credit for my hair. Not too shabby for the end of the night.

Party animal + Walking in grass and rocks = One time use shoes

Personalized bridesmaid gift full of goodies
Ok. Now I'm done. Fo reals.