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Showing posts from January, 2012

Be Encouraged - Love Your Neighbor As Yourself

 Sometimes the world feels like this to me.  A mass of identical people who are all pushing and pulling to get the best and newest things.  It consistently overwhelms me.  Faces in a grocery store, driving past me, and pushing around me in the office, seem to be a sea of all the same face over and over again.  It is hard to remember they are all people, when they are pushing me out of the way and taking the last apple at the store. However, I often times have the opposite problem as well.  I see an elderly person alone and want to share a meal with them.  I see a girl crying and I want to hug her and find out if she is ok.  I see a man looking stressed and I want to see if there is anything I can do to remove the stress from his life.  I cannot remove these images of these people from my head even when we have parted ways.  Total strangers linger in my mind.  I hope they worked out what was wrong. How can I find the balance of these 2?  The world where people are aggressive an

Vegas Never Fails Me

Any time I head for a weekend in Las Vegas I am excited the whole way there.  While I may hide it well, I just can't wait to walk into the hotels and play on the slot machines and breathe it all in.  It is seriously such a great place to just escape for a weekend.  Not everyone has love for Vegas, but I definitely do. This particular weekend (two weeks ago) we headed to Las Vegas to hang out with some of our very best friends, Ashley and Kyle; who came into town just for this trip.  It was so fantastic.  We played and drank and ate and laughed.  I wish I had money to do that every weekend.  We had a blast, I learned to play roulette, Bill and I split a foot-long hot dog (you guys know about my hot dog love), and we had amazing quality time. These two are such a natural fit for us.  There is something about hanging out with them that is such a blessing to all of us, and you can feel it in the air.  We love being around each other.  Bill and I were in Ashley and Kyle'

Food I Ate Friday - Cooking with The Rogers

I cannot tell you enough how much I love my future mother and father in law.   I cannot believe I get to marry into their family.   It is such a wonderful thing to really be excited about your in-laws.   Bill was cut straight from his parents wonderful molds.   They are generous, loving people who have welcomed me with open arms.   It is a privilege to be a part of their life. There is something about the cooking in this family… Absolutely delicious food, really well thought out and different every time.   I love that they care about quality.   I love that they love making things from scratch.   I love that they always ask me if I need anything.   Bill and I aspire to be like them in so many ways.   We hope to be as good of cooks as they are one day!!   We had a wonderful time this Thanksgiving learning how to cook a few traditional items for Bill’s gigantic family.   We got to his grandma’s house early, drank coffee, spent time talking and got hands on while learning a lo

Patio Lovin'

I want a cute patio SO badly lately!  Right now, Mikaela and I have a teeny tiny patio that does not get any attention... Well a little attention, but def not enough!  I hope my love for patios shows in this collection of pictures.  One day, I hope to have a quaint backyard to hang out in where my puppy will run around and I will relax in the mornings with my tea.  Hey, a girl can dream right? This one is my favorite...     The backyard is my favorite area of a home.  What is your favorite part of a home?

A Season Of Reading - Redeeming Love

As you faithful readers know, I rarely finish books, but I am taking this new season of reading VERY seriously.   In the last two weeks I completed Redeeming love.   Trust me, it’s a big deal for me to finish a book that quickly!   Especially a 500 pager J This book took me by surprise, and really swept me up.   It is essentially the story of Hosea, which feels like a blip in the Bible.   God calls a man of God to marry a prostitute and devote his life to teaching her the rightful place of sex in a relationship and how it changes when it is for love, amoung many other things about life and hard work and devotion and honesty and openness.  This book is gripping because it gets inside the head of a woman who truly believes she is not good enough for such a wonderful man.   And inside the head of a man who does all he can to address her insecurities, but he must learn to let God be the one she worships and the one who saves her.    Some of it was hard for me to read, but t

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

Lately I have been really loving:  1) Acting like a child.  Mikaela suggested jumping on the beds when we were staying at a nice hotel a few weeks back, and it was just what I needed at the time!  We laughed so hard and collapsed into the soft pillows.  We played games on the same night, and I really love playing cards.  It really gets my minds of things going on and takes away my stress.  Being Bill's partner in Nertz is my favorite. 2) Cooking and Baking.  I have been experimenting a lot with different types of cooking that I have never done before.  Soup is my personal favorite right now.  It is so simple and you can just throw a bunch of stuff in one pot and its good to go!  A loaf of banana bread this week also made me happy.  Every time I take a bite of it I breathe a little easier.  If you have recipes for me to try, PLEASE forward them along.  I love love love trying new things. 3) Finding Wedding Details.  The picture below is these lovely paper flowers I foun

New York, New York

I spent the day in New York City with my beautiful sisters and two of my best friends while I was home over my Christmas Holiday in Maryland.  We walked a lot, enjoyed Time Square, ate at a fun diner where the waiters and waitresses sing on the tables, strolled through the Met, and got to know the Subway system. It was freezing when we arrived, and our bundled up selves could not help but shiver.  Once we boarded the subway, we reached a new level of confusion.  Everyone else seemed to know the system, and while it seems self explanatory, at times it got very frustrating! We finally found the stop for Time Square and emerged to them testing the confetti for New Years Eve.  What a wonderful surprise! We loved taking pictures together and were continuously stopping to pose.   The cities bustle felt alive and refreshing to someone who lives by the beach :) While none of us were natives by the end of the day, we could not have enjoyed each other's company any more

Food I Ate Fridays - Midnite Confectioners Cupcakery

Midnite Confectioners Cupcakery My little brother’s girlfriend, Nikki has been raving about this place.   I love cupcakes, so it felt like a natural choice for her to take me there while I was home!   Sometimes people hype up places and when you finally get there you do not understand what all the fuss was about, but that was NOT the case with this place.   It lived up the hype and then some!   The flavor combinations were spot on, the presentation was fantastic, and the cupcakes were absolutely delicious. We tried 1) Black Velvet, 2) Gingerbread, 3) Brownie Sundae, and 4) Butter Pecan – They were moist and dense.   They melted in your mouth and made every calorie worth it.   Honestly, it was the best cupcake I have ever eaten!   I haven’t stopped thinking about it, and it has been a month. The place was quaint with a small counter with high top chairs you can sit at to eat.   The black and silver d├ęcor was subtle and really showcased the cupcakes as all that got atten

Wishful Thinking Becoming Reality

Today is such a big day for me.   Today I am published.  I cannot stress enough how much it would mean to me if you popped over to  and commented on my published post.   The story is vulnerable and open, and lets you into a time in my life where I had to realize I did not have all the answers.   I feel as though I am constantly realizing that, and that it is the theme of this blog in general; but I absolutely lay it all out there in this story.   I was crushed, and hitting rock bottom brought me back to some really amazing realities about need versus wants.    To be published is something I have always wanted.   To be published is something I am SO excited about.   Today I made steps forward to becoming the person I want to be.  I still can’t believe it! While my post is short today, I am asking you to do a few things... In order of importance… 1.       Read my published work 2.       Comment on it 3.       Follow this blog 4.     

Oh Nikki You So Fine, You So Fine You Blow My Mind :)

I haven't ever devoted a post to my little brother and his wonderful girlfriend, and I think it is time for you to hear about how wonderful they are!  The four of us (them and Bill & I) are headed to Seattle over President’s Day weekend in February, and I am so excited to spend time with them for a few days straight and really sink into it. Stephen is such a good man.   He has learned a lot about himself over the past few years and the waves of change keep on coming.   I see him growing up in so many ways and it makes me so proud to be his sister.     Everything in his life has been flipped upside down over the past year or two, and he continues to work hard towards being the best man he can be for Nikki and the best man he can be for our family.   It is not an easy calling thath e has on his life to be a pastor or in some type of ministry, and he has been hurt in the past, but he is learning to focus his eyes on the future with his girl and his life and his God.   I c

Be Encouraged - Shine Among them Like Stars

“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.” Philippians 2:14-16 NIV This was the verse of the day on Bible Gateway, and for some reason it really spoke to me. I have heard it hundreds of times before (my mom used to throw it in our faces about chores haha), but this time it hit home. Hard. I have a lot of parts of my life that I complain about in my heart, even if it never comes out of my mouth. It isn't any better to keep it to myself! I really dislike whiny people, but I find myself whining about them… That makes me just as bad. We DO live in a warped and crooked generation. I do want to shine among them like a star in the sky. Is it really that easy to not complain and make that

A Path of Blessing Before Me

I am headed to Las Vegas this weekend for the long weekend and I could not be more excited!! Kyle and Ashley, some dear friends who live on the East Coast while he completes medical school, are flying out and spending some time with us.   Bill and I desperately miss them and we can’t wait for it all to begin.   Drinks, walking, sunshine, and great quality time.   It’s going to be so great to spend time with just these two for 2 days straight!! Next week holds a huge milestone for me, and I will officially be published as discussed awhile back on this post .   A women’s memoir’s blog picked up my story that I entered in a 4 th of July contest, and they are finally posting it.   I am so honored and can’t wait for the 19 th to get here so I can share with my family and friends in this accomplishment!   I am hoping it brings more readership here and I can reach a larger audience - I want to encourage and empower as many people as possible.   Being chosen has definitely inspired me t

Time at Home is Always Priceless

 This is my beautiful family.   They constantly blow me away.   My time in Baltimore for Christmas is hard to put into words.   It was just what I needed and wanted.   I got to spend time with every member of my family, including Nikki (who was not with us for this picture), and I got to see how everyone is growing and changing and learning and adjusting to their new separate lives.   As the family grows and we each choose who we want to spend our lives with, I cannot help but smile.   I feel our family growing in an incredible way.   I obviously love Bill, but Cristina and Nikki and Josh are such fantastic additions.   Bill and my wedding will be the first time everyone will be in one place at the same time.   That is INCREDIBLE.   It will be a day to remember. I am so proud of each of these individuals (including my parents).   Everyone is making huge strides to be healthier in spiritual, mental, and physical ways.   Each person is learning to relate with o

Love is Sweet

 Sometimes I feel like all I do is write about how much I love Bill.   I know people probably do not want to read about that all the time, but being engaged has been such an amazing season for me already.   I feel like I can’t contain it!.   The other day I even said to my roommate, “Bill and a white dress.   Those are the only details about the wedding I care about.”   Well, I bought a dress last night, and when the girl asked me if it would be the dress I was wearing when I was walking down the aisle I started crying.   I know most girls dream of the perfect dress and this ideal wedding, but all I ever dreamed about was the perfect boy for me.   And I found him.   So in the middle of a Bridal Store with random people all around me I was crying as I realized how overwhelming it was to have a man who loves me and as trivial as a dress feels, it was the step I needed for it to begin to settle in.   They gave me a bell to ring in the store and I made a wish for our marriage.  

Be Encouraged - Take Your Time

I have been feeling really convicted as of late to take my time in all I do.  To breathe in every moment and enjoy the people around me and the things I take for granted.  This extends to so many unique areas that you may not consider.  Taking your time means being fully present where you are.  Do not be in a rush to get somewhere else or spend time with someone else.  Keep your phone away from you and look the person talking to you in the eyes.  Don’t let technology distract!   How hard is it to feel like someone is present when they are staring at their phone the whole time? Invest in someone, even if only for five minutes.   Stop being in such a hurry to get to the next person and next thing.   Take your time. Taking your time means to enjoy little moments.  Think about how blessed you are to have shampoo and conditioner in the shower, how lucky you are to brush your teeth every day, how amazing it is to have blankets and pillows and not be sleeping on the floor, ho

Cheering and Freezing - Ravens Football!

What a day this was!  Bill and I spent the day with some dear friends cheering on the Ravens in San Diego.  While it was not a victorious day for our beloved team, it was definitely a wonderful time spent with these people.  We got there early and ate some snacks and threw a football around before heading into the stadium.  Tailgating is one of my favorite parts about attending sporting events.  I love that it is an entire day with people :) As the night went on it got colder and colder from our "very last row of the statdium" seats.  However, it didn't phase me.  I danced and cheered and jumped and yelled.  The defeat was tough, but here we go into the playoffs!  Running into Eddie and Michelle (Bill's Cousin and wife) was such a plesant surprise, because they ended up being in the same section we were! What are the chances?!?  This is one of my favorite things to do with Bill.  We love going to new stadiums and learning what is unique to each one

A Season Of Reading - The Blue Sweater

As I have mentioned previously, I often start books, but rarely finish them.  I have bookmarks in dozens of books that get half read then put back on the shelf.  The interesting part, is that it is not for lack of interest, just for lack of attention.  What is humerous, is that Bill has an identical problem.  We both love reading, but are distracted by TV and other things. So, in the spirit of the New Year, we have decided to not watch tv together (an occasional movie is ok), and to focus on reading.  On January 1st, I finished reading The Blue Sweater and felt a sense of accomplishment wash over me.  I want to report books as I finish them on here, because accomplishing a task you are held accountable for brings tons of esteem along with it.  So hold me accountable.  I Love Accomplishing Goals! I need to push through this and get back into my love for reading.  The Blue Sweater was such a fantastic book, and validated some feelings in my heart and head.  It is the stor

C'est la Vie - The Art of Neil Slorance

I ran across this artist awhile ago, and have recently begun following his blog .  The innocence of some of his art is extremely refreshing.  I love this collection of images directly copied from his site, which I encourage you to take a look at.  While some of his work does not speak to me, here and there I found pictures that cut straight to my heart.  I hope you enjoy these sketches as much as I do.  There is something about them that just brings a smile to my face! Smile today friends!  "That's Life" :) 

Spending Time With James

While this happened awhile ago, I wanted to write a little bit about spending time with one of Bill's best friends, James :) Over Thanksgiving James came to visit his family, and while he was here we were blessed to spend tons of time with him.  He came and helped us cook Thanksgiving with Bill's parents, we spent some time in Huntington on the pier, toasted our engagement, and we went to a local pub and ate breakfast and watched soccer.  There is something about James that is relaxing.  He has a gentle spirit and you can tell he really listens to everything you are saying.  Genuine doesn't even begin to describe him.  He is really a pleasure to be around, and no words would do him justice.  He is a man trying to figure out life, and is not afraid to discuss his thoughts with you.  I love that I am learning about who Bill is through his friendships, and this one definitely shed some light.  James lives up in Portland, so our time with him is very few a

Jet Lag and Bliss

Isn't it funny how Jet Lag can steal so much time from us? Why do we feel tired from a time differene? Why does it feel like we are dragging out bodies around like zombies when we travel for long periods of time? I am completely exhausted right now. But I cannot help but keep thinking about how I had the most wonderful time with my family. They surprised me with so many wonderful moments, and it was (as always) a trip to remember. We spent time wedding dress shopping, eating home cooked meals, sleeping in, staying up late, laughing, drinking wine, sitting by the fire, dreaming of the future, and spending time in each other's presence. It always feels like no time has passed and tons of time has passed all at once. I can't believe this time next year, I will be married to my best friend and that most of my siblings have also found that special someone. We are each on such separate journeys, yet we will always cross paths. How many people in life do you know that wil